Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | September 18, 2010

Poverty Is Never A State of ‘Mind’…

I sometimes get mad when people tell me: “Poverty is just a state of mind”.

It isn’t. Really. IT. IS. NOT.

Poverty is a continual state of being when certain conditions are either met or maintained.

People these days do NOT like to live in poverty, but unfortunately, that is what the United States has certainly become in recent years.

43.7 million people live in poverty or 1/3 of the country’s total population. People whose incomes are at or below the federal poverty level of $21,954 for a family of four.

That’s only for a FAMILY. No one ever thinks about what single person making less than $16,000 a year on minimum-wage has to go through.

But as I said: “Poverty isn’t a state of mind.”

It’s a state of being. A set reality circumvented by years of government neglect and Corporate America’s insistance that we all live a bare minimum existence–while the super-rich get to live a life of opulence–powered solely by their own greedy and uncaring nature.

So when someone tells me: “Get a job! Then you won’t have to live a life of poverty!”–then which one should I get?

Which one will give me the most opportunities and the most chances of personal advancement?

The sad truth that most supporters of the rich and powerful won’t admit is that the jobs we have TODAY will not afford any of us any opportunity for wealth or even *career* advancement.

Every job these days is either paying under the table or just at the level of poverty as recognized by the federal government.

And no matter how you apply yourself, you won’t get ahead in the position you’re in. Even those in management positions aren’t paid anymore than those who work the floors, the cash registers, or the vending machines.

In order to get SOMEWHERE, you would have to go directly to the company that hired you and demand that you get a position that will put you above the level of poverty and won’t end in your premature firing or you just leaving after a couple of years because you’re fucking disgusted by how you were treated while on the job, the lack of advancement opportunities you weren’t given, or the fact that every pay raise was so far miniscule that all you could do was sit there and LAUGH at how corporate treats its own employees.

Poverty is NOT a state of mine, people. It never was–especially in light of this.

I’ve lived a LIFE of poverty for the past 35 years running because of the way things are. My mother ran from one job to the next–in an effort to support the three of us–but the jobs never paid very well at all.

We were on state welfare and food stamps and so many other programs. So the *chances* of either of us making it in the world today is simply remote–through my youngest brother is finally living his dream–being an animator–the rest of us haven’t been so lucky.

My mother and next to oldest brother are still struggling to make ends meet and I’m still struggling to get published.

But the three of us still live in a state of poverty BECAUSE the same conditions that were prevalent 35 years ago are *still* prevalent today.

As I told some people yesterday on a message board: “Not every one of us is going to grow up to be rich, famous, or successful.”

We’re not! And that’s the retarded fallacy that the right keeps trying to spread in its constant defense of the rich and powerful. They think that EVERY American in this country–myself included–is going to wake up, find that dream job, make millions, and retire/die happy.


I hate to be bearer of bad news to these sad and twisted fuckwits, but reality isn’t that generous. Especially for people like me–whom have more than just financial challenges that we have to deal with, but also physical handicaps and limitations as well.

I’d love to do the things I dream about–okay? But I have to face reality too–at some point: I’m simply not cut out to be a corporate shill or a corporate kiss-ass.

I don’t have that magnetic attraction that so many other people have in the business world and able to either launder or manage millions of dollars on a daily basis and become rich themselves because of it.

I’m just a drone in the current social framework of this society. I don’t stand out. I don’t make waves. And I don’t apply myself as vigorously as others do.

Oh, I can do the *work*, I can be called upon to put in the hours and be wholly dependable in the job I’ve been assigned to do, but that’s *all*.

That is my role in life. Nothing more, but nothing less than that. I could be corporate someday. Maybe even run my own company. But until then…?

I won’t amount to much because those types of opportunities are simply beyond my own current scope or ability.

So in life…? I seek out those jobs which will give me a reasonable sense of income, but it won’t give me access to anything higher than being a floor clerk, assembly line worker, or a food-service prep specialist.

And I’ll be lucky if I last even two years on any of those jobs. Sometimes, I last less than 10 months because the atmosphere at my job had either become too hostile for me to stand or the job opportunities for advancement had simply ran into a complete dead end and not worth pursuing anymore.

But either way, I’m never going to get me out of a life of poverty because those available jobs are career enders for sure.

And college? That’s a joke and a half. I actually learned more through life experience than I did in the class room–even though some of the classes I took were both educational and interesting.

Being in college to *learn* a new trade is about as useless as applying for the same job you trained yourself three years to do and then be told that you don’t have a chance in hell of getting it–because corporate decided to change the mechanics of the job ITSELF to appeal to those whom are completely uneducated or seen as a lavish pool of cheap labor.

So what you’ve been doing in that time is amass a bunch of useless skills and a lifetime of student loan debt because the fucking company in question was too cheap to hire and pay you at the level you were hoping at!

And back into poverty you go–because you decided to take a chance to improve yourself to be better than you were before; only to fail because some people are more consumed with the accumulation of wealth than they are in getting the best mileage out of the college graduates whom apply to the job positions in which they are imminently qualified for!

And so long as both state and federal governments continue to cater and find ways to pander to the rich and powerful–by cutting back on social services, education, and the arts…?

People like me won’t be able to advance any further than we have now. And no amount of trying to sugarcoat the situation is going to change that.

Because poverty is no longer a state of mind, but a way of life for most Americans these days.

Myself included.

No fantasy lifestyle will ever change that harsh reality.


  1. oh well sorry you feel that way am not poor i don’t need what others call wealth so i do fairly well
    i live in my motorhome by choice come & go as i plz & owe a peice of land i rent half of it
    thats waht i call living

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