• prole
    85 months ago

    What I mean is that the existence, and thriving of these models proves that they’re not only viable, but can provide much better economic outcomes… There is a group of people in the US who work very hard to make sure nothing like that ever gets codified here. At least at the federal level.

    Indoctrinating kids into “American exceptionalism” has left us with one and a half generations of “rugged individualists” who think they “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,” when in reality they’re no different than anyone else. But now they’ve got this warped worldview ingrained in them that makes them believe that everyone who’s ever been successful got there entirely on their own. When in reality, none of them did.

    • Cosmic Cleric
      15 months ago

      A well-written reply, thank you for that.

      “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,”

      When in reality, none of them did.

      Granted, your painting with a broad brush, to offer a quick summarization, but I don’t think you’re completely correct.

      I’m actually someone who figuratively did pulled himself up by his bootstraps (broken home, high school dropout, etc.), and at the end of my career I do have a small amount of wealth, which I earned all on my own, and was able to retire early.

      I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to dox myself accidentally, but there are those, even if it’s just a minority, who do literally work the system to success, the way it currently is.

      • prole
        5 months ago

        Shit man, I had this whole thoughtful response typed out, and then my palm must have hit the touchpad on my laptop and I guess clicked a link. When I went back, it was all gone.

        I guess I will try to hit the main points… I think I started like:

        First, the saying to, “pull one up by their own bootstraps,” itself has actually had its meaning altered over the years into something nearly opposite the original. You see, what they’ve described is an impossible task. It is physically impossible to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps. The saying was being sardonic. A witticism. They were basically saying you were doing something absurd/impossible. So the irony there is always fun to point out (would normally get a source for this kind of thing, but literally just google the phrase).

        Then I think I said something like…

        With all due respect, you didn’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps. It seems as though you’ve worked very hard to get where you are, and that’s great and some may call it commendable. Others work harder for much less, and others do nothing for far more. That’s inequality at work… Regardless, even if you did literally every piece of business yourself, you still cannot claim to have (at least by the current definition) pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, there were many (literally countless) others involved in the events that led you to where you are today.

        I’m going to assume you are in the US, but correct me if I’m wrong.

        Surely you’ve used township/county/state/interstate roads and highways? Ever cross a bridge and not die? You make use of wastewater and drinking water infrastructure that you don’t even think about the existence of 98% of the time. The countless medications, devices, technologies, etc., that you interact with on a continuous basis, that would not exist if not for government funding. Which ultimately means paid by tax revenue.

        Literally being lifted up by everyone who pays taxes in your community, state, and country.

        I am glad that you find working that way fulfilling. And that you’ve been able to make something out of it is great. But maybe that’s a similar feeling of fulfillment to what a guitarist might feel when they write a sick riff? Or when a graffiti artist makes a particularly amazing tag (and admires it for a moment before bailing)?

        It sucks we live in a system where, in nearly every situation, those people are forced to do the thing that fulfills you (as in you specifically), while leaving themselves no time and/or energy to do the thing that actually fulfills them.

        Ideally, in a post-rarity society where there are plenty of food and resources for everyone on the planet many times over, we should be able to do the thing that gives us that feeling; that fulfills us.

        Instead, we’re born shackled to this broken system that breeds hate, bitterness, where maybe single-digit percent of people actually get to do the thing that fulfills them, while the rest of us suffer until we die.

        Fun stuff. Sorry, lately the brain’s been in the mood for writing I guess.