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The 47% Solution: Yes, If You’re Poor, It Really May Be Your Fault

It's a heresy even in so-called "conservative" circles, but one actual ex-poor person is here to assure you: your own foolish choices can condemn you (and your children) to poverty.

Kathy Shaidle


September 26, 2012 - 7:30 am
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My last piece, “The Poor Get Poorer: 3 Character Traits That Undermine Prosperity,” received a mixed reception, at least if some of the comments are any indication.

If I can address just one persistent theme:

A few commenters raised the “problem” of “the homeless,” which only ever seems to be a “problem” when a conservative is in office, be it at the national level or a municipal one.

Just as it’s been said that it used to cost a fortune to keep Gandhi living in poverty, in like fashion, the “homeless” have made not a few people — professional fundraisers and “community activists” –  if not rich, than certainly quite well off.

This is particularly amusing, in a grim way, because the “homeless” have never really existed in the numbers their advocates claim, particularly the “homeless veterans” without whom Hollywood producers and Law & Order writers would be unemployed themselves.

Goodness, even during “Tulipmania,” at least the tulips were real

In any event, by sheer coincidence, Mitt Romney’s comments about “the 47%” made headlines around the same time, inspiring a national debate — actually, more like a barroom brawl — about poverty.

I don’t pretend to have a Grand Unified Theory on the topic.

However, all the statistics and theories and studies folks can throw at me can’t detract from my lived experience, and my observations of individuals — rich and poor — over the course of almost half a century.

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