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May 28, 2006

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Maybe it's hard to learn to plan for the future when you're growing up in a family that is living paycheck to paycheck? In this way not every kid learns that it has to plan for the future? If living in the "now" is all there really is, how could they?

Rich kids see parents plan for holidays. Poor kids never go on holidays. Rich kids see parents plan for work because the parents of rich kids have control over their own work. Poor kids have parents which are glad to have any job and sure as hell don't have any control over their own working hours.

How do people react to someone who hasn't learned to plan for the future? How do we normally interpret this? Are we teaching these kids how to plan for the future? Can we?

I think discrimination has more to do with the class and wealth, then with skin colour. The poor are discriminated against because they are poor.

The rich don't like to think about the fact that they had more opportunities. The rich tend to think that they are rich only because of their own hard work. The factor 'good luck' or 'bad luck' is never even considered.

Naturally, rich people will see poor people are "having earned" being poor. That some poor people have two jobs and make a 12+ hour workday doesn't register with many rich people who work 9 to 5.

Most rich people can not imagine what it means being poor.

According to gmlk's static class view of the world, rich were always rich, and the poor are poor forever. And in an authoritarian society with strong government control over the means to production, this would likely be true. But it isn't the case in the US, yet.
Why liberals, who presumably would be against such a rigid class structure, are so eager to turn the US into just such a society through increasing federalism, is something that I still don't understand. I think it's a lack of economic understanding.
In any case, those with common sense can see that using your individual reason and applying your will to planning and acting with an eye to the future, is not only NOT racist, it is necessary in order to be a fully realized human being. What a strange Orwellian world the Seattle public school children live in.

I just described the facts as I see them. You can disagree about the fact, but please don't put words in my mouth or assume to know my mind.

I do think that in a free and open society people can (with a little luck) make their own destiny. Over generations any family could become rich.

This would however not change anything about what I said: The now newly rich will still think that they earned to be rich. They would not see it as "luck". They would remembering the stories of a grandfather who was poor and this would fuel their feelings or entitlement!

Thus: The rich are always rich, the poor are always poor. Just the family names may change over time...

The "american dream" is nothing more then a myth, a fantasy. It has never been true. The reason people become rich or poor is mostly chance and timing. For most rich people, being rich has nothing to do with anything they themselves did. For the most part is being lucky to have been born in the right family at the right time.

And it's not just "liberals"! It's every one! The left wants a welfare state for the poor and the right wants a welfare state for the rich. What's the difference?

There is a third option: Less government. But both the rich and the poor are against it. This may wel be the only thing they agree on.

"Thus: The rich are always rich, the poor are always poor. Just the family names may change over time..."

Put that way, it is a tautology with no relevance. Equivalent to saying: At no time will everyone in existence have the same measure of wealth.

"The "american dream" is nothing more then a myth, a fantasy. It has never been true. The reason people become rich or poor is mostly chance and timing."

I'm sure you likewise define "chance" and "luck" as to include hard work, understanding a need (which people will pay to fulfill) and recognizing (and taking) opportunity when it presents itself.

"There is a third option: Less government. But both the rich and the poor are against it. This may wel be the only thing they agree on."

On this at least we agree.

What is interesting is that a large proportion of East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans) in the US have a future time orientation. I deal with them all the time ...

"I'm sure you likewise define "chance" and "luck" as to include hard work, understanding a need (which people will pay to fulfill) and recognizing (and taking) opportunity when it presents itself."

No. But important to understand: Nobody ever got rich for hard work. Slaves have worked very hard throughout history without ever getting rich. You need to get a break...

Understanding and recognizing opportunity are mostly dependent on have had a good and relevant education.

The kind of opportunity that will present itself is very dependent on the place you live, the time and money you have and the level of education you had access to. Opportunity is not equally dispensed among people: The rich get more then the poor.

What it comes down to is this: Life is unfair. The rich don't have invest much effort in staying rich. Whereas that the poor need to do a lot more just to keep having a roof above their heads and food on the table.

The minimum cost of living is about equal voor all humans, let's call it a "threshold of living". Poor people are only just able to match this threshold and maybe have a few bucks extra.

Rich people don't have to worry much about their threshold for living. Although they pay a little bit more then the poor family for living a beter lifestyle. At the same time they get a lot more extra.

So in practice the first 1000 dolars are worth less then ever consecutive dolar of income...


No. But important to understand: Nobody ever got rich for hard work. Slaves have worked very hard throughout history without ever getting rich. You need to get a break...


Hmmm, those Google millionaires that I work near to must be illusions then.

Then again, all those asians who migrate to the US for an opportunity to take part in the wealth there must be stupid then.

Does anyone want to comment on the rest of the paragraph? What on earth do they mean by claiming that "emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology" is an aspect of white racism? Did Ghengis Khan not emphasize individualism? Were the diggers of England not a collective? The collective/individualistic dichotomy has been present in all cultures at all times, and to state that one side of it is associated with one race is outrageous and absurd.

Incidentally, it's not just Seattle. The US State Department's page has a lesson plan for teaching children about collectives and time orientations. Clearly the people at SSB attended this seminar:

http://exchanges.state.gov/Forum/Journal/pea6activities.htm

"The kind of opportunity that will present itself is very dependent on the place you live, the time and money you have and the level of education you had access to. Opportunity is not equally dispensed among people: The rich get more then the poor."

So how about all those Jews, fresh from the true ghettoes of Eastern Europe, living in the lower East side of Manhattan of the early 20th century? They have since become the richest ethnic group in America (Japanese are second). If you could put aside your convictions, a reading of The Bell Curve would do you well. (Ie, the Jews and the Japanese did so well mostly because of their higher IQ. Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ. East Asian countries are next.)

How to explain China's broad (urban) growth?

In the 50,000 years since humans emerged from Africa and spread out around the globe, physical environments have shaped dispositions. As they moved into Europe and NE Asia, people had to survive cold winters, not to mention ice ages. A "future time orientation" was Darwinianly selected for - those with it survived, and those without it didn't.

This was not true for genetic stock that stayed in the tropics, for whom there was less of a need to delay gratification. If your hungry, go pick a mango, or slaughter the dik dik with a broken leg down by the water hole. Less of a need to plan ...

In a way, Aseop's "Ant and the Grasshopper", which I was told over and over again as a child, is a pretty racist/racial superior story - extoling the virtues of cold weather "future time orientations" over tropical "hey let's party".

(of course, the Ant orientation does lead to science, economic success, military success, etc., but that doesn't make it "better" ...)

There’s really no reason not to go to college if your parents are paying for it.

I'd like to suggest a replacement:

"There's really no reason to avoid college if your parents are paying for it."

At least, I thnk that's what you meant.

Does "maana" count as a future time orientation?

Good post!

Has anyone here bothered to email "Frank N Stein" and question him about "future time orientation" being racist and what his prefered remedy would be? Perhaps posing as a perspective parent considering a move to the Seattle area might be the appropriate approach.

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