View Poll Results: Why are today's poor more miserable?

Voters
48. You may not vote on this poll
  • Because they don't have all their needs met.

    8 16.67%
  • Because advertising constantly reminds them of what they can't afford.

    16 33.33%
  • Because the rich are too rich!!

    7 14.58%
  • Because they (the poor) no longer farm.

    5 10.42%
  • Because they are no longer needed for manufacturing.

    4 8.33%
  • Because they're packed into cities.

    8 16.67%
  • Because welfare breeds dependence and thus resentment.

    20 41.67%
  • N/A - the poor have always been pretty equally miserable.

    12 25.00%
  • Other (explain)

    15 31.25%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

  1. #91
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    So in other words you lied just made up something to generate discussion.
    I didn't "lie." I did assert it, and admittedly without evidence, but so what? That's why I created a poll where people could disagree if they wanted. My intuition tells me that the statement I admittedly made up, without evidence, is nonetheless likely generally true.

    I am pretty the standards of living back then were pretty obvious between the poor and rich and the rich had luxuries that the poor did not have.
    No doubt. This thread is not about living standards though.

    The state of mind is irrelevant to the definition of being financially poor.
    But I'm not asking about the "definition of being financially poor," I'm asking specifically about the state of mind of the poor now compared to a long time ago. So the state-of-mind issue is PRECISELY relevant to this thread, whereas the "definition" of poor is what's irrelevant.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-21-12 at 06:13 PM.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Select all that apply.

    I ask this with the underlying questions being, "What is it about poverty that we should be trying to resolve? Is it more important for those in poverty to organize and demand that their poverty be somehow eradicated...

    ...or is it more important for those in poverty to find ways to feel empowered, fulfilled, and independent, despite their limited means?
    Expectations. It's all about expectations. If you've ever listened to those who grew up during the depression, you know some real poverty stories. My mom used to eat lard-and-bread sandwiches. They ate dandelion greens. They couldn't afford chickens because they didn't have any money to buy feed for them. Couldn't have pigs for the same reason. They had a cow because she could graze on the land, so they had milk and butter. They ate lots of fish they caught in the river . . . a 6-mile walk from home . . . the boys would stay overnight.

    Mom had one dress. One. That was for Sundays. They had no car . . . walked everywhere. Did they know they were poor? That answer would be, "No, they didn't." That was life.

    And now we have politicians telling us that we're poor . . . that the middle class is dwindling . . . that we're entitled to have the wealth spread around. And we pine.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Expectations. It's all about expectations. If you've ever listened to those who grew up during the depression, you know some real poverty stories. My mom used to eat lard-and-bread sandwiches. They ate dandelion greens. They couldn't afford chickens because they didn't have any money to buy feed for them. Couldn't have pigs for the same reason. They had a cow because she could graze on the land, so they had milk and butter. They ate lots of fish they caught in the river . . . a 6-mile walk from home . . . the boys would stay overnight.

    Mom had one dress. One. That was for Sundays. They had no car . . . walked everywhere. Did they know they were poor? That answer would be, "No, they didn't." That was life.

    And now we have politicians telling us that we're poor . . . that the middle class is dwindling . . . that we're entitled to have the wealth spread around. And we pine.
    If I could like this 1000 times, I would.

    My only quibble, and it is very minor, would that they knew they were poor, but still they knew it was life. They just did what they had to do. And your point about the government (and media) telling us we're poor is something I have been thinking about for awhile now, but haven't been able to articulate.
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  4. #94
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Seems to me that individuals who would actually make this claim wouldn't have an inkling as to what an impoverished lifestyle actually entailed a century ago, or failed to listen to their grand and great grandparents depression era tales around the dinner table. True misery, the likes of which modern day America will hopefully never witness.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    You must be young. Financial aid was available to students in the eighties. As was unemployment insurance.
    Not like it is today.
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    A century ago people understood how to live within their means and enjoy the finer things in life like family, friends, and comradery. That was their reality that we all will have to learn to do as well...live within our means.
    Libertarian and Atheist...wow I'm a hated man.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joechilli View Post
    From walking the streets in Washington DC, which to be Frank were quite horrific, I do not believe the poor are any better off in the USA. Infact I would say it is better to be poor in any other first world industrialised country than the USA.

    Most people in poverty feel ashamed, the lack of human empathy shown for such people is disturbing to say the least.

    I think it's one of those 'until it happens to you' sort of things for most people sadly.
    (I was trying to find the interview where they were forced to eat rats but it's been pulled)


    The first shall come last and the last shall come first
    Being poor and being dirt poor (for lack of a better term) are two different things, I have been both.

    Right now I am poor; I must tell you that it’s pretty nice. I have EBT so I eat well. I get government assistance that pays for my house, cable/internet, and I bought a new computer with my tax returns. I haven’t worked in over a year.

    Being dirt poor is a mental condition. During my twenties I decided to live out of a van for three years, I thought it would be “cool”. It was cool. I had no bills and the freedom to go where ever I wanted. As far as eating goes, I found ways to get by. I earned what money I could, and frankly I drank most of it away. When I met others in similar dirt poorness I found that there is a certain laziness to the life style. They would always moan about it not being fair that they live like this, but they would never do anything about it. So; like me they chose to be dirt poor.

    When I decided to end my time being dirt poor, it ended. I got a job and an apartment. I later married and started a small café’ with my wife. The bad economy hit and killed our café’. I have not been able to find a job for over a year. I have decided I will not live like a moocher so I enlisted in the Army.

    In America; Poverty is a choice.
    COMEDY 4 ALL! it's a life Philosophy.

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  8. #98
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    This is exactly the sort of attitude I'm asking about. Why is this so prevalent? "Yeah yeah, we have all these conveniences that people didn't have fifty years ago, but it doesn't matter, because I STILL HAVE PROBLEMS!!!" Of course you do. Living organisms always develop problems. What's with the helpless attitude?
    I'm simply explaining that having items does not equate having a good standard of living. They're just items. If you're still broke, starving, or can't afford to keep them working, what's it matter what items you have?

    It's not about hopelessness. It's about dispelling this persistent myth that having a TV equals having a good life. Most low-end apartments these days come with TV's. You can't sell them because they belong to the landlord. Even if you could, they aren't worth more than 10 bucks. And they probably don't work, because a low-end landlord probably didn't get the TV upgraded a few years ago.

    You can cross-apply this to virtually any object that you'd like to equate with having a good life. It's a ridiculous fallacy.

    Dying old money families have entire storage units full of fancy items, but they're still broke and can't afford their rent, and nothing they own is actually worth anything.

    That's right, we don't. That's why I'm asking this question. But I'm not asking "hey, what's it like to be poor? Tell me a sad story..." I'm asking why such intense psychological distress about being poor today (even though they have such better living conditions/standards today than the poor did a long time ago)?
    I don't think it's worse than it was long ago. In some ways I think it's probably better. And I don't think the poor feel worse than they did in years gone by.

    As a matter of fact, I think some of the poor are happier in some ways. Some have better and less judgmental communities than well-to-do people. It's true that surrounding that community framework is a lot of danger, but that makes it all the tighter. It also depends on what sort of poor culture you're in; some are better than others in that respect.

    I don't think this necessarily makes their lives better so much as it helps them deal with how much their lives suck, and it refocuses their minds to other things they can attain without money.

    But being poor is stressful. Being hungry and broke and feeling like you're getting more and more buried each day is stressful. The condition itself is the cause of the distress.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by AreteCourage View Post
    A century ago people understood how to live within their means and enjoy the finer things in life like family, friends, and comradery. That was their reality that we all will have to learn to do as well...live within our means.
    A century ago, lifestyles of the rich and famous were something you read about in fairy tale books. We depended upon our family, friends and neighbours whereas to day, we depend on the state. Today, ANY no-brain can hit it big playing stick and ball games, becoming a rapper, dealing drugs or if they have no conscience or decency at all, a Wall Street broker. The "stuff" of wealth is put on those free TV screens 24x7 in every slumlord appartment, so we find that to be the new normal and feel so horribly hard done by when we can't have all of that too.

    There is NO reason for anyone to starve in this day and age on this continent, or even go without a decent education, housing and clothing. Lack of THOSE were realities a century ago - and much moreso during the '30s.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Plenty of money is being spent on education.
    You're right. But spending money on education isn't the same as actually giving people a quality education. Visit an inner-city public school some time...many of them are dropout factories, and it's virtually impossible for students to get an education there.
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