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Privilege - do you realize what you have?

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    Privilege - do you realize what you have?

    Obviously posting on here you have enough to have internet. But on a more serious note we were discussing minimum wage, racism, income inequality, basic income, etc. How it's really hard nowadays to move out of your income bracket. I also would say that there are a lot less middle class people and people are falling either into the upper class or lower class of earners. That there are a lot of people doing well and a lot of people doing really poorly and getting government assistance.

    But privilege when you think about it starts off easily with things you can discern. Getting help with 1st car, 1st home down payment, a paid for wedding (or % help), free trips, college for your children, your own paid for college. Those are all things that some people have been fortunate enough to experience.

    But I think nowadays privilege starts even earlier. Starts with your career options. Starts with the job you have and we've now seen the ability to WFH versus in person. That you can manage child care versus not. Not having the stress about worrrying about money. Able to buy healthy food and exercise. It's crazy how it all works.

    Do you think the US is becoming more class based? How can we change it? Or is it doomed?
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

    #2
    Great topic. Quick Moderator warning to discuss the TOPIC. Don't turn this into a political debate. Obviously, government policies play into this, so it's fine to talk about policies and government programs like Medicaid or SNAP or WIC or whatever, but don't make it a partisan debate or attack specific individuals.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Privilege starts at birth. In fact, it really starts even earlier than that. Did your mother have access to good nutrition and prenatal healthcare? Did your mother smoke or use drugs? Plenty of underprivileged kids are doomed, or at least impaired, from day one. They're born underweight or prematurely or addicted to opiates. They go home to a house where mom smokes, there may not be a father figure present, and there is food insecurity. Pediatric care is limited. Dental care is often all but non-existent. There's no money for preschool. Once in public school, the schools are grossly underfunded, classes are crowded, materials are out of date, equipment is damaged or totally non-functional. No funds for extracurricular activities like music or art or theater. And forget about college because they need to start working at 14 or 15 to help support the household.

      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        For me, I am absolutely privileged. I was born to 2 loving married parents in a safe home, no smokers, no drug use. My mom had good medical care throughout pregnancy and I've had good care since birth. There was always plenty of food. I had a good education in good public schools. I got to go to camp every summer and participate in various extracurricular activities. My parents helped with college costs and even helped with some costs through medical school. I didn't pay for my first couple of cars. My mom helped us with our house down payment. I could list all kinds of advantages I had throughout my life.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Yes privileged absolutely. Even though I was born in a place with no running water and food insecurity, I had two loving parents willing to sacrifice everything for their kids. My parents would skimp out on meals to make sure I was fed as a young child as everything was rationed in the old China(before capitalization hit them). My parents also was intelligent enough to move our family out of China and to the U.S where opportunity was more plentiful even though we all had plenty of disadvantages(language being the biggest).

          Compared to a child from an abusive family, or parents who lead into a broken family, I am absolutely privileged. My parents who were goal oriented in conjunction with their selfless character was my privilege. It has nothing to do with the location I was born or the circumstances we were in.
          Last edited by Singuy; 07-30-2020, 11:52 AM.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Singuy View Post
            Yes privileged absolutely. Even though I was born in a place with no running water and food insecurity, I had two loving parents willing to sacrifice everything for their kids. My parents would skimp out on meals to make sure I was fed as a young child as everything was rationed in the old China(before capitalization hit them). My parents also was intelligent enough to move our family out of China and to the U.S where opportunity was more plentiful even though we all had plenty of disadvantages(language being the biggest).

            Compared to a child from an abusive family, or parents who lead into a broken family, I am absolutely privileged. My parents who were goal oriented in conjunction with their selfless character was my privilege. It has nothing to do with the location I was born or the circumstances we were in.
            What a beautiful perspective <3

            Comment


              #7
              Short answer, yes I realize what I have and I feel privileged. Long answer, I have mixed feelings about privilege and sometimes get hung up on how hard I've worked, the sacrifices I've made and how much further I could be if I'd had the same help some others have had. Specific to DSs exampes, my parents did not fund my education, they did not help me with a car or a house or my wedding. I went to public school, came from a broken home, I took care of myself from a young age, and worked full time to put myself through college. That said, I can appreciate how fortunate I am to have not ever questioned where my next meal would come from, to not have had to work to contribute to the family's finances (my earned money was my own to spend), and to land an internship that eventually led to a full time job with a company I am still employed with today 13 years later. On the flip side, I've pretty much earned the top of my bracket in my career and I feel my success is largely due to things I've chosen to give up for future financial freedom, which I would choose over and over again. I guess in summary, I do feel many get a leg up I didn't and on the flip side, I didn't come from extreme poverty and I don't have a color of skin that subjected me to additional barriers to getting ahead.

              As to LALs final questions, yes we're becoming more class based. For sure the middle class is shrinking and I think we have a long way to go before we start finding solutions. I don't have the answer, but I don't necessarily feel we're headed in the right direction.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
                I don't have a color of skin that subjected me to additional barriers to getting ahead.
                This is an important point. The color of one's skin, and even just your name, can impact your ability to get ahead. There have been studies showing that Ta'wonda Williams is going to have more trouble getting a job than Susan Anderson even if the two have identical qualifications. One of my privileges is a non-racial, non-ethnic-sounding name.

                Our daughter has learned over the years how privileged she is. I'm grateful that she recognizes and appreciates that. In fact, sometimes when something happens with a friend or coworker, she'll say to my wife and I, "Thanks for not sucking". It's her joke way of thanking us for doing all we do and giving her the life that she has.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yes - am privileged. I was adopted at birth by a wonderful family and was given the best of the best. Adoption in and of itself is not a privilege, I consider it the opposite. Adoption is a lifelong process and it comes with a lot of grief for the adoptee no matter how good the adoptive family is. It was by chance and rare exception that I won the lottery by being placed with a truly good family with good resources. That has been the overarching privilege that gave me the platform to continue leading a privileged life. It's also helped that I'm white, male, born in the USA, and don't suffer from any disabilities. I went to college and I've held professional jobs, I save, invest, and find ways to enjoy my life and make sure I'm taking care of myself in the future, too. I can point to so many times opportunity has literally been handed to me in life. I know it when I see it, and I'm grateful. I'm also gay - which is not a privilege - but again, have had the loving family and resources so I can live that and use it to my advantage in my best life. Others aren't so lucky or able to do that.

                  I found and met my birth families in my 30's. I can describe the trail of sadness and destruction my birth families have left behind, at least a mile wide, and spanning better than four decades, but I won't. It's just too sad. They have certain privileges like being white, born in America. But many of them have cemented their lot in life as low-income, minimally educated people who continue to make choices that lead to destruction. I'm thankful for the privilege I was handed - my ticket out of there.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Privileged, yes. Just being born on the patch of land most of us were born on made all the difference in the world. Take Tijuana and San Diego. If you're 2 miles on either side of the border, your life will be radically different. Other than that, good parents who are still together. Father who worked like an animal to support and progress his/our economic status.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Looks like the moral of the story is.

                      Income inequality this, income inequality that. If you are parents who are willing to sacrifice for your child, by supporting them and by staying together, there's not enough policy in the world that can be more effective than that to get you out of the hole. Reading all of the post above just have the following summery. "I am privileged because my parents did their job as a parent".

                      This is why I believe good parenting is key to everything. Most parents in China sacrificed lots for their children. The government gave the people a sliver of opportunity and then BOOM, an explosion of wealth created where 80% of the urban population is now middle class or higher. In fact the last 8 years the middle class shrunk because an explosion of upper middle class happened. And we all know China's social policy is trash. No food stamps, no nothing. You wouldn't get treated in the ED if you have no money. The government didn't give anyone no check during their shut down.

                      Chinas-Middle-Class-Urban-Households.jpg
                      Last edited by Singuy; 07-30-2020, 03:58 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Singuy View Post
                        Yes privileged absolutely. Even though I was born in a place with no running water and food insecurity, I had two loving parents willing to sacrifice everything for their kids. My parents would skimp out on meals to make sure I was fed as a young child as everything was rationed in the old China(before capitalization hit them). My parents also was intelligent enough to move our family out of China and to the U.S where opportunity was more plentiful even though we all had plenty of disadvantages(language being the biggest).

                        Compared to a child from an abusive family, or parents who lead into a broken family, I am absolutely privileged. My parents who were goal oriented in conjunction with their selfless character was my privilege. It has nothing to do with the location I was born or the circumstances we were in.
                        I likely have an unpopular opinion among many... But I believe that there is sufficient opportunity for almost anyone to escape bad circumstances. It will certainly be easier for those facing fewer circumstantial challenges. But as Singuy captured very well, an individual's/family's choices, hard work, and sacrifice have the capacity to dramatically change/escape from negative (or even repressive) circumstances.

                        At the very least, military service is an outstanding way for almost anyone to rapidly escape one's circumstances. Over my career thus far, I've led hundreds of people and tried to learn the stories of as many of them as possible. Easily dozens of those men & women came from frankly horrifying circumstances. Drugs, slums, gangs, abuse, crime, foster care, abandonment, malnutrition, rape, ... I'm just getting started. A particularly shocking story came from a gal who grew up in Venezuela (under the extreme corruption of Hugo Chavez) was kidnapped and held captive for days, before finally getting released. Her parents found a way to the US within months of that incident, and she worked her way to become my peer.

                        In all cases, those men and women chose/worked hard to escape their circumstances. Almost without exception, they also drew great motivation from their difficult backgrounds, and worked very hard to succeed. "Your altitude is determined by your attitude." I fully acknowledge that I and many, many others around me have had opportunities less available to others. I/we also have challenges individual to our own lives. But people always have choices to make. To believe otherwise is an insult to our existence and humanity.

                        Different backgrounds, different opportunities, different challenges, different attitudes, different efforts, different requirements. Choose your own adventure.
                        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          . Adoption in and of itself is not a privilege, I consider it the opposite. Adoption is a lifelong process and it comes with a lot of grief for the adoptee no matter how good the adoptive family is. It was by chance and rare exception that I won the lottery by being placed with a truly good family with good resources.

                          My brother was adopted and we lived in a small town he is 8 months older than me and we have 3 older sisters...he has never felt any different to anyone in our family..always knew he was adopted...we never had a lot of money but we always had what we needed...when he was in his late 20s and had his 2 kids he wanted to know his history (mainly medical)...and he found his parents they were married and he had 2 biological brothers...they are as much a pat of our family as he is..they come to family functions etc...because of him they are family and thats how we see them...they weren't married when he was born and back then the parents wouldn't let them keep him....all families are doing well....he has never had an issue with being adopted

                          Comment


                            #14
                            In australia it is a bit different, you are helped out so much by the govt such as access to public education which is well funded, public health system which if you need surgery or have a cancer or anything you get treated..and you don't pay for it....we are paid well by the govt to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table...etc...it doesn't mean we don't work hard or at all, they have programs to get you back into work and you can go to university (college) and only start paying your loans when you are making over $50,000 a year....not before that...I honestly think our entire country is privleged..yes people take advantage of that but not lot...yes we have crappy neighbourhoods and people still take drugs and break the law...but that is more a choice they make not the circumstance they are in...they aren't doing it because they need food etc...if that makes sense...I feel very privileged...and as someone with a chronic illness I am glad I live in my country and not yours...as we would be dirt poor for the rest of our lives

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                              I likely have an unpopular opinion among many... But I believe that there is sufficient opportunity for almost anyone to escape bad circumstances. It will certainly be easier for those facing fewer circumstantial challenges. But as Singuy captured very well, an individual's/family's choices, hard work, and sacrifice have the capacity to dramatically change/escape from negative (or even repressive) circumstances.

                              At the very least, military service is an outstanding way for almost anyone to rapidly escape one's circumstances. Over my career thus far, I've led hundreds of people and tried to learn the stories of as many of them as possible. Easily dozens of those men & women came from frankly horrifying circumstances. Drugs, slums, gangs, abuse, crime, foster care, abandonment, malnutrition, rape, ... I'm just getting started. A particularly shocking story came from a gal who grew up in Venezuela (under the extreme corruption of Hugo Chavez) was kidnapped and held captive for days, before finally getting released. Her parents found a way to the US within months of that incident, and she worked her way to become my peer.

                              In all cases, those men and women chose/worked hard to escape their circumstances. Almost without exception, they also drew great motivation from their difficult backgrounds, and worked very hard to succeed. "Your altitude is determined by your attitude." I fully acknowledge that I and many, many others around me have had opportunities less available to others. I/we also have challenges individual to our own lives. But people always have choices to make. To believe otherwise is an insult to our existence and humanity.

                              Different backgrounds, different opportunities, different challenges, different attitudes, different efforts, different requirements. Choose your own adventure.
                              I agree with you 100%. Interestingly, I’ve found that many of those that have served in the military (so those with first hand experience) share this viewpoint.
                              Last edited by jenn_jenn; 07-31-2020, 06:46 AM.

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