Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years of Perfect Living With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong
In a 2017 article written for the Atlantic called Economic Mobility Requires the Nearly Impossible, MIT economist Peter Temin argues that economic inequality results in two distinct classes. And only one of them has any power to transcend the chaos within the institutional prejudices of the typical middle or lower class.
How is one to move up from a lower group to a higher one? Education is key, Temin writes, but notes that this means plotting, starting in early childhood, a successful path to, and through, college. That's a 16-year (or longer) plan that, as Temin compellingly observes, can be easily upended.
Modern wealthier families contend with this nowadays by hiring career counselors early on in their child's educational experience, like the beginning of high school and sometimes prior to that, if they're talking about getting their child in a more exclusive high school. Everything, including much of their child's social, cultural experiences come under this counselors perusal.
For minorities especially, this means contending with the racially fraught trends Temin identifies earlier in his book, such as mass incarceration and institutional disinvestment in students, for example. Many cities, which house a disproportionate portion of the black (and increasingly, Latino) population, lack adequate funding for schools. And decrepit infrastructure and lackluster public transit can make it difficult for residents to get out of their communities to places with better educational or work opportunities. Temin argues that these impediments exist by design.
Despite the bleak portrait that he paints, he doesn't believe that the U.S. necessarily has to be like this. He offers five proposals that he says might help the country return to more equal footing. Some are fairly clear levers that many before him have recommending pulling: expanding access to and improving public education (particularly early education), repairing infrastructure, investing less in programs like prisons that oppress poor minorities, and increasing funding for those that can help build social capital and increase economic mobility. But other suggestions of his are more ambitious and involve fundamentally changing the cultural beliefs that have been reinforced over generations. Temin advocates doing away with the belief that private agencies can act in the interest of all citizens in the way that public entities can, and should. His final recommendation is to address systemic racism by reviving the spirit of the Second Reconstruction of the 1960s and 1970s, when civil-rights legislation helped to desegregate schools and give black Americans more political and economic power.
And this my dears is what's called the REVOLUTION because there's no way in hell the reforms mentioned above are going to happen without a clear case of Major Fucking Change in People's Minds by not pursuing an imaginary American dream. This article is the hundredth thousandth reiteration of what economic, philosophic, political radicals have been saying over and over-There are inequities and injustices in the system not just because there is simply a lack of resources, education for the majority of people (social Darwinism) as if it just turned out that way. It's more than a lack of resources, education because that's what the top tier of wealthy and political leaders want and have consciously structured the social order. In other words, a different world has been created for us that takes pure luck and special circumstances such as social hierarchy, race, privilege to move into the next tier, which by the way is just another level of moral poverty. It's not only an unfair rigged system but morally bankrupt, yet for all the affected people, all those affected by the "isms" are left to only "praying" for a change of heart within the very system that punishes them.
In this society to be a victim of one kind or another is a special class in itself. The ironic thing is that as true American individualists most white people think each of their circumstances is unique when pitted against the class prejudices that rule the social order. Every non-white human being is affected by the color of their skin and wherever the negative aspect of that prejudice can be used it will be. The same goes for most working women, although you have to go deeper than the mostly white, college educated, professional women that one sees everywhere. Most women, as well as men, regardless of color are working for low wages and not visualized (as real) when everyone considers inequity and injustice in this country.
My solution: spend the next sixteen years or whatever it takes to be perfect, and openly carry a LOADED VOTE with you everywhere you go. Show no mercy and no compromise.
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