Rich vs Poor Debate – Our Take

A growing controversy festers surrounding a list of 20 habits posted to Dave Ramsey’s website. A blogger, Tom Corley, developed the results from a small study on the habits of wealthy people versus the poor. The implication is non-wealthy can adopt these habits to improve their lot in life. Everyone knows I love stats. So I drank the list right up. I was even emboldened slightly because although 94% of the wealthy surveyed do not watch reality TV, they did find 6% who did. Yes! All is not lost because I haven’t shaken my Real Housewives of Atlanta habit.

Read the full article here.

I heard about the dustup first. My inquisitive (aka nosey) nature led me to the Google so that I might partake in the list of 20 habits. My initial reaction – what’s the big deal? So I hit the Google again to find the critics.  Well it turns out, in Christian blogging circles, several folks are none too happy with Uncle Dave. There were some technical issues pointed out, i.e., the small sample size. Some felt Dave danced right up to the prosperity theology line. Others railed against blaming the poor for economic injustices outside of their control.

Each person has a valid point. Sorry to ride the fence here. I haven’t run across the “immature”, “ignorant”, or “abusive” attacks Dave Ramsey bemoans. So far, the responses from critics have merit. It is hard to paint the poor with a broad brush and pinpoint a general reason for everyone’s predicament. I don’t agree that poor equates to lazy. A myriad of social, emotional, circumstantial, and psychological factors influence a person’s socioeconomic status. However, I don’t think this list attempts to explain why a person lands in a particular state. It simply examines habits common in various groups. Nowhere does the author make the assertion that developing any or all of these habits will lead to wealth, just like obtaining college degree does not guarantee employment. Given the option though, I’ll take my chances with a college degree and productive habits common to people who’ve amassed greater wealth.

Now to work on this reality TV thing…right after this season ends.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the controversy.

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