Growing up I always knew I didn’t want to be poor as an adult, growing up in a poor family it was always a struggle. I am not rich (yet) but I will be soon. Growing up in a poor community I always thought that the people with money, the ones in the big houses and nice cars and fancy clothes, were the ones that experienced higher cost of living. It wasn’t until lately that I realized that the cost of being poor, living in poverty, is insanely high.
Persons normally say when you’re poor you’re vulnerable, and this is so true. When I watched the movie, Head of State, and I heard Chris Rock said that “some of us have to work two jobs just to be broke”, I thought that was so hilarious. It wasn’t until later on in life I realized that this was true, and it’s scary. Why is it so costly to be poor? And what can we do to escape that lifestyle? Though I am not really sure how these questions should really be answered, I thought I should highlight some reasons why being poor is so costly.
In many poor communities, individuals are unable to access or afford normal financial and banking services, many big banks are closing their doors in poor and vulnerable communities. According to these banks the cost of doing business there is too high for the returns they are receiving on their investment. With these banks shutting down shop, a hole is left in these communities that must be filled, and this is normally filled by pay day loan stores and loan sharks that go out there and exploit the poor people, charging insanely high interest on loans. Interest rates that are way over what a normal commercial bank would charge.
Many banks now have minimum balance requirements, if your balance falls below a certain limit; they will start charging a monthly fee. In my mind, if my balance falls below a certain limit, that should mean I don’t have money, so why reduce my money further by charging this monthly fee. Why not charge this fee to the persons that can afford it?
Then there are taxes, and sometimes I don’t believe that we poor people really understand what we are doing especially when we call for more taxation on the rich. I am always hearing the poor calling for the government to tax the rich people more. But really and truly, are they taxing the rich? NO, they are taxing the high income earners. That’s the reason why the middle class is shrinking in the US. Whenever a new tax is introduced, it is the poor people that pay this tax. The truly rich people, such as the true capitalist does not pay these taxes. In fact, many persons, entrepreneurs, are given tax breaks by the government for their contribution to society, contributions such as job creation and helping provide certain public goods.
When I look at all this, I say to myself, being poor is too costly for me, I need to upgrade, I need to join the ranks of the rich. As a Christian I believe when the bible says that “the earth is the Lord’s and its fullness thereof”, and I also believe when David said, “I was young and now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread”. It is also for this reason that I am such a big fan, promoter and advocate of entrepreneurship.
I believe that through entrepreneurship, persons can truly reach their true potential I believe that entrepreneurship is one of the best ways of alleviating poverty, I believe in the opportunities that this can lead to. I have long decided that I have lived in poverty for way to long, it’s time to start doing something for me, being poor is way too costly. I am not that rich.