I've noticed one thing about people with money and that's that they like to hang onto it and rationalize away away those who can't:
"Oh, if only they'd worked harder."
"Oh, if only they'd gotten a better job."
"Oh, if only they'd educated themselves more."
"Oh, if only they'd work at more than one job, there are more than eight hours in a day, you know, so funny."
"Oh, if only they hadn't had so many kids."
"Oh, if only his wife wasn't so damn lazy, 'just' staying home to raise kids."
"Oh, if only she hadn't gotten up with that loser."
"Oh, if only her husband would work harder/get another job/ask for a raise/get retraining."
"Oh, if only their parents had tried harder than they obviously did."
"Oh, if only those poor folks ahead of us in line would knuckle down and not buy shrimp and steak, they'd have so much more money."
"Oh, if only they'd buy better clothes, maybe they'd have a better chance in life!"
"Oh, if only they would use better grammar, it could open so many doors to them."
There are more If Onlys, and if you happen to know another one you can add it to the comments, but basically, life for those with money drifts in the vein of commending themselves for their hard work, foresight, ability and finding excuses to explain away why the have-nots have not.
And I think to myself, why is it Not Alright to devolve into victim-blaming when people are, say raped or murdered, or denied opportunities because of our biggest social construct of all time, the one called race, yet it's Perfectly Alright, acceptable - encouraged, even - to blame the poor for being poor? When did that become OK?
To illustrate, say you're a civilized person in today's society. You would not walk up to a known rape victim and say, "Hey, I saw the skirt you were wearing last night - you deserved it." You wouldn't walk up to a known attempted murder victim and say, "Hey, I saw that dark road you walked down alone - you deserved it". The implications of these statements, just to be clear, are that a person who wears an article of clothing any observer deems rape-eligible and walking alone down a dark road are both pre-conditions for deserving whatever you get.
Yet we say "you deserve it" to our nation's poor with impunity, delight, condescension, contempt, and always in bored dismissal, and are so conditioned to do so it's a reflex by now. "Oh you're poor? So what, that's your own damn fault". We're conditioned to say it, think it, believe it, fume about it, even toss and turn at night in anger because of it. Because there ARE poor people out there, and how could that be? How could there exist a class of people who does this all to themselves?
Not only do we blame the poor, we add whining to the mix. "Thanks to you, my taxes are higher to support your little government programs because you're just too damn lazy to work!" (said to me while I was working).
"You wanting a $15 minimum wage means my salary won't look as high anymore! Pretty soon I'll be poorer than you!" (said to me by the same person, who claims to make anywhere from $20-40 an hour depending on how much he's had to drink and which way the wind's blowing).
"A higher minimum wage means less jobs to go around and laying off people like me to hire more people like you!" (again, said to me by the same person).
At the same time we subject the poor to the double whammy of hearing they're to blame for their condition and society's, they're increasingly denied everything society claims they get. Let's take it one free goodie at a time.
Housing? Well, waiting lists are 3-6 years long for most housing projects, which are mostly crumbling and gang-ridden so not exactly the highlife, and most are being torn down to make way for fancier neighborhoods the well-to-do prefer. Section 8 certificates, which society also grumbles about because
those blacks "ruin our neighborhoods"? The same long waiting lists!
Food stamps? You can't get them if you don't work, and once you do work they're so greatly reduced in amount they're hardly worth the humiliation of using them. Oh, I'm wrong about that? OK, go look it up. Welfare cash benefits? Less than 2 million Americans still receive them, most are raising young children, and most families getting them must stop doing so after 2-3 years. Healthcare? Well, there's still Medicaid here and there, but not for most people, and there's no low cost health insurance in states that refuse to extend the ACA to the poor.
Disability benefits? Extremely small, subject to limitations, and even the most hopelessly and permanently disabled often won't get approved. Anything else? Is there anything else society wants to claim the poor get when, in reality, they're not getting what you think they are or else they're getting so little of it for such short periods of time that yes, you do honestly sound like Scrooge when you're bitching about it? Tell me. I'll be waiting to hear.
Poverty discrimination is the only form of socially acceptable discrimination in this country and don't get kid yourselves; it's a very, very acceptable form. It's always "in" to blame the poor for their hubris and the complete downfall of our entire country, which by society's general estimation should've toppled from the sheer weight of supporting the poor 15-20 years ago. Yes, it's all just a matter of time, folks, before they have us all living in the gutters along with them!
A vast majority of the 99% forgets that the 1% stages recessions only to accumulate more wealth, which they take not just from society but also from the poor, legislating them out of existence at every turn, wiping out everyone's wealth, savings, housing, educational, and employment prospects in one big crash. And they're getting ready to stage another recession now that they've built more wealth than they had before the last recession by simply taking wealth from everyone else who lost out big in 2008.
But rather than blame the 1% for the fact that yes, this country's about to go down and will do so entirely once another recession is staged for the 1%'s sole benefit, society blames the poor.
It's not the rich or the Koch Brothers or Wall St. or anyone with money, it's these people walking around with their hands out, ruining everything. The poor are not people so should not be treated as such. We all know that. We've even trained the poor to know that, so then, what about us?
The rich work hard at turning us against each other and force us to adjust to the fact that we will not benefit from the things we do to further themselves. Ultimately, the want to turn this country into one vast storehouse of nothing but poor who will do whatever they're asked without having to send jobs overseas because a ready, willing, and exhausted but humbled workforce will kneel at the ready to blindly and avidly follow their orders.
To those ends, the rich have been at work on all kinds of schemes - like our caste system, which uses government and media influence to turn the poor into scapegoats and scoundrels at every turn, our fake war on drugs, our school-to-prison pipeline, and the student loan debt many will never crawl out from under - which results in college-educated people who can't get jobs or afford homes but still have to pay for useless educations. We've got the working poor living in streets, overnight shelters, tents and cars and are still being told that if they'd just work harder or do better or try something else they could succeed. That it's their own fault.
Our society is quite simply delusional.
It's been eating out of the 1%'s hand for so long now in the mere hope of some financial gain for swallowing their lies and hatred wholesale that again, it's become society's reflex to respond in exactly the ways the 1% most desires, to the downfall of everyone but the 1%.
I called this "I'm tired of being your poverty porn" because I've noticed the more liberal side of media can do just one thing and one thing well, but I'm starting to think it's insincere: talk and talk and talk and talk about all that the poor are going through. I think no one reads any of these articles except their friends. I think anyone else reading does so only to skim and to leave the nastiest, most racist, victim-blaming comments possible.
And I'm tired of being your poverty porn.
I fall through the obviously stereotypical cracks, so no, most of the liberal media I'm talking about is not even targeted at nor intended for me. Which makes it doubly hard to be in my position: I'm constantly watching myself being written about and discussed amongst the liberal media, yet I'm treated like a curiosity or like I can't be poor just because I don't fit the liberal media's oh-so-carefully-constructed, entirely stereotypical and increasingly bullshit Poverty Mold. I pass for Better Off, because I'm white and smart and can speak and write and dress well when I feel like it, but I'm telling you, I'm not.
If it's bothering liberals so damn much that the poor en masse are suffering as much as they do then they should stop merely writing to their equally liberal friends about it, since they're the only ones reading those posts with any compassion, and actually do something.
No one's going to educate our country out of allowing its poor to languish nor educate it out of its deep hatred for the poor by posting one article nor even one whole mess of articles at a time. We need to change minds and laws, but so far all we're doing is neither. The media don't understand the complete brainwashing most sectors of society have been given. When no one has answers for that, they just wring their highly manicured hands, then wave them westward and proclaim, "Well, look at Denmark." OK, let's look! I'll take that literally - so are you buying the poor passports to actually look at Denmark? Because if not, then why are you even bringing it up? It's just rubbing salt in all the same wounds.
I'll give the only proof anyone needs that the liberal media - which thinks it's doing such a great job of educating everyone - has failed us entirely, and that's how we've got Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders in the #1 spot for the presidential nomination. Thanks a lot, liberals. Not.