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Theoretical Examination of Social Stratification - Essay Example

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There is no widely accepted precise definition of the middle class, but it is generally considered to represent the middle 60% of the population in terms of income level.( Levine 2012) Thoma argues that middle class life is becoming less secure as measured by the Middle Class…
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Theoretical Examination of Social Stratification Essay
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Theoretical Examination of Social Stratification

Download file to see previous pages... lict theory looks at society as a conflict between the interests of the relatively few who own the means of production and the majority who must make their living by supplying labor to those owners. I would argue that the social conflict theory better explains the underlying causes of the problem of the increasing income gap between the top 20% earners and the 60% comprising the middle class because while there has not been a revolution to date by the 2 lower classes, there have been angry demonstrations which could well escalate. Therefore the notion promoted especially by the Republicans that lower taxes providing increased net income for the upper class will always cause them to invest in businesses which will grow and ultimately benefit lower classes in a trickle down effect is suspect, as the results of the Bush tax cuts have shown. The idea that society will automatically adjust itself to function in a stable, productive manner with little government regulation has shown to lack credibility.
I would argue that the social conflict theory best interprets the issue because it recognizes that current society is a dynamic evolving organism and must respond to change caused by globalization and advancing technology, unlike the functional theory which is more appropriate to a stable unchanging society isolated from contact with others like a primitive one. I do not advocate revolution by the proletariat to take over the means of production as Marx did. Instead I propose a proactive role by government in tempering demands by the upper class for ever more wealth and power through appropriate higher tax levels and fewer loopholes with greater targeted transfers to lower and middle classes to provide a safety net and stimulate economic growth. Some tax incentives may be necessary to meet economic objectives, but they should be of limited duration and not renewed unless their proven economic benefit overrides considerations of equity. In other words, since we are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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