HuffPo had a piece by Linda Tirado on why poor people aren’t poor because of bad choices, but simply because they have no choices, where the author starts the piece off with the following doozy of a statement:
There’s no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it’s rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.
I bolded that first line, because it was an immediate red flag. I should have probably stopped reading right there and assumed this was going to be one giant bullshit piece, but I wanted to give the progtard the benefit of the doubt and see where she was going with this. First off, only leftists have no idea why people are poor. There are countless reasons, ranging from bad luck, a crippling accident or medical condition that interferes with their ability to earn, to unemployment due to a bad economy or lack of an employable skillset, but my personal experience has been that people that suffer from chronic poverty are stuck there because of bad choices. Period. Anyone capable of some self-restraint and of controlling the need for instant gratification, with some work, gets themselves out of poverty. So I got curious about what the reasoning that this author would give for the state she claims to be in, and read on;
Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full course load, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 12:30AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.
Guess what? Most rich people, unless they come from wealthy families, married insanely rich, or used their political office to enrich themselves like John Kerry, the Kennedys, or even the Clintons, Pelosis, and soon, the Obamas will be doing, work, and work hard too. That is, if you define rich by the ever dropping standard Barack himself graced us with back when. The one that started at anyone making over $250K then dropped all the way down to $150K. Anyway, back to some real trouble I found in that tripe she wrote: She is attending college? Unless she is doing something idiotic like “Gender Studies”, or for that matter, any of the other useless “Studies” type degrees that only leave you prepared for a piddly few, hotly contested, HR jobs in corporate America, or able to ask people if they would want fries with their order, she should – eventually – be able to earn enough to get her out of poverty. So the question begs to be asked: wtf is she doing? I am smelling a big rat.
Then there is the whole economics of this thing. She is working 2 jobs, in one of the places with the highest minimum wage in the nation, and her husband is working too – at least I suspect that’s happening – and she still is making so little that they are dirt poor? This doesn’t compute people. Even if you factor in that she is doing this crap part time and gets only minimum wage, those 2 jobs should be getting her some $20K – and likely a lot more – a year. Unless her husband is a kept man you can double that income. My bet is they are making at least $50K between them. Now they did choose one of the most expensive places to go live in, but that’s more of that stupidity I mentioned before. This story is simply not adding up for me. Let’s keep on reading.
When I got pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel. I had a minifridge with no freezer and a microwave. I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2. Had I had a stove, I couldn’t have made beef burritos that cheaply. And I needed the meat, I was pregnant. I might not have had any prenatal care, but I am intelligent enough to eat protein and iron whilst knocked up.
Clearly you aren’t intelligent enough to prevent that pregnancy, especially when you know you can’t afford a child, aren’t you? Skip a paragraph about how she can cook but prefers junk food because it is far more satisfying and easy, and we get this:
The closest Planned Parenthood to me is three hours. That’s a lot of money in gas. Lots of women can’t afford that, and even if you live near one you probably don’t want to be seen coming in and out in a lot of areas. We’re aware that we are not “having kids,” we’re “breeding.” We have kids for much the same reasons that I imagine rich people do. Urge to propagate and all. Nobody likes poor people procreating, but they judge abortion even harder.
Seriously? Driving 3 hours was more expensive than paying for a kid for the next umpteen years? I think I begin to see the problem here: she is a fucking idiot on top of being a liberal. I know, what’s the difference? And oh the judgment she has to put up with for breeding! How dare people feel they shouldn’t have the government take from their tables, form their own kids, to feed the kids of these – to use her own words – breeders? And I thought progressives loved abortions. It’s a status symbol with most of them. Why fucking vote for idiots like Obama or other democrats, because unless you do they won’t keep it around, if you aren’t gonna use it to save the tax payers, yourself, but especially this poor child that will be subjected to your stupidity, the pain? Fuck me this woman is dense, and she is counting on people being stupid and emotional to sell her wares.
Convenience food is just that. And we are not allowed many conveniences. Especially since the Patriot Act passed, it’s hard to get a bank account. But without one, you spend a lot of time figuring out where to cash a check and get money orders to pay bills. Most motels now have a no-credit-card-no-room policy. I wandered around SF for five hours in the rain once with nearly a thousand dollars on me and could not rent a room even if I gave them a $500 cash deposit and surrendered my cell phone to the desk to hold as surety.
There is your problem in a nutshell: you live in San Francisco. That’s a liberal bastion. You think these idiotic rules that kept you from being able to get a room might all be because of government overregulation? You know the stupid shit that makes it impossible for a landlord, or even a motel, to evict a bum tenant/guest, because in SF, they care about the people so much they made that near impossible to do? if I owned one of these places I would want real proof you were not a bum before I took any risk. I bet the same applies to the banks. The regulation is so insane that they will ask you to jump through hoops to make sure you are not fucking them over. Yeah, the Patriot Act was a real shitty bum deal, but the problem is, yet again, government overregulation. And guess which party is the one that loves that shit? Anyway, back to the article where she now really cranks up the emotional drivel:
Nobody gives enough thought to depression. You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm,” which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov.” I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image.” I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on B12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.
Get it? The system has beat them down so they have given up on trying! No new jobs, because they can’t look nice enough to hold them. I know several not so well off people that have done just that, by taking advantage of thrift stores, second hand clothing, and much more. Eventually they made enough to even shop elsewhere. And they don’t give up if they get told they don’t fit the image. They work harder to get better at their next interview. And she admits she is missing teeth, drinks too much coffee, likely the expensive crappy shit, and smokes. How insulting to the people that work at not looking like crap despite the financial and other burdens. This author probably thinks they are traitors to her cause, I bet.
Despair! Do not even try! Yeah, I got it. The problem is the unfairness of it all. Not the fact that you make bad choices. How judgmental of me. What’s next?
Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing.
I think this is a clear indication of her mental state. This woman is deranged. There is no other explanation for it. I wonder if PETA wants her head on a platter for being cruel to insects? Let’s just leave it at that and move on to her next bit of wisdom:
“Free” only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. “Low-cost” and “sliding scale” sounds like “money you have to spend” to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway.
What a moron! Seriously? If I didn’t know better and actually had fallen for what at this point feels to me like a faux sob story, I might not end up having zero sympathy for her here, but I know better. Too many holes in this story. She’s claims to be poor, in San Francisco, a liberal bastion where the downtrodden certainly should be taken care of by their betters, and she wants me to believe that they can’t see a doctor or dentist, on someone else’s dime, too? This isn’t squaring. WTF does she mean they can’t help you anyway? That sounds insane to me. What are you going to do when you skip the doctor and find out you now have a condition that if caught could have been treaded, but now will impede you from working? The illogic here is astounding. Can it get any dumber?
I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding.
Ah yes. Here is some advice; switch to meth, baby! Longer boost, and since you already have blotched skin, missing teeth, and probably look the part from all that comfort food, nobody will notice. Look, I have no problem with people smoking. It’s your choice and your money. I respect that. But please don’t give me this shit story. It’s laughable. Access to meth in San Francisco should be easy. Probably cheaper than cigarettes too. The excuse making isn’t flying with me. This is more proof of bad choices compounded. Wait till the lung problems start up too. Some minor preventive care, and you could go on smokign till you are old as dirt. My granpa did it till he was 99. And he smoked filterless camels. Of course, he worked his ass off too.
I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.
And there we finally have it. You make dumb decisions with your money. You can make all manner of excuses for that fact, and the big deal there is that while you can fool many, it isn’t fooling me. There are consequences and they matter in the long term. Ask the people that made the choices you didn’t and got out of poverty. They will tell you. And you have it backwards: when you give up and begin to pretend that money has no meaning, you will have none of it. If you are responsible you can’t be broke in three days. WTF is happening? Are monocled libertarian korporashun running super-rich fairies raiding your money sock and taking the cash? Or is the problem that responsibility would mean that you are paying your bills and thus have no money left? If it is the first then you have proven why you are a lib. But if it is the later, my advice is to lower the amount of money you spend on those bills. Some of the things you poor libs think are “essentials” are luxury items real poor people – ask the people in some of these third world countries about their iPhone – would kill for. Can it get worse?
Poverty is bleak and cuts off your long-term brain. It’s why you see people with four different babydaddies instead of one. You grab a bit of connection wherever you can to survive. You have no idea how strong the pull to feel worthwhile is. It’s more basic than food. You go to these people who make you feel lovely for an hour that one time, and that’s all you get. You’re probably not compatible with them for anything long-term, but right this minute they can make you feel powerful and valuable. It does not matter what will happen in a month. Whatever happens in a month is probably going to be just about as indifferent as whatever happened today or last week. None of it matters. We don’t plan long-term because if we do we’ll just get our hearts broken. It’s best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it.
Oh fuck no, you didn’t go there!. Let me postulate a hypothesis here and see how many people disagree. If this woman, and others that think like her/this were given a ton of money, how long would it take for them to be right back at this very point in their lives: broke and despondent? I mean, shit since money has no meaning and making bad decisions is the norm, what makes anyone believe that giving these people anything, even large sums of cash, will suddenly produce other/better behavior? You don’t plan long term because you are fucking stupid.
I have had many long term plans that didn’t work out. I have not used that as an excuse to justify giving up on either planning or being responsible. There are countless others in the same boat. Most of them pull themselves up, sooner than later, and they work their way up the ladder. No matter how many plans go wrong and break your heart. It’s what made this country awesome. It’s the types that feel it’s all rigged against them, and thus, that they don’t even need to try, that end up where you are. And with that attitude they stay there. But I know what you are doing: I bet I get to see it in your closing argument too.
I am not asking for sympathy. I am just trying to explain, on a human level, how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions. This is what our lives are like, and here are our defense mechanisms, and here is why we think differently. It’s certainly self-defeating, but it’s safer. That’s all. I hope it helps make sense of it.
Oh yes you are asking for sympathy. In fact, you are totally trying to use emotions to convince gullible people that this was all outside your control. I get the agenda and the message loud and clear. So I went and did a web search for other stuff you have done since I am not buying this “I am poor but it is system’s failt” routine of yours. Too many holes, as I already said: and I was not disappointed:
I started kindergarten a year early. I went to an exclusive private school where we didn’t have grade levels. They grouped us by age and we had workbooks in different subjects depending on our ability level. When my parents transferred me to a closer school with normal grades, they put me in fourth grade. I was seven. They wanted to put me into fifth grade, but my parents thought it would be too difficult for me socially.
School in Utah was a bit of a joke. I’d never really been to public school except for one half of seventh grade. My freshman classes were essentially review of stuff I thought was fifth-grade level. I did take German and Spanish that year, and it turns out I’m kind of good with language. By the time I graduated high school, I was fluent in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. I got awards for that too.
I had private music lessons from the age of four. I was an award-winning singer, piano, and flute player by seven. I owned twenty-three instruments when I was twelve. I toured Europe as a featured soprano the summer after I graduated high school.
Emphasis mine: who the fuck paid for all this shit? Sounds to me that you came from some very affluent family there girly-girl. So you went out on your own and stated making bad decisions, and now you are poor? Or are you not poor at all but just playing the dumb emotional people? This is pure and simple grievance mongering leftist bullshit. Your attempt to coerce idiots into agreeing with the wealth redistribution agenda fails, and fails miserably, with me. No, it’s not the system’s fault. You, and your choices, or lack there off, are why you are poor. If you really are poor. And I would much rather my tax money go to people that don’t want to remain poor and will do the work to change that. They at least deserve the help.