Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

You're missing a big piece of the puzzle here, though.

In third world countries, there is an infrastructure to support expectations. You aren't the only poor person, there is direct feedback that "we're all in this together".

However, in the first world, there is a great amount of isolation that can be crippling. We have very fragmented communities, especially in the suburbs.

Poverty is real, and dismissing it because it doesn't seem as "legitimate" as some other place and different social context doesn't help anything. It's very naive to assume that because we've got access to "better tools" we should be grateful.

Read the Bell Curve. See how IQ is affecting the utility of the workforce in the United States. Imagine being born below the magical IQ to be effective in modern American society.

Imagine being useless to the world around you. Imagine waking up every day feeling hopeless.

Poverty has nothing to do with dirt huts. It has everything to do with feeling as though you can control the situation of your life. It has everything to do with not feeling like a net drain on the world.

Mostly agreed, but I'd suggest that, instead of The Bell Curve- which is full of highly questionable and mostly-discredited pseudoscience- you instead read Stephen Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man". The most recent edition, I believe, has an entire chapter devoted to dissecting exactly what's wrong with the arguments presented in "The Bell Curve".

Thanks for the heads up. I agree, the Bell Curve was a bit of a crapper, but also the only reference I could come up with off the top of my head.

All of those are valid points, but honestly unless someone is truly mentally handicapped, there are simple things they can do to improve their situation, and the situation of their dependents.

I look at the "illegal immigrants" to this country who stand out front of Home Depot every day by my house, looking for someone to pick them up for work, and see hope. I imagine this was similar to my great great grandfather standing in a mob outside a factory hoping for a day's work. These new Americans will give rise to a generation following them that saw their parents work hard to provide them with opportunity even though they were faced with incredible hurdles. Hopefully that generation continues the hard work, and keeps this country vital.

The fact that I only see new immigrants doing this though, is what is disturbing. If the rest of the poor were so eager to get ahead, they'd be doing the same - and eventually, succeeding.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact