Go back to previous topic
Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: The "Less Fortunate"
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25270&mesg_id=25280
25280, RE: The "Less Fortunate"
Posted by alek, Sun Apr-08-01 11:22 AM
>Therefore, if you are describing low-income
>earners as "less fortunate" (a
>term devised by Democrats and
>leftists alike I may add),

Damn them. Always trying to be considerate :-)

>it implies they simply were
>not lucky in life, instead
>of partially being victim of
>the decisions that they made
>in their own lives.

It's not a great term, and I wouldn't use it. I say "disempowered," or "oppressed," or simply "struggling." This is where I think "fortune" should come in: If you're lucky, your family has enough money to send you to a private university after high-school. If not, you go to a public university.

You see what I'm saying?

Everyone born in our society deserves to live above the poverty line with health care, education and security. If you're fortunate, you're doing a little better. If not, you're doing fine.

But, of course, let's tangle on this.

>Does the contrary ring true as
>well? Does that mean
>the ones who actually achieved
>and succeeded only done so
>because they were "lucky" and
>didn't work their ass off
>and make the decisions they
>needed to in order to
>accomplish what they have in

Obviously not. It's a stupid term.

>This actually has
>been a thought that has
>been going around sometime, as
>a year or two ago
>Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota)
>referred to high achievers as
>"Those who have won life's
>lottery". Is that how
>people actually percieve every financially
>independent person, as someone who
>was just "fortunate" to be
>in the spot they are
>in today, like picking a
>lottery number?

But NOW: Let's look at how it is. If you're born a person of color? It's not that your struggles are just based on luck, but you sure as hell are "unfortunate" to be colored because you're just going to have to struggle and it's hard as hell to get anywhere. Similarly, let's look at how it is for the white middle-class male born in Oregon. Yeah, it's due to the success of his parents that he goes to college, but he's fortunate in that our society works to his advantage, regardless of his own decisions or dedication (not that those don't effect his future, it's just that the channels will be there for him regardless).

>In this society
>do we try to educate
>people that it is possible
>to transfer yourself from either
>situation, granted that you make
>decisions supportive of success or

Sure, we teach that but for the most part it's not true.

>Do we actually
>live by the term, "Life
>is 10% of what happens
>to me and 90% of
>how I react to it.",
>or do we sit around
>miserably or even naively thinking
>that we live in a
>virtual caste system, and our
>situations, especially black people, will
>never change no matter what
>we do?

Somewhere in the middle. I'd say that if those who are disadvantaged try to take the traditional routes to success they're likely to fail. But if they dedicate themselves to changing the structure it's another ballgame.

>The second part of this thread
>seeks to question the standard
>of "poverty".
>What can actually be called poverty?
> What conditions and standards
>must be applied in order
>for someone to be called
>"poor", specifically in these United

It's a basic question. Do you have enough money/medical coverage/security to support yourself through life? If you have a family, do you have enough money/medical coverage/security to support them?

Some people have enough, some more than enough, and some WAY more than enough. Some just don't have enough, and between those that do and those that don't lies the poverty line.

>think when we tend to
> think of people that
>are "rich", we tend to
>think of multi-millionaires, mostly white,
>with mansions and rolls royces,
>limosines, etc. However, the
>IRS and politicians knowingly call
>someone that is making around
>$350,000/yr rich. Why?
>Because they are classified as
>the top 1% of wage-earners,

Yes. That's "rich." It's not rocket science, it's a vague term.

>aka to leftists "the greedy,
>filthy rich".


>Same with the poor. When
>we think of the poor,
>we tend to think of
>people living in sub-normal shelter
>and conditions. We think
>of homeless people. We
>think of people that dont
>have any food, wear dirty
>clothes, parents with no jobs,
>and children that go hungry.

Not me. I think of those, PLUS families living in EXTREMELY low-income housing/ghettos with no health care and sick kids and four jobs. And almost no future. That's poor.

>Sure, there are isolated spots
>in this country in which
>there are people that are
>indeed in need of help,
>such as Appalacia, but are
>all poor seen in the
>same standard? Can all
>welfare recipients be classified as
>poor, even though they have
>the luxuries that most people
>in America have: televisions,
>phones, VCR's, etc?

What people have (i.e. how they spend their money) has nothing to do with whether or not they're "poor." I'm sure you've seen a Lexus on golden rims pull up to a project entryway. That's not luxury.

>the "poverty rate" in America
>is supposed to be 10%,
>and hasn't dropped in the
>last 40 years.

It's actually gone up. They measure it wrong (in my opinion).

>are people in other nations
>that have never seen a
>television; in fact they would
>amazed at the sight of
>chewing gum.

They've got a completely different class spectrum. For instance, we've got 5% unemployment (yay!) while other countries have 30%. But guess what, having a job here sucks, whereas in other countries that actually provide their citizens with services having no job isn't that bad.


"Say some shit that suprise me...
My face don't change."