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# Do people choose poverty?

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## Do people choose poverty?

22 June 2008.

No one chooses to live at or below the poverty level right?  Well, I didnt think so, but the Census data may prove otherwise.

As of 2000, there are 106 million households in the US.  I am first going to break the country into quintiles from lowest income to highest income (which means that the bottom 20% or 21 million households earn the least, and so on).

Here are some stats (remember each quintile has 21 million people in it):

Number of people in the lowest quintile who work (part time or full time): 8 million

Number of people in the highest quintile who work (part time or full time): 19.5 million

Number of people in the lowest quintile who held full time jobs year-round: 5 million

Number of people in the highest quintile who held full time jobs year-round: 17.5 million

Number of people in the lowest quintile who did not work at all: 13.5 million

Number of people in the highest quintile who did not work at all: 2 million

Percent of people in the lowest quintile who have a job: 37%

Percent of people in the highest quintile who have a job: 91%

This says that for every 1 rich person who doesnt work, there are 7 poor people not working.  Also, for every poor person working full time, there are more than 3 rich people working full time.

What all this data really says is that the people who make money are employed.

So are the people living at or below poverty doing so by choice?  I dont know.  But they are choosing to be unemployed.

by on Jun. 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM
Replies (21-30):
by DeepThought on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM
1 mom liked this
And where is proof of that in this post?

Quoting futureshock:

Quoting krysstizzle:

This sentence says it all "What all this data says is taht the people who make money are employed."

And that's it. Why in the world is it assumed that those in poverty choose to be? This is quite a damn stretch, to say the very least.

Because some people choose to be employed or underemployed.

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by Ruby Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Quoting ReginaStar:

Poor people aren't working b/c there isn't enough jobs to go around. Before or After the recession.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?

by Ruby Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Quoting trulyblessed618:

I am 37 been working full time since I was 19 ..... Live in new York and have even at one point worked full time Abe 2 part time jobs at the same time for about a year or so.... I have bad credit I am not living in total poverty but don't have anyone to financially help me ever when things go wrong... I have a place to live and a crappy car but feel with all that I have worked I should have more.

Quoting futureshock:

Quoting trulyblessed618:

Can't speak for everyone but I have been busting my but most of my life and just can't seem to get very far.... So for me it's not a choice.

What is your highest level of education? How many years have you worked full-time?

I'm so sorry.  So do you have large daycare costs?  Isn't it very expensive to live in NY?

by Becca on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:35 PM
3 moms liked this

I chose to live comfortably and by the government it is considered poverty. I don't care much about money or things. I just want to be able to spend time with my family. Our choices did keep us under the poverty level. But in the last couple of years it has been lots harder to survive because there isn't much work and things cost so much.

I lived in foster families who had money. They never had time for their family and they where horrible and angry people. They had everything except, time or love from their children.  I choose to never be that way, so I decided that my family is more important then "things".

by Bronze Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:40 PM
2 moms liked this

Some do choose, but its a comfort and education thing.  Humans are creatures of habit. If we are raised poor, its difficult to develop new habits that will break that cycle.  It takes a different mindset to take the risks needed and break the cycle.  When you have poor education your entire life, it can be scary to take that next step and go to college just to get the "same education" you've received.  Why would someone want to pay for poor education. However, if you came from a rich district and were always challenged, its just a new challenge. Same education... two different minds trained on what to expect.

by Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 11:58 PM

I was raised in a lower middle class household with two parents...who had joint custody.  I think I lived very comfortably.  My husband grew up poor; first with both of his parents, and then with his older brother (his parents passed away when he was in middle school).  Now we're living in poverty, and I don't love it that much.  It's ok, but I was used to a higher standard of living when I was living with my parents; I moved from their house at nineteen and after that I kept a similar standard.  However, the fact that I have such a wonderful man in my life that is giving me the biggest gifts of all makes it forget about the poverty I'm living it right now...but one weekend every month reminds me again of the lower economical level I've fallen into; but this poverty is going to be temporal.

by Gold Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:08 AM
1 mom liked this

Quoting futureshock:

Quoting ReginaStar:

Poor people aren't working b/c there isn't enough jobs to go around. Before or After the recession.

Do you have any evidence to back that up?

Are you seriously asking me to provide evidence of their being enough jobs for everyone? If there is some college educated people that have a hard time finding jobs and yet they are picked above all else then it's only practical that those without and education, without skills, criminal backgrounds, gaps in work history, etc.. are going to be without work due to none available more than anyone else. The government isn't working constantly talking about trying to provide more jobs for us b/c we already have plenty.

Jaliyah  My video here

by Ruby Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:20 AM
7 moms liked this

This reminds me of how Reagan said people like being homeless.

by Ruby Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:24 AM
1 mom liked this

Americans are spoiled.  We have the richest poor people on the planet.

Quoting OneToughMami:

I'd rather be poor than a morally shitty person. If living a moral and good life means that I have nothing monetary I am okay with that. No one knowingly chooses to live in poverty. And I am not sure that I consider this country's idea of poverty true poverty. We have very few who are actually destitute. Even our poorest of poor have it better than some. And some people I see claiming to be in poverty are bitching about cable bills and cell phones...fuck that shit.

by Ruby Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 12:37 AM
1 mom liked this

Some people believe poverty puts them in a state of grace and like to keep it simple.

Nuns, monks and priests take vows of poverty.  Many people would rather be poor than run in the rats race.  Who wants to be a rat?

I tried to wake up about 4am to see the monks praying but I couldn't make it that early but I woke up at 5.30am to take some shots of monks parading after chanting. They wander around the city to get food from the local people. Hundreds of monks walking in orange robes makes the early morning in Luang Prabang so colorful like thousands of butterflies are walking on the street. I couldn't believe that there were also about a hundred western tourists there before me, standing there waiting. If you want to contribute food to the monks, you can buy food from ladies who hang around there with baskets of food. It was a nice experience to start the day.

http://vietnamesegod.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html

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