Posted by M2, Sun Apr-08-01 12:56 PM
-I disagree that poor people who take the traditional route to success will fail, and that their only way out is to try to change the system.
#1. They don't have the resources to effect any kind of change
#2. They don't even know how to go about the traditional routes of success, they have no role models, Mom & Dad can't show them. If they fail "trying" to go the traditional route, it's because they don't know how things work or how to be successful. Trying to change things won't work either, because they won't know how the "system" works.
Middle Class kids grow up to be Middle Class because they know what to do, they just imitate their parents. A lot of my middle class friends often marvel how easy it is, to have a 6 figure household income just like their parents...and how they don't consider that to be rich..even if it puts them in the top 10% of all wage earners...or higher. To them, buying the BMW, the 350k house, etc...doesn't mean your rich...heck it's easy..while to a poor kid it seems difficult or even impossible....To the middle class it simple and goes like this:
Apply to college, apply for Financial Aid (if you can get it) no aid..take out loans...Major Finance/Accounting/Economics/Enginering/Comp Sci, or something else with a decent starting salary.....you make 35-45 coming out of college..while your girlfriend (soon to be fiance) does the same. In your late 20s...you hope to be making about 50-70...you get married...now you make about 100-140 together. You buy your first house for about 150 - 200k (either saving for the downpayment yourself, or through a combination of borrowing from family and your own savings) you fix up that house and sell it in 5 years for about 200 - 250k...or more. Then you take that money and buy the 350k house, buy the BMW.....
Your kids see this, and imitate you when they get older...and the cycle continues.
While the poor kid has these dreams and no clue how to make them come true.
We don't have a Virtual Caste system because being poor doesn't give you the opportunies to become rich...we have a caste system because the poor don't KNOW HOW to elevate themselves. There is a big difference....the opportunities are there...they just don't know how to take advantage.
The Wealth Gap means that there are a lot of opportunities to make money, it also means that a lot of people can't take advantage of those opportunities. It doesn't mean that the people creating Wealth are bad people, taking advantage or are somehow lucky...per se...it just means that others don't even have a chance to create wealth themselves.
Organized Labor? Couple of Thoughts:
Organized Labor rarely has the interests of the company at heart, I think workers should have rights. I just wish that workers would actually have some Business sense and think about the overall health of the company. I get ticked off when I hear about GM, squelching a technology that could help them regain their foothold as one of the best car makers on earth because the unions won't let them.
I think that if Unions actually tried to align their needs with those of the Business...they'd be more successful. Right now, the businesses only give in to them out of fear..not neccessarily because it will help them.
Case In Point: Sometimes, Layoffs are neccessary for the overall health of the company..downsizing as well. But you'll never hear a Union admitt that...
I also don't think organized labor is going to fix the wealth gap, wealth isn't created by working for a company...it's created by side stuff (investing) having your own business...or having the position/business sense to exploit the company to generate wealth through 401ks and stock options.
Furthermore, proponents of Organized Labor...just want the workers to be paid more...which isn't always in the workers self interests..nor are the "workers" always worth that much.
No, I feel improving worker/company relations and conditions..will do little to change the wealth gap. Teaching people how to build wealth will.