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View Diary: Republicans force black, brown, female and poor to pay an opportunity premium (86 comments)

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  •  The Opportunity Premium... (4+ / 0-)

    is non-partisan, non-racial, completely secular, and forever insidious.

    If you're not born on third base, chances are, you're not getting there by any means.

    However, this stands out:

    Start saving, start accumulating early. The compounding of one’s wealth in the aggregate ensures that in future years even if continued accumulation is stopped, wealth can still grow.
    My parents never taught me about money, even though I was raised in the lower-middle class.  Maybe they just considered themselves lucky, I don't know.  One of the skills that was not transferred to me was understanding exactly the power of the sentence quoted above.

    It took me over a half century of financially flopping around like a fish out of water to figure that out. If there is one lesson of hope that I could bring to those less fortunate, it would be: It costs so much more to be poor than to have even a little bit of money, and accumulating that "little bit of money" doesn't take all that much

    I was unemployed and dead broke at 58.  Then I landed a mediocre job.  What I've done with that opportunity over the past two years, with financial discipline that I never had before, has moved me to a point that I'm no longer worried about retirement.  If I had understood money then like I do now, I'd already be retired on a nice island.

    •  Me too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zadatz, miango113

      Although I'm a little younger and I still haven't gotten the opportunity yet to use my new-found financial sense, unfortunately...

      I also extrapolate this to generations, and use it to try and get people to understand the effects of institutional racism.  When you're born on third base, it's usually because generations of your forebears were accumulating wealth.  When you're a minority, chances are your own forebears were property, or at least very close to it; they very likely were not accumulating wealth. That makes the outcome very different for the two classes.

      Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

      by La Gitane on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:40:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It all comes back to education (0+ / 0-)

      It usually does.  As a former high-school math teacher, I can tell you I tried damn hard, in every course at every level, to convey exactly the lesson you describe.  Exponential growth applied to the wallet is powerful, as you say.

      Politicians of both parties are tearing down public education in this country, because that is what they, and their paymasters, want - until they find there aren't enough engineers graduating in the entire US to meet the demands of their own corporation, much less that of the entire market.

      But that doesn't stop the overwhelming short-term desirability of stupid voters and stupid consumers.  Obama appointed Arne Duncan Secretary of Education.  Talk about a huge disAppointment (intended).  I voted for Obama, both times, and was happy to, but Obama is NOT pro-education.

      Thomas Jefferson said (I'm paraphrasing from memory) that if democracy isn't working, the solution is not to end democracy, it's to educate the populace.

      •  Forgot to mention (0+ / 0-)

        How I know this:

        Politicians of both parties are tearing down public education in this country, because that is what they, and their paymasters, want - until they find there aren't enough engineers graduating in the entire US to meet the demands of their own corporation, much less that of the entire market.
        I know because then their sorry @$$es come crying to us HS math teachers to help them out, to motivate more students toward engineering fields.  I'm just a band-aid on that problem.  Until the corporations drop the scalpel they and their influence peddlers (a.k.a. OUR elected officials) have been slashing into education with for over a decade, they can suck up the problem they contributed to and risk losing forever their market share to overseas corporations.

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