Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Poverty driving road deaths" - Dog and Lemon



The following thoughts are worthy of wider circulation. The fatalistic attitudes described don't just lead to road deaths. They lead to premature deaths from ill-health and other risk-taking behaviour:
“Poverty isn’t just a lack of money; it’s a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding. Middle-class car drivers believe in cause and effect, so they buy safe cars and wear seatbelts. Many poor people see life as something that just happens to them, and that they can’t control. Therefore, to poor people, road accidents are simply bad luck, rather than bad management.”

“Worse, in many country areas, there’s no public transport, so the poor often drive illegal cars that won’t protect the occupants in a collision.”

“Among the poor, substance abuse is often considered normal, and if drink-driving causes an accident, it’s considered bad luck, not irresponsible, behaviour.”

“As far as the poorest of the poor are concerned, life is crap, but junk food, cigarettes and alcohol make it bearable. So when you tell these people not to smoke, drink and over-eat, what they hear is: ‘I want you stop enjoying life’. This is a crazy view, but that’s the way many poor people think.”
Sounds to me like he is describing  rural (and perhaps to a lesser degree urban) inter-generational welfare  dependency.

4 comments:

macdoctor said...

"Sounds to me like he is describing rural (and perhaps to a lesser degree urban) inter-generational welfare dependency."

Welfare dependency is just one more symptom of a directionless life - seeing life as "something that just happens to them".

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Macdoctor, I think it's more than a symptom. It enables or allows or encourages or indulges - take your pick - the directionless life.

Brendan McNeill said...

"Middle-class car drivers believe in cause and effect, so they buy safe cars and wear seatbelts. Many poor people see life as something that just happens to them, and that they can’t control."

No, the western mind grasps cause and effect because that's been part of our cultural heritage for more than 1,000 years.

The Hindus of India may be excused for thinking life is something that 'just happens' to them and outside of their control because that is consistant with the capricious nature of the gods they serve.

There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of poor people in New Zealand who competely understand cause and effect, who get up each morning, make lunches for their kids who then attend school, and they as responsible parents go off to work.

Actually, that's life for most Kiwis poor, middle class or 'rich'.

Once we start accepting that it's normal for a growing section of society to opt out of personal responsibility, the party is permanently over for everyone.



John B said...

Does welfare encourage a directionless life, or does a directionless life lead one to embrace welfare?

Too many chickens and eggs this week...