Thursday, November 2, 2017

It's Not a Sprint, and other Lessons about Life...

A recent video entitled Life of Privilege Explained in a $100 Race tries to explain how 'privilege' gives people unearned advantages in life.   The premise is that life is a sprint for money and that there are many unearned privileges that give you an unfair advantage in life.

Life Privilege explained as a footrace

The narrator calls this race model 'a picture of life'.

This analogy is flawed and incredibly damaging to those who believe in it and the underlying philosophy.  Not to mention the narrator is incredibly racist when he claims that "some of these black dudes will smoke all of you" in a race.

The overt racism aside, the underlying premise is completely flawed.  I don't claim to fully understand the meaning of life, but it certainly not best represented as a foot race for money.  From a flawed premise and model, you cannot draw valid conclusions.  But let's examine what happens when you use this flawed model to instruct your world view.

The things that are listed in the video as 'unfair privilege' are:
  • Both parents are still married
  • Grew up with a father figure in the home
  • Access to a private education 
  • Access to a free tutor (what ever the heck that means)
  • Never had to worry about your cell phone being shut off
  • Never had to help mom or dad with the bills
  • Didn't have to pay for your education
  • Didn't have to worry about where your next meal is coming from 

So basically this amounts to two categories:  1.) Is your family intact, and 2.) did you have money.  Essentially, it boils down to: did your parents make good life decisions?  Did your parents do the things required to give you a better life?

Parents who defer childbirth until after they get married, get a full time job, and get a high school education are statistically guaranteed to be above the poverty line.  Children of two parent families have much better life outcomes, as has been pointed out repeatedly by the likes of Robert Bork and Ann Coulter.

So, yes, if your parents make good decisions about who to marry and how to manage money, you will have a greater chance of success in life.  So what?

Isn't that the entire point of raising children? Isn't that the American dream?  In fact, making the world a better place for our children is the basis of civilization itself.  If we can't improve conditions for our children because it is somehow unfair to other children, then how is progress to be made?  Are we supposed to tear up the roads every generation to ensure that some children don't walk on dirt roads while others ride the bus? 

Beyond the inherent stupidity of the idea that we cannot improve life for our children by making good decisions, the model that life is a sprint is incredibly damaging to the least privileged in our society.

When you tell people the race is rigged against them, they give up entirely.  Watch what happens a the end of the video.  Many of the people who are standing at the start line never even move.  They make no attempt to succeed at life at all.

Life is not a sprint.  If you insist on using life-is-a-race model, it is more like an inter-generational relay race.  Each generation advances their position, or they fall back in the race.  Just because you are way behind the others on the current leg of the race doesn't mean you can’t succeed over the inter-generational long run.

The video also offers no prescription for how to address this alleged problem.  The conclusion the video seems to reach is that people should feel guilty for having privilege and hand over some of their hard-earned money to someone else. 

This video is pure evil.  It promotes a flawed view of the meaning of life that damages everyone who subscribes to it.  The video also exposes the racist feelings of the Left when they assume that black dudes can run.   It attempts to create guilt in people with privilege without a prescription for change, 

And finally, if you did change the world so that the good decisions of parents had no effect on outcomes for their children, you tear down the very foundations of civilization.  This is evil.

Or maybe that is the entire point.

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