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Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:42 PM

I'm so tired of the Republican meme, "if you work hard, you can achieve anything"

Really?

Tell that to the single mom who has to work two minimum-wage part-time jobs to feed herself and her children, and sometimes she still goes to bed hungry at night.

Tell that to the Iraq vet who comes home and can't get a job because of his extreme PTSD, and has to live on the streets.

Tell that to the recent college grad who has to take a low-paying job she's over-qualified for because she can't find a job in her chosen field. She has to live with her parents because she can't afford a place of her own due to enormous student loan debts.

All these people want is a good life, and to get ahead in life for once, and Republicans tell them, "well you just aren't working hard enough".

Republicans' motto should be, "I've got mine, so FUCK YOU!".

I for one, am tired of busting my butt every day, for my meager paycheck, only to be told "I'm not working hard enough."

My lunch break is almost over, so I'm going to end my rant here. Just wanted to get that off my chest.

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Reply I'm so tired of the Republican meme, "if you work hard, you can achieve anything" (Original post)
Terra Alta Sep 2012 OP
porphyrian Sep 2012 #1
CBHagman Sep 2012 #30
Kurovski Sep 2012 #32
phantom power Sep 2012 #2
Terra Alta Sep 2012 #35
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #3
librechik Sep 2012 #4
Terra Alta Sep 2012 #36
quinnox Sep 2012 #5
thecrow Sep 2012 #6
treestar Sep 2012 #17
reformist2 Sep 2012 #7
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #13
ananda Sep 2012 #8
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #9
hifiguy Sep 2012 #10
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #12
Terra Alta Sep 2012 #37
Kurovski Sep 2012 #11
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #19
Kurovski Sep 2012 #23
treestar Sep 2012 #14
dmallind Sep 2012 #15
quinnox Sep 2012 #20
dmallind Sep 2012 #27
nichomachus Sep 2012 #16
BOG PERSON Sep 2012 #18
Proud Liberal Dem Sep 2012 #21
craigmatic Sep 2012 #22
AZ Progressive Sep 2012 #24
longship Sep 2012 #25
MariaM83 Sep 2012 #26
liberal N proud Sep 2012 #28
mazzarro Sep 2012 #29
crazyjoe Sep 2012 #31
Kurovski Sep 2012 #33
MatthewStLouis Sep 2012 #34

Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:50 PM

1. Read "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell...

 

The book suggests that the time and place you are born have more to do with your success than how hard you work. Reading it makes bootstraps people seem like even bigger assholes for saying shit like this to the rest of us.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:18 PM

30. I think too of Michael Sandel, the philosophy professor...

...who shakes up his students by reminding that their individual circumstances played a tremendous role in getting them into Harvard.

[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/arts/television/26sandel.html?pagewanted=all[/url]

In class, affirmative action arouses the strongest feelings, Mr. Sandel said, because students, who have worked very hard to reach Harvard, believe their own merit is being rewarded. They are disquieted, he said, by the philosopher John Rawls’s idea that many of their advantages have nothing to do with merit: American citizenship, fortunate family circumstances, a society that values what they are good at, whether it is telling jokes or having a great jump shot.

He tells the class that many psychologists think that birth order makes a lot of difference in one’s work ethic and degree of striving, and then asks: “How many here are first in birth order?” There are gasps and laughter. About 80 percent in the auditorium raise their hands. “Is it your doing that you are first in birth order?,” he continues.

That moment, Mr. Sandel said, is often “a turning point” in getting students to question their own deeply held assumptions.


The dark side of American flexibility and openness and can-do spirit is the naive, simplistic, and/or judgmental belief that hard work overcomes all. It's possible some people think that way to salve their consciences or deal with an often cruel and arbitrary world.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 04:32 PM

32. From a NYTs review of the book Outliers...

“Outliers” is far more political. It is almost a manifesto. “We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that 13-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur,” he writes at the end. “But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one 13-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?”

After a decade — and, really, a generation — in which this country has done fairly little to build up the institutions that can foster success, Gladwell is urging us to rethink. Once again, his timing may prove to be pretty good.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/books/review/Leonhardt-t.html?_r=1

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:51 PM

2. somewhere along the line, that saying got perverted...

it has been improperly perverted into its contrapositive: "if you didn't achieve everything, you didn't work hard." Of course, the reason for the perversion is that it provides a convenient rhetorical excuse for telling the 99% to fuck off, and not lift a finger to solve any macro-economic problems.

It also makes it really easy to demagogue. If you try to point out that this saying doesn't really constitute a reason for throwing the 99% under the bus, it's very easy to make lazy arguments like "What? you don't believe in hard work?" or "Why do you resent my success?"

It's going to be hard to deconstruct this framing, since we baked it into the American Mythology(tm), but deconstruct it we must.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 06:59 PM

35. it's ironic.

Republicans usually only care about the 1%, many of whom never worked a day in their lives and had their wealth handed to him.. such as the Waltons. Those of us who DO work hard get thrown under the bus and ridiculed.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:52 PM

3. Horatio Alger is peddled so much so Republicans can say that if he/she can do it, so can you....

That, meaning, if he/she can be lucky enough to work hard and get success amid horrid conditions where 99% of people wouldn't be lucky enough to get through it, then so could you (if you are lucky enough.) It mocks and legitimizes the inhumanity and harsh treatment done to people "because if they can work hard and endure and turn lemons into lemonade, so can you." Society can't be kind if only 1% of people are successful and LUCKY enough to get out of harsh conditions while the 99% toil in the inhumane treatment of society. Society should help and protect ALL.

Despite what people think, success is not just hard work, but luck, because success is often many things coming together (including being at the right place at the right time, having the right talent, finding the right people, getting the right help, having the right advice, etc...), not just hard work.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:53 PM

4. ah, give em a break. That used to be true, back before Reagan.

and they have no one but themselves to blame for the aftermath. Of course they don't want to face what they did to our economy and our unions.

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Response to librechik (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 07:03 PM

36. I was a fetus when Reagan was sworn into office

spent much of my childhood under his administration.. little did I know he was destroying the country my generation would grow up in, and make it much harder for us to succeed.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:54 PM

5. it is one of their more popular ones

 

it is kind of related to their claim, that the rich get wealthy because of how hard working they are. I bet most of those CEOs who get tens of millions in salary don't ever work as hard as a nurse who is on their feet 16 hours a day working like a dog helping patients.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:59 PM

6. That's true if you are some reasonably rich person who can get gov't grants


If you have nothing, you have not got much of a chance.

It's like when I lost my 44 year long career in 2008 and my family said "why don't you go back to school?"
At 62? Are they insane? I'd be on medicare when I graduated. Who would hire me?
They are for the most part repubics and nobody offered to mention where I might get the funds for said re-education.

Everyone over 50 has a very hard time getting a new job these days. It makes the Ryan "plan" all the more ridiculous.
Maybe the ACA ("obamacare" will help fix some of that, but basically, I really don't see the workers of this country making many breakout career moves.

I'm glad to hear you still have a job. Sorry to hear that you are stuck with low pay.

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Response to thecrow (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:21 PM

17. Some claim it is the health care costs

If that's so, being on Medicare might help. You can say to a prospective employer that you don't need the health insurance.

This might be the biggest good thing about Obamacare.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:00 PM

7. The typical GOPer is living in dreamtime, totally delusional and in denial of what others go through


These are the kind of people who never change their mind until "it happens to them" - and sometimes even then that isn't enough! lol

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:16 PM

13. The GOP is the Worlds Largest Cult n/t

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:01 PM

8. That's code for n..rs are lazy and worthless.

nt

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:02 PM

9. I know what Republicans would say to some of those people

To the Single Mom: "Its your fault you got a baby, your paying the price for having sex / being promiscuous (and the father doesn't have any responsibility for raising the child)"

To the PTSD Vet: "You just weren't tough enough, toughen up!"

To the recent college grad: "It's your fault that you didn't choose your major well (and didn't predict the future that a massive financial crisis and outsourcing would take away your chance at having that job), and it was your choice to get the student loan!"

For all the Republicans who love blaming the victim: Life is unpredictable, and noone can always successfully predict what would happen from their decisions.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:06 PM

10. I followed every rule and failed spectacularly anyway.

 

High-school dropout to graduating from law school in the same class with the FLOTUS. Bombed out at every high-level job I ever had as an attorney. Why? Well, I was dx'd Asperger's around eight years ago. Can't read people, can't understand or play office politics and always put people off in some subconscious way. At least that's what my best therapist - the one that dx'd me in the first place - told me.

Unemployed for more than four years between 1/1/06 and today. Lost my car and my house. Work a dead-end job doing legal research for a subsistence wage. I watched people with a fraction of my talent who were socially slick or had family connections zoomed up the ladder to riches and success.

IMHOs the Repukes can fornicate themselves with an iron stick for a century or so.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:13 PM

12. Republicans would say: "It's your fault you have aspergers"

And they will say: "You having aspergers is a sign that God hasn't chosen you for salvation and the riches of many people (even if they are corrupt) are a sign that they have been chosen by God for salvation" according to protestant theology. Utterly moronic thinking but the reality of the thinking of cruel Republicans.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 07:09 PM

37. Repukes would tell you Asperger's is just a made up disease

and that you are just too shy and too lazy to get a decent job. Of course if they had to walk a mile in your shoes they might feel differently.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:12 PM

11. Agreed. it's dishonest, patronising, and contemptuous bullshit.

I dislike it when anyone says it, singers, actors, athletes. Especially people who have family connections in a biz or field.

GW Bush is certainly the poster child for that sort of nonsense.

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Response to Kurovski (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:22 PM

19. Singers had to be discovered by the right people, actors had to star in the right movie....

...which includes being in a movie with a good script, director, etc... and had to fit the role right, athletes had to have physical advantages / sports talent, find the right coach (and have the money to pay for them), have to live in the right place, etc....

You don't get successful on your own, you have to have the right ingredients and support around you to succeed. It's not just hard work.

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:33 PM

23. Yes. It is almost cruel to tell young people it is an automatic outcome.

for example, many millions of people can sing, many other variables come into play other than hard work.

hell, even people who go through the challenge of higher education are not assured of anything.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:18 PM

14. I agree. And mostly they are from the older generation who came of age in the 1950s

Well things aren't the same any more, due to their choices.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:20 PM

15. Well there are various ways to look at this

If you work hard you CAN achieve anything possible. It doesn't mean that you WILL however. Real life is full of earnest losers or getters-by.

But in all honesty I see the basic point misrepresented here too. People always focus on paid work, telling us that underpaid job X is physically more demanding than overpaid job Y. But we need to realize that working hard does not start with a paycheck. How many people could have had better academic qualifications had they worked harder in school? I could - and I'm a multiple-degreed professional already. How many could have avoided behavior that harmed their future prospects had they worked harder to avoid various temptations? Me again, and I'm pretty comfortable financially as it is. Was every manual worker an academically lazy hedonistic wastrel? Of course not, but neither was every CEO handed their job due to nepotism. Some got into the requisite management track job because of that pre-employment hard work.

I do know however that your chances of achieving socioeconomic success are much greater if you worked hard at school, went on through all the levels of education necessary to achieve a successful career, and put in the effort to defer gratification. Guaranteed? Obviously not. Exceptions? Millions. Correlation though? Significant. Just look at income/unemployment rate tables by education level, by criminal record or absence thereof, even by age at first having children. For those who want to maximize income (and that's by no means the only valid measure of success of course), the best path is no mystery at all and takes them through quite a bit of yes, hard work. Hard work that won't guarantee diddly, but will make your chances much greater.

I ask, with little hope, that people realize anecdotes do not refute generalizations. I hope I don't need to cite data, but can if asked.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:26 PM

20. or if you know the right people

 

or are born rich. It makes it a lot easier, I reckon. "Born Rich" is a pretty good documentary, one of the old money kids explains what he thinks about the typical conventional wisdom such as that republican meme in the OP.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #20)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:54 PM

27. Yep - working hard is indeed not the ONLY way to increase chances of success

But it's the one open to far more people than the others.

ANECDOTE ALERT

I was born into the middle lower class. My parents had consistent work, but of a menial low paid type.

I never moved in "better" circles.

Frankly I could have worked a damn sight harder than I did, in various ways.

The first two probably stopped me from being, say, an ambassador, sure. The latter however is why I am still a middling "success" socioeconomically despite being lucky enough to have a fairly capable intellect and acumen. It's not a complaint. I'm content and comfortable and well within the upper quintile in income, brushing the upper decile. No regrets there. But no self-exculpatory bullshit either - had I not gone after booze and women in my teens I would have likely made Cambridge as I was "supposed" to, not found myself quitting school at 17 and going back to a second/third tier university in my mid twenties. Had I not tossed around in dead end jobs because I fancied myself too iconoclastic to follow the normal path I'd have made the serious management track in my 20s not mid 30s, and so progressed further along it.

Could everybody do so well as I might have? Nope. Just like with all the commitment and hard work in the world I would never have made the NBA or the Metropolitan Opera - even the D League or Des Moines Opera. Heck not everybody could even achieve what I have done when it comes to that - I've seen plenty try hard at the corporate thing and flame out. But working harder earlier will always increase your chances of achieving your goals and give you more flexibility later. It's never a bad thing, and works more than anything else does.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:21 PM

16. The US has the lowest upward mobility of all industrialized nations

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:22 PM

18. if you work hard enough, one day you can make other people work hard

it's the circle of life

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:28 PM

21. Republicans seem to have a unwavering inability to look beyond their own personal experiences

They seem to believe that if everything turned out o.k. for them and because THEY don't need TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid and can shell out huge amounts of money for their own medical care when they and/or their loved ones get deathly ill and have to go to the hospital and that they will have way more than enough to comfortably retire on even if they decide NOT to take Social Security and/or Medicare- everybody should be able to do the same no matter a person's individual circumstances are like.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:29 PM

22. Hard work doesn't guarantee success most of the time it's about opportunity and connections.

 

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:42 PM

24. My dad worked hard, but he also worked in a job before that got him the social skills...

needed to succeed in job he got success in, worked in the right place at the right time, paid tons of money for motivational seminars, found a mentor, and had an incredible passion for what he does. He makes well into the 6 figures in income.

I happened to find the right niche in a fast growing market, signing up with the right agency and doing something that I like and having strong talent in it. Plus, I have a business degree and am an independent and forward thinker.

How many people are as fortunate as this? I won't deny the role that hard work has, but the saying should not just be about working hard in general, in that hard work only works if the base and support system itself is strong, which could be said to be built through hard work (in terms of research, education, finding the right connections, etc...) And even then, talent and doing something that you like is luck as well, because not all people have talent in something that they can make a lot of money out of.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:47 PM

25. Sounds like "The Secret"

I want a unicorn that farts rainbows.
:ridicule:

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:50 PM

26. you forgot to mention "and if God believes you are worthy"

Yes, they claim people who are wealthy are wealthy because "they earned it," meaning, "they worked hard and they were smarter than everybody else."
Such people, of course, are supposed to make decisions for how everybody else lives.

All of this could only happen because "it was part of God's plan."
(God meaning their vision of God.)

God intends for smart, hardworking people like them to be successful.
In other words, these people are DIVINELY ENTITLED.

If you are poor, it's because God doesn't believe you are worthy enough.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:05 PM

28. The harder I work the faster the rich pull the rug out from under me.

Every time I make the mistake of thinking I might be comfortable, something happens that quickly knocks me back down again.

I am currently bracing for the big knock down where my job could be gone in a couple of months. So much for the last 28 years of working hard.

The only people who can use that lie are those who were born into wealth.

Same goes for that fucking bootstraps bullshit.

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:16 PM

29. I have some questions about the meme

Since there are quite a good number of poor people - middle and lower class people; as well as some ne'er-do-wells in the rePIGlican party - even though they hardly acknowledge such. These same poor and disadvantaged people join the charade of propagating this disdained rePIGlican meme - does that mean that these poor rePIGlicans are lazy and do not work hard? Or does it mean that they just started their "working hard" phase of their lives that will usher in the bounties of hard work?

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:19 PM

31. So what's your meme? "Don't bother working hard, you'll still be a loser" ?

 

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Response to crazyjoe (Reply #31)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 04:43 PM

33. Well it does not seem to be...

"pulling facile assumptions out of my ass is a great way to communicate."

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Response to Terra Alta (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 04:53 PM

34. "I've got mine, so FU" is thier Motto. The system is rigged and they like it that way. /nt

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