Friday, November 22, 2013

False. Self-serving.

Self-pitying.  Oh, poor me--I can't get ahead because I'm too far behind the starting line. 

Bull.  Shit. 

The reason she is poor is that she, and probably her single mother, made bad decision after bad decision after bad decision.  They don't make the bad decisions because they are poor--that is an excuse.

I understand where she's coming from.  I came from the same place.  There's a lot of rage, a lot of learned helplessness because yes, the game is rigged.  It's rigged by the very self-righteous do-gooders who claim to want to help the poor. 

But instead of helping, they make every fucking thing harder.  Minimum wage hikes makes jobs disappear.  The Affordable Care Act makes jobs disappear.  Watering down education makes jobs disappear, because employers know that those with only a high school diploma aren't capable of doing more than pushing a broom...which isn't worth minimum wage. 

The real reasons that the individual who wrote the essay makes poor decisions isn't that she doesn't know any better (which she fully admits).  Nor is it solely an inability to see the consequences of choices in front of her (which, yes, it kinda is, partially).

No, that individual makes poor choices because she can.  Nobody is making sure that she, personally, feels the consequences of her actions.  Staying in the San Francisco area is a choice.  She made that choice.  That choice is what leads to her staying below the bottom rung of society.  She had a baby, and kept the baby.  In that area, where she couldn't afford to live by herself in the first place.  And...instead of making sure that choice had consequences, and showing her a better option (i.e., flyover country, where minimum wage is a livable wage), she was given a better living by the sugar daddy government.

Her choices are what creates her environment.  Her environment does not create the choices.  It may explain them, but it certainly does not create them. 

I am a living example of what can be done by choosing wisely, and working your ass off.


  1. Did you ever see the movie The Inn of the Sixth Happiness ? If you did, do you remember the part where the heroine,Ingrid Bergman, is bargaining with the bandit chieftain who wants her to use her medicines to save one of his wounded men?

    She says he has to promise not to pillage or rob for six weeks, and when she won't bargain he flys into a rage and says " you are getting very hard, Jeniah, like a man."

    You are getting very hard, Heroditus Huxley. ;-)

    1. I am nothing special. If I got out of that situation with no encouragement from my family, and only a Pell Grant, Vocational Rehabilitation, and my boyfriend then fiance then husband to support me through college, it goes to say that anybody can get out with minimal help from anyone else.

      No excuses.

    2. Actually, I think you have more drive, more motivation, and more determination than the average individual. I'm not being unctuous, I simply think that's true . The average mortal is easily discouraged, given to despair, and without much hope. Who was it that said "most men lead lives of quiet desperation."

    3. Thoreau said it. And the average mortal being less driven, less determined...well, there's no excuse for that, either. If someone wants out, they can get out. All they have to do is stop making stupid decisions.

  2. I've seen much more minor situations where people made poor life choices and then expected others to come behind them and sweep up their problems. And I admit, my sympathy in that is stretched to the limit. Some years back, someone published some "rules for success" that included things like "don't drop out of high school" and "Don't have sex if you are not prepared to have/support a baby"

    The problem is, a lot of people don't think past the next day. As you pointed out, they've kind of been trained not to. So they decide they really want that expensive thing now, and they'll figure out how to pay it off later, even if it means bankruptcy.

    The problem is, those people who have lived responsibly often wind up paying for the others' screw ups.

    1. Sadly true. I've had several, this past semester. And then, there's the one that turned out to have Graves Disease, which has just moved into the worst possible level of it. The poor little thing has had her thyroid killed once with radiation therapy, and now she has a zombie thyroid, that they're going to have to try again to kill with more radiation therapy over Thanksgiving break. I suppose, if this doesn't work, she's going to have to have it removed altogether.

      Needless to say, I'm being far more lenient with that one than I'm willing to be with others.

    2. Couldn't have said it better myself. If you find yourself at the bottom of the ladder because you refuse to try to climb, then don't be surprised if I get tired of giving you a hand up.


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