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Posted: 10/26/2010 8:22:11 AM EDT
Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?

"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."

I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:23:36 AM EDT
Poverty is a choice.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:23:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 8:24:23 AM EDT by buckfever34]
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:25:49 AM EDT
I believe if all the money in the US was divided up evenly today, in 10 years poor people would be poor again.

It has nothing to do with working harder.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:26:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kutu:
Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?

"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."

I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.


I beleieve we still can do whatever we want and have success. However, I think the time is growing short. Socialism, redistribution of wealth, taxation and regulation are stifling entrepreneurship. When the .gov is standing at the finish line to steal your glory, it kinda steps on those dreams.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:26:37 AM EDT
You may direct said Ph.D student to the book "The Millionaire Next Door".  The majority of America's wealthy are self-made, often coming from very modest families –– and in many instances, impoverished beginnings.  

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:26:49 AM EDT
He is too close to a phd to remain as smart as he once was.  

Why does advanced education have this effect on people?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:27:08 AM EDT


Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome.  He's trying to say the first should mean the second.  That's just not true.  



Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:29:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By aquaman67:
I believe if all the money in the US was divided up evenly today, in 10 years poor people would be poor again.

It has nothing to do with working harder.


I'll agree to that, for the most part. Risks are what pays off. Speaking for myself, hard work has gotten me nowhere. Just older and more tired.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:29:30 AM EDT
You can work very hard all your life digging ditches, but if that's what you limit yourself to, then don't be surprised if you don't become incredibly successful in life from it.

You can become successful from what your mind produces, not just your hands. Those who tell you differently are trying to sell the idea that success is a finite commodity, and that everyone should "share" in that success. Naturally, they want to be the ones that handle the "sharing".

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:31:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By aquaman67:
I believe if all the money in the US was divided up evenly today, in 10 years poor people would be poor again.

It has nothing to do with working harder.


I whole heartily agree with that statement! There is reason that people are poor.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:41:08 AM EDT
You have to understand the way Academics view opportunity. To them it means everyone is equal, everyone has the same stuff, everyone gets what they desire, all the time. In otherwords to each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Ya know Socialism, Marxism all that good stuff.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:49:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:52:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Poverty is a choice.


No, poverty is perspective.

Poverty here, ain't like poverty anywhere else in the world.

TRG

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 8:57:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Poverty is a choice.


No, poverty is perspective.

Poverty here, ain't like poverty anywhere else in the world.

TRG



QFT.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:01:14 AM EDT
Marxism is a hell bof a drug...
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:04:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 9:04:31 AM EDT by DK-Prof]
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:10:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 9:16:04 AM EDT by scrum]
I hope the rest of the paper goes into greater detail and analysis than that to support that statement.  I am going to run with that assumption rather than think this is his conclusion.  I know I've written more than a few sentences in various papers, articles, etc, that make it appear I had no brain.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:10:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Originally Posted By Kutu:
Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?

"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."

I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.


He is probably talking about the DATA on social mobility (I forget who collects the data, but I saw it summarized in the Economist a few months ago), that shows that the U.S. doesn't actually have the highest levels of social mobility - and that there are a number of European countries (as an example) that actually have greater levels of social mobility than the U.S.  (IIRC, the measure of "social mobility" is to what extent someone's income is not predicted by their parent's level of income).



Couldn't this be an echo of US success in the 50s-80s?  If Europe is experiencing their first bulk middle class mobility, and that happened a generation ago for us, it's really an uncomparable metric.  Kind of like construction stats in Indonesian cities vs US cities over the past 20 years?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:10:52 AM EDT
How about real life examples:

My grandmother grew up so poor that groundhogs were a main food staple.  My Dad (her son) grew up so poor that he received used combat boots and an orange for Christmas when he was a kid.  I grew up so poor that my Mom made me home made Jams shorts in 1986 instead of spending $20 for the real ones (we went to Disney World for vacation that year, I really didn't grow up poor).  My kids have more comforts than anyone prior to the mid-20th Century could even imagine.  

It is called hard work and many people today are severally allergic to it.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:12:23 AM EDT




Originally Posted By aquaman67:

I believe if all the money in the US was divided up evenly today, in 10 years poor people would be poor again.



It has nothing to do with working harder.


Dont give them any ideas.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:14:12 AM EDT




There are plenty of 6 figure jobs out there that anyone with some hard work, dedication and some brain power can attain even if they start off poor.



I know, I started with almost no help and am on my way to one. Theres nothing stopping me from making six figures by the time I'm 26 if I keep working at it.



The majority of people that live dead end lives stay poor due to a lack of motivation or poor life choices.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:18:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Originally Posted By Kutu:
Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?

"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."

I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.


He is probably talking about the DATA on social mobility (I forget who collects the data, but I saw it summarized in the Economist a few months ago), that shows that the U.S. doesn't actually have the highest levels of social mobility - and that there are a number of European countries (as an example) that actually have greater levels of social mobility than the U.S.  (IIRC, the measure of "social mobility" is to what extent someone's income is not predicted by their parent's level of income).



Couldn't this be an echo of US success in the 50s-80s?  If Europe is experiencing their first bulk middle class mobility, and that happened a generation ago for us, it's really an uncomparable metric.  Kind of like construction stats in Indonesian cities vs US cities over the past 20 years?


All of the studies I have seen found an underlying factor: education. Highly educated people,on average, earn more than those with less education do, on average. Highly educated people tend, on average, to marry other highly educated people (like you and your wife). Highly educated people also tend to push their children into college, producing another generation of educated people who repeat the cycle.

Like most statistics the extremes can be very influential.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:20:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:23:34 AM EDT
Lets see here. Great-great grandpa was poor as dirt- check

Great uncle 1 owns an accounting firm-check

Great uncle 2 owns and insurance firm-check

Great uncle 3 dropped out of high school and ended up so incredibly wealthy from real estate that when he lost 2 million on a subdivision in Vegas when the bubble burst, he said "most of my money was safe. Bought that on a whim. Chump change."-check.



Yeah, I seen it with my own eyes. If you don't want to be poor, then you don't have to be
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:24:45 AM EDT
Dude is educated indoctrinated beyond his intelligence.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:28:16 AM EDT
Hard work is no guarantee of success.  I can dig holes in my back yard all fucking day and not make a dime.  Now if I invent a hole digging machine I can sell to people that actually need holes dug, we're on to something.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 9:47:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

SNIP

On the other hand, smaller and more culturally cohesive countries like the northern european ones - with very good access to higher education, and very little to no underclass of people who seem to be "locked" into poverty and welfare dependence like you see in a lot of American inner cities - may also have something to do with it.  Part of the issue in the U.S. might be that it's relatively easier for people from the middle class to "climb" up to great successf, but there may be some barriers to climbing out of the low levels of poverty that make people "stickier" at the bottom.
I am just guessing here - I'm not a sociologist by training.



There are barriers, but not insurmountable barriers.  As a middle class white dude looking at the barriers faced by the poor, I see them as the overall ghetto culture and very poor parenting.  A parent with their head on straight may not be able to get themselves upwardly mobile, but they can direct their child in the right direction so the next generation is upwardly mobile.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 10:15:05 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Ironmaker:



Originally Posted By DK-Prof:



SNIP



On the other hand, smaller and more culturally cohesive countries like the northern european ones - with very good access to higher education, and very little to no underclass of people who seem to be "locked" into poverty and welfare dependence like you see in a lot of American inner cities - may also have something to do with it.  Part of the issue in the U.S. might be that it's relatively easier for people from the middle class to "climb" up to great successf, but there may be some barriers to climbing out of the low levels of poverty that make people "stickier" at the bottom.

I am just guessing here - I'm not a sociologist by training.







There are barriers, but not insurmountable barriers.  As a middle class white dude looking at the barriers faced by the poor, I see them as the overall ghetto culture and very poor parenting.  A parent with their head on straight may not be able to get themselves upwardly mobile, but they can direct their child in the right direction so the next generation is upwardly mobile.


That's the issue at hand.  Everyone is concerned with their personal upward mobility.  How many of us who are not in poverty, are educated, employed, and middle class, are the products of immigrants who came here with nothing, and died with nothing?  Upward mobility isn't measured in years.  It's measured in generations.  Anything else is exceptional.



 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:17:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:24:03 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Kutu:


Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?



"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."



I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.


Millions of foreigners seem to find plenty of oppertunity in the USA...



Which is why they all keep trying to come here - legally or otherwise...



And if he thinks 'most' Americans live in poverty, he has no idea what poverty is...



ONLY having 2 cars and 1 TV is NOT 'poverty'.



 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:35:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:35:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Poverty is a choice.


While it often is, there are stillpeoplewho are poor due to circumstances beyond their control, or because of extenuating circumstances.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:39:55 PM EDT
That's either true or false depending on how you define "great success" just like it's always been.  Does everyone have an equal opportunity to become a billionaire?  No.  

There's no way in hell that we have anything near unlimited opportunity in this country.  But we do have more opportunity than anywhere else, at least for the time being.  The biggest threats to opportunity come from idiots trying to make everything "fair" even though it's impossible.  Someone with a PhD should have better critical thinking skills.  
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:40:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Kutu:
Below is a quote from,an otherwise conservative, PHD student. I have asked for the sources that support his position. Will he be able to furnish any "facts and statistic" ?

"It is comforting and idealistic to believe that we live in a country in which any person is able to achieve great success through their abilities, efforts, and choices, unfortunately such a belief is not backed by facts and statistics. Of course there are anecdotal examples of people arising from poverty to great success, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Most people in poverty, many of whom work very hard, will remain in poverty despite their best efforts."

I contend that we have almost unlimited opportunity and we are held back only by the choices we make and we can be unfairly exploited only if we allow it.
And if he thinks 'most' Americans live in poverty, he has no idea what poverty is...
 


But he didn't say that.

Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:51:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sixpack595:
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Poverty is a choice.


While it often is, there are stillpeoplewho are poor due to circumstances beyond their control, or because of extenuating circumstances.


Yep and I'm sure that they have to bust their asses for years just to have any chance to get out of that hole and some of them never do.  The problem is that busting your ass for years and sticking to it regardless of what happens is the best thing we've come up with yet.  Even putting aside all the moral issues of income redistribution and social engineering it still doesn't change the fact that the only known successful method for a solution to poverty (with a proven track record) is that that poor have to really want it and they have to bust their ass.  Is it fair?  Hell no.  But saying that it isn't fair doesn't change anything.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 1:57:56 PM EDT
(sarcastic voice on) Yeah, he's right. I mean it isn't like I came from a dirt poor family, went to the oldest PRIVATE engineering school in the country, became a Field Grade Army Officer, got an MSC from one of the best Unis in the UK... (sarcastic voice off) I am not rolling in money, but I have been successful in my life because I applied myself and took advantage of opportunities that were presented to me. This cat must be getting a PhD in a liberal art and can't find a job as a professor teaching "how to feel about your feelings" or some such shit.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:00:12 PM EDT
"Hard work" may or may not result in success. It depends on what you're working hard at. Odds are that if you're working hard at almost anything you won't be sleeping under a bridge, though.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:13:09 PM EDT
The idea that everybody can become wealthy if they just worked hard is as workable in the real world as Communism, for the same reasons.  The law may deal in equality but nature does not, and nature rules the world, like it or not.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:30:47 PM EDT
Equal Outcomes FTL.



Equal OPPORTUNITY FTMFW.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:31:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 2:32:55 PM EDT by FMJshooter]
Going from poverty to middle class is almost stupid easy these days. Going from middle class to upper class is where things get tricky. Especially since the Government starts cock punching you once they smell you're on the verge.


 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 2:37:27 PM EDT
Poverty is a mindset.

Anybody who says "poor people will always be stuck in poverty" need a motivational session consisting of simultaneous swift kicks in the teeth, nuts, and ass, preferably by clones of Hulk Hogan.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:12:38 PM EDT
Social mobility? Have we created an underclass (can't think of a better term) by, with all our welfare, making it somewhat comfortable to remain poor? Does this welfare class distort the statistics on social mobility in the US?
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:19:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:24:49 PM EDT
By his own admission, Larry Flynt didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it from when he was a kid.  Now, the motherfucker rolls around in a gold wheelchair.  



Warren Buffet started out on the school yard selling packs of gum at a once cent markup before he moved on to pinball machines in barber shops.  



If those two can make it, anybody can.  The odds are highly against it, but if you try hard enough, you can make it.
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:31:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 3:50:25 PM EDT by KfS]
Sounds like he has been reading some Merton.


 
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:34:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/26/2010 3:41:43 PM EDT by forker]
Here's another view on it (not mine).

Begin quote:

(Edited latere to avoid the copyright COC vio)

"Americans, I have some bad news for you:

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.

I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home."


Excerpted from America – The Grim Truth | EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

Here's the link if you have the guts to read the rest:

link
Link Posted: 10/26/2010 3:47:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By forker:
Here's another view on it (not mine).



I'm glad that guy left.  
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