Can’t we just be nice?

Posted on June 24, 2011

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So I seem to be on a political streak with my posts lately. I can’t help it, talking about politics is just so fun, isn’t it!?!?! RIGHT!?!?! Haha…guess I’m just a poli sci nerd. Anyway, my political posts have sparked some harsh reaction, which ironically, I am glad about. I definitely don’t agree with the points made in response to my posts, but isn’t that what politics is all about? Debating topics and defending your views? It’s how we make political progress and is a cornerstone of democracy. I just wish people wouldn’t be so disrespectful when responding to my posts. I absolutely want to hear what you have to say, even if I think it’s B.S. There’s no reason to be so condescending towards me. But hey, I guess that’s just too much to ask of some people.

Today I want to talk about a commonly held misconception that people who are rich earned their wealth through hard work, and people who are poor just don’t work hard enough and therefore don’t deserve assistance.

Hold on while I simultaneously projectile vomit and bang my head against the wall.

Okay. Recovered.

There are certainly people who climbed their way up the economic ladder by setting a goal and reaching it through hard work and determination. I applaud that. But why does that mean that that person can’t give back to people in need?

Furthermore, there are many well-off people who DIDN’T achieve their wealth through hard work. They were simply born into wealth. They go through life not understanding what it is to struggle to put food on the table or to need to work two jobs in order to pay rent. Surviving is a lot easier for them. Why can’t they give back to people in need?

In many cases (and I don’t want to generalize – this doesn’t apply to every wealthy person), they feel that they should keep every cent they make because they earned it, and that someone who is poor doesn’t deserve any of their money. They assume that anyone who is poor is that way because they are lazy.

Oh god, I have to puke again.

I don’t understand how someone could think that. Yes, there are people out there who are lazy and try to exploit the system, but JEEPERS that is such a tiny, tiny minority of the entire population. MOST people who are poor struggle day in and day out to escape their situation. They don’t sit around watching cartoons all day and think, wow being desperately poor is fun, I’m gonna try to cheat the welfare system!

Being poor is a result of the economic system we live in, NOT laziness. Historic discrimination, the tax structure, the power system, inequality in education, the cycle of poverty, and so much more contributes to economic inequality. To write off poverty as a result of being lazy is SO ignorant.

The only way to close the growing gap between rich and poor is to redistribute wealth. The following graph shows how tax rates for the upper class have significantly dropped since 1960, but NOT for the middle class:

A little would go a LONG way. If taxes for the rich were increased by just the slightest bit and redistributed to the poor, it would help the poor A LOT, while only slightly denting the income of a wealthy person. Perhaps this means that the rich wouldn’t be able to buy that second Cadillac. Oh no, I hope you survive. This country needs to get its priorities straight. After 9/11 we all came together, unified. Why can’t it be that way all the time? Why does there have to be so much resistance to simply helping someone who needs it? Someone who is, in the end, just a victim of the system?

I know a family that has struggled with financial troubles. It has been difficult and stressful for them, yet they work hard, try to maintain a positive attitude, and focus on loving each other. The parents work endlessly and tirelessly to ensure their children have a bright future. I’m not sure if they really know how much I truly admire them for their courage in the face of hardship after hardship. I would do anything to see them get everything they need and want, because they are such special people who deserve it.

And to anyone who bitches about giving a small portion of their money to help people in that type of situation and who justifies their greed by claiming those people are just “lazy”: you sicken me. You contribute to so much pain in this world.

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