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The Fallacy of the Middle-Class: Overcoming Social Resentment (XVIII). The Middle-Class Competitive Strategy Deal

Have a lovely Friday and a fantastic weekend. December has opened its season for all of us. Despite this complex, obscure and stormy year, still, here we are!. It is Christmas time. If we are still alive writing this blog, and you are reading this article, thankfulness is the word to treasure. Thankfulness for being alive. Gratefulness for the numerous blessings of the prompt prospect years that will come. Appreciation for the scientists, strategists, and experts who have tried to find a way to protect us and cure COVID19 despite the weird and uncertain circumstances of the pandemic. Regardless of the sadness of those who have lost someone during the last 9 months, we still need to auto-protect ourselves. Gratitude for the wisdom God has given us to shield our loved ones from this virus. Grace for opportunities that will come once the vaccines prove to be right and safe for all. Thank you, God, for all the forthcoming days that will come. Praying that Christmas time (even if we will have to spend the celebrations without the usual family gatherings) could heal our utmost inner needs, wants, and aspirations.

“J´adore nager”. A watercolor painted on Fabriano 5 watercolor paper. Reference source for the drawing and painting: This painting belongs to the miniature collection “Adorable Baby Animals”.

Let´s begin.

Today we will continue with topic number 12 of the outline: “The Deal: Middle-Class Competitive Strategy”.

Integral Education means a Future of Opportunities. For our mindset comprehension of happenings and for our income future. When it comes to beginning the journey to become a Middle-Class Family, we require to analyze a typical Middle-Class life-cycle timeline. Not just in earnings but also in important events of life, duty work life-style, in time dedication for education which in reality is preparation, time to look for a job, time to expand our mind creativity, time to be an entrepreneur, time to dedicate in priority all our energy to build a balanced family for our children, etc. The pivotal factor of this section is to analyze an abstraction of a Middle-Class individual timeline and visualize how education is the key to create fair social mobility to belong or maintain ourselves into the Middle-Class. As I have already mentioned,  if the paradigm of the Middle-Class is positively correlated with the preparation of “high-skills integral education” for the individuals, the first resource in hand is to build qualified professors that may spread the high-quality education required at every level of social class: low-class, middle-class and high-end income class.

Now let´s explore ideally how does the society timeline should work to promote high-skills education for the benefit of social mobility (please this is an abstraction of the reality). Each person is free to choose the path of their life according to their own priorities or vision of how they perceive they can make a living, but this is what happens (usually) when we choose education as a key differentiation factor to belong to the Middle-Class:

If you wish to download the last slide, please click here:

Without professors of good quality, we are fried. No matter how many YouTube videos or Facebook or Google-classroom videos are hanging there, it is hard to produce well-off high-quality integral students. Regardless of societies located in Africa, or Asia, or North America or Australia or South America or Europe; if qualified professors are not the abundant rule of thumb, not just in their academic content but in methodologies, and also in integral ethical values… who will spread the good education all over the world? Nothing that we do virtual will help us to create well-educated students, because the mentorship required in-person to build social skills is infinitely needed. Professors can visualize and identify high-performance students, using different standards of recognition (academic, ethical values, social balanced, etc).

Classification of students by degree of academic results. According to my experience as a teacher, I had at least three levels of students:

  1. Higher talented students, who are easily identified by professors; not just because they always get the best academic results, from A+ to B+ grades (or 10-8 on a scale of 0 to 10). These students are very unique, they also hold high ethical standards of behavior (do not copy and don´t hurt others) with their peers and school. These top students, I found, do not necessarily have the soft social community leadership skills within the group, because for these students the priority of their time is to study, and not many of them hang out going to parties or participate in their students’ community. These pupils have no time for it. Nevertheless, these social capabilities may be shaped through institutional outreach activities or social services, in a format to replace their lack of social interactions. Nowadays we require high ethical values with them too… and these only are exercised in the community with other kids. It is imperative to trigger the social skills development of them throughout their lifetime. Art and sport activity related courses help the smartest students to interact with the rest. It is also important to remark that there are two sub-types of high-talented students: (1) Those who are naturally gifted, who don´t need to dedicate long hours of study and preparation to get outstanding results; and (2) Those who are dedicated, and need to devote several hours to assimilate the content of the courses, who by practice and repetition or memory, are also getting excellent grades. Usually, the higher talented students are between 0% to 10% maximum of the class.
  2. Average students, who are the majority of the class (between 70% to 90%). These students are satisfied and content with passing the courses with B+ to C- (or 8.5 to 6.5 in a scale of 0 to 10) academic grading. Year over year, these students are basically looking to keep average grades. Either, these students are gifted but don´t have the stamina to work hard to get better academic results, or they spend their time in other social activities with their friends, or they simply have to work part-time or for hours to finance their studies. In addition, in this group are included many students who have a slow learning rhythm of learning, and many of them did not have the initial early childhood cognitive stimulation which puts them way behind the high-talented group. I have found many of these students with serious difficulties when it comes to critical thinking or abstraction capabilities.
  3. Low-Performance Students, who are around 10% to 30% of the class. Usually, these students are only trying to pass getting around C minus to D grades (or between 6.0 to 6.5 on a scale of 0 to 10, where 6 is the minimum to pass). And many of these students are always next to failing and do not participate actively in the classroom, Many of these students have difficulties in learning, for whatever the cause that triggers their bad performance at school. Sometimes their failing performance is founded in multidimensional poverty, or in their household parent’s bad interactions (violence, abuse, psychological problems). Furthermore, it could be because their brain capabilities are lagging behind the rest of the class.

These three groups of students exist in the low-class, in the middle-class, and in the high-income class. But qualified professors at any social-economic level are able to identify those who are super smart and talented, or those who need a bit of reinforcement to make it. These professors are able to open doors to help the higher talented students to scale up to the most rigorous schools in their towns, where their potential will be developed the farthest. The sadness of the low-class is to own professors who can´t help to identify high-quality talent, or who don´t encourage these students social mobility, or teachers who are not able to help these gifted students. Sorrowfully many poor- low class talents are wasted.  I believe that the best talents have the right to be developed regardless of their social condition.

When social equity exists, and educators are well prepared, all the talented students can be groomed to develop their brains to its utmost potential. No matter your social-class, no matter if children belong to the lowest working-class families, if education is the medium to permeate social mobility and reinforce further democracies, it is possible to identify, groom, and educate integrally to keep those talented people that otherwise are lost in their intent to overcome poverty. Of course, it is a personal decision to define the level of education that each student wishes or wants. But at least well-qualified professors may help those talented who wish to study to reach better societal opportunities. That is why I promote beautiful public schools for the low-income class. Poor low-class citizens should have the most wonderful schools on earth, places where they can forget that their families are poor. Many poor students NEED schools because at their homes they have multiple multidimensional poverty factors that limit their learning capacity.

Every person has the right to choose its path of brain development. I request you to print the last slide and then follow me with the following observations. I can extend my strategic reflections to a couple of articles, but I will share only the basics of education as a key successful competitive strategy for fitting into the middle class.

  • Some of the most talented students will select the path of formal education in specific areas as sciences, technology, medicine, history, anthropology, engineering for which a Doctorate is required. These students will be the next cohort of professors. And will end up being researchers, the discoverers of the new cures, or future well-equipped sages. This track is called the academic/research path.
  • Some other individuals will decide for the entrepreneur journey: for which there are two levels of entrepreneurs: (1) those who have developed high-skills in analytics and knowledge that can develop high-skills companies (in bio medics, in environmental protection, tech, in producing art and literature, etc); and (2) those who are partly skilled or unskilled who will decide to build entrepreneurship companies of essential services or subsistence categories.  
  • Our life is uncertain at the moment, to believe that all people who want to jump to the Middle-Class have to follow the same recipe of success. For example, the road of a stable “one in a life-time employment” is rare. Nowadays, people tend to change jobs as many times as possible, not just to learn from different industries, but also because it is recommended to build different skills that will help them to be attractive for future employment.
  • Nevertheless, some individuals, who feel attracted by the possibility of being an “employee” to make a step by step career in one institution, have the right to try to find those opportunities. These can start this route with or without a doctorate. But usually, to join the employment workforce happens between 20 to 30 years old.
  • The correlation between high-skills (more years of formal study) and your possibilities to earn more is still prominent. But the university in which you study is crucial. If you study in a top excellent university, it is possible that you will be able to find a high-earning job sooner; in comparison to a mediocre quality university. If someone is able to be accepted at a high-excellent university, then regardless of your social class, it is advisable to think about scholarship programs (paid by private philanthropies and the state).
  • For low-class citizens (including the poor middle-class members). As it is right now, students who want to leave the low-class behind have to build different potential future streams of revenues. Or build several hats of income production, including the path of entrepreneurship. It is not realistic to think that only the “employment path” is the success to leave poverty. Open your mind to the entrepreneurial journey. The entrepreneurial journey is so ample: (1) Is here to help those low-class citizens who were not able to make it into a well-recognized university; (2) Is here for those who do not want to be employees, but wish to open new businesses, offices, stores or WFH alternatives of different categories. (3) The entrepreneurial journey is also a path for those who will choose to dedicate their life to artistic venues (painters, photographers, freelance authors, actors, etc). (4) The entrepreneurial road is also for the children of the Middle-Class Parents who will inherit their progenitors’ companies; (5) Expanding, it is also a journey suitable for the high-income class who wish to expand into new businesses.
  • For those who are lucky to be employed for 40 years after the University, it is possible that once you retire, you will have to work for at least 20 years more, because, the life-span of people today is between 80 and 90 years old, and the pension funds are insufficient for your retirement lifestyle. Once you retire at 65 years old, being an entrepreneur is another option, when your pension alimony doesn´t provide what you require in your household. So, please save for your future, otherwise, you will have to work and work and work until you die.
  • What I am trying to tell you is that job employment paths (at the public or private sectors) are not demeaning the opportunities to also begin in parallel with your entrepreneurial projects. You can do both at the same time, and meanwhile, the job security of full-time employment exists. The Middle-Class has to explore all the talents available in your head, hobbies, sports, and manual skills to consider entrepreneurial opportunities.  

The pandemic has come to demonstrate to us how vulnerable is our revenue stream collection if we only depend on one source of income. The Middle-Class has to consider several income streams since youngster years. You can make your art hobbies a profitable stream of income too.  You can make your sports dedication a future profitable stream of benefits too. Do not wait to be kicked off from your stable job, to make revenues from other sources.

In my personal case, I lost more than 20 years of my life, without writing and painting.  I graduated from Cornell in 1999, and I deeply regret that I did not devote time to paint and write. When my full-time job at the World Bank expired in 2012, I wouldn´t have lost so many years searching for a job, but investing my time and resources to emerge with what I am building now. 8 years later!. It is never late anyway. In addition, I am committed to don´t use debt in the testing phase (or the Valley of death stage) of my business model.  Entrepreneurship without the utilization of debt takes time, but it is the healthy way to go.

In conclusion: Nothing is a waste of time when it comes to dedicating time to the preparation of your multiple skills, capabilities, capacities and hobbies. In addition, the more diversified your potential revenue streams, the ampler will be your potential to earn money in certain industries once other industries may be in crisis. My only advice is whatever you do, please do it with high-quality standards, honest values, transparency, and in content and format. Do not compete with anyone else, but with yourself. Only the best is usually hired or well paid. In the future, there will be a time in which your capacity or high skills won´t matter if you are not someone of high-ethical values.

See you next week with the theme 13 “The sustainable development goals of the Middle-Class. Thank you for staying with me during 4 authorship years. Gracias.

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY.  Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

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