Social Mobility: How many of you here were from poor family and rose up to middle class or great fortune?
Describe the process. The downside:I've often found that the richer you get, the more you need to watch your back, because people around you will start getting insincere.
The upside: You get to buy whatever you want.
I was born from love
And my poor mother worked the mines
I was raised on the good book Jesus
Till I read between the lines
Upward social mobility is not a common occurrence in the US these days. I read recently that only 4% of people truly ascend the economic ladder into a class higher than the one they were born to, and even then it's usually one rung up (like lower middle class to middle class, or middle to upper-middle) and not some kind of Horatio Alger bullshit.
Happened to me growing up. We were dirt poor and I mean just unbelievably poor. Single mom, two kids, and she was going to college. half the time we had maybe a jar of apple sauce and a pack of cheese in the fridge. I learned very quickly to ignore when I was hungry, something I still do at times (hard habit to break once it forms). My mom used to force my shoes into smaller sizes if that size was on sale. She worked all the time, but couldn't afford babysitters or if she could they were shady (one was racist, the other a drug addict).
Anyway, her college education paid off by the time I was a preteen, taught me the value of perseverance I guess. But she was so money obsessed by then and took up the whole "I'm never living like a poor person again" mantra. Very Scarlet O'Hara of her. It's only gotten worse with her excessive spending and now she is a massive amount of debt and expects my sister and I to put ourselves in debt in order to dig her out of it. "We owe her for all the sacrifices she made when we were poor" or something like that.
I know what she went through,and it really is an amazing story, more shocking and remarkable than what I've detailed here. But I honestly miss the closeness and family togetherness we had when I was little. Her money obsession has turned me off from talking to her.
You people are fucking boring.
Well we went from food bank poor, to now occasionally not paying for my hot water bill poor. So there was a bit of upward mobility.
But I ain't giving up my internet for no one.
r4, don't take your silver spoon ass elsewhere if you have an issue listening to the struggles of what i'm sure you refer to as the peons, or 'those people'.
You know, the ones who've actually had to work for shit in their lives.
LOL R6, you're such a stupid fuck.
Probably r7, I apologize if I was a fuckwit unintentionally.
I'm going to bed.
This is a Hollywood fantasy, but only happens with luck.
As long as you are programmed that you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough, the horse and carrot game and the control this game gives the 1 percent over you, continues.
My working-class parents worked their way through college, and made it to the upper middle class. I grew up in an expensive suburb, and went to school with real rich kids.
But my parents never really shed their working-class attitudes. While my classmates were being promised Ivy League degrees, I was being told to earn my keep and get out when I was eighteen.
marx was absolutely fucking right, wasn't he?
I was born upper class and have remained there.
The Republican party would like you to know that middle class has now been re-defined as anyone who makes more than $14,000 a year.
I started playing piano when I was 4. By the time I got to high school, I got really good. I got several scholarships. My father was always against my music, and criticized me relentlessly for "not learning a REAL trade." Mother was always very supportive. It should also be noted that all my college expenses were paid from scholarships I earned, and not a penny from my parents.
By junior year, I started getting studio gigs in both NYC and Nashville. I started making really good money. By the time I was 25, I was making 10 times the money dear old dad was making.
But you know, even though I consider my life to mostly be a success, I'll always be sad that my father was never proud of me.
This is the Republican myth. Convince people that all you have to do is work hard and someday you will be rich. Such utter bullshit. If you are born poor, chance are you will die poor. You might get lucky, but the odds are against you.
I was poor growing up. My father died when I was 6. My single mom worked as a nurse to ensure all 5 of her kids got a college education. I worked my ass off in high school, graduated valedictorian and got a lot of scholarships to college. I did the same in college and got scholarships to go to law school. I now work at a nationally ranked law firm earning $ 500k/ year in a flyover state so it goes very far.
Go ahead and flame me but I resent the suggestion that this material success was because of the government when it was my mother's very hard work and sacrifice. She inspired in us that we could do anything if we worked hard enough. And all of our Hard work paid off.
My brother is an engineer, sister a CPA, 2 other brothers in sales. All very successful. Luck? Perhaps, but it's amazing how lucky you become when you work really hard for things.
Yes R17...It is possible, just not probable.
You numbskull R17, nurse is a solid middle class profession. You mother certainly had as much education as you do (and better education, apparently, since you are unable to think worth a damn). There was no social mobility at all in your family since you are all middle class servants of The Man (particularly YOU, who is nothing but an overpaid Butler).
My mother was a RN before a degree was required. She certainly did not have the same or more education than I did. That's why our education was so important to her. She was a nurse before they earned the kind of cash they do today. You really have no concept of raising 5 kids as a single mom if you think we weren't poor. My high school was multi- ethic in the city with whites being the second minority (majority African American, hispanic next and then whites and other ethic groups that followed). The most she ever earned was $40k per year and she had to feed and care for 5 kids. We all worked as soon as we turned 16 and picked up other jobs when we were younger.
Just because it doesn't play to your narrative, don't discount the experience. I go back to my high school to inspire kids that they can overcome those odds. Many do.
Politically, I'm truly independent. I vote for both parties. My mother only voted for Ds. Obama had me in 2008 but lost me with the ridiculous comment that we all owe our success to government.
R19 is confusing working class with middle class.
Middle class test: if the primary bread winner were to die, would the family suffer economically and/or socially?
Example 1: Bobby's dad is a VP at a local company. If Bobby's dad were to drop dead, the loss of salary would harm Bobby and his family. Bobby is not middle class.
Example B: Brad's dad owns a local company. When Brad's old man drops dead, the company and his mother's income will continue. However, his mother will no longer have the same social standing she once had because the primary reason people talk to the family *Brad's dead businessman dad* is gone. Brad is not middle class.
Example X: B'Tird's dad (Biffington Taddington Noonington II) owns part of a fund that owns several companies. If B'Tird's dad dies, the fund and its income will continue to flow to B'Tird's family. B'Tird's mother will not suffer socially, because she is friends with everyone else who owns a piece of the fund that owns all those companies. B'Tird is middle class.
I was born lower-middle class but my parents encouraged us to go to college. I worked in the summers, and got a small ($2,500) student loan through our local bank(town of about 1,000 people.) Went to college in Canada which, then, was cheap by US standards, 'cause lots of govt money goes to their universities. That school took 6% non-Canadians; I did well in high school and was also lucky.
Majored in drama; minored in film. Dropped out 3rd year. I wouldn't say I made it REAL middle-class, but "retired" (became disabled) 5 years ago, making $61K as a legal secretary.
That's really "Pink collar", not white collar, but I treated myself to anything I wanted; was lucky to have rent controlled apts back in the day, NYC and mainly SF.
Sorry to go on and on; the MAIN way, though, I "worked myself up": taking typing in high school. Back when it was called "typing" ("keyboarding" now?) Lucky enough to have learned on the job at a large, not fancy, law firm in NYC.
My point: salable skills. Now more so than ever. Back in my day, I would have made more, yes, with a college degree - now? not so much.
(oh, and now back DOWN the food chain, to "below poor" - on SS Disability. Thanks to all of you who work and pay taxes, and I mean that SINCERELY.
R17 - so your Mom received widow benefits from social security, right?
Yes she did. And Obama never said all personal success came from the government - stop taking quotes out of context.
r21 is an idiot, who lives in his own fantasy world (which is located in his lower middle class, mommy's basement.)
R22 I want to say "you're welcome", however YOU paid into those benefits as well. YOU took care of others before your own disability. And that's the way it should be.
R24, the definition of 'Middle Class' was covered in your Sociology 101 elective.
A good book for you: "Working Under Different Rules" Edited by Richard B. Freeman. We used it in 1996 when people like you thought global economic downturns were impossible.
I grew up working class and then when my parents divorced we ended up on welfare.
From as far back as I can remember the value of education was drilled into me by my father. "You don't want to end up like me." He worked construction and landscaping in the 60s and 70s. Now that kind of work is only considered suitable to illegals.
There was no way I was ever going to pay for an education despite being eligible for grants and loans. I went and got a blue collar job, was in the steelwork's union and was making a decent wage. I took advantage of the company's education program and got 2 degrees over 9 years, going to school at night.
When I graduated, I left my hometown and started over. It was a struggle at first in a new town where I didn't know anybody. Had several bad periods, but things gradually got better. Started my own freelancing business and was doing well. Got offered a full time job by one of my clients, relocated again and for a period of 5 years, I thought I broke through. Was making in the low 6 figures, bought a new house, new car, new furniture. Then the job got sent overseas.
I relocated again, downsized and began a serious downward spiral to the point where by mid March of this year I was down to my last $50 and on food stamps.
Things are getting better, but I am now working 3 jobs just to make a third of what I was making 10 years ago.
Growing up poor, I never learned how to properly deal with money. When we had money when I was a kid, we'd splurge on a treat and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Not a good formula for living life. It didn't work for me in the flush years.
I think some people have a knack for breaking out, but if you grow up poor in many ways you aren't destined to get out.
Now it's even more difficult since getting an education these days starts you off in a hole that's next to impossible to get out of.
It's been my experience that some people move up through marriage and education.
My mother is one of 11 siblings, my grandfather was a coal miner. The girls moved up by getting educated (teachers and nurses, mostly) and marrying men with education or a lucrative trade. My mother was a teacher and married Dad, a biologist who moved into an upper management position with the government.
A friend of mine was the child of a teen mother, she didn't have much growing up, but she became an accountant and married a man with a high-paying job.
Most social "mobility" happened between the 40's and the 70s with GI bill and inexpensive public education and universities.
Now? It's rare - particularly with how expensive university education has become.
My grandparents were definitely from the lower class (one was a coal miner with a 3rd grade education; the other was a high school graduate who worked as a school custodian). My partner's paternal grandparents were sharecroppers in western Kansas who never owned any land. Thanks to the GI Bill, both of our fathers earned college degrees and raised their families in more prosperous lives than they were raised themselves.
Both our fathers appreciated what education had meant in their own lives, and all of their kids (all of my and partner's siblings) have graduate degrees.
[quote]Obama had me in 2008 but lost me with the ridiculous comment that we all owe our success to government.
Wow, so your opinion changed when you think he said something he actually did not say at all. So much for an educated vote. The whole "We built it" meme is "built" on a deceitfully edited speech. Try watching the whole speech. It's not like you can't find it everywhere. This lie is easily exposed. Turn off Fox or at least get other information. When you repeat the lie you are being a tool.
Not to say it doesn't exist, but I've never had more than a fleeting acquaintance with someone who who took a big ride on the social mobility train. Born rich, born poor, born working class, born middle class, sure; moved about within their class, sure; crossed the border from the middle or upper ranks of one class into the lower to middle ranks of the next, yes; but more than that? I can't think of a single person who made so large a leap.
You don't become wealthy by living paycheck to paycheck, spending money to show off to the neighbors.
Live well below your means, save and invest.
Have money in the bank and don't owe a penny to anyone.
Immigrants are very good at this. Entitled Americans, not so much.
I want to know if R17 received Social Security survivor's benefits after his father died. My dad died when I was 11 -- those benefits enabled my mom and me to just keep our head above water.
I went on to graduate with two degrees from Ivy League universities.
I'm grateful enough to acknowledge that part of my success is due to the help I received from the government when I needed it.
Both my parents left high school to work and help their poor families. At times my mother received unemployment benefits when work in factories wasn't available. My childhood was spent in lower working class neighborhoods. I was a good, not great student. Did not qualify for big scholarships, no money at home. But I was able to get student loans as were my brothers. We paid for our tuition and lived at home, while working to pay for our upkeep. We became teachers (circa 70s, yes I am old).
I worked in inner city schools the first ten years as a teacher, and was able to keep deferring my student loan payments during that time. In the end, I paid back about 30%. I made more as a low paid teacher in the early years than my father ever made, despite working very hard.
I went on to get several graduate degrees, advanced in my profession and have lived a comfortable life. I was able to retire at 58 with a pension and savings. My father worked until he was 72 and retired with small savings he had scraped together. They depended on medicare benefits and social security. We had to pitch in to take care of my parents.
I am not sure giant leaps across class lines were ever possible for the majority of people. But life has been much easier and more rewarding for me.
If I hadn't been able to get those low interest, and subsequently deferred/reduced student loans from the government I might not have gone to college, which made the difference between my life and my father's.
My ultimate point is that student loans were readily available, and there were jobs waiting upon graduation. There were many government programs/aids for lower income students and middle income students. Interest rates were low, and there were options for deferment of payment over many years,very easy to manage. If most kids were able to do better than their working class parents and attend college, it was due to government policies.
We Gay men have a better chance than straights because we are more school-oriented than our more athletic peers.
Education almost always leads to better-paying jobs.
R17 (and R20) is typical of the big liars the other party always count on.
"I was poor growing up. My father died when I was 6."
Most likely you had some life insurance and did not have to worry about the cost of shelter.
"My single mom worked as a nurse to ensure all 5 of her kids got a college education."
Nursing is a middle class profession that has required licensing since at least the 1920s and has never been a lower-class profession.
"I worked my ass off in high school, graduated valedictorian and got a lot of scholarships to college."
This of course is a public school, meaning you had the same opportunity as everyone else, regardless of income, and you probably received public scholarships as well.
"I did the same in college and got scholarships to go to law school."
"I now work at a nationally ranked law firm earning $ 500k/ year in a flyover state so it goes very far."
Your professional is a cartel, given a monopoly by the govenment which requires testing and limits entry to your profession.
Many people have worked much harder than you their whole lives and not been rewarded with an income of 50K per year, let alone 500K.
"Go ahead and flame me but I resent the suggestion that this material success was because of the government when it was my mother's very hard work and sacrifice."
Your mother didn't do SHIT to set you up for success except feed and dress you. She didn't educate you, she didn't pay for your school, and she didn't create the profession which offers you so much income.
"She inspired in us that we could do anything if we worked hard enough. And all of our Hard work paid off."
For most people, hard work does not pay off,. That's a fact. It's even true in the legal profession, where your 500K salary depends entirely on your prostituting your mind to rich law-breaking corporations. Most lawyers make under 100K per year, but they haven't sold their soul to the devil like you.
"My brother is an engineer, sister a CPA, 2 other brothers in sales."
All in professional protected from competition by government licensing, except for the one in sales, the only capitalist among you.
"All very successful. Luck? Perhaps, but it's amazing how lucky you become when you work really hard for things"
The maid who cleans your office at night probably has another job during the day. She works more hours than your and harder than you. Back in 1910, the average steel worker worked 70 hours a week, but the average office worker worked 90 hours a week because it was recognized that their job was harder.
Our decline as a nation can be traced quite specifically to when your job became considered harder than theirs.
My ex-boyfriends' parents never graduated from high school. He received a full-scholarship to a private Catholic School, and then to Harvard where he got his PHD in Int'l Marketing/Bus Adm. He has his own consulting co and is a member of the 1%. Those who are likewise upwardly mobile have been taught a completely different mind-set of HOW to be successful.
[quote] My mother was a RN before a degree was required.
Bald-faced lie. Education has been a requirement for a nursing license since the 1920s at the latest.
[quote] She certainly did not have the same or more education than I did.
Bald-faced lie. Every day she had to know her stuff. You're just a lawyer. All you know how to do is read.
[quote] She was a nurse before they earned the kind of cash they do today. You really have no concept of raising 5 kids as a single mom if you think we weren't poor.
You weren't poor. Your mother had cash coming in every two weeks, never had uemployment, had a car (most poor people today CANNOT AFFORD a car). You had t.v., clothes every year, plenty of food, a newspaper subscription. YOU WERE NEVER POOR DUMBASS.
[quote]My high school was multi- ethic in the city with whites being the second minority (majority African American, hispanic next and then whites and other ethic groups that followed).
It was free, as were the roads you went to school on, the police and fire protection of your city, the public libraries you hang out in. So you grew up in Oakland did you? OAKLAND IS A RICH FUCKING CITY compared to most in America.
[qutoe] The most she ever earned was $40k per year and she had to feed and care for 5 kids.
40K has been a great middle class salary all along. Even today, it wouldn't qualify your mother for the poverty level 1 in 6 Americans live in. Back then, she was probably in the top half of all earners. YOU WERE MIDDLE CLASS THEN AND YOU STILL ARE TODAY. Your only social mobility is the fact that by prostituting your talents to big corporations, you've moved up slightly within your class, nothing more.
[quote] We all worked as soon as we turned 16 and picked up other jobs when we were younger.
YOU WERE NOT POOR. Most poor today cannot get jobs as teenagers.
[quote] Just because it doesn't play to your narrative, don't discount the experience. I go back to my high school to inspire kids that they can overcome those odds. Many do.
There is nothing special your story, cunt. There really isn't. It shows no "progress" in America, and the fact that you claim this was all done without government, which is an obvious lie, clearly tells me that you are incompetent as a lawyer.
You think that because your mother had to budget, she was POOR. No. 40K is plenty of money. The only reason it was a little bit hard on her was that she made the PERSONAL DECISION to drop five little idiot rugrats. If she'd dropped two or three maybe she would have gotten better results than this libertarian tard. There are plenty of people making 100K who blow it all on drugs. Are they poor too? Same difference.
They also had health care, which most poor in America no longer have.
My parents were working class. Neither had formal education, my mom was taken out in 1st grade to help her eldest sister's household as a maid and my dad left school in 3rd grade b/c he was needed for farm work. They both moved to NYC and worked factory jobs until they retired in their 60's. By then they had accumulated enough money to buy a house, and live off their savings/ retirement packages/social security (they were union workers all their lives).
I was the youngest kid whom they had in their mid 40's. My parents got me a library card at the age of 5 and a bank account the same year. Every week we went to the bank so that I could deposit my allowance (for working around the house, babysitting, etc). I worked summer jobs starting at 13 and worked part time throughout high school and college. They taught me the value of every penny and the importance of saving for the future.
I feel that I was blessed to have parents who valued education and were uber careful with the few bucks they earned. My mom always saved money even when she was unemployed during the recession in the late 70's.
I went to college and graduate school. I probably would have made more money had I chosen a career not in the helping professions/teaching but that's life, I shared my parent's values regarding helping the poor and mentoring the next generation.
I'm comfortable. I own a home in the islands so that when I retire I might go live there. I can pay my NYC apt rent, have decent things, two retirement funds, etc. It would be great to have made more money but I knew from the beginning that my career path would limit that. At least I am healthy and earn a decent wage.
What I had and what most poor kids today don't have was academic opportunities. My parents paid for private school with their factory job earnings. My grades helped me earn financial aide including a four year scholarship to a private university. I didn't have undergraduate school loans and graduate school was also partially paid for, thankfully.
I'm not sure how poor kids today will make it with financial aide being cut left and right. Sure you needed brains and determination to get the scholarships/grants but at least there was hope to obtain them with hard work. I guess the kids will have to settle for an education that's affordable (NY is lucky to have the CUNY schools). Education being the main thing helping poor/working class kids rise to middle class.
female born in the early 70's
How typical a middle class weenie who grew up in a city CONTROLLED BY LIBERALS and now shits on them even though they gave him his "successful" start every bit as much as the sainted mother.
You were middle class do.
So it's official. There are no people who were actually poor who post at datalounge.
R5 might have been poor, or might be lying.
Came from a background somewhere between working and middle class, and am probably fairly middle class now. I did blue collar work for years that taxed my body, I do white collar work now and get more job satisfaction, but it fucks my head.
I think I have a crush on R44.
R46, That's not true about being poor. We could have gotten welfare at any time but my mom wouldn't fill out the paperwork. I didn't know that "normal" people had medical insurance. Luckily we barely needed it. No braces meant lifelong pain. Clothes and furniture were hand-me-down or came from the cheapest Goodwill, until I could start babysitting. A boyfriend joked that our "depression era plates" were actually now valuable. Non-necessities didn't exist. Luckily in San Diego at the time there were many free things to do like the park, beach, and playgrounds.
My middle to upper middle class parents did fine for themselves; my dad's family was always in that range and my mom married out of the working middle class when she picked him. (Her family owned a lot of land and property but never had much cash.)
I was the last of three kids. When I was preparing to go to college in the mid 80s, my dad informed me that there was no chance in hell that he would be assisting me in any way financially. I already knew this. What I didn't know is that I would have a miserable time getting financial aid because not only would he not pay for college, he wouldn't give me his tax returns, and that was and is required for financial aid. My mother decided that if my dad wasn't going to provide his, she wasn't going to provide hers.
So I had to choose a college that would let me borrow enough to go despite the lack of expected documentation, which was probably a violation of federal law. It wasn't one of the Ivy League universities that had offered me admission.
I've been on the debt cycle ever since. I still wonder how it is that an 18 year old adult with no legal basis to demand support from his/her parents can be held responsible for a family contribution that is not forthcoming. It took me six years to finish college while I tried to make enough money to get through. It was not easy. It still isn't. This is a recipe for downward mobility.
Good for r17, but his/her experience is representative about .1% of lawyers. Which s/he well knows.
R51 - did you father go to college? Did his parents pay for it? Or is he of the GI Bill generation and thought that he earned it.
What an asshole.
r52 - yes, he did. He's an engineer. And yes, his parents paid for it. He told us all they didn't, but my grandmother contradicted him and I believe her.
I absolutely did.
Wow, psycho alert at r38.
Good Lord, you poor people are boring.
[quote] I still wonder how it is that an 18 year old adult with no legal basis to demand support from his/her parents can be held responsible for a family contribution that is not forthcoming.
I had a similar situation. What I had to do was get out on my own for a full year with no support from my parents, after which I was able to file for financial aid solely using my own financial records.
[quote]Bald-faced lie. Education has been a requirement for a nursing license since the 1920s at the latest.
Not to defend this individual but she may have been making a distinction between a two-year training program and a B.S. in Nursing. In some states, the B.S. wasn't required.
[quote] What I had to do was get out on my own for a full year with no support from my parents, after which I was able to file for financial aid solely using my own financial records.
No way to support myself in Reagan's America as an 18 year old in 1987, and parental help would not have been forthcoming for that, either. I was making $5.25 an hour, which was better than most of my friends.
When I was 27 and going to law school I had to file affidavits from my parents saying they weren't going to provide any information or assistance. The school *still* demanded that. I've already advised my older siblings that I won't be contributing to assisted living, nursing homes, etc.
Moving to managerial work from manual work was tough because I instantly became a sell out in the eyes of righteous liberals. I had less judgement when I did janitor type work.
R59 - I'm curious because it's an unusual story for middle class / upper middle class not to pay for school. So your Dad's college was paid for by his parents - did your parents pay for your 2 siblings?
If so, I would find it awfully difficult to forgive.
R61, I've encountered many selfish parents, who could care less what happens to their kids. I dated a doctors' son who totally withdrew support, when he changed majors and didn't want to stay pre-med.
I grew up with a single mother who worked in textiles. I got a union job loading freight for a trucking company after high school and paid my way through college working on the docks. It took 6 years because I rarely managed more than 3 classes a semester due to being exhausted from loading trucks five nights a week. I had little to no social life because I didn't have time or extra money.
After college, I worked for the local city government. The pay sucked but I did have extra time so I took a second job working at a local home improvement store in the garden center. While working there I met a greenhouse owner who supplied them with plants and was offered a very good job working for him. I worked there for 5 or 6 years paying special attention to the brokering business.
I started my own business brokering plants to garden centers and florist. My first year sales exceeded a half million dollars and by the third year sales were above ten million dollars. It grew very fast and was a tremendous amount of work. Now, some 23 years later, sales are above fifty million dollars. You would think I would be happy and well adjusted. You would be wrong.
It seems like my life is just one headache after another. The economy makes it difficult to show a profit...I've been close to break even for the last three years with no real profit to speak of. My sales are great, but I have a good number of employees who have been with me for years and they make way too much money. Most of them could easily be replaced with workers making less than twenty percent of their salaries, but I feel like I owe them something for being loyal all these years. I also feel like I've given up having a life all these years by investing all my time and all my resources into this company. Personally I am comfortable with over eight million dollars in personal assets that are not tied to my business, I do take a four hundred thousand dollar salary from the business and I pay myself a nice dividend in years that show a reasonable profit, but I still have a mindset of being a poor kid with no money. It just kills me to spend money. I drive a car that's over seven years old and I live in a house that's worth about a quarter million dollars. I'm just a miserable millionaire. I've talked with investment bankers about selling my business and the only reason I haven't already sold it is because I don't know what I would do with myself without it.
I have no personal life. Dinner tonight was KFC and I went in as I typically do because I can get some extra pack of salt and ketchup instead of having to buy it somewhere. I know it's fucked up, but it's true. It is very possible to gain wealth in this country if you work and save and do without while building a business. The american dream is alive and well. My only warning is to be careful what you ask for because it's not all it's cracked up to be.
R63 - seek therapy. Life's too short to not enjoy it particularly when you have the means.
How old are you? I'm guessing mid 50's or so. Do you have a partner?
My dad worked on a conveyor belt in a car factory and mum was a seamstress. He was comparatively well-paid for an unskilled manual worker, but it was hard work on weekly changing shifts, which he could never adjust to. One week in three he basically did without sleep. She worked at night when my brother and I were young so she could be with us. Money was always tight, but they scrimped to give us a decent life, and eventually even bought a little house of our own in the suburbs.
I was a bright bookish kid and very motivated, possibly subconsciously because I could see the efforts they were making. I did well at school and got into a good university (Oxford) to read law. Dad was made redundant the same year when the factor closed, and could never get steady work again after that. My entire tertiary education was paid for by the state (this was the UK).
I am now a partner in a huge international law firm. It took me longer than my peer group to make partner, I think partly because I still feel a certain gaucheness left over from my working class roots, and people subconsciously pick up on it. But that aside, I now earn sums which to my mum (dad died a couple of years ago) are beyond the dreams of avarice. I have probably not wholly realised my potential for the reason I mentioned (among others, no doubt), but I didn't meet many people from my background at university or law school or in the places I have worked.
Although I have plenty of money now, funny thing is I can't ever enjoy spending it the way others can.
R63, you need a thread unto yourself. It's time to sell up and start enjoying life.
Many kids and grand kids of the depression are still thrifty; some are extreme. Same with immigrants who started out with nothing. Plenty of us have issues with money and enjoyment of life.
[quote] So your Dad's college was paid for by his parents - did your parents pay for your 2 siblings?
One sibling dropped out of college, got married and pregnant by age 20. By the time I went to college, the parents had bought her two houses and at least one car. The other sibling got money to finish graduate school. I got $600 when I graduated from college.
I've tried to forgive it and I don't so mostly I just don't think about them except when I pay my student loans or think too much about the fact that despite my earning capacity, I'm going to have a hard time doing anything normal like buy a house until I'm in my 50s. And they'll probably both be dead by then. My dad remarried, so his wife and her kids will inherit anything left over.
My parents bought their first home when my dad was 26 and my mom 19. I haven't done it yet and I'm in my 40s.
I come from a big family. We were middle class. My brother is now CEO of a large company and has beaucoup. He worked his ass off for years and years, and I think he wishes he had done something else with his life, but he did the conventional thing - he just did it way better than most.
Not "better," just with more "moral flexibility."
[quote}Our decline as a nation can be traced quite specifically to when your job became considered harder than theirs.
Incorrect. In fact the opposite is true. The rise of a nation can be traced to when intellect, talent and skill are valued and rewarded above "hard" manual labor.
A mule plowing he fields works "hard" but we don't pay him $500k per year.
But he contributes more to society than any people we pay $500k per year to.
R68 - Wow that sucks. Basically the older sibling and her rugrats stole comfort from your life to aid her bad decisions.
Don't know if I could see past that.
My mom and dad came to the US from the third poorest country in the US in the 1960s.
My dad started as an janitor at a Fortune 500 company. We were probably below the poverty line or working class as a family until I went off to college.
My father valued education. My parents sent us to private elementary and high schools. My brother and I worked cleaning the elementary school to pay our tuition when I was 8 and he was 9. I've had jobs since I was 12.
Now, I have a college degree and my sibs went to college. All three of us have good, middle class, white collar jobs. My salary puts my in the top 20% of the world.
I'm grateful for their sacrifice and for the opportunities available to us in this country.
I was born a poor black child.
After leaving home in the Mississippi backwoods, I found my first job at a gas station. I was very happy, very content, until I had to leave for personal reasons.
After the gas station I found my way to life with the carnival. There I found my first lover, another carny, and my special purpose. The love was crazy and intense. At this time a very special person came into my life, but it didn't work out because I was just a carny without a future.
As all of this was going on, unbeknownst to me I had a benefactor who was trying to find me, whom I first came into contact with while working at the gas station.
Through the generosity of this benefactor, I became quite wealthy. I entered into a LTR with the very special person who came into my life while working as a carny. Life became an extravagant whirlwind of materialism, and parties. I had a huge house and a sort of entourage. But best of all I had the love of my life.
It all came suddenly crashing down due the greed of a scumbag film producer and an opportunistic lawyer. I lost everything, including the love of my life.
Despondent, and ready to end it all, the family I had left behind in Mississippi found me just in time. I never truly left them behind though, as I was generous is sharing my wealth with them when I had it.
Fortunately they were smarter than I, and had invested what I sent them. My family managed to put that money to work for them, and glory hallelujah, they were now quite wealthy themselves.
Back with my family in Mississippi, I could not be happier. I have it all, my family, the love of my life is with me, and we want for nothing.
Incredible stories. I don't have much to offer here as I sit in what most (even the picky r21) would call middle class, though my parents are divorced and at 21, I'm racking up some minor debt to go to a decent college. I can't begin to imagine the work it takes to transcend when beginning in a lower quartile. Our neighbor has successfully done this, though, but belongs in the rarified class of actual geniuses. I think this somewhat disqualifies him from the conversation.
I have to add that rising from one class to another might be difficult, but the quality of life (simply from the amenities that becoming available - cheap transportation, public school for all, plumbing, roads, public assistance, all things that have been made accessible progressively) should continue to rise for all classes. Should operates here. Sometimes I get depressed and lament the fact that only a small percentage makes the social upward mark - but then I realize that I don't really give a shit, that I don't care to move on from middle class to upper class. But it might be nice to.
you can rise from one class to the other....you are born that way.