Why do poor Americans complain about being poor yet want to live an affluent, co

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  1. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    Why do poor Americans complain about being poor yet want to live an affluent, comfortable lifestyle

    on someone's dime, not making any concerted effort on their part to improve themselves?  The American poor it seems want to live the good life. However, they feel to realize that in order to live an affluent lifestyle, they must plan, organize, & work smart to attain such a lifestyle. They would rather wish to be affluent, looking to the affluent to foot their bills through taxes or if the affluent are family members, expect the latter to support them because they refuse to succeed on their own. Oftentimes, the worst thing is to help a poor person because this robs them of their independence.


  2. tamarawilhite profile image91
    tamarawilhiteposted 2 years ago

    Our modern economy and entire human history is driven by a desire to have more and do more. The beauty of the capitalist system is raising the standard of living globally such that most people (aside from the bottom two billion) have enough food, running water, electricity, free education through at least 8th grade (depends on nation), vaccinations with child mortality rates at their lowest level in human history ...
    Hans Rosling's TED talks on this are a great way to look at it, showing worldwide trends for several centuries on wealth and health in only a few minutes.
    And it is normal for people to want more, as we are a social and hierarchical species. The young men growing up often wanted to be soldiers to become lords - now many can enter business and get rich without having to kill someone else to get the noble title. Others look at developing a farm or factory to make it more productive, helping society and personally profiting, too.
    Even those who don't want more for themselves instinctively want more for their children, because there was a strong historical correlation between health and wealth (example: higher child survival rates for the middle and upper class versus the poor, having 8 kids while 3 grow up for middle class people while the poor had 12 children and 3-4 grew up, the noblemen were associated with being tall and handsome because they had more protein to grow taller than the poor and less likely to catch disfiguring diseases). So even today you have Cinderella stories of women marrying the prince (see Prince Charles' sons still staying on the tabloids) or the rich man (millionaire matchmaker, The Bachelor), with her family supporting it, but rarely a woman marrying a poor man ever applauded.

    Capitalism at least gives us more options, the children who aren't heirs to property able to earn other professions and have a good life. And those in the working class can become wealthy over time with saving and investing, building a business, or going to college and getting a middle class job and life.

    As to socialism: Socialism Makes People Selfish

  3. ptosis profile image75
    ptosisposted 2 years ago


    Grace, I'm starting to think you have kin who are poorer than you and trying to take advantage of your wealth and then you extrapolate to a group of people that number into the millions in a very bigoted way.

    Are you talking poor Americans? Indians? Asians? Or mostly every body into entire world? Do you really hate the 99% that much?

    All I know is I've seen entire families of 22 people hotbedding in a apartment, working all three shifts, and some working 17 hours a day. Everybody works, the kids, the grandparents, everybody. So I don't know how you extrapolate how many of your personal experiences that you have observed and give a blanket opinion on 99% of the world's population like that.

    There are lazy people - yes, not all are poor, there are some rich lazy people also. Can you name a few rich lazy people who haven't worked a sweaty dirty job one day in their lives? I can. Can you?

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      No one is taking advantage of me-NO WAY, I WON'T LET THEM.  However, there are poor people who believe that their affluent relatives should support them financially. They want to live RICH but AREN'T about to work for it. They would rather-FREELOAD..

  4. wingedcentaur profile image80
    wingedcentaurposted 2 years ago

    Hi Grace Marguerite Williams! How's it going?

    Then thing is poor Americans do not really "complain" about being poor. If they did really "complain," they would be protesting in the streets---as happens in other countries where there is much more---wait for it---class consciousness.

    If by "complain," you mean that poor people often sit around in despair of their condition and talk about how much it sucks being poor... then... well... being poor is something to despair about; and it is something to "vent" about sometimes. Why not?

    Everyone wants to live at least a comfortable lifestyle. But you say that "they" (the poor monolithically drawn) wish to do so on "someone's dime." Where is the charity?

    The great Noam Chomsky used to always say something like this: If we lived in a "functional democracy," we would celebrate April 15 (tax day) instead of throwing on the black garb of mourning.


    Because we could celebrate the fact that we were all paying for programs for the benefit of all (with those of us who have the most need getting the most help). Who's "dime" is it, when you get right down to it?

    Also, how do we know that "poor Americans" are "not making any concerted effort on their part to improve themselves"? How do we know that?

    You also say that "they" need to "plan, organize, & work smart to attain such a lifestyle," referencing the "good life" or "affluent lifestyle." Did everybody in our society, who lives the "good life," get there by "planning, organizing, and working smart"?

    What about the rich who entirely or most inherit their wealth? What about a healthy estate tax to redistribute some of that wealth----that living and working in the United States facilitated so and so's great grandfather in accumulating?

    In this sense, through redistributive policies, the affluent should "foot" the "bills" of the rest of us, actually.

    Also, you say that there are those who "refuse to succeed on their own." First of all, as you well know, nobody succeeds on her own; all successful people have help---social and professional networks, mentors, etc. You say, "Oftentimes, the worst thing is to help a poor person because this robs them of their independence."

    I wish more people felt this way about the big banks that the government bailed out in the wake of the 2008 financial-economic crisis. Where was the concern for preserving their independence?


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