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Moxie

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

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We can start by offering public school students classes at their instructional level. No more spending the majority of one's time in review. Or being told to grad early because the school board refuses to offer AP or IB. Or disparate impact means an academically qualified white, Jewish, or Asian male can't get a seat in a class he needs,and is given study hall instead. Equal opportunity.

 

PS is a whole different animal.  Three of our inner city schools offered AP classes this past year.  Many of the classes didn't have enough kids signed up and they had to disband and consolidate the 5 kids per class into one class of 15.

 

And then you have the kids who's parents don't want them in the "review class" even though the schools say they should be and fight to get Johnny (or Jamal, or Jorge) into the class that doesn't offer the review and ends up failing.  And failing is an entirely different issue.  Teachers can't fail anymore.  But I will save that for another thread.

 

Many states are moving towards free community college.  I think that is a step in the right direction.

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We can start by offering public school students classes at their instructional level. No more spending the majority of one's time in review. Or being told to grad early because the school board refuses to offer AP or IB. Or disparate impact means an academically qualified white, Jewish, or Asian male can't get a seat in a class he needs,and is given study hall instead. Equal opportunity.

Some of the elite schools that the wealthiest students in the US attend do not offer AP, IB or dual credit courses.  And, those students are not encouraged to graduate early.  

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In a PP I mentioned DH and my "little brother." One thing I just thought of was that I do think poorer people do have an extra hurdle to overcome to be successful than the wealthier or middle class have. I did/do observe this first hand.

 

It is the mentality of poor people being threaten when one of their own attempts to reach beyond what they all have. It often comes out as, "Oh, you're better than us, huh?" Or, "Gettin' too big for your britches!" Or, "That's not for us." There is a resentment toward people who try or who refuse to take the hand outs and want to do it on their own. There is a lot of negative language toward those within the poorer communities trying to get education or to better their circumstances. Many do give up just because their own communities pull them back down.

 

You do not find this as much in middle class or upper class communities. There, there is more encouragement toward upward mobility in terms of material wealth and education. Fewer people would find upward mobility threatening.

 

Why do you all think this is?

Spot on. We have a school board, all exteachers from cities that moved to the country to work with rural students, that has the city poverty attitude of only the neediest get resources, the rest have enough and get nothing. State law is to offer all compelled high school students five and a half credits each year in classes that are appropriate to their college and career plan. This means our nonremedial compelled seniors get five periods of study hall unless they take art or are in all the bands. They struggle mightily at state u because they are underprepared.

 

The administrators of the K12 school here are now declaring certain careers as elitist. First time in my life I have ever heard Mechanical Engineering declared elitist. That and Ag were popular majors for farm kids in my day. The district is steering them into computer graphics and on to training programs in welding or lathe operator, instead of offering precalc, calc, and honors sciences and on to eng at state u. STEM is STEAM,there are 19 different art classes (not including bamd or chorus) but its pay to play for math and science after Regents level. Nonfarm people are voting with their feet and moving to the title one district adjacent,.they have college prep.for free and don't laugh at aspiring stem students. Or moving to another state.

 

Too much politics. Simplify it amd give every student access to college prep for free. And if that's cc fine, but provide transport. Ridiculous to expect rural kids who aren't old enough to drive to 'find a way' to a CC 20 miles away.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Rich people need to stop thinking that the only rich people work hard.

I obviously missed some posts.

 

There is a huge amount of work that gets destroyed by war, illness, a simple accident (Ooops there goes our savings). I think that is why it is so important to help each other.

 

I have heard stupid comments about "lazy" poor people but not here on this thread. Most of the comments come from people (at least in my little world) who started out dirt poor. That is why they get the attitude because they did it everyone should be able to. Some don't even have a high school education. I have to remind them that they still had a break. The things going right have to overcome the things going wrong. The time and place where they were born provided certain opportunities and they seized them. Heck, the fact that you're not born already addicted to drugs is a huge privilege over someone else. Huge! And many off the opportunities they had don't exist now. Of course, there are new opportunities that look very different.

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Spot on. We have a school board, all exteachers from cities that moved to the country to work with rural students, that has the city poverty attitude of only the neediest get resources, the rest have enough and get nothing. State law is to offer all compelled high school students five and a half credits each year in classes that are appropriate to their college and career plan. This means our nonremedial compelled seniors get five periods of study hall unless they take art or are in all the bands. They struggle mightily at state u because they are underprepared.

 

The administrators of the K12 school here are now declaring certain careers as elitist. First time in my life I have ever heard Mechanical Engineering declared elitist. That and Ag were popular majors for farm kids in my day. The district is steering them into computer graphics and on to training programs in welding or lathe operator, instead of offering precalc, calc, and honors sciences and on to eng at state u. STEM is STEAM,there are 19 different art classes (not including bamd or chorus) but its pay to play for math and science after Regents level. People are voting with their feet and moving to the title one district adjacent,.they have college prep.for free and don't laugh at aspiring stem students.

 

Too much politics. Simplify it amd give every student access to college prep for free. And if that's cc fine, but provide transport. Ridiculous to expect rural kids who aren't old enough to drive to 'find a way' to a CC 20 miles away.

 

 

:scared:

 

Wow, I haven't heard that one before.  How do they get in their 4 years of English, 4 years of Math, 4 years of Science, 4th year of language, etc....????

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In a PP I mentioned DH and my "little brother." One thing I just thought of was that I do think poorer people do have an extra hurdle to overcome to be successful than the wealthier or middle class have. I did/do observe this first hand.

 

It is the mentality of poor people being threaten when one of their own attempts to reach beyond what they all have. It often comes out as, "Oh, you're better than us, huh?" Or, "Gettin' too big for your britches!" Or, "That's not for us." There is a resentment toward people who try or who refuse to take the hand outs and want to do it on their own. There is a lot of negative language toward those within the poorer communities trying to get education or to better their circumstances. Many do give up just because their own communities pull them back down.

 

You do not find this as much in middle class or upper class communities. There, there is more encouragement toward upward mobility in terms of material wealth and education. Fewer people would find upward mobility threatening.

 

Why do you all think this is?

 

A coupling of envy and misery loves company - perhaps with some worry that the kids will leave home and never return to be there for/with them afterward - or in some cases, abandon a religious belief.  

 

Among the kids, the biggest hurdle is getting them to realize they can do it (when they are capable of doing it).  Then they are either lucky and have encouraging parents or unlucky and get those you describe.

 

I own a mobile home in a tornado prone area. I would like them to have more and better options than that. 

 

I would like them to be able to take a class at the local CC without trying to figure out how to feed 5 people on $200 for a month - this one is pulled directly from my life next month - my DH is returning to school for more training. He gets tuition reimbursement - yay! - it doesn't pay until January - boo! Only place to pull it from is food or put it on a credit card (which was used 4 months ago to pay for the water heater and car going out at the same time). 

 

I'd like them to be able to have a public school option for my grandbabies that will nurture and educate them to the fullest in case my kids don't want to or can't homeschool them.

 

I don't think that is asking for them to be in the 1% or even to have a fraction of the advantages those people have.

 

My kids are working hard, and they will most likely live healthy, productive, happy lives because of their hard work and the advantages I've outlined before. I do find it discouraging to know though that just because they didn't start in the middle class, they are not likely to get as far as those who don't try as hard as they do but started out with richer parents. When some get a head start and then end even farther ahead, it means the next generation in the relay is starting at an even bigger disadvantage. I don't find it to be a great metaphor because anything you do to improve your station is an advantage, but somedays it kind of feels like it is - like when I have to more than halve the grocery budget because it's the only line item that is flexible to pay for one measly cc class...

 

I have already told them they are free to leave the area; in fact, I've told them straight out it's better for them to leave the area. I wasn't free to leave for a variety of reasons and now I am helping to care for aging in-laws, so we won't be moving anytime soon. This move alone will give them a leg up as our area never recovered from the death of American manufacturing.

 

Once again, I am happy and content with my life.  I am a first generation college graduate; my family tree is on an uphill climb (my grandmother graduated high school the year her youngest child did; my grandfather never graduated high school at all). I am not comparing myself to Bob Billionaire or Maddy Millionaire or even Henry Hundred-Thousand-a-Year. But I also see the discrepencies (I cannot figure out the spelling of that word, sorry!) in our society and I feel there has to be a better way for those kids in the bottom 3, especially the bottom 2, quintiles to move up the ladder. Do I know what that better way is? Not really, but there has to be a way.

 

It sounds like your kids are likely to have better options and kudos for you for doing what you can to try to put them on that path.  I recall my grandmother telling me many times she hated washing all those dishes in her youth (along with not getting to keep her pay) and she determined then that any kids she had would have a better life.  Once old enough she took a job in a factory (where she met my grandpa) and then once she had kids she learned hairdressing to continue bringing in an income even though most ladies didn't work back in the 40s when my dad was born.  At the time I just enjoyed her stories for the "story" factor.  As I've grown older and dealt with budgets of my own I've gotten a much larger appreciation of all she did to change the pattern of her family (her parents immigrated here from Prussia, very typically having nothing to start with and living on the "wrong" side of the tracks because that's what they could afford).

 

She never had an education past 4th grade, but worked hard to educate herself (via reading whatever she could get her hands on) and was of the mindset that her kids would get an education.  She gave them that mindset rather than the one listed above - a "can do" attitude (even if it takes work and finding connections rather than already having them) vs a "that'll never be you" mindset.  My dad only got so far - college education, nice job, but then mental issues hit (totally unrelated to his upbringing TBH).  I like to think I got a step farther, albeit, a good part by not inheriting the mental issues bit.

 

ps  Have you checked with the financial aid office at the cc to see if there are options - letting them (an adult, not a student worker) know your financial situation?  Sometimes there are options - sometimes not - but it never hurts to check.  Have you checked with local food banks to see if they have opportunities for augmenting your food?  We donate to some around us - and it's people exactly like you we're hoping to help give a step up as they're putting in the bulk of the work.

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Wow, this thread could be broke into housing and education policies. I'm not sure I can keep track.

 

 

Where I live zoning definitely favors the "haves". They aren't even neccessarily rich but they will fight to keep out high density or cheaper housing because of "more traffic" or crime. The restrictions are ridiculous. It is great to make sure a fire truck can get to high density housing or something like that but really they are just trying to keep their housing price high and their tax maintained street to themselves.

 

This is a good thing to fight at a local level if you want to make things easier for the lower/middle class.

Edited by frogger

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In a PP I mentioned DH and my "little brother." One thing I just thought of was that I do think poorer people do have an extra hurdle to overcome to be successful than the wealthier or middle class have. I did/do observe this first hand.

 

It is the mentality of poor people being threaten when one of their own attempts to reach beyond what they all have. It often comes out as, "Oh, you're better than us, huh?" Or, "Gettin' too big for your britches!" Or, "That's not for us." There is a resentment toward people who try or who refuse to take the hand outs and want to do it on their own. There is a lot of negative language toward those within the poorer communities trying to get education or to better their circumstances. Many do give up just because their own communities pull them back down.

 

You do not find this as much in middle class or upper class communities. There, there is more encouragement toward upward mobility in terms of material wealth and education. Fewer people would find upward mobility threatening.

 

Why do you all think this is?

 

I am sure there's lots of reasons.  Notably from this thread, is possibly that they've been told to be grateful with their lot in life so many times that they think it's uppity and ungrateful to not be content with it.

Edited by Murphy101
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:scared:

 

Wow, I haven't heard that one before. How do they get in their 4 years of English, 4 years of Math, 4 years of Science, 4th year of language, etc....????

By following state law on offering academically qualified 8th graders accelerated courses (Regents Algebra and a Regents Science here). That leaves them with no college prep science senior year * unless they drive to a CC and buy a class, study on their own, or pay for a class (and connection) via internet. All math classes are included and taught for the pass, so there are units missing that would be included if an honors version was offered, and that makes CC Calc very hard. There is no college prep math offered for free after Regents Alg. 2. Fourth year of language is 11th grade, fifth is not offered. The district, according to the Stanford study published in the NyTimes last year, is now achieving dead last in its demographic, 2 years behind average.

 

* the science is changing...but it won't be AP or honors Physics offered,.that's considered elitist. It will be AP Enviro or AP Chem,.as the board agreed with my argument that rural areas with a population aging in place just might need a hometown doctor or two, and either of those courses would work for the future nurses and physical.therapists and enhance their chance of not failing out of a four year nursing or science degree program. There is also public pressure to not waste a half day of school with multiple study halls...app 85% are thumb twiddling in 3 to 5 study halls. In short, the board is not preparing students forcareers beyond district boundaries, and its controlling who gets in to the college.prep seats. Many academically qualified.can't get seats.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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There are plenty of examples of successful mixed income neighborhoods worldwide that did not start out that way. Careful mixed use zoning can be done. It obviously takes time when you have very income based road based neighborhoods. Shady practices already created those low income neighborhoods in the first place. After the civil rights laws allowed people to move neighborhoods got blacklisted and cut off from the highway. The churches and civic organizations followed the flight of the middle class people in the neighborhood. The highway was built through the low income neighborhoods cutting it off from jobs and new real estate policies that blacklisted neighborhoods made it impossible to get a mortgage in these now low income neighborhoods. Adapting smart growth policies is successful in many locations.

 

High income people donate less money per capita then lower income people. Changing the tax system so they pay less is not going to help low income neighborhoods or schools at all. The gap would only widen as it has with trickle down policies. It has not happen in other locations with a less progressive tax system.

 

A lot of the stories of surviving against all odds are with kids who already learn really well. Forgetting something you learn is not always about lazines and wanting to play video games. Having 3 months off in the summer with no learning at all does not help. Learning challenges are not rare and even not having learning challenges if in the wrong environment kids can struggle. If a school is turning out kids mostly kids below level then most people in the environment are going to be at similar levels and it will be the norm. If a kid is struggling chances are they will not be the ones who are the worse off and get the help. The methods taught might be really poor plus they have to adjust for the students they are getting. The families cannot afford tutoring. In a lot of places you need to be 2 years behind to even get help. If you are reading a little below level and your math is below level chances are you will not get help. Your odds of graduating college needing remedial classes is much lower. If you have a student who struggles a bit in the wrong neighborhood it is really hard with really low odds. Sometimes no matter how the kids tries they are just not getting the right kind of help or instruction.

Edited by MistyMountain
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In a PP I mentioned DH and my "little brother." One thing I just thought of was that I do think poorer people do have an extra hurdle to overcome to be successful than the wealthier or middle class have. I did/do observe this first hand.

 

It is the mentality of poor people being threaten when one of their own attempts to reach beyond what they all have. It often comes out as, "Oh, you're better than us, huh?" Or, "Gettin' too big for your britches!" Or, "That's not for us." There is a resentment toward people who try or who refuse to take the hand outs and want to do it on their own. There is a lot of negative language toward those within the poorer communities trying to get education or to better their circumstances. Many do give up just because their own communities pull them back down.

 

You do not find this as much in middle class or upper class communities. There, there is more encouragement toward upward mobility in terms of material wealth and education. Fewer people would find upward mobility threatening.

 

Why do you all think this is?

The book "Hillbilly Elegy" discusses this. In the author's own family, those that successfully moved to higher income levels were generally those that moved away.
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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

ETA: Also, you can't conflate individual problems with economic mobility with systemic reasons for inequality: racial and gender discrimination, the widening gap between the riches and poorest, the views on the role of government in how we treat and care for those on the lower ends of the social ladder. Those things affect individual circumstances, of course, but applying group dynamics into all individual situations gets messy.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

Best explanation ever! You get a cookie from me! 🪠I like this so much!!!

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I am sure there's lots of reasons. Notably from this thread, is possibly that they've been told to be grateful with their lot in life so many times that they think it's uppity and ungrateful to not be content with it.

Yeah it's so not this. The people I've brushed shoulders with in this situation don't interact with those on higher rungs than them. They have not been told to be content because there is no one around who is different than them to say something so horrible. They have had opportunities to have education in school. But they don't. And it's a generational thing too (I've seen it from grandparents on right down to the third and fourth generation).

 

A lot of nice people here from many walks of life have given great comments. But thank you, at least, for starting this discussion.

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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

My parents pushed college despite never going themselves, but it really threw them for a loop when I left home for boarding school at 15. Your story reminds me of how my mom still talks 25 years later about how she and my dad felt so out of place at every parent/family activity at my high school. She never felt comfortable because my parents were factory workers, and they were expected to make small talk with doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. She still shakes her head at one Choir concert they came to, and we sang Vivaldi's Four Seasons in its original language. They were expecting Jingle Bells and Rudolph. 

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The book "Hillbilly Elegy" discusses this. In the author's own family, those that successfully moved to higher income levels were generally those that moved away.

And another reason for that...

 

Fear that their children will grow up and leave them, not just physically, but emotionally and family wise. And it's a valid fear in many ways bc as you note and as my own life has taught me - that's often what happens.

 

My foo absolutely says those things and more. But really we see this on the board here all the time in various ways. People who choose differently make others feel negatively judged, no matter how much it is not intended.

 

I home school. Oh? Aren't public schools good enough? And what's they say about those who send their kids to PS? For me, it says nothing other than that I home school, but invariably someone in PS won't take it that way.

 

Now imagine how that same dynamic plays for every single thing in their daily life at home, at school, at work in their community.

 

Because the only way out currently offering even a slim chance requires that. They have to change everything; how they speak, dress, spend their free time, their money and meet (or choose not to meet) social expectations. They become an outsider in their home and small community.

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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

ETA: Also, you can't conflate individual problems with economic mobility with systemic reasons for inequality: racial and gender discrimination, the widening gap between the riches and poorest, the views on the role of government in how we treat and care for those on the lower ends of the social ladder. Those things affect individual circumstances, of course, but applying group dynamics into all individual situations gets messy.

You explained this dynamic excellently. Thank you. Yes. Yes times 100. I have often said my foo lives in a separate alternate universe from me. It sucks but it is what it is.

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This explanation is really good. Thank you for detailing it.

 

Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

ETA: Also, you can't conflate individual problems with economic mobility with systemic reasons for inequality: racial and gender discrimination, the widening gap between the riches and poorest, the views on the role of government in how we treat and care for those on the lower ends of the social ladder. Those things affect individual circumstances, of course, but applying group dynamics into all individual situations gets messy.

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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, eshe immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

I do think there is a growing awareness of this issue and some colleges have special programs just for first generation college students to help with this and other issues unique to these students. I do understand how it can be a problem for many students, though.

 

But other parents without college education do completely embrace the experiences of their children. My dad never went to college and my mom went to a Catholic nursing school for her RN (completely different experience from traditional college), but they placed a very, very high value on college for their children and completely welcomed the new ideas, food, music, etc we brought home and incorporated much into their own lives. I think I turned my dad into a feminist during my college years 😱.

 

But I'll readily admit there were times when I was unhappy at my Ivy Leaugue grad school, and I felt like my parents just didn't get it because it was so far outside of their experiences, but they were never anything but supportive, loving, encouraging, and proud. So I can understand how difficult it would be for those without that support and understanding.

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Oh, good gravy! I'm not saying never (although I have lived in this town for almost my entire life, and we have never in those 40+ years had a graduate of the public schools attend an Ivy League). I am saying when the average to good school district has almost 1/3 in the lowest level of achievement and only 2% in the highest level, where do you think the focus is? It is NOT on helping those 2% achieve everything they possibly could. What about the school district next to me that has even worse stats - you better believe their focus isn't on those few kids who may "make it".

....

 

In my high school, the teachers very informally encouraged the promising students.  I remember many after-school chats with them.  And teachers would provide encouraging feedback on our graded papers etc.  It may not have looked like much, but it was valuable.  It made a difference.

 

I feel we shouldn't underestimate the power of inspiration.  It doesn't have to cost much to make a difference.

 

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Life isn't fair, get used to it. 

 

My dad used to say this. This is the opposite of what I teach my kids. I tell them that life isn't fair and they should never get used to that. Injustice (unfairness) is not ok, and we need to see it and understand it and do whatever we can to address it. 

 

The stories we tell ourselves about what we deserve and what is possible deeply impact the injustices we are able to see. My father also said the same thing about my three dyslexic children ( "life isn't fair, get over it and just work harder") because he couldn't imagine schools being anything other than what they are. 

 

The frustration of the OP is not a bad thing. Frustration is not envy. It is a tool we can use to better understand injustice. 

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And another reason for that...

 

Fear that their children will grow up and leave them, not just physically, but emotionally and family wise. And it's a valid fear in many ways bc as you note and as my own life has taught me - that's often what happens.

 

My foo absolutely says those things and more. But really we see this on the board here all the time in various ways. People who choose differently make others feel negatively judged, no matter how much it is not intended.

 

I home school. Oh? Aren't public schools good enough? And what's they say about those who send their kids to PS? For me, it says nothing other than that I home school, but invariably someone in PS won't take it that way.

 

Now imagine how that same dynamic plays for every single thing in their daily life at home, at school, at work in their community.

 

Because the only way out currently offering even a slim chance requires that. They have to change everything; how they speak, dress, spend their free time, their money and meet (or choose not to meet) social expectations. They become an outsider in their home and small community.

That is only if they choose to stay insular. My cousins and I are first gen college, but our family didn't exclude us..we are mostly.from a group that immigrated by choice in the 1700s,or during.the westward expa sion, from a culture of literacy. We dc were expected to listen to our teachers and learn. We were to bring back interesting ideas to share, just as our ancestors did when they brought the buckboard into the city occassionally, or sent for things back east. It was expected that we observe, think, and learn and that our education would make life better for all. My dh is from recent immigrant, unskilled city poverty. Education is threatening,because it takes the social safety net cash off the table. One might fail. And one doesn't garden or keep animals if living rural, that's for peasants. One is to get a govt job and retire asap on pension. Forget anything but the practical. The 3rd gen of course has little pension opportunity, and those that couldnt get on with the state invested in themselves and succeeded. Its hard to talk to the olders, because we youngere don't have the culture of sitting and whiling away the time. To me its strange. My parents would listen to my band director at the high school.concert and come away with new info. It was a treat for them. For my inlaws, no interest. Lifelong learning is not for them, by their own choice. Edited by Heigh Ho
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My dh was first generation college and while his father never had any issues with it, his mom really felt inadequate. She didn't like me because she thought I took dh away from the area. What she didn't understand was that dh was desperate to get away from that neighborhood/section of town. She refused to talk to dh for 3 or 4 days when he signed the papers to attend Officer Training School and serve his country. One reason I think she was resentful is that she was forced by her parents to leave high school and go to work. Also, she was left with three unsuccesful sons and the only son to graduate college was going away. But he had gone to a college away and had even been spending the last summer away too. So the wall existed for his mom but not for his dad. It may have been because his father interacted with wealthy people (he was both a milk driver delivering to stores and restaurants and also a school bus driver/limo driver but the schools were either private or the kids were special needs).

 

As to success, statistically it seems like it is very early childhood along with genetics that plays the biggest role. The first studies of this kind were using books in the home to differentiate environment. But then they found even more accurate predictors were things like vocabulary levels of parents and how much time they spent talking with their kids. I don't see anyway you can legislate anything about that- we have to all dumb down our language? Our family supports books for young children in poverty. I have done tutoring of Title One kids. But I can't save everyone or maybe anyone. And I sure as hell don't want idiotic policies like we can't teach physics or encourage mechanical engineering because it is somehow elite. The problem of schools without good programs has been around a long time., In the late 70's, we had a kid transfer into our high school in the DC area because his school in WY didn't have enough classes for him to go to college.

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Interesting thoughts about how less-educated parents may feel about kids joining that other world.  I have never really given much thought to how my parents may have felt about their kids making that transition to a lesser or greater degree.  I do recall a few moments when I was very young and said something insensitive.  I guess it must have been a quiet struggle for them.  After all, they were the ones who always wanted us to go to college.  It probably helped that they had been to community college / regional state college campus when we were kids, though that was still far removed from "campus life."

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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

ETA: Also, you can't conflate individual problems with economic mobility with systemic reasons for inequality: racial and gender discrimination, the widening gap between the riches and poorest, the views on the role of government in how we treat and care for those on the lower ends of the social ladder. Those things affect individual circumstances, of course, but applying group dynamics into all individual situations gets messy.

those are not things that DH really encountered. I am not saying that that isn't true for a lot of people but for a lot of other people they are trying to improve their financial situation they don't have the same type of college experience. The only person in my family who has EVER gone *away* to college is DD21. My grandpa went to school in his 40s (on moms side). My dad lived with his parents. I lived with mine. My DH and I were married and in our own house. "The college experience" means something very different for us. And it will for a lot of other people as well.
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I'm not Minnie but am someone who worked three jobs sometimes and had a child while attending college full time.  It was brutal!   My school days were MWF so on those days I would work a fast food job from 4:30am to 10:30am with classes at noon and on.  T/TH I worked for a construction company doing whatever grunt work needed for the apartments  they were building.  On F evenings /Sat mornings/Sun mornings, I worked at a local them park.  DH and I were married so he worked the opposite closing shift at a fast food restaurant.   We usually had one car during these times but sometimes had two.  There would have been no way for us to do this without transportation.  When I took summer classes, I only worked the theme park and fast food job.   Homework was done whenever I could.  We did this for right about two years and it almost killed our marriage.  In hindsight, we'd not do it again.  It took too much of a toll on us.   

 

 

I am not the person you asked, but I'll tell you how I did it. 

 

At first I worked at a summer camp during the day and retail job at night and bakery on Sunday - 4am-4pm

 

During school year, I had a retail job and teller job during the week and I worked sundays at a bakery.  Going to school full time means that you are only in school for 12 hrs (minus the commute).

 

I didn't have any children and I lived with my parents in a small apartment. 

 

My mom also had two jobs and my dad had a full time job, so between the three of us we had 6 jobs.

 

And most of the families I knew did similar things.  I didn't know a single person who was going to college and didn't have either a few part time jobs or almost a full time job.  But as I said - family support is huge, bc everyone pulled resources together and tried to better the whole family. 

 

Thanks for sharing these experiences.  I do think though that it requires a pretty specific combination of circumstances (in addition to awesome physical and mental stamina-kudos to you guys!) that not everyone is capable of, even if they desired it.

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Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

Thank you for explaining this. If these cutural aspects are such a big obstacle to social mobility, isn't that something that no policies etc can cure? If parents aren't not just pushing their kids to better themselves, but instead ostracize them and hold them back, what can society do to counteract this?

 

It also raises another question: why do some cultures of immigrants not have this problem? They arrive with nothing, and parents who often have little education themselves value and push education for their kids. What makes them different? Why do they not suffer from the hillbilly elegy syndrome?

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It is interesting.  Where I live now, we have low, median, and high income housing.  They aren't all in the same place necessarily, but it is available.   I just can't really understand the mandate to build super low income housing in a wealthy area.     There are other options.

 

I would be happy if they just stopped trying to get rid of low income housing where it already is.  Most existing towns have a mix already.  The problem is the lower areas are slowly being forced out and the lower income people have no where left to live that is close to where they work.  I think that zoning should ensure at a minimum that there are enough affordable areas for the people who work in that area to live in that area.  That can be done without mandating an apartment complex next to McMansions.

 

In the example and question about tax money, the trailer parks I mentioned are a perfect example.  The parks are in pretty bad shape.  The push is to declare them unlivable and substandard, and thus pressure the owner to sell out the park to developers.  They then give the developers tax incentives to develop the lot into upper class homes.  What if instead they offered grant money to the residents to clean up and upgrade?  I can answer that for my area.. that's welfare!  That's giving people something they didn't work for!  Well, why does a developer who is going to make a ton of money on his upperclass homes need tax incentives more than lower income residents need help updating their homes?  That's okay, because that's "business".

 

There is a moral position that it is just not right to keep driving low income people away because you want nicer homes in the neighborhood.  

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What time periods are you comparing?  "Before we had publication education" is a broad term.  Are you talking about 1700s in Austria?  1800s is Massachusetts?  Availability of public schools for those in urban areas?  Availability of public schools for those in rural areas?  Mandatory schooling?  

 

Sorry, I meant to respond and then got distracted reading about what happened to teachers during the Great Depression.  :ohmy:  :sad:

 

I was specifically thinking about the concept that a certain level of education was something all children deserved, regardless of where they lived (rural is a good example) or their income level.   But I am actually interested in hearing how a free market would help in poor and disadvantaged areas where the funds are just not there.  Until this point, no, I have not heard a valid argument for that. Maybe another schooling discussion though?

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I am sure there's lots of reasons.  Notably from this thread, is possibly that they've been told to be grateful with their lot in life so many times that they think it's uppity and ungrateful to not be content with it.

 

Perhaps by those they know as others have mentioned.  No one on this board is saying it - except you.

 

A lot of the stories of surviving against all odds are with kids who already learn really well. Forgetting something you learn is not always about lazines and wanting to play video games. Having 3 months off in the summer with no learning at all does not help. Learning challenges are not rare and even not having learning challenges if in the wrong environment kids can struggle. If a school is turning out kids mostly kids below level then most people in the environment are going to be at similar levels and it will be the norm. If a kid is struggling chances are they will not be the ones who are the worse off and get the help. The methods taught might be really poor plus they have to adjust for the students they are getting. The families cannot afford tutoring. In a lot of places you need to be 2 years behind to even get help. If you are reading a little below level and your math is below level chances are you will not get help. Your odds of graduating college needing remedial classes is much lower. If you have a student who struggles a bit in the wrong neighborhood it is really hard with really low odds. Sometimes no matter how the kids tries they are just not getting the right kind of help or instruction.

 

I don't dispute the rest of what I've quoted, but with this (underlined) aspect, I was talking about capable, neurotypical kids - specifically, those in my classes I've taught.  I'll admit I got a chuckle thinking of how literally all the kids in my classes have understood what I meant (with 99% coming on board) and on a homeschool board about education, someone gets nitpicky.   :lol:

 

But then too, I realized that the part you've underlined is also a huge part of the problem, at least in our average school district.  Many of the teachers, admin, parents all feel their kids can't keep up with the geniuses that exist elsewhere, so they lower the bar and expectations.  Hubby and I have heard speeches from admin talking about just that... it always makes me furious.  The kids in my school district can fit the bell curve just like the ones I went to school with.  They are smart enough.  They may or may not have a privileged background (same as the ps where I went), but barring FAS, dyslexia, or similar other learning disabilities (since the majority do not have them) they CAN TOO keep up if reached so they put their heart into it.

 

There's a reason I have a standing offer of employment from my school should I ever want to go full time.  The handful of long term assignments I've done have pretty darn good success with all levels of students, and in math + science.  The few times folks have asked me for references for something or another, I've told them to call the school and ask to speak with any teacher in the math/science (sometimes others too) or kid 10th grade or higher.

 

Let a kid know they can do something - really can do it - they aren't stupid, and build a team atmosphere in your class (not team tests, but "team" in that everyone wants to learn/pass) and what you get can, indeed, be incredible - right up there on par with the good high school I attended myself. Kids try hard.  They want to learn when it's both interesting and they feel/see results of affirmation. The Bio Keystone is notoriously difficult for many kids in our state.  The semester I filled in full time only one of my students failed it.  I regret not being able to reach her TBH.  There truly are some tough issues with some kids, but it doesn't have to be the majority.

 

But yes, too many probably do believe they can't because folks have told them they can't.

 

Here's the thing with social mobility. Education creates a door, but in order to have a door, you need a wall to put it in. And when you step through that door, you are in another room. And you can't undo that. You will always know what it's like to be in that room, and your family and parents will never know what that's like unless they step through it themselves.

 

Every one of my friends who dropped out of college did so because they couldn't be in "that other room", away from their parents and grandparents and siblings. One of my friends just packed up and left college one day. She's now a single parent, living with relatives, working in fast food. And she's struggled, but she's happy, because that is a life that is familiar and doesn't demand she live in a world she wasn't raised in.

 

About three years into college, I came home for Christmas with a CD of our college's acapella group holiday performance. Basically, a knock off of Straight No Chaser. I played it excitedly while we put up the tree and told my mom (single parent, no college) all about the group's concert before break. I didn't pay attention to her reaction at the time.

 

Years later we were listening to Christmas songs on the radio, and when Straight No Chaser came on, she immediately turned it off. She told me she hates that group. Not because the music is bad, but because the music represents something she isn't part of: the college experience. I was a freaking music major, but I couldn't even share music with her because it means something different on opposite sides of that wall.

 

Nobody tells you this when you are a first-gen college student. And this part is nearly always left out of the conversation on mobility and success, because we aren't all having this conversation in the same "room".

 

ETA: Also, you can't conflate individual problems with economic mobility with systemic reasons for inequality: racial and gender discrimination, the widening gap between the riches and poorest, the views on the role of government in how we treat and care for those on the lower ends of the social ladder. Those things affect individual circumstances, of course, but applying group dynamics into all individual situations gets messy.

 

I think you're onto something - the difference between whether success can happen or likely won't.  My parents were both first gen college students, as was my hubby, and absolutely none experienced what you did.  My in-laws and grandparents enjoyed seeing their offspring's success and reveled in it - often bragging about it.  They love listening to college stories and while sometimes wistful that they didn't get to enjoy it themselves (esp my one grandmother and my FIL), they are super darn proud of their kids and wanting more success from their grandkids.  My entire family and in-laws are proud of middle son for making it into Med School (and proud of my others too, but Med School is an additional jump no one has done before).

 

And another reason for that...

 

Fear that their children will grow up and leave them, not just physically, but emotionally and family wise. And it's a valid fear in many ways bc as you note and as my own life has taught me - that's often what happens.

 

My foo absolutely says those things and more. But really we see this on the board here all the time in various ways. People who choose differently make others feel negatively judged, no matter how much it is not intended.

 

I home school. Oh? Aren't public schools good enough? And what's they say about those who send their kids to PS? For me, it says nothing other than that I home school, but invariably someone in PS won't take it that way.

 

Now imagine how that same dynamic plays for every single thing in their daily life at home, at school, at work in their community.

 

Because the only way out currently offering even a slim chance requires that. They have to change everything; how they speak, dress, spend their free time, their money and meet (or choose not to meet) social expectations. They become an outsider in their home and small community.

 

Again, I think this is all family dynamics and probably depends upon whether envy is there or "we all win when the team succeeds" is the general feeling.  My folks left their homes, but they're still super close to siblings (and grandparents when they were alive).  My mom has two sisters who never went to college and one who did.  All four often travel together now in their retirement years with the two college grads helping support (when needed) the two who went straight to the workforce - not unlike how my wealthy friends at that private school paid my way so I could go along on things.

 

My dad used to say this. This is the opposite of what I teach my kids. I tell them that life isn't fair and they should never get used to that. Injustice (unfairness) is not ok, and we need to see it and understand it and do whatever we can to address it. 

 

The stories we tell ourselves about what we deserve and what is possible deeply impact the injustices we are able to see. My father also said the same thing about my three dyslexic children ( "life isn't fair, get over it and just work harder") because he couldn't imagine schools being anything other than what they are. 

 

The frustration of the OP is not a bad thing. Frustration is not envy. It is a tool we can use to better understand injustice. 

 

I guess it's all in the delivery.  My kids have all grown up trying to fight unfairness that they see - trying to make the world a little better - just like their parents and grandparents do.  It's a big part of why they do what they do.  Youngest took a lower paying job this summer to work at a camp for underprivileged kids in an attempt to make their world better.  He's had some pretty good influence so far from what I can tell - he's quite loved.  Unfortunately, he's only seeing the kids for a week at a time, but hopefully every little drop helps.  They at least have a really good role model to consider - to realize the possibility is there.

 

But if one is going to wait until life is fair before engaging in it, it will be an awfully long wait I'm afraid.

Edited by creekland
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My dad used to say this. This is the opposite of what I teach my kids. I tell them that life isn't fair and they should never get used to that. Injustice (unfairness) is not ok, and we need to see it and understand it and do whatever we can to address it. 

 

I can think of a lot of things in life that I do not think are "fair" that are not caused by what I would consider "injustice"  

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Thank you for explaining this. If these cutural aspects are such a big obstacle to social mobility, isn't that something that no policies etc can cure? If parents aren't not just pushing their kids to better themselves, but instead ostracize them and hold them back, what can society do to counteract this?

 

It also raises another question: why do some cultures of immigrants not have this problem? They arrive with nothing, and parents who often have little education themselves value and push education for their kids. What makes them different? Why do they not suffer from the hillbilly elegy syndrome?

 

My thoughts exactly.  This is quite possibly the real issue that needs solving, but I don't think it can be solved (easily) among those prone to envy rather than team success.  They are forcing kids to choose between succeeding (assuming someone reaches them letting them know it can happen and guides them along the way) and belonging.  That's a tough choice for most kids - even when parents are what we'd consider incredibly bad (aka abuse and neglect).

 

More birth lottery winners and losers regardless of that starting bank account.

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Thank you for explaining this. If these cutural aspects are such a big obstacle to social mobility, isn't that something that no policies etc can cure? If parents aren't not just pushing their kids to better themselves, but instead ostracize them and hold them back, what can society do to counteract this?

I don't know. Having role models and mentors in place to cover the gaps and ignorance helps. I suspect that shortening the inequality gaps between the haves and have-nots would make higher education less threatening. I wonder if the rapid growth of technology has contributed to separation. I'm curious if this is less of an issue in places that have a rigorous standard curriculum before college, rather than shunting the teaching of the liberal arts off onto universities. I have a sinus headache so I'm sorry if I'm not making sense with my musings.

 

 

It also raises another question: why do some cultures of immigrants not have this problem? They arrive with nothing, and parents who often have little education themselves value and push education for their kids. What makes them different? Why do they not suffer from the hillbilly elegy syndrome?

I imagine because immigrants start from a place of leaving. Even without formal education, they are already valuing learning - a new language, a new culture. But again, individual situations differ. In Richard Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory, he suffered the same separation of "the wall", and he was was a child of immigrants.

 

I suspect homeschooling parents fit the same "already leaving" category, too.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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I would be happy if they just stopped trying to get rid of low income housing where it already is.  Most existing towns have a mix already.  The problem is the lower areas are slowly being forced out and the lower income people have no where left to live that is close to where they work.  I think that zoning should ensure at a minimum that there are enough affordable areas for the people who work in that area to live in that area.  That can be done without mandating an apartment complex next to McMansions.

 

In the example and question about tax money, the trailer parks I mentioned are a perfect example.  The parks are in pretty bad shape.  The push is to declare them unlivable and substandard, and thus pressure the owner to sell out the park to developers.  They then give the developers tax incentives to develop the lot into upper class homes.  What if instead they offered grant money to the residents to clean up and upgrade?  I can answer that for my area.. that's welfare!  That's giving people something they didn't work for!  Well, why does a developer who is going to make a ton of money on his upperclass homes need tax incentives more than lower income residents need help updating their homes?  That's okay, because that's "business".

 

There is a moral position that it is just not right to keep driving low income people away because you want nicer homes in the neighborhood.  

How would this type of zoning work?  Most zoning laws are about what type of building can be placed on land and the use of those buildings.  I am having difficulty seeing how zoning could ensure that people who work in the area can live there.  This would depend on price controls.  Would you place controls on selling prices or just rental prices?  How do you determine which places in the neighborhood are subject to those price controls?  What if there are 100 places available and 120 people want to live there?  How will they be allocated?

 

There is a big difference in providing subsidies and providing tax incentives.  To provide a subsidy, of $100 the government has to have $100 from somewhere.   Providing a tax incentive simply means not collecting certain taxes--it is foregone revenue.  I am not necessarily in favor of tax incentives, but there is a big difference in giving someone $100 to improve the area and telling a new developer that they will have a break on their taxes and pay only $200 instead of $300.  

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Sorry, I meant to respond and then got distracted reading about what happened to teachers during the Great Depression.  :ohmy:  :sad:

 

I was specifically thinking about the concept that a certain level of education was something all children deserved, regardless of where they lived (rural is a good example) or their income level.   But I am actually interested in hearing how a free market would help in poor and disadvantaged areas where the funds are just not there.  Until this point, no, I have not heard a valid argument for that. Maybe another schooling discussion though?

As it is now the government spends $X dollars to provide education in those areas.  Many economists would argue that if those same $X were given in subsidies to the disadvantaged or to provide for vouchers and the free market then directed those dollars to those who are able to provide the best education, the education system would improve.  

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I do want to say two more things.

 

First there a lot of ways to help your kids "get ahead," that aren't financial. I was a single mom going to school full time and working, my parents usually babysat for free. They also let me live at home for really inexpensive rent. They STILL often babysit for free for all 10 of their grandkids. You (general you)do other things like not just provide support, but also encouragement to keep trying. Just ensuring your kids believe they CAN take steps to help themselves will help them.

 

The other thing is, I believe that the vast majority of people can do *something* to improve their situation, even if they can't do EVERYTHING. So maybe someone can't go to school for whatever reason. But maybe they can start babysitting a neighbors kid to try to put some money in savings. Or maybe they trade babysitting with the neighbor in order to pick up a class. Or maybe they find a way to manage an online class or two. Or whatever. I am not suggesting any one or all of these are in any way *the* answer for anyone or even any one person. All I am really saying is that I think in most situations there are choice that can be made or things that can be tried. And I think this is true for all income levels. Saying that is NOT saying "just work harder". It's saying...what choice are you making and are there other choices you could make. It's saying, on an individual level, you aren't going to change big policies over night and can't change anything that has happened in the past. But, what can you do or change? That answer is going to be different for everyone because everyone is in different situations.

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How would this type of zoning work?  Most zoning laws are about what type of building can be placed on land and the use of those buildings.  I am having difficulty seeing how zoning could ensure that people who work in the area can live there.  This would depend on price controls.  Would you place controls on selling prices or just rental prices?  How do you determine which places in the neighborhood are subject to those price controls?  What if there are 100 places available and 120 people want to live there?  How will they be allocated?

 

There is a big difference in providing subsidies and providing tax incentives.  To provide a subsidy, of $100 the government has to have $100 from somewhere.   Providing a tax incentive simply means not collecting certain taxes--it is foregone revenue.  I am not necessarily in favor of tax incentives, but there is a big difference in giving someone $100 to improve the area and telling a new developer that they will have a break on their taxes and pay only $200 instead of $300.  

 

My town is having quite a budget crisis due to too much of those non-collected tax dollars.  I disagree that there is a "big difference" between the two.  At the end of the budget year, the effect is the same, the money in the coffers is reduced by the amount.

 

Re zoning, not sure if this is zoning specifically or more control exercised directly by the city?  We had an area open for development, and the city specifically either zoned or approved that area for a certain level of housing that was deemed "affordable".  I assumed it was through zoning, but maybe it was something else.  I do think the city has ways of controlling things how they want.  In our area, the city can approve or not approve an area of new development be zoned for multifamily homes, townhomes, homes with tiny lots, homes with large lots, etc. They're not controlling prices, but all those factors will affect the prices.

 

In the trailer park example, the city can condemn or target an area for violations with the intent of driving the owner to sell.  Of course they could argue they didn't "intend" the trailer park be replaced by nicer looking $500,000 homes... but it's pretty obvious how it works. Getting rid of the park through political or other pressure accomplishes the goal. 

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All the anecdotes in the world don't obscure the data - the inequality gap is widening, and social mobility is not high.

 

The suggestion to just bootstrap it, and dont complain, is ludicrous and simplistic.

 

It's this way by design. Better policy can start to close that gap, but better policy will never come about when so many people tell themselves comforting lies about why other people struggle.

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All the anecdotes in the world don't obscure the data - the inequality gap is widening, and social mobility is not high.

 

The suggestion to just bootstrap it, and dont complain, is ludicrous and simplistic.

 

It's this way by design. Better policy can start to close that gap, but better policy will never come about when so many people tell themselves comforting lies about why other people struggle.

but telling people that it's all stacked against them and they didn't win the birth lottery and there is nothing they can do to get ahead is also ludicrous and simplistic. Just like so much else in life, the answers are really somewhere in the middle. Edited by happysmileylady
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All the anecdotes in the world don't obscure the data - the inequality gap is widening, and social mobility is not high.

 

The suggestion to just bootstrap it, and dont complain, is ludicrous and simplistic.

 

It's this way by design. Better policy can start to close that gap, but better policy will never come about when so many people tell themselves comforting lies about why other people struggle.

 

Ok, y'all have me convinced to no longer worry about it.  I'll just be glad my family was different and quit trying to assist kids/adults who got the short end of the stick with the birth lottery.*  Donations and advice will cease and we can take what we have to enjoy more ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(*If I could, but, 'tis not my nature since in my real life experiences, it can make a world of difference.  Obviously in other's experiences, it's different and I don't think anyone can fix those.)

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but telling people that it's all stacked against them and they didn't win the birth lottery and there is nothing they can do to get ahead is also ludicrous and simplistic. Just like so much else in life, the answers are really somewhere in the middle.

People can sometimes ameliorate their disadvantage through hard work, luck and decent social policy.

 

But the data is pretty clear. The odds are stacked in someone's favour, and it isn't the poor.

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People can sometimes ameliorate their disadvantage through hard work, luck and decent social policy.

 

But the data is pretty clear. The odds are stacked in someone's favour, and it isn't the poor.

so are you saying that no one should try?

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Ok, y'all have me convinced to no longer worry about it. I'll just be glad my family was different and quit trying to assist kids/adults who got the short end of the stick with the birth lottery.* Donations and advice will cease and we can take what we have to enjoy more ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(*If I could, but, 'tis not my nature since in my real life experiences, it can make a world of difference. Obviously in other's experiences, it's different and I don't think anyone can fix those.)

Thanks but my hard working, smart and resilient family who can't afford to own a home doesn't need advice and donations.

 

We need policies which aim to reduce inequality. Using your vote to elect people who have the will to do so is of more use than condescending so called help.

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All the anecdotes in the world don't obscure the data - the inequality gap is widening, and social mobility is not high.

 

The suggestion to just bootstrap it, and dont complain, is ludicrous and simplistic.

 

It's this way by design. Better policy can start to close that gap, but better policy will never come about when so many people tell themselves comforting lies about why other people struggle.

I agree completely with your first sentence. But I don't think anyone on here is saying not to complain, but more to complain and then do something both personally and big picture. I'm a life long liberal who would love to see at a minimum a much better social safety net and stronger free education options and preferably more of a cradle to grave social welfare system like in some European countries. But at least in the US, that is not remotely what we have right now, so people also have to make choices in the current reality that will maximize success, however they define it, for them and their families. And many have simply been trying to offer ideas and options, often based on personal experience.
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But the data is pretty clear. The odds are stacked in someone's favour, and it isn't the poor.

 

Did anyone ever say they weren't?  I thought that was the subject we were talking about with "Life's Not Fair" in this thread.  Some of us are talking about ways one can try to overcome it rather than accept it as destiny.

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Why is it not possible to do both of those things?  To advocate for better policy that makes it easier for those who want to get out of poverty, AND to teach our own children that they can and should do everything they can to better themselves?  To be both thankful for what you have, and yet still wish and advocate for a more fair playing ground?  I don't see why any of these things are mutually exclusive.

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so are you saying that no one should try?

Most people try. Being realistic about how far that trying may get people as a class is a place to begin social and political reform, not a place to give up.

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Why is it not possible to do both of those things? To advocate for better policy that makes it easier for those who want to get out of poverty, AND to teach our own children that they can and should do everything they can to better themselves? To be both thankful for what you have, and yet still wish and advocate for a more fair playing ground? I don't see why any of these things are mutually exclusive.

they aren't. But right now, this thread was posted by an individual who was talking about being discouraged.

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Thanks but my hard working, smart and resilient family who can't afford to own a home doesn't need advice and donations.

 

We need policies which aim to reduce inequality. Using your vote to elect people who have the will to do so is of more use than condescending so called help.

 

I'm glad my family wasn't too proud to accept advice and donations (like in the form of my scholarship).  It definitely helped the whole family.  I can definitely see where similar pride hurts kids in my school district when parents won't sign up for free lunches or fill out a FAFSA for their kids.

 

I'm pretty sure folks in your country would get upset if I tried to vote there... I do what I can in my own country - haven't once missed a vote, but it is pretty obvious to me at this point that there are certain things even policy can't fix.

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I agree completely with your first sentence. But I don't think anyone on here is saying not to complain, but more to complain and then do something both personally and big picture. I'm a life long liberal who would love to see at a minimum a much better social safety net and stronger free education options and preferably more of a cradle to grave social welfare system like in some European countries. But at least in the US, that is not remotely what we have right now, so people also have to make choices in the current reality that will maximize success, however they define it, for them and their families. And many have simply been trying to offer ideas and options, often based on personal experience.

What options? Other than be a good parent and keep your chin up? Work three jobs? News flash - the poor do that already. Between the two of us, dh and I have five paid jobs. He never takes a day off.

 

These issues are systemic. Not individual.

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