October 31, 2012

How to escape poverty

Education Realist offers eight suggestions to a hypothetical 15-year-old poor child.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid!

Anonymous said...

The best advice with education, as well as athletics, is to choose your parents carefully...

Nick - South Africa

Jeffery said...

Education Realist, didn't you write something interesting on speed reading a while back? Do you have a link to it?

Carol said...

I suspect the stuff in 1 are common excuses, but still it's good to blow them away ahead of time.

The thing a 15 yo needs to know is that he is in charge of his own life, or at least to act is if it were so.

Anonymous said...

The unstated assumption is that you can't escape poverty without some post HS education. For the vast majority of poor in this country that's equivalent to saying, "You can't escape poverty PERIOD". It is fascinating to me that in a time when trade jobs like carpentry, plumbing, etc. are paying far better wages than are the jobs available to your typical liberal arts college grad, this non-college option for escaping poverty is totally ignored. Ditto the idea of working to start your own business. To me this is just one more example of the utter disconnect between the new-class- managerial elites in this country and the lives most people lead today.

pat said...

Of course the average 15 year old in poverty can't read well enough to finish this piece. Any kid smart enough to read and follow all this advice won't need it.

I'm a little uncomfortable with theme that you should abandon your friends and family and ruthlessly focus only on yourself. It this really a good idea for black teens?

The serious question that this raises is - are things improving for black kids or worsening? All these community help groups notwithstanding I fear that the prospects for blacks youngsters are worse now than they were previously. If black kids can only escape poverty by getting good test scores, good grades, and a college degree - they are in real trouble.

Albertosaurus

Chicago said...

What fifteen year old listens to advice? That doesn't sound very realistic.

Anonymous said...

my advice to students is to go to class and do the homework. No matter how smart or dumb you you are, you will do better than expected.

Florida resident said...

I actually read the post by EducationRealist. Rather well-known statements.

I know
good carpenter/plumber/electrician;
good pool master,
good irrigation guy;
all of them look really smart to me.
I never asked about their IQ. I think they are at least at the level of a graduate of a good engineering departmet of a University in terms of being smart.

On the other hand, we had awfully dumb roofers after the hurricane Charlie in 2004. You can guess their origin. Eventually we insisted on other roofers.

So I am not quite sure that low IQ people can have high salaries in industrial / service sectors.

On un-related topic.
Thanks God (or any other entity of your choice), Derbyshire and his family are OK, but without electricity,
as of 2012 / 11 / 01.

With respectful greetings to Mr. Sailer,
F.r.

Education Realist said...

Hey, Steve, thanks for the link!

Jeffery, I think you're talking about a comment I made at Westhunt:

http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/reading/

Truth said...

Good article, a little to much self-pitying whining for my taste, but well written and informative, I think some people could make use of it.

Spike Gomes said...

I could have used something like this to slap me upside the head when I was 15. I was smart but lazy as sin. I probably wouldn't have listened to it anyway. I was and still am headstrong and contrary.

Suffice to say this one ended with a useless Master's degree in Religion and low paying clerical job, whereas his more hard-working yet thick-headed co-ethnics ended up in the construction trades making far more money. C'est la vie. No use being bitter about it. At least I get to live in Hawaii.

Education Realist said...

The other posts weren't here when I made my first reply. Some other comments:

1) Right now, there is almost no clear path to the trades for a low income kid. That's simply a reality. However, I do tell kids who aren't academic to focus on work and building good work relationships. I also say not to forget the armed forces. I think it's pretty clear I am not saying "college or nothing". However, most of the organizations I'm talking about will not help kids who aren't headed for college, so as a practical matter the kids should be at least thinking that way until they graduate from high school.

2) Truth (not even slightly, alas) confuses reality with whining. Reality is that no one is given any incentives to increase the number of low income whites or Asians, most particularly not at the expense of blacks or Hispanics of any income level. It is not whining to point out that the barrier for low income whites and asians is much, much higher.

3) Florida, high salaries != escape from poverty.

4) Pat, yes, it's good advice for a kid trying to get out of poverty. BTW, a key difference between low income Asian and low income black/Hispanic parents, culturally, is that Asian parents are far less likely to use their kids to help out. I don't think this is a cognitive issue.

5) I mentioned in a comment on my site that it's simply not true that only high IQ kids are capable of absorbing this advice, and gave an example.

thrifty scot said...

NFL Player Needs Restraining Order Against Grasping Family Members:

Smith, who was the NFL’s youngest player last year, gave his family a substantial amount of money after signing a four-year, $12.5 million contract in July 2011, sources said, after he was drafted with the ninth overall pick out of the University of Southern California. However, family members keep coming back for more, sources said.

Anonymous said...

Don't have an illegitimate child and work hard at the best job you can find.

Anonymous said...

"1) Right now, there is almost no clear path to the trades for a low income kid." - the whole point of those guilds is to limit membership, this isn't likely to change any time soon.

"The best advice with education, as well as athletics, is to choose your parents carefully..." - The second best is to choose your country of birth for a 1st world nation that has labor scarcity.

Nanonymous said...

The "screw your family" part sounds cruel. And unnecessary so, in my opinion. DON'T be an egoist - even if you are determined to escape poverty.

Anonymous said...

"1) Right now, there is almost no clear path to the trades for a low income kid."

It depends on whether "low income" means "low IQ".

If your IQ is high enough [115 or thereabouts], then you can try your hand at Toyota, Honda, or Ford certification.

If you pass enough exams, then it won't be long before you'll be pulling down 6-figures.

And if your IQ is a little higher than that [120 or thereabouts], then you might be able to earn even more with Cisco or Juniper certification.

But if your IQ is down around 105, or 100, or 95, then, well, I ain't got much for you there...

Anonymous said...

Give your family the finger, immerse yourself in the "poverty industry" (and its attendant stigma), don't procreate (or at least wait until you are old enough to give your kid autism), become a loner.

Saying "I want a lawyer" to a cop is a guaranteed way to convince a cop you are guilty and will likely lead to not only arrest but belligerence from said cop.

"Most teachers grade on effort, not ability." Well, fuck. " If you get a teacher who grades on ability" as if that's some sort of longshot crapshoot.

Come to Canada, get a few hundred bucks worth of safety certifications, make ten grand a month in the oil fields, buy property in the States because it will rise again, and live happily ever after. There, that's my plan.

Anonymous said...

Charles Murray has spoken to this:

Murray, of the American Enterprise Institute, believes that making the right personal decisions is the key to curbing poverty in America.

“In a good job market, to be poor -- if you are physically able -- is a choice. Right now the government subsidizes bad decisions; it masks the consequences of doing things at a young age that will blight the rest of your life," said Murray.

Murray says these three rules must be met to not end up in poverty:

1.Finish high school.
2.If you’re a woman, don’t have a baby if you don’t have a husband.
3.Get into the labor force and stay there.

Anonymous said...

In a good job market, to be poor -- if you are physically able -- is a choice.

Well then Murray must be classifying "low IQ" as a physical disability.

With an IQ in the 80s, you can maybe push a mop, or a lawnmower.

MAYBE.

But once your IQ gets down in the 70s, 60s, 50s, etc [which is where HALF of all NAMs reside], there ain't NOTHING you can do in an advanced economy.

Absolutely NOTHING.

David Davenport said...

Right now, there is almost no clear path to the trades for a low income kid. That's simply a reality.

That is simply not a reality on a right to work state. You must live in a Northern, highly unionized state. Notice all the Mexicans working in the building trades in states closer to the Mex. border?

Also, if a motorist seeking car repairs ventures to the Little Mexico part of his or her town, one will find "tallers cum manos del oro" or some such, offering to repair one's vehicle for less than an Anglo repair shop will charge. In fact, you get an additional discount if you pay your Mexican mechanic or body repair man in cash.

However, I do tell kids who aren't academic to focus on work and building good work relationships. I also say not to forget the armed forces.

Us armed services have been rquiring minimum IQ of 92. That requirement will probably be raised if the Army and ( as our President would say it ) Marine Corpse shrinks after the pullout from Iraq and Afghanland.

Tell your low income kids to apply to the Internal Revenue Service or Homeland Security or some other civil service job.

Education Realist said...

You must live in a Northern, highly unionized state. Notice all the Mexicans working in the building trades in states closer to the Mex. border?

Wrong to the first. I said nothing of unions. As to the second, yes. How, exactly, is it that you don't think illegal immigrants don't create serious problems for low and unskilled workers? You apparently don't read this blog much.

As for the armed forces IQ comment, you definitely didn't read the actual post, but just these comments. The post was probably a bit beyond your cognitive ability.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an aphorism I read in a day planner: you cannot grow in the shadow of the family tree.

Potatoes said...

I see Truth has decided to be a troll at that site as well.

Randall G. said...

"pat said...

Of course the average 15 year old in poverty can't read well enough to finish this piece. Any kid smart enough to read and follow all this advice won't need it.

I'm a little uncomfortable with theme that you should abandon your friends and family and ruthlessly focus only on yourself. It this really a good idea for black teens?

The serious question that this raises is - are things improving for black kids or worsening? All these community help groups notwithstanding I fear that the prospects for blacks youngsters are worse now than they were previously. If black kids can only escape poverty by getting good test scores, good grades, and a college degree - they are in real trouble.

Albertosaurus"



I thought Education Realist's article was pretty good advice. I'm white and grew up pretty poor myself, though my mother was pretty supportive of me, though we didn't really know about the support that was out there for getting into college, but my academic performance was quite strong so it wasn't difficult for me to get into a good college. Once there, I qualified for a decent amount of financial aid in college. In that respect, I was probably better off than many middle-class white kids, whose parents aren't poor enough to qualify for much financial aid, but aren't wealthy enough to bear the burden of college debt, and leave it to the students, who walk out with a crippling debt.

David Davenport said...

Wrong to the first. I said nothing of unions. As to the second, yes. How, exactly, is it that you don't think illegal immigrants don't create serious problems for low and unskilled workers? You apparently don't read this blog much.


You obviously don't read iSteve comments too much. I post here often.

Those "guilds" you mentioned. What are these guilds, if they are not unions?

Do you agree with me that the USA must stop both illegal and legal nonwhite immigration into El Norte?