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Poor Me

“Poor people are moochers.” “People on food stamps are lazy.” “The poor are lazy.” “They are unemployed because they haven’t tried hard enough.”



I hear these stereotypes about the poor often by Fox News and other media outlets. Not all people on food stamps are exploiting it. Not all poor people are lazy. Some of the hardest workers I know are poor. The ‘if you look hard enough you’ll find a job’ is a fallacy. With the economy the way it is your lucky to even get a job in retail. Jobs are harder to find and keep nowadays.


My mom works as a lunch lady for the Christina School District. She is paid above minimal wage but it’s barely enough to make ends meet. Before you say anything, she has graduated college with a bachelor’s degree. My grandmother and dad pitch in to help her pay the bills. Despite only being a few hours her job is in no way easy. She deals with middle school kids constantly and she has to deal with coworkers who act like they should be in middle school. She works in a very hot kitchen and has to pull these dangerous, metal carts. The school has gone downhill since she started working there. There have been more fights and it has become more violent. That doesn’t sound lazy to me at all. That sounds like a hard worker to me.


I have not had health care during October and November. I had no health care because I turned 18 and they forgot to switch me over to the adult Medicaid. The medicine I need costs an arm and a leg. Not a lot of people are able to their medicines up front. Health care is important and I have no problem with the tax payers’ money going into things like Medicaid and Medicare because people need health care to survive.


Poor people are often portrayed as a woman with a bunch of kids, pumping out more kids for more money from the government. Some are portrayed as rednecks in trailer parks. They are also portrayed as lazy and fat who use their welfare checks for iPhones and flat screen TVs. What all these stereotypes have in common are that they demonize and vilify poor people in the US and other first world countries.


If anyone is exploiting the system it’s some of the rich and the corporations. They hide money on off shore bank accounts and they use the tax loopholes in place. That is more serious than one poor person exploiting the welfare system we have in place. These rich who exploit the system are seen as ‘job creators’ and noble men. When it’s brought up that they are exploiting the system it’s brushed off as liberal propaganda. The ‘job creators’ are more at fault than the poor people on welfare. The ones of us who are poor or lower middle class are not the demons you make us out to be.


Before my parents separated I enjoyed life as a middle class girl living in a nice house and without any worry about my parents’ financial situation. December during my sophomore year of high school was when things began to change. My mom moved out of my dad’s house and rented her own house. Money was very tight then and still is. I knew of the problems of the poor and the homeless. I watched many documentaries on the subject. I watched documentaries about people with no health care. I thought at first it would not happen to me. Turns out I was dead wrong for a couple of months I had no healthcare because my dad lost his job. I feel for those people without any health care. I feel for those people who are on the streets. I feel for those people who have to use food stamps and Medicaid to survive.


The poor are vilified in this country. The American Dream gives us this delusion that if you work hard enough you’ll become one of the 1%. When it reality it’s all about luck. The poor are the backbone of the country doing jobs most of us would never think of doing. Don’t stereotype them all as lazy or incompetent or exploitative or all of the above. We don’t stereotype all rich people as evil men and women who only care about money.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

princessrachel said...
Feb. 23 at 2:32 pm:
I agree with this so much! Well written and ver detailed, as well. 
 
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DreamFree13 said...
Dec. 16, 2013 at 10:04 am:
I agree with you that sadly many people believe this steryotype but I never really thought how many people believe in it. I am not one of them but I'm glad you shared this. Your so right.
 
AlexandriaRose replied...
Dec. 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm :
Thank you for commenting and yea.
 
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Peacegirl1952 said...
Dec. 16, 2013 at 12:29 am:
I agree with this.
 
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