Being Poor. – A must read by someone who has been there.
A very poignant account on what it’s like to be poor and living in poverty in the First World. Too much as been attributed to the so-called ‘virtues’ of poverty. People who say that poverty was good for them and drove them to succeed is bullshit, they only say that only because they are not in poverty anymore, so they are able to look at their poverty with rose tinted glasses. For those for one reason or another cannot not escape poverty, there is no ‘good’ in it whatsoever.
Poverty is a grinding humiliating experience, a series of no-good choices, between eating, keeping the light on or paying for medicine. Many people are not poor by choice, many people become poor due to bad choices for which they may be paying for in a long time to come, an accident, medical emergency, loss of a job, economic decline (moving isn’t always an option) etc.
The current Republican culture of poor shaming and how people ‘choose’ to live on Unemployment benefits instead of looking for a job, taking on ANY job is their own fault. I don’t think any congressman, senator or people running for office has spent any significant amount of time being unemployed and having to survive on benefits, which if you are lucky pays 60% of your former salary.
I’ve never been ‘poor’ though I’ve come close to it, and the stress is unbearable at times, especially if you have children. No parent wants to put their children through not having enough. I was lucky, I got out of that jam because I had a good support system and I am eternally grateful. Not many are so lucky.