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Why Poor People's Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
There's no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it's rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.

This Is Why Poor People's Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense | Linda Tirado
I thought her observations were interesting and informative. It help enlighten me on why some, maybe a lot, poor people do the things they do. I can see where feeling hopeless and depressed could cause you to make decisions that aren't necessarily good for you and live more in the moment because your future is so uncertain.

Which this is her observations and I'm not sure how it reflects across the whole poor community. I do know some poor people that are very happy but some that do fit this pattern. The ones that are happy have friends and family around them. I think that makes a big difference.

Do you feel she is correct?
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I feel she is correct in saying she will be poor for the rest of her life (except that it sounds like she had a ton of money coming her way from donations after this piece). The reason I think this is rather complex. I believe you can speak something over your own life. I' be surprised to hear of anyone who came from poverty and had her point of view on the matter ever become "rich". You won't make it anywhere if your mentality is set to be so negative.

For the record, I've been poor. As poor as she describes at least. I'm not poor anymore. Sure, I'm middle-working-class, so I'm not rich. But I never thought while bein poor that I was going to e poor forever. Sorry if this is harsh, but I think she is just making excuses for bad choices, like smoking. I think she is negative and depressed. I'm surpised this writing was received so well, tbh
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
Yes your outlook is going to make a difference. I've known many people that started out poor but didn't stay that way but you will if you keep telling yourself you will. There are some though that really are stuck there, mostly by bad choices but some because of other problems that may not be their fault.

When she was talking about why so many baby daddies I thought there is someone that doesn't have any family or friend support.

I hope she does get some advice on managing this money she's getting.
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
I don't think she's making excuses at all. She's acknowledged that she's made some bad choices in life, but it also appears that she's not just sitting around wallowing in self pity either. And it sounds like she works hard for the pittance that she gets too. I can't pity this woman because it seems as if that's the last thing she wants. In fact, I kind of admire her for making a fist of things given how her life is.

With all due respect to my buddy, idi, I think it's too easy to dismiss being poor as a result of having a negative mindset. It is certainly better to at least try to improve your lot in life rather than wallow in it, but having a positive mindset doesn't guarantee a good outcome, and nor does hard work... or even good choices. There is so much in life that is beyond our control and always will be. The ONLY thing we have control over is our own thoughts and decisions, and then flowing from that, our actions. Outcomes are never in our control. We can only work towards those and hope for the best.

I don't wish to appear harsh in what I'm saying because I absolutely respect you, idi, and everything you have to say. You clearly know what you're talking about, and you have a personal history of having been poor that has informed your decisions and actions... and luckily for you, you are in a better position than you were before. I think hard work got you there, but I do also think that circumstances which were beyond your control also had a hand in this.

So, in short, I think a positive outlook is necessary, but it won't net you the results you're looking for. I think taking action and attempting to make wise decisions is also necessary, but even these ultimately won't get you where you need to go. These things merely give you the impetus to at least keep trying, because trying is far better than not trying. Trying at least unlocks the possibility that your lot will improve... if you at least keep on trying. But everything else? Well, unless you're a magician or God or something, everything else will forever always be beyond your control.

I hope that makes sense.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I don't think she's making excuses at all. She's acknowledged that she's made some bad choices in life, but it also appears that she's not just sitting around wallowing in self pity either. And it sounds like she works hard for the pittance that she gets too. I can't pity this woman because it seems as if that's the last thing she wants. In fact, I kind of admire her for making a fist of things given how her life is.
I'm not disputing that she works hard to make a living. It sounds like she does. I just don't agree that working hard and long hours and still being poor is reason enough to have an unhealthy diet and keep the bad habits. And again, I do speak from personal experience on this. Certainly my experience with this does not make me an expert at all, but it does allow me to be somewhat skeptical at least.

With all due respect to my buddy, idi, I think it's too easy to dismiss being poor as a result of having a negative mindset. It is certainly better to at least try to improve your lot in life rather than wallow in it, but having a positive mindset doesn't guarantee a good outcome, and nor does hard work... or even good choices. There is so much in life that is beyond our control and always will be. The ONLY thing we have control over is our own thoughts and decisions, and then flowing from that, our actions. Outcomes are never in our control. We can only work towards those and hope for the best.
I took that statement with respect, and I mean the following with as much respect to you, Eph. I am by no means saying that every poor person would or could change their own circumstances with positive thinking. Rather, what I am saying is that it is extremely unlikely that you would ever change your circumstances if you have that negative outlook. "I am poor and will always be poor" - well, yes, with that attitude, you will be.

I don't wish to appear harsh in what I'm saying because I absolutely respect you, idi, and everything you have to say. You clearly know what you're talking about, and you have a personal history of having been poor that has informed your decisions and actions... and luckily for you, you are in a better position than you were before. I think hard work got you there, but I do also think that circumstances which were beyond your control also had a hand in this.
I just can't accept that someone would use having to work long hours and being tired as a good excuse to smoke. How do you get to that, if you are really being honest? I used to be a smoker, and let me tell you, any reason I gave to smoke (I am stressed, it keeps me awake, what what BS), was an excuse to carry on with a bad habit that did not help my situation at all. Perhaps if she quit smoking and spent the money she would save on that on healthier foods, she would feel and be healthier and have more energy.

So, in short, I think a positive outlook is necessary, but it won't net you the results you're looking for. I think taking action and attempting to make wise decisions is also necessary, but even these ultimately won't get you where you need to go. These things merely give you the impetus to at least keep trying, because trying is far better than not trying. Trying at least unlocks the possibility that your lot will improve... if you at least keep on trying. But everything else? Well, unless you're a magician or God or something, everything else will forever always be beyond your control.
This I agree with.

Sorry, but this whole article just sounded like a cop-out to me. It's a bunch of excuses for a bad lifestyle that she is the only one to blame for. Perhaps she should apply herself to rise above and not just wallow in self-pity.

Wow, I sound heartless, I realise this. But everything she mentioned was just one big excuse!!
 
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CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I'm sorry but I just can't help but agree with Idi. Yes it is a struggle to get up and take classes especially when you got pregnant before you finished said classes and earning a living. I've been there, I worked for minimum wage, I delivered pizza, I cleaned bathrooms, all while taking a full load of classes, but I didn't get anyone pregnant and I didn't further weigh myself down financially with having a kid until AFTER I graduated from college. I'm not saying all poor people are poor because of bad decisions, but at least in her case I would say the vast majority of her financial problems are her own doing. That isn't to say she will always be poor, and to take that attitude is self defeating, and in that I agree with Idi as well.

Maybe I just think differently, and for the record I am nowhere near wealthy but I am not poor anymore, but my disposition in life was never based on how much or how little is in my wallet or bank account. I don't mean to sound heartless but I also think the excuse of depression and being depressed is well, that, an excuse, in most instances. Life is tough, nobody said it was going to be easy, but as Floyd Mayweather says, someone who came from extreme poverty and his dad in jail and all kinds of setbacks, "tough times don't last, tough people do". That's just something I wholeheartedly agree with.
 
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Taliesin

Registered Member
Maybe I just think differently, and for the record I am nowhere near wealthy but I am not poor anymore, but my disposition in life was never based on how much or how little is in my wallet or bank account. I don't mean to sound heartless but I also think the excuse of depression and being depressed is well, that, an excuse, in most instances. Life is tough, nobody said it was going to be easy, but as Floyd Mayweather says, someone who came from extreme poverty and his dad in jail and all kinds of setbacks, "tough times don't last, tough people do". That's just something I wholeheartedly agree with.
I've always liked you, CO, and I still do, but I have to say that I'm a little disappointed to read this. There are a hell of a lot of people out there with depression who would flinch at what you've written there. Depression is a very real health issue. I should know. I'm living it. And I can assure you that I'm not using it as an excuse in my life. :shake:
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I've always liked you, CO, and I still do, but I have to say that I'm a little disappointed to read this. There are a hell of a lot of people out there with depression who would flinch at what you've written there. Depression is a very real health issue. I should know. I'm living it. And I can assure you that I'm not using it as an excuse in my life. :shake:
I'm not saying it doesn't exist, it most certainly does, and there are many many people who suffer from it. My comment was meant to mean there are many people who use it as an excuse rather than just merely taking control of their lives, but certainly that isn't the case for all people because there are people who are depressed. In many threads here especially when dealing with shootings in the US I've argued we have done a very poor job in dealing with depression, so I acknowledge that it exists. Basically my point was there are people who are just plain lazy or have made bad economic decisions and use the depression card as an excuse as to why they are where they are, but my comment was not meant to be construed as meaning I am saying all people who are in certain economic conditions and who claim they are depressed are using it as an excuse. I hope that clarifies what I meant and I apologize if I worded my post incorrectly and I apologize for any feelings that may have been hurt by my comment.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I think depression is real and as one who has known people that battled it I can understand how it would keep you from functioning or getting ahead. I can see how poverty would cause depression too.

There are many reason some are stuck in poverty, like having a IQ of about 90 will keep you there, health issues, lack of good jobs, sure some are there because they are lazy but not all.
 

Taliesin

Registered Member
I misunderstood the thrust of your previous comment, CO. My apologies!

And I have to agree with Hi here. There can be all kinds of factors involved in someone being poor. Laziness can be one of those factors for some folks, but certainly not all.
 
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