White Working Class.

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Establishment leaders, writers, and academics have supplied misguided information about the middle class in America for many years. The "White working class" has been portrayed as a sign of tremendous achievement in many academic studies. The New York Times referred to the "White Working Class" in one of its stories as something resembling the level of rock stars. So what does it say exactly? The word "working class" has long been synonymous with "poor." A defined social class refers to the term. The term has not been used for years in the history of America and was first used in the presidential elections of 2016. The White working-class supported the candidature of Donald Trump immensely with the promise of changing their lives for the better. Trump’s win led to a prolonged period of soul-searching among the members of the Democratic Party on their strategies specifically how they lost track of this social group.

In the book White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, Joan Williams expresses her concern on the elite group of leaders, journalists and even economic scholars who have ignored the frustrations of the White Working class whose status has plummeted over the years. The elite instead wrote off their anger and frustrations as sexism, nativism or racism (Williams 16). Consequently, the fury of this social group has been downplayed, politicized and polarized. The cluelessness about America's socio-economic grouping is as a result of the misinterpreted meaning of ‘working class.' According to William, working class has a much better claim to middle-class standing. Economically, in the United States, the middle class should refer to the class of people with an average income of $70,010 (Williams 22). These are people who are neither rich nor poor, and they represent about 53% of America's population. Since the middle class is often used by everyone to describe themselves, William used the term working class to represent the middle class. The elite group, on the other hand, has an average income of $173,175 and only 16% of the households fit this description in the U.S.

William’s book draws a clear reflection of our day-to-day life. The assumption that the White middle class/working class represents a social grouping of people who are well-off financially is misleading. It has resulted to overburdening of such people with massive taxation, expensive health insurance among others. Failure to address the issues by the Democrats in the last decade has led to a build-up in frustration in this particular group which has not been taken seriously. According to Williams, this was the primary reason why Hillary Clinton failed to secure the presidency despite the long-awaited history-making aspect of a female presidency. Since gender rarely binds women in social classes, Clinton should have focused on addressing the underlying issues affecting the white working class. There is a likelihood that most women who fall in this social group failed to vote for Hillary because of overlooking their welfare. On the other hand, Donald Trump made this group which represents the majority of the Americans his agenda.

The misconception about the white working class in the modern world can be addressed based on the recent incidents whereby the whites commit most the mass shooting in the United States despite the rate of crime being high among the African Americans compared to the whites. For instance, the Columbine school shooting and most recently the Las Vegas mass shooting where both incidents involve whites from with a family background befitting the middle-class level. These incidents could be a symptom of the underlying frustration among white working Americans who have been frustrated by the system. Compared to any other class, the white working class has become the butt of the popular culture. Unlike in the past when the whites enjoyed a lofty position in the world, the modern white young men are staring at an imminent decline. While the minority groups are being celebrated increasingly especially in the media, their white counterparts have been left out in the cold in the past few decades as policies align more to equality.

The changes in the modern world are not favorable to the white working class as they were in the past. Recent reports show that there is an increase in the rate of crime among the working class Whites. Furthermore, the poor whites are recording higher mortality rates while the same is decreasing among other racial groups. In my experience, the gap between the White American and the minority communities has reduced significantly in the recent past not because the system is uplifting their social welfare but because the whites, especially in the working class, have been neglected. The socioeconomic mobility in the United States shows a stagnation or a decline among the working Whites. As the government works towards a reduction of the income inequalities which over the years have been favorable to the Whites, the working class of the minority groups is much better placed than the whites who represent the majority of the population.

Work Cited

Williams, Joan. White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America. Harvard Business Press, 2017.

July 24, 2021
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