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Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:40 AM

5 Things That Piss Me Off About People Who've Never Known What It's Like to be Poor

http://www.alternet.org/economy/5-things-piss-me-about-people-whove-never-known-what-its-be-poor



***SNIP

1. Travel

Or rather, when people talk about it like everyone's gone to Europe, and everyone is going to Europe this year, because going to Europe annually is what people do. If you grew up poor, you likely missed the 9th grade trip to France, or the year abroad in Japan, or the post-college year of travel and wild times backpacking through India. So when you have to endure another conversation about how everyone is getting over to St. Maarten this year, your class rage might heat to a nice, sunny simmer.

***SNIP

2. Education

They say where you went to school doesn't really matter, it's what you do with your education that counts. But "Where'd you go?" is still a question I'm asked more often than I would have ever guessed in my life. People who ask this question typically, I find, went to really fucking good schools, which is why they are so into talking about it. Hell, I would too if I, or someone I was related to, paid $50k a year for me to do it. But when this tired but totally useful (to people who went to good schools) social game comes up yet again at another party or meeting, you can find yourself silently boiling with your mixer-wine-infused class rage while backs are patted and shared jokes are made.

***SNIP

3. Media/Political Portrayals

When the discussion isn't abstract and academic, it is pitying and sentimental. When it isn't demonizing, it's overly mythologizing. Poor people are lazy, they are dumb, they are the salt of the earth, they are heroes, they are noble. Or worse, they could totally just choose out of it but they won't. When you hear, read or see another safely distant, ignorant take on poverty or struggle, it can make your class rage agitate to a steamy rolling scald.

***SNIP

4. When Middle Class People "Slum It"

Oh god, the thing where the people whose parents pay their cellphones, college tuition, health insurance and car payment love going to dive bars so they can feel authentically gritty. If you had to endure your entire twenties with zero safety net, surrounded by trustafarians with an affection for faux-poor minimalism or suburban kids who called themselves poor while they drank freely at the shittiest pool halls in town, the ones they drove up to in their parent's Saabm all in their quest to feel real danger without actually risking their safety — then you've likely felt your class rage bubble up like a cauldron of annoyance.

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Arrow 183 replies Author Time Post
Reply 5 Things That Piss Me Off About People Who've Never Known What It's Like to be Poor (Original post)
xchrom Mar 2013 OP
Kalidurga Mar 2013 #1
Orrex Mar 2013 #3
samplegirl Mar 2013 #4
FirstLight Mar 2013 #92
hollysmom Mar 2013 #107
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #135
unblock Mar 2013 #83
BlueJazz Mar 2013 #124
quaker bill Mar 2013 #2
hollysmom Mar 2013 #108
Raster Mar 2013 #138
99Forever Mar 2013 #5
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #109
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #6
Orrex Mar 2013 #7
olddots Mar 2013 #34
Kali Mar 2013 #63
Bay Boy Mar 2013 #116
PasadenaTrudy Mar 2013 #11
Orrex Mar 2013 #16
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #17
xmas74 Mar 2013 #57
Bjorn Against Mar 2013 #62
Kali Mar 2013 #66
YoungDemCA Mar 2013 #88
Orrex Mar 2013 #127
Skittles Mar 2013 #123
LanternWaste Mar 2013 #165
Cobalt Violet Mar 2013 #23
Bay Boy Mar 2013 #119
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #162
JVS Mar 2013 #121
ismnotwasm Mar 2013 #8
Pisces Mar 2013 #9
99Forever Mar 2013 #12
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2013 #13
Skittles Mar 2013 #126
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2013 #139
Autumn Mar 2013 #14
Orrex Mar 2013 #15
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #24
Orrex Mar 2013 #25
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #26
Orrex Mar 2013 #29
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #42
Orrex Mar 2013 #55
Pisces Mar 2013 #64
Orrex Mar 2013 #69
Pisces Mar 2013 #76
fasttense Mar 2013 #137
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #75
Pisces Mar 2013 #58
fishwax Mar 2013 #60
Pisces Mar 2013 #68
Dragonfli Mar 2013 #94
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annabanana Mar 2013 #111
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #77
fishwax Mar 2013 #89
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #114
Pisces Mar 2013 #35
fishwax Mar 2013 #39
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #78
Orrex Mar 2013 #40
Pisces Mar 2013 #54
Orrex Mar 2013 #59
ChisolmTrailDem Mar 2013 #93
madinmaryland Mar 2013 #98
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #103
Notafraidtoo Mar 2013 #128
Gormy Cuss Mar 2013 #27
Orrex Mar 2013 #30
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #82
Gormy Cuss Mar 2013 #115
Bjorn Against Mar 2013 #18
Pisces Mar 2013 #45
Bjorn Against Mar 2013 #49
TheBadWolf Mar 2013 #21
Pisces Mar 2013 #38
fishwax Mar 2013 #46
fishwax Mar 2013 #28
Pisces Mar 2013 #43
fishwax Mar 2013 #51
LanternWaste Mar 2013 #168
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #53
Apophis Mar 2013 #99
L0oniX Mar 2013 #147
annabanana Mar 2013 #10
mokawanis Mar 2013 #20
TheKentuckian Mar 2013 #31
Orrex Mar 2013 #32
YoungDemCA Mar 2013 #87
LWolf Mar 2013 #101
hfojvt Mar 2013 #19
Remmah2 Mar 2013 #22
Tikki Mar 2013 #33
annabanana Mar 2013 #112
Tikki Mar 2013 #122
Walk away Mar 2013 #36
Orrex Mar 2013 #41
SammyWinstonJack Mar 2013 #117
grasswire Mar 2013 #37
Cleita Mar 2013 #47
Buffalo Bull Mar 2013 #65
Cleita Mar 2013 #71
Blue_Tires Mar 2013 #74
Cleita Mar 2013 #81
marlakay Mar 2013 #95
RedCappedBandit Mar 2013 #56
Cleita Mar 2013 #44
JDPriestly Mar 2013 #73
Cleita Mar 2013 #79
Z_I_Peevey Mar 2013 #80
limpyhobbler Mar 2013 #48
RedCappedBandit Mar 2013 #50
YoungDemCA Mar 2013 #85
olddots Mar 2013 #52
steve2470 Mar 2013 #61
JDPriestly Mar 2013 #67
Pisces Mar 2013 #70
nolabear Mar 2013 #72
YoungDemCA Mar 2013 #86
nolabear Mar 2013 #91
4 t 4 Mar 2013 #96
YoungDemCA Mar 2013 #84
olddots Mar 2013 #90
jimlup Mar 2013 #97
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #100
fishwax Mar 2013 #102
CTyankee Mar 2013 #104
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #105
fishwax Mar 2013 #106
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #136
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #143
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #145
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #175
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #182
HughBeaumont Apr 2013 #183
jeff47 Mar 2013 #163
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #171
LanternWaste Mar 2013 #169
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #173
JI7 Mar 2013 #110
fortyfeetunder Mar 2013 #113
Notafraidtoo Mar 2013 #130
Bay Boy Mar 2013 #118
AAO Mar 2013 #131
JVS Mar 2013 #120
kentuck Mar 2013 #125
MrModerate Mar 2013 #129
KittyWampus Mar 2013 #140
petronius Mar 2013 #132
ErikJ Mar 2013 #133
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #134
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #141
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #142
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #148
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #167
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #144
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #159
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #146
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #149
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #154
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #157
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #164
gollygee Mar 2013 #150
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #151
gollygee Mar 2013 #152
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #155
gollygee Mar 2013 #156
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #158
gollygee Mar 2013 #161
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #174
gollygee Mar 2013 #176
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #177
gollygee Mar 2013 #178
GreenStormCloud Mar 2013 #179
OutNow Mar 2013 #170
riqster Mar 2013 #153
Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2013 #160
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #166
Jennicut Mar 2013 #172
ieoeja Mar 2013 #180
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #181

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:06 AM

1. my number one peeve is...

That most people who are well off think they did it all on their own. Seriously even if their parents paid for their college and living expenses. Or even if they had a partner that helped them out financially while they went to school. Or even if they have a partner that takes care of all the household stuff while they trot off to conquer the world and don't have to worry about a thing as they do it.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:28 AM

3. Absofuckinglutely

I have met many successful people in my life, and every single one of them credits their success primarily to their own hard work, talent, and "good choices." I see it even here on DU all the time.

What's even more sickening is the corollary that if someone isn't successful, it's because they didn't work hard and had less talent and made "bad choices."

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Response to Orrex (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:29 AM

4. Funny how they always leave the part out

that they had any help financially. That always seems to slip their successful little minds.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:51 PM

92. i hate that meme too

Especially the "bad Choices" thing.... There are dozens & dozens of reasons that one seems to make a 'bad choice' that can effect your life for years to come, and yes, sometimes it is just one choice, sometimes a cascade... but there should never be that sense of BLAME that those in poverty are saddled with...

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Response to Orrex (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:39 PM

107. Well, I am well off but not rich

And I always know how blessed life I led, how hard my parents worked to provide for me and how I was born at the right time to get the most our of life From all the scholarships after Sputnik scare to the emerging woman's movement as I entered the job market to having people want to help me because I was cute. To retiring at a time when my social security was there as well as medicare.

I feel for everyone else - the lack of compassion even among some of the poor is shocking, the lack of support for people's education and saddling them with bills.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 05:49 AM

135. Hah, we're seeing it on this very thread. Repeatedly and shamelessly.

Fucking ridiculous that there are those who use the term "professional victim" on a progressive board. These people should "walk a mile", and all that.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:03 PM

83. that's because they "hard work & good choices" is what differentiates them from their peers

they spend all their career worrying about working hard, making good choices, picking the right jobs, making themselves look good to get ahead, etc., and that is the sort of thing that does get them ahead of their peers.

problem is, they rarely stop to realize that they were only in that particular, lucrative rat race because of those advantages that just fell in their lap, like the rich parents. wall street is full of that attitude. yes, wall street rewards hard work and good choices, and it's a meritocracy (if you ignore the conniving and backstabbing). but who gets to play that game? the people with all the right advantages have an easy time getting into the race, and people with few if any such advantages rarely make it to the starting gate.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:22 AM

124. I was one of the ah....fairly lucky ones. My parents paid for just about everything...but they...

... reminded me who had "Really done most of the work" to get me where I was going.

A few...(very few) times in my life, I've felt a little superior...but my good side has quickly slapped my ass down
with a "Forget that shit asshole...your shit smells as bad or even worse than anybody else's...if it wasn't for your parents you'd probably be eating dog food"

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:11 AM

2. I have experienced #1 and #2

I used to meet prospective clients for fancy lunches when managing (not owning) a small consulting firm. I would dress nice and park the rusty '74 ($200) impala some blocks away. The company would cover the $12 ham sandwich (a really good ham sandwich for sure). I would dutifully listen to the tales of the lovely peasant markets in third world countries, the lovely scenery, beautiful beaches, all while wondering if I could scrape enough together to take the kids 40 miles to the beach for a few days....

It was not fun.

Yes, I went to the local state school part time and worked minimum wage jobs to pay for it, so I got a 4 year degree in a bit more than 10 years. I was the first in my family to get a 4 year degree, so I was plenty proud of it, but it was nothing to brag about in these conversatons.


My focus has been on making it easy for my kids to get an education without debt. One has a PhD without owning anyone a nickle, and the second will graduate in 8 weeks with zero debt and most of the money for a masters still in the bank. I still haven't traveled, but I am OK with that. It will be even better to see my youngest walk at graduation (summa cum laude) in a few weeks. I will trade that for a week in Paris anytime.

I do find the rich who think they know the answers to poverty more than a bit irritating. The real experience does not fit within their imagination. I am by no means truly poor, but they cannot even reach as far down as me.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:41 PM

108. you are what my parents were

It was all for the kids. But they also liked to have a good time with us.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:26 AM

138. Bravo, Bill!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:40 AM

5. They'll read this and...

... still not get it.

They got theirs, screw everyone else.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:50 PM

109. And let's not forget the house servants. They just can't stop themselves from rising to master's

 

defense, each believing that they will be the one master picks to bring along on moving day.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:03 AM

6. Travel and education really irritate me....

...Just look at the travel shows on TV...only the wealthy can afford to go to, and spend time in, the places they showcase. Travel? Yeah right...how about across the state to visit relatives and return the same day?

With one kid moving into his second year of high school and the other moving into middle school next year, education is a major issue for us. We're just now climbing out of a financial hole that burned up all of our savings, forced us to sell everything of value including our second car, and put us on food stamps for the last four years. Thankfully, when I start receiving my first Social Security check in April, my kids will each receive one-half of my monthly benefit. That will go a long way toward helping them when it's time to go to college.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:14 AM

7. NPR has a travel show that makes me want to vomit

On the one hand, it's nice because it features people knowledgeable of other regions and cultures, and they recount cool tales of their travels abroad.

But on the other hand, it can come across as so nauseatingly elitist that I can barely stand it.

The people calling into the show follow a more or less standard format:

Caller: I'm going back to insert exotic destination for the sixth time this year. What should I look for on this trip?

Radio: You should really see insert amazing tourist destination. Honestly, you could make the trip a hundred times and not see everything. Everyone should go at least once or twice in their lives.


This, while I'm counting my pennies to buy a gallon of milk and once again regretting my donation to NPR.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:49 PM

34. this hits home

NPR seems like the voice of clueless yuppies like a sit com or movie where nobody works but they never worry about money .

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Response to Orrex (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:23 PM

63. NPR

is pretty much a lost cause anymore. Corporate influence/funding has utterly ruined it. It is for well-off yuppies who want to pretend they are liberal or at least "informed"

I wouldn't send them a dime if I had it to send.

I will argue that is can be possible to travel (at least by land) for a fairly similar amount as "living" even in lower income levels. Plenty of people do it but it isn't resort stays or even hotels. It is eating street food, or self-prepared, meeting people and staying with them, public transportation etc. I do think if someone is motivated to see other places on the planet more could manage it if they could get out of their xenaphobia and comfort zones.

and of course that presoposes if you are a wage slave that you can actually get away for more than 48 hours without losing that job.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:52 PM

116. Do you think anyone would tune in...

...to listen about boring locations to visit?

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:30 AM

11. Hmmm

My brother and his wife travel a lot. He's a plumber and she's a high school teacher. They rent an apt and didn't have kids though...priorities.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:14 PM

16. So what's your point?

That comfortably secure middle-class couples with two incomes really don't understand living in poverty either?

I agree with you!

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:18 PM

17. Not sure what you're trying to say. Care to spell it out? nt.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

57. What priorities are those?

I'd love to hear them.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:23 PM

62. You do realize that many people make far less than plumbers or high school teachers don't you?

You seem to be describing a middle class family that travels a lot, the OP was talking about the poor. The poor make far less income than teachers and plumbers do and they struggle to pay their rent and buy food each month, they don't have the option of making travel a priority.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:28 PM

66. you sound somewhat clueless and a rather classic "blame the poor for their choices" tops it off

"the poor" aren't two middle or even low-middle income adults with no children. The poor can barely afford one place to live and still cover utilities and food. regardless of job status or numbers of dependents. please. god I hate that "choice" arrogance. shit happens to even those who make all the right "choices" try some empathy instead of superiority, ok?

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:12 PM

88. "Priorities": again with the "individual choice" meme...

And also, an example of ONE couple making "the right choices" does not mean that the vast majority of people have that privilege.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #88)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:51 AM

127. Yeah, that's another thing

In any discussion of how little choice is available to people of low income, some high-minded citizen will step forth with an example of some extreme outlier who managed to pull off the whole rags-to-riches fantasy.

Good for that preposterously rare person, but shame on anyone who would offer up such a freakish anomaly as evidence that anyone can do it.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:17 PM

123. I could travel too, but I consider saving for retirement a priority

does that sound a bit snooty?

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:43 PM

165. Not so muvh an "hmmmm"...

Not merely priorities, many, many unexpected thing happen in life.

Those unexpected things being one reason that medical costs are the number one reason for families to declare bankruptcy.

Priorities, indeed...

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:49 PM

23. yet they resent the taxation that pays for their safe travels.

Who the hell else do they think should pay for it. It's not free!

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 09:47 PM

119. I understand why it would be annoying

to have some wealthy person bragging to you about their vacations to exotic locations when you can't afford one at all. But I don't understand why you would turn on a TV program that 'tortures' you with descriptions of places you figure you'll never be able to afford. Radios have off buttons.

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #119)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:22 PM

162. Ever channel surf when you're watching TV? I see enough of the content of those channels....

....in just a few seconds...I don't have to see the entire show.

This board has an "ignore" button, too....I think I'll exercise that privilege and place you on my list.


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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:31 PM

121. If you plan on saving for college in the next few years be careful.

Financial aid is going to examine your assets to see what your kids qualify for. Unless your savings are under the mattress they could just lower the financial aid given to the kids.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:24 AM

8. I still have a hard time with those who don't understand financial entitlement

I make what's considered a middle class income now, but I've been hungry, homeless, on welfare with kids.

Travel? Must be nice to take that expensive trip/cruise/time off every year.


What college? Well, community college at first. And it took a while because I had to work full time. What the hell is 'spring break'

Media? 'Welfare Queen'

Slumming? Come on down to the neighborhood I still live in, I'll let you 'slum' (I'm a white woman, and I'm uncomfortable in neighborhoods that aren't working class multi-ethnic--it's all I've known for years and I feel richer for it)

At the same time, I've met people very aware of that type of entitlement and are grateful for what they have, and give back to the community. I used to have a problem with wedding rings, it seemed people had to show off, not an expression of love and commitment, but the size of the (usually) diamond and the band material. I just wear a thin gold band which is what we could afford at the time, and more than some couples start out with. I kinda let that one go.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:27 AM

9. You sound bitter and jealous. I grew up poor and felt none of this so called rage and the rich kids.

These threads are interesting in that you assume everyone has the same rage at inequality as you do.

So sad for you that your parents couldn't afford an ivy league, but something tells me that even if they could you
would be dissatisfied about something else. Like maybe someone who owns a private jet, or is able to give a huge
endowment, or someone who's grandfather and father went to the same ivy league and they get special treatment.

There will always be someone with more than you and there will always be people who are envious. Learn to appreciate
what you have ( like the fact that you went to college when so many can't even afford to go at all ).

Good luck with your anger issues.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:41 AM

12. A lovely example of exactly what the OP was saying.

Thanks for the clarity.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:45 AM

13. You DO realize it is the article and not the poster who is "talking", right?

Feel free to go to the linked site and scold the author of the article.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:49 AM

126. proves a point!!

education does NOT equal intelligence

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Response to Skittles (Reply #126)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:16 AM

139. Sometimes I think of DU as a large Rorscach test....

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:52 AM

14. Are you adressing your comments to xchrom? n/t

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:13 PM

15. I love satire pieces like what you wrote there.

No one could actually be as blind to reality as the clumsy, navel-gazing victim-blamer that you pretended to be in your post.

Well done--I salute you!

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Response to Orrex (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:04 PM

24. I'd say the characterization of the OP as bitter is spot on. Want to travel? There Are Options

you just have to start digging and investigating.

How is it many of my fellow commune members managed to backpack Europe? They did not have wealthy parents. We shared rent, ate beans and rice, worked where ever we could and saved money to do stuff like that and travel around to Dead concerts etc. One roommate went to Europe several times as a courier. A friend of mine got a job as a nanny and traveled all over taking care of two kids.

Very often the issue is that people who are poor accept it as their lot that they can't do or have XYZ. Change your mindset and focus on achieving X and explore options constantly. Even when the immediate situation says "No, you can't do that" keep digging, exploring and expecting.

While you throw out the term "victim-blamer" I can throw out "professional victim".

Maybe if the person who wrote the OP spent less time cataloging what they don't have, can't get and resent others for and trying to find unconventional ways to achieve their goals something might happen.

I think a huge issue is creativity. Most of my friends back in the days of living hand to mouth were artists. Some people can look at a pile of rags and see rags… others can see the potential for a quilt.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:13 PM

25. Yeah, I've known people who've backpacked across Europe, too

They didn't have jobs or debts or responsibilities, so of course they could pick up and go wherever the hell they wanted. Must be nice. Most people never get a chance to live in that world.

I think a huge issue is creativity. Most of my friends back in the days of living hand to mouth were artists. Some people can look at a pile of rags and see rags… others can see the potential for a quilt.

Others look at it and say "what a trite and patronizing slogan to make people feel worse about not enjoying great luck and good opportunities."

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Response to Orrex (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:20 PM

26. When I was living hand to mouth I made Xmas wreaths to sell on the side of the road- how is that

"luck"?

I also picked up old, discarded furniture and resold it… again, that's not "luck".

Recognizing unconventional opportunities to make money or to travel is possible. But you have to open to it and start looking.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:31 PM

29. Spare me

When I was living hand to mouth I made Xmas wreaths to sell on the side of the road- how is that "luck"?

You are lucky because you were able to scrape by. I know others who have done exactly what you have tried, and they weren't as lucky in the result as you were. Even so, what you're describing is a recipe to keep from starving; it won't get you to Europe if you have responsibilities, a job, or debts. So why do you bring it up here?

I see that you dropped your irrelevant point about your impoverished, globe-trotting artist pals. Is that because you recognize that their extremely anomalous experience has nothing to do with the point made in the OP?

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Response to Orrex (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:59 PM

42. I provided relevant examples of people who traveled despite not being wealthy or middle class.

No matter how hard you try to dictate the terms here by saying those with "responsibilities, a job, or debts" doesn't negate the FACT that people can travel with little to no money by various means.

And the OP is a bitter person who wastes time whining about what other people talk about.

As someone who grew up bullied, I learned a long time not to waste time paying attention to what other people talk about.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:11 PM

55. So, because you've achieved some skid row epiphany, everyone else should just suck it up.

No matter how hard you try to dictate the terms here by saying those with "responsibilities, a job, or debts" doesn't negate the FACT that people can travel with little to no money by various means.
Gormycuss already shattered your example of volunteer poverty, so you can take you globetrotting artist pals out of the equation. And the fact that you can't see beyond "Europe on five bucks per day" means that you really don't grasp the issue at all.

That leaves you with basically nothing to say, except your pleasant tale of roadside wreath-hawking and your patronizing dismissal of people who weren't able to rise above their poverty and hit the hostel circuit.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #55)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:26 PM

64. The only patronizing to be read is coming from your posts. This person has put their own life

experience as an example which you are mocking because it isn't your experience. Your responsibilities are not the fault of the poster. Missionary families with no money travel, homeless people travel, people quit their jobs and sell all of their belongings to backpack through Europe while picking up jobs on the road. There are a multitude of options that may not include what you personally are willing to give up to accomplish the goal of traveling.

If you want to go to Europe you can regardless of money. There is a way, maybe not the way you are willing to take. Do rich people have it easier in the travel department, sure, they don't have to make any choices just what country to visit.
You are very angry and your posts are getting more aggressive. Sorry we don't agree with you, but it is obvious that our
experiences have taught us where there is a will there is a way. ( how is that for trite life lessons)

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Response to Pisces (Reply #64)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:31 PM

69. See, you're repeatedly attempting a bullshit rhetorical tactic

Again and again you accuse people of being "bitter" and "angry" and "unhappy" and "envious." The intent of such accusations is to deflect the discussion from how the poor are systematically fucked by the same mechanisms that reward the well-off.

For some reason, instead of addressing that issue, you would rather argue about whether or not someone is angry or envious or bitter.


Why not discuss the real problem?

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Response to Orrex (Reply #69)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

76. I agree that the real issue is about how the mechanism keeps poor people poor, but this is another

thread entirely. THis thread started out with how entitled assumptions piss them off. This is not a thread about how the mechanisms are set up to reward the well off.

My intent is not to derail the thread but to point out that some with very little seem to accomplish travel and other things. It comes with sacrifice and choices, unlike the rich who don't have to make those choices.

Maybe my word choice initially was aggressive, but again I point out that the title of the thread is 5 things that Piss me off about people who've neverr known what it's like to be poor. This invites other posters to think anger is an issue if you are pissed
about something. It also invites people who consider themselves poor or grew up poor to divulge life experiences that may not
include anger.

Start another thread about how poor people are being kept perpetually poor generation after generation and I will post about that.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #64)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:19 AM

137. You forgot to add join the military and see the world.

See, you can travel around the world, visit exotic countries, meet new and interesting people and shoot them dead.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #55)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:46 PM

75. If you read Tracy Moore's whole piece you'd find she does exactly what I mention

I got hired by literally hanging around and doing the poor person tap dance of "PLEASE LOOK AT ME, I'M SMART! I'M PERSISTENT! I MATTER! I GOT NO CREDENTIALS, KID, BUT I GOT MOXIE!"


" I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation."
---Mike Todd

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

58. Kitty I am hearing you, but some on this board want to be angry and feel like they are being lecture

when in fact we are pointing out our own life experiences of not having yet making the best of it. This is making some on the board angry.








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Response to Pisces (Reply #58)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:17 PM

60. Pisces, you are not just "pointing out (your) own life experiences"

You entered the thread lobbing accusations of bitterness and enviousness and anger and won't-be-satisfied-no-matter-their-circumstances-ness.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:30 PM

68. True, I did throw that out there, but that is what I was getting from the OP and other posts. The

original post is about 5 things that "piss you off". That qualifies as bitter and angry if you agree.





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Response to Pisces (Reply #68)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:06 PM

94. I knew people like you, just passing through the hood

Thinking you understand without actually having to eat maggoty dumpster meat or worry about frostbite when ya cant find a place to crash some nights and have nothing but layers of newspapers wadded in your cloths to try to keep the heat in.

Tourist or mark, that's what we'd have called you. You misunderstand the difference between survival and not being in daddy's home for a year before college.

I hope the truly poor robbed you blind every year daddy gave you a card with cash in it on christmas, you are not impressive, merely a stupid grazing animal that wandered too far from the grassy plain, to survive some people have to eat people like you (not literally of course but in a way), bungle in the jungle...

Jail, death, or years doing shitty work and stealing to survive until you con some employer into thinking you are a nice kid from the burbs, that is the poverty I know to be true, you are full of shit, and a gazelle LOL

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #94)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:04 PM

111. !

What you said.
It. Is. Not. A. Game.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #60)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:52 PM

77. The OP is written by Tracy Moore who makes snark & being semi-obnoxious her stock in trade.

Maybe it's better to say more a mix of semi-obnoxious and down-to-earth honesty.

And her piece posted her does have a shallowness to it. Less about wanting to change society's approach to poverty and more from a perspective of "I want all the material stuff too".

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #77)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:15 PM

89. all the more reason to not assume the author/op/sympathizers are bitter, perpetually unsatisfied

and so on. It's a professional affectation.

I don't agree with you that the article is from a perspective of "I want all the material stuff too." It's written explicitly from the perspective of someone who now does have the material trappings of middle class life.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #89)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:35 PM

114. After reading the ENTIRE piece- she's got a good sense of humor & perspective. She wrote much more a

about each of the 5 "things". It's a shame it was edited so much. What was posted changes the tone of the whole piece.

Edit- and some of her other pieces were insightful and pretty darned funny. In one she talks about the fact women poop during childbirth… but did it a really approachable way.

She's written a lot about being a Mom.

I'm glad she's doing well and hope she continues writing.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:52 PM

35. Wow, " must be nice" is shorthand for envy and jealousy of what others are doing. This person did

not offer a trite and patronizing explanation. They gave you an explanation from their own life experience. Maybe instead
of looking for the negative and how impossible things are, you can look for ways to enjoy life within your own circumstance.

I hope to teach my own children not to worry about what others have but to enjoy what they have. You seem to be hell bent
on being miserable and envious of others.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:57 PM

39. "Very often the issue is that people who are poor accept it as their lot" isn't trite/patronizing?


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Response to fishwax (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:53 PM

78. “I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind.

“I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.”
Mike Todd

And from that quote we may agree that a huge issue in breaking the cycle of poverty is addressing the depression, hopelessness and self defeating behavior of those perpetuating that cycle.

It's jobs and training and services. But it's also having people expect those things and DEMANDING it and taking advantage of programs that are there.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:57 PM

40. Perhaps you read a different post

When I receive a lecture telling me that life could be great if only I were more creative, I call bullshit.

I hope to teach my own children not to worry about what others have but to enjoy what they have. You seem to be hell bent on being miserable and envious of others.

You, on the other hand, have demonstrated that you don't know what you're talking about. I envy no one; you attempt to hang that on me in what appears to be pretty straightforward projection.

I teach my children to work hard because life will seldom if ever give you a handout, and those who do receive handouts will often take credit for them while criticizing the failures of others who weren't so fortunate.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:11 PM

54. Your last 2 sentences show your perception of the world again. Someone is out to get you or take

credit for your work, criticize you etc. Why so bitter? I agree that there are no free handouts, but who is asking for them?

You may not envy anyone, but you certainly are not a happy person. The world is not out to get you. Is it easier to have money
than not have it, of course, but why is the focus on how much we despise the attitude of those with money? who cares what their attitude is. Their opinion should mean nothing. Their questions on what school you attended should mean nothing. None of these things should make you mad or upset. Who cares. This is all I meant. No need for any outrage.











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Response to Pisces (Reply #54)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:16 PM

59. Again, you're attibuting statements to me that I didn't make

Where did I claim that people are taking credit for my work?

I agree that there are no free handouts, but who is asking for them?

Did I accuse anyone of asking for them? No. So why should I defend that point?

The opinions of others are important because they do matter, in spite of the lessons of after-school specials. Their opinions matter personally and politically and professionally.


Incidentally, my online persona is substantially less happy than I am in real life, in part because online I engage in more discussions of the bullshit of privilege and the delusion that hard work equals success. In real life I get by just fine, thanks, though I appreciate the patronizing pop psychoanalysis.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #59)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:01 PM

93. I want to know why the hell you have me on ignore.

I don't recall ever having an exchange with you. So, why do I have to see that you have me on ignore every time I see a post from you?

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #93)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:50 PM

98. He has everyone on ignore. It's in his signature line.


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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #98)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:20 PM

103. He's ignoring me, too!

 

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #93)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:12 AM

128. Rofl

Omg i am new here i thought he had me on ignore too! I was like what did i do?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:29 PM

27. You forgot "poor grad students."

If your perception of poverty is that commune members and starving artists are representative, you need to get out more.

Voluntary poverty is not the subject of the OP. I don't know about your commune or your artist friends but in my experience none of them came from deep poverty. Most had comfortable middle class or wealthy upbringings and access to good educations from day one. Most also retained the luxury of being able to go back to that comfort should they tire of their voluntary poverty.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:32 PM

30. +1000

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:57 PM

82. The subject of the OP is a woman who resents what rich people talk about.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #82)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:40 PM

115. No it isn't. Perhaps you clicked on the wrong link. n/t

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:29 PM

18. You sound like Ann Romney

When she talked about how her and Mitt had to scrape by on their stock options when they were in college. You pretend to know the struggles of the less fortunate while making it glaringly obvious that you are completely clueless.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:02 PM

45. Wow, incredible that you know my background from a few sentences that I posted? How did you get Ann

Romney from my posting?

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Response to Pisces (Reply #45)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:05 PM

49. Ann Romney talked about her "struggles" then made it clear she knew nothing of real struggles

Your post did the same thing. I never said I knew anything about your background, but in your post you said you were once poor but then went on to illustrate you knew nothing about the struggles poor people face. That reminded me of Ann Romney.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:48 PM

21. You are the angriest person in this thread.

Obviously, the OP didn't write this article. I understand you may have been in too much of a hurry to spout your sanctimonious outrage to notice though.

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Response to TheBadWolf (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:57 PM

38. The OP posted this article as a view they share. I was posting my thoughts about it. I was not in a

hurry to post any outrage. What seems obvious from all the response is that people do not like it that others don't feel
angry or slighted because they didn't have a privileged upbringing.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:04 PM

46. where is that response evident in this thread?

"What seems obvious from all the response is that people do not like it that others don't feel angry or slighted because they didn't have a privileged upbringing."

I don't see that response at all. Is it based on the response to you? Because your response was not "I don't feel angry or slighted because I didn't have a privileged upbringing." Your response was rather different.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:31 PM

28. to me, it's your post that appears rather bitter

"So sad for you that your parents couldn't afford an ivy league, but something tells me that even if they could you
would be dissatisfied about something else."

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Response to fishwax (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:00 PM

43. Some people are never happy no matter what their circumstance.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #43)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:07 PM

51. And?



The article in the OP talked about experiences/encounters that can be frustrating for people without a lot of money. (And it followed the explanation of those experiences, in the article itself, with often constructive advice for dealing with that difficulty in productive and understanding ways.)

That's hardly evidence that the OP (and/or original author) is one of those people you claim are never happy no matter their circumstances.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #43)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:24 PM

168. While others may yet extrapolate the measure of happiness...

"Some people are never happy no matter what their circumstance...."

While others may yet extrapolate the measure of happiness of a person from merely one conversation on one day about one topic, regardless of how little they may know about the person they indict...

Seems to me that both are locales inhabited by idiots, dolts and nincompoops, yet the second instance takes it a step further by pretending knowledge.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:10 PM

53. Good luck with YOUR anger issues. nt.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:53 PM

99. Wow. What a crappy thing to say.

 

Maybe you have anger issues.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:00 PM

147. The quintessential privileged corporate tools of the greedy rich would agree with you ...IMO. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:29 AM

10. The worst: Poor = Lazy

There is no harder job than surviving without resources. Every day is an exhausting grind trying to find food, scrabbling for shelter. Trying to just stay alive takes every single ounce of strength you can muster.. and, sadly for so many, even that isn't enough.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:43 PM

20. Agreed, that's the worst

The haves looking down on the have-nots and denouncing them as lazy because they're poor. It's a cruel and stupid way of passing judgement on people without knowing anything about their struggles. That attitude blindly ignores the fact that a lot of poor people are working their asses off just to get by.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:36 PM

31. Exactly right. Next up is probably poor=stupid.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:38 PM

32. It's already been done. In this thread.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:09 PM

87. Well said. It's almost as if the rich CEO class WANTS to work people to death....

Wait a sec...

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Response to annabanana (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:10 PM

101. Yes.

Poor means working harder and longer for less. In my experience.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:32 PM

19. I often ask about college

not because I went to particularly good schools, but because they may have gone to the same school I did, or at least a school in one of the conferences. Although, since I went to Nebraska and Minnesota, I guess both of my schools are Big 10 now. I have lost the Big 12 (or Big 8 and there are what, now, 14 schools in the Big 10? Perhaps people who goto schools in that conference are not very good at counting)

I have done some travel, partly as a kid with my upper middle class parents with grandparents far away.

It used to annoy me when I had no health care all the TV ads that would say "Ask your doctor ..." Like everybody has a doctor on retainer or something.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 01:49 PM

22. My dad was a steel worker with a 10th grade education.

 

He always told his 6 kids; "Remember where you came from".

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:49 PM

33. We tent camped for over 40 years, and into our 60's..

finally had to buy a tent-trailer, sleeping on the ground got to difficult. What we learned over those
years in tents was that we were questioned over and over as to why we would we not be in some sort
of tin box camping. Most often the follow up would be..."Well, they're not THAT expensive."

We did meet those living rough from time to time when we went camping, seemed like they would
approach the tent campers only, mostly just to shoot-the-breeze.
Sometimes the trailer and motor home travelers would walk right by our tent camp site
and go introduce themselves to the next available 5th wheel or motor home.

The Tikkis

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Response to Tikki (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:07 PM

112. heh.. I guess they were afraid they

might bump into the indigent and catch something....

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Response to annabanana (Reply #112)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:38 PM

122. Most campers are very friendly and it really does correlate to the type and location of...

camp sites, but there were definitely those who looked down on tent campers.
And that is a shame.

Tikki
ps...plus a lot of tent campers are what I call purists..and money has nothing to do with their
camping experience. Plus you always get those at social gatherings who will proudly
exclaim that their idea of camping is staying at a three star hotel....bah. .


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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:52 PM

36. There are people in the world who live in abject poverty.

They really have something to complain about.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #36)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:58 PM

41. You're right

Let's just find the most destitute person in the world, and then the rest of us can all shut up forever.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #41)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 08:57 PM

117. ...

Seems some in this thread would prefer if we would do just that.....shut forever.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 02:54 PM

37. I know a rich couple who buy their kids' clothes at thrift shops.

He's a trust fund baby who is extremely cheap. He refuses to buy Girl Scout cookies because they are too expensive. His son has never had new clothes; always from Value Village. The toddlers' clothes are from second-hand baby clothes shop.

That kind of "faux poor minimalism" annoys me because it is narcissistic. If a millionaire buys the best of the baby clothes at a thrift store, then some parent who is struggling to get by is denied those clothes. If a millionaire refuses to buy GS cookies because they are $5 a box, then GS troops suffer. All for the "thrift" of the rich man.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #37)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:04 PM

47. Rich people are often notoriously cheap. They don't enjoy their money.

They just enjoy hoarding it. I went to school in eighth grade with this poor kid who wore the same faded and worn dress almost every day because she only had three dresses for school, that were hand me downs from another relative, yet her parents were filthy rich. Her mother wore designer clothes and expensive furs and jewelry and her dad drove a top of the line Cadillac, the most luxury car you could own in those days.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #47)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:28 PM

65. Stereotype


I grew up somewhere between modestly and poor spending a few years in a housing project.
I have a freind from high school who did very well for himself and married a notch above that.
Having had a chance to sit down and talk with a few of my friends in-laws and new peers I can say that they have a wide variety of poses, politics and personalities.
It is very true that some people in every ethic, religious or socio-economic llive down to the level of the stereotype image.
Perhaps it is human to note theother groups.
That being said is this they have most of the money and a larger share of the power so they have the power to punish the rest of us because they (as a group) see a sterotype when they look at the rest of us. Where our deceptive views of them are toothless

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Response to Buffalo Bull (Reply #65)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:38 PM

71. Hardly. I have been in some kind of service job usually bookkeeping for

very rich people and every one of them seems to not want to pay for their stuff if they can get away with it. Not a stereotype at all. None of my working middle class friends are as tight fisted as them. Some who have made their way from rags to riches aren't but the trust fund babies are. Every single one of them doesn't want to pay for things. One of the instructors at the gym, who also does private training sessions as well, once told me what a hard time she had with some of her clientele in making them pay her and it was the richest ones who could well afford it who were the cheapest.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #47)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:43 PM

74. in my workplace I've noticed

How much the penny pinching wealthy absolutely LOVE spending other peoples money...Always the most flagrant expense report padders; always constantly ordering the newest equipment, furniture, PCs, and other tech toys...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #74)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

81. Also, I'll bet when you guys go out for a beer on Friday that they seem to not

have a wallet, money or credit card on them.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #81)


Response to grasswire (Reply #37)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

56. I know a person like this

Turns me off for exactly the reasons you mention.

She doesn't get it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:00 PM

44. Your point about education is why I favor free education

all the way through graduate school. I think we should be educating the brightest, not the richest. I agree with the rest of what you say. I live in an affluent area although I'm struggling with Social Security myself and I can't believe what these well off people believe about the poor and working classes. I try to point stuff out to them but I don't think they get it. They live in a bubble that doesn't allow them to care about the person who is giving them their massage or bringing their meal to them.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #44)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:43 PM

73. I agree with you, C;eota/

As for Social Security, a lot of older people who struggled when they were very young save and have more in retirement than people who had it all when they were kids. That's so strange, but a reminder to conservatives about cutting Social Security. Older women who stayed at home only to find themselves alone and retired often have the toughest financial struggle.

And today, it's conservative women who stay at home, raise kids and don't learn to manage money or even accumulate Social Security credits.

It's much easier to manage with little money if you never had a lot to begin with. At least that's the impression I get form talking to other seniors.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #73)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:54 PM

79. I never stayed home, but I earned most of that time 69 cents to the dollar that men earned

with less education and skills than me, which made it harder to save and I paid less into SS. Sure I get some from my late husband's SS, but it's only half of what we got when he was alive. I took a big cut in income when he died but my expenses were pretty much the same. I just spent less on food and incidentals.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #44)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

80. Just last year I was in a discussion with some upper middle class people

who were SHOCKED to find out that Food Stamps do not cover toilet paper, soap or personal care items. You are correct about the misconceptions well-off people have about poverty.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:04 PM

48. Great article. (nt)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:06 PM

50. #2 definitely crosses class lines

#1 as well. We can't afford to travel to exotic locations. But I grew up middle class so can't begin to understand.

That said, #2 I get all the time, from everybody, regardless of income.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #50)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:07 PM

85. Education is a BIG deal in the Bay Area...

You know, that "liberal, tolerant, progressive" capital of America.

In my experience, that tolerance is, all too often, not extended to the poor or "uneducated" by many wealthier residents here,

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:08 PM

52. cant we comiserate ?

whats wrong with angst ? then comes the angst against angst.......
oh never mind.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:22 PM

61. k&r nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:29 PM

67. My husband and I grew up poor and traveled.

Teaching overseas and studying languages. Good grades help.

My parents were poor but well educated. My husband was desperately impoverished (his mother had an 8th grade education; his stepdad even less) but brilliant.

If you don't want people to judge you on superficial information, then don't judge others that way. That person who traveled so much -- may have worked for an airline. That's how one of my neighbors did it.

I know a young woman who went to an ivy league school on scholarships. She was brilliant and talented, but her family was very poor.

Don't lump everybody together.

I have to add that I think it is getting harder and harder to do what you want based on merit. Young people today have to mortgage their souls to go to any college at all. And it is getting worse. We need to return to the progressive taxes we used to have.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #67)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:36 PM

70. Your post is spot on. I feel the same way but posted in a more inflammatory way.





















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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:40 PM

72. I hate threads like this, even though it's frequently true. But it's not that simple.

Everyone, EVERYONE has blind spots. The only way to partially overcome them is to be intimate, appreciate who they are and stand proud in who you are. Hating on anyone, whether it's out of an understandable sense of not being understood, just perpetuates the problem rather than solving it as much as possible.

I grew up dirt dog poor. I sometimes wish I'd had more advantages so I could have gotten further, even though I've gotten a long, long way. I also question why I didn't have the Abe Lincoln gene and couldn't go all the way to fame, fortune and a complete sense of having pushed my potential to the fullest. And I see people for whom the field was prepared and plowed and planted, and who don't realize that their very real problems are not the only kind of problems to have. But neither are mine. So if we can we try to understand better and maybe the world gets scooted a little further down the road toward the good stuff.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #72)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:08 PM

86. Unfortunately, it's not a question of blind spots among individuals...

But a question of who has power and influence, and who doesn't.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #86)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:23 PM

91. You mean the more-than-poor are uneducable or uncaring and have all the power?

I agree that there's a faction and a big one, but I interpreted the OP to be about individuals, who have varying amounts of money, power, influence, capabilities and problems of their own. I think extending a hand rather than spitting in anyone's face is more likely to get results. And sure, there are exceptions and extremes.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #72)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:43 PM

96. Wow , look what comes out when we talk about

those "who have" and those "who have not" what a perfect storm, that is also part of the planned divide. It's all working perfectly! Those who are mostly on the same side are now at odds, how perfect for the evil fucks!!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:03 PM

84. I hate how poor people are caricatured and stereotyped...

...by a professional pundit corps that is, for the most part, far removed from anything resembling poverty.

Whether it's saying, with a sneer and contempt, that "poor people have it good in America, just look at the cell phones and cable TV they have!" or pitying the poor's "lack of education" and "sophistication" in a very condescending manner, the disconnect (and insult) is still felt by those who are poor.

I also hate how certain examples of some poor people's behavior-whether it be "White-trash" or "redneck" culture or black or Latino "Ghetto" culture-are the only things wealthier Americans have in mind when they talk about "the poor" (as if they were one monolithic group!)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 04:16 PM

90. i feel sorry in a way for the wealthy .

One of my wife's oldest friends somehow ended up uber wealthy and she can't hang out with her old friends because we can't afford sushi much less going out period.When she complains about being worn out from her massage or their crappy flight back from Maui I can see that she meant no harm ,she is just as pissed off about how things worked out in this cruel world .Unfortunately my wife's friend is an exception and I would be pissed off at myself for not being pissed off at un feeling un seeing oafs & male and female bimbos telling me to pull myself up by my -bla bla bla bla .......

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:47 PM

97. just remember that the middle classes are not

the problem. The article doesn't make this distinction but it is quite real. I'm very middle class but I know very well what it is like to be poor.

I've traveled, I've been to a good school (though on financial aid) but I also know what it is like to be homeless and to be unemployed and perhaps most relevant to today I know what it is like to go without health insurance.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:07 PM

100. Apparently, I PO the author quoted in this article.

 

I'm waiting at the gate for my flight to Iceland as I type this, and I think that's pretty darned nifty.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #100)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:13 PM

102. the author doesn't say that people who travel piss her off



Also: have a great trip to Iceland!

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Response to fishwax (Reply #102)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:24 PM

104. even being retired these days is a luxury of sorts (if you don't die first).

The rich just don't get it. And they don't get why the poor don't "get it" with their spiel about self sufficiency and saving enough for retirement. It's just astonishing.

I travel, but I recognize that the only reason I CAN travel is that I have a small inheritance. If it weren't for that I'd be pretty poor indeed (I worked in nonprofits all my life and you can guess what the outcome is there!). So I was privileged and not by any heroic action on my part. Sure, I save money for those trips but I don't need money for lots of things I used to, anyway, so what is the "sacrifice"?

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Response to fishwax (Reply #102)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:25 PM

105. Ah, but I like to talk about my travels and I do so without regard to the

 

socio-ecomomic status of others.

Also: have a great trip to Iceland!

Thanks!

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #105)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:32 PM

106. The author doesn't even say that people who talk about their travels piss her off

So I think you're still in the clear.

Unless you're liable to say, when in conversation with vague acquaintances or random colleagues or complete strangers you're likely to say things like "I'm going to Iceland. What beautiful overseas destination will you be travelling to this year?"

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #105)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:12 AM

136. That was a fucking dickish comment, even for you.

Last edited Mon Mar 11, 2013, 07:02 AM - Edit history (1)

Seriously.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #136)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:48 PM

143. Which part? The fact I like to talk about my travels, or the fact that while I do so

 

(on a message forum, mind you) whether or not someone reading what I type can or cannot afford a similar trip in simply not a consideration?

BTW, I had a reindeer burger for lunch.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #143)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:55 PM

145. Nah, just the fact that you're incapable of even an atom speck of simple empathy and understanding.

And don't even care (or possibly even get) that you don't possess these traits.

But hey, it's par for the course for a disruptor who won't make it to 250 posts anyway.

Oh, and you spelled "brag" wrong.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #145)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:21 PM

175. While I'll admit to not being particularly empathetic to the author quoted in the OP, I think I do

 

understand him. Understanding does not preclude disagreement.

But hey, it's par for the course for a disruptor who won't make it to 250 posts anyway.

Dare I even hope to achieve such a lofty goal?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #145)

Sat Mar 23, 2013, 01:39 PM

182. Howzitgoin?

 

But hey, it's par for the course for a disruptor who won't make it to 250 posts anyway.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #182)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 09:34 AM

183. PRETTY DAMNED GREAT NOW THAT YOUR RW ASS IS GONE!!!

Oh boy, you lasted 100 or so posts longer than I thought you would.

The house always wins in the end, Sonny Jim.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #100)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:26 PM

163. The difference is whether you assume other people have traveled

when you talk to them.

"Hey, I went to Iceland! It was really neat!" is fine.

"Don't you just hate the hotels in Reykjavik?" is not, when the person you're talking to has never mentioned traveling to Iceland. It's fine if you ask them, "Ever been to Iceland" first.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #163)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:05 PM

171. I don't automatically assume that someone has been to Rekjavik. That being the case,

 

I wouldn't ask them what they thought of the hotels there.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #100)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:35 PM

169. Odd way to advertise one's character

Odd way to advertise one's character by stating it's nifty to piss people off. Insightful, but still odd...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #169)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:11 PM

173. I will admit to being amused that I make this person PO'd.

 

Well, I would if I ever happened to talk to them about this particular subject.

Which seems unlikely.

In any case, anyone who expresses firm opinions on a variety of subjects is inevitably going to get someone mad...that can be a good thing, depending on the subject in question.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:01 PM

110. i usually don't hang out with people like that

and i'm not really the type that would be invited to their parties, get togethers whatever.

but if someone did start speaking that way i would find them to be douchebags. bunch of dumbasses who were given a lot in life and had it easy but did nothing good out of it. just spoiled uneducated assholes. not impressed by what school you went to or where you travelled if you have nothing to show for it other than maybe some expensive bag or other crap you got at some expensive resort or wherever the fuck you vacationed at. probably places where the only locals they see are those serving them .

another thing i can't stand are the people who kiss up to wealthy types and try to make it like they are like them. or they are ashamed of not being wealthy. i was talking to this one dumb ass who was talking about how she liked to look in some store with expensive things and how they always try to push you to buy it . i told her i would just tell them i couldn't afford it and she acted like she was too ashamed to say that.

anyways i just find people trying to impress by showing off their wealth whether it's real or not just to be pathetic. makes me think less of them.

i'm not saying people shouldn't mention any of those things but it's how they do it. i have had people tell me stories about their lives and things like places they have been to. but it wasn't in a way to try to impress but more about what they learned and just any conversation you would have with people talking about things you have done.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 07:25 PM

113. My #1: folks who think you can't ever be un-poor

Case in point, my spouse's parents, always made sideways comments about my upbringing, because of my family ancestry (some of the in-laws were doctors, managers and other white collar types, my family were lower middle class types). And to them, they made it clear I could never be as 'good as' their kids who went to exclusive private schools and top-tier universities, as compared with my small town urban upbringing. And ironically, I have the same damn undergrad degree as all of their kids. Success became my best revenge as I attained international recognition in the field...their kids, not so much.

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Response to fortyfeetunder (Reply #113)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:39 AM

130. In point

This discussion is never as black and white as it ends up, but there is only one constant in anyones success and that is luck or lack of bad luck. With lack of bad luck one who is born smart and nurtured correctly or is able to over come negative nurture can be successful even modestly but not everyone is born NT or above average,some have to make choices like taking care of a sick parent who lives in the middle of nowhere, or is denied Admission to a school where they would thrive or a million and one other things that could passably go wrong and cause permanent roadblocks in ones life.

Grats on your revenge and its ok to say you did it,but its silly to say anyone can let's be real,with that said its silly to say no one can.



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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 09:36 PM

118. If someone was bragging to me that they went to Harvard and asked me where I went...

...I'd say "Fuck U!"

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Response to Bay Boy (Reply #118)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:11 AM

131. I'd tell them I went to Oxford and was a Rhodes Scholar.

 

If they questioned my veracity is. When I'd say "fuck you"!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 10:23 PM

120. Does Alternet have editors, or is like a Dailykos type blog?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:27 AM

125. Some folks don't know the difference between being poor and living in poverty?

Living in poverty can be day to day. Being poor is usually week by week...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:30 AM

129. The author of the original article . . .

Needs to either learn how to write funny or, alternatively, get over her/himself.

Because this piece wasn't funny enough to justify reading it, nor did it illuminate anything but the author's irrational dislike for people who have lived their lives differently than s/he has. Not necessarily rich or poor, just differently.

I think I hear the waahmbulance approaching.

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Response to MrModerate (Reply #129)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 11:05 AM

140. The OP has been heavily altered. The author actually did write much more re: each point

and was quite witty. Sadly, the way her writing was presented alters how her writing is perceived.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:24 AM

132. I expected to see 'clueless well-meaning advice' somewhere on the list. As in:

Person-who's-never-been-poor: "Milk is expensive? You should buy the 2-gallon packs at CostCo - the savings really add up!"

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Response to xchrom (Original post)


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 05:46 AM

134. I utterly HATE exotic vacation braggarts.

There's no way my wallet can even afford the flight for 2-3 people.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:00 PM

141. Many people (NOT ALL) are poor because of life choices.

I grew up poor. We didn't have indoor plumbing. I had to join the Army to be able to take a crap in a flush toilet every time, and to be able to take a shower. The food was much better in the Army than at home. To take a bath we had to heat water on the stove and pour it into a #3 was tub that was set on the kitchen floor. When finished, pick up the tub and dumb the water out the back door. Didn't bother taking me to the doctor when I had measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, as those were standard childhood diseases that I would get over. The house was uninsulated and at night there was no heat as there would be no one awake to watch the fire. In the morning it would be cold in winter. Summer was OK. We had mice, rats, and fleas. My standard of living saw a great improvement as a soldier in basic training. I was issued two pair of boots, a pair of dress shoes, four work uniforms and sets of dress uniforms, did less work than I had at home, (we were sharecroppers), got all the food I could eat, and got to shoot a great rifle (M-14) and was later taught a skill (electronic repair), and got about $60.00 a month spending money. - it was a great deal for me. The point is that I was so poor I thought the Army was wonderful.

Dad only associated with families that were as poor as we were.

Looking back on it there were very few of those families that were poor because of bad luck. There were some, but they were rare. Most of them were poor because of a grave problem in their lives. Some families had drunks for adults. Some really were lazy. Some didn't do any planning on how many kids and had waaay more than they could afford. Some kept getting in trouble with the law and getting in jail. Some were poor because the wage-earner (male) wasted his money on mistresses. Others blew their money on other non-productive ends. In our case, the reason that we were so poor was that Dad didn't have any ambition. He didn't try to learn new skills. He worked at minimum wage all his life. When he got in from work he watched TV, went to bed, got up and did it again.

I graduated from high school in 1964.

Thanks to classmates.com I have been able to find out what happened to a lot of the other poor kids. A few tried but had bad luck - it happens. Most of them did not repeat their parents mistakes and are today solidly middle class to upper middle class. A few are even moderately wealthy. And some of the ones that are doing well now were poor minority kids back then.

It isn't popular to say this, but most (NOT ALL) poor folks are poor because they make choices that keep them poor. Me? I made a choice to not drink, nor smoke, nor do drugs, be law-abiding, and to always be learning something new. (I ended up with a Master's Degree.) I have had some bad luck, some good luck, and I have made some bad life decisions that I have had to pay for, and some great decisions. I have been able to overcome each of the knock downs and stand back up. I am now middle class.

America is still the land of opportunity, but you have to grasp the opportunity and don't waste your life on what was once called "habits of dissipation".

I will probably get flamed over this, but it is what I have observed over a lifetime.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #141)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:26 PM

142. Do you know what the most common cause of poverty in America really is? Being born into poverty.

 

Despite your protestations, America has become the least class mobile among OECD nations. So how is a nation that has less economic mobility that Estonia a "land of opportunity"?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #142)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:16 PM

148. So how come I and most of the kids I knew aren't in poverty now?

Yes, being born into poverty is a huge handicap. Going from a sharecropper's son to a Wall Street lawyer would have been a vanishingly narrow possibility for me, but escaping poverty to middle class was possible. Not only for me, but for lots of the poor kids I grew up with.

The reason that being born into poverty is such a lock is that the kids copy the parents' bad habits. I have seen that a lot too. Dad was a drunk so the son learned to be a drunk. Mom had three kids, out of wedlock, by three different men, none of which contributed any support and the daughter copied her Mom. (I am thinking of a real family that I knew.) I had troubles because I copied some of Dad's bad habits that as an adult I had to unlearn. (Please understand if I don't want to name them. Shame at some of the things I did as a young man copying Dad prevents me from naming them.) Doing those things hurt me financially, until I learned better. It isn't lack of opportunity, it is bad role models.

The formula is simple. Learn a useful skill, get a job, do an excellent job, keep learning for lifetime. Get married, stay married to the same person. Wait until you are established in the job to have kids. Don't have more than two or three kids. Don't waste the money on stupid stuff. Live within your means.

Sometime you can't do all of those - bad luck happens. But if it does, pick yourself up and try again in that area.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #148)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:14 PM

167. Assuming you're telling the truth, because you don't know enough people to be

 

a significant representation and you've likely lost contact or forgotten the others you grew up with that are not like you. Personal anecdotes are not evidence of anything except insofar as it forms your personal filter.

The plan you lay out is exactly what tens of millions of Americans did and are now part of the shrinking middle class. As you live longer, you will find that life is what happens while you're making your plans.

But please, feel free to ignore factual evidence, I'm sure you know better.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #141)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:52 PM

144. You won't get flamed by me. Well done, and well said.

 

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #144)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:05 PM

159. Thanks. As you can see...

...some others are pushing the "You can't, so give up." message

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #146)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:19 PM

149. The difference between our messages.

You say, "You can't do it because you are a victim."

I say, "Yes, the road is not easy, but you can do it."

Which of those two messages is more positive?

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #149)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:44 PM

154. Erm, no.

I'm blaming the victimizers using articles that have real data and studies comparing industrialized nations, and asserting that the road is getting less and less easy over time. Poor people didn't cause their problems - corporatization of government and society caused their problems. College is getting priced far out of reach of even middle-to-upper-middle-class families. How are working and poor people supposed to enter the door? Social services are getting defunded yearly on both state and federal levels.

Living and working through (mostly Republican/Corporate-caused) four recessions taught me one thing: It really doesn't matter how hard you work, what "right moves" you made or what circumstances you pulled yourself out of . . . we're nothing but obstacles to a corporation's bottom line. We're nothing but barely useless eaters.

Unless you're a multi-millionaire, you're not safe in America.

What do you tell the thousands upon thousands of people, many with graduate and masters degrees, that got fired in 2001-2002 or 2007-8? That they didn't work hard enough? That they made the wrong choices, got into the wrong professions? Incredulously, there are people on this thread that will say "yes, you made a bad choice when you went into (insert dying profession here)".

Also, did anyone in the Bush family have to ever worry about bad habits or life choices? How about the Waltons? I just don't get why life choices have to matter to one class of society and not matter to another.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #154)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:00 PM

157. Envy will never get you anywhere.

Sure, the rich are able to give their kids a head start. People with good genes are also able to give their kids a better chance at good genes than those with poor genes. That's life. Being envious of and hating them doesn't help you at all.

BTW - Sam Walton was born into a poor family.

Regarding your question of what do I tell the folks that got fired? It isn't the end of the world. Keep job hunting, even if you have to go into a different occupation.

Is college necessary for a good income? Check out how much plumbers, car mechanics, and truck drivers make. I know an elderly man, (Who happens to be black.) who started a yard service as a senior citizen. His small business hires about four helpers.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #157)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:30 PM

164. Oh, Come ON.

We're playing the "Envy" card? Really, WHY? I want life to be fairer, but because of government/corporate coitus, it can't be and life's becoming increasingly unfair for a vast majority of Americans while at the same time rewarding system-gaming wealth . . and because I want this critical issue solved, I'm ENVIOUS?? Christ. Now who's the one tossing out the negative messages?

You cannot resolve long-standing and complex socio-economic problems with "use some good ol' fashioned gumption and pull yourself up by your bootstraps". It's about as stupid as giving life advice by reading The Secret. "That's life" doesn't solve anything. If life doesn't get fairer really goddamned soon, none of us are going to have much of one.

It's just like the personal finance industry, ignoring very real societal and economic realities and insisting the problem MUST be an individual one!! It's a nice short-cut to thinking, but when the day is done, we're no closer to solving the problem of squeezing blood from an increasingly underpaid and falling behind proverbial stone.

Yeah, Sam Walton was born into a poor family. But his kids weren't, and seem to use that fact to take every advantage known to mankind above their workers and the rest of society . . . just ask DWI queen Alice.

Can we please at least assert that there were far more economic opportunities back then; that there was at least decent manufacturing AND white-collar sectors before offshoring, corporatization, planned obsolescence and mergers destroyed college degree and skill value? That if someone wasn't meant to go to college, they didn't have to; that it was a choice and not the incredibly expensive requirement that it is today? That there was once a social contract between workers and their place of employment long since broken by The Great Risk Shift started in the Reagan Administration?

Yeah, tell the fired folks who have to choose between food and rent "it's not the end of the world". There are people on this board who haven't had meaningful employment in 2-4 years. Cold comfort.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #141)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:20 PM

150. Most of the people I know who are poor

Worked at factories but got laid off when the factories left and haven't been able to find decent paying jobs since then.

That's just a changed economy. It has nothing to do with life choices.

I really think the majority of the poor in this country are poor due to our changing economy. Look at the income disparity. All the money the 1% have now came from somewhere. We don't then coincidentally also have a bunch of poor people.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #150)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:32 PM

151. Temporary poor or permanent poor?

I didn't make it clear that I was talking about the chronically poor. Many that I know have hit hard times and been flat busted, so have I. But we didn't stay down. We picked ourselves up. A couple of times things really went bad for me and I slipped down into poverty, but I didn't stay there. I know bunches of people who were temporarily poor until they worked themselves out of whatever happened.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #151)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:34 PM

152. You can only pull yourself up

if there are jobs that pay well enough around. The area where you live must be doing better than the area where I live.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #152)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:45 PM

155. Dallas, TX.

However, I am a senior citizen and have already had my "career". I began in serious poverty and ended up middle class, as did most of the poor kids that I knew when I was young.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #155)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:56 PM

156. The economy now is different than it was then

and people working or trying to work today have a different set of challenges.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #156)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:03 PM

158. So your message is, "You can't, so there is no use trying."

"You are a victim, so give up." Those aren't positive messages. If you decide that you are beat, then you really are beat.

My message is, "Yes, the road will be tough, but you can do it."

Which of us has the positive, motivating message?

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #158)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:16 PM

161. Hmm it depends

Last edited Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:35 PM - Edit history (1)

For people who have been banging their heads up against a brick wall for years, the message that they could do it if they were better people isn't helpful. Our economy sucks, and it sucks on purpose. Read Shock Doctrine (or even just read a bit about it online.) People are poor because our economy is set up so only a small percentage of people will do well. It doesn't help people to tell them it's their fault when it isn't.

(Sorry for typo that caused confusion. I didn't mean "Future Shock")

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Response to gollygee (Reply #161)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:18 PM

174. I read it in 1972.

And in 1980 I read his next book, "The Third Wave".

When the unempoyment rate is 8%, doesn't that mean that 92% of the people have jobs?

You are ignoring that there really, really are bad life choices that have real world consequences. The first step in personal recovery is to face your own bad choices and do something about them, if you can.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #174)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:21 PM

176. Interesting.

I read it in 1972.

And in 1980 I read his next book, "The Third Wave".

When the unempoyment rate is 8%, doesn't that mean that 92% of the people have jobs?

You are ignoring that there really, really are bad life choices that have real world consequences. The first step in personal recovery is to face your own bad choices and do something about them, if you can.


Interesting, since it was written in 2007 by a woman.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #176)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:29 PM

177. For your information:

Future Shock (1970) Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-27737-5

It was on the NYT best seller list at the time. He (Alvin Toffler) wrote about the direction he thought that economics was going.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #177)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:30 PM

178. Ack

I see I made a typo! NO wonder we aren't communicating. The book I mean is Shock Doctrine.

Sorry!

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Response to gollygee (Reply #178)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:42 PM

179. OK.

I don't know if I will get to it soon. Lately I have developed an interest in the psychology of violent criminals, especially murderers, and forensics. My wife shares this interest and we are thinking of ordering one of the Great Courses on the topic.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #141)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:42 PM

170. Similar story - no flame

I grew up in a poor family that lived on the wrong side of the tracks. I also found that my military time (U.S.A.F.) was a step up in my standard of living and did point me to a career in IT. I didn't use classmates.com but found many old friends from my youth on FB and a web site someone set up for alumni for my old junior high. Everyone in my junior high was as poor as my family or perhaps a bit poorer. I lived in a rust belt town and all the good union jobs that existed in the 1950s and 60s are long gone. I do understand the economics of this situation and that's why I'm a Democrat.

But two things became apparent as I learned about my old friends from junior high. 1) About 1/2 went to college and 1/2 did not. I was in the 1/2 that did graduate, after attending evening classes for almost 8 years. 2) The 1/2 that went to college are scattered all over the country, primarily because they moved to where the good jobs were. The 1/2 that did not go to college are almost all still in the same location where I grew up and have had a very hard time finding long term stable employment.

As you hypothesized, people do make choices and these choices do effect their lives. I really don't know why some folks make good choices and some don't. I know that I am very stubborn and don't give up easily. Like you, I don't drink or smoke or use drugs.

I believe there was more opportunity for my generation (born in 1950) than there is today.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 01:35 PM

153. "Trustafarians"

Excellent word!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 02:12 PM

160. "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps."

The notion that all you need to do to escape poverty is "work harder", as if you aren't working hard enough already.

A recent letter to the editor in my newspaper epitomized this when she started going off on how "poor people used to work harder and now they don't" nonsense:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-03-02/news/fl-letters-0302-20130302_1_tax-fraud-medicare-fraud-medicare-claim-number

"Once upon a time, you came to this country with $20 in your pocket. You got yourself a pushcart and, 10 years later, you owned three department stores."

Interesting that the letter writer began her letter with "Once upon a time...." Because what she wrote, in almost every circumstance, was a pure fairy tale. There are very few examples of an immigrant coming to this country with no possessions and then ten years later owning a successful chain of business. If lucky, ten years down the road, they might be an assistant manager at a department store.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #160)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:03 PM

166. "You owned three department stores" . .. as if that was a very common experience.

The lack of empathy in this country is almost as dumbfounding as it's rewriting of history to fit the "Horatio Alger" narrative is. Like "The Secret", the personal finance industry and motivational speaking cabals, "Horatio Alger" is rooted in victim-blaming . .. the kind that usually gives oligarchs a free pass because "they made it". In their worlds, society, greedy corporations, a plutocratic government that caters to wealth and big business, urban decay and defunding of infrastructure, education and various other social services are not problems. No, with them, it's all about "It's YOU who's the problem".

Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, and if they were, not everyone can be successful or even so much as make a constant living doing it. The odds simply don't allow for it to happen and people really have this pie-in-the-sky notion about the way small businesses work. The reality (for those who aren't going to be the next Home Depot) is that there are months where you're going to make some money and others where you're not going to make diddly, and you have to adjust your personal finances and taxes around that. It's more the latter than the former nowadays.

Milton Friedmanomics, the kind America lurves and practices beyond hope, is especially cruel to underfunded small businesses.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:11 PM

172. I did not grow up poor, I grew up around wealth.

I grew up in a very wealthy town, where lots of people had money. Some people lived in mansions. Some kids had new clothes every week, some kids drove BMWs to school. Being "poor" meant living in a condo (the horror). Strangely, it was not overly conservative as it is Connecticut and even in wealthy towns people vote for Democrats. My parents are conservatives but many people in that town are liberals, like me.
But most everyone took vacations. My parents were upper middle class and we never went to Europe but we did go on very nice vacations. I never had to pay for my education. My parents took me on cruises and they paid for my first car. They paid for my dorm room. They bought my first computer. They own land in a town near the CT shore where they are adding on to a house my grandmother once owned. When they are finished, my brother and I will someday inherit property of over a million dollars. None of this is unusual for people that grew up in Cheshire or other wealthy towns in CT. But sometimes it makes me ashamed of the way some people in that town looked down on others that did not have all the things that were just handed to us without a thought by our parents. Some of the kids I went to high school with in 90's were totally unaware of what other kids went through, although we have plenty of poorer cities here. And the parents of those kids were even worse. I'm not unhappy I left. Oh, and Ann Coulter grew up pretty much the same way in New Canaan. I will never understand her anger over any liberal policies. She grew up with everything she wanted, as I did.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:47 PM

180. Some us go to dive bars because we don't enjoy the company of the people the OP mentions.


On the other hand, you did say "never" lived poor. I have. So I'm not one of those you're talking about anyway. Which goes a long way to explaining why I do not enjoy their company.


I experienced your first one. A new boss said she wanted me to go to Colombia the following week. When I responded that I did not have a passport, she replied, "but what if your girlfriend wanted you to take her to dinner in Paris this weekend?"

The list of stupidity I would have to suffer through during this person's brief tenure was extensive. And the disaster that ensued under her watch lost my employer 10s of millions over a couple of years. Not to mention the almost $1M they paid her each year.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:50 PM

181. This thread is a great example of our weakness. We look at exceptions and declare them typical,

 

then follow this misconception with actions based on that illusion. Horatio Alger was a 19th century hack that churned out dime novels that appealed to this naivete.

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