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  Liberation Theology

ghetto (4K)Why the Poor are Poor

Biblically, there are three types of poor people in the world: the oppressed poor, the slothful poor, and the irresponsible poor. The oppressed poor are fatalities of the rich. Field hands, workers and laborers that feed the wheels of big industry. Scripture says, "But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?" - James 2:6.

The slothful poor are those who have not come to terms with the realities of life, but who mosey through life and eventually hit the poverty bottom. Scripture says, "Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread." - Proverbs 20:13. And the irresponsible poor are those who do not take life seriously. Again, the scripture states, "For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." - Proverbs 23:21.

Statistically, there are more oppressed poor than the other two. The working poor and underclass of society are not all slothful or irresponsible but the slothful and irresponsible belong to every class, in which many are undeserving. When the undeserving gain access to power, it is normally they who oppress because they are unappreciative or simply do not care. However, the oppressed poor are more selfless when they reach power because they understand the plight, unless arrogance takes hold.

When the social elite talk of the poor, they are apt to attach slothfulness as the reason and irresponsibility indirectly, rather than attribute oppression as the reason. If they admit the poor are poor because of any kind of systematic oppression, then they would have to take responsibility for the systems they implement and sustain, but instead, they instill the notion of personal responsibility into the minds of society so the failures of the system cannot be blamed, but the blame can rest on the individual.

If anyone speaks ill against the system and the oppression it dispenses by bringing truths to light, they are considered either as possessing the victim mentality, or unpatriotic and anti-American. Statistically however, there are more people who are poor but not slothful than there are poor because of slothfulness or irresponsibility. The many urban and rural areas testify to the fact that hundreds of thousands even millions of families throughout the country live on, just above, or just below the systematic designated poverty line. Also, the fact that only 1 percent of the country are of the rich and another small percentage are upper class, which would suggest that only a small percentage of the country is completely responsible.

When politicians speak of and make promises to the middle class and upper classes, they want people to believe that they make up the majority of society's working population, but in reality, there are just as many working poor and poor families as there are middle and upper class. The outline below shows the class levels in America:

  • The wealthy - 1%
  • Upper class - 9%
  • Middle class - 30%
  • Working poor - 35%
  • The poor - 25%
costmore (5K)According to the stats, there are more poor and working poor combined than there are middle class, so why do politicians pander to the middle class and the wealthy when they make promises to the people? Because the American political system is designed to support the capitalist base and its industry and is more interested in increasing wealth for a few than uplifting or empowering the base of the masses who work to make the industries successful.

Like a machine neglected of maintenance, if the machine is not oiled well or often enough, it will eventually fail and not function to its fullest capacity. The systematic state of America today is creating more poor and more rich simultaneously, cutting the middle numbers down and eradicating equality while increasing the upper and lower classes. Soon the outline will look like this:

  • The wealthy - 10%
  • Upper class - 20%
  • Middle class - 10%
  • Working poor - 25%
  • The poor - 35%
The more the gap widens, the more the elitist class and the political leaders can claim poverty is the result of the poor's own doings instead of acknowledging that it is the system itself and its cycle of favoritism toward the rich. More opportunities are becoming out of reach for the working poor making it harder for them to lay hold on prospects that would otherwise increase their chances at wealth.

If the rich class continues to grow and the poor increase at the same rate, there is clearly a problem of equality in democracy on many levels. But to explain away the deficiencies of wealth distribution and opportunity, the elitist class refuses to accept responsibility of fulfilling the goal of equality and lay the burden of guilt and poverty on those who have no means to change their circumstances.

Attaching the label of or idea of the poor being slothful or irresponsible as the reason of their poverty while ignoring the practice of oppression is a slothful and irresponsible practice itself; limited in sociological realization and the ability to lead effectively. In the end, because of this lopsided process, the economic foundation of the country - any country - will fall under the weight of greed, and poverty ironically becoming the ultimate end.

© May 2008 by CR Hamilton || [TOP]


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