“Now, we may need to grapple with a new possibility: that poverty doesn’t simply reduce freedom by constraining an individual’s choices, but that it may actually alter the nature of freedom by reducing an individual’s willpower.”
My friend Sam sent me a link for this article on poverty: “Why Can’t the Poor Escape Poverty?” It deals with the will power of the poor. The gist of the article is that if you are a poor person, then you have to exert a good deal of energy on making difficult financial decisions regarding some basic decisions: “whether to pay rent or buy food; to buy medicine or winter clothes; to pay for school materials or loan money to a relative. These choices are weighty, and just thinking about them seems to exact a mental cost.”
Experimentation is showing that if you have to exert mental energy making a difficult decision, then you will be more likely to make a poor decision in the near future because you will not have the mental stamina to keep making good, wise decisions. By contrast, if you are middle or upper class, then you can make basic decisions in your life based simply on what you want: do I want to buy a cup of coffee or not? It’s a simple matter of personal preference at a given moment. This allows you to invest your mental energy into important life decisions, whatever they may be.