Is being ‘poor’ a learned behavior?

This was first posted on my personal website several years ago…

I know I’ll probably cause a little controversy with this subject matter, so here goes. At one time, I believed that being poor was unfair, or that some folks just didn’t catch the right breaks in life, or maybe the odds were stacked against them so as to make overcoming them insurmountable. I don’t think that anymore. I’ve had the fortune, or misfortune… depending upon your view of life, to have met a diverse cross section of people from all walks of life. Those that were successful shared several positive traits, while those who occupied the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder, usually had a host of negative traits. Negative traits included limited education, limited marketable skills, little or no initiative, and poor lifestyle choices.

It is by talking to people over the years that I’ve come to the conclusion that being poor is a learned behavior. Some of the bad behaviors included drug/alcohol addition, gambling addictions, poor financial planning, poor saving habits, and the need for instant gratification… sacrificing financial futures for fulfilling immediate wants. It is with those negative habits that many people find it difficult to overcome. That does not mean people of means don’t suffer from those bad habits too… it just means that they have enough financial or educational resources at their disposal to offset many of the hardships associated with those habits. Comments?

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