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Old 05-03-04, 12:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Just for reference: Most of the opportunities were given while I was in college (work on the house or offers of training) or when I was supervising construction. The primary labor was African American and Hispanic. Only the hispanics that spoke English worked for me. If they cannot understand instructions, they are of no use to me as employees.
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Old 05-03-04, 04:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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As a married woman, who grew up in the US and then had to move to Europe to survive, I find quite a few of those rules very true. I know people who use and abuse the systems and they teach their kids to do the same thing. I also know, from first hand experience, that the system doesn't work. When you make $150 to much a month to qualify for assistence and you don't make enough to feed you, your husband, and your child; what do you do? We moved to Europe, where my husband was from. I admit that our problems were made worse by the fact that my husband was a foreigner and no one wanted to hire him. He worked with computers and finally got a job working as a maintenance worker in a mall earning $0.25 over the minimum wage. His 13 years of computer knowledge was being wasted. I also know that if you don't speak the language of the country in which you reside, you don't get hired. The Dutch gov puts everyone who is not from an EU country through language and intergration courses. Life saver! America needs to do this too. In many schools that have high numbers of hispanic children, they have classes only in Spanish. They are not required to ever learn English. In some of the schools in California, they have classes in Ebonics for the African AMERICANS. Last word being Americans. They too never have to learn how to properly speak English. They get to butcher and pervert the language. And this is acceptable. I've had to learn to speak, write, read, and understand Dutch in 1 year. At the end of that year, I had to take a proficency test to insure I could contibute back to society. One year is not a long length of time to ensure that you can fully function in society. That's my 2 cents worth anyway. Most of it's from personal expierence. Just felt I had to offer what I could to this post, not that you really care or it will change anyhting.

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Old 05-03-04, 06:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Dont take english for granted in Canada, guys. The need to fit in and speak a certain language doesn't come from the fact that it was the mother language there but because the majority of people speak it and the "few" have to bend. Now, Canada is so poorly populated that if a few million brasilian folks were to emigrate there at once, you would all have to learn portuguese. HEhe...
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Old 05-03-04, 09:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I agree 500% with MouseKilla. Good post!

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Old 05-03-04, 10:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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While I agree with you on the point that only those people who have a desire to succeed (or hell, even survive) will be able to do so. The other ingredient to becoming self sufficient is opportunity though and that's what I am talking about. I find it quite cynical to suggest that anyone who is poor is just not trying hard enough. Back to Dubya, how hard did he have to work? How many other extremely powerful and rich people are in that position because of factors other than hard work or brilliance? And are ALL the poor people in that same country poor because they are lazy?

While you may have seen examples of poor people who seemed unwilling to take the McJob they are offered (there is always SOMEONE behind the counter when you go though, so somebody's taken that "opportunity"), many of the champions of free enterprise never had to worry about flipping enough burgers to pay the rent. If everyone had the same opportunities, if free market capitalism magically created a meritocracy, then it would be fair to say that everyone gets what they deserve.

I am not suggesting that it is possible to achieve that Utopian society with hand outs either, that would be stupid, but it's also stupid to say that there is nothing more to success and independance than hard work. The fact is, no matter how many burgers you flip, you can never hope to pay the bills. You need more than that, the priviledge of post secondary education maybe, or better yet a daddy with oil tycoons for golfing buddies.

As for what I have personally done to help others I must admit that I have never owned a business so I haven't yet hired anyone.

I began working to support my young family when I was 18, and work I did! I didn't sit and wait for someone to feed my child, I worked my butt off for a little more than minimum wage through a temp agency, fifty to sixty hours a week and eventually earned a full time position. The money I was making there wasn't enough to pay the rent even with the 20 hours of overtime every week.

Fortunately for me this workplace was unionized and while still working my guts out (in fact I was promoted and put in charge of my department while being the youngest employee of the company) I decided I wanted work to improve my situation and that of the people I worked with by running for a position on the union's bargaining committee. I was successful and was elected.

In that position I was able to help improve the livelyhoods of some 400 plus WORKING poor people through improving their wages and health coverage by over 100% over the course of 4 years and 2 collective agreements.

I'm not sure if in your mind those 400 + people that worked for those low wages or the thousands of people that flip your burgers or greet you when you go to DevilMart to buy rubbermaids offset the 12 lazy folks you have crossed paths with. To me the fact that there are people doing those jobs proves that not everyone is able to be just work their way to independance. They're doing as I did, working overtime at the worst low paying jobs for multi-billion dollar corporations and still sharing accomodations with family.

Things are not equal, and they probably never will be but things like inherited wealth, so-called "right to work" jurisdictions that basically outlaw labour unions and minimum wage rates that are far below a living wage make it much harder to work your way to independance.

Those are all things we could change to narrow the disparity of opportunity in society but you are correct to say that it would not be enough, people will always have to put forth the effort to survive.
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Old 05-03-04, 11:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Cool, some middle ground

I also do not feel that resentment to those that have had an easier life is valid. The way i look at it, even if they were born into priviledge, the money originally came form somewhere along the line in their family. More power to them. I don't think that it is the responsibility of the wealthy to cater to the poor. Knowing how to stay rich is something different. The Bush's know how to keep their standing. Good for them. I will never be rich because I suck at managing money (it is all snake oney to me ). There have been many people who have won the lottery and a few years later are back where they were, if not worse. I have no idea what the point is, or even if there is one. Just mindless rambling while on a break at work
I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
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Old 05-03-04, 12:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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wow...never thought there would be Rush Limbaugh fans in this place...
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Old 05-03-04, 12:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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he he. My mother in law is a flaming militant liberal. We get into it all the time
I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
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Old 05-03-04, 01:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Some more good points bt all & I must say we should all be proud of ourselves because this topic is still going dispite having involved Religon, Race, politics etc. We can discuss/debate as adults afterall LOL Now if only we could expect the same of our "leaders" & yes I use the term loosely LOL Mark
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