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Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 12:28 PM Apr 2015

If there's one thing I simply cannot stand, it's poverty shaming.

Recently a person on my Facebook page indignantly posted her dismay that when driving by the local food bank, she saw a woman pick up food and put it in her late model car. The obvious insinuation there was that this individual had the money to spend on a new/newer car but couldn't be bothered to pay for her own groceries, and perhaps even that she was somehow gaming the system.

Of course, such a knee-jerk reaction (with emphasis on jerk) immediately discounts other logical possibilities:

1. The woman was picking up food not for herself, but for someone else who didn't have access to a car.
2. The woman didn't own the car herself but was borrowing it from a friend for need of transportation
3. The woman had recently been able to afford to buy a new car but due to a sudden change in circumstances (job loss, illness, etc.) was in need of financial assistance.

And there are other possibilities as well. People in poverty can still drive cars, even newer model ones. That doesn't make them poor, nor should it disqualify them from financial help.

The bottom line here is simple: If you don't know the circumstances behind what you are seeing, kindly shut up. It's none of your business and it's inappropriate to pass judgment on someone who very likely is struggling immensely and whose life may be a living hell. I'll freely admit that I sometimes give a dollar to the person on the street corner with a "Hungry, Please Help" sign. Yes, I know there's the possibility that person may use that dollar for alcohol or drugs instead of for food. Yes, it may be possible the person actually isn't homeless and is playing a scam. But you know what? It's a dollar. A dollar of mine that probably would go towards buying a candy bar that would go to my waistline. If the person is in fact scamming me, that's on their conscience, not mine. I won't miss that dollar, and if the person is in fact in need of help and would use that dollar wisely, I'd much rather give them that dollar than snidely pass judgment on them.

Now there's efforts afoot in numerous states to prohibit people on food stamps from buying certain items of food such as steak or seafood. Because God forbid they or the family eat the same food as the rest of us.

Some of these people, I swear, I think they think you aren't actually poor unless you are wearing a potato sack and eating nothing but bread and water. And if you are wearing a potato sack and eating only bread and water, they'd still knock you for being "lazy". It's a total lose-lose.

What makes some people feel the need to be so callous to pass such judgment, and to assume that if you're poor, you're either a fraud or lazy and unmotivated?

91 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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If there's one thing I simply cannot stand, it's poverty shaming. (Original Post) Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 OP
Well said. nt Zorra Apr 2015 #1
Welfare queens and their Cadillacs has long been a right wing lie, now they are claiming they go liberal N proud Apr 2015 #2
I don't think their anger is directed specifically at poor persons getting cruses. Half-Century Man Apr 2015 #26
You had me worried for a half second. Brilliant. Ed Suspicious Apr 2015 #42
!!! Voice for Peace Apr 2015 #55
The real Welfare queens in Cadillacs, Califa Apr 2015 #43
Bingo! merrily Apr 2015 #49
By Welfare Office... NancyDL Apr 2015 #67
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #77
A jump to conclusion may be this mother may be trying to provide her children food and we know Thinkingabout Apr 2015 #3
Believe you me, wendylaroux Apr 2015 #4
There's a definite disconnect in certain people's heads. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #5
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I. Attacks on the poor receiving public assistance have increased appalachiablue Apr 2015 #6
Another thing to keep in mind on the "fancy car" angle. jeff47 Apr 2015 #7
Reminds me of this article. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #8
nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes taught_me_patience Apr 2015 #20
You know what's more expensive? A loan on a "cheap" car after jeff47 Apr 2015 #29
It all depends on the individual make and car. maddiemom Apr 2015 #36
Very, very true. I owned a Lexus for 19 years; it took us through thick and thin, never Nay Apr 2015 #65
I once went by a welfare office where a co-workers said they were all in late model cars happyslug Apr 2015 #56
If someone has a nice car and then loses their income IronLionZion Apr 2015 #91
I've been in category 3 Retrograde Apr 2015 #9
As far as I can determine, looking at their website snort Apr 2015 #10
The Facebook lady is a victim of a cruel misinformation campaign being waged by the Enthusiast Apr 2015 #11
Hell yes..... daleanime Apr 2015 #12
Because the world is full of self rightous assholes. blackspade Apr 2015 #13
For fear that one undeserving person might get aid, Republicans are willing to let millions starve. tclambert Apr 2015 #14
charity hibbing Apr 2015 #23
Exactly. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #30
Let me guess: you're NOT a Republican. maddiemom Apr 2015 #37
Double thumbs up to you! Agony Apr 2015 #61
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #78
Some cities discourage panhandling IronLionZion Apr 2015 #90
The shaming is downright mean-spirited. AtomicKitten Apr 2015 #15
And yet those 3 cents Thav Apr 2015 #33
I actually gasped when I read that renate Apr 2015 #41
There is no reason to read donations of children to the class. merrily Apr 2015 #51
That story brings tears to my eyes. What terrible terrible people. What would Jesus say? Ed Suspicious Apr 2015 #44
Didn't Jesus say something about giving in secret... catrose Apr 2015 #89
The other, related one, is profession shaming. Helen Borg Apr 2015 #16
Around here cleaning jobs can pay $21.75/hr (SEIU) inanna Apr 2015 #60
or the do you want fries with that treestar Apr 2015 #71
You mean you don't want approved stores that sell plain clothes and cheap goods? nolabear Apr 2015 #17
The only assumption here seemed to be that the woman picking up the groceries was not poor at all. merrily Apr 2015 #18
But immediately jumping to that conclusion is just as wrong. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #19
Yes, immediately jumping to that conclusion is wrong, but it's not saying a thing about the poor. merrily Apr 2015 #25
It's one of those situations though where it's best to keep one's mouth shut. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #39
Yes. Leaping to conclusions is wrong and so is spreading them around. merrily Apr 2015 #47
Yeah it is gollygee Apr 2015 #46
My Reply 25 said jumping to the conclusion that someone is not poor (not in need) is wrong. merrily Apr 2015 #48
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #79
Agree. ananda Apr 2015 #21
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #80
I can sympathize because I am one... StarzGuy Apr 2015 #22
What did the FB poster say? ErikJ Apr 2015 #24
There is always shaming involved if you're poor Warpy Apr 2015 #27
Well said, Warpy. There by the grace of....etc Paper Roses Apr 2015 #40
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #81
Our newspaper poll of the day KT2000 Apr 2015 #28
If someone is poor, and has a car as good or better than the one they drive, then it's possible that Amimnoch Apr 2015 #31
My (very wealthy) former mother-in-law insisted I go apply for food stamps tanyev Apr 2015 #32
As a complete aside.... Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #34
Ditto- I wish they would tell us how poor people are the problem, not the Koch Bros, etal NoJusticeNoPeace Apr 2015 #52
If this isn't the last word on poverty and wealth distribution (Comment on Ambrose copied fromWiki), Joe Chi Minh Apr 2015 #35
I retired from the department of human service about ten years ago and Stellar Apr 2015 #38
here's another one - handicapped dolphinsandtuna Apr 2015 #45
K&R McCamy Taylor Apr 2015 #50
The forces that own the piano, the chairs, and the rights to the song... Orsino Apr 2015 #53
I feel the same way. People are always making excuses for their own miserable lives. Voice for Peace Apr 2015 #54
I've met poor whites that are CONVINCED there is a type of welfare only available to blacks. Spitfire of ATJ Apr 2015 #57
K&R. JDPriestly Apr 2015 #58
And, if you give a dollar directly to a person who needs it greymattermom Apr 2015 #59
Myths that really frost me because I have to debunk them again and again Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2015 #62
There has been a deliberate campaign.... cynzke Apr 2015 #63
K & R GoneFishin Apr 2015 #64
From what I see on discussion boards, and, mind you, I know they're not the world... NancyDL Apr 2015 #66
Yep, you see it right here treestar Apr 2015 #70
"We need some ideas on how to bring people together." PowerToThePeople Apr 2015 #74
Kicked&Recommended... butterfly77 Apr 2015 #68
Agree. The most pathetic thing about right wingers treestar Apr 2015 #69
kick Liberal_in_LA Apr 2015 #72
There was a lady who went to my church murielm99 Apr 2015 #73
Without a big down payment, a friend couldn't finance a used car unless lexington filly Apr 2015 #75
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #76
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #82
Plenty of people feel jealous that others are getting more than they deserve IronLionZion Apr 2015 #83
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2015 #84
This started with the Reagan administration in the 1980s, specifically to make us resent the poor DesertDiamond Apr 2015 #85
Personally, I Don't Care About People "Abusing the System" On the Road Apr 2015 #86
I care about people abusing the system Gormy Cuss Apr 2015 #88
I saw this also posted on my Facebook page today and it makes a lot more sense to me. Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2015 #87

liberal N proud

(60,531 posts)
2. Welfare queens and their Cadillacs has long been a right wing lie, now they are claiming they go
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 12:34 PM
Apr 2015

on lavish cruises.

The right wing is good at spreading false propaganda regarding the poor and welfare recipients.

Half-Century Man

(5,279 posts)
26. I don't think their anger is directed specifically at poor persons getting cruses.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:43 PM
Apr 2015

The RW has to acknowledge cruses are given out as prizes sometimes, people can get gifts from relatives, or any number of circumstances.
I don't think they are opposed to poor people on boats.

But the fact they aren't chained to a bench and rowing seems troublesome.

Califa

(27 posts)
43. The real Welfare queens in Cadillacs,
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 01:23 PM
Apr 2015

Rolls Royce, porches, and such go to their welfare office to game the system with the help of their Congressional case worker.

NancyDL

(140 posts)
67. By Welfare Office...
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 02:55 PM
Apr 2015

I'm assuming you mean the Federal Reserve Board and other agencies that regulate banks and the banksters, and the people involved in handing out the corporate welfare - great gobs of cash to businesses.

Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Thinkingabout

(30,058 posts)
3. A jump to conclusion may be this mother may be trying to provide her children food and we know
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 12:44 PM
Apr 2015

the GOP hates abortions and now the poor mother still has to feel the children. It may be a mother in an abusive home trying to remove herself and children from the abuse. There are rules to get food from many of the food banks I know about. Yes, a knee jerk reaction.

wendylaroux

(2,925 posts)
4. Believe you me,
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 12:53 PM
Apr 2015

people would not be at food pantries unless they had no other alternative.

Kicking people when they are down,where is the humanity?

Disgusting

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
5. There's a definite disconnect in certain people's heads.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 01:18 PM
Apr 2015

The notion that people on public assistance relish being on it is a huge strawman.

appalachiablue

(41,689 posts)
6. THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I. Attacks on the poor receiving public assistance have increased
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 01:26 PM
Apr 2015

fourfold in the last 5-20 years thanks to Hate Media- radio, TV & internet. It's everywhere & it's huge. Browbeating, condemning & hating the less advantaged, esp. by PROSPERITY CHRISTIANS are widely encouraged by the Right, to accomplish their goal of cutting all safety net programs to benefit the wealthiest who want to pay Zero taxes. How blind & stupid people really are is frightening. Now, The Food Pantry Citizen Patrol-

jeff47

(26,549 posts)
7. Another thing to keep in mind on the "fancy car" angle.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 01:29 PM
Apr 2015

Is that the used market for high-end cars is really, really cheap.

There's a huge premium on the new cars, but a 5-year-old C-class Mercedes costs about the same as a 5-year-old Camry. Because the people paying for the Mercedes want the prestige of the new car, or lease so that they always get newer cars. So there's not much demand for the used ones. Meanwhile, the people looking for the Camry really don't mind if it's 5 years old.

The price difference is even more stark when you're talking about less-popular brands...like Cadillac.

That leads to a whole lot of crap like "but she was driving a Mercedes to the food bank! She should sell it and buy a cheaper car!". She wouldn't get much for a used Mercedes, and the cars will run for a very long time even without "proper" maintenance.

 

taught_me_patience

(5,477 posts)
20. nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:07 PM
Apr 2015

They will completely and totally nickel and dime you to death. I know from first hand experience, and I'm quite good at fixing my own car. An older used luxury car is NOT a good financial decision at all.

jeff47

(26,549 posts)
29. You know what's more expensive? A loan on a "cheap" car after
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 04:32 PM
Apr 2015

selling the paid-off Mercedes.

You'll note I did not advocate that they buy a used luxury car. But if they have one from more affluent times, selling it is not often a good decision.

Nay

(12,051 posts)
65. Very, very true. I owned a Lexus for 19 years; it took us through thick and thin, never
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 11:41 AM
Apr 2015

left us high and dry. If we had fallen into poverty, it never would have been worth more than several thousand dollars but was worth much more than that in simple reliability. We have recently replaced that Lexus with -- a year-old hybrid Lexus. My old baby is still running fine; I sold it to a relative for a dollar!

 

happyslug

(14,779 posts)
56. I once went by a welfare office where a co-workers said they were all in late model cars
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 05:43 PM
Apr 2015

Then I looked at the cars, and they were about 10 years old. Most people have NO idea the age of most cars. If the car was made sometime since a major style change it is a "New Car" even if it is 20 years old. While the "Ideal" length of a car model is about six years, many are in production for 15 (I am excluding the VW Golf/Rabbit, which has been in production for 40 years). There are slight model changes from year to year, but even most young teen males no longer know the difference between this years model and last years model (prior to the 1970s and the huge increase in the models each car makers made, many males did know the difference, but that more or less died out in the 1960s as car makers introduced mid-Sized, then Compact, then Sub compact cars).

Till the late 1970s, one way to tell if a car was more then five years old, was by the rust it had. The problem is starting in the 1970s (and in response to Japanese Car makers rust resistant cars) even US cars started NOT to rust after five years. Thus a ten year old car could look just like a new made car if given a new coat of wax.

I work with low income people and I have to ask them what they are driving, it is are to find any of them driving anything newer then something 10 years old, they can NOT afford anything newer (and really can not afford anything older, older cars cost a lot to keep on the road for cars are only design to last 10 years). At the same time I deal with people who say they see people going to welfare offices in new cars, often poor people I work with. The reason these people see the poor is "Late Model" cars is as follows:

1: most people have no idea how old most cars are, unless the car is a Land yacht from the early 1970s, most look very similar and have since the 1970s.

2. Poor people like 8 cylinder engines, for the simple reason V-8s tend to last a lot longer then smaller four and six cylinder engines. As people since the 1970s have switched to six instead of V-8s, sixes are becoming more popular, but larger engines can take a lot more abuse then smaller engines, thus poor people tend to buy larger cars

3. The After market for Mid Size and Large Cars are limited. Europe tolerates them, but they are liked in the Mid East and Latin America in addition to the US. On the other hand the East Indies and Southern Europe like smaller cars. This has been the trend for decades. Many small used cars when traded in end up in Southern Europe or the East Indies, for both areas are willing to pay more for those cars then many poor Americas are willing to do so. A Thus we have a lot of used mid size and large cars in the US that stay in the US for 10-20 years, while a lot of smaller cars are shipped overseas.

4. A lot of Americans believe that if you are driving a large car, it is a late model car, while if you are driving a compact car, it is used for they would NEVER buy one. Thus if the poor person is driving a Cadillac it must be a late model, even if it is 10-20 years old.

5. Prior to the 1970s, the best way to see the age of a car was how rusted out it was. With the improvements in Rust protection starting in the 1970s, Rust is rare even in ten year old cars, but the perception that older cars must have rust persists. Thus any car with just minimal rust must be a late model car, not a car 10-20 years old.

Just a comment in that most people when looking at such cars see what they want to see NOT what before they eyes.

IronLionZion

(46,072 posts)
91. If someone has a nice car and then loses their income
Mon Apr 13, 2015, 08:30 AM
Apr 2015

there really is no point selling their car without losing even more money, and then buying some cheap used car that they don't know what's wrong with it and needs lots of expensive repairs. A car that you have bought new and know all about it is worth keeping, especially if its paid off.



The real people gaming the system are the ones who spend millions on lobbyists and bought congresspeople to influence favorable legislation.

Retrograde

(10,368 posts)
9. I've been in category 3
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:27 PM
Apr 2015

had a good paying, stable job and decided to splurge on a higher end car than the VW I'd been driving for 15 years. Paid cash for it, since I didn't want to go into debt, and that got me a better price. Then six months later we had a change of management and layoffs, so I got to make my first visit to the unemployment bureau in a relatively new nice car.

snort

(2,334 posts)
10. As far as I can determine, looking at their website
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:27 PM
Apr 2015

is that taking a cruise on Carnival includes meals. I am assuming that their competition is going to offer the same deal.

Nothing but total fuckheads being total fuckheads.

Enthusiast

(50,983 posts)
11. The Facebook lady is a victim of a cruel misinformation campaign being waged by the
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:33 PM
Apr 2015

political right. You can hear it on Fox and Hate Radio. And it is even reinforced by mainstream media. Horrible.

tclambert

(11,093 posts)
14. For fear that one undeserving person might get aid, Republicans are willing to let millions starve.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:44 PM
Apr 2015

"What if a poor person buys drugs with the money instead of food? We should dismantle all social programs just in case!"

hibbing

(10,185 posts)
23. charity
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:16 PM
Apr 2015

When I give money to someone panhandling on the street I do not set any prerequisites about what the money will be used for, nor do I care. People say oh, you should give it to a shelter or go and buy the person lunch. If that works for you, that's fine. I just give them money and if they use to go buy food, beer, or whatever, I don't really care. If I was in their circumstances I would probably want to spend it on something to lessen the pain, at least temporarily.

Peace

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
30. Exactly.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 08:53 PM
Apr 2015

The chance that my dollar will go towards that person getting food far outweighs any concerns that it won't.

Response to hibbing (Reply #23)

IronLionZion

(46,072 posts)
90. Some cities discourage panhandling
Mon Apr 13, 2015, 08:24 AM
Apr 2015

they put up signs saying it is illegal and that people shouldn't give money because then it encourages more panhandlers and for them to be more aggressive.


In other countries there are much darker things that you don't want to know about. Like adults deliberately injuring kids so they can get more.


 

AtomicKitten

(46,585 posts)
15. The shaming is downright mean-spirited.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:46 PM
Apr 2015

I remember the nuns in Catholic school when I was in about the fourth grade would read what each child gave at church in their Sunday envelopes. One girl's family was really poor and she gave 3-cents. The class erupted in laughter. I will never forget it. It was at that moment that I started to really despise the Catholic church.

Thav

(946 posts)
33. And yet those 3 cents
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:16 AM
Apr 2015

were more valuable to God than the rest of the offering combined.

It is really amazing and frustrating how many people ignore the compassionate parts of the bible.

renate

(13,776 posts)
41. I actually gasped when I read that
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 12:41 PM
Apr 2015

I hope the nuns reminded the class about the widow's mite.

That poor girl. That's the kind of moment that can stay with you for a lifetime.

merrily

(45,251 posts)
51. There is no reason to read donations of children to the class.
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 02:38 PM
Apr 2015

Very obviously, it's what their parents gave them to donate. If anyone has a problem with the amount, take it up with the parents--and even then, do it privately.

Ed Suspicious

(8,879 posts)
44. That story brings tears to my eyes. What terrible terrible people. What would Jesus say?
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 01:37 PM
Apr 2015

I'm not a Christian, but I despise that I seem to follow his teachings more so than many of the self-professed Christians I know. This sort of attitude flows to the children as well.

I remember in eight grade at St. Patrick's catholic school . . . I was a young, fragile, awkward teen with an acne problem. I was new to the school the year before, so I wasn't in any way a part of the in-crowd. My family was poor so we were always slightly out of place at school surrounded by so many who could afford private school without assistance. One day I arrived at homeroom to most of the class enthusiastically greeting me at the door. They welcomed me in. Told me that it was my lucky day. I was to go to the front of the class to open the beautifully wrapped gift they got for me. It was a small box wrapped in red paper with a gold bow on top. I was nervous, but naive enough to not really suspect anything would be amiss. The class gazed upon me at the head of the class as I unwrapped the box. The wrapping paper gave way revealing, to my horror, a box that contained a bottle of Oxy-10. Oh the laughter was uproarious. I cried my teenage insecure eyes out on that day right in full view of the entire class where they giggled and assured me that no slight was intended. The whole ceremony was all done in my interest. Thanks to my class I could finally have fewer zits on my face. They felt so proud that they pulled this off so expertly.

Your story brought me right back to the mean-spirited assholes at catholic school from the Nuns to the priests to the principle, to the teachers, to the students. It was all about pointing out difference and deficiency. It was all about casting out the other.

Fuck them all.

catrose

(5,138 posts)
89. Didn't Jesus say something about giving in secret...
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:22 PM
Apr 2015

I don't remember the verse about your teacher reading it aloud in front of the class. I do remember that the widow's mite was more pleasing to God because she gave all she had.

Helen Borg

(3,963 posts)
16. The other, related one, is profession shaming.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:48 PM
Apr 2015

Why is it seen as humiliating to be a janitor? Why do many people feel entitled to look down at janitors and cleaning people? As if they were somewhat subhuman? I keep seeing it everywhere.

inanna

(3,547 posts)
60. Around here cleaning jobs can pay $21.75/hr (SEIU)
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 07:14 PM
Apr 2015

Certainly not always, but they are available.I know, because I just applied for one.

And you are correct: there will be those who try to shame me, but it never works. I could survive (on that wage) decently, even if it was only part-time.

Keeping fingers crossed, and thanks for your comments.

nolabear

(42,291 posts)
17. You mean you don't want approved stores that sell plain clothes and cheap goods?
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:49 PM
Apr 2015

What's wrong with you, man? You know those on public assistance should only wear homespun and in shades of brown. Good, sturdy stuff that stands out so they can be carefully monitored as they buy basic, generic food and cast-off vehicles. The vehicles of course should be marked so the police can keep an eye on them should they try to sneak into entertainment venues.

Wait, I have an idea! Let's provide living quarters in exchange for work and have them all live there. Work machs one frei, right?

merrily

(45,251 posts)
18. The only assumption here seemed to be that the woman picking up the groceries was not poor at all.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 02:54 PM
Apr 2015

It may well have been an incorrect assumption, but I don't see any assumptions about what people who are actually poor are like.

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
19. But immediately jumping to that conclusion is just as wrong.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:02 PM
Apr 2015

Essentially, it is claiming that someone is only poor because he or she spends their money on luxury goods instead of food. When the facts behind the situation aren't known at all.

Sorry, but immediately jumping to that conclusion is just as offensive an assumption.

merrily

(45,251 posts)
25. Yes, immediately jumping to that conclusion is wrong, but it's not saying a thing about the poor.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:25 PM
Apr 2015

If you think, mistakenly or not, that a woman is not poor, nothing you say about her reflects on the poor.

Not sure why you are not seeing that.

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
39. It's one of those situations though where it's best to keep one's mouth shut.
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 10:36 AM
Apr 2015

Don't get me wrong, we are all human. We all have gut, instinctual reactions to situations, and not all of them are pretty.

But it's smart to evaluate the situation in your head before opening your mouth or writing something for others to see, because if you do let everyone know your gut reaction about a situation where you don't know all the facts, you become part of the problem. Like it or not.

gollygee

(22,336 posts)
46. Yeah it is
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 02:07 PM
Apr 2015

I see what your point is but I think you're derailing rather than hearing what the OP is saying. Poor people are very, very often judged to not actually be poor and instead to be scammers. That is an assumption made about poor people, whether she thinks they're poor or not.

merrily

(45,251 posts)
48. My Reply 25 said jumping to the conclusion that someone is not poor (not in need) is wrong.
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 02:15 PM
Apr 2015

Different example: Suppose I say that millionaires abuse, or skam, the bankruptcy system by filing bankruptcy again and again to get out of paying their debts. (Think the Trump filings.)

Have I intended to say anything about poor people who file for bankruptcy because they genuinely have no other choice?

I don't think I have. I think I intended to shame people with money who take advantage of a program they should not be taking advantage of, perhaps to the detriment of people who do need that program.

That said, very obviously, I am not defending shaming people who are poor.

Response to gollygee (Reply #46)

ananda

(29,313 posts)
21. Agree.
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:11 PM
Apr 2015

Poverty shaming is wrong on so many levels.

I just wish all this inhumanity toward other
humans would come to its natural end.

Response to ananda (Reply #21)

StarzGuy

(254 posts)
22. I can sympathize because I am one...
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:13 PM
Apr 2015

...due to now being 100% disabled rely on St. Marys Food Bank to supplement for food when I run out of my disability benefits usually around the middle of each month. I do have a 2005 truck which is paid off. Most of my benefits go to rent, utilities and food. I do not qualify for food stamps nor qualify for rent subsidies. I do have a small pension. So, combined I am a tweener, too rich (really?) to qualify for other benefits and too poor to make ends meet each month. I live alone, no family and disabled. Forgive me for wanting to watch a movie or two on my Direct TV.

Warpy

(112,227 posts)
27. There is always shaming involved if you're poor
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:52 PM
Apr 2015

even if food bank volunteers try to avoid it, because the worst shaming comes from yourself.

It's none of my business what somebody is driving when they're putting EBT card groceries into it. It's none of my business what the groceries are (hey Mr. politician, when your kids cry from hunger, three or four chips will last them until the starchy casserole hits the table) although I do look for tips for the next time poverty moves in with me like a disliked relative. It's none of my business what they're wearing, it's none of my business if they haven't hocked their wedding rings.

It is my business that Walmart is now the higher priced store, that poor folks are stocking up across the street at the Dollar Stores with expired or nearly expired food and just topping up at Wally's. It's my business that most of these folks have jobs but are being crushed between low wages and high prices. It's my business that conservatives have turned this country into a living hell for most working people.

I remember when it was better.

Paper Roses

(7,489 posts)
40. Well said, Warpy. There by the grace of....etc
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 11:01 AM
Apr 2015

OK, so I'm not a believer but the phrase has no equal.

Response to Warpy (Reply #27)

KT2000

(20,691 posts)
28. Our newspaper poll of the day
Thu Apr 9, 2015, 04:24 PM
Apr 2015

"Who is lazier, rich or poor people?"
Of course the majority say poor.

The real question is - why would the paper post such a question? Oh yea - they are RWers.

 

Amimnoch

(4,558 posts)
31. If someone is poor, and has a car as good or better than the one they drive, then it's possible that
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:12 AM
Apr 2015

they could end up being poor too.

It's a form of Agoraphobia. It's a subconscious belief that as long as people who are poor look like they are poor, then the persons making the observation can't possibly be poor themselves.

This seems to be extremely prevalent in those with conservative values. It's not at all unlike those same people automatically believing those who make more money, or have more stuff to be smarter, harder working, more worth while to listen to, and more important that everyone else.. even including themselves, because it's their desire to be more like that person.. it's also a huge driver in the taking on of tremendous debt to personify that condition to the best of their own ability.

Quite pitiable imo.

tanyev

(43,214 posts)
32. My (very wealthy) former mother-in-law insisted I go apply for food stamps
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:13 AM
Apr 2015

after her son and I moved and it took longer for me to find work than she thought it should. (Three whole months!) I was politely turned away after a quick glance at my application showed that we had two fairly new model cars, not even expensive ones. Dear mother-in-law continued to help us so we didn't have to sell the reliable cars we needed to get ourselves to the jobs we eventually found, but she definitely thought it would be a cakewalk to stroll into a food stamp office and get approved. Oh yes, she also thought I wasn't trying hard enough to find a job.

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,358 posts)
34. As a complete aside....
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:19 AM
Apr 2015

Last edited Fri Apr 10, 2015, 03:13 PM - Edit history (2)

.....I'd like to welcome the fine five or six so folks from the Right Wing Neanderthal Dwelling Place who are currently lurking in the shadows as we speak.

I'm proud of you folks. I know you are very busy mocking people who have just died or are seriously ill, so to take time away from that really means a lot. Really, it does. Your comment about George Zimmerman was just so ironic, but not in the way you think it is.

NoJusticeNoPeace

(5,018 posts)
52. Ditto- I wish they would tell us how poor people are the problem, not the Koch Bros, etal
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 02:43 PM
Apr 2015

Also, I consider it an act of violence when someone says or does something that interferes or could interfere with someone getting food or shelter.

I think anyone who shames the poor is a violent person who must be dealt with.

First, we deal with them with words and reason, if that doesnt work we try and get politics to fix it, if that doesnt work...


Joe Chi Minh

(15,229 posts)
35. If this isn't the last word on poverty and wealth distribution (Comment on Ambrose copied fromWiki),
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:47 AM
Apr 2015

I don't know what is. And almost as beautiful are those of St Basil, below it:

'Ambrose considered the poor not a distinct group of outsiders, but a part of the united, solidary people. Giving to the poor was not to be considered an act of generosity towards the fringes of society but as a repayment of resources that God had originally bestowed on everyone equally and that the rich had usurped.[30]

St Ambrose

-------------------------------------------------

"Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough. Who is the defrauder? One who takes away what belongs to everyone. And are not you covetous, are you not a defrauder, when you keep for private use what you were given for distribution? When some one strips a man of his clothes we call him a thief. And one who might clothe the naked and does not—should not he be given the same name? The bread in your hoard belongs to the hungry; the cloak in your wardrobe belongs to the naked; the shoes you let rot belong to the barefoot; the money in your vaults belongs to the destitute. All you might help and do not—to all these you are doing wrong"

Bishop Basil of Caesarea (330-379 AD)

Perfect equality is not really the issue in practical terms, given that some are more innately worldly and others, more spiritual, due to the Fall. But an ample sufficiency for the poorest in this world's goods is surely not going to hurt those better off. It didn't in the UK during the sixties and seventies.

Some church traditionalists vilify the sixties, and certainly, from a Christian point of view, the pendulum swung too far towards promiscuity and has anything but recoverd, but it was a new Renaissance, there was also a tremendously 'up-beat' zeitgeist, a joy, a cheerfulness. The subsequent degeneration with the plunge into cynicism of most former hippies was inevitable given the wealth and power of the 'deep state' who had just been biding their time. What a shame the Christian churches, for all the massive amount of good they had done and have continued to do in the world, let the young down. Their thirst for spirituality, scorned by the rich Mammon-worshippers to this day, was not assuaged by eastern religions or drugs, and eventually, as the song goes, 'the music stopped.

I know Don MacLean had other ideas when he wrote Bye Bye Miss American Pie, but to me the tapering off, during the seventies, of all those wonderful pop groups with the craziest names, and the pop songs, also often with the craziest words and themes is very, very sad. Reagan and Lady Cardboard put paid to the beautiful nonsense so loved by the young - and even the great songs of the more orthodox singers.

Stellar

(5,644 posts)
38. I retired from the department of human service about ten years ago and
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 10:29 AM
Apr 2015

they would allow you to own a late model car if it was your current and only form of transportation, and would give you gas money for it. (I think it was like .15 cents a mile, don't recall) The gas money was for job search only. Not much...but you'd have to keep your receipts to get your money back. I recall seeing kids with 'Air Jordans' on...what was it, a couple hundred dollars a pair back then. The family had beautiful clothing to wear, and a beautiful home.

It's hard to go from good living to nothing and a company that you worked for has gone bankrupt, or moved out of the country - - or downsized. The people caught up in it don't like it no better than those pointing their fingers, believe me.

Eventually the family would sell the car if they couldn't afford to keep it, they'd have to move from their home that they no longer can afford. And yes, they do feel ashamed that they are poor.

 

dolphinsandtuna

(231 posts)
45. here's another one - handicapped
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 01:50 PM
Apr 2015

Don't assume that someone walking to or from a car with a handicapped placard is not handicapped. Do not get in their face and start screaming at them. Did it ever occur to you that they might have a heart condition, you effing moron?

Orsino

(37,428 posts)
53. The forces that own the piano, the chairs, and the rights to the song...
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 02:49 PM
Apr 2015

...don't get to criticize those of us left without a seat when their music stops.

Neither do those of us who managed to sit down.

 

Voice for Peace

(13,141 posts)
54. I feel the same way. People are always making excuses for their own miserable lives.
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 04:31 PM
Apr 2015

Looking for ways to blame it on anything else, like
how the poor spend their foodstamps.

It's their miserable lives, not mine, not yours,
for which I'm very glad.

greymattermom

(5,779 posts)
59. And, if you give a dollar directly to a person who needs it
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 07:04 PM
Apr 2015

No middle man, no advertising, 100% of that dollar goes to that person. So what if 50% is used for something enjoyable.

Lydia Leftcoast

(48,217 posts)
62. Myths that really frost me because I have to debunk them again and again
Fri Apr 10, 2015, 09:01 PM
Apr 2015
1. People on food stamps buy steak and lobster while I (the right-wing person) can't afford them. I won't have people buying steak and lobster at the expense of us poor, strapped taxpayers!

Such wingers seem to assume that food stamp recipients can just go get more when their EBT funds run out. They don't realize that their monthly allotment is their monthly allotment and that they can't go and get more if they run out. They're stuck till the next month. It would be stupid for a food stamp recipient to buy steak and lobster on limited funds, but from the taxpayer's point of view, it's no different than if the recipient lives entirely on rice and beans. The cost to the taxpayer is exactly the same.

2. The "Obama Phone"

Never mind that this is just an updated form of a program that was started by Ronald Reagan. Never mind that the phone comes with limited minutes and no Internet service. The righties' fevered imaginations picture teenage mothers walking around with free iPhone 6's.

What the righties forget is that you can get a smartphone for free if you sign up for a monthly plan and accept an outdated model. This is cheaper than a land line, and I doubt that the average right winger can tell the difference between a 2015 Samsung phone and a 2012 Samsung phone or between an iPhone 5C (available free with contract) and an iPhone 6 (starting at $299 with contract).

3. Ninety-fve percent of so-called poor people have refrigerators, and the majority have air conditioning! I can't afford air conditioning!

Landlords are required by law to provide refrigerators in their apartments, and most apartments these days are either built with air conditioning or (like my older building) have rattly old window models installed.

4. "But they have DVD players!"

I suppose these complainers bought their DVD player when the things were new and cost $500. Well, they cost about $30 now, and with movies only $1.25 at RedBox or free from the public library, there's no cheaper entertainment available other than books from the library. But anyway, as all right-wingers know, poor people aren't supposed to have fun.

cynzke

(1,254 posts)
63. There has been a deliberate campaign....
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 07:58 AM
Apr 2015

over the years by the GOP and their supporters to turn the poor into social pariah to be hated and despised. The idea is to make these people so repugnant that no one will be upset or concerned while the GOP cuts funding for social programs. They need to find revenue to replace the money lost by tax reductions and loopholes for the wealthy. This campaign is working. Expect to see a reinforcement of this campaign in the next election cycle..

NancyDL

(140 posts)
66. From what I see on discussion boards, and, mind you, I know they're not the world...
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 02:52 PM
Apr 2015

... a lot of folk in the US watch each other like hawks - just looking for something wrong, looking for something to be upset about. What this country needs is a big dose of charity - and I don't mean like giving things away; I mean like showing some care for each other, giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Americans used to have solidarity, and they used to be proud to be Americans; now they're going at each other like rats in the middle cage. This is what's tearing the country apart. We need some ideas on how to bring people together.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
70. Yep, you see it right here
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 04:08 PM
Apr 2015

Deliberate exaggerations and mischaracterizations all with a tone of Yay! I caught someone saying something wrong!

treestar

(82,383 posts)
69. Agree. The most pathetic thing about right wingers
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 04:07 PM
Apr 2015

is this. They are so worried that somewhere somehow some person might be getting something, no matter how small, they don't "deserve." They are so busy finding people to judge. They are desperate to find someone they can claim is doing something wrong, so they can feel superior or secure somehow. So worried about what other people are doing. People they don't know, whose business they don't know, that must be doing something wrong!

murielm99

(31,001 posts)
73. There was a lady who went to my church
Sat Apr 11, 2015, 08:06 PM
Apr 2015

some years ago who had to become a welfare mom. Her husband left her with five children. She had a nice, new car. It was paid for. The departed husband had purchased it. It was a wonder he had not taken the car when he left.

I was glad she had the car. I remember a conversation I had with her about the car. It helped her get around when she had to find a job. I know she was self-conscious about the car. I am sure there were people who had commented on it, and that was why she said anything at all.

People need to mind their own business.

Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

IronLionZion

(46,072 posts)
83. Plenty of people feel jealous that others are getting more than they deserve
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 07:28 AM
Apr 2015

The nonsense coming from people with political agendas makes it worse. The welfare queen myth is often used to cover up the fact that welfare is drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions of tax dollars given to wealthy folks through tax deductions, subsidies, bailouts, and other ways.

Response to IronLionZion (Reply #83)

DesertDiamond

(1,616 posts)
85. This started with the Reagan administration in the 1980s, specifically to make us resent the poor
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:23 AM
Apr 2015

which was especially important for them to do because there were more and more poor during the "economic boom" that trickle down economics brought on. Shame the poor, make others despise them, make them ashamed of themselves. Greed is the true virtue! Rush Limbaugh promoted the meme of seeing a woman using food stamps and then driving away in a fancy SUV was repeated so many times that friends of mine were telling me the story and were sure they themselves had witnessed such an event.

And how do the promoters of this idea benefit from it? If we allow all protections to be taken away from the poor, they will be forced to turn to religious charities for help. It's already true where I live to some degree - there are no nonsecular food banks, so anyone who goes to them for food has to sit through a lecture about religion. In fact they are trying to turn everything in this country religion based. Then they will have what they want - a theocracy.

On the Road

(20,783 posts)
86. Personally, I Don't Care About People "Abusing the System"
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:44 PM
Apr 2015

and as you point out there are potentially other interpretations of the situation. But going to a food bank if you do own a late-model car is either gaming the system or the height of financial irresponsibility. I really don't see how it can defended by anyone familiar with how the bottom 10% lives.

Gormy Cuss

(30,884 posts)
88. I care about people abusing the system
Sun Apr 12, 2015, 01:06 PM
Apr 2015

but I have enough professional experience to tell me that a) most 'abuse' is in the form of minor infracations and b)the fraud systems in place catch most big abusers rather quickly. Thus, I don't stay up nights worrying about food and purchases by the vast majority of recipients who are just trying to get by.

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