Last edited by FearlessLeader; 24-09-2013 at 20:54.
Well this thread has gone completely off topic but my 2 cents worth.
No we don't have equal opportunity in this country but unless someone on here has actually lived in a country where it exists I don't know that it completely does. I used to have this debate with people much smarter than me years ago and the difficulty is someone has to do the jobs that no one else wants to do. Clean the toilets, deliver the mail, empty the sanitary bins in shopping centres, clean office towers at dreadful times of the night. I knew someone who did this and they loved it. No distractions, no one around. Just a few people on head phones quietly cleaning an empty building. Not everyone wants to go to uni. It's actually surprising how few do (in the scheme of things).
It would be wonderful to live in a world where everyone got to do what they actually wanted to do for a living, but we don't. People point to Scandanavian countries but I've never lived in one and I'm sure there are negatives (the music seems awful for one).
As for Stephanie Alexander farms, the first one was in one of the most impoverished schools in Melbourne. And it thrived because the students loved it. As for farmers markets at schools, they are quite a common form of fundraising activity here in perth for schools of all economic backgrounds. The local one to us is extremely cheap to shop at and much better than anything else around.
I think I get where VP was going.
I thought she meant she believed there was equal opportunity, but it is WHAT the person DOES with the opportunity given them....
So then what you are saying is that some people are born with the genetics to be wealthy.
And most people who are poor to middle class are choosing to be that way.
Great I choose to be a billionaire. This time next year I'll own the newspapers and the liberal government.
But seriously if one person who is born into serious poverty, is lucky enough to receive enough assistance in so many ways, then usually are able to do just as week as every one else.
Just say there are two women, who did not complete high school, they both left school in year 10. They live in different countries with different social support schemes. They go from low paid casual job to another, eventually meeting partners and having children. One has a very abusive partner, he doesn't allow her to work, she is afraid for her life and she stays. The children of this relationship, miss a lot of school. The father doesn't earn much, and they often don't have enough to eat. He doesn't like them going to the Dr, as that might alert the authorities to the abuse, so the children's health suffers. They live in an area that hasn't got a good school, no one help with homework or makes sure they even have books or resources, they fall behind in school, they live in a low socioeconomic area and with high crime, the children never learn from their parents how to present themselves for an interview, the children have poor hygiene and bad teeth from not seeing the dentist. The mother doesn't want to become a single parent because there is also a lot of shame and stigma involved, and she cannot access any decent housing, transport or work opportunities if she leaves. Se also cannot get any one to care for her children if she did get a job, as the child care costs more then she would make.
The other woman also meets an abusive man, has two children, but she is given a lot of social assistance, there is emergency housing for her, she knows that if she leaves she will be able to support her children. She leaves and goes to a shelter, then to emergency housing, then to government housing. They get free good quality health care, a great education- with all resources provided, pretty much equal to anywhere other in the country. The mother is offered free courses, help with transport, help with clothing, and a computer so she can access the Internet for the children for schooling, support networks, job searches etc. She can go to school for free and university for free, she can access free child care. The are so many people and supports willing to and waiting to ensure this woman and her children succeed.
Which society do you think you want to live in? The one with the families in desperate poverty, who see no way out? Who struggle to make it through the day?
Or the one that recognises the more you help children and families earlier, and the more access to education, health and other important resources you give them, the more likely they are to be able succeed in life and become productive people, who can then give back and make the country stronger. Every thing that happens in your life, increases or decreases your life chances. The stats don't lie on that.
I spent quite a lot of time in America. They feel they have a great balance, a little bit of socialism and whole lot of capitalism.
What they now have, is pockets of very wealthy, pockets of middle class, and a whole lot of very poor people, really struggling. These people work hard, and their lives are terrible. The homelessness is awful. The school system is a mess. The health system is baaad.
America needs highly educated people if it wants to keep the economy going long term, it needs innovative and clever people. However it's not churning out many of those at all. Their system of individualisation, user pays, blame the little person is getting them further and further behind.
We are heading the same way.
It's a multi faceted issue, that has to do with structural, racism, classism, sexism etc
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