Levitt and Dubner’s socially deterministic conclusion states, “It’s who you are” as opposed to “what you do as a parent.” This is not convincing because many people have worked ten times as hard to break out of their socioeconomic class, and have succeeded. It is true that a good socioeconomic background gives children a head start and supports them financially, biologically, academically, and emotionally.
Victor, a poor black man growing up in the Seventh Ward of New Orleans, in the 1930’s can end up being a General Foreman at General Motors then it doesn’t matter who you are so much as what you do for yourself. Victor was the child of an older black gambling man and a younger devout catholic creole woman with multiple lovers. Victor was so poor that at times his family did not have enough money to buy food, hunt in the nearby Bayou St. John. During elementary school Victor caddied at golf courses for change and learned how to play golf. After high school he joined the merchant marines and met his wife Esther, he then moved to Oakland, California with his new family including his new daughter Lona Marie. Victor and his family settled into the quiet neighborhood of Sobrante Park. Victor worked two jobs one as a bus driver, and another as line worker at General Motors. Victor made enough money to move his family of six to an upper-middle class neighborhood in the Oakland Hills. He worked his way up to General Foreman in charge of the truck division at GM. Sixteen years before he died he had his last son Darren. At times Victor had to work two jobs, but he successfully made a way for himself and his family of seven. Regardless of who he was or what he did Victor was successfully able to break himself and his family out of their socioeconomic class.
It is true that a child with parents who are financially well-off can achieve greater success because they can afford books. According to Levitt and Dubner; “the ECLS...