Unemployment, Education and the Cultivated Victim Mindset

Thu, Jan 23, 2014 - 1:22pm

One Wall Street adviser recently stated that actual unemployment is at 37.2%. I don't doubt this. Certainly, a lot of blame is warranted towards the top, but am I the only one who is thinking that America is just giving up on herself? Where is the spirit of entrepreneurship? Where is the can-do attitude?

It's dead in the water. People would be rather just take whatever money they can from the government than try to fix their lives or their communities.

I have noticed more and more that Americans are living in learned helplessness. They can't seem to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and many don't want to. It's not just the younger generation - I know people from my generation (X) whose main goal in life seems to be just to throw their hands up and quit trying.

Now pardon me if I delve for a moment into politics, but an unrepentant gold digger is running for governor in my state, Texas, and she's illustrative of some huge perception problems we must overcome if America is going to return to any sort of sanity.

Wendy Davis built up her pro-choice credentials with a sob story about how she struggled as a single mother. Only, it turns out that she wasn't actually single for that long, and she had a wealthy older man pay for her college tuition, including her Harvard Law School payments. She dumped him the day after he made the last loan payment, and then saddled her kids with him (he got full custody) while she went off to pursue her political dreams.

I am a woman, and women like this make me furious! I know I am not the only woman who feels this way. Women such as myself, who did not prostitute ourselves to sugar daddies or sacrifice our children for our careers, have little love or sympathy for a sociopathic social climber like Wendy Davis.

But Wendy Davis will still get a lot of support, and part of it will come from people blinded by the abortion issue, and part of it will be from people who make a false assumption that a Harvard degree actually makes you smart and insightful.

I've read various comments on Wendy Davis stories in the past few days, and in a few of them, Sarah Palin has been called by Davis supporters a "moron" who needed to go to a variety of colleges prior to graduating. And yet, what bright ideas has Wendy Davis put forward, other than she believes in late-term abortions? Where are her brilliant solutions to our problems? I don't see any.

Yet, she went to Haaaahvard, so she's "qualified" to rule the rest of us. According to some.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is considered to be worst kind of "white trash" - in part because she isn't trying to become an elite. Sure, Wendy Davis used her husband's 401K money to pursue her Harvard ambitions, but, well, that's OK, because it's Harvard, you see, and don't women need a hand up to go there? Rationalize much?

Palin, however, did not work her way up on Todd Palin's money. When she was younger, she fished alongside him on salmon fishing boats in the cold, dangerous waters off of Alaska.

Whether or not you like the political viewpoints of a Davis or a Palin, it's clear that Davis will automatically get more "cred" because of her Harvard degree. She will also get more forgiveness for her blatant gold digging because of it. I don't think these biases are good for the future of America.

I see a scary trend towards denigrating blue collar work, ironically from people who claim to be pro-poor. These days, someone who comes from an actual blue collar background would not be considered good presidential material, because they aren't seen as "smart" enough. Yet, someone with an Ivy League degree and no real-world experience would be just fine. If you run a construction company, you would be passed over by someone who didn't actually run a business, but went to Harvard and stayed there to teach for a little while before running for office.

Now, let's say the Zombie Apocalypse actually occurs. You have a choice of joining two bands of survivors. One team is led Wendy Davis, and the other by Sarah Palin.

Which team would you choose?

Now, some of you may respond "neither!" - but for the sake of this exercise, if you had to choose, and you had a half a brain with your head, you'd choose the woman who knows how to shoot a bear and isn't worried about mussing up her fake blonde hairdo.

If you haven't seen it, you must see the episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska where Kate Gosselin goes camping with Palin and her family. Miserable Kate has a hissy fit and selfishly drags her kids away when clearly they were enjoying themselves. Kate Gosselin on camping: "Why would you pretend to be homeless? I don't get it, I just don't get the concept."

Kate Gosselin freaks out in "Sarah Palin's Alaska" - episode 5

Kate Gosselin is a product of learned entitlement and victimization. She's utterly helpless and frozen without modern conveniences to protect her from the elements.

We need more determination, and less victimization. We need more can-do instead of cannot. We need to make a shift away from "education" just for the sake of education to teaching real-world, applicable skills.

Even here in Texas, things are bad. Here in Austin, certain sections of the city are coveted by parents who want to make sure their children are raised in the "good schools." They aren't there to learn farming or animal husbandry, but to be prepped in a very competitive environment for Ivy League universities. All the children get iPads. They start taking SAT prep classes before they even get into high school.

These kids are dumped into as many extra-curricular activities as possible so they have that something "extra" to put on their "resume" for the competitive college market. And while I certainly feel there's value in after school sports and music programs, none of these kids are learning to do anything hands-on. Wood shop? Metal shop? Forget it. That's not only not going to get you into a good college, it might be a strike against you. Those tracks are for the "dumb" kids going to vocational schools someday.

You may have heard of Common Core. I will state plainly: Common Core is evil. This is the insidious new standard being pushed from the top. It's caused a lot of outrage, in no small part due to lessons such as this one, where small children are taught to be activists and use "emotional" words to pressure their parents to get a new park:

Indoctrination in Common Core ELA Texts

One of the main problems with this type of indoctrination is that it subtly teaches kids to be subservient victims of an elite class that must be petitioned in order to get what they want. And this is how the elite want it. They want you to believe that you can't do it yourself, that you must ask them for favors.

An empowered, entrepreneurial spin would teach the children not how to use propaganda techniques to try to get what they want, but how to set up a lemonade stand to raise money themselves for a new park.

But oops! Can't have a lemonade stand without a license these days!

This is one of the reasons why education just for the sake of education is problematic. Kids who don't learn how to do stuff learn the useless skill of over-analyzing the injustices of "the system" - and this impotent outrage is then utilized by organizations with agendas to shift public policy. Instead of creating a generation of can-do entrepreneurs and self-sufficient citizens, victims are made.

This victim-type thinking is so prevalent today that most young activists don't even realize they've fallen for it. To whit, the recent petitions by the Black Student Union at my alma mater, the University of Michigan. They all scream "we have no power and we must petition the elite to give some to us!" Let's go through a few of these victimized statements:

Victim Statement #1:

  • We demand that the university give us an equal opportunity to implement change, the change that complete restoration of the BSU purchasing power through an increased budget would obtain.

Empowered Rewrite:

  • We recognize our inherent power as human beings and we don't need you to do anything for us because we can do it ourselves. If we want more money to spend, we will raise it ourselves.

Victim Statement #2:

  • We demand available housing on central campus for those of lower socio-economic status at a rate that students can afford, to be a part of university life, and not just on the periphery.

Empowered Rewrite:

  • We intend to help low income students by starting our own low-income housing co-op that will purchase and lease property to students in need.

Victim Statement #3:

  • We demand an opportunity to congregate and share our experiences in a new Trotter [Multicultural Center] located on central campus.

Empowered Rewrite:

  • We will raise funds to create a new multicultural center located on central campus.

And on and on. What utter, naive fools these kids are! Being put into a mindset that you must "demand" things from others puts you in a permanent state of arrested development. It is the mindset of a child. No wonder Wendy Davis is so aggrieved by her critics. She, too, has the entitled mindset of a child. She is a victim of her life, not a creator of it.

Clearly, our education system is one of the main proponents of this victim thinking. It will take a lot to shift from this sort of toxic philosophy to a better one. Here are a few of my suggestions as to what I'd like to see from schools:

1) All children should take classes in business and have hands-on experience starting and running a business in school.

2) More focus and emphasis should be placed on real-world skills for children of all economic groups, skills that can empower people to live independently, including gardening, home repair, sewing, carpentry, auto repair, plumbing, and other useful crafts.

3) Teachers who teach for a living should be supplemented by people in the community offering classes in their areas of expertise. Teachers should also be required to take sabbaticals where they apprentice with local businesses and take on real jobs for a while.

Well, I'm a dreamer, aren't I? Wouldn't it be nice if people complaining about lack of jobs actually started their own business and created something of value instead of helplessly expecting the system to fix their lives for them?

But life is probably going to force a shift back to reality for people very soon - a massive economic collapse is going to make real-world skills much more desirable, and the ability to navigate an iPad much less useful. In the meantime, I believe it is very important to start the conversation and get people thinking differently.

What would you do to fix education?

P.S. Mike Rowe for President!

Stephanie blogs sporadically at a number of websites, including Freeople and Free Thinking Christianity.

About the Author


Jan 23, 2014 - 1:26pm


Thank You Stephanie and everyone that makes this place world class.

Jan 23, 2014 - 1:50pm

"Where is the spirit of entrepreneurship?"

Where is the spirit of entrepreneurship?

In an epic battle, the entrepeneurs were overun by the free shit army, whom they financed!

Jan 23, 2014 - 2:12pm

Great post, Stephanie

As a fellow Texan, I think you covered all my current frustrations too!

Jan 23, 2014 - 2:29pm

Big Gov. Breeds Discontent

Great post, echoes what we've all been feeling through this alleged recovery. I'm not convinced that the true unemployment rate is 37%, but I suspect the true underemployment rate (unemployed+part timers+those forced to take menial jobs well below their education, training & experience) is probably higher than one-third of the working age population. This holds true for the entire Western world and calls into question the value delivered by our Gov. supported educational institutions, in my mind.

Jan 23, 2014 - 3:01pm

Open season on entrepreneurs

With all this cheap money sloshing around the big banks, my wife's business is having a difficult time refinancing some higher interest loans.

I have a friend with a fairly successful real estate business who is being targeted by the EPA over lead paint issues in older homes. The EPA inspectors drive down from Chicago to inspect his renovation projects to be sure he is following the hundreds of rules (which he does) and drive right past other renovation projects by people who are not even certified to do the work. The fined him 30K after finding a few lead paint chips under the porch from an earlier scrape and paint job by a previous owner. He has stopped renovating and has cut back his work force.

Entrepreneurial regulations are simply killing small business.

Thanks Stephanie.

I Run Bartertown
Jan 23, 2014 - 3:28pm

Not "what" but "who"

Land, flags, anthems are nice... but the defining characteristic of any nation is her people.

America 2014 is not America 1964 primarily because the demographics are unrecognizable. Thanks to Ted Kennedy for being the face and front-man liar:

"…our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S.500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.",

but the treason was authored by Norbert Schlei.

Those bred from 1964 and prior 'founding stock' are not much different than their grandparents. They just represent a much smaller fraction of what they used to in terms of defining a nation.

Jan 23, 2014 - 3:28pm
Jan 23, 2014 - 4:01pm

Ag - You you want entrepeneurship?? Chk this~!

Nations Largest Cocaine Smuggler Revealed: The DEA

For decades, it has been rumored the United States government was secretly sponsoring the smuggling of cocaine into the country. It's not a rumor anymore. See video above.

And then recall, in the last episode of "Miami Vice", in the fall of 1987, Crockett and Tubbs are accosted and have their lives threatened by the DEA when they corner a large drug king pin. They are told that they are trespassing on DEA 'territory' and it's special retirement cash fund. The writers on that series said from the beginning of the series that they were getting ALL their stories from the local drug 'officials' themselves~!!!!!! Furthermore they said they actually "toned-down" the drug dealing details in the series, upon request of the City of Miami~! The biggest TV series of the '80's actually came out with the revelation that the DEA was the biggest Cocaine dealer in the USofA. And exactly how many sheeple actually picked-up on that????????????

The DEA agents dealing drugs. MY-O-My that must be Heaven on Earth. Who da Hell is gonna arrest ya??................................................. NO ONE!!!!

Hell, the CIA runs the Heroin trade. They sure ain't gonna say shit~!

Like Bob Dylan told us long ago;"To live outside the Law, you must be Honest."

Jan 23, 2014 - 5:03pm

Whats with...

...the shake up of the US nuclear weapons forces announced today. After earlier posts describing "nuke" related theories, I find today's news very disturbing.

Jan 23, 2014 - 5:40pm

EXCELLENT post stephanie!

"One of the main problems with this type of indoctrination is that it subtly teaches kids to be subservient victims of an elite class that must be petitioned in order to get what they want. And this is how the elite want it. They want you to believe that you can't do it yourself, that you must ask them for favors."


"Instead of creating a generation of can-do entrepreneurs and self-sufficient citizens, victims are made."


Absolutely right. And only a massive shock to the whole system is going to change what must be changed.

My mother was a teacher for some 40 years until Alzheimers took her mind away a few years ago. She watched as the those she was teaching became less and less inquisitive - and she always said it was because of small changes being made each year or so to the curriculum.

This dumbing-down has been going on for decades, one step at a time. She noticed it had accelerated substantially in more recent years. One thing she noticed, apart from the dumbing-down changes to the curriculum, was that pass grades for her pupils were going up - yet she knew that pupils would not have got those grades in previous years.

Pupils (in general, not all of course) were feeling that they were 'intelligent' because they had passed their exams - yet what they were 'intelligent' about was being manipulated.

This allows them to be more easily controlled later in life because they have no real mind of their own having been moulded to accept what they've been fed (and continue to be fed) - and just as importantly to feel good about it - because they've been rewarded for it with a certificate.

If you want to control someone manipulate the ego and pat it's back regularly.

"What would you do to fix education?"

Nothing. A natural re-set is coming, it's inevitable. The truth - the intelligence of life itself - cannot forcibly be held in a box for much longer. The natural desire to learn and learn from experience (rather than from emotion - which the manipulators target, to manipulate) will then be restored. But, like many who come here, I think it's going to be a painful transition.

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