Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease

Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease

I’ve been unemployed, I’ve lived check-to-check and I once lived in such a bad neighborhood that I made a game of seeing how many prostitutes I could count on my way home from work (high score was 12) but I’ve never been poor.  I’ve been researching and reading a lot about World War II lately and thinking about that generation that endured not only the great depression, but also the TEOTWAWKI event that was World War II.  We are so wealthy as a society even in the midst of this recession (that Uncle Sugar tells us was over in 2009) compared to what my grandparent’s generation endured.  Most of our ‘poor’ today live like kings compared to even the typical middle class family of the 1940’s but some people still insist on being poor.  I call this insistence on being ‘poor,’ these attitudes that guarantee you won’t improve your situation, ‘poor man’s disease’ and below are the Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease.

Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease

Contracting Poor Man’s Disease is the best way I know not only to guarantee that you’ll have trouble making ends meet but also to sustain a generally poor and depressing attitude.  While I jokingly call these the Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease they are in reality the activities that help you contract this life altering mental illness.

  1. No job too menialAvoid education or advanced training in a trade:  No need to seek an education in a productive field or specialized training that will qualify you for an in-demand trade because you’ll be able to get by on your good looks, sparkling personality or uniqueness.
  2. When you suspect that your job will become obsolete don’t seek other opportunities:  You’re a widget guy… always have been, so when the widget industry is going the way of buggy manufacturer don’t look into switching to the gadget industry…those horseless carriages are just after all.
  3. Make sure you get EVERYTHING you’re entitled to from your employer and don’t worry about trying to make your employer’s business more profitable:  Your boss is so lucky to have someone with your unique skills that you don’t need to focus on his or her bottom line…only on your own.  There’s no way that any one of the millions of unemployed workers in the country could do your job better than you do so don’t worry about all those resume’s hitting your boss’ desk.  Besides, if you were replaced the new guy might not know that he should focus on getting everything he’s entitled to and might ruin your workplace by trying to make the boss look good and improving the bottom line…it that happens your ungrateful employer deserves it!
  4. Spend more than you make and do nothing but gripe about it:  You’re entitled to the same lifestyle that you see the ‘rich’ enjoying.  They aren’t any better than you after all…so what if the ‘rich’ earned it (or inherited it from someone who wanted their descendents to enjoy the fruits of their labors)..you DESERVE the same lifestyle.
  5. Be unwilling to take an entry level job because it’s ‘beneath you:’  Nobody successful ever started on the bottom rung of the ladder of success.  Wait until you can jump right onto at least a middle rung of that ladder of success…anything else is ‘beneath you.’
  6. Avoid becoming loyal to your employer.  Drift quickly from job to job if they don’t reward your efforts immediately:  Employers look for workers that bounce from job to job because they enjoy spending money training you so that you can go work for the competition…capitalize on that.
  7. Spend more time focusing on how ‘the system’ isn’t fair and is keeping you down rather than figuring out how ‘the system’  works and exploiting it to get ahead:  There’s a certain nobility in self-identifying as a victim and letting that get in the way of your success.  You won’t get ahead in life but you’ll certainly be able to proudly carry that “99%” sign and avoid joining those successful people you hate because…because they’re successful.
  8. Make sure and find ways to decrease your reportable income so you qualify for more government assistance:  There are so many wonderful State and Federal programs just waiting to give you money, EBT cards, an apartment, health insurance, phones, etc. unless you make the mistake of making too much money.  Make sure you memorize the ever important Federal Poverty Level table for your family size… the closer you keep to your family’s Federal Poverty Level guidelines the better your life will be.
  9. Be unwilling and unable to do what others are willing to do to make a living:  It takes a real schmuck to make a living out of doing a job that nobody else is able or willing to do.  Those guys and gals with special, high-demand skills and/or the willingness to do those really nasty, high-paying jobs just don’t get it.
  10. Bask in your poverty.  Make the fact that you aren’t as successful as some your badge of honor and incorporate it into the DNA or self-view.  This chip on your shoulder will assure that you never achieve the success that you envy so much in others and aren’t willing to work for.

My father taught me the dangers of contracting ‘poor man’s disease’ and the work habits that would inoculate me from its depressing malaise.  Thanks Dad!  I hope I’ve done as well with your grandkids as avoiding Poor Man’s Disease is one of the first steps towards self reliance.

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