Do you have zero sympathy for poor people? Do you often find yourself shouting the phrase "get a job!"? Do you drip with disdain for those who require government assistance? Do you think anyone could earn a high 6 or 7-figure salary if they wanted, but choose not to because they're lazy? Do you think it's unlikely you'd ever feel an ounce of compassion for people who don't know when their next meal will come, unless you were to take part in some sort of elaborate role-playing game put on by a team of organizers wherein you pretend to be poor by day (but, thank god, receive turndown service at night)? Then it sounds like a "poverty simulation camp" might be right for you.
Advocates say the goal [of poverty simulation camps] is to encourage the affluent to use their time, money and influence to help find solutions. But critics point to a darker side, where participants can become what you might call misery tourists, collecting experiences and assuaging discomfort by having now done their part. The Singapore Island Country Club, for instance, was recently criticized when it planned a poverty simulation for its club members; it costs $21,000 a year to belong to the club. Some people accused the club of “trying to humiliate the poor” and called the undertaking an “exercise in futility.” The organizers postponed the event. ...Sometimes the locations where simulations are held can create an ironic image. Last year the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland held a policy summit that included a poverty simulation — at the Omni William Penn Hotel, a luxury property in Pittsburgh. The Bank of America Black Executive Leadership Council has a poverty simulation scheduled for June 29, 2016 at the upscale Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, North Carolina.