20 Ways to Blame the Poor

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.

4 Responses

  1. Stephen Foltz says:

    I am glad you broke this down in a sympathetic way, Steve. This is what Dave Ramsey should have done, instead of just listing statistics. I am not sure if he meant to degrade the poor, but he certainly went a ways toward making the rich feel they deserve what they have and that the poor are just too dumb to figure out what they ought to do.

  2. Cindy Battles says:

    Here’s my thing…if all it took to rise up from poverty was nonfiction books, reading to your children, making lists, or networking I’d be rich as hell and not wondering what I’m going to feed my children tonight. Poverty is bondage. Man made bondage forged by the system, choices others have made and-indeed-your own choices. But even if I do everything on this list, and I do quite a few of them, it is not going to change the current economic situation or the fact I’ve been laid off for five months.

  3. lee_r says:

    Ramsey continues a looong trend of assuming that the things which produce success are equally distributed among rich and poor. That is, of course, total nonsense, but it is deeply ingrained in affluent people (for what I consider obvious reasons).

    The theory was recently stated by someone on a web site which I frequent::

    “Given that most in this country are equal physically and intellectually, why should a person who worked hard, in school, developed skills neccessary to earn a livable wage be forced to give to the person(s) who drop out of school, have not developed skills required to earn a livable wage?”
    The assumption: physical and intellectual abilities, applied to hard work, equals success.
    That is demonstrably untrue, yet it is believed by millions upon millions. Many poor people even believe it and end up beating themselves senseless with the idea that maybe they really are just lazy, worthless, etc.
    Any honest look at our society will clearly show that opportunity plays a major role in success. Preparation for life in the mainstream of our society is a huge factor. Connections to other, successful people play a huge role. Psychological and emotional health ply an enormous role (try “succeeding” if the first 16 years of experience show you repeatedly that you are doomed).
    Blaming the unsuccessful is the flip side of the successful feeling good because they are “responsible for their own success.” It is also a very easy & simplistic way for the affluent and successful to relieve themselves of the need to think about or, God forbid, do something to alleviate, poverty and misery.
    Like every other simplistic, self-serving rationalization, it’s both extremely destructive and almost impossible to correct.

  4. Kristen Rosser says:

    Ramsey talks about how choices bring about results but seems blind to how results bring about choices.