Sunday, 8 January 2012

You're Not Poor You're Foolish

Welcome, one and all to Rum-Punch Drunk. A free space for anyone to join in or bring ideas. Feel free to agree or disagree, just as long as you don't get too deep on me. I'm not interested in doing a 9 round boxing match (too much typing) I'd  prefer a warm up, with a good exercise routine, and a recommended cool down. Or try chucking me in at the deep end. Don't worry yourself with grammar etc. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Any solutions to problems will be most acceptable.

Ohhhhh dear, I'm thinking again, an idea has just popped into my mind, I'm gonna express those views ladies n gents.

You're Not Poor You're Foolish :
 This is one for the unemployed on benefits. Are you really 'that poor' or mishandling the benefit hand-outs?
I'm not against those who are genuinely out of work and in financial difficulty, but oh my gosh, there are many others taking the mick. It is those that cause me to produce foam from the mouth! like a rabid dog.  
If you can still afford to go out raving more than the average working person, buy that new dress not from the charity shop but from the new collections at  Zara's, or if you're the sort of person that when missing we can definitely find you down the pub with friends most of the week then let me tell you something, you got some of your priorities in the 'wrong place'. You're not poor, your're foolish, you've got enough money but don't know how or where to spend it. 
No point in raving all week, with the highest pair of designer shoes in town and those off the peg outfits but once you return to that place 'the secret hide-away' called  home,  you're eating baked beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the bare lino with no cupboard for those priceless clothes either. What's the point in buying that expensive gadget and not paying the bill for the electric that you need to run it.  Your not poor, your're foolish. 
No point in not paying 'Bills', distressing the bendy credit card (giving it spine issues), then bitterly complaining as if you had a right, that the bailiff wanted to take your 'state of the art TV'. Credit's not yours and neither is the TV. I've heard so many people moan about bailiffs, and how that person wants to take the bailiff to court. Bailiff's aren't  knocking the door to ask you out for a drink, they're just getting back the money that 'Bills' didn't get.

I clearly remember being unemployed and poor, and on a fortnightly basis chasing down the postman on Giro day. As soon as Mr Postman turned the corner to our flats and was in eye view from our kitchen window he became fodder. We ran to greet him as if an old friend and told him how we needed the letter in the little brown envelope, that life saving  giro before the post office closed.  We then proceeded on foot at a fast pace or should I be honest and say we sprinted faster than any man could run the 100 meters to the post-office as we needed the dosh. Those were the days when, we were  poor, really poor. When that giro was late we were hungry and most miserable. I feared Mr Loan and Mrs Credit Card and whenever the thought came knocking I was clearly out. 

Why is it that some people have no shame in spending money that doesn't belong to them, week after month after year? 

Is it fair to say that we are really being influenced by the media/TV/state of society with its 'buy now pay later' attitude. Or are we not bothering to take real responsibility for our own actions anymore?

Remember folks, this is not about those who have found themselves in positions of hardship through no fault of their own, but rather about those who are unemployed and have no intention to provide for themselves as they have a degree in how to work the benefit system, and know how to use Mr Loan and bend Mrs Credit Cards back, without remorse to live a life of pure luxury. 


  1. Just came across this site whilst searching for rum punch recipes. Its correct what you are saying. Why should I have to scrimp and save and work my butt off while others do nothing all day and live a life of pure luxury as you put it.

  2. I think as a country we are increasingly looking for people to be mad at, a cause for the problems that we are facing right now. People claiming benefits are a really easy target and have had a rough time in the media, some might be justified and other like you said are not.

    When I consider that social mobility amongst other issues might be a reason why they remain poor, then it is possible to see poverty might not be just bad decision making but a effect of sociological causes. Consider the rich for example, they are born into wealth and have everything they want before even trying, life is simply dream fulfillment. The (ever squeezed) middle class provide a foundation of access to good education, resources, experiences, choices and options. Enough fuel in life to get the next generation to where they want to go. The lower class, the benefits class or the old working class start from the beginning every single generation. Access to good education and resources is limited and to leave this group you are the minority. This class has the very basic of standards of living.

    You often see in the media people from this group in big houses, claiming vast amounts of money but I think that would be the minority and senationalised by the media. In your experience it was hard and I think it is hard for people today.

    Obviously some people are foolish, get over their heads and get into trouble. But that is the same across the lower, middle and rich. I think the issue is the perception is that the lower class take away more than they give back. But when you look at the fact that 1% owns 99% of the wealth in the world then maybe the system is not equipt for a level playing field. The only difference is if your not bright but from a wealthy background you have every resource at hand to support you, but if your poor you have nothing and everything is against you.

    Do I begrudge the poor from having a drink, a big TV or a party, NO! Can you blame them, have they been taught financial education? Have they been taught how to manage their money? But do I think they need more options, incentives, better resources, education, mobility. Absolutely!

    If the system was even and fair for all and your results was based on pure merit then yes lets point the finger at the foolish, but when it is not even and fair then let the poor live a little.

  3. @Marcus...

    What a lot of long words encouraging me to get my violin out for these unemployed living the playboy lifestyle. Obviously you don't live in my area where they don't seem to have noticed this gap between rich and poor that you mention. Sky TV, plasma screens, smartphones... you name it. Obviously the gap hasn't widened enough yet to encourage them to get off their backsides and get a job.

    If it is so hard how do you explain all those people who came to this country. Back in the day it was the Jews and now it's the Asians who arrive with no finance, facing all kinds of obstacles, language barriers, racism etc. yet within a generation have started businesses, become educated and begun the process of lifting themselves through the class system? Do they live in the same country as us or not? Not to mention the Windrush generation who now own all their own houses or have returned to the West Indies on big hard-earned pensions. Are you saying it was easier for them?

    You say the middle class are being squeezed. I make you right. Could this be the weight of carrying all these freeloaders?

  4. Thanks for your message Marcus.
    I agree in part with what you said. I don't agree that "the lower class, then benefits class or the old working class start from the beginning every single generation" thats because if they were to manage their immediate financial situation properly they wouldn't spend the little they had on designer clothes, raving, smoking, drinking, and doing things that were not necessary at the time. If you were using your credit cards to pay bills I fully understand, but to buy designer clothes, Cmon.

    I don't begrudge the poor having a drink or TV, but these things are a luxury you can live without for a season if you can't afford it. Why not save up first, as it's still not yours if its on credit. I spent a couple of years with no TV, why? because I couldn't afford it.

    Don't believe the hype that the poor have not been taught how to manage money! When Christmas comes, New Year and holiday season kicks in, they seem to automatically know more than the Citizens Advice Bureau in all the financial options. Then when payback day arrive, they play dumb. Thanks Marcus for posting. very interesting.

  5. I think you will find that yes some people within certain groups lifted them self out of poverty and others did not. Not all Asians own businesses, Not all Jews are in finance and not all people from the windrush generation own their own home. If we speck in generalities we need to be very careful as we begin to classify entire races, cultures, colors and groups as being particularly good or bad.

    If you consider the benchmark between the rich and poor to be Sky TV and Smart phones, then maybe we should go back a few hundred years and have the poor running around like the Artful Dodger stealing from the rich to eat a loaf of bread. All jokes aside, surely the fact that you can't tell the difference means something is wrong with the system. Like I said we need more options, incentives, better resources, education and mobility.

    I can't comment on where you live but look around the country, whole towns have been destroyed by the closure of trade and manufacturing, generations of people unable to find work and we act like its as easy as just waking up and getting a job. It might be you, or the people in your area but not for everybody.

    If you think the middle class are being crushed because of freeloaders then I will repeat '1% own 99% of the wealth in the world', basic math will tell you that you are not being squeezed by the poor. In addition, this is a dangerous view for if we turn on the less fortunate then when (God forbid) you fall on hard times no hand will stretch forth to help you find your way.

  6. I agree with Marcus. For the most part people on benefits do not have the money to be wasteful. The government loves to paint poor as foolish or lazy. While some are certainly, so are some rich and some middle class. I also agree, not just poor, but young people in general are not taught fiscal responsibility.
    As for smart phones, they are free, usually a substitute of both a land line and computer access. How can somebody expect people to get a job without a phone number and Internet? Here most jobs will only let you apply on line. So a lot of so called luxuries can be seen as necesities. Though I've been told we were poor when I was a baby, I don't remember it much. I just remember my mother said credit systems and rent to own are scams directed at the poor, and not to their benefit. They pay usually three times more than someone would pay outright for furniture or electronics. Lots of systems to keep the poor poor, while the rich get rich off them.

  7. Thank you for your welcome, Rum!

    I am not a teetotaler, (and never try to line me up with my use of language, you'll find why soon enough if you do not decide to kick my comments out of your life), I am not a teetotaler, I was writing, but I do not like this line of Rum-Punch Drunk, unless it has a social explanation that slips out my knowledge, hence I will Rum you about if you do not mind!

    There is another point you mark in so many words:" don't get too deep on me", and then you display a philosophical trait that invite to develop a long and deep dipping of the bread into the steaming stew!

    I can't promise that I would be shallow or would not chuck you at the deep end (whatever this is) since I do not know how or when I will be at it!

    Grammar is not my mistress and I try to keep her out of my life, but I can caress her hand now and then.

    I am not writing about being poor or foolish, I chose to make a kind of presentation instead, (the small one) so as to give you the opportunity to ban me just at the beginning if need be!

    In case you are curious I will comment that poverty or indigence, it is not the same, although near enough, is a state of mind that have an ugly material outcome.

    Foolishness, is a state of mind, too. Only the outcome is absolutely inconsequential to the fool, but terrible displeasing to those who must endure it.

    As a matter of fact, I am from Celtic ancestry, which is not here not there, since I have travel(l)ed around our planet a lot, this fact has changed my ancestry to World Citizen since it gave me the opportunity to "taste" other ways of philosophy of life!

    Thank you for your patience. Now I will rake your blog and leave my mark whenever my fancy guide(s) me. :)

  8. Untony
    Thanks for your comment on this post. I love the line of Rum-Punch Drunk, but you don't have to.
    Oh, what I meant about 'getting too deep on me' was that I have read a number of blogs now and you need a hammer and chisel to first work out the meaning of the words they're using, and then correctly apply it to the sentence. It's too much for my poor brain and not enough hours in a day.

    I try my best to write in laymen's terms so hopefully everyone can clearly understand what I'm getting at. Don't want to pretend to be something I'm not.

    The deep end is when you are in a swimming pool and your feet can't touch the bottom. When in this position I normally shout 'HELP' thrashing my feet violently beneath the waters.

    Thanks for the presentation as well. I do believe in free speech to a point :).

  9. WOW! Love the way you write! Lol. Had to start at the beginning - that's how I do things. I was about to post something similar on my blog.

    1. Nice to see you here Lady Womble, hope you stick around to read some more. Thanks for your comment.


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