Go back to previous topic
Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: My Thoughts
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25270&mesg_id=25272
25272, RE: My Thoughts
Posted by Expertise, Sun Apr-08-01 05:54 PM
>-Liberals often present success as the
>result of Good Luck and
>being "less fortunate" as the
>result of Bad Luck.
>
>-Conservatives present success as being an
>achiever and being "less fortunate"
>as the result of Bad
>Choices.

Agreed. Although I do concede that people can fall victim to "fate", whether it's negative or positive. That doesn't mean they can't overcome it however.

>Both perspectives are not entirely correct.
>To be successful you do
>need to work hard, you
>also need a "little" luck.
>Furthermore, you may/may not need
>a little help.
>Can I honestly say that the
>success I've had in life
>to this point isn't the
>result of how my parents
>raised me? The lessons they
>taught me? My father
>having me read the Wall
>St. Journal since I was
>5? How about the computers?
>The subscriptions to Business Week
>and Popular Science? How about
>college? All I had to
>do was get in, while
>other kids had to worry
>about coming up with the
>money.

True also. The "ripple effect" I guess it is called....

>As someone who considers themselves an
>"achiever" I feel I can
>say that I've gotten to
>where I am through my
>own determination and hard work.
>BUT, I had help along
>the way that put in
>a position to achieve in
>the first place.

Everyone has help, one way or another, in paving the path of success or failure. Therefore, I feel the whole concept of assistance is relative, for everyone has had it, although not equal measurements.

>The vast majority of poor people
>were born poor, therefore they're
>just following in the foot
>steps of their parents. They
>may make a few bad
>decisions, but all in all
>they're just imitating their parents.
>Some may escape, but as
>you said Expertise...they're the exception
>to the norm.

Let me clarify myself. I stated "exception to the norm" on the basis that most stay in the same conditions they are used to, but not that they can't get out of those conditions. It depends on 1. the character of the individual and 2. the environment of the individual, as you have shown by using your parents as an example. But 1 can override 2.

>The point is that it's very
>rare for middle class children
>to go backwards and end
>up poor, furthermore it's not
>quite as rare but let's
>say it happens in less
>then 15% of all cases
>for Poor people to end
>up Middle Class or Rich.

Hmmm....I'll grant that estimate. I doubt if that can actually be proven in studies however, whether it's more or less.

>This means that where you come
>from has a real bearing
>on your success, it may
>not be the utltimate determinate,
>but it has some affect.
>The people around you, your
>environment, family, etc...all real factors.
>It's no wonder my friends who
>came from 6 figure income
>households, are heading in that
>direction or already there....and the
>ones that didn't...see that as
>almost impossible...while to my other
>friends...it's just normal.
>This means that poor people aren't
>entirely the result of bad
>choices and that successful ones
>aren't entirely the result of
>making good ones. It's very
>rare for a person to
>be successful, or unsuccesful just
>based on their smarts or
>lack thereoff.
>Neither the conservative or liberal stance
>towards success or failure recognizes
>this. The truth of the
>matter is somewhere in between
>both stance(s).

I personally never argued that it doesnt. However I feel most people put that into account entirely too much. I'm not down with the "product of your environment" thing. I honestly feel that we do not try to encourage people to get out of the funks they may be in, hence they are discouraged from changing their situations, hence developing a defeatist attitude.

>Too often, people look at the
>Welfare recepient with a TV
>and claim that they're not
>poor or not as poor
>as others may think. I
>think that this is a
>load of CRAP, TV and
>VCRs are not luxuries
>in America. The amount of
>money that Welfare recepients get
>is a pittance, with which
>they can barely feed themselves
>on....so what if they have
>a VCR...they ain't got isht
>besides that. $300 worth of
>electronics are their most valuable
>possessions.

Once again, that's an opinion, and opinions are relative. You might take certain items and conditions for granted, but the case remains that they could be valuable to someone else.

>To me, a poor person is
>someone for whom their current
>financial situation presents them buying
>a home. (You only need
>to make 25k/year to buy
>a house) A poor person
>can't buy a decent car....I'm
>not talkin about a Benz
>either...you can lease a Honda
>Civic for nothing down and
>$199/month. New clothes? No.....vacations? No......savings?
>No.....

But can't you argue that for most the opportunity remains for them to change that financial situation? I feel it can, if you're willing to work for it. Most people can make $25k a year; in fact, most do.

>To me, poor people are those
>who financial situation will prevent
>them from every owning any
>property, saving any money or
>building up any significant assets,
>regardless of how they earn
>their money. E.g. You make
>$20,000/yr...you can't buy a house...you
>can barely get a used
>car....you have to support a
>family...you can barely pay bills.....that
>person is poor. SO what
>if they have a TV?
>If the most valuable thing
>you have cost $300.......you're for
>damn sure poor.....

Family is an iffy, you have a choice as to if you want to raise one or simply stay single; ditto on having/raising children. Also, you're taking the meaning of luxuries out of context. I'm not arguing that poor people can't have the items they have, only that a continuous waste of "simple" luxuries could be part of the reason they are in the situations they are in, especially in the black community and the US. It has been conversed that Americans do too much spending and not enough investing, and since African-Americans generate less consumption than only nine countries in the world, despite still being a small population, I think that's a correct analysis.

Hypothetical question: The most valuable thing you possess cost $300 means you're poor. I'll grant you that one. But what if they have a number of items that cost around $200....let's say maybe 10. Can they still be considered poor? And if they can, is it because of poor resources or poor financial discipline?

>Rich.....well that just means you have
>money that works for you.
>So what if you make
>$350k/year.....you can build a net
>worth of 1 million pretty
>easily. (you could with a
>1/3 of that...but that's another
>story :) ) I think
>being rich means that you
>can use your money to
>build up rather significant assets,
>and fairly easily. Poor means
>you have no chance of
>doing that..and Middle Class...means you
>can build some assets....but not
>as well as a rich
>person...

Agreed. But the question is, does everyone see it that way?

New Quotes....

Fascist ethics begin ... with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position. - Mario Palmieri, "The Philosophy of Fascism" 1936

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? - Henry David Thoreau

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, 'Make us your slaves, but feed us.'" - Dosteovsky's Grand Inquisitor.

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand

And always...my favorite....
Life is insensitive, and the truth can be highly offensive. To hide from either is to hide from the reality of life. Take comfort in the fact that I am an equal opportunity offender. You today. Someone else tomorrow. You have no Constitutional right not to be offended. - Neal Boortz