Politics

People Lift Themselves out of Poverty, not Jobs.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, “Jobs should lift people out of poverty, not keep them in it.” I couldn’t disagree more. The very idea that a job should automatically pay enough to keep a person from poverty absolves the individual of any responsibility in the matter. It assumes that the person simply has no choice but to be poor, that they are powerless to avoid it. I am going to refute that notion in the following paragraphs.

Like Dave Ramsey frequently says, “your income is your most powerful wealth building tool.”An employer is not responsible for providing a living wage, you are responsible for earning a living wage. If a job isn’t paying you enough money to cover your expenses, then either get a second job or find a better one. If you need to get licensed or certified, then do it. An employer should pay what the work is worth, that is why doctors make more than burger flippers. If you have knowledge or abilities that not just anyone has, then the work you do will be worth more. That is, if your knowledge and abilities are related to the field of work you are in.

Complaining that the owners, CEOs, or board members of the business you work for make too much money isn’t going to help your situation. Besides, why wouldn’t the people taking the biggest risks not get the biggest rewards? Your money does not drive the machine that is the company you work for. Your decisions do not make or break the business. Yes, some bosses could pay their employees better and themselves a little less, but should this be expected by the employee? I don’t see it that way. The risk taker, the business builder, should see the most return.

If you are struggling to stay out of debt, then try limiting your expenses. Just like it is your responsibility to earn enough money to live off of, it is also your responsibility to control the way that money is spent. It is not an employer’s job to pay you enough to cover your bills and other expenses. It is your job to make sure your bills and other expenses do not total more than your income can handle.

Exceptions to the above may include folks with disabilities or injuries that keep them from being productive workers. As well as certain single parents that just can’t afford daycare and have no other support around to help them.

This post may have sounded like a rant, well, that would because it is one. I just get tired of how some people seem to feel entitled to so much. In my eyes, that way of thinking is extremely immature and selfish. What are your thoughts?

2 Comments

  • Hope

    I think another thing that gets in the way for most people when it comes to money is distinguishing wants versus needs. Many confuse these two, because society pushes so many things as necessities that someone really could do without. For instance, cell phones. Is a phone a need? In most scenarios yes. Is a smart phone with unlimited data a need? No, that is a want. Is a reliable mode of transportation a need? Yes. Is a new car with monthly payments a need? No.

    • Junior

      I fully agree about distinguishing between wants and needs. It seems to me that most people struggle with this issue, including myself. Worse, sometimes I know something isn’t a need and I still spend money on it, even if it means using credit. A nasty habit that I need to break.

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