Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Child Of Privilege

One of the favorite buzzwords of the day is "privilege ". Apparently it is a way to shame people who have had a better upbringing than others or at the same time it is a way to shame parents who actually parent their children, because you doing all you can to raise up kids who don't become a drag on society and instead contribute to it is something to be ashamed of. I am not in the college indoctrination sphere anymore but I still hear a lot about it.

I am absolutely a child of privilege. After all I am a white male. I also grew up in the home of a doctor so I never wanted for money or even understood what that meant. So yeah, count me among the privileged few. But the real reason that I was raised with "privilege " has very little to do with economics or race. The real privilege I grew up with was an intact family and a mother who taught me to read by reading to me at an early age. Even if my dad was a blue collar worker making a quarter of the money he did, the real privilege I enjoyed was having parents who were and still are married to each other and who did the little stuff that makes a big difference, again like reading to a child. It is not a stretch to say that the two things that have led to me being successful in my career are learning to love reading as a child and learning to speak in public while in the FFA during high school.

If I understand the statistics correctly, the single greatest contributing factor for a child growing up in poverty is being raised in a single parent household. The left in America sees income inequality as something you can fix with ludicrous and empty notions like raising the minimum wage or taking more money from earners and giving it to non-earners. In reality the best thing we could do to keep kids out of poverty is not more welfare or subsidized school lunches, instead it would be to stop incentivizing single parenthood. The greatest source of "privilege" in America is simply growing up in a traditional family. Not in every single case but overall that is an unavoidable truth.

Robert Tracinski, writing on this topic for The Federalist in his essay, Privilege Comes Dressed in Overalls and Looks Like Work, wrote:
This whole question is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, because I have two young kids. And I am working my tail off to give them as much “privilege” as humanly possible.
I want my kids to start their adult lives with a laundry list of advantages: I want them to be bright, literate, skilled, capable of self-discipline, athletic, with good taste and manners and grooming, maybe a little bit of money, and heck, even a few family connections—enough to get their feet in the doors of whatever careers they choose. I had some of these things, mostly a good education, and undoubtedly more than most people. I want my kids to have even more. Why? Because that’s my job as a parent: to give my kids the best start in life possible—and better than mine.
Well yeah, that would have been just common sense 20 years ago but in our days of "privilege shaming" and "microaggressions" and a whole litany of other excuses for bad behavior, it seems quaint and probably a bit threatening today.

If you are a parent, it is pretty much your job to give your kids the best possible upbringing. You shouldn't be made to feel ashamed of that, in fact you ought to be embarrassed if you don't try to give your kids every advantage in your reach. It doesn't have to be expensive. Read to your kids. Take them to the library and let them pick out books. Marry the person you want to have kids with and don't have kids until you do. Stay together. Make dinner on occasion. This is simple stuff but it has become all too uncommon. This country is careening headlong over the precipice and it really is less of an issue of economics as it is a moral issue. In other words our economic woes are the direct result of our moral woes and thus the resolution is not and cannot be primarily an economic solution. The cause of most of our problems can be traced back to the home and that is where the solution must focus. Simply shuffling around economics resources is never going to get us out of the mess we are in.

Read a book to your kid. You might just help save America.

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