Opinion

Not everyone has bootstraps to pull themselves up with

The U.S. has a problem with a false notion of a meritocracy.

We like to tell people, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” but how can you do that if you don’t have any boot straps to begin with?

Not everyone has access to the same resources.

If you have a lot of money to start with, it’s not as hard to climb up the ladder than if you have very little money.

Look at Trump, who got his start with a “small loan of a million dollars.”

I’m pretty sure most people don’t think that is a small amount of money. It’s a lot easier to start businesses when you’re already rich.

Another example of this is the Lori Loughlin college admissions scandal. She used bribery to get her daughters into USC.

While Loughlin is facing consequences for her actions now, people often get away with far worse than bribery because they’re rich and famous (again: Donald Trump).

I know that I have an advantage over some people in paying for college, because my parents are willing to lend me money to cover what my scholarship and student loans don’t cover.

However, they expect me to pay that back once I graduate.

Not everyone has that advantage.

Many students have to take out extra loans from a bank for college, or work an absurd number of hours while in school, making their grades and mental health suffer just to get by.

One way I’ve been disadvantaged is my high school education.

I went to a small high school that only offered three AP classes, whereas most of my peers in college had the chance to take ve to 10 AP classes.

Because of this, they saved money on college classes and were able to skip some gen-ed requirements, putting them on track to graduate sooner.

Not everyone comes from the same financial background, and not everyone has the same quality of education.

There’s a number of factors determining these issues (although I don’t have room to write about them all) but they can affect so much more than college education and career opportunities.

I’m a sociology minor, and I learned in one of my classes that you can predict someone’s life span based on their zip code.

This is because of factors like the education and healthcare system in certain areas, access to clean water, crime rate, resources for impoverished people like soup kitchens and homeless shelters, etc.

If you were to compare lifespans in Flint to Saginaw or Bay City, you would probably find differences.

The solution isn’t as simple as “just move” if you live in an area that doesn’t have the things you need.

Many people can’t move because they’d have to start over at a new job, which could cause them to lose benefits like insurance. They may also need to stay near family for help caring for their children.

Cost of living varies from place to place, which can also affect someone’s ability to move to somewhere better.

I think if we examine things from a sociological perspective, it will help us to better understand complex issues like social and economic class, and why people are there.

Often, there’s much more at play than just working hard or not working hard.

There are plenty of rich people who haven’t worked hard to get to the top, and there are plenty of poor people who work hard and still live in poverty.

If we look at things this way, maybe we’ll be able to solve problems and create a better society, instead of blaming people for things that are out of their control.

Maria Ranger

Reporter | Creative Writing | mcranger@svsu.edu
Maria Ranger

Categories: Opinion

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