What I'm Thinking Today
Awhile ago, and I wish I could remember where, people were batting around some statistics about how many Americans thought it was possible to come from poverty and become a multimillionaire in this country. These stats were meant to show how ignorant Americans are about class operations in their own country. But, if you answered that it wasn't possible, you were even stupider. Is it possible to come from poverty and become a millionaire? Well, duh, yes. I could give you a bunch of examples. It's just extremely unlikely and will take a fine combination of luck, ambition, and VERY hard work.
There's something on the left that's blasphemous about saying that hard work can take people from poverty to millionaire because it smacks of the whole "up-by-your-bootstraps" thing we despise. But sometimes it's true.
Some of us don't want to, or can't, work as hard as others. I might be able to compete with the bred-for-success-rich-kids I envy if I were willing to work night and day, but I'm not. So, middling success with middling income will have to do. And it will do.
If I'd gone to Harvard and prep school before it, if my parents were so-and-so and so-and-so of the Easthampton So-and-Sos, blah, blah, blah, I could probably work a little less hard and be a little more successful. And that's what I'm whining about today.
I worked hard for awhile to get where I am and I'm over it. I can't sustain a lifetime of striving for upward mobility. I think I only have the energy for middle-class-ness.
At the very bottom, we talk about the people who have to work two jobs and are still on welfare, but we don't talk enough about how, for many folks, hard work pays off, (though it doesn't often make multimillionaires). And the next step: maybe not everyone wants to work hard and one should be allowed to expect a family, lovers, friends, must-see-TV.