Poverty Quotes

Poverty – the state of those lacking the necessary (or socially acceptable) amount of money or material possessions
the state of those lacking the necessary (or socially acceptable) amount of money or material possessions
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Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime Quote

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime

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Poverty is an iron ceiling, a ceiling four feet off the ground, a ceiling that forces those who live with poverty to spend their days hunched over, on the edge of fear and humiliation”
— Seth Godin

The man with toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man
George Bernard Shaw

“A life lived in poverty … is always about scrambling. A life lived in poverty is about another kind of possibility, the very real possibility that there be no food tomorrow, no shelter, no emergency health care for the children. It’s always about scrambling, about the risk”
— Seth Godin

Life enslaves the poor by giving them problems that money can resolve, or, dissolve
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

People poor because they are paid a pittance quickly sucked off by predators Quote

“Why are people poor? Because they are uneducated? No, because (1) they are paid so little for their work and (2) the pittance they are paid is quickly sucked off by landlords, credit companies, the medical industry and other predators” — Barbara Ehrenreich

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The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich – John Berger

“Society can transport money from rich to poor only in a leaky bucket” — Arthur M. Okun

“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor” — Voltaire

“We need to make a game out of earning money. There is so much good we can do with money. Without it, we are bound and shackled and our choices become limited” — Bob Proctor

Being poor now just leads to being more poor later. Can't pay to get that lump checked out? Next year, pay for stage 3 cancer. Poverty charges interest Quote

“Being poor now just leads to being more poor later. Can’t pay to clean your teeth? Next year, pay for a root canal. Can’t pay for a new mattress? Next year, pay for back surgery. Can’t pay to get that lump checked out? Next year, pay for stage 3 cancer. Poverty charges interest” — Tay Zonday

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“Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities” — Samuel Johnson

“Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult” — Samuel Johnson

“To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself” — Samuel Johnson

“The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time” — Willem de Kooning

“He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor.” — Samuel Johnson

“A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilizatio” — Samuel Johnson

Some are way less Tortured by Poverty some are Tormented by Wealth Quote

“Some are way less tortured by poverty than some are tormented by wealth” — Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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“Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it” — William Hazlitt

“You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money” — P.J. O’Rourke

“Almsgiving tends to perpetuate poverty; aid does away with it once and for all” — Eva Perón

“Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving” — Henry Ford

“Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must therefore seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser’s passion, not the thief’s” — William Blake

“If we had believed that poverty is unacceptable to us, and that it should not belong to a civilized society, we would have created appropriate institutions and policies to create a poverty-free world” — Muhammad Yunus

“I did something that challenged the banking world. Conventional banks look for the rich; we look for the absolutely poor. All people are entrepreneurs, but many don’t have the opportunity to find that out” — Muhammad Yunus

“One day our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like”
Muhammad Yunus

One day our grandchildren will go to musuems to see what poverty was like Quote

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“For many years Americans have allowed child poverty levels to remain astonishingly high…far higher than one would think a rich and ethical society would tolerate. The justification, when one is offered at all, has often been that action is expensive: ‘We have more will than wallet.’ I suspect that in fact our wallets exceed our will, but in any event this concern for the drain on our resources completely misses the other side of the equation: Inaction has its costs too … As an economist I believe that good things are worth paying for; and that even if curing children’s poverty were expensive, it would be hard to think of a better use in the world for money. If society cares about children, it should be willing to spend money on them.” Dr. Robert Solow

“Poverty is the mother of crime” — Marcus Aurelius

“If poverty is the mother of crime, lack of good sense is the father” — Jean de La Bruyère

“He has committed the crime who profits by it” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Riches have shut off many a man from the attainment of wisdom; poverty is unburdened and free from care. When the trumpet sounds, the poor man knows that he is not being attacked; when there is a cry of “Fire,” he only seeks a way of escape, and does not ask what he can save
— Seneca

“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit” — Eli Khamarov

“Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin” — Desiderius Erasmus

“What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?” — Orison Swett Marden

“The man who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer. He only is rich who can enjoy without owning; he is poor who though he has millions is covetous” — Orison Swett Marden

Poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatize those who let people die, not those who struggle to live Quote

“When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character. This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor. But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live” — Sarah Kendzior

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“The influential man is the successful man, whether he be rich or poor” — Orison Swett Marden

“No young man starting in life could have better capital than plenty of friends. They will strengthen his credit, support him in every great effort, and make him what, unaided, he could never be. Friends of the right sort will help him more — to be happy and successful — than much money” — Orison Swett Marden

“Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason” — Henry Fielding

The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs Quote

“The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs” — Karl Marx

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“When rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will” — William Shakespeare

“Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.” — William Shakespeare

“You take my life when you do take the means whereby I live” — William Shakespeare

“Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
To say there is no vice but beggary”
William Shakespeare King John

“I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable” — William Shakespeare 2 Henry IV

“Thank God for poverty
That makes and keeps us free
And lets us go our unobtrusive way,
Glad of the sun and rain,
Upright, serene, humane,
Contented with the fortune of a day.”
William Bliss Carman,
The Word at Saint Kavin’s

“We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition” — William James

The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers
William James

“An empty stomach is not a good political advisor” — Albert Einstein

“As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg” —Oscar Wilde

“A man who has no office to go to — I don’t care who he is — is a trial of which you can have no conception.” — George Bernard Shaw

“The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty” — George Bernard Shaw

Security cannot exist where the Danger of Poverty hangs over everyone's head Quote

Security, the chief pretense of civilization, cannot exist where the worst of dangers, the danger of poverty, hangs over everyone’s head” — George Bernard Shaw
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“You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.” — George Bernard Shaw

“A man willing to work and unable to find work is perhaps the saddest sight that fortunes inequality exhibits under this sun” — Thomas Carlyle

“Four specters haunt the poor — old age, accident, sickness and unemployment” — David Lloyd George

“There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much” — Mother Teresa

“The trouble is that rich people, well-to-do people, very often don’t really know who the poor are; and that is why we can forgive them, for knowledge can only lead to love, and love to service. And so, if they are not touched by them, it’s because they do not know them” — Mother Teresa

What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness Quote

“What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness” — George Bernard Shaw

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Hunger makes a thief of any man” — Pearl S. Buck

“Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man’s starving” — O. Henry

“We didn’t starve, but we didn’t eat chicken unless we were sick, or the chicken was” — Bernard Malamud

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread” — Mahatma Gandhi

“To a man with an empty stomach food is God” — Gandhi

Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Gandhi

Collaborative mindset that built the International Space Station, we can alleviate poverty Quote

“If we adopt the same collaborative mindset and practices that got to the moon and back, and that built the International Space Station, we can alleviate poverty — and do much more” — Ron Garan

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“People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“No man can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach” — Woodrow T. Wilson

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement” — Woodrow T. Wilson

“You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand” — Woodrow T. Wilson

Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient” — Sydney Smith

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is Quote

“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is” — Benjamin Franklin

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Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor” — Benjamin Franklin

Uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property violate natural right Quote

“Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right” — Thomas Jefferson

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“The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. The small landowners are the most precious part of a state” — Thomas Jefferson

“Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold” — Thomas Jefferson

“Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor” — Thomas Jefferson

“This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor” — Abraham Lincoln

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil” — Robert Kennedy

Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. While poverty persists there is no true freedom” — Nelson Mandela

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” — Nelson Mandela

“To live in poverty is to live with constant uncertainty, to accept galling indignities, and to expect harassment by the police, welfare officials and employers, as well as by others who are poor and desperate.” — Barbara Ehrenreich

Terrorism really flourishes in areas of poverty, despair and hopelessness, where people see no future” — Colin Powell

The root cause of poverty is social injustice and the bad government that abets it Quote

“The root cause of poverty is social injustice and the bad government that abets it” — Colin Powell

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Poverty arises and persists where corruption is endemic and enterprise is stifled, where basic fairness provided by the rule of law is absent. In such circumstances, poverty is an assault against human dignity, and in that assault lies the natural seed of human anger” — Colin Powell

“Poor nations are hungry and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance” — Jonathan Swift

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like” — Saint Augustine

“When a man’s stomach is full it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor” — Euripides

“Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor” — Euripides

“Any city however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich. These are at war with one another” — Plato

“Peace does not fare well where poverty and deprivation reign” — Frederik W. de Klerk
When the rich make war, it's the poor that die Quote

“When the rich make war, it’s the poor that die” — Jean-Paul Sartre

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“Don’t knock the rich. When did a poor person give you a job?” — Laurence J. Peter

“Bodily labor alleviates the pains of the mind and from this arises the happiness of the poor” — François de La Rochefoucauld

“The pleasures of the imagination are as it were only drawings and models which are played with by poor people who cannot afford the real thing” — Georg C. Lichtenberg

“The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor” — Henry Louis Mencken

“Acquaintance: a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous” — Ambrose Bierce

“Do not tell me of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Poverty consists in feeling poor” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I am a poor man, but I have this consolation: I am poor by accident, not by design” — Josh Billings

Remember the poor, it costs nothing” — Josh Billings

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor, to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread
— Anatole France

“It is only the poor who pay cash, and that not from virtue, but because they are refused credit.” — Anatole France

“The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all” — Gilbert Keith Chesterton

“Nowadays nothing but money counts: a fortune brings honors, friendships, the poor man everywhere lies low” –Ovid

“Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony” — Jane Austen

“Satan is wiser now than before, and tempts by making rich instead of poor” — Alexander Pope

“Pale death with an impartial foot knocks at the hovels of the poor and the palaces of king” — Horace

“He ate and drank the precious Words, his Spirit grew robust; He knew no more that he was poor, nor that his frame was Dust” — Emily Dickinson

Unlike wealth, poverty of intellect is equally distributed between the sexes and among the races Quote

“Unlike wealth, poverty of intellect is equally distributed between the sexes and among the races” — Mokokoma Mokhonoana

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“Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor” — Benjamin Disraeli

“We have two American flags always: one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it means danger, revolution, anarchy” — Henry Miller

“To give aid to every poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man. Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole” — Benedict de Spinoza

“Money is a poor man’s credit card” — Marshall Mcluhan

Affluence creates poverty” — Marshall McLuhan

Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — Gilbert Keith Chesterton

“In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.” — Confucius

“All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life, there in riches or poverty, in joy or despair. Snapshots don’t show the million decisions that led to that moment.” — Richard Bach

“My major problem with the world is a problem of scarcity in the midst of plenty … of people starving while there are unused resources … people having skills which are not being used” — Milton Friedman

“We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so much as a crime” — Christian Nestell Bovee

“In one important respect a man is fortunate in being poor. His responsibility to God is so much the less” — Christian Nestell Bovee

“It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.” — Kin Hubbard

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money

W.C. Fields

“In Africa, we were around thousands of people who have seen a lot of poverty, but they were fun at the end of the day” — Angelina Jolie

“He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” — Henry Ward Beecher

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen

“Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history of the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor.” — Lewis H. Lapham

“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment.” — Proverbs 10:15-16

“He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.” — Proverbs 22:16

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that” — Norman Vincent Peale

“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin” — Charles Darwin

Poverty sits by the cradle of all our great men and rocks all of them to manhood” — Heinrich Heine

“Seldom do people discern eloquence under a threadbare cloak” — Juvenal

Wars against nations are fought to change maps; wars against poverty are fought to map change

Muhammad Ali

“It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them” — Bill Vaughan

“Every man has a right to be poor” — Richard Jefferies

Poverty is everyone’s problem. It cuts across any line you can name: age, race, social, geographic or religious. Whether you are black or white; rich, middle-class or poor, we are ALL touched by poverty” — Kathleen Blanco

“Liberalism, above all, means emancipation – emancipation from one’s fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination, from poverty” — Hubert H. Humphrey

“The issue of poverty is not a statistical issue. It is a human issue” — James Wolfensohn

Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible pestilences; strikes dead the very souls of all who come within sight, sound, or smell of it” — George Bernard Shaw

“Poverty is relative, and the lack of food and of the necessities of life is not necessarily a hardship. Spiritual and social ostracism, the invasion of your privacy, are what constitute the pain of poverty” — Alice Foote MacDougall

“Literary tradition is full of lies about poverty—the jolly beggar, the poor but happy milkmaid, the wholesome diet of porridge, etc.” — Mason Cooley

“There was never a war on poverty. Maybe there was a skirmish on poverty” — Andrew Cuomo

Poverty is a career for lot’s of well paid people” — Ronald Reagan

“I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.” — Groucho Marx

The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream

Harry Kemp

“They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?” — Princess Diana

“Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate” — Woody Allen

“For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred” — John Gardner

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One Response to “Poverty Quotations on PoorComment RSS feed

  • Kashif
    August 19th, 2010 10:53 pm

    Very nice…. great compilation of quotes….

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