Author Topic: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community  (Read 4093 times)

ericrugiero

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2020, 11:09:15 AM »
How do you square up this worldview with the fact that Asians and East Indians tend to out earn whites by a considerable amount? I sometimes see people put together those charts meant to show that white people earn the most money, and they always have black and latino people, but conveniently exclude the groups that earn more.

Are we talking about in the United States (or Canada) only? Because the median adult income (measured by purchasing power parity) of a Chinese citizen is an order of magnitude smaller than that of Americans or Western Europeans. Indians make even less. And Americans definitely out-earn South Koreans and the Japanese.

If you're talking about Asians and East Indian Americans (Canadians), these are often immigrants who had some combination of talent, money, drive or connections to cross an ocean to get here. Or they are the children of people like that.

Likewise, most of the Nigerians I know in America are doctors or have post-grad degrees. In fact, the Census Bureau says that Nigerian Americans are far more educated than the population as a whole. This doesn't mean that Nigeria is some magical place that's full of doctors and physicists though. It just means that the most fortunate and most capable can make it to America.

I'm sure I don't have to explain why the background of many black and latino families in the US (or Canada!) is a little different.

It seems clear that these groups have high motivation and an attitude that they can succeed if they work hard.  They also may have some other advantages as you mention but I would guess they are much less than many of the people they are out-performing.  An Indian immigrant is typically coming to the USA because they believe it's the land of opportunity (that's why they want to come).  They use education and hard work to get ahead regardless of where they start.  That contrasts sharply with someone raised in generational poverty (regardless of race) in the USA who believes they can't get ahead.  If we can influence the beliefs in these families with generational poverty so they believe they can get ahead we could significantly improve their odds of success.  That should be combined with programs to provide better education and opportunities. 

mathlete

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2020, 11:23:54 AM »
It seems clear that these groups have high motivation and an attitude that they can succeed if they work hard.  They also may have some other advantages as you mention but I would guess they are much less than many of the people they are out-performing.  An Indian immigrant is typically coming to the USA because they believe it's the land of opportunity (that's why they want to come).  They use education and hard work to get ahead regardless of where they start.  That contrasts sharply with someone raised in generational poverty (regardless of race) in the USA who believes they can't get ahead.  If we can influence the beliefs in these families with generational poverty so they believe they can get ahead we could significantly improve their odds of success.  That should be combined with programs to provide better education and opportunities.

You won't find me arguing that immigrants don't outwork natives. I think that's absolutely true.

But the question was why Asian-(American) and Indian-(American) households out-earn the country at large. The United States has very specific rules regarding who we let it. There's a limited number of work visas, and strong preference is given to highly skilled or educated workers. You can also get in by seeking asylum, but even with that, you're far more likely to be granted asylum if you have family here or an infrastructure of people advocating on your behalf.

I think it's a mistake to look at a group of people who we are selecting for (very smart and skilled people who have the connections or resources to cross an ocean), and then extrapolate that there exists some kind of Asian or Indian work-ethic that we can impart on struggling white families and black families.

ericrugiero

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2020, 11:38:50 AM »
I think it's a mistake to look at a group of people who we are selecting for (very smart and skilled people who have the connections or resources to cross an ocean), and then extrapolate that there exists some kind of Asian or Indian work-ethic that we can impart on struggling white families and black families.

This is a good point but I don't think it negates my point.  The old Henry Ford quote “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right,” still rings true. 

edit:  Also, the ones who don't think they can succeed in the USA don't ever apply so they aren't included in the numbers. 
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 11:52:55 AM by ericrugiero »

mozar

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2020, 12:46:19 PM »
I agree that I would like to see more discussions of class on these forums. I hesitate to start my own because they usually devolve into an argument about what privilege means.
I paid for college and grad school myself and paid for my house myself. But I have immense class privilege of the knowledge of how to navigate society in a way that will bless me with fortune. And I had a trust fund which I used for braces and transferred the rest to vanguard.
I easily get jobs, got the lowest mortgage rate available at the time, and feel safe most of the time.
There is a vast difference in access to information even today. Going to this forum and asking for advice and believing people will help you is a huge privilege. Black,brown, and poor people are explicitly told that they have to deal with life on their own, as an individual. For example until recently black families would look down on family members who went to therapy.

I am a woman with a black father and a white mother. Both sides of the family see themselves as upperclass. The intersection of misogyny, white supremacy, and classism is fascinating to me. But I don't get to talk about it much.

Fish Sweet

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2020, 12:53:52 PM »
How do you square up this worldview with the fact that Asians and East Indians tend to out earn whites by a considerable amount? I sometimes see people put together those charts meant to show that white people earn the most money, and they always have black and latino people, but conveniently exclude the groups that earn more.

Are we talking about in the United States (or Canada) only? Because the median adult income (measured by purchasing power parity) of a Chinese citizen is an order of magnitude smaller than that of Americans or Western Europeans. Indians make even less. And Americans definitely out-earn South Koreans and the Japanese.

If you're talking about Asians and East Indian Americans (Canadians), these are often immigrants who had some combination of talent, money, drive or connections to cross an ocean to get here. Or they are the children of people like that.

Likewise, most of the Nigerians I know in America are doctors or have post-grad degrees. In fact, the Census Bureau says that Nigerian Americans are far more educated than the population as a whole. This doesn't mean that Nigeria is some magical place that's full of doctors and physicists though. It just means that the most fortunate and most capable can make it to America.

I'm sure I don't have to explain why the background of many black and latino families in the US (or Canada!) is a little different.
Big agree on this, and I'll elaborate further as a first gen immigrant from East Asia.  Even if you have great drive and intelligence, it won't get you anywhere without opportunity, support, money, and luck.  My family immigrated when I was a child, the first on both sides of our family tree to come to the US.

My dad is the most 'traditionally' successful of his ten siblings, all who grew up in poverty. My mom is from a white collar family that accumulated wealth through hard work in high paying jobs.  Did they work hard?  Fuck yeah.  Did they have a ton of familial support and were already in a financial situation equal to any middle class American by the time they immigrated?  Absolutely. Growing up in one of the wealthier parts of the US, mingling with other East Asians in my community, I came to realize that most of them were first or second gen immigrants, the children of doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOs, real estate investors etc.-- and were already wealthy before they immigrated.  They raise their children with the best of everything money can buy, and these children grow up with to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOS, real estate investors, etc.  The cycle of wealth continues to perpetuate in the United States, but it doesn't take into account all of the less wealthy, less privileged, or less fortunate folks across the ocean who aren't able to do the same.

There is also significant poverty among East Asian/Southeast Asian communities, which I feel often gets minimized in favor of narratives about 'wow! wealthy and successful immigrants!!'  It's also really unfortunate because (in my experience) it can be easily internalized by young underprivileged Asian-Americans that being Asian conveys some baked in expectations of intelligence and success.  It's a shitty benevolent stereotype that cuts in so many ways, discounting AsAm folks' hard work because 'haha, of course you're smart, you're Asian' but also 'shouldn't you be smarter/wealthier/more successful? you're Asian.'

mathlete

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2020, 01:10:44 PM »
Big agree on this, and I'll elaborate further as a first gen immigrant from East Asia.  Even if you have great drive and intelligence, it won't get you anywhere without opportunity, support, money, and luck.  My family immigrated when I was a child, the first on both sides of our family tree to come to the US.

My dad is the most 'traditionally' successful of his ten siblings, all who grew up in poverty. My mom is from a white collar family that accumulated wealth through hard work in high paying jobs.  Did they work hard?  Fuck yeah.  Did they have a ton of familial support and were already in a financial situation equal to any middle class American by the time they immigrated?  Absolutely. Growing up in one of the wealthier parts of the US, mingling with other East Asians in my community, I came to realize that most of them were first or second gen immigrants, the children of doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOs, real estate investors etc.-- and were already wealthy before they immigrated.  They raise their children with the best of everything money can buy, and these children grow up with to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOS, real estate investors, etc.  The cycle of wealth continues to perpetuate in the United States, but it doesn't take into account all of the less wealthy, less privileged, or less fortunate folks across the ocean who aren't able to do the same.

There is also significant poverty among East Asian/Southeast Asian communities, which I feel often gets minimized in favor of narratives about 'wow! wealthy and successful immigrants!!'  It's also really unfortunate because (in my experience) it can be easily internalized by young underprivileged Asian-Americans that being Asian conveys some baked in expectations of intelligence and success.  It's a shitty benevolent stereotype that cuts in so many ways, discounting AsAm folks' hard work because 'haha, of course you're smart, you're Asian' but also 'shouldn't you be smarter/wealthier/more successful? you're Asian.'

Thanks for the perspective. While brushing up on immigration today, I read through the first two preference tiers for employment visas. They're for athletes, professors and researchers, workers with post-grad degrees, investors, and executives for multinational corporations. And only ~140K employment visas are issued each year, creating long waiting periods. So I can certainly imagine that there are super talented and hardworking would-be-future-Americans out there who are either on a wait list, or don't have the fortune of family, a sponsor or an immigration lawyer to help them navigate the bureaucracy of it all.

Sadly, I recognize some of myself in the last paragraph. It wasn't uncommon for us to refer to "the Asian kids" when talking cliques in high school. Not only were these kids from many different countries, the grouping became a shorthand for smart kids who took all AP classes. But this erased a whole lot of other East Asian kids at my school who were, at best, average students. It's a stereotype that we should really move away from.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2020, 01:50:13 PM »
Here is an interesting introductory article from my favorite blogger.....

https://ournextlife.com/2020/06/01/systemic-racism/
Thanks for the link! Good article - the resources links at the bottom definitely open up the discussion even more.

What type of diversity are we talking about here? There is a lack of philosophical and intellectual diversity at times amongst the FI community. While it’s definitely gotten better over time, suggesting alternative investment methodologies or strategies is a sure way to bring folks out of the woodwork.

As for bringing in people of various ethnicities and races, we’re probably looking at the wrong issue. If we think race is an uncomfortable topic,  try class. Niki (see below) pretty much nailed it: freedom is for those who have money.  We can spend the next decade wringing our hands over race and gender issues and accomplish pretty much the same results as we’ve accomplished for the last 50 years. Or we might start looking at this from the perspective of figuring out ways for people who don’t have freedom to make the money necessary to purchase it. I mean, when was the last time you heard or read something in the FI community about unions or collective bargaining or spreading ownership of the means of production? When was the last time you saw geo-arbitrage discussed from the perspective of buying freedom for folks who otherwise couldn’t buy it?

Or is FI only for scabs?
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism



Why do you think being called privileged is an attack? I probably have a similar background to you. I'm also a very hard working and excellent at making shrewd and frugal decisions. I started working when I was 16 years old and I've worked continuously ever since. I've now been employed for nearly half my life. I even paid for a lot of my own college. I still think I'm incredibly privileged.

Oh I’ll be happy to take this one. Because “privilege” in the vernacular has become an epithet and code word that loosely translates as “white male bastard”,  spoiled, and out of touch with the challenges of others. 

 I recognize that folks here generally use  “privilege” in the sense of the sociological theory. It still is a rotten word to use as many white males will simply tune out anything else being said.  I try to understand it in the sense it’s intended but it sure puts my teeth on edge.

I’m a white male and I’ve never ever felt this way.

You’re also well educated, familiar with the history and context, presumably have some idea of who Peggy McIntosh is, and have some knowledge of sociology. That puts you in a very small group of people using the term. More often than not the folks using the term “privilege” as an epithet and those enduring it’s use don’t have any of that.

I suggest using the term “good fortune” instead of “privilege” if you’re interested in having a productive  dialogue on the topic.
You should really examine the term "white privilege" and do some self reflection. You've have had fewer obstacles placed in front of you your whole life and you're completely unaware of it, because you've never had to acknowledge race in your daily life. If you're opinion is that you would be in the same financial/social situation if you were a different race/gender/sexual orientation there's data that clearly disagrees: https://opportunityinsights.org/


Racism and economics are more intertwined that you'd think. There have been great efforts to prove anyone other than white as "lesser than" in order to enslave and not fairly compensate for hard work. Plus it keeps the citizenship divided, distracted from seeing that wealth is designed to concentrate among a chosen few, and racism renders us less likely to unite/assemble to fight for real societal change.

Fish Sweet

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2020, 01:54:31 PM »
Thanks for the perspective. While brushing up on immigration today, I read through the first two preference tiers for employment visas. They're for athletes, professors and researchers, workers with post-grad degrees, investors, and executives for multinational corporations. And only ~140K employment visas are issued each year, creating long waiting periods. So I can certainly imagine that there are super talented and hardworking would-be-future-Americans out there who are either on a wait list, or don't have the fortune of family, a sponsor or an immigration lawyer to help them navigate the bureaucracy of it all.

Sadly, I recognize some of myself in the last paragraph. It wasn't uncommon for us to refer to "the Asian kids" when talking cliques in high school. Not only were these kids from many different countries, the grouping became a shorthand for smart kids who took all AP classes. But this erased a whole lot of other East Asian kids at my school who were, at best, average students. It's a stereotype that we should really move away from.
Hey, I thought of myself as "one of the Asian Group (tm)" too growing up, even though I had very little in common with the other kids in that clique.  It took me a long time to disentangle my identity as a Asian American and joy in my culture from stereotypes, expectations, and assumptions that I imposed upon myself and upon other Asian folks... and that's not even going into the stereotypes, expectations, and assumptions I held about other groups, woof.

mozar

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2020, 03:18:11 PM »
Quote
Racism and economics are more intertwined that you'd think. There have been great efforts to prove anyone other than white as "lesser than" in order to enslave and not fairly compensate for hard work. Plus it keeps the citizenship divided, distracted from seeing that wealth is designed to concentrate among a chosen few, and racism renders us less likely to unite/assemble to fight for real societal change.
This

BicycleB

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2020, 05:27:35 PM »


Why do you think being called privileged is an attack? I probably have a similar background to you. I'm also a very hard working and excellent at making shrewd and frugal decisions. I started working when I was 16 years old and I've worked continuously ever since. I've now been employed for nearly half my life. I even paid for a lot of my own college. I still think I'm incredibly privileged.

Oh I’ll be happy to take this one. Because “privilege” in the vernacular has become an epithet and code word that loosely translates as “white male bastard”,  spoiled, and out of touch with the challenges of others. 

 I recognize that folks here generally use  “privilege” in the sense of the sociological theory. It still is a rotten word to use as many white males will simply tune out anything else being said.  I try to understand it in the sense it’s intended but it sure puts my teeth on edge.

I’m a white male and I’ve never ever felt this way.

You’re also well educated, familiar with the history and context, presumably have some idea of who Peggy McIntosh is, and have some knowledge of sociology. That puts you in a very small group of people using the term. More often than not the folks using the term “privilege” as an epithet and those enduring it’s use don’t have any of that.

I suggest using the term “good fortune” instead of “privilege” if you’re interested in having a productive  dialogue on the topic.

Productive dialogue for who?

If "privilege" sounds like an epithet to be endured, and the whole dialogue has to use a different word because of that feeling, the implication is that the dialogue should primarily be productive for the white male who feels criticized.

If "privilege" is being used as an accurate term describing the social structure we all live in, which you acknowledged that it is, then the dialogue is primarily productive for everyone who is not a white male - in other words, the majority of people, who in fact suffer actual structural disadvantages. Disadvantages that have been denied from even being acknowledged during most of their lives - because of the tender feelings of white males who don't want to be called "privileged" even though we are actually privileged. Do you see how making the "dialogue" conform to the white male's feeling reproduces the very problem being discussed?

What kind of productive dialogue should we have? One that feels pleasantly inoffensive for white males, or one that feels honest to everyone else?

For that matter, everyone who's not a white male usually has to be quiet even when they're offended. In cases like this thread where the term privilege is being used accurately, could it be productive for white males to cope with our feelings, instead of everyone else having to change accurate language? Could such an effort be a reasonable move toward equality? Who should do the work in a diversity dialogue - the people who do the emotional work all the time in the oppressive structure, or the people whose feelings are usually catered to by the system?

If "privilege" sounds like criticism, then everything I wrote and asked probably sounds disturbing too, maybe even harsh. It's not intended to be. It's good that you're involved in the conversation (especially since you often contribute diligently in other threads too, adding value). Certainly you're right that there are lots of white males who blanch at the word privilege. Who have heard it said angrily by someone, or who feel that being angry at them is unfair. Who can make a big difference if they think about these questions, and who may run away from the word privilege instead of listening. Yet everyone else has to deal with these issues because they have no choice. How can there be a productive dialogue if the person who doesn't normally have to listen or change, once again doesn't listen or change? I get this is emotionally difficult, but it can be done. Congrats for sticking with this so far. I hope you keep coming up with ideas on how to reach our fellow white guys!

Fwiw, "good fortune" isn't an accurate term for privilege. It implies that positions of privilege are mere luck. They're not. They're the result of unjust applications of force or social manipulation repeated in numerous situations, often systematically. The force or social manipulation may not have been applied by the privileged individual, but it was applied. This isn't "good fortune", unless the benefits to that individual justify ignoring the unfair treatment that was applied to others. "Privilege" is accurate.

PS. When I first heard all this stuff, it sounded harsh. Maybe that's natural - because the system it describes is harsh and I had been allowed not to think about it very much. After I thought about it though, I realized that if someone had used euphemisms with me instead of the truth, I wouldn't have really understood. I would have kept living in my bubble.

To be fair, I was brought into it by people I knew, and had some reason to trust. You're right there has to be enough connection and trust for the other person to listen. Hopefully our forum is providing a bit of that. At least for now! :)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:04:52 PM by BicycleB »

lutorm

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2020, 09:21:06 PM »
Most people who react to "privilege" are doing so in an absolute, isolated sense. It's simultaneously true to say that:

  • Someone because successful largely because of their privileges (say, middle class/upper middle class white dude born into a stable family unit where none of the immediate family was in jail)
  • The same someone had large challenges to overcome in their life

When people who are more socially aware say "privilege" they mean (1) but most people react because they interpret it as negating (2).
This exactly. It's very easy to be aware of the obstacles you have overcome, sort of easy to be aware of when other people did not have to overcome those same obstacles, and much, much less easy to be aware of the extra obstacles that other people may face.

It's the exact issue from a few years back with Obama's "you didn't build that" campaigning. It is possible that someone worked their ass off to build a business and still "didn't build it [individually]."
Indeed. People are in general not aware of the differences between necessary and sufficient conditions.

lutorm

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2020, 01:55:50 AM »
Productive dialogue for who?

If "privilege" sounds like an epithet to be endured, and the whole dialogue has to use a different word because of that feeling, the implication is that the dialogue should primarily be productive for the white male who feels criticized.
It could also be that if you're trying to sell people on an argument, it's pretty much universally known to be a bad idea to begin by making the person you're talking with feel defensive. No matter how much you feel like the other person is totally misguided, if you are interested in actually changing people's opinions, rather than just feeling good about venting your anger at someone, you have to make an argument that is palatable to them. That's just how the art of persuasion works.

Fwiw, "good fortune" isn't an accurate term for privilege. It implies that positions of privilege are mere luck. They're not. They're the result of unjust applications of force or social manipulation repeated in numerous situations, often systematically. The force or social manipulation may not have been applied by the privileged individual, but it was applied. This isn't "good fortune", unless the benefits to that individual justify ignoring the unfair treatment that was applied to others. "Privilege" is accurate.
I don't get this point. Positions of privilege are mere luck, from the viewpoint of the individual, since you could have been born into any other situation in the world. You say it yourself that the privileged individual may have done nothing. There was no "force or social manipulation" behind the events that resulted in me being born in Northern Sweden in the 70s as opposed to in Northern Sweden in Medieval times, or in Ethiopia during the famine of the 1980s, or the countless other circumstances that would have been unbelievably more shitty than the card that I drew. Yes, there's been plenty of force and social manipulation across history that has resulted in the world looking like it does today, but if you're going to try to make me feel guilty for these events over which I had no control, you're not likely to convert me to your side even if my natural inclination was to agree with your point.

BicycleB

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2020, 05:36:18 AM »
Productive dialogue for who?

If "privilege" sounds like an epithet to be endured, and the whole dialogue has to use a different word because of that feeling, the implication is that the dialogue should primarily be productive for the white male who feels criticized.

It could also be that if you're trying to sell people on an argument, it's pretty much universally known to be a bad idea to begin by making the person you're talking with feel defensive. No matter how much you feel like the other person is totally misguided, if you are interested in actually changing people's opinions, rather than just feeling good about venting your anger at someone, you have to make an argument that is palatable to them. That's just how the art of persuasion works.

This is an excellent point if you're envisioning a dialogue where the central person is the person of privilege, and they have the option of ignoring you and continuing the unjust system. For the moment, obviously a white male in America who wishes to ignore the George Floyd video and the Black Lives Matter protest and so on can do so (other than knowing enough to keep moderately quiet on social media under their own name in the event that they have a job to preserve). For a white Swede, maybe ignoring the issue is an option too.

I thought the thread was for people who were intending to invite more diversity in the personal finance community, which I took to mean a safer space for people of color and, more generally, anyone not a white cisgender male. So I assumed that the person was already motivated. Some people are not, but since you are in this conversation, you presumably are motivated (and I am glad of that).

My own experience is that sometimes people of privilege (me) want to care, but don't recognize what is actually needed until someone actually explains it. And may think about it for a while - maybe years - before agreeing. For me the seed was someone telling the truth rather than using euphemisms. Obviously you're free to approach conversations in your own life with the approach you think best.

Fwiw, "good fortune" isn't an accurate term for privilege. It implies that positions of privilege are mere luck. They're not. They're the result of unjust applications of force or social manipulation repeated in numerous situations, often systematically. The force or social manipulation may not have been applied by the privileged individual, but it was applied. This isn't "good fortune", unless the benefits to that individual justify ignoring the unfair treatment that was applied to others. "Privilege" is accurate.

I don't get this point. Positions of privilege are mere luck, from the viewpoint of the individual, since you could have been born into any other situation in the world. You say it yourself that the privileged individual may have done nothing. There was no "force or social manipulation" behind the events that resulted in me being born in Northern Sweden in the 70s as opposed to in Northern Sweden in Medieval times, or in Ethiopia during the famine of the 1980s, or the countless other circumstances that would have been unbelievably more shitty than the card that I drew. Yes, there's been plenty of force and social manipulation across history that has resulted in the world looking like it does today, but if you're going to try to make me feel guilty for these events over which I had no control, you're not likely to convert me to your side even if my natural inclination was to agree with your point.

Very true and honest comments for sure, which I deeply respect. I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty. A person may feel guilty at first when they think about the situation, but that's not my goal. No one alive today created the situation they were born into. I think that releasing the unearned guilt is one of the key steps in becoming a part of the movement. (One of the steps that feels good for once, at that!)

The reason to acknowledge that privilege exists is because not acknowledging it has the effect of making the personal finance community less diverse (less welcoming to people who would make it more diverse). There also may be a side effect of gradually expanding your world view in a way that naturally leads to more and deeper relationships, less unconsciously distanced from people of color.


« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 07:32:00 AM by BicycleB »

mathlete

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2020, 08:26:59 AM »
I've thought for a while about using a different word than privilege. But I don't think it's a good idea.Real change probably ain't gonna happen if it doesn't make some people uncomfortable.

It should make me feel uncomfortable that I've avoided or even benefited from systemic oppression while others have suffered.

draco44

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2020, 09:14:30 AM »
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is of course, best known for being the NBA's all time leading scorer, but he's also a very smart and thoughtful guy. He's become quite prolific writer these days two. He wrote a life-lessons piece in Esquire magazine (https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a22394/kareem-things-i-wish-i-knew/) many years ago and there's a few items on there that I think this forum would love. Become financially literate. Get handy. And cook more. Hell yeah! He shares personal stories for each, of course. More recently he's written some great things on systemic inequality. (https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-30/dont-understand-the-protests-what-youre-seeing-is-people-pushed-to-the-edge)

Thank @mathlete for sharing the Kareem Abdul Jabbar life lessons piece. I'm not a sports person so knew basically nothing about him. It was interesting finding out that he's a literary nerd, despite what people might assume about him based on his career.

That reminded me of other articles I've seen on athlete super savers, or on a non-financial note, how Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers turned some heads by embracing his hardcore anime geek side and cosplaying at Comic-Con a few years back: http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/20171651/mike-daniels-green-bay-packers-crashes-san-diego-comic-con-costume-raikage-japanese-animation-series-naruto-2017

ctuser1

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2020, 09:19:47 AM »
Fascinating conversation around who is offended by what.

I have an extremely thick skin (huh, try surviving for more than half an hour someday in a work-desk that is right in the middle of a wall street trading floor). So, anything that is not intended to be offensive never offends me, and only a tiny fraction of intended offenses actually end up impacting me. Conversely, I try not to be a dick without good reason, am extra careful when it involves historically under-privileged groups (but not individuals), but that is that!!

Some people in the white male (bonus points for being Trump supporters) demographic are some of the biggest denouncers of "political correctness" and "snowflakes" etc. And yet, ironically, they expect to have their feelings not offended, even unintentionally.

Bloody ironic - I tell ya.

I find NYC (and parts of NJ, CT is different and more genteel new-England'ish) to be one of the rudest places on earth, and yet one of the most diverse and egalitarian. The whole of US could probably use a massive dose of NYC brand thick skin IMO.

mathlete

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2020, 09:41:22 AM »
Thank @mathlete for sharing the Kareem Abdul Jabbar life lessons piece. I'm not a sports person so knew basically nothing about him. It was interesting finding out that he's a literary nerd, despite what people might assume about him based on his career.

That reminded me of other articles I've seen on athlete super savers, or on a non-financial note, how Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers turned some heads by embracing his hardcore anime geek side and cosplaying at Comic-Con a few years back: http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/20171651/mike-daniels-green-bay-packers-crashes-san-diego-comic-con-costume-raikage-japanese-animation-series-naruto-2017

Yeah I can't get enough of supersaver/nerd athletes.

Kareem has made a few Jeopardy appearances, including this one where he has a pretty funny (wrong) answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h03QVlrwI_s

Daisy

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #67 on: June 30, 2020, 03:14:17 PM »
I love me some MMM (I'm here after all), but I also enjoy checking out other personal finance resources to learn from people of many different backgrounds. For example, the Bitches Get Riches blog just dropped a post featuring a top 10 list of their favorite black personal finance bloggers:
http://www.bitchesgetriches.com/10-rad-black-money-experts-to-follow-right-the-hell-now/#more-6392

In a similar vein, here's an older list of 560 women-run blogs and podcasts on the topic of personal finance: https://womenwhomoney.com/female-personal-finance-blogs-podcasts/.

What personal finance resources do you enjoy that give you perspectives different from those you may find on the MMM blog or forum?

Oh boy how we have strayed away from the OP's original intentions.

If this conversation continues to be about who does and doesn't have privilege, my suggestion is to take it to another thread.

lutorm

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #68 on: June 30, 2020, 04:25:39 PM »
I've thought for a while about using a different word than privilege. But I don't think it's a good idea.Real change probably ain't gonna happen if it doesn't make some people uncomfortable.

It should make me feel uncomfortable that I've avoided or even benefited from systemic oppression while others have suffered.
I think that puts the focus on the wrong thing.

The mere fact that others are suffering from systemic oppression is what should make you feel uncomfortable. Whether or not you've benefited from it, intentionally or not, is beside the point.

Also, for all the systemic racial and gender discrimination that's present in the western world, I also think it's worth keeping in mind that those are merely particular forms of inequality/privilege in a system that seems wired to produce it. Having educated parents is also a privilege, having parents of means are as well, and kids can no more control that than their skin color.

People produce these graphs of  the average wealth of people of different races and say "look how much poorer minorities are on average". That's definitely true, but it's also true that there exist white people that are just as poor as those minorities, because we're just looking at averages. Privilege of class is just as real. You'll have a hard time convincing me that Obama's daughters will have to overcome more adversity in their life than some white kid growing up with poor, drug addicted parents.

I have the same complaint about the current debate about policing. It doesn't seem like a racial issue at its core. It's definitely true that black people are shot by the police, and there's definitely a racial bias to how often that happens. However, people of other races are also shot by the police in the U.S. at rates that are completely appalling compared to every other developed nation. So the problem isn't that the police is shooting black people, it's that they're shooting people period. It's not like it would be OK if they "only" shot black people at the same rate as they shoot white people.

I guess my feeling is that the U.S. society has a bunch of giant structural problems with inequality. And while there definitely is racial and gender bias that also affects minorities and women, making that inequality hit those groups stronger, I'm not convinced that focusing on the racial/gender issues over those general structural problems will make the most difference.

(I guess it's also possible that people have no problems with giant inequality as long as every racial and gender group is hit the same, because then it's a meritocracy. Personally, I think that's bs, though.)

hadabeardonce

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #69 on: June 30, 2020, 10:33:31 PM »
Productive dialogue for who?

If "privilege" sounds like an epithet to be endured, and the whole dialogue has to use a different word because of that feeling, the implication is that the dialogue should primarily be productive for the white male who feels criticized.
It could also be that if you're trying to sell people on an argument, it's pretty much universally known to be a bad idea to begin by making the person you're talking with feel defensive. No matter how much you feel like the other person is totally misguided, if you are interested in actually changing people's opinions, rather than just feeling good about venting your anger at someone, you have to make an argument that is palatable to them. That's just how the art of persuasion works.
On why white people need to 'get uncomfortable'
The default of this society is racism. That's the default. It's not an aberration. It is the norm. It is reproduced 24/7, 365 through all of our institutions. And as a white person, I move through a society in which racism is the default in racial comfort. I'm comfortable, racially, virtually every day. It's an exception for me to be outside of my racial comfort zone.

I mean, really take that in. I live in racial comfort, in a racially unjust society that benefits me. So we're not going to get where we need to go from a place of white comfort.


https://www.kqed.org/news/11825805/people-will-insist-that-they-are-not-racist-robin-diangelo-on-white-fragility-and-the-way-forward

Fwiw, "good fortune" isn't an accurate term for privilege. It implies that positions of privilege are mere luck. They're not. They're the result of unjust applications of force or social manipulation repeated in numerous situations, often systematically. The force or social manipulation may not have been applied by the privileged individual, but it was applied. This isn't "good fortune", unless the benefits to that individual justify ignoring the unfair treatment that was applied to others. "Privilege" is accurate.
I don't get this point. Positions of privilege are mere luck, from the viewpoint of the individual...
The above italic article excerpt gives you a good definition of white privilege. You've got to look at it from the viewpoint of a collective group instead of just yourself. You are a member of a racial group. If you are white, your group makes all the rules. Women want the right to choose what goes on with their bodies - who do they ask for permission? LGBTQ+ people want equal rights - who do they ask for permission? In these scenarios where people are asking for equality, think about who they are trying to get on the same social level as... if you answered, "white males" to the questions - you're correct! Right now that's the topic at hand.

Check out: http://www.dismantlingracism.org/uploads/4/3/5/7/43579015/white_identity_ladder_2013.pdf
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 10:36:37 PM by hadabeardonce »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2020, 04:01:40 AM »
I love me some MMM (I'm here after all), but I also enjoy checking out other personal finance resources to learn from people of many different backgrounds. For example, the Bitches Get Riches blog just dropped a post featuring a top 10 list of their favorite black personal finance bloggers:
http://www.bitchesgetriches.com/10-rad-black-money-experts-to-follow-right-the-hell-now/#more-6392

In a similar vein, here's an older list of 560 women-run blogs and podcasts on the topic of personal finance: https://womenwhomoney.com/female-personal-finance-blogs-podcasts/.

What personal finance resources do you enjoy that give you perspectives different from those you may find on the MMM blog or forum?

Oh boy how we have strayed away from the OP's original intentions.

If this conversation continues to be about who does and doesn't have privilege, my suggestion is to take it to another thread.

It does beautifully illustrate the bias of the PF space when even a thread about finding more diverse voices becomes a white guy asking people to give more consideration to his feelings and the struggles of other white people.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2020, 04:46:48 AM »
I love me some MMM (I'm here after all), but I also enjoy checking out other personal finance resources to learn from people of many different backgrounds. For example, the Bitches Get Riches blog just dropped a post featuring a top 10 list of their favorite black personal finance bloggers:
http://www.bitchesgetriches.com/10-rad-black-money-experts-to-follow-right-the-hell-now/#more-6392

In a similar vein, here's an older list of 560 women-run blogs and podcasts on the topic of personal finance: https://womenwhomoney.com/female-personal-finance-blogs-podcasts/.

What personal finance resources do you enjoy that give you perspectives different from those you may find on the MMM blog or forum?

Oh boy how we have strayed away from the OP's original intentions.

If this conversation continues to be about who does and doesn't have privilege, my suggestion is to take it to another thread.

It does beautifully illustrate the bias of the PF space when even a thread about finding more diverse voices becomes a white guy asking people to give more consideration to his feelings and the struggles of other white people.

Yes!!! This ^^^^^. Thanks for articulating what I thought as soon as I read this thread! It’s kind of depressing.

draco44

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2020, 04:34:38 PM »
OP here.
Okay everyone, this thread seems to have run it's course for now, but as a parting gift for those who may be interested or inspired to start their own conversations, here are a few more perspectives on money I've come across and found interesting. Happy reading!

On frugality and community:
- I enjoyed the book "Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving" by Lorilee Cracker. Some of the basics are covered in this blog post: https://www.icepop.com/lessons-amish-save-money/

On banking:
- What does it take to make banks and online personal finance apps accessible to the blind? And are they?
https://www.afb.org/aw/17/1/15406
- And how do blind people know what denomination of cash they're holding? (Featuring The Blind Coin Collector - who goes by the charming tagline "It's another kind of fun to collect coins if you can't see them."
https://blindcoincollector.com/2019/02/18/how-blind-people-identify-paper-money/

On entrepreneurship:
- Pilates instructor and and fashion designer Cassey Ho (proprietress of the top female-oriented fitness channel on Youtube) makes for a neat case study in expectations. Yes, she is a successful daughter of Asian immigrants to the US, but to get where she is today, she had to break from her family's ideas of success, actively sabotage her chances of getting into medical school, and basically not speak to her parents for years (they've since made peace) while she forged her own path.
https://www.vibe105to.com/full-disclosure/what-happens-when-you-dont-take-your-parents-advice

On Savings and Investments:
- How do you pay for college or save for retirement when it's against your religious beliefs to hold an interest-bearing loan, or buy shares in a company that does? Muslims chime in:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/your-money/retirement-savings-the-muslim-way.html
https://www.businessinsider.com/turn-down-graduate-school-interest-bearing-loans-american-system-muslims-2020-2

On DIY:
- The group Sew Queer helps anyone who is interested learn how to save money by mending and tailoring their own clothing, with particular outreach to trans and non-binary people, who may have a hard time finding clothing that fits them in traditional stores. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/sew-queer-class-in-dc-is-all-about-breaking-gender-rules-for-clothing/2019/07/23/0f059e92-a822-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html

On Financial Education:
- Financial planners Jason and Stephanie Allison noticed there were gaps in the financial literacy of their community (Navajo Nation), so they started teaching classes to change that:
https://www.nhonews.com/news/2020/feb/04/navajo-husband-wife-team-mission-promote-financial/

It's a big internet out there. Have fun exploring and learning something new.

Daisy

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2020, 08:52:46 PM »
OP here.
Okay everyone, this thread seems to have run it's course for now, but as a parting gift for those who may be interested or inspired to start their own conversations, here are a few more perspectives on money I've come across and found interesting. Happy reading!

On frugality and community:
- I enjoyed the book "Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving" by Lorilee Cracker. Some of the basics are covered in this blog post: https://www.icepop.com/lessons-amish-save-money/

On banking:
- What does it take to make banks and online personal finance apps accessible to the blind? And are they?
https://www.afb.org/aw/17/1/15406
- And how do blind people know what denomination of cash they're holding? (Featuring The Blind Coin Collector - who goes by the charming tagline "It's another kind of fun to collect coins if you can't see them."
https://blindcoincollector.com/2019/02/18/how-blind-people-identify-paper-money/

On entrepreneurship:
- Pilates instructor and and fashion designer Cassey Ho (proprietress of the top female-oriented fitness channel on Youtube) makes for a neat case study in expectations. Yes, she is a successful daughter of Asian immigrants to the US, but to get where she is today, she had to break from her family's ideas of success, actively sabotage her chances of getting into medical school, and basically not speak to her parents for years (they've since made peace) while she forged her own path.
https://www.vibe105to.com/full-disclosure/what-happens-when-you-dont-take-your-parents-advice

On Savings and Investments:
- How do you pay for college or save for retirement when it's against your religious beliefs to hold an interest-bearing loan, or buy shares in a company that does? Muslims chime in:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/your-money/retirement-savings-the-muslim-way.html
https://www.businessinsider.com/turn-down-graduate-school-interest-bearing-loans-american-system-muslims-2020-2

On DIY:
- The group Sew Queer helps anyone who is interested learn how to save money by mending and tailoring their own clothing, with particular outreach to trans and non-binary people, who may have a hard time finding clothing that fits them in traditional stores. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/sew-queer-class-in-dc-is-all-about-breaking-gender-rules-for-clothing/2019/07/23/0f059e92-a822-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html

On Financial Education:
- Financial planners Jason and Stephanie Allison noticed there were gaps in the financial literacy of their community (Navajo Nation), so they started teaching classes to change that:
https://www.nhonews.com/news/2020/feb/04/navajo-husband-wife-team-mission-promote-financial/

It's a big internet out there. Have fun exploring and learning something new.

That is quite a list of resources you have compiled! A true diversity of voices. I will work my way through them, thanks.

I met a lady at an FI conference that had a disability and her struggles with trying to achieve FIRE, since she was on SSI, not SSDI. Basically, on SSI you are means tested. So she was trying to be independent with her finances, but any step she took in that direction could possibly affect her SSI benefits. It is almost like "the system" was trying to keep her poor, even though she was trying her hardest to overcome her disabilities and try to be more independent and accumulate wealth. I wish I could remember her blog name...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 08:55:46 PM by Daisy »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2020, 12:53:41 AM »
A former forumite wrote "Rising: Strategies for the Broke, the At-Risk, and Those Who Love Them" and had a blog that I also forget the name of. Was that her?

Thanks @draco44 - both for starting this important thread and the further links.

pegleglolita

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #75 on: July 07, 2020, 02:13:48 PM »
PTF

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #76 on: July 07, 2020, 07:25:36 PM »
I agree that I would like to see more discussions of class on these forums. I hesitate to start my own because they usually devolve into an argument about what privilege means.
I paid for college and grad school myself and paid for my house myself. But I have immense class privilege of the knowledge of how to navigate society in a way that will bless me with fortune. And I had a trust fund which I used for braces and transferred the rest to vanguard.
I easily get jobs, got the lowest mortgage rate available at the time, and feel safe most of the time.
There is a vast difference in access to information even today. Going to this forum and asking for advice and believing people will help you is a huge privilege. Black,brown, and poor people are explicitly told that they have to deal with life on their own, as an individual. For example until recently black families would look down on family members who went to therapy.

I am a woman with a black father and a white mother. Both sides of the family see themselves as upperclass. The intersection of misogyny, white supremacy, and classism is fascinating to me. But I don't get to talk about it much.

Class?  Did someone say class?

I think there is a reason why privilege is talked about in preference to discussion of class: a sure way to get people at each others throats is to talk about other people's "privilege". I realize that when the term was coined by Peggy McIntosh years ago it wasn't intended as an epithet.  It's used as one now. And if there's one thing those in power wouldn't want, it's folks calmly discussing issues like class when the topic can be diverted to something else that will generate lots of noise and little light. 

BookLoverL

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Re: Diversity in the Personal Finance Community
« Reply #77 on: Today at 06:07:06 AM »
I'm queer and disabled myself - if anyone knows any queer FIRE bloggers, I'd be interested in taking a look at their blog. (I didn't know that Suze Orman is gay, which is interesting. Of course, her level of focus is with people who are significantly worse with money than me.)

I do have the privilege of being white, and of having a middle class upbringing, which means that even though my income is low because my disability puts limits on how long I'm able to work before I get exhausted, I am at least able to look and sound "respectable" during job interviews and meetings with potential clients, which I suspect means people are more willing to give me opportunities if I ask for them compared to if I had a working class accent or was black. It's interesting seeing the interplay of areas where I'm more or less privileged in my own life, to be honest.