Heya. I've been in this community before, probably over a year ago. There's usually some good advice and lots of help being shared here, which is awesome. Unfortunately, I see one thing has not changed: there seems to be this group of asshats lurking out in the ether, just waiting to start something with somebody. The more vulnerable or not-good-poor, the better. Can I just say that that's really not very useful here? First off, personally, if I'm poor and looking for tips to survive, I don't need any of the following: 1. Libertarians ranting about the Evil Guvmint 2. Moralists telling me I'm not "good poor" so I don't deserve help, or that I must be poor because of some character flaw 3. People not reading my post and then offering advice I specifically stated I'd already followed 4. Shoulda, woulda, coulda arguments My answers would pretty much be (and yes, anyone can borrow them, but you have to give them back): 1. Yeah, but I don't see you living in a cave out in the wilderness, wearing skins and eating nuts and berries, unaffiliated with any country 2. Good poor vs. bad poor is a divisive myth designed to keep the poor attacking one another and never really addressing what got us poor in the first place--so if someone you know is spouting this garbage, they are not your friend and will not help you 3. Someone who would ignore just about everything I have to say doesn't really want to help me anyway--they don't even respect me in the first place 4. The past is done. I haven't seen anyone here or anywhere else on LJ announcing that they have invented a time machine. What's important is what we do now. Let's focus on that. People are poor for one reason only: They don't have enough money to meet survival needs. This has nothing to do with character, as people with bad character can still wind up wealthy. (I hope I don't need to cite examples of this.) It has nothing to do with work, as some of the hardest-working people in this country are poor. It has nothing to do with good or bad decisions, because anyone can make a good decision only to have the outcome turn bad later, or make a bad decision and have their ass saved by pure good luck. Is it too much to ask that this be purely a supportive space, that we dispense with the cutting one another down because of decisions made and just focus on the immediate need? I guarantee you, if the poor don't have solidarity with one another, nobody else is going to bother with us. The myth of deserving is too firmly entrenched in American culture: You should only "have" if you deserve it, and if you "have-not," it's because you don't deserve anything. This is horseshit. It's bad enough we have to hear it from people in f2f life and read it in the opinion columns and hear it on the radio. We shouldn't have to come here and read it too. Tearing people down is, I'm afraid, not a poor skill. Precisely the opposite. And if you pal around with left-wing radicals who work with, say, labor unions and who write frequently in their LJs about their pro-poor activism and then you come here and tear poor people down, you especially suck. Just so you know. Oh yes, and one more thing. Humanity does not come at a price. We do not lose our humanity just because we lose our money. We still have the right to be discerning and to speak up when someone tries to "help" us in a way that is unhelpful. We have not become anyone else's children to chide and punish as they please. I run into this attitude entirely too often and frankly, if I were running a poor advice community? I'd ban anybody who displayed it. First offense, bye-bye. If you're only offering help so you can ego-trip over the poor widdle poor people who obviously are too stupid and undeserving to get through life without your expert advice... Well, I guess you have your reward, don't you?