Listening today to my obligatory dose of drivel from Rush Limbaugh (weep for Rogie–he listens so you don't have to) I was surprised to hear that we remain a beacon of social mobility.
The proof that your destiny is not written on stone, per Limbaugh, *Paul Ryan's journey from mowing lawns, orphaned as he was at 16, to the nomination for Vice President. (A heartbeat away, blah, blah, blah, etc.).
Always unencumbered by reality (where our social mobility had so diminished as to put us behind France, which, as Ariana Huffington once wryly remarked, is as counter intuitive as if we were statistically to surpass France in afternoon sexual encounters) Limbaugh in this was more mendacious than is the norm, even for that pulsating, globule of lying fat encrusted shit.
Not, of course, that Ryan did not lose his father at 16.
That said, his father's father, and Ryan's great-grandfather before him were serially executives of P.W. Ryan and Sons
The Ryan family, in short, were the elite in town, and young Paul's stint of lawn mowing was no more proof of humble beginnings than my boyhood experiment at self employment in the Brooklyn subway with a shoe shine box that my mob lawyer dad gave me when I was eight. (Parenthetically, the apex of my work ethic; all downhill since then)
*He told a story about mowing yards in his early twenties, making some extra money. He didn't think that was his destiny. He didn't think that was the rest of his life. While he was doing that, in his mind, he's planning his life, he's planning his future, determining for himself what he wants to be. And this is the life that's been sucked out of so many Americans. This is the Americanism that's being denied so many people. They're told daily by their leaders, by their president, their political party, that that America doesn't exist. And furthermore, it never did, they're told. This game has always been stacked against you. The rich, they make sure that they got everything and that you've got nothing. It's a cynicism that destroys the very things about humanity which set us apart. And they do it for their own power, all the while claiming they're the ones who have all the love and compassion for people, when it's we who do.