Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blue-Collar and White-Collar

In “Blue Collar Brilliance”, Mike Rose discusses his experiences and ideas of studying cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is the study of the mind and brain function including things like memory, attention span, learning, decision-making, etc. Rose tells us how blue-collar (manual labor) work fields requires more literacy and thinking levels, and social and interactive levels than we tend to see. Rose says, “If we believe everyday work to be mindless, then that will affect the work we create in the future” (Rose 254). Rose thinks that society is devaluing “the full range of everyday cognition” (Rose 254) and identifying “certain” people in society as dumb asses or in his nicer words: “Not that bright” (Rose 245). By doing this we are continuing to socially separate different groups in society.
In “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer”, Robert Reich explains how routine producers are “sinking rapidly” (Reich 485) by large amounts of competition, and more and more people joining the field. Reich says “In particular the burden is borne by those who no longer have good-paying routine production jobs within advances economies like the United States” (Reich 488). Reich is explaining how people with low-income jobs aren’t standing a chance anymore; how these jobs are vanishing. Salaries and benefits of the U.S.’s wealthiest are soaring while those of other average Americans are declining.
I think that both of these authors make a very strong argument, but I would say that Robert Reich’s “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer” was the strongest. I believe it made a more effective argument because Reich gave many statistics, examples, studies, and data to prove his argument, while Mike Rose’s was more personal experiences. Reich’s reading was more credible due to his formal language and presentation, and because he is/was a professor at very scholarly universities. He gives original work and data to make his argument. 

1 comment:

  1. In Blue Collar Brilliance by Mike Rose, he discusses the aspects of intelligence needed to complete blue-collared (manual labor) jobs. He also brings up the point that in our culture we base our intelligence off the amount of formal education we complete and the values manual laborers exhibit, rather than their skillful thought their jobs require. He explains that most people learn through the experiences one gains in the real world. School is very important to some, but for others situations occur and one cannot continue their education, but that doesn’t mean they are anything less than intelligible person. Because he was someone who struggled in school and is now a cognitive psychologist and professor. Rose backs his argument by providing personal experiences shown in his own life, since his family members, like his mom and Uncle Joe, were both blue-collared workers. In Robert Reich’s Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer, he gives his argument to then be backed up by statistics and data, that are very outdated to our current society because all are before the 2000s. The main idea of this reading was to explain how the poor are sinking in the economy due to the cheap labor seen in foreign countries and the competition between producers to provide high production volume of products. The middle class (in-person servers), explained by Reich, are going to eventually decrease but at a slower and uneven pace. And in our society, the rich are getting richer because of the intense desire to obtain ideas that make improvements and transactions over the internet that allows easy connections throughout the world. I thought both passages were very interesting and took two totally different approaches to the subject of the working classes in America. In order to make a more effective argument I would use Reich’s passage.