How often have you heard something like (From Here):
1. "Is the government now creating hobos?"
2. "You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to blow it on drugs.
3. "We shouldn't turn the safety net into a hammock. It should actually be a safety net."
4. "[W]e have put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry
5. "[C]ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."
6. "You know, there is an argument to be made that these extensions of unemployment benefits keep people from going and finding jobs.
7. "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans [after Hurricane Katrina]. We couldn't do it, but God did."
8. "If you've seen one city slum, you've seen them all."
9. "You know, people are poor in America ... not because they lack money; they're poor because they lack values, morals and ethics.
10. "[Y]ou gotta look people in the eye and tell 'em they're irresponsible and lazy .... Because that's what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.
Statements like these begs the question:
What Have The Poor Done For Us?
Here is a great list of what they have done for us:
- They built it. The country was literally built on the backs of poor immigrants and slaves. To this day, construction workers are some of the hardest working people in the country, yet their average wage is only $50,000 per year, which includes management. People that maintain the roads driven by the wealthy (and everyone else) are paid only $30,000 per year.
- They care for our children. The average nanny is paid only about $30,000 per year, usually without benefits.
- They teach our children. The average teacher makes around $45,000 a year, which might not sound poor, but for that salary, most positions require advanced degrees.
- They make the world beautiful. It would be difficult to determine the average salary of an artist, but very few of even the most talented artists achieve financial success. They inform and entertain. Writers, actors and filmmakers are just as likely to live in poverty as visual artists.
- They create. Inventors are often poorly paid for their inventions, if paid at all.
- They are entrepreneurs. Two thirds of startup businesses fail. Many of them fail because they were simply out financed (think the big coffee chain moving on to the same corner as the independent coffee house).
- They keep our world clean. People that do the dirtiest jobs are notoriously some of the least paid, yet can you imagine a world without people emptying our trash and cleaning our toilets?
- They keep you alive. Without poor people, produce would rot in the fields. There would be no goods on the shelves. There would be no store clerks to sell them to you. Most Americans would most likely starve.
- They fight for our country. The average starting salary of enlisted personnel is about $30,000 per year.
- They save the world. Many of history’s most selfless people live their lives in or near poverty. They join the Peace Corps. They work for or start charitable organizations.
- They pay their taxes. Much is made of the statistic that between 40 and 50 percent of people don’t pay federal income tax. That is typically because they are too poor. But even if they don’t pay federal income tax, they pay taxes. They pay Social Security taxes. They pay state taxes. They pay the identical sales tax on food and clothing as their wealthy brethren. They pay identical gasoline taxes as their more fortunate counterparts. Unlike the wealthy, taxes deeply impact the well being of the poor, yet, unlike the wealthy, they are unable to take advantage of the loopholes that were designed to specifically benefit the wealthy.