57° Fresno, CA
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

  • 12/5 - Girls Soccer Home vs Woodlake @ 6:30 p.m.
  • 11/30 - Drama Performance Opening Night - Redemption Bible Church @ 7 p.m.
  • 11/30 - Boys Soccer Home vs. Firebaugh @ 4 p.m.
  • Download the new Feather app - search Student News Source in App store
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Feel-good myth contradicts truth

All too many believe in the ?American Dream,? the persistent falsehood about our class system. This feel-good myth almost completely contradicts truth.

In Oct., the Internal Revenue Service reported that the wealthiest one percent in the country earned 21% of the income in 2005, up from 19% in 2004. The growing gap between rich and poor affects social mobility, creating a sickening problem realized by only 32% of Americans.

Perhaps those who truly believe mobility should explain why a parent who is apparently skilled enough to work three or four jobs can barely feed his or her children. Moreover, infants should not die (the infant mortality rate has grown since the Reagan administration, notorious for its favoring of the rich) because of the mistakes of their parents.

In fact, hard work does not always lead to success. One culprit for these massive inequalities is neoliberalism, proponents of which advocate liberalization of the economy. Neoliberalism, closely tied with laissez-faire capitalism, is supposed by many to give a boost to democracy and freedom. Unfortunately, it only boosts the rich, widening the already large gap.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan?s ?trickle-down? ideology, resembling neoliberalism, apparently did not let wealth trickle down too far. In fact, with its demands for an absence or reduction of price controls and taxes, the trickle-down philosophy made the number of middle-class families decline, while the number of poor households grew. One can easily doubt that an increase in laziness during the Reagan years was to blame instead of a dramatic change in policy that ultimately proved disastrous.

The family a child comes from affects educational attainment, which in turn affects his future standard of living. Locally funded public education serves only to perpetuate the class system, as poor areas can only invest so much in their students? schools. Armed with an inferior education, the poor are less likely to succeed later in life.

The truth about the class system must be acknowledged. ?The truth? includes the fact that this social system is imperfect and largely inflexible.

?The truth? also includes the fact that partly because our president was proposing colossal tax cuts to pay for a war against a desert backwater that was barely paying off war debts (much less gaining the ability to create weapons of mass destruction). The income gap widened, a phenomenon much more real than any future ?mushroom cloud? like that envisioned by Condoleezza Rice.

The truth includes the fact that when the poor are told only the smart can succeed, they are being told that they are to blame for their own misery. The truth is very different: the ?injuries of class,? as Richard Sennett calls them, are not self-inflicted, but the ignorance of the powerful certainly is.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (1)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Joshua JimenezJan 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    The sophomore float was cool. It had a lot of detail. I liked it better than the Blue Grass float.