Equality and Fairness

Yesterday, President Obama gave a stirring speech on income inequality and he declared war on it. The President is a rich man who was abandoned by his drunken immigrant father. He was brought up by his hippie mother. She had a doctorate. It took her twenty years to earn it. (I don’t mean to say that she was idle during most or any of these twenty years.)

I am an immigrant myself. I came to this country with no money (that’s NO money), no degree, no skill, nothing. (I was white, it’s true, still am.)

(By the way, about half the people with African blood in the US have zero American slave ancestry. Yes, like the president. They are descendants of immigrants like me, people who volunteered to come to this allegedly racist country.)

I have an American doctorate too. It did not take me twenty years.

Fifty years after reaching this country , I live modestly but with no serious wants. And I live in a very desirable place, even by world standards.

I bet you filled in the blank: “Poor guy, poor immigrant worked hard all his life, blah, blah…”

But I didn’t. Nearly every time I found myself at a crossroad, I chose the other path; I selected psychic income over money income; I wanted more free time rather than a bigger car, or a bigger house. Now, does President Obama mean that I should feel bitter toward the other guy in initially similar circumstances who chose the income, who put in fifty hours weeks, and who is now worth several times what I am worth?

Does the President mean that I should be bitter because so many men my age are richer than I am ? Men who live in Cleveland and such?

Does President Obama really mean that I should enlist the services of government to take that other old guy’s money by force to give it to me? And next, will they take from me, equally by force, my golden memories of the three months I spend spear-fishing on the Caribbean coast of Mexico?

That would be fair, or would it?

And do we prefer to live in a society that gives even a poor immigrant the kind of choices I had or in a society where nearly everyone gets about the same regardless of personal preferences?

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11 thoughts on “Equality and Fairness”

  1. “By the way, about half the people with African blood in the US have zero American slave ancestry.”

    Interesting factoid. Do you have a source?

    1. Terry: No. I don’t write index cards for everything I read. I decide at the time of the reading whether it comes from a source I trust or not. (A blog is not a scholarly instrument.) Why do you ask? Is it because you don’t believe it or is it for some other reason?

      If it’s because you don’t believe it , if you could become convinced that it’s true, would it change your mind on anything?

      Again, Terry, you have a proclivity to send others on research assignments for frivolous reasons as if you had the power to give bad grades to anyone!

      I am interested in looking for the source if you make it worth my while in some way.

      1. I’d like a source! A source on that kind of “factoid” is well-worth the effort for many reasons, including the selfish one of having yet another weapon in my arsenal.

      2. @Brandon
        Don’t get your hopes up.

        If we go to the molecular biologists that use genetic markers to evaluate ‘continent of origin’ then: “Among the thirty percent of Whites with African genetic admixture, the admixture ratio averages to about 2.3 percent, the equivalent of having a single ancestor of one hundred percent African genetic admixture from around the year 1880.”

        So 30% of self-identified whites have identifiable (using 22 genetic markers) African heritage. What about self-identified Blacks? “Indeed, other studies have found that approximately 5.5 percent of members of the U.S. Black community have no detectable African genetic admixture.”
        Roughly 95% have African heritage.

        Where did these genetic markers come from?

        “From the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 to 2007, an estimated total of 0.8 to 0.9 million Africans immigrated to the United States, accounting for roughly 3.3% of total immigration to the United States during this period.[2]“. Moreover, this seems to be the peak period: “The influx of African immigrants began in latter part of the 20th century and is often referred to as the “fourth great migration.” This trend began after decolonization, as many Africans came to the United States seeking an education, and has risen steadily over time.”

        There were roughly 40 million self-identified African-Americans in the 2010 census. How many children would each immigrant have to have to make Jacques claim true? 20?

        Think about that while Jacques rummages through his memory trying to remember which Fox News show generated his factoid.

  2. “Why do you ask? Is it because you don’t believe it or is it for some other reason?”

    Your proclivity for making stuff up makes me suspicious of any factoid that shows up in your writing. What little I know about the various waves of immigration into the United States makes this one seem particularly unlikely.

  3. Terry never stops demonstrating by example the limitations imposed upon the mind by ideological zealousness. That’s true even when he might be partially right. Ideological blindness will snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory every time. I specified “African blood.” Did we not have, not long ago, a Secretary of State whose parents were immigrants from the West Indies? The emphasis is this: Many people who would be defined as “black, ” or “African-American,” (same as the imposter-in-chief) come to this country by choice, often after overcoming considerable obstacles, some even risking their lives to reach these racist shores.

    Terry is always childishly trying to make me feel ashamed for watching Fox News. I am becoming curious: What am I supposed to watch (if anything?)

    1. Lol. Now the source of 20 million non-American-slave descendants is West Indies immigration?

      “West Indians did not begin to migrate to North America in significant numbers until the early 20th century. Between 1900 and 1924, about 100,000 West Indians immigrated to the United States, many of them from the middle classes. The restrictive Johnson-Reed Act (1924) and the economic depression of the 1930s virtually halted their immigration, but some 40,000 had already established a cultural base in New York City, particularly in Harlem and Brooklyn. About 41,000 West Indians were recruited for war work after 1941, but most returned to their homes after the war. Isolationist policies of the 1950s and relatively open access to Britain kept immigration to the United States low until passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which shifted the basis of immigration from country of origin to family reunification”

      Let me blunt: your claim that “…about half the people with African blood in the US have zero American slave ancestry.” is obvious b.s.

      “Terry is always childishly trying to make me feel ashamed for watching Fox News. I am becoming curious: What am I supposed to watch (if anything?)”

      I recommend a news source that doesn’t lead you to embarrass yourself in public. How about the non-Canadian version of http://ca.reuters.com/news

Please keep it civil (unless it relates to Jacques)

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