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Old 01-12-2010, 08:57 PM
Location: Long Beach, CA
49 posts, read 22,309 times
Reputation: 26


Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
Some friends were over at the house the other day and we were talking about the underclass (poor people). One of them works for social services and has got harsher in her tone about the disadvantaged as she has experienced more of the so called real people. She says, "it almost makes you want to vote republican"

The general feeling of our group was that 90% of the underclass (poor people) are a combination of lazy, stupid or unskilled. It was mostly their fault not society or business (employers). 20-30 years ago one could be a lazy uneducated person and do alright because there were plenty of jobs for everyone in manufacturing and strong unions, today, if you have no skills you will be poor forever. Agree?
Not true at all. Assumptions like these are one of the main problems with mainstream American society today. We look down on the poor, dismissing them as lazy, stupid or somehow undeserving of even the most basic things they'd be guaranteed in other countries, such as healthcare.

I mentioned in another thread in the political forum that many poor people in America exist in a very different America to the one you know and love and are comfortable with. Imagine growing up in s**t from day one, surrounded by drugs, high crime (some of the worst in the western world), prostitution, broken homes and bad schools. The choices of those you choose to chastise are far more limited than the choices you were given. Some break the cycle and manage to succeed, but many more do not, often through no direct fault of their own. Add to that, being poor in the United States is looked down upon, almost as much as being a criminal. No wonder so many people have zero motivation. Not only are they down, but people don't hesitate to kick them while they're down and blame them for everything.

Then you have to take into account that college (the be-all and end-all of everything) is really not for everyone. Some people are smart, but they're not book smart. Why should they be penalized for that and why shouldn't they be able to at least etch out a reasonable living for themselves, without being classed as "dropouts" by mainstream American society?

If you have an open mind, you'll understand that most people want to pay their own way in life and most people would not choose to be poor, or claim welfare. Some people are simply stuck in a rut though and don't have the motivation to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, especially if they don't know what choices are available to them. It's easy to point the finger of blame and dismiss every poor person as lady, stupid or unskilled, but the reality is that it is simply not true, at least for the most part.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:14 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,115 posts, read 9,413,466 times
Reputation: 9423
There are monetary riches and spiritual riches..

Gandhi owned a loin cloth, a begging bowl and his eye glasses...

Poor, yes.

Lazy, stupid, etc.?
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