Charles Edison

"Economics, politics, and personalities are often inseparable." - Charles Edison

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Snared in a Pinch: The Poverty Trap

I read this article that suggests that the being in poverty itself brings to the table more problems than unpaid bills. The author went on to propose that these hardships could induce stress, resulting in "poor" decision making, entangling the individual in a situation where they are "so concerned about the present that [they] can't begin thinking about the future."

You don't say.

I will not sit in my air-conditioned room, blogging, and dismiss this conjecture. Shafir certainly knows his area of expertise, and I lack the experience or knowledge to challenge his claim. Rather, I would like to focus on the issue of being in poverty as a whole. I do not want people to read this and jump to the conclusion that "Oh! This is why those people want my spare change! This is why people require welfare. This is why I can feel fortunate about my position in the comparable world."

Popular science has a disposition to relate enormous issues to a novel cause. Journalists just eat it up. While I can guarantee that there is a percentage of under-achievers who fall into Shafir's affirmation that being surrounded by other working class heroes could hinder your chances of rising up the tax bracket, it's not time to generalize. Everyone has a story. Everyone is in the situation they are in because of the decisions of their parents, their governments, their precursors, their triumphs, their inspirations, their failures, their lucky days, and their sleepless nights. It's seldom one factor that attributes to being poor.

Frankly, being poor has been the norm for the greater part of forever. It's only recently that Wikipedia scholars and cognitive pioneers have asked "why?" The middle class being the primary group (in developed nations) is in its infancy.

Life does an impressive job of beating people down. The most staggering aspect about this article is that poor people being distracted is not common sense. It's not even to the extent that the lower class don't think about the future: I think it haunts some of them. Realistically, they just have too many problems in their wallets to worry about their next "big step." Being in a poor financial situation does not fundamentally transform someone, it obstructs them from allowing the person to rise to their maximum potentials.

Everyone has a story.

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