This Comic Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Privilege

Best kept secret

In this an amazing comic related to how privileges design the path of our lives, the author Toby Morris, an Auckland based illustrator and comic artist shows us how Richard and Paula’s path are different due to their family status. Money is most certainly an obstacle to learning, as in case of Paula trying to study for a degree and juggling a 40 hour work/week is not easy. 

What is your idea about privileges? does it really affect our path and our future? and what about the concept of equality of opportunity?

This is a piece of the creative work of Toby Morris, you find the rest of his comics on The Wireless here.  to see the rest of the comic please click here (Toby Morris and The Wireless).

403 thoughts on “This Comic Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Privilege

    1. This is the problem with America you guys rather yell privilege. That’s what happeneds when in school one kid wins but everyone gets a medal

  1. Ha ha. Zero comments…wanna know why? Because socialism SUCKS. Paula has plenty of opportunity to make her own way…This America, not Russia

    1. Ha ha. I don’t know if it’s ignorance or pure stupidity, but everything was wrong with your comment. Inequality doesn’t equate to socialism, and privilege is a very real issue. Maybe you should try to attend an inner city public school and see where that gets you. Or if you’re older, send your kids to one and see how successful they end up.

      1. I DID attend a middle to low class "inner city" school. I lived Paula’s life, and Paula’s parents WERE my parents but I never looked for a reason to blame mine and my parents situation on someone who was better off…and I knew MORE than a few. So, is dreamt of better, I worked hard, and I never quit striving for better; now I’m successful and well respected in my profession as a result. If I can do it, anyone can do it. The people who criticize the privileged, especially "white" privilege (as if that were ACTUALLY a thing) do so ultimately because they feel it’s unfair for people in better social and economical situations to be in those situations, and they want the "better off" to feel guilty about being better off. Soon they begin to act as if the "better off" owe them something, just because they exist. Guess what? They don’t! People who think this way begin to think that the affluent should be made to sacrifice some of their comforts and share them with the "less fortunate" so that life is more equal…that concept, EQUALS Socialism…and Socialism SUCKS! What’s mine is mine because I WORKED for it, and it’s MINE! What’s yours is yours because you’ve most likely settled for mediocrity, and YOU have have to take responsibility for that.

    2. Paula does not have as many opportunities as you think. I live Paula’s life. Many times when I would rather be at an event networking, I must be at work instead to pay for my college expenses. My parents can’t afford to cover my expenses. They have a mortgage and other kids to worry about. Luckily my scholarship covers tuition but not much else. We’re not poor enough for me to qualify for federal grants to help out with other things like books and housing. And NO!! It’s not as simple as taking off from work for those events. My school schedule only allows me to work so many days/hours a week. My GPA is in the top 10 percent of my class at my university and I joined some clubs and organizations on campus to help further my career and strengthen leadership skills but not being privileged to have school paid for often makes me miss the big events I spend all semester planning because I must work. Imagine working hard on a big project and never knowing how it turned out or never being recognized for the work you put in to making something happen. That feeling sucks way more than socialism does.

    3. America was built to serve rich, white, straight men. Anyone who does not for into these demographics is fucked from the get go. That’s why they had to fight for anything resembling rights while everyone else was well off. The point of the cartoon shows that no matter how hard she works, she can only go so far.

  2. Maybe we should go full Harrison Bergeron to insure that life is exactly fair for everyone.

    1. You are wrong. All white individuals are privileged in a specific way. All males are privileged in a specific way. As a white man, you are privileged in the ways that both white individuals and males are privileged. This does not mean that you do not suffer from other disadvantages in life, but it does mean that you are provided with many advantages and privileges that many (most) others do not have access to. With all due respect, despite any hardships I’m sure you have experienced, you exist within the most privileged demographic on this planet. Yes, all white males are privileged.

    2. Well, actually, they are. That’s how privilege works. All members of any privileged class benefit from that privilege; they may just not enjoy any other privileges.

      For example: A young, able-bodied white woman who identifies as gay still benefits in some way from privilege, but not others. She’s still white, and benefits from that privilege, as well as the privilege that being able-bodied and young afford her, but she can still experience oppression on the grounds of her gender and sexual identity.

      There are many different types of privilege, and many people benefit from some but not others, since people can be any combination of things.

      Pointing out a person (or group of people)’s privilege isn’t meant to be about blame, but I understand that it can be hard not to feel that way. When people call it out, what they want is for those who benefit to start to take notice it and acknowledge it, and hopefully one day help to begin to break it down.

      That’s all. This comic wasn’t intended as a jab towards anyone; it was merely meant to serve as an educational tool.

    3. But they’re privileged enough not to automatically be considered inferior when they go into a job interview. Privileged enough to have their whiteness considered "normal" while non-white people are "other" in some way. Privileged enough to have it be more likely to see a white manager rather than a non-white manager even though they did nothing to help that.

  3. You would think that after seeing this graphic representation that children of parents who made poor choices such as having kids before they completed their education and are financially secure, or having kids with a succession of baby-daddies wold be sure not to repeat their parent’s mistakes – but Noooooo – I’m interested to learn by cartoon how this is my fault too.

    1. John Gault – are you arguing that people who struggle financially shouldn’t have children? Because eugenics isn’t capitalism, mate – it’s fascism.

      1. Yes, I’m saying that if you can’t afford to raise your kids you shouldn’t have them. This idea is not rocket science. I am so tired of people breeding indiscriminately and expecting me to foot the bill. You use the work eugenics, but I don’t think you know what it means.

    2. You would think that someone who considers themself intelligent could see something like this and not actually grasp the point – but Noooooo – I’m interested to learn by your response how you got the idea that this was about you.

      Is it because everything is always about you?

      What makes you think that just because you’ve just seen (and totally failed to internalize) this graphic, that somehow all the people you just insulted must have seen it too?

    3. John, if you provide me your contact info, I’d be happy to send you a cartoon about the fact that you’ve entirely missed the point. 🙂

    4. Hi John,

      While that may be true for a small number of folks, there are several other possibilities to consider.

      The parents in question may themselves be children of those who were redlined post WW2 from neighborhoods where there was investment and growth. Because of this discrimination they were not able to build wealth and pass on the privilege through generations.
      Single mothers are probably the largest demographic who is poor. But before saying that their situation is a result of poor choices maybe we should consider that there are large number of males from poor communities that are put in jail almost for life bc of ridiculous laws like the three strike rule and again, discrimination.
      Sadly ‘financial security’ is evading many educated middle class Americans because of the rising wealth gap. And those on top do tend to feel that they are there because of their own greatness (ex. donald trump) and not the series of advantages that this cartoon depicts.

      There is a lot more to be said but i’ll leave it at that for now

    5. Maybe the fact that they don’t have access to proper birth control or the fact that birth control can fail. Let’s also not gloss over the fact of the shaming many mothers would experience from abortion or the choice of trying to raise the child on their own due to being prolife. Lets not forget how many schools sex education programs are an after thought. Not everything is black and white or can be blanketed by the same tired answers.

    6. It’s not always the parents fault. My parents were doing well for themselves, married in 85′, waited to have children until they were finically stable. I was born in 97′ and had a nice childhood, I went to catholic school I played sports, after 11 years of private tuition I attended a public school. My freshman year of high school my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that spread to her brain. The next two years go by, I’m 16, my mom is being moved from nursing home to hospital to nursing home. She’s terminal. She can’t talk, she can’t walk, she can’t eat. Her medicine is two expensive after two years of hospital and medical bills, and to top it off my dad is diagnosed with kidney cancer, his can be removed, time for surgery, more medical bills. On my 16th birthday I applied for a job, started working imediatly, I was on my own, in charge of all my own expenses, college? Not even in the picture. After 3 1/2 years of finical detriment to my family, my mom passes away two weeks before my high school graduation in June. I graduated with a 4.0 gpa, but no scholarships or awards for someone like me. I am enrolled in a local community college working full time and trying to start a bakery coffee shop business on the side. It’s not always the parents fault. I’m not in control of getting cancer like my parents. They had done everything right, shit happens.

    7. You’re an idiot. Keep acting like you dont know the truth.

      1. You act like no one should have any personal responsibility – you are a dolt

    8. Oh my gosh! You may want to pull that up! Your privilege is showing… No where in this article did it say that her parents where not college educated or had multiple children with different partners. Due to today’s economy there are MANY college educated adults who previously had secure jobs, working entry level jobs at Amazon factories and other places because the cost of living is increasing and decent paying jobs are scarce. Many people are also forced to go into sectors unrelated to the ones they graduated in due to lack of jobs in their sector and later cannot get a related jobs due to lack of experience and irrelevance of their previous education. Also, how dare you imply that those without college degrees make unworthy parents. Everyone cannot afford college and it will continue to be that way until college is free. As for the multiple "baby daddies" , have you ever considered that this was due to lack of insuffient sexual education, insufficient family planning services, inability to pay for contraception, or lack of money to pay to fix the "mistake"? However, this also does not make one an unworthy parent. As someone in college with two married college educated parents this all something I can understand. I understand that I am extremely privileged and most people in the world will never have the same opportunities as I do. You must come understand this a well. You lack not only empathy, but also much understanding of the world. Next time make sure to cover up your privilege before you speak. It’s very unflattering.

    9. I read an article one time that described various people’s thoughts about how they lived their lives as poor people. Some ideas were in the vein of, "life sucks so having it suck a bit worse doesn’t increase the pain too much. At least I get a warm body next to me sometimes to make me feel wanted in some capacity."

      But you’re right, because it’s one’s own fault if they were born into a family that doesn’t have much, if they live in a community that promotes certain ideologies and ways of thinking, if their parents don’t have the wherewithal to teach them otherwise. And, of course, every kid in this situation grows up exactly as you have described, every time. What great encouragement you offer! And when you read about privilege, somehow you assume others’ disadvantages are portrayed as being your fault. Because you refuse to feel guilty for having things not a result of your own merit even though the point isn’t to make you feel guilty but to make you aware. And then you seek out to blame kids in situations like Paula’s while ignoring the truth that some people are privileged and feeling negatively that it’s brought to your attention.

      Since you have all the answers, are you going to go to an inner-city or very rural school and teach those kids what they need to know about managing finances, safe sex (including abstinence), self-esteem, and other things that might help them? Will you help turn their communities around so they see more than drugs or violence or other people having a boatload of kids although they’re not socioeconomically ready to have them? You must have grown up in such a situation and turned everything around all by yourself so you know exactly how life is being one of the non-privileged, right?

      Tell the kids you see when you volunteer in that low-income neighborhood that some random commenter said, "keep your head up."

  4. Honestly, I don’t like the comic, the idea is OK and I understand it, buy you know what’s my problem with it?

    Richard’s portrayal. And I mean it. He is not your typical douche who gain everything in life just because he’s into a rich family and doesn’t move a finger to do anything. If you see the comic carefully, you will see that he did study, he did work, he did make an effort to arrive where he arrived, he just, unlike Paula, had more connection that helped make the proccess easy.Some people do have more opportunities than others, Richard indeed had good connections, but the more I see the comic, the more I feel he reached the top due to his effort and not just because he was a "Daddy’s boy". When you enter an intership you must do a great work to make an impression, being the son of someone important in the company will only help to move more eyes over you, meaning that if you don’t produce and work hard, you will soon be kicked out.If the portrayal of Richard would have been of the president of the company, who had everything handed, never work a finger for other, and then Daddy gave him the vicepresident seat because he can’t see his son as the scum he is, then OK, I totally understand the meaning of the comic.

    But Richard is not that kind of guy, he did have a more stable home than Paula and a Dad with good connections, but I hate this comic making him look like a villain when he is another guy who won what he has through effort, maybe not that many hardship, but through effort.

  5. Every study shows that if you do three things, finish college, don’t have a baby before you get married, and enter the labor force- you will not be poor! But less than half of black males finish college, and 73% of black children are born outside of marriage. Life for a poor person is hard, but its a million times better than socialism. Coming from someone whose parents grew up in east germany.

  6. This article is not necessarily advocating socialism, but has a more nuanced meaning. I like to interpret it as this– It’s emphasizing the cultural attitudes and stigmas associated with different economic classes. It’s unfair to associate someone’s personality or willingness to work hard due to what they were given in life. I am a lucky person– my parents provided me with a lot, and yes, I also work very hard. When I have a successful career I will attribute my success to BOTH my dedication to success as well as my luck to have been born to my family. This should inspire us to be more understanding and compassionate Americans. Be nice to people and be a decent human until they give you a legitimate reason not to, don’t assume anything about their personality based on their income bracket. Essentially, don’t allow your success to give you an attitude such as Richards.

  7. I know plenty of young people who are working their way though college and making it happen for themselves. I am getting tired of the whining attitude — if you put your mind to it you can accomplish most anything with a little hard work and dedication…

  8. I have lived a little on both sides of this comic and I don’t see what’s wrong with anything until the very last set of pictures. You can not control how you were raised but you can control your outlook on life and other people and their struggle. It’s not fair to say that if the "privileged" kids dad was sick he would also drip everything to be at his side… It’s also not fair to assume that the "unprivileged" kid’s parents wouldn’t accept anything but A’s from their child. I understand that this comic is trying to make a point which is why it is set in such extremes but life doesn’t happen in just black or white. Life is all grey.

    1. When rich people get sick, they can afford nurses. There would be no reason for a rich kid to "drop everything." I’ve heard people say that money doesn’t matter once you get cancer, but it does.Just think for a minute. If a rich man gets sick, he can afford to recuperate. A poor kid would have to go home to earn money because somebody has to pay the rent and keep the lights on–a problem that would never confront a person of means.

  9. John Gault – are you arguing that people who struggle financially shouldn’t have children? Because eugenics isn’t capitalism, mate – it’s fascism.

  10. many apparently will blow off this comic lesson …da nile is not just a river in egypt…

  11. I think it’s pretty telling that a bunch of white dudes immediately felt the need to comment about how unfair this comic is. ……Towards them.

    Insert exaggerated eye roll here, please.

    1. How did you manage to make this about race, really!…..its obvious to see the glasses your looking through

      1. Maybe it’s because race literally comes into play with privilege. White folk are privileged.

  12. And even still, the comment section proves that congnative dissonance is a real thing.

  13. The only fault of privilege is not recognizing that you are privileged. The irony of Richard claiming that nobody every handed him anything on a plate when he clearly grew up in privilege is very clear in this graphic. There was no information about his or Paula’s parents, where they worked or what "poor choices" they had made. So, not knowing those things, how do you know she and her parents are some how responsible for their lack of privilege and he and his parents are somehow deserving of the privileges they have? That’s a trick question, you don’t know. So how do you justify judging them?

  14. I’m a teacher in a rural high school with both types of students. It’s amazing how insensitive and blind some of these comments are. Privilege is real and I see it everyday.

  15. Privileged is not an issue. My parents grew up as under priveleged. My moms dad said, " your not going to college you will just get knocked up." If you saw her today she is making 6 figures and is a very powerful women. Mom chooses to support me through school and I feel so bad at times but she looks at me and says use your free time to do something meaningful or that you love because I didn’t get a chance. My dad teaches me how to do trade skills and makes sure my hands get dirty. I think it’s everyone’s jobs to be a better parent for the day they have kids because I want to give my kids the same experience I have had because it gives me both perspectives.

  16. Some are missing the point… Not all of any culture are privileged but the reality is the more affluent the parents are the more potential there is for opportunity. Its just a fact.. I lived on both sides, more on Paula’s reality from an economic standpoint more on Richard’s side from my single mother’s expectation standpoint. I appreciate both even my student loans.

  17. Either way, just don’t be an irreconcilable jerk, simply because of circumstance…sometimes, despite where you come from, you should be a better person and realize we all go to ground eventually.

  18. What’s wrong with being born into privilege? Why should we feel guilty? Sure not everybody has it easy like us. But that’s not our fault, let the privileged enjoy their blessings in peace. How dare you shame us!

    1. I don’t think that the author is trying to shame those with many privileges (every is privileged in some way, shape, or form). I think that it’s pointing it out so that people do not ‘shame’ Paula or even compare Richard and Paula. Even people with privilege have challenges and setbacks. Some of the reasoning behind identifying privilege is so that people can have a better understanding of Paula’s circumstances as opposed to labeling her in a negative way. With that said, I don’t think it’s fair to label people with many privileges in a negative way either. It makes deconstructing privilege as a means to understand and contextualize people accurately into a blame-game and it become decisive.

    2. Lmao, what a joke.Nope, those on the disadvantaged side will not allow you to enjoy your privilege in peace. Should have been born in the 1900s for that. We’ll be stripping you of your privilege so that everyone is closer to equal grounding.Cry some more tears.

  19. What a joke. Has this author simultaneously lived both lives of these hypothetical kids?


    You cant paint with such a broad brush

  20. Anyone who claims the odds aren’t statistically higher for children of privilege to enjoy better health, get better educations, earn more in more rewarding careers and live longer is either ignorant, delusional, lying or wrong for another reason. That doesn’t mean every individual will prove the general point being made here. Sometimes people overcome rough beginnings with hard work, talent, perseverance and some good fortune. Others have "everything handed to them on a silver platter" only to squander it all. When circumstances are created so that all children are enabled to live up to their full potential, we will all be better off.

  21. Do you people not realize that it’s a privilege to have a house and a job, point blank. Not everyone is so privileged to even have a roof over their head or parents that can work. THINK

    1. Who’s you people? Who are you taking about?

  22. I think there is a difference between fairness and inequality. Life isn’t fair, it’s not going to be. All you can do is play the cards you are delt. It’s important to understand that both parties have equal opportunity to achieve what they want in life. It might not be fair that some have more to start with, but it’s not far to assume you can do nothing simply because of where you are born. It is up to the individual to look at their personal situation, define a goal and work relentlessly to achieve it. Don’t worry about the cards other people were dealt, you can still do whatever you want in life.

    1. I agree with you to a certain extent… Both parties do not have equal opportunity. Now had the pictures shown two people both being awarded loans & handed job opportunities & not having to work the through college & lets say the woman blew her loan, not investing it or starting a business, never finished college & was not a great employee that would be a depiction of equal opportunity. At that point you can fairly determine how they handled the cards they were dealt equally!!!

  23. So, ultimately it’s Paulas parents fault. They’re irresponsibility directly affected Paulas life and opportunities. Richard is a dick (no pun intended) for not acknowledging how blessed he was, to have such good parents.

  24. I’m interested to learn, John Gault, whether you’re, in fact, actually willing to learn anything at all. It certainly doesn’t appear that way, from your inability to appreciate the fact that perhaps this comic doesn’t actually have anything to do with you.

    I can understand how that concept might be a tough one, though, considering how accustomed you appear to be to having things be about you. Even if only in your own head.

    1. Sassafrass -If the comic wasn’t taking a swipe at everyone whom the author deems "privileged" it would be only one column. The fact is that everyone is born with a unique set of family, intelligence, musical and athletic abilities and other strengths and weaknesses. Whining about what advantages everyone else has seems to have become a cottage industry especially on campuses. Your smug personal attack makes me think you are part of the problem.

  25. I like how the girl doesn’t waste one second complaining about her situation. Instead she works hard to be more successful than her parents. She is an amazing person who doesn’t need this cartoon to make excuses for her.

    1. ”excuses”? DIDN’T notice where the two paths divide into ridiculousness??? What good WHAT good would it do for HER to complain??? She shouldn’t have to complain about her plight… THAT is what the story is about…MAKING it NOT NEEDED for the situation to exist with things like:low-cost or FREE COLLEGE,,, PARITY in SCHOOLS and EDUCATION…. TAXATION of the people who have more to allow all people to advance… NOT a GIVEAWAY of wealth, BUT a benefit of living in the riches nation in world history…. If there is no stopgaps on wealth and free ride to stay wealthy, we will see even more wars on the ‘0therClasses’ We must lower the constant barriers in getting to that place where THE AMERICAN DREAM is not 1 in MILLION+, but a real opportunity ,, We’ll be a better NATION and live in a better WORLD….

  26. But by making Richard pay higher taxes your basically telling him that it’s somehow his fault that some people don’t have as many opportunities as he did. That isn’t fair, is it? Just because Paula had less opportunities doesn’t mean she had none. Part of life is playing with the hand your dealt, if you spend your whole life complaining and focusing on how other people have it better you’ll never succeed. You shouldn’t be focused on getting what other people have, you should be focusing on getting what makes you happy. I started working as soon as I legally could, I worked through high school, paying for most of the things in my life. I’m currently paying for college out of pocket. Life isn’t easy. I plan on giving money to charities once I have money to give. But my success is my responsibility, and in turn, I won’t take responsibility for anyone else’s success.

    1. In my mind the problem is corporate taxes, I agree That Richard as an individual should have to pay no more of a percentage than the less fortunate. If I were Richard i would be upset about that and im sure any fair thinking person would as well, not everyone is a fair thinking person though and that is where the real problem lies within society.

    2. No because a higher tax rate on his end is the same marginal cost of the lower tax rate to a poor person. Basic microeconomics…

    3. Hey Ben, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you didn’t really think it through when you said "I (you) won’t take responsibility for anyone else’s success." Seeing as you sound intelligent from the way you write, I’m sure it wouldn’t take you long to realize, if you thought about it for a minute, that this statement makes you sound like a sociopath. I don’t think you are; rather, you probably just didn’t think it through. Would you push someone out of the way of an oncoming car that was going to run them over? Guess what, you’re then responsible for their later success. They’ve got working legs and arms that they can then use to earn money at a job. Would you pull someone out of a burning building? Yup, you’re responsible again for their later success. You may disagree (I hope you don’t), but I believe a burn victims with scars all over their face have a more difficult time getting jobs. Them getting a job comes partly from your actions. I’m sure what you meant when you said you wouldn’t take responsibility wasn’t that you wouldn’t help the aforementioned two people. But you would be responsible. Choosing to not "take" responsibility" seems like you’re just being ignorant of what’s really happening. What about the taxes you pay? Some of those taxes fund programs aimed at providing people with a chance at "success." Through any taxes you pay, you become responsible. By making Richard pay higher taxes you’re not telling him that it is his fault that other’s don’t have as many opportunities, you’re telling him that he has the means to provide others with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. Without going off on a tangent, I’ll quickly mention that money only provides a very marginal addition to happiness after a certain point. Richard being ‘super rich’ will only provide him a (very) small amount more happiness than if he were simply ‘rich.’ Further, societies full of only super rich people and poor people are not the most enjoyable societies to live in, for the rich or the poor. I’ll leave it up to you to look more into that. Perhaps that will cause you to reconsider your statement that people "shouldn’t be focused on getting what other people have." You argue they ‘shouldn’t,’ but people are notoriously bad at figuring out what makes them happy and they do focus on what other people have. And you’re assuming that what makes someone happy isn’t having the same things as other people. Often times "focusing on how other people have it better" is exactly what drives people to ‘succeed.’ The problem comes in where the "hand your (sic) dealt" is so shitty that the most you can hope for is a shitty job where you work 12 hour a day to pay rent, buy cheap food, and seek out cheap and unhealthy ways to entertain yourself. At that point, focusing on what other’s have doesn’t drive you to succeed, it brings you down because you believe there’s no way you will have anything more than what your shitty job provides. I share the same sentiment as the comic. I too hope that people in that position continue to strive for more and don’t "settle."

  27. I’m enjoying the irony of the privelaged respondents underlining the stereotype perfectly while trying to defend themselves. Well done, Toffs! 🙂

  28. Good punchline! But should have had ONE frame where Richard sufferers some adversity or setback, or just does a bunch of hard work? Part of the way that sense of privilege and entitlement works is that people blow their own troubles out of proportion. Think how easy it is for privileged people to look at Richard and go, "Oh that’s not me, because I had to overcome blah blah blah."

  29. Yes! Yes! Yes! More socialism for more people. That’s why the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba were such a people magnet. People from privileged nations escaping the brutality of the capitalist system for the worker’s paradise. Seriously. Andrew Carnegie was a poor Scottish immigrant who ended up being one of the richest men in the world and when he died he gave away most of his money to charities. It’s true that circumstances can keep people down, but there are many, many success stories in the "privileged" world of poor people succeeding; Dr. Ben Carson being but one of those success stories. That would not, could not, happen under the oppression of socialism.

  30. He forgot to mention the reason why her school is overcrowded. This president loves to have illegal aliens in this country and hand them the same benefits that are intended for the citizens. Don’t forget to mention the many scholarships that are available for her but not available to him. All the government assistance programs available to her and her family.

  31. This cartoon isn’t saying that growing up privileged immediately means you will be better. It is saying you have an easier climb than those from underprivileged families. My upbringing was more in line with Paula than Richard’s. Despite consistently scoring within Advanced and Honors levels, monetary hardship made it difficult for me to finish my post secondary education. There were nights before major exams that I had to go hungry because working 3 jobs while full time in school still couldn’t make ends meet. It is taking me twice as long to get to my goal of completing my graduate degree than most of my colleagues. That has limited my lifetime earning potential, negatively impacted my credit score (despite not having credit cards), and unfortunately hurt my own self esteem. However, I see the difference in myself from others in my community because, despite working 2 jobs, both of my parents were adamant about my behavior and education by having encyclopedias in the house and playing scrabble. I am an exception coming from where I am from and I still have had a hard go of it. Be grateful for your opportunities and always remember to help others.

  32. What I got from this comic is that both people lived and grew up in different environments. They both had loving parents that worked hard for the benefit of their children. The difference is the attitude. Richard, ironically, shows how ignorant of how blessed he was because everything was handed to him. He had an excellent education, had connections, and etc. but it got him to thinking that he was doing things through his own merit. However, I believe the goal of the comic isn’t to say that privilege is bad neither is working hard for everything. It comes down to acknowledging the benefits and struggles of one’s life and using those experiences to help someone else. That is what both Richard’s and Paula’s parents did.

  33. It’s so sad that people can’t see where you socioeconomic background, your parents education, even your race can play a role in so many aspects of life. Still arguing that everyone can work hard as if those who have a low socioeconomic background don’t work hard. It’s pathetic that people can’t see where they have privilege. Nothing to do with race, I know I had an advantage over my classmates because my sister went to college. In middle school she assigned me books she had been reading in college and I fell in love with reading. Had this not been the case, no teacher would have taken the time to introduce universities to me, I would have likely gone to community college (not that there is anything wrong with that, but just like most of my classmates, I could have done more). When your parents are on drugs and you don’t know where you are going to live and eat, your priorities are different. Not to use that as an excuse but as a basis for beginning to understand where you had a head start.

  34. Nothing like a cartoon to simply a situation to the point of being of little use to the majority of Americans who are little like either of the two people depicted.

    Frankly we are all quiet aware of the privilege in our society and little of it looks like this little comic strip.

  35. I have mixed feelings on the cartoon, I will say as someone who grew up very poor that i both agree and disagree which i believe is actually the point. To me its about exposure, the more privileged as we shall call them are simply more exposed to lifes opportunities then the less fortunate. Deep down we all have the same 24 hours in everyday, its really up to us what to do with them. I am now 37, I work very hard and my bills are paid, I have two teenage boys I raise on my own and we are happy, very happy. If you make your happiness about monetary success and material things then its easy to choose a side here. However if you make your happiness about about the the worlds greatest currency which is in human relationships, then there really is no side to choose, just opportunities to be taken.

    1. Yes, but alongside all that you are "happily" accepting that a group of people will have way more chances and opportunities than you and that’s not fair in my opinion – regardless of who is happier.

  36. The comic makes a good point that we all need to keep things in perspective, remember where we came from, and remember that no one gets anywhere completely on their own. Also, life isn’t fair. Maybe some view themselves as less-privileged because their parents didn’t have the money, cultural capital, or planning skills to provide them with the same opportunities as others. The fact is that life is going to be easier or harder for different people and in different ways.

    What I find troubling is the notion that privilege (either having it or lack thereof) can be used as an excuse for a person’s poor decisions and situation, many of which can be controlled by the individual. Privilege is often used as a justification to take more from one to give to another because the wealthier person is perceived to not have really earned it, they were just luckier, or more privileged.

  37. Whoever wrote the into for this doesn’t know what "literally" means. My gut remained untouched for the duration of the time it took to read the punchline.

  38. So you completely represented rich family vs poor family privilege. But all this has been known forever. That is pretty much the rich vs poor scenario regardless of race.

    But it seems suggested that this is a white vs non-white situation. It isn’t. I am white. I grew up with two working parents. I lived in a better household than this poor kid was depicted in. But still lower middle class.

    I worked full time to pay my way through college. That’s right, school and work both full time. It was exhausting. I got a degree in computer science.

    You know how I walked away with very little debt? I spent the first half of college at a community college to save money. I found a job that did tuition reimbursement. On my own by searching really hard.

    My parents don’t have any connections. They didn’t go to college. They were never rich. A few times we were almost homeless growing up.

    I paid for college as I went. I sold my college books back at the end of each semester to the next round of students. I bought used books when I could. I lived at home and helped out around the house went to school full time and worked full time.

    I also was calculating with my choices. I didn’t go after a worthless degree in liberal arts or something else like that which would never bring me a decent income.

    My white skin didn’t get me jack squat. My parents didn’t have any connections. I worked for everything I have. So take your privilege talk to someone who is whining about how unfair rich vs poor is. Because that is nothing new and I still brought myself higher than my parents.

    1. I am in almost exactly the same situation as you were in, except my degree will be in Neuroscience and Biology. This comic is not about where they end up, but rather the difficulties in getting there and understanding/appreciating the social system. You and I (and millions of people everywhere) had to work ourselves through college despite our white skin, yes. That is because we did not have parents that could provide an easier way for us…so we are working to remedy that for ourselves. So is the female in this series. That’s the point. If you notice, both of the characters have the exact same color skin. It’s not about race privilege, but class privilege, and how your future is built/what you have to do to build it.I wish every day that I could focus solely on school and not work 6 days a week, but I don’t have that luxury. Still, I appreciate the opportunities I have. This comic is about showing people that paths differ- both are working hard with what they can. Yet, somehow, one is still serving the other. This is privilege.

    2. The point being made here is that people often assume that if someone is poor or has a crappy job, then it’s because they deserve it, and well off people with great jobs think they are where they are because they deserve it. The point of this comic is that there are so many factors and circumstances and obstacles that affect how far someone can go in life. You, for example, have obviously worked really hard to get where you are, but there could’ve been another scenario in your life, one where you got really sick mid-way through college and had to either give up your studies or your job, or where you had an accident and got blamed for it and someone decided to sue you and won, or if, when you were younger, both your parents got killed and you had to go into foster care, were treated badly and suffered from terrible PTSD and had no self-esteem and had behavioural problems which meant you couldn’t get good grades because you couldn’t concentrate, and were told you were stupid and so the thought of applying to college and get a degree in computer science just didn’t occur to you. You know?

      There are so many different things that go into a person’s life, things that not only affect their choices, but affect the kind of choices they are even capable of making at a very deep, pretty much neurological level. So what we all have to do, is recognise that. If we have made it and worked hard then of course be proud and happy and really appreciate it, but also accept that it is also partly good fortune – luck that you were born to the parents you had, in the country you live in, chance that you have good health( both physical and mental), a bonus that your brain is arranged on a genetic level in such a way that it can work hard and grasp academic concepts and wrap itself around the field of computer science. And then fight to be part of a society that recognises all this luck and chance, and does its best to level the playing field, to lift up those who find themselves in bad situations and to try to fix poverty, to provide excellent free education, healthcare and other services, and to stop blaming the poor and the disadvantaged for what is essentially just a roll of the dice.

  39. If we go by this cartoon being accurate, then Benjamin Carson should have never been able to have the opportunity to become a neurosurgeon… Right?? The point is their are many people who have all the opportunities and still become nothing but drug addicts or drunks. We have to make the best with what we have. Nothing will ever change the fact that their will be people who have more of everything, I.e. Money, influence, opportunities. we have to stop blaming the rich and start living our lives without comparing it to everyone

    1. Way to pick out the exception to the rule as some sort of counter to the fact that poor people have to face significantly more barriers to a good career than rich do. Are you telling me that because Ben Carson went to medical school or Barack Obama became president that you should somehow not acknowledge that more black men are in prison than college?

      I will guess you haven’t done actual research before. If you had you would know you take out the outliers first not make a counter argument based on them.

  40. The real problem is corporate taxes, which has very dramatically dropped since the 1950’s, the reason for this drop is that corporations are in the eyes of the law considered a human being just like Richard and Paula, not the people who own the corporation (of course we know they are human) but the corporation itself. Corporations as a human being pay less of a percentage on their money earned than any other human bein, my question is why. Look up the name Edward Bernays and this information will follow and its gross.

  41. The ancient greeks knew it;"There is no wealth without Athens. Therefore it is the wealthiest that have the greatest debt to maintain Athens."And then they invented progressive taxation, something which we dont have today. (The modern rich pay less tax as a percentage of earnings than the poor. 100% of the poors wages gets taxed at least twice via sales tax.) Or how about a cash deposit means you get to invest in property every month and live rent free. No cash deposit and your rent pays someone elses mortage. You bank account rather than your abilities determines your earnings. We are one family and we could be so much more successful as a society if we contributed by means and shared by need. And I write as one of the privalidged, a UK doctor.

  42. This article doesn’t mention anything about challenges of privilege or under privilege. I went to a privileged high school and half of them are dead from alcohol or drugs. So I guess our article is talking about the other half of the students. For the under privileged , she doesn’t represent the half of her class that get pregnant when their 16 and raise kids without a father. They are both great kids.

    1. 1.) This is a social inequality comic, not an article. 2.) Half is a gross over-estimation of deaths by alcohol/drugs in the privileged world… what are the other half doing? And all classes have drug/addiction issues, but the reasons behind these addictions and the ability to get help to change that is different between classes (though addiction has nothing to do with this comic…)3.) Again, it is nowhere close to half of under privileged females that get pregnant by high school. Again, this is not the point of this comic and misrepresentitive of this population- but we don’t want to steer away from the point of social inequality and what the class that you’re born into means.

      But yes, they are both people working (in the ways that they can bc of their social status) to improve their lives. That is what is "good" by our standards- so why is one serving the other on a silver platter? Because she didn’t have the opportunities he did. This is the point- not addiction, pregnancy, or the other pieces to the large puzzle of social justice.

    2. So I went to Los Alamitos High School, and then an Arts school in Orange County. I was very privileged, though I dropped out of High School and struggled for years until I started a business and have since done very well. That said, when I look at my class mates, a huge chunk of them are very lost. They never learned to settle for a job, to build a career, etc, they are chasing silly dreams that won’t put food on the table. Many of them, the privileged, had kids young, started going into debt, but because they never learned to handle money they kept making the same mistakes and now look like the "After" photo in one of those after school specials about one of the fancy 90s drugs. One of the prettiest girls in my school got involved with a guy and had a kid with him, well he’s in jail, she’s now covered in tattoos and looks like she’s on coke.

      Again, these are all privileged people, who went to a great school in a white neighborhood. Yes, among my classmates are also actors, programmers at RedHat, Yoga instructors and surf board builders, people who are happy, but a quick browse through Facebook casts a huge doubt on this story that those from money are also surrounded by opportunity.

      Someone with even richer parents than my own, we tried to start a website together, one night I caught him actually plagiarizing another artist. We never spoke of it, but we never talked about the website again. He is so spoiled he’s a waste of a life, he has no drive to do anything with his life and sits in his room playing video games with his thick Galifianakis beard and his thick Galifianakis body odor.

      Nobody ever "got me an internship" but I have had people tell me "you’ll be okay your father will get a job for you" as if there is a box of index cards somewhere secret that rich white men can reach in and just pass out jobs to their illuminati brethren.

      My privilege? I had a computer back in 1996, I had the internet when it still involved a phone cord. I was driven, and curious, and I wasn’t even encouraged to go down the internet rabbit hole, but here I am.

      The world is not black and white. There are plenty of well off families with neglected or abused children and plenty of poor families where anything less than an A would bring shame to the entire family (and a stiff ass whoopin).

  43. And the best way to level the playing field is taxes. You know, revenue? If you look at a simple table of US income tax history you’ll see that the highest earners have always been taxed a lot more when the country is in need, until the mid 80’s. Top taxes have been at about 40% since then, so we haven’t paid for Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. Not the topic? Yes it is. As a nation we voted in a lot of social supports for the poor, but wages have stagnated, prices have gone up, notably at universities, and a lot of people, from the middle class on down the scale are being crushed by obstacles they can’t escape. That’s their problem? Yes, and it’s everybody’s problem. Even if you’re comfortable, you pay for the damages in other ways whether you know it or not. Meanwhile, the very wealthy suffer not at all, and they still have the benefit of low taxes, although the country as a whole is in need of the revenue higher taxes would generate. People scream about socialism and the "redistribution of wealth", but that’s exactly what we’ve done all through our history. Until the mid 80s. Nobody is to blame for their success, but don’t blame the poor for the struggles that defeat them. We voted for it.

  44. Poor Richard will have to pay higher taxes? Richard should be glad he has money to pay anything.

  45. There’s truth to this – and the folks that say ‘you have to work with what you were dealt’ – well of course you do, but I believe the point is being missed. Take for instance the ‘I’m keeping my eye on you’ – that’s a real double-standard that has NOTHING to do with how hard you work, but the inequality that is FELT and affects a person life – beyond their own control! I grew up fairly privileged and noticed these differences often! My first job at a jewelry store was because my grandma knew someone, I never had to work at a fast food place and it set a tone where the people around me told me since I was young, how much potential I had – I don’t see many kids hearing that, and it’s SO SAD! That children are treated differently sincr the time they can remember. IT IS SIMPLY OUR JOB (and the more privileged you are, the greater responsibility) to MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS AFFORDED EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES – meaning next time, give the job to someone qualified who deserves the chance, NOT JUST SONEONE who is related to a great customer or friend!

  46. .. Amazing how the affluent people posting here can’t get it…. It’s not THEIR fault… they just reaping the benefits of wealth from forefathers who may have profited off cheap labor, easy credit access, inheritance larger due to tax policy advantage, and govt racism LIKE the fact that there were NO black people who benefited from the HOMESTEAD act…. giving away millions of acres of land to white families…. Yes, poor people do make it…often after SEVERAL generations…. We can address it WITH govt policy that allow a MORE level playing field…FREE college.. BETTER schools talk to ya latter design and BETTER TAXATION allowing for FUNDING better schools…….. TIME FOR THE WEALTHY ingrates (u NO Who U R.) paying BACK what was unfairly HANDED TO THEM on the SILVER platters….

    1. Actually, the biggest population boom in America happened in the early 1900s through giant waves of immigration which means a lot of successful people now are not descendants of white landowners, but those of immigrants. And many of those successful people are only 3 or 4 generations away at the most.

      As far as people who inherited wealth "paying back" what was "handed" to them…they were not alive during the Homestead Act. They have as much control that they were born into it as people who weren’t. Should we start jailing the children of criminals to "pay back" the families of the victims? How about instead we stop demonizing the privileged because their ancestors got to where everyone wants to be faster than them. If privilege really is handed down, it has to stay somewhere and people need to stop making excuses because it’s starting with them instead of their parents. Being an American makes you privileged.

      1. Where was the demonization in this cartoon?

    2. *start somewhere, not stay somewhere. Damn auto correct

  47. Strange how much energy is spent attacking privilege, when disadvantage is the problem.

    1. no one is attacking anything. It is simply a depiction of the stark contrast and where it comes from.

    2. That’s because the privileged often refuse to help the disadvantaged, since they don’t see the privilege they have and are happy to dismiss the disadvantaged as morally inferior in some way or several.

      1. OMG you need to get outside more. The most wealthiest people in the world are some of the most charitable people in the world.

    3. I didn’t see any attack at all.

      1. You may not have been paying attention to the bigger conversation. This comic strip does not exist in a vacuum. It suggests that the successful guy does not deserve his success because he was given every advantage to succeed. The attack is in the assumption that anyone given these advantages automatically becomes ignorant of his own advantage and dismisses the societal factors that hold others down. This may even be true sometimes, but the real problem is that the unsuccessful do not necessarily deserve their failure. Working hard and doing the right thing should create some form of success. Sadly, it does not always work that way. The problem is not that someone is doing great, but that someone is not. Maybe we could bring some books and blocks and food and heat into the home of the disadvantaged child. Instead of painting a picture where every advantage is seen as a step toward creating an inequitable society, we could focus on how every disadvantage is a step toward creating an inequitable society. We should be trying to lift everyone up, not drag everyone down. I suppose, in a way, I agree with the thrust of the comic, I just think it’s framed in a very unhelpful way.

  48. If we break down the issue, we would see that a big part of the problem is the strong correlation between wealth and opportunity. We need more wealth taxes, rather than trying to tax income too high (not arguing at a philosophical level; just pointing out it’s futile. Look up the Laffer curve), and we need to provide more equal opportunities for people. How? Better day care for working people. Better schools (it’s stupid to have rich areas have rich schools and poor areas have poor schools). More support for college studies. And properly functioning internship programs. And a lot more 🙂

    1. see that’s easy to say but the reality of it is we live in a free country? whats that got to do with anything? let me explain. ok you become president of usa and get total control we’ll just say well if you said im gonna take half of all rich peoples money… well long before you ever get to put that thought on paper and try and pass it as law. the rich people (the ones with the most opportunities) could simply get on a plane and leave. and as much as they pay less taxes % wise they do fund most project and are behind majority of charity donations… and the second you start taking away there rights to leave the country it’s no longer free and you very much got to worry about militias come to kill you and take there country back… there really is no solution cause right people have enough money to buy there way out of a bad situation…

  49. My mom tried her best so I could be as well off as Richard but we just didn’t have it the struggle is real sad to say Paula is me

  50. Never ever believe that you did it by yourself – you likely got a lot of help along the way. Excellent piece but I would add something – never underestimate the power of the mind. Even parents who are poor and have little prospects from themselves can affect their child’s future in big ways by making sure to nurture the child’s mind (both with knowledge and with self-esteem). Additionally, lest anyone think that Paula’s parents were subpar, they weren’t – they seemed to work very hard to provide for their girl and they seemed to genuinely care about her. Life is tough. If you’ve got an advantage, don’t waste it.

    1. Well said. There are few people more contemptible than those who refuse to acknowledge the help they received along the way…

  51. I grew up as a Paula. No special privileges for this boy. At my first job, i got laid off after a month. My second job was selling knives. I had to quit after two weeks because i had issues with the ethics of the way they ran their business.For 6 months, i spent a lot of time and all my money looking for work. Finally, i accepted an offer for temporary work from one of my brothers in another state, who had himself gone through similar circumstances.I had to borrow money to pay for my bus ticket, since i didn’t even have a car. He paid me minimum wage, charged me rent and didn’t give me any special favors, but i still managed to start saving money. 6 months later, i got a job at a restaurant. I started again at minimum wage, but in just a few months i had not only got a raise, but had even been able to buy a car.Shortly after, my brother moved to another house, and i had to find my own place. I found one, but it was too far from the restaurant for me to continue working there, so i started looking for yet another job. After applying at several places, i was offered a position at a cabinet manufactory. I accepted and started again at minimum wage. I was paying even more in rent, and honestly don’t know how i managed to stay afloat. 3 months after that, one of the companies i had applied to earlier called me and asked to interview. This was my first break, and after a month, i was working at a new job, this time at a better salary. Within 6 months, i had received a total of $2/hr in raises.A few circumstances led to my move to another state, so i left that job and moved out with no assurance of a new job.I was literally on my last pennies when i was offered a low-level position at my current work, part-time, and barely above minimum wage. 6 months later, I’m the receiving manager, with a decent salary.You may say i just got lucky, or that i knew the right people, but no. The only reason I am where i am right now is because I worked hard, and wasn’t afraid to take a chance. My supervisors and fellow workers liked me because I was reliable, i went out of my way to be a likeable guy, i was always on time, i did my fair share of the work, and i was always willing to help others when they struggled with their tasks. And because they liked me, they gave good reviews and recommendations. Good reviews and recommendations means a much better chance at a raise or promotion. Just because you were born poor, and had to take the long way around, doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance at wealth, it just means you’ll need to be willing to put a lot of effort into it.

  52. I started off similar to Paula, until the 5th panel (only one of my parents worked). Unlike Paula’s parents, mine were hard-core Asian parents who would kick you into the streets if you received anything less than an A. Being the immigrants that we were, my father would always apologize to me for his inability to assist me in my academic struggles, and he’d stress for me to be different than him, and live an educated life in order to find success. So I worked my butt off in Middle School and High School, graduated in the top 2% of my class, and am now attending an excellent university where I receive a full scholarship. The point is: economic status doesn’t tie you down. Giving up does.

  53. Since when is networking privilege? I get what the cartoon is trying to say, but at the same time, I had immigrant parents in Paula’s position who ended up in Richards. They worked really hard and now my husband and I who worked our way to the top are in a 6 figure income, so that our children can have the networking and "handouts" that Richard received. Isn’t that why we work hard? So our children can do and have better? Are we going to be upset forever because the Royal African Corporation built wealth on the backs of slaves and that’s why there are so many Richards today? Or are we going to develop some corporations on our own and move forward? People busy working aren’t busy making excuses. I see both sides to these stories.

    1. Congratulations to you and your success. Hopefully you have taught your children to be thankful for the connections they will benefit from, and not act like they achieve whatever they achieve on their own.

  54. It may not be the fault of those who receive privilege, but if civilization is to improve, it may be worth taking responsibility.

    1. Yeah, but maybe everyone should start taking responsibility a little more overall? What would having these people really do if they took responsibility? Also, many of these "privileged" individuals haven’t done anything wrong in their life except take what has been dealt for them. Oh my if that’s a sin…

      1. Taking what was dealt to you is not a sin, by any means; taking what was dealt to you and acting like you got where you are by yourself, without being grateful to those who helped you along the way IS a sin in my book…

      2. To further this idea, being born into affluence and taking advantage of that is totally fine – in fact, I would probably consider it wasteful if someone didn’t. However, taking credit for everything that’s been GIVEN and representing it as something you EARNED is a lie, which, last I checked, is one of the bigger sins. By doing so, you’re not only failing to acknowledge the gifts you were blessed with, but also completely ignoring the hard work people have to put in just to get to where you started, let alone keep up with you.

        It’s a little like taking a 30 second head start in a quarter mile foot race without acknowledging the fact that you have an advantage. Sure, it’s only 30 seconds, and sure, someone could probably catch up to you, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who’s going to win if you both put the same amount of effort in.

  55. Kind of weird how having privilege is so heavily stigmatized in our society. First, most people can’t do anything about their privilege. I mean most people are born into privilege and can’t do anything about it. Second, not everyone who is privileged thinks this way either. To say that these are the "outliers" is kind of an over generalization. Can’t we all stop demonizing people for having privilege since they can’t really do anything about it?

    1. You raise an excellent point. I think, really, the issue isn’t privilege itself since, as you point out, it is what it is but people’s lack of awareness of privilege. It’s wonderful to have all the advantages that our various privileges get us and there is nothing wrong with that. The wrong comes in demonizing/judging/belittling those who haven’t been as lucky and not acknowledging the benefits you started with that others have not.

      1. I agree with Kelly. No problem with having privilege or access to those with it. My problem is with people who have it and try to act like they got where they are on their own, while belittling those who weren’t born into the same privileged circumstances…

  56. Ill tell you the above is all BS. I am first generation here and my parents worked very like Paula’s however, the expectations set forth for me were much higher than those of Paula. I was granted numerous scholarships and grants going to college. There is plenty of college money waiting for the disadvantaged provided that they work for it.

  57. Frustrating to see that Paula ends like that, she attempted whatever she could. It is more than real the story in this post happen in many people’s life. However, the only way to deal with it is to work harder and keep our eyes open.

    I am from a family like Paula’s. My dad worked as hairdos he could to fight it off and situation is getting better and better over the years.

    To be short, my point is we have the privilege to live in whatever way we feel reasonable, and if we keep up standards high and keep working on achieve we will make it, one day!

  58. My mom is a waitress and my dad is a janitor. We live in a small house in a wealthy town with one of the best schools in the state just so that I can get a great education ( and I am extremely grateful for this). Some days I don’t think about the economic disparity between me and other students, but other days I do. A lot of students don’t recognize the immense privilege they have and it hurts me to see it go unrecognized. This comic really resonated with me and I want to say thank you for creating something that I could relate to. Privilege is real, and although some of these comments talk about how to level the playing field, I think the first step towards that goal is by acknowledging it.

  59. So Paula gets good grades, works hard through college to pay for it, I assume she finishes school even though he father is ill, buys a house and gets a fancy serving job. Paula is doing great considering her tough upbringing! Her kids will do even better! Paula is smart and her hard work paid off. Welcome to America, Paula!

    1. welcome to america????? there is no indicator that her parents were immigrants. she certainly is not.anyway, you missed the point. she’s NOT doing great, because she could have done better with better resources. this comic is about recognizing that there are certain factors that contribute to a better outcome that you did NOT work for, and the same amount of hard work between two people can not get Paula what came easily to Richard.And what’s more, perhaps EXTRA hard, INCREDIBLY hard, DEATH-DEFYINGLY hard work can get Paula what came to Richard so easily, but there is no reason why people in this advanced nation should have to subject themselves to that. We have resources. They must be distributed where they can be.

      1. …so your solution is to just start handing out resources to people like Paula? This creates more of a problem than it solves as it increases the pool of people that didn’t work for a resource that they now just expect to have handed to them.

        You can’t handicap Richard and you can’t just give Paula a level playing field.

      2. Are you implying that people working two jobs somehow aren’t working as hard as people working one job? Poverty has little or nothing to do with how hard a person works. If we could simply insure a living wage to people who are working, then lots of these problems may be alleviated. But, nope….for some reason many people consider a living wage to be a "handout".

      3. And somehow, CEOs and Boards of Trustees decide that $8.15/hr is a fair living wage, but they still can’t refrain from taking that raise and bonus that bump them up from $250k one year ($125/hr, assuming 40 hr work weeks 50 weeks of the year) to $266k the next year because they need a "cost of living" raise. Nevermind the fact that their "cost of living" RAISE is the same as the wage they pay someone for an entire YEAR when their employees work the exact same number of hours they do ($16,600 at $8.15/hr, 40 hrs/wk, 50 weeks).

      4. "She’s NOT doing great, because she could have done better" by your definition no one can be doing great.

  60. Paula is not always Hispanic. Richard is not always white. I can’t relate to the "privileged" people and the people that see my skin color and assume I’m privileged can’t, or won’t, relate to me. Skin color is not a direct correlation with privilege.

  61. Damn I feel like I AM Paula. My dad got sick and passed away while I was in college. And today I’m a college graduate working as a sales associate in retail and it feels like no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape this dead end.

    1. Hang in there, Sara. This, too, shall pass … albeit like a kidneystone, probably.

  62. Quit whining, my mother came from a lower middle class family and worked her way to the top. She didn’t ask for government handouts but instead worked her way to the top with sheer determination. She worked 12-16hrs a day, taking care of the whole family even though we had an abusive father. Now she’s CEO of a company with over 3000 employees.

    I hate how people of my generation complain that the system is ‘rigged’against them. They spend more time complaining then actually improving their lot in life. They become too comfortable living in a first world country when others are not so fortunate as they are.

    Yes, those born in wealthy families tend to get richer due to the environment they are brought up in and family connections, but for those who do not appreciate the value of hard work , there is a tendency for their wealth to stagnate. Getting from rags to riches is not a ‘lost’ American Dream, it is still very possible.

    Government handouts should be reduced as it leaves people too dependent on the government. More pro-business policies should be launched, including lower corporate tax rates and support for entrepreneurs.

    1. This is probably one of the most intelligent comments I’ve read. You are absolutely right.

  63. Yes… Yes! Hate the heterosexual white man! Clearly it’s his evilness that creates all of your problems!Or we can all realize that we come from the western world and none of us (except the disabled) have REAL problems! Whining doesn’t fix poverty or racism. Blaming straight white men for their "privilege" doesn’t either……..

  64. If any of you demonize people privilege I’m really hoping none of you are motivated to get a great job in order to give your children more opportunities. If you are then you are hypocrite and should do some reflecting. Not 100% of people that come from privilege have parents that got their money through inheritance. That is a lie that people have told you. Richard parents could been Paula but they were able succeed. There is NOTHING wrong with Paula at all since not everyone is dealt a good hand in life, but it does happen. Make sure you understand this because you are discounting many people who have worked their butts off to be Richard’s parents. Have relative deprivation is a common thing, but we must all acknowledge that not every family comes from old money. This comic over simplifies the problem.

  65. I’m just going to point out that a lot of people are assuming race from this comic; despite the fact that everyone in the comic has the same skin tone.

  66. Privilege is real, and although some of these comments talk about how to level the playing field, I think the first step towards that goal is by acknowledging it.

  67. Paula is eligible for federal aid, particularly the pell grant. I come from a lower-middle class background, my parents struggled plenty, and so on. I have a GED. Instead of drawing comics, I studied real hard and went on to go grad school at an ivy league school.

    I also do not necessarily think approving someone of a loan (of which can be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands) is giving them a helping hand. We’re all kinda screwed thanks to that mentality. Richard can actually be earning less than Paula due to student loan payments, and Paula could easily be better off in the long run. White collar jobs are not always that cushy, and blue collar jobs often come with comfy union benefits.

    Also, I’m quite sick of headlines like "this article will make you x", STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO THINK!!!!!!!

    1. "Richard can actually be learning less than Paula due to student loan payments"

      Row 6 – Richard is studying, with a caption that reads "(Parents paying for uni)"Row 6 – Paula is washing dishes, with a caption that reads "Juggling work and polytech, still getting in debt"

      I don’t really feel the need to pick apart the rest of your argument when you appear to be that far off-base to begin with. I’m starting to wonder if we read the same comic… Also, "drawing comics" is not as easy as you may think, as it is largely a balancing act between making sure the majority of people will find it interesting and/or funny, and making sure the majority of people exposed to it will not be offended (which, as you can see based on these comments, is no mean feat).

      Furthermore, I’m appalled to think that someone who "studied real hard and went on TO GO GRAD SCHOOL at an IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL" can’t even form an actual sentence. What is Harvard teaching these days? How to further oppress those who didn’t go to Harvard for not having gone to Harvard?

      Piss off.

  68. Maybe people living in poverty and squalid conditions shouldn’t have children.

    1. Some rich people neither should have children, they only have them because "it’s the next step" because an accident or because religion does not allow to "interrupt" those accidents. On both sides there are people worth of being parents and whom are not. Money or social status should not be the indicator of having or not kids. Moral values, principles, love, hard working and not wanting to step on someone to acquire something shall be more important than social position.

  69. Wow. Reading the comments, how many times can I see that the point has been missed here?1) It’s not about YOU. It’s about the way things work. If you personally feel affronted by this, then perhaps there IS something behind it you need to reflect on.2) Yes, people HAVE come from poor backgrounds and worked their way up. Great job! Seriously! Likewise, people HAVE been to space to orbit our planet. That doesn’t mean we’ll all get to do that. This is about the fact that the cards ARE stacked against some people. Bravo to those who overcome. But stop victimising those who can’t.3) Time to wake up and realise that not everyone experiences life the same way you do, or sees the world the same way you do. Some of you have clearly never been close to hitting rock-bottom – or if you have, you’ve managed to forget about it.4) Empathy. Please work on that.

  70. Yes, as a teacher, I see this kind of privileging all the time, in ways both obvious and subtle. The privileges do stack up over time. While we can always point to people who succeeded in spite of the odds stacked against them, isn’t it better to think about how to make that success seem less like a freak occurrence and more like a "strong possibility" for everyone?

  71. I have learned both sides of this. Difference is I dont have either the benefits of privilege or the problems of poverty here.I have learned to know my place but also think that I deserve success. One without the other is useless.But the american dream is what allows literally anyone other than people who have disasters in their families change their living situation. Literally any couple working two jobs could afford better living conditions.The poor people are strawmen here. They dont exist. And if they do they are rare and arent acting the way the simple comics are portraying them as.

  72. Wow. Why do you think this refers to America? The illustrator is from New Zealand. It applies there, here, Europe, anywhere.

    Yes social mobility works in a number of ways – look at Princess Kate’s background and you will see. And it works in reverse – a lot of Britainc’s aristocrats no longer have a penny to their name.

    But the main point is there is a vlear link between socio-economic background and edu national attainment at least, and a link between qualifications and the maximum wage you can earn. No, it’s not pre-determined, but unhealthily correlated.

    Google "teach for all" and look at all the countries that have programmes designed specifically around ending this link.

    And I agree with the post below… Empathy is what you’re lacking.

    (and yes, my parents were market traders, I worked hard and went to uni, the first person in my family to do so, but i recognise that compared to some of my peers it was a much tougher journey.

    1. Jealousy? No, not so much. I grew up extremely wealthy, and now, not at all. I definitely get treated differently now vs then. I’ve watched this story happen before and it really has nothing to do with jealousy.

  73. Is privilege a real and present situation yes it is, but why in all of these debates or stories are the underprivileged romanticized into victims and the privileged are portrayed as villains. Sure they may have had a leg up but are then not entitled to reap the rewards for their labors just as feverishly as those who have struggled and overcome. This whole argument comes down to the simple emotion of jealousy. And before anyone tries to say I’m just another privileged individual defending said privilege i grew up homeless living on the streets and am now in college. Anything is possible through sweat, hard work, unrelenting will, and willingness to sacrifice. If anything the underprivileged should be proud and look to their privileged peers knowing that they have worked harder suffered longer and showed more determination. Becuase they didn’t have the leg up they got where they are on their own legs

  74. Paula is also eligible for many grants and programs that Richard is not, just because she has breasts. At least that’s how it is in the U.S..

    Paula is not held to the same standards as Richard, and qualifications for jobs are lowered so Paula can compete.

    Even that isn’t empty for Paula though. So the government institutes requirements for businesses to hire a certain % of people born with breasts or certain government contracts will be withheld and tax penalties may be levied against those companies that don’t.

    Paula can start a woman’s only workout club, with taxpayer money from Richard and others while denying then access to those clubs. If Richard does this, he is called sexist, women picket his club and the federal government threatens him with a discrimination lawsuit.

    Yep. Looks like poor little Paula has it real bad, doesn’t it?

    1. So your only defense is that Paula is a woman? Who by the way will only make $0.70 to the $1 of what Richard makes doing the exact same job? So fudge it turn Paula into Peter. What’s the problem now?

      1. Wrong. A 101 economics class disproves the "wage gap". I’m a liberal, but we really have to stop throwing this false data around. Makes democrats sound like uneducated pricks.Women do make less, but not "for the same job". That’s a federal crime to pay women less for the same work.

        The reason women make less has to do with:1/ The fact that men and women don’t select the same careers.2/ The fact that women in their early 30s are extremely risky for firms (no one likes paying an employee for months without them working).3/ The fact that women rarely renegotiate starting salaries, whereas most men statistically do.4/ The fact that the data is based on generations where women didn’t go to Univ as often.

        Basically, the wage gap will naturally shrink with time, as more women get MBA’s and other higher education certificates. Us trying to fix the wage gap NOW means that we are giving under-qualified workers access to jobs that they do not have the diplomas or qualifications for.Hope this helps!


        We’re supposed to listen to you quote us numbers about the basic ‘under employability’ of a gender. Do you think women are even encouraged to take Economics 101 courses? Clearly not the ones you want to stay home, raise your kids.

        And if this was your daughter? Would you tell her to deal with it?

      3. The wage gap obviously exists and if your econ class disproved that your econ class needs to be thought out better. Just because there are reasons why something exists doesn’t means its existence is justified. The a lot of the further facts you presented are true however, I do give you that credit. However you fail to forget that just because something is illegal, it doesn’t mean it isn’t done. I can tell you a lot of things that have been illegal and yet still committed in America, and specifically with discrimination against women in the work place, it isn’t hard.

      4. "Women and men don’t select the same careers". This is bull. There are still many fields where men dominate not because women can’t or don’t want to be doing those jobs…but simply because they can’t get them. Look at high paying positions in the entertainment industry…there is NO reason women can’t be directors, or CEO’s….they just aren’t. Look in the classical music world. How many female directors are there? Very few. Women are absolutely capable and willing to do those jobs. They just don’t seem to be taken seriously enough to get them.

      5. And to Wednesday on that women are being "punished" for their ability to procreate. They’re not as willingly accepted not bring higher roles with the same merits because their need to take maternity leaves and have a role in their children’s life’s is seen as a hindrance to the workplace

    2. What you fail to realize is that the systems created to benefit Paula are meant to "correct" the system of inequality that took place for too long. Decency (PC) and equality feels like oppression to the privileged.

    3. You are literally so ignorant about this situation it isn’t even funny. Do you know why those programs are exclusively for females or are you put it people with "breast"? I’ll tell you because a disproportionate amount of people without them and even a higher percentage that look like Paul have an unequal advantage to access for all the other funds. Because people without breast are less marginalized, less discriminated against and heralded for their leadership skills while women who have the same skills are often seen as lesser and called a b**ch for doing the exact same thing! The inequality between men and women not just in the U.S but in the world is so severe and for you to have no knowledge about this is a problem. You literally chose the worst thing to complain about.

  75. What an archaic, stereotypically, democratic way to view life…I call bullshit! I think I just watched this on the Hallmark or Lifetime channels…Stop watching reality TV it’s scripted! And for that matter cartoons! In the real world, I know a lot of ‘hard" working men and women of every ethnicity, and culture, who are very successful. They look for, and took every opportunity to elevate their lives and worked and sacrificed to become successful. They treat everyone including their employees with respect. They eat, sleep and worry about their business, including taxes and cost of living increases for their families and the lives of their employees, 24/7. Stop feeding this Hillery Clinton (LIAR) crap to the masses and preach some work ethics back into our youth instead of life owing them ( government) a reward (off the backs of others) with no hard work attached to it, and allowing them to sit on their asses and whine! To have ANY J O B is satisfying. It doesn’t matter if you work as a server or as management or as an owner. When you are hired you know what is required for your job. Yes it has it’s responsibilities and it’s up to the individual to feel the respect inside do the job to the best of their ability and not gage it on what they think their owed. Sure in every position in life there are those who are miserable and want to bully others to make themselves feel more important than they are…but you are not a victim, the job doesn’t define you, it pays the bills and teaches you tolerance, and how to deal with others, and skills and sometimes allows you to grow as an individual. So use that to better yourself, and when opportunity comes to move in a better direction TAKE IT! Learn from that and move on…you eventually will be that person at the top…. and will be writing this as insulted as I am in reading this trash! (PS my son is a waiter/bartender makes $300 a night in tips which he saves to start his own business. In that cartoon panel, the waitress/server could be studying to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer… do you think that defines her or in some way makes her inferior because she holds a tray? Maybe she’s net working? Learning names and companies to contact from the people at this party for her own business? Or maybe this is her business?) You and people like you are what’s wrong in the world. You write hate and prejudice and feed negativity into people and situations…change! oh and because you chose to use a cartoon says a lot about what your hiding behind.

    1. I can make a lot of assumptions about you based on your perspective, but I won’t. Just know, we all know differently and can see through your though protest too much facade.

    2. In a few words,this comic artist is scared that his system is on decline.

  76. Too many comments to read them all, but the thread seems to assume that more money = more satisfaction. Ha!

  77. Richard is that what you got out of this cartoon?

  78. What’s so scary is that instead of understanding the basic principle of the comic, people are saying he "romanticized" or "painted villains". He ended the comic with "I hope not" while also sharing a very honest and REAL reality for a great majority of our citizens. Maybe some of these ppl are too selfish to understand that usimg an unfair system to your advantage doesn’t make you an asshole…denying that the unfair system exist does.

  79. Seems to me the biggest problem here comes from one picture…where it talks about the difference in expectations. Perhaps if every parent expected their children to work hard and do well, the teachers in the other schools would be able to more effectively do their jobs instead of thinking they need a new one. Those students could then graduate from school, go on to college, and gain the qualifications they need to improve their lives. Yes, I know Paula appears to have graduated, but what would have happened if she had gotten an A instead of that B? Could it have meant the difference between a scholarship and working two jobs to pay for school? And if she had that scholarship, would she have had free time to then put toward joining extra curricular activities that could have aided her in networking? The fact is, not everyone who is poor is lazy or unmotivated, but there are enough people who are fed the lines about how their situation is everyone else’s fault that they simply don’t try or don’t try until it’s too late. That’s a real problem.

    1. No. We teachers hear this all the time, that if we just raise expectations for the less privileged kids, that they will perform at the same level as the privileged kids. The fact is that by that point he is simply better prepared for success than she is. To say that the only difference, or the biggest difference, is the difference in expectations is to deny the existence of his privilege, which is what this entire cartoon is about.

      1. Oh please…… On word — Asians.. It’s mostly about expectations and natural intelligence.. Asians are NOT better off than Americans generally speaking and they excel partially because of a slightly higher natural intelligence as well as EXPECTATIONS. Everyone on earth is more or less priveleged then the person next to them. To focus on that is weak sauce.

    2. There’s not enough scholarships (especially free rides) for everybody. Maybe just a few for the truly outstanding ones like the valedictorians of their high school and such. Community college is also a good option too though.

  80. There’s a lot of twats down here who don’t want to admit their privilege.. lol society is screwed.

  81. While you all are talking about Richard and Paula, the top 20 wealthiest Americans have as much combined wealth as the bottom 152 million. While people bicker about "handouts," the wealthy use their influence to make it easier for them to accumulate more wealth and let the rest fight over the scraps. The median household income in America is around $54,000. The American Dream is a lie. You think you are a part of their world but you are not. The vast majority are at the bottom, though many are just comfortable enough to be able to point the finger at those beneath them and shake their fingers at them for not working hard enough. The deck is stacked and you don’t even know you lost.

  82. I come from poverty. I was a single mom by age 16. I dropped out of high school after my sophomore year. There were no programs then. And yet, I owned my own business by age 23 and I’ve gone on to be quite successful in three different fields. Life has never been fair from the beginning of time. If one chooses to complain about their lot instead of improving their lot, handouts aren’t going to make a long term difference. I have met many who were born to privilege and have been working their way into failure ever since. Connections might get you in the door but if you cannot produce, they won’t keep you there. This comic strip sadly enables victimization.

    1. Who watched your kid while you were starting your business? While you worked in general as a single mother who dropped high school? If the answer is anything other than: "I payed out of pocket for an very expensive babysitter/child care facility and the also payed my own bills and lived alone" then you are also privileged. Someone helped you. Either you lived with your parents or you had someone reliable to watch your kid while you worked for less than your entire paycheck. Some people get kicked out when they get pregnant and become homeless. Some people have parents who won’t watch their kid so they can’t work. Some people have to spend all their money they make on childcare rather than starting a business. How can you be so ignorent?

      1. Wow an ignorant calling someone else "ignorant". What jeri did was stop feeling sorry for herself and grabbed the opportunity of starting a business and found ways and means of having her children taken care of instead of sulking at home going poor me.

  83. I moved from the most working class area in the country to a polytechnic in Oxford. The message of this comic book is something I was forced into trying to explain endlessly to lecturers, peers, employers and collogues who couldn’t understand the differences between us and wanted to whitewash my identity into their world-views. The truth is it was uncomfortable for people who have only mixed around other people with the same privilege too accept a person who identified as working class because it sometimes threw a light on there privilege. If this comic makes you angry or resentful it says more about you than the artist.

  84. The real difference is in the parenting. I’ve been poor and I’ve been a parent. Her parents should have expected more. They could have taken her a free library. No car? Walk, take the bus. No bus fare, really, then what made you think you could afford children? Two things: don’t have kids unless you can afford them and when you do – be a parent who values education because that’s the real differentiator. There’s the army, you can get an education. Take control of your life and be who you want to be and quit blaming others. Enough!

  85. I was raised by a single mother who was an immigrant in this country. She worked two or three jobs to support us all until she married again. Even then my father, which he became after he married my mother, because my biological father was never in the picture, worked very hard to support us through my mother’s illness until she died when I was nine years old. He kept me and my sister after her death, and his wife, also an immigrant, raised me as her own. I worked very hard in school to make them proud. I also helped around the house, took care of my little sisters, and did whatever I could to help. I even made my own money to spend so I didn’t have to ask them for anything.Everything in my life that I obtained I did through hard work and perseverance and in spite of the odds against me at every turn. Yet, because I look white you still think I’m privileged. You think I was given things easily simply based on my skin color. That, in my humble opinion, is racist. Privilege can be given to any color, because in society money talks. Privilege and racism are not the same thing, but people continue to confuse them based on media representation and a desire to believe that hard work doesn’t pay off. I beg to differ. Assuming personal responsibility and being able to continually persevere against the odds shows personal growth. In life that will make a complete difference in anyone’s world. You cannot stop and blame society or anything else, because that is simply a waste of time and effort. You have to be stronger and more determined than that. If one path closes, make another one. That is the true test of human spirit and ability, and many of us have taken that path and became better for doing so. We learned that society is not responsible for our success or failures – we alone are responsible for what we do or fail to do.

  86. This is a non-declared white wealth supremacist comic…I said,nowadays 40 millions of college students are in debt and also are white,"black","brown" and asian.

    Also a third part of american youth are in big health overweight that aren’t able to be in the US Army lol.

  87. This cartoon seems to be more focused on a problem between the classes. Not priveledge. You don’t need to have a good family and money To have priveledge. All races and a creeds experience the kind of inequality of depicted in this cartoon. Where priveledge is more about the unnoticed yet obvious advantages of being a particular race typically Caucasian and that could mean anyone from a homeless individual to a ceo. This cartoon is grossly generalized.

  88. Many of the comments here miss the point.

    First off, yes, this is a simplification. The comic attempts to portray the entire interplay and compounding of social inequality in 22 panels. Caricatures and simplification is necessary. These things are meant to start not complete the conversation.

    Secondly, Richard is not being demonized or portrayed as spoiled, simply as oblivious. His parents aren’t shown as evil oil barons, just fairly well to-do parents doing what they can for their kid. He is portrayed as studying, not partying; of getting good grades; of accepting opportunities; and of working hard. Richard should be proud of the work he put in to achieve his position. The point is not that Richard shouldn’t be successful. The point is that Richard should realize that his success is a combination of his hard work and opportunities. Now that he is in power himself, this recognition should inform how he treats others, how he evaluates job applicants, how he supports or opposes education reform, etc.

    I grew up middle class in a decent school. I worked my butt off and took every opportunity. I graduated valedictorian and was impressed that I’d beat all my competitors in that 400 meter race. It wasn’t till I started working in inner city schools that I realize other kids on the same track are trying to run a 400 meter hurdles. I never dealt with gang recruitment, violent neighborhoods, missing school so I could care for a sibling. I didn’t have private tutors, but I had educated parents who could help me with homework. I had as many books as I cared to read.

    Again, the point isn’t that the person that finishes the 400M sprint shouldn’t be proud, but they should recognize that they guy who finished 5th but also had to jump the hurdles along the way may have just as much internal potential if given the chance.

  89. Although being privileged is always helpful. I’ve seen many of my less privileged friends work hard and succeed more then their more privileged peers. One girl for example lived in a tiny apartment with her single mom. At times she and her mom were straight up homeless.

    She got straight A’s and applied to schalorship programs and ended up winning almost all of them. On top of that every Ivy League school gave her a full ride.

    Now she’s a successful doctor.

    This is just one example as I have seen it over and over again.

    On the other hand, many of my privileged friends ended up getting medicore jobs, either working for their parents, or working for base pay. Some of them are still jobless, still letting their parents pay for everything.

    I recognize the perks of being privileged, but that doesn’t determine where you’ll end up in life.

    All in all though, I still enjoyed the comic. It’s always great to see the things from different views and to gain a better perspective of the world.

  90. Please please Privilege is real and being a black male with a college degree sounds good but applying for jobs in a biology field is definitely a game of who you know more than what you know. And with the amazing debt i built with my student loans do not sit here and tell me its about hard work cause thats crap… pure crap! look at privilege like this, why are the SAT ACT GRE and blah blah filled with words noone uses on a daily basis? why are there not biology based questions on there for people wanting to go to vet school? its a numbers game to keep people out. i know for a fact that my parents were not talking to me from a websters dictionary growing up so why is this important? privilege students will know the words from the dinner table talks where in my household we spoke normal words. Not fair and if u dont see it we will all be doomed..

    1. Those words are on the SAT because they are words that we would expect students to come across as they do their course readings. Pretty much all SAT words are those I would expect an educated person to know and see, not every day, but on a regular basis as part of academic or professional reading. There is no biology on the SAT because not all students will study biology, but they will all need to know how to read. If you want to show off your biology knowledge, you can take the SAT Subject Test in biology.

      1. I started to write some unhelpful answer but reconsidered to give you some advice I do hope you take. Go to a public library – I know in America you have plenty–, borrow some novels, preferably some non-biology books. Enjoy them when you can and push through them, your vocabulary will broaden dramatically.

        I get where you come from, don’t get me wrong, there IS privilege and privileged people do have an advantage, don’t allow the gap to widen. Read as much as you can and you’ll stop using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’; keep in mind that your writing is your presentation card. When people don’t know you (or see you) they’ll judge you based on this, work on it. Understand that the world we live in is far from just, and people with connections do have it easier, so you’re going to have to outsmart them. Best of luck, and forgive my english, i’m not a native speaker.

      2. i graduated with my degree so just like religion DID "U" GET THE MESSAGE. writing is easy and reading is also. Im a microbiologist and on a daily basis i do not use words from the GRE to run RT PCR. its not needed nor does it show intelligence because you know what a word means.. bull crap and people slid that in there to separate blacks and whites if "u" want to know the truth in America, but Hey some are getting by right so folks happy.. if "U" only knew the privileges that are absent when you’re a heavy set black male. only way to show the world is to live it and trust me paula situation is way way way better than alot of my black male friends. but daniel i learned to deal with it cause your advice aint helping me buddy.. or anyone else who has common sense to know that the world we live is is a very biased world which is very one sided lol oh yea since i use u instead of you im dumb hahahahaha ur a lost soul

  91. This is just one way. There are plenty of others who started off in Paula’s shoes and made it to Richard’s level.

      1. Yes, it is, for people who define plenty as "plenty of examples to help me rationalize my wealth in the face of the wealth disparity in the world." They really only need three or four people, tops, so 9% is WAY more than it takes to convince yourself of something you desperately want to believe, while suspecting it might be false.

    1. sure… that’s why the gap between rich and poor lowest ever…..nahhhhhh

  92. not everyone who is rich is snobby and had it handed to them and not everyone who is poor has been responsible and worked hard … labeling people and having a preconceived idea of those in these positions doesn’t help. every situation is unique and in a perfect world could always be addressed and worked out but life isn’t fair and everyone should work hard and do their best where their at. grass is always greener on the other side.

    1. Getting tired of responding these comments. Life isn’t fair. I get that. Can you at least agree that earth is round, regardless what individual feel. Can you at least agree that Rich and hard working people are likely to succeed? Can you at least agree that it costs money to hire tutor? Can you at least agree that having a dad as an mid-level corporate manager may know more about internship in corporate America? If so which part of this comic do you specifically do you disagree?

      1. Paula looks pretty white to me. This is a critique of class/wealth inequality, not an illustration of white privilege.

  93. Now let’s show Paula’s privilege. Compare her advantages to someone who doesn’t speak the language, or to someone with mental or physical liabilities, or to someone without any parents or role-models, or to war war refugees, residents of 3rd world countries and dictatorships. Let’s compare Paula to women in Afghanistan.

    It’s only fair, right?

    1. Joe, how does that show, white privilege? Can we stick to the context, of white privilege versus non-white privilege.. not immigrant privilege, or afghan privilege?

      So, I get your point that there will always be less privileged. So there will always be more privileged people out there… This comic illustrates and disputes against those who claim that everyone is equal, and argues that there is no such thing as white privilege.

      1. I saw this as a comic about ECONOMIC privilege. Richard could very easily be black. Are you saying black people can’t be well off? No black people live in rich neighborhoods? You’re dragging race into this when it’s not a topic about race.

        You are a racist.

      2. who said anything about WHITE privilege. Seeing what you wanna see eh?

  94. The general gist of the comic is there. I really appreciate where the author is coming from, and this from my own meandering experience.

    In both cases though, they did have the support of their parents. Different socioeconomic areas of life, that’s for sure. They both also followed through on their upbringings.

    There are many people that are like this, they are on the backs of those around them. In Richard’s case, if it weren’t for my parents, I would not have gotten my university degree. In Paula’s case, I had to bust my butt to get where I’m at now.

    If there is one thing I can pull from this, is to remember where you came from. It’s what makes you who you are today, and sets the stage for the future.

  95. Oh so nice and neat. Each character fitting into their stereotyped role to tell the story to make the point. We all know, that in real life, with real people, the story is never so black and white.

    1. Steve, when is anything too specific or too generic….. I suppose math book is too generic.. and history book is too specific.. and so nothing is relevant. I am tired of folks that has no point, other than just to "disagree." Based on their logic, nothing makes sense in the world.. something as basic "Rich people have lots money." Is that too generic or too specific for you?

  96. Jeff; please take a reading comprehension course. Realtalk; Normal words, what are normal words? In order to be a good Biologist you need to be well rounded in many areas of study and your ability to make inferences must be strong. A greater vocabulary allows you to form more complex ideas, in order to be a good Biologist. nhamik; agree with most of your comment, but don’t be fooled privilege is a greener side.BB; Thank you. Interrobang; spot on!

  97. man the people commenting are ignorant as hell

  98. haven’t changed shit. fucking clickbite

  99. This is such an exaggerated protrayal of "rich" vs "poor". If ppl actualy believe this reflects reality… You need to stop watching TV and being on social media. Stop w the wealthy bashing, you al want to be wealthy anyway and bashing the wealthy cause youre not isnt going to help with anything. Not only that, this comic also sends the message of being "wealthy" = better life and hapiness…

  100. I love the fact that people are taking the time to comment and talk about this cartoon. I mean, it’s a cartoon, a cartoon that are getting people to think. That’s just awesome.

    Now as to what people are saying…

  101. And how is this any ones fault? There will ALWAYS be the well to do and the not so well to do. Its life. Do the best with what you can, roll up your sleeves, hope for the best, and keep making the right decisions. NO life outcome is predetermined. Be a product of your choices, not your environment

    1. I totally agree. No matter what circumstances we are born into we should all be working our tails off to make the world a better place. not just for the benefit of our wallets 😛

  102. I would say Paula because Paula is doing her job and not talking down about people. If Roger keeps up the insults, it will very bad for him no matter what job he obtains. if he keeps this up, he will eventually insult a customer or a higher-up in his place .

  103. In this comic, there’s no argument that Richard has had a more privileged upbringing than Paula and they would have probably achieved different successes given different backgrounds. In real life though, we should refrain from judging others’ privilege because life doesn’t boil down to such simple caricatures. Yes, there are Richards and Paulas in real life, but there are also Bobs and Sarahs and Williams and Rachels. Everyone has a different situation. It’s easy to point fingers at someone else and say that person only got where he/she is today because of their upbringing or family, but the truth is that each one of us got where we are through our own hard work AND help from others. Of course, some people may seem to have more fortunate backgrounds, but we should spend more time reflecting over our own privileges and how we can improve rather than lamenting over the unfairness of our misfortunes.

    1. I think you’re framing this issue wrong. It’s not about punishing Richard it’s about being able to give Paula the opportunities to be as successful as Richard.

  104. I get this represents a general trend. And family plays a tremendous role in ones trajectory. However i do reject the notion that we live in a caste system which renders the working class unable from achieving much of anything.

    Though i trend conservative in my political and social views i do value the way our society has made getting a quality education attainable. Other societies have made attaining a degree very difficult. Many of my friends, from improverished families, got full ride just by applying for scholarships and grants. They got good educations from state schools and local private schools. So i have to reject the notion that someone born into poverty is not able to get an education.

    It certainly helps alot to have a family that has deep pockets and well connected but that is not the only determing factor of success. Even having parents that push a child to realize his full potential is invaluable.

    One of the wonderful things about our society is that one has the ability to make something of themselves despite their backgeound. See life stories of Ben Carson, Ophra Winfrey, or Andrew Carnegie, and many other rags to riches stories…

    That last picture of Paula serving at the graduation. I’ve been there. I’ve been at the bottom feeling hopeless and sick as my piers excelled. For a while my wife and i had to choose how to stretch $75 every week between a modest cart of groceries for the week and gasoline. We’ve been on WIC, Medicaid, racked up a pile of debt just to survide. I got sick of being there. I did something about it. I refined my talents, polished my services, got out on my own and my career has taken off. Yeah it was scary. Its been hard. Very hard. I have 3 young kids. I work 60-100 hrs a week. I have many friends with similar stories. It takes grit and a vision but in our society anyone can change the trajectory of their live.

    1. "Many of my friends, from improverished families, got full ride just by applying for scholarships and grants. They got good educations from state schools and local private schools. So i have to reject the notion that someone born into poverty is not able to get an education." Using anecdotal evidence to make a sweeping generalization is a logical fallacy.

      If you feel attacked because people may have it even worse than you, you lack empathy to understand that some people can’t even make it to that point. Read the article on how Baltimore has some of the highest lead concentrations due to its location, severely cognitively affecting the population. Just moving out isn’t easy. Poverty is a sick cycle and assuming people there can make the same decisions you had the fortune to make is disingenuous. I don’t mean to soar verbal barbs but that’s the truth of this matter. Not every thing is simple

      1. The whole cartoon is a generalization, generally showing how poverty is cyclical. My point with that statement is that in my oppinion we have done a pretty decent job making education accessible and affordable. I came from a family below the poverty line and my parents werent able to help me with tuition. I got some schollarships and worked my butt off and managed to graduate with a degree that ended up being useless to me.

        I don’t feel.attacked nor was i trying to communicate that i feel attacked because people have it worse than me. I was at the bottom and i work to help people get on their feet.

        Yes there are people who suffer because of lead poisioning, and many other problems. Its not their fault. Its not fair. Some will never be given the same opportunities i have had. I get that. I help them as i am able. Each person should do their best and help others.

  105. Just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie po?

  106. So the idea is that we should punish Richard, am-i-right? That smarmy douche should be put down! Sure he might fix the cancer in your brain with his fancy pants neurosurgery or find a new polymer that saves lives and the environment by making cars safer and lighter, but if we beat him down with taxes we might be able to discourage him just enough that nobody does too good or at any rate we can make sure he can’t afford the same track for his kids!

    That’ll definitely fix our problems. Bernie 2016! Woo!

    1. The point to the comic isn’t to say Richard needs to put put down and have higher taxes. This comic simply explains how privilege or lack there of affects someone’s life. That’s it. There’s no agenda to this comic.

      1. If that were the case, it might have been entitled, "This Comic Will Forever Change The Way You Look At Disadvantage." As it is, it is quite intentionally focused on "privilege" or "lack there of" instead of "disadvantage" or "lack there of." We should be focused on bringing these privileges to everyone instead of vilifying them by suggesting they create ungrateful dismissive morons.

    2. Money isnt everyones motivation. not arguing. but for some people it doesnt matter. that is all.

    3. No, it points out the need to raise opportunities to those of Richard. I have every respect for those who serve me, but I would sooner it was not someone who could have cured the Parkinson’s that afflicts my wife if they had been offered better learning oppotunities when a child.

    4. Answer is not to lower everyone’s opportunity so that they’re equal, but to raise opportunities for everyone to be universal.

      The former is communism and capitalism. The latter is proper socialism.

  107. My goodness, how is one comic so controversial? Simple and to the point. Thanks for this.

  108. That’s why you need to work twice as hard as others who were born in a favorable environment to get half of what they have. So if you work 10x harder than those with favorable environments do, you get more. This is life nothing is free and life isn’t easy. Learn more. Do more. There’s always another way.

  109. New title: This Comic will Forever Change the Way You Look at Privilege-Unless you Believe you Shit Diamonds

  110. Wait. I’m white. How come my life looks more like Paula’s life? Could it be because privilege has no regard for race?

    1. There are different kinds of privilege. within a white community, privilege definitely comes through your income. but if someone dressed you up nice and someone of color also dressed up nice, people are still more likely to trust the white person over the person of color. of course poverty and bad luck aren’t race exclusive, the reality remains that these target other races more, and it’s because the society is majority white, newcomers do not have the same place of starting to even attempt at ‘joining the club’.

  111. I’m white and I can guarantee that Paula was better off than I was. I bet Paula didn’t have to go through hip surgery because she worked 60-100 hours a week working an ice job that ended up fucking her with college starting out. What about working 50 hours straight, and having 8 hours off(minus 2 for the driving) before going back for another 24? I’m white, but I worked my ass off more than Paula did. I hate this privilege bullshit lies. There is only privilege if you were born rich or not and that’s if your parents do that for you.

    1. You see, you managed to bring race into this but the comic didn’t mention race. It was only talking about being born rich vs being born poor. Check your racism dear, because the fact that you managed to make this about that is a problem

    2. You make a good point, when a person comes from a poor upbringing they have to work 10x harder than Richard. With that being said, let’s assume Paula and Richard share the exact same work ethic, life would F uck Paula in her A ss. Richard may or may not have been able to even mentally persevere the hardships Paula is facing. We will never know. Which race controls most of the world’s wealth passed down through ancient kidnapping, genocide, slavery, thievery? – someone who worker 10x harder.

  112. If Paula went to Polytech, she’d probably end up more successful than Richard anyway. Uni is a waste these days. I was more like Richard. . . and I’m not successful.

  113. Good comic. This shows that in a lot of ways privilege and under privilege comes in all shades.

  114. I have seen both sides and its maybe true in some cases. But truth is God made it clear of selfishness and greed. Look blame is easy.Responsibility is difficult. Having baby’s then taking no responsibility for there upbringing it the selfish people who think Gods laws are a joke. Forgiving is not making excuses its about taking responsibility for your past mistakes.

    1. Having baby’s what? God would like for you to get off the internet and finish high school.

      1. Maybe God would like you to get off the Internet and get a life. Stop being a self-righteous grammar police. Ridiculous.

  115. Look closely, there is no difference in skin color between Richard and Paula…why are people assuming only Richard is "white"?

    1. Because deep down we all know the truth is that our system oppresses Black men, women, and children.

  116. This comic has nothing to do with race, taxes or castes. It illustrate the mindset of those that grew up with a privileged background. Even though Richard had much more help to get to where he’s at, he’s acting like he’s done it on his own and he’s some sort of elite. Without actually acknowleging what he’s received as a handout he criticizes everyone not in his position.

  117. It seems that Richard spent his childhood studying and working hard for good grades while Paula just watched a lot of TV and settled for what she got. Paula decided to move out to go to school which ended her in a lot of debt when she could have stayed living with her parents for a lot cheaper. Then she decided to quit school and get a job as a waitress even though her dad told her to keep going to school. 35 years later Richard is retiring while she’s still in the same dead end job.

    1. This is a joke, right? You seriously couldn’t have missed the point so thoroughly.

      1. Tom, I think people miss the point of this because their privilege allows them the luxury of not experiencing hardship, and it’s much more comfortable to kid themselves into thinking that people who are poor are poor because they are lazy, instead of the discomfort of questioning a system that hurts the large majority of people but that benefits themselves.

      2. If she would have stayed away from eazee finance she would have been much better off. Maybe if she had paid off her previous loans on time she would have had a better credit rating and would have been approved for the bank loan. Instead she decided that she had been working her ass off and deserved a 60" TV that she got with a loan with a 30% interest rate per month from eazee finance. Then she got stuck in the vicious cycle of pay day loans, paying off her last loan with a new loan.

      3. Where in the story does it say she is getting a loan for a tv? Did you stop and think maybe the loan was to help her dad with medical expenses neither of them could afford? The lack of insight, empathy and blatant disregard for humanity is appalling in this and many of these comments. Who made so many of you so full of hate toward your fellow man that you are judge and jury on a fictional character you actually know nothing about?

      4. Had to make an account for Sam's comment, fuck sam. says:

        God damn, look at you. So mindless you can even take someone else’s story and molded it into your ideal to fit this unrealistic view of life.

        Pat yourself on the back, you truly are a unique snowflake (in the worst way possible).

    2. It seems that Sam is a mindless dipshit who lacks a fundamental understanding of context.

      Good job Sam.

  118. I stopped reading after "His recent comic…delivers the truth with a punchline that literally hits you in the gut." Literally? another addition to for biased PC enthusiasts to refer to perhaps?

  119. Very interesting and so true in many circumstances. Moral is be thankful

  120. So basically because I was born into a family that had made their way up in the world generations before I came about, I am spoiled and will forever not only have an advantage, but flaunt it? What bullshit. My grandparents were Iowan farmers on my mom’s side. They worked their asses off and got out. Now they can afforf frillious things like paying for their granddaughters to go to college. Rather than teaching these people that life is unfair and to envy thise better off, we should be teaching them to rise above it and get out and off of wellcare. No wonder America is the whinest country. We all blame others for our misfortunes. I guess I will blame my professor too, because while I didn’t study hard enough for that A, it is clearly her fault and I have affluenza! Ridiculous, narrow-minded people. And I thought you were liberals.

    1. It is not meant to make you feel bad for having all the things that make it easier to succeed. It is meant to make you consider that parents currently are not always equipped to give those scaffolds to their children. This is where that state should provide more opportunities for success from a young age. This would also lead to generally more productive people in society. Fewer people in the prison system. If there is something America should feel ashamed about it is the high incarceration rate. It could have been prevented with early intervention.

    2. You completely missed the entire point of this whole thing. Go ahead, be defensive. It helps you feel better. But people who do work their asses off and barely can afford to pay their rent on time, they’ve already learned how to survive. It’s sad when people have everything handed to them because they develop a very unrealistic expectation of life. Those who work their asses off and aren’t handed everything learn to work hard. You, apparently, have learned to defend yourself so your feelings won’t get hurt.

  121. I like this comic because it’s not really finished. Anything can happen to either parties after this meeting. Now she can be motivated to go back to school or chase her dreams. Who knows he might have said that comment to the wrong person who life started like paula’s. Nothing is set in stone

    1. How is she supposed to go back to school to chase her dreams if she’s barely making a living wage? Please don’t kid yourself that she’s just lacking motivation.

  122. Richard got opportunities that Paula didn’t. He also worked his ass off to maximize them. So, yeah, he didn’t make it to the top alone, but he still deserved to be there. He wasn’t just some trust fund baby the whole time.

    1. What about this shows that "Richard worked his ass off to maximize them"?

  123. Seems like they are both still "working for the man"…

  124. What about the fact that hes male and shes female?

  125. Is it that psychologically crippling to admit that we should perhaps collectively have a bit more empathy for those who, FOR WHATEVER REASON, ended up in a bad place?

  126. I can not believe how different people interpret this comic. Some have some issue that is not shown but they assume. Others don’t seem to see the comic at all. I thought it was suppose to open peoples eyes, but it proved to me people cannot open their eyes because they are covered with judgemental blinders. Can anyone open their mind enough to change the scenario, say he got a NO for financial aide and she got a YES, What would have changed? Anyone’s imagination open enough to see what may have happened? Just wondering.

  127. I can side with Paola, working 40 hour weeks and managing school while your parent loses their house, grandma dies on your birthday, and you have 18 credits worth of exams the following week. Meanwhile, you’re passed over for competitive internships because they want unpaid work, and the candidates that have successful parents to subsidize expenses are offered the opportunity. I have hope I will get to my desired career path, all I need is the opportunity.

  128. it all started from the weak expectations of the parents. i lived paula’s life but my parent’s gave me hell when I got bad grades. School is free, Paula didn’t get the A’s .. not because of money or lack thereof. This is just another way to complain about the rich.. i struggled and worked and don’t hate the rich , yes i want to become one of them … sometimes it’s the journey that counts. i sympathize for paula, but don’t hate rich. that’s life, stop bitching start grinding.

    1. Money is most certainly an obstacle to learning, try doing an engineering degree and juggling a 30-40 hour work week that doesn’t consist of bagging groceries at your local supermarket.

      Getting straight A’s for an engineer with all expenses paid for (housing, education, food) is hard enough. Tackle on a work week with real responsibilities? You’ve got to be kidding me.

  129. I did not ask for patriarchy to give me a damn thing, just open the door, I will get it myself.

    1. I didn’t ask for patriarchy to give me a damn thing either, just that they open the door. Alas, they opened the door to their fellow white men, and not to me.

  130. I come from wealth and I can attest to the accuracy of this comic — although it is absolutely an oversimplification. While I was often envious of my friends who came from lower economic strata for having two parents, I can say that coming from wealth made whatever setbacks I had tremendously easier to deal with. Nevertheless, my personal experience is complicated, as is everyone’s. This comic is a simplification, but, moreover, it is a reduction. I’ll offer my experience as a parable for how complex these sorts of things really are: I went to public school in NYC with 30+ person classes. I was one of the wealthiest kids in my school. Some of my friends lived in the projects. Some were Black. Some were White. Some were Asian. Sometimes I’d sleep over at their place; other times they’d sleep over at mine. I didn’t even think about the economic disparity — until later. The squares in this comic that I disagree with are "So we maybe can see why the expectations set for Richard… might be slightly different than those set for Paula." As I said, I had friends who lived in the projects. Some of those friends did terribly in school; others managed to do better than even I (with my economic advantage) was able to do. Some of my lower-class friends dropped out of high school; others made it into Columbia University (a school I got rejected from). The friend who went to Columiba had parents who would accept nothing less from him than an A-. Anything less than that and he was in "big trouble." Again, we went to the same public school. His parents worked multiple jobs. I had a lot of economic advantage. And yet this did not predict which one of us would succeed most. My friend who went to Columbia (who, by the way, was homeless at one point before we were friends) worked his ass off, got a scholarship, worked a job, and is doing great for himself. While I don’t want to discount economic privilege — yes, at the end of the day, I am where I am largely because of the financial advantages I had — you can’t boil everything down to that. The fact is that things like work ethic, culture, parenting, luck, etc. all factor into individual success. So while I would encourage people like myself to be empathetic toward those who have been allotted a lesser lot in life from the get go, I would also discourage individuals from lower economic backgrounds from shirking off responsibility. Also — and this might seem out of nowhere — I would discourage anyone from thinking that anyone’s life is really "better" than theres. My economic privilege didn’t protect me from having no mother growing up. It didn’t protect me from depression in high school. I consider myself no more or less happy than any of my friends.

    1. As a fellow NYC public high school grad (it sounds like you went to my high school, Brooklyn Tech, but I guess you could be describing any other decent public hs in NYC), I’d like to point some things out.

      Now, if you remember the application process we all had to go through for high school, if a student didn’t have decent grades, decent standardized test scores, enough talent/confidence to nail an audition/put together a portfolio (reminder: people from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds might not have access to being introduced to or coached for these art school application processes) or couldn’t get a good enough score on a grueling exam (I needed extra time due to dyslexia, and I still BARELY finished the SHSAT on time), they went to their zone school, or a school they put 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc, on their preferred hs list. I know of kids who had poor grades growing up and never had the confidence to even try to get into a specialized hs (which is the only chance for a good, safe education in NYC for some kids). I know of kids who went to middle schools that DIDN’T EVEN TELL THEIR STUDENTS about the exam, or the choices of schools they had, because their school’s administration had so little faith in it’s students and so little funding. TALK ABOUT EXPECTATIONS. These kids just end up going to their zone schools (which is pretty much the case throughout the rest of America—if you’re poor, you live in a shitty town/neighborhood and you go to shitty schools your whole life and if manage to not get addicted to drugs, and you work really hard and have the faith in yourself despite everything around you, you might go to college and beat the odds). The various economic and familial hardships that students experience in NYC really do strongly influence who’s going to succeed the most. Try getting good grades when your parents go through a divorce when you’re an adolescent and when they were together they didn’t even make 60k a year? How about custody battles or being passed around through the foster system until you’re finally 18? How about a close family member being shot down in the street? What if you were shot? Suicidal at 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16? It happens a lot. Emigrated to NYC when you were 10 and had to learn English as a second language and change everything you know about how society works and deal with nasty tweens teasing you constantly because of your accent? Good thing you’ve probably already experienced worse and that’s why you moved, so now you have enough motivation to overcome most challenges you face. What if your dad gets cancer and all of your family’s (minute) savings go to getting him treatments while mom tries to wake up every day and keep working at her minimum wage job to keep you and your siblings fed… These things can DESTROY a student’s academic career before it can even really get started.

      Expectations mean so much for a student’s development and future. Whether they’re a student’s own, their family’s, their school’s, or just all the people surrounding them because that’s the way your town (sort of) functions.Most individuals I know or have met from lower socioeconomic backgrounds don’t "shirk off" their responsibilities. They usually have more responsibilities to begin with (taking care of siblings, getting a job at 14 to help pay for bills, etc) than those who are luckier from the start.

      My mother and I moved 8 times throughout NYC when I was a kid—running away from rising rent. My parents separated when I was 7 and my father ruined my mother’s name in her career (they were both photographers). He kept my mom in family court for 13 years over child support, which he barely ever paid, and custody. My mom had to deal with lawyer bills, going to court instead of work, spending hundreds of hours over the years writing up thousands of pages of court documents because often she couldn’t afford a lawyer. I’ve lived below the poverty level since I was 8, I was suicidal at 12, I’ve been a shell of a person for a couple of years due to depression, I’ve experienced a decent amount of prejudice and have been alienated from more than half of my family. I consider myself SO lucky that I got in 7 years of a stable life to have as a foundation. I’m jealous of you… You were able to grow up well-off with just one parent? Looking back, I wish my dad had just left us alone. And I’ve been jealous of people with families, no matter what their socioeconomic background. The grass is often greener.

      I don’t know your circumstances completely, and I’m so sorry you grew up without a complete family. I really do believe and recognize that every individual’s hardships are real and difficult and terrible for the person(s) experiencing them. These hardships can range from a goldfish dying to watching your family be tortured or starving to death. Please don’t belittle the hardships of others and tell them not to consider other lives as "better" than theirs. In this country, at least, without that kind of perspective, how is someone who has had incredibly unfortunate circumstances growing up ever supposed to see what can be and raise their own expectations for themselves? I plan on my life getting better with time. I want my children to have lives that are better than mine, and I hope they will raise the bar for themselves too. I can only know how I would like to grow and what I would like to change by observing and getting to know others and seeing their circumstances and perspectives.

      This comic most definitely IS an oversimplification, as both of us have clearly illustrated. And therefore, it is also a reduction. These are supposed to be innate qualities of comics. I think this comic is brilliant, accessible, accurate, effective and to the point. That makes a good comic. What we have written and ALL the other points on multiple sides of this issue are not going to be read by the masses! At least this will get people thinking—even just a little bit is enough—so they can make their lives better.

      1. Hope you don’t mind the length of what I wrote. I see it’s longer than I thought it was. ^^’

  131. I went to a really small liberal arts school (by some miracle). The girls I went to class with would go on ski trips and to the movies, and make fun of me/give me a hard time for not going with them. That was hard knowing their rent was being paid for, their car was a birthday present, they has a credit card for gas/groceries/and entertainment that grandma gave them when they started school. I barley had time to study between my two part time jobs.

    I had to drop out eventually, and nice guys that I thought about dating me decided not to because they didn’t understand why I wasn’t going to school. "Why don’t you just get a loan??"… Hmmm… I tried. My parents "make too much". Make too much. They can barely aford to buy groceries and pay rent because they have 12 really awesome beautiful children. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get to go to college!! That is… Until we’re 25 and have the chance to qualify for loans again:) So soon…

    It’s hard to to be able to see the other side of the story. The girls I went to class with are in masters programs now, married to pilots, or wealthy DC accountants.

    But I’m not complaining. I have had more experiences while not going to school than a lot of people have in a lifetime. I taught English in Mexico for a semester after I dropped out. I worked at the Wynn in Las Vegas. I lived in Cambodia for a year and a half and learned the language!! I came home fromCambodia and worked at a law firm! And then I quit:) because I didn’t like the way I was treated (sub par, because I didn’t have a degree. Even though they hired 5 people to do my job after I left). But more importantly, I quit so I could paint!! I had so much fun that I took a painting instructors certification course so I could start offering after school programs in less fortunate communities. Then, in the summer… I lived in Alaska. It was beautiful!! I worked on a train, in a private dome car and worked as a bartender/barista and made some pretty sweet tips. And now, I’m painting again!! And I’m getting ready to go back to school (online this time, because I have a pretty awesome life that I worked hard for, and I’m not giving it up).

  132. The post by BB is like the only one that gets it

  133. There will always be the haves and the have nots. But this doesn’t mean serving rich folks at a party is the end of Paula’s story. It might be tge start of it. And that’s what the "poor me" generation of millennials doesn’t get.

    1. It also may not be the end of Richard’s story. In the next panel, he gets a terminal food-borne illness from the oyster Paula served. He dies, just like the rest of us will some day, because his money didn’t buy him a reprieve from the fate we all share. Everyone is shocked, because no one as successful as Richard "deserves" this, but we all get exactly what we get, and no one deserves anything. But that’s a whole other comic.

  134. Richard was guided and provided the resources to succeed. He did succeed, a lot of these rich kids take advantage of that and never go anywhere, still feeding off of their parents money. Richard accepted help and look where it brought him

  135. Paula is watching TV while Richard is studying..

    1. how did you come to that conclusion at all, she is working twice as hard as he is

    2. You’re observation may be somewhat simplistic. Alternate interpretation? Richard would rather be watching TV, but his parents are there making him do homework. Paula’s parents are not there, so she is watching TV. Since Richard is a kid, and he lacks the impulse control and ability to delay gratification that it would require to do homework on his own, he is only doing it because his parents are at home with him, making him do his homework and giving him encouragement, he is doing his homework. Not because he is somehow brighter or better, but because he is compliant and has the good fortune to have oversight from an adult supporter.

      1. Sounds like one group of parents are more fit to live in this world than others and their offspring benefits from that. Damn, it’s almost like we are animals and there is competition between us and that there are winners and losers in this game of life.

    3. You’re what we a call a true fucking imbecile. Let’s hope you don’t reproduce, jackass.

    4. She had no supervision. Kids don’t have the reasoning ability to make solid choices for the long term, they go for short term gratification.

  136. For all the privileged. Think about all the things, even if they were minuscule, that someone else did for you. Then, imagined life again if they were things you actually had to take care of yourself with no help. That should at least give some perspective. Only lazy people want handouts, and that doesn’t included the entire populous of people who either struggled growing up because their particular situation.

  137. Richard had all the resources but nobody cares to see the struggle his dad or dad’s dad might have gone through to give him this life style.. I don’t think this comic is about privilege at all if the girl or her parents or her parents parent were hard working or had the zeal, they would have definitely made a position for themselves in the society.. There are a million positive examples of the same. Please stop portraying the successful as villains at all times..

  138. Laughing and crying that people are commenting here still trying to be like ‘nu-uh!’

  139. Seriously? My wife was 11 years old when she went out in her back yard and found her alcoholic father dead from suicide (hose from exhaust into car). She had an older sister who died not long afterwards and two much younger siblings she mothered. Her own mother, who didn’t finish high school, drove a school bus. She worked three jobs, got a bachelors degree from James Madison University and a Master’s from University of Virginia. She now makes six figures and is in charge of about 2500 people. Nobody gave her anything as best as I can tell from looking at her life story. We are all dealt a hand. Everyone’s got demons that they can allow to take them down, or they can allow to destroy them. Everyone who doesn’t make in the world has plenty of excuses why. Everyone who does make it, doesn’t even realize they had them. The difference in succeeders and non-succeeders is internal. So parents need to quit telling their kids all the reasons they’re oppressed and start telling all the reasons they’re blessed.

    1. She probably also knew that college was an option for her. I help first generation college students learn how to apply to and afford college. You should just hear some of the misconceptions I hear from people who always thought that college was out of reach for them. There are also a slew of predatory for-profit schools out there now that prey on these very people. I had one girl pay $50K for a "degree" that wouldn’t even transfer to a 4 year university and in a field where she could only find per-deim work. She didn’t know any better because she was completely ignorant and it wasn’t her fault. The quality of your wif’s primary education also comes into play; not all public schools are created equally. I commend your wife for being able to "pull herself up by the bootstraps" but she is an exception, not the rule.

      1. There are no rules other than motivation and determination can help you succeed. We live in America, anything is possible if you want it bad enough. People expect that its easy. But to rise above any childhood issues one has to grow up. Stop blaming their past and say hey it happened, it sucked, it made me stronger. Put some big girl panties on and do it. Make sacrifices, learn to achieve goals in bite size piece. Change the people you associate with. Have a purpose. She is not the exception – she is a role model.

  140. Jesus tells us, "You will always have the poor" He leave us to answer, "How poor will our poor be?"

  141. This comic is very biased towards the successful

  142. There are a lot of people blind to their privilege posting. Check your egos for a second, and see that this isn’t bashing successful people.

  143. I have a very similar life to Richard’s. I went to private schools and higher end public schools my entire life and now I’m at a great College. We are a well-to-do family, and I acknowledge that, but that is largely owed up to my Dad. He gets up at 5 in the morning and gets home around 8 at night. That’s a 15 hour day dedicated strictly to work, which leaves him with a minuscule 1-2 hours to spend with his family. While I understand the point of this article and comic, and how it’s not fair that Paula didn’t get the same opportunities as Richard; it doesn’t cover any of the struggles that Richard’s family most likely had to endure as well.

  144. When I was 9, my family moved to the USA from Brazil. In Brazil, my family was one of he richest in the neighborhood, and although that’s not saying much, because we still weren’t any richer than low middle class for Brazil (income lower than the working class in the USA), we still stood out to the point where I was the Richard of the neighborhood. When we move d to the USA, it was a whole different experiemce. I became the Paula. Considering and understanding both sides of the story, anyone who says that Richard’s life could have been as hard as Paula’s is being simple minded. Sure, there will be cases where Richard could have depression, or an unsupportive family, while Paula has a family that actively (at home) pushes her like mine did. But are those the majority? No. Those are outliers. As for me, I went from the top of my class, to an average, if not below average student regardless of my parents’ dedication. Fact of the matter was, money was and still is on my mind the whole time. I worked since I was 14 while keeping up with clas and rather than explaining to my teachers the overwhelming feeling of dread and stress that haunted all of us at home, I let them think I was lazy. I’m not saying I made the right choices, but I’m saying that, having been on both sides, the lack of money was a HUGE factor in my discouragement, in my inability to focus on school, and in my grade drop.


    Many of the comments here miss the point.

    First off, yes, this is a simplification. The comic attempts to portray the entire interplay and compounding of social inequality in 22 panels. Caricatures and simplification is necessary. These things are meant to start not complete the conversation.

    Secondly, Richard is not being demonized or portrayed as spoiled, simply as oblivious. His parents aren’t shown as evil oil barons, just fairly well to-do parents doing what they can for their kid. He is portrayed as studying, not partying; of getting good grades; of accepting opportunities; and of working hard. Richard should be proud of the work he put in to achieve his position. The point is not that Richard shouldn’t be successful. The point is that Richard should realize that his success is a combination of his hard work and opportunities. Now that he is in power himself, this recognition should inform how he treats others, how he evaluates job applicants, how he supports or opposes education reform, etc.

    I grew up middle class in a decent school. I worked my butt off and took every opportunity. I graduated valedictorian and was impressed that I’d beat all my competitors in that 400 meter race. It wasn’t till I started working in inner city schools that I realize other kids on the same track are trying to run a 400 meter hurdles. I never dealt with gang recruitment, violent neighborhoods, missing school so I could care for a sibling. I didn’t have private tutors, but I had educated parents who could help me with homework. I had as many books as I cared to read.

    Again, the point isn’t that the person that finishes the 400M sprint shouldn’t be proud, but they should recognize that they guy who finished 5th but also had to jump the hurdles along the way may have just as much internal potential if given the chance.

  146. this is more of a jab at donald trump more than anything lol

    but its true i find it amazing people can be so conceited in believing their success is only based on their hard work and dedication. even warren buffett attributed his genius to winning the ‘ovarian lottery’

  147. Yeah people’s offspring shouldn’t benefit from their success at all. An animal’s only purpose in life is to make sure their offspring/genes thrive and last until reproduction.

    Kill yourself commie faggots

  148. jj: You’re reading a completely different message from what I’m doing. The comic isn"t condemning helping your children succeed, it’s condemning the (frankly idiotic) notion that success is merely a question of personal qualities, and not of socio-economic background. The claim that one hasn’t had any handouts, when ones adolescence was a filled with a series of small handouts.

  149. I think this is true in many cases, however it is the values that your family provides, whether rich or poorer that determine you as a person and define your future. My dad grew up being a child of 11 all sharing one room in a small council house, he was the only sibling to work hard to get in to a school, rather than choosing to go into the army or turn to street crime, and scraped in to university. He finished with a 2:1, with no help from family etc, and now he runs his own investment banking business. Where as my mum came from a privileged background, but was cut off at 18 from any money from her parents, and worked about 3 jobs to pay for a flat until she found her career path and worked From the bottom and is now the managing director of a publishing company. Neither background is about opportunity from money but from self determination. I am therefore from a middle class background with a good education which i am grateful for, however I have worked countless job from the age of 14 to earn my own money, and I pay for my university fees, not my parents even though they have the money, but all because I have been brought up not to b oblivious and ungrateful.

  150. Tell me the story about Christopher Gardner again, Please.

    1. The story of Chris Gardner relies simply on chance. In his book, he states that he met a man in a nice car in a parking lot who told him about stockbroking. Had he not been in that specific parking lot at that specific time, he would not have become the successful person he is now. Gardner himself seemed to attribute his success to the man in the car, not to his hard work. He was working hard before he met that man, and continued to work hard after. Gardner represents one of the few people who have managed to achieve significant social mobility, but his doing so is not attributed solely to his work ethic, but substantially to a chance conversation he had about stockbroking.

  151. I agree, that there is soooo very much missing from this "Comic", if meant to be funny, major fail. If a shot at successful people, major hit.. As you go to the public school panel please note the class out of order, another shot at public education more true than false thereby NOT FUNNY, signs of home problems mostly poor families, another fail as rich schools have discipline problems similar in nature…….. I could go on, but author receiving enough bashing without my going into motivation, parental guidance ( mere mention), mentoring ( not mentioned much), and inspiration.

  152. Ugottabkiddongme: I don’t think it’s meant to be funny like garfeild. I think it’s meant to express that almost everyone says success is all about your own qualities and mentions nothing really of socioeconomic status. Being that I am in Paula’s shoes right now, I kinda know how she feels. My parents couldn’t afford a tutor when I got a B+. They were happy. Same as now that I’m a college student I work 40 hours a week to get through it and my parents are proud, but they and not even I can expect straight A’s if I need to work a full time job too. I’ll look around me, and see the kids that are a higher socioeconomic status than mine and see that they’ve got it easier. They get a real chance to succeed while all of my odds are pushed against me.

  153. No one has asked the most puzzling question of all… "Why does Richard say, "…on plate" when the title is "On A Plate"???

  154. People miss the point of course, because they don’t want to feel accused. Being called "Privileged" is the same as being called "Entitled", just buzz words used politically to divide us. Not everyone with money is privileged just like not everyone who is poor feels entitled. Both are in a situation that they have little control over, and the important thing is that we understand each other, not that we "stop or accuse" the other person for being in that situation…

  155. This comic would benefit from the two characters being as similar as possible, so that the message is more focused on their scenarios, so the topic stays on that rather than people being able to shift the conversation to one about male or white privilege .

    1. Where does "white privilege" come up? Every person is the same skin color.

  156. My husband worked his ass off at a company for 3 years, only to be bypassed by the owners nephew who made 3x what he did in a matter of 4 months. He doesn’t do much but play games on his phone. My husband never got a raise, and worked overtime just so we could afford the basics while I worked full time and went to school. We aren’t black either. Privledge comes in all shapes , sizes, and colors.

  157. VOTE! With only a third of us voting NOTHING GETS DONE FOR THE COMMON MAN AND WOMAN. You want change? Vote for Bernie Sanders. Don’t want to vote? Then shut up and continue to take what they give you.

  158. Paula soon finds out that she is not in debt for the rest of her life from student loans and that her polytechnic schooling does not become downsized and her credit cards are not maxed out and she has time for her family

  159. The implication here is that this is showing white privilege, but it is really showing economic privilege. People often confuse them simply because many of those with economic privilege are white. However, there are massive numbers of white people who are not economically privileged that would go through a similar life as Paula. My own story, white male here, I grew up in a poor home, in a poor neighborhood. My schools were so bad, I was frequently truant (even placed on probation for truancy) and eventually dropped out and got a GED. When I was 32 I could finally consider college. I eventually went on to get my doctorate, but I did so to the tune of $260,000 in student loans with a locked in federal rate of 7.25% so my student loan debt is currently $302,000 because I can’t even pay the interest on the loan every month. This occurred even while working 30 hours a week as I had a family to support. While I do acknowledge that white privilege exists and there are correlations between different forms of privilege, the ultimate problem leads back to economic privilege and the distribution of wealth in this country. When you have a handful of people that have more wealth than the rest of the entire country combined, you know there is a problem in there somewhere because no one is that important, that valuable. Until the poor stop fighting each other over idiotic things like skin color and turn on the real problem, the wealthy that continue to bleed us dry, ruin our lives, and keep us in bondage, we will never move forward as a society.

    1. I don’t understand how you got "white privilege" when the characters’ skins were coloured exactly the same shade in every panel. Perhaps in your privilege (I’m assuming you’re Caucasian, because why else would you refer to a non-issue) your ego is getting bruised by a webcomic.

      1. They put in white privilege because in this day and age that’s the first thing you would think of. Race is a big problem and it is easy to associate another problem with race when it is really a wealth problem.

  160. I believe this article is a very true metaphor for the growing gap between the rich and poor in this country. There is absolutely an advantage to being privileged in our world and this article really makes a strong point as to why. Of course there are stories of people that came from nothing and made something out of themselves and we all love to hear those stories but I assure you the stories of success coming from a wealthy family are exponentially more common. I grew up in a low middle class family. Both my parents worked full time my dad as a prison guard and mom for a phone company. We always had enough money for a roof over our head and food on the table but not much more. I am 31 now and have owned three business and currently own three houses that I have built from nothing and cant say 0 help but verrry little help from my parents. I have friends that make a lot of money and it bugs me to no end how they are starting to feel that they are better then people that don’t make as much and the reason is because they don’t work as hard. There are a ton of extremely hard working people out there that are simply doing everything they can to stay afloat, they maybe aren’t as inelegant, didn’t know the right people, have a lower self esteem, are a single parent, and the list goes on. Our society the way it is will inevitably change before long as once the gap gets too large people will start to wake up and realize that this way of life makes no sense. We don’t have black slaves anymore no, instead we now have Chinese and Vietnamese slaves that work out of our site so we don’t think much of it. While the top 1% of people own 99% of the money (which = privilege, and power in this world) we eventually will all be their slaves, unless we wake up and realize that life would be better for everyone (janitors, servers, technicians, prison guards, doctors, lawyers alike) if the monetary substance in this world we live in was far more equally divided. Went on a bit of a rant there but food for thought.

  161. Bummer that Richard had grey hair from the start.

  162. This is a story of capitalistic systems (ie USA, UK etc.). Thats why we (still) have a nordic welfare system in Finland.

  163. And yet people who fall in the privileged group still don’t get it. Me thinks the majority never will.

  164. Garbage in, garbage out. So poor white trash (and other groups) will beget more poor white trash. It’s the order of things. On average, those cut from better stock will do better. Jealousy about this universal situation is called ‘privilege’. If you’re a woman, bang the most successful man you can find. If you’re a man, bang the most beautiful woman you can find. But heck, we already knew that.

  165. I wish the illustrator used PURPLE for all the characters – thereby throwing the "color" of people/groups out of the equation. The circumstances for "making it" come down to having opportunity and if society is structured to close doors then the hunger games are not far behind.

    1. You’re dumb. This is precisely the type of ignorance the comic is trying to avoid.

  166. Ahhh, but those millionaires and billionaires do provide work for the Oyster fisherman, the folks that built his boat and the mechanic that works on his boat, the trucker that hauls his catch to market and then to the restaurant, the chef and cooks, oh and Paula’s job too. Funny thing about millionaires and billionaires, they tend to be high maintenance which means they spend a good amount of their money on folks servicing them.

    1. That’s like saying that people who work in sweat shops for a few dollars a week should be grateful to people in developed countries for buying so much crap and therefore financially supporting them. They’re working a lot harder than we do and they get paid a dismal little fraction of the average wages in a developed country. Ignoring that things are only like this because of a completely unfair distribution of wealth.

      It’s not like I donate to charity or do my research and avoid buying from companies that exploit child work forces. I’ve been addicted to this western lifestyle since long before I opened my eyes to how unfair this world is. But I’m not going to delude myself in to thinking that its fair.

  167. So I’m sopposed to feel bad because my parents and my parents parents etc. for working hard and setting up a good life for their children. People need to stop complaining about everyone else and focus on making their life better.

    1. The point is to just to be humble and know that what you have might be in part because you worked hard but also the circumstances you were born into are a big part of your overall success or failure… Sure, working hard is the key…. but it’s not the only factor.

  168. @austin. That’s what you take away from this? It reads as an insult to you? A threat? A personal jab? Please take a second and think about that for a minute.

  169. It’s says to me you have the power to change your circumstances don’t settle.

  170. The problem is this won’t change the way the privileged look at privilege. They believe they deserve their privilege, and are actually more important and deserving than everyone around them.

    1. If Richard it’s privileged it’s because his parents worked hard to make his life easier

  171. Honestly, that’s life, and Paula’s life it’s really good if you take a look at some poor kid from Africa or another poor country where studying isn’t even an option. And eventough it migh be easier for Richard, you don’t need a tutor, or someone important to easy your way to have a good job or something. Yes, people should be humble, but this comparation isn’t fair and doesn’t make any sense.

  172. And we could make column C, depicting the life of Odeymi from Africa. Her parents never owned a home, didn’t have access to clean water, and war tore their country apart. Odeymi will be lucky to survive into her forties.

    I easily fall into Column B with Paula, but I grew up and realized "privilege of birth" didn’t apply to just wealthier Americans. As an American, poor or not, I am already so privileged. So very privileged.

    Yes, there is always someone who has it worse/better. It is important not to believe that I am somehow superior to Odeymi because I have made an excellent life for myself while she may be raising her children alone in a mud hut. She could very well have done the same things I did, had she had my opportunities. It is also important that I do not feel inferior to the Richards of the world, which I do not.

    The idea is very simple to me: learn to value what you have and to not envy what others have. Make the very best of what you are given and learn to appreciate it. A life spent bitterly envying those who have it "easier" than you is a life truly wasted.

  173. personally I grew up like Paula and ended up like Richard.

    1. This is what you think. This exactly the conclusion of the comic.

      1. Your ideology prevents you from considering the possibility that he might be right, even though data shows that millions of people do exactly that.

  174. That’s right everyone…it’s those social structures that are keeping you down! Blame them! Make up hypothetical stories! Come on…tug at our heartstrings…because we all know America is driven purely by EMOTIONS.

    It sounds like Paula has some great parents. Want to know where the real change happens? By healthy families and good parenting.

    But no….we have to keep our eye on all those social structures that keep the poor man down. Then we can point the finger…blame the guys who make the money. Yeah, we all hate the 1% right!?!?! That’s right….get em! mob goes ape-sht* Bunch of friggin’ mindless crap.

  175. I think some people here fail to realize that this is a comic which compares two individuals with the same abilities and intelligence levels, but from different socio-economic backgrounds. There are many examples of people from underprivileged backgrounds making it big in life, and that usually happens under two premises:

    1) they are incredibly lucky (unicorn) 2) they are damn sharp.

    Two statistically rare circumstances. Before posting your uppity know-it-all comment, check your own privilege.

  176. I can see what you are trying to say here, some of it I don’t see as completely fair, but on the other side I can understand it. Still, since this is so vague, I really can’t make a judgement on it. ‘Well off’ went from looking middle class, to wealthy really quick there. So I really don’t understand.

  177. …umm…i think you guess got a little off track. I see it more as a difference in self-esteem and self worth. As well as the stress of each economical stand point. It doesn’t have to go exactly like that on either end but the results may still be the same.

  178. This is ridiculous! Hers is some indispensable advise. Study hard, be determined and learn a skill set that others can’t do easily, this is what will distinguish you from everyone else and this knowledge will make you more valuable. Only in America can you go from 0 to 100.

  179. Looks like there are a lot of people from the left side of the comic posting comments.

  180. A little too simplistic, as it doesn’t take into account a variety of factors.

    First being is simply that a woman can marry up and get out of her social class. The guy she marries may be ugly and 20 years older, but that’s the trade-off. I live in Hollywood and I see this all the time. To keep it tasteful, I won’t elaborate on her options as an exotic dancer.

    Secondly, she could have gone to a junior college the first two years, which in CA seem close to free compared to other states, and even with a C+ average be guaranteed admission to a state university. Being as poor as she is, being female, and possibly being a racial minority she would have had grant on top of grant, and her education would cost her little if any. As far as books, you download the pdf, or borrow someone else’s book, or buy the book, xerox the chapters you need, and take it back for a full refund.

    Thirdly, being that, even working a dead-end job, she could have built her credit. I know people who make $25K/year who have excellent credit. I lived on my own at 17, didn’t have parents with credit, and I was able to get credit lines of $15,000, $20,000 just by fudging numbers.

    Finally–why is she working a menial job? Why didn’t she learn a vocational trade or a skill to fall back on to bankroll her studies and provide a buffer against future economic downturns? She could have spent three years at a junior college, gotten her AA, and a vocational certificate in typing, massage therapy, medical coding, or some other trade that would at least allow her to not have to work in a menial position.

    I have no problem telling someone off who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, nor do I have a problem with raising estate taxes for the betterment of society, but the simplistic, doom and gloom portrayal shown may have been valid before the Great Society, but there are so many avenues to get ahead, it seems unfair and misleading to make our society and class structure look so static.

    1. You don’t seem to grasp the idea here. The issue wasn’t to address women’s struggles, it was to address struggles that the lower class, and lower middle class, experience.

      So, to say she could "marry up" as if that is a viable option is fucking pathetic and misogynistic. Also, mentioning that she could dance is also disrespectful, and shows your complete lack of appreciation for the point being made.

      Secondly, she probably could have gone to a community college, true. However, it isn’t any more or any less expensive. Even in California, where grants such as a BOG fee waiver take care of cost of attendance, and Pell grants help with books, you’re still faced with the fact that living in this state is near impossible unless you’re making very good money. Sure, she could find a cheap loft in some shit neighborhood. However, she’s still not getting out of the environment she was born into, because the cost of living is still through the roof. This, in turn, means she’s still working side jobs to make ends meet, cutting into time needed to study, do homework, etc.

      Thirdly, being in a dead-end job implies more than just not making much. It implies you’re having to do extra to make ends meet, such as taking out payday loans or using credit cards. Sure, at first it may help with her credit, but eventually her life catches up and she will likely fall behind on payments, effectively ruining her credit for years. Also, "fudging numbers" is fraud, and not everyone is trying to do this the illegal way.

      Finally, she is working a menial job, because that’s generally how it works for this class of citizen. Something that seems to be completely lost on you, unfortunately, despite the comic.

      I’m so sorry that you can’t read between the lines to see what this comic is trying to show you. I’m also very sorry that you think you need to tell off people in a similar situation as the girl in this comic, simply because you "made it out", so to speak. I’m sorry that you supposedly went through her situation, and still came out heartless and disrespectful to the people facing a struggle that, in truth, you have no fucking clue about.

      1. THANK YOU! this comment really made my day <3

      2. I dont think anyone can deny it is easier to have a good outcome if you have more resources. That being said the situation isn’t really that dire if you have intelligence and high drive.

        In Virginia you can graduate with a degree from UVA (ranked #26) or Virginia Tech (ranked #70)for a total cost of 28k in tuition and fees if you did 2 years at a community college with guaranteed admission.

        My wife grew up in a third world communist hell hole, and saved 10K a year on a 19K stipend while in grad school, mainly because she was used to a lower standard of living that Americans (for example eating only cabbage and rice all winter), and found cheap rent by living with older people who wanted a tenant for compansionship.

        The same is true of most of the students at the students at NYC elite public highschools (Bronx Science, Stuyvesant etc), disproportionately poor, 70% asian, english as a second language yet high achieving and have a culture of success.

        Of course if you lack high intelligence and drive, then you won’t make an upper income, but you might make an average income if you pick up a skilled trade. The world of income possibilities is limited if you have, say an 85 IQ, as you can’t get in to college let alone med school/engineering school with that level of intelligence.

        All the concern about privilege will do little for those on the left side of the bell curve (disproportionately non-asian minorities) who need the most help. In a world were brainpower and assortative mating patterns for marriage is tied to financial success (and resulting "privlidge"), not much can be done.

  181. I think this comic is a little deeper than the obvious message that coming up in a family with money and connections is advantageous. Besides his tone-deaf little speech at the end, Richard doesn’t seem like a bad guy. He’s shown working hard and doing the right things. His family is shown to have money, but not to some obscene degree. It’s not like he’s crashing Ferraris into each other just to see what will happen.

    So the question is, what do we do about it? Do we take from Richard to give to Paula?

  182. TRUE…..i have been working extremely hard for other…went to school..studied hard…got an MBA….always respectful..kind….continously work hard to show my SKILLS and self worth…making my bosses look good..but for strange reason if my last name is NOT right or because i don’t run in a certain circle of names…i can’t get ahead. People who don’t know the job always get results simply because of privilegeHhhmm. …true story…living that life..but I’m still determined…i will get there.

  183. I understand the class analysis and it rings true. I would add though that in today’s society men are actually falling way behind women (particularly white women) in both high school graduation rates and college graduation rates, so Richard and Paula could easily be switched.

  184. I feel awful for the person who made this comic. Your message was too vague for a lot of the asshats on here, and the point is being completely overlooked. Sorry that the common internet surfer on this site is a fucking idiot!

  185. Weird how the Richard guy was born with grey hair.But don’t get me wrong, I definitely appreciate and understand the importance of this comic.I believe I was born like Richard, in a great school district, and I currently attend one of the best high schools in the world. The opportunities I gain from being in such a nice place I cannot take for granted. I understand that there are people with a less fortunate quality of living.And we can help!Good thing too, how America provides free education up until high school.

  186. Instead of comics, why don’t we look at statistics. For example, the ones that show that people born into Paula’s circumstances end up rich nearly as often as people born like Richard, and people born into Richard’s tax bracket end up poor nearly as often as people like Paula.

    The numbers bear it out time and time again – the real difference is not the wealth of the family, but the culture of it. Two parents are better than one, and morals and work ethic trump handouts by a huge margin.

    Cherry-picking anecdotes (or just making them up, as this comic does) prevents us from telling people the things that will actually help them.

    1. You should post a link to some of these statistics you speak of. I think everyone would benefit from looking at them. I suppose there are specific studies that look into this, or can it be inferred from publicly available data such as that in Personally I will search for more information, but if you have indeed seen such numbers, statistics or studies before, it would be good for everyone if you posted them here.

    2. Yes, please, post those studies and links. Because everything I have seen points to the fact that poor tend to stay poor, and rich tend to stay rich, and social class has almost everything to do with how well off one ends up in adulthood. Every study, every set of numbers that I have seen contradicts everything you said. So–post some proof, or I’m calling you out as a out and out liar. (And I’m not talking about how the occasional poor person gets lucky and strikes it rich, or how the occasional rich person is exceptionally stupid and loses everything–I’m talking about major trends.)

    3. Yes. Yes, why don’t we look at statistics. Like the ones that "show that people born into Paula’s circumstances end up rich nearly as often as people born like Richard, and people born into Richard’s tax bracket end up poor nearly as often as people like Paula." You know. The ones you didn’t even come close to citing a source for. Those statistics.

      Why don’t we look at them? I’m going to guess because THEY DON’T EXIST.

  187. I like the comic, but differences in social class don’t have to be that severe to create effects; and it’s not 1:1 like this, despite undeniable issues like varying quality of education. Family issues, in particular, in any social class, are a killer. You can see middle and upper-middle-class people with the same problems, and even rich kids. They probably wouldn’t have to get a job early on – which is a huge weight off – but any weight on someone’s shoulders is a disadvantage, and problems at home are a particularly crippling one. The only people who really get ahead are the ones without those weights at all. Money helps that, but it doesn’t even need to be extreme, with private schooling, insider connections, etc. It only happens if you’re lucky, and it’s not 100% dependent on money. So the comic fails to capture some subtleties that would have made it more effective. It takes the perfect storm of rich, set-for-success (which almost no one can relate to), and poor, gonna-have-a-hard-life (except for having a good family), and sets them against each other. Of course we can guess what the outcome will be, and it’s difficult to suspend disbelief. And of course it’s only a comic, but it’s just silly how rich this guy is; I consider myself on the lucky side of things, and I’m pretty solidly middle-class. Since so many more people are middle-class, it would have been vastly more effective to portray middle class vs. the poor instead of rich vs. the poor, unless the only point of the comic was to have us see why rich people can act bigoted.

  188. I can relate to richard, this is on point !

  189. If the premise was to highlight the ripple effects of "small differences" then this comic quickly lost itself. Parents paying or not paying for college is not a small but a massive difference. Painting economic and racial disparities to be of only grandiose, fairy tale proportions just does a disservice to the greater issue at hand of prejudice between the lines. There will always be poor and rich. A more meaningful measurement of social progress in our time is access to the middle class. This comic would do better to focus on bringing to light prejudice on a small scale, the otherwise unseen hindrances to meaningful equality.

  190. What’s great about this comic is the discussion that it opens up. It gives a platform to converse and take it even further. Great work! 🙂

  191. So, what is the solution? Do we Robin Hood it and take from Richard’s family to financially benefit Paula’s education? Or take it even further to give her parents the opportunity to only work one job and provide her with better parenting? How do we as a society stop wealthy connected parents from opening doors and providing opportunity for their children? How can those opportunities be shared with less connected or fortunate children? My point is this is very difficult to solve.

  192. The comic is lame and totally contrived. Coming from a challenging background doesn’t mean you have to trash your credit, fail to finish your degree or end up working as a waitress or servant your entire life. Likewise I know plenty of "Richards" who never went anywhere even with the help of their parents or the money available. Perhaps people should stop looking at caricature to explain reality. I guess this is what we get from the "Daily Show" generation. They think mockery, snark, some misleading infographics, and cartoonish thinking is real reasoning.

    1. I think your reading to deep into this as most people are this comic in simple terms is just to show that kids who get helped got a better foot in with ease other than the ones that dont….not to say there aren’t Richards that get it all n turn out to be loosers but if Paula determined people would get proper assistance according to their situation then they would most likely surpass Richards and be greatfull and appreciative to those that helped

  193. It’s true that life is not fair and some people are given better circumstances. But it’s false to think that your past determines your future.

  194. the key here is education. Increase funding to education and students at least have a chance to better themselves if possible. Make university education a loan to pay back in the future, once employed and earning money from the career. Better yet make it free and let all students use their education to enhance the nation at their full potential. You can’t help the situation you are born into, but you should have every chance to gain an education to pull yourself ahead.

    1. I don’t think I would want to start my life after college paying almost as much as a house payment to repay that educational loan. I took out student loans for a Bachelor degreefor 4 years and now owe over 50,000 after graduation. I was too old for hope, unemployed, and had no other funds to pay for school. I will be dead before this loan is paid off. I can’t give the government every dime I make to pay the loans back, I have to support myself too. Some employers will pay for your school as long as your doing well. I suggest that route.

    2. That would be an ideal situation, but for many schools, funding is based on test scores. If a school has students who do poorly on tests will get little to no funding, but in that case they should really get more funding to enhance the education that the students needs. But yes, college and all education should be free.

  195. And then Richard sees Paula and screws her in the broom closet and they exchange numbers and next thing you know Paula is pregnant and gets a decent attorney and now she’s rolling in Richards dough.

    1. I’m delighted to hear it although I’ve never actually seen that in my extensive work history. Richard needs to keep his zipper up and not use his position of authority over an employee if he wants to avoid losing his great fortune to provide for a child he knowingly produces.

      1. Being bad hurts you, but it is hard not to be, until you meet the messiah. I will introduce you, or else just call out to Him He is right next to you.


  196. This doesn’t cover some of the basic reasons some kids can’t/don’t make it and end up needing some type of assistance. For instance, being hungry while in elementary school makes it hard to concentrate in class or do homework. When one or both parents is on drugs or is alcoholic, life is hard. You can’t study, and money doesn’t go for food–it goes to support their habit. Even if they’re not, if they are working 2 or 3 jobs, life at home is stressful and you don’t get much sleep. Your clothes are often dirty because thee is no money for soap or because you are too young to know how to wash them. So you get talked about and bullied. Things don’t get any better in high school–in fact, they are probably worse, so why even try? College is an unreachable goal. Maybe your dad left when you were ten and never paid any support. Or your mom is in jail. All their friends are meth heads or heroin users. Your grades are average or below, so scholarships are out. You’d like to have a better life, but how?? Sure–there are exceptions–the kids who were lucky enough to be born with high IQs and an overachiever type A personality. But that’s not everybody. And everybody can’t do what seems easy for some people. And yes, privilege DOES matter. But so many people who are born to privilege do not know it and refuse to recognize it when it is pointed out. 🙁

    1. Mine may be a skewed point of view, but I’ve seen just as many kids born into privileged homes end up being Paula as I have seen become Richards, and vice-versa. Money isn’t everything, and I know families of 4 living off less than 40k a year who are far happier with their lives that others making 6-figure incomes. The key is making the best out of the hands we are dealt and learning to be happy with what we have, not with what we want or society tries to tell us we should want.

  197. Missing from this post is that perhaps 1 or 2 generations ago, Richard’s parents were poor too. My Italian grandparents were farmers and struggled to put my parents through college. They didn’t get any affirmative action handouts or other grants like that either. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for Paula.

    1. @ T. M. wtf does that have to do with Richard and Paula?!?! Your comment is infuriating. It does NOT matter because children are not supposed to pay for the debts and mistakes of their ancestors and it most certainly IS a privilege to be born into what Richard was.

    2. I’m sure your grandparents worked hard, but that doesn’t exclude them from having had unfair advantages over, say, African Americans or other minorities at the time. Basically, there has been affirmative action for people identified as white since the founding of the United States. This white affirmative action is only recently starting to be phased out, but it has created huge disparities and barriers.

  198. Get over yourself TM. There’s an enormous body of work on the subject of just such disparities as are discussed in this cartoon. Its as likely as not that what benefited your "old immigrant grandparents" was EXACTLY affirmative action. It was just a different type. Ask them if they received a FHA loan. GI bill perhaps? That may as well have been affirmative action genius, and millions of others were simply barred from it. This ‘barring’ was sometimes written into the language of the benefits themselves. These are just two of many examples. Your gands may not have had it easy but they had it a HELL of a lot easier than many others. So stop being so full of sh!t, TM and just shut up and be grateful.

  199. I don’t agree with the comic. I started out as a Paula. My family migrated to the US when I was 12 years old. My parents can only speak a few sentences in English. They both worked minimum paying jobs—my dad with 1st shift and my mom 2nd shift so an adult was home to watch us children. There were 7 of us. Because of the language barriers, my parents couldn’t help us with our homework but they made sure we did our homework every night. If our teachers recommended after school activities or tutoring, they signed us up. Even thought they didn’t understand English, they wanted to make sure we had the best education–it may not be the best compare to other schools or private education. However, they made sure we took advantage of what was available to us. I started school in 6th grade when my family arrived here in the US. Even though, I could only utter a few complete sentences in 8th grade, my parents encouraged me to participate in after school clubs. When I was 15 years old, I worked part-time, joined after school clubs and volunteered. I didn’t have time to goof around or party around. I studied hard and I worked hard. I graduated high school with honors. I went to a university 2 hours away from my family. I worked part-time and took out loans to cover my expenses and education along with some scholarships and grants. In all the 5 years, I was in school–I didn’t rely on my parents at all. I was broke but I knew my parents worked hard and they had to support my younger siblings so I took care of myself. I graduated from college and now working as a government worker, getting pay decent and having good benefits. I bought my first house a year ago. I started out my life as a Paula and I am setting out to begin a life as Richard for my children.

  200. I think the comic doesn’t just end here. At that moment, Paula is the waitress, but it doesn’t mean she will be the waitress forever. It only means that the road to success is longer and more bumpy for her. We can see that she put her effort in education. Life is tough, but I hope Paula won’t let it hinder her potential.

  201. The headline ironically displays a lot of privilege, assuming that anyone on the internet must be one of the "haves". It didn’t "forever change" how I look at privilege. That only works for people more familiar with Richard’s life than Paula’s.

  202. As one of the white, privileged, male members of society, I’ll share a few observations. I was born and raised in coal country in WV (the inspiration for District 12 for you Hunger Game fans). Both my parents worked to support our family which included two other siblings. We certainly were not wealthy. But, I knew I wanted more and focused on education. My family connection at the university helped managed student aid; based on my academics, he said I would have qualified for a couple of scholarships but those was being held for minority students. That shows how valuable those connections are, but I didn’t expect anyone to owe me an education. So, I joined the military to help pay the bills and worked two jobs while in attendance. It was a lot of hard work and required commitment but I started at the bottom professionally and have been developing my skills over the past 20 years. Doing so, I’ve done okay providing for my family; that meant making the choice to move away from WV to a location with better jobs. Those that promote the privileged stereotype often don’t know what they are speaking about; and those that want to succeed can find a way if they are willing to make sacrifices. This strip falls short of showing where Paula can be…

  203. This promotes stereotypes. This comic is telling people like me, that we have no shot at the upper class. I refuse to believe that and have seen many inspiring examples of folks who come from the lower middle class making it. Most of the top richest people haven’t been born with silver spoons in their mouths. Many years ago when I voted for a man who I thought would unite us, I thought this nonsense about barriers would finally be put to rest. However, I found liberals like to put people into boxes and label them, then tell those people who to blame for being in the box. The only true limitation is yourself. You don’t need a university to get an education, you just need a library card and an internet connection. Self motivated individuals are the people who get hired, and if you have intelligence, talent, and motivation, it doesn’t matter where you came from, companies will hire you.

  204. Sorry, just, chiming in here. Right now, where I am, will seem enormously privileged compared to most people my age. Salary-wise I’m in the top-single-digit-percentage of earners in my country (top 7%, something like that). I have two investment portfolios, earn a good salary, and run a business on the side, all in a white-collar growth industry in which I have many opportunities.

    I did not get any handouts from my parents. They were divorced at 10, and I was forced to move around a lot as a result. Not once did any of them take an active interest in my education. When I wanted to go into freelance web development, my mother disowned me for refusing to study at university.

    I landed my first job by having a small portfolio of websites – which I had been teaching myself to build since I was 13. My parents had less than nothing to do with it – they were actively against it. I spent two agonizing years doing nothing but manual spreadsheet work until I decided to push myself, and when I proved my capability, I was offered new opportunities, which I took. Relentlessly.

    The comic above portrays a very, very narrow view of privilege, and says nothing of the relationship between privilege, ambition and effort.

  205. I both agree and not really.

    I’m somewhat privileged, I have a good background but I worked really hard myself to get where I am today. I paid for my own university degree with my loan and I worked hard to get my current job without my parent’s help. I get what the comic is saying but you have to keep in mind that each situation is slightly different for everyone.

  206. Jumping classes is hard and takes time. Paula will likely make it if she doesn’t have kids for a while , but it’s obviously going to take longer. This comic is accurate. People don’t take into account the little struggles that throw hurdles in your path when you grow up in a working class home. That doesn’t mean you can’t move past it, it means it’s 10 times harder and slower. I speak from experience.

  207. This is truly fantastic.

    I’m a product of both column B with some advantages of column A in terms of Jewish community help and philanthropy, as well as a grandparent who had the means to help us financially.Long story short, I grew up in a family of 10 kids, mostly in a single-parent household after my parents’ divorce, and we were on welfare and in a very crowded space — but myself and a few siblings with good grades were able to go to very good private schools on financial aid scholarships, but I had to work and take out loans for college, and had to help out in the home too.

    Deciding what to pursue career-wise, was therefore even that much more fraught with stress and potential risk, because I have no family financial ‘safety net’ — and yet, I still realize that I’m still way more advantaged than so many people. It’s also why I make it a point to give back by donating my time/money/skills to worthy causes, especially ones dealing with kids and education.

    The biggest thing that annoys me is not that people have privilege, but their outright ignorance and denial of even having it and how it’s helped them get them where they are.

  208. Many people in the comments not agreeing with this comic use personal stories to prove their point. However, if you go to a sociology 101 class, that is the first thing they will tell you not to do. The real question is: Among 1,000 Richards and Paulas, how many will succeed, why, and can we do anything to change it?

  209. Here comes an American baseball metaphor: I call that "being born on third base and thinking you hit a triple."

  210. All Richards, like myself, owe a big part of their income not to their own work but to innumerable workers in third world countries and developing countries. Deprived of education they work for practically nothing under health threatening conditions so we can buy products from there cheaply. So whenever I hear a Richard saying "I worked so hard for what I have and the Paulas are just lazy" it makes me sick. – What can I do as a Richard? So far it’s been donations to appropriate NGOs. I’d be happy for additional ideas!

  211. What utter drivel. Because all caucasian men are born with silver spoons. NOT.

  212. You have a lot of nerve condescending to make people perpetual victims. Speak for yourself. It’s an insult to those of us who are considered minorities, and who are not this victim you paint us to be.

  213. I was born into a life of wealth and privilege. I was born with the privilege of having my father try to kill me at two months old causing brain damage and partial blindness.I was born with the privilege of going into foster care, group homes and eventually juvenile detention facilities.I was born with the privilege of never being adopted cared for or loved.I was born with the privilege of never graduating high school and never going to college.I was born with the privilege of winding up homeless living on the streets.

    I now have the privilege of running a company that I started from the ground up and built from nothing that employs 19 people and has saved over 8000 jobs.

    I was born with the privilege of being born in America where my hard work and commitment to personal education and personal growth matter.

    I was born into a life of wealth and privilege.

  214. Context. This comic is missing context. Because that’s what propaganda is. It makes an emotional standpoint with data to support it.

    The reason why most people are poor is not just because they’re lazy (though a certain noticeable percentage is) but because they find harder, more difficult ways to make a living. They don’t establish networks and fail to discover and practice a new skill that’s lucrative. They’re always behind the trends and instead of being forward-thinking.

    This comic is propaganda. And I find it amusing that it is tagged with, "Inspirational".

    1. This depicts class not race, they are the same damn color. Unless you are referring to their hair.

  215. I believe that this comic is pointing out the ignorance of privilege on the part of some of those who have it. The comic is not necessarily saying that the Paulas of the world will not make it to Richard’s Promise Land of Privilege. That would imply that this is the idea we all live by and strive for.As a Paula, I can certainly say that privilege is not a goal for me.

    I know many who do not seek after that "dream" as well.

    Wealth, power, and privilege are not healthy standards to strive for.

  216. Typical liberal mantra. If you’re not born into privilege you will never make anything of yourself. Vote for the Democrats! They are your only hope of sticking it to those rich bastards!

  217. Sure, I get you, but is it my fault to be born in a wealthy family and have privilege , what about privilege based on race, talk about that !

      1. Understood the use of ‘my’, and your comments were well-said. People often mistake "privilege" with "ability", and I think it’s this mistake that leads people to believe that all who are "privileged" are always successful. As you say, people who aren’t "privileged" can work their asses off, and some are successful, and others aren’t. Hard work or privilege don’t guarantee success.

  218. I mean just because someone is born in a wealthy family , we should not ignore their struggles as well. Not all people from wealthy families grow up to be successful , at the same time, many from working class families may do. Sure, people from middle class families work hard and I often see credit being given to them – talking about their humble beginnings. The why overlook the hard work of someone coming a well-to do family? This is unfair!

  219. it’s funny how personal people take this. "it’s racist" but they are the same race. "it’s just Liberal propaganda" it’s a comic showing a point of view that often get’s ignored. "I find this offensive, I’m a minority and I’m not going through this", well good for you, you’re part of the minority population that didn’t have to deal with that B.S. It’s good to start off with comparing this to yourself but it’s meant to speak to everyone. sympathy over apathy goes a long way.

  220. This is exactly what is wrong with the current definition of privilege vs quantifiable disparities. Both those with significantly positive and considerably negative factors beyond the general population are extremely rare, as in literally less than 1%. This is extremely cartoonish, an extreme generalization, and not a very good use of animation.

    Secondly this also addresses the misunderstandings of privilege as a goal of success. If it is in terms of happiness both are presumably equal according to studies on general happiness. If anything, the only one with potential for success in terms of happiness is the one on the right.

    Thirdly, to say they go by unnoticed is just wrong. They are noticed, it’s simply that nothing is done about them. Though you may think circulating this propaganda is helping, it really isn’t. all it has done so far is aggravate more than 400 readers who don’t actually do anything other than get angry and at most comment. maybe 1/100 send a message to their representative if that.

    Finally the real lack, the real disparity in this is the lack of research. for example, if you think tutors tend to help a B student they tend not to be able to push grades up even half a letter grade unless the person is already failing. No teachers "love" their job so much as they can be committed, same as any other job. Chances of illness are fairly similar for those with and without money. Most do not study during work, especially when their work doesn’t allow it. Credit is not as simple as merely "just getting approved." Chances are that both kinds of parents will be just as busy, the only difference being that one set of parents had more coaching on how to be parents. Finally being served the silver spoon doesn’t set one up for life. As much as our media likes to say that determination, hard work, and the right set of tools will get you somewhere, it really won’t. are you 27 and want to be an opera singer? Too bad. You can’t suddenly acquire the years of training and perfecting, learn 5 languages, and change/train your voice in the space of a few months. Someone with severe dyslexia and disgraphia probably wont be able to become published in a journal. Sorry.

  221. I am privileged. Privileged to be born in the USA, privileged to have joined the military at age 17 owning nothing but a toothbrush and the clothes I wore. Privileged to have educated myself along the way. Privileged to have raised a child when I wasn’t deployed to some contingency. Privileged to have retired after 22 years of serving my country and everyone who calls this place home. Privileged to enjoy the sunrise and sunset at my house on my land 30 min away from the prettiest beach in florida. Nobody ever owed me anything, and I don’t owe anybody anything. Privileged to spend every day with the love of my life and listen to people whine because they don’t make the best of what they have, and at times throw around the privilege thing when they can’t come up with anything more intellectual.I am privileged that God gave me the strength to do the best I could with what I had, and it paid off.

  222. As I read the comments, I hear people using the word "privilege", and equating that with "wealth". I come from a modest family of hard workers and military service members. My family is not "privileged", but some became wealthy (a relatively term when you consider "the great depression"), through their own hard work.
    But what’s the point? "Privilege" guarantees neither wealth nor success.
    The liberal world view, summarized in a cartoon. You can’t make this stuff up, and the truely amusing thing is, they can’t see how absurd the notion is: your capacity for sucess or failure is predicated ENTIRELY on your relative "privilege"!
    I’ve got news for you liberal snowflakes: success or failure is based solely on how badly you want something, and hard you are willing to work to obtain it, and pushing yourself far beyond whatever you thought you could do.

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