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Can you ever really be poor enough?

I've been thinking a lot about this the last few hours after reading the Gawker article about KillerMartinis (KM from here on out). I've always known that many people think that there's a right way and a wrong way to be poor. Poor people can't dress nicely. They can't have nice things or electronics. If they do they're "welfare queens" or they're "cheating the system." I've always kind of thought that the people who think these sort of things would be more sympathetic to someone who had just hit a bump. Apparently not. I guess because KM had a good education that she can't be poor? Bullshit. I've seen people say that because she grew up more privilege than someone who is born into poverty, that she doesn't really understand what it's like to be poor. Again, bullshit. While there are probably differences in the ways these groups approach things in their lives, it does not make poverty suck any less. Yes it sucks to be born poor, but so does becoming poor. So because someone was born more privileged than others, they should be forced to suffer through poverty? Fuck that. Nobody should suffer through poverty. But instead of focusing on how we can help people or realizing just how hard it is to be poor, people try to tear KM down and say that she's a fraud. They makes arguments that essentially break down to "poor people shouldn't have kids." Rather than realize that bad things can happen to anyone, they get on their moral high horse. It needs to stop. Another thing I want to talk about is the fact that if you have a good education or if you go to college that you can't truly be poor. I couldn't tell you how many times I've heard from other students or teachers at the beginning of the semester "Oh well if your job interferes with school, then you should just quit." I'm sorry, are you paying my bills? I'm putting myself through college with quite a bit in financial aid, and I still have to borrow money to make rent and be able to eat and then I have to take out loans to pay that off. This is on top of working an average of 30 hours a week. It's really fucking tough. Not to mention the fact that I suffer from depression and general anxiety disorder, which sucks even more when you consider that I had to go cold turkey off my meds over the summer because I couldn't afford them. So please, feel free to tell me how I'm not poor. In fact, the idea that college students are all getting things paid for by mommy and daddy is so common that students can't get food stamps in Florida except in extremely rare circumstances. Now, I know I'm more privileged than many people in the country, but that doesn't mean I don't struggle. Just because KM isn't living in a roach infested motel anymore does not mean that she doesn't struggle. People seem to think this a zero-sum game. It's not. It seems to me that there really is no way to be poor correctly. If you're born into poverty you need to pull up your bootstraps and if you get assistance you're "gaming the system." If you fall into poverty you "made bad choices" and you're scamming everyone. There's no winning, and maybe instead of bitching about how poor people are The Worst, people should consider how they would feel if the situations were reversed.


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