The American Mud Puddle

17wealth-1-superjumboClockwise from top left: Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega Gaona, Warren E. Buffett, Carlos Slim Helú, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Lawrence J. Ellison, Michael R. Bloomberg.

CreditNYT; Reuters; Reuters; Reuters; Getty; European Press photo Agency; Getty; AP

Upon reading a New York Times essay by Lucinda Rosenfeld, another article by New York Times that I had read popped into my mind. The article on socioeconomic standing claims that on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, there still exists a secret class system, extremely closed and inflexible, in the United States today. This is further supported by the second article which has found that the wealthiest eight men pictured above have amassed a combined fortune equal to that of half the entire human population. That is absolutely mind boggling and quite difficult to wrap one’s head around. While I do agree with Rosenfeld on it being much more difficult to rise today in traditional careers due to established positions and  a surplus of competition, I do not see the situation being as bleak as some would lead you to believe.

I personally believe that if one works hard and smart in today’s day and age, they will surely be able to propel themselves up the hierarchical ladder. The piece argues that many are unaware of their true social standing because, in relation to those around them, they  might appear to be “better off.” However, If juxtaposed with people like the men pictured above, one can finally visualize how large the gap between wealthy and ‘middle-class’ has grown. I am completely aware of how lucky I am to be where I stand today, but it is also painfully self-evident that I am nowhere near even the ranks of upper middle-class. Sure, I come from this certain background, sure I know people who are much more well-off than I. Nevertheless, I shall cling on to my hope that by taking necessary risks and becoming a successful entrepreneur, I can finally bring my family and I up to the social class we once were ( before losing everything in the Fall of Saigon, my family was extremely wealthy ).

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