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There are two related reasons. One is that the future is uncertain for them, so it is impossible for them to make long term plans. Hence it actually makes sense for them to live in the moment and hope the future takes care of itself. The other is that they are so tired and stressed from dealing with the present that they are unable to sacrifice any present happiness for future benefit.
If you were homeless, mightn't you need a drink?
I have seen many poor people, including myself when I was still a child.
We cannot choose how we are born, we cannot choose our parents.
I think, there are 2 different types of poor people.
There are poor, but want to create something, and these poor people sometimes manage to become quite wealthy. Of course they need also a little bit of luck to be successful.
But there are also the others, who just don't care about their life tomorrow, totally unwilling to work anything productive.
In Singapore there is a legal term about 'useful' and 'useless' people.
In Philippines they call them the bright ones and the dumb ones...
In USA of course too, you find people of any race who are nothing but human trash...
I would not say that the poorest people always make the wrong choice. Some of them believe it is possible to improve their life, to get away from the poverty level. They try to work overseas for example, even as illegals, sending money home...
Of course there are many others too, who are just sitting around, gambling, smoking, drinking alcohol...often showing up with criminal behavior as well.... But it's not really about being poor, it is more about being irresponsible+lazy.
In Dallas I met a woman asking for money because she was homeless and pregnant. I wondered silently what came first, the homeless or the pregnancy?
In Costa Rica there are people on crack that ask for handouts to buy more crack. They think an American is the federal government.
At the same time I met some who really were trying to get by selling roses for something to eat with a smile on their face. I often bought ice cream for them or something.
Here is an interesting article where a poor female explains her condition. As with most of life, people behave in ways they are effectively compelled to.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014 ... th-extract
I have seen people in Asia who are much poorer than this couple in this article with their 2 children.
About compelled, nobody forced her to have children, nobody is forcing her to drink alcohol or spend money for smoking.
Anyway, they are working low-level temp jobs all time and as she says, they make about USD 25.000,- together per year. They have a car and are not homeless.
What is the definition of 'being poor' in USA?
True - or not?
Sounds strange to me, I can hardly believe that an US-citizen, who is not homeless, cannot open a banking account if he/she shows up with USD 1000,- and can identify himself or herself with a driving licence or similar document.
Can anybody from USA explain that to me?
Anyway, what this woman writes, does not convince me much about poverty in USA.
It is arguably irresponsible not to have children. Allowing the species to go extinct just because the banksters make it hard for you is not what I would call responsible. If you don't have some outlet like alcohol or cigarettes as a poor person, you would likely go nuts and end up spending the money on prescription meds. Man does not live by bread alone.
The definition of poverty is being under severe financial stress. It is not the dollar amount you are getting; it is how much leeway you have between what you get and what you need to spend to stay alive.
I was briefly homeless for a period about 12 years ago. One day I was wandering around aimlessly about the little trails I knew in this city and I found a $20 note trodden into the mud. Even though even as a homeless person you have more money than this pass through your hands regularly, found money is exhilarating. You know what I immediately spent half the money on? Booze. And I had a fascinating night walking around the city happily drunk as a result. I have good stories, a good life memory and at the time was de-stressed, so as far as I am concerned, I did the right thing.