My View on Rich vs. Poor

My view on rich vs. poor: Neither rich nor poor people can be put in black and white boxes, most of them work hard, some of them try to get by with cheating and scheming. I personally have a lot more empathy for the poor person cheating for $400/month than I do for the rich person cheating by putting their millions in foreign bank accounts to evade taxes. I don’t blame people for stealing bread when they’re starving.

I’ll always be harder on the rich. Because if I were relying on exhausting, uncomfortable public transportation to get around while living in cramped, depressing conditions where things break and I can’t afford to fix them, with crying kids I can’t afford to feed, I’m not sure how “inspired” I’d feel to harness my “work ethic” and “contribute.” And no, that’s not the same as working long hours and living with the stress and responsibility of hard decisions.

You’re going to judge the guy on the street corner for using the money he begged for to buy drugs? Please. I’d like to wonder what I’d be spending my money on if my life got so low that I was begging on a street corner. Maybe I’d buy drugs just to block it all out too. I admire people that rise from the ashes of poverty, but I know better than to judge those who don’t.

Next time you want to get on your high horse about work ethic, ask yourself this: do you spend your day to day life in a state of desperation? Have you ever had to steal food just to feed yourself? If you answer no, then you aren’t poor. Be thankful, and lend a hand. Still feel frustrated and like you work hard and don’t see the benefits? Find a religion to give you something to live for, and find a group to volunteer for. That’s life, that’s all it has to offer, it’s something called diminished returns, and if you can’t find satisfaction in it, then consult your spirit, not your government.

I’m so frustrated with people who live in middle class monotony confusing their mundane boredom with the actual suffering of poverty. One is born from ingratitude; another is born from desperation. Very few people I’ve ever come into contact with actually know what it’s like to be poor, myself included. But I’m pretty sure it diminishes your spirit more than we can really fathom, and I’m not about to embarrass myself by urging poor people to “swim faster”, coaching them from my life boat that I inherited from my great great great great grandfather (who wasn’t a slave, fortunately) as I watch them slowly drown. I’m not really interested in whether they are using the best swimming methods or not. I’m not interested in giving them swimming lessons. I’m interested in getting them into my boat, even if their weight sinks it a little lower.

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