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I am not poor because I...

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by mcgraw_wv, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. mcgraw_wv

    mcgraw_wv Rookie

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    With all the whining about people need free services and don't need to work in order to live, we need a nice thread which celebrates Entrepreneurialism and others who work their asses off in order to ensure they are a true value to their company or organization. For those who resisted the temptation of an Interest Only ARM, and for those who bought a House they could afford, even in hard times.

    I am not poor because the government choose me over someone else.

    I am not poor because I received some social program welfare that others got.

    I am not poor because of my race.

    In fact, I am not poor simply because my parents worked hard to make a better life than their parents, and showed me that through smarts, and hard work, you make your life, no one gives it to you.

    When I bought my house, I knew what an ARM was, and why that could be the dumbest thing in the world... I went with the fixed when everyone was saying how great ARMS were.

    We bought a house we can afford on 1 salary, even though we have 2... because I knew the potential risk in over stepping...

    For others out there who researched things, who looked a little deeper, and don't expect some government agency to ensure your happiness... I salute you.
  2. khayos

    khayos Rookie

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    Yeah, I'm the only salary in my household and still smarting over the price I paid for my house in 2003 as the market started to climb... appraisal is about 25% less than my purchase price OUCH.
  3. mcgraw_wv

    mcgraw_wv Rookie

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    We bought 6 months into the dip... Didn't think it would dip this much... :)

    Good thing is we were able to pay so much extra per month, we have already in 4 years paid down the mortgage to the level of worth... That's not a happy statement, I realize I pissed away some funds there... but alteast im not in a posiiton of losing everything.
  4. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    That's kind of the missing angle in most of these stories about banks taking someone's house. If the bank paid for the house, it's technically their house...just living in the place for three years does not confer ownership. You need to pay for it.
  5. khayos

    khayos Rookie

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    Well, you can pull the homestead rights in some states so they can't evict you I believe...

    Screwed up part is folks who owe the bank tens of thousands more than they can sell the house for -- land shouldn't be like cars!
  6. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    I don't believe a Declaration of Homestead protects you from having to pay your mortgage. It is for other debts.

    Yeah, who knew that prices could go down? I know that I am only going to buy the houses that have prices that go up.
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    I'm not poor because I didn't meet my wife when I was 18. Instead, I dated crazy, good-looking women who inevitably grew tired of my penchant for working as much as I could, saving everything I could, and investing in rental properties, which I would buy as wrecks, rehab them at nights and weekends, and got them paid-off ASAP. I bought my home when I was single. Then I met my wife, who was unselfish, very cool about my weaknesses, and smoking-hot in a sun dress. We got married after she and I had figured things out, got set up, merged our stuff and started our family. I swear that If I had gotten married at 20 to one of those good-looking nut-jobs and not worn a condom, I would be broke and divorced. The most important two things my dad taught me is "Don't go nuts just for a peice of @$$" and "Patience and hard work pays off." I got lucky with family, mind, and friends, too.
  8. DarrylS

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    Poverty is less about financial well being, and more about being at peace with yourself and the decisions that have been made.

    Every decision has not always been the best, but instead of looking in the rear view mirror you learn and move on.

    My wealth has to do with relationships, standards that I place on my belief systems, peace within myself and values that I live by.

    I would like to try being wealthy for a while, but there is no sense in wishing and hopin' instead of living. Somethings cannot be quantified with dollar signs.
  9. wistahpatsfan

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  10. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've been thinking about this for a few days now, the only reason I can come up with as to why I'm not poor is I worked.
  11. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not poor in part because I'm a white male, so had certain natural advantages in this culture. My parents weren't raised with the stigma of discrimination--my dad joined the military, they were encouraged to pursue professional jobs, they felt completely at ease in what were then almost all white middle class neighborhoods with good schools, and they passed on sensible practical knowledge that comes from growing up in a system that overall treated them with respect and fairness.

    With that background, is it any surprise I went to college, was confident and well-spoken, got good jobs that motivated me to work hard, and overall did well? None of us our self-made men; we have our history, our culture, and our upbringings to shape us.
  12. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    What does have to do with anything? Maybe it is the other "oh look at this racist person" thread of the day that has pushed my buttons, but that is crap Patters. Arent you from NY? It isnt like Jim Crow laws kept the black kid down the street from you from being as sucessful from the start as you could have been.

    Being black, white, green, yellow, red or blue doesn't make a person poor, rich, bad or good. There are plenty of people (regardless of color) who have been dealt a ****ty hand and through self determination built up wealth; whether monetary or not.

    What makes us those things is how we as people choose to live and conduct our lives, to better ourselves over time.

    One of my best friends in HS was black and his family (from the a financial as well as a general all around quality human being standpoint) was the best off of any person I have come into personal contact with in my life. He had so much to offer in terms of who he and his family were as people to enrich the lives of everyone who came into contact with them. I know they made me "less poor" by having them in my lives. His dad quit his job a state judge in OH to move to Indonesia because of his mom's job as head of McDonalds for Asia.

    Enough of this excuse making. People have always had to work hard to advance through life. At points in time, there have been walls keeping groups "down" but those are no longer present; at least in the overt, institutional means that they have been in the past (and havent been in existence for an entire generation).

    People make choices in life which directly impact them being "poor" or rich for whatever metric they choose to define "poor or rich" (to Darryls point).

    There is a line in the opening season of Boardwalk Empire that is perfect (occurs when Jimmy is telling Nucky he wants to be rich and successful to which Nucky says)

    "This is America isnt it? Who the f**k is stopping ya?"
  13. DarrylS

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    That and you married into a wealthy family, which made you life a whole lot easier..
  14. Real World

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    Nah, you're not a race baiter though. :rolleyes:
  15. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The reality is, Drewski, we're born into certain privileges. Most of us end up roughly where our parents were. If we were born into a poor family, chances are we'll remain poor; if we are born into a middle class family, chances are we will remain middle class. Career theory offers plenty of documented evidence that our parents pass down a certain set of skills to us. Thus, the kid who is the son of a firefighter will learn the language and behaviors of that position, and will have a better likelihood of getting into that line or a related line of work.

    While there are always some who because of luck, natural intelligence, natural strength, or some other attribute break the mold ,it's not usually the case. Most of us tend to use the skills and strengths passed down to us and get to a roughly similar position as our parents. So, poor people, not just blacks, are at a disadvantage in a sense, but blacks because of past discrimination tend to be poor.

    Have you broken out of your economic class? Where are most of the people you know relative to the economic class they grew up in? I'm not saying there aren't exceptions. Indeed, there are many exceptions, but for the vast majority of people they use the skills they inherited from their family system, and tend to live similar lives to those who came before them (not including, of course, broad changes in the quality of life because of technology, general economic improvement, and healthcare).
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  16. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ha ha ha, I just read that to my wife, you should have seen where she came from, we both grew up in the same neighborhood, she quit school at age 14 then got working papers and went to work in the kitchen of The Mt Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, they allowed her to leave school at 14 because it was proven that she was helping to support her mother and three siblings, again we aren't poor because we TOOK CARE OF OURSELVES.

    if you work, you can work your way out of anything no matter how bad

    Aunt Zucchini should be thrown out of this country as soon as possible, dirty free loading b!tch.
  17. Real World

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    I'm not poor because I have great parents. Parents that worked hard, and sacraficed, for their sake and for their childrens. Growing up I wore hand me downs, got haircuts from relatives, and wore the same communion suit that 5 previous cousins wore. We pooled resources, stuck together, and lived within our means. My dad took me to work on saturdays, holidays, and everyday during the summer. When you're waking up at 6am, mixing cement all summer long, while your other 12 year old friends are playing ball or riding their bikes, you tend to learn what a hard days work is. We weren't "poor", but we certainly weren't rich. We had one TV, one car (a beat up purple chevy Nova), and when we wanted a jacuzzi we had to fart in the tub. :D
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  18. chicowalker

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    OT: I agree with much of what you write here. I think you imply here that there are, and have been, non-institutional walls that hinder various minorities. I don't think those should be ignored.

    As a youth (70s and 80s), I heard racist and anti-semitic comments from family and friends all the time. It turns out that Catholic priests my midwestern family members (you know, the "real Americans" and "nice" people) thought so highly of were child molesters, while they put down Jews (whom they probably never even knew -- which makes it easier to demonize them). Family members there and in Mass constantly had negative comments about blacks and Hispanics, as well as Jews. Same goes for friends growing up.

    Of course, as many of these people actually got to know members of these various outgroups, a lot of the bigotry gradually went away -- as I suspect was the case in the nation as a whole. A lot of it isn't close to all of it, however.

    Since you had a close friend was black, did you ever witness different treatment? I didn't really hang out with any blacks until college, and there wasn't much "real world" experience until after that. In the real world (Boston and NYC) I did see store security following us and watching us when I was with black friends. Hailing cabs in NYC was much more difficult, particularly late at night and when my friends weren't wearing their suits. On more than one occasion at rowdy bars, cops singled out my friends somehow, despite 99% of the crowd being white. In short, all the cliches seemed true.
  19. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    That is crap too. I was born into a family where both parents worked full time to make ends meet; paycheck to paycheck if you will. My father through hard work, determination and self education learned skills and parlayed those into bettering his famly's life. I have done the same (yet have no children yet).

    My dad didnt go to college, and has been lucky enough to have joined an industry at a time where the advent of computers (CAD systems) was in its infancy. He knew how to make shoes by hand, and then learned how to do it with a computer. Learning this allowed him to move "past" his parents. he did what he had to do to make my sister's and my lives better than what he had, and has instilled the desire in me for my future children.

    If you honestly, deep down inside believe that your ceiling is what your parents had, then this conversation ends here, because that is a self defeatist attitude which I dont have, and will simply have to agree to disagree.

    My fate and my ceiling is what I want it to be. "No one" can stop me from reaching what I want to reach other than myself.

    On a knowledge passed down, I have learned drive to better myself from my parents, yet they did not pass down "job skills" (the firefighter example). While they taught me to work hard, do my best, and strive for bigger and better, I am a SQL developer (self taught). I doubt my dad could tell SQL code if it was sitting on his face, just like I couldnt tell him how to cut the filler out of that shoe to save X dollars during production of the shoe.

    Obviously you are free to think how you want, but I refuse to accept "my ceiling is my parents" theory point blank. In fact I would go so far as to so most parents feel and hope that their children will do better than they have.
  20. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    Chico - I dont disagree that there were and to some extent still some walls.

    I have those racist elements in my extended family (in OH) as well. While down there two years ago, I actually had a fairly heated exchange with an ignorant cousin of mine that hung a Confederate flag in her college dorm room to "allow the blacks to know they werent welcome". Dumb and ignorant to a T.

    My black friend in HS (Floyd) was treated no differently than anyone else. Now my HS situation was vastly different than most. I went to an international school which had 93 countries represented in the student body. People were all treated with respect and the understanding that everyone has something to bring to the table. Koreans, Saudis, French, Ozzy's, Americans, regardless of color, were all in the same boat; third culture kids in a bubble of extreme minority. Indonesia has a population of roughly 230-250M people. When I was there the expat community was about 50-75K. So while I am in a majority (white) here, I was an extreme minority there (because, obviously not all those 50K expats were white, maybe half were). So 25K white people in a country of 250M (.01%).
  21. wistahpatsfan

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    I got my arse kicked frequently because I was really small before I grew a lot just before high school. I then became very dangerous when pushed into a corner because of those arse-kickings, but I never forgot how it felt.
  22. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    OT: The only thing I'll say for your cousin is that at least she's not lying about it. I'm always astonished when I hear people say the most vile bigotry and preface or follow it up with some sort of claimer about how they're not bigots.

    Your hs experience is similar to why I didn't see much of it until after college, though. While there was some bigotry in college, most of it was less blatant, either because it was kept hidden or the folks who demonstrated it were clearly the outliers, and generally known to be as*holes anyway.
  23. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, your dad had luck. So did I. I was born at a time that allowed me to get into the tech field when it was young, and it served me well. I had the kinds of personal and intellectual skills necessary to succeed in that field. If my parents had been janitors, shoe shiners, delivery men, sanitation workers, toll booth collectors, etc., I doubt I would be on the path I'm on. You entered technology with some influence from your dad, who also modeled hard work and the importance of being a good provider. Those are skills that were passed down to you. If your dad ended up middle class, that's where you started. My guess is that's where you'll finish, a little better off than him, but more or less in the same world that you and he are familiar with. At least that's how things work for the vast majority of people.

    I'm talking about skills sets, not ceilings. I agree your potential is unlimited. My skill set is derived from growing up middle class. I work with poor people now. (Used to be in tech.) I often say to them, I know how to be middle class, but I don't know how to be rich. I've done well. I've worked hard, am creative, am a risk-taker, and have been lucky, but my skill set is that which came from the environment I grew up in. For example, poor people often don't understand the concept of career, thinking that if they want more money they need two jobs, rather than going to school and getting a skill. Poor people often don't understand the concept of saving because the people they live with don't have money to save. Poor people often don't understand what it means to build a resume, don't have the sort of social skills that make it easier for them to get ahead, and are often as intimidated by middle class people as middle class are sometimes intimidated by the wealthy.

    The way you fit in, in a white collar environment involves a skills you take for granted -- whether its laughing at the boss' joke, shaking someone's hand, asking about their kids (when you're not really interested), sending a thank you card, doing something for someone else, picking up the tab, dressing a certain way, and so on. There are indeed hundreds of skills that you take for granted, including your choice of words, that often poor people only learn a subset of. That's why many if not most programs for the poor try to teach people some basic social skills.

    Again, I never meant to imply that your ceiling is the same as your parents. Your starting point is more or less the same as where they were when you were growing up. In order to do substantially better then them, you need luck, some natural ability (such as genius or physical attributes), and fundamental skills different from their's. These may be in areas of self esteem and confidence, in the ability to get people to like and listen to you, in your ability to think outside the box and argue your points, in your ability to stand up to your boss or for your boss, etc. Obviously, I don't know what strengths your father had, but if you only marginally add to those strengths, chances are you'll be marginally better off.

    But, I don't mean anything negative by this, am just emphasizing the point that it's not easy for a person to leave their economic class.
  24. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I grew up in a 50/50 Black/White neighborhood, you should have heard some of the things the Blacks called the Whites, Patters may know the area in Cambridge (western ave..howard st..river st ..central sq)
  25. chicowalker

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    Blacks keeping whitey down, eh, harry? kind of like Christians being persecuted in America, I suppose.
  26. DarrylS

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    Sticks and stones..
  27. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I grew up in the Bronx. At one point, everyone I knew was black. They didn't call me names. They were my friends. What did you call them?
  28. Harry Boy

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    we did the same thing, we called each other terrible names but we were all friends, the 'nicknames' would drive NBC nuts, there are still two or three of them alive today, it has now come down to just Xmas Cards and a little note about those who have 'gone on' during the past year.

    I can't expect the younger people on here to understand 'my time' it wasn't as bad as many Liberals think, even these old Black friends will say the same, in my day, in my hood, we were all in the same boat, if we got into a fistfight the racism would come out and then it would be gone when the fight was over, a couple of hours later we would be swimming together under the BU Bridge, there is to much Real Hate today, we never had that, not in my area.
  29. chicowalker

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    "your area" wasn't the entire world, harry

    Pretend all you want, but things were in fact as bad as people think, maybe worse since so many people seem to pretend nothing really happened. Just ask all the blacks who were lynched, railroaded into prison sentences, had their homes set on fire, their churches bombed, crosses lit on their lawns. Ask the whites who were killed or imprisoned for fighting for their rights.

    That was Real Hate.
  30. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    Sometimes I read this stuff and I just shake my head and wonder how the world can seem so different to people.

    I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the 60s and 70s. There were "neighborhoods" in Chicago - there were no blacks living next door to whites - they each had their own "neighborhood" and they stayed there - if you strayed 2 blocks over it was an invite to get your butt kicked or killed. Seriously.

    My grandfather once had a black man he worked with come over to the house - our neighbors nearly ran us out off the block. Seriously.

    When I was in high school the Catholic school I went to got it's first black students. 3 freshmen girls. No one talked to them - no one wanted to sit by them. Nobody hurt them physically as far as I know, but I do know they were verbally harassed constantly. One of them had a seizure in religion class - she fell on the floor and, as seizing people do, bit her tongue and peed her pants. No one did anything. Not the horrified students, not the nun teaching the class. Someone eventually walked by her, kicked her and said, "Get up, Ni--ger." In friggin RELIGION class, fer god's sake. The teacher eventually called an ambulance and the other two black girls cared for her until it got there. I am ashamed to this day. Deeply, totally shamed.

    As I got older, it got better - but slowly, very slowly. The girl next door to me married a black man - the neighborhood was scandalized. Several people stopped talking to her parents. (I'd take that more seriously if the same people hadn't stopped talking to my parents when I got pregnant and didn't get married.)

    But prejudice existed in a big way. And plenty of black kids at the public high school got beaten up - often and brutally. There were riots every spring. I never saw a white kid get loaded into a patty wagon. I never saw a white kid get beaten with a night stick or a flashlight - but I did see plently of black kids get beaten with those things. I never even saw a white kid get arrested until the Dem convention in Chicago in 1968. And even then, it wasn't just any white kid - it was the white kid with the long hair and the scraggly beard.

    In the mid 90s my oldest son had a Pepsi route in a black neighborhood in Chicago. Because he was very familiar with the neighborhood he'd often take a shortcut through there rather than take the expressway to his girlfriend's house. One night, around 2AM, he was returning home and was involved in a serious car accident. The police threw him in jail even though he had a head injury. When they finally let him call me and I went down to bail him out the police were quite rude to me. They insisted he must have been there buying drugs because "why else would a white boy be in this neighborhood if not to buy drugs or start trouble?" The black cops insisted on calling me "Blondie," (Even though I am a redhead) and they kept changing his bail amount and I had to leave and come back 3 times before they finally decided I could get him out. They refused to tell us where his car had been towed and when we finally found it, all of his CDs and personal belongings had been stolen.

    A black kid arrested in a white neighborhood would have had it even worse.

    As for the rest of it - not all people come from families which encourage growth or success. Not all parents raise their children to "do better than they did." In my own house, if my sister or I even mentioned college, we were laughed at and ridiculed. It was considered "getting too big for your britches." Success, in our family, was marrying a man who worked at the steel mill, or maybe Allis Chalmers, having a lot of babies and getting bopped in the face whenever he had a few too many. If you were really lucky, and played your cards right, it only happened on weekends.

    When I was in my early 30s and finally left my abusive and alcoholic husband my father told me what a disappointment I was - because, as he put it, "it was good enough for my mother and for her kids, it should be good enough for you and your kids, too."

    I was raised with the assumption that whatever you managed to eke out was "the best you can hope for," and to plan for more was to reach too high and fall too far and you were only setting yourself up for failure.

    Virtually no one I grew up with went to college. The boys joined their dads at the mill or the Ford Plant or they got drafted and went to Viet Nam. The girls got married right out of high school or before. It was not at all uncommon for an 18 year old girl to have 2 or more children. Virtually 3/4s of us had at least one child before we were out of our teens.

    We were doing what was expected of us - by parents who had little education of their own (my father finished 4th grade) and worked hard at physical labor and expected us to do the same thing. Many of us were already contributing to the household income by the time we were 12 or 13 - and babysitting for neighbors. Many of us had grandparents who lived with us and were supported by their children, our parents. They were old before their time because of the low paying, menial,back-breaking, mind numbing factory jobs they had held when they arrived in this country.

    To them - we were doing better. When the grandparents arrived, they took whatever jobs they could find, when the parents were old enough to work, they filled the auto makers, the railroads and the steel mills, but many without unions - by the time my generation got there, the unions were going strong and our parents really thought that we'd be protected and have life much easier than they did even though we were still doing the same jobs for the same employers...but to them, it WAS a step up because now the jobs had protection and wages were finally getting decent.

    Poor kids are seldom nurtured mentally - children of truly uneducated parents are seldom taught the value of an education. Expectations for your children are low when the best you expect for yourself is survival.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011

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