Only 28% of Americans Agree With Republicans That the Poor Are To Blame For Their Poverty


Chalk this one up as another GOP fail. A HuffPost/YouGov poll has found that only 28% of Americans agree with the Republican people that poor people lack work ethic.

The poll found:

Among all Americans, 44 percent said they think poor people are poor mostly because of a lack of opportunities, while only 30 percent said it’s mostly because of their individual failings. More specifically, 47 percent said poverty has to do more with the fact good jobs aren’t available, while only 28 percent said it’s because poor people have a poor work ethic.

Likewise, 52 percent said most wealthy people got where they are primarily because they had more opportunities, while 31 percent said the wealthy just worked harder than other people.

Republicans have been just trying to justify massive cuts to food stamps, unemployment benefits, and any other program designed to assist the non-rich on the basis that people who are struggling only have themselves to blame. They also justify tax cuts fo the rich based on the myth that rich people work harder, and are more deserving of their success.

People who live in the real world know how it really works. Most people who are wealthy got more and/or better opportunities than others. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t work hard for their success, but it does mean that they didn’t work harder, and are somehow better human beings than everyone else.

Republicans can bend, shape, and twist things in any way they want, but they can’t escape the basic reality. President Obama talks about creating opportunity regularly, because he knows from his own experience that a quality education, or getting into the right training program, can provide a path to success. Opportunity is a game changer.

The GOP is trying to sell America on the Koch vision of opportunity for none, but the American people aren’t buying what they are selling.

32 Replies to “Only 28% of Americans Agree With Republicans That the Poor Are To Blame For Their Poverty”

  1. Trying to assess where the blame lies for poverty still blames the people who may be poor. I think it is much better to look at creating opportunity than to keep looking for the blame.Good opportunity for good jobs is the cure for many of the problems faced by people who live on extremely low incomes

  2. Wealth and poverty are at best a noodly mix of many things.

    But lets look at where most of the poor live. The inner cities present very little opportunity for the poor, moving into urban areas presents even less. To move into the outskirts of cities were jobs are is impossible unless you already have a job.

    So what do the poor do? Any politician that says its the poor’s fault that we have poverty must be voted out immediately. Any person who says that has no understanding of the plight of the poor

  3. I am surprised it was as high as 28%. I don’t think anyone wants to be poor by design. As a child you wanted to be an astronaut, or president, whatever, but I don’t think any child sat around thinking about being poor and lazy.

    The overwhelming majority of the rich in this country didn’t work to get rich. They inherited it from their families. As a result they feel entitled to any thing they want. They constantly complain about the poor and yet they sit on piles of cash that could be used to create jobs and opportunities for those they complain about. Like the movie Wall Street famous line, “Greed is good.”.

  4. JOBS
    Carter-started with 80,6923 ended with 91,031—added 10,339
    Reagan—91,031– 107,133–added 15,602
    Bush I—107,133—109,726–added 2,593
    Clinton—109,726—132,466-added 22,740
    Bush II—132,466—133,631–added 1,216
    Obama—133,361—134,839–added 1,208 (first term)

  5. Even if you work they still will find ways to steal from the poor
    Treat wage theft as a criminal offense
    Forget raising the minimum wage. How about enforcing the meager minimum already on the books?

    Over the past year, low-wage workers and their supporters have protested, struck and polemicized for a raise of some kind, a proposition that has support from the White House and most Americans, if not Republican politicians. But low-wage workers face an even more upsetting affliction that both parties should feel comfortable condemning: Employers are stealing from their employees, often with impunity.
    Read More

  6. What Im tired of hearing is the bull from the right that the rich worked hard. Majority of rich people inherited their wealth or become extremely lucky. Only a minority got there by “working hard.”

    People who work hard in this country are the poor, who are mostly living paycheck to paycheck on low wages and sometimes working multiple jobs just to pay the rent. People in that situation will never get rich.

  7. Here’s another example of a way to blame republicans for one’s low standard of living. Another attempt at exempting oneself of personal responsibility. Why aren’t the democrats ever blamed for people being in poverty? They’re the ones who want to continue the handouts. And we all know that handouts hurt more people than they help. If welfare and food stamps help people get out of poverty, why are there still people in poverty?

    First of all, I think those who need aid should get it. I am a compassionate man.

    But I also believe, well we all know that anyone who is able to work can improve their standard of living if they discipline themselves.

    I know there are those who’ve fallen on bad times and need help but there are some who are poor because they don’t like to work very hard. And there are poor people who DO work hard but just don’t live within their means.

    It comes down to “personal responsibility”, the two most feared words of a liberal government official.

  8. Well isn’t that special. It’s so nice for you to bless us with your wisdom. I’m glad you told us you are a compassionate man, I won’t have figured that out from the rest of your comment.

  9. You could also look at this from the opposite perspective. Right now there are appx. 10.4 million unemployed people in the US. Now what if we gave every one of them a check every month for say $800. Not alot but it’s money in the pocket to help out. That would be roughly 8.3 billion a month, appx. 100 billion for the year.

    That in turn would be real money going into the economy which would spur growth and job creation. It would create more sales tax revenues for states.

    Most people would still want to find a job so that they can make more than $800 a month. To the ones who find that acceptable that’s fine. They’re still consumers. Alot of crimes are committed because people are broke so there is a possibility that might lower the crime rate.

    I would rather spend $100 billion a year helping people instead of putting into another aircraft carrier we don’t. Instead of judging others why not help them?

  10. Jinmichigan, what could be more compassionate than believing in the potential of the individual?

    Are you saying you don’t believe in rugged individualism?

    Are you saying that poor people should not be held to any standard of personal responsibility?

    Are you saying that when one falls on bad times he/she is exempt from pulling up his boot straps and taking some action?

    Are you saying that unemployment and welfare are better than actually working?

    That doesn’t sound very compassionate to me.

  11. By the flying spaghetti monster what world do you live in? I have posted links on how the poor wages have been stolen. On how their rent has went up because of increases and you still post bovine excrement that they need to pull themselves up? WTF!! Not once have you said anything about a living wage for their toil but in your mind, Oh well its much simpler to blame the unwashed on their plight. Just think about this, You will be next

  12. Wage theft is a direct consequence of “right to work” legislation, legislation that offers zero protection for workers. I agree wage theft should be treated as a felony and companies who practice it need to be shot down and shuttered.

  13. I can give you a couple examples of people who grew up poor but managed to eke out relatively successful careers: Oprah Winfrey and Ronald Reagan.

    djchefron, I didn’t say all the poor are poor because of their own lack of discipline. But you can not argue that there are poor who’ve put themselves in that situation by over spending, or not saving, or not budgeting, or not putting in any effort to make themselves more valuable to their employer. I have a couple of relatives who’ve never had any money and never will unless they learn to manage their money and discipline themselves.

    And you can not argue the fact that any one who can work can improve their standard of living.

    Another thing: A living wage is something one earns…see the above paragraph.

    The more the government does for you, such as raising wages or giving out benefits, the more control it has on you. That is not compassion. But believing in mans’ own strength, resourcefulness, and ability….is.

  14. And yes, the rent is too damn high! LOL…Because the economy is suffering and inflation is going crazy. A big reason for the inflation is our government printing way too much money. It weakens the dollar. What if our dollar is no longer the standard for world trading? If it continues to weaken that’s going to happen. Raising minimum wage also weakens the dollar. I know you’re sincere in wanting to help the poor but they must also help themselves.

    I want to help the poor that actually need help. That 25 yr old woman with two kids whose father is a deadbeat. Or that mother and father who are both laid off and need jobs. But what I don’t want is able bodied Americans continually coming to, or living off of the government trough. That does not help them, it only makes them dependent.

    Have you ever considered how advantageous that is to an elected leader who wants those voters in his/her back pocket?

  15. A few years back when I was still driving over the road, my mother met this guy I’ll call Sr. Sr. owned property around Eufaula,OK and he rented some of his apartments, mostly to elderly residents. When the yearly cost of of living increases from Social Security arrived, he would raise their rent by that same amount! This is the father of a former state senator which I’ll decline to name at this time, GREEEEEEDY..

  16. The people “living off of the government trough” are a tiny minority and hardly worth mentioning. The vast number of the poor have very low paying jobs and need help. Please do not get caught up in the trap of picking on such a small number of people. The arguement its the people fault isnt the one thats worth having

  17. You say you don’t want the able living off the backs of you who is hard working real American? Well I got news for you. You’re not supporting the poor but you are supporting the 1% percent
    Gov Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs

  18. Besides Joe B. trying to look like a “compassionate” cancervative, that glaring number rears it’s ugly head once again. 28%. Seems it is 23 to 29% every time. The same 25% thinks Bush was a great President, while the 29% think President Obama was the cause of the Katrina debacle. I thin that number (23 to 29%) is the GOP period. Whether it be the fundie’evangelical or the tea/Libertarian crew, but that number is pretty consistent on just about all things.

  19. Regarding those on government assistance:
    Have you ever considered how advantageous that is to an elected leader who wants those voters in his/her back pocket?

    “Please do not get caught up in the trap of picking on such a small number of people.”

    Picking on say 10-15% isn’t a nice thing to do but picking on the top 1% is ok.

    I’m not picking on anyone. I just don’t think that expecting people to take care of themselves is expecting too much. I guess I am more optimistic and have more faith in the poor than others do.

    Surely, you people must know of others who grew up poor and worked themselves into a better standard of living.

    djchefron, your link didn’t load for me. But may I ask for an example or two of corporate welfare?

  20. Do yourself a favor, and ponder why you are such a troll for the 1% who thinks you are garbage

    A little video for you might explain why you are kicking a dead horse, even though ypu are better trained then the horse

    “But may I ask for an example or two of corporate welfare?”

    You certainly need a lot of help dont you? Who ties your shoes?

    Now move along.

  21. Shiva, I was hoping you could give me a couple of examples on your own. Off the cuff.

    Anyway, I am against the oil industry getting so much in subsidies.

    BTW, how do you feel about cities and states building new stadiums for professional sports teams? Do you think those billionaire owners deserve subsidies? Here in Minnesota, the Metrodome was recently dismantled after a very short 32 season legacy. And do you know who were the biggest supporters of subsidizing (about 50%) a new stadium for the Vikings? And tearing down an only 32 year old facility that was paid for? The liberal democrats…We have a lot of them here.

    Do you know who didn’t want to subsidize those rich Vikings owners? The conservative republicans and blue dog democrats.

    And on wealth inequality? It’s been going on since the country was founded. Do you suggest the government step in and distribute the wealth to make things more fair and balance for us all?

  22. I gave you one example of corporate socialism. It seems you would find more on your own.

    I am against the citizens paying for sports stadiums unless they will also be used by the county or state. If not, let the owners pay for it.

    ” Do you suggest the government step in and distribute the wealth to make things more fair and balance for us all?”
    You are getting more and more hilarious.

    93% of all new wages in the past 4-6 years has went to the 1%. Now I dont know if you care or not, because soon you will be in the poor section. I dont expect the government to distribute wealth,(and I know you are pulling the socialism bullshit here) I expect the wealth of the country to be distributed by jobs the way it always has been. Which is exactly what Obama said a long time ago. I dont know if it was you I left that video with, but if you were the one you would drop the “liberal democrats” crap you spout and start worrying like hell. Simply because, this country has been sold.

  23. Careful with statistics. For example, the BLS counts a person with two part-time jobs as two people.

    Only 270,000 full time private sector jobs were created between 2009 and 2013, but 1.9 million part-time jobs were created. (source: Washington Post)

  24. Before and after World War 2 the average American graduated high school and then went to work for a factory that manufactured a product, worked 35 to 42 years and then retired with a pension that was enough to live on until death. In the mid eighties the republican multi millionaires and billionaires that owned and operated these factories around this country that produced products made and purchased by the American employees started to shut down the factories and sent millions of jobs overseas, for nothing more that corporate profit and greed. Then the republican Mitt Romney’s of the corporate world fine tuned the process and shutdown and harvested even more profit for the chosen few, and left the American worker out in the cold with nothing but low paying service jobs to starve on. It is the GOP owners of corporate America that are the only cause of the poor in America. The republicans sent good paying jobs overseas for their own profit and greed. Truth.

  25. Grcoeeg, yes in the 80s a lot of manufacturing went overseas. Do you have a guess as to why?

    It was because of increased operating costs of manufacturing. Primarily labor costs. Labor that was mostly union.

    Unions get little support from the GOP but a ton of support from the democrats. It wasn’t the republicans who sent those jobs overseas.

  26. Thats not correct Joe. Many went over seas because the greatest traitor ever Reagan got tax breaks for people who outsourced overseas. You can blame the union all you want, but its BS. Perhaps you remember the purchaser for GM back then that wanted all parts coming from overseas? Was it Lopez?

    Material costs are the prime mover of costs. And the people who sent jobs overseas were the owners.

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