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New Not exactly what he had in mind
This isn't an argument that poor people make bad economic decisions. Rather he is arguing that they are making decisions that are rational from their perspective.

Investing 10 dollars in the saving account would just reduce their poverty from 100% soul crushing to 99.9999995% soul crushing at some point far down the road, assuming they live long enough to collect. But winning the lottery would get them out of poverty entirely, now. Suddenly the lottery ticket idea doesn't sound so bad.

Personally, I think he has a point. But I think the idea that the poor often have a short sighted and self defeating culture is also true. Which has more impact is something I will have to think about.

New Been poor.
If you are working your ass off for subsistence, you snatch at chances for respite - any respite - when you get the chance. If you try to get ahead, most likely, any gains will be snatched from you by circumstance (health, accident, etc.) anyway, so the temptation to 'live for the moment' can be overwhelming. Especially since looking to the future can be REALLY depressing. It takes real strength, drive, stubbornness (in my case, bloody-minded anger) AND luck to escape.

When you have NO discretionary cash, and you've had what little gains you've made taken away from you repeatedly, when you live in despair - a tiny bit of luxury can keep you going.

Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait
  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
  • Even though everyone is out to get you, it doesn't matter unless you let them win.

Nothing is as simple as it seems in the beginning,
As hopeless as it seems in the middle,
Or as finished as it seems in the end.
New Exactly.
New I only had a dollar to live on till next sunday
so I spent it all on comfort for my mind
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 51 years. meep

reach me at [link|mailto:bill.oxley@cox.net|mailto:bill.oxley@cox.net]
New Driving down a highway made of snow
made of snow, made of snow....
     The poor are poor because they don't have enough money. - (Another Scott) - (7)
         Really!?! -NT - (imqwerky)
         I've been blinded by a flash of the bleeding obvious! - (warmachine) - (5)
             Not exactly what he had in mind - (JayMehaffey) - (4)
                 Been poor. - (imric) - (1)
                     Exactly. -NT - (Another Scott)
                 I only had a dollar to live on till next sunday - (boxley) - (1)
                     Driving down a highway made of snow - (jake123)

Specifically, they will not save the ship and crew, they will not win a stack of quatloos, and they will especially not get to sleep
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