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.