I'm sure there are true hard-luck, no fault of their own instances of poverty, but I have Never seen any. I knew a woman who got public assistance. She had two daughters. By a druggie boyfriend who's spent most of the time since then in jail on various charges. She was poor because she chose to have children and she chose poor relationships despite good counsel from friends. Choosing to drop out of college didn't help. I know a guy who's getting evicted. He has a bigger TV than I do, and has never made as much. He spends more on smokes than I do on pop, and I admittedly have a drinking problem. He has a kid by a now unemployed lower-wage wife. He chooses cigarettes and electronics over rent, and chose to have a kid he couldn't afford with a wife who didn't help matters financially. Another women I knew on public assistance had 4 kids by 3 fathers IIRC, and was pining over losing a cheating boyfriend who was unemployed and didn't make much when he was. Most poor people are poor by choice - Why should we financially encourage them to be poor, and worse, to raise even more children who will suffer not only from their parents' poor choices, but most likely a life based on those role models? That is true cruelty.