Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Collars, Blue & White.

In "Blue Collar Brilliance, Rose goes against the norm in American culture that a college degree is a milestone of intelligence. Common thought is that a college education is the only education. Rose offers a different opinion on the matter. He says that waitresses and foremen/forewomen gain knowledge in their respective environments that's just as or even more vital than college credits. Rose states that "anyone who is effective at physical work... ...learned to work smart." To Rose, the intense thinking-on-the-go that's required during manual labor isn't as respected as it should be. This norm feeds tension between classes and tears society apart.
"Why the Rich are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer" Reich tells us about the current economic situation: The poor are getting extremely poor, the middle class is on the decline, and the rich are feeding off of both. Disappearing low-income jobs are making it harder and harder to for the lower class to stay afloat. Going back to the growing disparity mentioned by Rose, Reich also points out the division between people caused by socio-economic status.
To me, Rose had the stronger argument. I found his use of personal experiences to be quite persuasive. The use of this technique made me as the reader feel as if I was hearing the argument from a real person. It was more effective than the barrage of information presented by Reich. Rose's argument feels more legitimate and thus his point was received better.


  1. In “Blue-Collar Brilliance,” by Mike Rose explains how individuals do not need to have a have a college degree in order to be intelligent. Rose proves this by sharing his life experiences of is mother working in a diner to his uncle supervising the paint- and-body department. Rose gave plenty examples on how his mothers and uncles jobs taught them intelligence. I feel that he is trying to prove that even working what is considered a lower class job, still takes a lot of hard work and dedication. That no matter where someone is working they still learn and teach themselves on a day to day basis. Even without a college education a person is still as smart vs someone with a college education. In, “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor Are Getting Poorer,” by Robert Reich explains how the jobs for the “blue collared” workers are declining and the jobs for the “white collared” workers are increasing due to competition. If the competition continues to go the way it is going in the economy the “blue collared” workers will soon not be able to get a job, instead they will be losing their jobs. Honestly I’m not sure which reading I agree more with. I think they were both strong. I really liked Rose’s argument because he used real life examples of what the poor class does go through. I also liked Reich’s argument because it was really accurate to what might and probably will happen in the future if we do not fix it. It is not possible for every human to get a “white collared” job.

  2. In mike roses essay, “Blue Collar Brilliance”, he explains how intelligence is viewed on how much schooling a person has gone through in there life. I agree when he mentions about the amount of schooling you have does not depict whether your smart or not. Many believe that education is not the only way to be successful, but some believe the opposite. For example Beyonce and Jay-z didn’t graduate from high school but look where they are now. People around the country seem them as successful LENGENDS. In Robert Reich, “why the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer”, he talks about the gap between the lower half of society and the upper half of the society. I like how he compares this situation to a boat. At one point were rising then at another point were sinking. He takes a vivid turn to talk more about the lower, middle and upperclassess. The lower class keeps getting poorer because of wage cuts. The middle class stays at a constant position and the upper-class continues to rise more because they are earning more salary and coming up with brilliant ideas in our society.

  3. I agree with you that Reich, in “Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor are Getting Poorer”, did throw out a lot of information and it was a bit overwhelming. I think Reich was able to get across many good points that way, however. Reich explained major problems that are effecting both America and foreign nations. The way companies will do anything to save a dollar is crazy and is hurting so many families in the process and Reich really brought those problems to the reader’s attention. In “Blue Collar Brilliance” Mike Rose, I thought, also did a great job informing the reader. His life experience, including his family’s background, got the reader to really connect and he was able to persuade the reader that having a college degree and a fancy job is any better than a “blue collar” job. He focused a lot on reiterating that a non-fancy job, like being a waitress, does not get the recognition that it should, that the small time jobs are what keeps the world working and contrary to social beliefs, is a demanding job that requires quick thinking and problem solving skills. I thought both of the essays were good because they both brought good points about our nation’s economic state.