POLITICS
09/22/2014 04:49 pm ET

Linda Tirado, Author Of Viral Poverty Piece, Shoots Down Belief That Poor People Are 'Lazy'

Linda Tirado, whose essay on poverty went viral online in November 2013, is opening up about what it was like dealing with harsh critics as she wrote her book, "Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America."

In a new Q&A about her book and poverty, Tirado was asked by The Guardian why some people "buy the lie that the poor have children in order to get money from the state."

"When rich people, and even just middle-class people, look at poor people what they’re thinking is: they’re lazy. All of us are conmen, cunning like rats. But it’s frigging ridiculous," she said. "Nobody is going to sign up for a full year of colic for two grand, no matter how poor they are. It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. You don’t get more money for having more kids. You must give up work, and therefore money, in order to qualify for benefits, and even then it doesn’t come as cash. In the U.S., it comes as food stamps, or coupons. We’re not getting a check. People just don’t understand how welfare works."

Tirado also opened up about why the rich are afraid of the poor and why poor people so often vote against their own best interests. You can read her entire Q&A with The Guardian here.

After Tirado's essay, "This Is Why Poor People's Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense," critics called her story "tragically fictional." She responded by posting a video that showed her damaged teeth. (You can see that video above.)

"Hand to Mouth" will be released Oct. 2. To read an excerpt of the book, visit The Guardian.

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