Thursday, November 03, 2016

ANS -- A conversation about pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps.

this is just a Facebook conversation, but I thought it was interesting and provocative.  What do you think?

Red v. Blue in a nutshell: "Our most technologically advanced states are bluer, denser, more expensive, more diverse and richer, while those that lag in science and technology are redder, more working class, and falling further behind in the knowledge economy."

More urban and diverse blue U.S. states score highest on an updated technology and science index.
Baer Charlton
Baer Charlton The other day I heard an interesting take on the fall-out of this. The man works for a large consulting company which deals with high-tech work visa and the impact of the 2.8-million workers that are hired through them. 
The man's father was from Paki
stan and married a Latina. They have always lived in Texas (from the original Texas Instrument days) 
My customer is American, born in Austin. 
His take on the immigrant phobia is born from the extreme lack of education and the resentment of "others" coming to America to make much more than they ever dreamed of. 
The stupidity of this is borne out by his sons. One is a line mechanic for Halliburton, and the other is a technical machinist. Both make more than their father. Perception can also be blinding to reality.
Like · Reply · 16 hrs
Sara Robinson
Sara Robinson I struggle with the conversation about how we need to be doing more for the rural white working class. My liberal jerking knee says, yes, of course. But my experience of growing up with them puts me on the more conservative side of this equation. A lot of rural WWC folks just make bad life choices out of the gate -- mistakes that a lot of immigrant families don't make. 

The immigrant families know they've got one shot, and they try hard not to blow it. They finish high school. They wait until they're financially stable before they get married; and they wait until they're married to have kids. They get jobs, and actually show up to them. They live small, cheap, and tight, and save the surplus to invest in their own homes and businesses instead of buying Harleys and bass boats. They stay off the Oxy. They get their kids to school and insist on good grades. Their kids, overwhelmingly, go to college.

It's not surprising that their WWC neighbors would hate this success. But those folks aren't doing anything that any of the yahoos we went to school with couldn't have done if they'd been willing to put down the beer can and focus for a few years. They're pissed off that being white doesn't come with the privileges that they expected -- but forget that being white DOES come with a lot of privileges that would make the path to success quite a bit easier if they'd bother to put their boots on it in the first place.

Grr. I know how I sound. But I also know where I started, and what it took to get beyond that. And I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who weren't willing to get off their asses and do that work (especially since so many of them actually put themselves in the way of my determination to do better).
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Pierce Nichols
Pierce Nichols There's a selection effect here. People from those rural areas who do make effective choices, like you, largely don't live there anymore. They get an education and quickly realize that the overwhelming majority of the jobs are in places that are urban, liberal, and wealthy. So they move away permanently and the folks left behind are those who can't or won't get themselves to more favorable terrain.

Frankly, I think we should think about doing what Newfoundland has been doing since the 50s and start buying out economically unviable rural communities and relocating the residents elsewhere.
Like · Reply · 15 hrs
Sara Robinson
Sara Robinson I've come to the same conclusion, Pierce. But there's also an argument that good investment in public education really helps. Baer and I came through the Bishop schools when California had the finest public school system in the world. We got a pretty good education for small-town kids; and we and a lot of our peers were able to build on that by going away to the best public college system in the world as well. The promise that if we did well enough Berkeley and UCLA awaited us was enough to keep our sights on a farther horizon.

A lot of the rural WWC kids now don't have that promise. They're far less visible to college recruiters than, say, inner-city kids of color here in Seattle. There's no Stanford alumni association in Bishop spotting talent like there is here, no college counseling staff with an in on the admissions boards, and no eagerness on the part of the colleges to take them (because their failure rates are very, very high).
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Bill Ballad
Bill Ballad You are generally right. I was stuck in small town middle America for a few years and can add some points to the mix. 

The best and brightest don't just leave they are driven off. If you are smarter then average (or more creative) you are actively bul
lied for being different. More over there is a stigma to succeeding the "you think your better then me" issue. I want my kids to pass me, in small town middle America it's seen as an insult by a lot of people.

The other point would be the oxcy. I find it hard to put opioid addiction on the addict. In a lot of cases the user was hooked on a prescription from a trusted source, it's on the doctors for handing it out like candy and telling people it wasn't addictive. 

It's some nasty stuff, coming down is not fun, even after 1 cycle, you can feel worthless and suicidale without another dose. The only mistake the addict made was trusting and expert that everyone would tell them to trust
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Sara Robinson
Sara Robinson The thing about the oxy that's not getting talked about is that other countries don't have this problem. Canada hands out hydromorphone far more liberally than the US does, and they don't see this at all.

The difference is that Canadian doctors don't 
give it people with histories of addiction. 98% of everybody with an opiod addiction showed a propensity for addiction before the age of 20. They were the ones smoking at 12, doing booze and pot at 14, and trying out harder stuff before 18. 

The biggest, fastest thing doctors could start doing to bring this problem down is taking good addiction histories of people they give opioids to. It's not complicated.
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Bill Ballad
Bill Ballad Sara Robinson 
We also need to stop treating addiction as a crime, but that's an entirely different can of worms.

Regardless I can't blame an addict for the opioid addiction any more then I can blame a blind person for not seeing.
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Sara Robinson
Sara Robinson People who hit 30 with no history of addiction are vanishingly unlikely to gain an opioid addiction, even if they get put on narcotics for life for chronic pain.
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Kim Cooper
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Baer Charlton
Baer Charlton And THIS is why I would never retire to Bishop. I'd die of lead poisoning... I couldn't keep my mouth shut.
Like · Reply · 14 hrs · Edited

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