Poor People Have Less Money Than Wealthy People




Just read Ben Irwin’s blog response to Dave Ramsey’s original blog where he shared 20 things that rich people do every day that poor people don’t.


Here’s the link to Ben’s: http://benirwin.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/20-things-the-poor-do-every-day/

Here’s the link to Dave’s: http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/20-things-the-rich-do-every-day


I have to say I agree with his response. The list Dave posted comes off as pompous to me. Who is the audience here?


His sycophants that already hang on his every word? So they can what, feel better about themselves or give themselves a pat on the back?


Or the poor people? So they can what, try to be more like the people who just made a list that publically taunts them? These are the reasons we’re rich, it says, and the reasons you’re poor. If you want to be rich like us, do what we do.


If the purpose of the list is to convert the blue collar mindset, the delivery was fucking horrible. That Dave is confused by the backlash is proof that he is completely disconnected in the way that all rich people seem to get after they have money for a while. Or if they have a cross shoved so far up their asses, they’ve become intolerant. The whole ‘you’re poor because you want to be’ or ‘if you really wanted to get out of your hole, you could’ mindset starts creeping in. And they seem to not only lack the necessary empathy to reach the masses, but actually get irritated with all those poor people who just don’t get it.


There’s also the inference that if you just start doing these rich people things, you’ll end up rich. It never supposes that the reason these rich people can have these habits is because they are already rich. It doesn’t necessarily mean they became rich because of the habits. The redneck with a GED isn’t going to get rich because he suddenly starts reading more than he watches reality TV.


Ben’s response was more a reality check for the conservative side on what poor people really do every day. Let me address each of Dave’s 20 original list items a little more specifically.


1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

Bad-for-you food is cheaper. Poor people have less money than wealthy people. Connect the dots. Poor people gamble because for a lot of them, that’s their only 1 in 1,000,000,000 hope to get out of the pit they’re in. Why would rich people feel the need to gamble? They already have lots of money.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

Agreed. Having goals drives people. But I would say the poor do have a single goal. Not to be poor. They just don’t know how to get unpoor. If it was as easy as reading a stupid fucking list and implementing it, there would be a lot more unpoor people out there.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

If you’re working two jobs so you can have $5.00 disposable money at the end of the week, I’m guessing gym membership isn’t an option. I’m also guessing that if you do manual labor all day, like a lot of blue collar workers do, you’re first thought when you get home is probably soaking in Epsom salt or having a beer to take the edge off and relax the muscles, not do laps around the fucking trailer park.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

Yeah, I’m not sure why people who may not own a car, or have an older one without a CD player wouldn’t want to purchase an audio book. And oh yeah, they’re $25 and up. I’ll say it again. Poor people have less money than wealthy people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

Same as the goal thing. And the fact that you even have time to make a ‘to-do-list’ says you have money. Single moms with no insurance and five kids barely have time or energy to do the dishes twice a week, much less make a ‘to-do-list.’

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

I think this is just a bullshit statement. I know people who have money and none of them would force a kid to read one, much less two, non-fiction books in a month. If you want to encourage reading for kids and teens, you encourage reading, period. Whatever interests them.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

Again, 70% sounds like bullshit to me. And poor kids do volunteer. It’s called minimum wage. Which is pretty fucking close.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

I’m confused about this one. Are we including social media, house calls, emails? Psychologically speaking, who puts this on a list that differentiates the rich and the poor? What in the hell does this show? Are they trying to say that poor people refuse to wish people happy birthday? Here’s how it works for poor people. You invite your kid’s whole damn school and everybody in church. That way, your kid gets a lot more gifts than the two twenty dollar ones you could afford to buy them. The only catch is that if they show up to your kid’s party, you gotta show up to theirs.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

How the fuck can you say that only 17% of the poor are writing down their goals, when in question 2 you stated that only 12% even have goals? Note to Rich Conservatives: add a remedial math course to your ‘to-do-list.’

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

This is just #6 worded differently.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

That’s because the really wealthy are scared shitless of what judgmental, idiotic prejudice will come flying out of their self-righteous mouths if they open them. Poor people have nothing to hide.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

Please explain how poor people need to go about networking. I’m all ears.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

Stupid shit on TV helps us veg out and forget we’re poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

I surrender on this one. I believe you and don’t understand the phenomenon. But if I do watch a couple of minutes of Honey Boo Boo, I end up watching the whole damn thing. God, forgive me.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

Cause after their morning jog, they spend an hour getting peer presentable, and make sure they have enough time to sip their Starbucks coffee while listening to their non-fiction, educational audio book on their way to being 20 minutes early to work to impress the boss. First in and last out. Impressions, Impressions.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

Note to self: read more lists containing good daily success habits.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

‘Opportunity luck.’ Mmm. Okay. I’m assuming the other 96% of poor people, like me, were wondering what the made-up phrase ‘opportunity luck’ means. I guess we need to read more.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

I’m really interested here as to why the wealthy think good habits are good, but 8% percent less think bad habits are not really bad. A slight bit of an epicurean gap, if I do say so myself.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

In general, the more educated you are, the more money you will make. Thus, you have the experience of obtaining an education and getting wealthy. And since you are now educated, it allows you the presence of mind to see the connection. Some would simply call this hindsight. Or you have parents who have already gained this experiential knowledge and passed it on to you. Bravo! But if you are uneducated, you may not be able to see the importance of education. Your parents may not understand the connection. May not be able to do anything about it, even if they do. That little piece of paper you get from colleges costs a ridiculous amount of money nowadays. And try to remember once again, poor people have less money than wealthy people. In short, if you are uneducated and/or come from an uneducated family, it’s hard to think your way out of the box if you don’t even know you’re in the box.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

I agree. People should read more.


Look, here it is in a much smaller nutshell.

The path to success and money is largely dependent on education and environment. Education and environment are dependent on money.

If you can read those sentences and understand what that means, then you might understand why a bunch of blue collars would get irritated with someone who thinks they have reduced the quality-of-life problem to a list of 20 simple statistics.



The Next Exit



I’m scooting along on a stretch on Hwy 40, travelling at about 76 mph, as I head to work. To my right, and slightly ahead of me by a car length, is a big ass truck. To my left, more commuters. It’s a three to five lane spread, depending on the stretch of road and if there’s an exit nearby. We are approaching an exit. A car is suddenly on my right hand side, moves past me and gets directly behind the big-ass truck, then, sans the blinker, moves over in front of me. I won’t say cut me off because I didn’t have to slam my brakes on, just give a nice, sharp push. The truck that was following this car in the other lane is sliding slowly up past me and headed to claim his spot behind the big-ass truck. Then it happens.


The car who had to suddenly be in front of me decides they need to be not only back in their lane, but needs to take the current exit, another two lanes over. The problem was this: the exit was directly to everyone’s right, like at a 90⁰ angle to the right. So they swerved drastically to the right, cutting in front of the truck that was next to me, squeezing between his front bumper and the back of the big-ass truck and missing both by a couple of feet, and then across two more lanes, and disappeared.


I express my usual verbal opinion to an empty car. “Stupid F@ck.” There used to be an exclamation point in there, but I’m a little numb to idiots now days. Let me put this in context.


I had to work a few weeks in Nashville this month. When I first got on the highways surrounding Nashville, I looked up to see a digital sign over the road telling me that “201 people have died in car wrecks in Tennessee so far this year. Don’t be next.” A definite WOW factor in their message. And I applauded them for not being politically correct and putting it out there for idiots to chew on. After a week there, I read a paper that told me that on the stretch of road I travel every morning, there had been 43 wrecks since the first of the year. That’s an average of one accident every three days. And that was only for a stretch between two sequential exits on that road, not the whole thing. So of all the sections of highway you might want to screw around on, this would not be the one.


Flash forward a week later. I leave work and head to a massive bookstore west of Nashville. As I approach the same exit I take every day, I head to the right fork, which actually takes you back left (thanks Nashville, makes sense). But that was muscle memory. I meant to head down the two lane fork to the left, which takes you back right (thanks Nashville, makes sense). Then it happens. I glance once in the rearview and suddenly cut across four lanes of traffic. I made my exit. And I immediately expressed my usual verbal opinion to an empty car. “You stupid F@ck! What the F@ck are you doing!” Exclamation points and all.


I can see that sign overhead indifferently ticking off one more body count as it tallies its statistics. My wife and kids back home crying over my grave. Some guys with the TDOT steaming my remains off the pavement. The guy behind me saying the same thing about me that I say about other people. I’m shocked at myself. I am a man possessed. I must exorcise this demon immediately. As I drive, I begin pondering what caused me to act like an idiot, putting myself and others in mortal danger.


Anger. The driving and layout of the roads in Nashville is sometimes horrible. You might move through three different exits in the span of a few minutes. And if you miss one, you’re out the fifteen to twenty minutes it takes you to follow whatever road you’re on to the next turnaround. You have no choice. Late for something? Too bad. Extra gas. Extra time. Extra late.


Idiot factor. You feel like an idiot for missing it. How hard can it be, you say to yourself, to figure out which freaking exit to take? What are you, a moron? Yes and no. Sometimes, things appear to be arranged to purposely confuse you. Take the road names themselves. Even-numbered highways run East-West and odd-numbered run North-South. So interstate 65 runs North-South and I40 and I440 runs East-West. Then you have I24. It runs at close to a 45 degree angle, but more north and south than east and west. Go look on a map and tell me what you think. And right where I24 connects I40 and I440, it’s completely vertical on the map. So if you’re trying to decipher how to head east on I440, take a connecting road that runs north-south on a map, and then ramp onto I40 headed east again, and you know you need to head north on this connecting road (I24), do you translate that north into I24 east or I24 west? Quick now, you’ve been driving for a couple of hours, you have to piss like a Russian race horse, you’re late for work, and if you miss the exit, you’ll be late for both things. You’ve got a mile to decide and you’re surrounded by idiots on all sides. It’s raining. And . . . Oh, you remembered that west takes you back towards Nashville, so that would mean north is actually west and HOLY SH!T THERE’S THE F#CKING EXIT! NOW! NOW! NOW!


In short, it’s a high-pressured, instantaneous decision made by an idiot with dementia. So how to override this seemingly involuntary, knee-jerk reaction?


Know that you are filthy rich.


When you tell someone about your commute to work, do you relate it in miles or minutes? More than likely minutes. We measure our morning drive in time, not distance. It’s time we are battling. You don’t think about anything beautiful that you might pass by every morning. You don’t think about landscapes and things along the way. You think about whether or not some idiot is going to cut you off. If there’s something in the road you won’t see until it’s too late. Whether or not your boss is going to give you grief over those 10 minutes. Or you go into a catatonic daydream state. You know, where you sometimes think back and realize that for the last 15 seconds, you have no idea what’s been happening on the road around you? I did that one time on the way to Birmingham and lost close to a minute. Was on a straight-away and looked up and was on the other side of a curve. I’m not certain, but I think I went for about a mile and half in internal-movie mode. That’s some scary sh!t.


So the clock is our Master. We bow to it with our pedal. We look at shaving off a few seconds by passing 3 cars before we get over. We race to the next red light. We see every other car as an obstacle. As lost time waiting to happen.


The only way to win is to change the music. Put on a slower song. Ease back on the pedal and let them all pass you by. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There is something very Zen about actually going 45 in a 45 and watching cars pass you. I imagine myself as a multibillionaire. Nothing to do for the day. Out cruising in my 15 year old car as a disguise so no one will know how rich I am. Look at them scurrying to their little jobs. It’s a mind trick. And if you do the math, driving an extra 6 miles an hour for 25 minutes isn’t going to save you more than 2 or 3 minutes. It’s just not worth it.


So come fellow billionaires. Let’s take our golf carts to our garages, pick out our crappy, incognito ride for the day, and head to work at a leisurely pace. And if we miss that exit? Who cares? We have all the time in the world. We’ll take the next exit because we can. And maybe, if we’re lucky, one of those peons hurrying to work won’t kill us and we’ll live to see another day.







I usually don’t write about politics. Or things that have been beat to death in the media. Or things in politics that have been beat to death in the media. Or religion. Or religious things that have . . . you get the idea. Actually, I usually only write about things that affect me personally. Very egocentric writing. I’m an only child.


And this has affected me personally. Mainly, my chicken sandwich. I like Dick-fil-a’s chicken sandwich. Spread on two packets of mayonnaise, get a couple extra pickles thrown on there, and boom, you’re in business. The only problem I’ve ever had with Dick-fil-a was based on my inability to remember things. They’re closed on Sundays. I know this. I’ve known this for years. But I will still occasionally turn my car in that direction on a Sunday. And when I get close by, I think dammit! Why did I do this again? I mumbled to myself, half joking, half not, “Crazy Fundamentalists.” This was long before the newest debacle. How many other chains deny me my nasty, eating-out habits on Sunday? I can’t think of any. Look, just hire atheists to work on Sundays. It’s that simple.


And politics really shouldn’t squirm its way between my buttery buns. As a matter of fact, no views from owners or CEOs should ever affect what you eat. If it did, you wouldn’t eat anywhere. Have you ever spent time around or read articles on people who are billionaire heads of companies? Read Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test and tell me you disagree with the findings. Most of these people, Steve Jobs included, probably belong in a special ward with padded walls. Know an outlier who defies the rule? Let me know. Most of the superrich are disconnected from society and the day to day grind. For that fact, and you can see this on the Boob Tube, most of them are disconnected from reality. They are lunatics, and if they succeed at what they are doing, we laud them and call them eccentric. You catch your boss staring in a mirror while practicing how to be intimidating, and he’s just a prick.


So when I hear that the owner of Dick-fil-a really is a tight-ass fundamentalist, I’m suddenly torn. He doesn’t just passively extol himself for being self-righteous like most of them, he gives money to people who are trying to do away with people’s rights. That puts him in the political arena. That puts his company in the political arena. This has nothing to do, by the way, with free speech. He was free to open his big, Southern Baptist mouth, and insert his sanctimonious foot. If you are surfing that warped metaphor of subliminal bizzaro anti-logical schizophrenic reasoning, I don’t know what to tell you, except maybe, go back and get your GED.


If I go get a sandwich, am I saying what he did was okay? Am I saying I’m on his side? No. But I am contributing, ever so slightly, to his massive stacks of Holier-than-thou money, which will then be used to make the world a little less diverse. A little narrower in its views. A little less tolerant.


So how bad do I want that sumptuous chicken, tender yet crispy, resting delicately on a perfectly toasted bun? I’m fat, so I can’t promise you anything. But if I do give in, you can bet that while I’m washing it down, I’ll be mumbling to my hypocritical self, “Crazy Fundamentalists.”



Let me say right off that I generally have no problem with people washing their hands.  There are many cases where cleaning one’s hands is a mandate.  Like the doctor after he gives you a prostate exam.  After a particularly productive sneeze, assuming you use your hands like a human and don’t do that vampire looking thing where you explode into the bend of your arm.  Or after you check the oil or change a tire.  It all makes sense.  As long as you perform this action in a certain order.

You wouldn’t eat your pizza or fried chicken and then think, “I should have washed my hands after changing junior’s diaper.”  You wouldn’t wash your hands to go work in the yard.  There is an order here that makes sense.

That’s why it disturbs me that there appears to be a good many people out there who are washing their hands before they use the bathroom.  It would be easy for you to say at this point, what does it hurt?  I’ll tell you.  My brain.

It is a completely useless action and lacks any ties to reason or prudent judgment.    They are snubbing rationality.  They are obviously confused with respect to the linear flow of time and the very essence of cause and effect.  I question the very soul of any individual performing this flawed and unusual action.  Just to be clear, I would not let a doctor operate on me who washed his hands before using the bathroom.  Why you say?  Someone that confused as to the order of things could possibly sew me up first and then remove my appendix.  They might prescribe me a medicine and then send my blood off to be tested.  I think they do this anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, these people are still washing their hands after they do number one, and I don’t have beef with that.  And if you are laying asphalt for a road crew, I’m not suggesting you run to the Porto-Pottie and wrap molten tar around your gold-member without washing first, but that’s an anomaly.  The people I see doing this are in offices and cubicles.  It seems common sense that blue collar workers, people who pulp wood, work in iron shops, fix cars, and are generally knee deep in the grit and grim of everyday living, would actually be less inclined to OCD tendencies concerning cleanliness than someone who doesn’t know how to check their transmission fluid.  They are less paranoid.  They don’t submerse their arms to the elbows in a bucket of Germ-X just because they walk out of Wal-Mart or pet their dog.  I suppose white collar phobics who sit in front of a computer all day have more time to do, well, what I’m doing now.  Surfing the Internet and reading about germs instead of performing a useful function.  As exampled by any conspiracy theorist, the more information you have about anything, the more paranoid and delusional you will become.  Talk to a person in charge of counterterrorism and you’ll never open a piece of mail or ride a bus again.  Talk to someone at the CDC for a couple of hours and you’ll feel your throat swelling shut every time someone coughs in your vicinity.

But even if being over-informed is to blame for this delusional behavior, that doesn’t explain why they wash their hands first.  I could see scrubbing them after the fact until they turn red and blister, but doing it prior makes no sense.  Germs usually enter the body through openings, hand to mouth in general.  I don’t see someone infecting that body part with bacteria from common office equipment.  I can hear the doctor now.  I’m sorry to have to tell you this Mr. Bailey, but it looks like you have an acute keyboard infection on your penis.

The Mayo Clinic, the CDC, the WHO, they all give the same advice on when to wash your hands.  After using the restroom.  Never do they say before.

I am also concerned that these Firsties will, like all deranged people who are infected with extraneous and afflicted ideas, eventually carry this on to the next level.  I don’t wish to enter the bathroom only to find a colleague scrubbing his junk in the sink like Meryl Streep in Silkwood.  Or perhaps, since urine is acidic and actually kills bacteria, find the same person wetting their hands down thoroughly in front of the urinal.  It has to stop.

I’ll do my part by leaving these conspiracy theorists with some useless and harmless information they can be paranoid about and then misapply to their philosophies with deformed logic.  Some soaps have been shown to cause irritation to the urethra.  This can make it easier for bacteria to get inside your body and proliferate.  Once the bacteria are inside your body, they will multiply at a geometric rate inside your bladder.  These are infectious living things that will be living inside of you.  And the only way a doctor can remove them at this point is with a Q-Tip and a pair of tweezers.


Potential Energy


“You have a lot of potential.”

Anyone ever said that to you?  A lot of my high school teachers told me this.  At the time, it kind of sounded ok, I mean, compared to what other people were saying about me.  Then I got older.  Not all at once, but rather slowly.  And I started to realize that this wasn’t a very helpful comment.

I tried to define the comment.  That’s what older people do.  They like to define things, to draw a nice, little mental box and then define something so they can stick that now-concrete thing in the box, put a label on it, and then defend that label to the death at any social gathering where there is an abundance of alcohol.

I thought of batteries.  They have potential energy.  That’s a good thing when your lights go out.  Batteries sit in the drawer and wait silently and uncomplaining until you need them.  Of course, if you never need them, you will probably forget that the flashlight is in the drawer and when you move in a few years, you will find leaked acid all over those important receipts you kept hidden away.

I thought of fossil fuels.  They are ripe with potential energy.  They take millions of years to form and are essential to mankind’s existence.  Of course, when man uses up all the fuels, which should be in about 30 years or so, the world will come to a screeching halt and revert back to medieval chaos like in Mad Max, where guys who wear thongs shoot bunny rabbits in the desert.

I thought of springs.  When they are compressed, they have a lot of potential energy.  They help our cars ride smoother and make sure our office chairs retain their original position after we lean way back in them.  They also help Tiggers lead a fulfilling and productive life.  Of course, they can also press deep into your rib cage at night and cause you to not get a good night’s sleep, be late to work the next morning, lose your job, and cause you to be homeless inside of two months because you haven’t a penny in savings.

I thought of a weak nuclear force acting on the baryon charge, otherwise known as nuclear potential energy.  But I didn’t contemplate this idea because I had just copied and pasted the sentence from Wikipedia.  It doesn’t actually make sense to me.

I thought of bows and arrows.  They have potential energy and they help hunters kill things.  That’s good.  Killing things.  Of course, if you don’t know what you’re doing and shoot a bow incorrectly, you can end up with a huge bruise and welt on the inside of your forearm.  And when you can’t hold back the tears, the other hunters will laugh at you.  Or so I’ve heard.

I thought of chemical energy.  No, really, I did.  Chemistry is responsible for pharmaceuticals.  We can take pills to help us be more unipolar, to stay awake all night and study for exams, to examine alternate realities at outdoor music events, and to fight off infections we might incur as a result of attending said events.  Of course, your drinking buddies could get you to eat three packs of Mentos and then funnel a two liter diet coke, which would cause you to projectile vomit and then suffer a collapsed lung.  Or so I’ve heard.

Then I thought of gravitational energy.  I thought of that boulder sitting atop the curved cliff that they show you in all the text books.  The boulder just sits there and obeys the laws of inertia.  It’s probably scared of heights.  And it probably can’t see what’s behind it, because it’s a boulder.  So it’s forced to sit there, frightened beyond reason at the chasm before it, and always wondering who is about to sneak up from behind and shove it over that cliff.  Dreadful thing if you ask me.  Such a graphic representation to convey to an impressionable teenager.

But I realize now the subtle hints they were giving me.  That one day they would sneak up behind me and push me to my death.  I know they are out there with their PHD’s and such, in the shadows, waiting for the right opportunity to transfer my peaceful potential into a flailing juggernaut of kinetic downfall.

So I wait.

I watch.

I listen.