the problem of ‘the poor’

How do I talk about the poor? In all seriousness, they are a politically important group, in the sense that they have historically always existed in one form or another, and they are what most political programs attempt to separate society from. The reduction of ‘the poor’ is a problem that some choose to solve through welfare, and others through economic etoliation. The goal seems to be a perpetual attempt to escape the historical problems of ‘having’ and ‘not having’, which seem to be inescapable. I think the poor needs to be defined as something other than the working class, other than the indebted, other than the slave, other than the precariat (someone whose ability to shift into temporary or marginal labour affords them periodic income; which, despite its recent popularity, is not nearly as abjectly excluded as the poor) and something other than those who are politically excluded along other lines – such as queer sexualities or alienated ethnic groups. I never come into contact with the poor, except in those brief moments where they ask for spare change. I give, sometimes, but this is not a solution. At this stage, for me, the problem is how to discuss a group that is outside the political frame that I work in – that is, outside possessing enough property or money to access networked communications.

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One thought on “the problem of ‘the poor’”

  1. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this.
    You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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