To my mind, and stay with me a moment while I piss off a number of special interest groups, BA was the victim of the university/industrial complex and the Feminist Marriage/Divorce Industrial complex. Herewith, BA in her own words:
Now, to be fair, Broke-Ass Grouch is neither Mexican nor was she poor until three years ago. Like many of you good-doers, Broke-Ass was raised by middle-class intellectuals to be a middle-class intellectual, and graduated from a snooty liberal arts college. Also, like many of you, she spent her career working at high-status, low-paying, terminally insecure work.To be fair, BA's first critical error - spending the present day value of $200k on a Liberal Arts college undergrad degree In English Literature - was made as a teenager. Having been a teenager myself I can sympathize endlessly. The family resources that went into an English Degree from Bennigton College could not have been more ill spent. Let's give BA a Mulligan for that critical error... and let us learn a lesson. If you are not rich, say liquid-after-tax net worth of $5mm+... don't let the University/Industrial complex extort a fortune for an education that could be had for a library card... $200k for an engineering degree from MIT might well be worth it; $100k for an engineering degree from Georgia Tech is most definitely worth it... knowing your Faust and Thoreau, et al? Not so much. Still, BA can turn a phrase. Somehow, I think she would have been better off with a mortgage free house and a State University degree than the Lit Degree from Bennington. Just saying.
More from BA:
Broke-Ass Grouch, like many in America, found herself abruptly cashless. Like many of the heretofore liberal elite, she had been trained exclusively in a non-essential trade (writing for a living), and thus had no marketable value in the general economy. Having lived a life of unexamined comfort and self-satisfaction, Broke-Ass now found herself with never more than $37.68 in the bank, and three little children to support (though she did count herself extravagantly lucky that her two older children's father sent them to private school, and that her 12-year-old used minivan hadn't collapsed in vapors -- yet). She began to see the primacy of McDonald's Dollar Meal and rifling through the bargain bins at Walmart, searching for tube socks and jeans made by 7-year-olds in Bangladesh for a dime a day.Hmmm. Presumably BA had a husband or partner that was at some point supporting her and her children... but somehow her husband extracted himself from supporting her while still supporting his/her children. BA does not comment much on this. I wonder why? I can only speculate, but my sense is that BA had a good thing and did not do everything within her power to protect and nurture it. Maybe BA resented the Patriarchy aspects of marriage that exist when the man is the primary provider. Maybe BA was not the loving partner she could have been. Who knows? Maybe BA prefers lonely poverty to a middle class existence as somebody's "wife"? Look, for all I know the older children's father is a No-Goodnic... that just happens to send his children to private school. And maybe he left BA for some young Tart in spite of BA's tremendous efforts to welcome him home from work everyday with the warmth of a family dinner as well as the incredible warmth BA generated in the marriage bed.
Maybe a lot of things... but I smell Feminist ideology on her writings, background, and college experience... while correlation does not imply causation, that ideology DOES NOT CORRELATE with a happy family life and long term marriage, if I may make use of understatement.
Plus, she still wanted her children to know the virtues of the liberal arts phenomenology -- the unalloyed pleasures of reading, thinking, investigating, experimenting -- even though said phenomenology had dumped her by the side of the road in middle age and left her for dead.BA seems to recognize where she is... I merely submit that BA blames the wrong forces that put her there. For mother's of young children, the disintegration of a marriage is usually an unmitigated disaster (to say nothing of its effects on the children). Why no emphasis on imploring mothers to protect themselves and their family other than by divorce court? Our society has defined the proper role of a husband... it is there for all to see in our literature and media reports... when was the last time you saw the Media present a mother's roll in the family? It is always one of "choice". Stay at home mom, working mom.... whatever (and BULLSH*T). None of us has much of a choice about most things, and the propaganda that we do has led many to a life of therapy and Prozak.
Happiness is self-inflicted. Unfortunately, all too often, so is misery. So much of the misery of people who never miss a warm meal and always sleep in warm, clean bed comes from the culture wars and propaganda efforts of the special interest groups. We ALLOW these groups to deceive us - or WE DO NOT. We make that choice. The University/Industrial complex is only too willing to leave you as an indentured servant for the rest of your life... the Marriage/Divorce Industrial complex is only too willing to suck up vast amounts of resources that would otherwise be available to the FAMILY. It is up to us as individuals.
So what's this got to do with energy? Nothing. This is a lesson in family financial planning... and a brutal one, at that. I daresay something along these lines should be part of a Liberal Arts education.