Working from the moment her mom died at the age 16 til now at age 52, my mom works endlessly yet we still find ourselves struggling to make ends meet. Is this her fault or the systems? Bill O’Reilly, a conservative political commentator with his own Fox TV show, seems to think the blame is on the individual stating, “ You gotta look people in the eye and tell ‘em they’re irresponsible and lazy. And who’s gonna wanna do that? Because that’s what poverty is, ladies and gentlemen.” Irresponsible? My mom while raising five of her brothers and sisters also studied in her country’s university. She came to America and worked over 40 hours a week and we still found ourselves homeless at one point. Who exactly is to blame? The way I see it…the system is. This systematic problem that is based on capitalism is what makes sure that we start off poor and stay that way no matter what good choices we make or how hard we work or how much “responsibility” we put on ourselves.
My mom was raised and born in Nicaragua. She became responsible for her brothers and sisters at the age of 16 because of the death of her mother due to the civil war in her country. My mother took care of things around the house, sold fruits and vegetables to make some money and went to school from 1pm to 10pm returning home to continue her daily responsibilities. After a decade of this she came to America to find her “American Dream.” She was able to get her residency here and then she had my brother and I. She raised us by herself working as a beauty consultant and waitress. However, this was not enough with little income just coming from her. We were homeless for over a year. Now, my mom works over 40 hours a week and all the bills are paid just by her so we still are struggle with all of our household bills. Again I ask, does this make her irresponsible and lazy? Is her irresponsibility and laziness causing us to be a low income family? The way I see it, the system is making it so my mom has no option but to keep working hard for the rest of her life and still barely have her head above water.
Picture a pyramid, in the top of the pyramid sits the wealthiest 1% and in the bottom of the pyramid is the working class in which seems to be fighting within each other to get to that 1% the government makes us believe we can get to. So why are we not fighting the 1% to make it so that the working class gets what it has worked so hard for? Studies made by Stanford University shows, “The official poverty rate increased from 12.5 percent in 2007 to 15.0 percent in 2012, and the child poverty rate increased from 18.0 percent in 2007 to 21.8 percent in 2012. The current poverty rates for the full population and for children rank among the very worst over the 13 years since 2000 (i.e., both are ranked 11th). “ Why is it that our children are paying for the greed this 1% percent has? What good is it that we teach our children to strive for more and fight to make it big when our system is putting obstacles before us so we don’t make it there? There is much to this system that we are choosing to be ignorant of.
I believe in personal responsibility and good choices, however, I do not believe that our society should be set up so that a system controls a person’s success. The constant limitations and obstacles the system puts so that the working class stays working shows that a change has to be made in order to better this country. Though some are in disagreement and that it all falls into the individuals shoulders, the reality is that the working class has to fight back to make a beneficial government.