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U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Social Problems: The Elite VS Everyone Else
by Stephanie Smith
Wednesday Dec 12th, 2012 6:48 PM
Stephanie Smith is a junior at Sonoma State University. She majored in the social sciences due to her strong approach to many social issues and her vocal demand for what is right although her passion lies in the Community Pharmacy Sector and she will be going on to graduate school to obtain her PharmD.
Social Problems:The Elite vs. Everyone Else

by Stephanie Smith

The state of Michigan has been on an economic decline within the past decade and the decline of major cities that once use to be a landmark, has lead to the decrease in population. In Detroit Michigan, the motor city, the Rhythm and Blues birth place and the home to over a million people now consists of limited motor production and just about seven hundred thousand people: almost half of the population there once as.

Why do we see the decline in people, services and economy? These harsh facts of life are due to the large control government and corporations have on goods and services, the control over jobs and the numerous amounts being cut, and the current wage, pension, and health care services given to employees.

A social problem is a pattern of behavior harming individuals in a society that many or a sufficient number of people find to be public concern and collective action to bring about change. What does society or the accepted norm constitute as a social problem? From the past decade and all the trials and tribulations this country has seen, it seems to be constituted is a problem being harmful to people of/in power; meaning wealthy, governmental, and people at the top of large corporations were the only ones to have a say in what a ‘social problem’ really is. What these people, or the one percent, don’t grasp is that there are real people outside their small circle of elites and they DO matter.

There are people unable to obtain basic necessities such as food and water and some who have no home. There are schools that are cutting teachers and doubling class sizes, making teachers pay for their own supplies and necessities due to lack of funding and some schools are even being closed down. The media portrays how government is trying to build the community by creating jobs, but without education what will our communities consist of?

Along, with the schooling and educational problem, the decrease in wages, pensions and health care is certainly not helping the cause for building communities. Privatizing social services such as water and electricity is only giving money hungry corporations more power and efficiency to have control over the working public. When you take away education, pay, benefits, retirement and jobs what really does a community have to look forward to, a homeless, jobless, dying and illiterate group of people.

Detroit, MI July 2012, WSWS reports the elderly, being subjected to loss of electricity along with record temperatures being as high as 100˚F, being hospitalized due to shortness of breath and heat stroke. People are leaving their houses just to be in some kind of air conditioning building. The WSWS also mentioned elderly living near exposed power lines, which has made on many occasions the power go out, and not just for one hour or one day, but as many as four to five days. They explained the reasoning for not fixing the exposed power lines is because of the great cost of the project. At what cost will it be for these problems to be seen as important or detrimental to a human life?

Will it cost lives to get these corporations to change their way of strategizing? If it’s the cost or expense of the matter, where did all the money go that was saved when power/electricity was privatized through DTE Energy Corporation? These very in need customers are literally being left in the dark. Esther Galen, of the World Socialist Web Site, reported in August 2012 eighty-one percent of water and sewage jobs are being cut and its approval was declared by the Detroit Water Board and Mayor Dave Bing. What can we do individually and as a collective to change these decisions about the lives we live, made by those sitting pretty in their mansions?

WSWS reported October 1st 2012 city water workers started strike waged against job cuts, pay cuts and cuts of benefits. With these job cuts the large corporations see fit and this city already in time of disaster will only push more people out and decrease any decent paying jobs still left. These people are basically being told there back breaking work is for nothing. The self fulfilling prophecy is showing its self in the meanest fashion.

Nancy Hanover of the WSWS reports on seventy-one percent of children living in poverty amongst Detroit’s harsh city streets. Children living in poverty combined with the cuts in education are a detrimental cocktail headed straight for destruction. The already harsh reality of living under the poverty line along with those school districts undergoing cuts and closures is making it critical for these children to make money on their own; stealing, drugs, gangs and violence.

We see everyday the horrible realities of social services being privatized, wages, pensions and health care being cut and city, state and federal jobs being eliminated. At what point are we, the ninety-nine percent going to say we are not taking this anymore. We need to exaggerate this occupy movement to every individual, we need to quiet the media spewing their propaganda, and we need to come together as our nation says ‘one nation’ and fight back.

We need to emulate the early to mid 1900 union walkout in San Francisco, every single person move to the streets not one person left in a shop, come together and get our point across. We need to boycott the two majority political parties and choose individuality. If we cannot come together with specific goals, measures, and outcomes and hold tight until they are granted, these harsh realities seen today will only become harsher realities in the future.