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To feel depressed for the future for 'treadmill families'?

(235 Posts)
user1478265589 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:18:51

A report on the BBC website today says more and more people are having to run, just to stay still, and that's the experience of many people I know. I don't even know what can be done about it, it's just really depressing...

- Millions of workers - particularly women - are trapped in low pay

- Only one in eight children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult

- From the early years through to universities and the workplace, there is an entrenched and unbroken correlation between social class and success

- Despite some efforts to change the social make-up of the professions, only 4% of doctors, 6% of barristers and 11% of journalists are from working-class backgrounds.

user1478265589 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:20:23

To add, I think this feeling of disengagement and unhappiness is what's leading to a global trend towards right-wing conservatism, and with it more hate crimes sad

user1477282676 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:22:16

YANBU and it's why I moved to Australia.

papaverorientale Wed 16-Nov-16 12:25:02

Yes i'm very depressed about it. I want society to be much more equal. I want to think hard work means you can change your circumstances in life.

I saw someone on here this week describing how they were in poverty and most replies told the op they should be doing more to work their way out of it, not seeing that it's a trap.

I think that all of society suffers as a result of this. People with potential don't break through.

brasty Wed 16-Nov-16 12:25:32

Yes I know that feeling well. I see things getting worse economically, not better.

user1478265589 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:31:13

I've always grown up feeling optimistic and believing a lot of success is based on merit, but over the last six months that's totally changed.

I used to be very interested in current affairs, but now I avoid the news.

Wasn't sure if it was me being cynical / getting old / being anxious but I see other people feel the same sad

user1477282676 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:42:21

I don't know what the answer is other than to try to create a beautiful world around yourself as much as possible and to hope that in those efforts, you make a difference even in a small way.

scortja Wed 16-Nov-16 12:43:31

It's very upsetting and it's hard to know what to do..

Although I'm pretty sure leaning to the right is the WORST way to deal with things?! Surely it's right wingers that have got us into this mess?

Capricorn76 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:43:59

I also avoid the news now. I feel much better now.

sohackedoff Wed 16-Nov-16 12:51:01

I'm from a working class background and did a degree which led to one of the professions. So frustrating to see less qualified people getting the job became they went to the "right" school or due to parental connection. Nothing much changes.

Personally I think it's why the brexit and USA votes went the way they did. The current status quo isn't working for a lot of people.

LukesDiner Wed 16-Nov-16 12:54:29

It is easy to pretend that nothing is happening. But the signs are all here that we might well go into another recession in the next 5 years. The pound has now been weak since the summer, the lowest for donkeys years. Prices will go up as inflation is predicted to be 3-4%, and wage increases will be around 1% (if you're lucky), so yet again, another giant squeeze, just at a time when things were starting to look up. Brexit happened (in part) because we had the financial crash in 2008- amongst other things, forcing house prices up and rather rapidly increasing the divide between those who have the ability to buy a house and those who will continue to be trapped in the rental cycle (I understand that for some, renting is a positive choice, but there is a pressure on most to 'get on the ladder' and people really feel it- it then get resentful when they find they can't). Inward looking, we start to become protectionist, and then it is easy for the stories of immigrants 'taking our jobs' becomes irresistible- the perfect scape goat to the feeling of disillusionment and despair. hence, UKIP and their enormous gains. No-one listens to 'experts' who have studied the affect of immigration on the UK, and have only found overwhelmingly positive outcomes. Throw in an enormous and prolonged civil war with millions of displaced people seeking refuge in Europe and it's the perfect storm of 'it's not my problem, I've got enough of my own'. The two main political parties are not standing up for our values of generosity, tolerance and opportunities for all and those politicians who are, are bullied. It is easy to feel negative, but actually, there is another way. There always is.

Piscivorus Wed 16-Nov-16 12:55:37

It is depressing but life has always been this way for many people and there is probably no way any society can lift the poor out of it.

My grandparents certainly fell into that group and survived only because their expectations and wants were so much lower than people have today. Parents left school at 14/15 and it was only the social mobility afforded by the 60s, 70s & 80s and personal hard work (in studying, grasping opportunities, etc) that gave my parents, and later me, the chance to escape that.

My children are adults now and all doing well but they have had the advantages of a good home and education to set them on that road. I'm sure opportunities have reduced for the poor but wonder if personal responsibility and ambition have reduced too.

Statistics and information like those that you have shared are far more widely available and can almost encourage a defeatist attitude if people think they can never break through. Maybe a blessing of earlier years was the idea that anybody could achieve without evidence to contradict that

Squeegle Wed 16-Nov-16 12:57:27

The gap between have and have nots has never been wider. It's this kind of thing that causes a revolution. But we probably have a fair way to go before that.

brasty Wed 16-Nov-16 12:59:59

I think ambition has increased. I grew up in a very poor household in the 70s. In my school kids were not encouraged to think they could achieve good jobs, the emphasis was on getting a steady job. Now kids are encouraged to have and achieve ambitions, but in most cases, these are not realised. I know many people with degrees doing low paid, routine work.

user1478265589 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:04:40

I agree that ambition has increased - wealth and success are so visible now in the media that everyone wants it and barely anyone can actually achieve it.

I think the youth unemployment figures have been utterly skewed by forcing young people into education when they're not really learning anything they couldn't learn by working - yes, we have low youth unemployment figures, but we also have many people getting into massive amounts of debt in exchange for barely any skill or experience. These young people are fed lies about their future employment and lifestyle, which ends up with them being depressed and feeling let down... sad

scortja Wed 16-Nov-16 13:07:27

Am I wrong in thinking that 'normal' jobs are disappearing too? Jobs that aren't celebrated or glamorous but pay enough to raise a family and offer some stability..

SaltyBitch Wed 16-Nov-16 13:11:47

I agree on the forcing education front.

I also think it is just abhorrent that crap universities like Bolton can charge the same as Oxbridge. It is just lying to suggest that they set you up for life in the same way and should be priced accordingly.

Sohardtochooseausername Wed 16-Nov-16 13:13:04

Doesn't seem like there are many single incomes that can sustain a family comfortably now, and that certainly was true in the past. It can be hard enough on two incomes.

People's expectations are much higher - not sure about ambition - so whatever level of society you're at, you'll find people who are clinging on for dear life working their fingers to the bone just to stay afloat.

Apologies for cliches and mixed metaphors.

Sohardtochooseausername Wed 16-Nov-16 13:14:57

Agree Salty and think there are too many vocational 'degrees' when people who go to university should do more generalist courses that have transferable skills.

I work in marketing and it's hugely frustrating dealing with graduates who have marketing degrees and want to run the company because they think they know everything there is to know because they've got a degree in it.

Camomila Wed 16-Nov-16 13:16:49

scortja I'd say both DH and I have normal jobs, DH does HR type stuff and I do admin both for large companies. They're not glamorous but we both quite like our jobs and they're stable. (we both come from w/c backgrounds and did uni + masters but graduated into the recession...random detail for the armchair sociologists)

We can't afford to buy a house but in a few years should be able to just about buy a flat using shared ownership. I can only work thanks to doting grandma childcare.

I think we must be the average 'hardworking family' that politicians go on about grin

5to2 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:22:17

I agree that universities fees are unfair, but not necessarily that one university is so much better than another, objectively as there is so much back-slapping, classism and no independent reviews whatsoever in the sector.

I think either all universities ought to provide the same standard of education or job applications need to be insitution-blind. By law.

Not to mention schools, an A level is not an A level either, apparently.

YelloDraw Wed 16-Nov-16 13:23:24

- Only one in eight children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult

This is not surprising at all.

Low income parents are on average more likely to be to be 1) less well educated than higher earning parents 2) less interested in their children's education (which is a HUGE factor ins success) 3) less intelligent 4) have other life stresses which impact on ability to drive and create an ambitious high achieving child (like money troubles, relationship issues, work issues etc).

TBH i'm not sure that 1/8 is too bad. More than 10% of children go onto improve their life chances.

YelloDraw Wed 16-Nov-16 13:25:01

Camomila why are you doing an admin role when you have a masters?

knowler Wed 16-Nov-16 13:28:02

We're going through a period of huge political and social instability, and it's really hard to see a "way through" for a lot of people. I think you know there is something wrong with a society when families with two working adults in "decent" jobs can't afford things which, as a society, we see as fundamental.

Buying a house is certainly one but I remain shocked by the enormous increase in food banks over recent years. When I was a child (growing up in a not very wealthy family in the 80s), I remember seeing a film which featured a food bank or soup kitchen in the US and I was amazed that such things existed. Now they're commonplace here, for "normal" people. I find it depressing and I have no clear vision of what life is going to be like for my DSs (now 5 and 2) when they're in their 20s and 30s.

Camomila Wed 16-Nov-16 13:31:16

YelloDraw I initially started working there p/t to save up for my PhD, then really liked it so went full time when the opportunity came up, then got pregnant pretty much straight away.
Now I have DS I really like having a good work life balance and being able to leave at 5 on the dot.
Maybe when he's older/I've finished having DC I'll get around to applying for that PhD!

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