Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they’re lazy. As Speaker John Boehner has said, the poor have a notion that “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.”

In reality, a large and growing share of the nation’s poor work full time — sometimes sixty or more hours a week — yet still don’t earn enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

It’s also commonly believed, especially among Republicans, that the rich deserve their wealth because they work harder than others.

In reality, a large and growing portion of the super-rich have never broken a sweat. Their wealth has been handed to them.

The rise of these two groups — the working poor and non-working rich — is relatively new. Both are challenging the core American assumptions that people are paid what they’re worth, and work is justly rewarded.

Why are these two groups growing?


7 thoughts on “The Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich

  1. Republicans deserve my boot stuffed up their privileged rectums. However, since I’m poor, I’d spend my life in jail if I acted on my impulse to give them what they so rightly deserve. I hate these fuckers more and more every day. Why can’t they be rich AND decent people? Do the two HAVE to be exclusive? Lordy be who doesn’t exist do I ever despise these fuckers. Rant finished. $Hallelujah$


  2. The non-working rich is an unfair description, joAnn.. Can wealth be protected and multiplied without working? Based on plentiful resources at disposal, the rich may be enjoying better creature comforts, but they cannot idle away days and still hope to take care of themselves. Also, wealth in someone’s hands generates employment, both direct and indirect, for the other, affording, in the process, an opportunity for the enterprising among the working poor to take a shot at entrepreneurship and better their lot. If Republicans are after the rich, it is, I believe, counterbalanced by the socialistic slant of the Democrats. One cannot exist without the other.


    • Rajagopal, if your comment was directed towards JoAnn, then you should have posted it on her blog. Or, if it was directed towards the article’s author Robert Reich, then you should have posted it on the Huffington Post.

      In any case, your arguments reflect traditional ideology not practical reality. The world has changed. We are no longer living in a time of shared prosperity and a vibrant middle class. Today, escalating inequalities of all sorts are threatening the very fabric of society. Left unchecked, there can only be one outcome which no sensible person wants to see. Those who refuse to acknowledge this obvious truth do so at their own peril.


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