How Poor Americans Actually Live, or how to deal with reality

I’ve remarked that the ethnic media is out of touch with the working poor, but I’ve never exactly explained how the working poor actually live. Today I hope to do that. It’s especially relevant in our discussion on affirmative action and how poor minorities can overcome the odds.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m only a couple of generations away from poverty. My family history with poverty took place right here in America, and it’s probably different from most people in the ethnic media–I’m the grandchild of a sweatshop seamstress. But that’s not where I get all of my firsthand knowledge. During the “no money down” subprime bubble before 2008, I pre-qualified lots of poor people for mortgages. Some of them got mortgages, while others didn’t qualify, but I saw enough people’s financial profiles to say that I know a bit about this subject. During those times, I spoke with maids, restaurant workers, people living off disability, people working part-time jobs, etc.

Now before I go on, I would like to say that there was often (not always, but often) a big difference between the Asian poor I met and the non-Asian poor. The Asian poor didn’t see themselves as poor; they saw themselves as temporarily in-transition. I could meet Chinese maids or cleaning ladies or restaurant workers, and they’d often have credit scores in the 800’s. They either had money saved up or a plan to save money. Even most lowest paid Asian poor had some sort of budget or financial plan that allowed them to save money. As a result, they came to the bargaining table from a position of power: “Look at my credit score. I’m worthy.” They saw poverty as temporary, and I’m sure they were right. God knows some of them negotiated like I should be happy to even be in their presence. Even from my own experience, I can tell you that from her ability to save and spend wisely, my seamstress grandmother today is not poor.

But it’s really the non-Asian poor that we need to discuss. Liberals often think that the non-Asian working poor in this country struggle to save even $10, thinking that they would have to skip a meal or two to raise that kind of money. They think of the poor as passive victims who live in constant fear. This just isn’t true. Americans who make $15-$30k a year are not living in grass huts on dirt floors with no running water. Typically they have TV’s. Many, if not most, have some kind of internet presence, even if they don’t check their e-mail. Almost all of them have vibrant lives, lives that are often more colorful than anything the ethnic media would conceive.

I know all of this because subprime loans often required extensive documentation. If you didn’t have a credit score, you needed to show a cellphone bill or electric bill that the credit agency could verify was paid on time. Some loans asked about collateral like cars, computers (which they didn’t always have but sometimes did), or TV’s.

Certainly poor people by definition don’t have a lot of money. Quite a few don’t have bank accounts (which made it a real pain in the ass to verify down payments). They don’t trust banks or the banks don’t trust them, and often they don’t have money to put into a bank account anyway. Some have had…umm, bad experiences with the banks, and so banks collectively refuse to open an account in their name. Some of them get paid under the table (also a pain in the ass to document back in the day…and no longer allowed to be documented today), and others don’t file taxes. Money is a very, very funny thing with poor people. The ones who have credit cards often get screwed by high interest rates. Some are indebted to payday loan sharks. Some who have bank accounts sign up for “overdraft protection,” which is yet another way for banks to screw poor people.

But it’s not as if poor people live in complete isolation from money. I would say “John, I need you to get me $20 for a credit report,” or “Mary, we need $350 for an appraisal, paid upfront.” If it’s what they needed, they’d always get it. Often it meant hassling someone who owed them money, or refusing to pay up someone to whom they owed money, or it meant shouting and cursing at their brother-in-law, or begging their mother, or shouting at the father of their third child for not being as supportive as the father of their fourth child. Sometimes they wouldn’t want to tell me how they got it, only assuring me that it was theirs, and not a loan. In every case though, they could get it. I never had a deal go south because of the inability of a borrower to find a thousand dollars or less. They wanted their house, and they’d do what they had to do.

Dr. Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon who is African American and was born into poverty, says it well on page 75 of America the Beautiful:

…if you met someone living on the streets who had no house, no car, and very little if any money, and you were able to convince him that if he met you in Bismarck, North Dakota, in seventy-two hours that you would give him $1 million, I can virtually assure you that he would find a way to get there. People can generally find a way to do what they want to do, and they can find a hundred excuses for what they don’t want to do. When you have an entire society of people with a great work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility, that society will take off like a rocket and quickly achieve a position of power and leadership.

In the discussion about how to save ten bucks, I remarked that anyone living in America should be able to save ten bucks over fourteen years. But that’s a gross exaggeration. The reality is that if I pulled someone off the street and asked him to produce ten bucks in 24 hours or less, almost anyone who wanted to could do it. It wouldn’t take fourteen years.

Liberal and conservative journalists and bloggers on both extreme sides of the political spectrum often believe that the poor live in this country as passive and helpless victims and that they see themselves as passive victims. They often think the poor are stupid. Nothing could be further from the truth. The poor have dreams just like everyone else, and they’re capable of saving, budgeting, negotiating, and making decisions, just like everyone else. Like the rest of us, poor people routinely make decisions that have consequences, both good and bad. The key difference is culture, and many poor people themselves realize this. Some cultures stress saving and education more than others. A culture that stresses saving and education will have fewer poor people within a capitalist system.

So let’s break this cycle. Give people the humanity they deserve by telling how it actually is. Let’s not rehash the same liberal fictions of how poor people live. Let’s ground the discussion in reality. Only by knowing reality can you really help people deal with reality.

106 thoughts on “How Poor Americans Actually Live, or how to deal with reality

  1. During the “no money down” subprime bubble before 2008, I pre-qualified lots of poor people for mortgages. – BigWOWO

    So the guy who signed up poor people for mortgages they couldn’t afford — mortgages re-packaged by large banks and speculated upon by gamblers to the point where the global economy nearly tanked — now writes an opinion to inform us all how non-Asian poor people misuse their ample wealth, and refuse to invest in themselves, with a Ben Carson quote thrown in as inoculation against the inevitable bigotry charges.

    You prey upon their financial illiteracy before 2008 to lampoon their financial illiteracy in 2014. Like the old Dr. Dre line, you’ll rob ’em in Compton and blast ’em in Miami.

    Exactly how are you different from Bill O’Reilly, Byron?

  2. Snoopy, Snoopy, Snoopy.

    Herein lies the problem with the Impractical Left. It’s ILLEGAL to turn people down for mortgages if they apply and you can qualify them. That could be construed as discrimination. You knew that, right? You were just testing me. 🙂

  3. @Snoopy,

    “So the guy who signed up poor people for mortgages they couldn’t afford – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270499

    There you go again off the handle frothing in your mouth.

    Maybe Byron is that evil Asian guy who conspired with JP Morgan and such to make some bucks off of some poor people. Or perhaps he was just an employee who was not in a position to decide the company policy.

    Lets say you disagree with Bush’s Iraq war, and Collin Powell’s presentation on WMD in Iraq. Of course you might not have any interest to consider that money hole … but are you going to just go bat shit on every US soldier that served in Iraq?

    This is exactly why it is not possible to have a reasonable, adult discussion with you.

  4. Herein lies the problem with the Impractical Left. It’s ILLEGAL to turn people down for mortgages if they apply and you can qualify them. That could be construed as discrimination. You knew that, right? You were just testing me.

    Of course he didn’t know that. He doesn’t know anything much beyond creating ten thousand word story arcs of straw men, just like in the comics.

  5. Lets say you disagree with Bush’s Iraq war, and Collin Powell’s presentation on WMD in Iraq. Of course you might not have any interest to consider that money hole … but are you going to just go bat shit on every US soldier that served in Iraq?

    This is exactly why it is not possible to have a reasonable, adult discussion with you.

    A better analogy he could understand would be:

    Let’s say a writer made the dubious choice of resurrecting yet another comic book hero who died a poignant death.

    Would it be justified to go batshit crazy and accuse every other Marvel comics writer of making a fast buck at the fans’s expense?

    ROFLMAO!

  6. It’s ILLEGAL to turn people down for mortgages if they apply and you can qualify them. – BigWOWO

    Haven’t I been the one reminding you of the evils of redlining all weekend?

    None of that changes the morality of signing up poor people for bad mortgages using criteria watered down by statutes, only to become openly racially selective in your characterizations of those poor years later, after the Impractical Left stepped in to save the global economy you fouled.

    But, of course, you’re not a racist, because Ben Carson.

    You realize that by admitting in this post that you view poor people differently based on their race, that this admission opens you to charges of bigotry in your previous employment, since none of us can possibly know how you squared your obviously dim racial views of certain non-Asian clients with the equal treatment they deserved by law.

    But, of course, you’re not a racist, because Ben Carson.

    Your entire argument in this post is “I used to prey on poor people, here’s what they are like! Synopsis — poor Asians are better!”

    But, of course, you’re not a racist, because Ben Carson.

    How are we supposed to take you seriously?

  7. Haven’t I been the one reminding you of the evils of redlining all weekend?

    None of that changes the morality of signing up poor people for bad mortgages using criteria watered down by statutes, only to become openly racially selective in your characterizations of those poor years later, after the Impractical Left stepped in to save the global economy you fouled.

    But, of course, you’re not a racist, because Ben Carson.

    What about the morality of being a shuckster, and consistently shifting the goal posts just because you can’t bear the fact that affirmative does NOT help poor blacks, and only by keeping the admissions process opaque will rich comics reading underachievers like yourself make it to Ivy League?

    What about the morality of accusing other people of racism to cover up your own misdeeds, like the neighborhood street pimp who shouts and yells at the popo accusing them of “harassment” while desperately buying time to chuck his stash?

    Come to think of it there’s a huge similarity isn’t there? Could this be a cultural thing? Or is it genetics? Or just individual choice? Your words broham. 😀

  8. No, I never used to “prey” on poor people. If they came in the door, I did what I was legally and morally required to do. Legally required because of liberals like you. Morally, because why should poor people automatically be locked out of something that they can achieve? I still keep in contact with some of the clients from those days. This is part of running your own business. I’m guessing that aside from knowing nothing about poor people, you’ve probably never run your own business either. Am I right?

    Business is like that, dude. If you sell burgers, you’re hurting someone by selling unhealthy food. If you sell cars, there’s a chance someone could get into an accident. If you’re a doctor, you can always make a mistake, and you indirectly benefit the drug companies.

    Sorry, man, but again, you’re talking from a position of ignorance. You can’t tell someone how to run a business if you yourself have never run a business. But again, that’s the main point of this post. It’s hard to convincingly talk about real life if you have no experience dealing with certain aspects of real life. We’re living in the real world, not some made-up narrative by political ideologues.

  9. Snoopy,

    You realize that by admitting in this post that you view poor people differently based on their race, that this admission opens you to charges of bigotry in your previous employment, since none of us can possibly know how you squared your obviously dim racial views of certain non-Asian clients with the equal treatment they deserved by law.

    How low was your SAT CR score? 200?

  10. That crazy loon is acting as if were affirmative action to be questioned his university would take back his degree or something! LMAO!!!

    Quit distracting James Lamb and get back to the topic. 😀

  11. ChineseMom,

    He’s just tossing things out to see what sticks.

    If he had any knowledge of business or even if he had ever bought a house, he’d also know that I’m legally REQUIRED to “view” race. There’s a box where you have to ask for your client’s race. If they decline to tell you, you have to guess. It’s the most awkward question on the application, but you have to ask.

    The Impractical Left is often the Ignorant Left.

  12. Well, let me correct that. He wouldn’t have to answer the “race” question if he didn’t need a mortgage, i.e. if he paid cash for a house.

    Man, what it must be like to be young and rich. To hell with mortgage brokers, I’ll just pay cash!

  13. Hey! Dont mention his money, his university might actually take back his degree and give it to a poorer guy, especially after reading what he’s written in this entire blog! 😀

    “There has been a mistake. There’s no way one of our graduates could ever be so dumb and shifty.”

    LMAO!!!

  14. But, of course, you’re not a racist, because Ben Carson. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comments


    Ben Carson is black? According to you he isn’t really black at all because he doesn’t believe things that you seem to think black people should believe in – that is more racist and inflammatory than anything anyone else on this board has said.

    None of that changes the morality of signing up poor people for bad mortgages using criteria watered down by statutes, only to become openly racially selective in your characterizations of those poor years later, after the Impractical Left stepped in to save the global economy you fouled. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comments


    Now you have become a caricature of yourself. The Impractical left made great contributions to deregulating the banking sector that led to the proliferation of financial irregularities and ultimately the meltdown.

  15. Business is like that, dude. If you sell burgers, you’re hurting someone by selling unhealthy food. If you sell cars, there’s a chance someone could get into an accident. If you’re a doctor, you can always make a mistake, and you indirectly benefit the drug companies. – bigWOWO

    Of course. What’s a few subprime mortgages between friends? I mean, cows have to die if we like burgers. And of course, blame the Left for a business model you voluntarily engaged to provide for yourself, because hey. Business. Why should it matter if clients didn’t always understand the fine print, or could access just enough money to look credible as loan risks on paper.

    But no, only bad apples would misuse public trust and tank the economy to fill short-term quotas and support George W. Bush’s ownership society. Not you. You’re a reputable businessman. So reputable that you’re online writing posts about how your poor non-Asian clients owned TV’s and used the internet and screamed guilt-trips at their third baby daddy about support from the fourth baby daddy. Classy.

    But not racist, of course. Ben Carson.

  16. Again, dude, you have ZERO actual private sector business experience. You’ve never run a business. You’ve never bought your own home. You’ve never actually had to invest money in order to make money, nor have you ever had to comply with business laws–since you’ve never run a business. Nor have you ever dealt with clients–poor or rich.

    I’m not saying you need business experience or homebuying experience. Some people go through life without ever doing that, while still being productive. But don’t tell me how it’s done if you’ve never even tried to do it. Don’t tell me how poor people are when you don’t know any yourself.

    And no, I’m not writing about my clients specifically–you don’t know who my clients are, nor will you ever know. I’m writing about a class of clients of a certain income level–it’s the same no matter who the broker is. It’s clear that you didn’t get the humor, but much of what I said was a joke. None of my clients actually had four daddies, although I have met people like that. It’s common knowledge in our industry. You actually learn about this when you’re studying for your certificate before you meet clients. Oh, but that’s right–you’ve never had to apply for any kind of business-related license! Man, life is good. Lucky you.

    Why should it matter if clients didn’t always understand the fine print, or could access just enough money to look credible as loan risks on paper.

    Uh, yeah, that’s not what typically happened. It’s great that you can read biased stories in the media from people who’ve never sold a loan in their lives. That’s just my point though. If you’re gonna be an armchair critic on either business or poverty or anything in real life, don’t rely on your ivory tower elitist ethnic media. Talk to someone who has been on the front line while you were sleeping. Me. 🙂

  17. Snoopy, I think that you’re really following a bad calculus here.

    You’re basically assuming that ALL home loan brokers were dishonest and predatory. The truth is that some were, and some weren’t. It also depended a lot on how much information any given broker had about the larger financial picture at the time they were selling loans. Many of the guys selling loans were not privy to the kind of high-level risks to the entire economy that were mounting. If they were, most of them would have run to find more secure jobs before the crash.

    Sub-prime loans might have worked, if they had been kept within a certain limit of all loans sold. They also might have worked much better if they hadn’t been “repackaged” and resold. I could go on and on as to the factors that could have made things much less severe than they ended up being. In the end, it was the people at the top of the pyramid who were privy to the bigger picture. It is doubtful that people like Byron could have known were this was heading. Just because RISK is present doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a bad deal for the buyer, especially if it’s the only deal that they qualify for.

    This was a huge, complex, economic implosion that caught ALL of the insurance companies, stock brokerages, and mega-banks by surprise. Do you think that they PLANNED to go out of business? (as many of them did). In retrospect, we can see where all the mistakes were made, but unless you have evidence of personal malfeasance, I don’t know of anybody today who is blaming individual mortgage brokers, just for following the rules that the Fed. and the Industry had set for them at that time.

  18. So at this point Byron, you’re so defensive and angry about criticism of your post that you are literally making up what you wish to think about me to make yourself feel better. Because never in the history of American racism have people made up their own reality about those with whom they conflict to justify their anger. You have next to zero information about my life, so you just make up stories.

    Emotional, much?

    No, I don’t know your clients – but I know that if I had dealings with a mortgage broker who later confessed horrid racial stereotypes about poor clients outside his racial group, I might question his dealings with me. I know that!

    But hey. Hey! Not with Byron! Oh no! Everyone, don’t question Byron. Because Byron’s not racist.

    Ben Carson.

  19. I’m not making stuff up about you, Snoops. I know you’ve never bought a house because you don’t know about the application process with respect to race. I know you’ve never been poor because of what I mentioned in the OP. I know you’ve never been in front-end sales of financial products because you’ve never had the training that we all go through. I know you’ve never owned a business because you’re unfamiliar with the grey areas of business and the subtleties of sales. I know of all this, the same way I know you’re not a theoretical mathematician like John Doe.

    Again, it’s not an attack. We all have different ways of writing our own stories. I think someone on this blog once mentioned this–there’s no right way to live life. I’m just telling you what I know.

    The real story here is how poor people live. I’m qualified to talk about this because I know. That’s all.

    No, I don’t know your clients – but I know that if I had dealings with a mortgage broker who later confessed horrid racial stereotypes about poor clients outside his racial group, I might question his dealings with me. I know that!

    Well, when you finally get a mortgage broker, just know that we all go through similar experiences and training. Though to be honest, I’m not sure which “stereotype” is worse: the liberal narrative where poor people aren’t smart enough to save $10 over a lifetime, or the real life stories where people have agency despite interesting problems.

    My point is that my version of reality is more accurate because it’s rooted in truth and real experiences. If you need someone to offer advice on how the poor can raise themselves out of poverty, I’m your man.

  20. Thanks, King.

    It is doubtful that people like Byron could have known were this was heading.

    True story: A wholesale broker once stopped by my office to explain one of the programs. I told him, “A 660 credit score? With no money down?”

    He said, “A quarter of people will default.”

    “Really?”

    “Yes, but our actuaries looked it over. It’s still profitable for us after all is said and done.”

    Neither of us thought about it again. I’m not an actuary, nor did I have access to their data, nor did the wholesale rep have access to the data. I figured this was a multi-million dollar bank that had paid experts. And they did! But it was a big problem and a hard problem to solve–I’m not sure I would fault the individual actuaries either. Even Alan Greenspan was promoting these mortgages. I didn’t think about whether would hurt the borrower since there really was little risk to the borrower (no money down), and after all, why would a company purposely try to sink itself? And who thought home prices would drop anyway?

  21. Byron,

    I will say that I am mystified by one thing. I’m not sure why the conversation of late has been so heavily focused on analysis of culture. There’s been plenty of heated debate about it, but is it even necessary within the context of opposing affirmative action?

  22. Hey Kevin,

    Well, we all agree–all of us, including me, ChineseMom, King, Chr, and Snoopy and Jenn–that if we eliminated affirmative action, black enrollment would drop in the short run.

    I don’t think anyone here wants to see it drop and then just say, “Well, too bad.” People feel obligated to offer a solution, especially since all of us think diversity is a good thing and that college should be open to everyone.

    Some have proposed additional increases in school spending.

    But I think most of us don’t believe that’s enough. Especially among the parents, I think the parents and family focus on education is what propels most Asian kids ahead. So the natural question to ask is how we can change culture so that more “underrepresented” families might change culture to succeed without race-based preferences.

    My point in this post is that we just have to have a realistic view of culture. We’re all talking about it, but we have to listen to people who actually have experience with it.

  23. @Snoopy,

    I think you are conflating two issues. Its a typical malaise you suffer from.

    First, unless you are privy to some confidential information or conspiracy, you do not personally know enough to blame Byron for the subprime disaster.

    Second, what Byron wrote about non-Asian poor is his personal opinion. I have no way of verifying what he is saying but I will not deny his life experience. However, at the same time I do not take it as a gospel truth and conclude that on the average his observation is true of all non-Asian poor. One way to counter that would be to not claim he is fabricating his personal experience (there is no way to do that) but to instead get some data on national saving trends among different demographics.

    When I read financial news where it is reported to no end how many Americans are not saving enough, the immigrant in me doesn’t understand why. I come from a culture where there is no social security net, no medical insurance, and so you have to depend on yourself. Again before you twist what I say, I am not really interested in how the Joneses are spending their money besides the concern that if the national saving rate is so low (whatever that means), does that mean at some point the govt is going to take my savings away.

  24. @Byron,

    “But I think most of us don’t believe that’s enough. Especially among the parents, I think the parents and family focus on education is what propels most Asian kids – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270580

    I do agree that parents have a lot to do with how well kids do in school. In school teachers have a hard time disciplining kids. Here its really up to parents to lay the ground rule. However, having said that I think more money should be invested in k-12 so that kids get equal opportunity. Having done that if some kids continue to fail because parents are not doing what they need to do, then the hell with it. I don’t think its my problem as a citizen to educate how parents should raise kids or try to fix other people’s culture. I do think there are cultural differences. But its up to member of every culture to decide what is good for them. If what you are doing in your culture is not helpful. Tough Luck! Not my F***ING problem. Its up to you to fix it. I can only try to fix my own culture to get to where I think I need to get.

    So, I disagree with you on poking your nose into other people’s business … something I decided was the prudent thing to do a long while ago.

  25. ^ something I decided was NOT the prudent thing to do a long ago.

    The negation rules in English sucks big time.

  26. No, no. All cultures are equally proficient at everything, and all people are equally capable in all aspects. If anyone is different from anyone else, it’s gotta be privilege and/or luck. If you say otherwise, you’re mean. And if you’re mean, you’re wrong.

    You know there was once a time when equalism was merely a mental illness reserved for the extreme left. Now it’s mainstream. This is why I stopped supporting liberalism. Because left wing follies have become more dangerous than right wing follies.

  27. SAP,

    There doesn’t have to be a “ranking.” In fact, there’s no reason to have a ranking. African Americans went through some serious racism long ago. We still see vestiges of that today.

    That’s actually a mistake that Snoopy makes–he assumes that everything I say is intended to establish a ranking. But that’s not my point. I don’t believe there ought to be a ranking–people should just be trying to improve, regardless of what race they are or what culture.

  28. @SAP,

    Be careful what you wish for. Pushed to the extreme you might end up supporting laws that are different for different people, and you might end up not meeting the threshold. Being different is not a reason for treating people equally and with respect.

  29. bigWOWO,

    That’s a nice thought, but unrealistic. All value differences can be quantified, and thereby ranked. And people care about these ranks regardless of what they say or believe otherwise. It’s better we accept reality and deal with it accordingly.

    John Doe,

    You’re mistaken. Equalism is the irrational belief that people are equal. That’s not the same thing as having equal rights, equal opportunity, or fair treatment. The distinction is often blurred by leftists because it serves their narrative of the blank slate human. Please don’t fall for that.

  30. Aight, we’re cross-posting, so I’ll repost here:

    You shouldn’t be using the term “inferior” or “superior.” It’s meaningless and assumes the inability to change, and that’s why it becomes racist.

    Think about this: Let’s say you have two brothers. One is a doctor, and the other sits around his apartment depressed and wants to get up to become more similar to the doctor, but he can’t. Let’s say that the depressed brother was abused as a child by the babysitter, and the doctor wasn’t. Are you going to say one brother is “superior” to another? If you love both brothers, you wouldn’t use that term. You could say that one has made more money, or one has a more prestigious job, but you wouldn’t say “superior.” In fact, you probably wouldn’t even believe the doctor brother is “superior,” given what the depressed brother went through.

    Now at the same time, if Snoopy were to argue that there is NOTHING that the depressed brother could do to improve his lot, you’d also disagree with him there. But no, you wouldn’t use the term “superior.”

    – See more at:
    http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/08/what-if-affirmative-action-were-voluntary/#comment-270607

  31. I know this is somewhat off topic, but I enjoyed it when there were facebook links to your posts. They’re great, and I would really enjoy liking or sharing them on fb, because otherwise it’d be hard to find good points of view like these. I know you talked about stepping away from facebook for a bit and I agree and respect what you said there, but just throwing my 2 cents in.

  32. Snoopy Jenkins,

    It’s ironic you’re trying to make Byron seem silly for discussing Ben Carson, a black physician he admires and whose beliefs he shares, because you think Byron’s using him as a “shield” for people like you calling him racist. Meanwhile, like others have mentioned, you’re putting black culture on a pedestal that YOU think can never be criticized, as well. Add to the fact that Byron never said anything that can remotely be construed as racist, while you openly admitted to your trial tendencies, lol.

    Additionally, as King and Byron have both mentioned, you have taken this whole debate way too personally and have somehow equated critiques on black culture as critiques on black people individually. You are delusional if you think black culture, or any culture for that matter, is completely faultless, especially if you look at the state of blacks in this country. Your line of reasoning, or lack thereof, as others have noted, is one that would free blacks and black culture of all responsibility and pin the blame 100% square on whitey. While everyone recognizes the suffering that ALL minorities have suffered in this country, the reality is that for things to change, you need to look at things objectively and logically. You can’t, as King mentioned, have the blinders on and accuse everyone with differing views of being “racist” and “offensive.”

  33. You’re basically assuming that ALL home loan brokers were dishonest and predatory. … In the end, it was the people at the top of the pyramid who were privy to the bigger picture. It is doubtful that people like Byron could have known were this was heading. – King

    King, you’ve written a cogent moral defense of people in Byron’s line of work before 2008. Many reputable economists ignored the warnings of their peers and did not view subprime mortgages as an existential threat to the global economy. It’s a fair point … for 2008.

    But today we know that the subprime mortgage lending contributed to the Great Recession that promoted higher unemployment and foreclosure rates in the Black community than practically anywhere else. Further, we know that loan officers like Byron targeted non-Asian minority borrowers for risky subprime loans at vastly higher rates than white borrowers, throughout the income spectrum.

    From CityLab:

    Relative to comparable white applicants, and controlling for geographic factors, blacks were 2.8 times more likely to be denied for a loan, and Latinos were two times more likely. When they were approved, blacks and Latinos were 2.4 times more likely to receive a subprime loan than white applicants. The higher up the income ladder you compare white applicants and minorities, the wider this subprime disparity grows.

    So what was going on here? Intentional malice? Perhaps lenders were convinced that minority borrowers even with high incomes would still pose greater risk over the life of mortgage?

    “Certainly we can’t rule out personal bias on behalf of lenders,” Faber says. But that’s not all of it, either. “There’s a larger part of the story that the financial institutions responsible saw these profitable communities and targeted them specifically because they weren’t risky.” – Emily Badger, “The Dramatic Racial Bias of Subprime Lending During the Housing Boom“, August 16, 2013

    Now, Byron’s post offers strong evidence of a loan officer with personal bias against non-Asian borrowers; we have no evidence that Byron acted on his bias against non-Asian borrowers. But his industry during his tenure widely targeted reputable Black and Latino borrowers, without regard for class, for risky and now-widely discredited subprime loans at rates unheard of for White borrowers, to wring higher profits from the sweat and toil of respectable Black and Latino workers who acted in good faith to purchase homes like decent citizens.

    In 2011, when President Obama was asked to explain why his Administration did not often prosecute the Wall Street titans behind the financial collapse and subprime lending, he responded thusly:

    Well, first on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. That’s exactly why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank, to prohibit some of these practices.

    The financial sector is very creative and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it. So without commenting on particular prosecutions — obviously that’s not my job; that’s the Attorney General’s job — I think part of people’s frustrations, part of my frustration, was a lot of practices that should not have been allowed weren’t necessarily against the law, but they had a huge destructive impact. And that’s why it was important for us to put in place financial rules that protect the American people from reckless decision-making and irresponsible behavior. – President Barack Obama, October 6, 2011

    I agree with President Obama. Subprime lending during the housing boom was immoral, inappropriate, and reckless. Further, subprime lending had a disproportionate deleterious racial impact on Black and Latino homeowners — some the same people Byron chides and lampoons and berates in his post above. Frankly, it takes a special inhumanity to make your fortune off the backs of poor people you then publicly vilify less than a decade later. Byron displays business ethics only Gordon Gekko could love.

    But in all fairness King, none of this makes Byron a dishonest, racist, predatory home loan broker, because Ben Carson.

  34. @Snoopy,

    Did you read the quote from President Obama? He didn’t say every subprime dealing was immoral (which is a value judgment anyways).

    The problem I am having is unless you know Byron and his dealings personally (I don’t), you are indulging in guilt by association. A more productive way of attacking Byron would be to actually bring in the evidence that shows he acted improperly as a loan manager or whatever he is.

    I understand that you are butt hurt quite a bit by what happened in the other thread but that is no reason to go insane. You can still aspire to have a reasonable, adult conversation.

  35. “Because Ben Carson”?

    I’m laughing my ass off!

    Snoopy, Snoopy, Snoopy. That sort of thing might work with the gullible fools drinking the Kool-Aid on your girlfriend’s blog, but it doesn’t work here.

    Only here do people call you out on your rubbish mathematics and logic, your shifty deflections and smear tactics, your seething hostility towards Asians and the fact that you are rich and yet try to speak for poor blacks whom you know nothing about

    If you want to try that “but Ben Carson” schtick I think you need to go and post it on your girlfriend’s blog. Go preach to the choir.

    LOL!!!

  36. I understand that you are butt hurt quite a bit by what happened in the other thread but that is no reason to go insane. You can still aspire to have a reasonable, adult conversation.

    LOL!

  37. Sengge:

    If you want to try that “but Ben Carson” schtick I think you need to go and post it on your girlfriend’s blog.

    But I thought she bans people for personal attacks? Oh, that’s right, it’s only if the personal attacks come from someone who isn’t on the Far Left.

    John:

    The problem I am having is unless you know Byron and his dealings personally (I don’t), you are indulging in guilt by association. A more productive way of attacking Byron would be to actually bring in the evidence that shows he acted improperly as a loan manager or whatever he is.

    Yeah, I’d say the same thing. It’s pretty nonsensical to indulge in guilt by association, especially against an entire category of work. Oh wait, but didn’t Jenn Fang just associate me with Bill O’Reilly (even though I’ve never even watched his show)? Yah. More Far Left Extremist tactics. Pretty sad.

  38. Snoopy,

    Like it or not, mortgage brokers are necessary. You’ve never bought a house, but most people–including black people–don’t have the money to pay cash. Most mortgage brokers are highly ethical people. But most importantly, they’re necessary. If they all decided to quit today because of misinformed Far Left Liberal diatribes, the economy would tank permanently.

    “Byron displays business ethics only Gordon Gekko could love.”

    I’m sorry, have we done business before? No, I don’t think we have. I don’t think you’ve done business with anyone having anything to do with finance. It would be like me accusing Jenn of fudging her scientific data because I’d heard of a scientist fudging data.

    The fact that you posted that Citylab quote shows once again, that you know nothing about loans or homebuying. For all your talk about redlining, you’ve never taken your head outside your liberal media bubble to actually try to buy a house to see what happens when you do. You’ve never bought a house, run a business, or had to engage in sales. You’re like the armchair quarterback who has never touched a football who tells the coach how to run the team.

    Citylab Statement: “Relative to comparable white applicants, and controlling for geographic factors, blacks were 2.8 times more likely to be denied for a loan, and Latinos were two times more likely.”

    Snoopy: “Oh my god! Racism! How dare you turn down black people? This is like Jim Crow all over again!”

    Reality: Minorities often have lower credit scores. Many Latino borrowers don’t have credit scores. This is a fact, documented many times in the media and in our training materials. If your credit score is too low or your income is too low, it’s hard to approve you.

    Why would mortgage brokers turn down business? Once again, Snoopy is showing his ignorance of how loans and business work. Whether a client is black, brown, yellow, or Martian, brokers still get paid. If clients are being turned down, it’s usually because they don’t meet the financial or credit criteria, not because the broker is selective about where his paycheck comes from. Money is green no matter who is paying the bills.

    Citylab statement: “When they were approved, blacks and Latinos were 2.4 times more likely to receive a subprime loan than white applicants. The higher up the income ladder you compare white applicants and minorities, the wider this subprime disparity grows.”

    Snoopy: “Many, these bankers are all racist! They pushed them into subprime loans. Those thieves!”

    Reality: Minorities often have lower credit scores, even at higher income levels. Many Latino borrowers don’t have credit scores, even at higher income levels. If you have lower scores, it’s harder to get a conventional loan.

    Sorry, man, but these are facts.

    It’s funny because even though you go off on these tangents, it’s actually still very much related to the topic at hand. I’m saying that there’s a way to make things better. African Americans, on average, have lower test scores and lower SAT scores. I’m saying that there’s a reason for this, and that there are consequences to the discrepancy. I’m saying that these are problems that they can fix. I’m saying that they can’t really get meaningful advice from people who get all their information about them from the internet (you), and that we all need to deal with reality. Meanwhile, you’re just blaming racism. It’s all whitey’s fault. Or it’s all the Asian’s fault. Blame it on Whitey and Chang.

  39. The problem I am having is unless you know Byron and his dealings personally (I don’t), you are indulging in guilt by association. – John Doe

    Now, Byron’s post offers strong evidence of a loan officer with personal bias against non-Asian borrowers; we have no evidence that Byron acted on his bias against non-Asian borrowers. – Snoopy Jenkins

    I don’t know Byron’s dealings personally, and he does not know mine. He has no clue of my business experience, no does he know anything of my experience with home purchases. But because I do not know his business dealings I suggested that we have no evidence that Byron operated as a loan officer in a manner that indulged his apparent biases against non-Asian borrowers.

    Still, the whole reason we’re having this discussion is because of the post above, where Byron volunteers his history as a loan officer during the subprime lending boom to justify his value judgments about non-Asian poor people, specifically.

    Byron thinks non-Asian poor people can save for study aids for their children, or SAT prep courses, or whatever necessary to see their children succeed academically. If some non-Asian poor families do not save for these purposes, Byron thinks this happens because of culture. In his words:

    The key difference is culture, and many poor people themselves realize this. Some cultures stress saving and education more than others. A culture that stresses saving and education will have fewer poor people within a capitalist system. – BigWOWO

    Given all this, I wonder what Byron thinks we are supposed to say about all the non-Asian borrowers who came to his firm (or firms like his) for loans, after they saved money religiously according to their culture’s precepts, only to walk away with risky, ill-advised subprime loans that drained they family’s wealth over time because they were racially targeted by Byron’s industry. Subprime loans contributed to the greatest loss of financial wealth in Black history, so when a former subprime loan salesman waxes philosophical about how non-Asian poor borrowers need new cultural lessons, words like ‘irony’ don’t cover his disingenuousness.

    Like a loan shark who writes polemics on gambling addiction, Byron’s in no moral position to justify his controversial cultural determinism about non-Asian poor people with his history in real estate finance. But please understand – I’m NOT calling this racist.

    Ben Carson.

  40. @Snoopy,

    You are not making sense. Are you or are you not accusing Byron personally of something? Don’t waste your time writing long essays. Just come to the point. I find if I write short, there is less chance of logical mis-steps.

  41. John,

    Snoopy is playing the Chr dance. “I said it, but I didn’t really say it, and now I’ll just make a passing reference serving as an implication.”

    Snoopy,

    C’mon. I do know your business experiences. You don’t have the knowledge you’d have if you’d had the experience. You challenge ideas that everyone in the industry takes for granted. It’s like if someone points to a stethoscope and says, “What’s that?,” I know he’s not a doctor. You’re not refuting me or denying it because you know it’s true. Again, there’s nothing wrong with never having bought a home or run a business or been in sales. Lord knows there are a lot of interesting people with experience I don’t have. You probably have interesting experiences that I haven’t had. But let’s have an honest conversation here. You know nothing about what you’re trying to talk about.

    Given all this, I wonder what Byron thinks we are supposed to say about all the non-Asian borrowers who came to his firm (or firms like his) for loans, after they saved money religiously according to their culture’s precepts, only to walk away with risky, ill-advised subprime loans that drained they family’s wealth over time because they were racially targeted by Byron’s industry.

    Do you have any evidence that anyone was “targeted?” By my firm or anyone else’s firm?

    I’d tell you how salespeople typically prospect for clients, but you wouldn’t understand the subtleties.

  42. Sorry, man, but these are facts.

    Facts got left behind when this whole smear campaign began – don’t expect adherence to the facts to show up anytime soon.

  43. C’mon. I do know your business experiences. You don’t have the knowledge you’d have if you’d had the experience. You challenge ideas that everyone in the industry takes for granted. It’s like if someone points to a stethoscope and says, “What’s that?,” I know he’s not a doctor.

    ROFLMAO!!! Oh my god, you just killed him!

    You’re not refuting me or denying it because you know it’s true. Again, there’s nothing wrong with never having bought a home or run a business or been in sales. Lord knows there are a lot of interesting people with experience I don’t have. You probably have interesting experiences that I haven’t had.

    LMAO!!!! You just killed him twice!

    But let’s have an honest conversation here. You know nothing about what you’re trying to talk about.

    Oh no! You just covered him in spadefulls of dirt. XD

  44. You challenge ideas that everyone in the industry takes for granted. – BigWOWO

    You mean ideas believed in and supported by everyone in the real estate industry, an industry that has treated Blacks in a discriminatory manner at least since redlining, serves as your repository for better business practices? Really? You take ethical lessons from the industry responsible for this?

    Mortgage lenders like Countrywide and Wells Fargo sought out minority homebuyers for the heartbreakingly simple reason that, for decades, blacks had been denied mortgages on racial grounds, and were thus a ready-made market for the gonzo mortgage products of the mid-’00s. Banks replaced the old racist practice of redlining with “reverse redlining” — intensive marketing aimed at black neighborhoods in the name of extending home ownership to the historically excluded. Countrywide, which prided itself on being a dream factory for previously disadvantaged homebuyers, rolled out commercials showing canny black women talking their husbands into signing mortgages.

    At Wells Fargo, Elizabeth Jacobson, a former loan officer at the company, recently revealed — in an affidavit in a lawsuit by the City of Baltimore — that salesmen were encouraged to try to persuade black preachers to hold “wealth-building seminars” in their churches. For every loan that resulted from these seminars, whether to buy a new home or refinance one, Wells Fargo promised to donate $350 to the customer’s favorite charity, usually the church. (Wells Fargo denied any effort to market subprime loans specifically to blacks.) Another former loan officer, Tony Paschal, reported that at the same time cynicism was rampant within Wells Fargo, with some employees referring to subprimes as “ghetto loans” and to minority customers as “mud people.” – Barbara Ehrenreich and Derrick Muhammad, The Recession’s Racial Divide, September 12, 2009

    No wonder your foul racial views on non-Asian poor people persist to this day.

    But as always Byron, you are not a racist. Ben Carson.

  45. James

    If you could put your hysterics aside briefly, do you have any evidence for your slanderous accusation that Byron targeted blacks with bad loans? Or is it evidence enough that he dared to read a book by a black conservative that you have racially denigrated in the other thread?

    Or don’t you need evidence to make wild, unsubstantiated, and legally serious accusations because Hysterics?

  46. I’m confused, is Snoopy accusing Bryon of discriminating blacks by rejecting too much applications (credit rating too low) AND approving too much applications (high risk loans) at the same time?

  47. @N,

    I am not sure but I think snoopy is making some serious accusations that Byron pushed Blacks towards subprime loans instead of regular non-subprime ones (??). Snoopy is not very forthcoming with what he actually wants to say.

    I am kind of curious though. What is Snoopy’s major? He writes a lot but fails to make a clear point. I mean that guy can write, I will give you that.

  48. N

    Who knows? I’m not even sure Snoopy knows what he is trying to say. Nevertheless, it is a hugely serious allegation to make against someone that could have major legal repercussions. What is certain is that you can get into a lot of trouble for smearing people with unfounded and unsupported allegations of legal and financial misdeeds.

  49. If you could put your hysterics aside briefly, do you have any evidence for your slanderous accusation that Byron targeted blacks with bad loans? Or is it evidence enough that he dared to read a book by a black conservative that you have racially denigrated in the other thread? – Ben Efsaneyim

    My only accusation is that, as I wrote before, we have no evidence that Byron used his former position to act on his apparent bias against non-Asian poor borrowers. If you think that’s slanderous, enjoy.

    And I respect the fact that he thinks so highly of Dr. Carson that he peppers his diatribes against the non-Asian poor with Carson quotes. Dr. Carson’s a strong Black conservative willing to take on the liberal media and those pesky Black liberals with common sense perceptions of what Black America can do to improve itself.

    You know, I too have read Dr. Carson. As a child, I read Gifted Hands and Think Big regularly. I still own these books. His is an amazing story of grit and determination and independent thinking. I’m glad Byron’s read Dr. Carson, a man who came by his conservatism honestly, and I hope he reads and reviews more of his work.

    Though I would never express my respect for Dr. Carson’s views by including errant quotes from him in online takedowns of racial and class demographics unlike my own, Byron’s free to insulate himself from charges of prejudice however he sees fit. Remember, Byron’s just trying to help. He couldn’t have known how bad the subprime lending crisis was going to be. Alan Greenspan didn’t know! He’s just sitting at his desk, processing paperwork, making sure the trains run on time.

    Why? Because Byron’s not a racist. Ben Carson.

  50. Sengge,

    Snoopy makes it too easy!

    N:

    That’s the problem with the Impractical Left. If you don’t close loans for black people, you’re discriminating. If you close too many, you’re preying. The only way you get a pass with these people is to go through life without doing anything. They would only get behind me if I sat on my couch and collected welfare while pretending to save ten dollars for an SAT book.

    Ben,

    That’s the way these people roll. They keep trying to throw things until something sticks. Nothing here is sticking, and that’s frustrating if you come from their school of thought. If he’d bother to read Ben Carson, he’d know that Ben Carson isn’t all that conservative. But nuance means nothing when you’re an extremist or when you’ve got nothing of substance to say on an issue.

    By the way, I find it ironic that we’re talking about business ethics in mortgages here while we’re also wondering about journalistic ethics in libel.

    Snoops:

    You mean ideas believed in and supported by everyone in the real estate industry, an industry that has treated Blacks in a discriminatory manner at least since redlining, serves as your repository for better business practices? Really? You take ethical lessons from the industry responsible for this?

    Well, in a word, yes.

    While I’m not sold on your liberal fantasy that the entire real estate industry is racist and out to get you and your people, I think it’s common sense that industry veterans are teaching ethics in the industry, rather than journalists who only caught wind of the industry in the last few years. It’s just common sense to listen to people with know what they’re talking about, whether about mortgages or about fighting poverty. That’s why I listen to Ben Carson. 🙂

  51. @Snoopy,

    For the love of GOD why do you write this
    “My only accusation is that, as I wrote before, we have no evidence that Byron used his former position to act on his apparent bias against non-Asian poor borrowers. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270762

    AND then this
    “He couldn’t have known how bad the subprime lending crisis was going to be. Alan Greenspan didn’t know! He’s just sitting at his desk, processing paperwork, making sure the trains run on time. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270762

    You are turning me into a religious person. There must have been an intelligent creator that sat down, and designed the neural networks in your brain. The probability that something like your neural network and Chr’s neural network arose from just entropy maximization is so minuscule that for two such events to occur, would require us to significantly (And I mean SIGNIFICANTLY) reevaluate our estimate of the age of the known universe.

  52. My only accusation is that, as I wrote before, we have no evidence that Byron used his former position to act on his apparent bias against non-Asian poor borrowers. If you think that’s slanderous, enjoy. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270760

    Excuse me? You made an accusation that you have no evidence that Byron used his former position for legal misdeeds? I’m glad that makes sense to you because in the real world it probably won’t fly. I will be happy to quote all of the allegations you have made – they are further up the thread in black and white for anyone who cares to read them. Posting a pathetic disclaimer after the fact doesn’t really change that.

    But whatever, it’s Byron’s blog and he is free to react to your hysterical smearing as he sees fit.

  53. My only accusation is that, as I wrote before, we have no evidence that Byron used his former position to act on his apparent bias against non-Asian poor borrowers. If you think that’s slanderous, enjoy.

    In Vietnam, for even talking like this you would be called a fucking faggot and beaten until the shit left your body involuntarily.

    But that would be wrong because even faggots have displayed more fucking courage and integrity than you have.

  54. Ben:

    But whatever, it’s Byron’s blog and he is free to react to your hysterical smearing as he sees fit.

    I agree with you. What James is saying is clearly wrong–possibly illegal. Libel is serious. I was thinking the same thing when I read Jenn’s post about “superiority”–she was accusing me of things I didn’t say. I think what she posted might even be illegal. If we assume that James and Jenn know that what they wrote isn’t true, they’re both clearly unethical attacks, far worse than anything I ever did during the subprime boom. But then again, that’s the question–do they really know what they’re writing?

    I’m trying not to be too much of a blog overlord. I have a feeling it’s all going to pass. I’m not sure what the best way to deal with it is. At the root of it, I’m just not sure that Snoopy really understands what he himself is writing.

  55. James: “Black culture is perfect. I don’t know about Chang or Whitey’s culture, but black culture in all its forms is perfect and unassailable. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, and neither myself, a well-educated, upper-middle class black ivy league grad, nor any other black person should take responsibility for our community. I mean, there’s an explanation, a 100% attributable answer for why blacks score the lowest of all the ethnicities on the SATs, have the lowest median income, and have the highest crime rate.

    Because racism.

    Oh, and there’s no way I’m racist or biased against Asians, even though I don’t want the ivies to be ‘rampantly’ Asian American, and I’ve repeatedly accused Asian Americans of having some sort of ‘Asian privilege’ and condemned without evidence that tons of Asians bear some sort of simmering hatred toward blacks.

    Because Jenn Fang. Mine. Since Cornell.”

  56. Byron

    Yep, those are some pretty serious allegations that have been thrown around by James, and the liberties that Jenn has taken with her version of the things you have said seems deliberate. Whether they have crossed the line into unlawfulness I don’t know – James seems to have gotten pretty close though.

    I would just ignore their hysterics and stay rational – they hate that.

  57. It must be nice to live in a world where you can declare entire industries racist because there were some bad actors driven by greed.

    Strange though, that it isn’t incumbent upon people entering financial arrangements running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to know what their financial obligations and responsibilities are.

    Let’s face it. Everybody was greedy. Borrowers, lenders, investors. All of them. Everyone thought housing prices would keep going up. In the end, people lost homes and jobs, financial institutions went belly up, and investors lost money. This was hardly some racist conspiracy to rob black people.

  58. Kevin, intention is irrelevant. Subprime lending during the housing boom led to arguably the largest collective financial loss ever suffered by Black America. Further, the real estate industry has a long and sordid history of discrimination and unjust treatment of Black Americans. Subprime lending is just the latest example.

    None of this means that individual loan officers are driven by race prejudice. Not even Byron, who has outlined his qualms with non-Asian poor people in rich detail above. No, working in an industry while that industry offers horrible financial products specifically to Black and Latino borrowers of all income groups, then later volunteering details about your racial bias against said groups in public does NOT make a person racist, and offers no evidence at all of any unfair treatment of these clients, based on race or any other factor. To state otherwise is libel, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Ben Carson.

  59. @Snoopy,

    Try this one for size. I have faced racism from Blacks and Whites. Racism from Whites has been subtle. Racism from Blacks have been very overt, and mean spirited. You can bin these Blacks as flaming racists. So, by your standard I guess I am supposed to bin ALL Blacks as flaming racists by association.

  60. Ben,

    Yeah, I know. The thing is that people of Snoopy’s mindset never take personal responsibility for their actions. They see themselves as above that. Even here, you’ll note that he thinks I’m guilty for WORKING in an industry where some bad things may have happened. But in the Ferguson discussion, instead of condemning the looters who were robbing business owners of all races, our good friend attacked ChineseMom instead for criticizing the looters. If you can’t criticize a criminal for robbing and looting and stealing just because he’s black, then if you’re unlikely to see any problem with libel if the guilty party is black. It’s much easier to just blame Chang and Whitey.

    That’s exactly the point I’ve been making all along. Some people walk through life with different standards for different races. It’s like they’ve got Affirmative Action Goggles.

    Snoopy:

    Subprime lending during the housing boom led to arguably the largest collective financial loss ever suffered by Black America. Further, the real estate industry has a long and sordid history of discrimination and unjust treatment of Black Americans. Subprime lending is just the latest example.

    Translation: Those EVIL racist real estate agents. Evil Chang and Whitey with their real estate signs and fancy business cards. I’m so angry at them that I’m NEVER gonna buy a home. Nor will I ever run my own business. Ever.

  61. John, it’s useless to continue to try to reason with James Lamb. In his mind, blacks and black culture can do no wrong. Every single thing “bad” associated with blacks or their culture can be attributed to evil racist wrongdoing of others. I’ve been following this discussion on the sidelines, and James has attacked essentially every single opposing poster with the exception of King, a fellow black guy. Guys like James/aka snoopy are tribal to the bone and see everything in a race-oriented fashion; anything that deviates from that reality will be ignored, logic or not. It’s definitely a type of psychosis that can only be fixed by a professional. He’s devolved so much over the past several days after being owned by everyone here that he’s reduced to trolling Byron’s website. I mean, he’s doing a crap job, as he’s accustomed to in all walks of life he participates in, but he’s trying his utmost, nonetheless. And oh yeah:

    Jesus was black. So are all the angels.

  62. Oh, and whichever credible african american person who critiques black culture is a conservative puppet used by the white man. I mean, none of them can have my community’s interests in mind – James Lamb.

    FYI, the tone and honesty in chinesemom’s verbal lashing of James is exactly what he should’ve been exposed to as a child. It reminds of the brutally genuine and direct way in which my own parents would straighten me out growing up. Maybe James wouldn’t have turned out to be such a dumb, disingenuous, useless parody of an existence if he had experienced the same sort of upbringing and hadn’t been coddled throughout his life. He doesn’t even understand that race is thought of in a completely different fashion in China, and to accuse her of being racist without understanding anything about her perspective is straight stupidity.

  63. Even here, you’ll note that he thinks I’m guilty for WORKING in an industry where some bad things may have happened. – Byron

    Byron, you’re not guilty for working in the real estate industry. You’re guilty of characterizing poor people differently by race in the post above, after admitting that you pre-qualified poor people for subprime loans during the housing boom. No one begrudges you for making a living, but after we’ve all seen subprime loans make so many poor people worse off financially, I don’t know how you can lecture non-Asian poor folk on financial literacy and cultural change.

    It’s a simple calculus – you traded on your experiences with subprime lending in the post above to describe differences between Asian and non-Asian poor borrowers. In your estimation, Asians embody frugality and financial stability, and everyone else lives beyond their means, owns televisions and computers, and raises children out of wedlock. I find this characterization prejudiced. I don’t know your experiences, and unlike you, I’m not going to speculate. But what you wrote in your post was ill-advised. After reading this post, it would be reasonable for non-Asian poor people to distrust your judgement as a loan officer.

    As for ChineseMom, her very presence on this site makes a mockery of your comment policy. There’s nothing she can’t say about Black people. I would never have believed that you were capable of correcting anyone for their anti-Black language had I not reviewed your interaction with SuperAsianPrivilege, but you only disagreed with one of his 10 theses. (Besides, King labeled him a racist, so it must be true.) The bottom line is that you sincerely believe yourself supportive of non-Asian poor people, even as you, by your own admission, pre-qualified poor people for subprime loans of all things.

    Well Byron, subprime loans ripped Black people off. Yeah, I said it: subprime loans ripped Black people off. If that’s the background you bring to discuss the non-Asian poor, that’s your problem. I’m a guest in your space, and I’ve tried to respect your site. But I disagree with practically everyone else here, because while I generally oppose dissing Black culture, and I very much oppose mis-characterizing Black people, I absolutely abhor ripping Black people off.

    So fine. I’m not well-liked. Okay. As long as I’m here, I’m going to point out every falsehood, manipulated datum, outright lie, and bigoted hate speech I see against Black people. Every time. Don’t expect my stamina to wane. Don’t expect your ignorance about my past and present to have any effect. Byron, as long as I’m a guest on your site, I’m going to tell you directly where I think prejudice has overruled your reason. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just getting warmed up.

    Don’t call it trolling. Call it perseverance. I too have read my share of Ben Carson.

  64. @Snoopy,

    “I don’t know your experiences, and unlike you, I’m not going to speculate. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270812

    He finally sees the light. Thats what I am talking about. The way to counter what Byron is saying does not extend to all people is to not speculation but with data. Do not go making accusations you cannot prove.

    I actually don’t know if financial companies maintain racial profile on people’s credit score.

    “Don’t call it trolling.”

    Its called trolling when you start claiming ordinary Black people subsidize Asian college tuition, and you talk about rampant Asians in colleges.

  65. @Snoopy,

    Besides no trolling, don’t go calling yourself an intellectual, Black or otherwise (I know you called yourself a Black intellectual). Its just a tad bit arrogant.

  66. Of course intent matters. If sub-prime loans came into existence in order to strictly target prospective black homeowners, then yes, the sale and marketing of such loans would be racist. But that’s not the case. Sub-prime loans were a product that existed to facilitate home ownership for individuals with less that stellar credit. If there’s some evidence that people of other racial groups with bad credit were given prime loans, I’d love to see it, but I find it highly unlikely. No financial institution is going to remain in business for long if they make it a point to disregard credit risk on the basis of race. The fact that a lot of black folks were caught up in it is largely a function of their income and credit profiles. Were there unscrupulous brokers? Yeah. I don’t really doubt that some shitty people took borderline cases and opted to push the sub-prime loan instead of the higher quality loan. But the mere existence of sub-prime loans isn’t a conspiracy to steal from the poor. It’s just credit pricing in action.

    With respect to your spat with Byron, the only thing I’d say is that the comment about the third/fourth baby daddy was irrelevant and mean spirited, so if that was off-putting, I get it. Besides that, all he was doing was stating his personal observations while working as a mortgage broker. I think it’s ridiculous to attribute someone’s observations as a manifestation of racism unless you can somehow demonstrate that the person is lying about it to a further a false point. And trying to associate the legal sale of sub-prime loans to redlining doesn’t make sense, as I’ve tried to point out above. At the end of the day, these were agreements being signed by adults. Maybe you feel differently, but I don’t hold the poor to a different standard of due diligence than ordinary folk. Byron sold loans that people had to consent to. He wasn’t selling drugs to kids on a street corner.

  67. @ Snoopy

    “Well Byron, subprime loans ripped Black people off. Yeah, I said it: subprime loans ripped Black people off. If that’s the background you bring to discuss the non-Asian poor, that’s your problem. I’m a guest in your space, and I’ve tried to respect your site.”

    But surely you must see that this is not a good argument, given the conditions of the sub-prime bubble collapse. It’s like saying, the sinking of the Titanic drowned Black people The truth is that subprime loans ripped off EVERYBODY in the end, not just Black people.

    – They ripped off wealthy stock brokers
    – They ripped off gigantic insurance companies
    – They ripped off elderly White people, wiping out their retirement
    – They ripped off Asians

    There were so many people who were “ripped off” that it just doesn’t hold water to point to one particular race, as if everyone else was not also very badly effected. International corporations collapsed, millions of people of all colors lost their jobs. Nations reeled as their economies were forced into involuntary austerity measures. You can’t honestly make something this big, and with this much fallout simply a case of attacking Black people.

  68. John,

    I actually don’t know if financial companies maintain racial profile on people’s credit score.

    I don’t think financial companies do, but regulatory agencies track this stuff. How do I know? We learned this during training. It’s fact. Regulatory agencies track that stuff because of lawsuits. We have to track it. We have to record it. Snoopy seems to think he’s a genius for pointing out stuff that has been around for the past fifty years, but the truth is that the housing industry is the most regulated industry in the country when it comes to race.

    Now I’d better stop mentioning data or Snoopy might jump in and start railing once again against those “racist” companies. Data is racist. Numbers are racist.

    Snoopy,

    As I explained before, I’m not speculating. Your lack of knowledge in this area is a giveaway. But again, that’s fine. Talk about something you do know. People on this board have read your opinions in areas where you know nothing, so I’m sure we’d all be willing to hear your opinions on the familiar stuff as well. Tell us something that you know. Hint: Don’t tell us something you read in the liberal media.

    ChineseMom gave you some tough love. I have to agree with GuitarDude. You’ve got a really thin skin. You’d crumble under Tiger Parenting. You’re not as bad as Jenn–I’ll grant you that–but you’re too easily offended. You need to learn to take criticism a little bit better and stop taking everything so personally. If you think ChineseMom is wrong about something, tell her. Try to say something without playing the race card. And yes, you’re tribal. All black people are saints in your eyes. You need to ask yourself if that’s a reasonable position to hold.

    About the comment policy: No one insulted your race. Some criticized aspects of some parts of some black cultures (not all black cultures), but that’s not against the comment policy. You see it as an attack on your race, but that’s your emotions talking, not reality.

    1. We criticize culture here, including Asian and white culture.
    2. We don’t believe in affirmative action and lowering standards for people of different races. We don’t have affirmative action for black culture. So,
    3. Why should black culture get a free pass?

    The only one who is breaking the comment policy is you, who made some obtrusive but unsubstantiated posts about me. You’re math is really bad, and you’ve redefined English words to suit your own agenda–failure to comprehend simple logic is against blog policy, which is why Chr is on the moderation list.

    So if you’re wondering why you get away with your shenanigans, the short answer is that it’s not my style to act like the blog traffic cop. I’m not easily offended, which is why I’m so good at what I do. 🙂

  69. Oh, and about Chr being on the moderation list–I just checked out Reappropriate, and it looks like he’s found a new home. Send Jenn my thanks for taking that poor puppy off my hands!

  70. “2. We don’t believe in affirmative action…”

    I do, but not when it comes to education. In business.I think it still makes sense.

  71. I think I believe in affirmative action for minority/government contracts. Not sure about hiring though.

    King, I just came up with a good podcasting topic. I’ll e-mail you. Snoopy, if you’re still in, I’ll get that to you too. It’ll take me a day or so.

  72. You’re guilty of characterizing poor people differently by race in the post above, after admitting that you pre-qualified poor people for subprime loans during the housing boom. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270838

    Why do keep insisting on making a mountain out of a molehill? There is no moral – or legal – transgression in noticing that the Asian immigrant poor seemed to be in a better position credit-wise. Byron even criticized liberal attitudes for demeaning the non-Asian poor as hapless, clueless, and helpless losers who have no sense enough to pull themselves out of the economic mire. He said this…..

    They think of the poor as passive victims who live in constant fear. This just isn’t true…Almost all of them have vibrant lives, lives that are often more colorful than anything the ethnic media would conceive. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#sthash.QEP0BWyR.dpuf

    Later, he describes the poor as quite capable of finding legal ways to meet the requirements for loans. In other words, he thinks that the non-Asian poor are far more dynamic and capable than your narrow and demeaning view of them would suggest. So, what is he guilty of now? We have already established that you have slandered Byron with completely unfounded allegations of racist and financial misdeeds, and now you are (bizarrely) trying to backtrack from your borderline illegal behaviour by misrepresenting what he wrote – because hysterics.

    And you are still trying to tarnish his reputation by using your misrepresentations of what he wrote to imply there is good reason to distrust his professional integrity. Do you even think before you write, or do you have so much privilege that you are confident that you can evade the legal consequences of slander?

    I think that Byron has been very generous with you despite your snipey attempts to ruin his professional reputation, accusations of personal moral bankruptcy, and attempted character assassination. If it was me, I would be taking screen-shots of all your comments as well as the misrepresentations from Jenn’s post – and keeping a file. Just in case.

    Byron,
    Sub-prime loans can actually serve a good purpose by giving credit and the opportunity for home ownership to people who otherwise would not qualify. I benefitted from such a loan to buy my house. I refinanced to a sub-prime mortgage that had an extremely low interest rate that brought my monthly payment down from $1000 to $525 for several years, during which I was able to save. At the end of that period the loan was supposed to revert to a floating interest rate, so I just refinanced again, kept my monthly payment down, and made a plan to sell before the loan reverted back to a floating rate.

    The plan worked and I made a nice nest-egg from the sale on top of all the extra cash I was able to save.

  73. “I think I believe in affirmative action for minority/government contracts. Not sure about hiring though.”

    -Government contracts with minority owned businesses (DBEs) is probably the most compelling case for Affirmative Action.

    -But I think I can lay out a very compelling case for why it’s also still needed in workplace hiring and recruitment.

    -And as you know, I agree that it’s not a very good idea in education.

    Byron, I emailed you on the podcast.

  74. Byron, your interest in cultural explanations for social phenomena is the major problem with your blog. All the coarse language and rampant groupthink here present symptoms of the larger problem: because you so often use “culture” to explain human actions, you do not interrogate the various social and economic pressures people face. You’re completely ignorant of systemic sociological pressures Byron; so much so, you thought nothing of launching a diatribe into poverty using personal information that associated you with one of the worst financial losses poor people have suffered in recent memory.

    We didn’t need to know that you pre-qualified poor people for subprime loans. But it’s telling – you and your sycophants on this site require personal anecdotes for evidence to the exclusion of all other data because you all already realize that observed sociological, political, and economic trends do not lend themselves toward the cultural arguments you prize.

    The worst part of your writing Byron, is that it amounts to empty rhetoric. Culture isn’t an explanation, it’s a euphemism for race. Saying “Blacks generate poor SAT scores because culture,” is no different and no less bigoted than saying “Blacks generate poor SAT scores because they’re Black.” There’s no cultural explanation for why Asian Americans vote at lower rates than individuals from other groups; most politicians left, right, and center don’t speak to Asian American issues or request their support. There’s no cultural explanation for relatively high Asian American standardized test scores; a self-selected population with more college degree holders immigrates to America, achieves middle and upper middle class economic stability, and tries to preserve that stability with adequate focus on education in the home. We’ve seen this elsewhere: Nigerian immigrant families offer the same educational advancement model, and no one runs around trying to promote ‘Nigerian parenting’.

    And there’s no cultural explanation for minority poverty. Yesterday’s Thomas B. Edsall NY Times column, What Makes People Poor?, quotes William Julius Wilson, the famous sociologist and author of the landmark 1989 book, The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, The Underclass, and Public Policy:

    If underclass blacks have limited aspirations or fail to plan for the future, it is not ultimately the product of different cultural norms but the consequence of restricted opportunities, a bleak future, and feelings of resignation from bitter personal experience. Accordingly, behavior described as socially pathological and associated with the ghetto underclass should be analyzed not as cultural aberration but as a symptom of class and racial inequality. – William Julius Wilson, The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, The Underclass, and Public Policy, quoted by Thomas B. Edsall, September 2, 2014

    Wilson’s no buddy of liberal perceptions of race and poverty; in a 1993 essay also quoted in Edsall’s column, he chided liberals who dismissed with prejudice the 1965 “Moynihan Report” as particularly shortsighted. The fear of the appearance of public chastisement of inner-city living through research, Wilson argues, allows unwanted consequences to flourish. Quoting Wilson again:

    This left the study of ghetto social dislocations to conservative analysts who, without the benefit of actual research in the inner city, put their own peculiar stamp on the problem, so much that the dominant image of the underclass became one of people with serious character flaws entrenched by a welfare subculture and who have only themselves to blame for their social position in society. – William Julius Wilson, quoted by Thomas B. Edsall, September 2, 2014

    This is the exact dynamic at work on this site, Byron. Your post above ascribes serious character flaws to Black culture and ignores the rampant and far-reaching class and race inequalities that contribute to behaviors people like yourself find aberrant, counterproductive, and self-defeating. Individual actions imposed by the difficulties of living with poverty are misinterpreted on this site by you and your sycophants as evidence of a cultural malaise that doesn’t exist, and would not explain the trials of poor people if it did.

    Black culture doesn’t explain why a woman gives birth to multiple children fathered by multiple men. You can’t blame sweet potato pie and Al Green records for that woman’s choices. We can, I think, observe that social consequence and have a useful discussion about government encouragement of single parenthood in lower income communities, through tax and social safety net statutes.

    But if we have that substantive conversation Byron, your personal past cannot enter the conversation. None of us should know that you were a subprime mortgage lender, of all things! Your employment history is your business; when your personal background is your only evidence for your claims, you have no evidence for your claims and you beg others to evaluate you personally. Don’t get me wrong: we can continue down this hilarious and unhelpful path, but then the only people willing to follow the conversation are yes men like Sengge, whose lips are so close to your colon he might as well be a second stomach. And that’s just sad.

    Look, if you’re interested in a serious conversation on issues like affirmative action, poverty, and race, I’m confident that you, King (a lone independent voice in this space), and I can have that discussion, either here on in a podcast. If you’d rather trade insults until you lose steam, we can do that too. Your choice, but I think we both know which option Ben Carson would pick.

  75. @Snoopy,
    “Culture isn’t an explanation, it’s a euphemism for race. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270865

    More Gems From the mind of Snoopy. Yup, Hispanic is a race. Got that. Camaron Diaz and sport shooter Chris Cheng are clearly from the same race.

    So, you are telling me you still cannot decide Asian group behavior of low voter turnout is cultural or genetics?

  76. More anti-Asian remarks from Snoopy

    “King (a lone independent voice in this space), and I can have that discussion, either here on in a podcast. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270869

    Only Blacks are individuals. Asians are just carbon copies of each other. No wonder he hates to see the rampant takeover of college spots by the Asian horde.
    I feel sorry for your family and friends to keep up with such a delusional person.

  77. Snoopy:

    Culture isn’t an explanation, it’s a euphemism for race.

    – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270868

    You and your war with the dictionary and the American language. Pop open the dictionary sometime, Snoopy, and see what the word “culture” really means. That’s how people here are using it. It’s not a euphemism for race. It’s a word with actual meaning.

    By the way, you totally ignored the question I asked long ago: What did Malcolm do at Norfolk Prison Colony?

    But if we have that substantive conversation Byron, your personal past cannot enter the conversation. None of us should know that you were a subprime mortgage lender, of all things! Your employment history is your business; when your personal background is your only evidence for your claims, you have no evidence for your claims and you beg others to evaluate you personally.

    What is this war that you and Jenn have against experience? I don’t get it. Your girlfriend said that poor people can’t afford to save $10 over a lifetime, probably because she’s never met a poor person. That’s ignorant and insulting. We even had a couple of formerly poor people on this site correct her. Her view is based on a middle class person’s ignorance on the condition of poverty in the U.S. Despite writing about poor people over and over, she has never bothered to actually speak to one, which is really ignorant. If you’ve read about Ben Carson, you know that his views are based on his personal experience. If you read about any historical figure, you’d know that their views are based on experience. The reason I can’t talk to you about homeownership or business ownership is that you don’t share the same experience, and therefore don’t have the same knowledge.

    Black culture doesn’t explain why a woman gives birth to multiple children fathered by multiple men.

    So what explains it? Chang and Whitey?

    I’m interesting in hearing your theory about why culture doesn’t explain lots of women (not just “a woman”) giving birth to multiple children fathered by multiple men which impacts the lives of their kids. I just e-mailed you the podcast itinerary. King is in too. Let me know your schedule.

  78. Thanks, Ben.

    That’s basically the story. I’m identifying the strong points that poor people as a group have. I’m not making ignorant statements like the poor can’t save $10 over a lifetime. I know poor people. I think it’s a lot more helpful to accurately describe the community rather than to build elaborate theories on ignorant extrapolations from the privileged ivory tower (“we need racial preferences at Stuyvesant because there is no way a poor kid can find a way to buy a $10 book.”). The Liberal Narrative treats black people and poor people as eternal victims. It’s completely wrong.

    Rather than acknowledging his lack of experience, Snoopy is attacking me for having that experience. If you see his new comment above, now he’s even gone as far to attack the value of experience itself.

    It’s a well documented fact that Asians have higher credit scores as a group, regardless of income level. That’s something that has been reported–not just by me. Where my experience plays a role is that I have firsthand experience in seeing it. That’s knowledge that neither he nor Jenn has. You would think they’d be thankful to have someone set them straight, but since it directly contradicts their fiction of the poor stuck in passive victimhood, they react emotionally.

    I know it’s frustrating to see this, but as for legal recourse, there’s no point. I’m not a litigious person nor a hateful or vengeful person, but what would I do anyway? Go after James for his home? Go after his business? I can’t go after his Cornell degree because he can’t sell it.

    About subprime loans: That’s exactly right. I happen to know people whom I HELPED with subprime loans. I wasn’t a subprime specialist–most of my sales were prime loans–but you’re right, they made sense for the right borrower. Some of these borrowers you get to know for years–they’d apply and wouldn’t qualify, but I stayed in touch as they tried to make things better. A year later, they’d apply again, and this time, either because of different changes or different products, they’d qualify.

    But there’s no point trying to explain this to a non-homeowner who goes primarily by what he reads in the media. He doesn’t have the experience. James thinks it’s just a matter of signing a paper or doing an online application where you sit down, sign a sheet of paper, and become a homeowner 15 minutes later. He has no point of reference.

  79. I know it’s frustrating to see this, but as for legal recourse, there’s no point. I’m not a litigious person nor a hateful or vengeful person, but what would I do anyway? Go after James for his home? Go after his business? I can’t go after his Cornell degree because he can’t sell it. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-270874

    Do it for the priceless look on his face when you win the case!
    🙂

  80. I haven’t read the whole thread yet, nor do I think I’ll have the time right now. But there was a recent article about how a dude changed only 1 letter from his name on his resume without any other changes and he got like 10x more interviews.

    He simply removed the “s” from “Jose”

    Think on that one… And also the fact “ethnic sounding” names like LaShonda, Shaniqua or Monique has always been discriminated against…

  81. You know people, this isn’t really a hard battle. I just think you guys aren’t experienced with handling leftists. The key here is to take away his unfounded premises via reframing.

    Snoopy, you can keep avoiding me if you like, but let me strike at the core of your beliefs:

    1. Bigotry, racism, coarse language, and “groupthink” can all be reflective of the truth. I suspect you characterize the comments here that way because they offend you, and I suspect they offend you because they contain an element of truth.

    2. Your assertion that social explanations account for black failure is problematic. It ignores genetics and culture. Until you can demonstrate that sociological literature on such is not influenced by left wing idealism, there is no reason to assume that all those things don’t play a role.

    3. One could just as easily claim that black failure, whatever is innate to it, contributes to the dismal conditions blacks face instead of the other way around. There is no reason to believe both factors don’t feed into each other. I.e you are a loser because you are poor, but you’re also poor because you’re a loser.

    4. Remove relativism. This is a tactic engineered by the left to prop up their weak positions by making them appear equally valid. You cannot assume that your opinion, or the liberal opinion, is as valuable, truthful or objective as the opposing opinion. In this scope of this conversation, yours are in the wrong, as evidenced by your need to constantly repeat yours own fallacies despite being proven wrong. Your verbose black man persona may impress the whites in college, but not in the real world.

    See, if the left is stripped of their preconceptions, they are left with the naked root of leftism: Emotion.

    In the countless times I’ve cut to the bone, the end result is always the same.

    “You’re a hater”
    “You’re a sociopath”
    “You have no compassion”
    “You have no morals”

    But I’m still right.

  82. @SAP,

    Let me respond to some of your comments as it pertains to you specifically. I mean YOU.

    “1. Bigotry, racism, coarse language, and “groupthink” can all be reflective of the truth. … I suspect they offend you because they contain an element of truth. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-271070

    How do you square the European characterization of someone like your grandparents with reality? Were they indeed dumb and ugly?

    “2. Your assertion that social explanations account for black failure is problematic. It ignores genetics and culture.- See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-271070

    Lets not worry about what the Black or Asian IQ is. What is your IQ? Would it matter to you personally if your IQ is not as high as the high achievers of your race?

    I can tell you, for myself, I am stuck with whatever IQ I have. I have to work with what I got independent of what others in my race are doing.

    “3. One could just as easily claim that black failure, whatever is innate to it, contributes to the dismal conditions blacks face instead of the other way around. – See more at: http://www.bigwowo.com/2014/09/how-poor-americans-actually-live-or-how-to-deal-with-reality/#comment-271070

    The same thing can be applied to YOU specifically. Even if we assume your ethnic culture is superior to anybody else’s, do you thing YOU will be successful just for being from that race or culture? If no, what you say has no real significance in your life.

    I consider myself to be on the left, and the American center to be to the way into the right. So, by your logic it that makes me incapable of logic. If you cannot prove that statement, your statement is false.

  83. Some people make bad arguments, but you’re not even on point

    -The Europeans were wrong, does that make every offensive thing wrong? Nope
    -Yes it matters whether or not I’m intelligent, doesn’t it always? I work with what I got, just like you. That’s got nothing to do with what I said
    -Wasn’t the point that culture and inborn ability affect each other? You didn’t even read what I said

    Now I admit that after a lifetime of dealing with far leftists my concept of what is left or right may be skewed, but judging from what I’ve seen you write you’d be a moderate at best in the eyes of the fruitcakes I argue with

  84. Is it?
    Very well, I’ll ban myself until I remember this site again

    And the ‘beware of male privilege’ in the FAQ – that is some teenage white girl tumblr bullshit right there Byron, c’mon

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  86. This is something that people might find interesting:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/10/16/she-bought-a-sofa-on-installment-payments-now-its-straining-her-life/

    “They were perpetually behind with their Buddy’s installments and had taken to skipping one week and then catching up, with a $5 late fee rolled in. To make matters worse, those payment trips to Buddy’s put them eye to eye with more temptations. One week, they added a smartphone to their order. Another week, some Samsung speakers. And suddenly, the weekly payments to Buddy’s were $110.”

    These people are among the working poor in the United States. You notice that they’re not worried about skipping a meal to afford a ten dollar book. THIS is the reality that I was talking about in the OP.

    It’s not about condemning or criticizing people; it’s about raising questions about how people can help themselves. It’s about acknowledging reality. It’s about thinking intelligently about the world we live in.

  87. Meh … cultural difference. Can’t pay for a sofa, will sit on the floor. No shame in that. Put a futon on the floor, and some pillows it would work just as well. White people problem.

  88. Yup, and as you notice, they didn’t profile any Asian people for the story. They probably couldn’t find an Asian family at Buddy’s, nor could they find one that bought a trailer home. An Asian family in this situation would probably squeeze all four family members into a 700 s.f. rented apartment–and share it with another four person family. They’d sit on the floor, and rather than have speakers, they’d just have grandma sing.

    We’re not all culturally the same. It’s just a fact. People from different cultures and different histories have different experiences. Occam’s Razor once again.

  89. On some levels it’s not something to be proud of that Asians can pennypinch and squeeze by. Because of the recent immigrant status (no green cards) and lack of access to resources, Asians got to make do with whatever they can.

    However, the story is different for most of those whites and even blacks since they have access to government services. I’d suspect recent Hispanic immigrants (not merely Latino or Chicano) are probably similar to Asian immigrants.

    I know several Asian American guys who live off government assistance and social security disability and they seem about the same in terms of expecting some level of “privilege” to have iPhones and big screen tvs…

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  93. The fact that after the work you did taking advantage of people, part of a system that ultimately failed, and on the other side all you can say is that it is Bad Culture to blame for people being, i mean seemingly unable to save is ludicrous in the extreme!! That is like me going into peace corp abroad and then turning around and wanting to tell those same people why they suck and how their problems are the fault of their cultural failings. You have No stake in the community, No desire to learn history, No real investment in commentary or solutions to the overarching problems, and worst of all, No real desire to say anything useful beyond linguistic finger-wagging. Just shameful and such a waste of time.

  94. Putting people in houses and helping them build equity for their retirement is “taking advantage?” I call it “responsible.” And yes, there’s a hierarchy there when we’re comparing people who don’t pay their bills vs. those who do. If you think that’s “finger-wagging,” you’re part of the problem.

  95. Curious, very curious, that Mr. Hernandez didn’t ever mention poor kids skipping meals to buy books.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/how-i-learned-to-take-the-sat-like-a-rich-kid.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

    But yes, it’s everything that those with experience know.

    Check out the comments. Again, even the comments verify what the rest of us know.

  96. Man, this one is brutal:

    I’m a minority from a middle class background who took the SAT’s in the early 2000’s. The author is right, at a public school nobody tells you what to do. Your parents also have no idea what to do. Poor kids have a lot of disadvantages. A lot. I would never send my kids to the crappy public school I went to, because virtually everything at a public school is unnecessarily difficult and third rate.

    At the same time… come on. I had internet access, even in 2000. I googled “how to get into college.” It told me to prep for the SATs, so I bought a book and did. Frankly, in today’s era of ubiquitous and universally accessible information, not prepping for the SATs is actually quite a useful marker for who should be admitted to an elite college – if you are 16 years old and you haven’t even looked into how to prepare for college admissions, then you probably aren’t intellectually curious enough to be there.

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