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If you're poor it's basically your own fault, isn't it?

(463 Posts)
ReputableBiscuit Fri 28-Mar-14 15:59:02

I'm so sick of this attitude, in society in general and on MN specifically. Some people just don't seem to have the imagination to realise that poverty is a complex thing and fucking hard to escape. 'Why don't you try budgeting?', 'how can you call yourself poor when you have a big TV?', 'give up smoking then you won't be poor'. 'Cook from scratch.' It's just not as simple as that. Unemployment, disability, mental health problems, social disadvantage, debt, benefits stoppages... none of these are magically undone by somebody writing a list of their outgoings or learning to cook a hearty potato soup.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 28-Mar-14 16:00:52

Read "Chavs" by Owen Jones. It's brilliant and explains very well how this attitude came about. You're not wrong by the way and I am only surprised how much I see it here on MN.

RainbowDashMustDie Fri 28-Mar-14 16:02:14


Sparklysilversequins Fri 28-Mar-14 16:03:09

I can't stand the "do some cleaning/ironing/babysitting" nonsense to make extra cash. Get a childminder/nanny so you both can work blah blah blah. Where I live there are agencies and professionals that cover all of the above "jobs" and I would be viewed with great suspicion if I tried to get that kind of work.

SelectAUserName Fri 28-Mar-14 16:03:22

YANBU. That attitude is tiring, tiresome, narrow-minded and just plain wrong.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Mar-14 16:03:37

Well budgeting, giving up smoking and cooking from scratch certainly does help.

Of course it's not going to make that person rich, but it would certainly help.

dreamingbohemian Fri 28-Mar-14 16:04:23

I know some very well off people through work and it is shocking how strongly they believe that people can just stop being poor if they want to.

One of them is always saying that if poor people can't get jobs they should just start their own businesses. They really have no idea.

TheXxed Fri 28-Mar-14 16:04:40

worra why do you assume poor people smoke?

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 28-Mar-14 16:05:01

Some people are poor through their own doings, some people are not.

You cannot box all "poor" people together.

When I see people on tv proclaiming how poor they are whilst puffing on a fag and drinking a can of beer.....well, you can see why it gets peoples backs up.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Mar-14 16:05:22

That's too general OP.

Of course cooking from scratch, learning how to budget properly, giving up smoking would help some people, to a certain extent.

expatinscotland Fri 28-Mar-14 16:06:00

YANBU. Stupid, narrow-minded, ignorant thinking, right up there with, 'They all smoke, drink, eat takeaways, have gadgets,' bollocks.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Mar-14 16:06:19

TheXxed, it was the OP who assumed poor people smoke.

drudgewithagrudge Fri 28-Mar-14 16:06:29

YY to reading 'Chavs'. We have gone back to being like the Victorians and thinking about the 'deserving poor' versus the 'undeserving poor'.

MintyChops Fri 28-Mar-14 16:07:11

Not saying all poor people smoke but if you smoke 20 fags a day that's €70 a week so complaining that you can't afford food while puffing away just seems wrong. It's a choice.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Mar-14 16:07:20

worra why do you assume poor people smoke?

I don't. I was answering the point in the OP confused

FunLovinBunster Fri 28-Mar-14 16:08:34

Surely this has to be looked at case by case?
In some circumstances no, in others, yes. One can't generalise.

expatinscotland Fri 28-Mar-14 16:09:15

Gawd, here we go again! They smoke and drink, that's why they are poor.

Come back in 10 mins. and there will be posts about flatscreen tellies and iPhones . . .

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Mar-14 16:10:11

I really think some people didn't read the opening post properly...

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 28-Mar-14 16:10:39

It was the OP who mentioned smoking first!

UriGeller Fri 28-Mar-14 16:11:01

Betty, both those things are addictions and someone living hand-to- mouth is perhaps not in the best place to be addressing their addictions.

When someone drags themselves out of the poverty trap, overcomes their many related problems, builds up their non existent self esteem and self confidence and are mostly feeling fulfilled THEN, they might be in a frame of mind where they could start working to quit the booze and fags.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Mar-14 16:11:16

expat it was the OP who mentioned smoking and big TVs in the opening post. It's a bit unfair to have a go at people who use those words in answer to the OP.

gamerchick Fri 28-Mar-14 16:11:50

tbh you dont really notice a difference if you quit smoking in spends unless you save what you would have spent.. which you wouldn't do if you were strapped for extra cash.

If you're poor you are not allowed any kind of luxury or distraction ever! No smokes, no alcohol, no telly and you must just sit and stare at walls or do free things (like have sex maybe?).. Then you must go and line up at peoples workplaces so they can kick and spit at you as they go in on a morning.

Then people rub their hands with glee at the taking apart of the welfare state and know that people beneath them are having a hard hard time.. because it's their own fault.

They would get a hell of a shock if the bottom dropped out of their world and they ended up on their uppers and need that same welfare state they let get dismantled in front of their eyes.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 28-Mar-14 16:12:09

FGS stop focussing on the smoking and discuss the rest of the OP. Being in poverty IS a complex situation and no two situations are the same. It won't be solved by getting off the B&H. The very fact that it is being fastened on here shows how restricted your thinking is.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 28-Mar-14 16:12:47

And flatscreens for the record wink

FunLovinBunster Fri 28-Mar-14 16:13:03

I don't see what's so wrong about letting taxpayers who underwrite the welfare state express an opinion. It's only fair.
Let the flaming begin, I guess.

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