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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: The brutal truth about how childhood determines your economic destiny (135 comments)

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  •  I generally agree that your parent's income (20+ / 0-)

    has a strong impact on your economic success in life, but it's deeper than just income.

    I have one sibling and his taxes just went up, no doubt. He's literally never been unemployed and has a degree from a very prestigious college. He owns property in Manhattan and a place the richest town in CT for the weekends.

    Me? My parents told me no, you can't go to the ivy league school you worked your ass off to get accepted to -- you? You may go to state school and become a teacher. Why? Girls have babies, and college is expensive. They called me "a flake" because I wanted to major in art or journalism. I waited tables to pay tuition, but dropped out at 22 when I couldn't afford to finish. I finally got my degree many years later.

    And no, it wasn't the 50's. It was the 80's/90's. I never had a baby - never wanted one. I never made it out of poverty, either.

    My parents were never rich -- but they took out a second mortgage to send my bother to college...and he still tells people he "took on no student loans" as if he bootstrapped his way to his riches. Pfft.

    It's not just the resources your parents have, it's their attitude about investing in your dreams and potential. Not all parents will "do anything" for all their kids.

    •  My great grandparents were atypical. They (10+ / 0-)

      had two children, my maternal grandfather and my great-aunt. They sent my great-aunt to college because she would have fewer opportunities as a woman. My grandfather only went to school through high school. Both were successful.

      This was a very long time ago. I'm nearly 61.

      You got a raw deal, EB. It's sad that your brother doesn't realize the advantages he's had. Does he vote Republican?

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:19:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, hell yes, he votes Republican. (7+ / 0-)

        My grandmother had an atypical experience, too. Her parents refused to pay for her to go to college to become a teacher, so her older brother paid her tuition. Kinda awesome, if you ask me - and she started college in 1935!

        You know what's even weirder? She "dated" my grandfather for four+ years before she "finally" agreed to marry him. Why? Once she was married, she'd automatically lose her teaching job. Married women were not allowed to teach.

        Amazing, huh?

        After her kids were grown, times had changed enough, so she was "allowed" to go back to work.

        •  Ah, the old days which weren't so good. Only (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, Mike Taylor, Eileen B, basquebob, zaka1

          "spinsters" could teach! Of course it meant a job for a woman who needed to support herself in a time when there were many fewer jobs for women. I'm glad times changed.

          It kinda sounded like your brother voted Republican since he never got any help ;).

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:53:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, yeah, and he was against Obamacare (6+ / 0-)

            because the $100 fine was too low for people who didn't get insurance. He said that meant "poor people" would never get insurance, they'd just take the fine and expect free care when they got sick.

            You see, to his mind, poor people (like me, who hasn't had health insurance since 1997!) don't have any "reasons" to have health insurance -- you know, 'cause why on earth would I want my own doctor, right?

            As if we like that feeling?!

            You know the one -- when you know something is terribly wrong and your only resource is WebMD? Like that time when I spent two days doing research to see if it was safe to take antibiotics sold at a feed store for livestock? (It is, BTW. I got better.)

            My brother just doesn't get it. And he gets all indignant and steely-eyed when I tell him how truly, fucking terrifying it is not to have access to a doctor. He can't fathom it. He's never lived it, therefore I'm "being dramatic" when I try to change his mind about it.

            We don't talk much. I don't feel like I'm missing much.

            •  Wow! He sounds positively Dickensian. It sounds (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zaka1, Eileen B

              like you've managed pretty well and have been extremely lucky so far. Too bad your brother can't appreciate what a resourceful sister he has, because he is missing a lot.

              I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Will Obamacare allow you to get insurance, or is it still too expensive? So many people just don't realize how expensive it is to be poor.

              "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

              by Lily O Lady on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:58:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  give him this bit of headstone wisdom (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eileen B, Lily O Lady, JeffW

              from a tombstone:
              As you are, I was
              As I am, you will be

              It only takes one CVA to take you from a six or seven figure income to the public dole.

          •  they also lived with students' families (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lily O Lady, JeffW

            so they would have a male influence in their lives

    •  I remember in the 1970's the chair of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, JeffW

      admissions committee at a prestigious medical school told an applicant: "women are a waste of space at medical school.  If you are married, you will become pregnant and drop out, taking a profession away from a deserving male.  If you are not married, you are coming to school to snare a doctor as a mate.  Go to nursing school so we won't waste a space on you"

      another friend had a fellow student accuse her of taking his buddy's place in med school.  She replied she had a strong undergrad major from a better university with a better GPA and better MCAT scores.  If anyone had taken his buddy's place, it was he and not she who took the slot

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