“Class, please open your textbooks to the chapter on ‘Post-Declaration American Immigration: The Melting Pot’, please.”
-Most likely said by an American History teacher I had once.
This chapter would’ve described the metaphor of cultural assimilation in the United States and the theory of many races and ethnicities melting together to create one unified culture; wherein, the opportunity to fulfill “The American Dream” was equally attainable by all.
That was the thought-process used by many pre-1960’s social scientists but disputed thereafter and still today by scientists of many disciplines. Social scientists today most often use the “salad bowl” or “cultural mosaic” theory that holds the opposite to be true in our nation: various American cultures do not merge into a single homogeneous culture. With one important asterisk *the opportunity to achieve “The American Dream” is not ubiquitous.
Prosperity and success is impeded by class and racial inequalities that make it extremely difficult to elevate an individual’s or family’s social, financial or professional status. Economists and politicians would have to agree with the trends in data and the real world display of these imbalances. Notably apparent in one of Emily Badger’s most recent Wonkblog articles on The state of America’s widening wealth gap. This article displays US Census Bureau statistics on the wedge that’s steadily being driven between the divisions of wealth in America.
What’s sad is that fact that I wasn’t that shocked by Emily’s charting of the distribution of wealth. I remember it being mentioned as one of our President’s main concerns for his second term in office. What I was shocked by was the fact that the issue was shelved due to concerns that “talking about income inequality does not register strongly with the American public and risks accusations of class warfare.” Avoiding important, damning issues for political reasons is a whole other issue in our nation.
As a palate cleanser for the day here is a video of two creatures that actually can work together and both benefit. The amazing partnership of the Honey Badger and the Honeyguide bird.
How can local government around the nation help to narrow the wealth gap? Find me on Twitter: @joshg22