This post first appeared on Ben Irwin's blog.
Financial advisor and evangelical Christian Dave Ramsey probably wasn’t expecting this much pushback when he shared a piece contrasting the habits of the rich with those of the poor. In her response on CNN, Rachel Held Evans noted that Ramsey and Corley mistake correlation for causality when they suggest (without actually proving) that these habits are the cause of a person’s financial situation. (Did it never occur to them that it might be the other way around?)
Ramsey fired back, calling the pushback “immature and ignorant.” This from a guy who just made 20 sweeping assertions about 47 million poor people in the US — all based on a survey of 361 individuals.
That’s right. To come up with his 20 habits, Corley talked to just 233 wealthy people and 128 poor people. Ramsey can talk all he wants about Corley’s research passing the “common-sense smell test,” but it doesn’t pass the “research methodology 101” test.
To balance the picture a bit, I wanted to take a fact-based look at 20 things the poor do on a daily basis…
1. Search for affordable housing.
2. Try to make $133 worth of food last a whole month.
3. Subsist on poor quality food.
4. Skip a meal.
5. Work longer and harder than most of us.
6. Go to bed 3 hours before their first job starts.
7. Try to avoid getting beat up by someone they love.
8. Put themselves in harm’s way, only to be kicked to the streets afterward.
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