Tuesday, December 10, 2013

When Agendas Collide...

Got this fresh off the BLNN. I'm still shaking my head.

Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding extensive influence over America's economy and politics, according to new survey data.

These "new rich," made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, are becoming politically influential, and economists say their capacity to spend is key to the U.S. economic recovery. But their rise is also a sign of the nation's continuing economic polarization.
The photograph that accompanies this story is a young man who is making well into six figures a year. He's a pharmacist by day and trades stocks in his spare time. He's the son of immigrant parents who occasionally relied on food stamps to make ends meet, and the mother wound up setting up a daycare in her home to raise money so her children would have the advantages she didn't.

In other words, he *is* the American Dream.

But the story? Oh, it's the same tired narrative about how the gap between the rich and poor is growing. About how eeeeeevil America is because some people get rich while others don't. About how the income inequality is the "defining challenge of our time" to quote our illustrious President.

Pro-tip: No, it isn't. When immigrants can come to this country, bust their rear-ends, and raise kids that are making over a quarter of a million dollars a year before they're in their 30s, I'd say there's no problem whatsoever. At least there isn't if you're willing to work for a living.

See, that's the *real* problem, isn't it? If you don't want to work hard for a living - or if you've chosen a completely and utterly useless course of study - then it's easy to kick back and whine about how "unfair" it is in America. And while you're busy whining, some immigrant kid is busting his butt to make his way in the world so that his kids can grow up rich. Your kids, OTOH, will follow your example and piss and moan their way through life.

There is, quite simply, no problem here. None. This is completely manufactured, by-the-damn-numbers class warfare rhetoric bulls**t that the Democrats have been peddling for years. Notice that the Democrats are the richest members of the House and the Senate. They have nothing against earning money - provided that they're the ones earning it...

When a first generation American can make it into the top 2% earner bracket by dint of his own hard work, there's no problem. There's only a problem if you take the view that a job is beneath you, or that you are *owed* something, or that it's someone else's fault that you haven't succeeded. If you're looking for someone to blame for your situation rather than a way out, there's the problem.

And the problem is you...

That is all.


JB Miller said...

The year I started college my parents annual income was $6000. They could not help me with a dime for tuition, food or rent. I busted my hump and I am in that %2 now as well.

It's not that I have not seen hardships. I have been divorced twice. I saw the company I had worked within for 15 years fail. I have suffered crippling injuries that would have left many on disability.

I worked through it all. Made my way. Because I worked for it.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Wait until you see the story on how much money was LOST Bailing Out GM!

wolfwalker said...

Some of us are not that lucky. I have a college degree and twenty years experience in my chosen field ... and no marketable skills at all, because idiot employers demand work experience for every single job they offer. Experience that I don't have, because all my experience is with a language that nobody uses anymore.

Oh, you think I'm whining or making it up? Go look at any job search engine and try to find any IT job anywhere in the country that doesn't demand multiple years of work experience in specific languages and software packages.

Sometimes, Jay, the problem really is with the world, and not with you.

Anonymous said...


Get over yourself. I've been in IT since 1986. I can cry an moan about no one needing a DOS tech to get his 286 running, or I update my skills. 4 times in my career I saw the writing on the wall, studied and learned new skills, and continued to work when the old skills were obsolete.

Sounds to me like you didn't pay attention to the changes in your field and got left behind. Just as it should be.

wolfwalker said...

Anon, you haven't said anything I haven't already said to myself... in considerably less polite language, I might add. But you did miss one vital aspect: I didn't say I have no skills; I said I have no marketable skills. There's a difference. I have developed new skills. The difference between us is that when you shifted skill-sets, you were fortunate enough to find employers who would hire you with unproven skills. I haven't been that lucky. Right now, in this job market, a lack of work experience is an instant, total killer.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I have exactly zero interest in complaints about pay or work from someone who expects to only work 40 hours a week. Want more money? Work more hours! I haven't worked 40 hour weeks since I finished college.

I know an even dozen 21-year old kids who have 6-figure incomes because they work on boats and expect an 90-hour week while they're on board, followed by an equal amount of time at home with feet up.

Ted said...


If you can't find someone to hire you full time, try a temp spot. ..... Or a contract spot.
I've been doing contract IT software development for 10 years +. Now make more than I ever did in a so-called permanent position

Geodkyt said...

I ended up in engineering via a temp slot, in a VERY round-a-bout fashion.

25 years ago, I took a temp job -- got hired on the basis of the company's experience with my older sister. Worked a variety of gigs in various entry level slots, mostly long term, but with short term assignments (all over the map) to fill in gaps between more stable contracts.

20 years ago, I landed in a data entry gig for an environmentalist organization (which used real data, not made up fluffy crap), which turned into the database analyst, and then the database manager's job about a year later.

Parlayed that into a data entry job at cutting edge casting firm (aerospace componants and the like) a year and a half later, which morphed into doing failure mode statistical analysis when they realized I was writing macros to make my job go easier, and assisting the engineers with time saving tweaks in their analysis (we were in the R&D section).

Used that and other skills and experience picked up in ten years of temping and a gig at a local telecon to land a real engineering job as a Navy contractor.

Temp agencies provide a GREAT toe in teh door, as the nature of the beast means they HAVE to accept people with lower "paper" quals and/or experience to accept the shaky nature of temp work. That can lead to contractor or subcontractor work. Once you're in teh door, it's easier to advance based on job performance (which is a better clue to your utility than resume experience at another firm anyway.)

Hell, look at Snowden -- bootstrapped his ass right into a MAJOR position of trust and responsibility. WITHOUT having the kind of experience one would expect if hiring directly for that billet.