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jerryking : hopelessness   10

J.D. Vance and the Anger of the White Working Class - WSJ
By ALEXANDRA WOLFE
July 29, 2016

J.D. Vance credits his grandparents, religion and his time in the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007 for helping him to get his life together. Whereas many of the people around him growing up seemed to have a feeling of “learned helplessness” and didn’t think their decisions mattered, he says, he learned the opposite in the Marines: “My decisions did matter and I did have some control over my own life.”.....“In the family life that I grew up in, the way you handled conflict resolution with your spouse or your partner was by screaming and yelling, and if things got really bad, maybe throwing stuff or hitting and punching them,” he says. He only later realized that rather than fighting to win, he should try to solve problems in a relationship. .....“Concretely, I want pastors and church leaders to think about how to build community churches, to keep people engaged, and to worry less about politics and more about how the people in their communities are doing,” he says. “I want parents to fight and scream less, and to recognize how destructive chaos is to their children’s future.”

He thinks that school leaders could help by being more cognizant of what’s going on in students’ home lives. But most of all he wants people to hold themselves responsible for their own conduct and choices. “Those of us who weren’t given every advantage can make better choices, and those choices do have the power to affect our lives,” he says.
books  Yale  working_class  Appalachia  Rust_Belt  poverty  hopelessness  social_mobility  resentments  grievances  values  habits  USMC  helplessness  conflict_resolution  whites  deindustrialization  industrial_Midwest  family_breakdown  underclass  J.D._Vance  faith_leaders  individual_agency  individual_autonomy 
july 2016 by jerryking
Trump nation: An insider’s tour - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2016

What explains the appeal of Donald Trump? Many pundits have tried to answer this question and fallen short. But J.D. Vance nails it. His stunning new book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of A Family and Culture in Crisis, doesn’t even mention Mr. Trump.....It’s misleading to describe the problems of the white working class as an economic crisis. Above all, it is a cultural, spiritual and psychological crisis. The real challenge is not so much the loss of jobs as the loss of values, order and meaning. The yawning chasm between the working and the middle class isn’t about money. It’s about habits and attitudes and a sense of powerlessness.....Mr. Trump is “cultural heroin” – the newest opioid of the masses. He, too, offers an easy escape from problems that seem overwhelming and hopeless.

The issues described in Hillbilly Elegy – low social mobility, the yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots, the waning prospects and social decay experienced by people at the bottom of the ladder – are among the greatest challenges of our times. They can’t be fixed with technocratic or government solutions.
books  Margaret_Wente  working_class  J.D._Vance  Appalachia  Rust_Belt  poverty  Donald_Trump  resentments  grievances  values  habits  social_mobility  hopelessness  helplessness  industrial_Midwest  whites  family_breakdown  underclass 
july 2016 by jerryking
We pay a high economic price for a society of exclusion - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 08, 2016 |The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH.

If citizens are excluded from meaningful involvement in their economic systems, policy solutions (e.g. A tax cut here, an infrastructure program there) none of it matters.....Donald Trump has tapped into a vein of discontent that isn’t going away, whether he wins the White House or not. Those disenfranchised from mainstream politics are connecting with Mr. Trump’s childish messages.....The common thread in protest movements like Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More is that people who are excluded from the mainstream economic and political systems that run a country are disconnected and their disconnection erodes the social and political stability-- the basic building blocks on which successful economies are built. ... If people lose faith in governments, if they become so hopeless about finding a way to achieve and succeed in the system, the system itself will start to collapse.

And following that will be an outflow of capital investment, entrepreneurial energy and intellectual might. Money, businesses and educated people – if they start pouring out, the economy doesn’t stand a chance.
aboriginals  capital_flows  civil_disobedience  covenants  disenfranchisement  disadvantages  Donald_Trump  economists  exclusion  policy  social_fabric  Idle_No_More  marginalization  social_cohesion  social_collaboration  patriotism  instability  Occupy_Wall_Street  talent_flows  hopelessness  protest_movements  social_integration  Todd_Hirsch 
april 2016 by jerryking
No one is prepared to make the obvious connection between our cultural morass and the crime, corruption and violence that plague us - Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana
Ryhaan Shah

This exchange of letters has confirmed that it is the culture of the underclass that is now the definitive culture of Guyana and, further, that this culture is so very much admired at all levels of our society that any criticism if its crudities results in condemnation from everyone. We celebrate that culture, delight in it, and, as Skinner does, we rationalize it. Had he not stated it in his letter, who would ever have thought that it is an African Guyanese trait that they big up themselves by presenting themselves as murderers?

The wider issue is that no one is prepared to make the obvious connection that exists between our cultural morass and the crime, corruption and violence, including the violence against women and children that plague our society.

It is commendable that SN columnist Dave Martins finds the societal ills described in Bhattacharya’s book fixable. I have long since given up on any such hope and Mr Skinner’s letter reminds me of why I am so sure of that hopelessness.
letters_to_the_editor  novels  fiction  books  Guyana  cultural_values  Dave_Martins  underclass  Afro-Guyanese  hopelessness 
september 2014 by jerryking
There needs to be a sober examination of our state of affairs Georgetown, Guyana
December 6, 2013 | Stabroek News | Frank Fyffe.

Said Fenty: “I now lament the stark fact that politics, governance, discrimination, corruption, management of resources and lack of employment among other factors, have caused young Guyanese to yearn to leave this homeland still rich with resources. Do you realise what national hopelessness means amongst the larger portion of our population?” But who can honestly look you in the eye and deny that? And I’m not denying the hard, perilous and precarious times many are faced with abroad, but the very fact that they crave madly the opportunity to leave paints a picture and tells a different story ‒ too many things are amiss and adrift.
Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  failed_states  misgovernance  hopelessness  brain_drain  emigration  politics  governance  discrimination  corruption  mismanagement  unemployment  precarious 
december 2013 by jerryking
Even the Prostitutes Have Degrees - WSJ.com
January 31, 2003 | WSJ | Daniel Henninger.

Accountability and responsibility may well be the two words Mr. Bush hopes most to deposit in our political vocabulary....Africa is the one big place in the world no one in politics wants to think about. Africa is "hopeless." Our leaders in Washington, however, can't escape Africa's realities entirely because they spend each day in the back seat of taxis driven by black men who have fled from Africa's non-functioning economies. It is always disconcerting when one talks with these African taxi drivers to find they are often better educated than American blacks in similar jobs. They are in America not because Africa is stupid but because Africa's politicians are often corrupt and have stupid ideas that ruin the people beneath them.
Daniel_Henninger  HIV  Africa  Kenya  Non-Integrating_Gap  hopelessness  failed_states  politicians  misgovernance  misrule  corruption  poor_governance 
june 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 |Brian P.H. Green.

First, no neighbourhood in Toronto is a ghetto. Lodz was a ghetto. Warsaw was a ghetto. Jane/Finch or Malvern certainly are not ghettos. A ghetto has a way in, but no way out. The casual over-use of this word exaggerates the hopelessness of some of Toronto's communities. And it debases the memory of people who were truly persecuted.

Second, if you can't get a "decent job" -- in Toronto, no less -- when the economy is operating at "full capacity," then maybe there's an argument for taking personal responsibility, instead of blaming society or institutionalized racism.
African_Canadians  Toronto  fatherhood  ProQuest  personal_responsibility  ghettos  racism  hopelessness  neighbourhoods  blaming_fingerpointing  letters_to_the_editor 
november 2011 by jerryking
Is the U.S. doomed to forsake Haiti once more?
Jan. 16, 2010 |Globe & Mail | by Konrad Yakabuski. “I'm
skeptical that any kind of religious belief system is antithetical to
development,” Raj Desai, a professor of international development at
Washington's Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Brookings
Institution, insisted in an interview. “I'm more inclined to think that
the arrow runs the other way around. It is the lack of stability, the
lack of economic development, the chaos, the poverty, the corruption and
the lack of opportunities that are more likely to turn people to voodoo
rather than the other way around.”
Haiti  U.S.foreign_policy  history  David_Brooks  Konrad_Yakabuski  Brookings  belief_systems  hopelessness  international_development 
january 2010 by jerryking

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