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I know I'm going to get it for posting a title like that....but whoever you vote for, just vote. 2000's election was decided by 535 votes, so every one counts this year.

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sleepingbeauty said:
its nice to live in a dream world where the playing field is equal and everyone has a fair chance of success. dont forget that 99% of the successful and affluent got that way with a silverspoon stuck up their ass.
I'd say that is just as bigoted as making a generalization of conservatives and liberals.

Personal Story A:
My maternal grandfather was a train engineer (i.e. repairman for the rails) and my grandmother a mother of three and a housekeeper. There was a point when times were so bad that they worked as handyman and housekeeper resepctively for a wealthy family. They had no college educations, they spoke German and learned English on thier own.

They had little money to speak of. Of the three children, my mother was the only child to get a college education which she got on scholarship. She became a doctor. She managed her money very well. She was not dripping in money when she died, but I did grow up in the Upper Middle Class... no competition to the Fords, i.e. the Henry Fords and family who streamed through my private school. They were THE UPPER CLASS. My parents as medical professionals didn't come near the income of that class.

My father was born in a tiny town in Ohio at the turn of the century. Parents, poor school teachers who also owned a general store.
Four children. One son became a playwright, died young. One son became a career military man. The daughter in the family became a housewife. My father received a scholarship to University and subsequently medical school and became a doctor. He was the most succesful person in the family. My father had severe OCD and lost his money.

My mother, thank God, was able to be financially independent, a taxpayer of course. She of course was also abusive, but that's beside the point.

My life, if you want to call it that had a lot of silver spoons in it. But a lot of struggle. I was still able, despite my mental illness, to complete a B.A. and an M.A. and if I weren't disabled I would have continued my career in the "corrupt entertainment industry" -- I suppose I would have been a closet conservative, LOL. I would have made a decent living. I'm now in a real shit mess. But I don't consider my friends who have been succesful in many fields to have gotten to such places without hard work. And their careers are varied and admirable. Professionals to those with vocations. Human beings, struggling with everyday problems. Some with serious problems.

Personal story B:
My husband's Uncle A. and Aunt F. They were poor/Jewish (hence discriminated against)/in the early 1900s. No college education, either of them. Because they lived through the depression, in true poverty, they were extremely careful with their money. This is a tendency of people who lived through the Depression.

Uncle A. was a machinist. A factory worker his whole life. Aunt F. was a secretary. They had two children who are now in their fifties, and there are granchildren. One of Uncle A. was a proud WWII Veteran. Front line. Fighting in Germany. An American Jew against the Nazis. (Sounds like a soap opera I made up, but it's true). The two were also socialists. My husband's father (Jewish) -- a communist.

At any rate, Uncle A. and Aunt F. took their lives into their own hands. Worked as hard as Hell their whole lives, took care of two kids, both while working. They were very careful with their money, their investments.

Uncle A. died of cancer about... 6 years ago. Aunt F. can live comfortably on over 3 million dollars, which is earning interest, so she will not be a burden on anyone, even if she has to go into a nursing home. They were taxed, once they became wealthy at the highest income tax bracket. That money was hard-earned, fought for, and well managed. By a man who had no college education, came from a hated minority at the time (perhaps still hated), lived in poverty, he lived "the American Dream" and was a distinguished war veteran.

Dare I mention that Kerry is extremely wealthy, not merely by his own family wealth, but in his marriage to the heiress to the Heinz ketchup empire. Kerry is no poorer than George W. and they're both a helluva lot better off than most of us here. BOth of them went to Yale.

What is wrong with this?

No, we are not all equal, we never have been. But being wealthy doesn't mean someone didn't work for it. And someone is supposed to be guilty if old wealth is passed down.

And, if I may say, entertainers in Hollywood, and sports stars earn an obscene amount of money, regardless of their backgrounds. Many are philanthropists, many are not.

How can one decide that an actor is worth millions, or these sports players, millions of millions, I can't even think of the figures ... and yet a secretary, or a plumber, or a doctor, or a businessman, or an attorney is worth less.

Just a few thoughts.
Again, about generalizations.
There are nasty rich people and there are nasty poor people.
There are decent conservatives and decent liberals.
There are nasty conservatives and there are nasty liberals.

That statement is truly .... again bigoted.

I'm not saying capitalism is a system better than any other. All social/economic systems have plusses and minus'.

And, I hate to say this, but did any of us get to select what family we were born into, what COUNTRY. Why in God's name does someone have to apologize for being a wealthy American, a poor American, a wealthy British Monarch, or a poor working class Brit.

This completely ignores the complexity of human existence. And it's only the beginning ... this is again like saying, all black kids are gang members and murderers... we start going into the deepest ugliest stereotypes from here.

In the spirit of debate,
But with frustration,
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Forgot to mention. My wealthy Aunt A. and Aunt F. were life-long liberals, voted democrat all the way.

Yes there are evil greedy people in this world. But there are also decent hard-working people. There are people with inherited wealth who are a disaster. There are people with inherited wealth who have gone on to be decent hard-working people. There are poor who are hard-working and good, there are poor who are hardworking and bad.

Ohio was the deciding vote in the election. Ohio has been hit seriously by loss of jobs during the Bush administration, yet Ohioans voted Republican, for a million different reasons.

What should we do with the 99%????? of SUCCESSFUL and affluent people with spoons up there asses? Tell me what to do about it? Let's have a plan here.

Henry Ford was a pioneer. HIs money came from the concept of the auto on the assemblyline. The Ford Family is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Michigan. We have hospitals, schools, all form of cultural and educational foundations that were established and maintained by the Fords.

I don't understand the logic of this.
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I agree with all Dreamer has said,I think I do anyway.

I have given a lot of thought and observation to the accumulation of monitary wealth.
My conclusions is.......... there are no absolutes.

Often times situations occur in people's lives that prevent them from earning a living or working hard and getting ahead financially.
This can be so dissapointing and frustrating.I sympathise with anyone who this has happened to.

More often than not,people in western society don't get get out of the cycle of being poor due to their own life choices and attitudes not that they would ever admit it.
We are not taught basic finance in schools.
If people were honest many would confess that they often live beyond their means,they don't save and don't think about their future retirement until it's too late.
They don't consider that when they have children they not only have an obligation to love and care for them but to financially provide and assist them into early adulthood.

Many people say they are simply not into money and materialism.That's fine,it's a personal choice.
The thing is these are often the very people who belly ach about greedy rich people and expect the governmnt to take care of them.

Life sure isn't about money,I agree.
At the same time why expect others to take care of you if you are healthy, fit and able to work.
In this country we have unemployment benefits(the dole).I'm glad we have it and yet it has been to the detriment of so many people for so long.
Originally it was intended to be there when a person through no fault of their own and despite their best efforts found themselves out of work.
Soon,for some it became a choice......hmm
"should I work or go on the dole for awhile"?

If you want to get ahead watch the migrants that come from underprivileged countries.
They think we are crazy,so much oppurtunity and yet so many non migrants sit back and whine,winge and blame the government for their lot.

It has never made much difference to my life which government was in power.There have always been advantages and disadvantages.

If I were young again,I'd work hard and invest wisely so I could retire at 40 or atleast 45.That's just me.
As they say life is about balance,it's important to remember to play and smell the roses.

Ok if you're Paris Hilton then what's the point,I wouldn't work lol I'd shut up a lot more too.

oops sorry,getting off the soap box
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Yup, Shelly, I think we're talking about more examples as well. The safety net of welfare here has been abused, not by everyone, but by enough people that those truly deserving of help get a smaller slice of the pie.

I am not judging any person that has done this, but it sure as hell doesn't help the system work. People are law suit happy here as well, driving up the cost of health insurance and even keeping young people from going into medicine. OB/GYNs have staggering health insurance premiums. They are also mired in paperwork that costs a ridiculous amount to process.

My mother took on many Medicaid patients when she worked in the court system. She ironically evaluated abused children, and was often called "the baby snatcher" as she would help remove abused babies and children from horrible family situations. Even if she testified to guaranteed potential of death for these children, they would be returned to their homes, only to be reported dead in three months.

My mother didn't have a secretary. She did her own billing, and even had me doing it!!!! We THREW AWAY, HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF MEDICAID FORMS. There was no way she could keep up. She never collected thousands of dollars. She didn't have the time, and paying a secretary for a single woman's practice, she wasn't part of a group, wasn't worth it. She paid malpractice, rent on her office, etc., etc., etc.

I'll tell you who bugs the Hell out of me PARIS HILTON. And she is one of the most popular celebrities these days. Admired, fawned upon, ACH, ACH, ACH. Now there's where I say, yeah, give me a break. I'd like to kick her in the head, LOL. Yeah, she pisses me off. But she is not an example of all wealthy people born to great wealth.

OK, like Shelly, off my soapbox. :)
But here's something interesting. Even Paris Hilton has made a career for herself. She doesn't need the money, but she actually works for a living as well!
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Sleeping Beauty, how wrong you are. I can't claim to not come from a fairly well-off family. I went to a competitive, private high school. Yes, most people were by national standards, rich. But, a lot of us also worked our asses off in school. People went to some of the best colleges in the country and they are going to be well off as a result. Success is contagious. When you grow up around rich, successful people, there is an enormous pressure to do the same.

Some people do have everything handed to them. I've known people who jerked-off in school and wouldn't have amounted to crap and then go and work for their daddy's company and do well for themselves. But many of the born-rich people I know are some of the hardest-working people I've ever seen. It's unbelievable. They get out of college and work 80-90 hour weeks. And a lot of it's genetic. Their family didn't come off of the Mayflower like that. They earned it.

There is something called working class arrogance. People with lower paying jobs feel they are better than rich people because they have to work their asses off to keep their head above ground. They feel they've earned something special because they started out with nothing. I've seen it and it's just as bad as snobbery.
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There is something called working class arrogance. People with lower paying jobs feel they are better than rich people because they have to work their asses off to keep their head above ground. They feel they've earned something special because they started out with nothing. I've seen it and it's just as bad as snobbery.
This just doesn't make sense. Gimpy, people with lower paid jobs dont feel theyve earned something special because they started out with nothing. People with lower paid jobs who, as you put it, work their asses off feel crap because they started out with nothing and end up with nothing, while the fat cat assholes they work for treat them like dirt and the state offers them no assistance. Try living this life sometime and you'll find out for yourself.

As for those people who work their ass off at elitist private schools (which if i had my way would all be banned for the sake of creating a true meritocracy), no one doubts that these kids work hard. They've got the CHANCE to be able work hard at a school that is well staffed and with good facilities....just cause they make the most of the privilige they have doesnt make it any less of a silver spoon.

I belive that the only civilised countries are those working towards creating a true meritocracy...and the playing field can only only be levelled by state intervention to assist those born in deprived circumstances, be it poverty, disablity, discrimination or whatever. Only then can you see who makes something of themself from nothing....the American Dream as it stands is just a myth all the time people come into this world inequal. The true meritocratic utopia will not be the United States, because the dream of justice for all is not adhered to by those in power.
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Your utopian dream is noble, Gavin D, but it is just a dream.

I can't claim to be poor and know what it feels like. OK, "better than" was a poor choice of words, I'll admit. But, it is an arrogance more like "resenment." My first jobs in high school, starting out at the bottom, there were people 20 years older than me, working the same job. They hated me from the start. They especially hated me after I came in and was a better employee. I have seen working class arrogance and know it's there. It's kind of like reverse discrimination. The likelihood of a rich, white person being accepted by a group of poor minorities is just as likely as a poor minority being accepted by a group of rich, white people. Argue all you want, but there is alot of truth to that.

I'll agree people born-rich have a head start. And the American Dream is not all it is cracked up to be. But, the secret to success isn't all that secret. If you can work hard enough in school and go to college and keep up the hard work, you will do well for yourself. A lot of school is what you make of it, despite if it is public or private, how good the facilities are or whatever. The problem is when few people around you don't have the ambition to go to college and have lower expectations of themselves, it rubs off on you. When you are not pushed to go to college, and your parents make you work every day after school since you are 15, it makes things harder. But, that doesn't mean there is no chance. Success is contagious and so is failure. I know it takes money to go to college but everybody has hurdles in life. Poorer people have more hurdles to overcome when it comes to making money, but there is always a chance. Some people aren't born with innate smarts. It's harder. But, by your rationale, people with natural high intelligence also have a silver spoon.
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lol Dreamer,Paris seems to stir up a lot of people.
Is that what you call it "work for a living",hey if that's work,I'll have some lol.
I have a strong hunch Paris just loooves all the attention,I don't think the girl can get enough,she's a bottomless pit.
They'd like to chop off all of hair extensions here,she's been bonking
Mark Philippoussis(tennis player)who ditched an Aussie darling soap star for the racy blonde........such drama lol

Let's face it she's riding on her name like hundreds of brats who were born into famous families.

Did you know Stella McCartney really is a brilliant designer in her own rights and her fame has nothing to do with her family name and the many connections they have.......yeah right.

Most people who climb out of poor families do it because they are afraid of poverty,not because they love money or are greedy or ruthless.
They simply want it better for themselves and their family.
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Just because somebodies a battler doesn't mean they are down trodden and abused.
Yep I kinda agree about private schools and do wish goverments would put more money into education.
The fact is and it is a proven fact that you can make it financially without a uni degree or a private school education.
A couple of our prime ministers have been educated at public schools. Now,that's a job that pays well.

I know people who come from wealthy families,had the best private school education and haven't got a penny to their name.
I know others who didn't finish high school and have done very well for themselves.

It's mostly a matter of attitude.
With a blast of tenacity the majority of people in a developed country can't improve their financial sitution if they so desire.
I'm not talking about wishing and hoping,I'm talking about getting a positive mind set and doing the hard yards.

Most people don't want it bad enough and that's ok but there is no use blaming the scum for holding you back when you don't get off of your bum and give it all.
Blame is a mugs game,it keeps people trapped.Don't rely on any goverment,any boss,any family or friend to help you get ahead.

Libraries are full of inspirational books that can assist in getting a better mind set.

If people truly don't care about having money,why bother examining people who do?
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Just for the record, as NOTHING is simple....

I suggest two books Gavin.

Believe it or not, one was written by one of my classmates in private school here in Michigan. He was in our private school on scholarship as he lived in a poor area of Detroit. He doesn't like being called an African American, he likes to simply be called an American.

He graduated from my private school, coming from a strong family background in a very poor area of Detroit. He lost both his brother early, and his mother, and his father raised him with great emphasis on education.

Things DO start at the family level. Good things, and bad things. I've had both.

My friend from highschool and his book:

Out Of Amercia: A Black Man Confronts Africa by Keith B. Richburg. He is a journalist for The Washington Post

Also, by a CONSERVATIVE black man who grew up in South Central L.A.... you passed through there on your awful train ride from LAX... I agree that was a BAD part of town.... this man, Larry Elder has gotten death threats from black people, and is called an "Oreo" which in this country means "black on the outside, white on the inside" which is truly insulting, simply because he got out of the ghetto (his father was a hotdog vedor!), went to university and became a lawyer and now an author, radio talk host, etc.

The Ten Things You Can't Say In America by Larry Elder Take him or leave him.

All I'll add to this. I never said it was easy being a minority in America. Where does racism come from. From eVERYWHERE. Not just whites.

And the public school system here is rife with corruption. If parents would participate in their childrens' education there might be some changes. I was damned lucky to go to Private School. For me, it saved my life. It was my family since Pre-Kindergarten. I feel very fortunate. I wish all school could be like mine was. But for some reason the Public school system in America is falling apart, and it used to work rather well.

Many reasons I won't even try to go into here.

I do recommend these two books, and yes, I am very proud of my classmate and friend who even acted in plays with me. His source of strength -- his family. Bottom line.

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PS, LOL Shelly. Agreed, Paris would NOT have a TV show, what now, a clothing line, a fragrance, etc. if it weren't for her name. SHe can't act to save her life.

I can only say though... so, she was born into wealth? SHould we crucify her for that? -- (directed at Gavin/and Sleeping.) Kick her in the head, YES. LOL. But she sure is popular. ACH. :shock:

All the boys seem to think she's peachy. I wouldn't want to LOOK like her and I'm not lying.

Wouldn't mind being wealthy though. WHO WOULDN'T. Yes, it would make life, especially with DP, a helluva lot easier, but I would rather have my DP go away, and contribute to society in some job.
It's funny Dreamer because you talk about money problems and both of your parents were doctors so I know you get the stereotype as well. "Oh both of her parents were physicians, so she MUST have money."
As for Paris Hilton, yeah she doesn't have to work but she prolly gets bored. "Work" and what she does are entirely different things. She does what she wants to do. Opening a club, writing a book, acting, perfume line, etc. She does these things for basically hobbies and to be more famous. She doesn't work like the rest of us do. We do things we hate because we need money. I'm sick to death of school and sitting up all night studying and doing projects but I don't have any other choice. I wanted to major in something other than what I'm majoring in but I need to be able to get a job when I get out of school. I know you should major in what your passion is but I see people do this all the time that get out and are like, "Ok, what am I supposed to do now." If I could go open a club and start a clothing line or be an actor, hell yeah, but come on, we don't all have that opportunity. Stella McCartney, she started a clothing line. Wouldn't it be great if we could all just do whatever we wanted for work? I'm jealous now. :cry:
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never mind ennegirl,who knows what the future holds,you might get to do what you love one day.

I just reread my post and realised I'm not in any position to be knocking Paris,I spelt blonde incorrectly :oops: how blonde am I :?:
Gimpy said:
Success is contagious and so is failure
No truer words have been spoken.

I just thought of something, the simplest thing, which is the most ridiculous debate between private and public schools.

At private school I was required to wear a uniform up through 8th grade. High school -- 9th through 12th we had a strict dress code. No casual wear, no jeans. The purpose of the dress code was literally to "even the playing field!" Some kids in my town came from heavy duty old wealth. But many didn't. The incomes of families in my school varied tremendously.

The dress code made it:
1. "an equal playing field"
2. taught us discipline, to have all parts of our uniform together as we did in gym class
3. it was easy to identify us on class trips so we didn't get lost, LOL

But right there, my private school leveled the playing field.

I had friends in the community who went to the Upper Class Public school. The schools (two in my district) were not as good as my private school. There was less respect for authority. The richer kids could wear top of line clothes and the less wealthy kids couldn't afford them. The classes were MUCH larger. I had some classes with only 8 students in them vs. 25 students in a class.... even in an Upper Class neighborhood, the private school surpassed everything that was offered at the public school.

Bureaucracy got in the way. There weren't the same high expectations. And I'll tell you. I was struggling like hell at home and it reflected in school. Poor grades, lack of confidence. My private school MADE A GREATER EFFORT to be supportive of my strengths/talents and to encourage me to do better. (They knew there was "bad stuff" happening at home and made an effort to make school a "safe place" for me.)

Had I gone to Public school, where these days kids would BALK at having to wear a uniform -- which is far less expensive than getting a kid an entire wardrobe every semester -- I know I would have gotten lost in the crowd and fallen through the cracks.

So the simplest thing, a uniform -- required at a Private school, but found not "politically correct" in public schools today -- MADE THE PLAYING FIELD MORE EVEN. Equal expectations, attention, support, demands and REWARD for the expectations was so valuable -- we were prepared for life, for university, or for vocations if we chose them. We were counseled on career choices. Educated on how to find our way.

Had I gone to the public school in my Upper Class neighborhood, I may very well have failed, I may have even killed myself, and I am not lying. Instead, I was given encouragement, challenges, hope, stimulation, attention I didn't get at home. That is the fault of my parents, and no school should babysit a child. Public schools here in the US (not all there are some EXCELLENT ones) have turned into a big playground. And where there are no expectations, kids graduate and can't write a decent sentence, or read a book.

How can we give children the best start in life if we expect nothing of them? Though who need extra help should get it. I got it in Private school. Extra help is HARDER to get in Public school, due to so many bureuacratic red tape, size, corruption, lack of standardization, etc.

I was damned lucky. I was lucky that my school expected the most of me. I felt proud when I succeded. And the teachers were expected to perform at a high level, and they didn't haev to spend time babysitting us, they focused all of their time on teaching us how to LEARN.

Gimpy said it..... "Success is contagious, and so is failure." Gimpy you ought to copyright that unless someone famous already said that.

And again this is so difficult to write about vs. discussing in person.

And Shelly, LOL.

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you got it wrong. hes not an assh0le. hes a BUSH.. and his right hand is a D!CK.
Dreamer, every single school in the UK has a school uniform...evern the state schools. It is a leveller and it's wrong that american public schools dont do the same thing. But that doesnt make a difference as to whether people who can afford to go to private schools are privilged or not while state school kids are fact you seem in agreement. And thats what I'm talking about....we need to work towards a society where all our kids have the same start in life...which means more investment in schools by the our governments to raise them to the standard of private schools. I know the rich dont want to pay higher taxes to help their fellow countrymen who are in less fortunate circumstances (yet never resist an oppurtunity to display how 'patriotic' they are), but if you want a succesful, fair and civilised society, thats the only way it can come about. I work in a school where every child has a computer screen in front of them...the teachers have smart boards...the facilities compared to when i left school ten years ag are astonishing. That's cause Labour have poured more money into schools, especially technology and so where these kind of skills would have once been only learnt by the rich, the working class state school kids now have the oppurtunity to be in a similar position when they get out into the big wide world of the workforce. And this is all payed for by the taxpayer...and rightly so.
To an individualistic mind, socialism seems to be the politics of envy....the poor wanting to steal a bit of the rich's pie. People say capitalism gives people an incentive to work hard and be successful and if the government steals half your money in tax for being rich, then what incentive is there to being rich? But that is only from the perspective of the individualistic person who sees success as being personal success or success for their family. I believe in society, I believe that success is working together for one's self and for the good of one's fellow countryman. If my plans, which I'm extremely ambitious about, ever come to fruition I will gladly pay 50% tax back into the next generation. Britain has assisted me, sometimes not enough maybe, but nevertheless, as a working class person I have had a good education because of 'interfering' government, and Ive had the saftey net of free healthcare and welfare while ive been out of action with this goddamn illness.
Now this is another point....for those of us on this site who are ill AND poor, the thought of medical bills we simply cannot afford on top of our suffering is intolerable. For those with wealth in the family, or who have savings, you must see what a disadvantage this is....and that's why I'm so glad that I live in a country with the civilised idea of a health service which is free on the point of delivery. its covered by taxes before anyone says 'you do pay for it', but of course, if you're too ill to work you dont have to worry about paying those taxes!

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I have no idea what you guys are talking about.

You seem very hellbent about money.
As if it was just all about money.

Like, you are ill, money is to blame for making it worse ( or for making it bearable).

Or, you have shitty schools, so you have a shitty life (still about money)

Or, society is to blame because the rich take from the poor ( money again).

How many excuses will you find for feeling miserable?

The bottomless pit is not Paris Hilton, it's you guys with your deathless arguing about how it should be or what you should have or what we should have or should not have.

Who cares?
Here comes the clue:
It is not about money! Whatever it is, it is not about money!
The poor feel miserable, the rich feel miserable.

And you don't have to have money to make money.
That is the American dream, but the American dream only exists for those who can see it.
Also, the American dream is about independence which people who constantly blame others for their misery don't have.

America is about variety.
There is everything in America. There is hell next to heaven, all you have to do is choose. It is up to the individual, and this implies that nobody cares if you are miserable. But if one chooses to be inferior, one definitely is, and this has nothing to do with bad schools, lack of money or other shallow loopholes.

If you were rich, you would feel as miserable as you feel now.
Don't blame others for having a shitty life.
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Thank you for those insightful comments....we're glad you've enjoyed our debate. Don't tell me it aint about money....the only people to whom money means nothing are the rich. I'd love to be in the position to have your attitude. Nobody's wallowing....I certainly dont blame my financial situation for my illness if that's what you mean. And i would never suggest that the rich cant be miserable. I dont think anyone's not about being negative, it's about seeing positive ways of improving things. In fact the only person being negative is i suggest you just stay out of it, okay? Not all people feel miserable as you'd have us believe. I lived from 1978-2000 without dp and 2000 to the present day with it, but the best year of my life has been this one.
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