The “Filthy Poor”

Take a moment and think about how the title of this post made you feel.  Do you feel angry?  Disgusted?   Do you think I’m a horrible person for saying such a thing?  I’m sure you do and you would be correct to feel that way.  Now let me get to my point.  If the title of this post were “The Filthy Rich” would you have had the same reaction?  I’m willing to guess you wouldn’t have.

In fact, I’m willing to wager that you’ve used the term “filthy rich” at least one time in your life and probably more.  I’m also probably right that you’ve, at some point, thought ill of those with more money than you do.  Perhaps you used to wait tables and scowled at the wealthy customers ordering a lot expensive food when you’re living off of Ramen Noodles and Kool-Aid.  Perhaps you worked at Walmart and turned up your nose at someone buying a big-screen television when you can’t even afford one that works.  Does any of this sound like you at least at some point in your life?  I know it does for me.  I used to think like this too.  I used to hate those who were the “haves” as I looked upon them from the eyes of a “have not.”  However, I and everyone else who thinks this way are guilty of the same crime.

Blatant discrimination.

The dictionary defines discrimination as the, “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.”  We’ve always used this term to describe the downtrodden but why doesn’t anyone cry foul when it goes the other way?  If you hate someone because they are wealthy then aren’t you just as guilty of this?  Have you not committed the same injustice against them?

America has created a bad habit and it needs to stop.  We’ve made it okay to demonize rich people.  It has become common place to not only hate those with wealth, but to blame them for our problems.  We blamed them for the collapse of our economy and we blame them for keeping the middle class from rising up.  We point to them as the source of our problems and demand limits and restrictions be placed upon them to make them pay for what they’ve done to us.

This needs to stop!

Can someone please explain to me when it became a crime to be a success?  When did the American dream suddenly become a punishable offense?  The truth is that the wealthy do far more GOOD for this country than anyone ever gives them credit for and I think it’s high time we started giving credit where credit is due.  This post is dedicated to shining a light on wealth-hate and showing how the “haves” are not evil, but helpful.  Let’s look at some examples of why wealthy people are not evil.

Wealthy people keep businesses open: President Obama blasted wealthy people in a recent address where he demonized wasteful spending by the rich in the City of Las Vegas.  He said that people shouldn’t be so lavish in a failing economy and it was the second time he singled out Vegas as a den of excessive spending.  Well, what the people who feel this way don’t seem to remember is that the hotel clerks, casino workers, show dancers, room cleaners and THOUSANDS of others have a job THANKS to this “excessive spending.”  You may turn up your nose at that person buying the big screen TV all you want but if people didn’t buy them you’d be out of a job!  The fact of the matter is that industries where discretionary income (money left over after buying the necessities) is spent require people to HAVE discretionary incomes in the first place!  Take away discresionary income and there goes Best Buy, Regal Crown Group,  Electronic Arts, etc.

Money in banks doesn’t just “sit there”: I touched on this in my post on Keynesian Economics.  People demonize those with millions of dollars, saying that there money just “sits there” in the bank when it could be doing good in the economy.  Well, these people need a lesson in how banks work.  See, when a bank makes a loan so that a young family can get their first house or an entrepreneur can start a new business; they get that money from SAVINGS ACCOUNTS!  When the wealthy leave their money in the bank, the banks then have assets to loan out to others.  If you’ve bought a home, a car or started a business then you should be THANKING the wealthy people who kept their money in the bank and made it possible for you to get that loan.

Making things harder for the rich doesn’t make things easier for others: This is a common misconception that no one seems to ever call out.  Liberals always campaign on raising taxes for the upper class or putting tighter restrictions on their spending, saving, what have you.  I’m always amazed when their constituents cheer them on because none of them are realizing that these agendas won’t actually HELP them at all!  Seriously, explain to me how raising taxes on someone who makes more than $250,000 is going to make your life any better!  What benefit do you get from that?  The fact of the matter is that there’s no benefit to it other than seeing all those “evil” rich people get punished.  We’re discriminating against a group of individuals for the sole reason of just punishing them for being who they are.  Is that not the very definition of a hate crime?

Rich people are not “evil”: This is where that term “filthy rich” comes into play.  What’s so filthy about them?  We say that they MUST have done something sinister to get what they have.  They must have cheated or exploited someone else, right?  You want to know how 99% of rich people got to where they are today?  They worked hard, stayed in school, put their talents to use and took opportunities where they found them.  I’m not saying the world doesn’t have the occasional Bernie Madoff but that’s not an accurate depiction of what even a sliver of wealthy people are like or how they got to where they are.

The underlining problem is that America has gotten away from our values.  It used to be that we looked to the wealthy as a source of inspiration.  We would look at the rich and say “when I grow up, I want to be like that,” and that was what drove us to try hard and be a success.  Today, people believe we live in a society of entitlement.  We think that we just deserve all these things without having to work for them.  When someone has them and we don’t we hate them for it.  Why did it get to be that way?  Why can’t we go back to the way it was?  Let’s get America back into perspective and remind ourselves of why so many people have flocked to this nation over the centuries chasing the “American dream.”  Let’s get the ideals of hard work and making your own way back into the fabric of our society.  Above all, let’s never describe ANY group of people as “filthy” ever again.

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2 Responses to “The “Filthy Poor””


  1. 1 Bobby March 11, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I agree with most of this- Just like exercise nothing comes easy , I admire people that have worked hard for what they have and are willing to take risks , start their own buisness etc . On the flip side i know people who have had less than nothing growing up and many state and gov funded projects helped them out where as if they had not been there they might have starved. I think it boils down to every situation is different their are good and bad people in every group in the world – most new tries to make people think of others in a stereotypical way so they have a reason to complain about something or someone else rather than look inside and see what they can do about their own personal situation to make it better. I know wonderful wealthy people as well as ones that are total aholes and the same gos for poor people as well.

    • 2 freedomwatchnews March 11, 2010 at 4:44 am

      Bobby, many think I advocate for the total abolishment of all government social programs and this is not the case. My case is that we need to not make them “comfortable.” Living on welfare should be difficult so that those who are on it are motivated to get off of it. It sickens me when people stop looking for work because they are getting a welfare check every month. I understand that people need help but show me anyone’s sob story and 99% of the time I’ll be able to point out several choices the person made to get them into that situation. Welfare is a lifeboat. It’s supposed to keep you from the brink long enough for you to pull YOURSELF back up. Some people are born into privilege, some are born into poverty, but we are all inevitably the end result of our own choices. I also agree with you that wealthy people can be, as you put it, aholes. You find those in every walk of life. Thanks for the comment and please keep reading. I welcome any and all comments (especially challenges to my positions).


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