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Rich getting richer, hard to get ahead, etc...


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What's with the ads?

#51 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:51 PM

I totally agree.

There is a clear disparity of wealth and opportunity and it is discouraging. The fact is my kids will work hard and it won't go quite as far as a kid's hard work when aided by extra opportunities.

I think what helps me stay sane and keep a healthy perspective is to focus on progress, not perfection. So it's okay if my incredibly intelligent son cannot go to an Ivy league school like his equally smart aunt did. What we can afford is to give him the educational and emotional support to attend a well respected state or private school on a full scholarship so he graduates without debt. Like others have mentioned, emotional support and the wisdom of experience can be very valuable. So since that's a resource we can afford, that's what we make sure to provide. And we hope to ensure a slightly better education and lifestyle for our kids....and then it'll be even better for our grandkids, and so on. It's slow, and frustrating, and not a foolproof system, but it's what we have to work with. :)

Just making sure you know this - don't count out Ivy League if he's "incredibly intelligent!" If my son had not gotten sick his senior year and needed to stay close to his hospital, he might have gone to Yale. The only what if - and this is a doozy - is whether a low income family can support a student far away, even if everything's paid for. We could hardly buy an airline ticket on short notice, for example. But if those incidentals can be managed, maybe a poor but brilliant kid can go Ivy League after all.

My son wound up at a local, private LAC that has turned out to be a perfect fit. He got a fabulous scholarship, and is on track for fully funded grad school. No regrets about Ivy League, but I'm keeping the option in mind for his younger brother.

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar, 15 July 2017 - 10:09 PM.

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#52 Frances

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:14 PM

Just making sure you know this - don't count out Ivy League if he's "incredibly intelligent!" If my son had not gotten sick his senior year and needed to stay close to his hospital, he might have gone to Yale. The only what if - and this is a doozy - is whether a low income family can support a student far away, even if everything's paid for. We could hardly but an airline ticket on short notice, for example. But if those incidentals can be managed, maybe a poor but brilliant kid can go Ivy League after all.

My son wound up at a local, private LAC that has turned out to be a perfect fit. He got a fabulous scholarship, and is on track for fully funded grad school. No regrets about Ivy League, but I'm keeping the option in mind for his younger brother.

Plus you can always do fully funded grad school at an Ivy like my sister-in-law and I did. We both went to a great, but not super elite LAC where we had the top scholarships and then had lots of paid for choices for grad school. And even if that doesn't happen, the vast majority of super intelligent kids do not ever go to Ivy League schools and most do just fine.
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#53 frogger

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:17 PM

I often feel sad, especially at my happiest moments that others are suffering so. This hits especially when I'm enjoying the mountains or looking at my family around the dinner table. They have sooooo much. We are all healthy, well I have a cold right now and my son has struggled with a full body rash this winter, and we have some LD's, etc but really no one has cancer or an extremely debilitating thing. We have been so blessed. We have never once feared homelessness though I did live in one of my sister's rooms for six weeks while we found a basement apartment and I found a job waiting tables at night but never homelessness. I've never put my kids to bed starving.  My children have a carefree life to read books and play in the yard and focus on school and we have never ever worried that soldiers would come through shooting taking boys for soldiers and girls for sex.. 

 

I absolutely can't believe how unfair the world is and I have to ask myself what can I do about it. I sometimes come up with small things but they usually feel pretty small. My children get two parents who will work super hard to support them, encourage them, just downright care and some kids don't even have one. That is something I would like to do; foster or adopt but only when my children are older. 

 

I suppose I could look at my 17 year old super hard worker who is making dinner right now  and wonder if he will be able to make it through college or will run out of money and get pulled away having to work full time. Why should he have to work during the school year instead of doing robotics club or whatever at his fancy private school. He might not get his top pick of school but I'm sure he'll have opportunity. I could wish he could just have it handed to him but maybe it's better that it's not. Regardless, I'm not afraid he will drown trying to escape our country and war. He will have opportunity of some kind. 

 

I could be frustrated that my daughter had to save for years waiting for the instrument that she dreamed of. While other harpist her age were already practicing and getting lessons; she was saving all her birthday money and small earnings. It took 3 years before we were able to rent her a little 26 string harp. I could be sad that I can't buy her a pedal harp but I was able to afford a nice lever harp and that's something even if it took a loan.  I also know that she is strong and she is willing to take on the symphony without one. She managed to get into the local Youth Symphony and will have to practice on a lever harp at home and will only get to practice the pedals on her teacher's harp before playing concerts at our cities performing arts center on the pedal harp there. Do those whose parents have $25K to plop down for a pedal harp have an advantage. I guess. But she has determination.  That has to be an advantage too I suppose. 

 

I do think the world is unfair. Somehow I was born on the rich side. I didn't choose to be born in a country not at war with itself or that gives women no opportunities and where I'm not afraid of famine. I don't deserve it but here I am and I need to make the most of it and see what I can do to help someone not so lucky.  That's what I see. 


Edited by frogger, 15 July 2017 - 10:20 PM.

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#54 jdahlquist

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:43 PM

I don't know what "=\=" means, but risk means randomness is involved in the outcome.  If something is a sure thing, there is no risk.  I don't know why this bugs people so much.  If someone takes a risk and succeeds, luck is at least partially at play.  The dictionary defines risk as "The possibility of loss".

Randomness means that there is no pattern or predictability.  If I throw a die, knowing that it landed on 4 last time does not tell me anything about whether it will land on 4 (or any other number) next time.  Thus, i is random.  

 

Risk means that a particular outcome is not 100%.  This does not necessarily imply that the outcome is random.  

 

At least, this is how the terms are used in finance.


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#55 reefgazer

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:05 PM

We all do the best we can for our kids, whatever that may be.  It is up to the next generation (the kids) to take your best and build on it to move up an economic class or two.  You can't do anything about someone who has more means than you; those people have always existed, so I don't think it's worth dwelling on it.  I came from a severely underprivileged background.  I didn't see it at the time, but it gave me skills and determination that I doubt I would have had if I had had everything handed to me.  Regentrude is right; a stable family will take your kids far from where they started.  I had that, at least.


Edited by reefgazer, 15 July 2017 - 11:11 PM.

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#56 Murphy101

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:32 PM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

Wanting to have a better life: Better health. Better education. Better mobility. Better opportunities. Better for our families and society. Wanting any of that does not mean we are materialistic, don't appreciate what we do have or any of this other BS. Yeah. Life isn't fair. So stop creating and accepting social policies that make it even worse than life already dealt it.
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#57 Frances

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:35 PM

I totally agree.

There is a clear disparity of wealth and opportunity and it is discouraging. The fact is my kids will work hard and it won't go quite as far as a kid's hard work when aided by extra opportunities.

While I absolutely agree that we have a clear disparity of wealth and opportunity in this country, I don't think your second sentence is necessarily true.

And an example, when my husband went back to school late in life for a PharmD degree at our state university, there was a very wide range of students in his class, from older single moms and dads just finishing undergrad to first generation college students who started as pharmacy techs and lots of regular 22 year old grads from a variety of state and private schools. All who graduated started out making over $100k per year and most got substantial signing bonuses and loan forgiveness. Some classmates got married and so were instantly making over $200k. Virtually no one got jobs because of connections or special opportunities and none attended super elite undergrads. The vast majority got jobs based on the numerous rotations they did during their final year. But they all worked very hard during both undergrad and grad school.
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#58 Sadie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:45 PM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

Wanting to have a better life: Better health. Better education. Better mobility. Better opportunities. Better for our families and society. Wanting any of that does not mean we are materialistic, don't appreciate what we do have or any of this other BS. Yeah. Life isn't fair. So stop creating and accepting social policies that make it even worse than life already dealt it.


QFT
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#59 frogger

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:14 AM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

Wanting to have a better life: Better health. Better education. Better mobility. Better opportunities. Better for our families and society. Wanting any of that does not mean we are materialistic, don't appreciate what we do have or any of this other BS. Yeah. Life isn't fair. So stop creating and accepting social policies that make it even worse than life already dealt it.



I'm not sure why you think being thankful for what you have means you support some specific policy or not. I'm pretty sure there are thankful people on both sides of the political spectrum. I also think there are people at all levels of wealth who want what someone else has and will be sad and depressed.


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#60 SereneHome

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:35 AM

Take it from someone who is 1st generation immigrant - US is very much still the land of opportunity.  I am not going to bore you with stories upon stories of people who came here at the same time as my family, with nothing (bc even if they had things of value in the old country, they weren't allowed to take it out) and worked their way to a great life. 

 

It was such a gift for my family to be able to come here, after waiting for over 10 yrs.  And then I read things such OP or hear people complain about all the inequalities of life and it really makes me want to send them where I came from.


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#61 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:45 AM

I'm not sure why you think being thankful for what you have means you support some specific policy or not. I'm pretty sure there are thankful people on both sides of the political spectrum. I also think there are people at all levels of wealth who want what someone else has and will be sad and depressed.


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I'm not being political.

I do not want to take what someone else has.

This entire "just be glad you aren't ___" type admonishment is a silencer.

Quit telling the under classes to learn to accept their place and be grateful for it.

It is not greed or envy or jeolousy to want to improve and better our Iives and society.

It is not greed, envy or jealousy to want our work to pay off or to have better equality of opportunity.
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#62 Frances

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:48 AM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

Wanting to have a better life: Better health. Better education. Better mobility. Better opportunities. Better for our families and society. Wanting any of that does not mean we are materialistic, don't appreciate what we do have or any of this other BS. Yeah. Life isn't fair. So stop creating and accepting social policies that make it even worse than life already dealt it.

I think most people want these things for society, but have very different ideas about how to make that happen. Personally, in the US, I think starting with some sort of universal healthcare would be great, combined with high quality education regardless of zip code. But how to bring the latter about also opens a whole other dispute about how to do that. Others think low taxes, small government, and a free market will make things better for everyone. And there are lots of other views out there. But while working to be the change we want to see, we also have to prepare our children, to the best of our ability, for reality, and control the things we can.
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#63 frogger

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:51 AM

I'm not being political.

I do not want to take what someone else has.

This entire "just be glad you aren't ___" type admonishment is a silencer.

Quit telling the under classes to learn to accept their place and be grateful for it.

It is not greed or envy or jeolousy to want to improve and better our Iives and society.

It is not greed, envy or jealousy to want our work to pay off or to have better equality of opportunity.



I'm all for a lot of policy changes especially regarding housing, health, and education especially since current policies are making them ridiculously expensive.

No one said to just accept your place. In fact it seems the unhappy ones are those who assume that you are stuck where you were born. I do recognize that it is harder for some than others. So much can get in the way like health issues that you have no control over but it is hard for me to wrap my mind around assuming you have to be stuck where you are. Maybe because my Grandfather started as a coal miner when unions were just forming. Sorry but that's pretty much underclass. My childhood was wealthier than the pure poverty they lived in but it was still a trailer in which at times I woke with my hair froze to the wall. From 17 on I lived in a different state with zero help. Somehow I survived on minimum wage. Currently all but one sibling has 6 figure salaries. Majority of my cousins are downright wealthy so it is hard for me to believe that no one can better themselves.


Also, people always look at who has more than them. That is why you can have families with 6 figure incomes who think they have it tough. How often are people feeling empathetic and worrying about those on the rungs below them?

Specific policies can definitely make things easier for those with lower income but just assuming you are stuck is a great way to be stuck and depressed.
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#64 Sadie

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:28 AM

https://www.theguard...unity-privilege



#65 kiwik

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:03 AM

My observation is kids from wealthier households are more confident. They have been told 'yes you can' rather than 'no we can't afford it' all their lives. They have received help when they needed it (tutoring, extra coaching etc) and have learnt that problems can be surmounted if they get help and work hard. They believe they can achieve, overcome, get what they want so they do. And if it all goes wrong money makes a great safety net. And a great safety net means you can safely take more risks and recover more easily from the failures.
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#66 creekland

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:44 AM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

 

I suspect plenty of therapists would disagree with you.

 

Quite honestly, money and happiness aren't connected.  They only are in many American minds that subscribe to the oodles of commercials out there saying "if you only had this product, you'd be awesome."  It's a fallacy.

 

Money is needed to live, but only to a point.  My kids got one Christmas present a year (each) from us parents.  Ditto for birthdays.  Yet they were just as "happy" (perhaps moreso) than their peer who opened presents for hours.  Things only give an illusion of happiness for a moment.

 

It was such a gift for my family to be able to come here, after waiting for over 10 yrs.  And then I read things such OP or hear people complain about all the inequalities of life and it really makes me want to send them where I came from.

 

And this is why I think traveling to second or third world countries is important whether it's a church organized mission trip one gets to go on via donations or whatever.  One of the first things kids tend to learn is just how much they have.  Right along with it comes that realization that kids in these other countries also play and enjoy life in spite of what they don't have.  All three of my kids returned much less materialistic than they were when they left - and they weren't materialistic (compared to their friends) to start with.

 

This entire "just be glad you aren't ___" type admonishment is a silencer.

Quit telling the under classes to learn to accept their place and be grateful for it.

 

In order of your sentences...

 

1) No, it's not.  It's reality.  

 

2) Absolutely no one (except you) has said that.  Everyone else with longer posts has suggested ways to make things better rather than wishful thinking that we lived in an Ideal World, along with some providing examples of how it can get better.  My own grandparents were farmers and factory workers, only one of them completed high school.  My other grandmother had to quit school after 4th grade to work (washing dishes) and support her step-mom and dad.  She saw to it that both of her boys had college educations and that got passed on to me.  The thing no one in our family (including myself) does is tell anyone that they can't do something (or accept their place and be grateful).  I don't tell that to kids at school either, nor does anyone I know.  We accept how life is and plan/work to improve things.  Often there are really good results, but not from those who pull back and complain endlessly about how unfair life is.

 

FWIW, kids at that private school accepted me just fine - they even picked up the tab when we went places (like out to eat) knowing I couldn't come if they didn't.  Yes, their parent's Country Club was amazing to my young eyes, but I never felt my goal in life was to become a server there nor did they (or their parents) make me think that should be my goal.


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#67 creekland

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:52 AM

ps  I strongly suspect the "scholarship" I had to that private school came from one of my grandma's contacts at the thrift shop - one of the wealthy donors Grandma knew.  This is the same grandma who had to quit school after 4th grade.  She always wished she'd been able to finish school and go to college, but real life didn't work that way in her day - especially for women.  I think she did everything she could to see that not only her boys, but also that I had a chance to go further with my life.  I had to test to get in - to prove my worth.  That was my 15 year old contribution, but my public school back in NY had prepared me nicely and our top classes were on par with those at the private school.  (Not all public schools are as good unfortunately, but mine was.)

 

There's the birth lottery, then there's what one does with what they are given - including using whatever contacts one can make and opportunities one can find.

 

pps Not everyone from that fancy private school went to Ivy level schools, but the vast, vast majority went to college.


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#68 Shelly in IL

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:58 AM

It a person is capable, they could join the military. The GI bill from my husband will be funding two years of my sons's school. My other son won an ROTC full ride Air Force scholarship, and will be entering as an officer at graduation. There are some opportunities to change your stars.
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#69 HomeAgain

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:10 AM

It a person is capable, they could join the military. The GI bill from my husband will be funding two years of my sons's school. My other son won an ROTC full ride Air Force scholarship, and will be entering as an officer at graduation. There are some opportunities to change your stars.

 

No one should have to make a life or death decision to get an education. 

 

Sincerely,

member, spouse, brat, multiple gen military family member.
 


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#70 Diana P.

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:25 AM

It a person is capable, they could join the military. The GI bill from my husband will be funding two years of my sons's school. My other son won an ROTC full ride Air Force scholarship, and will be entering as an officer at graduation. There are some opportunities to change your stars.


All three of my dc medical disqualifications. One of my dc really wanted to serve. It would have been good for him I'm sure.

That said, the choice to serve should be based on the actual desire to serve, not on "looks like this is how I can pay for college". When troops are put into dangerous situations it can have a very bad performance result. Years ago a hive member who's dh was career military mentioned the problems her dh faced with having young people in his command who joined to pay for college as the unit was deploying following 9/11.
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#71 SKL

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:33 AM

OK some of the above posts do seem to ignore the fact that just having a chair to sit on within 4 walls and an internet to complain on puts one way ahead of the average world citizen.

 

I do think it's very important to remember all the things we do have and what we can do with them.

 

I'm sure we all do remember our blessings most of the time, and we all have days when we feel down.  But if the goal is a better life, sorry but better thoughts lead to a better life (regardless of income).  And no I am not blaming or accusing anyone.  I just don't agree with encouraging people to nurture negative thoughts as if that is going to improve anything.


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#72 Shelly in IL

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:40 AM

Well, I am speaking of experience as well. My husband went through the military for college - qualified to be a fighter pilot. He was first generation college, broken home, no Money. Through his hard work, and yes, risk, he now makes a very nice salary as an airline pilot. I understand physical disqualifications, and I'm sorry, really sorry that it isn't an option for those who have them. I would think that getting ahead and dramatically changing your income and lifestyle would demand a risk and a significant commitment and if there's an opportunity - even if it is dangerous- they'd take it.
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#73 soror

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:03 AM

I feel extraordinarily blessed to be so privileged, most of the time.

 

BUT it is a reality that there is a huge disparity of wealth and opportunity in our country and world. 

 

It is delusional to think that a kid born to millionaires and one born homeless have the same opportunities and advantages. I think those types of thoughts only help to assuage pride and guilt. Pride to think that your kid or you are where you are only due to your own merit and guilt that you have it easier than others. 

 

I don't think it is good to dwell on these thoughts and the what ifs. But if we keep ignoring these facts the wealth disparity will continue to grow. It is fine and well to tell people to be happy with the life they have when you are living it up. 

 

My grandma worked in a cotton field, backbreaking work yet she was still lower class. My mom worked multiple jobs, as did my dad and they vastly improved their situation, they moved up to middle class. Rich people need to stop thinking that the only rich people work hard.


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#74 DawnM

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:19 AM

It a person is capable, they could join the military. The GI bill from my husband will be funding two years of my sons's school. My other son won an ROTC full ride Air Force scholarship, and will be entering as an officer at graduation. There are some opportunities to change your stars.

 

If a person is capable, they should have a CHOICE to join the military or not.  


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#75 madteaparty

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:20 AM

I suspect no one ever tells wealthy people they need to learn to be happy with what they have. I can't even picture how that conversation would go.

Wanting to have a better life: Better health. Better education. Better mobility. Better opportunities. Better for our families and society. Wanting any of that does not mean we are materialistic, don't appreciate what we do have or any of this other BS. Yeah. Life isn't fair. So stop creating and accepting social policies that make it even worse than life already dealt it.

I agree. I also think that this sort of inequality is insidious for everyone involved. I think even for people who "made it", whatever that means, clinging by their fingernails to theirstatus and pouring resources into their kids is in a way making the whole thing worse. I don't fault them (or myself) but if we had a safety net the upper middle classes would perhaps not be as manic. Also, I think we are long past the days that your extremely bright but poor kid going to his zoned public can realistically plan for Ivy League. ( I'm not discussing the relative merits of that as marker of success, just responding to posts upthread).
Another story I'm tempted to tell is the whole bootstrap thing, the " if I could make it everyone should".
I agree that the knowledge capital of the family should not be underestimated but I also don't think it gets you there all the way.

Edited by madteaparty, 16 July 2017 - 07:32 AM.

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#76 DawnM

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:22 AM

I feel extraordinarily blessed to be so privileged, most of the time.

 

BUT it is a reality that there is a huge disparity of wealth and opportunity in our country and world. 

 

It is delusional to think that a kid born to millionaires and one born homeless have the same opportunities and advantages. I think those types of thoughts only help to assuage pride and guilt. Pride to think that your kid or you are where you are only due to your own merit and guilt that you have it easier than others. 

 

I don't think it is good to dwell on these thoughts and the what ifs. But if we keep ignoring these facts the wealth disparity will continue to grow. It is fine and well to tell people to be happy with the life they have when you are living it up. 

 

My grandma worked in a cotton field, backbreaking work yet she was still lower class. My mom worked multiple jobs, as did my dad and they vastly improved their situation, they moved up to middle class. Rich people need to stop thinking that the only rich people work hard.

 

 

I have never thought that.  What I do think is that wealthy people have more advantages to get work that pays better, has benefits, and allows them to have more (and better) leisure time.

 

But then we need to define wealth, and as we know, that is very difficult to define.


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#77 HomeAgain

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:29 AM

Well, I am speaking of experience as well. My husband went through the military for college - qualified to be a fighter pilot. He was first generation college, broken home, no Money. Through his hard work, and yes, risk, he now makes a very nice salary as an airline pilot. I understand physical disqualifications, and I'm sorry, really sorry that it isn't an option for those who have them. I would think that getting ahead and dramatically changing your income and lifestyle would demand a risk and a significant commitment and if there's an opportunity - even if it is dangerous- they'd take it.

 

I'm sorry, and this is going to sound bad, but you have no experience here.  Your husband does.  You did not take the oath.  If he joined the military JUST for college, or JUST for medical care, or JUST to look nice, he did it for the wrong reason. Period. 

 

No one should have to put their life on the line for an education.  I cannot stress that enough.  No. One. Nobody.  Nope. 

 

 

There is something inherently wrong with that sort of thinking, that if you want college bad enough you'll die for it- and it's not for you to decide that for someone else. You obviously wouldn't and didn't.


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#78 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:38 AM

I'm sorry, and this is going to sound bad, but you have no experience here. Your husband does. You did not take the oath. If he joined the military JUST for college, or JUST for medical care, or JUST to look nice, he did it for the wrong reason. Period.

No one should have to put their life on the line for an education. I cannot stress that enough. No. One. Nobody. Nope.


There is something inherently wrong with that sort of thinking, that if you want college bad enough you'll die for it- and it's not for you to decide that for someone else. You obviously wouldn't and didn't.


I agree that nobody should have to put their life on the line for an education.

That said, I'm shocked at your post. Who are you to say that one of our military veterans, who served our country, a person whom you don't even know, did it for "the wrong reasons - period!"

What the hell?
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#79 lavender's green

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:40 AM

For every rich kid I know who really benefited from getting a leg-up on life, I know another rich kid who didn't know what to do with that leg-up and squandered it away because he never developed a work-ethic.

 

I can also think of plenty of poor kids who got an unexpected leg-up and ran with it, and others who didn't know what to do with it and squandered it.


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#80 SereneHome

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:50 AM

The main thing is that US does provides opportunities.  Sure, they are not all exactly equal but they do exist.

 

Where I am from - you couldn't start a business bc everything was owned by the govt.  Same with jobs - you can work as hard as you want - your salary would not necessarily reflect that - govt predetermined everything.  My father, who is quite smart, couldn't get into the better type of university bc of the fact that he is of a certain nationality.  Housing was an issue for many decades after WWII - there wasn't enough, so multiple families (strangers) had to share apartments with only one bathroom and one kitchen for all.  Food - both quantity and variety was very limited.  But most importantly - you could only successed as much as govt allowed you to.  That's socialism for you

 

So......yeah, even if you are really poor in US, you still have opportunity.  You can get assistance for food and housing and education and you might not be able to get tutors or your foot in the door right away, but you still can do a lot!  Especially now, when people start business with crowdfunding and can get education on-line.  Information is so readily available to anyone who wants it.

 

I will very much second the idea that more than money it is important to have parents who support  you (not necessarily financially) bc that's another huge difference between US and where I am from.  Our culture is a LOT more family oriented.  It was unheard of for parents to have a philosophy that once you are 18, you are on your own.  And it was a given that you can live with your parents as long as you want.  Here, in US, it's viewed as some kind of character flow if you are not self-sufficient by the time you are 18-20.

 

I think many people in US can not really see all the opportunities that are there for them and that's the best gift you can have.

 

 

 

 


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#81 Minniewannabe

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:59 AM

The ones who complain about the economic inequlities of the rich, are usually not willing to put in the 20 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week work it takes to get there. Anyone spending on hour a day on this website is not in that category. (Me included). And if it seems the elite kiddos are not spending that much time getting ahead, I am sure someone in the economic genetic lineage did. Getting ahead takes some serious time.

Back in the day when I was destitute, it took 3 jobs (1 full time and two part-time), full-time college, all while raising a baby to get out of poverty. Then, 13 years later of education, I dare anyone to say it is unfair that my kiddos have a luxury start to life. I dare anyone to complain about my cars or house as being unfair. And, I would love to see him survive the hours and stress it takes even still to pay for this unfairness, even now that I have some weeks I can enjoy my time off. DH has not had a whole day off in 5 years. Yep, he has worked 1500 days in a row!

Finally, if anyone said my DS had an unfair advantage while he endured medical school, became the chief resident of an entire hospital or became an ER physician, I dare him just to stay up once for 72 hours while keeping multiple people alive. Or, if anyone says my DD17 has an unfair advantage becoming a grand national champion dancer or when she obtained a contract at a large computer company, I would just ask him to take off his shoes. Oh, I see there are toe nails. Then, obviously, someone has not worked as hard as DD. And, oh, working 24 hours in a row online over and over again as well as 6 or 7 hours every single day to get a contract is not in the schedule, then quit complaining. The only advantage she had was being a homeschooler so her schedule was flexible. But, even if she was not, she still would have found a way to achieve success.

Yes, life is unfair, no doubt. But, in the US, at least, there is a certain fairness to it as well.
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#82 HomeAgain

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:00 AM

I agree that nobody should have to put their life on the line for an education.

That said, I'm shocked at your post. Who are you to say that one of our military veterans, who served our country, a person whom you don't even know, did it for "the wrong reasons - period!"

What the hell?

 

The hell, indeed.  You seem to have misread my post quite a bit.  I said IF and JUST.  As in, if this, only that.  You read as "is this, is that."

 

You make a choice to serve your country.  The key word there is serve.  You don't make a decision to get something from your country.  If you base your entire reasoning on what you are going to get, then you miss the serving part.  Again, please read every word of that, including the if. The choice has to be there to serve, defend, protect.  These have to be things factored in to make a balanced decision. 

 

You are more than welcome to being shocked.



#83 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:14 AM

Oh geez people. I couldn't care less about ivy schools. This isn't about getting low income kids into Ivy's schools as some sort of status symbol due to their parents envy.

And no one is talking about wallowing in self pity and not even bothering to try.

And yes, obviously I'm not posting this message from some third world ghetto where I can't even get clean water.

One should hope we can raise the bar a bit for our society instead of just patting shoulders and telling half or more of our citizenry they should learn to just be glad they aren't as bad off as whatever horrid example trumped up and quit complaining bc it's just irritating to the higher classes.

And I disagree that everyone wants the things I've mentioned. I think a significant part of our society thinks low classes deserve to be lower classes. Even though they refuse to state such bc that's distasteful, their actions state otherwise.
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#84 BarbecueMom

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:35 AM

I don't have time to post thoughts right now, but I've been reading on a theme this year of social mobility, inequality, etc. Maybe I'm trying to come to grips with the trajectory of my life until now, lol.

I highly recommend the "trilogy" of Hillbilly Elegy, Evicted, and The Broken Ladder.

Success is just that, but looks different based on circumstances. Mobility requires personal and social sacrifices, in both directions. Social and economic inequality deeply affect both.
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#85 DawnM

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:55 AM

Oh geez people. I couldn't care less about ivy schools. This isn't about getting low income kids into Ivy's schools as some sort of status symbol due to their parents envy.

And no one is talking about wallowing in self pity and not even bothering to try.

And yes, obviously I'm not posting this message from some third world ghetto where I can't even get clean water.

One should hope we can raise the bar a bit for our society instead of just patting shoulders and telling half or more of our citizenry they should learn to just be glad they aren't as bad off as whatever horrid example trumped up and quit complaining bc it's just irritating to the higher classes.

And I disagree that everyone wants the things I've mentioned. I think a significant part of our society thinks low classes deserve to be lower classes. Even though they refuse to state such bc that's distasteful, their actions state otherwise.

 

And what would that look like in practical terms?  How would we ensure that everyone has the same advantages/disadvantages?  



#86 SKL

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:55 AM

....

And this is why I think traveling to second or third world countries is important whether it's a church organized mission trip one gets to go on via donations or whatever.  One of the first things kids tend to learn is just how much they have.  Right along with it comes that realization that kids in these other countries also play and enjoy life in spite of what they don't have. ....

....

 

And not just third world countries either.  First world countries, including those some Americans like to cite as having a more fair / compassionate / intelligent social system than the US, are not that easy to live in.  Sure, if you're in the lucky minority at the top of your classes, you can get "free" education courtesy of your high tax rate.  But how many of those at the top got there by paying tutors etc?  Are the opportunities really equal?  And they have their share of homeless people lying around their clean cities. 

 

Also - hey at least in the US, nobody is too poor to use a public toilet or drink clean water.  May sound silly, but to me, the thought of not being able to afford these basic things is scarier than having to get creative about paying for higher education.


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#87 magnificent_baby

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

DH and I are both medical providers. We both grew up fairly poor with very hard working sets of parents. My parents, my mom especially, instilled in me a belief that I was capable of anything I set my mind to. She was my biggest cheer leader during my medical education. I don't ever remember her comparing our situation to anyone else's, so I didn't grow up feeling defeated before I even began. Neither of our parents paid for our college education. My mom helped a little financially, but the most support came from feeding me when I was a college student. We both paid off our loans ourselves. DH and I could help paying for our children's college, but we don't plan to, other than the required parent portion of student loans these days. They will be responsible for their own, just as we were. 

 

All that being said, I don't get jealous or bitter over someone's situation in which they were born into wealth, and we know a few people similar to your example. What I do really struggle with as of late, are character traits and cliques among my acquaintances that sometimes are associated with wealth (or wanting to appear wealthy). 


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#88 regentrude

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:39 AM

 First world countries, including those some Americans like to cite as having a more fair / compassionate / intelligent social system than the US, are not that easy to live in.  Sure, if you're in the lucky minority at the top of your classes, you can get "free" education courtesy of your high tax rate.  But how many of those at the top got there by paying tutors etc?  Are the opportunities really equal?  

 

In Germany, all students have access to free post-secondary education. Those who cannot attend university receive post-high school education in technical colleges, vocational schools, apprenticeships.

Students who were tracked on the non-college track and attened the ten year school can complete a three year program that lets them earn the diploma needed to qualify for university. Any adult can also sit the examination to receive this diploma without having to attend a formal program.

Oh, and nobody has to go into debt and possibly bankruptcy because of medical cost. Which is a major cause for personal bankruptcy in the US.

 

Having education and health care for all goes a long way in lessening social inequalities.


Edited by regentrude, 16 July 2017 - 09:44 AM.

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#89 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:40 AM

And what would that look like in practical terms? How would we ensure that everyone has the same advantages/disadvantages?


We aren't going to ever get rid of the poor entirely and there's always going to be some inequality, but we should strive to reduce it as much as possible.

We could start by offering a universal healthcare and quality education programs. No one should ever have to choose work based on whether their employer will pay for medical care. No child should be denied a genuine quality education bc they had the poor luck to be born in the wrong zipcode. Efforts should also be made to desegregate communities based on income. Housing should be required to have a mix of low income, medium income and high income zones mixed in together. These wouldn't fix all the problems, but I firmly believe it would be a solid good start.
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#90 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:44 AM

Also - hey at least in the US, nobody is too poor to use a public toilet or drink clean water. May sound silly, but to me, the thought of not being able to afford these basic things is scarier than having to get creative about paying for higher education.


*cough* Flint, Michigan *cough*
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#91 transientChris

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

My husband and I have lived with different levels of income. We found happiness when we were poor. We found happines when we had middle incomes. We find happiness now that we have more income. Although both dh and I were graduates of a top 10 school, no legacy benefit for any of our children. We paid for our children's educations with scholarships,loans we are paying for our children with some of their help, self pay for a lot of it, and also GI bill. No, my dh did not enter for that reason and neither did that above poster's husband since the GI bill has only been around since sometime after 9/11. My kids were all born before then so that wasn't a factor in his deciding to join the service.

I have also found that at all levels of income, people of other incomes often have great misunderstandings about your situation. My recent one that I have come across is so many people's assumption that we can afford to travel to New Zealand to see our daughter while she is there on winter semester. I finally blurted out well because after paying 25,000 for her to do this (it would have cost a bit less for her to have done the semester at her own college but not that much less) and helping to pay for other kid's loans, we don't have a spare 6K to spend right now. So while I could be sad and unhappy that I can't go and I know some other parents are going to go, I am happy for our technology and how dd and I got to dance together through Hangout and our phones last night while dh and I attended a fundraising party to raise money for space camp scholarships. Well I shouldn't really say that we can't afford to go to NZ to see her. We could if we chose to cut 6K from our charitable spending. But that is another thing, I may have more money coming in but I feel that makes it so I need to be giving more (both amount and percentagewise). I know much wealthier people than us (we actually have negative wealth if you use one of those calculators since we have a large mortgage but I don't consider them completely accurate since they don't account for the fact of our retirement or our healthcare) that do a lot of charitable giving. I know wealthy people that have funded educations for the poor.

We camped with our kids in a not expensive tent and travelled. We stayed at hotels in Europe when we lived there which were very spartan and travelled though at other times we stayed in B and Bs and regular hotels. We would do cost savings like having a bathroom down the road.

Try to focus on what you have and family is most important.
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#92 DawnM

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

We aren't going to ever get rid of the poor entirely and there's always going to be some inequality, but we should strive to reduce it as much as possible.

We could start by offering a universal healthcare and quality education programs. No one should ever have to choose work based on whether their employer will pay for medical care. No child should be denied a genuine quality education bc they had the poor luck to be born in the wrong zipcode. Efforts should also be made to desegregate communities based on income. Housing should be required to have a mix of low income, medium income and high income zones mixed in together. These wouldn't fix all the problems, but I firmly believe it would be a solid good start.

 

 

I don't see how this would even be possible.  There are 125 million families in the US.  They currently live somewhere.  So, tear down at least half the homes in all areas, and start over with building lower income homes in the nicer areas and building nicer homes in the poor areas?

 

As for universal healthcare, I don't have an issue with that if it is done well.   Not Obama care and NOT Trump's proposal.  A true healthcare for all.  


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#93 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:55 AM

I prefer to keep my head in the sand and think of all the things that DS will have (hopefully)...

The ability to "make do"

The ability to see the potential of things whereas others would just see trash

The ability to think so very outside the box in order to make things work

The ability to make money from sweat, not trees

The ability to not panic at the thought of no money for the last 20 days out of the month

The ability to be happy eating the same damn thing for months on end so the budget doesn't need tweaking

The ability to make happy memories regardless of what possessions were involved in the making because heck, even the secondhand camping equipment might need to go at some point

Knowing what sacrifice is because the kids of famine-stricken Kenya are so much worse off than we are so we will help them too instead of splurging for the extra fancy bread or two kinds of fruit

 

Some of these things can be learned in any income bracket, in any family of origin.  But some of those things are only really learned at the bottom so if you really think about it, DS has a leg up in some respects :)  Don't be depressed :)


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#94 beckyjo

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:58 AM

I agree. I also think that this sort of inequality is insidious for everyone involved. I think even for people who "made it", whatever that means, clinging by their fingernails to theirstatus and pouring resources into their kids is in a way making the whole thing worse. I don't fault them (or myself) but if we had a safety net the upper middle classes would perhaps not be as manic. Also, I think we are long past the days that your extremely bright but poor kid going to his zoned public can realistically plan for Ivy League. ( I'm not discussing the relative merits of that as marker of success, just responding to posts upthread).
Another story I'm tempted to tell is the whole bootstrap thing, the " if I could make it everyone should".
I agree that the knowledge capital of the family should not be underestimated but I also don't think it gets you there all the way.

 

So true!

 

My middle child is going into 7th grade, and she is my most extroverted child. I have always kept it in the back of my head that maybe it would be better for her to go to school. We cannot afford private school, so I started to really look at our local district. I'm starting to think I will have to find something else - sending her to this school will not give her a head start in life. This is an amalgam of 2 high schools (the rich one and the poor one); we are, of course, zoned for the poorer one - the stats are even lower for that school.

 

According to last year's stats, 24% of students are "ready for the next level". Yes, that is actually less than a quarter of the student body. Only 2% of students "exceeded" (highest level of achievement), but 29% "did not meet expectations" (lowest level). 43% of students attending college after graduation require some form of remediation. There is only an 81% 4 year graduation rate. 

 

This is actually considered one of the better districts in the area in that we have people moving from the city next to us for the school district. It's not an inner city school; it is predominately white and fairly middle class (42% free/reduced lunch). I laugh to think of anyone graduating and attending Ivy League.

 

Edited: typed public for private


Edited by beckyjo, 16 July 2017 - 09:59 AM.


#95 creekland

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:13 AM

I feel extraordinarily blessed to be so privileged, most of the time.

 

BUT it is a reality that there is a huge disparity of wealth and opportunity in our country and world. 

 

It is delusional to think that a kid born to millionaires and one born homeless have the same opportunities and advantages. I think those types of thoughts only help to assuage pride and guilt. Pride to think that your kid or you are where you are only due to your own merit and guilt that you have it easier than others. 

 

I don't think it is good to dwell on these thoughts and the what ifs. But if we keep ignoring these facts the wealth disparity will continue to grow. It is fine and well to tell people to be happy with the life they have when you are living it up. 

 

My grandma worked in a cotton field, backbreaking work yet she was still lower class. My mom worked multiple jobs, as did my dad and they vastly improved their situation, they moved up to middle class. Rich people need to stop thinking that the only rich people work hard.

 

So rather than reminding them that happiness does not depend upon wealth and making real suggestions on how to see about improving one's lot in life, we're supposed to say, "You're right, it sucks, be miserable and hope that maybe somewhere in the future life will change and someone will give you that winning lottery ticket?"

 

My brain doesn't work that way.  My brain looks at reality, the situation at hand, and tries to see how one can improve it living in the real world we live in.  If there's ever a vote for universal health care and free college education, I'll do my part, but I'm certainly not going to join the pity party nor encourage others to do so.  It's not an "either/or" situation.

 

I'm sorry, and this is going to sound bad, but you have no experience here.  Your husband does.  You did not take the oath.  If he joined the military JUST for college, or JUST for medical care, or JUST to look nice, he did it for the wrong reason. Period. 

 

Evidently then, so did I.  Oh well.  Too bad.  I have no regrets.  I had some meaningful years where I learned a lot, got most of my education paid for, and served.  I wouldn't have done it without the education aspect TBH.

 

Be as judgmental as you want.  Many of us joined (or still join) for the perks - whether it's education or sign on bonuses.

 

The ones who complain about the economic inequlities of the rich, are usually not willing to put in the 20 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week work it takes to get there. Anyone spending on hour a day on this website is not in that category. (Me included). And if it seems the elite kiddos are not spending that much time getting ahead, I am sure someone in the economic genetic lineage did. Getting ahead takes some serious time.

Back in the day when I was destitute, it took 3 jobs (1 full time and two part-time), full-time college, all while raising a baby to get out of poverty. Then, 13 years later of education, I dare anyone to say it is unfair that my kiddos have a luxury start to life. I dare anyone to complain about my cars or house as being unfair. And, I would love to see him survive the hours and stress it takes even still to pay for this unfairness, even now that I have some weeks I can enjoy my time off. DH has not had a whole day off in 5 years. Yep, he has worked 1500 days in a row!

Finally, if anyone said my DS had an unfair advantage while he endured medical school, became the chief resident of an entire hospital or became an ER physician, I dare him just to stay up once for 72 hours while keeping multiple people alive. Or, if anyone says my DD17 has an unfair advantage becoming a grand national champion dancer or when she obtained a contract at a large computer company, I would just ask him to take off his shoes. Oh, I see there are toe nails. Then, obviously, someone has not worked as hard as DD. And, oh, working 24 hours in a row online over and over again as well as 6 or 7 hours every single day to get a contract is not in the schedule, then quit complaining. The only advantage she had was being a homeschooler so her schedule was flexible. But, even if she was not, she still would have found a way to achieve success.

Yes, life is unfair, no doubt. But, in the US, at least, there is a certain fairness to it as well.

 

You sure see a different (and small) segment of life compared to what I see.  The wealthy kids I went to school with (and know from our own area) don't have parents working as much as you claim.  They have very enviable vacations - the daughter of one doctor told me their family goes to Bora Bora (my own dream destination) every year - on top of other places.  They've certainly had a number of days off in the past 5 years...

 

Now the mom I know (who works 3 jobs) at our favorite Taco place rarely gets a day off.  She took half a day off for her birthday recently and was very happy to be able to do - nothing.  They aren't terribly wealthy.  Maybe that will change in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it.  She is, however, always quite happy when we talk together and keeps on her son to do well in school.  ;)

 

Oh geez people. I couldn't care less about ivy schools. This isn't about getting low income kids into Ivy's schools as some sort of status symbol due to their parents envy.

And no one is talking about wallowing in self pity and not even bothering to try.

And yes, obviously I'm not posting this message from some third world ghetto where I can't even get clean water.

One should hope we can raise the bar a bit for our society instead of just patting shoulders and telling half or more of our citizenry they should learn to just be glad they aren't as bad off as whatever horrid example trumped up and quit complaining bc it's just irritating to the higher classes.

And I disagree that everyone wants the things I've mentioned. I think a significant part of our society thinks low classes deserve to be lower classes. Even though they refuse to state such bc that's distasteful, their actions state otherwise.

 

Sometimes when I read your posts (or similar ones on this thread), I get wondering.  It honestly seems like those who "make it" have a different attitude.

 

I saw your later post on things you want (we both want), universal health care, access to education, etc, but those aren't here now and aren't likely to be coming soon, so do we wallow in a pity party or do we encourage people to enjoy life while working to change what they can?

 

I don't have time to post thoughts right now, but I've been reading on a theme this year of social mobility, inequality, etc. Maybe I'm trying to come to grips with the trajectory of my life until now, lol.

I highly recommend the "trilogy" of Hillbilly Elegy, Evicted, and The Broken Ladder.

Success is just that, but looks different based on circumstances. Mobility requires personal and social sacrifices, in both directions. Social and economic inequality deeply affect both.

 

I'm reading The Hillbilly Elegy now... it's ok, but honestly I liked the Glass Castle more, so if you haven't read that one already, it's worth picking up.

 

We aren't going to ever get rid of the poor entirely and there's always going to be some inequality, but we should strive to reduce it as much as possible.

We could start by offering a universal healthcare and quality education programs. No one should ever have to choose work based on whether their employer will pay for medical care. No child should be denied a genuine quality education bc they had the poor luck to be born in the wrong zipcode. Efforts should also be made to desegregate communities based on income. Housing should be required to have a mix of low income, medium income and high income zones mixed in together. These wouldn't fix all the problems, but I firmly believe it would be a solid good start.

 

Exactly whose houses/land are you taking and who are you forcing to move?  Do we now assign housing to people - at what age?  Are we trying for "The Giver" as our ultimate lifestyle?

 

And again, do we all sit around twiddling our thumbs while we wait for these things to happen or do we point people in directions to assist themselves with what IS available, reminding them they don't need to wallow in self pity along the way showing them that plenty of folks are in their situation, so they aren't alone?


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#96 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:15 AM

I don't see how this would even be possible. There are 125 million families in the US. They currently live somewhere. So, tear down at least half the homes in all areas, and start over with building lower income homes in the nicer areas and building nicer homes in the poor areas?


Not at all like that. It wouldn't happen over night or even in just in a year. But if zoning laws were changed and city planners mandated to accommodate diverse income levels, over time, we could see a positive shift. It wouldn't even have to include tearing down homes. Something as simple as allowing huge homes to accommodate more than one family would help. They could be converted easily into multi dwellings. Rent caps would help. Insisting that transit systems have to be accommodated even in wealthier areas would also help.
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#97 creekland

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:28 AM

My husband and I have lived with different levels of income. We found happiness when we were poor. We found happines when we had middle incomes. We find happiness now that we have more income. Although both dh and I were graduates of a top 10 school, no legacy benefit for any of our children. We paid for our children's educations with scholarships,loans we are paying for our children with some of their help, self pay for a lot of it, and also GI bill. No, my dh did not enter for that reason and neither did that above poster's husband since the GI bill has only been around since sometime after 9/11. My kids were all born before then so that wasn't a factor in his deciding to join the service.

I have also found that at all levels of income, people of other incomes often have great misunderstandings about your situation. My recent one that I have come across is so many people's assumption that we can afford to travel to New Zealand to see our daughter while she is there on winter semester. I finally blurted out well because after paying 25,000 for her to do this (it would have cost a bit less for her to have done the semester at her own college but not that much less) and helping to pay for other kid's loans, we don't have a spare 6K to spend right now. So while I could be sad and unhappy that I can't go and I know some other parents are going to go, I am happy for our technology and how dd and I got to dance together through Hangout and our phones last night while dh and I attended a fundraising party to raise money for space camp scholarships. Well I shouldn't really say that we can't afford to go to NZ to see her. We could if we chose to cut 6K from our charitable spending. But that is another thing, I may have more money coming in but I feel that makes it so I need to be giving more (both amount and percentagewise). I know much wealthier people than us (we actually have negative wealth if you use one of those calculators since we have a large mortgage but I don't consider them completely accurate since they don't account for the fact of our retirement or our healthcare) that do a lot of charitable giving. I know wealthy people that have funded educations for the poor.

We camped with our kids in a not expensive tent and travelled. We stayed at hotels in Europe when we lived there which were very spartan and travelled though at other times we stayed in B and Bs and regular hotels. We would do cost savings like having a bathroom down the road.

Try to focus on what you have and family is most important.

 

Ditto on the bold and underlined part.

 

Ditto to much of the rest too - including trying to figure out if we can go to Jordan this fall while youngest son is over there.  For us, it wouldn't cut back charitable giving, but it would mean taking on some debt until we can pay it off.  We haven't decided yet if we will do it or not.

 

Oh, and when I joined the military for the paid education it was ROTC, not GI bill.  Still no regrets.  I graduated college with only 2K in debt and saved my mom from needing any too.  My kids have loans and we're working on paying our share for them to go (or have gone) to college.  Middle son is doing med school totally on loans and a small scholarship + medium sized grant they gave him.

 

It would be super nice to have a "money is no object" budget, but I'm not going to wallow in self pity because we don't have it and never will.  I tweak what we do have to keep us housed, fed, clothed, health share, and then prioritize what we want with the rest when there is extra.  It IS nicer to do this with more income - far easier to just replace the washing machine when it breaks if a repair isn't easy (and we replaced ours from a secondhand shop - other times we pick auctions) - but I never needed to be at that stage to enjoy life day to day.


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#98 Murphy101

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:28 AM

Oh for craps sake people. I'm not wallowing. No one on this thread is wallowing. Pointing out what needs to happen to improve things and what the problems are is not wallowing. It's part of working towards a solution.

As for money not being tied to happiness.

I am happy, but I'm not stupid or deluded.

Money might not buy happiness but it sure as hell buys things that help.

I am happy and Dh is happy. All our kids seem very happy and productive people too.

We had the money to buy insulin from Canada this month.
To suggest if we didn't have the money to do that, and were of course unhappy about it, it's just because we were either choosing to wallow in self pity or not working hard enough is BS.
To suggest we should just be happy we aren't living in some war torn third world country is also BS.

People need healthcare and education and places to live safely and the opportunity to attain gainful employment for a just wage.

Pointing out how wrong it is that they often don't have those things in one of the richest first world countries is not a pity party or laziness. Dammit.
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#99 SKL

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:32 AM

In Germany, all students have access to free post-secondary education. Those who cannot attend university receive post-high school education in technical colleges, vocational schools, apprenticeships.

Students who were tracked on the non-college track and attened the ten year school can complete a three year program that lets them earn the diploma needed to qualify for university. Any adult can also sit the examination to receive this diploma without having to attend a formal program.

Oh, and nobody has to go into debt and possibly bankruptcy because of medical cost. Which is a major cause for personal bankruptcy in the US.

 

Having education and health care for all goes a long way in lessening social inequalities.

 

That's Germany.  Yes college is "free," but only if you test high.  Yes you can still get "free" trade education until the equivalent of 13th grade, though not everyone goes past 10th still.  You can get "free" public education a similar amount of time in the US also, and then "free" or on-the-job training etc.  Of course I say "free" in quotes because it is paid for by the taxpayers' relatively high tax rates.

 

I would love to see a study that shows the how the parents' economic class correlates with acceptance into the "free" universities.  If there is a correlation, then that is the middle class paying to educate the wealthy.

 

My previous post wasn't specific to Germany, though Germany is included in the generalizations.  Other similarly situated countries have different rules for admission and college finance.  Yes some get free higher education.  That is the case in the US as well.  I just don't think the reality in any country is as great as the popular descriptions make them sound.  We can talk about ideals, but they are ideals.  Let's not kid ourselves, or get demoralized because the real doesn't look like the ideal, in any country.


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#100 DawnM

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

Not at all like that. It wouldn't happen over night or even in just in a year. But if zoning laws were changed and city planners mandated to accommodate diverse income levels, over time, we could see a positive shift. It wouldn't even have to include tearing down homes. Something as simple as allowing huge homes to accommodate more than one family would help. They could be converted easily into multi dwellings. Rent caps would help. Insisting that transit systems have to be accommodated even in wealthier areas would also help.

 

But you are talking about dense areas of population and so tearing down would be necessary.  In NY, LA, Chicago, the buildings are already built and close together.  There is no new community being built within the cities.  Individual houses maybe, but not a full section.  

 

I don't see this ever happening.  Gentrification, yes, but changing the entire system, no.  

 

Our area is a nicer community.  We live 10 miles from the nearest public transit system.  Since transits are county run, our county has said they won't pay, so we aren't getting one.  And even if we did, the narrow 2 lane roads and houses spaced far apart would be an issue.

 

But I don't agree that my area needs to accommodate low income housing.


Edited by DawnM, 16 July 2017 - 10:36 AM.

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