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Saturday, August 13, 2011

America's Poor: Lazy, Irresponsible, Dependent?

Update 9/21/2012:  This series of articles was written in August 2011, over a year before Mitt Romney's infamous comments about 47% of the American people who don't pay taxes, don't take personal responsibility, and who are victims became public.  We start with a study that shows that the rich are indeed different from the rest of us, and jump to stories of people, most of them college educated, of all races and ethnic backgrounds, who have found themselves now poor or near poor.. and how they are coping.

Verbal Class Warfare has started in the U.S., and it's not pretty. 


Verbal class warfare has actually been around for awhile but it's getting more heated as the issues surrounding taxes and government spending become more heated. "The poor are lazy, they don't work hard; they eschew "personal responsibility", they've learned to be dependent." That's a fairly common line from those who believe that the well-off already carry too much of the burden.

A recent study seems to suggest that the rich are different:  That they are less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish.

From an article about the study on the rich from MSNBC:
Now psychologist and social scientist Dacher Keltner says the rich really are different, and not in a good way: Their life experience makes them less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish.
In fact, he says, the philosophical battle over economics, taxes, debt ceilings and defaults that are now roiling the stock market is partly rooted in an upper class "ideology of self-interest"
In other words, rich people are more likely to think about themselves. “They think that economic success and political outcomes, and personal outcomes, have to do with individual behavior, a good work ethic,” said Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
In the comments to this article, someone objects: 
"...and this isn't true? Individual behavior and a good work ethic don't help one succeed? I don't see anything wrong with that.
When you are given something that you didn't earn (welfare), of course you don't place the same value on money that someone that worked hard and earned it does.
The way I read this, the wealthier are driven toward personal responsibility, and the lower class looks to others to be responsible for them.
Maybe if the lower class started learning a little personal responsibility we wouldn't have this gap."
Could he be right?  Is the problem that the poor, both the "New Poor" and the "Old Poor" need to learn "personal responsibility"?  Perhaps they do need to stop sponging off of those rich "job creators"  and "earn their money"?  

Here's the face of the "New Poor" (and some of the "Old Poor"). 

Let's watch them sponge off of others,  show no "personal responsibility", and demonstrate how little they value money:

Lazy Sponger Number 1:   Pizzas don't Pay. 

A man now in his late 30's grew up with a welfare mom who was ill and rarely worked during his childhood. He struggled as a young man, dropped out of high school but eventually got a GED. He worked a series of low-wage jobs, but did take classes and managed to get a real estate license. He wasn't particularly successful in real estate, unfortunately, and left the business. 

Finally he discovered he had a knack for computers. He took some classes, and created a small business for himself with 5 or 6 regular small-business clients. More here:

Lazy Spongers Continued here:  Pizzas Don't Pay

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