First off, thank you, Ranger, for actually taking a shot at having a reasonable discussion with me.
I will take a shot at these OB.
I'll go ahead and establish this: our economy is competitive. Anyone who is disadvantaged falls behind, and those who do not have that disadvantage are ahead. Thus, anyone not disadvantaged is advantaged. This is simply how life works.
This provides an advantage. You don't have to fight against gender role stereotypes, and in fact your maleness actually fits the stereotypes, making you a preferable choice for many occupations. Your salary is also likely to be higher, as women in the United States on average earn a salary that is 23% lower than men. Don't think gender stereotyping happens? Ask any man who is a stay-at-home parent if other men don't joke about it. It's a prime example of a gender based role.
Just as in the case of gender stereotyping, this one is slowly changing to improve, but being straight is still an advantage. For instance, I know many male teachers who are gay and have to remain in the closet in order to keep their job. Alabama is one of many states that has fire-at-will laws, which means that an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason - and can even write down "gay" as a reasoning. Parents don't want their children to learn from a homo. Sad, but true. Another easy example is, up until lately, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule of the military.
Family-lower middle class
Not a disadvantage, which makes it an advantage. It simply isn't as great of an advantage as others. You were able to receive school loans and probably could receive little assistance from home; this is an advantage over others who basically have to support their families and cannot earn their education, and a disadvantage in comparison to those who can simply be put through college by their family.
disabled-I have a moderate disability, Tourette Syndrome
Would you agree that this is a disadvantage for you in some manner, which makes it something that others do not have to overcome and thus an advantage for them? This is certainly one case in which your circumstance did not benefit you.
Religious-spiritual, not overly religious. Go to temple on the high holy days
Same here, I'm not overly religious; I adapt Christianity's moral principles, those that I do not find silly, to my own moral code. Sometimes I visit church, as my family -is- religious. There are connections to be made there, relationships are established, and these are advantageous. Being associated with a religious organization offers benefits as well - you can even likely count on assistance from your religious friends, who will probably be charitable if needed, and you can technically count that into your personal net worth. It's wealth-if-needed, emergency funds that we don't like to think we have available because we don't want to count on them, but they exist nonetheless. Family falls under this.
Sociable-not really, having a disability does that to you.
I don't even have to address this, really. You know the disadvantage this offers, and as a rather charismatic person, I recognize the advantage I have here. This is another place where you did not receive an advantage over others.
Now, how does that matter? Yes, as I stated, there are kids and people that have little chance at a normal life. But there are successful people in all classes, races, ages, body styles, etc...
Agreed! Many people reach the pinnacle of their available situation, whether that means they become an unlikely doctor, or if they manage to get that particularly well-paying janitorial position at a good institute. Regardless, they are restricted to their circumstance, unless someone else outside and above it chooses to involve themselves and improve it.
It is what you make of what you have. I would think that 90% or more of the population is not so lost as to have little shot at anything resembling a normal life. Especially in America with all the civil rights laws.
I agree, life is what you make of it, for most at least. For some their situation is so bleak that even this note of positivity offers little hope, but they are not the focus. I agree that most have a shot at something resembling a normal life, but how many have a shot at the success you've achieved? I'd guess that's closer to 20%.
Ever hear of reverse discrimination? It does happen. Happened to me getting into medical school. Did I sue, no. I took a year off, worked to save money, reapplied and got in. Blamed nobody but myself for not having better grades.
I've heard of it, I'm well aware of it, and I've been involved in it. I recognize that my advantages, however, as a straight white male from an unpoor family far outweight that disadvantage.
We are moving so fast towards an entitlement society where people expect the government to give to them. Already we see the riots over entitlements in Europe. And we are heading right down that road.
You are moving too far, too fast; all we are discussing here is that it's never just your hard work, but your circumstances, and your luck in the genetic lottery.
Tax the rich? Really? And further stop small business growth.
Consider this, because it is extremely common and I work with these people all the time:
Type 1: At $20,000 a year, this person could be living at the edge of their ability, just barely getting by. Let's say they're working two minimum wage jobs, 'busting their arse' just as you have, and what time they have to themselves they spend taking care of their family. A minor car accident, which is an inconvenience for most, puts them into financial jeopardy.
Type 2: At $300,000 a year, this person is not living at the edge of their means. They have adjusted to their quality of life, and their bills use up a large portion of their monetary gains - but they attended seven years of college, four bachelor years and three years of law school, and then climbed their way up the corporate ladder to their current position.
If taxes are flat rate for everyone - hell, we'll say 20%. Twenty percent of their income is taken by the government to support government infrastructure, education, military, and whatnot. Government expenses, the ones that provide things for us that we all rely on.
That's $4,000 lost for the poor woman. That $4,000, while not a huge loss for Type 2, is enormous for Type 1 and she has to carefully budget her food costs - the first place people cut spending from when they are financially endangered, btw - to ensure that she can keep feeding her family. She's also going to have to work more overtime at her two minimum wage jobs and spend less time with her family.
For Type 2, he's giving away $60,000 a year now to the government. That's a lot of money! But it leaves him $240,000 a year - and quite frankly, if that woman can learn to live with $16,000 a year at her tax rate, he can make the minor adjustments to his quality of life necessary to live at $240,000. He'll still be living just fine.
Now let's say that taxes are adjusted so that Type 1pays 5%, and Type 2 pays 25%.
Now she only has to pay in $1,000 in taxes - a HUGE financial burden lifted from her shoulders. That thousand dollars is VASTLY more significant to her than most people.
Type 2, on the other hand, now pays $75,000 in taxes. Holy cow! He's only making....$225,000 a year! He's lost $15,000 of income, but...well, let's face it, he's still living very comfortably. He can still maintain a very high standard of living, and his minor loss enables the woman to breathe much easier, even if he never sees the effects of his sacrifice.
Not only that, but the taxes that the government made from the two? Under the flat rate, they made $64,000. Under the scaled rate, they made $76,000.
Do you see the reasoning, Ranger?