Healthcare in the United States has been a center of controversy for a long time. Access to quality healthcare has been limited to the rich at the detriment of the poor. The current infrastructure in the United States requires the citizenry to own health insurance, which will aid in reducing the cost of healthcare. However, it is worth noting that despite the United States being one of the strongest nations in the world, a reasonable proportion of its population remains poor. A large number of people in the United States do not earn wages that can allow them to access quality healthcare. This means that no every person the United States has the ability to access healthcare. It is worth noting that the need to get medical attention is not limited to the wealthy. Every citizenry in the United States once in a while requires seeing a physician.
As a result of the lack of medical insurance many people in America’s low class have to endure large medical costs. Unlike the poor population, the wealthy in the United States are protected by the insurance plans that there are signatory to. This means that when many people in the American upper class and in the upper middle class fall ill, they pay reduced medical costs. The United States is a democracy that is founded on the principle of equality. Equality is a principle of democracy that argues every member of society should have equal opportunity and access to resources. However, the organization of the American society is organized in a way that only the rich can be able to access quality health care.
The restructuring of the American health care system has over the years received massive opposition from the upper class and other members of society that have the ability to pay for health insurance. The financial stability of the American society have over the years lobbied congress and other legislative bodies to make sure that legislations that seek to nationalize healthcare are not passed. The lower class of the United States who do not have the necessarily resources to lobby in the health industry are left to agonize in the health policy system that is instigated by the upper class and the wealthy in society (Parenti 77).
It is worth noting that the federal healthcare system is almost similar to that of the states. Efforts by the current Obama administration to nationalize health care came under sharp criticism on the floor of Congress. Many legislators felt that the nationalization of health care in the United States would jeopardize the quality of the health care system considering that private health providers maintain high quality services to make sure that they remain in business. Other legislators argued on an economic standpoint arguing that a new healthcare policy would mean more taxes for the citizenry. Considering that the United States has a large middle class, many people were opposed to the idea of taxation resulting from Obama care.
One of the areas where the author shows strength is by articulating that the interests of the poor Americans in need of healthcare remain unprotected. The height of opposition of the healthcare law was reached when the United States Supreme court was asked to repeal the healthcare law in order to protect the interests of the upper class and the middle class. However, the Supreme Court ruled that a new health policy should remain. This new healthcare policy was used as a political rhetoric by various candidates in the elections that were concluded in early November 2012. Therefore, healthcare in the United States reflects the tyranny of numbers used by the middle class and the upper class at the expense of the poor. This is an illustration of the inequality that is provided for the democratic arrangement that characterizes the American society. Despite the articulation of all these facts the author would have expounded more on the infrastructure that is being laid in place to create an affordable health care system. Finally, the author establishes a connection between the structure of the American society today and the different problems associated with modern healthcare as a means of illustrating the inequality within this process of healthcare delivery. In terms of the weaknesses, the author would have expounded more on how the current healthcare system affects different social classes in terms of variables such as age and race.
The Growing College Gap
Education in the United States, just like many other places in the world, has been viewed as a pipeline to well-paying careers in the job market. Despite that the fact that education is an important part of society, education in the United States has remained expensive and sometimes inaccessible to the poor in society. Receiving education in the United States is an investment that many people have to direct resources into. Many people in the United States owe governmental loans that have to be settled after they complete their college education. It is worth noting that the financial aid packages that many students receive are so meager that they do not help offload the financial burden of receiving an education.
However, many people who have well-paying jobs and those in the American upper-class can be able to pay for high quality education. This means that the rich within the American society can be able to access quality education while the low class in the same society cannot be able to access the same education. Considering that the job market today is based on meritocracy and connections, the rich who are able to attend prestigious educational institutions such as Harvard and Yale are better positioned in to obtain well-paying jobs. This creates a paradigm whereby most of the rich people in society are able to access the same jobs that are occupied by the rich especially in America’s corporate class. On the contrary, most of the poor people in the American society remain poor because they are not able to access quality education.
As a result of their financial instability, many poor attend local universities and other institution of learning, some of which are not marketable in the job market. One thing that is worth noting is that the world has over the years become complicated. Some of the needs that people need today require thinkers who can handle complex issues. For people to be able to handle some of these complex needs, they need quality education that better positions them to understand and fix these complex issues in society today. For example, members of the corporate class today play a fundamental role in making sure various needs of the people such as electronic gadgets and other marketing and management human wants are adequately addressed.
One of the greatest strengths by the author is that he affirms that, the corporate class tends to have high education and is predominantly occupied by the rich. Considering the requirements of this social class, social mobility remains to be a difficult possibility for the poor. This is because the opportunity to attain quality education for the poor in the United States is limited. This means that it is very difficult for the poor to be able to easily ascend up the various social strata as a result of limited finances. Various administrations in the United States have tried to make sure that education is accessible to all the social strata in the American society. For example President Bush in 2001 introduced the idea of no child left behind. In this policy, the administration sought to improve the quality of education in public school districts so as to ensure that children form all social classes were able to attain quality education.
One of the weakness that is evident within the authors work is that the authors fails to acknowledge that despite the commitment by the government to do institute this policy, the fact remains that school districts of the rich continue to perform better because teachers are motivated due to the high wages that receive. The inability of the poor in the United States to receive quality education is an exemplification of the inequality that exists in the American society. Despite the equity and equality that characterizes democratic systems on paper; it is not the case in practice as is illustrated by education in the American society. Finally the use of contemporary examples to illustrate inequality is an effective means through which the author accomplishes his purpose of brings this vice to lime-light.
What the Numbers Tell Us
Unlike, other forms of government, democracy has been believed to be one of the best systems of governance. On paper democracy has been linked to principles of equality, equity, and representations. In a democratic system the government is believed to act for the common good of its citizenry. Governmental action and policy making process is shaped by popular will. Leaders are held accountable for their actions because the citizenry yield power to holders of public offices through election and the participation in other democratic and political processes. However, in practice democracies have been linked to inequality within its citizenry. The United States is a perfect example of the failure of democratic system to promote all inclusive policies.
Unlike other parts of the world, the United States enjoys a large middle class (Ladner and Smith 27). The lower class in the United States is relative small. Considering that majority rules in a democratic system, the large middle class in the American society has colonized America’s policy making process. As a result of sheer numbers enjoyed by the middle class, this segment of society has influenced legislation such that many policy makers are more concerned about the interests of the middle class compared to both the lower and the middle class. For example, in the just completed elections in 2012, the presidential candidates sought to appeal to the middle class because of the large size of this social class which would result in more votes.
However, the use of numbers in policy makers creates a tyranny of the majority. Such a situation creates a phenomenon whereby the interests of other social classes remain unattended. For example, despite the economic difficulties that the United States has continued to face over the years, legislator have desisted from increasing taxes on the middle class because they understand that this would create great opposition from the middle class. Candidates such as Obama have proposed more taxation of the upper class while the cuts of the middle class remains relatively low. This is a clear illustration about how the large numbers of a given class enables a given class to protect its interests.
One of the author’s strength on this topic is that he articulates the fact that society is not made up of only one social group. Other groups also need to benefit from society also. However, democratic processes that characterize democratic systems such as that of the United States encourage the domination of one social group over the other groups. Despite the strengths of the author on this topic, one of weakness that is evident is that the author does not expound more on the idea that democracy on paper is different from the democratic process in practice. In practice; the interests of the minority are inadequately addressed in a democratic system due to the tyranny of the majority in policy making. Finally, the author creates different social groups in society as a means to illustrate the inequality that is brought about by democratic processes.
Lardner, James, and David A. Smith. Inequality matters: the growing economic divide in America and its poisonous consequences. New York: New Press, 2005. Print.
Parenti, Michael. Democracy for the few. 2nd Ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1977. Print.