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What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty
Financial advisor Dave Ramsey is also an evangelical Christian.
November 30th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN 

(CNN)– Dave Ramsey is rich. And he makes his living telling other evangelical Christians how they can get rich, too.

Host of a nationally syndicated radio program and author of multiple best-selling books, Ramsey targets evangelical Christians with what he calls a “biblical” approach to financial planning, one that focuses primarily on the elimination of consumer debt. His for-profit Financial Peace University is billed as “a biblically based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God's ways."

Much of what Ramsey teaches is sound, helpful advice, particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills. I have celebrated with friends as they’ve marked their first day of debt-free living, thanks in part to Dave Ramsey’s teachings and all those white envelopes of cash he urges his students to use instead of credit cards.

But while Ramsey may be a fine source of information on how to eliminate debt, his views on poverty are neither informed nor biblical.

Take, for example, a recent article by Tim Corley posted to Ramsey’s website. Entitled “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day,” the article presents some dubious statistics comparing the habits of the rich with the habits of the poor, including:

“70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.”

“76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.”

“63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.”

One need not be a student of logic to observe that Corley and Ramsey have confused correlation with causation here by suggesting that these habits make people rich or poor.

For example, a poor person might not exercise four days a week because, unlike a rich person, she cannot afford a gym membership. Or perhaps she has to work two jobs to earn a living wage, which leaves her little time and energy for jogging around the park.

A poor family may eat more junk food, not because they are lazy and undisciplined, but because they live in an economically disadvantaged, urban setting where health food stores are not as available: a so-called “food desert.”

Critics were swift to point out these discrepancies and among the critics were some of Ramsey’s fellow evangelical Christians who also noted that, though the book of Proverbs certainly heralds success as a common return on faithful labor, nowhere does the Bible guarantee that good habits lead to wealth.

The writer of Ecclesiastes observed that "under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all."

And far from having contempt for the poor, Jesus surrounded himself with the needy and challenged the excesses of the rich. “Blessed are you who are poor,” he said, “for yours is the kingdom of God. … But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort” (Luke 6:24).

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," Jesus famously said, "than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

It’s hard for the wealthy to flourish in the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated because the economy of that kingdom runs so contrary to the economies of the world. It rewards the peacemakers over the powerful, the humble over the proud, the kind over the cruel, and those who hunger to do the right thing over those whose wealth has convinced them they already are.

Ramsey responded to the pushback with an addendum to the original post calling his critics “ignorant” and “immature” and instructing them to “grow up.”

“This list simply says your choices cause results,” he said, again committing the false cause fallacy. “You reap what you sow.”

The list, he said, applies only to people living in “first world” countries, where Ramsey believes economic injustices are essentially nonexistent. While the poor in developing countries are so as a result of external circumstances beyond their control, the poor in the United States have no one to blame but themselves.

“If you are broke or poor in the U.S. or a first-world economy, the only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU,” Ramsey says. “You can make better choices and have better results.”

America, he argues, has prospered as a direct result of its “understanding and application of biblical truths” which have led to “life-changing industry, inventions and a standard of living never known before on this planet.”

“There is a direct correlation,” he concludes, “between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth.”

For Christians, Ramsey’s perceived “direct correlation” between faith and wealth should be more troubling than his other confused correlations, for it flirts with what Christians refer to as the prosperity gospel, the teaching that God rewards faithfulness with wealth.

Ramsey’s particular brand of prosperity gospel elevates the American dream as God’s reward for America’s faithfulness, the spoils of which are readily available to anyone who works hard enough to receive them.

But such a view glosses over the reality that America was not, in fact, founded upon purely Christian principles (unless one counts slavery, ethnic cleansing, gender inequity, and Jim Crow as Christian principles), so we should be careful of assuming our relative wealth reflects God’s favor. (The Roman Empire was wealthy, too, after all.)

It also glosses over the reality that economic injustice is not, in fact, limited to the developing world but plagues our own country as well.

When medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the United States, there are systemic injustices at work.

When people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage jobs still can’t earn enough to support their families, there are systemic injustices at work.

When approximately 1% of Americans hold 40% of the nation’s wealth, there are systemic injustices at work.

When the black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for the past 50 years, there are systemic injustices at work.

And throughout Scripture, people of faith are called not simply to donate to charity, but to address such systemic injustices in substantive ways.

The 17-year-old girl who lives in a depressed neighborhood zoned for a failing school system who probably won’t graduate because her grades are suffering because she has to work part-time to help support her family needs more than a few audio books to turn things around.

People are poor for a lot of reasons, and choice is certainly a factor, but categorically blaming poverty on lack of faith or lack of initiative is not only uninformed, it’s unbiblical.

God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike.

And that’s good news.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Business • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Leaders • Money & Faith • Opinion

soundoff (2,299 Responses)
  1. Stacy Law

    Rachel Held Evans is the one confusing correlation and causation.

    The statistics, which are the bone in her throat do not state, nor are they proposed as, causalities. They are, however, corollaries: in other words, "this is the way so-called rich people behave." Period.

    There is so suggestion that by eating less junk food one becomes rich. The correlation is very simple: that rich people more wisely spend their money, not impulsively or on junk food.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      With which statements in your post would Evans disagree, and why would she disagree, according to her article above?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  2. lol??

    Neighbor got more than you?? Don't take the law into your own hands. Form a group, errr mob, pool your resources, and run off and see yer PUblic Servant. Put that fix in.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • FrankinSD

      Ah, so the problem is neither religion nor inequality. Its the existence of self-government. If we could just get rid of that, we'd be fine?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      wha...?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • lol??

      Dad might have a word with junior about coveting.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  3. JW

    There are and always were some rich people that had sincerely worshiped God... Though the bible gives the following warning:

    1 Tim 6:17-19- "17 Instruct those who are rich in the present system of things not to be arrogant, and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who richly provides us with all the things we enjoy. 18 Tell them to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be generous, ready to share, 19 safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, so that they may get a firm hold on the real life.

    1 Tim 6:9,10- "But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains."

    November 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jill

      JW, congugate your petunias peacefully but radically. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently. So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas. Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond. Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  4. Jesus' Beloved

    "God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike."

    This is the absolute truth. The only thing is how many avail themselves of His Presence (unfortunately it's not widely taught how to live the Kingdom of God.)
    It's only through Living The Kingdom via a renewed mind that those who are in lack in whatever areas of their life will come to the knowledge and understanding that Jesus came that we many have life and have it more abundantly.
    So through living the Kingdom we have abundance in life, spirit, health, finance, wisdom, knowledge, understand, peace, might, counsel, etc.

    Good Article, God Bless.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Boris

      A far better explanation of the way things are is that an active, involved god simply does not exist. Got that yet, stupid?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • GetFiddle Man

      You are wrong. God says that you are only saying what other people told you to say about God. God says that you really do not know God. You only know what others through words (written and spoken) have told you about God. You speak as though God spoke to you and said: "Tell others what I want...), etc. You are only saying what you "think" and not what you know - even though you speak as though you know. You don't know. So, I suggest you preface future remarks with: "I don't know for sure, but I think..." With this said, I know you are a person of good intentions. Thank you for trying.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  5. His panic

    In other words... a ½ truth is a complete lie, and that is what his doctrine and dogmas are, ½ truths.

    Maybe poverty or the though of being poor causes him anxiety, maybe hysteria even Panic attacks. I even I, may be his Panic. However those who really really Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic. If you are suffering from anxiety, fear, mass hysteria or Panic you must Trust God and Jesus Christ God's Only Son.

    Otherwise anxiety, fear, hysteria and Panic can as it has, get you into all sort of troubles including but not limited to financial troubles. Panic has been the cause of huge Financial troubles, brawls, riots and stampedes. Animals and people alike do Panic and go into stampedes. Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son and you WILL NOT Panic.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • FrankinSD

      The problem with half-truths is telling which half is which. But I think you may be exaggerating his truthiness. Any proposition derived by logical fallacy is entirely false.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • G to the T

        True dat – garbage in = garbage out

        December 1, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Gary Seven

      Psalm 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
      So how do you interpret poor from the above statement?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Maybe a little off topic, Gary, but don't you think that in an hour or two of digging through scripture you could find plenty of examples that contradict that psalm? Maybe the psalm's author had not seen such examples, but certainly there are many in the bible, yes?

        November 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • His panic

        I haven't either, but the same can be said of many evildoers, unjust and wicked. Job complained about that in chapter 21:7-13.

        Job 21:7-13
        7 "Why do the wicked live, continue on, also become very powerful?
        8 "Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes,
        9 Their houses are safe from fear, and the rod of God is not on them.
        10 "His ox mates without fail; His cow calves and does not abort.
        11 "They send forth their little ones like the flock, and their children skip about.
        12 "They sing to the timbrel and harp and rejoice at the sound of the flute.
        13 "They spend their days in prosperity, and suddenly they go down to Sheol.

        November 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • G to the T

          And what was Yahweh's response? STFU, I'm God!

          December 1, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  6. Joel Oilsheen

    Don't give your money to Dave Ramsey. He's a lowlife schmeel.

    Give me your hard earned money so I can buy more grease to put in my hair. I need more oil in my hair than the state of Texas can produce.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  7. lol??

    Gacy was painting. Now Bush II?? And Hillary is peddling words!!

    November 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      huh?...

      November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  8. cynthiabeard

    Thank you so much for this. I used to recommend Dave Ramsey's books and programs to friends because there is indeed a lot of good advice in them. But the more he opens his mouth, the more I hear rhetoric that shames people in poverty. I spent several years attending a fundamentalist church that condemned everyone who wasn't "good enough" by their standards. I hear a lot of similar judgmental statements from Dave.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      We call those people "Christians".

      November 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • FrankinSD

        Or, they call themselves Christians.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • cynthiabeard

        True, what passes as "American Christianity" is typically that way. But there is also a growing movement of "progressive Christianity" that embraces Jesus' radical teachings...and doesn't condemn or judge those who have different faith/non-faith beliefs.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • FrankinSD

      I don't think that the problem is religion per se. It's more a matter of religion as a privileged perspective.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        In other words, the problem is religion.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Set

          You are your biggest problem.

          Religion is your scapegoat.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • G to the T

        "religion as a privileged perspective" – I think I get what you are saying. Both sides of the argument often assume some kind of deficency in the other side (faith vs. reason say). Non-believers are "blind", "willful" and "lost". Believers are "delusional", "ignorant" and "hypocritical".

        As a non-believer I usually try to concentrate on flaws in a person's arguments, not (supposed) flaws in their character. That being said, I'm only human and the urge to just verbally grab someone by the collar and shake them can be hard to resist when you believe in something passionately. 🙂

        December 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  9. Inger (the real one, not the hypocrite troll)

    I ate too many beans. God why did you make beans and beer? Why is there no free bean?

    November 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Ungodly Discipline

    Republicans / Evangelicals pride themselves in pushing the poor to the fringe. This guy is nothing more than a business man concerned with his own wealth. He may have some good financial advice but nothing new that can't be found elsewhere. I have some too, "Crackheads, spend your money on food and clothes instead of drugs." There, I am a genius.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Set

      Not all republicans are evangelicals. Not all evangelicals are republicans.
      And even evangelical republicans... they don't all do what you claim.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        I know. I was generalizing but it is closer to the truth than you understand.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Set

          Actually, you don't understand.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • nancy

      He says himself that he tells you the same thing your grandmother told you, he just leaves his teeth in. If we all did what he said, we could help a lot more people that are down and out and not able to practice what he teaches.....yet...

      December 1, 2013 at 2:56 am |
  11. Mary

    Dave is right, she is soooooooopp wrong.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      About what? Can you list some of the statements in the article that are "wrong?" Thanks.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Joel

        Christianity and facts are independent, and there is little overlap.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  12. Bob

    Why is that the author seems to state and imply that Mr. Ramsey directs his program to evangelical christians? What do they have to do with it? His very popular radio program is on every type of station and I don't hear him directing himself to one class of folks. The great thing about being in America is you can change the station. Perhaps this particluar writer should. It isn't about making money only, what about the giving part? What about not spending what you don't have? What about the CC companies that conitnually entice you to get their card? The problem is, no one wants to be accountable. We are a society full of excuses. Rather than being one of the bleeding hearts against someone who is trying to do good and educate, perhaps you should approach it from the angle that one should be responsible! We can change our future. I know. I did.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mary

      That's her way of automatically negating what he says.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Brandy

      Well said, Bob!

      November 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Barry

      Bob, she doesn't need to change the station. One of the characteristics of a democracy is the ability to intelligently and respectfully discuss / support / oppose publicly stated views. As has been stated by other commenters, no one is arguing the wisdom of spending less than one's income and being very wary of credit cards. The issue at hand is the shaming and demonization of the poor. The issue of wealth and poverty in the first world is incredibly complex, and does not lend itself particularly well to condescending cliches and simplistic judgements. As an evangelical, Democrat-leaning voter, I find myself veering much more closely to the views of Pope Francis than guys like Dave Ramsey.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Dan

    ...or the crime riddled inner city, whee it's not safe to go out for a run.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • rl

      If you are running in the inner city your have possibly two chances. Getting shot by a bad guy, or getting shot by a cop, because if you are running you must be a bad guy.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  14. lol??

    A classical education usually involves starting as a driver for da boss.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Huh??

      November 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Maddy

      I am unsurprised that you would be anti-education.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  15. pastor tim walker

    Just another bleeding-heart liberal blaming everyone but failing to take personal responsibility for your life! I grew up in the poorest part of town and even lived in a homeless shelter for a few months but when I took responsibility to get an education and change my habits, I changed my life! Dave Ramsey is 100% correct...the truth may make you mad but it will also makes you free!

    November 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Nothing wrong with good financial advice, but one size doesn't fit all. This douche uses religion to sell his product. He is an ass.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Maddy

      Sounds like you are trying to politicize poverty, "Pastor".

      November 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • lol??

        Ain't that the quickest way to poverty??

        November 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • compassion...

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/28/opinion/kristof-where-is-the-love.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1&

      December 1, 2013 at 2:28 am |
  16. beachgalone

    The minute any business mentions their religious background or that he or she is "church going person", or "we are like a family", I shut it out.

    Dave Ramsey could be a fine financial advisor, but using his religion to grow his business has always been a turnoff.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      There is a word for people like him. "douche bag".

      November 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • Chris

        Quite a strong response for something you probably no nothing about other than he is religious.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          What would I not know? I know what you know and this guy is a douche.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Set

      Welcome to religion.blogs.c.nn.com

      November 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Maddy

        It's not a religion blog. It is a belief blog. Note the difference.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • k3vinf

          A difference with no distinction.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The distinction is obvious...or should be to any critical thinker.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Set

          Look at the URL: religion.blogs.cnn.com

          welcome!

          November 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • CNN Staff

          The URL used to be belief.blogs.cnn.com. When we changed it to religion.blogs.cnn.com all the atheists flocked to this site like flies to sh.t.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Dave

    Rachel Evans needs to read the Bible. All of it. Not just what servers her writting. I was born poor but got a job and now I am middle class. The Bible states a Man needs to work. Min. Wage is for young workers. Learn a skill, make some money and share it with people to get own there feet.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Mike

      Tell all the recent college graduates that.

      What is your "skill"?

      Bring back manufacturing. Sanction those who outsource HEAVILY.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • GP

      and you needed bible to understand that simple fact ? People who want to make money or grow out of poverty need to work hard and I don't think you will need any religion to understand that.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • k3vinf

      There is nothing wrong with being well off, or middle class. There is something wrong with the notion everyone plays the game on equal footing with similar advantages. There is also nothing wrong with being poor and rich in spirit. Financial wealth is a privilege and helping the poor is a moral obligation some rich people find counter intuitive.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • Maddy

        Well said.
        You understand.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • ky

      You obviously don't know who Rachel Evans is... I would look her up before you start saying she doesn't know the Bible.

      In general, Dave Ramsey's approach to getting debt-free is common sense (if you read actually go read his books) but the fact he makes his money throwing in the "faith way to do it" is what makes him look hypocritical as a Christian, especially when he starts saying things about the poor (as quoted in this blog and other places I've read). He shouldn't claim Jesus's name in his business if he isn't going to walk the walk as a Christian.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Responding to the Pride

    "...urban setting where health food stores are not as available:" Huh? They don't sell fruits and vegetables and whole grains in the city? Me thinks she tries a little too hard to make her point.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • FrankinSD

      Never heard of an urban good desert? You must not get out much.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Urban "food deserts" are areas that don't have grocery stores. When you lack transportation, you tend to shop at stores you can access by walking. In a "food desert" those stores are convenience stores where you can get things like sodas, booze, cigarettes or lottery tickets, but not a lot in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables. Urban "food deserts" most often occur in the poorest sections of cities, and they are yet another cause for the poor health suffered by people who live in poverty.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • doobzz

      Educate yourself. Many scholarly papers have been written on the subject of urban food deserts and nutrition.

      http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas.aspx#.Upo0y5HV2zA

      November 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  19. Larry

    A poor person might not exercise because they can't afford a gym membership? Really? You're making even greater assumptions than Ramsey. It costs NOTHING to jog, or do aerobics, or to simply take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    November 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • David M.

      Did you bother yourself to read the next sentence in the article, by any chance?

      November 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chris

      Thank you! I was thinking the same thing! I love how people jump on comments assuming what someone says is the end all be all and there is no room for anomalies and/or the possibility that nothing else can happen. Dave isn't saying you do these things and you are guaranteed to be rich and free of debt. He is just giving statistics that show behaviors of poor vs rich. Obviously if you are soo poor where you have no choice but you buy the cheap processed food, you will eat unhealthy. At that point it is about survival. Far to much I see families who don't make very much, but eat out all the time and buy a bunch of beer each paycheck.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  20. lisablankenship

    Many of you have missed her point: systemic injustice. It's not an excuse; it's a fact.

    If you've never walked in the shoes of a person born into poverty, you have no right to judge them. Her solution is to address the systemic reasons for much of the economic inequality in our country, something that needs to be done on a personal, community, church, and governmental level. It's your responsibility, it's my responsibility, to educate ourselves. A good start: a story about the book _The Color of Wealth_: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5430249

    November 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Maddy

      Many people will turn this into a political debate. It shouldn't be.

      Poverty is indifferent to political affiliation.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      A great start would be to vote the GOP completely out of office.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Maddy

        Yep.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
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