Respond to two peers only- Structural Oppression in the US
Response to two peers, argue whether or not you agree that their identified structural oppression is a) indeed structural oppression, and/or b) whether or not it is significant.
Be sure to engage in a respectful dialogue.
200 words for each peer
In this discussion you will integrate what you have watched and read thus far into the broader context of social policy and structural oppression in the United States. Reflect on the films you have watched to date and the text, Rules for Radicals, and discuss areas of the most significant structural oppression in the United States.
Inequality for all documentary by Robert Reich
Peer 1 Response
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains in his movie Inequality for all the economic and social consequences that come about between the different social-economic statues within the United States and how it continues to widen (Inequality for all, n.d.). Mr. Reich explained how our current economy has a similar reflection that was present during the great depression in the 1920s; Reich compared the 1920â€™s to current economic statistics as looking like an extension bridge (Inequality for all, n.d.). Inequality for all (N.D.) explains how America has an ever-widening gap between the upper class and middles class with income with the upper-class acquiring twenty percent of the countries income which was approximately three times more than in the 1970s, allowing for the class separation to grow. This exponentially increasing gap is causing a rift of anger and resentment from some of the middle-class population towards the upper class as it is believed they have been cheated out of a part of the American dream.
In the Rules for Radicals, the author states, â€œthe great American dream that reached out to the stars has been lost to the stripesâ€ (Alinsky,1989). Alinsky’s (1989) statement shows a symbolic representation of what Reich was trying to convey when stating how every growing middle class got hoodwinked by the upper class of a part of the American dream.Change is possible and shrinking the gap between the different levels of social status. However, as Alinsky (1989) states, â€˜The job then is getting the people to move, to act, to participateâ€¦ power to effectively conflict with the prevailing patterns and change them.â€ Those who wish to see a change in anything must work at it; this is true for everyone. Hard work is not meant to be easy in all cases but can give a positive outlook that can be one of the many beneficial outcomes when people work together.
Alinsky, S. D. (1989). Rules for radicals: a practical primer for realistic radicals. New York, NY: Vintage.
Inequality For All. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.netflix.com/title/70267834?source=35
Peer 2 Response
Inequality For All is one of the most interesting documentaries I have watched in my schooling this far, ever.I think why it was so appealing to me is because it is so relevant right now. This documentary does a great job breaking down what inequality looks like in the economy and why it is important to understand the repercussions of it.In the film it talks about how 70 percent of the United States economy is dependant on consumer spending. This is alarming because when the middle class is struggling, they cut back and spend less, therefore not as many dollars going into consumer spending, leading to loss of sales and even job loss.The middle class is essential in the United States economy. The documentary reflects how jobs are paying less, and the cost of living is increasing. The middle class cannot keep up with the economy as long as income inequality exists, which will lead to another economic crisis. (Kornbluth, J., Chaiken, J., & Dungan, 2014).
Rules For Radicals was also very interesting to me.I loved the aspect of organizing communities with the same roots to unite.I honestly think that is the only way to bring upon change, especially in a country like the United States.Are we all always going to agree? No we are not. But to take pointers from Alinsky would be smart. To rally together in our communities and support each other and push for change in unification, it really could make a difference.Especially in the economic crisis that is teeter tottering in our great nation. (Alinsky, 1989)
Inequality in economy is everywhere, not just in the United States.I cannot help but think of my husband who grew up in poverty in Tonga.We have gone back a couple times so far in our marriage, as his parents still live there, and I remember my first time there being completely shocked that people in the world today live in such impoverished and unsanitary conditions.To no fault of their own. There is wealthy and there is poor, there is no in between. And because of that, prices for food and essentials are extremely overpriced, making it almost impossible for the poor to get by. It is very disturbing, and a prime example of inequality in an economy.
The United States has got to work together in creating a strong and stable middle class and an equal economy, or the outcome will be disastrous.
Kornbluth, J., Chaiken, J., & Dungan (2014). Inequality for All.
Alinsky, S. D. (1989). Rules for radicals: A practical primer for realistic radicals. New York: Vintage Books.