July 31, 2012

What standard of living should others feel moved to lift you up to? Question 1: What's your "social context"?

We saw in that NYT article about the "FUCK! I'm in my twenties" girl Emma Koenig that her mother had to do some analysis before deciding to help pay for her $1,200-a-month East Village apartment. The key line was: "It made me see that Emma’s social context was such that our helping with her rent was legitimate..."

It made me think about the refugees of Hurricane Katrina, housed in the Houston Astrodome, about whom presidential wife and mother Barbara Bush famously said:
"And so many of the people in the arenas here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
What's your social context? Is that the right question?

52 comments:

Methadras said...

$1200 in an east village apartment is like renting a 6' x 10' closet. It was clearly the cheapest to get her sorry ass out of their house. Money well spent, social context +1.

Methadras said...

Oh and if by social context meaning perpetual whiner, then I misunderstood it.

Ann Althouse said...

They got her through NYU. This was conceptualized as a continuation of arts school.

The Houston Astrodome was conceptualized as a continuation of the ghetto.

Holmes said...

One is private money offered to a person who has been offered private money her whole life. The other is public money helping people who were accustomed to accepting public money.
It's like the same thing.

Dose of Sanity said...

It's an interesting reflection on how humans justify our actions based on the actions of others around us.

One of our earlier methods of verfiying the acceptibility of our behavior by checking it against the behavior of those around us?

How about a social political context?

"Mom, I don't want to be a liberal, but all the kids in the dorm are"

"But ALL all my golfing buddies are republican"

Which raises the question: What's the social political context of Althouse's blog?

Dose of Sanity said...

For example: "And so many of the commentors in the blog here, you know, were uneducated anyway, so this is working very well for them."

edutcher said...

If she has a job, she should be living within her means, not mommy and Daddy's.

I pity the guy she marries.

Dose of Sanity said...

How about a social political context?

"But ALL all my golfing buddies are republican"


Only trolls like Dose of Salts buy that one anymore.

Where was he again when the hit on bin Laden went down?

Dose of Sanity said...

I don't buy the all the dorms are liberal either, edutcher. I'm not being serious. :)

Joe said...

What standard of living should others feel moved to lift you up to?

None, it's not their responsibility.

(Andy why not reverse it, as the socialists are wont to do? What standard of living should others feel moved to tear you down to?)

Ann Althouse said...

"None, it's not their responsibility."

Even if they are your parents?

Even if you're a fellow citizen who's been driven out of your city by a devastating hurricane and flood?

And I didn't say "responsibility." I asked what one should "feel moved" to do.

Coketown said...

The girl's mother has a spreadsheet called "Emma's friends who have/have not jumped off cliffs," to help her answer the rhetorical question "if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you, too?" Since only one had done so, her daughter's social context suggested it was imprudent for her to jump off cliffs.

My social context would have demanded my parents pay my rent, but they still didn't do it. Most of my friends were deadbeats sponging off their parents while living independently throughout--and after--college, but my parents had this old-fashioned concept of parenting in which they did what's right, not what everyone else was doing. You know. "But Mortimer's parents pay his rent!" "Well we're not Mortimer's parents!"

So...so much for social context. Wait. When the fuck did boomers start valuing "social context"? Weren't they all originally rebelling against social context? Wasn't "do what everyone else is doing and smile" anathema to boomer beliefs?

Ann Althouse said...

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?

Michael K said...

A friend's daughter lives in Boston. After Katrina, her neighbors across the hall, good liberals, offered their city condo to a black family from New Orleans. Months went by and the family showed no signs of moving on. Finally, the Boston condo owners shut off the cable TV. It worked. The NO refugees left.

Marshal said...

"And so many of the commentors in the blog here, you know, were uneducated anyway, so this is working very well for them."

I see DOS's personal interpretaion reasonable discourse is still in effect. It's nice to see a lefty strive to exit the sewer, and here we see one that seems within two standard deviations of average human decency. A round of applause for the gentleman's C on a lefty curve.
____________________

edutcher said...
Dose of Salts

I like Gallon of Pablum better. Salt only seems relevant if there's a wound. Since his misses are measured in miles he seems unlikely to cause any.

Kirk Parker said...

What standard of living? How about Kibera for starters?

Nonapod said...

I didn't even know what a "social context" is. I googled it and got a wikipedia page describing something called social environment, which seems to be somewhat congruent with the concept of social class. So I guess that means she gave her daughter money so she could maintain a lifestyle in a particular social class? That's very 19th century.

Dose of Sanity said...

"I see DOS's personal interpretaion reasonable discourse is still in effect. It's nice to see a lefty strive to exit the sewer, and here we see one that seems within two standard deviations of average human decency. A round of applause for the gentleman's C on a lefty curve"

I see we aren't in a joking mood today. I thought it was funny, and yes, I would include myself in the uneducated category. I am impressed you know what a standard of deviation is though, so plus one for that.

Dose of Inanity is the best pun on my name so far. Yours was terrible.

Coketown said...

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?

I sure as hell wouldn't put him up in a $1,200 apartment. I would invite him back home. I hope you can see the difference.

Marshal said...

"Yours was terrible."

Maybe not funny, but entirely accurate.

Joe said...

I still stand by none. Your question is completely narcissistic. It isn't asking what obligation I should feel toward others, but what others should feel toward me.

Then you set up the straw man of homelessness and natural disaster, which has little to do with the context of standard of living you set up in the original question.

How to help others who encounter unfortunately circumstances beyond their control is quite different than parents maintaining a chosen lifestyle of a legally adult child.

My parents owe me nothing. I owe my adult children nothing. That doesn't mean my parents won't help me and I won't help my children, but there is no obligation nor expectation.

Coketown said...

My parents owe me nothing. I owe my adult children nothing. That doesn't mean my parents won't help me and I won't help my children, but there is no obligation nor expectation.

Did you just read Atlas Shrugged? You talk the same way I talked after I read Atlas Shrugged. I stopped talking like that after I tried writing a novel similar to Atlas Shrugged and realized it was garbage. You might try that.

Dose of Sanity said...

Maybe not funny, but entirely accurate.

I'm not sure you understand internet commenting.

t-man said...

The contexts of (1) what a parent would be willing to do to help his child, versus (2) what "society" would be willing to do for the poor (lumping together the two categories immortalized in "My Fair Lady": the derserving poor and the undiserving poor) don't compare very well.

TosaGuy said...

"So I guess that means she gave her daughter money so she could maintain a lifestyle in a particular social class? That's very 19th century."

Maintaining a certain lifestyle is one reason why college tuition is out of control. The actual going-to-class part is surprisingly cheap when compared to the lifestyle part.

Joe said...

Coketown, clarify. Presuming, you are an adult, what do your parents own you? Do they own you a living? Are they obligated to ensure you have the same standard of living that you had as a teenager? Do they own you an inheritance?

Marshal said...

"I'm not sure you understand internet commenting."

Perhaps not. But you clearly don't understand human interaction. Start with: people who complain about "bickering" shouldn't make their opening comment on every topic an insult and then act as if they're the responsible party. If you're looking for an accurate moniker try Poseur.

Patrick said...

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?

There's a lot of room between "on the streets" and "putting your adult children up in an apartment in a trendy part of an expensive city."

Ken said...

What's your social context? Is that the right question?

No.

LordSomber said...

The Remittance Generation.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old RPM Daddy said...

My daughter tried the "social context" argument with me when discussing how much I needed to shell out for her wedding, although I think she used the term "standard of living." She pointed me to a web site that showed by ZIP code how much people were paying for weddings and receptions. Her arguments weren't terribly effective on me.

We eventually worked it out, by the way, and the event turned out fine.

TMink said...

I feel moved to rescue when there is a legit victim. People rescued my wife and children with a boat when we were flooded. My other daughter and I were busy finding a way to get the car out, and we did (priase God.)

I had a flat tire in small town Mississippi three weeks ago. Three people stopped to ask if I needed help. One was a woman, and one was a black guy. They saw me as someone who could have used a hand.

Those scenarios are really quite different from a mom finding a way to meet her daughter's entitlement needs.

Trey

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?

I think the economical solution, in that context, is to summon the child back home, not subsidize their expensive rathole in NYC.

That said, I am sympathetic to the "social context" idea. The social context is that when you are a member of a privileged class, you would be letting the side down to allow your child to live within her rather modest means. That's why she needed a spreadsheet -- to make sure that what she did was indeed the done thing, the thing expected of her class.

It's like wearing long trousers, even though short pants or pajama bottoms would be cheaper.

AllieOop said...

Coketown, I'm shocked that you saw the light and abandoned the Atlas Shrugged mentality, what a nice surprise!

edutcher said...

Marshal said...

edutcher said...
Dose of Salts


I like Gallon of Pablum better.


Each man must find his own path...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets

It would depend on WHY my child was homeless and on the streets as to what I would do. Drugs...or unfortunate economic circumstances...or just because they thought it was a cool occupy type of lifestyle?

If drugs. I would NOT have my child move home, but would help out with a rehab center.....I don't care if it is no no no I won't go to rehab. YOU WILL.

I would probably invite my child to temporarily move home and expect that he/she immediately get a job. I don't care what kind of job. But you aren't moving back into MY home and sponging off of me. I would be aware that it might take sometime to get a really GOOD job, but you WILL be working at something if you live in my house.

I would also expect that the rules of OUR house be followed. Meaning you pull your own weight in doing household chores (do your own laundry, clean up after yourself etc). Chip in on household expenses, food, gasoline and share of utilities. Have respect for the others who live in the home. Not having wild parties, loud music late at night. Not hogging the telephone, computer, television. Your friends don't get to hang out in my house all day long.

If you can't live by those rules and aren't showing effort to help yourself. Buh bye.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Plus, I might add. That at this age, we are discussing, it isn't a CHILD. We are talking about adults. Infantalized adults to be sure. But not children.

Adults.

ricpic said...

Her mother, the psychotherapist, is abusing her, criminally. The daughter is 24 years old. Cossetting a 24 year old adult rots her. She is literally rotting in her mother's indulgence. The mother talks about supporting her daughter while the daughter "stabilizes." She is stabilizing, in a state of unearned retirement. Which is obscene in a 24 year old. The shock treatment of withdrawing all support is the only way - and this late in the game even it may fail - to force adulthood, after a period of self-pity and rage, on the daughter.

Rocketeer said...

Coketown, I'm shocked that you saw the light and abandoned the Atlas Shrugged mentality, what a nice surprise!

If you knew anything, anything at all about conservatism, you wouldn't be surprised.

That being said, $10 says Allie's never read it. Bennett Cerf barely could, and he was paid to. And let's face it, Allie's no Bennett Cerf.

Eric said...

The "financial context" is the real part. The rest is twaddle.

Tim said...

Ann Althouse said...

"If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?"

No, of course not. Don't be dense.

I'd take her to a recruiter. She'd have five choices: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.

Any one would do.

Tim said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Plus, I might add. That at this age, we are discussing, it isn't a CHILD. We are talking about adults. Infantalized adults to be sure. But not children.

Adults.


Right.

Who vote.

Undoubtedly for Democrats.

It's the rational thing to do. More free shit at someone else's expense - Obama told us so - see "Julia."

Yahoo! Hooray for us. Let's foster more future-cannibalizing dependency. What could possibly go wrong?

Fucking leaches.

AllieOop said...

Tim, leeches. That's OK though;)

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Rocketeer, damn right I haven't read it, but I DID read Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, does that count?

shirley elizabeth said...

As a teenager I saw my parents coach and help a couple older siblings through their stupid, put-you-out-on-the-street debts. My mother told me the problem was that children expect and want to live the same lifestyle, and have all the cool toys, that their parents worked all their lives to achieve.

It was a very good lesson for me (though maybe I'm a little too afraid of any kind of debt), and we have been just as happy with borrowing tools, handed down TVs, and craigslist furniture as I'm sure we would be with nice new stuff. Or maybe happier.

leslyn said...

Joe said,

My parents owe me nothing. I owe my adult children nothing. That doesn't mean my parents won't help me and I won't help my children, but there is no obligation nor expectation.

Absolutely right. And Atlas Shrugged has nothing to do with it.

leslyn said...

Michael K said... A friend's daughter lives in Boston. After Katrina, her neighbors across the hall, good liberals, offered their city condo to a black family from New Orleans.

Really? A black family? How--irrelevant. But is it relevant to you?

Tim said...

AllieOop said...

"Tim, leeches. That's OK though;)"

Indeed so. Fucking leeches, lol!

Thanks!

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

If your child were homeless and couldn't find a job, would you leave him on the streets?


No that would be callous and cruel. I'd bring them back home and put them to working on the place right away for their keep.

Methadras said...

Coketown said...

My parents owe me nothing. I owe my adult children nothing. That doesn't mean my parents won't help me and I won't help my children, but there is no obligation nor expectation.

Did you just read Atlas Shrugged? You talk the same way I talked after I read Atlas Shrugged. I stopped talking like that after I tried writing a novel similar to Atlas Shrugged and realized it was garbage. You might try that.


Objectivism has it's place. Child rearing isn't one of them. Frankly, you have very little room for tolerance in rearing a child to be a productive and compassionate person. Maybe 1 or 2 fuckups at he most. This child has been carried all her life. She is frankly hopeless at this point. A perpetual ward.

ken in sc said...

Koenig is German for King. She must be royalty. That is her social context.