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View Full Version : "Being Poor" by John Scalzi



dadakarma
04-14-2012, 12:01 PM
Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.
Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.
Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.
Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say "I get free lunch" when you get to the cashier.
Being poor is living next to the freeway.
Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.
Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.
Being poor is off-brand toys.
Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.
Being poor is knowing you can't leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.
Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.
Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.
Being poor is Goodwill underwear.
Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.
Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.
Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.
Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.
Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.
Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.
Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.
Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.
Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger's trash.
Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.
Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.
Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.
Being poor is not taking the job because you can't find someone you trust to watch your kids.
Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.
Being poor is not talking to that girl because she'll probably just laugh at your clothes.
Being poor is hoping you'll be invited for dinner.
Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.
Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.
Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.
Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in your home.
Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.
Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.
Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.
Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.
Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.
Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that's two extra packages for every dollar.
Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.
Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.
Being poor is knowing you're being judged.
Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.
Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.
Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on shelter.
Being poor is knowing you really shouldn't spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.
Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.
Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.
Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.
Being poor is making sure you don't spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.
Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.
Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.
Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.
Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.
Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.
Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.
Being poor is seeing how few options you have.
Being poor is running in place.
Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.

- John Scalzi

Alias
04-14-2012, 12:17 PM
I thought we had a "war on poverty".

wingrider
04-14-2012, 05:38 PM
I thought we had a "war on poverty". we did.. it is ongoing and the poor lost

spunkloaf
04-14-2012, 06:39 PM
The sad thing is there is not a single poor citizen in this country. All citizens have means to get assistance if they can't help themselves (as long as the rest of us stay productive and pay taxes). People act like they are poor because they make bad financial decisions, and they drown themselves in hopelessness.

Alias
04-14-2012, 06:57 PM
Christian churches and organizations all over this nation and the world feed millions of people every day and never take a dime out of anyone's paycheck.

spunkloaf
04-14-2012, 06:59 PM
Christian churches and organizations all over this nation and the world feed millions of people every day and never take a dime out of anyone's paycheck.

But God knows when you don't put something in the collection plate.

wingrider
04-14-2012, 07:02 PM
But God knows when you don't put something in the collection plate. you think god counts pennies in a collection plate over his command to feed the poor and the downtrodden? I don't,, didn't Jesus say render unto ceasar the things that are ceasars and unto God the things that are Gods. organized religion is just that.. an organized business.. I will help people who need help that is what Jesus said to do and that is good enough for me.

Alias
04-14-2012, 07:05 PM
But God knows when you don't put something in the collection plate.

That's right. God sees the generous widow who puts in $5 and the rich misery who puts in $500 and rewards each the same. Only God sees the heart and the sacrifice, not the amount.

spunkloaf
04-14-2012, 07:20 PM
you think god counts pennies in a collection plate over his command to feed the poor and the downtrodden? I don't,, didn't Jesus say render unto ceasar the things that are ceasars and unto God the things that are Gods. organized religion is just that.. an organized business.. I will help people who need help that is what Jesus said to do and that is good enough for me.

Apparently God is supposed to be omnipotent and omnipresent. No small deed, good or evil, goes unseen. I don't believe in God like a Christian does, I'm just relaying their doctrine.

Chris
04-14-2012, 07:54 PM
The sad thing is there is not a single poor citizen in this country. All citizens have means to get assistance if they can't help themselves (as long as the rest of us stay productive and pay taxes). People act like they are poor because they make bad financial decisions, and they drown themselves in hopelessness.

I hear what you're saying, and agree, pretty much, but would add that dependence on government keeps them trapped in poverty, trapped in in all the things said by John Scalzi about "Being Poor".

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 08:20 PM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

It's a sad piece. Puts you right in touch with the humiliation of poverty.

spunkloaf
04-14-2012, 08:42 PM
I hear what you're saying, and agree, pretty much, but would add that dependence on government keeps them trapped in poverty, trapped in in all the things said by John Scalzi about "Being Poor".

If people knew exactly how good they really have it in this country, they might not act so selfish.

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 08:53 PM
Yep...cuz no woman has ever had her husband die tragically, and leave her with 3 kids.

No man has ever had his wife get cancer, and lose everything they had in order to pay the bills.

Nope...every poor person got that way by sitting on the couch.

Lazy fucks looking for a gubmint handout.:bs:

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 08:53 PM
Apparently God is supposed to be omnipotent and omnipresent. No small deed, good or evil, goes unseen. I don't believe in God like a Christian does, I'm just relaying their doctrine.


If you read the entire bible you would find very few passages to suggest omnipotence or omnipresence and many passages to suggest otherwise.

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 08:55 PM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

I know lots of people who made the list. They were the kids who didn't pay attention in school. They were the kids that preferred to not get jobs in the summer. And then there was the drugs.....

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 08:56 PM
Yep...cuz no woman has ever had her husband die tragically, and leave her with 3 kids.

No man has ever had his wife get cancer, and lose everything they had in order to pay the bills.

Nope...every poor person got that way by sitting on the couch.

Yes this is the majority of the American poor.

Crack whores and ex-cons are a tiny minority.

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 08:58 PM
Yes this is the majority of the American poor.

Crack whores and ex-cons are a tiny minority.

The poor's plight is a direct result of choices they made. They deserve their misery. Yes, we get your point.

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 09:10 PM
The poor's plight is a direct result of choices they made. They deserve their misery. Yes, we get your point.

The is an incomplete story and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Many people are poor because of a cycle of poverty created by government programs to "protect" the poor.

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 09:12 PM
The is an incomplete story and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Many people are poor because of a cycle of poverty created by government programs to "protect" the poor.

Get over yourself. It's you who's incapable of mustering up any compassion for the poor, regardless of how they got there and whose *fault* it is. Shame on you.

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 09:15 PM
Get over yourself. It's you who's incapable of mustering up any compassion for the poor, regardless of how they got there and whose *fault* it is. Shame on you.

What makes you think that I don't do things for the poor? Care to compare charitable contributions?

That does not mean that I don't understand why most people are poor.

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 09:17 PM
What makes you think that I don't do things for the poor? Care to compare charitable contributions?

That does not mean that I don't understand why most people are poor.

I have no idea what you do off line. I only know what you express here. You express no compassion for the poor. You've assigned blame and rationalized their misery.

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 09:19 PM
I have no idea what you do off line. I only know what you express here. You express no compassion for the poor. You've assigned blame and rationalized their misery.

How many people who aced school end up homeless?

dadakarma
04-14-2012, 09:22 PM
How many people who aced school end up homeless?

It's clear what your point is, Peter. Poverty is the deserved consequence of underachievers.

Peter1469
04-14-2012, 10:01 PM
It's clear what your point is, Peter. Poverty is the deserved consequence of underachievers.


That is a strange conclusion. Ever consider that it was a likely consequence of underachievement? Or do you feel like society must compensate for underachievers? Maybe a stipend? What of the moral hazard with that brilliant plan?

Stoney
04-15-2012, 07:36 AM
If your income allowed you to supplement by government programs while increasing that income did not, some would remain at the lower income level. If government provides for needs and some wants there is no incentive for some to find jobs. If government programs allowed you to collect needs and some wants while working for pay (under the table) some might do that, while losing self respect, self reliance, self worth.

Providing the means to exist for those who don't have that ability is a noble pursuit. Providing good feelings for those who throw other people's money at a problem rather than seek real solutions is self serving, not compassion.

Chris
04-15-2012, 07:41 AM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

I've experienced many of them.

Chris
04-15-2012, 07:50 AM
Get over yourself. It's you who's incapable of mustering up any compassion for the poor, regardless of how they got there and whose *fault* it is. Shame on you.

Arguments based on emotional appeals don't cut it. Most everyone feels compassion, some leap to government solutions, some look to solve problems.

Peter1469
04-15-2012, 07:59 AM
Far too many veterans are homeless in Americaóbetween 130,000 and 200,000 on any given nightórepresenting between one fourth and one-fifth of all homeless people. Three times that many veterans arestruggling with excessive rent burdens and thus at increased risk of homelessness.Further, there is concern about the future. Women veterans and those with disabilities including posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury are more likely to become homeless, and a higherpercentage of veterans returning from the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have thesecharacteristics.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 131,000 veterans are homeless on any givennight

1. And approximately twice that many experience homelessness over the course of a year.Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in ourcities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/veterans.pdf



It is certainly a problem, but those numbers are inflated. Probably to justify increases in the budget.

Peter1469
04-15-2012, 08:02 AM
Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Isn't that trying not to be poor?

Peter1469
04-15-2012, 08:03 AM
Being poor is off-brand toys.

It could also just be a cheap dad. Like mine was.

Peter1469
04-15-2012, 08:07 AM
Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.

That is not you being poor. That is realizing that you kid is likely going to be poor too.

Alias
04-15-2012, 08:11 AM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

This is exactly the point where you show your ignorance. That statement is pure hog shit since you know nothing about anyone here. It's nothing but a self-serving, self-righteous, holier-than-thou pile of stinking hog shit.

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 10:07 AM
Arguments based on emotional appeals don't cut it. Most everyone feels compassion, some leap to government solutions, some look to solve problems.

You're not entitled to determine what 'cuts it' in terms of the way I present ideas here. You can blather about and look silly all you want, though. :)

Chris
04-15-2012, 11:16 AM
You're not entitled to determine what 'cuts it' in terms of the way I present ideas here. You can blather about and look silly all you want, though. :)

Logic is logic, and logical fallacies logical fallacies. Truth isn't determined by who says it. Revise your argument if you want to be logical.

roadmaster
04-15-2012, 11:31 AM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

Wrong we were poor when I was a child. I know (one of my grandmothers) had no electricity, we used the outhouse when I visited. We were happy poor kids. My dad and mom worked hard all their lives to leave us something when they went to meet the Master. Kids don't need every want just needs.

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 11:53 AM
Logic is logic, and logical fallacies logical fallacies. Truth isn't determined by who says it. Revise your argument if you want to be logical.

Keep blatherin'! :roflmao:

Chris
04-15-2012, 12:15 PM
Keep blatherin'! :roflmao:

Emotional, aren't you.

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 12:19 PM
Emotional, aren't you.

Lighten up. You're so serious. :roflmao:

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 12:41 PM
I could say that about most of the attitudes here. Of course the only poor people in this country, are poor due to worn out couch cushions.

What other reason could there possibly be?

All the evil social programs designed by Democrats to keep people dependent in order to get votes for Democrats. :roflmao:

Alias
04-15-2012, 12:48 PM
I could say that about most of the attitudes here. Of course the only poor people in this country, are poor due to worn out couch cushions.

What other reason could there possibly be?

So you shovel more hog shit onto your pile of hog shit. You know nothing of anyone who posts here, their life or their background. Pure hog shit. Now make a point.

Alias
04-15-2012, 12:48 PM
All the evil social programs designed by Democrats to keep people dependent in order to get votes for Democrats. :roflmao:

We need jobs, not more social programs.

Conley
04-15-2012, 12:49 PM
It's nice to see that nobody here has ever had to endure anything from that list.

It's nicer to see that nobody here knows anyone who's had to endure anything from that list either.

Where is 'here'? Do you mean this website? I know quite a few lower income folk who are die hard conservatives...it seems odd you would assume that the people on this site haven't gone through hard times. Surely you've seen rural poor and their diehard support of the GOP in red states. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your post?

Chris
04-15-2012, 01:11 PM
I could say that about most of the attitudes here. Of course the only poor people in this country, are poor due to worn out couch cushions.

What other reason could there possibly be?

Potatoes just aren't as popular as they used to be is reason why.

And dada says I'm so serious!

ramone
04-15-2012, 02:32 PM
I've experienced many of them.

Yeah, me too Chris. I grew up dirt poor, I don't consider it something that held me back. More so it was something that drove me to escape that life. I have, I'm not rich but not poor anymore either. The only thing holding people back from making something of themselves are themselves.

Agreed the welfare state created by our government to keep people voting for them is a drag on the poor. Thing is that your make your opportunities, nobody gives them to you and you make your own luck.

wingrider
04-15-2012, 04:19 PM
All the evil social programs designed by Democrats to keep people dependent in order to get votes for Democrats. :roflmao:
the only problem with safety nets is they have been turned into hammocks.. why should anyone go out and bust his butt for a job when social programs will feed him clothe hin house him and pay him to sit on his butt.. ?

Peter1469
04-15-2012, 07:24 PM
You bring up an interesting issue.

Toothless, poverty stricken individuals who are parroting right wing talking points, while collecting their govt. aid.

Yes...I'm talking about comments on this, and every other board. The broad generalizations about the causes for those who need a little help to get by. I'm sure you read the food stamp threads.

:huh:

wingrider
04-15-2012, 07:26 PM
You bring up an interesting issue.

Toothless, poverty stricken individuals who are parroting right wing talking points, while collecting their govt. aid.

Yes...I'm talking about comments on this, and every other board. The broad generalizations about the causes for those who need a little help to get by. I'm sure you read the food stamp threads.
what did poor people ever do to you to make you despise them so much.. ? remember that social safety net you libs have enforced?

well guess what ? that safety net has now turned into a hammock , and you blame conservatives for it, unbelievable

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 07:32 PM
What the hell are you talking about?


He's throwing out any shit and seeing if it sticks. Righty thing. ;)

wingrider
04-15-2012, 07:32 PM
this:


You bring up an interesting issue.

Toothless, poverty stricken individuals who are parroting right wing talking points, while collecting their govt. aid.

Yes...I'm talking about comments on this, and every other board. The broad generalizations about the causes for those who need a little help to get by. I'm sure you read the food stamp thread



what did poor people do to piss you off so much.. was it becuse they took you all up on your free everything concept and and now won't get out the net they turned into a hammock..

wingrider
04-15-2012, 07:34 PM
He's throwing out any shit and seeing if it sticks. Righty thing. ;)
did you read what your partner in crime posted before you commented or are you just stirring the pot.?

wingrider
04-15-2012, 08:09 PM
oh I don't know.. maybe the refference to


Toothless, poverty stricken individuals who are parroting right wing talking points, while collecting their govt. aid.

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 08:12 PM
oh I don't know.. maybe the refference to


Toothless, poverty stricken individuals who are parroting right wing talking points, while collecting their govt. aid.


Which part hit a nerve? Toothless? poverty sticken? parroting right wing talking points? or while collecting their govt. aid?

wingrider
04-15-2012, 08:14 PM
no nerve.. cause I know that the act the left puts on about caring for the poor and the downtrodden is just that ,, an act to get votes,, you all should get an academy award for it

dadakarma
04-15-2012, 08:15 PM
no nerve.. cause I know that the act the left puts on about caring for the poor and the downtrodden is just that ,, an act to get votes,, you all should get an academy award for it

Yawn. Tell it to Jesus.

wingrider
04-15-2012, 08:16 PM
Yawn. Tell it to Jesus. well the left doesn't believe in Jesus so it does no good to tell him...YET