Really. This is an article about why you need to stop shitting on people in poverty. if you are the type of person that believes poor people, homeless people and unhealthy (fat) people are simply lazy, let me show you why you are a moron.
Not everyone starts the race from the same starter box:
Empathy is a skill that is learned or purposefully ignored. Many people come into this world unwanted, uncared for and barely get enough food and shelter to LIVE. This might be in the ghettos or the most rural of backwoods or unfortunately, it could be your neighbor’s kids.
Imagine just for a moment what childhood would be like if every day you woke up, there was literally nobody home. Nobody to talk to, nobody to answer to, nobody to learn from. Nobody to show you how to prepare food and worse than that, no food to prepare. The only reason you happen to attend school or participate in other activities is because social services visits just enough to make sure you are getting to school, but not enough to do the right thing and find you a new home.
Is it fair to call this person lazy when they predictably can’t support themselves? Can you give them a break? Can you lend a hand? Is it fair that you can pick and choose you help? Don’t you think EVERYONE deserves better than this?
Equal Rights Doesn’t Mean Equal Opportunity
It’s frustrating for a poor person to hear that they have the same opportunities everyone else does. I think we all understand that the top 20% have noticeable advantages that the rest of us will probably never have, but let me show you how it’s more likely for you to end up in the top 1% than for the bottom 1% to ever have a shot at being middle class.
Transportation – Got a job interview for a better career? Good for you? 2pm? Today? Awesome. We’ll see you then. Oh shit. You don’t have a car? Gonna take three hours to get 10 miles? You don’t have friends, family or a support system? Too bad. We gave the job to someone else.
Clothes – Oh, you can make the interview? Awesome! Good for you. Now, obviously, dress professionally. Oh, you don’t have a shirt and tie? Why not? Everyone has a shirt and tie. You didn’t’ know that shit? What are you? Ask your Dad, Mom, neighbor or put it on your credit car? You don’t have any of that? That’s too bad.
Transportation and Clothes- Congratulations! You made it to the interview and you found some clothes!!! But you look like shit. What do you mean you sweat through your clothes from walking? I’m sorry. You’re just not professional enough.
Cost of Goods and services – This is one my Dad taught me a long time ago. Think about this. We live in a world where the elite get many things for free or extremely cheap while the poor pay the most:
- Cell Phones – The elite might get their phone paid by their company. The poor not only have to pay for their phone, but because they don’t have credit or a credit card, they have to pay for a CASH plan which can generally be 25-50% higher than a standard cell phone plan.
- Cars – The elite tend to get the biggest discounts on cars, interest rates and service. Additionally, they can get all of this and have a car home delivered. The poor have to find a way to get to the dealership, come up with the largest down payments, pay the highest rates and certainly if they get qualified for a car won’t have much bargaining power on the cost of the car.
- Transportation – In other countries and a few cities here, public transportation is more cost and time efficient than having a car. However, do the math. Convert your daily commute to public transportation and realize that it costs MORE to travel by public transport than by your own car. If you can’t afford the initial costs to buy a car, you have no choice to pay the more expensive route. This is why you see people taking cabs to the grocery store. They can’t carry all of their groceries so they bite the bullet and spend $50!!!! Just to go to the store! What if you had to spend a mandatory $50 on top of your normal grocery budget?
- Utilities – When you are poor, you are required to put deposits on things like utilities in order to qualify for basic cable, water and electricity. If you are a minute late, they cut you out immediately.
- Taxes – The poor aren’t homeowners, business owners and can’t afford accountants. They don’t receive the discounts a wealthy person might when it comes to income. A $300 tax refund can mean so much more to a poor person than $30,000 might mean to a wealthy person.
- Attorneys – When you get into trouble as a middle class person or above, you spend a couple of hundred bucks and get yourself out of basic things like moving violations, tax liens and court summons. Poor people are so busy just trying to put together a meal, they might ignore these types of things until, of course, they need something and realize their license has been revoked or there’s a warrant for their arrest for not appearing in court. The costs compound quickly to fix these issues.
SAVINGS – If you make less and pay more, savings is a funny cruel joke.
If you are living amongst the majority of Americans in the “middle class” or making somewhere between $50,000 and $250,000 as a household, you know that time is a limited commodity. I’m sure you’ve dreamed of the idea of having a maid, chef, driver or handymen on demand. The wealthy have all of these things which means they have even more time to focus on MAKING MORE MONEY. Imagine if you had no chores to complete. All you had to do was make a call or better yet… hire someone to determine what you need fixed and have them make calls.
Now, imagine the life of someone in poverty. Laundry is an all day affair. You have to find a way to drag all of your clothes to a laundromat. Then you have to find cash to make change. It’s not cheap to do laundry at the laundromat. I challenge you to check it out. Assuming you only do this once a month, that’s 12 days a year dedicated to only laundry. The reality is, that it’s more often than that, but just imagine having to sit around all day unable to complete any other chores to make sure people don’t steal your clothes.
Shopping – What’s your biggest complaint at a Walmart? 45 lanes to check out and only 2 clerks working? Well, this is how everything is for the poor. Healthcare, shopping, DMV, education…. these people are on public assistance and public assistance has zero budget for efficiency. The services that we complete nowadays online are still “in-person” transactions for those in poverty. The wait can literally be “all-day” affairs.
We’ve all wondered how to feel sorry for the homeless guy that’s also obese right? Seems to have plenty of money for food. Here’s a the problem. The most affordable food is toxic. McDonald’s, BK and taco bell have been proven to trigger addictive behaviour in regular customers. In other words, 15 minutes after eating fast food, your body tells you that you are still hungry. Since the food is void of nutrients, the things that make you feel full, it becomes a vicious cycle. You can purchase two quarter pounders at Burger King for the costs of 3 tomatoes. If I’m starving… BK it is.
STUPIDITY AND IGNORANCE AND LAZINESS
Here’s the real problem right? These people are just too lazy and stupid. If we give them any assistance, they’ll never help themselves. Consider trying this experiment. Stop eating for 4 days, drink only public fountain water, shit in public facilities, stop showering and sleep outside. Tell me how well your brain operates. When you are met with the challenge of surviving everyday, the thought of being promoted to middle management seems comical.
If you’ve read this far, you might ask “What does this have to do with Comedy?”. It’s a great question. What’s funny about poking fun at homeless people? Why do we laugh at the poor? Why do we find humor in making these people sub-human? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but in improv, we preach empathy in order to have successful scenes on stage. Maybe have a little empathy and realize that you are light years ahead of others. Help your fellow man. Appreciate the fact you had the resources to read this blog. We thank you for your time.