Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Do you believe the poor are that much better than the rich?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) October 25th, 2010

Much get said about the rich, that they are greedy, selfish, miserable people, they are unhappy, etc. What about the other end of the spectrum? What about poor people who rather live off the government dole or charity? What about the people who don’t want to get a job, have a home, pay a mortgage or rent? Are those people who would rather just wait for a hand out than use their brain to create wealth or at least work hard to get a better than marginal living that much better than the rich? If the rich are greedy, selfish people are not those people lazy selfish people? Sucking all you can from charity and not caring to plut anything back is that better than the rich?

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24 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

I personally think that the feeling of accomplishment and sense of satisfaction I get from a job well done is an endorphin for me. Those who do not work never get to experience that feeling.

Your question is so full of sweeping generalizations. Who says all wealthy people are greedy, selfish, miserable and unhappy. I know many who are none of the above. They have worked hard to achieve and are proud of what they have done, but they are also extremely generous and charitable. Of course there probably are some of the other as well. And who ever said that those who don’t work are somehow “better” than those who do. What a strange assumption, and I assume one that is perpetrated by the nonworkers.

I can’t imagine not working and earning my keep but from my own observations after living with a subsidized group of people I have learned that it is very difficult to break the nexus. When the only example the young kids have is the parents and grandparents and a couple of more generations back all of whom have lived on welfare their entire lives, it is almost impossible to change that mind set. And the poor souls who try are ridiculed and bullied for their efforts, not to mention robbed of their reward.

liminal's avatar

Poverty and wealth are relative economic demographics, not personality traits.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@rooeytoo Who says all wealthy people are greedy, selfish, miserable and unhappy. (Not that it is official) Friends and acquaintences echo a lot of comments found on Fluther concerning the rich and by a greater margin most seem to think the rich are greedy, unethical people that stepped all over the poor to get to the top, or once they got from the outhouse to the penthouse forgot where they came from. Also many of said people (who are no where near rich) seem to think the poor are better because they share more and have less to share so their sacrifice is better, or they don’t have a lot to horde and be stingy with. I know most charities would not exist had it not be for the rich, what do the poor have to give to the poor?

Deja_vu's avatar

Yeah what @liminal said.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I believe that rich people are no better than poor people. My experience with wealthy people is that if they are greedy, selfish, miserable and unhappy, they would be that way under any circumstance.

Most are not, most are generous with their money but don’t talk about it. For example, there’s a Republican running for mayor in Louisville who, he and his wife, have been acting as foster parents for children of women who are in prison, and have put the children through college. I have a friend who has a lot of inherited money that is has given most of it to literacy programs and lives quite modestly. It’s never publicized that he’s given money; he has a foundation.

Pandora's avatar

I think selfish ass holes come in all shapes and sizes and economic demographics. Its just easier to be angry with a selfish rich a hole than a poor selfish a hole.
I’ll give you two examples why.
I have a friend with 4 kids. Had a home and spouse. He left her and their 4 children for a young hoochie mama. My friend had to work 2 jobs and couldn’t get government assistance unless she sold her car, which she needed to get to work.
Ok, now different state. Lady drives up in her hot red sports car and mink coat wanting to cash in her food stamps because she says her children haven’t eaten in days.
Meanwhile her nails are beautifully done, her hair looks like it never missed a visit to the hair salon and the neighborhood she lived in is very well to do.
Her husband probably left her for someone new as well but if my children where starving as she said, that coat and car would be long gone.

cookieman's avatar

@liminal FTW.

There’s assholes in every tax bracket.

Cruiser's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Depends on what you are really wanting to know as you asked about 10 separate other questions in your description. Either way when you talk about the rich or the poor, IMO there will the the good, the bad and the ugly within each demographic as @liminal pointed out. You do have the rich who got there buy taking advantage of the Government and abusing the system to hoard their wealth yet there are tremendously generous “rich” people who donate huge sums of money to help others in need. Conversely, as you intoned in your question there are the poor who do sit around and live their meager lives milking the system for their free rides, yet in all my years on earth I have seen more people who make ½ the money I make yet still give away their last hard earned dollar to help their local charities and give not only money but their time to volunteer and give everything they have because they want to and know it is the right thing to do.

So IMO people are people and rich or poor you will see the good and the bad on both ends of the spectrum.

jrpowell's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central :: what is your history?I fucking fought for my shit. Mom was in jail and dad was dead. What the fuck did you do other then suck the teet of your parents? WHAT WAS YOUR STRUGGLE?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Much gets said about the poor, as well…and it’s completely unsolicited bs. Besides, the poor aren’t better so your premise is false.

marinelife's avatar

Why are you making assumptions about whole classes of people? Why are making all of those assumptions about the poor?

What about poor people who rather live off the government dole or charity? What about the people who don’t want to get a job, have a home, pay a mortgage or rent? Are those people who would rather just wait for a hand out than use their brain to create wealth or at least work hard to get a better than marginal living that much better than the rich?

Where do you get off making assumptions about people who are taking government or private help?

Here is a story about the kind of people who are getting and needing help. These people were homeless. They were helped by the Salvation Army. Now they are on their feet again and they just gave the Salvation Army $25,000.

Greedy? No Selfish? No Miserable? No.

Coloma's avatar

Nobody is ever ‘better’ than anyone else, period.

And, lets not forget the segment of the population that has been on both sides of the rich/poor fence, and that would include myself.

Since I HAVE walked in both pairs of these shoes I can assure you that generalizations do not apply and every circumstance for better or for worse is unique unto itself.

This same subject was just discussed in the past few days in a similar question somewhere.

Bottom line, judge not until you have walked a mile in anothers shoes.

There is no ‘one size fits all’, never, not ever!

Trillian's avatar

”...greater margin most seem to think the rich are greedy, unethical people that stepped all over the poor to get to the top, or once they got from the outhouse to the penthouse forgot where they came from.”
So because a bunch of…people that you know ssssseem to think something, it is necessarily true? If the people who think this are at all like you then their ideas are completely invalid. How’s that for a sweeping generalization?
”...I know most charities would not exist had it not be for the rich, what do the poor have to give to the poor?”
You know nothing of the kind. How much research did you put into that statement? How many charities are there in each city/state in the entire country? Do not leave out charities that are located in other countries but based here in the states. How many people who donate time and skills to each charity are rich? You are aware, are you not, that charities cannot operate without people donating their time to make whatever the good work is happen, correct?
What, exactly, is your aganda with these “questions” about rich and poor people? As if they were neatly divided by a visible line and dropped into bins for your perusal?

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I don’t think all rich people are bad and not all poor people are bad. On both sides you have nice and mean people. The people who are poor because they don’t want to try to get a job are the types of people I show no sympathy. I don’t think poor people are better and I don’t think rich are better.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve been reluctant to jump in here because you’re asking us to discuss a question based on, as others have mentioned, such sweeping generalizations, and sweeping doesn’t even seem to be a big enough word; sweeping generalizations with a whole bunch of misconceptions piled on top of them that it seems almost pointless but:

“I know most charities would not exist had it not be for the rich, what do the poor have to give to the poor?”

How on earth can you know this since it’s simply not true. There are many church and community based charities and non-profits that rely on small donations and enterprises such as thrift shop operations to function. And, at least in the U.S., though people in the higher income brackets donate more to charity in terms of actual dollars, people in the lower income brackets, give a higher percentage of their income to charity, so those donations may represent a greater degree of sacrifice to them, not a better sacrifice.

See this article on the demographics of charitable donations.

And these pages from newtithing.org

link 1

link 2

And yes, newtithing.org does have an agenda, but I think their data should be accurate; they don’t hate the rich or think they’re evil or greedy, they just think that rich could do a little bit more, because, for example, the aggregate wealth of Americans in the top 4 tax brackets in 2000 was $15.8 trillion and their aggregate charitable donations totaled only $87 billion. Not at all an insignificant amount of money, obviously, but a relatively small percentage of their actual wealth and certainly not so much that they have to start clipping coupons. It’s their money, of course, they can do what they want with it, just don’t pretend that rich are the only ones chipping in and the poor are just selfish lazy ingrates sucking on the teats of the rich and doing nothing to help one another or themselves.

So, “what do the poor have to give to the poor?” They have the same thing to give as the rich do, just less of it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@johnpowell what is your history? I fucking fought for my shit….. What the fuck did you do other then suck the teet of your parents? WHAT WAS YOUR STRUGGLE? First off my history is irrelevant, however I will say I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth or even a brass one for that fact. Since I as 14 I had some sort of job after school or in the summer, many time helping my mother out. There was no sponging off mom or anyone else. I was off the teat long ago. And nooooooo I am not rolling in dough now either.

@marinelife Why are you making assumptions about whole classes of people? Let me catch you up to speed and a few more with you, I did not make the assumptions, it was un-wealthy people I know or who is in the family, they believe that the rich are greedy, slimy, unhappy SOB, and that poor people are better because if a poor person gives it is harder for them to do so thus a bigger more noble sacrifice. That the rich is not an honest broker only giving to escape tax liability but not because they really cared for if they did they would give 30% or more of their money that they don’t need to drive around in a $360,000 car when a $16,000 will do; they don’t have to live in a $14 million dollar mansion when there is just 2 of them and their pedigree dog when a $190,000 condo would do; they don’t need a $725 Louie V handbag when a $35 one from WalMart will do, etc. And quite a few who believe the rich should not spend the money they had earned do not try themselves to be rich or even get a job to get ahead. Many of them rely on the very charity supported by the rich or people who earn way more.

What I have read here and other venues more people seem to think the rich are these greedy SOB, so I ask what of the other end of the spectrum of those who are poor, don’t care to work, and want to just live off hand outs, is that better or worse than having a rich greedy SOB? Worse or the same?

So because a bunch of…people that you know ssssseem to think something, it is necessarily true? You missed it answer to @rooeytoo, I said it wasn’t official.

If the people who think this are at all like you then their ideas are completely invalid. How’s that for a sweeping generalization? Yes, a very big sweeping generalization, which I usually ignore because of its inaccuracy. One, they don’t think like me or they would be out trying to do better. They would never think of sitting around on the government dole unless it was the last and only resort. If they thought like me they would fight go get ahead as long as they had strength in their limbs and a mind that worked.

How much research did you put into that statement? How many charities are there in each city/state in the entire country? How much research did you do to prove it is a false statement? I think I have searched more to make that statement than you have to refute it.

Do not leave out charities that are located in other countries but based here in the states. How many people who donate time and skills to each charity are rich? These people whom I am talking with do not live in another nation so whatever charity is there they are not gaining any benefit from it. Also it matters not if a person donates his/her time to unload a tractor trailer of canned peas and frozen turkeys for free, without the money, direct or indirect, to acquire the turkeys in the 1st place they would have nothing to do.

What, exactly, is your aganda with these “questions” about rich and poor people? If you care to call it an agenda I ask questions the way anyone else ask, to maybe get a better overall perception if not actual answers. Most of the people I meet and chat with weekly are not filthy rich, they do believer they are not rich or have a harder time is more do to the rich and not their own lack of talent, skill or gumption –as it appears a lot on these forums. I want to see if people are going to attack the question with logic or emotion. I get frustrated when it seems as rich people are squandering their money or they are snobs thinking nothing but the best is good enough for them. I can fault them for how they act but it is their money and they can do whatever with it good others or just good for themselves. I have been around stinking rich people a few times but I am not rich so I don’t hang with them who believe poor people are dangerous, more likely to be criminals and thieves as well as dope addicts but a lot give much to causes they care about because they can, they can afford it. As @liminal and @Cruiser not all rich are bad and not all poor is lazy dope heads.

@lillycoyote _ “I know most charities would not exist had it not be for the rich, what do the poor have to give to the poor?”_

How on earth can you know this since it’s simply not true. If you have numbers that show that out of all the monies collected or used by charities 51% of that total dollar amount came from small churches and blue collar donators I would gladly take back that statement. But logically if I and 6 other friends have trucks full of 1,000s of apples and we only gave 1/8 of the apples away we could the six of us do more than 50 people 1/5 of which has no apples and the remaining only one each. That is just logical math.

Americans in the top 4 tax brackets in 2000 was $15.8 trillion and their aggregate charitable donations totaled only $87 billion. Not at all an insignificant amount of money, obviously, but a relatively small percentage of their actual wealth and certainly not so much that they have to start clipping coupons. Could the rich do more? Yes. If they don’t are they really doing worse? It is again simple math, if that 87 billion only added to a total of 8% (for instance) of the total amount even if it were not 20% of their income or wealth like the blue collar guy they are still giving more.

So, “what do the poor have to give to the poor?” They have the same thing to give as the rich do, just less of it. But the numbers don’t care who gives the larger % if a low income person has 12 old jeans and cares to give 50% to a clothe bank that 6 jeans, it a filthy rich guy who has 300

lloydbird's avatar

As long as society is based upon the principle of haves an have-nots, all are poor.

Trillian's avatar

“If you care to call it an agenda I ask questions the way anyone else ask, to maybe get a better overall perception if not actual answers…”
The general perception and concensus points, once again, to the idea that you are in error.

Deja_vu's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central they don’t need a $725 Louie V handbag when a $35 one from WalMart will do, etc I don’t know if it’s where I’m from, but it’s not just rich people with designer handbags. I’ve seen girls get off work at Mcdonalds and fling their Coach bag on their shoulder (Don’t get me wrong, I can spot a knock off from a mile away). To me that seems like a waste. Thinking how hard they worked just for a bag. That seems more wasteful than someone who could accually afford to buy one. Because they are probley doing without something they need. Though, I do see the purpose of quility from a economic stand point. e.g. A lady purchases a Nine West handbag on sale at Macy’s For $60. That handbag may last years looking great vs. the $35 handbag from Walmart. Thus, almost forcing the consumer to purchase more handbags throughout time. Cheaper usually means poorer qulity in most products.
I can’t dog on the rich for buying nice high quility things.

ETpro's avatar

I’ve know wonderful people who were rich, and wonderful people who were in total poverty. I’ve know greedy scoundrels who were rich, and shiftless gimme-pigs who were poor. Being a good person has nothing to do with the size of your bank account. Ken Lay of Enron fame, Bernie Madoff, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Mortgage… I could go on and on naming megabucks fraudsters and hucksters. How about the Wall Street bankers who deliberately made mortgage loans they knew were fraudulent so they could repackage them, leverage the derivative package and sell it at a wild profit. These people created no wealth and ended up making $5 billion a year bonuses while they destroyed the US economy and cost us taxpayers $1.6 trillion. But hey, they are rich so they’re obviously good. Give me a break!

There are certainly people out there who qualify as the right-wing’s proverbial welfare queen. But they are not the bulk of the poor. We reformed welfare, moving it to workfare back in the Clinton Administration. Unless you honestly are incapable of working, you can not live perpetually on welfare anymore. In most states, the max is 5 years—less in some states.

Lots of people are poor because they are not very bright, or they are physically handicapped, or because they lost their jobs when deregulated and out-of-control Wall wrecked the economy back in 2007—costing us over 10 million jobs.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Trillian The general perception and concensus points, once again, to the idea that you are in error. Hardly, the facts are what the facts are. If there is any point I would take I would not be proven wrong because that would be the fact there are extremes on either end.

@Deja_vu I’ve seen girls get off work at Mcdonalds and fling their Coach bag on their shoulder (Don’t get me wrong, I can spot a knock off from a mile away). To me that seems like a waste. Thinking how hard they worked just for a bag. That seems more wasteful than someone who could accually afford to buy one. Because they are probley doing without something they need. That is so true with a lot of things. People want to have it all and have it now, and they go into debt up to their eyebrow to do it. Maybe they can’t accept the fact that if they lived within their means they would not have ”nice thing”, as portrayed by the magazine and popular TV shows. If you really can’t afford that Gucci handbag with out hurting bad or giving up big time then you should not get it. That is why so many foreclosures are in order, it wasn’t all the banks. Many people wanted that house, took a bad deal on a house they could barely afford.

A lady purchases a Nine West handbag on sale at Macy’s For $60. That handbag may last years looking great vs. the $35 handbag from Walmart. Thus, almost forcing the consumer to purchase more handbags throughout time. You see that, I see that, many people just can’t see that or plain don’t want to. Naturally part of the cost is the name but it usually is made better and with better quality material. The only way a bag can be made with that much quality and that cheap it more than not would have had to been made with child or prison labor.

Many people don’t care about quality if they are not the ones getting it. They see someone spending $725 on Coach luggage and think “That person could have gotten more luggage at WalMart for $130 and could have used the extra money to treat me to some new luggage”.

I can’t dog on the rich for buying nice high quility things. I can’t either, many truly earned the money IMO, so long as you don’t come off like you are all that to the point you can’t accept a gift that wasn’t custom but off the shelf or 3 starts instead of 5. When you start to think you deserve designer things because you are better and not because you earned it, then I would have a problem with it.

Deja_vu's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Rich people can also be very frugal with their expenses.

Coloma's avatar

Well, it’s also another myth that all rich people even desire a Coach hangbag or a Mercedes.

I would never spend that kind of money on a purse, especially since I think Coach bags are fugly to begin with. lol

When I have had plenty of extra cash I have chosen to spend it on travel and a life sabbatical for personal and spiritual growth work.

As a woman, of course I have my girly side but it has never included $200 haircuts, designer bags and weekly manicures.

Each to his own, but, I am one that you would never be able to tell that I have a nicely padded bank acct. by the car I drive or the purse I carry.

Status symbols do nothing for me.

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