Conflict Perspective Essay
The Conflict Perspective assumes social behavior is understood in terms of conflict or tension between competing groups over power or the allocation of resources, including housing, money, access to services, and political representation - Conflict Perspective Essay introduction. The tensions between these groups don’t necessarily need to be violent; they can take the form of labor negotiations, party politics, competition between religious groups for new members, or disputes over the federal budget.
In this case, the tension is between two different groups, the rich verses the poor. The article Rein in the Rich: How Higher Taxes Could Lift the Economy by John B. Judis is an article on a topic that sociologists would be able to relate the Conflict Theory to. Should the Rich pay higher taxes? This is a question that has been going around for a while now. “As the negotiations over the fiscal cliff continue, President Barack Obama has insisted on retaining the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, while letting the cuts for the wealthy lapse.
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Republicans have insisted that raising taxes on the rich would cost jobs – as many as 700,000, according to House Speaker John Boehner. ” This quote from the article shows already that there are two opposing sides; The President, who believes that the middle class should pay lower taxes while the upper class should pay more, and the Republicans who believe that increasing taxes for the rich would have a negative effect. The Conflict Perspective suggests that in certain situations, some groups prosper at the expense of others.
Sociologists want to know who benefits, who suffers, and who dominates in society. This is displayed in this topic through the idea that in order for the rich to not have to pay taxes, the middle class gets stuck with paying down the deficit; or vice versa, in order for the middle class to not pay more taxes, the wealthy have to. There is conflict between two groups in this situation; those who believe the rich should be taxed more, and those who believe they shouldn’t.
If the government takes income from the wealthy, and then spends it on a $50 billion infrastructure program, an extension of unemployment insurance, and a Social Security payroll tax cut (as President Obama has proposed), that will not only boost the economic recovery of the United States, but will also discourage the wealthy from rerouting their savings into the kind of activity that helped create the Great Recession in the first place. Many people view the situation this way; they agree with President Obama and believe that raising taxes for the upper class would only benefit the United States and its economy.
Republicans believe that raising taxes for the rich would cost jobs – as many as 700,000 (according to John Boehner. ) There is tension between these two groups based on their opinions on a specific situation. Sociologists would view this situation using the conflict perspective (along with the functionalists and interactionists) and can prove that social consensus is limited and inequality is widespread. The tension between these groups was not physical, or even violent. Through this topic, whether you believe the rich should be taxed more or not, we can see that change is inevitable and often beneficial. (“Whatever happens, happens”)