Monday, January 9, 2012

Being "Poor" and Being Responsible

This article by The Washington Post annoys me. Not only is it disingenuous, it gives the people interviewed another reason not to accept responsibility for their situation. Yet another reason for them to say to themselves, "See, even the big money news people say we're getting hosed." I feel for low income families, I really do. My family and I survived on LESS than $20k a year for three years while I worked part-time jobs, on again off again, on the opposite side of the state from them. It sucked, but I did it anyway.

The thing is, the mentality starts when they're kids. It starts when they go to public schools and are told it isn't their fault, the State will help them. They drop out of school because they see no purpose to staying, there is nothing waiting for them afterwards because there are no jobs in their area so why stay? If they stayed through high school they could join the military, but that is demonized in a lot of the bigger cities; either the military is evil, or the person gets shunned as abandoning "his people."

When I joined the military at 20 I was flat broke. I had spent 2 years after high school going to school for computer animation to find out that it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. So for those two years I essentially wasted the rent and school fees. I could have moved back in with my parents, or another relative (they offered), but I didn't. Why? Because I knew that it was my own dang fault, and I wasn't going to make myself a burden on my family like that. That was a turning point in my life (up until then I was a rather "poor me" person to be honest), and I am glad I made that decision. The point is that I took RESPONSIBILITY for my life, my situation, and I did something about it.

Contrary to the bull the media hands out, people CHOOSE to live in the inner city. The military is a choice for just about every 18-30 year old there if they can't find any other way to leave and IF they bothered to finish high school. I get it, the schools suck, so what? My high school sucked too, we were reviewing subjects I had learned in elementary school in another state, I still finished. I was lazy as all heck when I was in high school too.

The article in question points out how the poor have to have caller id for peace of mind to avoid billing companies... Seriously? Why are those billing companies calling again? Oh yea, to collect the money you owe! If you couldn't afford the bill, why did you apply for the service? Cell phones are nice, but contrary to popular belief they aren't NECESSARY! I work in hands-on technical support, I do not have a business cell, and only in real emergencies do I get calls on my personal line. Yet I have never gotten a poor review for customer service or response times. If I can do it, so can they. Cable? Not necessary, my family and I could afford it, but we don't get it because it costs too much and that means we'd have less money to pay off our bills (we actually leave ourselves wiggle room in case something unexpected occurs)! Internet? It's nice to have definitely, but also not necessary even these days. Libraries have these things called books for entertainment, you also have used book stores (of which cities have quite a few if you bother to look). You even have Starbucks if you really need internet, even McDonald's is putting in wireless in a lot of places these days and most laptops have wireless as part of the basic install. Couple hundred dollars and you can get a new one that will work for basic internet and word processing. If you don't have a lot of money why are you buying a huge tv or super gaming rig? They seem to have plenty of money to buy the latest and greatest gaming console for $300+.

Does not having them inconvenience people? Yes it does, but when you have very little income that is something you live with, or at least that's what people used to do. Now they go out and get their payday loans, or Rent-A-Center large screen TVs, or whine about how their life sucks and it's "the man" keeping them down. Heck, most people that are considered poor by the US government have newer cars than I do too (mine's a '97). This may be of interest to some. Yes, it's a two year old article, but if things are getting better like the government says, doesn't that mean the outlook is even better than what it shows here? Pay particular attention to the Census Survey comparison of items owned at the bottom of the article.

I understand it's hard not having a car, or having to use the more expensive corner stores, or laundry facilities. But do people think life is supposed to be easy when you make very little money? Things would be kind of loopy if life got HARDER as you made more, don't you think? Maybe they should try banding together as a COMMUNITY instead of trying to do it all themselves? You might surprised how much easier things get when you say, carpool to get groceries, share meals, buy in bulk splitting the cost and items. Crime too high in your area? Stop glorifying gangs listening to rap music with singers talking about doing drugs, beating women, shooting cops, etc. Get a gun, work with your neighbors, and shoot the bastards if they won't leave on their own. You think a gang wants to try fighting an entire neighborhood? Oh, that's right, the liberals in big cities hate guns so they make it near impossible to get them in a lot of those cities. Whose fault is it those people got elected again? Responsibility.

Don't keep voting in the same idiots that obviously can't fix the problem, or worse create larger problems. Don't be jealous or envious of your neighbors if they become successful, congratulate them. Maybe they might be willing to help you out if you aren't glaring daggers at them because they managed to do something to improve their situation. I am all for helping people that need help, when they are actually trying to improve themselves. I refuse to willingly help someone who is too lazy to get off their rear and try to find a job. I know that not everyone on Welfare abuses the system, I'm even pretty certain most don't. But there is a large percentage that does, and even the ones who are trying to improve their lot in life are suspect when it comes to voting. Hypothetical Question: If you were getting a government check would YOU be willing to vote for a guy saying he is going to decrease how much you're getting, even though you knew it would make things better for everyone overall? I would, heck my wife had a hard enough time convincing me to apply for Unemployment (money they automatically take out of your paycheck thanks to the Withholding junk).

Voting for the politician promising to increase Welfare isn't taking responsibility, it's pushing the responsibility for improving your life onto someone else. Someone who worked hard to get where they are at (even if they inherited the money, SOMEBODY worked hard for it originally), and you are penalizing that person for being successful.

If you need more proof the federal government and their MSM buddies are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, read this. I agree with the last bit of the article, not saying things aren't cruddy for some, but they aren't nearly as bad as the government and MSM folks like to make it appear. People want to point at how bad things are in the city compared to the suburbs that's all well and good (in most cases it's even true things are worse in the cities), but pay attention to who is making the laws in those places, how much debt there is, etc. You'll see that in most cases it's a matter of responsibility taken by the population in how they spend their money, and who they elect to govern their area.

Responsibility sucks, it means you can't take the easy way out and blame someone else. It means that sometimes you just have to suck it up and move forward instead of wallowing in how life has screwed you over. If you make a mistake that results in things getting worse for you, or you just get hit by a random piece of bad luck (like the oil pump in your car blowing up on you...), get back up, brush yourself off, acknowledge the situation and fix it. Don't sit there feeling sorry for yourself. The only person in this life that is going to change where you are, is you.

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