You don’t win even when you win OR I got called a “classist” for insisting that actually, most people could get rid of their debt

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.
~Jim Rohn

Bulkiest post title in the history of the blog, guys.

So in a comment thread on another website, I mentioned that actually, I’d paid my loans off making about minimum wage and that most people could do it…if they really wanted to.

I got called “classist” and “class collaborator.” I got told that “not everyone has bootstraps.” I got told that it’s not possible “if you’ve ever had even one period of longer than a couple weeks on unemployment [and/or] had to pay all your own expenses.”

Nevermind that during the time I was in debt I spent two months unemployed and I received no substantial aid from any quarter.

Of course a lot of this is the Social Justice Warrior mindset. Gotta stick up for the little guys, even against other little guys. Oh, wait, I’m white, dammit, that means my opinion is invalid. Shit. But I digress. While it’s impossible to tell, given the following of this particular website, no doubt these are most likely youngish, affluent, white females. They probably have no idea what it’s like to not be able to afford a new bath towel set in the fabric and colorway they prefer, nevermind not being able to afford a bath towel, period.

But I’m the classist prick because I insist that yes, most people can pay off their debt and they don’t because they don’t want to. God forbid they give up their lattes and apparently buying a new shower curtain liner every month is mandatory for the rest of humanity. I did not realize this. I change mine when it’s gross. At no point during my comment did I say that everyone can do this. I know for a god damn fact that there are people who cannot, for various very good reasons. My comment was that most people can, and that a lot of the bitchers don’t want to give up the bitching. It’s fashionable to be in debt, and god damn there’s a post I’ve been meaning to write since the blog’s inception.

These people think they’re being socially conscious. They think they are sticking up for the little guy. They honestly feel that getting out of debt or making do is impossible. And they think this because they’ve never lived it. They’ve never been without that latte or that new shower curtain liner or the new bath towel set. They’ve never gone without and minimalism is this big crazy thing that’s completely new and fresh and it’s all about sticking it to The Man and saving the environment and looking good and organic bamboo free-range yoga pants and they forget that some of us have been practicing minimalism for completely different reasons and sometimes for a very long time. Only it’s not cool when we do it, because we look like hobo Goodwill shoplifters and not cool fashionable people who practice White Buddhism.

And if we make it, well, we’re just a fluke. It’s where you live. It’s your employment history. It’s where you went to college. It’s your parents or your significant other. If you didn’t have all that, where would you be then, so there.

No, the Social Justice Warrior has to swing down from the fucking heavens with manna and name-brand shoes. You can’t have your great American story about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The new great American story is the affluent taking pity on the lesser beings.

When do we encourage and inspire people to pull themselves up? Where do you draw the line between valid excuse and failure to take personal responsibility? When do affluent white people stop getting into other peoples’ business?

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3 Responses to “You don’t win even when you win OR I got called a “classist” for insisting that actually, most people could get rid of their debt”

  1. Edward Says:

    There’s no doubt that the luck of your birth plays a large role in how things turn out – but – I think a lot of the SJW types conflate bad luck with bad decisions. Being born a slum to crackhead parents and having debilitating medical condition? Bad luck. Racking up credit card loans to buy a shiny new consumer item. Bad decisions.

    Examples; http://imgur.com/gallery/Y6fr3

    I know a couple who are in debt up to their eyeballs. They have more than enough money coming in, but they (well, mostly him) won’t stick to their budget, because they keep conflating needs and wants.

    Now, my upbringing was a slightly luckier than theirs, but it’s really hard to over look that they have an apartment full of shiny new furniture and electronics bought on credit, and I’m still using the second hand couches that came with my apartment.

    • So much this.

      I know two guys. Both of them are Hispanic men and bilingual. One was born in the US and speaks perfect English. The other is an immigrant and speaks passable English.

      The first guy is in debt to his eyeballs and will tell you both that he’s broke and makes tons of money. He was foreclosed on and did not have a car or money for a car for the entire time I knew him.

      The second guy, the one who should, normally, be the more disenfranchised one, has a car, has a good, if not great, job, and is putting himself through college.

      I honestly see more bad decisions than I see bad luck. That could very well be just the type of people I tend to gravitate toward. But really, there’s no excuse for middle- and upper-class people to be trapped in uncontrollable debt, and I was trying to gear the original comment in that direction. I either failed in that or the SJW in question took my comment personally.

  2. Jackie Donofrio Says:

    Here’s the deal. People don’t know how to delay gratification. My grandparents knew. They came to this country just before the depression hit. It has everything to do with not getting everything you want all at once and keeping in mind that the thing you might want today might just be a passing fancy. We or people we know, have probably given into an impulse buy which we later regretted or didn’t need. That item or items may be collecting dust somewhere unused. Some people don’t know when to wit spending. You have to excercise something called self control and set goals. I was a single mom making crap for money and managed by taking care of my bills first and avoiding debt I couldn’t afford. I lived on the cheap! I shopped at garage sales, Salvation Army and hung onto every extra penny. I Made out fine! That was 30 years ago. I’m still a frugal dame.

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