Poverty and Wealth: The Common American Misconception

Growing up the way I did, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around the world. It’s been extremely eye opening and I know I wouldn’t be the same person I am today had I not had these awesome chances to learn about all kinds of other cultures first hand. It’s amazing how different each country is politically, religiously, and, because I don’t know a better term, culturally. Each country, no matter how geographically close, is very different.

This is how a dichotomy works.
This is how a dichotomy works.

It’s a little ironic discussing the difference between poverty and wealth behind a MacBook Pro sitting in a hotel lobby a little more than 8,000 miles away from home. This is where the dichotomy between poverty in America and poverty everywhere else lies. The median income for a family just above the poverty line in America is roughly 18-32k a year. Which, to about 99% of the world, is filthy fucking rich. According to the Classification of Countries done by the World Bank in 2012, 33 out of 188 countries make below $1,025 a year for the average family. Group number 4, the high income countries, make $12,476 or more. But how many people can survive on 12 grand? And the poverty line in America is $23,050, according to Wikipedia. (bite me, what are the chances that’s actually incorrect?)

Basically, no matter what we do in America, we’re still better off than rich people almost anywhere else. And that’s a problem. Not because we have a system that actually sees that its people are fairly well fed (even if it’s McDonald’s) and fairly well educated. (I hope you took heed of the vernacular used in that last sentence. Okay, I think I’m done with all the parenthesis.)

However, with all this wealth, we still have a major issue. There are a huge number of people who actually believe they’re poor.

And this is how I feel about that sentiment.
And this is how I feel about that sentiment.

The basic point is we’re an insanely irresponsible nation with this idea of entitlement, but, for reasons completely different than most people claim we believe we’re entitled. I don’t think that the government owes me any money or any “special services” other than the ones stated by our wonderful constitution. The first one being my favorite, thou shalt keep religion the fuck out of office, (paraphrasing.)
and the freedom of speech. Instead, we have people complaining that the government isn’t doing enough to help lower the percentage of people below the poverty level while subsequently bitching about the government giving their tax dollars away to help lower the percentage of people living below the poverty level.


In all seriousness, I understand how difficult it is to have to survive day by day because you don’t have much of a choice other than working a shit job and getting paid less than 10 dollars an hour. I’m not saying it isn’t a tough thing to weather, I’m saying stop being a bitch. We’re in a country where you can literally make as much money as you want to make. Education be damned. If you’re making 40 grand a year and are having trouble paying off your second car, then that isn’t a poverty problem, that’s your problem. The government doesn’t have anything to do with you not being able to make your payments on your hummer simply because, well, you wanted the damn thing. My entire family has been living on 30-45k a year since I can remember and, growing up, I never thought of us as poor. We were always able to have a car and a nice house because my parents know how to manage money. Thank god, too. That’s where the majority of the problem lies. Not in how much money you actually make, but in how you spend it. If you make 30k a year and like the newest electronic gadgets. Well, be prepared to drive a crappy car. Simple as that. Instead of whining about never having enough money, do yourself a favor and budget. See how much you’re actually spending on useless crap that your 55 inch TV – with over a thousand channels that costs about $120 a month – tells you to buy. It’s really that simple. Because, lets face it, none of you live in a cardboard box.

But these people do. So be happy you have your crappy job.
But these people do. So be happy you have your crappy job.

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