Government funded higher education just as other industrialized nations do
Cut out tax loopholes for the rich to benefit the lower and middle class
Start disallowing outsourcing to other countries for lower wages
Institute a flat tax
Disallow those in poverty to have children
This is not possible; we will always have poverty and no middle class
There should always be poverty
That is one of the big problems currently. Many parents are assuming that because they were able to achieve a certain upward mobility, then their children should too. However, they fail to see how much worse the economy is and how much less upward mobility is allowed presently. It really is an unfortunate thing. For those who understand this concept better, their children are fairing much better as families work together under the same roof for longer, supporting one another as is necessary. Good parents have faith in their parenting (as most psychologists agree that environmental factors are as important as genetic one's on outcome) and trust their child if they have been working hard in a poor economy without equal opportunity and are having financial problems. It may serve some parents egos to believe that they were actually better than their children, but this will only drive a wedge between them.
These are my opinions as a psychologist/counselor who has (and is still) studying statistics, sociology, social work, political science and of course psychology; they are also my own personal opinions formed using my own experience, the experiences I have observed in others and especially taking into consideration the vast amount of scientific literature regarding these topics.
Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 07-30-11 at 11:28 PM.
I am addressing this posting to anyone and everyone who is willing to read it. I do not address this to anyone in particular so any comments I make should not be a cause celebre for outrage or insult.
We are miles apart on what equal opportunity means. It does not mean that we start at the same place and end ahead of others. It means the opportunity to succeed is there for all.
I was raised in the Midwest. Maybe that could be a factor on how we view this subject. Maybe if I had been raised on the West Coast or New England, I would be as jaded as some. I have known, through experience, what poverty is and I have known success. I have known many other people in similar situations who have succeeded.
I was in management by the age of 23 for a national grocery chain and I have been a regional sales manager for other companies that many of you would know. I had equal opportunity and I made the best of it. I am not wildly rich by any stretch of the imagination; however, I have done well.
My brother was in management with the same grocery chain and he stayed in the grocery business his entire career. His last position was Vice President for a grocery chain, but not the same one I had worked for. His income was far superior to mine and he was raised in the same one room living area that was a machine shed.
My father-in-law got an 8th grade education. He owned his own plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company and lived in one of the nicest additions in my hometown, which had about 120,000 people and was a suburb of Kansas City. He was not born into wealth and his father was not a lawyer, but he made it in spite of his lack of formal education.
A year ago, my wife and I entertained a group of people from my graduating class. Here is a bit about them:
Person 1 - Was raised within a couple of miles from where I was raised and lived in an older lower-middle class home. He became a General Manager for a Steel Company, moved to various places in the U.S. and is currently in Birmingham, AL.
Person 2 - Was raised within a couple of blocks from Person A. He became a fire chief for the city where we were raised. He now shares two homes, one in our home town and one in Florida.
Person 3 - This person lived in a middle class neighborhood and his father was not a doctor or a lawyer. He became the chief administrator of a hospital in our home town.
Person 4 - Not sure what his father did, but his mother sold real estate. I think he was middle class. I think he has struggled attempting to find success, but I am not privy to much of what he has or has not done.
Person 5 - She probably came from the most well-to-do family of the group and she and her husband have lived in the neighborhood she grew up in until about a year ago. She moved to another suburb nearby.
None of us came from wealthy families. I came from the poorest and I have not succeeded as well as maybe two of them have, but I'm in there. All of us, except for one have succeeded. Everyone of us is thankful for the equal opportunity we had to become successful.
Another friend of ours went on to become an assitant city manager for a small city in California. He was definitely middle class. Another one from the lower-middle class works for Halliburton and goes to Iraq often to work.
And, then there is the son of a union boss. They lived in a neighborhood where people of old money lived. He ended up running a massage parlor and ran into problems with the law. He died nearly two decades ago. He came from money and died with some dirty money, if any at all.
Most of the fathers of all of us, at one time or another, worked in a factory doing line work or some other menial task, but none were managers or Vice Presidents.
Does equal opportunity exist? You bet it does.
Now, again, there are those who say that equal opportunity means that everyone has to start on the same line in order for equal opportunity to exist. Sorry, but that is hogwash. However, if you wish to tell yourself that the deck is stacked against you, I am convinced that you will prove yourself to be a psychic. On the other hand, if you tell yourself that equal opportunity exists and that you can succeed, the chances are good that you will succeed. You may not succeed too; however, your real chances of succeeding come from a positive and not a negative outlook.
I have told my children [now both are adults] that the world is theirs. They can have whatever part of it they wish to have. All they need to do is practice the positive virtues of self-discipline, personal responsibility, hard work, honesty, tenacity, frugality, etc. I told them not to listen to the naysayers and become familiar with what it means to have PMA. So far, my son is doing quite well and loves what he is doing. My daughter is struggling a bit, but she is close to graduating summa laude from a local university and years of night school and raising two kids on her own while working. I anticipate her career to take off soon. Incidentally, she has known poverty too. She has the virtues to make a success of herself and my bet is that she will one day outshine her brother.
So, again, I say to you, "Don't tell me equal opportunity does not exist." It does. As you have probably figured out by now, you cannot convince me otherwise. So, with that in mind, I might stick around to take on my detractors immediately after this posting, but soon I will depart from this discussion. If you want to argue against equal opportunity, I will let you, but I want no part of it.
- Colonel Paul YinglingNobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.
Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.
All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.