Working Poor? Seriously?

Who thought of such a thing?

Are you battle-ready?


How many times have you heard: dream big, work hard and it will pay off in the end? You lost count? Some are losing faith.

My faith meter hovered at three bars for a long time. I followed the advice for success: believing my dreams to live well will come true if I work hard.

Pause.

This sounds mean, I know; but sometimes, I don’t want to compare my trouble to the problem of someone else just to ease being ticked off. Really. I don’t. I know how to appreciate. I don’t need to do that.

And there just are days I don’t want to calm DOWN! Sorry I yelled. This is one of those days. I’ve been thinking about two words that are a reality for a lot of people, and at one time it included me: working poor.

That is what a lot of people are doing: working while poor. This bothers me. I’m not ready to get over it until I vent. Forgive me. I had to find out how and why there is such a phrase as working poor.

Who made up that phrase "working poor?"

Here’s what I thought: it was either someone who worked hard and had little to show for it; or it was someone who enjoyed the finer things in life and still had compassion for the poor. Lyndon B. Johnson?

Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr. and Rebekah Baines Johnson had five children, Lyndon was the oldest child. His dad made a living as “a rancher and part-time politician” but the Johnson family lost their farm while Lyndon was “in his early teens.” (The Biography.com)

It’s easy to see what may have inspired Lyndon B. Johnson to be a politician who gave voice to the poor. To reduce—if not end—poverty, President Johnson was responsible for getting laws passed to “[declare] unconditional war on poverty." (YouTube; TheLBJLibrary; 14:11)

A great society can make a great America.

While searching for my answer, I learned the 36th President of the United States (a Democrat with bipartisan support) had plans for making America great in the 60s:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Voting Rights Act
  • Head Start

I am baffled by the energy… the malicious intent… to interfere with programs created to help the working poor stay above the poverty level. It is my opinion the intent is malicious. It’s like kicking a person who’s having a bad day. That’s not good.

Is America battle-ready against poverty today?

America has made progress as a country because (after all that has gone wrong for so long) democracy is still in force. That’s a win. No matter how you look at it. You say we will be an even better country if we get rid of racism? Get rid of that thought. That’s not going to happen. Racism ranks with death and taxes. It’s a part of life.

I’m not a pessimist. Really. I’m not, but think about this. You have people who believe they are the cat’s meow (excuse the cliché), and that anyone who does not look like them or act like them are not as good as them. That’s a reality not limited to America.

More than likely, they will be the same people in favor of cutting programs to help the poor because they believe all poor people are not trying hard enough to take advantage of opportunities America offers.

Without warning, anything can happen that can turn prosperity to poverty. All it takes is a layoff, cut back in hours, chronic illness, death of a breadwinner, divorce or a politician to stop funding programs that help the working poor.

Our secret weapons against poverty is love and the volunteer.

Humanity has a way of coming through when it matters most. To the people who run shelters, soup kitchens, extended living facilities, and those who privately do what they can to help the poor, good job! And thank you!

It’s good to know you guys are out there, but I still think America can do better by its working poor.

J.T. Wellington
J.T. Wellington

J.T. Wellington loves to write content, sing, and chat in random order. Began writing per advice of a college professor. Believes life is an adventure and love is a rare jewel.

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Working Poor? Seriously?