Thursday, January 19, 2012

We Are Poor Because..... (a view)

I think that the real problem in America society is a lot more a basic perception issue then a culture issue. I am amazed on how people who claim to be non-biased, non-bigoted, non-whatever are actually the ones who are the worst of the lot.
There is a class war going on but it isn't just in the government or in the corporations, but on the everyday street level homes. People class themselves separate from others. The 99% are lazy good for nothings wanting hand outs. The 2% are money hungry Scrooges who will do anything to get richer. Really people? The Star Belly's are so snooty. And do those stars really make them any better? Didn't you kids pay attention to Dr. Seuss
"A US report published earlier this month indicated that nearly 1 in 2 Americans have now fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

Based on the report by the US Census Bureau 49.1 million Americans live below the poverty line, meaning 146.4 million Americans, or 48 percent are considered low-income or poor.

The US recession began in 2007. More than a year after the recession officially ended in 2009, the US unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, and the poverty rate rose to 15.3 percent in 2010 from 14.3 percent in 2009." (Read more on this topic HERE)
I asked some smart folks why the above was true. I also asked for solutions. I was shocked at the responses because they were basically blaming the poor alone for their inaction to better themselves:
    ~The poor folks are full of poor me mentality and ask for too much from others. They think they are owed something. They think the rich shouldn't keep their money and that the government should give them money they didn't earn.
    ~"I vote we get some skills and go earn more money. The divide between rich and poor is caused by behavior of individuals in handling their money, not by some conspiracy by rich folks to keep us all down. If you want to blame someone, blame the public education system, which fails to teach kids about how money works......
I asked if this person thought it was really that simple.
"I don't deny that people who know how money works will tend to try to accumulate as much to themselves as possible. Some of them will even cheat others to get it. However in this country the main reason for poverty is lack of education about money. "Poor folks have poor ways" is an old saying for a reason. Debt and unnecessary consumption, lack of discipline and chronic shortsightedness, the inability to delay gratification. These are the root of the problem, and the public school system does nothing to change it. And yes, most of us are in the laboring class because we don't really want or know how to not be in it. And yes, I include myself in that. I even know the knowledge is available, and I'm still too stuck in the security of get a job and earn wages to get out of it.
     ~Poor people are poor because they voted Democrat for 40 years.
    ~It is a myth that poor are getting poorer and the middle class is  disappearing.
    ~Anyone can get rich in America.... ANYONE! 
    ~And if the poor lived more simply, they could save more money and not be so poor. 
Now, I'll be honest and say that I can agree with some of the things above. But I also know that the simplistic nature of some of the statements don't reflect the reality of life.
My Break Down: 
Living Simply: Meaning- Buy a house you can afford and stay there after you get it paid off. Buy used when you can and go cheap where you can. Don't use credit if you don't have to. Pay your bills on time. Buy and grow food that you can freeze, can, or use for a while.
I can agree with this being a good thing. It can even mean a less stress free life. I do not think it makes one richer. Old cars break down, old houses have upkeep, and there is other money draining stumbling blocks that keep the poor in the red. Medical expenses add up in a hurry. Energy bills and gas prices rise while pay checks stay the same or are lowered to pay for health insurance.  Even the price of food has gone higher while people have getting poorer. 
Anyone can get rich: Not really. Those who start out poor often stay poor. Not because they are too lazy to work their way out but because that is how it works out. You are born into poverty and you go to school, get good grades, but get sick a lot because health care isn't there. You may get a job right out of school doing what ever you can find but there isn't much upward movement. But it is a job so you stay at it. You do the best you can to keep your family going. If you are to busy fighting just to get by it is really hard to overstep that poverty line.
Yes, you can try to get into college but is that really a sure bet at a better life these days? How many folks are struggling that have degrees? How many are drowning in the loans they took out? How many have lost their homes and lively hood even though they worked hard all through school and at the jobs they landed after?
Bottom Line: I don't think it is easy to be poor, to stop being poor, or to become poor after living that better life. I think it takes a lot of work to survive. I know that our country's poor may be another country"s middle class but it is all relative. If you don't have electricity there, you don't lose your kids. Here you must pay that bill or face seeing your kids sent to foster care, even if you find other ways to keep your food cold, family warm, and lights going. And the cost of electric in this country is over priced.
People who don't understand need to just try our side of the street. If you don't have health care, you get sick and don't get help. Your body wears faster so you don't survive as long, so you need more help. It is a cycle that will not end just because people try to make their lives better.
We are all responsible for our choices. We must realize that. BUT other people's choices also play into our lives. If I have been working my middle class job for 14 years but the boss decides to sell out to a company that is going to shut down the plant, it is not my fault my job is gone. A real life look at things is important when we consider other people's positions.
Think before you judge. Put yourself in to the place of others and think about what you could have done different. Or better yet... don't judge others, instead try to understand others and then be helpful to your fellow humans... and animals because they deserve love too.
On a side note and with a political twist: If you are in anyway an internet fan then pay attention. You need to make your voice heard: 
Congress shall make no law respecting ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ , or prohibiting the free ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ; or abridging the ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, or of ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ; or the right of ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, and to ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓█ Government for a ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ .”
Peace and love to you and yours.

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I welcome your thoughts if they are shared with respect and that you understand that we may not agree but we can still share and exchange ideas.