Thank you for such a thoughtful and detailed response.
My point was that while some (maybe in many cases most) of any success is luck, it definitely is not all luck. I think we agree on this.
I’m not advocating zero spending on “small pleasures,” but spending $100 on cable TV and $250 on cigarettes every month undercuts a family’s ability to inch out of poverty.
I believe anyone will be better off if they develop habits that serve their health, relationships and financial well-being in the long term.
It’s not for me to decide how someone else should spend their money, but I do know that having $360 put aside — saving $1 dollar a day for a year — to pay for an emergency car repair can be the difference between being able to get to work and spiraling into even deeper financial insecurity.
I know with absolute certainty that the world isn’t fair and that the scales are tipped wildly in favor of wealthy, white men and their families.
And the tens of thousands of government lobbyists are constantly working hard to tip the scales even further.
However, that shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying their best to help themselves, even if they often move backwards with the tide.
The alternative to trying is quitting, and that won’t result in anything good.