On being poor
People line up at a food pantry. The number of people in poverty rose in 17 states, the Census Bureau says.
September 20th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

On being poor

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) The Census Bureau released a depressing statistic Thursday: 46.2 million people in America fell below the poverty line last year. One in five children are poor. 

What does it feel like to live in poverty?

Writer John Scalzi knows.

He remembers a Southern California childhood marred by a broken family. His mother put her two children in the back of the car and drove away from the home they’d known.

She bought a box of Raisin Bran and warned her children: “That has to last.”

John Scalzi's essay on poverty was based on his own experiences.

Scalzi, 43, was in the first grade then.

Years later, the Raisin Bran memory became a line in an essay called “Being Poor.” He wrote it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when so many asked why the poor of New Orleans had not fled their drowned city.

It occurred to him then that wealthier Americans did not understand that the poor do not always have the luxury of choice.

But he knew.

He was the kid who wore the cheap shoes from Lucky Drug Store – the ones with the glued-on soles. He could feel them come off on the playground.

He was the kid who discovered letters from his mom to his dad begging for child support and the kid hoping he would get invited to a friend’s for dinner. He once stole a piece of meat from Ralph’s supermarket, fried it up and cleaned the plate before Mom came home. He then told her she didn’t have to make any dinner because he wasn’t hungry anyway.

Here are a few other ways Scalzi measured poverty:

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is hoping your kids don’t have a growth spurt.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger’s trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that’s two extra packages for every dollar.

Read Scalzi’s full essay here.

Posted by
Filed under: Census • Economy • How we live • Poverty • Who we are
soundoff (1,694 Responses)
  1. smitvict

    Since somebody else built everything, apparently nobody built anything. Maybe it is time somebody built something and was proud of it.

    September 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Obama

      I'm gonna redistribute your wealth.

      Look how well it's worked for Europe.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jay

    Yes being poor is rotten way of life but there are two types of poor people. Those that work hard and pull themselves up from the poverty line because they work hard and don't expect handouts. Yes they are grateful for the charity of others but they do not exppect it. Then I am sure there are those that will always be poor and have no plans or desire to change their way of living and expect the government to take care of them.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • ellid

      Go read ALL of Scalzi's article. Only then will you have the right to sneer at him, his mother (who worked damned hard for her kids), or anyone else who's been knocked back by life.

      Your post is disgusting.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Maskirovka

      Even the briefest skimming of John Scalzi's wikipedia page will reveal the truth: He's worked hard to get where he is, and he used government assistance to get there, and unless you've been in those cheap shoes yourself, you don't know jack about him or his family.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. thedarkelf

    One of the hardest thing to deal with when your poor is seeing any doctors, The BIGGEST PROBLEM is that we have to fight the very people governing our country. I watch them give away trillions,I see them actually lose a billion. I see illegal aliens come here and get a job before I can because they have a family member who knows greedy Americans who hire them for cheep. Questioning why Our govenrment care more for foreigners more then its own people. We are not free you can lose everything your house possessions over night if you lose you job. Even if your house is paid off if you dont pay taxes you lose it,If you are broke but own a house or car and have some assets you cant get help from the government.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • BonBonb

      Amen – I hear every word you are saying – I wish more people did – AND that we pulled together to make it different.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Joanna @ I Won't Be a Hoarder Too

      would you be willing to work in a field in the middle of florida in the summer getting paid $5 an hour? Or washing dishes for 10 hours straight six days a week for $300 for the entire week? Didn't think so. Illegal immigrants aren't stealing "your" jobs, because you wouldn't want to do those jobs anyways.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Obama

    I won't stop until this country is just like Greece. And Great Britain. And France. And Italy. And Portugal.

    Yessireeee Bob! Poverty is a virtue.

    Or at least it is to a liberal.

    Because poor people vote for us all the time.

    And they still can't figure out it's people like me that create poverty.


    September 21, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
    • SempreFlamengo

      Obama wants to keep the poor right where they are so they will continue to vote democrat. He doesn't want to see them succeed because they might switch party allegiance. Just redistribute.....like Castro for example. Make everybody poor and then we will all vote democrat.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. unowhoitsme

    I used to be poor...not enough coins at the bottom of my purse to pay for a gallon of milk for my kids. Heart breaking...and no one will give you a job. I had an education and have always been a hard worker. I'm fine now. If you've never been poor, then stop judging. It isn't a way of life you choose. Fate has a way of calling the shots no matter how hard you try or how much education you have.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • doubledees

      Maybe if we stop sending billions of dollars in aid to countries that hate us and take that money and take care of the poor children in America, we can wipe out hunger and poverty. Our billions of dollars in foreign aid make foreign children big and strong so they can kill our military in the next "uprising" against America. Just a thought!!!

      September 21, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • doubledees

      Maybe if we stop sending billions to foreign countries to feed people who hate us and redirect that money to the hungry & poor children of America, we just might be able to wipe out hunger and poverty here.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Obama

    I suck.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Bush

      I sucked more.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Obama

        No you didn't. I sucked more than you!

        September 21, 2012 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Bush

        Did not!

        September 21, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Obama

        Did too!

        September 21, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Monica

        I sucked, too.

        Right, Bill?

        September 21, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill Clinton

        Yeeeaaaahhhh baby!

        Hey, the old lady's goin' to the Middle East next month.

        Wanna meet in the oval office - if ya know what I mean?

        September 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Monica

        I'll bring the cigars!

        September 21, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
      • Bush

        Why do you need the cigars?

        September 21, 2012 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill Clinton

        Why don't you cozy up to a microwave oven.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Obama

        You didn't build it. Someone else did.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill Clinton

        I can't believe I'm actually campaigning for this moe-ron.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Hillary

      Get off that laptop this instant, Bill!

      September 21, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill Clinton

        What'd I do?

        September 21, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. fiftyfive55

    Being poor aint fun,but we have an older generation pull themselves out of the depression by sheer determination.Sometimes,and I've done it,people have to work 3 jobs and sleep very little to break even but it can be done.The sad stories are the ones about folks WAITING for a handout,people dont have to make the top dollar but they HAVE TO TRY.There are jobs out there,though they aren't the best paying but they are a start.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Obama

      The World War II generation caused this mess. They didn't build anything. Someone else built it for them.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        give up the cell phones and cable television,quit the fast food,buy a used car instead,you'd be amazed at what you dont need to be wealthy.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I'm of that same generation. Being middle class when I was a child is being poor today. Dad worked three jobs- played the market s share or two here and there and instilled in us working, saving, investing and working some more. When I was a child people never asked for help- offering help was offensive so it was done on the sly, leave a package on a doorstep, an envelope something that could not be tied to the giver or the receiver and you never talked about it. Giving was not for anyone else to know and receiving was not expected or wanted. Was it a better time? It was my time as a child and wonderful having so little- it gave me something to work for, strive for and I was always told and taught that I could succeed if I worked and work may have been painting bottles and selling them a flower vases or selling vegetable seeds door-to-door. There will always be people with penty, people with just enough and people with not enough. Always will be. That is not the issue. The issue is how we, as individuals contribute. Governments and programs give us a sense we do not have to contribute because big dady and mommy are doing that for us. We relied on each other when I was a child and we had poor. We rely on government and we have poor.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Peace Lily

      Jobs? Really? What most do not understand is that jobs are dependent on where you live. Some of you out there may be seeing some job growth. Where I live you can't get a full time job even at McDonald's and Walmart! My step-daughter searched for several months before she was actually hired for McDonald's and was told there are no full time jobs, only part time, and this was AFTER being offered less than 20 hours a week at Walmart! You think it's easy to get two part time jobs? Well employers just don't want to deal with juggling your schedule for you to have two jobs. It's all stacked against you before you ever walk out the door to look for a job here. How are people supposed to survive on this and put gas in their car? Buy proper food to eat? Buy the necessities that none of us can ignore? We do not have wide range public transportation here so a car is ones lifeline. Yet, the prices of gas and food and all necessities have gone up so much that we get poorer by the day! Wake up people! We have an entire segment of the population right now who make too much money to get assistance but are hard working and want to make their way so they take whatever they can get. This often means doing without the basic needs that a lot of you take for granted. I don't think most in this position want handouts. I think most want our government to make it possible for all to survive. If a family of four gets $200 a month in food stamps while another family of four with workers making just a little better than poverty level...who do you really think is suffering here? I can assure you that the ones getting assistance are faring better than a lot of folks here who cannot get assistance. The margin for getting assistance is so low that those who do not qualify are left to flounder. This is what is a disgrace in our country! Go check the income levels that one must hit in order to get assistance. Then take into account that, in order to get assistance, you can own NOTHING!!!!! We have different layers of poor in this country. We have the ones who walk around figuring out new ways to milk the system. Then you have those who legitimately deserve and get assistance. Then you have the ones who, from no fault of their own, have lost everything and cannot find jobs and cannot get a break no matter what. This last group is the one that suffers from the misguided assumptions that most others in our country make. These are the ones that not only deserve our support but deserve at least the chance to take care of themselves. This is what the government needs to focus on. Why, at this point in time and with the economy as it is, are the prices of everything from soup to nuts going up so fast when people cannot buy when they do? Just make it possible for people to survive on their own...that's all. If things keep going as they are, my own household will be floundering soon. We were making out okay until recently and the cost of everything rising at phenomenal levels is killing us. Forget luxuries! And don't even start on my internet! It's my way of trying to find ways to make ends meet which is more valuable than not having it at all! I will cut many other things in my household before I would cut my internet because, once I do that, we are cut off from possibilities! My point is, that most of you are commenting on things that you do not know of. All you see are the ones who cheat. For once, try to see the ones struggling and working and getting more poor with the tick of the clock. Redistribution of wealth? To be opposed to that politically correct term is the most pompous, self serving, egotistical, excuse I have ever heard of for pounding the poor further into the dirt! Call it what it really is...making it possible for ALL to have a dream! Just possible! I don't want anyone else's money, but I sure would love the opportunity to survive with as few worries as possible and without having to short change my life just to exist. What are the rest of you "haves" going to do when you find yourselves knocked down a peg or two as costs continue to rise? Will you change your tune then?

      September 21, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Sheer determination plus quite a bit of assistance from the New Deal and post-New Deal programs: WPA, Social Security, G.I Bill. . .

      September 21, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      People shouldn't HAVE to work three jobs and sleep very little to make ends meet! It's KILLING us, physically and mentally! Do you realize the skyrocketing number of heart attacks, strokes, and incidents of violence brought on by stress? You can suck it up and tough it out as much as you want but at a subconscious level it's killing you from the inside out and one day you'll feel a massive pain in your chest or your brain and that'll be it, hope you've saved enough for a good funeral. People have to realize that a leg up is not a hand out and when the 1 percent is literally sitting on (not spending or investing, but SITTING ON) enough money to pay our national debt twice over, something is definitely messed up.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. .

    Liberals do not create prosperity. They create poverty and economic malaise. My generation learned this lesson when we elected Jimmy Carter.

    Now it's this generation's turn to learn our lesson.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • noteabags

      Conservatives think that tax cuts for the rich will fix the economy. Has it?

      September 21, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Obama

        That's right noteabags.. YOU didn't build that. Someone else did it for you?

        You still gonna vote for me?

        Michelle wants to take another vacation in Spain.

        September 21, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Roy

    I'm not sure yet but I'm going in this direction from once being middle class.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Obama

      You didn't build that. Someone else did.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        Have you ever heard the term "context"? Taken in context, the statement is true. Taken by the TeaBaggers, it rings false. It's more than perspective. You DIDN't build the road. You DIDN'T build the bridge. You DIDN'T build the water treatment plant. CONTEXT, P'taK ... it's everything.

        September 21, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    Being poor in the US is like being lower middle class in in some other countries. To see what being really poor is like, go to sub-Saharan Africa or some cities in Latin America.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Peace Lily

      But we live HERE! When our own is taken care of, then we can work on the rest of the world!

      September 21, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. setnommarih

    The essayist and you are two of the biggest whiners I have ever heard in my life. Oh gee, I had a bad start, looks like you have a bad finish too. Whiners, Obama 's voters since 1998.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. voxx

    This is because God has been put out of more places and less believe in him... He does not come around where he is not wanted...But the Bible specks of these last days and they are coming to pass.. People are so blind they can't even see it..

    September 21, 2012 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss

      @Voxx, it's hard for the poor to believe in "God" when you work a full-time job but make only $7.25 and hour and can only afford to eat bologna sandwiches.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • unowhoitsme

      Jesus was poor...so don't tell the world it's because of their belief system.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • doubledees

      God has nothing to do with this............absolutely nothing, just like he has nothing to do with all the wars we're in, all the child abuse going on, all the pedophile priests, etc etc............its people who do this.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jeremy

    And it's Bush's fault, right? So when do we start blaming Obama? Obama said almost 4 years ago to blame him after 4 years if it isn't fixed. But now he still says to blame Bush and give him 4 more years. And people are dumb enough to do it.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • euphewl

      Oddly enough – I have always had a job, saved money, could afford vacations... until 2008, when I got laid off.

      Now, I am poor. For four years now I have had spotty work, low pay, sold my belongings any and every chance I get – my hard work has paid off, and I have held on to my house, luckily for me and my kid.
      But, I am certainly POOR, by every definition here, plus some.

      I can't wait to get back to having a real job, saving money and NOT being poor... but I don't have any faith that will happen unless we get a new POTUS... I have had the worst time of my financial life with the current one.

      September 21, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
      • No more H8

        I too was laid off, in '09. Same deal: Top 5%in earnings, lost almost everything. My family all had serious medical issues, and our insurance was not up to the challenge. I too am poor now, however I see a fundamental difference in the world. A new POTUS (Mittens?) is not going to change the job situation. While there is a great deal of wealth out there, those folks (1%?) are in a contest with each other over who dies with the most $ wins. The capital gains tax (15%) will not drive these folks to start businesses and hire workers. Too much hassle, taxes, insurance, etc. We need a fundamental change in how we do things here, and the 1%'ers ain't gonna let that happen.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
      • BG

        Stop playing the victim, and start paying taxes. You are the 47% that Romney talks down about secretly in front of his millionaire buddies.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Peace Lily

        In spite of BG's pompous and misguided remark, I am with you here. I lost my jobs in September of '08 (before Obama). Six figure income gone. Lost everything to H1B visa workers who come HERE and take our jobs for peanuts. Oh the things I could tell you about how that whole deal works and the real reason we are without those jobs now. The only job offers I have had since were working in the red. Not even enough to pay expenses much less bills. But what I lost were THINGS. The real loss I feel comes from those like BG who thinks they all have it figured out and that those of us who have been trampled by our country's misfortune are just whiners. All I can say for people like BG...better get your whining shoes on because it's not over yet!

        September 21, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JacinJax

      Any economist will tell you that it takes 3-5 years for any economic policy to be felt mainstream. We aren't bleeding jobs, the stock market is back at near record highs and banks and big business are making record profits. Guess the POTUS policies worked, it just that the fat cats that got us into this mess would rather stash their cash in foreign bank accounts rather than lending to small business and hiring. They like the fact that the American worker is doing twice as much for less money–which they get to pocket. Guess this is POTUS fault as well?

      September 21, 2012 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Andy H.

    I can tell you how it's like being poor in the US.


    September 21, 2012 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Obama

      Vote for me and I'll tax the rich and pay your rent.

      You'll never have to worry about finding work ever again.

      Jobs? We don't have to show you no steeeenkeeeng jobs!

      September 21, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. castrawberrygirl

    My family struggled for many years– we wore thrift store clothes or got them from the "missionary barrel" at our church. We did not have health insurance. Our splurge was eating at McDonalds. My hand me down clothes had patches on them and my shoes rarely were the proper size. I was thankful for a few toys at Christmas and on my birthday. We owned one TV- no cable of course. My parents bought a barrel of gas in Mexico and pumped it themselves because we couldn't afford regular gasoline. Yes- I got school lunches for $.25.

    But being poor was only temporary- I got an education. My parents worked hard and saved and bought real estate with what they had. They are now very comfortable and other people are somewhat envious. So my point is that poverty does not have to be permanent. People go through phases of life and sometimes need assistance. It doesn't have to be a way of life. And it's not the government's job to provide everything all the time.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
    • eva68

      You may think your right that the poor have a choice.
      My father fought for our country and was treated awful after being hurt in the army. They sent him home on a pension of ..get this $125 month. Now expenses were low, but not that low.
      My mother odd jobbed, but she had always been a farm girl, in Kansas and now lived in the city. She had a slew of kids to take care of. Neither one drove. We drove our hush puppies,
      I was so poor that now I feel rich just eating my fill at a restaurant. But a lot of my choices were take away, because the money just wasn't there, and there wasn't much in the way of programs either.
      People who think it's all about choices doesn't have a clue.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
      • md

        If you were so poor, why'd your mom have a slew of kids? That is a decision

        September 21, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  16. Evolutionisforunaccountability

    Keep a,simple eye God knows what you need and like Job asked for make my eyes passmon from seeing what is worthless.

    September 21, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  17. vonn

    Hummm ... Idea... Let us all be poor and that means the rich and the money God they count on and see who last the longest..I know that answer already.. (-;

    September 21, 2012 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  18. Stand up now

    While we face yet another election of out of touch rich vs out of touch rich. While we watch as both parties beat feet to make sure Ron Paul had no chance on the ballot. You and I get Poorer.

    Until we End the Federal Reserve and the Inflation it has created since its birth in 1913, we will continue to be nothing more than slaves to the International Banking Cartel.

    There is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans both serve the same masters in the banks and on Wallstreet. WE have to stand up for ourselves, and for this country. Take back the freedoms our forefathers fought so hard for.

    If youre reading this you are the resistance.

    September 21, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • LizardKing

      I'll join your resistance but you have to guarantee that we get to exterminate baby-boomers to help to stimulate short and mid-term growth. I want at least half dead by 2016.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
      • LizardKing

        Our resistance needs to open a worm-hole and enter another quadrant. Then we can live our lives on the fringe of some alien asteroid belt, sustaining ourselves with each others gamete juices. One day we will build a large cube and begin to integrate our bodies into a machine "self". In our wanderings we will come across a federation ship commanded by Patrick Stewart. He will lead us back to our home sector, allowing us to bring our resistance to Earth. However, upon arrival, we begin to realize that resistance is futile and commit suicide after we have a refreshing circle jerk.

        September 21, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Rogere

      Just in case you are a time traveller this is the year 2012. I think you come from a time well before the Federal Reserve was created. A much simpler time when there were less people.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
    • redsled

      i agree with part of what you said.but how can we change things with a two party system that is rigged to keep the same.and a msm that champions one of them.i think the only answer is a grass roots movement to divide.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  19. McIver3

    I've read many of your sad stories and hope your lives get better. I'm lucky to be "middle class". but I've also been working non-stop since 13 years old when minimum wage was $1.65, and put myself through high school, university and graduate school, working 2 jobs during college years. My observation about the poor in-laws that I have is that they go to the church pantry to get free food, but they smoke about $400 worth of cigarettes a month, drink alcohol every day, (and have other expensive "habits"). Yet they complain about not having health insurance or having enough good groceries. It is these types of stories that I see that irk me. Some poor really do need our help, but of the 47% not paying taxes, there is a portion of them they have bad judgement. Basic Financial planning should be taught in school and community to help those with bad habits learn how to make better financial choices. Some of you clearly know how to stretch rice and pinto beans but some poor people are struggling because of bad habits. I give charity to my favorite one for seniors, Meals on Wheels, which provides subsidized prepared foods for seniors and disabled seniors and even pet food for their dogs and cats. So if you're a strugging senior, look into Meals on Wheels which deliver to your front door. God bless.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bills Cat

      There has always been enough to go around - just been far too many industries and conglomerates wanting to control everything and get a piece of every product, and then scream about paying any sort of taxes at all. Seems it'd be a fair shake to have the major industries in each state kick in toward rebuilding bridges and roads, kick-down to schools. The gas mains and electric grids that keep the companies rolling need big time upgrades. But, oh crap, no! That would cut into the bigger profit! Since when was there a price tag on bettering the nation that made these industries possible to begin with? The Gov't stepped-aside and let these corporate buzzards take over the whole show - banks, food, utilities...– and give nothing back.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rogere

      The problem with your comment is that of the 50 million people living below the poverty line, only a very small portion of these people fall into your category of having bad habits. Sure some people do but don't tar everyone with the same brush the way Romney is. It's the system that we have that keeps people below the poverty line. Minimum wage jobs will never get people into the middle class but these jobs need to be done. These people contrite more to society than many people in the middle class. Thing like growing, picking, processing, and cooking the food you eat. Also you cannot solve the problem by just saying that money management should be taught in school. Some people unfortunately just do not have the mental capacity for this. There are lifetimes of indoctrination in bad habits from the people who should really be teaching ours kids. Parents!

      September 21, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • JacinJax

      Did the top guys at Chase get basic financial planning instruction? Instead of making loans to small business that managed to stay in business these last years they go and blow 2 billion on a one time bet. Oh wait not 2 billion but 9 billion. Oh wait not 9 billion...

      September 21, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  20. Sriram

    "There is enough for everyones need....but not enough for every ones greed" – Mahatma Gandhi. Growing poverty is inevitable with the growth in population, limited food production, uneven distribution and greed among some people!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Oneofsix

      Thank you...a wonder quote form a true thinker (Gandhi...although you insight was also appreciated) ...again...Maybe we should stop and think as a society "what do we really need", as apposed to "what do we want". (Big difference). Might help to answer many more questions/debates.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Oneofsix

        Sorry… hopefully to some, a semi intelligent response screwed up …what do you expect at 1:40 am(EST) typed without glasses…spell/grammar checked version….Thank you...a wonderful quote from a true thinker (Gandhi...although your insight was also appreciated) ...again...Maybe we should stop and think as a society "what do we really need", as apposed to "what do we want". (Big difference). Might help to answer many more questions/debates.

        September 21, 2012 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
      • Rogere

        Tom Brokaw said the same thing about need versus want. What we need is to grow up as a species and use the brains that we were given (or our evolved brain). The answers are simple if we ask the right questions and start thinking in terms of the survival of our species and our children rather than how can I win as an individual.

        September 21, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Realist

        Society has been working like this for 5000 years. It is likely that it will work like this for 5000 more. So I wouldn't expect need and want to be sorted out anytime soon.

        September 21, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  21. LizardKing

    For all of you "never-getting-child support-from-dad" kids. Remember that it was your mom who opened her legs to you dad, and it she who should take the majority of the blame for bringing you into this world. For all you ladies who think relationships and love can be developed around bring a child into this world are empty-minded and lack a soul. Know your "man" before you get married and have a family. The same thing can be said vice-versa. I think this childhood poverty can be licked in the bud if people took some even-minded responsibility.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • seebs

      Wow, LizardKing. Just wow. That is some spectacular victim-blaming there. A+. The problem here isn't just the logical errors; it's the malice. You gotta get over that grudge against half of humanity.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
      • bluegillonthefly

        Well, the way he puts it, he comes across like the piece of work that he most likely is. However, beneath all the bile and bitterness, there is a vaild point: be careful about who you get naked with, and most especially, be careful about whom you cause to be pregnant, or with who you get pregnant. The consequences of bad choices about who you sleep with don't affect just us, or maybe not even mostly us.

        Don't we all (or at least most of us) have at least one person in our pasts about whom we think "I'm sooooooooooo glad I did not have a child with her/him?"

        September 21, 2012 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
      • LizardKing

        No victim-blaming intended. I just happened to notice that most the post that blame their childhood in poverty on their dead-beat dad should take a step back and explore other avenues to blame. I also intended my post to be a warning to the all too common practice of young women having children with so-called "loves of their lives." I meant not come across mean. This is not my situation but I know a lot of people who do have it. Takes for trolling. Come, again.

        September 21, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
    • LizardKing

      I just stated my opinion on the subject. You are technically the troll. I should beat you to death, you ugly monster. You ate all of my billy-goats.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
    • wow

      Wow LizardKing! Why don't you get that post printed on a t-shirt and wear it permanently so the rest of the world doesn't have to worry about you procreating. As for fixing poverty, I sure hope we can find a solution that doesn't involve licking it in the bud.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  22. LizardKing

    I think the rise in the "poor" might have some correlation with the increase of retiring,blue-collar workers who did not save enough hard cash to supplement social security. If you look at the picture, you see not one child or woman that is child-bearing age. I think is the scene at most food pantries. The younger men are mostly paroles or those with mental illness. I think we need to shift all welfare (including social security and medicare) towards a more "younger" focus, instead of supporting an age group that has no future use to the human race. I say the sooner the baby boomers die off, the better. They have been a drain on the welfare of the U.S. since the 1960's.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  23. Spencer

    If Mitt Romney is President:

    (1) The economy would be released from the crushing burden of regulations giving employers the confidence to hire more people creating millions of jobs.
    (2) Poverty would decrease because people would be given freedom not handouts.
    (3) Morality would return to society giving people opportunities to live the American Dream
    (4) We would return to the values that made America the Hope of the Earth.

    If President Obama is re-elected:

    (1) Unemployment will increase as millions give up on even trying to find a job.
    (2) Millions more Americans will enter poverty and be forced to rely on government for support creating an even more intense welfare state.
    (3) Taxes will increase for everyone ESPECIALLY the poor. Inflation and probably hyper-inflation will silently rob us all of our savings.
    (4) We will go "forward" right off a fiscal cliff.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      People who expect Presidents to change their country and their lives are idiots, be they Republicans and Democrats. They don't change anything, and they won't change anything in your life.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
      • dan

        Presidents don't change anything? " Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country " or " The only thing we have to fear is fear itself " Presidents can change everything.

        September 21, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Brian

        God, it must be amazing to live in your world of candy canes and popcorn.

        September 21, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
      • Rogere

        Totally agree. Most of it is luck at being in the right place at the right time with the economic cycle. Anyone who thinks otherwise has not looked at history. There have been booms and busts for all of the history of the modern world and these have had no correlation to what political persuasion has been in power. It's human nature that is the problem, not government. We just don't want to blame ourselves now do we!

        September 21, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Cortben

      Give me ONE example that Romney has ANY experience in JOB CREATION. He made a lot of money for himself, whether that meant jobs were lost or not. UN-regulated business is pretty much worse than regulated business. Things have actually IMPROVED since the Bush era. We don't need more tax cuts on the wealthy while the dwindling middle class takes the burden. Republicans trying to make a Democratic president look bad does not equal the Democratic president being bad. That list pretty much skirts around the GOP budget plan, which would erase the deficit but hurdle the country into second world. See you at the voting booth.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
      • SempreFlamengo

        When Romney was at Bain they invested in and grew Domino's Pizza, Sports Authority, Guitar Center, Staples, Toys R Us, Burger King, AMC Entertainment and Dunk N Donuts, just to name a few.......meanwhile the messiah? The only place he has ever signed a check is on the back.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Peace Lily

        Romney's net job gain during his tenure as Governor in Massachusetts, was 600 jobs! When you compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges for Romney's "experience", you'll see the truth. He's no better than what we have now. I agree with whomever said there is no difference in Democrats or Republicans. The choice is merely one extreme or the other. Sounds like we need to re-evaluate the ideals that we have adopted through our evolution during the high times of our society. It has bred arrogance, greed, and a total lack of empathy in our society. You want to destroy a civilization? Toss all the goodies into the middle of a circle and you'll see the same that has happened in our society. The greedy beats everyone else off and gets the most and it trickles down from there. The ones not strong enough end up with nothing. Doesn't mean that one deserves more than another. It simply means that greed motivated the outcome and the greediest ended up with a bigger piece of the pie!

        September 21, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Duke

        Do you realize that if Obama got his proposed tax increase on those making 250K and up, that if that new stolen wealth was collected for ONE YEAR it would fund the gov for approx 8 days. Now tell me how taxing the "rich" will solve the spending problem or reduce the deficit? ummmmm?

        September 21, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • LizardKing

      Remember that regulations on industry and the like are what keep your workday to a minimum number of hours, keeps your wages where they are and keeps the number illegal immigrants working in our country at a certain, level.

      You talk in circles, dude. You should run for president.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Joyce

        There are regulations on industry that address far more than labor. Some are so onerous and hard to understand, the lawyers are the only way to compliance. No one has said anything about getting rid of labor laws, but there are indeed, many regulations that choke corporations, without actually benefiting anyone.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Scotchguard

      Spencer, not for one second do I believe what you are saying.

      1 - The Republicans already drove us off a "fiscal cliff" in the last decade. I should just trust they wouldn't do it again with their "steal from the poor and give to the rich" scheme? Deregulation is what caused this entire mess. The Republicans lost the jobs by outsourcing them and by causing the recession in the first place. Obama has a record of job creation. I think I'll stick with that.
      2 - Christian "morality" is what spent billions of our tax dollars to kill tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi children. I can't think of anything more immoral than that.
      3 - Poverty would decrease because people would get "freedom" instead of handouts? Get real. Poverty has increased because of the loss of jobs. See #1 above. Most people go to great lengths to avoid getting handouts and only do so as a last resort. But I suppose you think they're suppose to feed this "freedom" to their kids?
      4 - We would return to the values that made America the "Hope of the Earth." You mean the values where all non-whites, gays, and females were marginalized and had no financial or political power? Those days are gone for good, pal. Whites and their WASP religion are quickly becoming a minority in this country and it's not stopping anytime soon. Get used to it.
      5 - Last time I checked, Obama was doing a pretty good job controlling inflation, so your fear about hyperinflation seems to be just that: fear.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Joyce

        You've been listening to too many Clinton commercials for Obama. Sheep. Think for yourself.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
      • SempreFlamengo

        How do you steal from the poor? By definition the poor don't have anything. Learn to think for yourself. I've got a parrot that can repeat words that it hears also.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
      • Nod

        ...oh! So you look after Pallin.....

        September 21, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • unowhoitsme

      Omitt Romney. If he wins the poor lose. It's that simple.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  24. City On A Shining Hill

    Solomon said in the Proverbs that he who lends to the poor, lends to the Lord, and Jesus mentioned that the poor will always be among us, in the gospels. James rebukes believers who favor the wealthy who wears nice clothes to church, but then shuns the man who dresses the way he has low income.. Jesus also said the the value of a man or woman is not determined by their income or social status, and the poor in spirit (those who do not have materially), will have much in Heaven.

    And, Paul mentions coming into the world at birth with nothing, and at death carrying nothing out, in his writings.

    So, we should be concerned with the poor and homeless, as God and Jesus are.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Tell me when God pays my rent and I'll give a care

      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Evolutionisforunaccountability

      Then maybe that should have taught you they dont have Gods blessing.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  25. OC

    This is heartbreaking. And this group is part of Romney's 47% that he believes chooses to live poor.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  26. EIEIO

    Prov. 29:7. The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern.

    1 John 3:17. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

    September 21, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  27. Equestrian Citizen

    THank Goodness for Pinto beans, I can make so many yummy meals with a food that is so cheap to buy and so easy to put in a pot that could last for a week..Healthy too!

    September 21, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ELY

      Poor peoples food is un-healthy, fattening food. Healthy food cost more. Poor people survive on cheap , starchy food
      and get fat.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Joyce

      Recipes, please. Seriously.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  28. Mark

    being poor is a state of mind more than anything if you let it effect you it will, If you want to climb out of it you can. I often ask myself why not work harder, smarter, quicker for more I guess I feel there would be a loss In the value of life if I just worked day and night. I have little but I am so thankful for what I have been blessed with and that in its self is a blessing.. Friends anger, frustration, want are very powerful but humility is the most powerful.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • jc

      I have heard it said many times that the happiest people are the ones that are grateful for everything, and I have found that to be true.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • seebs

      People vastly overestimate the amount of control they have in their lives. For the most part, if you really want something, and do your absolute best, you have slightly better chances than people who don't try as hard. Slightly better, that's it. Events outside your control still tend to dominate outcomes.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  29. Catarena

    Can I add one. Being poor is walking the streets looking for bottles to turn in for the money they give you so you can buy a bag of beans, and also being poor is sleeping on the floor with one mattress and no sheets or blankets wondering where your parent is and when your going to get to eat next.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • theresa

      To me, you're description of being poor is much more believable than that of the author.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  30. Jason

    RT Thadwin, you are full of it. It seems like everybody who hates the poor has a "friend" like you described. I have a question. If your "friend" is so bad then why are you friends with her? You know you lying. People like you are a joke.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • helenCarlson

      Let me add:
      Being poor is working for cash, without paying tax
      Being poor is getting SNAP benefits by fraud
      Then spent all amount on junky craps, & welcome obesity
      Within the same transaction pay foods with SNAP card, then pay rest ALCOHOLIC tipsy with the DEBIT card
      What's the point being poor, if we pay those unhealthy TIPSY
      Then why don't we just pay for good food.....

      September 21, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
      • nicinnc

        You are a truly horrible person helenCarlson. I hope you know this. You probably think you are a Christian. You aren't. You're hateful and there is not room for Christ in a hateful heart.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
      • KC

        A friend was briefly on SNAP while recuperating from surgery. He bought the healthy foods his doctor recommended and used up his whole month's benefits for the first week's groceries. He quickly discovered that the only way to eat for a full month on the amount of money they gave him was to buy cheap junk - the non-nutritious fluff bread for 79c a loaf instead of the healthy whole-grain stuff for $4 a loaf, lots of spaghetti and very little protein.

        September 21, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  31. Chris

    Yeah...I can definately say that those things were felt in my childhood. You know what? I cherish that experience. Not one of these "middle-classers" or "upper classers" know what that feels like nor can they realize the importance of humility that comes from that experience. I am not a veteran of the armed forces and currently enrolled full-time in college dedicating my time towards a bachelors degree in biological science. These experiences got me here with a feeling of accomplishment. Whereas someone who had that kind of a future as a sure thing would be incapable of appreciating the benefits of their own life. Bless the poor.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. jc

    I am amazed at all the negativity about poor people. Of course there will always be others in 3rd world countries who have it worse, but just how poor do you have to be before someone throws you a rope or a kind word. Any poor person I have known did not choose to be poor. I came from a large family of six children. My father went to work every day, and my mother stayed home with the children. They both worked very hard. I and my sister both wore hand-me-downs. There were many years when we did not have a television or phone. We each only got one 10 dollar gift for Christmas most years. We even probably missed some meals along the way. But although we were poor by some standards, I don't think I nor my brothers and sisters ever realized it. Neither parent drank alcohol or smoked, and there were no loud arguments but rather only laughter in our home. They were both home with us except when my dad was working. The years we did not have a television were spent at the kitchen table playing board games like monopoly or card games like go fish. We lived in a clean home without air conditioning, but that didn't matter because we spent our summer days playing outdoors all day. I look back on those days now as very happy, carefree times even though we did not have much in the way of expensive toys or fancy clothes. And we all grew up to be happy, responsible, loving, caring, and compassionate middle class working people that all live in nice homes and have nice families of our own. I guess what I am trying to say is not all poor people are looking for handouts. And everyone deserves respect and a hand to help them through the hard times if they need it and should not be shamed for that.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • savviecat

      ditto jc, we didn't know we were "poor" either and I honestly can't say I suffered any lasting effects of eating 10 cent ramen other than an incredibly self-reliant work ethic. Feel sorry for me?

      September 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • HonorThePoor

      I'll take a town of poor people before dining with rich sociopath. Any day... and Sunday... Poor people are honest people.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • theresa

        Poor people are honest and rich people are not? There's little logic with that statement.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Brian

        This isn't a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Poor people are usually poor for a reason, and honesty usually isn't a part of it.

        September 21, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Peace Lily

        Well now Teresa and Brian. Aren't we the answer to the world's prayers? I know quite a few rich people and far more poor people. The poor are poor for a reason? Try to remember that a lot of people in poverty now are there as a result of decisions that the rich made! I, too, would sit down to dinner with a town full of poor people before I would a rich a**hole who got rich off the toil of people he took advantage of! Try getting laid off after you literally played a HUGE role in saving a company from shutting down after a big tech project went bad. The economy caused that one. Then try working for peanuts in a field that paid others very well who had been out there longer while you built yourself back up. Just the way things are caused that one. Then try to recover from your spouse having a mid-life crisis after 22 years of marriage that cost you everything you had gained. Not being able to predict the future caused that one. THEN be just in sight of seeing it all good again, to suddenly not being able to even get hired to wipe someone else's behind. Generations of bad government, bad ideals, bad economy caused that one. Sure...I CHOSE these things and am poorer because of my choices! Riiiiggghhhtttt! You are so clueless as to the way things really are. But I do CHOOSE to rise above what has happened and maintain my compassion and be a good citizen in spite of it all. I dare not speak badly of the poor...I was there! And I may be there again before it's all over. But I will never forget those less fortunate. While there are some rich who deserve kudos, most do not. They are only rich because THEY gamed the system that we built ourselves. Capitalism...gain at the expense of others!

        September 21, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Oneofsix

      I agree...we (my family) may have been seen as poor by current standards, but we were loved and lacked for nothing we needed. Maybe we should stop and think as a society "what do we really need", as apposed to "what do we want". (Big difference). We never felt as though we were different. Additionally we learned to respect others, the value of a dollar and what we had...plus developed a work ethic that is missing in many young people today who have everything they want. Something to think about.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      I like you, I like your comment, you see I am French and grew up after world war2, we were all poor on an american standard, so what?we all know that money does not buy happiness, you sound you were raise in dignity with good moral values, and happy?Just like me, we were a happy bunch of people , living our life socializing,talking, playing,interacting.
      My father always said people with money are evil....well I look at what happened in 2008,and I agree, speculation belongs to the Devil, unfortunately in the US you are judged by the money you make and not the person you are, it seems to me the Devil took over. Well I do not worry because I don't play the game, I am for what I stand with or without money, solidarity, compassion, understanding, and a lot of laughs .

      September 21, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  33. I am not poor and i am proud of it.

    If you are posting on this article you can't be that poor, because you have access to an internet and a computer.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew from St. Louis

      Just because you post on here does mean you can not be poor. You can get on the Internet with NO Money or even a computer... Go to the Library or if someone goes to a public school!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Yes they are poor...of course they get free cable internet with their subsidized cable. Live in subsidized housing, have food stamps, eat free at school.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Rio Von

        Oh jealous are we? Filled with envy. A believer is what that there is a good job with benefits and middle class pay? Wanting to look down on others?

        September 21, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      you are funny, you are right, don t think American are poor...I am french, lets get a tour to Africa, or why not Syria...
      will see what it means to be poor...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  34. ToughTimes

    The system is broken. If the programs meant to end poverty worked we would end poverty. No instead we have created a class of people who are comfortable with having, doing, owning less. Not from some sense of Walden but from laziness and terrible modeling by parents or their community. The system was meant to help people until they could help themselves. Instead we have created incentives for people to act irresponsibly and still eat and live comfortably. We all want to help the poor but no one wants to help someone who is gaming the system and the problem is we can not tell them apart. If we really wanted to help the poor we would fix public education, add incentives for people to get and stay married, teach nutrition and P. E in our schools, teach ethics at every level. No instead we blame the rich cause we are poor and likely to remain poor cause poor people need politicians and well politicians need rich people. I haven't heard either of the choices drive to the root cause of the problem and that is Americans have lost their sense of shared values.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peace Lily

      I guess my biggest question is this: should those undeniably in need be punished for the misdeeds of others who are gaming the system? The gaming of the system is what we need to stop. We should never forget those less fortunate. I, too, have a hard time feeling empathy for the milkers. But if stopping it means hurting the rest who are innocent of doing such things, I just don't buy that as a solution. There has to be a way to care for the less fortunate while cutting off the ones milking the system. That alone would probably reduce our deficit tremendously!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thoughtful_Reply

      Wow...That was really well said. Thank you.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • limeade46

      Have you ever gotten involved with helping the poor? Volunteering with a church organization, a soup kitchen or a well baby clinic? If you have you know people don't fake being poor. They simply are and most of them are so embarrassed. Please don't think everyone takes advantage of the system.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      I agree with you
      But in America we lost solidarity in our way to the american dream
      But poor american are still richer than anyplace in the developing world

      September 21, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  35. polyxenes

    This article really hit a nerve with me.

    From the early 1970's, I raised my two little kids alone, their father hatefully telling me, "You're divorced now." when I called, again begging for the child support he owed us. Without the "burden" of supporting, or even acknowledging his children, my ex was able to put himself through medical school and is now a respected member of his community. His comfortable lifestyle is financed by my children's lack of basic material needs as they grew up. The family laws had no teeth then, I hope they do today.

    Regardless, I worked entry-level jobs, two and three at a time – just us three. My kids were "latch-key" kids from the first grade on, something that I think I would be punished for these days.

    I remember one time buying my son a much-needed pair of shoes for $6, for which I'd saved several weeks. One morning I woke to a smoke-filled house – my little daughter had put one of his shoes in the open-burning gas space heater. At my wit's end, I hysterically called (collect) my parents, swallowed my pride, and asked for $6 to replace the shoes.

    My shame was so great that my own family did not know our situation. My pride was so great that I didn't ask for help when it would have greatly benefited my kids – this is the regret with which I live today.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • polyxenes

      In all fairness, I should add that we "turned out" OK.

      My little latch-key kids learned important skills that helped them later in life, such as responsibility (keep the door locked and don't answer it for anyone, getting themselves up, dressed / fed / off to school, and learning to do their own laundry) and frugality (making a pb&j when they were hungry, and lawn-mowing / baby-sitting to earn their spending money). This, while I worked as much as possible and struggled mightily with undiagnosed/untreated severe depression. I was not a stellar parent.

      I should also mention a one-time boss that remains a friend to this day. Unknown to me, he subsidized another coworker's weekly (slaughtered/dressed/frozen) rabbit purchase so that my kids and I had fresh meat, and he gave me "extra" produce from his garden. He always acted like he was going to throw the vegetables away unless we took them, and I was too young/naive/desperate to argue the point. Thanks to him, we survived with my stupid pride intact.

      Today my grown kids are hard-working, responsible, loving spouses and parents. They roll with the punches. They love me and have fond memories of growing up, which I can hardly believe.

      I in no way am gloating. I rarely think or talk about the struggles these days – but this article brought all the memories and feelings back tonight.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  36. Ted

    My father was defrauded when he put all his life savings into buying a gas station.
    When the gas station was fradulently taken from him, he went into depression mode for 2years. Thanksfully welfare helped sustain my family diet and helped pay the mortgage.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      You see , help in the US is available, poor in the US has no meaning on a world scale, where people die every day of hunger

      September 21, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Mel

        I recall just a few years ago, an elderly man in my state froze to death one winter in his house because his electric was turn off.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  37. bloodghost

    i know being the internet the chances of being read to the last period are slim but i hope this makes sense for those who read it the whole way. most of these "being poor" statements are problems some folks would literally kill to have. being poor in america is comparatively a godsend to being poor in a third world country. now before i face the gallows over what i just said, please understand, i have gone to bed hungry. there were nights when i was a kid when the only thing that was there to eat were the tears in my dad's eyes. fortunately i haven't faced that desperation in a few years. i still eat 10 cent ramen, and probably always will. without doubt there are examples of extreme poverty in the USA, the income desparity between the working poor and the well invested elite is so extreme it makes my stomach turn. but even that being the case, many in other countries would give everything to be a poor person in the USA. is our compassion altered by proximity? does the compassionate cause end at our borders? look, i am an anarchist, i hate the state and all of its forms, it isn't my friend and trust me it isn't yours. on top of that, i know the monied elite of the world stand by and watch as those who are flesh of their flesh, bone of their bone, and blood of their blood, die in the streets, starving and naked. ultimately, the poor in the USA are better off than the poor in the third world. this isn't a secret. the biggest secret is how those who have the ability to change the tide of international poverty and hunger can stand idley by while other humans waste away. are these people waiting for the government? are they waiting for better times? do they want to make sure they have enough money in their childs 529 account before they help a neighbor? look – i don't do as much as i could, the hamburger helper i ate tonight could have been split around to another couple of people and i would have been just fine. i haven't had a homeless person in my house in a couple of months, and i probably should. but my means to help are small compared to some of the fortune 500 cats. i will never call for government intervention, like i said, i am an anarchist through thick and thin, mainly thin. i am asking that those who can help their fellow man. and for those who are really up in arms about being poor in the USA, i am with you, i've been hungry, but remember, while hungry in Indiana feels a lot like hungry in India the chances of getting a sandwich in Indinapolis are 40x higher than the chance of getting a bite to eat in New Delhi.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      you are so right!!!Lets just take the situation in America compared to the whole world..
      In America you always get help , the system is here to step in when you are in need,and some people know how to manipulate it well, agreed
      So we should look at all the "real poor", we american are not really poor, we are american....

      September 21, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Yesperson

        So, just because it isn't as bad as it could be means it's not worth improving? Relative poverty can still be miserable.

        September 21, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  38. alfred

    made a reply. liived it been there done that.. you don't want to hear that su faack off. been more poor than any one you can come up with.,.., a/w

    September 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  39. janus

    Americans do not know what poverty is. Being poor means wearing 3 generation hand me downs. Being poor is being barefooted year round. Being poor is living in trash dumps. Being poor is living in a place where public defecation is routine. Being poor is giving your children for others to take care of them. Being poor is being high on drugs to satisfy hunger.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • alfred

      Don't know poverty!!?? bite me.. 1950's Mich. no heat no food, no meds., 5 kids no help... poor?? poverty?? not even close...if you live where it's warm ,, cool..,.but in MI, you fraxking freeze,.,. done that.. while I frooze i also had no food. no libs, in those days?? No one has poverty lioke we had in the 50–60"s.. not even close../. screwwrw the fraackking rats nof today!!!!!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Sounds like America to me janus. You've been to the city right?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • marie morgan

      I strongly agree!!!

      September 21, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  40. alfred

    Poor!! Damn!! you people have no idea what poor is!! late 40's–to mid 60's. little food,,oh if you go get it, you got it.. brown bag surrplus USDA. No heat, no food, no water,, no meds., no fracking heip, for 5 kids. No Fracking Help at all .. but here we are and we served our country 28+ years and still pay our way.. No food,, no watet,, n o heat,, NO Help and we still made it. Fukkck todays welfare!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Kodak

    It is true that many people need legit help. Shame on us if we the people don't step up and help. BUT, there are many who do take advantage of the system. There are many jobs available but some people would rather do nothing than work at McDonalds or building a house for a contractor. Yes, I know those jobs won't pay to support a family but something is better than nothing. How is it that a typical illegal can get a job in front of 7-11 and support two or four families with that income?? We have a lot to learn here in the US of A about responsibility.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJH

      You are referring to individuals that reside in households that may have 4 generations living under the same roof; pooling resources, knowing that the family separated will not survive. Divided, those individuals would be forced to seek assistance for housing and food; all those luxuries that Mitt believes are not basic human needs. So, that said, I hope you welcome your 39 year old son back into your house after he loses his job, along with his 3 wailing children, his b!tc4 of a wife that will not miss an episode of Dr. Phil, your mother-in-law and perhaps an incontinent aunt or two. We have a lot to learn... thank you so much for your insight.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dee

        Thank you, I have had 4 generations in my house already.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  42. RHEA

    growing up in the PHILIPPINES, being poor is:
    -having to figure out when and what is next meal
    -if you're fortunate to have enough money for rice, then, figuring out where to get SOY SAUCE to put in your rice

    September 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |

    How about if all these big fat, over fed poor people in the picture stopped eating so much food and spent the money on something more productive? that would be a good start.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stop to think.

      Most people below poverty line are overweight because they cannot afford healthy food/lifestyles. With long work days and low pay they resort to cheaper foods with less nutritional value, hence the attraction to cheap fast food by poor populations.These people do not have the extra leisure time to work out or go running. It's a revolving door and unless you're a health specialist or a sociologist or someone who lives in a poor neighborhood, you are POORly informed. It is a revolving door that needs fixing.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • RT THADWIN

        You are an idiot. No matter what food you are eating... eating less of it will lower your weight.
        The real issue is that poor people need to learn self control, and need to make better choices with their lives.
        Your attempt to rationalize bad choices and bad morals as "out of their control" is enabling them. This is the root of the problem.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • bannister

        What a bunch of BS.

        The connection between poverty and obesity is INTELLIGENCE. People who make "bad choices" about eating are the same people who make bad choices about money. A bad of apples costs the same as a Big Mac with fries but the lower IQ people choose the Big Mac and suffer the consequences.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dee

        A big Mac is about two bucks, a bag of apples is 6 bucks, you obviously don't shop!

        September 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • john

        When was the last time you got a Big Mac? A Big Mac Meal is at least $6.00 where I live. $2.00? I believe you are the one that does not shop

        September 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peace Lily

      I'll tell you what RT THADWIN. Go buy you a month's worth of pinto beans, flour, peanut butter, bread, rice, and all the cheap foods that the poor have to eat in order to get everyone fed and see what it does to someone who is stressed to the max, past her shapely prime, and don't have enough energy to worry about the small plate of food that all had for dinner in her house and see where you are in a month. To all of you people who look at only the surface...it's why you're ignorant! I am not on welfare and am not the poorest of the poor, but where I live has been so devastated by the loss of textile, furniture, and tobacco jobs that you cannot even get full time at McDonald's and Walmart! Then, I suppose, you would all complain when the poor woman isn't at home watching her kids because she has to go to a second job...and all because the first job knocked out her food stamps even though it wasn't full time! People in this country need to get their heads out of their behinds! It doesn't matter how or why the poor are poor. But it DOES matter how we treat the least of our citizens. You think we're a great nation? Other countries laugh at us because we don't take care of our own! I have friends all over the world who ask me all the time why it's like this in the great "America". I simply don't have an answer! They think we are the most ridiculous country on the planet. The only ones who want to come here are those even more poor than our poor! And guess what? THEY get treated better than our own! This country is a disgrace and we should all be ashamed. I have always been told to never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. So I strongly recommend that if you cannot, at the very least, live the equal amount of pain that our poor does, then you should just keep your darned mouth shut!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Junk food is cheaper.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      To all you self righteous judging the poor to be low lives. The article is written from the point of view of a child. Children have no say in what their parents do or the choices they make. They just have to live with it good or bad. The article is it make us stop and think. And to get a glimpse into another person's world. No one knows where life my lead them. So stop acting like it can't happen to you.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  44. sandr88

    I remember one day loosing everything, and finding out suddenly I had to fund my own university education, and everything my parents saved was taken by the banks including our house, bank accounts. Suddenly I learned I could live off $5 of grocieries a week.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  45. schoolsub

    Being poor also means receiving refundable tax credits, such as earned income credit and additional child tax credit, INSTEAD of paying in taxes. It means receiving free medical insurance (Medicaid). It means Women, Infants, and Children (
    WIC) benefits. It means free preschool (Head Start). It means free school lunch. Thank all of the 53% of Americans who DO pay taxes for all of these.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denver_mike

      I'm sure they would trade places, just ask one

      September 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • yc

        if one dropped out of high school, he won't be able to trade places with one who didn't. if one had a baby at 17, she won't be able to trade places with someone who did. a lot of people who are not poor today used to be poor. when I was in law school, once I stared at a poster I really liked in a goodwill store for 10 minutes, and finally decided to pay the $15 cost by skipping lunch for a week.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • RT THADWIN

        I'm too am sure they would trade places. They would love to get the fruit of my labor for free. That's the mentality that's keeping them down.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      I forgot about food stamps, much of which ends up paying for cigarettes, liquor, and lottery ticket, since the USDA has gone to a cash card system.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Susan Powers

        Get your facts correct. Cigs, liquor and lottery tickets cannot be purchase with food stamps and if a store is doing that they are doing it illegally. Now having said that, I guess you are not one of the po folks and my question to you is, would you like to trade places? I doubt it!

        September 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • schoolsub

        They pay for their groceries with the food stamp card and take some cash, too. Then they turn around and spend the cash on whatever they want. I've been in line at the check out and have seen the cash actually go from the clerk to the customer.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dee

        Absolutely NONE of the items you mentioned are paid for on the food stamp program. I really get sick of all you nuts who keep making this stuff up!

        September 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      schoolsub, when someone is at poverty level, does it really bother you that they get tax credits when they barely make any money to survive? Believe me, these impoverished families are never taking their kids on trips to Disneyworld when they receive their tax refund – they are using those funds to pay for the necessities in life, not luxuries. I'm a taxpayer, and it's pathetic that you have no empathy towards others. Bet you didn't grow up impoverished either or know what it's like to wonder where or when your next meal will come from. Pathetic.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • schoolsub

        Kim, I DID grow up impoverished. I lived in a "basement house" (that's a basement with no house on top). We had no bathroom (unless you count the privy on the back fence line). Mom bought the cheap food: pork liver, beef tongue, heart, etc.) Supper was often toasted bread, broken up and covered with milk. Breakfast was, well I developed a taste for coffee while I was in grade school. I did get a college education, but what my total of $800 in scholarships didn't pay, I paid for MYSELF, working during high school and during the four summers before each of my four years in a state college. I did NOT borrow any money from any source. If I wanted something but did not have the money to spare, well I just continued to want it because I did not buy it. Don't tell me I don't know about poverty. My family was impoverished but they NEVER got any welfare (food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, food bank donations, etc.). They (and I) simply worked our tails off.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        guess you weren't too poor then. If you could afford that standard of living, you weren't impoverished. So you had to go to the bathroom outside. Boo hoo. How terrible. Sounds like your mom had a lot of food to put on the table. Impoverished? I think not. You have no idea. How privileged that your family never had to go to a food pantry or apply for welfare or QUALIFY for free lunches. No, my family was never lazy, so don't insinuate that those who are on welfare or WIC or otherwise are all lazy people. You don't get it because you've never lived it. Sounds like a feast at your dinner table, by the way.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • schoolsub

        Kim, my parents (may they rest in peace) were too proud to take "hand outs". That was just not acceptable.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        Too proud to take handouts? Sounds like they didn't need to. You could afford meals. That's not poverty.

        My mother didn't drink coffee. She couldn't afford it. We didn't eat breakfast either.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • schoolsub

        Kim: What bothers me is that the current system offers no incentive for pulling oneself up by his bootstraps and finding ANY type of job. Sometimes people can live better on the dole that working.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • WasOncePoor

        I was poor, I thought I had the American dream until a medical issue filled pregnancy wiped that out. We have hung onto our house, but we did have WIC, Food Stamps, and Medicaid while trying to get back on our feet. There are programs out there for a reason. I never wanted to see my kids go hungry even though I did for years while I put MYSELF through college and then after. Luckily, thankfully we no longer need those programs because I went back to school and found a different career path to help my family. My husband has always worked crazy hours to help support us, but sometimes it was not enough. We need social programs to help people get through the tough times. It was extrememly hard for me to accept help, but I knew it would benefit my children. Now I have two healthy beautiul kids and a pretty good job. We cook everything from scratch because it is so much cheaper than buying prepackadged food not to mention healthier, we do not have cable tv or even a converter box, we don't drink, don't smoke (I mean who can really afford it these days anyway), and I regulary have yard sales to get extra cash. I do whatever I can to pay the bills even if it means selling all of my belongings, because that is just stuff. We have each other and that is what matters. Again I am thankful for those programs that helped me get through, but I am even happier I do not need them anymore.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Shut Up

      Shut up.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |

      I have a friend who is on WIC. Has been for as long as i've known her. She will not marry the man living with her because she will lose benefits (he makes too much money). So she teaches her kids a moral lesson about marriage (screw it. lets shack up and live off of the neighbors) while the rest of us pay for it. She brags about it.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      I am retired now and still pay taxes but having been in the poorhouse myself, I have NO problem with my money being used to help children have food, a roof over their head and medical care. After all, we are supposed to be CIVILIZED!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bluefeather

        May God bless you for your kind heart.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  46. Kim

    This is what being poor meant to me as a child and means to me as an adult:

    I recall my mother heating our home with a gas stove because our heat was shut off – we couldn't afford to pay the bill

    My shoes were hand me downs, too small and I have bunyuns on my feet as a result.

    Going to bed hungry

    my mother suffered from obvious depression

    my mother made me school "folders" out of album covers – because we couldn't afford school supplies. Kids ridiculed me, of course.

    Having clothes that never fit right. I'd wear safety pins on my pants just to keep them from falling down and hoping nobody would ever notice.

    Dreading getting on the school bus in the morning because I knew the moment I walked on I'd be ridiculed by all the kids on the bus for "living in a barn".

    Remembering the children into my adulthood who were NOT mean to me

    Not being able to participate in extra curricular activities because we didn't have the money

    appreciating that my mother saved up any penny she could to make sure that we always had Christmas gifts – for that I am grateful for ALL of her sacrifices

    Made me a stronger more independent person – a woman who never had to depend on a man or otherwise to take care of me. Everything I have I worked for myself.

    Feeling sorry for people who complain about trivial things in life and those who want things handed to them on a silver platter – you miss out on the true meaning in life and what's really important, and you waste your breath complaining that things aren't "perfect". It's a joke to me that your parents never taught you to appreciate the things you have.

    Being grateful for the things I have and not dwelling on what I don't have, but knowing that I could lose it all tomorrow and the only thing that will matter if I do is that I have my health, happiness and loved ones near by.

    Learning not to judge others. For I have spent my entire childhood being judged and ridiculed by others, and I know full well what it means to be on the receiving end and having no control over the situation you are in. That applies to any person's situation – not just children.

    Money does not make people happy.

    You have to play the hand you were dealt.

    For this, I believe I have grown into an empathetic, kind hearted, respectful and appreciative human being who does my best not to take life for granted.

    Live for today, not for tomorrow.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      oh yeah, and the free lunches at school

      September 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry L

        Thank you. Sometimes, but rarely, I hear things that make me feel better about humanity. I wish everybody could appreciate the depth of your comments.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • another kim

      I grew up in Canada. You described my childhood, too. Except that there was no free lunch – I hid in the bathroom so nobody would see I didn't have a lunch at all. I'd steal candy from the dishes at the secretary's desk in the office – to this day I can't suck on a peppermint without gagging. My teachers ignored the fact that fell asleep all the time in class. Had trouble associating things properly in class. Inappropriate reactions to events that made the other kids see me as weird – I was weird.

      My parents were both teachers – my dad at a university. He left our family because he was "disillusioned" and threatened that he'd get a judgement to garnishee mom's wages if she tried to get child support. At 13, 11 and 10 we were "old enough to earn our own dinners" (we baby sat for $1.25/hr. Did you know you can buy one can of off-brand soda for 11 cents and the fizz fills you up? That was in the early 80s).

      Mom was great – she stayed with us. And she drank Vodka like a fish. What's with this depression stuff, right? SHe'd go on 3-hour screaming rants and scare the living daylights out of us. Every penny of her money not in the bottle, cigarettes, or coffee (come on, we didn't have milk but she had coffee?) went to paying the mortgage so we wouldn't be out on the street.

      No school lunches. Teachers covering for each other. In Commie Canada. Don't tell me the US doesn't have it better. Cheaper clothes than we could ever afford in Canada.

      Yeah, I'm stronger for it. I'm blazing bulletproof. And when I've been unemployed, it was because I felt like writing a book and I've never taken a penny of pogie.

      I'm a Republican and I believe the wealthy, who now include me, should keep their money because they spend it more wisely than those who didn't EARN it.

      But please, people, keep an eye on your neighbors. The kids stealing your berries may need 'em.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        I'm a republican too.

        Sounds like a psychotherapist would be beneficial to assist with your emotional disturbance, whatever that may be that harbors your psyche from your childhood – I can only imagine what a self absorbed mother who denied you what you should have been provided has done to you. For me, fortunately, my mother wasn't selfish, and therefore, I've learned to SHARE with the needy, not punish them for my childhood misfortunes.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry L

        A different Kim – and a much different person resulting from hardship. I too had a tough story and have learned that the strongest people don't get mean and cynical, that's just for those of us too weak to develop kindness and compassion in the face of adversity. I include myself because I'm a work in progress – not trying to gain more wealth but more true character.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • another kim

        Who am I punishing by keeping the money that I earn?
        And what do I choose to do with it? Well it happens, I own a business that employs young mothers, two of whom have used the proceeds of their WORK to EARN a certificate. They used their on-the-job EXPERIENCE to move on to higher-paying jobs (I gave them glowing references. Health care field. Nothing sordid, nothing whatsoever to do with s3x). There's a third working her way up, now. The money I put into that business (and I also work full time) means that I don't take the vacations, wear the clothes, or drive the car you'd expect. "Rich people" of that sort are mostly just spending themselves into being poor people. Truly rich people – those who are rich in family, love and joy – already know that.
        No, I really don't know how you thought I might be "punishing" someone else by keeping the money I earned, but as a matter of fact, it's not just the state of enjoying my earnings – my doing so really does result in trickle down. No joke, no lie.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
      • alfred

        WOW!! I stole those berries??? lol. my life in USA. only worse.

        September 21, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      Kim, I think that you do have to admit that neither of us had it very well growing up but I guess we both did alright. See, we both have these nice computers that we can use to debate "but I was really poorer than you."

      September 20, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  47. unodude

    i get so sick of hearing about poor people with 5 kids living off welfare.. the one thing i never hear about is the reason for most of this. these women need to keep their legs closed. in other words, teach birth control.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      Also, besides "keeping their legs crossed", we need to teach our men what it is to be a responsible husband and father. It means COMMITMENT TO YOUR FAMILY. Stick with your mate and offspring, through good times and bad.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Faxon

    What, exactly, am I supposed to learn from this article? Life has no guarantees. None. How about an article about what it's like to have a terminal illness? To be an amputee? To not have the latest iPhone? Sheesh.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Charlie

    Ha! These silly income classes- and the fake commercialism, capitalism, politics, immediate gratification and glorious and endless perversions. Glad all those worthless excuses for actors on CNN have something to exploit.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  50. EKIA

    Obama has failed. More people live in poverty than ever before. It's time to turn the country over to someone with a proven track record of creating jobs and fixing ailing companies.

    Romney/Ryan 2012!!!!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • William1956

      His track record of creating jobs, is from the jobs he created overseas. And and fixing ailing companies, the company he fixed was the SLC Olympics and the Olympics is not a company.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Blake Leighton


        Sent from my iPhone

        September 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denver_mike

      Mittins had created a bunch of jobs, in china. His company ended american jobs and have them to foreigners.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • kthln3

      Sweetie, if you think "Obama has failed" just wait till you get a dose of 4 years of Romney.

      That is, if he had a chance to win. He won't. There are too many working poor in America like myself & my husband, whose world was turned upside when we lost lucrative jobs we'd had for over 20 years when the economy started falling apart in 2008. Throw in two catastrophic illnesses (my husband, my elderly parents) and BOOM, suddenly your upper-middle class life has vaporized. But I don't blame Obama: he walked into a hornet's nest that the REPUBLICANS created and it can't be solved in 4 years. Especially with a Congress that would not work with him.

      God help us all if elitist Romney wins. But I am certain that he won't.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  51. sameeker

    Being poor is:

    Not having a family life because both parents have to work minimum wage jobs just to survive.

    Having to work a minimum wage job because you don't dare risk asking for anything better because you need the money.

    Having to pay to cash you paycheck because you can't afford a bank account.

    Having to pay more for things like insurance because you have to pay by the month instead of writing out a check for several hundred dollars.

    Getting kicked around by business, the police and other powers that be because you don't have the money to fight them.

    Having to buy junk at Walmart because you cant afford quality stores.

    Being the one hardest hit when gas prices skyrocket because you barely make enough to get back and forth to work as it is.

    Having to put up with tyrannical bosses and coworkers because there are 1,000 people who will take your job.

    And lastly, not having a say in your government because you don't have a ton of cash to pay to be heard.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      Part 2:

      Being blamed for you predicimate because you didn't inherit money or you don't make enough to buy stock and start a business because you don't even earn enough to survive.

      Having to work mandatory overtime every weekend while the top people at the company are vacationing in the Bahamas.

      Doing all the work while some rich investor takes all of the profits.

      working 50 – 60 hours a eek and still having to accept food stamps because the company is too cheap to pay a living wage.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  52. William1956

    I can remember when they started serving breakfast at school so I went to the lunch room to get breakfast and I got my breakfast and when I got to the end of the line their was a woman and a cash register and she said that will be 50 cents please so I dug deep into my pockets and found 35 cents and handed it to her and she said that is not enough so i walked away hungry and never went back.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • candymann

      I am a nurse and with paying for college and kids and having serious health issues. I feel for you, u are not alone, stay strong.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  53. Memories

    That list was heartbreaking. Yup, felt some of it, though not as severe. It frees me from feeling sorry for myself as
    an aged guy in the "poor category" adult because the kids feel the sting of it 10 times over. I do keep it a secret
    I'm on food stamps from friends who don't know how far I fell. I also try not to look at the posts that attach a great
    shame and failure stigma to it, they'll never know how an ailment of your body can make you drop like a stone, financially.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Questions401

      Yes! thank you for saying that. People take good health for granted.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  54. liberalcat

    this is not a good photo for this story. i only see fat and lazy.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  55. jean

    This article brought back memories. One of the most humiliating experiences of my childhood occurred in elementary school. This was 1960's Iowa, prior to the federal school lunch program. My father had been laid off from work and a local agency provided sack lunches for the children that needed them, for which I'm grateful. However, the children that received the free sack lunches were not allowed to sit at the tables, but were made to sit on the floor, against the wall, and next to the lunchroom door. For me, it was the wall of shame.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Duckens

    Poor is "not middle class."

    Middle class once meant needing only one income to::
    Own a home.
    Have health insurance.
    Send one's children to college.

    iphones and tvs and cars (20yo, duct tape to hold one door one, a window that doesn't roll up) are a distraction. Either you have access to the three things listed as Middle Class, or you are below Middle Class:


    Most families I know have two incomes, and they still can't attain ALL three things listed above. These are people who did all the right things: no or low college debt, no credit card debt, no crazy trips to Disneyland or Hawaii, no expensive weddings or divorces. They work hard, don't smoke or use drugs (other than an occasional bottle of wine for Thanksgiving), don't buy lottery tickets or gamble, and buy secondhand clothes, cars, and appliances.

    Those in charge are doing a good job of dividing us.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      well said

      September 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  57. cajolumael

    Being poor is watching your kids play outside with the neighborhood kids because the houses are small and without much electronics.
    Being poor is being out chatting with your neighbors because everyone is trying to cut down on AC or does not have an AC.
    Being poor is learning who your friends really are. Specially if you were not poor before.
    Being poor is about finding your real value because the only thing you have left is you.
    Being poor is re-learning to enjoy the really simple things in life. A fresh autum day after a summer without AC.
    Was pretty wealthy, am pretty poor. I am sure in time I will come out of poverty but I will forever be grateful for many of the things I have learnt while poor.
    And while, by western standards, I am poor. By third world standars I am pretty rich. Go figure.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Thank you for putting a positive spin on this. Its easy to think of all the negative things as I grew up a child in poverty. But you are SO right. It also afforded me life experiences that have shaped me into the person and mother I am today. Thanks!

      September 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Puckles

    I love how almost all of these "poor" people in the photo are OVERWEIGHT! What a JOKE. Send them to Africa for a day. Then they will know what poverty really is. I guess that is why everyone wants to live in the U.S. because even the "poor" people here are fat!

    September 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • William1956

      Some of the Russians were giving 50 million a year in aid to are fat. 🙂

      September 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • debi jackson

      That's because the cheapest food is the most fattening; high-carbs- – bread, potatoes, pasta. You have never been poor, or you would realize this.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Just_realistic

        Beans are some of the highest sources of protein and are among the cheapest meal to make. The lazy and ignorant feast excessively on high carb, low nutrition items because they taste good and are easy to fix.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Karen

        I agree with you debi jackson. Thats why most of the overweight people is the food they can afford. Everyone should zip it and remember that people have feeling...they don't want to be that way. I have a tyroid problem and my company took our insurance away from us and now I can't afford to go to the doctor or afford the medicine.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • domynoe

      Healthy food, fresh food, is too damn expensive for those in poverty. They have to live off of cheap -prepackaged foods that have nothing but calories, usually can't get fresh fruit and veggies, and are lucky to be able to buy more than chicken, hamburger, and canned tuna.

      More than that, weight is more then food: it's heredity, stress (and poverty inflicts a lot of that), have the time and energy to exercise (which you usually don't have when poor), and other factors. Obesity doesn't mean someone is eating more food. Obesity doesn't mean someone is eating HEALTHY food. Obesity means a bad/poor diet combined with heredity, lack of exercise, and a whole lot of other factors, many of which are out of our control.

      Educate yourself and get rid of the stereotypes.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • pete

        Actually if you eat too much healthy food you can still be obese. Calorie intake is a big component in addition to eating healty food.

        Beans, apples, corn, fresh spinach,whole wheat bread is not that expensive

        September 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • XD

        @Pete. Spinach, apples, and other fresh, healthy foods are very expensive in comparison to foods like ramen, cheap pasta, and twinkies. You also get more calories with the processed cheap foods–which is what some people are trying to maximize with little regard to other nutrients.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • melrob

        Also, with being poor or not knowing where you next meal is coming from your body does a little strange thing, It goes into survivor mode. What that means is that any food eaten will be turned into fat for later use by the body when food is not available. Hence that is why a lot of poor people or people who do not eat regular meals have a tendency to be obese.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      Many poor people are fat because they have no car & no nearby markets that sell fresh, healthy food.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  59. William1956

    Its a shame that billion airs don't pay tax's, but they expect everyone else to.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • CheckYourFacts

      Billionaires don't pay taxes? The top 1% of tax payers pay over 40% of all income taxes; the bottom 95% of taxpayers pay less (in total) than 40% of income taxes.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry L

        When the poor pay taxes they give up food, shelter, medicine, clothing and security. When billionaires pay taxes they simply give up the right to own fewer outrageously expensive luxury items. It's the reason a progressive tax system makes societies work and a regressive system results in revolution.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • msuwebmanager

        You're talking about INCOME tax, which is the only tax the GOP thinks worth talking about. We poor pay every other tax – sales tax, gas tax, property tax, school tax, library tax, city tax, water tax, sanitation tax, et al. And all these are at the exact same rate as a billionaire pays. But when you consider the percentage of available dollars, the poor pay a massively higher percentage than the rich. It's hard to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you can't afford boots.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  60. mahdeealoo

    Being poor for me was:
    Wearing hand me downs. Always too big or too small.
    Wearing shoes so small that my toes curled under. Painful to walk to and from school.
    Having one can of Spam between 4 people for dinner.
    Going to my great aunts house and hoping she would send home an old butchered hen or rooster.
    Having one winter coat and having to wear it until the sleeves came up to my elbows.
    Walking everywhere. No taxi, no bus.
    Waking up to thick ice on the bedroom windows because the heater was 3 rooms away.
    Being teased for being the 2nd poorest family in my school.
    Loving the summer garden which gave us fresh vegetables and not canned peas.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Flamingo Kid

      You weren't "poor." You just weren't privileged. There are FAR worse cases in the world than yours. You should be thankful for the abundance you did have and stop whining.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Questions401

        The definition of poor in the dictionary is lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society… mahdeealoo's experience seems to describe that, so you saying he was not poor is sort of erroneous.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Equestrian Citizen

        I should say something what Flamingo Kid said sounds like MIttens Romney

        September 21, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • LizardKing

      Not poor but thrifty. I bet you are a far better person having know the bottom,right.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  61. Puckles

    I love how almost all of these "poor" people in the photo are OVERWEIGHT! What a JOKE. Send them to Africa for a day. Then they will know what poverty really is.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOGO

      Poverty and Starvation are different right? Which degree of poverty is acceptable?

      September 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Kay

    Some of you repeat everything that Obama says without question. No one is wanting to give rich people a tax cut. What Republicans believe is that NO Americans should have their taxes RAISED. Extending the present tax rate is exactly was it says. It's extending what is already happening. We give the Government enough money. If we raise the taxes on anyone, do you really think the Government won't waste it? Of course they will. If we stand strong and so NO raise in taxes on anyone it will force the Goverment to live within means, like we have to.

    The Liberal Media, Obama and his campaign gang want us to turn on each other based on financial class. I would think we are smarter than that, but by some of the comments I read, I'm not sure. A country divided is a country easily conquered. We become so consumed in our greed and envy, that we take our eye off the real enemies.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Questions401

      umm actually you should read their tax plans before speaking about it

      September 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kay

        I was commenting on people saying Romney wants to give rich people at tax cut. That is not true. They want to keep the existing tax rate. There is a difference.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Questions401

        please, just read their plan... please

        September 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kay

        I read the tax plan off Romney's site. If you read it off a Media site it's different, of course. I don't see anything that I object to. What is it you don't like?

        September 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      Um, Romney is the one that said he doesn't care about 1/2 of the population of this country including elderly people. He also considers people that work full time at minimum wage to be lazy and just looking for a handout. I want a president that wants to lead the entire country. Not just the people that "count".

      September 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Danno

    Clearly these victims just aren't taking responsibility for their lives. ;\

    September 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Working Poor

    Back in the day: Yes we had a car & a TV – but no cable. The kids didn't really know we were poor. We were frugal. Hand-Me-Downs and thrift shops were the norm and nothing to be ashamed of! We always managed to keep a roof over our heads. We didn't have beef on the table much but thanks to generous friends and neighbors we had our fill of free range organic venison that I learned to butcher myself. Even now: Keeping up is almost impossible, never mind getting ahead – and that is with no lack of trying! It's tough out there and yes – eating healthy is more expensive than eating cheap!

    September 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Beam48

    That brought back some sad memories for sure for me. At the same time though many (not all) of the poor live better here then those in other countries. I don't have to walk 20 miles and for a jug of dirty water that might kill my children...:/ Still we DO have people dying in this country for lack of medical care..and we do have kids going hungry that shouldn't be...at least so far no child has starved to death here that wasn't at the hands of their care givers.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  66. ImWEBSPY

    I think the GOP is doing a social experiment, Accidently go to war on bad advice and kill and injure100 thousand needlessly. Take our money, jobs, homes, cars, give them to the banks and their friends on the way out of town.

    Then when were really good and poor get us to vote for a millionaire Mormon who calls us all a bunch of losers to win!

    Sounds about right!

    September 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  67. ROE

    Give it a rest

    September 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Brian

    As American citizens, our collective heart should ache for the growing number of poor and hungry in our land—especially the increasing number of children who fall into this segment. As a wealthy country, it is shameful to watch as little or no action is taken to alleviate the situation. Stop the blame. Do not condemn or pass judgement on some of our countrymen who are less-fortunate. Let's not grow weary in doing good. Have some compassion and help those in need.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Questions401

      you are a good person

      September 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Working Poor

        I concur. Be nice! To the rest: how blessed you have been to never know hardship, worry or despair! On one hand I pray you never know it – on the other I hope you know it with vengence – if only for a minute to give you humility and care for humankind.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • bravotron

      Are you really helping them? Our will of survival and ambition is being sapped out of our very being. I don't disagree that there are those who need these programs but the trend in the past 10 years is a growing number of people who DON'T need these programs and steal the integrity of those who do need it. I guess my point is tighter regulation or even a way to disburse actual food products instead of just giving out money that people go buy lobster and soda with

      September 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • welltemperedwriter

        "the trend in the past 10 years is a growing number of people who DON'T need these programs and steal the integrity of those who do need it"

        Prove it.

        September 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • bravotron

        Ya CNN removed my proof...go figure

        September 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  69. William1956

    People don’t seem to realize what its really like to be poor in this country. When your a kid you wear hand me down clothes and sometimes they were your sisters. You move from place to place because your parents have to move to where the jobs are. You make friends in school only to have to tell them good by when you move. One of your parents dies because he drank himself to death so you move into a much smaller place because you cant afford the place you were living in. And you keep moving. You get old enough to move out on your own and this means living in your car or living in a tent. Finally your able to get a place to rent only to worry that you will be able to pay rent the next month. The land lord does not fix anything that’s broke. You have to put up with the neighbors playing loud music till late at night. Next thing you know you get evicted and you have to pack your things and find another place to rent within 15 days. And you go hungry for half the month just so you can pay the bills.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • William1956

      Oh I forgot one thing I caught 3 mice 2 with one sticky trap.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  70. ROE

    I must be stupid or something because I am just not getting this guy.
    First off, a "car????" his poor means having a "car" to pick up other peoples trash? OK. Sorry we just did not have that.
    The roach while packing lunches...first off they apparently had bread and something else to make a sandwhich yet the free lunches at school embarrassed him?
    A "TV???"...asking for things that are on TV? I do not remember having a TV.
    Raman noodles that were 2 cents more???? Oh for the love of god...if a child (or adult) notices a 2 cent difference in Raman noodles....please.
    Living next to the freeway??? Was he living "NEXT" to the freeway or "UNDER" it? I am sure he said "NEXT" to it.
    So sad.
    A heater in one room of the house? A "house???" AND a "heater???!"
    Underware??? He had underware???
    Stop this nonsense, he needs to spend one week with "THE POOR" and stop feeling sorry for himself.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Sayin'

      I so agree !!!

      September 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Questions401

      You know being poor simply means lacking sufficient money to live at a standard considered comfortable or normal in a society, right? Just because there are people even more poor then this person does not mean this person should be written off they way you just did...

      September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Just Sayin'

        So poor to you means only being able to afford one Big Mac, instead 2 Big Macs and fries like the people in the picture apparently have every day.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Questions401

        no i simply listed the dictionary definition of poor

        September 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • William1956

      Some of the rich need to spend one week with the poor.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • William1956

        Hey Mitt Romney i got a room ill rent you for a week.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • domynoe

        I've long thought that it should be a requirement to live in poverty conditions, dealing with the government "handouts" without access to any other wealth for at least a year before running for any kind of office. To represent all the people living in your area, you need to understand what they experience, and most elected official haven't a clue.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I was thinking the same thing. I remember our car being repossed, no TV, ketchup sandwiches and bot my parents working at min wage, my Dad 2 jobs just to keep up. A car, TV, cell phone are not rights, if you can afford those things you shouldn't be getting free lunches.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Just Sayin'


    "Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV".

    Poor kids get to see TV????

    I suspect ther are a few million people around the globe who'd love to be "poor" like this.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Questions401

      you know poor people can have friends that are less poor right?

      September 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Just Sayin'

        Less poor...or more priviledged???

        September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I think you are being very inappropriate. Yes, we get what you are saying and yes we understand there is poor and homeless and always someone out there that is worse off BUT coming from someone who grew up "less fortunate" than a lot of other people in my neighborhood, BOTTOM LINE: kids know the difference and it hurts. Yea, we had a tv that my father felt kind enough to buy for us since he wasn't paying child support but many of days my mother was at VEAP, which was the community food shelf trying to get us food. We had our lights, gas, and water cut off numerous times. No phone, to free up that bill, after my mother felt that we were old enough to get somewhere if there was an emergency. I wore hand me downs because I was the youngest and my uncles kept us with a car because we lived in a cold state and they refused to let my mom take us around on the bus. SO, yes we did have "things" but just like the other person stated there are people worse off but there is a certain standard of living that we did not have and many other households that probably felt the same way. It hurts and is embarrassing when you are child because you don't know why or what the difference is. Yes, we now know because we are adults but there is a different perception when you are a child so he is writing from his experience.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  72. brat

    46.2 every day there are more people added to that list and it sucks because they work for crooks who think there mercedies payments for that month are more important. there are people out there who couldnt care less about any thing but them selves it horrible here in this state of indiana! onlgy two classes here poor and rich!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  73. timmothy green

    ..... people are fat?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!! (not surprising at all)

    September 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  74. PG

    The reason that poor people are often fat is that most unhealthy food is cheaper. Compare the Chinese buffet where you can get in line and heap your plate with fried goodies three times for 10.95 to the elegant bistro that serves 5 ounces of prime protein on an abstract design composed of three sauces and garnished with four pencil thin asparagus spears for forty bucks. Speaking as a serial dieter, shopping for real food is always way more expensive than the processed crap like instant mac & cheese or ramen noodles. Also, good nutrition requires time and education as well as money. If you barely made it out of high school and you're working two or three part-time jobs to get by, you aren't going to have a lot of time to devote to exercise or label reading.

    Oh, that's right, real poor people aren't allowed to eat out. They're not poor unless they're living in a shanty town out at the landfill and their children are dying of starvation and disease. Is this what you people really want for this country? You're not poor unless you're 100 times poorer than the wealthiest people in the country? Wow. Just wow.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES

      Even if they eat unhealthy , if they eat less they won't be fat. It is a fact. I grew up on potatoes, milk and bread. I enver could put enough of that stuff down, not that tasty. And I am not overweight. They must be eating something besides the boring basics to be that fat.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Questions401

    wow all these people spouting off hate for the poor, you know what? I work 70 hours a week doing jobs no other American will do, washing dishes waiting tables and flipping burgers! I was born here, and I've worked three jobs just to run out of money before graduating collage because tuition has gone to crazy levels... I tell you as a poor person there is no longer any way for the poor to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and quite frankly blaming programs that help the poor for this problem is stupid! The blame is rightfully placed on sending manufacturing jobs over seas to Chinese slaves... Right the barbwire around that Chinese factory isn't to keep those workers in at all, no it just couldn't be...

    September 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  76. William1956

    What concerns me is the Republican and Democrat presidential candidates are well educated about foreign affairs but they know nothing about domestic affairs.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Terry

    Glenda, I am barely making it. I am a Christian. God bless L and others like him and how DARE you make the suggestion that they don't help others out. Just because they don't give everything they have to those who don't does not make them bad, nor does it mean they are going to Hell. That isn't how you get there anyway. Your comment should be very offensive to all Christians reading this, and a joke to all athiests. Good job.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  78. stylistkathi

    unfortunately the cheapest foods are the most fattening. We see it every day at the food pantry where I volunteer. Mac and cheese. can of spaghetti sauce and spaghetti, beans and weiners. bread it is cheap and hopefully will fill the kids bellies before the go to sleep at night.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Sayin'

      Don't agree...the laziest foods are the most fattening. When I was tight for money I always found that fresh vegetables were the smallest cost in comparison to any "fast" foods like canned or frozen foods. If you're willing to put the time into food preparation, costs for quality food is pretty low. And seriously...how long does it take to boil a few fresh vegetables?

      September 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • A poor person

        Finally, someone saying some sense. If people would just take time to cook and not stuff themselves and their children with fast food, it would cost less and be way healthier. "Healthy foods are expensive" is a myth perpetrated by lazy people. Sure, feeding the family at McD will cost less than taking them all to a ritzy restaurant. But going to a grocery store and buying some meats and veggies would cost about the same as fast food or even less. I guarantee it as a poor person who eats healthy.
        Also, people need to learn how to budget and stop letting the consumerist society to tell them they are poor just because they don't throw away their iPhone4 as soon as 5 came out.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • prairieghost

        It's wonderful that you were able to eat a healthy diet even with your situation was less than ideal. You are very fortunate in that regard. However, your lack of perspective is disheartening. When you were dealing with financial problems, were you also caring for a family? Did you have kids to take to school, elderly parents to care for, 16 hour workdays? Cooking meals from scratch IS a time-consuming process, especially if you are cooking for a whole family and not just yourself, and knowing WHAT to buy is not as simple as you seem to think. If you didn't grow up in a family that regularly prepared healthy meals from scratch, you probably don't know how to do it, either. Expecting people to magically know how to do something that has not been a norm in our society for over fifty years is like expecting a modern-day high schooler to know how to operate a rotary telephone.

        I worked as a cashier for several years, and I agree that we as a culture have become too dependent on convenience, but calling someone lazy just because they don't have the time, energy, or know-how to make their own steamed asparagus is just plain arrogant. Count your blessings that you were prepared to endure a bad situation, and stop being so judgmental of people who don't fit your ideals.

        September 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Hadenuffyet

    The jobs are not there . Do some research before you post. It makes you look more informed.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bear

      The jobs are there. You may have to move to find one, but they are out there. N and S Dakota are in a boom. They cannot find enough people to fill jobs.

      My brother started an insurance agency in SE Michigan. Took forever to staff with sales people, call center people and even the receptionist. These were not hard jobs. Sitting at a desk for the most part. They also paid well. But got very few applicants.

      I have friends in Iowa who have been trying to find hoist inspectors and equipment installers. More physical work, but pays really well. They are struggling getting people that will show up every day on time.

      My brother left Michigan and moved to South Carolina. Within 2 months had two jobs.

      The work is there if you want it.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
      • bear

        In Myrtle Beach a lot of the restaurants have girls from Russia working here. They are brought in by the owners because they cannot get locals to work. When the government provides rent assistance, cell phones, cable tv, food, etc to those who won't work, they won't.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Joanna @ I Won't Be a Hoarder Too

        You've got to have the money to be able to move. Glad your brother wasn't poor.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
      • William

        Being poor in America is a life of luxury compared to the 1950's. In fact, being categorized as poor today means a person refuses to make an effort to change from all the free living they are receiving. It does not take a lot of money to live, a person can have everything a rich person has, EXCEPT to pay taxes. And, they have an audience larger than all the pro football games, car races, and political conventions to listen to them whine for free. A really easy life with only small embarrassments compared to tax problems, loss of high income job, foreclosures, bankruptcies, etc.

        September 21, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  80. What???

    Poverty is a state of mind! When you aren’t willing to be independent of any constraints that will prevent you from doing what is right for you and yours, sacrificing what is unnecessary for the long term goal and educating yourself in a skill or a trade that will satisfy a need in this world you will be overcome by poverty and enslaved to those who provide for your needs! Voting from a position of ignorance will result in an ignorant vote! Know what the result of your vote will create!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  81. A"poor"Veteran

    The problem is yes, there are people who abuse public assistance… The other problem is some people legitimately need so you can’t do away with it. Some eventually get off of assistance and pay their dues back. I’m a disabled veteran on welfare now. I go to school full time for Information Technology, I get A’s and I’m graduating next fall to hopefully better my chances to find a good job to support my daughter and I. $8.00 an hour is not enough for me to work. Everything I make would go towards child care. I can’t get assistance for child care because I get a small disability check from the VA and a GI Bill. So I go to school and stay at home with my daughter…

    People come on hard times. These programs help people that sometimes help other people and the world later.
    Also, people forget that assistance is different for everyone. I don’t get the maximum. They give you what you QUALIFY for. When you see someone with an EBT card they may only get $40 a month. I take what I need. I didn’t apply for Section 8 which I could have. I don’t get a check which I could. Everyone doesn’t abuse it.

    Yes, I have two flat screens, last time I checked this was 2012 and they don’t sell tube TV’s anymore in retail stores.
    If someone was willing to hire me and pay me so I can pay my bills, great. Resume has been on career builder for years, applied for numerous jobs.

    It’s not my fault that I got diagnosed with a mental illness from stress from my service. I don’t deserve to be on the streets because people who had a different path say so. I busted my tail in the Army and went over the edge. Now I’m trying to stay healthy and recover.

    I spent 2004 – present struggling with my illness and not finishing school. Part of the reason why I can’t find a high enough paying job.

    Everyone’s not looking for handouts. It’s called help. Some abuse it, some need it. I plan to use it and GET OFF of it!

    People need to wake up. Everyone isn’t poor from bad decisions, hard times just find you.

    I didn’t enlist in the Army in 2004 to later get on welfare. I’m most definitely not a lazy person. Some people are really clueless as to what happens in the real world. I grew up and was an honors student in a parochial school. Graduated. Joined the Army at 19, and got sick. Stuff happens. End of novel.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Thank you for sharing your story!

      September 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  82. brat

    did ya grow up using a out house in so called in the state of indiana ???? the poor state!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenuffyet

      Indiana often votes red , coincidence?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Bb

    I work at an unemployment office and probably half of the people are not interested in working.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • brat

      ya right guess getts the good job s ya know ya yere right yere good buddy !!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Evan

    The poor buy inferior quality manufactured goods at major warehouse stores (thinking of one corporation run by a rich family), from workers paid pennies an hour in China and Bangladesh, goods so cheap the stores throw returns into the recycle bins (after verifying they are "in good condition" prior to issuing credits to rip-off debit cards used by the poor to buy these goods). In essence, America's poor are rich to those in Bangladesh, and in essence, the poor are cannibalizing the poor while a few rich families sit in their estates laughing at them.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Kelly

    Stop the crying!! My father was 60 when i was born. He dragged me off to Brazil because his 700 dollar retirment would stretch farther in their currency. No mother by the way. I remember going to the open market walking barefoot beside my old dad with a wheelbarrel to buy the groceries and having to push it home in the hot sun while my father suffered with heart problems all the time. Top that!!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Why does your misfortune mean other people aren't allowed to be frustrated by theirs?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  86. JC

    15% of the US Population is Poor. Now some will read that as – wow – that is a lot and some will read it as – it's only 15%. When you look at the US Population of 311 Million – how does that fair? What should our expectations as a nation be? Again- some will read this as only 15% – we are not doing to bad – it just like reading that our unemployment rate is 9%. That means our employment rate is 91%. I don't think that we will ever get to where everyone is above the Poverty line- just not economically feasible – but we should stop the shock value and always put numbers in context.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Bb

    Why are so many poor people fat? Seems like it would be the other way around

    September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • brat

      its called mal nutrician

      September 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  88. SugarMan

    100% employment has never been achieved in the history of human civilization, and having a full time job doesn't necessarily get you off the poverty ranks.There always going to be poor people needing help from government. Some of those complaining about folks getting government subsidies are in fact the same ones benefiting the most from government, like fat legislative cats getting top notch free government healthcare. This government collects trillions of dollars in taxes from folks like me. I'd like to see my money going to help my fellow less fortunate Americans, instead of wasting my money on some ideology driven ventures around the world.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Evan

    There have been poor people and an ever increasing gap between them and the rich since the dawn of civilization. I'm not sure how you think this is Obama's fault.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  90. LinSea

    The writer got to have Raisin Bran? Wow, when I was a kid, my mom would grind up whole wheat kernels in a hand grinder and boil it into a gummy porridge for breakfast. We didn't have sugar to put on top–it was too expensive.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  91. bravotron

    Seems like every "poor people" line I see are FILLED with overweight and usually obese people. It not only indicates that we live in excess but It also symbolizes the discipline our society has. Quit blaming people and expecting that anyone owes you anything. We keep getting fatter and asking for more. Leave these programs for people who actually need them...but I'm just being a big meanie

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monica

      They are overweight becoz they don't get to but lean meats & skinny products which are more expensive than the high carb, high sugar & dark meats. Don't judge them by their looks just becoz u can afford all the lean mean products & expensive trainers at the gym.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • bravotron

        We still over-consume these products. Quit blaming it on the producer of the food and recognize that it just tastes good so we eat too much of it

        September 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • ES

        Do you think people going through trash in India wat lean meats and vegetables? You can grow your own vegetables, by the way.
        In any case, i grew up on potatoes, bread and milk and I am fine. It does matter how much you eat even if it is not

        September 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      wrong, it simply indicates that in america bad food is cheap for you because it is subsidized by the government. Have you seriously never wondered why you can buy a 30 oz tropical fantasy soda for 50 cents but a bottle of water loose in the same store will cost you at least 1 dollar? Soda is paid for by tax money, so is fast food. They build their menus around low cost ingredients that farmers a paid to produce at a loss. people are fat because its cheaper to buy a crap burger from MacDonalds than it is to make a burger a home with real ingredients.

      They are also fat because part of being poor is not having anyone teach you about this. Dont be so naive.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • bravotron

        Not being naive. I understand all of what you speak but that does not mean that we are not living in excess and that we are not disciplined. We're fat and we don't care. We don't care about ourselves or the one's who actually need these programs. That is my point

        September 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  92. .-?

    I know what being impoverished is ~ not necessarily for myself with the exception of when I was born and a little after, but others who I have known when I was a child and then later. It's not having dish liquid soap to do the dirty dishes. It's doing the laundry in the bathtub with inexpensive hand soap and hanging the laundry either outside on a rope or one tied up from the walls in the colder months in your dwelling to get them dry. It's using a washcloth to wipe one's self because toilet paper is too expensive. It's not using the electricity much because the bill, even if it's only 40 or so dollars a month it's a struggle to pay. It's waiting to hear from the local churches what days the bread pantry will be opening and hoping to get over there really quick before everything gets cleared from the shelves. It's praying that there will be some charity at Christmas who will have a few little toys for your kids, but knowing even with the help of others, you still remain poor at the end of the day and nothing has really changed.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  93. George W. Bush

    You're welcome for helping outsource all the manufacturing in the US.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It's just that simple? Well crap! You should run for office! I'm sure your policy ideas would fix all of the poverty, financial inequality and educational issues that this country is experiencing. Oh wait, you don't know a damn thing and are just spewing nonsensical rhetoric that you heard on "the Fox News".

      September 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  94. L

    You are absolutely full of crap!!! I paid $25 THOUSAND in taxes. Those taxes go to assisting those who "don't have". I donate money, time and possessions. I have EVERY RIGHT to keep what's left for myself. I earned it.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • PK

      L, Glenda probably isn't talking about you, but I've seen rich people never leave a tip, never give a helping hand, always demand from merchants the cheapest price and demand the cheapest labor and long hours from their employees.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      L, glad to see you paid $25,000 in last year, I believe the Defense budget was 600 Billion$ last year, you may have paid the
      salary of one U.S marine.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Evan

    There have been poor people and an ever increasing gap between them and the rich since, like, the dawn of civilization. I'm not sure how you think this is Obama's fault.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Joe

    So sad when people in AMERICA compare their poor with the poor in 3rd WORLD COUNTRIES, and not with the poor in the Western world. No wonder they consider us so stupid.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES

      What people are trying to say that majority people in America are really not poor. They should stop feeling sorry for themselves and be happy.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Tess01

    no you didn't

    September 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  98. stop

    "letters from his mom to his dad begging for child support"

    OK here we go. All the dads I know pay child support so go pound sand with your victim mom agenda.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Ann

      Ok, here we go. The fact that all the dads you know pay child support does not negate the fact that his father did not. While many, many fathers do pay child support, when they don't (or, for that matter, when mothers who are supposed to pay do not do so), children often end up in poverty.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • PK

      Sorry, but not all Dads, the one I know kept one step ahead and stayed on ships all his life to avoid child support, but his X kept on working to provide and remarried.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Understand

      The father's YOU know pay child support. It ends at that. Let's not forget about the unfortunate many that have to raise their children without seeing a dime from the father. Stating the truth about a select group of men is not a victim "mom" agenda. It's a sad truth.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • call0105

      All the dads you know may pay child support now because judges and state agencies got tired of the abuse and brought the hammer down on them. NOW dads have a harder time skipping out on their obligations. NOW society no longer excuses dads who shaft their responsibilities.

      When I was a child my dad only paid $150/month for two children. We lived in subsidized housing or my grandparents' home while he lived in a 2000sqf single family home, had multiple cars, a ski boat, and a vacation time share. We ate hot dogs with a slice of bread or pot pies that were 3 for $1. He ate out at restaurants. He was always late paying, giving $25 here or $50 there, getting behind by over $1000. My mother took him to court 3 times. Each time the judge knocked of the back payments and said, "Now I don't want to see you in here again."

      You may think that "victim moms" are some fanciful creation, but there's a real reason that states have had to step in and make men be accountable for their children.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Matt

    I've been poor. And homeless. My own initiative got me to the comfortably middle class position I'm in, but I have no delusions that it's a permanent status. These numbers will get worse if Obama is re-elected because businesses will stop hiring. Bet on it.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |

      Really DUMB!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        Really dumb that I've been poor? Nope, I was laid off twice in one year. Really dumb that I've been homeless? Nope, can't pay for housing with income you don't have. Really dumb to bust my butt getting back on my feet? Really dumb not to blame a politician for "not caring about me enough"? Nope, I'd rather they just me alone. Or do you mean really dumb because I know bad government policies when I see 'em? Walk a mile in my shoes.

        For the record, I'm no fan of Romney either. But Obama has NO clue how to solve our problems.

        September 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Lemme guess... you pulled yourself up by your "bootstraps" (WITHOUT ANY ASSISTANCE FROM THE EVIL GUB'MENT) and therefore no one should pay taxes and all assistance programs should be abolished. Am I getting the rhetoric correct or am I missing something about socialism or something?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        What rhetoric? I'm referring to my own experiences that have led to my opinion that Obama has no clue.

        September 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenuffyet

      Hey Matt , can you explain to me why , during the Eisenhower administration ,while corporate taxes were at 90% and personal income taxes were around 30% , we had a booming economy , growing infrastructure , and stable employment levels with living wages. Economies seem to be subject to the laws of entropy. Globalization has sucked us dry and raised the living standards of many , just not here. I don't know your age , but business is/has been leaving the US for 40 years. The wage disparity between the rich and poor started under Reagans' econ policies and has grown steadily ever since. This isn't an opinion , this is fact , look it up . Every politician since has ignored the effects and neglected taking any action to reverse the trend. How many times have I heard " A rising tide raises all ships." Well it just seems to me some ships are just a little more buoyant than others. That whole "trickle down " theory is working wonders.....In southeast Asia.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roo

      Businesses hire due to demand. When people have money to go out and buy products, businesses hire more people to keep up with demand. Businesses can get all the tax brakes they want, but if there's no demand from consumers, it's pointless. If consumers have less money to spend, businesses aren't growing.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Kay

    What the write described is what poor really is. Poor is not the people who have cable TV, cell phones, Nike's, or sell their food stamps for cash to buy for booze, cigs and drugs. The people he described need help. The ones I described that take money from Government assistance should be ashamed. They are robbing the really needy of the funds that the working class people are contributing. This is why we need reform. Obama wants to convince you that reform is taking from the poor. It's not to take from the poor, but to give the poor what others that are cheating the present system are taking from them.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      how do you know? have you EVER had to apply for food stamps to feed your family?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • L

        I have close friends and family that are on food stamps. They have the latest phones, tvs, cars and clothes. I don't know how – but they do.

        September 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Veteran

        L your posts are obnoxious. Someone should restrict you, because you don't have a filter.

        September 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • c s

      Do you really believe that Romney gives a damn about the poor? He said that the 47% who are being helped by government does not concern him. Or you just willfully blind and deaf. When it comes your time to receive Social Security I hope that you and every other Republican refuses it. That way you will not be amongst the 47% who are "takers". Somehow I kind of doubt that many Republicans will refuse Social Security or Medicare.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
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