Who has a better quality of life? Opulent and Luxurious or Impoverished and Poor

Posted: June 4, 2013 in Health, Social Issues
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

rich or poorWe place so much emphasis to becoming rich in this country and to living the life of luxury. We really avoid asking ourselves “Is this a better quality of life?” Saying if I become rich all my problems in life will be better if not gone is a possible paradox in itself. Now I didn’t say you should be broke and struggling with bills and reaching for the American Dream. I’m just saying lets look at some examples with matching up the two social classes. The rich and the poor.

Health Matters – Our neighbors to the north(Canada) did a study in 2011 comparing the two classes concerning healthiness. Nancy Gross a McGill Geography professor found that over the course of a full lifetime there is no indication of an accelerated aging for those lower on the social ladder. The two classes are pretty much dead even over the length of time even if at the beginning those in a lower social class start out less healthy. The bad part is the study brings to light that if they start out less healthy the lower social class never really gains traction over their lifetime while those who are wealthier pretty much have good health their whole lives.

In a little contradiction to my last paragraph in England there is a study saying there is going to be a gap over the next ten years between the rich and the poor. In the University of Liverpool they performed a study from 1998 to 2008 looking for if changes in the economic climate would have a semblant effect on life expectancy. What they found was in an economy where unemployment is decreasing and household income is increasing both male and female life expectancy increased. They came up with a correlation that implies for every 1% decrease in unemployment there is a 2.2 months  for males and 1.7 months  for females of life expectancy added.

Education –

The gap between the social classes is widening as a whole. Since the 1960’s the gap has grown 40% between those of a wealthier social status as compared to a less wealthy income status. Amazingly this study also recognizes that the gap between white and black kids are actually narrowing among the same social groups. One reason being looked at for the gap in social groups is the attention on kids from high income families. The research shows the parents have more time for math tutors, ballet, weekend sports, and other extra curriculum activities. The low income families which is now more and more single parent households have less time and resources for such activities. A study started in 1972 and continued until 2007 found that parents originally spent fives times more per household on high income family kids than low income kids. Another study by Meredith Philips an associate professor of public policy and sociology of the University of California used a survey data that affluent children spend more than 1,300 hours more than low income children before age 6 in places other than there homes. They spend their time in care centers, museums, schools, shopping malls etc.

By the time the kids start school high income kids spend more than 400 hours more than poor kids in literacy activities. There have been proposals to help narrow the gap for poor kids. Honestly this has been suggested for generations and it nothing new or thought provoking. The ideas are to help single parent households and children through programs like family –nurse partnership and other programs that would help give those kids with less income households a better edge on education. These programs would be government funded so don’t hold your breath at all for the this to become reality. Like I said before this is not a new idea.

Drugs –

Now this I did find interesting. A study tested in Alameda and Contra Costa California found that kids of parents with higher income are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some theories are the pressures to succeed in the family and also some families are disconnected from each other as well. Affluent kids have more access to disposable income to buy fake ID’s or pay someone for drugs or alcohol. This trend is not new or even bound to US borders. In the UK the same issue is and has already happened. Hans K. Rausing father and grandfather made billions in the UK building Tetra Pak the Swedish packaging company. Hans and his wife Eva both battled addiction and have been in rehab a few times. It’s believed that the lack of ambition combined with easy accessibility to money have left individuals like this without a way to live up to expectations in their generations.

Another example would be a gentleman by the name of Gottfried Von Bismarck who was the great great grandson of an Iron Chancellor in Prussia who helped build the German empire in the 19th century. It was rumored that this fellow would use cocaine every hour on the hour. It was probable that he never got over the death of his friend Olivia Channon who he met at college who was another aristocrat who died of a heroine overdose. It is a shame though that we as a culture are taught to aspire to great heights, but never is the realization that the same prestige, fortune and fame will be the debilitating factor for the next generation.

Religion –

Religion plays a more circadian role in poorer countries than those in wealthy countries. A survey done in 2009 by Gallup took 114 countries and examined the comparison with wealthy and poor countries and ties to a religious denomination. They found that countries like Niger, Yemen, Bangladesh had a 98% rate where the people said religion was an important factor. In places where the income per capita was $2,000 or lower the percentage of religious importance was 95%. While areas like UK showed only 27%, France 30%, Japan 24%, US 65%. Gallup suggests that the religion is more of a coping mechanism for daily life and family.

I don’t know if my report to you helped you access who has a better quality of life. If you look at it from a education perspective than being rich you literally born into learning and giving more opportunity for success from the time you can talk. On the other hand your children may suffer from your success and not be able to find their identity because they have to live up to yours. Health wise its pretty dead even and if you live in a poorer country you have a greater chance of being more devotional. I’ll let you decide.

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