passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
I don't think it's impossible to raise social class, some doomsayer predictions to the contrary. At least, I think that it is possible to go from, in GURPS terms, Poor to Average, or Struggling to Comfortable. (Anything beyond Comfortable is another matter.)

However, it's a bit like Finding The Right Psych Meds For You, if you are one of the people who is in need of such things. There are many options out there. However, as far as the usefulness of any given option, if I remember my reading correctly the best numbers I've seen (assuming correct diagnosis and yadda yadda) for a specific drug working to provide significant symptom control without intolerable side effects is about 40%. The chances that you'll get that drug on the first try...not necessarily so good, especially since that 40% number is for an oldie-but-goodie (lithium to treat Bipolar I) that doesn't rake in the dough for Big Pharma. And well, some drugs make things much worse if you attack the wrong problem - say, your "depression, insomnia and anxiety" is really bipolar disorder, or your "treatment-resistant atypical depression" is really hypothyroidism. People can also have drugs not just not work but make things actively worse - paradoxical reactions, allergic reactions, serious weight gain (or loss), and other truly unacceptable physical consequences are all possibilities.

And of course, because of the horror stories out there about particular drugs and their possible side effects (the 1-in-3000 chance of getting hit with the Lamictal Rash, the prospect of gaining 100 pounds on Zyprexa, the you'll-never-have-or-want-sex-again-and-btw-good-luck-trying-to-get-off-this-stuff horror stories of Paxil, etc etc) or because a given person thinks that "solving problems" with medication is ALWAYS morally wrong, some people who can barely function are continuing to barely function out of fear that they will lose what little function they have, or lose their pride in "making it on [their] own."

But anyway, this is about being poor, not about psychopharmgeeking.

and when talking about poverty, most of these issues have parallels )
passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
That's a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, particularly in the various non-mainstream subcultures I've been involved with. The implication, in those groups, is often that it's somehow weird and even unethical to desire financial stability. (In the more dysfunctional variants, such as among the Mage War Idiots, it was apparently considered completely ethical to mooch off of unenlightened relatives. It's easy to rail against The Man from your mother's basement, after all.)

There is a certain logic to this. Money can't buy happiness, and chasing riches (or even chasing a particularly strict idea of financial stability) seems to be the cause for regret for a lot of people. Too many people cling to jobs they hate so that they can afford the creature comforts that make their default stress level sustainable at all, and it becomes a treadmill they cannot depart. So, certainly I agree that the money-chase often has real costs to the other aspects of a person's life.

I also believe that just because something is new and expensive, that doesn't mean it's necessarily better. For example, I could probably devote an entire post to the issue of kids in foster care being given the newest and most expensive anti-psychotics as first-line drugs, and Medicaid picking up the tab for that. (And I will write that post, if people are interested in reading it.)

What money can do when used appropriately is buy peace of mind, which can create the space for happiness - or at least for contentment and lowered stress levels.

A few personal examples of this from my own life. )


passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
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