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  •  I am not sure what country you think you live (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but no one gets a free pass at life.  You start at the bottom and work yourself up not the other way around.  

    •  I'm pretty sure (14+ / 0-)

      I live in a country where income inequality is growing, not shrinking.  And most of the people at the top were born there -- they didn't get there through superior work ethic or intellect. longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

      by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 10:36:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Give me a break. When I got my first job (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I made 15K a year and ten years later I was making 42.  Ten years later along with associates degree I was making 65K.  Then with my BA I now make over 110K.  I get paid for experience and expertise. I managed to put two children through college and  I got no help fron anyone.  There are very few rich people that are stupid with or without a degree.  The meme that all rich people did not earn their wealth is stupid and profoundly wrong.

        •  And your comment history shows you are (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, royce, TFinSF, Whatithink

          A Republican talking points troll.

        •  you had lots of help (12+ / 0-)

          from the existing infrastructure...public schools, public roads, the court system that enforces contracts, clean water, breatheable air, student loans for your kids if needed, and state support for both public and private colleges directly and indirectly, food inspected by the USDA and medications approved by the FDA that you and your kids used when sick, indoor plumbing, vehicles that have been mandated to meet government required safety standards, and so on. And 110 k isn't really rich these days, not in NJ. I almost make that as a social worker ( with and ABD if you know what that is )so stop being so hard on everyone. You did notmake it own your own, you had help. All of us did; some more than others.

          •  There are many physicians who make just $110k (0+ / 0-)

            So $110k with just a BA is pretty darn good salary, considering physicians have 4 years of medical school, 3-7 years of residency working 80 hrs a week.

            And people love bashing physicians here.

            •  Not me. I don't bash them. (0+ / 0-)

              Any educated person knows what it's like to go through sacrifice for a degree, and most are aware of what physicians must go through. Now, look at the way people are bashing teachers these see a few make 100k in NJ, after 20 years and graduate degrees, and everyone in the state is calling for their heads. have i had a few doctors who were callous assholes who let it go to their heads? Yes. But not most, and the most prestigious ones I've been to have mostly been sweethearts who love helping patients. And most were for single payer...

        •  What first job pays 15K a year? (2+ / 0-)
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          wishingwell, Toon

          I wanted that 6 years ago. Couldn't get it.

          Sounds like you're bitter--but a lot of people woke up, smelled the hummus, and realize that the meritocracy died back in the 2000s, back when this baloney passed for conventional wisdom.

          I know no one under the age of 30 who is making a decent life for him/herself and does not have well educated and well off or flat out rich parents.

          The meme that all rich people did not earn their wealth is stupid and profoundly wrong.

          Most rich people do not "earn their wealth." Most rich people I know are stay-at-home-moms dependent on their husbands income or children who get free rent, free education or at least some extremely beneficial networking.

          •  That is as stupid as saying... (0+ / 0-)

            most poor people I know are lazy welfare queens...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:16:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is absolute crap. My daughter (0+ / 0-)

            started working for Barnes and Noble when she was 17 at the age of 25 she was named the Plant Store Manager making 70K a year plus bonus.  She has not graduated from college yet (she will in January).  My daughter cannot be the only exception out there.

            •  Do you not understand the meaning of the word (0+ / 0-)


              This is a country with extreme income inequality.

            •  BN sells plants? (0+ / 0-)

              Since BN doesn't manufacture books I doubt that the word "plant" is part af any title. But to your point that she went from clerk to manager, probably she isn't the only one. But the real point is that there is  only ONE General Store Manager and there are dozens of poorly  paid clerks. Even if every single clerk was as brilliant and dedicated as your kid, only a few would move up the hierarchy and only one would end up on top. And that is where the false promise of work hard and have a great life falls flat on its face. We are a winner take all society and no matter how hard you work there is only one well paying job for every two dozen poorly paying jobs. The people who make it are not only hard working but very lucky.  

              •  So what is the point that you are trying to make (0+ / 0-)

                that she was lucky?  And I do believe there is such thing as being in the right place at the right time. I believe you are trying to say that there are many bright and hard working people out there and in many cases there is no where to go for them.  A lot of it has to with where you live.  I took a promotion to McAllen, Texas in 2005 from Warren, Michigan. It was right at the start of the housing disaster.  At the time my company had a policy where if I did not sell my house in 60 days they would purchase it from an average of two assessments. Needless to say I did not sell it.  They changed the policy after me because they took a 40K hit on it. McAllen and Texas as a whole is a boom town compared to Michigan. I was laid off in 2008, I had the option of moving back to Michigan or taking a buyout. I took the buyout.  I found a job in Northwest, Arkansaw and things are going well.

                In a lot of cases jobs move and there are not going to be replacements.  I have a daughter that still lives in Michigan and she cannot find a decent job. There are many states in the Midwest that are like this.  I  have told her repeatedly that you need to go find the jobs they will not find you.  She does not want to move and there are many people in the same situation. Being able and willing to move can significantly increase your chances of finding a decent job.  There is no easy answer.

                I do think it is important not to have a defeatist attitude, I also realize that it is easier for me to say that than others.

        •  I have some questions? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfe, Toon

          In what field are your degrees?

          How many different companies did you work for ?

          Did you receive promotions at a company that enabled you to make 110k a year?

          You say no one helped you. But that often is not true entirely. Did you have supportive parents or family that helped you with childcare while you were working or obtained your degrees?
          Did your family or friends help you with important contacts that assisted in your advancement?
          Is your family well known in the community where you work?  

          I get tired of the Republican talking point that they work hard and no one helped them. The help does not always just refer to money help.
          What is discounted is many people have other tangible and intangible help from family. If you think about it, I am sure friends and family gave you some help along the way.

          And how can you lack compassion for those who work very hard and still are struggling? I know people with degrees who have become disabled and cannot work.  I know people who work their butts off and still cannot get ahead because of medical bills putting them in debt.

          I cannot understand the lack of compassion and lack of insight that just because you did well Cathy and things worked out for you, well bravo..but there are so damn good hard working people out there who work just as hard as you but lose their jobs through no fault of their own.  Or they encounter health problems or other problems not of their own making.

          •  I don't lack compassion... (0+ / 0-)

            but I do not think our solution should be any different than to provide things like the "hope scholarship" in Georgia that says you get a "B" average and college is much more fair can we be to give people a chance to get a leg up???

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:19:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My degrees are in chemistry and business. So you (0+ / 0-)

            know my father died when I was a year old.  I was the youngest of seven children.  My mother could not handle seven children.  Three of us went to an orphanage, the balance went to various relatives.  I ended up being a foster child to some people that frankly should not have been parents. I have never had anyone help me in the way you described. I of course had many ups and downs through life as we all do.  I have total compassion for people that are having difficulty in finding a good job.  I have worked for four companies over my career, and I hope to god this is the last one.  Having been part of a downsizing three years ago one can never be complacent in the job they hold.  

            •  Could you give us some demographic information (0+ / 0-)

              Your age 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s?

              How long have you been at your present job where you earn over 100K?

              What area of the country do you current reside?

              Since you had no family support or resources, were you able to get grants for college?  Were you a single parent or married?

              Did you use public transportation or receive any grants from government agencies?  

        •  I have two college degrees (9+ / 0-)

          I have worked hard all my adult life — nearly 40 years. I now have a stressful, demanding job that has me working 60 or 70 hours a week, and I barely make a quarter of $110,000. It's true that not ALL rich people didn't earn their wealth, but it's true of many, and it's equally true that for many, all the honest hard work in the world, coupled with education, gets them very little because the deck is stacked against working people. What you fail to recognize — as do most arrogant well-off people like yourself — is that there is a strong element of luck in your good fortune. I have much experience and expertise, and I am not being paid for it.

          By the way, although I don't know your situation, I can state with confidence your assertion that you go no help from anyone is almost certain false. Only a blindly arrogant person would ever contend that.

          De-orangify Congress: Justin Coussoule for Oh-08

          by anastasia p on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 11:00:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Follow up questions for clarification (7+ / 0-)

          In what age range do you place yourself? Are you over 40? Over 50? Over 60?

          Are you Caucasian?

          What were your parents' work experiences?

          You may think this doesn't matter, but quite frankly, it means everything to a person's future performance.  My grandparents got rich in the 1940's and 1950's because they got in on the ground floor of a booming economy.  Their children went to good schools and their higher education was paid for by their parents.

          There was no ground floor for me to get in on. My parents couldn't afford grad school for us -- we needed loans to finish undergrad.  And with 16 years of experience in my field and 13 years in the field before that, I make about half of what you make.  Which is still better than a lot of people, and I know it.

          All the bootstraps in the world don't help if there's nothing to pull yourself up TO.  You and people like you think there's a ladder up there.  You're wrong.  It's a pyramid, and the room at the top is shrinking all the time.

        •  Wow, generalizing from personal experience! (3+ / 0-)

          I take it your degree didn't require that you take any statistics classes.

 longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

          by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 11:02:54 AM PDT

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        •  Were they state universities? (0+ / 0-)

          Even private universities get millions of dollars in support from various government grants.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 11:17:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your arrogance is astonishing (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, wishingwell, CParis, Matt Z, TFinSF, Toon

          How about this.  I could say that I put myself through undergraduate and graduate school.  But, guess what, that is not the whole truth.  I had one year's leave of absence, with pay, under Operation Bootstrap, while serving in the USAF.  I was able to finish my undergraduate degree and start graduate school under the old and generous GI Bill after leaving the Air Force.. My civilian career was as a State of FL employee.  Again, I was awarded one year of leave with pay to work on my graduate degree, though there was no automatic increase in pay with completion of a Master's degree. Oh, and by the way, I was a single parent through most of this (USAF had excellent, low cost base day care).

          You claim that no one helped you.  That is impossible for me to believe.  I worked my butt off and completed my Master's, my goal, though it took years.  I would never have the arrogance to claim such a thing.

        •  My wife is (8+ / 0-)

          a High School Special Ed. teacher.

          She has a Degree, and experience, and she grosses about $35k.

          How much harder do you work than she does?

          We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

          by twigg on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it's the old line... (0+ / 0-)

        about 'people believing they hit a home run, when they were born on third base'

        May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

        by oldcrow on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 11:41:17 AM PDT

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      •  Link and statistics... (0+ / 0-)

        on the porported "fact" that most are born into the top...

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:14:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  55% of children of people in the (0+ / 0-)

          richest income quintile end up in the richest quintile themselves.

 longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

          by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:30:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for that... (0+ / 0-)

            I read this totally differently...

            1. Less than 1/2 of people who started in the lowest quintile stay in the lowest quintile and 9% end up in the highest quintile...Bravo to them!!!   So the fact that over 1/2 moved out of the lowest quintile means that each generation is moving in the right direction.
            1. Only 55% that start out in the highest quintile stay there...from your original comment I would have thought it would have been it is far from automatic

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:37:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To me most = majority (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Look, I have every reason to be on your side here.  When I was born, my family lived in a trailer park.  I worked hard, got my Ph.D, and now run my own lab as an Assistant Professor at a good University.  At age 35, my income is just south of 6 figures.  But I had lots of help.  My parents required hard work in school.  Many kids' parents do not.  I had good mentors in school and graduate school.  Most people do not have those advantages.

              My point is that luck of circumstances (birth and otherwise) plays a major role in income mobility.  And yes, the biggest predictor of someone's wealth is the wealth of their parents.  If we were truly a meritocracy, the upper quintile would produce 20% highest and 20% lowest income kids, and so would the poorest quintile.  That's just not the case.

     longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

              by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:45:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correction... (0+ / 0-)

                should be one of the biggest predictors

       longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:46:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Personal responsibility... (0+ / 0-)

                is not a Republican only value...anyone in this country can move out of their current situation, they may need to join the military to do it...that is true...or mve to GA...and get a "B" average...

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 12:58:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never argued against (0+ / 0-)

                  personal responsibility, so I don't see the point of that non-sequitur.  The opportunities of people from different income brackets are unequal.  You asked for evidence and I provided it.  If you want to argue against points I never made (personal responsibility), then it's obvious you don't need me here to continue this conversation.

         longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                  by TFinSF on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 02:10:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  And it continues, your history of comments (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tommyfocus2003, Matt Z, royce, TFinSF

      further proving you are a troll.

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