…and all about what individual choices have wrought:
- Youth, career beginning, and education debt
- Single motherhood
- temporary unemployment
- Life style choice
- Lack of marketable skills
- Living where there are no jobs to match skills
- Very bad luck
- Mental illness, addiction, etc.
- Lack of cultural mastery, whether via recent immigration or whatever
- Chronic disabling illness
- A history of poor decision-making and life strategizing
- Low IQ
- Character traits such as laziness, inability to get along with people, lack of organization, initiative, goals, self-discipline, or ambition, no discipline to save money, impulsivity, poor planning, lousy judgement, etc etc.
- Income data gaps due to the numbers of people who work off the books (for a dramatic example, our clinic realised that there was a 30-woman prostitution ring working out of a nearby government housing project)
- Choosing to work the welfare/disability/food stamp/child care etc. system (with a couple of kids, the all with full government benefits brings them up to a working class standard of living without working. That ought to be good enough, roughly equivalent to a $40,000 salary). Our support system will bring you close to $30,000/yr in cash and/or benefits including unlimited free medical care)
- History of criminality or career criminality
16 items. 2 are obvious not an individual’s fault. 3 can go both ways (not your fault, perhaps it is).
But how often to the Occupy Wall Streeters bring these up (and if they do, merely a fleeting mention) as opposed to the hated "1%"? To often, I get the impression that they (and many Progressives) simply blame "the system" or blame "society" – and never, ever, really want to consider that neither is to blame. People DO make choices – and sometimes, those choices are sub-par.
With the OWSers, we have heard often that "hey, I have this Sociology degree, or one in Womens’ Lit, or one of a dozen different fields of study in which I ask – "and that can be directly applied to what kind of productive job? And then they relate to the $10s of thousands of debt, and blame society for not holding up "the social compact" (as in "I was told that a college degree would give me a good living").
(H/T: Maggie’s Farm)
As I have said before, your parents failed you (or you ignored them), your high school counselor failed you (or you ignored them) or your college mentor (if you had one) led you on (or you ignored them). There is a cost to education, as there is a financial benefit to a college degree in the right fields (STEM types). Sure, those degrees are hard, but that’s why the starting salaries are higher than retail or other entry level service jobs.
But do not expect those that you envy will take kindly for penalizing them simply because they are successful.