Social Stratification essay sample

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Social Stratification

In our society, the rich tend to get even richer, while many people struggle below the poverty line. Even though on average Canadians now have more than they did 20 years ago, when the numbers are broken down by net worth, it turns out it was the richer that have increased their wealth, while the poorest became even poorer. The rich possess higher social and cultural capital that allows them to obtain well-paying jobs.

They often inherit wealth and find ways not to pay taxes. The poor tend to be affected by circumstances of job availability, low wages, parenthood, disability, and economy. A common sociological view holds that the individual characteristics of a person play a smaller role in their likelihood to be poor, if compared to the roles played by the general social system, tax policy, and family size (Brym 197). Canadian social policy redistributes wealth by charging the rich higher taxes and providing the poor with welfare benefits. However, there are ways to take advantage of this system by sheltering wealth from taxes or misrepresenting information in order to qualify for benefits (Brym 198). I believe the wealth redistribution system is not very effective. I agree with the critique that it reduces motivation of the rich (Brym 198), because it may make more financial sense to gain less and remain in the current tax bracket than make more money and have a higher percentage of it taken away in taxes. It also reduces motivation in the poor because they rely on free help rather than on their own ability to provide for their family. After all, getting paid for doing nothing is better than working for wages. I believe a solution to the poverty must be implemented on multiple levels.

On the government level, the favorable conditions must be created for people to find work and remain employed. For example, high quality childcare should be accessible for parents who are looking for a job and can not afford to pay for someone to watch their baby. It could be a good idea to incentivize people to move from a big city to a rural place, if they fail to find employment. For example, the government may offer a piece of land to the underprivileged or at a very low price. On an individual level, people should be trained in money management early on, starting in secondary school. Along with teaching the poor a skill they can use to find employment, they should be taught how to save and plan ahead. People can also be taught how to supplement their income by capitalizing on their talents and hobbies. The employers should be incentivized to provide stable jobs with fair wages. If high turnover rates are discouraged and the salary is enough to provide for a family, there would be less people who enter poverty due to a change in employment.

I believe that we, as a society, must take care of those who can’t. …

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