Last updated: January 29. 2014 9:33AM - 1424 Views

Michael Howlett
Michael Howlett
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Think it doesn’t matter where you’re born, then think again. Yes siree, if you’re born in the wrong place, then your climb up the ladder of success not only has many more rungs, but a lot of them are coated with grease, tacks and animal excrement, in addition to being farther apart.

A recent study revealed that economic mobility has changed little in recent decades, but added the odds of moving up the income ladder depend heavily on where you grow up. So, in what region of this great country is the climb up the ladder of success the hardest? You guessed it – the South. Hell, even people in West Virginia are climbing up that ladder quicker than we are. Of course, those prehensile tails are a big help.

Strangely enough, the Midwest appears to have the best climbers, despite the lack of quality trees. What Iowans call a tree is a bush here in the mountains and what we call a tree here is a thing to be feared in Iowa. Those Iowans, they are so silly. The climbing is also good in Colorado, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. The only places where the climb is as difficult as in good old Dixie are a portion of New Mexico, one county in South Dakota and Ohio.

The key to climbing the ladder of success, according to the researchers responsible for the study, is mobility. However, if you read the study more carefully, you find that the key is really money. Yes, the study found that children born to the highest-income families were 75 percentage points more likely to attend college than those from the lowest-income families. Anybody who is surprised by this obvious revelation is probably stuck on the bottom rung of the ladder in a greasy, animal excrement-coated mess.

Now, if you’re a genius like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, you have no need for a stinkin’ college diploma; however, for most people education, and money, plenty of money, helps them traverse at least a few rungs. But, hey, you say you don’t want to go to college or even learn a trade in a vocational school, you want to make it on your own wits. Fine, but you should first listen to some music.

In “Down in the Boondocks,” a boondocker, that’s what they call the natives of the boondocks, among other things, loves a girl who is from a wealthy family. In fact, the boy works for his love’s father, who would shoot the boy if he knew what was going on. In the song, the boy proclaims “one fine day, I’ll find a way, to move from this old shack,” presumably to be able to join the higher class members of society, thus allowing him and his girl to kiss in public. The other stuff will still have to remain private.

In “Poor Side of Town,” a boy sings to a girl “To him you were nothin’, but a little plaything. Not much more than an overnight fling. To me you were the greatest thing this boy had ever found. And, girl, it’s hard to find nice things on the po’ side of town.” Needless to say, he’s having a hard time convincing her that she’s better off with Po’ Johnnie than Richy Rich. So, here we have another example of how being on the low rungs of success can affect your life negatively.

Although those are certainly two sad songs, the guys in those lyrics are successes when compared to some others.

In “Victim of Romance” a guy really has it rough. I mean he “was born in a bass drum, brought up by a guitar.” Why, you may ask did this occur, well, it was because his mama “kept a house of hags” and his “daddy dressed in drag.” He didn’t have a chance. Hell, Miley Cyrus wouldn’t even have anything to do with him.

Then you have the boy in the song in “Tobacco Road.” He was “born in a trunk, Mama died and daddy got drunk, left me here to die or grow.” This is heartbreaking. And how about the guy who “was born in the soul of misery, never had me a name, they just gave me the number when I was young.” Good Lord, his parents named him a number and the best number they could come up with was “13.”

Throw in the guy who was born “in the triangular skull” and, of course, the guy who was born in a “crossfire hurricane” and you have some people who probably needed a stepladder just to reach the first rung.

I guess you’re expecting some wise words of wisdom now. Well, the truth is, I have none. I mean, if you’re reading this, then you have probably already grown up, or are close to it, and either you have lots of money or you don’t.

The only advice I can give you is to head for Iowa. When the Iowans see that you don’t fear large trees, maybe they’ll make you governor and pay you lots of money. Then your kids will receive the benefits you never had here in the hills.

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