I recognize a lot.
I'm not surprised, because I know I'm not unique.
I've also been to loads of sh#t. Have been humiliated many times and i've been poor for ages. Yet i've never committed any serious crime (except shoplifting when i was a kid).
Hey, me neither!
Why should i have any understanding for scum who have been through less sh#t but didn't stay on the right path?
I'm not asking for understanding, nor am I justifying any crimes for that matter. I'm simply pointing out that our societies could see a dramatical decline in crime rates, if only some people could be convinced of the mutual benefits of sharing in all fairness, instead of forcing the poorest of the poor to pay even more, just so that they can throw another party..
You just know it doesn't make sense that minimum incomes have been dropping or at best are being frozen, while middle class incomes are increasing every year. (Keep in mind everything else keeps getting more expensive aswell!) There's simply no sense in denying that this makes certain people who work for, or even less than the minimum sometimes, feel cheated, used and angry. So right or wrong, if you want a happier and less criminal society as a whole, you'll have to atleast make sure that every person feels like he or she can participate in society.
Poverty is relative. I mean, you can tell a poor person in Europe he or she has a much better life than for example someone from Sierra Leone, and then ofcourse that statement would ring true! But then again in Sierra Leone almost everyone is poor, so people who live there aren't exactly excluded from the community.
Ofcourse the people we'd call poor have a better life here if you look at material worth, but socially? Some people really feel like they're being excluded from the community, simply because they don't have any money left to participate in certain social activities after paying for their most basic needs. I don't think anyone should understimate that feeling, or even call it a luxury problem.
People who call it a luxury problem, can tell me that again after they've experienced atleast ten years of the work to eat-work-sleep lifestyle. Which basically means no success, no progress, no opportunity, no pride, no satisfaction, no motivation, not much hope, no silly dreams, not too much fun, no holidays whatsoever, no new furniture every once in a while, and in some cases no car, no partner, no children, not much to laugh about, and not much of a future either..
It might sound like I'm overexaggarating to you, but for some young people, this is what their life already looks like. Poverty has become inheritable these days. (Which means, if you're parents are poor, there's a fat chance you'll miss a lot of opportunities, and that you'll probably end up poor aswell!) Discomforting, and pretty sad if you ask me.
To make ends meet? Don't make me laugh! Maybe in UK but certainly not in Belgium or Holland (i lived in both countries).
I don't think you really lived there from the sound of it, I think it's more likely you've been here for a while to work, and perhaps had a few things arranged for you by the agency that you've been working for? Trust me, it's not that easy when you're Dutch and haven't enjoyed much of an education for yourself, because then you'll discover that you'll be too expensive for the very same employers you've been working for as a foreigner..
Here they have plenty opportunities to make money in a legal way, but yet they choose to steal and rob because it's quicker.
Plenty? I beg to differ.
In other words, 99% of criminals have no excuse, even if they have been through hard times.
There's never an excuse, but it's human nature to want an acceptable standard of living, and in most cases, most people will measure their standard of living to the standard of living they experience all around them, for better or worse..