There are many services available that purport to helping the low-income demographic, but there is inevitably a catch.
Most wealthy businesses and organizations – while they seem to have your best interests in mind – are still wanting to come out on top.
They accomplish this by falsely touting their philanthropy under the guise of fighting poverty and hoping we don't notice.
In an attempt to expose this notion, Redditor -Tauradonna- wondered about the things that actually hurt the poor by asking:
"99% Invisible's episode 'Missing the Bus' pointed out that having only a bus pass or single fare transit system disadvantages poorer people, since they can't pay the total price for the pass at the beginning of the month, but ride just as much or even more than people who can, paying the single fare each time."
"They suggested a system that allows people to pay single fare, but if they reach a certain amount of trips in a month, rides become free, which is actually what my city did. I really hated having to continually load my transit card but now I see why it might be helpful."
"Charities to give away things to poor countries. There is a documentary called exporting poverty that explained this pretty well. So a charity would bring in say a ton of free clothes and just dump them on a poor 3rd world country, the local people that make clothing go out of business and become poor as well, when the free clothing stops coming in, the previous shops and jobs are gone. Same goes for other things such as farm goods, especially live stock which takes years to raise an animal and make money on it. By 'helping' by flooding the local marketplace with free products it's killing local businesses and worsening the overall poverty."
"Jobs that are totally full time, but only hire 'contractors' to get a FTE without those pesky benefits. Sometimes they even charge equipment fees and stuff for things required to do the job. Harkens back to the company store days."
"The emphasis on extracurriculars and internships in college and job applications."
"Extracurriculars can be expensive, and teens who need to work to support themselves or their families are never going to be able to compete in that regard. Unpaid internships also give well-off young people (who don't need to spend their time working) relevant job experience, while poorer kids are taking extra shifts at fast food places."
Paying In Installments
"Rent to own stores. They prey on uneducated people with poor money management skills by convincing them it's smart to take something home today and pay a fee every week plus interest for many months."
"They are banking on the fact that people won't realize they are often paying a lot more over time than they would if they saved the money by themselves and bought it outright somewhere else."
"I had a friend who fell victim to them regularly even when I tried explaining it every time. It wasn't odd for him to rent a TV, console, or laptop and end up paying $100 or more than the thing was worth brand new. There were even a few times he couldn't keep up on the payments and had to return it, so they got to keep whatever he returned and all the money he had paid them up until then."
"Overcharge bank fees."
"AND they can arrange your account to charge you fees you don't deserve."
"Example from the article:"
"Say you're a student with $50 in your account. You make 3 consecutive purchases for $10 each. That leaves you with $20, but you still need to buy a $40 book for class that evening. You decide to swipe your debit card anyway under the assumption you'll be charged a $35 overdraft fee just once."
"Since most banks will process largest to smallest transaction the $40 book is deducted first leaving the student with $10 then the three $10 transactions are deducted. That would the bank to collect and overdraft fee two times instead of one."
"It also impacts deposits, if you deposit money during that time but it's small checks or small bills and not the largest value of the day, they can rearrange it to be at the end."
A Failed System
"Work requirements for government assistance."
"It sounds really nice because why should the government give you food stamps if you aren't willing to work, but the reality is that the threshold for receiving government benefits is so low that the only way for many people to survive is to not work."
"For example: Let's say you're homeless. No fault of your own. You're working a job you love that might lead to more opportunities but you make just a little over minimum wage, or maybe you even make minimum wage. Rental prices have been rapidly increasing and your landlord wants to get in on the action by remodeling. He gets everyone out by not allowing people to resign leases. You look around for a new place to live but you're priced out of everything. You try to get assistance with housing but no one actually cares until you're literally sleeping on the street (not that they really care then, but...). So you couldn't get housing assistance before you became homeless and now that you are homeless you're incredibly high risk for health problems. You can't get healthcare through your job because it's unaffordable. You apply for Medicaid. You make too much money for Medicaid. You apply for food stamps, thinking that maybe if you save money of food you can save up for a deposit on an apartment or pay for health insurance. You don't qualify for food stamps."
"You have a job. Full time. It doesn't cover the necessities and no one will help you. So you quit your job (it was hard to hold onto anyway, seeing as you were sleeping on the ground and didn't have access to a regular shower or a clean work clothes). Now you have healthcare and food stamps and someone is trying to help you find a place to live."
"They want you to work. Any job will do you just have to work. You know the second you start working you don't qualify for any help anymore. You tell them you only want a job that will pay enough that you're able to survive. They tell you that's not enough and you need to work. You get a low wage job, you get kicked off benefits, rinse, wash, repeat."
"Saying that minimum wage jobs are for students. If they're for students then why do they hire adults in the first place?"
Misconceptions Of Social Assistance Programs
"It kills me when people absolutely jump on folks on social assistance programs. They're 'afraid of work' or 'too lazy to work.' But that's ridiculous. They're making a decision that best serves their family, and I can't fault them in the slightest.
"I mean, come on, be honest:"
"Work minimum wage (because you don't have the skills or experience to do better - and you can try to change that, but it's not a quick or easy process). Make enough maybe for rent and basics, but you're not able to save money, you can't afford health insurance (state Medicare is inconsistent and many states only extend it to single mothers or very low income families with children). Very high risk."
"Don't work, and get state assistance instead. Now, you get subsidized rent, food assistance, and free healthcare. You're much better off - but if you make even a tiny bit too much, you lose everything."
"Which would you choose?"
The Problem With Disability Benefits
"This is also a similar situation for disability benefits."
"Disability benefits prevent you from rejoining the workforce because anything you make at a job is taken out of your benefits."
"Like, let's say your disability prevents you from working full time hours, but part time is fine. part time minimum wage won't pay for sh*t, but, if you had disability benefits, it'd make it survivable and could work towards better managing your disability, finding a better job, and getting off benefits."
"It doesn't work like that. if you're given $1000/m in benefits and then make $800/m at a part time job, benefits will take that $800 of your paycheck out of your benefits and only give you $200/m. so you still only make $1000/m whether you work or not."
"The whole system is designed to make you feel like sh*t for not working but punish you for wanting to."
The Criminal Justice System
"The greatest injustice isn't that the rich have access to good legal representation. It is that the poor do not."
"The Common Law legal system is adversarial by design. If you show up under-equipped, then you are going to have a bad time."
"In theory, the duty of the prosecution is to merely present evidence that supports each and element of the offense(s) laid out against the accused. This also includes providing evidence that does not support any element of the offense(s) laid out against the accused."
"The criminal justice system, again by design, is meant to give the benefit of the doubt and the advantage to the defendant. Because the power of a state is so overwhelming against any private individual (even people like Jeff Bezos can instantly be brought down by the sheer might of the SEC), and the consequences of loss of liberty so dire, the system is designed that each and every element of an offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; that, is, a fact finder must be sure. A defendant rarely has the burden of proof and it will almost be to a lower standard of balance of probabilities (or preponderance of the evidence), meaning more likely than not."
"The problem with the American criminal justice system is that your prosecution authority is elected. In theory, it sounds great to have the prosecution represent the concerns of the people and be accountable to them. In practice it means you have a prosecution service whose entire mandate is based on convictions to satisfy the public, not justice. Justice isn't about public opinion."