Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Working Classes and Winning Qualities

A long long time ago, when I was arguing in favor of NAFTA, a person from “that” side of town told me, “You just don't like the working person.”

Well that is a strange thing to say. I work as well. So does the guy in China or Mexico. I do not see why one social set should be claiming to speak for “the working person.”

I've been accused of being classist; but the people accusing me of such things are the very people I want to help. The problem with lower-income cultures – both “white trash” and the ghetto – is that they destroy in their children their best qualities. If you are smart you are a “nerd,” “Mr. Know-it-all” or “acting white.” If you are ambitions you “think you're better than everyone else.” If you are creative you are "pretentious" or "trying to be something you're not.” If you are beautiful you are “arrogant.”

I went to a private prep school on a full scholarship; and certainly there were problems there as well. I was seen as a “nerd” possessive of no “common sense” or social skills, and people were saying that my academic intelligence counted for nothing in the “real world.” They did not however attack the winning qualities. People were encouraged to proceed with higher education. People were encouraged to be their best. Ambition was nurtured and given the tools it needed in order to thrive.

If people from the other side of town want to be successful, they need to do the same thing. They need to stop attacking positive qualities in their youth and instead nurture them. It is the people who cultivate winning qualities that will win in the long run; and if these people want to rise to equality with the wealthier people, then they will have to do just that.

I do not seek to tromp down on the disadvantaged. I want them to do what they need to do so that they are not disadvantaged any more. First step toward that is stopping their attack on the winning qualities and instead cultivating these winning qualities.

Once that is done, they will have what they need to rise out of the underclass and achieve the most of what they can achieve in a free country.


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