Tag Archives: poor

20 Things The Working Poor Do Every Day

 

On The Glorification Of The Wealthy

 

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker- Proverbs 17:5 NIV

Income Inequality

Income Inequality (Photo credit: mSeattle)

 

Every once in a while, the interwebz throws the wretched of the earth a bone, a glimmer of hope, perhaps a random kid becomes a youtube sensation-turned-international sensation. Maybe it’s the rise of a popular reality t.v. star. Yet, the uber-rich always seem to want to share their secrets (seems funny, the only thing they want to share, huh?). TAXES IS STEALING!!!! And every now and then, there’s an article that goes viral like, “20 Things That Make Rich People Morally Superior To Poor People.” The Opulent make sure that celebrity status doesn’t reach divinity, but they do demand (from their regular publicity campaigns) admiration and respect for their values and efforts. Scary part about the making of capitalism sacrosanct is that we find the history of private property rights cannot be neatly severed from the history of enslaving other persons. All of this whitewashing of history hides the experience of the losers in history, and really the REAL SECRET about economics throughout history. Read the rest of this post and its conclusion to find the answer. Without further ado, 20 things the Working Poor Do Everyday.

 

1. They have to endure myths such as “poverty is the root of all evil.” If the rich do not believe that “money is the root of all evil,” that means the do not believe the Bible. WHAT ARE THE ODDS, YAHOO FINANCE! What this does is inform the working poor that they are the living embodiments of all that is wrong with society.

 

2. The Working Poor believe that selflessness is a virtue. The Rich believe that selfishness and self-centeredness is. O R L Y?

 

3. The Working Poor really value meritocracy. The Wealthy practice nepotism and “networking.”

 

4. The Working Poor see education as an invaluable means of liberation. The Wealthy view education as thing to be purchased and to lord over underlings with, a tool for power.

 

5. The Working Poor do the things they have to do to survive and spend time with the people they love. The rich are sometimes fortunate enough to do the things they love more than people.

 

6. The Working Poor earn capital. The Wealthy rule cities and states, steal money from the working poor, and then they get richer.

 

7. The Working Poor realize that relationships are more important than money. Rich People find restless nights over their acquisitions.

 

8. The Working Poor read as many books as they possibly can in the limited free time they have. The Wealthy have libraries of books to show how much time they have on their hands.

 

9. The Working Poor see an inclusive society as ideal; The Wealthy benefit from a hierarchal, stratified world.

 

10. The Working Poor make the connection between the importance of having a strong social safety net. Wealthy persons look down upon social programs and their dependents.

 

11. The Working Poor have to walk past fast food chains, living in lives of food insecurity, sometimes even on food stamps. Fast food restaurants, smoking parlors, and liquor stores target the working poor. The Rich mock and demean the poor, and rob the poor of their wages, ahem, McDonald’s.

 

12. The Working Poor are task oriented and driven, multi-taskers. Rich persons are narrow minded and with singular visions.

 

13. The Working Poor who are parents do not have time to read fiction books to their children. How many rich families take the time to read books at homeless shelters?

 

14. The Working Poor cannot often say what’s on their mind. Usually, that’s because the big bosses upstairs have deprived them of their freedom of speech, and first amendment rights because unionization is banned. The Rich love to talk abstractly and universally when it comes to free speech, except for when it comes to the expressions of black people.

 

15. The Working Poor do not believe in luck. The Rich do because it’s pretty convenient!

 

16. The Working Poor have very little access to exercise programs because neighborhood gyms avoid locating where they live. The rich have all of opportunity in the world to go to 24 Hour Fitness.

 

17. The Working Poor know how to use public transportation and build community on buses, trains, and other commutes. The Wealthy disparage such things and ask, “why don’t you get a car?”

 

18. The Working Poor know that the lottery is a hoax to get the impoverished addicted to gambling. The Rich rely on the Lottery as a voluntary tax on the poor so they can get access to education.

 

19. The Working Poor want to learn from the past. The Rich have delusional, naive hopes about the future.

 

20. The Working Poor are logical in their money-decision making. The Wealthy are too emotionally caught up with their money to make reasonable decisions, in the name of “following their passions,” like three summer homes!

Are you rich? Or are you poor and you want to be rich, and you find some of my comments in this post downright offensive? Well good, because this is the kind of frelling crap that Christian idols like Dave Ramsey tells people each day in their books and on their radio programs. It’s this baloney, these lies made against the poor that keep the rich in power. False myths about poverty abound, even about homelessness.

The dirty little secret to all the posts and books about the secrets to being rich is this: THERE ARE NO SECRETS. The rains falls on the just and the unjust.

Capitol(ism)izing on Rabbi Paul

I was recently browsing a friends (Rods) facebook, where I lurk occasionally, because he does such a good job of riling people up. There, I found someone arguing, by way of Dr. Phil, that the Hebrew Bible “offer(s) some harsh words for those with little-to-no income.” As the discussion went on, it was brought up that “financial slackers are worse than unbelievers.” Obviously, there is someone slinging these verses to make a political point about the poor, but are these points even remotely valid, if they are even slightly accurate (and that is a big “if”)?

As it turns out, the answer is hell (or heavens) no.

The Hebrew Bible is filled – literally filled – with verses about how we are to treat the poor. It would be a ridiculously boring blog to read if I even attempted to quote a portion of them. Yet, here are a few highlights (from the thousands in the scripture):

– “During the seventh year, let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.” Exodus 23:11

– “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. . . . If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. . . . If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave.” Leviticus 25:25, 35, 39

– “However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you.” Deuteronomy 15:4

– “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.” Deuteronomy 15:7

Now that is only a sample. Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible does God speak negatively about those with little or no income. The opposite. The people of God are meant to carry them on their backs until they get back on their feet.
Once the discussion partners recognized that they were in error, they presumably used google to realize that the one verse they were looking for, and realized that the scripture was in the New Testament:

– “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

Does this verse indicate that those with little or no income are bad? That their faith is worthless? That they are *gasp* worse than a nonbeliever?  No. Quite the opposite in fact. This verse is speaking of widows. Earlier in the chapter, Paul says that widows who can’t help themselves should be helped by the community. It also says that the community should help only if the families of the widows wont help. If the families of widows won’t help their own kin, then “they” are worse than unbelievers, not those, like the widow, are penniless. If you have money, and refuse to help those in need, you are the bad guy here.

Further, this speaks to Paul’s heart in the rest of the scripture as well. Paul, everywhere he went, made requests from the new churches he started, as well as those he visited, not to give him money, but to give money to help the poor in Jerusalem. He literally took money from the wealthy, and gave it to those who were poor. Paul was certainly not a tea-partier, nor even a good capitalist, sorry John Calvin. When Paul went before the leaders of the church in Jerusalem, they finally decided he could make converts of Gentiles. Their one request?

“They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

It seems that Paul was all about helping the poor. It makes sense, really, because Paul would have been drenched in the Hebrew Bible verses about helping the poor.

Lesson: if you are going to talk about the Bible and how God feels about the poor, make sure you at very least know that what you are saying is true, else you turn out to be “worse than a nonbeliever” by taking something that God is passionate about and saying the exact opposite.

Food for the stomach, coffee for the homeless

There is a ministry in Denver called Network Ministries. I am sure that it does all kinds of good things. But I don’t really care about those things. What I do care about, what really got my blood pumping, is their ministry to the homeless.

What do homeless people need? Food and shelter, right? Maybe. I would argue that those are not the most important things that a homeless person needs. But those are important, and for most of us that are inclined to help those who are less fortunate, donating money or food to a shelter or food kitchen will salve our conscience long enough to get on with the enjoyment of our bounty.

But what do homeless people need most? The same thing everyone else needs. They need to be loved. Cared for. A part of something. This is what Network Ministries does when it opens up its coffee shop for the homeless every weekday afternoon and Saturday morning. The homeless and poor can go there to get coffee, as well as something most people who “help” forget about – community. They are treated as patrons. Treated with respect. They can gather and not be shooed away. They are cared about and respected. They have a place to be.

Sunday morning they worship the God who dwells among the poor and oppressed. God dwells among those who cry. God dwells among those who suffer. God dwells in the actions of those who don’t see themselves as better than those who are down and out, but are willing, not just to visit the homeless and poor, but to dwell among them.

“Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.”

Indeed.