Sunday, February 17, 2008

Morning Rage

This guy thinks he knows all about poverty because he left his home with $25 and not a lot else to see if he could make it. His goal was to have $2,500 in savings, a truck, and an apartment within a year. He did. Then he wrote a book about it. (via kottke)

He says, in that CSM interview linked above, that it's completely irrelevant that he has a college degree:

I didn't use my college education, credit history, or contacts [while in South Carolina]. But in real life, I had these lessons that I had learned. I don't think that played to my advantage. How much of a college education do you need to budget your money to a point that you're not spending frivolously, but you're instead putting your money in the bank?

Do you need a college education? I don't think so. To be honest with you, I think I was disadvantaged, because my thinking was inside of a box.

Damn skippy. But he should have stopped talking after admitting that he had those lessons he'd learned. And then gone on to acknowledge that he

  1. is healthy
  2. is white
  3. has all of his teeth (I'm not being facetious: have you ever tried to get a job with one of your front teeth missing? kind of limits your opportunities)
  4. is handsome (in the regular-features-on-a-pleasant-face kind of way)
  5. is young/strong
  6. is traditionally gendered
  7. speaks like a person who went to college
  8. wasn't actually "escaping my druggy mom and going to live with my alcoholic dad"
  9. was only doing it for a year (what would have happened if he'd gone on? what if he got sick or missed work? what if his building got sold and his landlord kicked him out? what if his truck broke down? what if his girlfriend got pregnant?)
All this experiment proves is that someone, under ideal circumstances, can raise themselves up. But there was never any doubt of that, was there? Those people are held up as demonstrations that the American Dream works, and as reasons to blame people for whom it doesn't. But it's bullshit. BULLSHIT, do you hear me? Very few people are operating under ideal circumstances, and every single thing that strays from the ideal makes it harder.


No comments:


Blog Archive