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Source: abhishek goel on Pexels.

The Saddest Truths About Poor People

These seven realities will surprise you


The idea that they’re a drain on society. Poor people do the hardest jobs that nobody else wants to do, but nobody wants to pay well. You love McDonald’s, Starbucks, and all the other places that require jobs people need to do, but everybody still thinks that it’s unacceptable these people should have a livable wage for their work. Then, when some of these people decide to go on welfare, or get public assistance, society looks down on them for not working hard enough.

Poor people work the hardest but have to deal with the worst image in society.


Everything is regressive. If the taxes on everyday products goes up 5%, people making over $150,000 a year don’t feel it. But, if you are making $30,000 or less, that 5% hurts. It is noticeable, whereas somebody in the upper middle-class won’t know the difference.

Example: $30,000 annual salary and a $150,000 salary spend comparable amounts on food. Let’s say they each will spend about $10,000 a year on food. A 10% increase on the cost of food will equate to an extra $1,000 each year. The person making $30,000 a year will probably not have the money lying around to afford that extra $1,000, whereas the person making $150,000 will have no real issue with that increase and may not feel its impact at all. According to this study on Yahoo!, 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings. The majority of people already live paycheck to paycheck.


Poverty is the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re poor, chances are you live in a poorer neighborhood. Schools and resources that are funded in your area are primarily funded by property taxes, among other things. If the general wealth of your neighborhood is not so great, your schools and resources won’t be great, either. Poorer neighborhoods, poorer schools, less incentive for teachers, worse education, less opportunity for the next generation to climb the economic ladder.


It’s okay if it is welfare for the rich. Remember that we bailed out the banks that preyed on those who lost their homes? According to this article, the total commitment of TARP was almost $17 trillion (even though they didn’t actually use that amount). It really is too big to fail. But if you can’t pay for your home, that’s your fault. Golden parachutes are real. If you mess up in the trillions, that’s perfectly fine. If you mess up in the thousands, get ready to pay dearly.

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Source: FRED homeowner equity chart

Not only $7 trillion in homeowner wealth, either. It won’t end at losing your home — get ready to have your taxes handed over to those who need it the most, billionaires.


The hammer of justice is different depending on how much money you have. If you are poor and you go rob a bank with a gun, you’ll probably take a couple thousand dollars and end up with a felony along with prison time. If you are HSBC bank laundering cash for the Mexican drug cartels to the amount of billions, according to the Justice Department, then you might have to pay a small fine in penalties. Much like Visa, MasterCard, and Amex, who all charge about 3% for a merchant to process your transaction. The cartels get a fantastic rate to move their money around. If you want your checks cashed as a poor person, those check cashing institutions are going to charge you north of 1%.


Health care is a privilege, not a right. If you are poor, chances are your access to healthcare is going to be non-existent or troubled to say the least. In 2009, a study published by the American Journal of Public Health said that there were nearly 45,000 deaths annually associated with a lack of health insurance. In the wealthiest country ever, for some reason, those who need health care the most can’t get it. It goes on to say, “the uninsured have a higher risk of death when compared to the privately insured, even after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors, and baseline health.” Anyway you want to interpret this, it’s disgusting. Healthcare should not be something blockaded. It’s a resource everyone needs to have access to.


We spend on defense, we leave the homeless alone. In the United States, the 2020 fiscal estimates peg that we will have spent about $1 trillion on defense. For all welfare assistance, we will spend about $200 billion. For food and nutritional assistance, we will spend $95 billion, on the unemployed and housing assistance, we will have spent $51 billion. It puts the perspective on all those articles you read about how much of a drag poor people are on the economy. When factoring in a lot of the income tax they provide to the government, they’re really the engine of our society. And then we turn around and act like there is no money left to provide for the rising homeless population in California.

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UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries:

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