What It's Like To Be Poor - And Make Terrible Decisions

Tyler Durden's picture

There are many reasons why the poor are 'poor' or why the middle-class is deteriorating into a state of being 'poor' but as this first-person account of the self-defeating feedback loops of poverty's trap harrowingly suggests, escaping that social strata (as we noted previously) is becoming ever more difficult. Of course, a George Carlin noted previously, "the only true American value is... buying things," which leaves the 'poor' increasingly losing hope. "Rest is a luxury for the rich," the author notes, "planning is not in the mix," as she explains why poverty has forced her to "make terrible decisions." 

Authored by @KillerMartinis (Killer Martinis blog) via The Burning Platform blog,

Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts

There's no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it's rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.

Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I'm in bed by 3. This isn't every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I'm in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won't be able to stay up the other nights because I'll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can't afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn't leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn't in the mix.

When I was pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel for some time. I had a minifridge with no freezer and a microwave. I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2. Had I had a stove, I couldn't have made beef burritos that cheaply. And I needed the meat, I was pregnant. I might not have had any prenatal care, but I am intelligent enough to eat protein and iron whilst knocked up.

I know how to cook. I had to take Home Ec to graduate high school. Most people on my level didn't. Broccoli is intimidating. You have to have a working stove, and pots, and spices, and you'll have to do the dishes no matter how tired you are or they'll attract bugs. It is a huge new skill for a lot of people. That's not great, but it's true. And if you fuck it up, you could make your family sick. We have learned not to try too hard to be middle-class. It never works out well and always makes you feel worse for having tried and failed yet again. Better not to try. It makes more sense to get food that you know will be palatable and cheap and that keeps well. Junk food is a pleasure that we are allowed to have; why would we give that up? We have very few of them.

The closest Planned Parenthood to me is three hours. That's a lot of money in gas. Lots of women can't afford that, and even if you live near one you probably don't want to be seen coming in and out in a lot of areas. We're aware that we are not "having kids," we're "breeding." We have kids for much the same reasons that I imagine rich people do. Urge to propagate and all. Nobody likes poor people procreating, but they judge abortion even harder.

Convenience food is just that. And we are not allowed many conveniences. Especially since the Patriot Act passed, it's hard to get a bank account. But without one, you spend a lot of time figuring out where to cash a check and get money orders to pay bills. Most motels now have a no-credit-card-no-room policy. I wandered around SF for five hours in the rain once with nearly a thousand dollars on me and could not rent a room even if I gave them a $500 cash deposit and surrendered my cell phone to the desk to hold as surety.

Nobody gives enough thought to depression. You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn't give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don't apply for jobs because we know we can't afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I've been turned down more than once because I "don't fit the image of the firm," which is a nice way of saying "gtfo, pov." I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won't make me a server because I don't "fit the corporate image." I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on b12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that's how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn't much point trying.

Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I've spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn't work, but is amusing.

"Free" only exists for rich people. It's great that there's a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don't belong there. There's a clinic? Great! There's still a copay. We're not going. Besides, all they'll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. "Low-cost" and "sliding scale" sounds like "money you have to spend" to me, and they can't actually help you anyway.

I smoke. It's expensive. It's also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It's a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding.

I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don't pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It's not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn't that I blow five bucks at Wendy's. It's that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There's a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there's money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.

Poverty is bleak and cuts off your long-term brain. It's why you see people with four different babydaddies instead of one. You grab a bit of connection wherever you can to survive. You have no idea how strong the pull to feel worthwhile is. It's more basic than food. You go to these people who make you feel lovely for an hour that one time, and that's all you get. You're probably not compatible with them for anything long-term, but right this minute they can make you feel powerful and valuable. It does not matter what will happen in a month. Whatever happens in a month is probably going to be just about as indifferent as whatever happened today or last week. None of it matters. We don't plan long-term because if we do we'll just get our hearts broken. It's best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it.

I am not asking for sympathy. I am just trying to explain, on a human level, how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions. This is what our lives are like, and here are our defense mechanisms, and here is why we think differently. It's certainly self-defeating, but it's safer. That's all. I hope it helps make sense of it.

 

############################################

And Jim Quinn's Burning Platform blog notes - It appears that she’s been getting lots and lots of responses to her letter, good and bad. 

Here’s her response to people accusing her of bitching.

DEAR GUY WITH HURT FEELINGS;

 

So I have been wandering the Internet to see where this piece I wrote wound up. And I am rather amused at one fairly standard reaction:

 

Oh, typical poor person bitching. Rich people work hard too. If you don’t think positively nothing good will ever happen.

 

Here is a disclaimer, and now that it is on the Internet with my name on it I’ll hear no more about this:

 

Yes. Rich people work hard too. Nobody is telling you that you are lazy, rich people. What I am saying is that I am not lazy. That is a different thing entirely than impugning your work ethic. It’s actually got nothing to do with you at all. I do appreciate your need to read some thoughts from someone who is poor and make it about your relative merit, but you should know that it kind of makes you look like you struggle with reading comprehension. Because it’s not about that. I actually specifically said that more than once. I know, it is frustrating to see conversations happening and know that your opinions are considered irrelevant.

 

Try to repress the urge to tell me that you do more physical labor than I do in a day, though, because it makes you look silly. I have never met a wealthy person washing dishes at Denny’s. I am sure one exists, but I don’t think we can go assuming that the majority of people who live in the middle and upper classes are working on shop floors or in warehouses.

 

And about the happy shiny attitude: are you seriously telling me that you legitimately think that the thing that is stopping me from getting a lucky break is that I simply don’t believe hard enough? Tell me, if I clap my hands and really believe, can I bring fairies back from the brink as well? Do you think I am stupid? I am not. I can read the news. I know that class mobility is decreasing and wealth is stratifying and for many of us, hope is going to stay unfulfilled. You do not get to tell me how to process the fact that “success” is a crapshoot in this America, because I can tell you that hard work and talent alone aren’t going to do it.

 

There’s one decent job opening for every hundred talented and hardworking people. If you happen to be hardworking but not particularly skilled, your life will most likely consist of making someone’s shareholders happy. It will be degrading and exhausting. And you are fucking high if you think that simply thinking positive thoughts will change the nature of the economy. That is not how the economy works.

 

Your implication that I am too stupid to know that is laughable, because your average ten-year-old in the ghetto knows that the game is rigged. Fuck you for demanding that I pretend it isn’t to make you a little more comfortable. It isn’t going to happen. I don’t mind, particularly, that we have settled on this system. It’ll change again soon. Rich people know that; it’s why they’re retreating into guarded conclaves and hiring extra security for their malls. But you don’t get to pretend that this system we have decided on, the one in which we are pretending that we have never heard of the Gilded Age so that we don’t have to acknowledge that we are doing it again, is anything like fair or meritocratic. That is patent bullshit. Stop it. I do not mind talented people having money. I mind stupid people with money saying that they must be smart because: meritocracy. That is terrible logic.

 

Here is the thing: nobody lives without something in their lives that grounds them. It might be something simple and pure, or something big and complex. But there is something, because human nature makes us find whatever is available to find a reason to live. My point is not that it isn’t true, my point is that if the thing that you have to hold onto is that at least other people have it worse, it’s kind of depressing. It’s survival. It is not uplifting. You can’t simply walk into the life of someone who is actually chemically depressed and demand that they paste a fucking grin on. Rather, you can, but you’re an asshole. And double the assholery if you can afford access to medicine and sleep and the things that we would need to solve the depression and you still stand there telling me to find a pair of bootstraps and just Think Positive!

 

Perhaps, friend, you could try reading the damn news before you tell me that how I should feel about the way the economy functions and my place in it. I think your idea of the economy must be pretty simplistic. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

 

Oh, and one more thing: It is entirely possible, especially since about a decade ago, for someone who was raised in a higher class to be poor. I am one of those people. The fact that I didn’t grow up wondering if I would eat does not negate that I have spent much of my adult life with that concern. So, in conclusion, a giant and full-throated Fuck You to the people who are attempting to avoid the conversation by parsing whether or not my vocabulary means that I am insufficiently poor to be allowed to speak. Because I know goddamned well you wouldn’t have even read my first post if I were speaking in my vernacular.

 

Please, if you are one of the people who want to discuss whether or not I qualify as working poor because I have a capable brain as though the two have anything to do with each other, feel free to find something more productive to do. You could watch delightful children’s programming, or read Lemony Snicket. There are plenty of coloring books and if you get the good crayons you’ll have fun. Maybe you could hitch a ride to someplace with skeeball and tickets which you could exchange for prizes. If you are feeling pretentious you could try reading the kids’ version of Rousseau or Toqueville. I would suggest the original versions, but I worry that you might miss those points. They tended to speak in their vernacular, too.

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Yen Cross's picture

 I'm extremely poor

 

Armchair Bear's picture

poor people on zerohedge.. probably .. NOT!

 

Yen Cross's picture

 You'ld be surprised. Z/H has an uncanny ability  to expose"truthisms"....

boogerbently's picture

Voting democrat may be a "bad decision".

To continue to vote for more free stuff, the Treasury runs out of money and then you don't even get the free stuff you've been getting.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Oh how cute! You still think that voting changes anything and that there are differences between the two parties!

It's like looking back in time!

StacksOnStacks's picture

I stopped reading after I found out she was poor but loved to "raw dog" and drink alcohol. I'm sure she wastes money on other things she doesn't include.

fonestar's picture

Poverty is a state of mind as much as it is a financial situation.

IridiumRebel's picture

I grew up top tier. I drank myself to poverty and a situation close to hers...I worked 40 hrs a week with a 4 hr rd trip commute WHILST going to school and taking care of a baby 3 days a week....fairly similar. I lived in the burbs of NYC at the time so it was expensive. There are many holes in this story. I agree with other posts. I went to school part time year round. Took an extra year But I graduated with honors. As for cockroaches and hotel living, roaches do not just appear unless already there or creating an environment tha invites them. Why not find a small apartment too? It's much less than an extended stay. Smoking is no excuse for stimulation. Try coffee or Emergen-C. Much cheaper and less expensive. As a recovering alcoholic She strikes me as a user. Maybe on those days off, but this whole thing does not add up. She writes well and plays the effigy of many Americans in similar situations, but as a person who was living similarly, there art things missing that are making it tougher for her to climb out of the situation. I'm not calling bullshit, I'm stating that we are not getting the full story.

Skateboarder's picture

I'll sympathize with poor females with babies and children. The rest of youse, get yer lazy asses to twerk, ya no good bums.

SilverIsKing's picture

She should ask her employer to be paid in Bitcoin. Her troubles would be behind her, right next to Mr. Feelgoodfor3minutes.

Dear Infinity's picture

Better yet, she should've have signed off on the note with a bitcoin address. My hunch is she would've made a few hundred, maybe a few thousand bit bucks.

foodisgood's picture

Until Cost is factored into Value and Price the rich and poor will be fucking nagger slaves to each other. You all fail to see this cause you never realize you vote to be a nagger as you allow the mechanisms you vote everyday with to be fiat, bitcon and interest bearing.

You don't hold your future you do not own it.

I

DaddyO's picture

She's a "Victim" of the man and his systems that keep her in poverty.

31 years ago I came face to face with my victim, been clean and sober ever since.

When I stopped blaming people, places and things for my shortcomings, things changed quickly.

The FSA has been bred to believe their sorry lot in life is someone else's fault.

The "benefits" they receive are just rewards from the man.

DaddyO

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

First problem she had, that led to all the other problems......you go to school FIRST then have the KID.  Fastest ticket to poverty is having a kid BEFORE you are financially ready to.  Horny?  Buy a vibrator.  They don't make you pregnant.

TheRedScourge's picture

Another important thing to keep in mind:

People of the rich person mindset acquire assets, people of the poor person mindset acquire liabilities.

A person earning $100k/yr and saving none of it is a diaster or two away from poverty, whereas a person earning $50k/yr and investing 15% of it each year has a reasonably secure future even if their salary never goes up (though it most likely will).

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Exactly.  Americans have a huge ability to live beyond their means.  I have no debt other than a house payment.  I've never been late on a payment EVER.  I could buy a brand new car, but I never have.  I had a guy last night ask me why I was driving an old Pontiac G6, and not a BMW or a Mercedes.  He knows I could own a luxury car if I wanted.  I choose not to, because I don't want to be a debt slave.  Most people can't wait for self gratification.  They need the brand new car NOW, not when they have saved for it.  This woman wants a kid NOW, not when she can afford it.  It goes on and on...

Kids are the most expensive toy you can buy.

johnQpublic's picture

now tell us what its like to be rich and make poor descisions for an entire nation

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Obama tells you that every day.

AldousHuxley's picture

Typical American poor.

Out of wedlock children, multple partners with jerks, no education, no class, no ambition, no savings. Only thing they know how to do is spend every dime and look like they are rich.

 

Go to Africa and try to pull that shit. If you are poor you are a house servant with no family and die at age 35 from disease.

 

Plenty of illegal aliens who do better.

 

cynicalskeptic's picture

Having children too early in life and having too many is a sure fire route to permanent poverty.

It IS POSSIBLE to have sex and NOT get pregnant - we managedf ot for 15 years.  And if 'failures' occur there are a range of options - are 'morning after pills' REALLY the same as a second term abortion?

WAITING until we were financially stable let us have TWO children in a house we had bought (not an apartment we rented), in a neighborhood with relatively GOOD schools (instead of crappy ones in a neighborhood that was not nealry as safe).  The downside is thatr having SAVED to pay for our children's college education is that we are paying full freight (to some of the best colleges in the country).

Life is full of choices.  You can choose NOT to drink, do drugs and choose not to have children - or when to have them.  You can choose to develop skills and work at jobs that pay increasingly better.  Best paid in my engineering degree class I STILL worked another 40+ hours a week renovating places, working on cars and doing other work.  The house we bought needed work (and so far has thousands of hours of MY time in it) - at 60 I am STILL doing work on it.   I can do carpentry, plumbing, electric and rebuild any car made before 1975 COMPLEETELY after that the computer controls get complicated).

Iv'e read the original posting elsewhere and not commented but really?????    Being poor does not force you top make bad choices.  However even if you start out poor through no fault of your own you will STAY poor by making bad choices.   Your choices may be more limited when poor but you don't have to choose the WORST options.

Having said all that I am not lacking compassion and have done a great deal to help others but rthat is also what shapes my attitude.  I have seen too many who have received more help than you could imagine who STILL manage to 'blow it' - they are hopeless and will never change, and sadly it is likely that any children they have will be in the same position.  There is a strain of mental illness that runs in my family.  You can face it, admit it and deal with it - through meds and therapy and go on to have very successful life or you can hide behind that illness and ise it as an excuse - doing nothing with your life.  I have seen both.  In my wife's family I have seen one do the 'right things' and go on to have a remarkable life with accomplished chioldren while another 'chose badly' - doing drugs, choosing the wrong men, having children too early, and even after getting off welfare she continued to make bad choices in men - a path followed by her daughter who is now also divorced and with a child collecting benefits from government........   Two identical starts, very differnet endings.

 

RafterManFMJ's picture

Just think, if your income wasn't stolen from you to feed and clothe the FSA and its bastard spawn, you could have had your house and children 10 years earlier!

Signed, Fatisha

5 kids, 3 grandkids, and only 25.

Janice's picture

Happiness is not in having more, but being content with what you have. I grew up dirt poor, and may be poor when I die, but I've made the most of what I've had and stretched a dollar until it hurt. It's been an interesting ride.

Sean7k's picture

I was born with nothing and I still have most of it left!

This story is pure crappola, a creative writing assignment. Being poor didn't cause her to make bad decisions, she made those all on her own. It may be the source of poor choices to choose from, but those are two different things. 

Many of us have started with little, worked hard, educated ourselves while having kids, etc. It is almost a cliche in America, but as Janice correctly notes, Happiness is being content with what you have. No amount of money will change that. Approaching life with a degree of thankfulness while appreciating pleasures small and large goes a long way.

Articles like this, designed to create guilt and animosity do everyone a disservice. They pull at the weave of community and punch holes in the fabric. We need more menders...

kaiserhoff's picture

Yes.  This story is pure bull shit, and ZH keeps falling for these fun but stupid fakes.

"She" writes well, but not much like a woman, or anyone who has been sleep deprived.  As soon as the stuff gets political it's easy to spot the fraud.  The Patriot Act keeps her poor?  In a pigs ass.  Let's learn to be a little more skeptical of this poor me shit on the net.

The trouble with internet quotations, is that they are difficult to authenticate.

                                                               Abe Lincoln.

Sean7k's picture

Lol. Love the "quote".

I find ZH is as much MSM as CNBC, just better access to important stories.

akarc's picture

"This story is pure bull shit"

I suspect those of us who have been there picked up on that fairly quickly.

HulkHogan's picture

The Patriot Act part triggered the BS signal to me. I see poor people every day. Some are homeless and truely poor, while others burn money on cigs and smart phones. There's a big difference between being homeless (truely poor) and being poor because you buy shit like cigs, smart phones, and beer.

fonzannoon's picture

lets go with the assumption she is poor. She wrote something, it went viral on the internet, she has 50k and counting and a book deal possibly coming her way.

She found a platform and improved her circumstances with her ability to write. What's so bad about that?

edit - I'm looking forward to getting junked to shit, and maybe I deserve it. But it's interesting how much anger gets directed at her when you consider how insignificant she is. If ZH put up an article titled "banker steals billions, pays several million dollar fine" none of us would bother reading it anymore. Yet this broad puts up something original and gets herself a pay day, if even by accident, and we are ready to stone her to death

kaiserhoff's picture

Nothing wrong with that fonz, except that genuine writers and artists are among the poorest somebitches I know, and the better their work, the more raggedy assed they are.  If you want to get financially well in Scumbama land, you need a gubbermint job.  Tragic, sad, and totally unsustainable, but true.

PS.  Poor people often write well, but they don't write structured, bullet point, political crap.  Check out Studs Terkel or some of what the Brit prison Doctor Dalrymple has to say about the poor.  Quite revealing.

fonzannoon's picture

" If you want to get financially well in Scumbama land, you need a gubbermint job.  Tragic, sad, and totally unsustainable, but true."

No doubt. Which is why I applaud her for making a few bucks here without having to do that. 

With that said she will probably get herself a 75k/yr gig going around the country doing public speaking for GS as part of Lloyd's "see I am a nice guy" tour.

Sean7k's picture

So the ultimate measure of value is the dollar Fonz? If it is purchased with deceit and division, we should applaud her machinations? 

We are a nation enslaved, divided by every possible means the Elites can throw at us, so we should celebrate their imaginations? Integrity and character need to be more than empty promises, otherwise we become the same as those that seek to keep us down and out. Poverty is a circumstance, but nothing to be ashamed of. How we live our lives, how we enrich our community and how we raise our children matters. It is out life's pride and honor.

Modern Americans have no idea of what poverty can be, we are cushioned by the affluence of others. We can be poor compared to other Americans or Europeans, but truly poor? Please. Early twentieth century Americans knew poverty, depression era Americans knew poverty, we are just "beset by difficulties", usually of our own making.

fonzannoon's picture

Well if it is pure deceit of course I have an issue with that. But I am not sure where I see her being deceitful. She wrote something, which is certainly devisive, but we all seem to have found it worthy of our attention. So much so that some people threw her a few bucks which she can hopefully use to make her circumstances better.

And of course the ultimate measure of value is not the dollar. And no, she is not poor compared to many others. And of course I should not have stared three sentences in a row with "And".

But don't worry about it man, because it's over. There is no going back. Just try to take care of your own at this point and make sure the people around you have to get an earful from you frequently.  

Has anyone else read this?

http://killer-martinis.squarespace.com/my-wordpress/

Sean7k's picture

I read it and I still think it is fiction. Too many inconsistencies, but plenty of tugs on the heartstrings. 

Fonz, it is never "over". We will always retain the power to order our own lives, we merely need the courage to insist on it. We need to have values that come from within, not from without. Consumerism is a drug, government, a dependency. Law and justice? An illusion. We don't need a building code to know a well built home nor an agency to know what real food is. 

Government and law require the acceptance of the people to operate. We are the keys to social stability and community. To the extent we go along and partake, we nurture our own slavery and empower the Elites. However, it isn't a war that will free us, it is our own insistence on liberty, responsibility and opportunity. 

The darkness will always beckon, because we think we can hide from ourselves within it, but by exposing ourselves to light, we see the personal baggage that when cast aside, leaves us in full flight. Fly high my friend.

fonzannoon's picture

I hear you Sean, and I most certainly may be a sucker here. Let me ask you man. Having read that, in what way do you find it fiction?

She seems pretty up front about not really being "poor" in the way you described it. I think she would agree with you. 

Sean7k's picture

Let's see, raised by grandparents, but her mother is through out her life, therapists are free? Settlement, but could not afford dental? the whole pre-school story, why didn't she go back to Utah earlier? 

It is always apologetic for her shortcomings, takes responsibility without cost (like presidents?), there is no poverty here. Maybe, terrible choices in a rebellious phase of life after private schools and college. 

She does appreciate charity and will work to deserve it! Pure grifter.

This is just my take on it, but I am more concerned with a bigger picture. We must be watchful of propaganda and false storylines. Creation is an act of will and we need to focus on creating a land worth living in. This kind of story is a distraction, useful distractions that make up the everday life of all people. Like a Hollywood life, we pass through without truly living...

akarc's picture

Just curious. Have you lived in poverty?

fonzannoon's picture

I lived in bizarro world. I grew up in suburbia Long Island. My Dad did fine. My mother did not work. By the time I was 5 my mother was an alcoholic. By the time I was 8 my Dad moved out, kept the lights on in the house and my sister and I lived with a full blown alcoholic mother who now graduated to pain killers. We often had a fridge that had baking soda in it and nothing else. But we did not starve. We had clothes on our back. So poverty, no. Not even close. I could go on but to strictly answer your question, no I have not.

however please send donations to fonzannoonlovesmoney@gofundme.org

kaiserhoff's picture

Do you take credit cards???

I have a few very old ones I never bothered to cut up.  They will probably bounce higher than the empire state building.

Keeps things in perspective, doesn't it?

                             Happy Trails.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Had the same situation with the alcoholic mother but my dad stuck around because it was the era of the "Organization Man" and divorces were to be avoided. He couldn't take her to many social functions without her being an embarassment.

HulkHogan's picture

Thank you ZH for this post, in all honesty. This is the first time I can remember ZH'ers actually writing confessional, therapeutic comments. The article and the comments to this post have been great!

ZH Snob's picture

here in the city of emphesema

NumberNone's picture

The story is 100% bullshit...how do I know?  Not one jab at Obama.  Funny that the poor under Obama suddenly arrive at the conclusion that it is their own poor decisions that lead them there.  Not one mention of the government short changing her and not giving enough hand-outs for survival.  I guess under Obama everything that can be done is.  I call bullshit.  

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well I see once again that the ZH comment section has devolved into the house slaves bickering with the field slaves and the factory slaves and the office slaves etc rather than confronting the master. Mission accomplished.

Frankie Carbone's picture

Yep. Some people are feeling pretty fucking smug about themselves in here. But here's where my noodle gets baked. The SAME people that spend days on end here, post after post, savaging the elite for their bullshit metrics on employment and labor, wax poetically about the trashing of the dollar, wail and nash their teeth at the permanent exportation of US manufacturing, technology, and labor to 2nd and 3rd world nations, are the SAME people, in fact the FIRST people to turn around and say to someone, "lazy bitch! drop out of the FSA and get a job".

There are tons of sheeple here too. Just that they're black sheeple (as in oddball groupies, and not in the "african" sense).

You'd think they'd have just a bit of cognitive dissonance over this, wouldn't you Cog D.? ;)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Agreed. Where we stand depends entirely upon where we sit. If we do not take the time to carefully, thoroughly and continuously examine ourselves and where we sit we can never gain the perspective to overcome our standing blind spots and Cognitive Dissonances.

The Limerick King's picture

 

 

We struggle at not being poor

But here is the obvious score

There's only one pie

It's hard to get by

When our system lets rich folks take more

 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Up until now "our" system allowed enough slaves to reach a higher more comfortable standard of living that it was in the slaves "best" interest to support and encourage "our" system. In other words the masters recognized that it was to the masters' advantage to allow the slaves some upward mobility because any additional costs to the masters from the increased standard of living for the slaves was more then compensated for by orders of magnitude greater efficiency and productivity from the slaves.

That status quo is rapidly coming to an end for a multitude of reasons and the slaves, with the overt and covert encouragement of the masters, are turning on each other rather than against the masters. That condition can be quickly summed up as "The Slave Mentality".

Mission Accomplished.

<This playbook is thousands of years old and it ain't gonna change unless "we" change it. And that process begins within via a much better understanding of our triggers and motivations. When we look within we find the inner slave. If we can get past the ugly realization of what we are (or more accurately what we have become) then and only then can we become what we are.....free souls and sovereign individuals.>

nmewn's picture

You mean we can't keep charging everything to the next generations credit card while we just pay the minimum to the card issuer? ;-)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

All I know is that when I'm in a sinking row boat I definitely don't want to be bailed(ing) in. :)

duo's picture

see: Knockout Game.  One bunch of slaves attacking another.  They are both slaves because they are actually walking on a street rather than traveling by limo or helicopter.