Poverty is no excuse for being poor


From what I gather, seeing the sorts of thinking that pervades the poltical chatter, the poor are too poor to extricate themselves from poverty. And so the poor are destined to be poor forever, it seems. It is easy to arrive at this conclusion in a society that habitually blames government for their poverty.

The trouble with that thinking is that it has long been proven that not much changes at a fundamental level no matter who is in power. More importantly, most Filipinos know that. So one wonders why Filipinos still look to their government and their politics for salvation. The fact is, nobody will or can help the poor but themselves. The poor need to get their shit together. Nobody will do that for them.

Nonetheless, the rich have two ways to help the poor: (1) by sharing their surplus cash with them and (2) by investing their surplus cash on employment-generating businesses. The earlier is the more celebrated method — because Filipinos believe the rich owe them a share of their wealth (we can thank Catholic teachings for that bizarre attitude). The latter is demonised because entrepreneurs who make a profit are seen by Filipinos as exploitative oppressors. Being rich is therefore a thankless job in Philippine society.

The poor, as such, are destined to be poor under such a regime of thinking and deeply-ingrained attitudes.

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