ABC News published an interesting story this week about a middle-class kid who imposed homelessness upon himself and claimed to never use his degree to upgrade his life over the course of a year. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and $5000 in savings from nothing more than $25 and a gym bag, suggesting that the American Dream is alive and well, and that hard work alone can overcome poverty.
I believe in the last line adamantly, but the experiment fails to consider certain variables that the privileged kid was unable to isolate. First, he’s male and white — that helps. Second, college is more than just a piece of paper, so even if the kid didn’t market his degree, he was capable of greater deductive reasoning, logic, and creativity than most homeless folk. Lastly, he was fortunate enough to carry (though he never used) an emergency credit card.
So was the experiment a success? I think so for the most part, though I’d like to see the result using a motivated individual with no background resources at all. Penny for your thoughts?