Emergencies really do crop up more often for poor people. Necessities, like vacuum cleaners or phones or bedding or shoes, need replacement or repair more often when you only buy the cheapest possible option.
Poor people’s health tends to be compromised by cheap, unhealthy food; stress; being around lots of similarly-poor contagious sick people who can’t afford to stay home or get treatment; inadequate healthcare; and often, hazardous and/or demanding work conditions.
So we get sick more. On top of that, many people are poor specifically because of disability. All of that is expensive - even if you just allow your health to deteriorate, eventually you can’t work, which is - say it with me - expensive.
When you’re poor, even the cheapest (most temporary) solution for an emergency often breaks the bank. Unexpected expenses can be devastating. People who aren’t poor don’t realize that an urgent expense of thirty dollars can mean not eating for a week. Poor people who try to save find our savings slipping away as emergency after emergency happens.
I don’t think people who’ve never been poor realise what it’s like. It’s not that we’re terrible at budgeting, it’s that even the most perfect budget breaks under the weight of the basic maths: we do not have enough resources.
A lot of so called slacktivists are actually just people living in poverty who really can only share an article or two between whatever combination of jobs, chronic illnesses, or the increasingly unrealistic demands of higher education are grinding their life away.
This is a kind of neo-liberalism of the emotions, in which happiness is seen not as a response to our circumstances but as a result of our own individual mental effort, a reward for the deserving. The problem is not your sky-high rent or meager paycheck, your cheating spouse or unfair boss or teetering pile of dirty dishes. The problem is you.
It is, of course, easier and cheaper to blame the individual for thinking the wrong thoughts than it is to tackle the thorny causes of his unhappiness. So we give inner-city schoolchildren mindfulness classes rather than engage with education inequality, and instruct exhausted office workers in mindful breathing rather than giving them paid vacation or better health care benefits.
walmart like actively demonizes unions and encourages their employees to be fearful of them by spreading lies and propaganda about them lmao. like it would be really difficult to unionize walmart workers because as soon as youre hired they start making you learn anti-union propaganda and quiz you on it to make sure you’re adequately fearful of them and they do this multiple times. lmao they literally try to brainwash their employees into hating unions.
I think privilege of all types is best described as assuming that everyone has the ability to make the same choices that you made, and ignoring the fact that for some people those options don’t even exist.
“Why didn’t she just tell him no and push him away? As a man, I have the physical strength and inherent social respect from other men to expect to be safe at all times, I’m sure she would have gotten the exact same response as I would have if she had done what I would have done.”
“Why didn’t he just go to college? As a student in an affluent neighborhood, I had access to AP classes, extra-curriculars, and guidance counselors who helped me apply to schools, I’m sure he did, too.”
“Why didn’t he just comply with the police? He wouldn’t have been shot if he did everything right. As a white person, I’m given the benefit of the doubt by authority figures and not immediately pre-judged as a violent criminal because of my appearance, I’m sure those cops were afraid of him because he chose to be scary, not because of racism.”
“Why does she always take the elevator? It’s only one flight of stairs! As an able-bodied person, I’m capable of doing physical activities without fear of hurting myself or exacerbating health problems, and anyone who doesn’t have an immediately visible reason for doing less than I do must be lazy.”
People arguing that the poor shouldn’t have kids and that benefits should be cut from kids in families with “too many kids” are being super obvious that they don’t think of poor people as fully human. And also that they’re into genocide (it’s not like we live in a world where poverty, deprivation, and lack of access to resources is evenly distributed across all racial/ethnic groups and we all fucking know that).
Rights like being able to have a family, to raise children, to continue our families and cultures are basic parts of human rights that people should be able to choose to engage in (or not, if that’s their preference, but they shouldn’t be coerced not to).
Banning someone from having kids or starting a family or coercing them not to is an incredibly cruel thing to do to someone. And that’s what people are doing when they suggest poor people shouldn’t have kids. Rich people and classist assholes act like the choice is between having kids in poverty or having kids not in poverty and that’s just not how things go in reality. Most people born in poverty will remain in poverty or close to it. The choice to have kids and start a family outside of poverty is one denied to most people.
And don’t concern troll about the welfare of poor kids if you’re trying to cut their food, housing, education, etc. and if you see them as garbage drains on society. Concern for poor children is totally fucking unrelated to ruling class desires to control poor people and to victim blame poor people for poverty.
Poor people having kids isn’t what creates poverty, poverty is the result of systematic exploitation and a fucked up inhumane system. Kids born to the poor are as valuable and human as any other child, and poor people have as much rights to things like having a family as any other human being.