What are some things that wealthy/privileged people believe about the working-class/poor that are untrue?

Updated Jun 29, 2019

Many misconceptions don’t just come from wealthy people, but also from those with middle class backgrounds. It can also come from individuals who are themselves doing low-wage jobs, or even who are unemployed, but who have middle-class parents.

  • Everybody can afford to live in a decent/nice house or apartment, in a decent/nice neighbourhood. So, people living in low-rent/high-crime neighbourhoods are choosing to be there because they are scumbags who enjoy the atmosphere.
  • Everybody can call The Bank Of Mommy And Daddy to make a withdrawal, any time they are short on cash.
  • Everybody can move back in with Mommy and Daddy, who live in a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood.
  • Women with breadwinning husbands may assume that everybody has one.
  • All geographic areas have the same level of economic opportunity. This relates to the attitude that, everyone should live in one town for their entire life, and that, there couldn’t possibly be any legitimate reason to move. I have been chronically treated like I did something stupid and morally wrong because I moved to a large city as a young adult, and refused to stay stuck in the impoverished, backwards rural town where my mother chose to live.
  • Everybody has the same educational opportunities. Including being supported by parents, to enable university, rather than having to work full-time.
  • Some people get negative attitudes towards a poor person who pursues higher education as a “mature” student. As if she were obligated to just accept a low-education/low-income life. The people showing this attitude run the whole economic spectrum.
  • Severe ignorance about the difficulties of a university student with a low income and zero family support system. This can include affluent students generally screwing around (talking loudly in class, etc), and failing to respect that a poor student is sacrificing and taking education seriously (e.g. she is personally paying for it, and also that it’s her path out of poverty).
  • Everybody can demand that an employer must assign them to a job in a nice, polite, clean, air-conditioned office, sitting down all day.
  • Everybody can demand that an employer pay them enough to live comfortably.
  • Everybody can limit themselves to working 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, with a fixed 9–5 schedule and fixed hourly wage. Severe ignorance of issues like commission/piecework, unstable (including casual) shift rostering, early/late/night shifts, working overtime, etc. I have even encountered open hostility over this. In my experience, that is a specifically female reaction.
  • Intelligence and economic class are automatically correlated. Severe cognitive dissonance at encountering someone who is intelligent, articulate, well-read, etc, and who is employed at a low-paying/low-skill/low-status job.
  • Severe ignorance of the issues that poor people may have in taking care of their health. Including such things as telling someone that they are stupid if they don’t have medical insurance.
  • Severe ignorance of daily issues like using public transportation, which can take large amounts of time and hassle.
  • Severe ignorance of the levels of violence, drugs, and other crime encountered by poor people in the environments where they live and work.
  • Severe ignorance about why a working-poor person seems to stressed-out all the time. Stemming from severe ignorance of how that person may be “hanging by a thread” financially, with a real possibility of becoming homeless.
  • Severe ignorance of the general social dysfunction among poor people. Including the types of people surrounding you when you are poor. This includes severe ignorance of the way that, an employed working poor person will be targeted by parasitic/exploitative non-working poor people.
  • Speaking of exploitation, I once knew an alleged adult with coddling upper-middle-class parents who thought she was entitled to go around leeching off of working poor people. With the delusion that, anyone with any job has large quantities of money to fork over. Her father even expected me to let his out-of-control abusive brat live in my home, rent-free.
  • Severe lack of comprehension that, a working poor person may be justified in having a very cynical view of humanity in general.

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