Thursday, October 06, 2005

Being Poor in America

Every once in a while you come across something that speaks to the heart of issues and peels away the layers of euphemisms and abstractions that soften the impact of the truth. A like-minded work associate recently handed me a copy of an article from the Chicago Tribune called “Being Poor”. After further investigation, I found the author’s web site and the article. Please take the time to go to John Scalzi’s Whatever and read his, “Being Poor".

5 Comments:

Blogger Ron Hudson said...

That was excellent...I can add to the list:

Being poor is using kerosene lamps, outdoor toilets and hand pumped water.

Being poor is picking up pop bottles for the redemption money they bring.

Being poor is begging the local store owner to let you buy on credit when you both know you can't pay.

Being poor is asking the store owner's kid to sell you an ax on credit when his dad is at lunch.

I am going to post this link to my blog as well...thanks for sharing!

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being poor in America is being seen as rich and lucky by 90% of world population.

All the best from Poland for America's "poor people"...

9:26 AM  
Blogger JusticeE.R. said...

Yes, you are correct! The vast majority of the world's population would consider our poor to be very lucky. The problem lies it the fact that our wealth and tremendous ecomomic power is misdirected or wasted. The fact that a country can waste billions on military budgets and welfare for the rich, yet leave millions of it's citizens in poverty, shows the world the reality of our failure. America has failed at home with their own people and failed to use it's awesome ecomonic power to improve the lives of millions on our planet.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Jacqueline S. Homan said...

While America's poor might be thought of as lucky by 90% of the rest of the world's poor, America's poor are still nonetheless poor in the richest 1st World country on the planet. When you have to go without medical and dental care, enough nutritious food to eat, adequate housing, and heat in the winter in the richest country in the world, smug elitist pseudo-intellectuals who have never been poor ANYWHERE point to the 3rd World, saying, "you might be hungry, homeless and missing half your teeth but you don't have it that bad."

Does invalidating the hardships and diminishing the suffering of America's poor improve the lives of the rest of the world's poor? And how poor does America's poor have to become before being seen as "worthy" and "deserving" of help and a fair chance in life as the poor from other countries? Someone who is suffering without medical and dental care, who is poor and living in a "tent city" in the United States should not have to live in the slums of Mumbai before getting any respect, acknowledgement, or help.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I just don't get it. I am a middle class American. People in the U.S. have access to welfare, medicaid, medicare, social security, (Pension and Disability). We have equal rights laws, we have EEOC laws. Just about anyone of a lower income can obtain 'grant' (free) money to go to school, Headstart... What is it going to take to help people?

I am very fortunate to live in America and I do enjoy my middle class status. However I was not always middle class. When I was a child I lived in a house that no one else wanted to live in and you could see the ground beneath the worn floorboards. I can't imagine why anyone in America has to be left out. When my family was poor our home was clean and we did the best we could with what we had. We were proud of who we were. That did not however stop us from striving to be better off. I do not believe that anyone has to or even should use the position in which they stand in as a predication of thier future. One's future is determined by one's thoughts, desires and the determination, will and effort to arrive at that future. We all have obstacles to overcome. Stop blaming everyone else for people's ecomomic status and start with the person in the mirror.

1:39 PM  

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