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The Poor Get Poorer: 3 Character Traits That Undermine Prosperity

Poor Impulse Control

Americans have been subject to floods, hurricane, and earthquakes since the pilgrims landed. Their ability to recover from natural disasters is the stuff of legend.

Shortly before Katrina struck, I knew that situation would be different.

I suspected, correctly, that the populace in one particular locale on Katrina's path would be profoundly devastated and, worse, unable to rise to the occasion in the same fashion as their fellow Americans.


Because New Orleans is located below sea level -- and its official motto is "Let the Good Times Roll."

Individuals who voluntary reside in a flood zone and whose only "industry" is partying are ill-prepared for disaster.

And -- humiliated when their ineptitude and learned helplessness is exposed to the world -- they will lash out at both those who fail to help them, and those who try.

Universally: a refusal to plan ahead makes people poor and keeps them that way.

(Semi-universally: In metropolitan locales around the continent, the day the welfare checks come in is referred to by local recipients as "Mardi Gras"...)

Poor people typically spend what money they have on lots of cheap, disposable junk on a whim, instead of saving up for one good thing.

They'll tell you they "have to" give their kids powdered milk, but that's only because they've already spent all their (I mean, taxpayers') money on booze, drugs, cigarettes, lottery tickets, manicures, hair weaves, bingo cards, and tacky club clothes.

We hear that poor people are caught up in the trap of money-sucking "payday loans" and other dubious rackets because they don't have bank accounts.

But: why DON’T you have a bank account?

Like I said: I grew up below the poverty line but have had the same account with the same bank since I was 8 years old, because my mother (who, once again, was NOT a genius) took me downtown and signed me up for one.

Poor people need to plan their lives a little better.

Updated: Check out Kathy Shaidle's followup today at Lifestyle:

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


Related at PJ Lifestyle:

‘That’s the Ultimate Race, Poor People’: In Praise of Adam Carolla’s Brutal Honesty

10 Years After High School Are Millennials Finally Ready to Cash Their Reality Check?

7 WRONG Ways to Decide Your Life’s Career