Apologizes to all who have been following the Halloween (witchy) poetry series. But this morning, I was reading a post by one of the other bloggers doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I feel a rant coming on; therefore, it is probably best that I just get up on my soapbox and address the issue that I am raging about today.
(For those who are curious to read the post in question, it is "Rant--stop hating on the poor for not being 'poor enough'" that you can read here.)
Dear people who think that the poor are not poor enough to deserve help,
Let me appeal not to your human decency, which I presume that you do not have, but rather to your enlightened self-interest. There are good reasons that you want to make sure that the poor have roofs over their heads, warm clothes, working fridges, cable TV, computer games, internet access, and phone service. Quite simply, it is in your best interest to make sure that the poor have these things.
Why? Because you do not want to die.
No, I am not talking about an armed uprising. Your life will be endangered long before the poor take up guns to take away your belongings. Why? Because we live in the same areas that you do.
And more importantly, we occasionally handle your food.
Stop and think about it. The poor need clean water, safe and healthy living conditions, including warm clothes and working fridges, simply because without them, the poor are a pandemic just waiting to happen. And don't think that your money and holiness will protect you from a raging disease that starts and spreads among the poorer citizens (and non-citizens) of your nation. It just takes one bad contact and the disease will leap to those who have money.
A pandemic can wipe a large hunk of the population out. I can hear you say, "Good, less poor people." Just keep thinking that--because poor people will not be the only ones to die in such an event.
The 1918 Spanish Flu killed off fifty million people (3% of the world's population at the time). And it must readily killed off the healthy people, not the typical kids, elderly, and infirm that a typical outbreak kills off. Half of the deaths were adults between the ages of twenty and forty years old. And it did not care about your social and economic class either.
And the potential for a pandemic to develop in the poor populations of the civilized world increases once you start to take away basic survival items, such as working fridges.
Plus mistreating the poor will inconvenience you long before that. For instance, internet service--are you aware that many fast food restaurants are now only accepting online applications? No applications from the poor, especially those who need the aid (such as food stamps to supplement their dirt-poor wages), and you will have no one to serve you your Big Mac. Or bag your groceries. Or...well, the list goes on and on.
So just remember that if you get your way, and cut off aid to anyone who does not appear poor enough to deserve aid, that you will reap the benefits by gaining the health hazards of a third world nation (go to India and tour the poorer areas if you think that you might want to do it anyways).
Oh, and just remember that we live in an equal opportunity county. Just like everyone can work hard, or simply get lucky, and become rich, every person who is not living in poverty can become poor (stock market crashes, etc.).
[And for anyone curious, I grew up poor, and have never made more than nineteen thousand a year--twenty years in restaurants making minimum wage or close thereof--hence my membership in the ranks of the poor...which is why this issue annoys the hell out of me, and why I am so well aware that poor people are touching your food.]