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Slightly More News

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I was looking around on the Internet this morning before class, and I found this


That’s a post at The Nation’s online site about the woman who wrote the Poverty Matters article discussed in the last post. 

It’s an interesting article–and, once more, it’s about somebody who has almost nothing at all of that “even trying is completely hopeless” attitude.

One of the things I think would be helpful in these discussions would be making a distinction between “poor” and “not making much if any money at the moment.”  The two things are not the same.

But I’ll insist on my original point.  The attitudes and thought and behavior patterns ascribed to “the poor” in the original article are an insult to the poor.

And I know a fair number of poor people who would be willing to tell you that.

Written by janeh

November 26th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses to 'Slightly More News'

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  1. So she not only didn’t believe what she was writing, her own history refutes it. (Please note that her stupid behavior predates her poverty. Once she’s poor, she’s married, working two jobs and staying in school–and NOT staying poor.)
    But I’m sure her professors and her non-profit believed what she was writing, even if she herself didn’t.

    There are ways in which poverty is itself an anchor in the race, though. I started on a long list, but realized it all boiled down to two things.
    One is that being poor is itself expensive in a dozen ways. From late charges and reconnect fees through higher interest rates higher unit costs for buying in small quantities to missed opportunities, the person who is honest, diligent and poor does less well than the man who is honest, diligent and has a little money. My father used to tell about a sailor who was a drafted professional gambler. Every payday, he cleaned out the Marines. Dad never described him as a great gambler, but as a gambler who was very careful of his bankroll. He could keep going, and sooner or later the underpaid Marines would be tapped out.
    The other thing is that living with poor people subjects one to what amounts to collective punishment. If only one student in a school qualifies for AP physics, no one’s going to start a class for him, any more than the school will change behavior because a single parent complains. And a retail merchant must raise prices to all his customers if some of them vandalize his store and steal his merchandise. It’s as unfair to the honest ones as it is inescapable. My son lives in a neighborhood which is just starting to gentrify. But the delivery people have long memories of robbed, beaten and killed drivers, so when he wants to order in, he has to give the university address and pick it up there. HE never held up a delivery man, but reality isn’t based on fairness.

    A long way of saying that poverty is a handicap, and the handicapped have to work harder to achieve as much. Off campus, this is not regarded as news.


    27 Nov 13 at 6:11 pm

  2. Once again, the voluminous epistles of St Thomas of Sowell explain all this in ways in which even our benighted “elites” ought to understand.


    27 Nov 13 at 7:00 pm

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