Monday, May 21, 2012

See, Here's The Real Trouble With Poverty

It's not that you have to decide between buying antibiotics for your kid or paying the power bill.

It's not that you have to choose between gas for the car so you can get to work or milk for your kid.

It's not that you have to ignore that persistent ache in your side, hoping to shit it isn't something serious, because there is no way you can afford the thirty bucks the clinic charges, never mind whatever it would cost if it is something serious, and forget the hours you would have to take off work to go sit at the clinic.

It's not the little white flash of panic that hits you every single fucking time you put the key into the ignition of your car, because it it doesn't start? You are fucked. Finished. Done. You can't buy another car and you can't afford to get this one fixed and there is no other way to get to work and you will lose your job and your family goes under.

It's not trying not to lose it when your kid wonders, wistfully, why you can't live in a nice house like X does. Or wishes we could go to a museum in town Z, only three hundred miles away, and maybe stay in a hotel? And you know she might as well be wishing for the moon. It's never going to happen. And you don't mean it's not going to happen this year, or not going to happen next year -- it is never going to happen ever, because you are going to be poor like this forever.

And so is she.

No. None of these are the problem.

The problem? The problem is you are not sufficiently ashamed of your poverty.

You fucking loser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I got close to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits after I was part of a mass layoff. I didn't feel bad about taking the money. I paid taxes into it for decades. This is the first time I've ever seen any of it back.

I am also deeply grateful for Obama's partial subsidy of my COBRA payments. It meant we still had health care coverage when my husband nearly died of heart problems a few months after my layoff.

Still, it's no good as a topic of conversation around my "conservative" family, because they've watched Fox News and know all about how people abuse the system.

I still can't find a job (I'm 55), so I volunteer helping people worse off than me with their legal troubles. Predators are out there looking for new ways to screw the poor and finding them. It's amazingly ugly, but even when I explain to my family what's happening to people, instead of being outraged for the victims, they assume the poor guy who's meager disability income is being unlawfully garnished probably has it coming to him.

People who are helped by any govt. agency after corporate America ruins their lives need to know that humiliation and a strong suspicion that they don't deserve to be helped might go with the territory. It's a shame how ignorant and mean people can be.

To people who may feel like a failure if they accept assistance, please let me encourage you to TAKE THE HELP. Survive the best way you can. Then vote against the 1% of people whose greed made this happen. Nobody deserves this. Fight back. If you can't afford an attorney, call your local legal aid office.

I wish you all the best.