IEET > Rights > HealthLongevity > Economic > Personhood > Vision > Sociology
Born Poor, Stay Poor: The Silent Caste System of America
C. Nicole Mason   Sep 15, 2016   Big Think  

There’s a lot missing from debates and policy surrounding poverty but the biggest deficit, according to Dr C. Nicole Mason, is in honesty. Impoverished people aren’t poor because they’re lazy, they’re poor because social mobility is institutionally suppressed.




COMMENTS
Everyone thinks they deserve what they-- or their people-- receive from govt, thus it's a self-perpetuating race for funds and services. People simply want more 'n more n' more. The way to change this is to ask everybody to take a cut no matter what they or their people's finances are. To throw out a couple of numbers, say everybody could take a 11.11 or 22.22 percent hit on what they receive from govt. But that is virtually unacceptable to anyone-- no number for a cut is acceptable. Changing the situation sells yet no-one is buying.

IMO, from all the evidence, things have improved for black men however for black women it is hard to say. Black leadership is poor-fair: men such as Jesse Jackson and Sharpton have too much say.
Better schools in poor neighborhoods? Merely for starters, disruptive students have to stop disrupting. However boys in poor neighborhood do not want to cease being troublemakers because it gives them a feeling of power to cause trouble. As for teachers, when I was in grammar and high school teachers taught:

a. because they wanted to.
b. salary, benefits.

Today a and b are reversed.
Education can be improved, though since it has declined for four decades it might take four decades to improve.

Though poverty is a factor in crime, increasingly I question if poverty is central in criminality. Surely everybody knows white collar criminals are not usually the victims of poverty. Russia, the largest nation in the world is more or less run by the Mafiya not because the capos feel they were underprivileged/undereducated in their childhoods. They do what they do because they do not want anyone to control them-- which is why rehabilitation is so difficult.
Mexico's situation worsened not because narcoligarchs and corrupt govt officers feel oppressed, but because they also do not want anyone to control them. This matters re inner cities and education in inner cities.
If you make that little piece of colored cloth-like material with numbers on it a condition of access to society ... this problem will continue to exist. In fact, it will only multiply.

In order to further eliminate this problem, not only will we have to get past the need for this multi-colored "caste-contract" to operate society ... we will also have to move closer to R. Buckminster Fuller's idea of the "work" ethic: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/133403-we-should-do-away-with-the-absolutely-specious-notion-that

But alas, we probably won't ever do this. Instead, I feel that we are heading more for a "socially darwinistic" world. The higher classes, and those deemed "more fit" will work to eliminate the rest in a furious fit of "survival of the fittest."

I hope not, but our unwillingness to see past this little piece of colored cloth and its symbolism to a man-made system of "economic value" is truly telling.
Instead, I feel that we are heading more for a "socially darwinistic" world. The higher classes, and those deemed "more fit" will work to eliminate the rest in a furious fit of "survival of the fittest."

Don't exaggerate, survival of the fittest went out after the '30s. Today it is the squeaky wheel gets the grease: they who beg louder get the goodies. At any rate, read this piece without emotion; judging it as a whole-- is it on-target re some matters?
http://humanevents.com/2014/03/24/paul-ryan-was-right-poverty-is-a-cultural-problem/

Here is an excerpt in case you don't want to read the link:

"In March 1965, Moynihan, then 37 and assistant secretary of labor, wrote that 'the center of the tangle of pathology' in inner cities — this was five months before the Watts riots — was the fact that 23.6 percent of black children were born to single women, compared with just 3.07 percent of white children. He was accused of racism, blaming the victims, etc. Forty-nine years later, 41 percent of all American children are born out of wedlock; almost half of all first births are to unmarried women, as are 54 percent and 72 percent of all Hispanic and black births, respectively. Is there anyone not blinkered by ideology or invincibly ignorant of social science who disagrees with this: The family is the primary transmitter of social capital — the values and character traits that enable people to seize opportunities. Family structure is a primary predictor of an individual’s life chances, and family disintegration is the principal cause of the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
In the 1960s, as the civil rights movement dismantled barriers to opportunity, there began a social regression driven by the explosive growth of the number of children in single-parent families. This meant a continually renewed cohort of adolescent males from homes without fathers; this produced turbulent neighborhoods and schools where the task of maintaining discipline eclipsed that of instruction..."

It might be that distribution of wealth is tertiary in causing poverty. Decay of families; and the dislocation of norms and standards-- due to rapid postindustrial change-- may be primary and secondary.
The link's author is a conservative, so he is not going to advocate alternative families. It would be unacceptable to his readers.
Now I do think alternative families are one answer to the decline of nuclear families, as the 21st unfolds and the old ways do not always succeed. Yet so far alternative families haven't caught on much.
>Today it is the squeaky wheel gets the grease: they who beg louder get the goodies.

This doesn't make a lot of sense really. Outside of entitlements that haven't changed in ages, the biggest recipient of goodies in the USA is the military industrial complex, who receive about half of the total pie, and whose share has been increasing year over year for who knows how long. But is it because they "beg louder" or is it because conservative politicians get elected by demanding more military spending?

Furthermore, is lobbying really to be equated with "begging"? I think both beggars and lobbyists would probably object to that characterization, and one might note note that the "goodies" don't flow directly to the lobbyists, they pass through an institution whose leadership has often called for an overall *reduction* in their budget during the past decade or two, possibly because they've never managed to inventory how much material they have already accumulated, never managed to successfully audit how they spend what they're already getting, let alone quantify the benefits they are somehow creating, making it just a little bit difficult to justify taking an ever greater share of the public purse, particularly given that it is increasingly funded by loans obtained partially from the sovereign wealth funds of supposed future adversaries!

>It might be that distribution of wealth is tertiary in causing poverty. Decay of families; and the dislocation of norms and standards-- due to rapid postindustrial change-- may be primary and secondary.

All of these things are interconnected, hence it seems odd to place one above the other, or even to declare one of them to be an effect and the others to be causes.
YOUR COMMENT Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: IEET Affiliate Scholar Franco Cortese Published New Paper

Previous entry: Skeletal Analysis Suggests Lucy Died After Falling From a Tree