Shaming people for being poor

Sometime ago, in my series on how poor people have dignity too, I praised the recent adoption of debit cards instead of food coupons as a good way for them to purchase food without others knowing that they were down on their luck.

But some people want to deny even that minimal level of dignity and label the poor with a scarlet, or rather orange, letter. An Arizona Republican legislator wants the debit cards to be a bright orange color. Of course, his stated reason is to prevent ‘fraud’, that useful word that disguises hateful motives as noble ones.


  1. Steve LaBonne says

    I guess that in addition to Driving While Black, Shopping While Poor is also a crime. Is this a great country or what?

  2. Karen says

    “If that does concern people that they have a bright orange card, I hope they go get a better education or better jobs and stop using that card.”

    Wow, really? It’s like that bright orange card will finally be the thing that motivates someone to take advantage of all of the opportunities that have just been lying around. Extremely privileged people like Jeff Dial really have no idea what it’s like for people who aren’t just handed wealth and opportunity at birth.

  3. Steve LaBonne says

    Karen, that’s the teabagger mentality in a nutshell. I “earned” my position (by being born into a privileged race / class, but I’m damned if I’ll acknowledge that) and if “those people” were as smart / virtuous / hardworking as I am, they’d have no problems.

  4. Henry says

    I purpose all wheelchairs and motorized scooters that are paid for by Medicare be painted orange.

  5. says

    Too many people still believe that not having money is a curse and you should be ashamed. I am poor but I don’t walk around announcing it to the world. So the idea of having an orange debit card is really a way to add more insult to the less fortunate.

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