The Poor Only Have Themselves To Blame Essay

Lately it seems our pity and compassion for the poor has been waning – and I’m beginning to believe it’s not entirely unreasonable.

Historically, there has always been a tendency to blame the poor for their own poverty. This attitude stretches back millennia and was frequently used by the well-off to justify tightening their purse strings when it came to charity.

It is understandable that we ask the poor to be grateful for assistance. But what happens when the poor are not grateful, but instead are hostile, demanding and violent? What happens when perfectly able-bodied individuals refuse and reject any and all opportunities to reduce their dependency? How long can it last before those giving assistance throw up their hands and say, “No more”?

In other words, could there be – just perhaps – the teensiest bit of truth to the uncharitable conclusion that the poor are to blame for being poor?

Poverty in modern-day America is nothing like poverty in earlier times or in other places. America is called the “land of opportunity” for a reason. In previous times and places, the poor could not change their status. If you were born poor, in all likelihood you stayed poor – and we’re talking starvation-level poor, not “I can’t afford an iPod” poor. Your opportunities were virtually nonexistent, and the government (whether it was kings or dictators) blocked any attempts at self-improvement.

But not in America. In this unique experiment, people were given the freedom to rise as high as they liked through hard work and thrift. Millions of poor people did just that. My sister-in-law’s family came from Taiwan in the ’80s with nothing more than a suitcase apiece and the grateful determination to succeed in a new country when they couldn’t in the nation of their birth. Within 20 years they were homeowners, business owners, and their children were college-educated. Where else but America?

Yet people have the gall to claim poverty in America is unchangeable and deserves endless funding.

“Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty,” noted Thomas Sowell in his most recent column. “It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things – none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.”

On Tuesday’s show, Rush Limbaugh read out loud portions of Sowell’s column and added his own commentary:

Sowell is right here. The human species began in poverty. Nobody had anything. Prosperity is what needs explaining. It’s like success and failure. Nobody needs to go read a book to know how to fail. Everybody already knows how to do that. People naturally fail. They fail all the time. But success, well, you’ll find all kinds of people got rich writing books on how to succeed, and still do. Same thing with prosperity. The point here is that becoming prosperous is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. Becoming prosperous is the way out of poverty.

Prosperity and success do not cause poverty. Prosperity and success do not leave people out, by definition. Not everybody’s gonna be prosperous. Nobody ever has. Everybody can be poverty stricken. … the quest for prosperity has become the reason they say people are in poverty. And that’s why liberalism, socialism, communism, seeks to punish achievement, because achievement is deemed to be the reason people are the poverty. Therefore, we need to take from those people that succeeded because they really are just lucky winners of prosperity.

Presidential candidate Ben Carson is a quintessential example of rising out of poverty, and many have followed his footsteps and decided – yes, consciously decided – to leave poverty behind through the elements of hard work and thrift. That’s what America is all about, folks.

This is why our milk of human kindness runs thin when we encounter those who not only refuse to help themselves despite all opportunities, but are actively hostile to the notion of changing their circumstances and making improvements in their own lives and the lives of their children.

As one tired commenter noted, “Why are the poor always exonerated from any responsibility in their plight? The poor are always pious and innocent, never held to a higher moral or ethical responsibility. Drugs, crime, babies out of wedlock … dropping out of school are all touted as virtue rather than shame by the left. I had one child, which I raised and supported even into adulthood. I look on in horror when I see these single moms with three or four zombie children dragging behind her. And I am supposed to have compassion for that?!”

I think a big part of the problem is noting the difference between being POOR and being BROKE. Dave Ramsey frequently says he’s never been poor, but he has been broke. My husband refines that to say, “Poor is a state of mind; broke is a condition.” In other words, a lack of money is being broke, and that’s correctable; what’s worse is a lack of will, a poverty of spirit, that seems to account for so many poor (not broke) Americans.

Learn how to achieve a simple lifestyle without “going green” or joining a monastery. Read Patrice Lewis’ helpful book, “The Simplicity Primer: 365 Ideas for Making Life more Livable”

Ironically, we may soon see a lot more broke people. In reporting on how the stock markets of the 10 largest global economies are all crashing, ZeroHedge notes, “A lot of people that write about ‘economic collapse’ talk about it like it will be some type of ‘event’ that will happen on a day or a week and then we will recover. Well, that is not what it is going to be like. You need to be ready to endure a very, very long crisis. The suffering that is coming to this nation is beyond what most of us could even imagine. … Even now we are seeing early signs of it. For instance, the mayor of Los Angeles says that the growth of homelessness in his city has gotten so bad that it is now ‘an emergency.’ …” [Emphasis added.]

He adds that the number of encampments and people living in vehicles (in L.A.) has increased by 85 percent over the last two years alone, and in America there are tens of millions of people that could not survive without the help of government.

When and if this foretold economic crash happens, it’s those who are “broke” (without money) but not “poor” (poverty of spirit) who are most likely to muddle through. People who know how to work hard, who have gratitude for assistance and who are determined to rise again will get by. Those who refuse to help themselves, who are ungrateful, hostile and violent in the face of assistance, those who will not work or will not educate themselves … these are the people who will have the toughest time.

Why? Because those who might otherwise be inclined to help would rather help those who are grateful for the hand up, rather than those who spit on the hand out.

Just saying.

Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact [email protected].

Advertisement

Planning Task 2

After you have analysed the question and brainstormed some ideas, your next step is to plan your answer. For the purposes of this page, we will use the following IELTS Task 2 question:
TOPIC: The poor only have themselves to blame. Do you agree or disagree?

Advertisement

Here are some ideas that you could have thought of related to the question:

Advertisement
  • the economy causes rich/poor gap, not individual people
  • rich people earned their money by working hard
  • poor people socialise too much hence have no money
  • harsh government policies
  • those unable to work/earn – disabled etc
  • people sometimes lose a lot of money gambling + other addictions
  • inherited money is not earned
  • shopaholics
  • government should distribute wealth equally
  • location of country can lead to limited development opportunities
  • poor peo0ple may be unmotivated because of welfare payments in some countries
  • difficult to break out of a generational cycle of poverty – parents poor, children poor
  • some people do not have the ability/skills/education to save

Following the suggestions made in ‘Getting ideas for Task 2‘, the weaker points would now be rejected.

Advertisement

 

The next step is to divide the remaining points into both sides of the argument. In this case, it is logical to divide the essay into the following:

It is their fault they are poor:

  • rich people earned their money by working hard
  • poor people socialise too much hence have no money
  • people sometimes lose a lot of money gambling + other addictions
  • shopaholics
  • poor peo0ple may be unmotivated because of welfare payments in some countries

It is NOT their fault they are poor

  • the economy causes rich/poor gap, not individual people
  • harsh government policies
  • those unable to work/earn – disabled etc
  • government should distribute wealth equally
  • location of country can lead to limited development opportunities
  • difficult to break out of a generational cycle of poverty – parents poor, children poor
  • some people do not have the ability/skills/education to save

 

Now you need to decide which position you will take – do you agree or disagree? Remember that your argument does not have to be your personal opinion – it should be the position you have the strongest points to argue with. As there are 5 reasons listed for ‘it is their fault’ and  7 for ‘it is NOT their fault’, you would logically write that being poor is mostly not the person’s fault. The final step in the planning process is to break the two parts into the three paragraphs you will need for your essay, with a relevant heading for each paragraph (the heading will be used to create your topic sentence).

This is just one way you could plan the essay:

BODY PARAGRAPH #1  – SOCIAL / EDUCATIONAL

  • those unable to work/earn – disabled etc
  • location of country can lead to limited development opportunities
  • difficult to break out of a generational cycle of poverty – parents poor, children poor
  • some people do not have the ability/skills/education to save

BODY PARAGRAPH #2  – GOVERNMENT

  • the economy causes rich/poor gap, not individual people
  • harsh government policies
  • government should distribute wealth equally

BODY PARAGRAPH #3 (THE CONCESSION)

  • rich people earned their money by working hard
  • poor people spend too much (socialising, gambling, shopping + other addictions)
  • poor peo0ple may be unmotivated because of welfare payments in some countries

Please help us reach more people by sharing!

Comments

This entry was posted in IELTS Writing Academic (all), IELTS Writing Task 2 (lessons), IELTSforFREE on by IELTSforFREE.

0 Replies to “The Poor Only Have Themselves To Blame Essay”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *