December 01, 2011 825,237 views
One of the ways rich people make poor people feel better about being poor is to bombard us with songs and movies reminding us that, at the end of the day, money isn't what's really important. These stories seem to feature people who have homes and cars and food, for whom all that extra overtime at work is all about getting a second summer home in the Hamptons. "Dammit, honey, your children are more important than those material things!" OK, how many of you reading this have that problem? The, "I have so much cash in my life that my biggest problem is spending it on the wrong things" issue? Well, all of you can stop reading. For the rest of us, I'm calling bullshit on the messages like ... -------------------------------------------------
#5. "Money Can't Buy Peace of Mind!"
Ah, the simple life. If you're greedy and shortsighted enough to worry about "bills" and your "career", you'll have inspirational email forwards like this one letting you know you're letting life pass you by. That one details a conversation between a hard-driven investment banker and a poor subsistence-level Mexican fisherman. The banker is made to look like an idiot, because he's worrying himself to an early grave while the "poor" Mexican fisher man is really rich, because he knows what really matters is kicking back and watching the tide roll in. Photos.com
"Ahhhh ... the simple life of poor people. Relaxing in the grass outside of my 2 million dollar home." The lesson of the story is clear: All this hustle and bustle of the rat race is completely optional; the wise man turns all that shit off and knows that all the worry isn't worth it. In the end it can't buy you the peace of mind that those simple poor people have. But I've Been Poor, and ...
Hey, email forward writer -- did the Mexican fisherman guy have fucking teeth? When they broke or got cavities, did he have to go to a dentist? Did the dentist make him pay? How about his kids, did they have teeth? Because kicking back and watching the sun set is a little harder when you have a stabbing, constant pain in your jaw -- or when you have a toddler at home screaming about the same. Of course when I say "at home" I'm assuming that they have a home and are required to pay fucking rent. Photos.com
"Hell no! This baby's paid for in full."
See, I've lived that goddamned "simple life" and guess what: Every day of every month is mental torture because your mind is constantly fixed on A) how you're going to pay the bills and B) what you'll do about the ones that are going to be unavoidably late. That life is a constant battle of stacking your basic services like electricity, phone, gas, rent and water on a scale, and trying to figure out which one will allow you leeway on your payments without cutting you off. It's keeping track of which bills were late last month and switching off to a different one this month to avoid building up too much of a hole with any one creditor. You spend every pay period figuring out what you can physically survive without. Cable, telephone, Internet, pool boy. You learn to manipulate your checking account, using the overdraft system to pay off immediate debts and buy groceries, racking up $25 fees for every check you bounce ... which puts you further in debt on your next pay period. Photos.com
That $50 worth of groceries just cost you $75.
And you spend every second knowing you're on a tightrope with no net -- you hold your breath every time you turn the key on your shitty used vehicle, knowing you can't afford to fix it if it decides not to start. If you get sick or chip a tooth or need new glasses, you're just shit outta luck because down here in the poverty hole, you don't get fancy things like insurance, and just the tests to see what's wrong with your bad back and the follow-up visits cost every last penny you make for the next three months. The prescriptions they give...