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Chapter Three Response

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Chapter Three Response
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Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Boston

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In Chapter Three, "Where Does the Money Go?", Jane states that women and people of color are discriminated against in the economy. "Women and people of color experience higher unemployment, are concentrated in lower paying jobs and have less wealth than men.", resulting in more female and minority reliance on government programs which help them maintain a decent standard of living. I think it is important to ask ourselves- how much of this unemployment and placement in lower-paying jobs is self-imposed? What is the percentage of women who graduate high school or have a GED and a college education who end up taking on crappy jobs? I think it would be a fairly low percentage. Women go to college to pursue their own career choice. There are people who attend Harvard to become teachers in public schools because they WANT to. They know they are giving up desirable salaries to go to do what they truly love doing. Same with nurses, medical assistants, shopowners and trained aestheticians or anyone who has the educational credentials and ends up doing blue-collar work. Women who are illegal immigrants, high school dropouts and didn't attend college are going to find themselves in these positions WITHOUT the passion that motivated the other women to give up the six-figure salary and these women are going to complain and be miserable and seek help from government funded programs. We all know where the money is...doctors, lawyers, engineers and industry giants worked REALLY HARD to get where they are. Most of them, anyway. There are men and women who come from both really rough conditions and ideal conditions who have the drive to put themselves through all of that work in order to live well and spend freely without government assistance. I have a feeling if more women and people of color took advantage of the thousands of outreach and recruitment programs (i.e. affirmative action) existing in the U.S. today, the actual need for government assistance would lower significantly. I think in this day and time it's kind of difficult for a woman or a person of color to complain about capitalist circumstances preventing them from reaching the levels of success other men and whites do. So many colleges and employers practice hiring on a race and or gender preferred basis. And it's not white men. They're looking for minorities and women. There are all women colleges but no all men colleges. There are positions FOR people of color. Prestigious positions. We talk about human security and budget and policy as more beneficial when thought of in individual cases because basing spending or policy on the majority is unfair or causing problems--well here is an individual case- I am a wealthy, white, Catholic twenty-year old woman with a 4.0 GPA. I used to work for a prominent inner-city youth group in Boston called the Boston Youth Organizing Project. I had contributed alot of time and energy to this organization and when election time for the board of directors came around, I of course wanted to run. However, I was told by the founder of the group and the election committee that a person of color coming from a low income household would be better suited to the position because of sympathy to the causes, opportunity, etc. Well that was ridiculous. I may not have been a minority nor impoverished but I fought for the same causes just as if not more passionately than they did. And I was left out of something which would have been a major contribution to my academic and social network, my world, my own personal cultivation and paid well! I also had better grades, a longer, stronger resume and higher SAT scores than many of my friends who were women and minorities and they were accepted to colleges I was not accepted to. The tides are changing....and Jane seems to strongly believe that the U.S. budget is shirking its obligations to women and minorities...but the government gets a lot of its money from taxes for these programs. The taxes come from the people. And the more money you earn, the more you fork over to the government. There's a loophole in her argument which is leaving out those who feel a greater need for self-suffiency and a general responsibilty felt by women and minorities. South Africa devotes more of its national budget to education than most countries in the world and look at the state of society over there. So maybe the solution to poverty and poor standards of living isn't an overly regulative enabling central government but rather, something else. The government shouldn't be doling out money from its budget to the hands of the needy so much as making the environments we are raised in better so we wind up successfully climbing the ladders to having better jobs. We need to provide a better start rather than a better finish.
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