Editor’s Corner: Real Poverty Doesn’t Exist in America
Of course liberals hate it. And by it, I mean us. And by hate, I mean hate.
Going by what I gather from the feedback, we, at TheCollegeConservative, are all just “well-off privileged white people” (see snapshot below and notice the ethnicity of the poster), “judgmental white girl[s] that should rot in hell,” “the scum of the earth” (this one was emailed directly to me), and my personal favorite, “feminist Nazis” (that one doesn’t even make logical sense). In fact, much like Breitbart did, I’ve grown to enjoy the senseless ridicule.
People like this ignorant moron perpetuate the decline of society by attempting to delegitimize those who think and engage in intellectual discussion. If, Mr. Lawson, by “well-off, privileged white person” you mean that I live above the U.S. government’s ridiculously generous poverty line, have a roof over my head, have food to eat, and have caucasian ancestors, then yes, I am a well-off privileged white person. And, by the looks of it, so are you. (By the way, the original poster of the article to which he was referring is Hispanic.)
This problem extends past rhetoric. His argument’s implication is that the poster and commenters are illegitimate because they have never experienced poverty. As if he has.
There is no poverty in the United States. Poverty is suffering without a safety net. Can’t put food on the table? Get food stamps. Can’t put a roof over your head? Get subsidized housing. Can’t find a job? Get unemployment benefits. Safety net, safety net, safety net. One would have to put in a serious amount of effort to avoid the government programs and actually live in poverty.
America never sees what poverty really looks like; we just pretend to know what it is. So I’ll show you.
July 2010 – The road leading to a sugar cane village outside of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Workers here work fourteen hour days, six days a week, and make less than $100 per month. There are no food stamps, there is no subsidized housing, and there are no unemployment benefits. Break your leg on the job? Don’t expect worker’s compensation. Complain about pain all you want, but it won’t make a difference. Here, you work through the pain because if you can’t provide, you die. That’s poverty.
July 2010 – A typical house in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Where temperatures often exceed 100 degrees, there is no electricity and no air conditioning. If you can’t survive the heat, you die. That’s poverty.
This is also a home – located at a garbage dump outside of San Pedro de Marocis, Dominican Republic. These people use whatever garbage they can find to build a shelter. This particular group of people had not eaten a good, full, nourishing meal in over two months, nor do they have clean water. They dig rotten food from the trash piles to stay alive at the landfill, where over 2,000 other people also live. That’s poverty.
These kids north of Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic are waiting in line to receive a ham and cheese sandwich and a juice box. Some of them don’t own a shirt or pants. This sandwich is the largest amount of food that they will receive in a month’s time. That’s poverty.
June 2008 – A group of school children in Huasimpamba, Ecuador. Most families cannot afford the $120-a-year education, let alone the school uniform, which costs about $8. That’s poverty.
Food is a need. Water is a need. Shelter is a need.
Contraceptives are not a need. Vehicles are not a need. iPhones are not a need.
We, as a nation, are currently in a debate over whether or not the government should provide contraceptives in low-cost healthcare plans. Forget the moral/religious side of the debate. The fact of the matter is, if you’re too poor to be able to afford contraceptives on your own, you’re likely too poor to take care of a child. Meaning, essentially, you need to keep your pants on. Have some self-control, Romeo.
Vehicles are not a need. Take a bus to work. Take a train. Ride a bike. Walk. Roll. Somersault. Cartwheel.
And yeah, I’ll say it. If you’re on food stamps, using taxpayer money to buy lobsters, steaks, and birthday cakes, you shouldn’t have a $300 iPhone with a $60+ per month data, talk, and text package. If you want to talk to your mom or your sister, write them a letter. It costs 45 cents.
America is lazy and entitled.
We may have an 8.3% unemployment rate, but I know of plenty of McDonalds and Walmart stores that are always hiring. The people in the pictures above would be ecstatic to make $7.25 an hour at a fast food joint or retail store. Because they live in real poverty. Hippies sipping on Starbucks cups and singing Bob Marley don’t.
We, as conservatives, must stop allowing the “well-off” and “99%” rhetoric to be used by the left to divide the country. The bottom line is, we’re all wealthy in America compared to most of the world. Accept it, be thankful for it, and be generous with it.
Know what poverty looks like and when someone tries to delegitimize you because you’re well-off, kindly remind them that they are too.