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Moral luck, intergenerational lack of mobility, genetics, etc. and life outcomes


Quill
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23 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Lots of things to consider. Just wanted to comment on the last post and a few who brought up access to education:

While that is an important topic, I  think one should not conflate being functional with being educated.One can be stable and functional while working in a job that doesn't require much education. Many folks with little education were able to lead stable lives without violence and substance abuse. 

When we see a correlation with education, there is also the factor that for persons with underlying issues the education may be unattainable,  and their mental illness/learning disability/substance problem is the *cause* for their educational level, and not vice versa.

I think the point about education is it gives you options. You have more ways to escape and more knowledge that it’s possible. That’s power, and power means you’re far less likely to put up with abuse. 

Power imbalances make abuse much more likely. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, regentrude said:

Lots of things to consider. Just wanted to comment on the last post and a few who brought up access to education:

While that is an important topic, I  think one should not conflate being functional with being educated. One can be stable and functional while working in a job that doesn't require much education. Many folks with little education were able to lead stable lives without violence and substance abuse. 

When we see a correlation with education, there is also the factor that for persons with underlying issues the education may be unattainable,  and their mental illness/learning disability/substance problem is the *cause* for their educational level, and not vice versa.

I agree.  The inverse is also true- we see people who are educated but live highly dysfunctional lives or struggle with addiction.  My FIL was a medical doctor.   His marriage and home life was very dysfunctional and he died at 60 from illness related to his alcoholism.  My husband's maternal grandparents were quite stable overall and his only post high school education was training to be a mechanic.   Education helps people in many ways but it's not a cure for addiction nor is it a guarantee of being a functional spouse or parent.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Quill said:

Sorry I am quoting myself, but it seemed easier than quoting three posters. 

I still don’t see these stats bearing out. I can imagine there are “pockets” where those stats make total sense. But I guess I just got hit in the face with the Privilege stick, because these stats just don’t seem possible to me. Maybe especially one in three couples are physically violent. Like just...what? So if I’m sitting with my nine friends, statistically three of them have had physical violence in their marriage. That seems crazy-cakes to me.

I have been married for 26 years. We have not always had sunshine and lollipops. There have been a very few instances when I screamed or cussed him out or he has done. Like, less than five total times. But never has it ever gone to pushing, punching, slapping, shutting a door on someone’s arm or etc. (That’s an example from a case in our office.) Never have I thought, gee, my safe, violence-free household is so unusual. 

Actually, I think it would be detrimental for young people to think those stats are accurate because it could minimize beliefs. If you think lots of people do XYZ, it feels easier to do XYZ yourself. 

I cannot emphasize enough how much people don't talk about CSA or DV.  I can not emphasize enough how poorly many people react with people defy the social conventions and talk about it.  I have had people decide that because I was willing to talk about it, that I was probably lying about it. 

Back in 1999, I was on the student council of my college.  One of the perks was that there was an office for council officers and we each had a cubicle.  Having access to a computer, comfortable chair and printer on campus without having to book computer lab time meant that I was in that office a lot. Like anytime that I wasn't at work or in class, I was probably in that office.  I basically used it like a locker and private study room.  There was another student on the council with me named Nolan.  Nolan was in a class and heard statistics about the prevalence of sexual assault and didn't believe it.  So he went on and on about it in that office for a long time.  He kept saying he's never met ANY women who had been raped. And I listened to him go on and on on this without anyone really challenging him.  I finally just said that since he'd met me, that was a totally false statement and why would he suppose that he would know about me or anyone else because it's not like we advertise this fact broadly as a general rule?  That was actually the very first time I had told a male person and the first time I had told someone who was not very close to me or a health care professional. I had had close friends in high school I never told.  I had dated several young men and never told them.  After that, I did mention it more but experienced the oh so fun shit of having more than one person doubt the veracity of my statements.  
 

ETA:  when I told this to Nolan and whoever else happened to be in the office at the time, his reaction was one of shock.  He didn’t seem to think that someone who was going to school full-time, working and was by all outward measures “successful” fit what he thought a victim would be like.  As though I was supposed to be unable to recover or move forward in my life.  It also came up that he was surprised because I was athletic and worked with a self defense organization.  Uh, Nolan, let’s think for a moment why might self defense and punching people be my hobby? 
 

Some people are very certain that abuse and rape ruins a woman to the point that when they meet a survivor who doesn’t outwardly appear damaged or “ruined” it just doesn’t compute that that woman could be living with ongoing abuse or living in the aftermath of abuse.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Wow, I’m sorry you had that experience, but good for you for speaking up!

I have been thinking about what I said, with knowing there was molestation within my circle.  

I would never tell anyone in person, because — I think I would be judged for not knowing not to be friends with them in the first place.  

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/19/2021 at 11:46 AM, SKL said:

And I am still insecure.  I have a feeling of dread many times every day, literally.  Each time I see an email that reminds me of some work issue etc., every time I get an unscheduled phone call, etc.  It's nuts.

I relate to this so much.  I am self employed and almost every single time a client wants to set up a meeting that isn't a routine meeting, I assume on some level they are going to fire me.  I've actually never had a client fire me but that is my go-to assumption in the back of my mind.  It's become a standing joke between me and my husband because usually it's actually the opposite- they want me to take on a project or set up a training or recommend me to someone else all of which let me to make MORE money, not less.  But part of me still doesn't quite believe that my ability to earn good money won't just vanish at the drop of a hat.  I definitely associate this with the poverty that I was raised in.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

Lots of things to consider. Just wanted to comment on the last post and a few who brought up access to education:

While that is an important topic, I  think one should not conflate being functional with being educated.One can be stable and functional while working in a job that doesn't require much education. Many folks with little education were able to lead stable lives without violence and substance abuse. 

When we see a correlation with education, there is also the factor that for persons with underlying issues the education may be unattainable,  and their mental illness/learning disability/substance problem is the *cause* for their educational level, and not vice versa.

What I see in my own family WRT access to education is that the prosperity of the mid 20th century opened up opportunities for families like mine to move from the rural uneducated farming class to the urban middle class because states adequately funded their state university systems. Those opportunities don't exist today because public higher education is so much more expensive. 

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

I relate to this so much.  I am self employed and almost every single time a client wants to set up a meeting that isn't a routine meeting, I assume on some level they are going to fire me.  I've actually never had a client fire me but that is my go-to assumption in the back of my mind.  It's become a standing joke between me and my husband because usually it's actually the opposite- they want me to take on a project or set up a training or recommend me to someone else all of which let me to make MORE money, not less.  But part of me still doesn't quite believe that my ability to earn good money won't just vanish at the drop of a hat.  I definitely associate this with the poverty that I was raised in.  

Exactly!  They just want to ask a simple question and I'm over here fighting off a panic attack, or walking away from my work station because I can't deal with the stress right now.

Billing used to freak me out too, when that was part of my job.  I was always sure the client was gonna get the bill and have a fit because they didn't perceive my services to be worth that much.  There have been too many times I've underbilled / done work off the clock because it's better than discussing additional fees with the client.

So crazy at my age and level of experience.

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11 hours ago, Quill said:

Sorry I am quoting myself, but it seemed easier than quoting three posters. 

I still don’t see these stats bearing out. I can imagine there are “pockets” where those stats make total sense. But I guess I just got hit in the face with the Privilege stick, because these stats just don’t seem possible to me. Maybe especially one in three couples are physically violent. Like just...what? So if I’m sitting with my nine friends, statistically three of them have had physical violence in their marriage. That seems crazy-cakes to me.

I have been married for 26 years. We have not always had sunshine and lollipops. There have been a very few instances when I screamed or cussed him out or he has done. Like, less than five total times. But never has it ever gone to pushing, punching, slapping, shutting a door on someone’s arm or etc. (That’s an example from a case in our office.) Never have I thought, gee, my safe, violence-free household is so unusual. 

Actually, I think it would be detrimental for young people to think those stats are accurate because it could minimize beliefs. If you think lots of people do XYZ, it feels easier to do XYZ yourself. 

Abused people often won't tell. 

And anyone other than extremely close friends or family won't know, partly because a hell of a lot of effort goes in to covering up. You have to spend a lot of time up close and personal to see under the lies. 

I did not know a friend had been abused by her husband for over 20 years until he left her. Friends didn't know I'd been in an abusive situation with an alcoholic spouse for over 20 years till I left him. Only one person knows that in a prior relationship, there was physical violence, which mirrored the physical violence I received in my teens at home, which school and counsellors and psychiatrists never picked up because I hid it. I never received any treatment or investigations at all for being hit around the head multiple times in my teens/early adulthood. 

Abuse is endemic. I have no trouble believing the stats. But it's also very well hidden, both by clever perps and victims. 

 

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I am reading “What happened to you?” which is co-written by Oprah. It is a heavy read. This book discusses trauma, how it affects the body, why some people may be more affected by trauma, etc. This thread made me think of the research behind this book. 
My sister and I are only a year apart but very different lives and outcomes. My mom wanted neither one of her pregnancies, but her pregnancy with me was especially rough with a life changing event happening to her the day she found out she was pregnant with me. My sister and I were neglected and on our own quite a bit, but had loving extended family. My sister got pregnant on purpose at 16 to get out of our parents’ violent divorce. Alas, she married a man that was abusive. Their marriage lasted almost 25 years before she divorced him. She has never struggled with addictions, though has little education. I married young, though nowhere near as young as my sister. I married “up,” to someone with a college education and I went on to college. I have struggled with addictions and self harm since I was a teenager. My lowest point was around 45 years of age, when I was finally forced into treatment. My sister and I both have chronic health issues that I think likely stem from our childhood trauma. I think doctors are only now hitting the tip of the iceberg on the subject. 

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Regarding sexual assault stats:

In around 1986 or 1987 Glamour, among other publications, published a study indicating that around 1 in 5 women had been date raped on a first date.  There was some additional information around date rape later in a relationship as well but I don't remember the numbers.

What I distinctly do remember, though, was sitting on the beach with 4 other women, all of us in our 20s, and all of us pooh poohing that number as ridiculously high and not credible.  In retrospect, this was surprising.  2 of the women present had had that exact experience--date rape against clearly stated objections, and had confided that to me, although it did not come up in that discussion.  And I had been attacked--tackled and knocked down, though not raped, by a stranger who struck up a conversation with me at a public park in daylight (the fact that I feel I should state that is kind of telling) and accompanied me up the street on the sidewalk when I left mostly to get away from him.  And yet we all sat there saying that the stats were ridiculously high.  (BTW, the other two women who were along were not close friends of mine, and if they had also been attacked, they almost certainly would not have told me.)

This stuff is just not stuff that people talk about openly all that much.  No one wants others to picture them as victims, particularly intimate ones.  No one wants others to wonder whether they can have sex without flashbacks, or even enjoy it.  This is vastly underreported in friendships.

The reason we don't know how pervasive this is is that, I think, fairly few men do it, and so the rest think it's not that common, and fairly few women divulge it to other women or to men.  I am not actually sure whether I ever told my husband about what happened to me, which, all things considered, was pretty tame comparatively.  I don't consider it a secret but it's not something that I typically care to discuss.

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On 5/19/2021 at 5:27 PM, Teaching3bears said:

Interesting ...  and if one does not come from older money but wants to give advantages to their kids what should they do to learn what to do?  What exactly is the how and why?

If I knew the answer, I'd be responding from another more tropical location.

I have a friend who is rich.  Comparing our lives, I would say that a few things stand out.

Rich people can afford to take risks that most of us can't. They can take a year off from college (because they go to concierge colleges) or a take a "few years to travel the world." Most of us have to get cracking on jobs so we can eat and pay rent. I would not say my friend is much different than I in the willingness to take a risk. She can afford to; I can't.  

Rich people can take a flutter on a risky stock--the downside is not a big deal for them, and the upside is often quite lucrative. I can't bear that much risk, at least not at my age. Even when I was younger ... it was still a bigger risk for me because I didn't have as much margin on the downside and recovery would be a long climb. 

Rich people know big-shots who can recommend / hire their kids for good internships, and for good starting jobs. They are networked high up and they know how to use the network. They vacation where other rich and well connected people vacation and they connect there. I go on these vacations with my friend and feel like a fish out of water most the time.

Rich people serve on boards where they meet people who know What Is Going On.

Rich people have different stresses which affect health and well-being. My friend has 5 homes around the world. She has the stress of knowing what is going on in all those parts of the world and managing the decisions re: the real estate. I don't have that stress. When the water heater and the furnace and the stove and the refrigerator and the security system break at the same time (true story), she has the stress of getting all the things replaced (by calling her properties manager).  But she doesn't worry about how to pay for it, how to stagger the bills so that ends will meet month to month for the next two years.

My friend also has the stress of not knowing why people like her--is it her money? That's another stress I don't have. She's a remarkable person and works hard at being normal and good and generous.  But it is always on her mind about why people like her, and how to respond to requests (stated or unstated) for financial relief.

Finally, death comes to us all...including my friend who was made a young widow by the sudden passing of her most-beloved husband. She would give away all the money she has if that would bring him back. 

There's more, but this is enough.  I don't know how to answer your question about "what can I do to gain these benefits" based on these observations. It's more "what is" than "what to do."

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Okay, it’s not that I think, “Nobody’s ever mentioned they are abused by their spouse, therefore, I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I think surely people would tell me or I would figure it out. It’s that I don’t believe 33.3% of couples have physical violence involved. That seems like an absurd number unless, as I said, we’re averaging out pockets where partner violence is near 100%. I know many dozens of couples where it is unimaginable to me that there is partner violence involved.

🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

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13 minutes ago, Quill said:

Okay, it’s not that I think, “Nobody’s ever mentioned they are abused by their spouse, therefore, I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I think surely people would tell me or I would figure it out. It’s that I don’t believe 33.3% of couples have physical violence involved. That seems like an absurd number unless, as I said, we’re averaging out pockets where partner violence is near 100%. I know many dozens of couples where it is unimaginable to me that there is partner violence involved.

🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

You simply don't know dozens of couples well enough to know if violence has been a small or large factor in their marriage.  You also don't seem to have much exposure to people who have lived with DV.

Over the entire population, the figures do include communities where DV is almost normative rather than an aberration.  The places where it is more prevalent have to be "averaged out" as you say because if they are excluded from the sample, you aren't going to get an accurate picture.  

If you think that the statistics prepared by numerous agencies, foundations and charitable entities are "exaggerated", you really need more than your gut to refute them.  What analysis have you done that suggests all these different research studies are reaching similar but per you, wholly wrong, conclusions?  

One thing that people who don't understand DV tend to do is to think that in families with DV or abuse, everything is all bad all the time.  So when they see families where things seem good, they assume there have never been any violence.  

I married a man who came from a DV home. We have been married for almost 20 years.  My husband, early in our marriage needed anger management classes and counseling centered on learning to communicate in stressful moments with me.  In his case, his behavior was maladaptive and childish rather than part of a DV cycle (we were very young when we married) and with a lot of proactive work, he was able to not replicate his dad's patterns of behaviors.  I seriously doubt more than 1/2 dozen people outside of my husband's family knew that he and his mom and brother were being abused while it was happening.  My FIL was an affluent doctor with a nice house who took his family on nice trips.  At his funeral person after person spoke about how "nice" he was.  Even my MIL, who is smart, educated and capable and who divorced him eventually, would defend him to my husband regularly.  

 

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Posted (edited)

@Quill- You have read JD Vance's book.  Do you recall the violence he describes in his moms and grandparents' relationships?  There are millions of families where nothing that he mentioned (including his grandma SETTING HIS GRANDPA ON FIRE) is especially shocking or remarkable.  When my brother and I read that book we saw so much of our grandmother's behavior.  Of note is that his grandmother was a major influence in his academic success and took him in when him mom couldn't keep it together.  So in the same person you have a woman who once set a man on fire for coming home drunk and a woman who rescued a child from a very dysfunctional relapsed addict. 

Edited by LucyStoner
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54 minutes ago, Quill said:

Okay, it’s not that I think, “Nobody’s ever mentioned they are abused by their spouse, therefore, I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I think surely people would tell me or I would figure it out. It’s that I don’t believe 33.3% of couples have physical violence involved. That seems like an absurd number unless, as I said, we’re averaging out pockets where partner violence is near 100%. I know many dozens of couples where it is unimaginable to me that there is partner violence involved.

🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

I don't think uncovering the extent to which people experience violence in the home normalizes it. 

I don't know about the particular stat. I can't remember what it is here. But it's a significant minority - for some reason I've got 25 % in my head.

I just don't struggle to believe that say, around 3 women in every ten have experienced violence in the home at some point. That doesn't seem like a wild number to me 

 

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And really, you just can't make assumptions about people you know. 

My parents were PTA big-wigs, degreed (one of them), in work, no addiction issues, civic minded. Nice people. Respected. Ran playgroups. Helpful. 

No-one would dream that one of them was beating me around the head as part of regular domestic rages.

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The other thing to keep in mind is that often people experience violence in more than one relationship.  Additionally there's a wide range of physical violence. 

There are two types of domestic violence.  One is controlling abuse, in which the perpetrators are mostly but not exclusively male.  The other is situational abuse which is perpetrated by males and females in roughly equal numbers.  We tend to think that all domestic abuse is the former because it is the most deadly type and the type that gets (and needs) a lot of attention and funding but much of it is the latter type.  Situational violence may be quite infrequent and is a function of maladaptive stress responses rather than a belief that one has the right to control their spouse or children.  Some of the data includes pushing, shoving or throwing things which are more common than the stereotype of physical abuse- a man wailing on a cowering woman. 

In cycles of controlling DV, sometimes the primary target will physically or emotionally lash out at other household members (the kids but others as well in multi-gen or extended family living situations).  It's also not uncommon for the primary target to retaliate against the primary aggressor a number of times and to even be arrested for DV herself because the controlling spouse has more agency to call the cops or press charges and may level accusations of abuse against his target in custody cases.  The first thing a lot of controlling abusers do when slapped with a restraining order is to file their own DV restraining order and act like they are the victim in the situation.  Often times the primary aggressor is the person who actually looks more stable on paper while the person being abused looks crazy to outside agencies.  

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

Okay, it’s not that I think, “Nobody’s ever mentioned they are abused by their spouse, therefore, I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I think surely people would tell me or I would figure it out. It’s that I don’t believe 33.3% of couples have physical violence involved. That seems like an absurd number unless, as I said, we’re averaging out pockets where partner violence is near 100%. I know many dozens of couples where it is unimaginable to me that there is partner violence involved.

🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

The friend I mentioned upthread? I've known her for three decades. Only 5-8 years ago did I learn about sexual assault in her childhood. I've had friends for more than a decade who shockingly divorce...and only then did I learn why.  People don't want to talk about this.  They want it to go away. I'm not sure I trust the stats quoted, but I have been shocked more than once to hear of such things many years into a good friendship.  Sad.

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3 hours ago, Quill said:

don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

I don’t think avoiding truth is ever a good idea.  If those numbers are true, they are true because violent behaviors towards weaker people has already been normalized.  Only by recognizing that and naming it, will we ever be able to fix it culturally.  
 

But there is an important flip side that I can see.  Knowing that it is prevalent can reduce shame.  Shame is a large part of why victims don’t come forward. Kids don’t tell a beloved teacher about abuse because of shame.  Friends don’t know about each other’s sexual assaults because of shame.   Not feeling alone, not feeling like a freak, not being too ashamed to say something is important. 

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4 hours ago, Quill said:

Okay, it’s not that I think, “Nobody’s ever mentioned they are abused by their spouse, therefore, I don’t believe it.” It’s not that I think surely people would tell me or I would figure it out. It’s that I don’t believe 33.3% of couples have physical violence involved. That seems like an absurd number unless, as I said, we’re averaging out pockets where partner violence is near 100%. I know many dozens of couples where it is unimaginable to me that there is partner violence involved.

🤷🏻‍♀️ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but those stats just seem really exaggerated to me. I also don’t see it as beneficial to embrace those stats, because it might normalize violent behaviors. 

So far you seem to be the only person here who has any difficulty accepting those numbers.

Do you have any evidence or sources for your belief that it's much smaller than 33%?  What do your sources say the % is?

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@Quill

I went looking, because it's a fair question. In 2016, an estimated 17% of Australian women had experienced violence in the home since the age of 15. It was a survey based study. So almost 2 in 10. 

It wouldn't surprise me if it was actually higher than the survey estimates, due to women not feeling able to answer the question freely and/or victim denial and minimisation. We do know rates of domestic violence increased over Covid lockdowns. I'm not saying it is higher, just that it wouldn't shock me.

 

 

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5 hours ago, HeartString said:

I don’t think avoiding truth is ever a good idea.  If those numbers are true, they are true because violent behaviors towards weaker people has already been normalized.  Only by recognizing that and naming it, will we ever be able to fix it culturally.  
 

But there is an important flip side that I can see.  Knowing that it is prevalent can reduce shame.  Shame is a large part of why victims don’t come forward. Kids don’t tell a beloved teacher about abuse because of shame.  Friends don’t know about each other’s sexual assaults because of shame.   Not feeling alone, not feeling like a freak, not being too ashamed to say something is important. 

Accepting those statistics seems enormously negative to me. (I’m actually sitting here examining why I feel that way about it.) It’s because, if I actually have dozens of friends/acquaintances who have physical violence in their marriages (or have molested a child, or have beaten their kids) then...I might give up on the world. 

I do have *some* exposure to DV, child abuse and sex abuse, through the law firm where I work. I also have family members who had one bad marriage or partnership before they married someone non-abusive. So, I guess if the statistic is going to say, “...one in three was *ever* physically harmed,” then the statistic is true, but is not making an accurate picture of society. I have seen people petition the court to rescind a Protective Order, or parts of it, saying they do not view the spouse as a threat, it was a one-off incident in a very stressful moment, and besides that, they really need him to come pick the kids up from school. (Literally filed such a Motion yesterday.) The woman is a professional and the man is a blue collar business owner. In cases like these, it is not usually hitting or pinching. It’s more incidental, like one person grabbing a sweatshirt hood and yanking it hard, causing a mark on the neck. Or shutting a door on the victim’s arm as one is trying to grab a phone from the other. 

So. I think there’s something bad about conflating an incident like the one I saw yesterday with homes with ongoing violent incidents over years and years. It’s just not really helpful to lump them all together, from a societal standpoint. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

What I see in my own family WRT access to education is that the prosperity of the mid 20th century opened up opportunities for families like mine to move from the rural uneducated farming class to the urban middle class because states adequately funded their state university systems. Those opportunities don't exist today because public higher education is so much more expensive. 

In my family it was a little different - what allowed people to get ahead was the fact that you could get a good job without a college degree.  My grandmother went from picking cotton to working at a mill (both unskilled) but I remember her keeping the books at a bowling alley during my childhood...with only a high school diploma.  My dad and uncle worked their way up to well-paid upper management positions with only high school diplomas.  It's a separate discussion, but it seems like the requirement for expensive credentials needs to be dealt with in both directions - affordable college for those who need it, and meaningful high school diplomas so that companies will hire entry level employees who have a chance at being competent at something other than service industry jobs so that they can move up in an organization over time.  

edited to say...my dad did earn a 2-year business degree somewhere in there.  It was after he was hired - I think he did it at night.  I'm sure it gave him skills that let him move ahead more quickly.  But, it was no-frills and he already had a job as he was earning it. 

Edited by Clemsondana
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3 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

In my family it was a little different - what allowed people to get ahead was the fact that you could get a good job without a college degree.  My grandmother went from picking cotton to working at a mill (both unskilled) but I remember her keeping the books at a bowling alley during my childhood...with only a high school diploma.  My dad and uncle worked their way up to well-paid upper management positions with only high school diplomas.  It's a separate discussion, but it seems like the requirement for expensive credentials needs to be dealt with in both directions - affordable college for those who need it, and meaningful high school diplomas so that companies will hire entry level employees who have a chance at being competent at something other than service industry jobs so that they can move up in an organization over time.  

Without a college degree or even technical training for that matter (which can still be a big barrier for some people.)
When my parents were married, money was definitely considered “tight”, but careful budgeting gave us a suburban house, two cars, plenty of camping vacations, exciting holidays, etc.  My father always worked retail, and my mother worked various retail and retail-like jobs in between staying home with small kids.  She’ll also be receiving a pension for a customer service job she had for maybe 10 years when we were older.

They didn’t have to be “special” to enjoy a decent life.

 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

Accepting those statistics seems enormously negative to me. (I’m actually sitting here examining why I feel that way about it.) It’s because, if I actually have dozens of friends/acquaintances who have physical violence in their marriages (or have molested a child, or have beaten their kids) then...I might give up on the world. 

I do have *some* exposure to DV, child abuse and sex abuse, through the law firm where I work. I also have family members who had one bad marriage or partnership before they married someone non-abusive. So, I guess if the statistic is going to say, “...one in three was *ever* physically harmed,” then the statistic is true, but is not making an accurate picture of society. I have seen people petition the court to rescind a Protective Order, or parts of it, saying they do not view the spouse as a threat, it was a one-off incident in a very stressful moment, and besides that, they really need him to come pick the kids up from school. (Literally filed such a Motion yesterday.) The woman is a professional and the man is a blue collar business owner. In cases like these, it is not usually hitting or pinching. It’s more incidental, like one person grabbing a sweatshirt hood and yanking it hard, causing a mark on the neck. Or shutting a door on the victim’s arm as one is trying to grab a phone from the other. 

So. I think there’s something bad about conflating an incident like the one I saw yesterday with homes with ongoing violent incidents over years and years. It’s just not really helpful to lump them all together, from a societal standpoint. 

They are saying it is a “one-off” incident. 

No one really knows the truth of it.

I also think many people here are too young to remember the days where the abuser (usually male) were told by LE to take a walk and cool down. And that was the extent of intervention.

or if the abuser was female, LE wasn’t even called bc of the shame perceived by the male victim

 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

 It’s because, if I actually have dozens of friends/acquaintances who have physical violence in their marriages (or have molested a child, or have beaten their kids) then...I might give up on the world.

Maybe this represents of the difference in make up between the orchids and the dandelions? (I have an orchid friend who has called me The Dandelion for years.) The world is what it is-glorious, mediocre, hideous. I just don't see a reality in which we get to choose not to engage with it as a whole if parts of it are wretched. (I say that as a confidant to a friend who does fostercare placement for an agency and sometimes needs to vent about the horrors those children have been through, so she tells me because I can handle it. I know what hideous is. ) I don't see how not facing what is horrible makes life better over all. What's the motivation? What's the pay off?

There are child molesters and abusers everywhere and always have been.  I wasn't at all surprised by the stats based on what I'd seen in my family of origin and in my social circles growing up and into my adult life. I've never been in the pockets of it where they're normalized, accepted, and rampant; I've been in the pockets where they're hushed up, but they're not uncommon.

I once heard a psychologist talk about a theory that an aspect of some PTSD is a patient unwilling/unable reconcile that the world is actually a much worse than they conceived of before the traumatic event, and the traumatic event shattered their view of the world, and they're fighting against accepting it.   It wasn't discussed in depth, so it's not a lot to go on, but I did wonder about the orchids when I heard it.

One of the phrases people use that makes me scratch my head is, "I just can't believe anyone would think/do (insert bad thing here)." So in a world where the average person walking down the street knows about genocide, sex trafficking, serial killers, drug cartels, the mob, terrorism, sadism, and other such things, they can't believe someone would think/do that particular bad thing? Is there some sort of disconnect I don't know about that some people have going on?

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Posted (edited)

@Carrie12345I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing.  My post wasn't a slight on retail, just an awareness that it can't be the only option (both for number of jobs and for temperament of employee - some people don't need to work with the public!).  When the large but privately-owned business that Dad managed was sold to a big corporation, hires had to be approved by corporate HR.  He came home frustrated because he needed a new parts dept manager, and they now had to have a college degree.  My point wasn't to disparage retail (my mom did it part time for years and enjoyed it) but to make the point that there are many jobs out there that aren't retail that should be options for people with good skills and work ethic without college degrees.  There are plenty of jobs that you need a certificate or degree to do, but they shouldn't be requirements for jobs that don't need them, and that artificial barrier hurts people.  

Edited by Clemsondana
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4 minutes ago, Clemsondana said:

@Carrie12345I'm not sure if you're agreeing or disagreeing.  My post wasn't a slight on retail, just an awareness that it can't be the only option (both for number of jobs and for temperament of employee - some people don't need to work with the public!).  When the large but privately-owned business that Dad managed was sold to a big corporation, hires had to be approved by corporate HR.  He came home frustrated because he needed a new parts dept manager, and they now had to have a college degree.  My point wasn't to disparage retail (my mom did it part time for years and enjoyed it) but to make the point that there are many jobs out there that aren't retail that should be options for people with good skills and work ethic without college degrees.  There are plenty of jobs that you need a certificate or degree to do, but they shouldn't be requirements for jobs that don't need them, and that artificial barrier hurts people.  

Oh, it’s an agreement. In the 70s and 80s, you didn’t have to “pay to play” the American Dream compared to now. You might not have gotten *wealthy by today’s standards, but you could get by just fine. 
 

The same trauma and poverty issues existed, but the impact didn’t have to be as drastic when it came to any opportunity at all. A family of 5 is highly unlikely to live a middle class lifestyle on retail today. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Quill said:

Accepting those statistics seems enormously negative to me. (I’m actually sitting here examining why I feel that way about it.) It’s because, if I actually have dozens of friends/acquaintances who have physical violence in their marriages (or have molested a child, or have beaten their kids) then...I might give up on the world. 

I do have *some* exposure to DV, child abuse and sex abuse, through the law firm where I work. I also have family members who had one bad marriage or partnership before they married someone non-abusive. So, I guess if the statistic is going to say, “...one in three was *ever* physically harmed,” then the statistic is true, but is not making an accurate picture of society. I have seen people petition the court to rescind a Protective Order, or parts of it, saying they do not view the spouse as a threat, it was a one-off incident in a very stressful moment, and besides that, they really need him to come pick the kids up from school. (Literally filed such a Motion yesterday.) The woman is a professional and the man is a blue collar business owner. In cases like these, it is not usually hitting or pinching. It’s more incidental, like one person grabbing a sweatshirt hood and yanking it hard, causing a mark on the neck. Or shutting a door on the victim’s arm as one is trying to grab a phone from the other. 

So. I think there’s something bad about conflating an incident like the one I saw yesterday with homes with ongoing violent incidents over years and years. It’s just not really helpful to lump them all together, from a societal standpoint. 

It is very common for a murdered wife to have previously asked the court to rescind a protective order, or "chosen" not to press charges for a previous abuse.

Abuse makes people less able to make what we would consider rational decisions.

Also, you seem to be minimizing actual abuse in your post.  If you don't believe yanking someone by a hood and leaving a mark on a weaker person is violence, then that could be why you and I aren't on the same page.

Edited by SKL
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There were plenty of poor, homeless or on-the-edge people in the 70s.  I'm not sure where people get the idea that it is a recent phenomenon.  I would suspect it's less now, but I don't have stats to prove it.

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I think the degree of violence (domestic or child) definitely is an important nuance, but dismissing low violence or low occurrence as not worthy of being acknowledged doesn't do justice to figuring out how corrosive any type of abuse is in a family.  For instance, I would most likely score pretty low on an ACE test, I come from a very stable childhood,  and have a very good relationship now with my parents.  My parents are very good and well - meaning people, though they struggled very heavily with severe anxiety for much of their lives.  Because they were Southern Baptist, they learned all their child raising techniques through religion and therefore I was spanked with a leather belt.  I found it very traumatic.  I am most likely quirky (I have adhd and autism in my family) and struggled when young with self regulation, was very oppositional from what family members have said, and very often my difficult to control impulsivity would lead to me being spanked with the belt.  My mom and I fought all the time, often explosively, and she would pinch my arms when she was really angry.   Not only that, her feelings were paramount in the house and we often had to walk on eggshells so as not to set her off.  So now that I write all that, it was a pretty miserable household and I am not surprised both my sister and I had eating disorders and I self harmed. 

But it's not like we go around talking about this (other than here of course, lol).  My parents made a ton of mistakes, but I have a very good relationship with them now.  They were products of their own upbringing and it shadowed ours heavily.  

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

There were plenty of poor, homeless or on-the-edge people in the 70s.  I'm not sure where people get the idea that it is a recent phenomenon.  I would suspect it's less now, but I don't have stats to prove it.

One thing that has changed is that the ones who were in mental institutions in the 70s are out on the streets now.  That was a HUGE shift around 1980 or so.

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2 hours ago, Clemsondana said:

In my family it was a little different - what allowed people to get ahead was the fact that you could get a good job without a college degree.  My grandmother went from picking cotton to working at a mill (both unskilled) but I remember her keeping the books at a bowling alley during my childhood...with only a high school diploma.  My dad and uncle worked their way up to well-paid upper management positions with only high school diplomas.  It's a separate discussion, but it seems like the requirement for expensive credentials needs to be dealt with in both directions - affordable college for those who need it, and meaningful high school diplomas so that companies will hire entry level employees who have a chance at being competent at something other than service industry jobs so that they can move up in an organization over time.  

 

The lack of ‘meaningful academic accomplishment’ correlation with high school diplomas is one of the reasons that I so value CA’s almost free community colleges.

Also, it is the demise of manufacturing that has led to not being able to get good jobs with growth potential without a college degree.  Bringing manufacturing back into this country and teaching the skills for modern computerized manufacturing in high school are both key to turning this around.  The supply chain work done during the previous administration and continuing during this one is helpful but not sufficient.

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12 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

@Quill

I went looking, because it's a fair question. In 2016, an estimated 17% of Australian women had experienced violence in the home since the age of 15. It was a survey based study. So almost 2 in 10. 

It wouldn't surprise me if it was actually higher than the survey estimates, due to women not feeling able to answer the question freely and/or victim denial and minimisation. We do know rates of domestic violence increased over Covid lockdowns. I'm not saying it is higher, just that it wouldn't shock me.

The denial and minimization is a big thing.  Almost always, there is more going on than people let on.  In addition to not talking about it, people in DV situations are usually excellent at lying about it, insisting it was nothing or no big deal.  

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58 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

The denial and minimization is a big thing.  Almost always, there is more going on than people let on.  In addition to not talking about it, people in DV situations are usually excellent at lying about it, insisting it was nothing or no big deal.  

I have a friend who contacted me with difficulty once to ask whether I would take her in if she left her husband.  ‘With difficulty’ because I was on a business trip out of the country at the time, and this was before internet access was ubiquitous and easy overseas.  And international phone calls were insanely expensive.

I contacted her back via company email and told her that I was out of the area, gave her the info on how to reach my husband, told her that I had told him that if she needed a private place to stay that was secret he was to pay for a hotel room and room service for her in another city starting whenever she said the word, and when I would be back to take this over.  

Then I added a paragraph that said basically, I trust you to know whether you need to leave or not.  I will never ask you about this but will always be available if you want to talk.  But, if he has EVER hit you or threatened you physically, I think you should do this to make yourself safe.  We don’t have to ever talk about this again, but if you want to, I’m here.

And she never responded except ‘thank you’, and did not leave him, and I still don’t know the story.  Which is fine.  It’s none of my business, really.

Still, I’ve always suspected DV in that situation, and yet, I’ll never really know.  And so it goes.  I can’t emphasize this enough—people don’t like to talk about this.  There is danger and shame associated with it.

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7 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

once heard a psychologist talk about a theory that an aspect of some PTSD is a patient unwilling/unable reconcile that the world is actually a much worse than they conceived of before the traumatic event, and the traumatic event shattered their view of the world, and they're fighting against accepting it.   It wasn't discussed in depth, so it's not a lot to go on, but I did wonder about the orchids when I heard it.

Well, this is definitely what happened to me when my baby died. I acknowledge that and can see it now. I don’t think I grasped that babies can die at birth for no good reason, nobody’s fault, not some sort of divine “point” being made; just be alive and then - Boom! - not alive. I don’t think I thought that really happened to good, regular people who went to their check-ups and took their vitamins. I mean, I wouldn’t have articulated it that way and it wasn’t a conscious thought, but I do think, retrospectively, that part of why that shattered me so hard was because I did not think tragedy would visit me like that. 

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5 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

  Bringing manufacturing back into this country and teaching the skills for modern computerized manufacturing in high school are both key to turning this around. 

I hear this a lot, but I'm surrounded by people with expertise in robotics. Manufacturing has always been the place the latest applications in automation have been applied, so it seems to me between advancements in robotics and AI, it's far less likely manufacturing is going to return to the US and hire people in a large scale.   Machines can work 24/7 at a pace humans can't match.  Machines don't get sick and  don't need different types of insurance. It used to take a long assembly line of scores of humans to put together an automobile or airplane when those things first came along.  Now it takes far fewer people to that, and soon it may take hardly any.

My electric lawnbot mows 24/7 and spends a few hours a day recharging. It's really a lawn maintenance machine, not a mower.  It nips the top 1/4 in. off the grass keeping a mowed lawn (mowed to whatever length you want) mowed until the grass goes dormant in the winter. Humans are mowing their lawns weekly with riding and push mowers. We don't need a human to do anything for our lawn.

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9 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I hear this a lot, but I'm surrounded by people with expertise in robotics. Manufacturing has always been the place the latest applications in automation have been applied, so it seems to me between advancements in robotics and AI, it's far less likely manufacturing is going to return to the US and hire people in a large scale.   Machines can work 24/7 at a pace humans can't match.  Machines don't get sick and  don't need different types of insurance. It used to take a long assembly line of scores of humans to put together an automobile or airplane when those things first came along.  Now it takes far fewer people to that, and soon it may take hardly any.

My electric lawnbot mows 24/7 and spends a few hours a day recharging. It's really a lawn maintenance machine, not a mower.  It nips the top 1/4 in. off the grass keeping a mowed lawn (mowed to whatever length you want) mowed until the grass goes dormant in the winter. Humans are mowing their lawns weekly with riding and push mowers. We don't need a human to do anything for our lawn.

The fact remains that it was manufacturing drain that took the wealth building capacity for non-college kids out of this country, and with appropriate incentives or national security focii or whatever, some of those jobs could be sited here and not require very much formal education.  

In general, also, if we are going to switch away from any manual labor, we are going to need workplace or public policy adjustments or some sort of small business advantaging to have widespread employment.

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

Well, this is definitely what happened to me when my baby died. I acknowledge that and can see it now. I don’t think I grasped that babies can die at birth for no good reason, nobody’s fault, not some sort of divine “point” being made; just be alive and then - Boom! - not alive. I don’t think I thought that really happened to good, regular people who went to their check-ups and took their vitamins. I mean, I wouldn’t have articulated it that way and it wasn’t a conscious thought, but I do think, retrospectively, that part of why that shattered me so hard was because I did not think tragedy would visit me like that. 

Yeah, I can see that it would be world shattering. How devastating.

I came from the homebirth world which had an interesting divide.  I saw people who seemed to think that having a homebirth with continual, one on one attention with no unnecessary intervention would guarantee a positive outcome and others who wanted all that and the back up of a hospital just in case, knowing that even then there was no guarantee of a positive outcome. They often had a hard time relating to each other and I could see how frustrating it was for midwives teaching birth classes.  The first couple of hours were on what circumstances would result in a hospital transfer and how all that would be handled. Some of the comments by some of the moms made it clear they didn't think it was possible they would ever need that. 

I interviewed a doula for possible birth support at my homebirth, but it was obvious any sort of doula support was contrary to my personality type. One part of her services getting to know her client's wishes was talking through all possible scenarios, including details of how I wanted things handled if the baby died. I always wondered how different women responded to that process.  I thought it was a great idea, but I'm guessing not everyone did.

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1 hour ago, LucyStoner said:

The denial and minimization is a big thing.  Almost always, there is more going on than people let on.  In addition to not talking about it, people in DV situations are usually excellent at lying about it, insisting it was nothing or no big deal.  

Yeah, I know I've lied about abuse straight to a doctor's face (not proud but just saying...it's a maladaptive coping strategy and it WILL impact data collection). 

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4 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

The fact remains that it was manufacturing drain that took the wealth building capacity for non-college kids out of this country, and with appropriate incentives or national security focii or whatever, some of those jobs could be sited here and not require very much formal education.  

In general, also, if we are going to switch away from any manual labor, we are going to need workplace or public policy adjustments or some sort of small business advantaging to have widespread employment.

Yes, I'm not arguing that it didn't.  I'm arguing that its time may have come and gone.  Because that's likely the case, I agree that we're going to have to think up some different economic strategies, and voters are going to have to stop being suckered into the idea that politicians can somehow bring manufacturing jobs back just because the people desire it.  Sure, I hope they can, but odds aren't good.  Instead of voters picking candidates to tell them what they want to hear, they're going to need to pick candidates that have an accurate sense of what's going on, a clear sense of what's actually possible, and ideas to adapt effectively to realities we may not like. None of that fits into a slogan for a bumper sticker or t-shirt, so the voters need to become a little more sophisticated in their process of evaluating candidates.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Yes, I'm not arguing that it didn't.  I'm arguing that its time may have come and gone.  Because that's likely the case, I agree that we're going to have to think up some different economic strategies, and voters are going to have to stop being suckered into the idea that politicians can somehow bring manufacturing jobs back just because the people desire it.  Sure, I hope they can, but odds aren't good.  In

Yep. There is no realistic way large scale manufacturing is coming back to the US because the American consumer is not willing to pay what it takes to have Americans manufacture run-of-the-mill stuff that folks overseas can produce for a fraction of that cost.
If we ever want to be competetive in manufacturing, it has to be sophisticated, high tech goods that rely on a highly educated work force and a technological edge. We have to produce something the others can't - not low tech consumer goods like clothes or housewares. 

The same people who fall for politicians' promises to bring manufacturing back to the US are the ones who buy made-in-China crap at rock bottom prices from Walmart.

Edited by regentrude
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16 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Yep. There is no realistic way large scale manufacturing is coming back to the US because the American consumer is not willing to pay what it takes to have Americans manufacture run-of-the-mill stuff that folks overseas can produce for a fraction of that cost.
If we ever want to be competetive in manufacturing, it has to be sophisticated, high tech goods that rely on a highly educated work force and a technological edge. We have to produce something the others can't - not low tech consumer goods like clothes or housewares. 

The same people who fall for politicians' promises to bring manufacturing back to the US are the ones who buy made-in-China crap at rock bottom prices from Walmart.

To be fair, there's a reason for that overlap. Lack of wealth. Hard to buy bespoke on unemployment, or on zero hours contract wages. 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

To be fair, there's a reason for that overlap. Lack of wealth. Hard to buy bespoke on unemployment, or on zero hours contract wages. 

Sure. But it's also a deep seated consumer mindset here in the US to amass large quantities of low quality stuff. People just buy and own way too much crap. And I don't see how this culture of material overconsumption could change. 
ETA: Many of those people would consider the notion of less consumption and environmental stewardship "elitist". 

Edited by regentrude
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8 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Sure. But it's also a deep seated consumer mindset here in the US to amass large quantities of low quality stuff. People just buy and own way too much crap. And I don't see how this culture of material overconsumption could change. 
ETA: Many of those people would consider the notion of less consumption and environmental stewardship "elitist". 

Well, maybe. I know I'd rather buy ethically as needed, and less often, but it's a vicious cycle. Cheap crap breaks/wears out/needs replacing a lot. It's easy to judge when you've got purchasing options, including options that allow you to purchase better and less often. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Well, maybe. I know I'd rather buy ethically as needed, and less often, but it's a vicious cycle. Cheap crap breaks/wears out/needs replacing a lot. It's easy to judge when you've got purchasing options, including options that allow you to purchase better and less often. 

Yes, I understand cheap stuff breaks. My point was not about that. My point is that almost everybody possesses way more things than they can possibly need. People with two-car-garages have to park in the driveway because their garages are full of crap. That is a phenomenon that I found remarkable coming here from a place where storage units aren't really a thing and garages rare.
I understand the point about quality - I  am talking about sheer quantity. And the throwaway mentality in the US culture. 

ETA: The average amount of clothes Americans throw out per capita per year is something like 80 lbs. That is completely insane.

Edited by regentrude
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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Yes, I understand cheap stuff breaks. My point was not about that. My point is that almost everybody possesses way more things than they can possibly need. People with two-car-garages have to park in the driveway because their garages are full of crap. That is a phenomenon that I found remarkable coming here from a place where storage units aren't really a thing and garages rare.
I understand the point about quality - I  am talking about sheer quantity. And the throwaway mentality in the US culture. 

ETA: The average amount of clothes Americans throw out per capita per year is something like 80 lbs. That is completely insane.

It would be very hard for the average American to conceptualize German minimalism. It's just a completely different mentality, and if you haven't lived with it for awhile, it is hard to internalize. Things are changing in the US, slowly, but they are mostly changing in ways/places that many people do perceive as elitist, coastal, or somehow along party lines. Sigh. 

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“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

Terry Pratchett - Men at Arms

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I've read this thread out of order and it's really covered a lot of different topics! Heading back to the original topic of moral luck. I think everyone on here agrees that how people turn out or react to life is based on their genetic makeup, their life experiences, and whether they have a safety net.

It seems to me, therefore, that moralising doesn't help.  What helps is setting up a broader society so people are less likely to be in the situation where they can break the law or the moral code.

In Australia, for example, people are less likely to pick up a gun and shoot someone or themselves. This is not because they are more moral; it's because guns aren't accessible. Because of this, the murder rate is lower and the suicide rate is lower.

Setting up a society where breaking the law/moral code is more inconvenient makes a more 'moral' society. Which is why so many people are working hard on how to do those things - decrease access to guns; decrease access to alcohol, cigarettes, other drugs; increase access to emergency housing and food; increase access to education. 

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