20/04/17

Here is an article that is very important:
 
 
Two more thoughts:
 
1. Singapore is big on ‘meritocracy’, and the narrative that ‘Hard Work = Success’. This is good for encouraging people to slog it out and be all inspired and driven and inspirational.
The other half of the narrative, however, is that ‘those who fail must deserve it’.
 
Consider this: if you are born into a middle-class family, the package deal includes all the benefits that parental connections bring – access to schools as part of a suite of alumni privileges, opportunities for mentorships and internships – and an overwhelming access to resources like tuition, extracurricular programmes (the dreaded piano or ballet class), and money to pay for secondary and tertiary education.
 
Sure, the poor can catch a break – snag a scholarship, be a genius and outthink other tuition-stuffed kids, meet the right teacher or professor or Powerful Person roaming the streets looking for a worthwhile charity cause. It helps that we celebrate the occasional ‘rags to riches’ or ‘school dropout’ story. But this is the rare exception, not the norm.
 
If we (middle-class kids with a stable job) think that we’ve earned our present position and deserve to enjoy its fruits without regard for those who struggle, then we are wilfully closing our eyes to the accident of birth that brought us so much of what we now have.
 
2. “The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
 
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
 
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
 
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
 
(courtesy of the late Terry Pratchett)
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