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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.

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:

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.
>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.
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