Have you ever lived paycheck-to-paycheck?
Yes, sometimes for surprisingly long stretches. And one of the reasons for that is the incredibly high taxes that chip away at what would be a middle-class (especially self-employed) income even as other costs of living go up (including especially, spectacularly because of Obamacare, health insurance - in our case, our bottom line was reduced by almost $1k per month more, even as our deductible went up from $2k/year to $12.5k/year - what a deal!). A large part of my income is transferred - very inefficiently, via many poorly run, redundant layers of city, county, state, and federal government - to other people. The only time something the recipients of those transfers transfer something back to me is when I take yet more money - out of what I have left after taxes - and buy something they do, if they work to provide goods or services. And no, not becoming criminals, or not living in diseased squalor isn't them doing something for me in exchange for those taxed days of working, just like you offering to not burn down my house isn't you working to maintain civilization.
Subsidies for the poor do far more...
Like allow the purchase of snack food, smokes and booze via an absurd mechanism for doling out other people's money through debit cards. Like paying for advertising to push government dependency programs that the program administrators (whose pay bonuses depend on getting more people hooked on the programs they run!) find sometimes frustratingly hard to make stick because of that pesky self-reliance instinct found in some communities. Quick, put together a weekly radio drama preaching the entitlement lifestyle! True, media coverage finally shamed the feds into shifting that program a little more under ground.
We recently moved out of our neighborhood of 20 years where, for example, a house a few doors down (like several more within blocks) was owned by the city. It was provided for free (no rent, no utilities to pay for, free Verizon FiOS bundle, free city-paid landscapers coming by regularly to mow the grass) to a 19-year-old woman that a judge decided would be better off no longer associating with her drug-dealing father and brother. The rule? It had to be a no-males-allowed household. So, her mom moved in, too. Hmmm? Who are all of those guys that we see pulling up at all hours? Ah, the local off-hours county cop hired by the neighborhood to hang out near our houses at night (big problem, locally, with MS-13) reported that the two women were now running a flop house and brothel, and a couple of drug dealers they'd invited in were scary enough that he (armed, and in uniform) would never venture near that house without substantial backup. The social workers and city rental property inspectors refused to set foot in the place, having had threats delivered to them at home by MS-13 messengers.
So, every day I got to wake up, put in 12 or 16 hours of work, and might as well have just walked some of my cash right up the street and handed it over to the "poor" household that was receiving 100% county housing subsidies worth about $3500/month, free food, free medical care, free transportation (each of the women piled it on over 12 months until they were morbidly obese, and thus being deemed handicapped, qualified for on-demand free door-to-door personal driver service from the local county transport system's fleet of taxpayer-funded and fueled minivans), and all of the tax-free cash they could squeeze out of the gang members who operated out of their all-female, family-only city-approved Nurturing, Safety, And Growth house. Out on the curb for trash pickup? Boxes for new 60" Sony TVs and similar purchases, week-in, week-out. The house's "guests" and clientele were blocking everyone's parking, leaving trash and broken bottles everywhere, and the home owners' association's attempts to have the residents evicted was met with a legal interception and law suit by a local activist organization claiming it was part of a gentrification conspiracy by outsiders, blah blah blah. The HOA couldn't afford to continue to defend against that crap, and just gave up. The "resident" of the house was the city's social program do-gooders, and they simply refused to communicate about the matter or any complaint, ever, in any way.
So like others on the street, we hemorrhaged a huge bunch of money, setting us back years, and bugged out. And got to hear complaints about what obvious racists we were for leaving. You want social ostracism? Talk to the gang of illegals running a drug and human trafficking operation out of the neighborhood - ask them who was doing the ostracizing. You want disease concerns? Talk to the health inspectors threatened into not stopping by out of fear for their own lives (the main disease they worried about being a knife in the ribs).
In the meantime, the next block over, were acquaintances we'd made from half a dozen other countries - all immigrants who showed up in the US with essentially no resources by local standards, from Romania, El Salvador, Cameroon, Morocco, Brazil, China and more - who were working their asses off, living modestly, and buying small townhouses. Every one of them was panicked at the thought of losing the value of their homes because of the entitlement/subsidy lifestyle showing up in houses across the neighborhood. Those were people who left places rife with the slums you worry about, and who worked harder in the US (with language barrier disadvantages and more) than their "poor" local peers, and were making a real go of it. Entirely because of desire and work ethic, not because of perpetual, infinite (or any) safety nets.
Yes. When an immigrant family from rural Cameroon can - in the course of a few years holding multiple jobs and working their butts off - own a house, buy cars, pay (rather than soak up) taxes and send their kids to private schools for a decent education (despite also paying property taxes to send other people's kids to other schools)... when they can do that while living a block and half away from the other type of household I described, yes, I blame those poor for being poor. Because poverty doesn't go away through government entitlements, housing, and food. Those hand-outs don't fix poverty, they perpetuate it. We have decades of evidence showing that's true, and especially now in places like that neighborhood, multi-generation "poor" households have thriving immigrant families they could be watching and emulating ... but that's way too much trouble when there's free housing, food, medical care, and the rest. When Latino, African, and Asian immigrants can in a few years work their way from essentially poverty to a comfortable middle-class lifestyle while the local "poor" folks simply won't do the very same, exact things day-to-day that the immigrants do in order to be comfortable, I've got no interest in hearing your lecture us about who to blame.