Comments on: The geography of opportunity Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:10:25 +0000 hourly 1 By: AlkalineState Fri, 09 Aug 2013 21:17:35 +0000 Yankee states are smarter. Always have been, because that’s where the smart money from Europe went early on. If engineers had bothered to build a Harvard in Alabama or Tennessee, it would be filled up with snake handlers and meth-making equipment. These are people who still deny climate change, for christ’s sake.

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 07 Aug 2013 02:10:37 +0000 “One wonders if Salt Lake City’s unusually low crime rate helped make up for its greater dependence on the automobile.”

THIS “one” wonders if Salt Lake City improved it’s public transit it would find that it is CRIME that becomes more “widely distributed” than upward mobility. Of course the argument can be made that improving upward mobility reduces the number in poor neighborhoods who must turn to criminal acts for “a living”.

Instead I would suggest urban navel-gazers consider the fact that the great majority of “economically disadvantaged” youngsters DO NOT hike to libraries to improve themselves or form study clubs to improve their mediocre skills. Instead, the overwhelming evidence is that they stare out the window, text or prey upon each other and others, and, in general disrupt the educational process.

Until the black community admits and sets about to reverse these established trends, complaining about their lack of professional opportunities and upward mobility has absolutely ZERO likelihood of being any different in five years or ten. Is it racist to be honest in these things?

By: COindependent Fri, 02 Aug 2013 15:12:09 +0000 Correction: Folks like Mr. O’Brien confuse are confusing cause with effect.

By: COindependent Fri, 02 Aug 2013 14:50:59 +0000 Allow me to raise and issue regarding the lack of upward mobility of poor whites and blacks–from the perspective of a former public school teacher. Since the 1970’s, we have invested ever-increasing volumes of money into our schools. Yet, the better schools in terms of graduation rates and college entrance are still dominated by whites and Asians.

While many will argue, such as Mr. O’Brien above, that the problems are systemic (race, crime, “animus” of various types) I can tell you with a high level of certainty from my experience in ghetto/barrio schools, that it is more about the local culture and the home situation–which breeds crime, unemployment, high out-of-wedlock birth rates, etc. The poor Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks tend to embrace a culture that is less focused on improving their status in life and more on just living for the day. Thus, kids drop out of school to go to work at age 16 (very common in Hispanic communities) or they just matriculate in the schools–with few basic learning skills.

Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, but this culture is embedded in the high schools and influences behavior in the near term, that translates to a lack of mobility in the long term.

It (always?) starts with the parents and trickles down to the children, who tend to accept their fate–reinforced by the sociologists who are less inclined to correlate actions with outcomes (“When you get pregnant at 15, this is what your life is going to be!”–But I was not allowed to say that, as demanded by the Black and Hispanic teachers I worked with because I was impressing my (white, Christian) values on a different “culture”). And, I won’t tell you how many times I was told “You don’t understand these kids. They don’t see themselves in you.”

Thus, you have higher out of wedlock birth rates (children raising children), substance abuse problems, crime (immediate gratification) and an overall lack of respect for oneself, which translates into a lack of respect for others. It’s a culture where it is more important to be perceived as “cool” within this small universe versus pursuing a higher objective.

Until we stop financially (and emotionally via “tolerance”) subsidizing this behavior, which is often espoused via the entertainment industry, nothing is going to change. When the ethnic or racial “culture” continues to supersede personal responsibility for one’s actions (which translates into mobility or lack thereof) then we will continue to endure these social issues.

In summary, it starts with the family (father + mother) environment. If there is no one in the family promoting the idea of upward mobility and personal responsibility (“I want you to have a better life than I have had”) the odds of it happening are very low.

When you hear a young person say that “their gang (friends, homey’s…) is their family” it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why there is a lack of upward mobility. Mr. O’Brien is flat-out wrong!