Poverty: The Poor Get Poorer, And Poorer

'Ain't We Got Fun' Sheet Music

'Ain't We Got Fun'  Music by Richard A. Whiting, Lyrics by Raymond B. Egan and Gus Kahn
'Ain't We Got Fun' Music by Richard A. Whiting, Lyrics by Raymond B. Egan and Gus Kahn | Source

John D. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller Jr.

A few decades ago, songwriter Gus Kahn penned the phrase, "There's nothing surer, the rich get rich and the poor get poorer" as part of the lyrics of "Ain't We Got Fun."

The phrase is now just another cliché, but like most clichés, has considerable basis in fact.

Not only do the rich often get richer, but Americans have great fun watching the ups and downs of men like Bill Gates and Donald Trump.

For instance, in the recent stock market mini-crash -- which followed on the heels of the debacle in Southeast Asia -- the media was quick to point out how many billions of dollars were lost in one day (Oct. 27, 1997) by America's wealthiest men (and, in the days following, how much they recovered!)

But what about the poor? Does anyone care about them?

The poor, far more often than not, do get poorer -- but their fate attracts much less attention.

Countless 'Get Rich Quick' Books

There have been countless How-I-Made-My-Fortune books over the years, and, perhaps, even more How-You-Can-Become-A-Millionaire tomes in the past few decades. But, then again, there are many men of wealth who would rather that you did not know who they are -- or how much they are worth.

Although stories about people who tried to become rich, but failed, are common, no one to my knowledge has told the quintessential story of the poor, the truly poor -- how they became poor, and why, ultimately, they always will be poor!

It's common knowledge that wealthy people like to hold on to what they have (For example, John D. Rockefeller used to give out dimes to children and, it's been said, to those seeking a handout. The message was clear: "I got started on a dime, so can you."

Generosity to a Fault

On the other hand, anyone familiar with the truly poor can tell you that poor people will give you their last dime (or dollar, if they have one) if they believe you need it more than they do. There are always exceptions, of course, but, in general, poor people are generous to a fault.

The wealthy have their reasons for believing as they do, and -- believe it or not -- so do the poor.

The rich know where their money came from. Generally, they learned early in their lives, largely from family, about what some have called the Miracle of Compound Interest. The principle (which you, of course, know all about) refers to the incredible growth of money invested over a period of years at compound interest rates.

Accumulation of Wealth

By extension, wealthy people know that one rarely, if ever, becomes rich on wages, or even relatively high salaries. To really accumulate wealth, it takes investments that bear fruit in the form of compound interest, dividends, capital gains, real estate, and other non labor-intensive investments.

Poor people know little of such things. They may have heard of compound interest, but, if they have, its significance was lost on them. For the most part, poor people come from poor people; they have a long history that tells them it's not likely they'll ever be rich.

So they resign themselves to their poverty and live on their meager earnings from day-to-day with only an occasional sign of dismay about their plight.

Despite their poverty, and the belief that wealth is beyond their grasp, most poor people can boast of a rich and happy life.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Jan. 3, 1998. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages. Y To view my HubPages Profile Click Here


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Comments 57 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Good hub! I hope you get a lot of hits! Bush may not be totally responsible for the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S., but he has certainly done his best to accelerate the trend in the United States, not to mention the rest of the world.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thank you, Ralph. You are absolutely right, as usual. Bush, however, is becoming the forgotten man. If I were John McCain I wouldn't go within a thousand miles of Katrina-torn New Orleans. Do people really think you can support Bush and the victims of Katrina at the same time?


Bob 8 years ago

Bill..........Once again class warfare from the left. Not to worry if either Hillary or Obama get in There will really be only two classes . The Holoywood elete and the rest of us , and your Nancy P. wants to tax the death out of pensions too. Could be REAL bleak times ahead.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks for commenting, Bob. We poor folk just don't have time to wait for the pennies to trickle down from the filthy rich.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Nancy wants to tax hedge fund operators and stop the Grand Oil Party's subsidies to the international oil companies.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I knew the GOP was aptly named. I'll have to use that more often. Thanks, Ralph.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

What an interesting hub topic. Books like Richistan, on the NY Times bestseller list, do seem to reinforce your point that Americans are fascinated by the rich. I do think the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books aptly capture the difference between the wealthy mentality and the poverty mentality. Even though there is a lot of evidence that much of the "factual" evidence presented in that book is actually made up, the principles discussed there are valid and valuable to know. As a small investor I hope my reliance on the miracle of compound interest will help me retire better off...someday. And in the meantime I hope to find some additional income streams.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thank you, wannabwestern, for your interesting and welcome comment. Having been a reporter and editor most of my life, I've always been fascinated by the subject of "sources" and "attribution." Objective journalism, which I believe is crucial in our society, requires both reliable sources and proper attribution. But if one states that sun is shining, and someone demands a source for that information, it is rarely adequate to state, "I am." So, half in jest, when someone asks me for my source for an obscure fact, I like to say, "I read it in 'Today in History,' the daily feature used by many newspapers that offer facts sans attribution. If the economy doesn't fall entirely through the roof, you should do all right with that compound interest.


patkagmak profile image

patkagmak 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Hmmm...interesting! As one who was raised in a developing country a.k.a (derogatory term 3 rd world country), I have insights that would make one shudder. What I know for sure is that Poverty & Wealth are both a mind set! And I can say that because I have seen the best of both worlds'! In Mark 4:25 (KJV) we read: For he that hath, to him shal be given: and that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath." It may appear to be harsh sentiments. I have thought long and hard over this. I have come to the understanding for me that it is given according to my desire and willingness to seek, learn. Because I have the knowledge it is now mine and well it cannot be taken from me!

Truth is there is no such thing as poor! i didn't know I was poor growing up until someone told me and I was fixated on the idea. Before then I was just as happy and any mega billionaire! I like what Bill Shakespeare penned "nothing is good or bad, except our thinking makes it so!"


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Great hub William !..

I heard that if we all were given the same amount of money each (say a million pounds). the people who were rich before would become rich again, and the poor will become poor again!!

Interesting comment from Pat in her last paragraph;)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

It's true, pat, that poverty and wealth are mind sets, but it's also true that children from poor families tend to have the "poor" mindset while children of the wealthy tend to have the "wealthy" mind set. I, too, did not know I was poor when I was a boy in Yonkers, N.Y. -- but the wealthy sure knew who were poor and who weren't. It is difficult, at best, to change one's mindset and move from one class to another. It's rarely done successfully. Shakespeare was right, of course, but our thoughts are heavily influenced by our social standing and our upbringing. Thanks, pat, for your very thoughtful comments.

Thank you for the compliment, compu-smart. There's little doubt the rich would become rich again -- and the poor would become poor again -- and that relates to that "mind set" pat mentioned. In the United States the wealthy have always made the laws and controlled the business environment. Have you ever seen a poor congressman or a poor senator or a poor president -- or a poor industrialist?


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Nope!!!

I would love to be around in a few hundred years time, for the pure reason, to see if things have change for the better or worse!! and what were the reasons!!.

which ever way things turned out, who would be to blame? the people or politicians? or people for voting for politicians!!?


pjdscott profile image

pjdscott 8 years ago from Durham, UK

A most interesting hub. I agree with your points - sometimes poor people have far better family values and happiness, not that it is much consolation when you are wondering from where your next meal will come.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks, pjdscott. I find it amazing that poor people can be so happy-go-lucky when, as you say, they often don't know where their next meal is coming from -- or their next gallon of gasoline (if they're lucky enough to have a car.) But I'm afraid the number of poor people is rising almost daily while our economy speeds downhill.


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

I think we share many of the same opinions and make many of the same points in our writing. You're simply much more diplomatic about it than I. It's an admirable skill.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

As I often say when I'm playing golf, ColdWarBaby, "it's a constant struggle." Thanks for your kind remarks.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I think there's an almost Zen element to the "poor but happy" mindset. Thoreau explored it thoroughly in his Walden essay. (Although he was hardly an example of what Pat mentioned above.

Personally I haven't mastered it. We fall well in the middle of the middle class range (isn't that what everyone says?) but find our footing slipping as the economy, inflation, gas, food, and most importantly health care costs skyrocket. This is hitting my family's wallet in a very personal and painful way.

My husband's work is as a collections manager at a fine art museum, so he has more dealings with wealthy folks than the average middle class joe. It is an interesting place to be and observe the mindset of the wealthy. I think you could almost call it "entitlement" or "deserving." Whereas the mindset of the poor is more like "non-deserving" or "non-entitlement," but just my take.

Oh, and sorry I haven't been back for a while but about the attribution thing...Rich Dad, Poor Dad isn't journalism at all. I couldn't agree with you more!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

In the 1960's, Wannabwestern, I had a lot of close contact with some of the biggest corporate executives in New York (and that's the world) so I was able to get a good look at their mindsets. They are very personable people, but they are accustomed to being on top of the heap -- and they like it that way. They talk softly, but they carry a big stick.I used to sit at board meetings and think, "Every one of these men (always "men") could light their cigars with hundred dollar bills and think nothing of it, while I wondered if I had enough for my next meal.


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

Well put, I couldn't agree more. Some nice people in our circle of acquaintance too. Entitlement carries some negative connotations, so a poor word choice. My husband did some work for one of the millionaires out here, and agonized about what to charge. He finally named the higher price, deciding he was worth it, and the millionaire took the money out of his wallet and paid him cash without blinking. It was a good lesson for us in valuing our skills. It resonates with the "shirt off your back" comment made in your article.


socio-literature profile image

socio-literature 7 years ago from Ireland

Socially committed and transformative articles.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thank you, socio-literature. I appreciate your comment.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

In this economy right now , I honestly feel poor however there isn't any other way but up and that is the direction that I am continuing to move toward. You have such passion when you write and I hope that I can write like you. :)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

You're very kind, AEvans. These are tough times for most of us, but a positive outlook helps. The poor and unemployed suffer the most any time the economy takes a dip. I wish more people had a little more compassion.


tdarby profile image

tdarby 7 years ago

Great hub. I have worked with the "terminally poor" for over 10 years now in temporary staffing. I started my own company several years ago to try and focus on finding people long term employment. It is sad to see how many people don't take advantage of the opportunities we find them--they just take a job and quit it soon after. I really think for some people it is their mindset--and how do we change this? I think the best way is through good community outreach programs designed to help people adjust what they think is possible. Thanks for a fabulous hub.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thank you,tdarby, for your comment and for your effort in behalf of the "terminally poor." It's an almost insurmountable adjustment, I think, for the "terminally poor" to go from long term unemployment to employment on an equal status with the long term employed (who obviously have been more prosperous.) Community outreach programs are wonderful, but the "terminally poor" may well feel they showed up at a formal ball in sneakers and a T-shirt.


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 7 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

And now many months after you wrote this excellent hub, things have just gotten worse. I see the poor, those who no longer have their unemployment benefits, every day in my office as I try to help them find ways to survive.

True, there are places where it is worse, the people are poorer, but we are supposed to be the beacon of hope for the world, and unfortunately our light has been growing dim and no one is there to replace the bulb.

I do remember the Rockefeller quote, but I am afraid there is simply not enough money to make everyone wealthy. There is not even enough money to make sure everyone is just OK and keeping their heads above water.

People fear losing what they have, but they don't realize is that they never had what they thought was theirs to begin with. Buy a house? Really, though, even after it's paid off, just miss those tax payments and we'll see who really owns the house. Got a job? Tick off the boss and you're gone. Have money in the bank? Well, better check to make sure it's still there. And even if it is, how long can you survive on that? Sell everything you own? Garage sales sure make us wealthy, don't they?

Excellent hub as always, Bill.

Chef Jeff


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

It's sad, Chef Jeff, that things indeed have gotten worse since I wrote this piece. The poor and middle class, and especially the homeless, have been all but forgotten.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

This is a very excellent Hub on a subject that many would like to ignore in the hopes that it will just go away, or at least not bother them any more.

In South Africa since the first democratic elections of 1994 the number of people living below the poverty line has slightly diminished. The really worrying factor though is that the gap between the rich and the poor has steadily and quite rapidly widened so that this country has a gap as measured by the Gini co-efficient of about 0.69, which is shockingly high, one of the highest in the world, in fact.

Social peace and stability is not possible with a high Gini - increasing levels of violence and crime are the symptoms of the inequality in our society, and these are not likely to turn around until the size of the gap is addressed and the poor begin to feel that their lives are really getting better.

Thanks for a great Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Sadly, Tony, too many people find it comfortable to ignore the plight of the poor. The gap widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, however, is reaching proportions too great to ignore. Thank you for your incisive and insightful comments.


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Well said - wonderful article, W.F. Torpey! The separation between the poor and rich is greater than ever, which you've outlined nicely here. Do you have any suggestions for what the average person can do to stand out/up against this tendency for all talk to be about riches rather than poor people issues when next there's a recession, stock market crash, etc, in the headlines?


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I wish I had the answers, mythbuster. Many of my friends and acquaintances have little or no sympathy for the plight of the poor. Personally, I think it's a defense mechanism that covers the fear of becoming poor. Many equate "poor" with all the negative adjectives: lazy, inadequate, ignorant, unworthy, etc. In the long run, the answer must be in creating a society in which everyone is respected and treated equally by all by virtue of his or her humanity. We've got a long way to go (but universal health care for everyone would be a great start.)


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 7 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Excellent hub. Poor people are extremely generous and that is one reason why we stay poor. We give everything we have away to someone else who might need it more than we do. The poor also pay more on interest. They don't have the credit for regular bank loans, so they go to a payday lender that charges probably 3 times more in interest than a bank would. They cannot get car loans due to collateral and credit problems so they go to a buy here, pay here, car lot and pay 5 times what the car is worth, and triple the normal lending interest. They cannot afford new furniture so they go to the rent a centers for furniture and computers, etc. on a rent to own basis, causing them to pay 20 times by the final payment, what the merchandise would normally sell for. The poor never really get to own a home, so they pay high rents and still have no ownership for all the mortgage payments they have made for their landlord. And I could go on and on and on. Meanwhile the super rich, like the Rothschilds, cheat, steal, and scam the their way to the top, controlling all of the money and its flow and starting the federal reserve which was their privately owned bank. They start wars and send our poor youth to fight in them because the poor cannot afford college and the military is their only option for income and education. The people in power will always make sure that the poor stay poor because that is how the powerful and rich stay powerful and rich. They suck the life out of the poor for survival.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

You have summed up the problem succinctly and clearly, lisadpreston. I agree entirely. Poor people work hard for every penny they make while the wealthy accumulate huge sums of money without work -- through interest, dividends, stock options and stock manipulations and oil depletion allowances as well as real estate and downright illegal Ponzi schemes. The poor can only buy a 50 million to 1 bet on a Lotto ticket in the hope of finding a way out of their plight. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I can,t help linking health care to this discussion, when i wrote of the need to give health care to the poor,i was reminded that the poor were lazy or they would have insurance.The haves don,t want to give anything to the havenots, and that,s a fact. That,s why they hate President Obama who wants equality for all

Thank you for a most informative topic.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Not only do the "haves" do everything they can to separate themselves from the "have nots," always exploring, but they have sold a bill of goods to many in the middle class that they, too, should shun the poor and hook their star to the "haves." It's a scam that too many middle class Americans have fallen for hook, line and sinker.


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california

Beautifully written. Thanks!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thank you, Deni Edwards, for dropping by.


gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

I agree with lisa. Although I know people who are on Welfare and their children grow up to be on welfare too. Is it hereditary? Some of these people can work but choose not to. That is where some of the taxes we pay go to. I resent them taking my hard earned money so they can sit on their butts all day and drink beer.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Children who are raised by parents on Welfare start life with many drawbacks, gr82bme. Those children who "choose" not to work are not living "the Life of Riley." They have fallen through the cracks most likely because they have no marketable skills, inadequate education and no understanding of our complex economic system. I don't believe those few people who behave as you describe enjoy their sad lives. Who would want to change places with them?

These people need help that their not getting. Our country should be doing more to help those in our society who need our help.


gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

My son and his wife have worked hard for the last 10 years and has been laid off. They went to the state to get help with medical insurance. They have two small children and have been turned down everywhere.

If anyone deserve help they do. They have been paying taxes and should get help.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I agree, gr8bme. No one should have to do without health care. That why President O'Bama's health care program is needed. If it's left to the insurance companies too many citizens will be denied health care coverage when its needed.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi William - "no one to my knowledge has told the quintessential story of the poor, the truly poor -- how they became poor, and why, ultimately, they always will be poor!"

Can I refer you to 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists', by Robert Tressell? Written in the early 20th century, it describes and explains the hopeless and inescapable poverty of large sections of the working class. What that book describes locally is now being enacted globally. It is a sobering read.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I appreciate the tip, Paraglider. I'll definitely put "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" on my reading list.


George J Hardy profile image

George J Hardy 5 years ago from Southern New Jersey

Wonder how much more careful people will be with their health should all health care be free from the government - I grew up under the military health plan, it was best avoided because of its poor quality and general government nonsense, avoiding it kept us very healthy indeed but some joker back home was paying for it; just something to think about.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

My experience with government health care is much different, George J Hardy. I've always received excellent care. During my active service my needs were always met professionally with no "government nonsense." And following my service the Veterans Administration hospitals have given me great care, including my triple bypass and subsequent care both in Connecticut and in New York. It's worth every penny taxpayers invest in their servicemen and their veterans.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

You are fortunate William that you received good VA health care. My youngest brother did not fare as well but overall I agree with you that our veterans deserve nothing but the best.

Statistically you are correct in saying that the poor give much more (proportionately) to help people than do the rich. Perhaps that is where that Bible saying comes from...something to the extent that a rich person getting into Heaven will be like a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Something to think about!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

The VA hospitals do a very good job for many veterans I know personally, Peggy W. Of course there are some veterans who do not fare as well as they had hoped, but the private hospitals do not have a very good record in malpractice cases. Right wingers like to criticize (unjustly) anything the government does. Regarding the generosity of the poor, I have seen it demonstrated throughout my life.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

WFT, This hub is even more relevant today than it was when you wrote it 3 years ago! I read every word and sadly, agree. I wonder if a book like you suggest, titled, "How I lost my fortune and became homeless" would contribute to society? We in America prefer happy endings. But perhaps it could read, "How I lost my fortune and discovered life" or "How I lost my fortune and found happiness." This is a book for the times, isn't it! I find it astonishing that my mother (who has so little), forgave us a similar debt to the one that my mother in law (who is rich) keeps track of to the penny and charges us interest to maintain. I choose to be like my mother. Thanks for a timeless hub.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

How about "How I Lost My Fortune and Found Happiness," Storytellersrus? Or "How I Turned Misfortune to Fortune?" Thank you for the kind comment. I like your choice.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

There are horror cases in both government and private hospitals. In my brother's case in the hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, the resident doctor that was doing surgery (by mistake) severed the common bile duct and pancreatic duct. The head surgeon then came in and repaired the ducts and my brother was supposed to be NPO (nothing by mouth...even sips of water) for a month to hopefully let the new tubes (ducts) function and stay open. The first thing he was offered in his room (had we not been there to stop it) was ice water. Just a small inkling of why my parents told him to go the private route after that. This was just a small sampling of what we observed...and I was an OR nurse at the time at Methodist Hospital in Houston. We felt like someone from the family had to be with him at all times to protect him. I actually wrote a hub about it.

In private hospitals the resident surgeons normally only get to hold retracters and sew up only the top portions of an incision. In government hospitals they get to do everything. This is part of their training.

Please believe me, I am not intending to say all government hospitals are bad. Quite the contrary. They accomplish some wonderful things for many people and have many dedicated people working there. And for many people, there is no other option.

All hospitals whether public or private should be top notch with the best equipment and dedicated people working there. Sadly this is not always the case.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

I rely entirely upon the VA hospitals for my health care, Peggy W. In my case, I feel confident that I would not have fared as well in a private hospital. The care I receive is superb. I realize that many of those who care for my needs are in training, but everyone has to learn. I'm happy to be a part of their learning process. Mistakes are made in any profession. All we can do is strive to do the best we can and set up procedures to ensure that mistakes are at a minimum and corrected when they do occur.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Yes, either of those title choices would be required reading for my family members, and of course, ME! Thanks!

BTW, whenever I read your words, I imagine Bing is speaking. This gives you an unfair advantage. Who could ever argue with the effervescent Bing? Wonderful avatar!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

White Christmas, every year!


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

"Mistakes are made in any profession. All we can do is strive to do the best we can and set up procedures to ensure that mistakes are at a minimum and corrected when they do occur." Very true! I'll just bet that you are a patient that everyone loves judging from your online demeaner. And hopefully you have not had to spend much time in hospitals or clinics.

Changing the subject...Bing Crosby would have so enjoyed your hubs! :)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 5 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y. Author

Thanks,Peggy W. Bing Crosby was a very self-effacing man. He was embarrassed, I think, when people threw compliments his way. His children always said that when he was wanted to give them a big compliment all he would say is "not bad." As a singer, I say Bing was "not bad."


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

One thing I've noticed in American society, our cultural mind-set has little empathy or understanding for those who have "failed." It is a mark of shame. After all, are not all men created equal? With equal opportunity? No, they are not. We forget the weaknesses of our educational system, the power of connections and how they are made, the legacy of family fortune. We love our myths of starting out with the shirt on your back and dime -- without ever wondering as to their legitimacy. When someone is poor, we assume it is their fault. After all, Steve Jobs did well. (Never mind he came from a family the could afford to educate him well.) Or look at Bill Gates. (ditto)

We have come to consider poverty as a poor choice rather than a set of circumstances. And there lies the rub. The deserving poor is a comment oft made to suggest that some may be deserving of help, but in truth, we apply the thought of deserving poor as meaning they deserve their poverty. Certainly, they do not deserve our care, attention or financial assistance.

Social Darwinism is resurfacing in our collective consciousness, though we rarely are honest enough to admit that fact.

Thanks for a great read. Lynda

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