The White American Dream Game
Just listening to the level of noise coming from some posters complaining about low income workers, how they caused their own predicament, and this is why they are unable to move upwards on the ladder of mobility. Low income and unskilled workers do not work hard enough, they did not study hard in school or they chose silly subjects, they chose this path in their lives, etc. The list of excuses used by those who got a better start in life over those who did not and are struggling is endless. One AB commenter’s complaints to progressives:
– Is it not greedy on YOUR part to demand a piece of what others have earned?
Why can she not learn a more skilled trade?
I have also seen Ph.D.’s doing unskilled labor. They chose to study what they wanted to study, not what would earn them a living. But those who DID study what would earn them a living should be forced to support those who studied what they WANTED instead?
No-one is FORCING them to do anything. They chose the course of their lives. They studied useless things, or perhaps did not study at all. They slacked off in school, perhaps, and so did not take advantage of the education offered to them.
And I don’t know whether you’ve toured the world much, but we don’t exactly have “degrading poverty” in this country. Is there any other country where the primary health problem of the poor is OBESITY? Our “poor” people eat TOO MUCH!!
The UN defines “extreme poverty” as living on less than $1 per day. How fat can you get on $1 per day?
– ‘[There] is no reason the lady who cleans your rest room should not make as much money for her time as you do for yours… if you had to spend the time cleaning the rest room THAT would be the opportunity cost of the job.”
There is a very good reason she is paid less per hour than I am — just about anyone can clean a bathroom, and very few people can do my job. It takes years of training and experience to be able to do what I do. The training is expensive and less than one-third of those who qualify to start the training finish it.
How much training does it take to clean a bathroom?
Some people’s time really is worth more. Even those who clean bathrooms. If one person does it better and faster than another, shouldn’t the faster and better employee be paid more? Should the computer programmer who is slower and makes more mistakes be paid the same per hour as the one who writes twice as much code with half as many errors? Should the grocery clerk who gets through 30 items per minute be paid the same as the one who does only ten?
If everyone were paid the same hourly wage, why would anyone go through the time, trouble, and expense of getting specialized, difficult training?
– The first problem with the individual income tax is the blatant unfairness of taking more from those who earn more. If one man works 60 hours a week, and two others work 30 hours each at the same hourly wage, our government takes more from the one than from the two. How is that fair?
One man studies hard in school, and another does not. The one gets a good education and a better-paying job than the one who did not. How is it fair to tax the hard-working person at a higher rate?
It is not a matter of taking what I earn, but taking it to give to those who do not earn it. Our public policies punish good choices and reward bad choices.
It is pretty well known there are impediments for those with lower incomes to being successful in America and gaining upward mobility traction. Those who start in the lowest quintile of income have a greater probability of sliding backwards once they have advanced a quintile or two as opposed to those who are born into the higher quintile. Add race to the issue and the likelihood of moving upwards is even more unlikely with a greater probability of sliding backwards. “Understanding Mobility in America,” 2006 Thomas Hertz
Hat Tip: Digsby at Hullabaloo toon ‘o the week American Dream Game