Sunday, January 31, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations- By Nicholas Kristof

       Land of Limitations written by Nicholas Kristof tells the life of one of his friends whom growing up, didn't have the chance for opportunity and also tells of how his friend Rick Goff tried to dig himself out of his upbringing.
       The Author, Nicholas Kristof argues that even with the great society in which America has become, the chance to make a living is not always present and depends on a variety of factors. One of the playing factors being that not only are race gaps causing concern for success but also class gaps are growing. I believe Kristof is explaining the idea that society has barriers in which people must overcome to lead successful lives but in more cases than not the people whom are less privileged have a difficult time making it. Such examples are present in American societies in which privilege is not prevalent and the struggle consumes them. The silenced dialogue for example by Lisa Delpit talks about how less privileged individuals and ones who are privileged differ in their demeanor and behavior. Delpits article is similar to Kristof because its shows the comparison of how there is a certain order for societal classes. Kristof speaks of his friend Rick Goff as a man who had talent but wasn't offered the greatest opportunity in his life because of his poor upbringing. In agreement with Kristof, I thought that the struggle in which Rick encountered early in his life limited him and his contributions to society. He had to care and tend to his brother and sisters and was not offered the support he needed in school. I thought Rick tried to make the best of his situations but was overburden by the responsibility of bills, household, raising children later in life and illnesses. As Kristof describes it "talent is universal, but opportunity is not." Personally, I believe in Kristof's points that opportunity in not universal because sometimes it just doesn't come. Others have made it through the barriers but it may be by chance that this occurs. Through his points Kristof presents statistics that support his claims such as this "a child born in the bottom quintile has only a four percent chance of rising to the top quintile." Ultimately, this shows that making it from the bottom to the top is a lot less likely to happen and Kristof's argument for lack of opportunity is trustworthy and his presenting points are precise.                   
     One of the major questions that I was thinking about while reading Kristof article was "If some people were in the same position as Rick Goff and became successful how and why did they become successful? What did they do differently than Rick Goff? I thought both these questions would be good discussion points because coming from a lack of opportunity and privilege I'm sure it's hard to make it out, and if some people did it what was there change?