The Glamorization of the Poor

An Inquirer article regarding a certain bishop’s statement raised again the issue of poverty as a problem in the Philippines. Bishop Garcera of Daet is quoted to have said “poverty is not a problem.” But whether he said it or not, and no matter who says it, I still maintain that poverty will always be one of the core problems of the country, and no looking from a different angle will de-problematize it. However, this issue reveals that some Filipinos still have wrong attitudes about poverty. Something seems to be dressing up the condition of poverty as something attractive, or as something “good,” despite reality saying otherwise.

For some, it could mean, "I love squatters to stay as squatters (photo from Zazzle.com)."
For some, it could mean, “I love squatters to stay as squatters (photo from Zazzle.com).”
Benign0 raised again the question of why many Filipinos remain in poverty. My answer tries to partially explain it: I believe that there has been a glamorization of the poor that not only spreads wrong ideas about them, but actually serves as a way to keep people poor and suffering.

Why Poverty is a Problem

Poverty basically is a problem because it brings people into harmful conditions. People in poverty have greater health risks. Some of them eat pagpag, which is dirty and is germ-filled. They are less likely to finish or even go to school. They tend to have less intellectualism, which would make their lives less meaningful and more prone to stupid actions. Poverty is also quite related to higher crime; poor people tend to get into criminal activities to support themselves. They also tend to have more children than they can support (which proponents of the RH Law say the law will solve, but it remains to be seen whether it will be effective in that).

I think it is obvious that poverty is actually a harmful thing. Why encourage people to get into it or stay in it?

Saying that poverty is not a problem can be used as an excuse for the poor to stay poor – and keep them in situations of high risk. Some may say, since poverty is not a problem anyway, why help the poor? And another fear I have is that this has been used to demonize the rich, or even just the middle-class. It’s better to be poor. Poor is good, being rich or may-kaya is bad. The poor themselves may say, we’re more saintly when we’re poor, so why bring us out of poverty?

As commenter Midwayhaven said, “a lot of the poor CHOOSE to remain poor mainly due to the ‘victim’ mindset.”

Images of the Poor

Philippine TV shows and movies often show this: poor=good, rich=evil. This is clearly wrong. Even poor people commit crimes and can themselves be corrupt. And when they get into a position of power, they are likely to become corrupt themselves. Professional squatters are a good example.

Some are trying to make the poor into “heroes.” This is yet another attempt at muddling the concept of “hero.” Probably the concept is that heroes suffers, and the poor suffer. But in truth, heroes do not necessarily suffer. Heroes are those who try to help others. They may suffer, but it is because they are trying to help others. Now the poor are mostly trying to help themselves, not others. How can they even become heroes when they’re the ones asking help for themselves!

Some people believe it's better for people to be happy in poverty...
Some people believe it’s better for people to be happy in poverty…
Another image is that the poor are saints. Not just heroes; even the concept of sainthood is muddled. This is perhaps because of the common misuse of Bible verse which is part of the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor,” or “blessed are the poor in spirit.” People may think that this makes the poor blameless and holy. Not so. It only shows that God looks with mercy upon the disadvantaged, but it does not absolve the poor of their wrongs.

In addition, another Bible verse says non-working poor are doing wrong: “he who does not work, let him not eat (2 Thes. 3:10).” Some, like Vladmir Lenin, have used this to attack the bourgesioe, assuming that they do not work. However, this verse equally attacks the poor – that if they are poor, but refuse to work and want to receive dole-outs, they should expect to get hungry as a return.

Rooting for the Underdog

One of the things I consider an often misused and abused concept is rooting for the underdog. This is a concept often used in modern fiction. In this country, the underdog concept has been misused as to propagate a harmful and erroneous ideal.

In society, the poor is often portrayed as the underdog. The movies often portray them as abused, downtrodden, and persecuted. But one thing I notice is that the underdogs are often portrayed as lacking intelligence, unskilled, ill-mannered and poor in breeding. The movies often play this up and try to make them look good. But this has a bad effect. It may teach other people to favor being unintelligent, ill-mannered and unskilled. And it will likely make them incompetent, lazy, pretentious and just plain useless in life.

Problem is, even incompetent and corrupt underdogs will be glorified (remember the 70s movies featuring criminals?). The overdog (my word for the competent) is often demonized, thus making it less attractive to become one. I believe the overdog is what people should evolve into when they overcome their weaknesses, because they have become stronger, more competent. Media should play up the overdog. Or at least stop portraying the underdog as the hero.

“Nagpapakapoor”

The glamorization of the poor is such that it may invite others to become poor. This can be seen in some families where some members decide that they like the poor life better and go with poor people who are also poor in living life. For example, some children eschew parents’ advice and go out with an ill-mannered, poorly educated brute, only to regret years later the choice made. They may start out rich or middle-class, but can end up poor. This can be explained as rich or supposedly well-bred people being pulled down to the level of the poor – so that they can be poor themselves. This has been portrayed in TV shows as well.

Because it looks good to be poor in this country, it may have eliminated the desire of some people to solve their poverty through their own effort. As Midwayhaven and many others have said, these people will deliberately become poor and use the “pity effect” to ask for dole-outs from others – and from the government. Indeed, there are people who are “nagpapakapoor” in order to elicit dole outs.

But for most, poverty will definitely wipe the smile off their faces...
But for most, poverty will definitely wipe the smile off their faces…
Perhaps my observation may have been exaggerated and somewhat simplistic. But I am certain such cases exist. It does not always need the rich to do anything to “oppress” the poor; the poor sometimes keep themselves poor. Sometimes they know it, sometimes they do not.

Of course, being poor does not make a person condemnable. But it is a an undesirable state, and it certainly harmful to those undergoing it. It is a condition that needs to be solved – not maintained or exploited. Or liked. Wanting to become poor can be seen as irresponsible, and it can help propagate social ills.

And another thing is that the poor are being exploited. We hear of politicians who win elections because they get the popular or the masa vote, which we may surmise is full of poor people. They proclaim this power as the “power of the poor.” But I doubt this power exists. The poor have no power. It’s only the masa politician who feeds on their votes to stay in office and keep them poor, while fooling them that they have “power.”

Don’t forget leaders in insurgent organizations (yes, the commies) who profess to be champions of the poor, but are actually rich people themselves. They are also riding on the supposed “power of the poor,” which is actually “power to fool the poor.”

We need to challenge the very hyped image of the poor as “good,” and dissociate the concepts of “good-bad” from “rich-poor.” We need to help educate the poor and point out the error of their ways – and expose how they are being used. To help bring them out of wrong thinking and show them the right ways to think and act.

Why it is better to be “Anti-Poor”

I have my own definition for “Anti-poor”: believing that there should be no poor in society and that everyone should be free of poverty. Being “Pro-poor” thus is being in favor of having the poor around, and going against their getting out of poverty.

In other words, every society should gun for eliminating the poor. No, I don’t mean using a gun to eliminate the poor. Eliminate poverty by giving people jobs and allow them to work and earn enough for their own living. This is where I partly agree with Bishop Garcera: “When you help poor people they help themselves too… Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living” (though I’m not really sure everyone will want to).

It is wrong to glamorize the poor. It may encourage them to take upon commitments that they are unable to keep. The poor are not heroes. Poor is poor. It is nothing special, nor does it make people good. There is no assurance that poverty will lead to people becoming good and responsible. In fact, the opposite may mostly be true, making poverty is a severe social cancer.

Thus, propagating poverty and de-problemizing will only serve to deepen the social ills of the country and further cut down an important institution in any society: the middle class.

Opposition needs to be fronted against glamorization of the poor, or against telling the poor that it is OK for them to stay poor. Because it never is OK. And because glamour after all is based on that dreaded demon called pride. When people are poor, it would become even worse if their heads swelled. Instead, Filipinos should seek to develop wealth-building attitudes, the proper kind, which focus on proper stewardship of wealth, and considering it a friend and not an evil. Of course, encourage values such as living within one’s means, and not following the popular mindset. And of course, encouraging people to strive to be non-poor.

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

122 Comments on “The Glamorization of the Poor”

  1. We can discuss endlessly everything about the poor and why they are mired in poverty but the fact is that poverty is now a widespread problem in the country and is crying desperately for solution. Why not focus more on how to remedy the problem? Giving doleouts to the poor, for example is a stopgap and wrong solution and will only stave off hunger for a while. Neither will population control fill the bellies of the starving. Did Franklin Roosevelt advocate family planning to lift the U.S from the depths of the depression in the 1930s? What his government did was to launch numerous programs which gave jobs to millions of hungry americans.

    1. I concede that the Philippines is a former US colony but it’s not a good comparison when discussing culture. The cultures of the two countries are very dissimilar. Having lived in both countries I have serious doubts that a Depression Era jobs program would get to the source of the problem.

      1. that is a ludicrous statement.a PAYING JOBS program is what is needed.the new hotel in cdo,masquerading as a mall and condo tower,was built with ‘trainee’ labor.the guys who built the place were not even paid,but hired to do two months of work and then MAYBE get hired.1 out of 100 got a paying job.with the way the corruption is rampaging in the country it must be snuffed out,but the people are not even upset(like the frog thrown into a slowly boiling pot of water,he does not know when to jump up and do something til it is too late) and shit like that happens every where from nursing to call center jobs and everything in between.so PAYING JOBS would be a great benefit.
        and btw the cultures are almost identitical.filipino’s copy everything that comes out of the West,especially the states.

        1. That is not exactly correct. The Great Depression and the New Deal created a lot of useful things — Social Security for one and the Securities and Exchange Commission. And a number of other social services. And yes, the New Deal did put the country to work at a time when people needed employment.

          It also raised the US debt. And incurred new TAXES. All of which went to PAY for the COST of the New Deal. Production went to the massive WAR effort; it did not go into actual economic growth.

          Economic liberalization in the 1950′s after the Marshall Plan was implemented was what shaped Germany’s (and Europe’s) economic future. Under Truman, the US Congress dropped price controls, instituted deregulation and slashed taxes to create near full employment. This is what created the actual economic boom — AFTER World War II and the New Deal.

          This is where we need to be. The Philippines (government) needs to foster an environment that allows business, innovation and entrepreneurship to grow. Not constantly manipulating economic policy. We’ve been doing that for 40 years and look where its gotten us.

        2. Well Johnny, adding to what I stated is good,but what I said was ‘spot on’ correct. the Philippines is progressive yet retarded in so many ways(acceptance of ‘she-boys’ yet no divorce laws,WTF?).It goes without saying that paying jobs create a tax base,but the fact is,in a rampant corruption riddled country,it stands NO CHANCE of progressing beyond banana republic status until the corruption is stopped.There is only one way to stop UNLESS the current admin. actually starts taking some of the corrupt as shit public servants out of their offices in hand-cuffs and actually slappin their-asses in a forced labor camp to show the rest of them to renounce their ways…or else! BUT it is not going to happen.Robredo was the only straight shooter in the entire gov’t. and look where he ended uo,u kno? No one is willing to make a stand, to really do something to effect a change.
          So say hello to the gutter, if you are not one of the corrupt. Being nice and Democratic, the park bench, if you are lucky, is where that will get you!

  2. you could have just said they tend to have less intellect, wtf do you mean they have less “intellectuality”? and it just went downhill from there. stop glamorizing wrong grammar please

        1. It’s called Argumentum ad Hominem, or he’s just a Grammar Nazi who fails to see the depth of the message. If he sees the depth of the message, then he’s just turning a blind eye on it and indirectly disagreeing with the author’s post.

      1. The girl is right on not generalizing all poor people.

        But girl, even press conferences and big-time essay competitions do not mind wrong grammar. Grammar is for proof-readers, not writers like ChinoF

    1. wrong grammar? i beg your pardon but the right term for that is “grammatically incorrect”. you could have said “stop glamorizing incorrect grammar “. anyway, setting grammar aside, the author could make mistakes in his article as proofreading is a tough job. but then again, why not focus on the gist of the topic? you could keep the comment to yourself. anyhow, i agree with the writer here about his observation of the poor people and the mentality behind “being poor “…

    2. Anyway, ChinoF “Perhaps my observation may have been exaggerated and somewhat simplistic. But I am certain such cases exist.”

      Was that what you want to see, girl?

    1. Wow. Coming from a person who implies that Get Real Philippines is elitist, you sure deprive yourself of any human reasoning with that comment.

      1. @ MidwayHaven

        Did you say elitist? I think you guys need to slap yourselves and wake up.

        To understand why “poverty” seems to be the central theme of GRP, one has to examine their comments because these are not accidental or a choice but a direct consequence of what the blogger, GRP and its people represents and where they came from in the past. They are revisiting poverty and telling the world that somehow they have conquered it.

        There is a saying in law enforcement that criminals do get caught because they always revisit the scene of the crime. It is not bad to revisit poverty but demeaning those who are suffering now is heartless.

        1. Nobody here is demeaning the poor.

          You most likely misread the point of this article and the comments that follow it. Poverty is a chronic illness in the Philippines because many of the poor do not WANT to escape poverty, preferring to be given handouts and complaining that what’s being given to them is not enough. No one here is saying that the poor are stupid.

          As for the “elitist” implication, perhaps you didn’t quite understand who and/or what I’m referring to.

    2. Yep, you DEFINITELY contradict yourself with this sarcastic remark:


      sendonggirl says:
      January 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm
      cant hardly wait. so we can bash poor people and pat each other on the back again

    3. the poor tend to get the lowly jobs because their educational attainment do not warrant them working a white-collared job. HOWEVER, do you not notice that being a janitor is a job too? people, no matter what state of life they’re in, had to fulfill certain task in this society. i wonder why it never even occured to you. or that you are just too engrossed in your caste that you really had to imply that because one is poor, he MUST be a janitor…that’s too prejudicial on your part.

    4. The total illogic of sendonggirl’s comment is so obvious.

      So if people were all rich or can-afford, no one would be a janitor? I don’t think so.

      Predator and prey in human relations? Totally stupid.

        1. That’s your choice, and I don’t care what you do if you’re a millionaire; I doubt anyone else here does, too.

          Are janitors necessarily poor?

          Isn’t that what they call…stereotyping?

          What’s the basis of saying janitor necessarily equals poor?

        2. So you see, people, sendonggirl wants janitors to be poor. So if there’s a janitor who’s earning enough, say those in Singapore, she (or whatever it is) might say that it’s not real.

    1. @sendonggirl

      so you will volunteer as a rich janitor midway? is that it?

      For me, yup, no problem. I know people who got rich with their janitorial services and continue to run their business hands-on. It’s just business–that’s all there is to it.

      Iba dyan presidente na, pero mga KKK at kapartido lang mas nakikinabang talaga sa kanya (at the expense of political enemies he demonizes with the help of the media)–Walang silbi! Buti pa simpleng janitor. Tunay yung integridad. Serbisyo sa lahat with genuine equal opportunity!

      You there simply have to let go of your tendency to stereotype.

      1. yes you’re right but the discussion was more about who will take the janitor jobs if we are all rich hehe like will you work as a janitor if you’re already rich. i believe there will always be poor just as there will always be weaklings/prey in nature

        1. Is the predator-prey relationship right to use in human relations? Isn’t it wrong? It is. But then again, I guess that comment was really dumb anyway.

        2. @sendonggirl

          Predator-prey? Hmmm…let me guess. Are you an apex-predator or a cannibal? Are you a lecher? Are you into sexual harassment? Are you a rapist? Are you a criminal? Are you an animal? What?

        3. I’d say you are more of a mewling quim than a “predator”.
          You just keep getting dumber and dumber. You clearly underestimate us too much.

        4. My father raised me well but you claim to be a woman? Don’t make me laugh TROLL. What a coward, do you really think that we would go easy on you even if you are a woman?

        5. the use of the primeval expression “mewling quim” which roughly means whimpering vagina is very offensive to women such as your mother if you had one. but never mind, if you’re a misogynist that’s your business

        6. @sendong”girl”
          The question still remains… Are you a real woman or just a stupid TROLL pretending to be one?

        7. Please. Being a Aquino worshiper doesn’t make you really smart.

          So much for the “i am a predator of pseudo intellectuals who are grammatically incorrect” nonsense. You just want to attack people, not the message. In any case, being LOGICALLY INCORRECT is a better fit for you.

  3. I know of a janitor who is a retired CPA. He’s a janitor part time because the hospital he works for gives him health care benefits. If there are economic benefits to being a janitor someone’s going to take the job.

  4. Don’t forget that with the glamorization of the poor, comes the media-saturated acts of “charity”. How often do we see ads that feature “bunutan/dropbox” promos, lotteries or “scratch-it-to-win-it” cards that are so widespread in the most basic of consumer goods?

    More so, how often do we come across a TV program that suddenly helps some random street vendor in an instant rags-to-riches glory just because that person, despite being relatively poor, is living an “honest” life and is doing his job “properly” in the service of other people?

    Or how about the plethora of populist crusaders in the media industry who are fighting for the supposed rights of some poor fellow because that person is being abused by a higher authority?

    This issue is indeed so complex, that you could even compare it to that famous “chicken-egg” question.

  5. There is a difference between voluntary poverty and involuntary poverty. Voluntary poverty means detachment from material attachments. It is the necessary poverty. Voluntary poverty ultimately enriches. You are the master of your wealth instead of its slave. Involuntary poverty ultimately impoverishes. You are the slave of your wealth instead of its master. It is unnecessary poverty. From a psychological standpoint, the “pagpapakamartir” may be a form of ego tripping. The “martir” gets to feel some sense of moral justification. Somehow, the “martir” feels that the world owes her/him for the suffering s/he endures. Sense of entitlement tends to develop in either the extremely spoiled or the extremely deprived.

      1. Oh, is that it? now that mikemac mentioned it, it is very true. and yes, kodus to your topic. i had fun reading it. not only was i enlightened, but it gave me a back up reason for argument as to why the poor had to be constantly helped when they cannot even help themselves. your topic transcends countries. im here in the us, but then, the matter that the poor should get more help is just plain stupidity. i abhor it so much that people on welfare always get free things, yet us working class get to pay higher taxes. i got into an argument with a colleague because he asked me how we should help the poor . he said the welfare is a way of helping the poor. i told him it is not good to always give fish to the poor ; they must learn how to fish. there will be no poverty if the poor help themselves, just like how our grandparents lived post world war 2….btw, i am not pro.poor…i just hate it when the poor tend to be mediocres and not help themselves. i can appreciate one, who, though living in povert, manages to live beyond his pathetic state and strive to work and study.

        1. Isn’t it interesting how the immigrants to the US manage to take care of themselves while those born into poverty in the US stay in poverty and/or expect welfare?

        2. We may put it this way.

          According to mike –

          “Voluntary poverty means detachment from material attachments. It is the necessary poverty. Voluntary poverty ultimately enriches. You are the master of your wealth instead of its slave.”

          In my interpretation, though I’m not impoverished, you will not accept wealth from immoral way. Once you did that, spiritually, you are rich.

          The thing I don’t agree with him is “pagkamartir”.

          Once somebody has a conviction, being a martyr is not on the table.

      2. “Pakamartir” is something I consider wrong because it’s only a showing off, often false, to get something in return. Why boast that you’re suffering or being “oppressed,” if you don’t have another motive behind it? Even if the person is really in trouble, “pakamartir” has a sense of being vain about it. And being vain is often something bad.

  6. The good Bishop from Daet; did not study his Scriptures in his Christian Bible. Jesus Christ stated: ” The poor will always be with you.” Maybe the good Bishop is blind, because he lives in his Bishop Palace. The Politicians are the root causes of poverty in the Philippines. Poor people are desperate people. In time of elections; desperate people will cling to any deceptions, to get out of their desperation. The Politicians comes campaigning, with promises. Swallowed by these people: hook, line and sinker. So poverty will always be glamorized by politicians, for them to remain in power.and to get rich by Pork Barrel Funds…

  7. I have heard that growing up in poverty would make a person more… humble and someone who knows how to improvise. I’ve heard people say “Ang mga laki sa hirap, masisipag.” They believe that so that might be one of the reasons why being poor is is being glamorize. Being poor does have it’s advantages by being low maintenance, knowing how to survive.

    1. This is somewhat true. But not true for all. Some, when they’ve been given a break out of poverty, tend to splurge… and end up back on square one. For example, the lotto winners. Not all know what to do with lots of money when they get it.

  8. Mathew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” -kaya kuntento na ang mga mahihirap sa pagiging mahirap dahil sa langit ang bagsak nila. aba e kung ganito mentalidad ng mahihirap, wala na talaga tayong pagasa

  9. This time, the blogger new claim is –

    “But whether he said it or not, and no matter who says it, I still maintain that poverty will always be one of the CORE problems of the country, and no looking from a different angle will de-problematize it”

    His previous claim was poverty will always be a problem, no matter how anyone sees it.

    Which is which?

    BTW, I might be wrong, but I still haven’t read his definition of his poverty.

    IMO:

    Some will say it’s over-population which results to poverty (A myth, it’s misgovernance).

    Some will say it’s the education or the access to education. (I don’t have the data, but considerable numbers of educated people in the Philippines are jobless).

    Some will say laziness and mental conditioning (mediocrity).

    Etc.

    The facts:

    They are in poverty because they can’t find a stable job or there is no available jobs to at least support their daily needs.

    Though they’re lots of people who have gone from poverty to being affluent, there are lots also who have also gone from being affluent to poverty.

    Poverty is prevalent in Philippines but there is no evident hunger widespread and abnormally high crime rate that can be attributed from it.

    Etc.

    Bottom line:

    As he claimed –

    “I still maintain that poverty will always be one of the CORE problems of the country, and no looking from a different angle will de-problematize it”

    Your above claim is again a BS if you’re talking about the core problem.

    Learn to stratify.

    It’s always easy to oversimplify just like the case he is putting up.

    What triggers poverty?

    Causality. To those who really can analyze a situation.

    And you might get your solution.

    Lip service is a nice term.

    1. This article was never meant to explain the cause of poverty. I only tried to explain one reason why it stays in this country, and that reason is wrong ideas and beliefs.

      1. ChinoF

        This is a part of your ost –

        “I still maintain that poverty will always be one of the core problems of the country, and no looking from a different angle will de-problematize it.”

        De-problematize it and yet you don’t want to discuss the causality?

        Anyway, not a bad subterfuge.

  10. Well, there are cases of poor being a choice for some but I am not generalizing it for all.

    To put it simply, if no one was poor then no one is rich. If such a society existed then there is no reason to create/run a business as everyone is pretty much equal. The boss, employee and customer all earn equally the same amount regardless of labor put forth. As such, there is no incentive to even work harder, innovate etc etc.

    It is an ideal utopian society like that of StarTrek where I recall no one is technically paid to do their job but is only expected to do their job because it is their responsibility.

    Think about it from a round about manner. If everyone was not in poverty, who would be expected to be a factory worker/operator? It would just be demoralizing for that person to engage in that job as that society may tend to view him as inept in higher position. Or he could be viewed simply as slacking off from his true potential by choosing to do the physical work instead of the intellectual work. Take your pick.

    Poverty will always exist, it is caused by the existence of money. Take money out, no one is poor in the general sense of the word.

    My two cents.

    1. “Poverty will always exist, it is caused by the existence of money. Take money out, no one is poor in the general sense of the word.”

      Have you consider those affluent losing every thing to gambling?

      Even without involving money.

      1. Well, the case of rich losing on gambling/vices in general (like drugs, women/men, alcohol etc etc) is not necessary for society to exist anyway.

        As such, in a society without the existence of money or something of similar nature would not actually allow for such an activity such as gambling to exist. There is no benefit. Everyone in that society earns the same, that goes for “businesses” as well. So the boss of the supposed gambling in that society would never be richer than the nutjob supposedly waging his whole life savings (which doesn’t exist by the way). It doesn’t work in that scenario.

        You can only, in theory, bet your life but you have nothing to gain I guess since there is no perk to winning. That is point I am trying to make.

        Without money or “riches”, there is nothing that could be gained from any endeavor. But in that scenario, no one is poor and everyone’s social standing is equal.

        1. @sphinx

          Lets unpack your comment –

          “Well, the case of rich losing on gambling/vices in general (like drugs, women/men, alcohol etc etc) is not necessary for society to exist anyway.”

          Utopia?

          Other than that, I can’t comprehend you.

        2. @trosp

          Yes, that is what I am saying. The only way poverty will not exist is in a “utopian society” which will never come to pass as that basically removes a reward system in place for improvement/work by salaries, bonuses, incomes etc etc.

          It is connected to my first comment which is if you remove money/riches/the concept of it from society, that poverty will not exist.

          As long as you retain the idea of earning more/having more over someone else, then poverty will exist because there will be an imbalance in possessions/what he owns/has. Someone will always have more than you in that regard. B has more than A and C has more than B. So on and so forth.

        3. @sphynx

          According to you –

          “Well, the case of rich losing on gambling/vices in general (like drugs, women/men, alcohol etc etc) is not necessary for society to exist anyway.”

          How could I have an interesting argument with you if that is your point?

          “…is not necessary?”

          You again oversimplify it.

        4. @Trosp

          I am not oversimplifying things because that looks to be how it will turn out should money/riches not exist.

          Take into context/account my example of that utopian society where money does not exist, the Star Trek universe. It is the only “concept” of a society that I can envision wherein there is no poverty but there is also nothing to gain.

          Again, with the issue of gambling, it can’t exist in that society because you can not gain more than everyone else, nor can you have less than everyone else in the end. Hence, gambling would be removed in that society. I am not saying any other society, but just that society specifically.

          If you want to bring the discussion over to a different society, then by all means.

          If you want to refute that gambling will be able to exist in a society where money/richly gains do not exist then by all means, do so and I will see whether or not in my opinion it could based on your explanation.

          Hope that gives you a jumping off point to further the discussion if that is what you want.

          My simple point still stands that poverty will always exist with the existence of money/riches. If there is someone rich, then there is someone who is poor or “less rich” if you want to phrase it that way. But everyone can’t all be equally rich in that society.

          Cheers!

        5. “Well, the case of rich losing on gambling/vices in general (like drugs, women/men, alcohol etc etc) is not necessary for society to exist anyway.”

          It’s not mine. It’s yours.

        6. @Trosp

          Yes, I made that statement but that should be kept in context with the rest of what I said and the society which it should “theoretically exist with” based on what I originally said then you commented on. Right?

          If you just wanted a reply of how about rich getting poor because of gambling well then, my answer to just that (excluding any information which you could have replied on from my original comment) would just be, that is their problem because they chose to gamble it away. Would they generally be poor by then? I can’t really say. In other countries, they allow you to file for bankruptcy and relatives are not obligated to technically pay for your debts.

          Anyway, I don’t even know where you wanted to go with this nitpicking of my comment but hey, whatever floats your boat I guess.

          Cheers!

        7. @Trsop

          And if in case you are wondering why I put in the words is not necessary (in a utopian society) is because I believe utopian societies would rid excess and wasteful actions/inactions in its existence which affects gambling and vices altogether. I just didn’t add the statement “in a utopian society” because I thought that was already implied from my original comment.

          But to go about it differently, is it necessary for society to exist? Just to at least get the ball rolling?

          Before you do start answering though, I would like to frame my concept of gambling. Poker, Bacarrat, slot machines and the like are all just games/forms of entertainment. It only becomes gambling when money is involved. So there you go. We have a starting point of a new discussion since it appears you weren’t trying to dissect the idea of a utopian society without poverty/money.

    2. For me poverty exists not really because of money, but because of the wrongdoings of man. Money itself just symbolizes the material needs of man. It’s like, many citizens have gold, but the pharaoh decided to hoard all the crops and food, and not give them any. Thus, the citizens starve. That’s poverty for me.

      1. Very good point! Poverty is also a circumstance if you ask me. My history professor told me about communism’s stance on ‘defending the rights of the poor’ is also flawed. Because of one question: Why are you suffering in poverty?

  11. I am not an expert in the field of poverty. But to get everyone out of poverty and make those a member of the middle class (or higher classes) is something you really can forget. Its simply impossible. A person is good in using his mental skills, another person is good at using his hands, others just want to have a simple job (from 9 till 5) without any hazzles, and there are poeple who simply dont want to work at all and will get their monthly benefit from the government (dole outs). We are not all the same, we are not equal. One will motivate/stimulate himself to rise to the occassion to escape from his situation (poverty), others will not be.

    Governments can provide all kinds of opportunities for the deprived to move up one “class” but if they dont want to grab that opportunity then it wont work.
    One should only come to one conclusion and ask her/himself: Do I want to live this way the rest of my life, or not?
    Not everyone dares to ask himself that question.

    Third World: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World
    Poverty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty

    1. I know what you mean, though I still believe it is a goal that is the best target. You know, sort of like knowing that you’re not likely to hit the bullseye square on, but you still aim for it.

    2. Utopian ideals aside; the best we can hope for is a society that values the freedom and opportunity to live your life the way you choose as long as you’re not violating the rights of others. That is about the extent of the “bull’s eye” we can aim for. Unfortunately, that is far from what we have especially now in a world that is increasingly becoming a cult of entitlement rather than a society of production and contribution.

      1. T4Man,

        Striving for the best, dont hurt anyone. Even if others will call that selfish(ness).

        Although I do get the drift of the author of this article/Blog. I think the problem lies deeper, much deeper than that. I actually do think its much easier to make a pinoy a world class soccer player than to get rid of overall poverty in the Philippines. Similar to changing aspects of the Philippine culture. Some things are so imprinted in society its hard to kick the habit. And thats why I think it will take centuries (literally) to make just only a few changes for the better.

        And I only say this by observing, listening, watching and talking with pinoys and pinays every time I visit Cebu.

    1. Hmm.. So if I have parents and 2 brothers while person B has 5 brothers and 2 sisters with his parents intact then he is in fact richer than me?

      Actually the claim of being rich in family/health is just to soothe the pain of realization that someone else is better off than you. No being materialistic here but just stating facts.

      It is like saying “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” to console yourself of the fact that you are heartbroken at that certain/specific point in time when you made that statement.

      It is good to have family, I never said it wasn’t.

      You just trying to induce a spin on the topic/discussion wherein there is no merit to your comment. Will that solve poverty? Hmm?

      1. it means having a great relationship with your family. sometimes you sacrifice family and health in wanting to be rich, because grp said you have to be rich to have value as a person

        1. Really? Did it say you had to be rich to have value? Please grab it from the GRP article and/or link it so I can at least sift through it at least.

        1. What a letdown. “She” is no different from the retarded malacanang shmucks that used to troll here with no success. Can’t even read the blog. The troll keeps insisting that “she” is a woman but “she” can’t even win ONE argument.

  12. The weird thing is, the pinoy poor love the idea of rich people. They will not necessarily strive to be rich themselves. They’re content with watching the rich people’s conspicuous consumption and are thrilled with that perhaps they would be thrown a bone or two every now and then.

    Ask them to complete the sentence ‘billboard ako Kay…’ They will not likely mention Mother Teresa for her good heart.

    1. From internet – no author quoted

      “If everyone was a Clever-Thief there would be no profit in stealing.

      Stupidity is essential. Not everyone can be rich because “wealth” depends upon the legal-theft associated with unfair transactions.

      Unfairness is essential… Mass stupidity creates rich-lifestyles for THE ELITE … Intelligence determines if one human or another rises to the top. Some humans are born into privileged circumstances and some humans become wealthy due to pure luck, but intelligence is the always the overall determining factor for being rich.

      Throughout history intelligent people have gradually created a civilisation that makes life easier for intelligent people. Intelligent people have nurtured mass stupidity.

      Stupidity for the majority of people was
      deemed an asset to be encouraged. Widespread stupidity now ensures success for rich people. Stupidity ensures ABSENT OBJECTIONS regarding monetary inequality.

      Capitalism is designed to suppress intelligence for the majority of people. Why do poor people meekly accept their subservient positions slaving to support rich people?

      Poor people accept the unfairness of capitalism because they are stupid. Intelligent people who rise to the top realise their continued success depends upon mass human stupidity.

      Society is therefore designed to promote and encourage stupidity for the majority of humans. Intelligent people rise to lofty heights where they control the social system. Intelligent controllers encourage dumb, bovine, unquestioning mentalities for the majority of people.

      This is why people accept unfairness. Simple logistics decree the majority of the population must be poor and stupid.”

      1. Marxist style ideology? I don’t agree with this. It’s true that some people do better in life than others, but it can be done at a level where everyone can still have enough. I consider Singapore an example of this.

        1. “It’s true that some people do better in life than others, but it can be done at a level where everyone can still have enough. I consider Singapore an example of this.”

          So you’re telling us that that in Singapore some people do better in life than others, but they do it at a level where everyone can still have enough.

          Seriously?

        2. Yes, that’s my idea of Singapore after visiting it in 2010. And I think it’s possible elsewhere. Sweden, Switzerland, maybe?

      2. I give you the merit of your objections and yes most of the ones in power is in a way, doing it in a subtle manner. I think you have read 1984 and got the idea on that.

        Yet I do know something that can we say, “offset” this problem but it will be too peculiar to apply and it will be most likely not accepted but to making it as the a MUST is NOT TRUE. I have searched out that the Nordic countries were able to somehow reduce inequality substantially and its population is both educated and financially well-off.(except for some deliberate idiots who in a way deserve what they got)

  13. I agree with you ChinoF my friend, being poor and stay poor will prevent society from progressing in fact that I’m very sad that the poor themselves are fatalistic.

    So how are you sir? Long Time No See!

      1. I’m glad that you’re fine and doing something productive.

        As for myself, I also focusing on new things as well to make myself more productive and competitive not to mention that I will take online courses from coursera.org, I’ve decided to be an Analyst.

        This world right now is more competitive than it was in the past, I wondered if our country will ever stand up on its own…

  14. I have to clarify things, though. 🙂

    Personally I have no faith in “trickle-down economics,” the main belief (especially in certain red states in the US) that as people get richer their wealth eventually “trickles down” to the poor. This concept is uncharitable and ultimately inhuman.

    Neither however do I believe in the “woe-is-me” mentality of many urban poor, especially in the Philippines where the poor seem unable to develop themselves into relative sustainability, simply because they believe that the government is a charity.

    Here I have to give credit to the government when it has the occasional initiative to bulldoze slums. The urban poor often settle in private properties, forest reserves or highly hazardous locations such as flood drains; more power to the the government if can show more initiative to remove informal settlers.

    1. MidwayHaven,

      I have to disagree. The whole debate over so-called “trickle-down economics” or as Ross Perot put it Reagan’s “voodoo economics” is unfounded. Mainly because the term mislabels the economic strategies that its proponents advocate. Their perspective is that economic progress is dependent on (consumers) being able to save and innovation — creating new products and services. These in turn are driven by the opportunity to make wealth. That is the same standard for everyone, i.e. everyone has the opportunity to participate in the economy and make high profits. It is not a “trickle-down” phenomenon. True — we rely on people with capital (the rich) to create businesses and invest in the economy. That is to be expected; they’re the ones with the money. Nowhere does this system prevent less affluent people to start their own business. The objective is IMPROVEMENT FOR ALL through economic growth and development.

      The alternative is the “Robin Hood” approach favored by leftist politicians like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. It is characterized by a so-called “progressive taxation.” Typically they impose a higher tax rate on the more affluent members of society for the simple reason that they are richer. This penalizes the entrepreneur for being successful. And by allocating those tax monies to the “poor” and “disenfranchised,” it becomes a situation where one part of society gains at the expense of another.

      Is it any wonder why the super-rich would want to have their money stashed away in “tax havens” in South America and Europe?

      Regarding the squatter situation — this is a situation thousands of landowners face today. It’s interesting that the Philippine government has yet to find a solution to the problem if it can find the will to bulldoze inner city slums.

      In fact, asking the help of local government units or the police doesn’t seem to achieve anything. Or they can’t do anything except recommend the owner get a court order. The courts are supposed to be the final recourse for the grievances of the citizenry. But the courts are excruciatingly slow. And while the court case moves along at a glacial pace, the squatters multiply. In fact many of them were probably brought in by the local officials themselves before the elections.

  15. When the term squatters is mentioned, does it only apply to Manila or heavy populated area’s where there were no options for extra space or under bridges, I feel it does because there are so many that live way out from the city that don’t own the land.

    1. I guess here at GRP the more important term is “squatter mentality,” where even the rich have a misguided sense of entitlement.

      1. Sound statement there. And by the way if you look at logic. The rich actually and should be the ones to shoulder most of the poor and the some(not all) of the middle class.(likely the lower middle class) and they are not entitled to what they have CONSIDERING THEY DID NOT ACHIEVE WHERE THEY ARE ALONE.

        If you look at economics carefully regardless of the system, the flow of capital especially money is perpetuated to end up those in the elite.(inflation is included) and is “invested” again to produce more wealth for them.

        The BETTER perspective that one must look is that the elite OWES the lower classes to what he have got for if there are LITTLE or NO CONSUMERS to begin with, how can he even circulate his capital resources to increase wealth.

        That is why the pioneers who advocated Capitalism were in fact ANTI-MONOPOLY(include Oligarchy in the matter) and to be honest they actually believe(unwritten) that CHARITY is a GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY of the ones controlling the capital.

        Capitalism today must be redefined to what is was meant by some of its pioneers which was purposed as an ideology of better(if not the best) means of monetary and material distribution by the use of a supposed “perfect”(not really) monetary and market system.

        But alas, that has been corrupted since the early 19th century and FAR MORE CORRUPT today. So the real issue is not the poor but the society at large and by the way I do not like Socialism or Communism either. I prefer to have an economic system based on integrity.(all of these systems FAILED) and that is YET to be found out.

    2. I only experienced squatters myself while in Cebu City and not in towns or villages in Cebu. Although I cant blame these young lads (I guess their ages range from 5 up) but I told them the rude harsh truth to “go fuck your parents” bec they (the parents)are to blame that they are there and probably they (the squatters) are encouraged to do what they are doing by their parents.

      Now I dont know any good definition of what a squatter is and maybe those people we can see in London and Paris undergound/tube/metro can also be labeled as squatters but at least they play a tune on their guitar or other instrument.

      I didnt hate the vendors on the side walk but it really pissed me off when a squatter came up to me, asking/begging for money or food.

      Its fun(ny) in the Philippines but not for me.

      1. A squatter is someone who lives on a piece of land, makes a living off it, but doesn’t own the land. Many squatters in fact build small townhouses on the land they squat on, making them landlords. So the beggar kids, the musicians in London, the sidewalk vendors, the landowners of Hacienda Luisita: well fits.

        You know, you’re in the right place to get pissed off by those kids begging for food. I guess that you would hate to live in Manila, because some beggars would even hurt you if you don’t give them money.

        1. You mean physically hurt me (like kicking my leg or knee?) or mentally hurt me (or both)?

          My partner once told me that in case I would become a victim of pickpocketers to let him/them go. I told myself: No fucking way!!!!

  16. The cause is not glamorization but significant amounts of money lost to government corruption, and from what remains, amounts set aside for foreign debt maintenance.

  17. Why the poor stay poor? There is no end to a cyclic mindset. For one, the sense of entitlement of a victim make them mendicant, so work is not in their habit. Kinawawa ako, dapat nyo akong bigyan ng ikabubuhay. The proper response is walang libre sa mundo, ang hindi nagpawis dapat hindi kakain.

  18. Found this in the archives and I agree with it.

    The whole “hero/protagonist = poor” and “villain/antagonist = rich” is disgusting propaganda that continues to glamorize poverty and that common media theme should be destroyed completely.

    Have people identify with wealthy protagonists instead (like Batman or Iron Man) instead of “poor but happy” characters that seem to embody escapism (suffering in poverty is ANYTHING BUT HAPPY, but it’s possible in fiction!).

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