Comment 36389

By scrimpy (anonymous) | Posted December 16, 2009 at 17:03:00

The poverty argument is not simple. Clearly there is a 'poverty trap' that some folks can't seem to get out of, and clearly the geared to income benefits approach has many flaws.

I live in a mixed neighbourhood and have had some interesting observations during my time here. For the most part, the 'poor people' I have gotten to know seem to have a sense of entitlement and very little get up and go. These are not folks who used to be rich, they are poor people who have always been poor. When they come to my house they drink my beer and don't think to return the favour. In the past some of my wife's less well off friends have borrowed money with no intention of paying it back. They have a real attitude problem, and I doubt that any money in the world would enable them to be successful and create wealth for themselves.

When I give these friends ideas about free training programs and how they might improve their lot - they do nothing. They are listless!

I wonder if this is a common trait among people who have always been poor? That they see those with money having all the fun and become envious and agitated and develop a sense of entitlement...?

This is certainly not a trait among folks who became poor. If I became poor I would kick like hell to get enough money and I wouldn't expect free handouts for the rest of my life. Poverty, if it strikes you, should only ever be temporary. The fact that we have so many people suffereing in long term poverty means there is a serious problem - either with certain people's attitudes, or with the way we are addressing it.

I agree with Meredith - more money is not always the answer. It may help in certain cases, and less red tape too, but I think we need to acknowledge that some people DO have the support they need to do better, they just can't adjust their attitudes enough to pull themselves up.

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