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Why do people think the poor aren't poor just because they can have I-pods? watch

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    People fail to take into account is that these cheap goods are mostly made in third world nations with cheap labor, hence why they're so cheap that even poor people in developed countries can afford them. That's why poor people own cheap goods and luxuries. Also because sometimes buying a luxury item can be cheaper than owning health insurance, paying for a college education, and decent housing. We should all know that living paycheck to paycheck is different from owning actual wealth; large home, business, stocks, investments, etc. The vast majority live paycheck to paycheck. The wealth gap between rich and poor is huge in the United States. Why don't people see this? Do they just think that the poor are OK because they have just enough to live off of and buy a few nice items?

    Even if you can justify the economic system, how do you justify the fact that the bottom half has to keep adjusting their lives in order to keep the wealthy atop during every financial cycle? How much more do the poor have to keep having to subsist in order for the wealthy to have it all?
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    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    People fail to take into account is that these cheap goods are mostly made in third world nations with cheap labor, hence why they're so cheap that even poor people in developed countries can afford them.
    It doesn't work like that. Cheap production does not equal cheap selling prices.

    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    The wealth gap between rich and poor is huge in the United States. Why don't people see this? Do they just think that the poor are OK because they have just enough to live off of and buy a few nice items?
    I'd say that's more than okay. One iPod might equal 1/4 of a month's rent, or up to two months worth of food.
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    Agree with OP, theres huge gap between rich and poor in UK and more so in US. Its just that the general quality of life for poor people has increased significantly in last 50-100 years.
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    I wasn't aware iPod ownership was a key factor in categorising the poor.

    Learnin' every day.
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    Because "poor" people really do have £160 to spend on something they could just have easily have got for a tenner from ASDA (granted it wouldn't be as good but it essentially does the same thing)
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    (Original post by moley89)
    I wasn't aware iPod ownership was a key factor in categorising the poor.

    Learnin' every day.
    This. :confused:

    Have you just been called poor because you have an iPod, OP? :p:
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    (Original post by moley89)
    I wasn't aware iPod ownership was a key factor in categorising the poor.

    Learnin' every day.
    haha same here
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    I also agree with the OP. iPods have come down quite significantly in price, and it's viable for a 'poor person' to save up over a period of time to buy something like an iPod. You can get an iPod nano for less than £100 now. Their income might be low, but if they save up their disposable income, they could get one.
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    (Original post by moley89)
    I wasn't aware iPod ownership was a key factor in categorising the poor.

    Learnin' every day.

    True, but iPods are seen a luxury good. People will commonly assume that those with luxury goods are not poor.
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    Hey, vote in a Tory government, that'll make things even worse.

    Poor'll get poorer, rich'll get richer.
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    Its because the basic level of poverty is changing, in somewhere like sub suharan Africa where there is absolute poverty they won't even have te money or facilities for electricity let alone being able to buy an ipod and all the music that is put on it. But in more developed countries such as the UK and the USA while we still have poverty and a division of wealth we do not have absolute poverty everyone has electricity, food, consumer goods etc and there is money available say if you are unemployed so you are not forced into absolute poverty when people say that one person is not poor it often depends on their definition of poor are they imagining the state of those in LEDCs or are they comparing purely within the boundaries of that one country. So in the UK you can have an ipod and still be seen as "poor" but put that same person in India or parts of Africa and they would be seen as well off and affluent.

    Hope that at least part way helps answer the question...
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    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    People fail to take into account is that these cheap goods are mostly made in third world nations with cheap labor, hence why they're so cheap that even poor people in developed countries can afford them. That's why poor people own cheap goods and luxuries. Also because sometimes buying a luxury item can be cheaper than owning health insurance, paying for a college education, and decent housing. We should all know that living paycheck to paycheck is different from owning actual wealth; large home, business, stocks, investments, etc. The vast majority live paycheck to paycheck. The wealth gap between rich and poor is huge in the United States. Why don't people see this? Do they just think that the poor are OK because they have just enough to live off of and buy a few nice items?

    Even if you can justify the economic system, how do you justify the fact that the bottom half has to keep adjusting their lives in order to keep the wealthy atop during every financial cycle? How much more do the poor have to keep having to subsist in order for the wealthy to have it all?
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    (Original post by hardy_4_paws)
    Its because the basic level of poverty is changing, in somewhere like sub suharan Africa where there is absolute poverty they won't even have te money or facilities for electricity let alone being able to buy an ipod and all the music that is put on it. But in more developed countries such as the UK and the USA while we still have poverty and a division of wealth we do not have absolute poverty everyone has electricity, food, consumer goods etc and there is money available say if you are unemployed so you are not forced into absolute poverty when people say that one person is not poor it often depends on their definition of poor are they imagining the state of those in LEDCs or are they comparing purely within the boundaries of that one country. So in the UK you can have an ipod and still be seen as "poor" but put that same person in India or parts of Africa and they would be seen as well off and affluent.

    Hope that at least part way helps answer the question...

    I totally agree and think you've hit it right on the nail. The problem is that in the developed nations we rely heavily on the cheap products coming in developing nations and debt in order to sustain our way of life. Purchasing power has really declined since the late 70s and debt finance (i.e. the credit card) has supplanted what we once earned in real wages.

    Inequalities are now masked behind a veil of consumption. Consumer goods cover up the fact that many in the US are living on subsistence wages. If our basic needs are met; roof, food, clothes, some luxury items, etc. Then no one cares to really see the dynamics behind wealth disparity in the United States and even in the UK.

    Regardless if poor people can get fat off of McDonalds, afford an I-pod, some Gucci shoes every once in a while, there is a big difference between those actually own wealth, i.e. a part of the nations GDP and those that live paycheck to paycheck. No amount of consumer products can fill that gap/void and people need to realize that with these economic policies, we're actually getting the short end of the stick.
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    Of course a poor person CAN have an iPod, or any other luxury item. The problem is that they then have to prioritise this luxury item over other, essential items such as food, or rent.

    Ie. They are still poor, and their priorities are way off in my opinion..
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    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    Even if you can justify the economic system, how do you justify the fact that the bottom half has to keep adjusting their lives in order to keep the wealthy atop during every financial cycle? How much more do the poor have to keep having to subsist in order for the wealthy to have it all?
    I think anyone who calls themselves "poor" often has no understanding of real poverty. iPods? I can't afford an iPod! Living from pay-cheque to "paycheck" is a dream come true for the poor.

    I do agree that there is a huge gap between poor, normal and rich. In the UK, someone earning £150,000 a year will often end up with the same amount in their bank account as someone on £50,000 annually at the end of that year. The system is designed by the rich to stop others entering their arena. Lottery is the only way.

    No tax hike ever affects the rich.
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    Ie. They are still poor, and their priorities are way off in my opinion..
    I agree but sometimes poor people this items as more tangible than a college education or insurance or other things that benefit the middle class. The allocation of funds is one thing but when you don't make enough to afford things that are equated with the middle class and higher salaries, you tend to spend your money on items that much more tangible.
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    The system is designed by the rich to stop others entering their arena. Lottery is the only way.
    Agreed.
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    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    I agree but sometimes poor people this items as more tangible than a college education or insurance or other things that benefit the middle class. The allocation of funds is one thing but when you don't make enough to afford things that are equated with the middle class and higher salaries, you tend to spend your money on items that much more tangible.

    I'm not from a rich family, but I started working when I was 13, and in doing so I managed to save enough money (£5000) so I could go to England to study. Even though I earned peanuts, I still managed. Obviously the only thing I had to think about was myself, I didn't have to pay rent or anything, but I still had to choose between buying the clothes that would have put me in the "in-crowd" etc, and my education and long-term prospects.

    You have to be patient and think of things in the long-term. I'm not saying that it'd be easy for everyone to do that, but I'm just saying it's possible..
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    You have to be patient and think of things in the long-term. I'm not saying that it'd be easy for everyone to do that, but I'm just saying it's possible..
    Of course it's possible. No one is arguing that it isn't but the point is that it's hard and few have the stamina or the patience to get there. And does not wanting that make them an awful person? Is working and living without the desire to attain high wealth a bad thing? Do they lack ambition and are therefore deserving of squalor?

    The point is that social mobility shouldn't have to be a fight out of the ghetto. With the amount of resources and wealth we have in developed nations the disparity is almost criminal and built with an intent to keep the ladder to the top difficult to climb.

    Also, does that make you a tough person to have climbed your way out of poverty? Do you want to be seen in that light? It almost make life a game in my opinion. A game with winners and losers.
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    (Original post by EvilSheep)
    Of course a poor person CAN have an iPod, or any other luxury item. The problem is that they then have to prioritise this luxury item over other, essential items such as food, or rent.

    Ie. They are still poor, and their priorities are way off in my opinion..
    Exactly. I consider an ipod as a luxury item, and £100 is not cheap.

    (Original post by TimeDivided09)
    Do they just think that the poor are OK because they have just enough to live off of and buy a few nice items?
    That is enough. Nowadays living comfortably isn't enough anymore, people want to be rich, want things that isn't needed.
    Not all rich people are born into wealth. Some have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are today, it's not fair to blame this on those who have worked hard. I don't think anyone would complain about this if they become rich tomorrow.
    Every system in this world is flawed; nothing will ever please everyone.
 
 
 
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