White Working Class: Book Discussion

So I finally finished this book that I had found at an airport years ago. When I first picked it up I thought it would be racist, but now I’ve realized that it isn’t. I understand in a way, why we need this book. We do our best to make sure the lives of minority groups are better, but sometimes we do forget about the white working class. Now, I’m not here to say that both minorities and white people have been dealt the same card. However, when it comes to the working class we get people of all races and talking about that is probably something that will bring us together rather than tear us apart. So, with that being said, here’s my list of questions:

  1. In a study, the book found that the elites valued merit while the working class valued morals. Do you think this is a product of being in that class? Or do you think it just a state of mind? Which would have a higher value to you and why?

I think that it’s a mixture of both. I think many people born into might start out with that state of mind and then change into a different one and maybe find a different place in society. So people that maintain that state of mind are likely to stay in the same class.

I think morals have a higher value to me than merit. I think that places merit before values can create entitled people. I want a society that has certain standards, to work on being eco friendly, to be nice and understanding towards people etc.

2. Each chapter is a question, with chapter 5 being, “Why doesn’t the working class just move to where the jobs are?” What is your answer to this? Do you think the author answers this question well or is there a better answer?

This is something that I think I and many other working class people would get angry at. We have families that we depend on and they depend on us. We refuse to abandon each other, our loyalty lies with our family not self improvement. By focusing us just improving yourself many other people are left behind. We won’t move because we care too much about what will happen to our families if we do. Also, in the world of self improvement where are all the kids visiting and taking care of the grandparents? That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen anymore, everyone’s too busy buying materaliatis things to entertain or for some random skill the world doesn’t;t need and or want them to have. I’ve been to retirement communities, a lot of them rarely ever have visitors. Is this really self improvement or is it a game of how can I ignore others for as long as I can and then tell them how great I am for doing so?


3. What is the author’s answer for the decline of marriage in America? How true do you think this is? What are other reasons for why marriage has been declining?

A stable life where Americans can own a home, have a steady job and stable home life is becoming less liking with the competition for housing right in 2020 as well as college debt and college taking up most of a young adult’s fertile years. The author’s answer to this is that marriage just isn’t practical anymore. And I think she’s right to a degree. I think another problem with it is also what marriage means within itself. We’re asking women to give up their lives names and have a ceremony in which when preachers will basically say that that women will be “owned,” but whichever man they marry. Not to mean the heavy price to pay, usually for men, if the couple decides to get a divorce. Marriage doesn’t allow  fro individualism it automatically assumes that the women relied on the mens income and will need more of it when she gets divorced. Marriage creates a codependence which might be good when a couple has kids it isn’t good at encouraging the couple to make sure they can take care of themselves rather than relying on the partner. Encouraging codependency and stating its good for society isn’t right. Codenpendacy doesn’t allow for true freedom to exist. Women especially might stay will partners they don’t like because they’ve relied on them for so long. If we tried to get rid of this codenpencay and encouraged individualism in the future this may not happen to many women down the road.

4. Why do we pressure everyone to go college even when for the poor and the working class, sometimes it isn’t even worth it?

My high school made it seem like college should be for everyone if we wanted to live a good life. Stats have shown that people who get degrees do earn more money. However, some that may have more to do with debt and the need to make sure that it’s taken care of. A lot of us already have expenses before we’re even old enough to go to college. There’s a lot of kid that had to save up for a car, that had to pay their gas and car insurance since their parent didn’t have enough to do that for them. Adding college to that gives less time to work and less money to spend during the time they’re there. In elite families the author states that, “its simply unthinkable to not go to college.” They have time and money so in the long run its easier for them to invest in something like that.

In some ways it was hard for me to read this. On the first few pages she quoted people with a huge sense of entitlement. When my parents were first starting their lives as young adults people climbed the ladder. Not many people got four year degrees and skipped all the less dirsiable jobs to make it to the top. I did less disable jobs before I got to the one I have now. I know there are kids that work and go to college, but why isn’t more credit given to workers. Yes, in college kids learn, but when will they or will they ever apply what they learned to contribute to society? 

One of the elite responses to the author in the book was, “My seemingly cutting edge job [is] only as secure as I made it for myself… why in God’s name am I supposed to feel sympathy for the people whose laziness and sense of entitlement ruin so deep that they are pining for jobs that were already gone before they were born?” Okay jackass that thinks he so god like he’s knows his job will never disappear. The people you’re referring to are most likely older people that have probably done their job for maybe 20 ro 30 plus years and you have no sympathy? They probably been out of school for so long that they might even struggle through the most basic classes. There’s no way that younger people are hanging onto one job, and I can almost guettnet that people my age did more jobs than this guy before he even finished his degree. Ugh, people like this abolsulty disgust me. I think the only people that has an entitlement issue is that guy and the only way that guy is getting any respect from me is if he worked while he was in college, but something tells me he would have never said this if he did.

We like to assume that because America is a, “free,” country we had teach of children that their dreams can come true without and scrafices or consequences.

5. Over time, have we begun to lack respect for the blue collar classes while glorifying the white collar classes?

I believe so, I get paid more to sit down and not do much of anything than I did to run around doing stuff that would leave me exhusted when I got home. My partner even told me someone he knew would only get paid ten an hour to be a firefighter. Who pays someone ten an hour to risk their own life? I don’t think psychical labor matters much to people anymore, what matters is how smart you are. Which I don’t think is right. Being able to do physical labor is a strength that most people will only have for a certain period of time. If anything those people should be given the same or more since there strength will most likey start to decline before many other people’s mental abilities. They also risk injury more than an office worker. If we don’t give blue collar people what they need there could be a decline and people that do those jobs and or the people that do them just end up being teenagers who may not even know what they’re doing.

6. What’s the unspoken message of helicopter parenting —that if you don’t knock everyone’s socks off you’re a failure?

That kids always have to aim for being the star in everything they do. That they need to be insanely social and likable. Something a lot of kids in the western culture are being pressured to do. No one wants to give credit to the backstage kids that made a lot of it happen. Which in some ways I feel livid about. I’m not here to stand on a stage I’m here to pull my own weight and I expect the same from everyone else.

7.  Are all of us entitled to the American dream, regardless of race? “Would working class whites be so furious about, “political correctness,” if they were among those whose challenges are recognized?

No, some of us just flat out refuse to take care of the properties that we’ve been given and should’ve had more respect for. Only those able to maintain the American dream should get it. Everyone else that doesn’t want the responsibly of owning a house should rent, but realize the finical sacrifices they’ll have to make. I am for low income housing though since recently its becoming harder and harder to get a house even for those who would do a great job taking care of it. I think many people find it hard to get a house regardless of race. Young people now have to decide if they want to go to college or not before they even get one. And if they choose to go to college and are also not allowed to stay at their parents home. It could create finical problems so great that that might only be able to afford low income housing.

8. Has stigma around certain jobs, actually made them more valuable since no one wants them?

Yes, there are quite a few blue collar jobs that many people think aren’t that good. So sometimes they’ll get more money since less people want to work them. I think that in some ways especially now that miilienails are growing up, people are now slowly started to see the value of these jobs come back after years of stigma.

9. Why have we made college so expensive? Is it a nesscaity or is it a luxury?

Most colleges are expensive because a lot of the money doesn’t even go to the education. It goes to pools, gyms, and housing. Some apartments are bigger and cost less than the room and board of a college. I would say that eductions is a nesscaity, but all the extra bulshit in college is just a flat out rip off to get money from young people that have zero understanding of finances. And we need college to work with companies to figure out what students really need to know for these job. We need to stop general ed unless it is relevant to the job the student wants, that’s what High School was for, why are we making kids do it all over again?

Published by Athena Bocock

I am vegan and I like books and writing stories. Recently I've been enjoying romance and animal stories the most.

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