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The "Our poor is living better than the poor everywhere else" fallacy.

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posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 01:57 PM

originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Edumakated

Just because someone "has" something doesn't make it equal, not by any long stretch.

That 20 year old Saturn may be on its last legs. What happens when it breaks down and they can't drive it to work? What about that window AC unit that's on the fritz? It's also not very efficient and costs them more in electricity than the fancy central air system the rich folks have.

Just having a cheap, out dated, worn out copy of something isn't the same as having the quality "real deal". Having to deal with old, worn out, broken down, substandard items causes immense amounts of stress.

Those of us with nice things can tell ourselves "well, so what if he's poor -- he's got a cell phone. Sure it's old and the battery always dies, but at least he HAS one!"

It's not the same, it simply isn't.

So what if the car is on its last legs? That is life! You deal with it. Are you seriously arguing that poor people must have the latest and greatest of everything in the name of equality?

Life is not perfect. Someone will always have it easier at some point. All you can do is work on your own situation and through hard work and a little bit of luck, hopefully make things better.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 02:15 PM
a reply to: Edumakated

You're justifying a wealthy mindset by saying that the poor "have it good enough" for their station in life.

Sorry buddy, but being poor is EXPENSIVE. And raising yourself up by the bootstraps is nearly impossible if you don't own a pair of boots.

"The poor pay more for a gallon of milk; they pay more on a capital basis for inferior housing," says Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). "The poor and 100 million who are struggling for the middle class actually end up paying more for transportation, for housing, for health care, for mortgages. They get steered to subprime lending. . . . The poor pay more for things middle-class America takes for granted."

Yep, and it continues:

Like food: You don't have a car to get to a supermarket, much less to Costco or Trader Joe's, where the middle class goes to save money. You don't have three hours to take the bus. So you buy groceries at the corner store, where a gallon of milk costs an extra dollar.

A loaf of bread there costs you $2.99 for white. For wheat, it's $3.79. The clerk behind the counter tells you the gallon of leaking milk in the bottom of the back cooler is $4.99. She holds up four fingers to clarify. The milk is beneath the shelf that holds beef bologna for $3.79. A pound of butter sells for $4.49. In the back of the store are fruits and vegetables. The green peppers are shriveled, the bananas are more brown than yellow, the oranges are picked over.

You can't argue that being poor doesn't come cheap:

"When you are poor, you substitute time for money," says Randy Albelda, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. "You have to work a lot of hours and still not make a lot of money. You get squeezed, and your money is squeezed."

The rich have direct deposit for their paychecks. The poor have check-cashing and payday loan joints, which cost time and money. Payday advance companies say they are providing an essential service to people who most need them. Their critics say they are preying on people who are the most "economically vulnerable."

"As you've seen with the financial services industry, if people can cut a profit, they do it," Blumenauer says. "The poor pay more for financial services. A lot of people who are 'unbanked' pay $3 for a money order to pay their electric bill. They pay a 2 percent check-cashing fee because they don't have bank services. The reasons? Part of it is lack of education. But part of it is because people target them. There is evidence that credit-card mills have recently started trolling for the poor. They are targeting the recently bankrupt."

Housing is another issue where the poor pay more:

The poor know the special economics of their housing, too.

"You pay rent that might be more than a mortgage," Reed says. "But you don't have the credit or the down payment to buy a house. Apartments are not going down. They are going up. They say houses are better, cheaper. But how are you going to get in a house if you don't have any money for a down payment?"

Washington Post

There are a lot of doors that open up to you when you have money, and lot of these doors lead to ways to save money and live better. The problem is getting out of poverty. Sure, there are grants for low income people...

One way to move up the ladder and out of poverty is through higher education, but even that is not without disproportionate costs. As the Institute for College Access and Success noted in March:

“Graduates who received Pell Grants, most of whom had family incomes under $40,000, were much more likely to borrow and to borrow more. Among graduating seniors who ever received a Pell Grant, 88 percent had student loans in 2012, with an average of $31,200 per borrower. In contrast, 53 percent of those who never received a Pell Grant had debt, with an average of $26,450 per borrower.”

And often, work or school requires transportation, which can be another outrageous expense. According to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

“Low- and moderate-income households spend 42 percent of their total annual income on transportation, including those who live in rural areas, as compared to middle-income households, who spend less than 22 percent of their annual income on transportation.”

And besides, having a car can make prime targets of the poor. One pernicious practice that the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. — and the protests that followed — resurfaced was the degree to which some local municipalities profit from police departments targeting poor communities, with a raft of stops, fines, summonses and arrests supported by police actions and complicit courts.

NY Times

There are a lot of factors working against poor people to keep them poor. There almost seems to be a driving force to keep people poor in this country, as if we don't celebrate and encourage upward social mobility. I guess the "players club" at the top is to over crowded?

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 03:02 PM
It's almost comical this blaming the poor for their position. It certainly serves a purpose, but it's pretty much nonsense. Did Paris Hilton become rich by making great decisions. Did prince William and Harry become rich by making smart choices? Do the kids working in diamond minds end up there, through their poor choices and poor work ethic?

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 03:14 PM
What about the disabled who live in poverty?

Does anyone honestly think they made bad choices and that's why they are poor?

You cannot apply a cookie cutter approach to poverty because, it really isn't as simple as going to college, or getting a better job, or saving money, or making better choices.

It's not as black and white as many are making it out to be.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 05:06 PM
I work 3 jobs 12-15 hours a day pay my rent and for gas to get to work. Yet I still don't have enough left over to be able to eat a meal every day. More like one meal every other day. I do not buy luxuries, do not have Internet/cable, buy a $5 movie once a month so I don't have to watch the same movie multiple times, and never go more than 15 miles from my house.

Even hard working people live in poverty. I have to keep my car running and buy parts all the time just to get to work. All the maintenance I do to it myself and taught myself to work on cars.

I do not have the time or resources to go to college unless I wanted to start living out of my car. Four hours of freetime is not enough in the day to go to school.

It's amazing how people think a few phone calls will fix your life. Or finding a new job.

With a new job it takes two weeks to get any pay from it. In those two weeks of no income, how am I able to buy gas to get to that job and also pay rent.

I refuse to go on welfare I have too much pride. I would rather wither into dust from starvation than say I've failed and need the government to support me.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:03 PM
I hear things like, at least they have soup kitchens and being homeless is not as bad, as what? Dying?

Its like comparing someone dying of cancer with tumors and agony in their lungs and breasts, as another who also has liver cancer plus the lungs and breasts.

How do you rate agony and despair and a destroyed core self worth. One is negative 100 and the other negative 200. But anything in the negative is a destroyed life.

If you live in a room, house, with barely enough to make ends meet, but nothing else, no repairs, no projects, hobbies, businesses adventures, no way to make dreams come true, your entire family shrivels up, becomes anxious and depressed, their health falls apart, and its permanent, you can never get it back, you might slowly get something back but never the same thing.

You become so anxious at even trying to do something you used to love, as if you never had permission to even paint a picture, and then you can't go near the paper or supplies without a full fledged attack.

So, even without being homeless, living low income without equality, is heartless and destroys lives and whole families.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:12 PM
a reply to: Unity_99

The people at the top live in a different dimension, their reality is entirely different. If you are a multi-billionaire things are not even close to the same for you.

Do you want to eat dinner with Neil Degrass Tyson? Just say so and it'll be done. Do you want to meet the president? Sure. Do you want a new car every day of the week? No problem. You have people that have people. You can make just about anything happen instantly. You are only around other wealthy people all the time. You never wait in line, ever ... for anything.

Lets see.. someone who makes $400,000,000 compared to someone who makes $40,000 a year... To the 40k a year person a $250,000 Lamborghini is 6.25 years worth of income.

To someone who makes 400 million a year, a $250,000 lambo is like the 40k a year person spending $25.00 (if I did my math right). Imagine if buying a new Lambo felt like spending $25.00. That's what it feels like to someone who makes 400 million a year. To that person, an expensive lunch felt like dropping a few pennies.

This is sheer insanity. These people have more wealth than they will ever, EVER be able to spend. They could buy whatever they wanted all day, every day and not run out of money.

Living like this completely distorts your sense of reality.
edit on 12-6-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:17 PM
And before someone says, "Yeah, but who makes 400 million in a year!?!"

Jerry freakin' Seinfeld did:

Jerry Seinfeld earned $400 million last year thanks to syndication deals for the sitcom “Seinfeld,” according to a recent survey done by Wealth-X, a Singapore-based company that researches the ultra wealthy, making him the richest actor in the world.


And he's just an actor/comedian.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:22 PM
a reply to: Puppylove

Poverty is not just economic its worse when you take away peoples hope

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: Edumakated

Life is not perfect. Someone will always have it easier at some point. All you can do is work on your own situation and through hard work and a little bit of luck, hopefully make things better.

Both economy and poverty are human inventions do you not think we could invent something different.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:28 PM

originally posted by: purplemer
a reply to: Edumakated

Life is not perfect. Someone will always have it easier at some point. All you can do is work on your own situation and through hard work and a little bit of luck, hopefully make things better.

Both economy and poverty are human inventions do you not think we could invent something different.

As I've said...

We have the resources (we just invent an artificial resource scarcity to keep rich people rich, and poor people poor) -- we have the technology, we have the medical knowledge and ability to create paradise on Earth for everyone...but we don't.

Sadly we let our greed influence us, our need to always be better than someone else. Our desire to satisfy our own egos blinds us.

In a society with the level of technology we have attained, it should be possible to give everyone a quality baseline standard of living -- enough of one to give anyone a shot to reach their full potential.

The problem is human nature. We are still not that different than our caveman ancestors. We horde surplus and let greed get the best of us. Our technology has out paced our hearts.

posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:05 PM

originally posted by: Edumakated
Just as a follow up to my above post. I have been to other countries and seen real poverty. I'll never forget visiting a sugar cane field in the Dominican Republic and seeing buck naked and barefoot kids running after our tour bus trying to get candy. Their parents worked in the fields. You could see the tin huts they lived in. I've seen nicer dog houses in American ghettos.

This is not to say that our poor don't have it bad, but a lot of it is mental. It certainly isn't material poverty. Throwing more money at it won't fix the problem. This is why you have new immigrants who come to America whose families go from janitors to brain surgeons within two or three generations. They know the opportunity exists and they don't let their immediate circumstances stop them.

We now have generational poverty where people are given handouts and aren't taught how to care for themselves anymore. We subsidize poor decision making.

This. Right here.

There are many of us that have started at rock bottom and worked our way up. I'm 34 and have eight years left on a mortgage on a couple acres on a nice creek out in the country. I left home at 16, finished school, put myself through college. Got kicked back to rock bottom twice, owned a nice little coffee shack (free and clear) in Hawaii one time, lost my butt on it when my ex wife went meth head, then moved back home and started from scratch all over again.

The American dream is still alive and well for those who want it bad enough. Problem is, these days, not enough of us remember what it's like being hungry. I've been hungry before, not something I plan on repeating. It's why I work a day job and do my own thing in my off time.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 02:39 PM
I feel we are often too adherent to a sort of unconscious (or sometimes very conscious) sense of what we deserve or don't, and a punitive mentality that we internalize and bring to bear on ourselves when it comes to how we compare our own lot in life to that of others.

That is to say, we tend to adopt this attitude of one extreme or another. Either 1) I can't worry about everyone else. I can only worry about myself and my own interests,) or 2) What right do I have to want anything or lament anything in my own life when there are others so much worse off?

I refuse to be forced into either of those paradigms personally. Instead, I have long held the view that the problem is not that some have a certain quality of life while others do not, but rather than anyone has less than an ideal quality of life at all, anywhere, in any context. The system is set up in such a way that to have means to inflict the status of have-not on others. I refuse to play that game, though, at least as far as my own emotional state goes.

I can hold compassion for others and hope to see their lot in life improve and for them to prosper, while also appreciating and being thankful for the standard of living I have.

In truth, the standard of living for everyone in the world could and in my opinion should be better in terms of human rights, human dignity, medical care, habitation, physical and mental health, general happiness and fulfillment, and freedom. Are some better off? Yes. Is it ideal for anyone, though? No. It's like the "lesser of two evils" argument. No. I refuse to choose what I regard as evil simply because it is of lesser magnitude by degrees.

Do some have what I would consider "too much?" Yes. But I also personally believe there is a minimum standard that all of humanity should be entitled to, and living at that minimum standard is not the problem: others not being permitted to do the same is. So while I'm certainly inclined to be charitable to the extent that I can and I do feel that's important, I don't think divesting those at the aforementioned minimum standard of their quality of life for the benefit of others even lower on the totem pole, en masse, is the solution. Finding ways for everyone to be lifted up to that standard is.

Which is not to say greed does not play a roll in the reasons for that. But the real issue - and the reason such greed is rewarded - in my opinion, is the system and structure of value we as species currently employ. Until and unless that changes, I see little hope for true equality fo welbeing.

Just my two cents.

edit on 6/13/2015 by AceWombat04 because: formatting typo

edit on 6/13/2015 by AceWombat04 because: Typos

edit on 6/13/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 03:44 PM

originally posted by: Edumakated
I have a 1% HH income. There is very little in my house that someone who lives in the worst ghetto in Chicago doesn't have materially. I take the subway, the poor kid takes the subway. I have a flat screen TV, the poor kid has a flat screen TV. I have a cell phone, the poor kid has a cellphone. I have air conditioning, the poor kid has air conditioning. I have a car, the poor kid's parents have a car. In fact, my house is not even materially larger than the houses in the closet poor area to me which is one of the worst in America.

The difference between 1990's poor I'm accustomed to seeing from the poorest kids I went to school with & the poor today is that tech hand-me-downs from "better offs" are common. I even have a hand-me-down imitation smartphone. It's a java-run Tracfone that has marginal net capabilities. Most poor use this kind of phone because it can connect free to wifi. I use it because it was free & does what I want, when I use it, cheap texts aside.

I grew up with kids who walked where the needed to go. Subway or bus my ass, doesn't exist in rural FL. Didn't exist in semi-BFE FL when I lived there either.
They had a TV, or rather, an old B & W box with the knob dial. You probably have no idea what something so low-tech even looks like. Today, they get garage sale flat-screens, damaged floor models, etc. Our flat screen computer monitor is a damaged floor model that could double as a TV if need be it. Got it for $50. The poor could swing that, too, as a one-time purchase.

They didn't have a cell back then, or a beeper/pager, OR a landline, for that matter. They used payphones & collect calling on them (collect call someone, give the payphone #, hang up & wait for it to ring) to get in touch with people.

They were lucky if their slumlord even bothered to fix their A/C in summer. Do you have any idea how brutal FL summers are?

More often than not, their 30 year old family car wasn't in working condition. Those cheap band-aid mechanical fixes never lasted long. In those times, the parents were left with begging for rides to work, or walking if they can get there on foot.

Sure, their house may have had similar square footage as mine did, but they were dilapidated dumps. They had to settle for a place held together with spit, gum & duct-tape because that dunghole of an abode was all their parents could afford. Size doesn't matter, come on, it's quality of the housing that matters & you know it.

You have no idea what poverty really is until you've seen what destitution is & are giving your friend food to take home from your own cupboard so they can have a few more meals that week, and sending a bag of your own clothing with them so they can get out of the beat up aged ones for a change.
This still exists in America, and it's not going away. It's getting more prevalent.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 03:55 PM
Our Welfare Class live better than the Working Poor here who pay taxes. A survey should be done every year by the CBO to compare the two groups and the governments should make sure no Working Poor have lower Living Standards than the Welfare Class.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 04:14 PM
As a teen, I was an entitled brat who had everything.

The smartest thing my parents ever did was to send me to Africa for a month.

I never complained again, and have appreciated everything that I have.

"Poor" takes on a whole new meaning when you really get to see it.

posted on Jun, 13 2015 @ 04:17 PM

originally posted by: Puppylove
a reply to: TrueBrit

I think they're saying that without the social programs we'd already be at that poverty level, not to ditch them.

if a republican president gets elected in 2016, those social programs are history, maybe I should start discreetly buying hard asset gold, and fortifying my home from localized gangs of robbers.....hungry and desperate people reach a point where they don't give a crap anymore as to what happens to them....even jail will get them a cot and three meals a day.

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