Carl l. Hagen once said, “Politicians and bureaucrats are the new upper class. It is an upper class that is growing by an increasing number of top-paid politicians in municipalities and countries. They let the people suffer, but let themselves go free. ” Class is a group of people usually large who have similar economic or social position in the society based on their wealth, property, income or power in the political and economic sphere. Hagen stereotypes upper class as those who have no regards for others suffering.
Furthermore, form him law is made for people belonging to the middle and lower class, but not for the upper class. Bureaucrats and politicians, one of the parts of the upper class are often found breaking laws, but they rarely get punished for their crime. All of this gets portrayed negatively in the media and literatures. People dream about belonging to the upper class, they idolize athletes, politician, and bureaucrats. People make them their leader, so they tend to follow what they have done to reach the summit. John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. People make them their role model and follow the way that those leader show.
So, the portrayal of the upper class becomes ever so important. Most of the messages that we acquire about social and economic class come from media and literature. Types of car they drive, houses they live in, clothes they wear and the way they speak reflects class of that particular person. From early on in my life I created a negative stereotype of the upper class, all of which was the result of the negative media portrayal of upper class people and one person in particular.
Nepal, my birthplace was a kingdom, kings ruled it from very early ages. During my childhood, son of the king, our prince was caught doing drugs, smoking illegal substances and was reported to be a notorious womanizer even though being a married man. Although, it was a crime worthy of conviction and some Jail time, he never got convicted. This created a lot of controversy, and this incidence created negative stereotype of the upper class people from early childhood. I created a negative stereotype of upper class and as a result, I distanced myself from friends belonging to the upper class.
I used to hang out with friends from middle class and lower class, but after falling in love with a girl from an upper class background, I came to the realization that not all upper class people are same. Rather than looking at the upper class subjectively they ought to view objectively. So, the images of the upper class are not necessary being portrayed positively. Upper class is one of the most important class of our society containing both positive and negative representation but upper class deserves more accurate representation then they are portrayed.
Upper class people drive the economy and the amount of revenue they generate help run the society properly. People belonging to the upper class earn a huge amount of money, with that income, they pay an equally high amount of taxes that help to fund development of our society. Income tax which is popularly referred to being a rich man’s tax is a major source of income for the government “1598 persons with incomes exceeding $100,000 paid approximately $11,600,000 or over 40 percentage of the aggregate tax collected in Wisconsin State” (Adams 234).
Those 1598 people belonged to the top 1 percentage of the upper class of that state. This shows that money is predominantly pinched from the rich and is tried to equalize the distribution of wealth. This data illustrates how important are upper class people to the economic growth of the society and advancement of the nation. Furthermore, soccer players who play in England and earn high amount of money also contribute significantly to the government income.
That amount of money collected could be used to generate new jobs for middle and lower class people “Premier League players paid $1. Billion in taxes in the 2013-2014 season” (Dubas-Fisher). It was calculated that the tax collected could pay the salaries of about 90 percentage of police officers in England and wales. Upper class people also generate source of income for people of different classes. Soccer players belong to upper class and are constantly in the forefront of media and literature. The way they are portrayed can influence people’s beliefs about the upper class. Upper class people paying their taxes and contributing positively towards the betterment of the society will portray the upper class positively.
As most of the people follow the lead of the upper class people, they idolize them and follow in their footsteps. So, for example, this could inspire people to pay their taxes and become a responsible citizen. The images of the upper class become important to our culture, as we have seen one percent of the wealthiest population is responsible for about 40 percentage of the cumulative wealth. This makes upper class more important than any other class. Some upper class peoples portray negative representation of upper class through different controversies.
Large scale corruption by high ranking FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) officials. Soccer is the most popular game throughout the world, about 209 countries are the official member of FIFA. In most of the nation, people eat and breathe football, it was so much of a craze that once it stopped a war “The two sides involved in the Nigerian civil war call a cease-fire to watch Pele and the Santos team play an exhibition game in Lagos” (Pele Fast Facts).
Pele was arguably the greatest player ever to grace soccer, Nigeria was afflicted by most destructive civil war. But when Pele and the team of soccer greats from Brazil visited Nigeria to play a match, both opposition’s immediately agreed to cease-fire so they could watch the legend in action. But recently, FIFA, football’s world governing body, has been immersed with allegation of comprehensive corruption starting from summer 2015, when the US Department of Justice Charged many top executives.
More than sixteen high ranking FIFA officials were related to this scandal. US and South American sports marketing executives paid and agreed to pay $150m in bribes to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international football tournaments”( FIFA arrests). Money exchanged hands illegally and wrongfully, media deals were done illegally. Furthermore, Hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament rights have been granted to Qatar through an operation that many supposed was corrupt. “The vote was taken and even years before the vote, FIFA has been dogged with claims of bribery and corruption” (Youd).
The vote for Qatar, was a bad choice given the human rights violations, lack of existing footballing facilities and weather conditions only added to these case. The wrongdoing enclosing corruption within FIFA, has attracted new attention on the workers who died building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the total number of workers that are likely to die. “1200 workers have been killed during construction so far and more than 4000 workers will die before the tournament opens if the current rate of death continue” (Rajouria).
The people in power have no regards to human life whatsoever, it is inhumane behavior and further demeans the upper class people. The very people who advocated about fair play in sports were involved in unethical behavior and corrupt practices. The controversy may just be related to sport, but as high ranking people who belong to upper class are connected. This news of this controversy made people react negatively to the upper class in whole. To add to that a picture of Sepp Blatter created more controversy which had a big impact on people’s perception of the upper class people.
The image in the popular UK daily newspaper showed Blatter being showered with US dollar bills. The image portrayed high rank officials and upper class people in a whole, being money hungry. After a lot of investigation, it was found that the corruption had started long before time, more than a decade earlier from the time Blatter and other officials were convicted. Sepp Blatter was the man in power, he was head of FIFA and could bring a positive change but he misused his power.
In the movie spider-man the conversion between two characters beautifully defines the job of peoples in authority “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” (Spider-Man). It is a extract from the movie said by Benjamin Parker, a character known commonly as “Uncle Ben” in the Marvel movie series “Spider-Man”. This simply means if someone have the capacity to do something, they must make clear that they do it for the good of other people, but a lot of people think that, once they have power, they can usually stroke it over people and misuse it.
History has shown that lot of people showing them becoming corrupted because of great power. Media and literature portray upper class people who have power over others in a negative way. The controversy created by Blatter, misusing his power, strengthen the notion that upper class people are negative class of our society who have no regards to law and order. Charity as well as social and environmental welfare starts from the upper class people. Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio, “one of the best actors of modern cinema who belongs to the upper class of society” is someone who is actively involved in Environmental activism and philanthropy.
He is involved in wildlife conservation and for that he has established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation awarded WWF a $3 million grant for tiger conservation in Nepal” (Rich 15). Nepal, one of the few places in the world where tigers are found, was not able to fund its conservation program but DiCaprio charity helped save tigers and this portrays a positive representation of the upper class. To add to that, in the 2016 Oscar ceremony, DiCaprio won the Best Actor award. He used his acceptance speech to express his appreciation and worry for the environment when he said the following,
Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed (Griffiths).
DiCaprio speech proved that upper class people are also humble and are equally concerned about environment which is not the kind of political cause associated with upper class people. To add to that, like DiCaprio, Lionel Messi, famous soccer player has donated to various charities. Messi belongs to the upper class, he has formed the Leo Messi Foundation to provide opportunities for disadvantaged youths and in early 2010, UNICEF named him their Goodwill Ambassador, with focus on fighting for children’s rights across the globe.
By establishing his own foundation to help youth, Messi is trying to destroy some negative stereotype regarding his class. DiCaprio and Messi portrayal in media and literature paints a positive picture of upper class people which helps bring positive change in the people’s belief about upper class. Furthermore, Media represents the upper class as people that also have economic issues with food and basic needs. In the Paris Hilton’s television show, The Simple Life, Hilton is shown like a person that has the same problem that a working class person has.
Hilton, being a celebrity and representing the upper class, showed people that rich people also have common problems only their money differentiates them from poor ones. Upper class people also endure rise and fall in their lives as lower and middle class do. Stars do have common family problems like normal people have and as normal people different negative conditions effects their happiness. To add to that, as stars face common problems as normal people face they also find happiness in normal things as common people find, and are happy But, sometimes upper class people are not portrayed truly in media and literature.