Poverty in America. Can we Get Some Context Please?

If you’re a family of 4 in America earning $22,350, you’re eligible for  the following free* goodies:

Food stamps (SNAP)3,179
Free breakfast and lunch for 2 kids during the schooll year3,600
Section 8 rental assistance (assume $1100 monthly rent)10,188
Home energy assistance858
Free cell phone with 250 minutes per month600
Up to 24 months of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)5,376
Earned income credit5,000

Poverty in America means a family of 4 is living on gross income of $54,301, getting more in government taxpayer money then they earn. No wonder we’re broke.

*Free to the recipient, extremely expensive to everyone who pays taxes.

6 Reasons You’re Still Poor



Why aren’t you rich? Probably because you fall into one or all of these categories:

You don’t have an education

To succeed in America, you must have a high school diploma and either a college degree or trade skills. You don’t have to spend have a lot of money on your education, you just have to know enough to get a job. Spending too much on your degree defeats the purpose of your schooling. Go to school to get a job.

You don’t have a job

Get a job. Any job. Worry about the salary later.

Work hard. Learn stuff.  Solve problems. You’ll soon be rewarded with opportunities to earn more money.

You’re single

2 incomes are better than 1.

A few caveats: 1) Don’t go into debt getting married; 2) You and your spouse must each have an income; 3) Don’t marry someone with debt. Single with no debt is better than married with debt and a spouse who doesn’t work.

You have kids (and aren’t married)

Single-parent households are more likely than 2-parent households to live in poverty. Same goes for the children when they reach adulthood. Ladies, here’s the easiest way to create wealth: keep your legs together until you’re married to someone with a job, have a job yourself, and are debt-free.

You have an addiction

Alcohol, drugs (legal or otherwise), gambling, smoking or shopping. I’m sure I missed one or two. Rule of thumb: If it costs money, makes you unemployable, damages your health or otherwise interferes in your ability to control the first 4 items on this list, stop doing it.

You love to play the victim

You can never catch a break. You blame others for your problems. You expect society to take care of you and yours. Until you change your mindset, you’ll never be successful, wealthy or happy.

Adam Carolla profanely and succinctly cuts to the chase:

Pull out, get a fucking job  and stop counting on the government. We’re Americans. We don’t hope for shit, we do shit.

Walter Williams sums it up a little more genteelly:

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

Now you know the secret to getting rich.  It’s time to take control and build your perfect life.

That Small, Still Voice Inside

Meditation is a way to get in touch with your soul, your inner voice, the part of you that is most closely connected to GOD.  Being still and listening to your inner voice is how you stay connected to the spiritual and ensure that you’re on the right path.

To begin, find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit and relax; one free from distractions. Turn off the phone, TV, radio. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, but naturally. Imagine yourself in the most peaceful and soothing place you’ve ever been.  If you can’t think of a real location, make one up.

It may be the top of a mountain at sunrise or your garden in the springtime. As you form this picture of the perfect place, use all five senses to experience it.  What does it look, smell and feel like?  What can you hear and taste?

Here’s an example using my favorite place: a beach on Maui at sunset.

I’m sitting on the beach looking out over the ocean.  The sky is light blue with white clouds that look like cotton batting.  The setting sun is a bright orange ball sitting on the top of the ocean.  It looks as if it’s sinking. I hear the waves crashing against the sand, the distant voices of the surfers making one more run before it’s too dark.  As I inhale, deeply, I smell the salt of the waves and the sweetness of the tropical flowers that flourish throughout the island. The air tastes hot & moist. I dig my feet into the gritty sand, tunneling through the warmth of the surface to the cooler layers beneath.

Once you’ve created your private place, it’s time to think about the question. Ask yourself, aloud or silently, What is my purpose? What are my talents? How may I be of service?

After each question, pause and listen.  Whatever comes back to you, just take it in. Feel it, hear it, but don’t judge it.

Be silent and listen to what your inner voice is telling you.

It’s okay if you don’t understand the answers.

When you have finished your meditation, write down or use a tape recorder to note what you’ve learned.  Write or say exactly what you heard during your meditation.  It’s okay if it doesn’t make sense.

Try to do this every day for 3 days, going through the process, writing down your thoughts and feelings.  You may find that during this time, you’re also remembering dreams.  If you are, write those down too.  It also helps to write down a little bit of background on what’s happening in your real life right now.

After 3 days, go back and read through your writings. You’ll start to make connections among your notes, the dreams, and things happening in your life.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly your true passion will be revealed.  Once you know the truth, it’s up to you to take action.