You may have seen the recent essay, "Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts” by Linda Tirado.
Under the pseudonym "killermartinis," the author, a mother, penned what she described as her massive struggle with not being able to make ends meet:
I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be.
She described her plight as a cycle from which she cannot escape, almost as if it's part of her DNA:
You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm,” which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov.” I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image.”
So the report that her story appears to be a bit exaggerated just might raise the ire of at least a few of her new financial backers.
Angelica Leicht of the Houston Press learned, among other things, that Tirado is a Democratic activist who went to private school and speaks Dutch and German:
The real Linda owns a home, thanks to some pretty generous parents. Her LinkedIn profile states she’s been a freelance writer and political consultant since 2010, and has worked in politics since 2004, a claim backed by 27 decent connections.
She’s married to a Marine, has met President Obama while interning for a politician (who obviously wasn’t disgusted by those rotten teeth), and has plenty of time to visit Las Vegas on vacation. And blog about her privileged life on Wordpress.
She speaks both German and Dutch, and has a well-rounded political blog that ended in 2011. It’s also a blog where she quite plainly references being paid to win races.
National Review Online noticed that Tirado offered a clarification on the matter "tucked within her gofundme page" (bold added):
And that is the answer to the question many of you have asked. How is it that someone with such clarity and evocation has any right to assert that they are poor? It is likely untrue. Well, it is and it isn’t. You have to understand that the piece you read was taken out of context, that I never meant to say that all of these things were happening to me right now, or that I was still quite so abject. I am not. I am reasonably normally lower working class. I am exhausted and poor and can’t make all my bills all the time but I reconciled with my parents when I got pregnant for the sake of the kids and I have family resources. I can always make the amount of money I need in a month, it’s just that it doesn’t always match the billing cycles.
All of which might serve as a big grain of salt when you check out the segment below from MSNBC host Toure featuring Tirado's words and stated plight.
“When so much politics is about battling over whether to give one more crumb to the poor or give them none," Toure asserted, "we are going in the wrong direction." Here's the clip:
Keep the saltshaker handy for Tirado's appearance on HuffPo Live, just after the viral fun her essay elicited: