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the poor Quotes

16 of the best book quotes about the poor
  1. #1
    “Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Chaos begets chaos. Instability begets instability. Welcome to family life for the American hillbilly.”
  2. #2
    “We don’t need to live like the elites of California, New York, or Washington, D.C. We don’t need to work a hundred hours a week at law firms and investment banks. We don’t need to socialize at cocktail parties. We do need to create a space for the J.D.s and Brians of the world to have a chance. I don’t know what the answer is, precisely, but I know it starts when we stop blaming Obama or Bush or faceless companies and ask ourselves what we can do to make things better.”
  3. #3
    “I was happy about where I was and overwhelmingly hopeful about the future. For the first time in my life, I felt like an outsider in Middletown. And what turned me into an alien was my optimism.”
  4. #4
    “There is nothing lower than the poor stealing from the poor. It’s hard enough as it is. We . . . don’t need to make it even harder on each other.”
  5. #5
    “Pajamas? Poor people don’t wear pajamas. We fall asleep in our underwear or blue jeans. To this day, I find the very notion of pajamas an unnecessary elite indulgence, like caviar or electric ice cube makers.”
  6. #6
    “I want people to know what it feels like to nearly give up on yourself and why you might do it. I want people to understand what happens in the life of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family encountered it. I want people to understand how upward mobility really feels. And I want people to understand something I learned only recently: that for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.”
  7. #7
    “Our eating and exercise habits seem designed to send us to an early grave, and it’s working: In certain parts of Kentucky, local life expectancy is sixty-seven, a full decade and a half below what it is in nearby Virginia. A recent study found that unique among all ethnic groups in the United States, the life expectancy of working-class white folks is going down.”
  8. #8
    “We’re not poor.”
  1. #9
    “For kids like me, the part of the brain that deals with stress and conflict is always activated–the switch flipped indefinitely. We are constantly ready to fight or flee, because there is constant exposure to the bear, whether that bear is an alcoholic dad or an unhinged mom. We become hardwired for conflict. And that wiring remains, even when there’s no more conflict to be had.”
  2. #10
    “When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.”
  3. #11
    “My voice is changing already. It always happens around ‘other’ people, whether I’m at Williamson or not. I don’t talk like me or sound like me. I choose every word carefully and make sure I pronounce them well. I can never, ever let anyone think I’m ghetto.”
  4. #12
    “I ought to have thought of the people who had no armour.”
  5. #13
    “There were hardened criminals and innocent men too poor to give bail; old men, and boys literally not yet in their teens. They were the drainage of the great festering ulcer of society […] Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded. They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars.”
  6. #14
    “A very few days of practical experience in this land of high wages had been sufficient to make clear to them the cruel fact that it was also a land of high prices, and that in it the poor man was almost as poor as in any other corner of the earth; and so there vanished in a night all the wonderful dreams of wealth that had been haunting Jurgis. What had made the discovery all the more painful was that they were spending, at American prices, money which they had earned at home rates of wages – and so were really being cheated by the world! The last two days they had all but starved themselves – it made them quite sick to pay the prices that the railroad people asked them for food.”
  7. #15
    “When the rich are too rich there are ways, and when the poor are too poor there are ways...and that way will come soon.”
  8. #16
    “Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets.”
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