Wage Disparity, The Sanctimonious Rich & The Demonized Poor

The McKillips, my great-grandfather’s family of my maternal grandmother’s side, likely immigrated during The Potato Famine.  (Interesting article:  “Irish Teeth Reveal the Chemical Signature of the Great Famine” published by Mental Floss.) The poor have ubiquitously been blamed for the state/caste system into which they are born. It is poverty – wage disparity in all forms – that is the most crippling state, even more so than sex, race, or “orientation.” However, single motherhood and race exacerbates poverty.

From fallacious conservative rhetoric, the demoralizing “Protestant work ethic,” and demonizing of poverty, society at large still blames the poor. Birth circumstances determine much of an individual’s over-all “net worth” in life. The class you are born into determines the college or university you attend. I know firsthand how challenging it can be to attend a decent ranked university with meager resources, student loans, and a complete lack of social connections.

But it’s just not conservatives who blame the poor for their plight. There’s plenty of liberals, specifically neoliberal and classical liberalism rhetoric, aimed at scape-goating the impoverished: “They’re just not driven.” “She should have had an abortion.” “Poor, white-trash…” Liberals are pro-choice when it’s a wealthy woman making an autonomous reproductive decision, but hypocritically pro-abortion if the mother’s “disadvantaged” embryo/fetus doesn’t fit into their utopian ideologies

The strawman of “hard work” will get you nowhere fast without networking, and often familial connections, despite how degreed/qualified you may be. An economy based on inflation, tax breaks and loopholes for the upper echelon, and dangerous “trickle-down” economics, sabotages all the years of your life you sacrifice making private employers richer. The public sector has its own problems as well. Often, nepotism determines salaried positions.

As far as wage inequality, it’s actually mothers, specifically single mothers, who suffer the most. Wage inequality varies depending on location. You won’t find it in liberal California or New York as you will in the Deep South. As a friend observed, “A woman who makes fifteen bucks an hour in Alabama or Mississippi is a lucky bitch.”

Poverty is an excuse used to trample on the sanctity of motherhood, ripping apart families. The propaganda of domestic adoption is overt classism in its most insidious and manipulative form. The wealthy adopters are “saving” a baby via purchasing it through profiting private agencies, attorneys, and private social workers from the arms of a shamed, coerced, scared mother whose only “crime” is the social stigma of poverty and/or single motherhood.

Returning full circle to the topic of Ireland, this country has its own sordid history of forced adoptions/adoption trafficking. And regarding nepotism, nepotism is not husband/wife teams or small, private family businesses. Nepotism occurs when someone is hired because of their family connections (a political hire) – last name. The public sector often has a plethora of problems resulting in poor management of public funds and incomplete projects due to nepotism. Not only is an unqualified person hired, but the game is rigged.

There are no easy answers to addressing poverty. But there are a lot of horrendously cruel accusations, rhetorical questions, and jargon thrown at the issue of poverty. Race, sex, familial social standing (lack thereof), and single parenthood contributes to poverty. And these factors, especially single parenthood, are often regarded as punitive. Instead of blaming the poor for circumstances in which they were born, we could start offering educational opportunities and universal healthcare. Good health and an education is integral to working one’s way out of poverty. Wage slavery and punitive progressive programs are not.