THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POVERTY INDUSTRY

A US cash loans store. Hatcher points out that if there wasn’t money to be made from the poor there wouldn’t be so many companies vying for a piece of the pie. Photograph: Alamy

Guess the quote: “everyone in this world is self made, but only the successful will admit it”

We’re going to look at the argument of “profits from poverty” from both sides of the aisle and determine which one you resonate with. Then share your thoughts below.

US law professor exposes system that makes a profit from poverty

Consider that one of the classic forms of “welfare” in this country is also absolutely a form of corporate welfare too – food stamps. Many big corporations owe a large part of their bottom lines to these programs. In some places one can even buy McDonalds and other fast food directly with EBT cards. Years ago we did a story on how JPMorgan has EBT servicing contracts with states worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Add in Walmart and other discount stores that see immense flows from government programs and one begins to see the picture. The poor are absolutely a revenue stream for many companies. Enough streams create a nice big river of (often taxpayer provided*) cash.

Let’s look at it in a different way; we all can agree that 99.99 percent of most transactions is done voluntarily. We also can agree that having food stamps is also voluntary. However, it is hard to determine that the person who has food stamps is necessarily in poverty (depending on your definition of “poverty”), in this case, your income determines your status. Whether it’s JP Morgan, Walmart or any other discount retailers who markets towards the poverty, they exist based on consumers voluntarily shopping at their stores and banks. And regarding taxpayers, how do we know that taxpayers are funding these operations without seeing facts on a piece of paper? In other words, there’s no balance sheet to pinpoint what the taxpayer is even paying for except Medicare, Social Security and FICA. Well, if a taxpayer is subsidizing these welfare recipients, can it say that on their pay stub in black and white?

The state exploits the poor directly too. For instance a $100 speeding ticket is enough to break some people. And the poor are often specifically targeted by law enforcement for these sorts of fines. But the cops, the private jail companies, the companies which process the tickets, the companies which maintain the speeding cameras have to get paid somehow. And sometimes the people with the least money are relatively speaking (when considering amount of effort per dollar) the fattest prizes.

Let’s break down the word “exploiting” to get a better understanding here. According to Wikipedia, exploit is “to take advantage of something (a person, situation, etc.) for one’s own end, especially unethically or unjustifiably“. But what’s ethical? Let’s look at the old saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me“, and understand that phrase. The second part “fool me twice, shame on me” reminds me of someone taking responsibility of an action they made prior that caused the other person to expose their foolishness. So according to the old saying, if the state constantly “exploits” the poor directly and repeatably, then who’s the shame?

In other words; it seem as though this is implying that people in poverty are like children, they have no common sense to take responsibility of learning from the first offense.

Regarding speeding tickets, I’ve heard many cases of the offenders going to court to literally fight off the frivolous ticket and it’s thrown away. They know that in the court of law the enforcement officer has to prove to the court he or she was speeding, which they usually have no proof. I’ve seen “poverty-stricken” offenders actually go on this free yet powerful platform called the Internet and look up laws and statutes that they used to represent themselves and have tickets thrown out.

Being poor can be very expensive.

(From The Guardian)

Against this backdrop, a new book published last week by law professor and advocate Daniel L Hatcher, The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens, exposes a largely unrecognised yet deeply disturbing additional dimension to the issue: the vast scale of disadvantaged people being fleeced for profit. In this meticulously researched book Hatcher, who has represented vulnerable people in court for years, including children in foster care, lifts the lid on a system that rather than helping the needy, systematically turns them into “a source of revenue”.

His summary of what he has coined the “poverty industry” is: “the private sector partnering with the state and local governments to use the vulnerable as a resource for extracting funds … strip-mining billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, the disabled and elderly poor”…

…He reveals how freedom of information requests for contracts show children in the foster system blatantly referred to as “units”, with “data match algorithms” used to identify “which children would bring in the most money” in federal aid.

Ploys such as hiring private contractors to recommend ways to increase the number of children designated as disabled so the agencies that care for them can claim benefits on their behalf – with the money not going to the children – are common.

I’m going to speak from experience growing up in a poverty stricken family, with a disability, and living under government systems and programs;

One of the hardest things I could do as a kid growing up was desiring more in life than just monthly AFDC and SSI checks living in housing surrounded by those who wanted to make it out of a career — I never believed that was going to be my life forever. I had a desire for more growing up BECAUSE my family and I was considered “economically disadvantaged” and a statistic. Something about being labeled that way never resonated with me. So I decided to use our public school computers and research how the wealthy lived and how they were able to not be in poverty. I got my answer thanks to NetScape — at the time³.

Then the hardest thing for me personally was to talk my family (and neighbors) to do the same so we wouldn’t be in poverty anymore. I felt like a one man army against a whole infantry of poverty loving soldiers ready to devour me if I mentioned wealth ever again. I had to learn the hard way that poverty was a desire to them from a subconscious point of view. Because I had a desire for more in life, I asked, and the answer came to me. ME, not them, because they didn’t ask. They never bothered to. It was kind of like that Biblical saying “seek and you shall find” where you activated the answer just by asking. That was free. And after the Internet was gaining momentum, I no longer felt that poverty had any excuses to justify it anymore.

Now regarding the elderly, disabled and foster care; yes I understand how they can be economically disadvantaged when their own family fail to take care of them by continuously claiming poverty and seeking government to do the job instead. Foster care on the other hand is understandable regarding being exploited. However, I’ve experienced the worst of them, and the best of them who taught the foster kids what the parents knew. So it’s a crap shoot in that system, but it continues to be a problem when we keep recognizing and expecting that there will always be a problem.

And finally, speaking on poverty is expensive; when you have a closed mindset to repeat habits that is expensive to you, then yes it is expensive to be in poverty.

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Anyone who has ever lived in poverty knows there is much more to it than financial hardship. People with the least resources are not only on the frontline of fundamentally bad policies like austerity; all too often they have to navigate byzantine social security bureaucracies, while being repeatedly blamed and shamed for their predicament.

I lived in poverty in the eighties and nineties before the Internet became what it is today. And yes, it goes deeper than just financial hardship. You literally have to be completely off the grid (including no electricity), or force yourself to remain ignorant or uninformed in order to justify the least to no resources today. The most concentration of people in poverty are the ones that spend all day on social media talking about everything under the sun except how to get out of poverty, or what investment strategies can they learn for FREE…that will get them out of this poverty state of mind.

No one blames or shames anyone, they do that very well to themselves. Their need to blame politics, the one percent, and government for choices they make when they go on social media to talk about celebrities and how they’re “struggling”, and every transaction they choose to make justifies the poverty. They have to face themselves everyday when they choose between investing less than fifty bucks on something that will give them value, or on something that’s going to cause their Groundhog’s Day habits over and over which will cost them even more in the long term.

I know. I was there.

In the US over the past few weeks, the poor, and what to do about them, has been very much on the minds of lawmakers. One-time Republican presidential hopeful and house speaker Paul Ryan’s much-hyped poverty plan, A Better Way, has been widely criticised by liberals for completely failing to understand the nature of poverty or how to address it.

Let me make this digitally and perfectly clear in high definition: politicians don’t care about you, or your poverty. And they never will. It’s best to get that out of your subconscious head right now so you don’t get disappointed during election results anymore. It is NOT their job to care, it’s their job to smooth talk for your vote to get elected (hired), and to work for the highest bidder (Wall Street) because the American people chose that route ever since they allowed the IRS to violate them and their fellow citizens human rights since 1913, and consent to it every April 15.

Next, let’s get to the bottom of the nature of poverty and finally hit the nail on the head: poverty is a state of mind of the individual who like to say “we” and “us” a lot when referring to the 99ers. The only one who can address this state of mind is you — not Paul Ryan, politicians, Republicans, Democrats, Green, Independent, Libertarian, conservatives, liberals, left or right wings — no one but YOU can address your own poverty state of mind.

And finally, if every American learned some form of Latin, maybe they would see the word “liberal” a little differently. Better yet, maybe they would see the entire American English language totally different. Then perhaps, poverty would have a second look all by itself.

Meanwhile, enthusiastic poverty deniers have been doing the rounds with claims that deprivation is exaggerated, asking how can someone possibly be poor if they have a microwave. This despite the fact that, as the Brookings Institution reports, 46.7m Americans (14.8% of the population), were in poverty in 2014. An adequate social safety net is a pipedream for most.

So all this poverty debate is relating to how much people earn every year per household or what kind of microwaves they have? No wonder poverty is increasing, they’ve missed the whole point! And yes, if you’re a poverty denier, you are doing exactly what I did which helped train my mind into thinking the opposite. It’s like being in a religion; if you deny it, then you must be for the Devil. If you deny being hot, you must be cold. So it’s the contrast; if you deny poverty, you must see it’s opposite — wealth. Right? What if most people in poverty actually became poverty deniers overnight! Would they all have wealth?

And you already know how I feel about statistics. Despite the fact that X amount of Americans were in poverty in 2014; well how do YOU know that? Did you know that? Who paid attention to how many other people were in poverty in 2014? Do you attach your income situation on that “46.7 million” other people? Are you in poverty because they’re in poverty? Is that what they mean by “poverty deniers” who really don’t care for that stat because someone went out of their way to do that statistic? What was the purpose?

Against this backdrop, a new book published last week by law professor and advocate Daniel L Hatcher, The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens, exposes a largely unrecognised yet deeply disturbing additional dimension to the issue: the vast scale of disadvantaged people being fleeced for profit. In this meticulously researched book Hatcher, who has represented vulnerable people in court for years, including children in foster care, lifts the lid on a system that rather than helping the needy, systematically turns them into “a source of revenue”.

His summary of what he has coined the “poverty industry” is: “the private sector partnering with the state and local governments to use the vulnerable as a resource for extracting funds … strip-mining billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, the disabled and elderly poor”.

There’s also the “adult entertainment industry” that make money off people with severe disabilities and other issues that pay for intimacy because they believe that no one would want to have a physical interaction with them from just being sexually attracted — are they exploited? Is Nevada the problem for taxing prostitutes at brothels who give service to certain vulnerable clients?

I don’t deny that there is a poverty industry. I repeat — poverty INDUSTRY. However, no industry make money without someone initiating the transaction whether that be government or the individual. And if the individual feel like their “tax dollars” is supporting poverty, they have a civil duty to stop paying their taxes. And if the citizen fear intimidation or repercussion, then that’s not legal, that’s a banana republic and they are also in poverty. In other words; poverty has fear as its ally. And whether someone with lack of funds afraid of not having enough money, or a taxpayer afraid to take a stand against funding the poverty industry be no longer paying his/her taxes — fear is involved.

Poverty and fear make great profitable partners.

Not only are government aid programmes woefully underfunded, Hatcher argues, but billions of dollars of federal assistance meant for those most in need doesn’t reach them.

The book gives shocking examples of how the poorest and most vulnerable are used for “profit maximisation”, sometimes by private firms but also by cash-strapped state administrations. Billions of Medicaid dollars (a federal benefits programme aimed at the very poorest) for example, are siphoned off, Hatcher writes, “using illusory budget shell games to divert aid funds from vulnerable populations to state coffers and private profit”.

Let’s talk about the Constitution for a second; this document was easy to read when I was in grade school. It was straight to the point, no gimmicks, and it remains the most easiest yet efficient owner’s manual for ANY country on planet earth. I mention the Constitution because there’s nothing in there that mentions Medicaid. I checked a dozen times (I even Googled it — something the “poor” can do also for free) and it wasn’t in there. It DID say welfare, but I believe in order to know what that meant we should ask the Founding Fathers themselves what was their intent regarding welfare.

The thing is that when the government via the people add stuff to the budget that has nothing to do with this owner’s manual called the Constitution, things get a little messy. So technically, Medicaid is an illegal program for the federal government riddled with interpretations, opinions and emotions behind those words. To figure all that out, you have to pay people to interpret it for you, and they make their money keeping it confused.

So when the American people want to add this, or take away that, or reform the other thing, you get more bureaucracy which justifies paying a private sector company to manage it for you. Then there’s the siphoning.

According the the Tenth Amendment, Medicaid sound more like a state-to-state issue instead of a federal issue. But you know, that’s the owner’s manual word not mind. I just read it. Take it up with the men who allegedly wrote it.

He reveals how freedom of information requests for contracts show children in the foster system blatantly referred to as “units”, with “data match algorithms” used to identify “which children would bring in the most money” in federal aid.

Ploys such as hiring private contractors to recommend ways to increase the number of children designated as disabled so the agencies that care for them can claim benefits on their behalf – with the money not going to the children – are common.

Meanwhile, the book cites multiple incidences of children in care and older people in care homes, as well as young people in juvenile detention, being drugged to save money in staffing costs. In one state, 40% of all foster children were sedated using psychotropic drugs.

How about using the freedom of information act to see what the government REALLY do with tax dollars. After you find out, this poverty issue would be the last of anyone’s concern.

But I want to point out two issues here regarding this:

How do you think the IRS, the federal reserve, and banks refer to you? Why do you have a social security number? Do you ever ask yourself that? Speaking on “units and algorithms” to identify someone, what do you think social media is and does? What do you think taxes is? Do you not think that the companies that depend on this data want to know which American would bring in the most money? Why do you think certain companies target you? Why do you think the wealthy is targeted by certain retailers and dealers for high end products and services?

When I was in job corps, I knew I was labeled a number, a “unit” by the United States Department of Labor. However, I didn’t let that create drama for me and became a conspiracy theorist about it regarding their “agenda”, I went to job corp with a mission to get some knowledge on a trade for myself and use it to grow my businesses. Yes, most foster care kids go through some serious issues in the home, and it is a problem and I don’t want to sugarcoat that. However I’m asking what does that have ANYTHING to do with you right now? Is it a distraction on you to feel angry or distressed over that? And if you’re feeling that way is that interfering with these contractors’ bottom line right now?

The resurgence of debtors’ prisons in some states, which trap the poor in a cycle of debt, is also featured. “Low-income defendants are first saddled with unmanageable court fines and fees, then the courts hire private collection agencies, probation companies … all tacking on more and more fees to the debts of the poor,” Hatcher says. One judge in Alabama told litigants to sell their blood to pay fines, or end up in jail.

I know someone who experienced this as well. And you know what gets the judge? When you reply the irony of the entire system; “so your Honor you’re telling me to either pay protection money to a mafia and have a price over my head through this fine, or have my rights protected under the Fourth Amendment violated through a non-violent charge, being falsely imprisoned in a country with more people incarcerated than China of all places, and have free room and board with a meal paid for by the nice citizens of this jurisdiction if I don’t? Jail starting to sound pretty good to me right now. At least I’ll prove that the people including you have no more respect for the Constitution or human rights. Now for the cuffs, don’t make them too tight”.

And the argument that justified the fear of going to jail was: “if I go to jail, I’m putting “a record” on myself which will interfere with me getting a job and providing for my family. Why not pay the fine and get it over with?”

Well, as long as you fear something (including the judge), it will never..EVER be over with. You will subject yourself in a revolving door of living in constant fear and answering to someone. THAT alone is poverty. But when you have knowledge and apply it, you gain power. When you know the law, and your rights given to you at birth, you fear no one or nothing. It’s not the lack of money that put people in poverty and jail, it’s their vulnerability of choices where they failed to go on this portal called the Internet and call that judge out for what he/she really is — including that entire courtroom.

Regarding providing for your family? I have a family member who is a convict. They say “ex-convict” but that’s bull*** because if you were an “ex” convict, then the system and the people would give you a clean slate and start all over. That’s including giving you your weapons back (defending yourself is a natural human right), and giving you a job (it’s not like people ask at the store if the cashier has a record). However I find it really stunning how we say one thing in this country but do another. For example; we claim that we are the leader in entrepreneurship yet we worry about not being able to find a job.

Meanwhile in China….

A family member who’s a convicted felon joined me in starting their own business as well. They started out with a choice. I looked him in the eye and reminded him that he had a choice. I lent him $500 with a ten percent interest rate. Even though he’s family, I reminded him that this was a business deal transaction, and will remain just business. I wanted it paid back within a year. I told him he has the power to buy whatever he wanted, and as a lender, I could careless where he spent it as long as he paid me back. However, I emphasized how he had a choice to make, and what he makes is his own responsibility, and his own fault of the consequences of that choice.

He accepted my terms and conditions.

He chose to start his own business with me. He saw the justice system and the average people breathing down on him, waiting for him to make a wrong move and he decided to use this as leverage behind his why. He bought an annual membership, and invested half of what he would’ve gotten at the grocery store on digestible products he was going to use for the month for his nourishment. Within a month he paid me back plus interest, and we both made a profit. He continued to profit month after month.

Within six months, he knew he didn’t have to sheepishly apply for a job and hope and pray they’ll give a convicted felon another chance anymore. He had a family to take care of, and didn’t have time to say ‘woe is me for being poor in the wealthiest country in the world with access to the most powerful portal on planet earth because I’m able to use it as leverage for my business’. This convicted felon took control of his life, accepted a choice he made with the $500, and built a business generating more income for him than anything a judge can ever imagine or pray for. He didn’t justify why he couldn’t, he didn’t have time for that. All he did was justify why he COULD.

Now you or someone you know might be saying; “well he had a family member to help him with $500. Most people aren’t that lucky…”

This is an excuse for an individual justifying their limitations and using “most people” as an alibi to make themselves comfortable being in poverty. The statistic you read earlier is from “most people”. No one knows what “most people” are doing, thinking, or feeling inside their heads. However, most people are so damn predictable that I see why the wealthiest 0.01 percent make money off them in an up and down market. And “most people” are the loudest in singing the gospel of being in poverty.

If you believe that you’re not lucky to attract $500 or more in your life right now, and lack access to capital in any form — if you believe that, then that’s what you must manifest because the Laws of Attraction MUST obey your thoughts. You are creator of your own world and reality. Therefore, if you believe that you’re “most people” suffering from poverty, then your wish and thoughts (prayer) is the Universe’s command.

¹As the book so clearly points out, if there wasn’t money to be made from the poor, there wouldn’t be so many companies vying for contracts and lobbying for a piece of the pie.

²Hatcher’s analysis is a cautionary tale. Some companies chasing lucrative contracts in the US do the same in the UK. Private does not equal better, or more efficient. The only thing that matters is the welfare of the most vulnerable.

¹And if there wasn’t money to be made from the rich, there wouldn’t be so many companies vying for contracts and lobbying for their business either. That’s including Lamborghini, Hermes, Christine Pierce Designs, Lear, Sotheby’s and I can go on and on. In other words, it doesn’t really matter if your rich or poor, you’re spending money, and your mindset keeps money flowing away or towards you regardless of your economic status. If it smells like money (from a high interest secured credit card for the poor to the Visa Black Card and exclusive Coutt’s card with exclusive perks for the elite) then Washington will hear from the companies that’s selling these products.

²The only thing that matters is YOU, and your state of mind right at this very second of seeing this word. Your welfare is important to you — not the government, not Congress, or your senator, or the President of the United States. They don’t care about you or your welfare. They are in it for the game, and it’s a very lucrative game. Your belief and trust in them is very lucrative for them, not you. They are good at what they do, now it’s time for you to be good at what you do — playing the game for you.

There will always be people in poverty. There’s nothing you, I, prayers, well wishings, protests, “waking people up” rallies, or elections can do about that. It will exist whether you and I like it or not. So beating the drum of this whole poverty game is creating more of it because just like a child when you give attention to it, they show out more.

What’s more important is being a poverty denier right now. My convicted felon family member denied his poverty when he started a business with me. He got involved in network marketing due to his lack of finances starting a traditional one, it was the most reasonable thing to do. He trusted himself to ignore the screamers of poverty and trust his heart and mind to do this business with me. Millions of Americans are continuing to become poverty deniers everyday.

So let me ask you this; let’s say poverty in America was completely eliminated overnight in a magical way. Let’s say that  for some odd reason, people wasn’t poor anymore. We’re going to throw two scenarios here.

  1. Because this article attached poverty to income and money, we’re going to say that only those in poverty (based on income and household) received a check for $100 million. What do you think they (those poverty strickened) are going to do with that money? Take a wild guess on the FIRST thing they’re going to buy? Remember, they have the same habits yesterday that they have now after receiving this check, so keep that in mind.

I’m going to tell you what the 0.01 percent will do. They’re going to become billions more richer. There would be a massive bubble in the market. Stocks will quadruple from the massive earnings of publicly traded companies selling products and services to those who got their $100 million check. The financial industry’s stocks will suddenly pop based on massive bank and investment accounts being opened in droves. Then the Dow (DJIA) and S&P 500 would skyrocket by 1000 points or more. The sophisticated investors will do a put option on both in one transaction, and short them within a certain time period. Why? Because within a decade those who received the money will soon run out (remember their mindset) and they would owe so many people including banks. Some will sell, some will file for bankruptcy due to the massive expenses they incurred. Then the bubble will bust, hard. A massive sellout will happen, panic in the streets, and the stock market will plunge causing more financial havoc for average gamblers and retirees. While this is happening, sophisticated investors who didn’t force these poverty stricken people to buy in the first place (greed is very powerful) and timed it perfectly to short the Dow and S&P 500 (remember, 99ers are predictable), they generate billions on top of billions in profit and start buying up companies who got suckered in the $100 million poverty payday joyride pyramid scheme. Sound familiar?

2. Second scenario has nothing to do with any money, but just a massive epiphany that swept across the land. All of a sudden, everyone in poverty decided to not think of poverty anymore and became poverty deniers. They found out about the Laws of Attraction all of a sudden and decided to change their thoughts. Well that’s good news right? Well not for everyone who studies this crowd. It’s like welfare; if you eliminated that from your mind, some private agency lost a “unit” to make money off of. Foundations that studies poverty will no longer be needed because no one would pay attention to it. They would be silly to even exist. It would be like a foundation or a study group asking a bunch of millenials why they prefer a buggy whip to get around. It’s funny, but that’s the point — they wouldn’t be needed because poverty no longer exist. Then there’s the livelihood of those who work in these foundations who make a living stressing on why poverty exist.

Original source credit: TheGaurdian.com

THE SPOTLIGHT:

The only one who recognize poverty is someone either with an agenda to maintain it, or someone who’s living in poverty. Like the saying goes “it takes one to know one”.

I understand the point they’re trying to make. My poi9nt was to rebuttal and reverse it. There are more calls to look at and cry on everything that you’re more likely against. This is why there’s more of it because there’s so much energy focused on it. Poverty is not an epidemic, it’s a state within an individual mind. The only ones who need to talk about it constantly are those who know they’re powerful beyond imagination and the thought of it makes them uncomfortable in their own skin, they just need company to justify the denial of their own power. Poverty is a mental faculty that you adopt depending on who you surround yourself with. Here are clues:

If most of who you interact with doesn’t read on personal growth and building wealth, what value are they giving you?

And what they talk about stimulates your mind to learn something new that will enrich your life and make you way better than your yesterday?

Only you can answer those questions. To the article’s credit, they shared a few books that you can read that promotes poverty and beating this dead horse to be “aware” of it. So I think it’s only fair to share a few of my favorite books I personally read that assisted me in growing myself out of poverty. I started in my dorm room in job corp with only a few bucks in my pocket. While my roommates was telling me about some celebrity or product that they weren’t getting paid to even mention, I studied on how to make money everytime I opened my mouth. And I invite you to no longer feel sorry for poverty ever again.

I bought this book in 2006 for ten dollars. My returns on that investment is beyond anything in my wildest dreams regarding any book I’ve read. You can grab it right now for less than $6. You really have to sop and ask yourself what would $6 get you right now out there. And ask yourself how much in return I’ll get when I spend this $6. Ten dollars changed my entire mindset while at job corp. After a decade later, I’m honored to share it with you as well.

GRAB IT NOW FOR $5.80

After you read and understand this book, and you resonate with its message, you’d get a better understanding of why it’s important to start a business. Just like my family member, he started out as a part time gig due to his reporting to his probation officer and attending programs. This is America, land of entrepreneurship and wealth. No one is depriving from it and it’s time you stop lying to yourself believing there is deprivation going on. You are wealth, and I’m looking forward to helping you express it. I cordially invite you to check out my special offer here that will get you started on your path to financial freedom and prosperity. What can you do with under $30 in your pocket right now? Ask yourself that question and see if this resonates with your answer.

To your success 😉

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