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  1. ☮♫♥ Gay Male
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    Default 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Article

    Though I obviously want to discuss this article given how on-point and insightful it is, I'd also encourage everyone interested to read more of John Cheese' archived pieces dealing with poverty, because they really give an important and realistic perspective at the systems and lifestyles of poverty I feel aren't well discussed across news media/the web.

  2. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    For my job I talk to a lot of people considered in poverty. They aren't pleasant to talk with. Whether being poor causes people to become irrational, emotion pressed in every conversation, selfish, and entitled, or if people with these qualities become poor because of it, I cannot say. But to be quite frank I've dealt enough of their pomegranate to show nothing but empathy towards them. They don't deserve what they get to help them, but how they treat other people, they are completely deserving of their day to day hell.

  3. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    I love his stuff, always a good read. It's great to have a good perspective on things like these, especially if you're someone like me who hasn't had any trouble with money, family and other such things ever.

  4. Spirit of the Arrow Bi Female
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    Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Coming from someone who's been in poverty all her life, I 100% agree with all of these.

    What people also fail to understand is that being poor does not forbid you from buying nice things. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say "If you're so poor, then why do you have game systems/a computer/internet/etc?" Yeah, because being poor totally means we can't enjoy having nice things among the pomegranatehole we live in. Being poor does not mean we want to look poor too.

  5. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    I don't know that I'd call this insightful. l: Maybe my own rose colored glasses are fogging up my view but this mostly seems like artfully picked propaganda pitched up with just a hint of class warfare. As far as poor people having nice things goes, that one really irks me. I'm the oldest in a family of five. My dad's been unemployed for, well, years now, and we just recently filed for bankruptcy. We don't have nice things, but that's because we're actually trying to save up money so that instead of pretending we don't live poor, sad lives, we can actually get out there and do succeed instead. We don't have cable. We don't have A/C. I actually put up the money for getting my own wisdom teeth pulled. And that's, well, that's par for course. I put myself through college. Will be putting myself through grad school. I don't have nice things because I'm spending my money on things that matter. I'll have save my time for having nice things once I'm done with grad school, paid off my student loans, and have a nice steady job. Until then, I have better things to do than indulge in conspicuous consumption and it completely irks me that there are people on the other side of that who think they're entitled to spend money on that sort of thing while accepting money from the government with the other hand. ._.

  6. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    I'm also in the camp of being poor and having some nice things. The other side of the story is that all that ever leaves my wallet is the money that pays for noodle, gas, car insurance, and internet. We sacrifice some things to get what we want. The fact that we can do this rules us out of the borderline-starvation camp, but what separates us from the rest of the world is that it takes us much, much longer than an average middle-class kid saving up his allowance for a skateboard.

    If we are willing to put the poverty line at the border of famine, then sure, I'm not poor. If I have more than enough to eat, however slightly, you can bet your sweet ass I am going to have nice things in my life.

  7. Orbital Bee Cannon
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    Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Regarding poor people and nice things, I read something recently which I think was about some new book, sorry I can't remember.

    The opening question was: "You just won $10,000 in a scratch-off. Do you call your travel agent or your banker?"

    They claim that "poor" thinking is "What can I spend this on?" whereas "rich" thinking is "What can I invest this in?"
    (Note that "invest" can also mean something like "pay off my car so I have one less monthly bill to worry about", it doesn't necessarily mean stocks and such).

    The reason they call this "poor" vs. "rich" thinking is the basic mindset.
    The "poor" thinking goes something like, "I'm poor, but that doesn't mean I have to suffer constant deprivation. When I get some spare cash, I get nice things." Note that what they consider "spare" cash doesn't take debts or future expenses into account. That is why people with this type of thinking tend to sink deeper in debt every time an unexpected expense comes up.
    The "rich" thinking goes like, "If I save my money and play it right, I will be able to afford everything I want one day." The risk with this type of thinking is that of living in greater austerity than they really need to, and never ever reaching the point where they allow themselves to buy "nice things".

  8. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Spain is in a bigger pomegranatehole right now.

    There's so much pineappleups that it's impossible to decide where to start.

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    I think the important thing here is whether or not "nice things" falls outside of what you can afford as the "entertainment" or "luxury" part of your budget while still being capable of saving money. I buy things because I have the spare income after I meet my savings goals for the month.

  10. Orbital Bee Cannon
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    Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Sounds like you have struck a good balance.

  11. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    I'm not sure if people's mindset is really that different here from anywhere else in the world but I can't completely agree with #3. By the way he describes it, it seems more like only the situation is different.
    Giving out free stuff without asking for some sort of retribution makes people more poor and, in the end, mindless leeches.
    At least that's how it works here. For example, some years ago there was a government plan where poor people would get assistance during pregnancy. Couple years later you'd see really poor people with 8+ kids, because the plan was idiotic and it was for whenever poor people got pregnant, so there were couples who got pregnant right after having a baby so they'd keep receiving assistance. Not only once but as many times as they wanted. The plan had to be changed to "Assistance for poor people when they get pregnant for the first time".
    But the one that really irks me is free education. Poor people "can't" pay it here, so public education is 100% free. I think children even get free notebooks and pomegranate. That supposedly is going to help poor people cut expenses and get out of that bad situation... but they won't, they'll stay poor because it isn't that bad: they receive everything free for doing practically nothing or even feel obligated to give back. Instead of saving or investing they'll spend the extra money on booze, useless crap.
    I got to see this first hand 4 or 5 years ago when I went with my aunt's charity organization to build a house for a "really" poor family in some awful neighborhood and so we did. It took like 50 of us 8hours work to get everything done and it was fun: I think it's the only time in my life I've ever worked that hard. But everything went down when the people who were going to inhabit it came. A woman and a man came to thank us and it was sort of nice, but then the guy got A LOT of alcohol to celebrate. When he got drunk he started talking about how he would have extra money for his booze now that he didn't have to pay rent. Nice...
    Of course that's not the case for the whole lot of people who are labeled as poor but at least here, it's a majority. Government/rich people should just be more careful with their charity/assistance.

  12. ☮♫♥ Gay Male
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    Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Where is "here," @Words?

    I highlight that especially because I think that's a crucial component to John Cheese's piece: sure, the rotten apple stereotypes of mindless leeching, and everything else he wrote about, do exist, but they do not comprise the majority of the impoverished population. I completely sympathize with your personal anecdotes of seeing such stereotypes in action, but do you have statistics to back up your claim that "at least here, it's a majority" of people who abuse charity?

    It's always easy to believe something when you've seen several instances of it throughout your life, but just like the issue of nice guys vs. "Nice Guys" that I brought up in another thread, where "Nice Guys" tend to cast women as a whole as terrible thanks to rough experiences with a few, one can't grossly generalize any socioeconomic group in any area.

  13. Can of Soup Male
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    Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People



    This, I save way more than i spend on a regular basis, and I'm far from a good economic situation. I TRIED to do the straight save without even buying an occasional ordered pizza.

    I saved more than usual. However. After about 6 months of only spending my money to pack away for my school and investment efforts... I started to get depressed. I knew I was doing good, but without something to take my mind off things that weren't work and concerns for the future, it was taking its toll on me. I need sometime to be alive and not a drone.

    "No one on their deathbed wishes that spent more time working." (or saving for that matter) Wherever that quote came from.

  14. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Colombia. I know it's different but the other 3 can somewhat relate to what happens here, sorta.
    One of those isn't my experience, it was an actual public plan that had to be changed by government because it was widely abused. Sadly, I can't find anything online (and translated) or the paper about it a teacher gave me once, maybe because it's 8years old or so.

    Still, what I mean is that I would partially agree to "the politicians" in that point of the article. Government must be careful with assistance and charities because it's something that is already abused and it's something that can lead to worse situation and majorities actually becoming mindless leeches.

  15. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Agreed. You have to make room for fun, but it needs to be fun within your means. If you're not saving money, or rather not saving a sufficient amount of money to actually improve your financial standing, because of how much you're spending on fun - you're being irresponsible.

  16. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People


    Sweden is obviously doing it right, unlike most other countries. Health care, education, housing, and other essential human needs are provided by the government, as they should be in a functional society. This is the 21st century--there's no excuse that any country should have a large portion of its populace impoverished when there are plenty of resources available to eliminate scarcity. What I find absurd is that people are quick to blame the vast majority of impoverished people for 'poor lifestyle choices' without providing sources to back up their claims. Most, if not all, of these problems can be solved with social assistance from the government.

    Spoiler


    http://www.populstat.info/Europe/swedeng.htm

  17. Default Re: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People



    I wouldn't completely agree because:
    For example, in Colombia the constitution says that Education must be free for everyone:
    But government/politicians can't be trusted with that kind of responsibility/money. Welfare state means having people in charge of distributing money/goods and if we weren't know for our drugs (coffee too) we would be know for our insane corruption levels. So, we don't have free or universal education(page 5). Even worse, money actually spent in professional education is really, really low (Statistics might state otherwise because "technical degrees apparently count as professional, even if they don't have the same control"). And that's just education. Point is, not every country is as mature and responsible as some european ones appear to be (even when economic crashes in Spain had to do with "abused" essential needs given by the state). Saying that every country should work on "universal state welfare" is just asking for trouble in a country like mine.
    Also because, and it's even worse, it can be construed in a way similar to what happens in countries like Cuba, and other asian countries. No social liberties, but "covered" econmic/essential needs.

    I'd say that you're right, any country's government should provide people with essential needs, but only ideally. In reallity, different countries need different approaches.
    Last edited by Words; 2013-04-06 at 02:58 AM.

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