Decent Poverty

There is that poverty word again, and as always it makes me think. Without being rude, it is a cultural difference between Western countries. I am not a newspaper reader, but I don't think we use the word poverty quite as much in Australia. I would love to hear thoughts on that.

Another article came up in my group of articles this one from Frugal Country Living.
"Decent poverty, frugality, and some sacrifice should be expected of young people." John Rice, 1946.

I was reading a book on The Home, from 1946 and came upon this gem. I just love the term 'decent poverty'. It distinguishes decent, lower income from the impoverished that are that way because of shiftlessness or addiction. Many feel there is no honor in being poor and while that may or may not be, there is an honorable poor. Perhaps it's the family of 7 children where the main breadwinner is working a simple job. Or the young widow with children trying to make ends meet. Or as the paragraph suggests, the young married couple just starting out in life."

The article was quoting page 80 of Home, Courtship, Marriage & Children by John R. Rice. The quote continues on with: "It is far better for a young couple to marry at twenty-five on small salary than to wait five years more and marry at thirty with every comfort, but having missed five glorious years of doing without together and helping one another and enjoying one another."

"The status poor - those at the bottom of the ladder - are a threatening group to the citizens of the poorfare state because of the possibilies they embody and imply. Even thinking about the poor must be done cautiously, such that one does not inadvertently devalue one's own achievements and merits or one's image of those accomplishments. When happens, though, when one changes from thinking about the bottom class to the next rung? How do people think about the next-to-lowest class?

The members are seen as decent poverty-stricken individuals. If the lowest class can be regarded as the welfare class, the class that has given up, then the next lowest class is perceived as one which has continued to try and is still interested in achieving success, or has, above all, the motivation, the will, or the nerve to try."

From: Does America Hate The Poor? Chapter 4.
Wiki describes poverty as:


Definition: Any deficiency of element or resources that are need or desired, or that constitute richess; as, poverty of soil; poverty of the blood poverty of ideas.


Definition: the state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions."

What if you have lots of possessions that are dated I wonder?

Anyway, we have all heard stories of people who are now nearing 70 who did things like had car seats to sit on to watch TV etc. However, things have changed a little, so furniture etc. is very cheap. My son went about it by sharing a house with others to start with and bought a desk. Then he got the bed with the very cheap mattress, and borrowed sheets for the first little while.

When he went into a flat, he didn't use a couch, just the kitchen chairs, did without a refrigerator and used the group washing machine. The kitchen chairs are borrowed. It sounds terrible, but he has lived in style the whole time. Now all his stuff is new, and I don't think he used credit to buy it. It has probably taken nearly a year.

Myself I went into a furnished flat with some things that may be described as a glory box that my step-Mum thought to give me. I gave my son a new set of kitchen things when he went to uni. His girlfriend was given some money to start her off and she bought linen, more cutlery and bowls. At Uni I think I helped with fans and toasters as the need arised.

This year I think I will get similar items for the kitchen for our second son with the saving plan you get from Chrisco or Castle hampers. They have kitchen items in their catalogue.

Given the fact that only two trainees in the large organisation where he works have come from outside the city, it is a bit of a moot point. I will have to ask how many don't live at home.

Decent Lady by Yenhuei Hsu
Decent Lady


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