So what means the “legitimate poor?”

(They’re also known as the “deserving poor.”)

DSCF0026Leftover sends this, from TalkPoverty, one of my favorite websites with some links to some awesome documentaries. Stephanie Land writes:

At Christmas time, the search for Oliver Twist goes into full gear. Many people get into the holiday spirit of giving and maybe tip their waitress a little more, drop some change in the bucket next to the Santa Claus outside the department store, or go as far as organizing food, clothing, and toy drives for needy families. But although a majority of Americans say the government should do “a lot” to fight poverty, many will confine this support to people they view as the “deserving poor,” like children or veterans. As a friend said to me recently: “You are probably a part of a small percentage of moms and dads who are legitimate in their need and how you are getting by.”

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One response to “So what means the “legitimate poor?”

  1. Thanks for this.

    For the folks who don’t care and don’t want to share, it’s easier to promote the false notion that all of “those people” are poor because they choose it (i.e. they are lazy). That way, they can convince themselves they are justified in not doing anything about the situation. I feel as though there is a segment of the population that has no interest in knowing the facts or the truth, because they are indeed the lazy ones and wish to be blameless and take no action. It seems these people cross all economic levels. I only hope there are enough truly compassionate people who would listen to facts and reason, and be willing to take actions that would bring about change. Those would be the people who live out: Treat others as you would want to be treated. So, continues the on-going conflict of human-kind between the self-centered and compassionate, the yin and yang. I don’t believe we can fight against it, only work around it. (Did I go too far on this?)

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