Making America Great Again: Denying Buttons to the Poor

It is currently a matter of public discourse in the U.S. that low-income people can completely afford things if only they don’t buy multiple iphones per year. This is not surprising given people’s anger when the poor have nice stuff. It’s traditional!  Back in 1651, the General Court in Massachusetts had an

utter detestation and dislike that men or women of mean condition, educations and callings should take upon them the garb of gentlemen by the wearing of gold and silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, to walk in great boots, or women of the same rank to wear silk or tiffany hoods or scarfs, which though allowable to persons of greater estate or more liberal education, yet we cannot but judge intolerable in person of such like condition. (source: New England Historical Society

This July 4th, my fellow USians, celebrate the US if that’s your thing, but then let’s make it better by not being mad at or judgmental about the possessions of other people regardless of their income or educational status.

Featured image: Lotte Klaver via flickr

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Elizabeth is a professional belly dancer, a flaky computer scientist, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She lives in Georgia (the state of the U.S., not the country) but is nonetheless somehow not a combination of stereotypes from Gone with the Wind and Deliverance. Her personal blog is Coffeefied. Operafied. Fluffified. Beglittered.

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