Inequality and Social Hierarchies

Inequality is something in our world that does not seem to ever go away. It has always been there, and I really do not see it going away anytime soon. Even in a fiction book or movie there is always this problem of inequality. There is always a hierarchy in the world even in these made up stories. Where did this mindset come from? Why do people think they have to be better than someone else or higher up than someone else?

In Zone One the world is a wreck. Sweepers, a civilian task force, are going through and trying to rid the world of skels. Skels, are zombie like people who spread this disease through biting or scratching others. The sweepers are getting rid of the rest of the stragglers that the marines failed to get rid of. The books setting is in New York City in a place they call zone one. The main military headquarters are in Buffalo, NY. This is where the main military sends out orders. The main goal for the teams is to get rid of all the stragglers in zone one so that they can start rebuilding this part of the city. 

During our small group discussion someone asked the question so do you think in the book they would be able to rebuild without there being inequality and hierarchies. Is it possible for there to be some type of perfect world where everyone is equal? I believe the answer is no. Even if they could somehow rebuild the world there already is a hierarchy. There are people calling all the shots and making the decisions already. You can tell that the sweepers are at the bottom of the military hierarchy because they are just going through cleaning up whatever the marines had left behind.

 I think the buffalo headquarters represents returning to the civilian life they knew before. In this world disaster they already established a hierarchical system. I am assuming this was one of the first things they did. They created a system to try and fix the world. It’s human nature to create a hierarchy. I don’t think that will ever go away. I think it is somewhere in all of us to place ourselves somewhere among the people and some people become leaders and make their way to the top while others end up at the bottom not being able to do much at all.

An example in our world today is when there are natural disasters, the first people to get out are the rich or more wealthy people. If you have money to leave, then you leave before whatever disaster it is hits. People with less money usually don’t have the means to leave. If they don’t have the money to go somewhere else, then they have no other choice but to stay. I feel like on the news you always see all these people staying and everyone sort of thinks “What are they crazy? Why would they want to stay there?”. However, I don’t think a lot of people think about how these people don’t have the money to leave. They are stuck because of their place in the social hierarchy of the world. In an article I was reading called What the Camp Fire Revealed by Annie Lowrey, she said “Leaving itself sometimes imposes a significant cost—gas, missed work, hotel rooms—that the wealthier can bear but that the poor might not be able to. Hurricane Katrina hit in late August, when many lower-income families were waiting on first-of-the-month checks to pay their bills. Many could not afford to get out. In later surveys, respondents explained that “the hurricane came at the wrong time, we were waiting for our payday” and that “money was hard to come by.” So, if you think the poor didn’t have enough money to leave during a natural do you think they have enough money to rebuild? The answer is no. Of course, there are always people who donate things and try to help but in these low-income places it takes so long for them to rebuild and by the time they get it rebuilt, they get hit again by another disaster. Poverty rates climb while all this is happening, and it really just seems to be getting worse and worse. Another part to this whole thing is that the lower-income countries are more likely to climate change and therefore leading to more natural disasters. 

What I read was that most of the government funding after natural disasters ends up helping the wealthier people instead of the low-income people. How is it fair that the people who have more money to begin with get the help while the poor people who had no choice but to stay there risking their own lives do not get enough help rebuilding. People end up homeless while the rich get their home rebuilt. Why would we not give as much help to the people who are more helpless? This question really leads me back to all the inequality in our world. Why do the rich get more help than the people who really need it?

There is always a hierarchy and there is always inequality because for some reason people think they are somehow more important than someone else. We are all humans. What makes you better than me? Just because you have more money than someone else does that mean you are more important than them? I really think that inequality and hierarchies are very screwed up, but I do not think there will ever be a world without it. There is just no possible way to not have it. Like I said before, I think it is somewhere in all of us. It’s just human nature and I don’t believe that it could drastically change.

Here is a link to the article I was reading, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/why-natural-disasters-are-worse-poor/580846/

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