The other day I was reading an Associated Press story on the plight of impoverished Latinos that focused on a Mexican woman named Cristina Melendez, who lives in Fresno, California, which the AP calls “the nation’s breadbasket.”

According to the story, the 36-year-old mother of seven, who entered the country illegally as a teenager, can’t afford a doctor when she is sick, can’t pay her rent, and is penniless. It’s a heart wrenching story. At least that’s what the reader is supposed to come away feeling. I’m sorry, but I didn’t.

If you look a little deeper at Ms. Melendez and the choices she has made, it’s kind of hard to sympathize. Let’s forget for now the fact that she is an illegal alien and just concentrate on what brought her to where she is today.

She once had visions of living the American dream, with a good job, a house and a car. Hoping to escape the stoop labor of the agricultural fields where her family worked, she dropped out of high school and got married. That marriage ended, but she went on to have seven kids. Seven kids with no apparent way to provide for them except food stamps!

Her two oldest sons, ages 18 and 21 (and keep in mind that Melendez is 36), graduated from high school, but are unemployed. One of them got student loans to attend a technical training program, but dropped out. How much do you want to bet that that loan ever gets repaid?

Now he has a baby of his own, repeating the cycle. And, just like his mother, he has dreams, too. He hopes to someday open a tattoo parlor and smoke shop. He is quoted in the story as saying, "I don’t want to work in the fields, busting my ass for low pay. That doesn’t make sense."

The AP article makes the argument that because she was in the country illegally and did not have a high school education, Melendez was behind the eight ball to start with. I don’t buy that story either. Call me cold and callous if you will. Tell me this poor woman had disadvantages that held her back from the start. I don’t believe that. We make the choices in our lives! If you make bad choices, you have to live with the consequences. Or not.

I’ve known women who got pregnant as teenagers and still managed to support themselves and their children. I’ve known a lot of people with limited education who have worked hard to pull themselves up in life. They didn’t sit around whining about how bad they had it. They found a solution to their problems.

The woman who was my attorney for years was a single mom who worked her way through college and law school. No, she wasn’t an illegal alien, and yes, she had a high school diploma. She was also blind and had to use crutches to get around since childhood, due to other severe physical limitations! It took her an extra three years to complete college and law school, but she graduated magna cum laude and went on to open her own law office! So which of these women do you think had the disadvantage?

If you want to drop out of school, spit out babies like a bubble fountain, get a police record, decorate your face with tattoos and piercings, and paint your hair orange and yellow, that’s your right. But don’t complain when you find yourself unable to get a good job and live in the style you want to become accustomed to.

And don’t expect my tax dollars to pay for the food stamps and other welfare that subsidizes the poor decisions you have made.

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35 Comments on Poor Choices Make You Poor

  1. Dave Schwab says:

    Nick, you are right on and have summed up the downfall that is happening in our country!

  2. Din Milem says:

    Right on again, Bad Nick!!!! AMEN!

  3. Berni says:

    I agree 100%. I get so upset at people who hate the rich or well off. MOST have worked hard to EARN what they have. The key word here is EARNED. !!!! Those of us with pride and self worth, only want what we have EARNED not what can be handed to us. Stop playing the blame game and get off your butts and do what needs to be done or learn to live with in the means you have settled for.

  4. Billiam says:

    Amen. You said all that needs to be said. Thanks

  5. Chris says:

    Those who have nothing usually put themselves in that position.
    No one forced them there. Well said! nothing bad about this one Nick!

  6. Allan says:

    This does not apply to just immigrants this is society in general ” poor choices can make you poor” People that smoke, take drugs,drink alcohol, get tattoos and piercings, gamble, frequent strip clubs, etc. are free to do so on their own dime. Tax payers don’t need to support this waste of money by providing them with government welfare.

  7. Len Drucheimer says:

    I’m probably going to start a family fight but I forwarded this to my sister. She has 3 “adult” children ages 34, 31, and 29 who are just taking up space in this world. None of them finished high school. The oldest is a biker with tattoos all over his body including his shaved head and face. He has done time in jail for drug possession, assault and battery and domestic violence. Of course it was never his fault. He was framed every time. Son number 2 weighs over 340 pounds and never leaves the couch except to go to the bathroom. He even sleeps on it. His life revolves around playing video games online. He has never had a job. His mom says he has a social anxiety disorder and freaks out around people. Her daughter has 3 kids, all by different fathers. They live with my sister because CPS took them away from their mother. She doesn’t work but can always afford cigarettes and a new tattoo. She’s been in jail for possession and driving on a suspended license and is wearing an ankle bracelet as part of her probation. She was fired from her last job because she and a guy she picked up in a bar were shacked up in a motel and she didn’t go to work for 3 days. Not the first time that happened. These maggots bankrupted our parents because they were always bailing them out of one jam after another. Now my sister is broke and her credit is in the toilet from cosigning loans from them and supporting them and she is always calling us asking for financial help. She thinks we are terrible because we won’t help her. I tell her that its not our job to support the kids she raised to be losers.

  8. Sharon Ortloff says:

    There are many people like that in the article – siblings in my own family too. I also got pg at 16 had to drop school and worked. It was not easy – I have Multiple Sclerosis, Vertigo, Diabetes and other maladies but I also had too much personal pride to accept welfare even though it was offered to me. I worked hard and raised my daughter to the best of my ability. Went back to HS graduated with 2 scholarships which I thought was charity so did not use – had some college and am happy to say my daughter is now 50 has the same pride and her children are in college (paying with their own earned money & doing volunteer work) with bright futures ahead. We are not wealthy in dollars but, love life. So I totally do not feel sorry for the losers. We do help the needy as much as possible and are still as generous as possible volunteering at hospitals and care facilities. Nick you are right on as usual.

  9. Francis Callahan says:

    Thia pig and her offspring should be deported immediately bet no 2 children have the same father too many people like her living on the working people time to give them a choise 2 kids on welfare get fixed or no welfare they get pregant to get more money sorry if this hits a sore spot to anyone

  10. Kris says:

    In this country, we reward people for being poor. This includes mothers who space their kids apart so they never have to go off WIC or Welfare until she is old enough to collect Social Security Disability. (Trust me, she will find a reason to get disability if she can’t convince DSS that her kids are disabled in some way and thus deserve Social Security benefits as they are growing up.)

    Really low income people are eligible for all manner of perks – health insurance, dental care, free lunches at school, food stamps, etc. The working class poor do not get these perks. The only way to get your kids braces might be to quit your minimum wage job and go on the public dole.

    We (the American people) need to stop this gravy train. Pay for the first two kids and no more. Or provide child care while the parent attends mandated GED classes. Provide transportation for those that say “I can’t get there”.

    There are people that genuinely need the help, and I would give them the shirt off my back. But there are just too many people that know how to play the system. If the goal is to avoid work at all costs, it can be done. We will never plug all the loopholes. But maybe we can make their lives a little less profitable.

  11. Mike Chiles says:

    Yes we all make choices. I went to college at night and worked 7 days a week while attending college. I took a started a small business at 51. I drive a 19 year old car and it runs just like a new car! We are leaving in the morning on a RV trip to Nova Scotia & and in November for 2 weeks in Europe.
    All this is happened because we WORKED and SAVED. Nobody gave me a free ride and more importantly. We don’t want anything unless we work & earn it. Yes, we make choices. BIG ONES!

  12. MarilynFox says:

    Bad Nick for President!! I’d vote for him!!

  13. Connie Bradish says:

    First she is illegal. She is a CRIMINAL. She should be deported rather than on welfare, etc. I am so sick of all these people with their hands out, saying poor me, help me.

    Second,this is the land of opportunity. BUT YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT. My husband and I came for lower middle class families but we retired early and have money. We got it by working hard, being frugal (I dressed out of thrift shops before it was mainstream as an example), we pinched pennies, we lived below our means, we saved and invested our money. Now we are part of the so called rich. And all these big government people say we should pay more in taxes to share the wealth. WHY? WE EARNED AND SCRIMPED AND SAVED for our money. It doesn’t belong to anyone but us. We have charities we give to, we help our family where appropriate, we have never taken welfare or a handout. We have been supporting the government all these years by paying income tax, medicare tax, social security tax, sales tax, property tax, etc.

    I say to all these people GET A JOB, no, get several jobs and WORK rather than sit on you bottom and whine all the time. And I’m not sorry for saying they need to work for the American Dream just like we had to. Hard work, personal drive and ambition gets you success. Otherwise you are a loser just like this woman and her lowlife kids.

  14. George Stoltz says:

    Agree with your blog and all of the comments. I do not want to support these illegals.

  15. Paul J Stough says:

    Connie, you are absolutely right! She is here illegally, and shouldnt be, so everything that she has done since she got here should have never happened!

    That brings up the question; why is she and millions of illegals here in this country in the first place? The answer is, that even though both major political parties support virtually unlimited immigration, it is the businesses that violate the law by hiring the illegals that draws them here. If the illegals could not get jobs, they would not come here. Most of these same businesses, especially the larger ones, have the political clout to keep from being prosecuted for their violations of the law. In my opinion, any business that hires illegal aliens should be treated the same way we treat drug dealers; their assets should be confiscated, and the principals should go to jail. We, as a country, wouldnt have to do that to too many businesses, and the problem of illegal aliens in the country would be solved!

    The negative repercussions of the invasion of illegals has a huge effect on our economy.

    First and foremost, this invasion has driven down the buying power of unskilled and low skilled workers to about half of what these wages were 40 years ago before the invasion. It is this reduction is wages that is largely responsible for the fact that now about half of Federal Income Tax filers do not make enough money to OWE any Federal Income Tax!

    Secondly, this reduction in wages, and therefore buying power, has also resulted in a huge increase in demand for social service programs.

    Also, as buying power declined, many people tried to move up the economic ladder, which then put downward pressure on wages and benefits on these job sectors. In addition, people by the thousands, including new high school graduates, thought the answer was going to college, which has caused a tremendous rise in college tuition, which in turn is largely responsible for the college loan disaster that is waiting to happen.

    The bottom line; get the illegals out of the country, and wages and benefits will rise, the demand for social welfare programs will decline, and the demand for college will decrease, leading to lower tuition and less borrowing for college.

    Enough for now.

    Paul Stough

  16. Shannon says:

    Your right on again. Get the illegals out of this country!!!

  17. Sal Bellomo says:

    How true that is about illegals people are when they come here ,
    but we have some that are here the same way . To work for a living
    is to hard for them ,and free money is the way they go .Again
    you say it the best THANK YOU NICK & God Bless .

  18. Otto Henderson says:

    Agree 100% Nick, but unfortunately YOU and I are paying for these illegals and their bad decisions with our tax dollars……..

  19. Jan White says:

    It’s not just the illegal aliens. I was a discharge planner in a hospital where a clinic admitted a number of their patients. The physicians would order meds that they knew the family couldn’t afford, so they wrote it as a discharge order that included the prescription (patient could not be discharged until they had the prescription given to them). One patient comes to mind, it was a child, so ok. Took several trips to the patient’s room to give her the meds, because every time someone tried to drop them off, the mom was out smoking! Nuff said.

  20. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Bad-ass Nick,
    I have noticed whenever you write one of these ‘articles’ it is the same people who comment, such as myself… I AM A GOVERNMENT ‘TIT-SUCKER’ MYSELF, as all I have coming in is SS & a very ‘small’ retirement from the State of Texas Teachers Retirement System, which they didn’t add anything to, but ‘invested’ the money put into it.. I ‘started’ seven different businesses myself, but couldn’t build them into viable ones that would make a profit; I did hire people who had families and kept them fed on what they EARNED, WORKING for me… When I became incapacitated where I couldn’t work myself, the people I hired to do the work; WOULDN’T, if I wasn’t there to show them what to do; THEY NEVER LEARNED HOW!!! The minimum-wage ‘jobs’ I was ‘able’ to get or handle, the last of my ‘working’-years, kept us fed, our home was an ‘inheritance’ and paid for; but the taxes MADE US HAVE TO MOVE!!!
    I am ashamed to have to live on the government, because I was raised to WORK and NOT COMPLAIN; and I still feel that way…
    We bought a small ranch, with our home sale money(paid cash)
    and live frugally as possible… We’ll make it here until we die, as we are past the ‘life-time’ given for working folks..
    Joyce(5’X 128#) does the heavy work and I do whatever I can from my GOVERNMENT furnished wheel-chair(I’m thankful for it)… It didn’t HAVE to cost $7K though… I ain’t worth it.

  21. Dale Roberts says:

    And to top it all off, they expect us to learn Spanish rather than put forth the effort to learn English themselves.

  22. Tim Farrell says:

    I have a niece who is a very pretty and otherwise intelligent young woman, but she has what are called sleeves, which are tattoos covering both of her arms from shoulder to wrists. She has a degree in finance and wanted to work for a major bank, but the ones where she has applied do not allow visible tattoos and even with long sleeve blouses you can still see them on her wrists. She thinks its “art” and she should not be judged by her choice to have them. I keep telling her that yes, they do have a right to judge her because they have a dress code and an image they want to uphold. So she is entitled to make her choice to be adorned that way but has to live with the consequences of it.

  23. Jeff Hanssen says:

    I agree 100%.
    Can I put this on my face book page?

  24. Mark says:

    As long as a majority of voters keep electing dems, your last sentence doesn’t fit. In fact your tax dollars will be taken from you (in ever increasing amounts) to pay for the food stamps and other welfare that subsidizes the poor decisions that the democrat base has made.

  25. Karen Proctor says:

    Nick I am so in agreement with your feelings. I have known some real examples that worked their way up in life and didn’t need to whine and complain to get something for nothing. This woman is a perfect example of what we don’t need in the states. Thanks for sharing

  26. Nick Russell says:

    Sure Jeff, help yourself

  27. david evans says:

    Nice, except they can and do expect us to pay for their bad decisions.

  28. TEB says:

    Well said Nick.
    In the words of Ben Franklin many years ago:
    “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

  29. Paul J Stough says:

    @Mark-Are you saying that everyone who is “poor” is “poor” because they have made poor decisions? I hope that is not what you mean.

    The difference, as I see it, between the Democrats and the Republicans, being that both parties support unlimited immigration, and low wages which result from having millions of illegals in the country, is that the Democrats want social welfare programs to help those at the lower end of the economic spectrum, like the European democracies, while the Republicans would like to end, or vastly reduce the social welfare programs, and have our economy be similar to that of Mexico, where you have a very small percentage of people who own most of the wealth, a small Middle Class, but the vast majority of people living in abject poverty.

    We are well on on way to the “New Republican Economy” as now in the USA the 400 wealthiest people have as much wealth as the poorest 150 million people.


  30. Mark says:

    Paul–you are entitled to your own opinion; but not to your own facts. Look at California , where the lady and her kids live. It is controlled by liberals and Democrats and has been for decades. Look at any city or State where the Democrats have been in control for decades and you will find similar squalor, poverty, hopelessness, and a culture of dependency. Many of these cities/state, such as Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, California, Illinois, that have years of one party democrat rule are either bankrupt, or rapidly heading there. They have run out of “other people’s money” to spend. So, by the way, have the European democracies that you tout. Every few months they are asking for a new bailout for their lavish social welfare programs.

    If all of these problems in these liberal Utopias are the Republican’s fault, I have only one question: what color is the sky in your world?

  31. Paul J Stough says:

    David-So you are saying that there are no wealthy people in cities and states controlled by Democrats, and there are no poor people in cities and states controlled by Republicans?

    I hardly think so! You are going to have to come up with better answers than that!


  32. Allan says:

    This country was not founded on Socialism but giving people the opprotunity to make a living through hard work, wise choices including investments and a work ethic that did not include expecting the government to give them a living. There will always be poor and wealthy however in the USA we have a large middle class. The more people rely on government welfare, their offsprings will follow suit. Encouraging expanded welfare means expanding the poor. Actually under the present Administratiion the middle class is shrinking due to more socialist policies.The majority of the time successful businesses are those that chose wise business practices, sound investing and not making poor choices. They generally are not trying impoverish their employees as some would have you believe. They usually will offer a fair competitive wage for the type of work the people are performing. The USA is one country where the opprotunity has created many wealthy people through hard work and right choices. Some people would like to take this incentive to be successful away by penalizing their good choices and distributing some of their wealth to people that have not been successful. Communist countries have tried to level the playing field : not by making poor people wealthy but by making wealthy people poor. Then the only well off people were those that were in total power and the poor stayed poor

  33. Paul J Stough says:

    Allan said: ” They(successful businesses) generally are not trying impoverish their employees as some would have you believe. They usually will offer a fair competitive wage for the type of work the people are performing.”

    Lets see…over the past 40 years or so thousands of businesses have violated Federal Law by hiring illegal aliens which has created a huge over supply of unskilled and low skilled workers, which in turn has driven down the buying power of the wages of these people to about half of what it was 40 years ago. They(successful business) have done it pretty much with no fear of being prosecuted for violating Federal Law, because, no doubt, of well placed political donations, but yet you say, ” They(successful businesses) generally are not trying impoverish their employees as some would have you believe. They usually will offer a fair competitive wage for the type of work the people are performing.”? How uninformed can one person be?

    I will comment on the rest of your post in a separate post.


  34. Robert says:

    You are one of the ‘more informed’ commentators I read on the many sites I research and use to sample opinion Paul… Looking forward to the continuation of your latest post.

  35. Bob Moritz says:

    It’spolitics, you must have some one to plame for our troubles. Hitler had the Jews and gypsy among others to focus on there troubles. Here we blame the rich for not paying their fair share ,but no one says what’s a fair share?? The rich do not sit on their money, they built upon it making jobs. I don;t care if a rich man has 2 or more homes. Think about these homes they need to be built,stocked with; refrigerators, ovens furniture the list goes on all this things make work for some one.
    They tried putting a luxury tax on airplanes and boats so what happened the well off stopped buying and the boat and aircraft
    workers and all related jobs where lost. The law was repealed.

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