SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
13
November
2013

From New Blog (11/05/13)- Upward Mobility

Text 1:

"Whether rich, poor, or in between, we are all subject to the caprice of markets. Capitalism weakens traditional bonds, so that we also feel more alone than our forebears did... Individualism reigns. I don't mean egoism, but rather that people tend to confront their needs as individuals, pursuing goals and projects for themselves and their immediate dependents."

Response 1:

The central problem to why we are so compelled to the idea of upward mobility is in this quote. The idea is central to American culture and the idea of the American Dream. Individualism is in the roots of American culture. Immigrants come to America in order to make it on their own and make a name for themselves. No one comes to America with the goal of helping the poor in mind, because the conditions for the poor are probably worse in the country they are coming from. This is why I do not think the idea of downward mobility will easily catch on; it directly conflicts with basic American ideologies.

Text 2:

"In the United States, upward mobility is the road to success, the American dream of a college education, a home in the suburbs, and a two-car garage. It means hard work and initiative but also rugged individualism, the rat race, and the devil take the hindmost with "the hindmost" turning out to be disproportionately people of color... Upward mobility can mean economic security for refugees and their children; and escaping poverty is good. But it can turn into an escape from the poor themselves."

Response 2:

This quote puzzled me. I do not disagree with the idea and reasoning behind "downward mobility" but I feel like I (along with many other people) do not see it as an option. Both of my parents came to America in the pursuit of the American dream. They worked extremely hard and were able to achieve their goals and have provided my brother and I with good lives. If I lead my life un-doing what they worked for in a way, I feel like I would be disrespecting my parents and all of the work they put in to provide me with the opportunities I have. I feel like I must continue the trend of upward mobility so I can take advantage of the opportunities my parents gave to me in order to create even better ones for my children. Perhaps downward mobility isn't for everyone at once; maybe it should start from the top, from the people who can't go any higher.



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