CDZ Thinking about equality among Americans

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Xelor, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    A group of my son's friends who are on a "road trip to nowhere in particular" visited briefly this afternoon to say "hi" -- and perhaps also knowing that by doing so they'd get a good meal and libations without having to "pony up" for a posh brunch LOL -- seeing as their travels were taking them past D.C. Part of our conversation involved the matter of the equality of opportunity among the citizenry of the U.S. That part of the conversation included the following soliloquy [summarized, of course, for I didn't record the conversation so I could quote it accurately]:

    The phenomenon is and isn't a matter of race. It isn't a matter of race to the extent that one observes in certain isolated communities that economic success -- reaching middle or upper middle wealth levels -- continues to escape people who have centuries long family histories of being poor, poorly educated and inaptly motivated re: innovativeness. It is a matter of race in that the U.S. has been a nation whereby because of their race, an entire segment of society was forced to be poor, poorly educated and, no matter their motivation and innovative will, denied the ability to act on it, instead having to consign themselves to innovating ways to merely not get killed, lynched or something similar. To the extent that women are disadvantaged, it's a matter of sex, which is something one can see from the quantity of women, which is something around 25 or so, who head Fortune 500 companies and in the lower pay given to women, yet women comprise about half of the population.

    If one wants to live what folks like you and I would call "a hard life," that's on them. If one doesn't want to live "a hard life" and one is forced -- by law and by the custom of the dominant segment of society -- to do so, that's not on them.

    Take you for example. Your ancestors came to this country with resources and parlayed them into thriving business. They used the income from that to educate their kids who in turn pursued successful business or professional careers. That cycle has continued unabated -- even after being on the losing side of the Civil War -- for over two hundred years. No, you're not living on a trust established some 200 or more years ago and even today provides for a very luxurious existence. You've still had to do something with yourself to be where you are, but you faced no limits on your doing something with yourself. But without the "leg up" you got from your ancestors, you'd have had a much harder way to go.

    Where would be your situation today were you descended from people who, until comparatively recently, were denied the opportunity to even own property, to learn to read let alone go to the best schools or even typical schools, and so on? Maybe you would be among the upper middle class or upper class, but most likely you would not. ​

    That didn't come from me, but it could have. That was one of my guests addressing another of them.

    Now, like the kid the woman address, I happen to have been, in a manner of speaking, "to the manor born." I'm not ashamed of that, and I'm also not in denial about the advantages that provided me. Naturally, not everyone was born with as much a "leg up" as I, but that's not the point.

    Everyone who was born with some "leg up" dissembles when they deny their advantages. The fact is that some of those advantages make a material difference and some of them don't. For instance, almost everyone who's achieved economic success (upper middle or higher wealth) did so from contemporary beginnings less well positioned. On the other hand, being born minority or female matters a lot and is essentially unalterable. and to think that was/is not a burden is to deny the reality of America. It's, IMO, reprehensible to decry efforts to correct the nature of the nation so that those two statuses are not, ASAP, no burden, no disadvantage, at all.
     
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  2. SeaGal
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    SeaGal Gold Member

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    So...what steps have you personally taken to correct the nature of the nation? What steps do you feel should be imposed on the rest of the nation - beyond its already generous social services and affirmative action efforts? Who's 'decrying' those efforts of correction? I think school choice/vouchers is a start - who's decrying that effort?

    You claim that women make less money than men - can you explain how that is so?

    We've borrowed trillions to wage war on poverty - how's that working for us?

    It's a utopian pipe dream to wish us all the same - we are not. We have physical and mental differences. Different talents and abilities. The very best effort humans can make is to institute a form of government in which justice is blind and economic opportunity exists. Imagine that.
     
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  3. Luddly Neddite
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    Luddly Neddite Diamond Member

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    The point about being to the manor born - even if you were poor and white, like my family, you still had more opportunities than if you were poor and Black or Hispanic. And that's still true today. Really, our whole system is geared toward keeping people of color down, "in their place".

    On top of that, the Repubs are ending most of the education opportunities for the military that made it possible to get good jobs after WWII. It was the GI Bill that gave soldiers the education and income that let women stay home to raise kids. And it was unions that gave them the salaries to send their kids to college.

    That's not only gone now, but the right is waging a very effective war against women who choose to raise their kids when the father does not. The very women who should be revered for working one, two and even three jobs are now demonized by the right. Women are now punished for being female in ways we had not seen before. The right is fighting to keep affordable birth control away from them as well as abortion.

    And the same war is very actively being fought against Blacks and Hispanics. Just as hitler did, trump and the Repubs are blaming people of color for the death of the Middle Class. RWs are ripe for those lies and incredibly gullible. Like - who would have ever thought anyone could be dumb enough to believe that migrant farm workers are taking American's jobs?

    Good post and smart kids. You raised him well and he chose his friends well.

    (Did you have enough food in the house to feed a bunch of young people? We shopped yesterday for our kid, wife and two G-kids coming for the eclipse - more than $300. )
     
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  4. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Well, some of them that I have undertaken and that are on a very personal level include:
    • Developing an intellectual/sympathetic awareness, and where possible an empathetic awareness, of the nature and extent of what inequity and its manifestations entail on both overt and subtle ways.
    • Raising four children in a way that doesn't teach them to perpetuate my own weaknesses and shortcomings.
    • Objectively asking myself, when I'm the decision maker, and confirming with peers whether the decision I'm about to make is objective, equitable and equitably subjective when a measure of subjectivity is concomitant with the decision, even when I'm confident that I've not been unduly subjective.
    • Contributing my time and resources to efforts to share my leanings, or learning in general, with individuals who have not had the good fortune or occasion to otherwise acquire them.
    • Speaking up when my friends and associates exhibit ethically inequitable behavior or make such remarks, i.e., not remaining silent simply because it'd be easy to do so.

     
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  5. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Thank you.
     
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  6. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    LOL Yes. I scraped together a hodgepodge of what I had available and that didn't take much effort to prepare:
    • some smoked salmon
    • DIY cracker appetizers consisting of one's choice among sliced apple, pear or peach, "butter cheese", rosemary perfumed kidney lard, capers, shaved chocolate and sevruga
    • various berries, cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon
    • crab omelettes
    • a few filets (had to serve them as halves, but they were 2" thick cuts, so it was enough)
    • champagne, freshly squeeze orange juice, cranberry juice, iced tea and soft drinks
    Not everyone got whole portions of everything, but everyone did get plenty of what they wanted.

    Had they caught me home in my pre-retirement days, we'd have had to go out or have something delivered as there's no way there'd have been that much food or that much variety of food in the house.
     
  7. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    The so-called death of the middle class is the result of more middle income individuals moving into upper middle and upper income segments of society than are moving into lower income segments of it. The reality of being American is that regardless of whereto one is born, remaining in that socioeconomic position is not guaranteed. All immutable differences being equal -- the point of the OP being that all such difference aren't equal -- the preponderance of one's sage, innocuous or poor choices determine, respectively, whether one's fortunes increase, hold pat or decrease.
     
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  8. IsaacNewton
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    IsaacNewton Gold Member

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    The two newest generations, that had taken unions, minority rights and women's rights for granted, are now going to have to refight all the fights that took place through the whole 20th century because baby boomers, their children and grand children, had thought all these battles were settled and the rights secured. They didn't count on the veracity of the far right wing to destroy all that was gained by the common man during the last century.

    The fight is on again. Occupy Wall Street was really the beginning of reclaiming all these rights that a tiny handful of hardcore conservatives have spent billions of dollars on, building con-talk-radio, and Faux News, to tear all those gains down.

    And as we see on tv young people are fucking PISSED off about having to do it again but as before they will succeed. But there will be fights and there will be blood. There always is when one group seeks to deny another of basic human rights. Conservatives here and elsewhere that like to posture "bring it on we're ready blah blah blah" give it up. You are attempting to stop a tidal wave with a lawn chair.
     
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  9. Indeependent
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    Indeependent Gold Member

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    Yep; all the Jews that were liberated from the Nazi death camps came with pockets full of gold and diamonds and that's how they made it.
     
  10. SeaGal
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    SeaGal Gold Member

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    Admirable, on several levels, indeed...and the others? Including but not limited to these two - What steps do you feel should be imposed on the rest of the nation - beyond its already generous social services and affirmative action efforts? Who's 'decrying' those efforts of correction?

    School vouchers are a ticket out for many inner city kids, a great equalizer...agreed?

    Can you source your statement that women make less money than men, as well as why that might be?...or is that anecdotal based on your intellectual/sympathetic awareness on the nature and extent of inequity?
     

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