10 November 2008

Class Consciousness

I have been thinking about poverty.  It started some time ago, in June '07, when I read an article entitled "The Class Consciousness Raiser." Class consciousness is taboo in American culture. Anyway I immediately made the connection with the idea of abundance. Poverty, abundance. Ah, but I digress.

Poverty is simply the lack of means for providing material needs or comforts. The operative phrase is "the lack of means."

Anyway for lots of reasons I've been thinking about poverty and abundance.  The least of which is the fact I've not had gainful employment for 11 months.  At one point, during the '08 summer months, my family was hemorrhaging cash at a terrifying rate. I'm talkin' night-terror bullet-sweatin' panic attacks. This was due to unemployment and submitting to COBRA health insurance. Rather than be dumped with none, we chose to submit to this misnomered benefit paying $1,300 a month! It adds up quick. I might as well've burned the cash; as an investment there was no return. Insurance company is not my friend just now; feels more like predation.

This is not evidence of a "lack of means." If poverty is the lack of means then what are "the means?"  "The Class Consciousness Raiser" article details them.  Well for the record, right off, people are the greatest and highest resource. Any other resource is meaningless without people. There are eight resources: 
  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Support Systems
  • Relationships/Role Models
  • Knowledge of Hidden Rules
These are material resources. They're also resources that are taught; they're learned behaviors, literally embodied in goods, services, and people's behavior.  For example financial resource is having the money to purchase goods and services.  Physical resource is having physical health and mobility. So if we lack financial resource we lack the means to purchase goods and services. If we lack physical resource we are immobile or in poor health.

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