Poverty Myths In America

During the Great Depression which began with the stock market crash in 1929, the unemployment rate was somewhat different than what modern Americans associate with poverty. Of course, there was no unemployment money coming in, Social Security only began in 1936, there was no government medical care programs like Medicare so people made do. Until, that magic moment, three months after President Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in March. Thus began the famous 100 days when government program after government program was unleashed and by the summer about FOUR MILLION WERE WORKING AT GOVERNMENT SPONSORED JOBS.

In other words, about 25% of those reading these words had relatives who only survived the Depression because there were government sponsored work programs. In other words, about 25% of those who read these words are descendants of POOR PEOPLE. So, let’s explore the meaning of being poor:

1. Poor people work their butts off because they are hungry and have to feed self or family.

2. Poor people do NOT receive government handouts like making their lunch tax deductible or the hundreds of tax write offs the wealthy possess.

3. Work helps an individual define the Self. It makes no different if wealthy or poor, we all need work in order to have a healthy self concept.

4. Yes, the boss created the company, but its success depends on those who work in the establishment.

5. OK, so five percent of those who are poor seek handouts. Exactly, what percent of businessmen seek government handouts?

6. Believe it or not, those who work at $7.45 an hour at McDonald’s take pride in their work.

7. To be poor means going to bed wondering if there is food in the morning for the children. That adds stress and anxiety to the individual. Hardly the way to keep physically or mentally healthy.

8. Poverty sucks as anyone who has been poor understands. It is NOT a goal, it is a consequence for living in America where those without money lack political power which leads to lack of economic power.

It is time to cease making those who are poor come across as lazy. After all, is that the way you want your grandparents depicted??