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BS: Poverty in the USA

Peace 09 Mar 07 - 12:22 PM
Amos 09 Mar 07 - 12:27 PM
Jean(eanjay) 09 Mar 07 - 12:27 PM
Peace 09 Mar 07 - 12:34 PM
Jean(eanjay) 09 Mar 07 - 12:47 PM
Jean(eanjay) 09 Mar 07 - 01:04 PM
Ebbie 09 Mar 07 - 01:08 PM
Partridge 09 Mar 07 - 01:16 PM
beardedbruce 09 Mar 07 - 01:18 PM
KB in Iowa 09 Mar 07 - 01:37 PM
Donuel 09 Mar 07 - 01:47 PM
KB in Iowa 09 Mar 07 - 01:50 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 07 - 02:04 PM
beardedbruce 09 Mar 07 - 02:10 PM
Scoville 09 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM
beardedbruce 09 Mar 07 - 02:19 PM
Ebbie 09 Mar 07 - 02:43 PM
Scoville 09 Mar 07 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 03:17 PM
Ebbie 09 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 07 - 03:47 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 07 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 04:26 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Mar 07 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Member 09 Mar 07 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Member 09 Mar 07 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,mgarvey 09 Mar 07 - 04:50 PM
Peace 09 Mar 07 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,MarkS 09 Mar 07 - 04:58 PM
Dickey 09 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM
Wesley S 09 Mar 07 - 05:03 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 07 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 05:20 PM
Donuel 09 Mar 07 - 05:25 PM
dianavan 09 Mar 07 - 06:11 PM
Dickey 09 Mar 07 - 06:12 PM
Bee 09 Mar 07 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 06:21 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 07 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 06:32 PM
number 6 09 Mar 07 - 06:35 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM
GUEST, Ebbie 09 Mar 07 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Mar 07 - 07:19 PM
Janie 09 Mar 07 - 07:20 PM
Bobert 09 Mar 07 - 07:57 PM
mg 09 Mar 07 - 09:58 PM
Peace 09 Mar 07 - 10:16 PM
Dickey 09 Mar 07 - 10:26 PM
Janie 09 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM
number 6 09 Mar 07 - 10:56 PM
Janie 09 Mar 07 - 11:19 PM
GUEST,Member 09 Mar 07 - 11:41 PM
mg 10 Mar 07 - 12:12 AM
mg 10 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM
Peace 10 Mar 07 - 12:51 AM
Richard Bridge 10 Mar 07 - 02:47 AM
Barry Finn 10 Mar 07 - 05:06 AM
Bobert 10 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 07:46 AM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 08:37 AM
John Hardly 10 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:44 AM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:46 AM
dianavan 10 Mar 07 - 12:17 PM
mg 10 Mar 07 - 12:43 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 01:14 PM
dianavan 10 Mar 07 - 02:39 PM
katlaughing 10 Mar 07 - 07:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 07 - 08:15 PM
Dickey 10 Mar 07 - 08:34 PM
Bobert 10 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 07 - 08:41 PM
Bobert 10 Mar 07 - 09:03 PM
Ebbie 10 Mar 07 - 09:12 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Mar 07 - 09:15 PM
Ebbie 10 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 09:44 PM
Bobert 10 Mar 07 - 09:50 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:13 PM
mg 10 Mar 07 - 10:15 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM
Bee 10 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM
Janie 10 Mar 07 - 10:47 PM
dianavan 10 Mar 07 - 11:08 PM
Joe Offer 10 Mar 07 - 11:38 PM
dianavan 11 Mar 07 - 03:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Mar 07 - 05:09 PM
Bobert 11 Mar 07 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,meself 11 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM
dianavan 11 Mar 07 - 07:02 PM
Janie 11 Mar 07 - 07:05 PM
Bobert 11 Mar 07 - 07:07 PM
Janie 11 Mar 07 - 07:21 PM
Bobert 11 Mar 07 - 07:31 PM
mg 11 Mar 07 - 08:52 PM
Janie 11 Mar 07 - 09:50 PM
mg 11 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM
mg 11 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM
mg 11 Mar 07 - 11:05 PM
Barry Finn 12 Mar 07 - 01:52 AM
Janie 12 Mar 07 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,meself 12 Mar 07 - 11:53 AM
Ebbie 12 Mar 07 - 12:18 PM
Wolfgang 12 Mar 07 - 12:38 PM
dianavan 12 Mar 07 - 02:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Mar 07 - 03:55 PM
Bobert 12 Mar 07 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Mar 07 - 06:24 PM
Janie 12 Mar 07 - 06:40 PM
Bobert 12 Mar 07 - 06:57 PM
Janie 12 Mar 07 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,meself 12 Mar 07 - 07:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Mar 07 - 08:06 PM
dianavan 12 Mar 07 - 08:19 PM
mg 12 Mar 07 - 08:32 PM
Janie 12 Mar 07 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,meself 12 Mar 07 - 10:15 PM
dianavan 13 Mar 07 - 12:48 AM
Wordsmith 13 Mar 07 - 04:01 AM
Bobert 13 Mar 07 - 07:36 AM
Scoville 13 Mar 07 - 10:28 AM
Stringsinger 13 Mar 07 - 11:19 AM
Bee 13 Mar 07 - 11:51 AM
Bobert 13 Mar 07 - 07:10 PM
Janie 13 Mar 07 - 08:16 PM
dianavan 13 Mar 07 - 08:36 PM
Janie 13 Mar 07 - 09:06 PM
Dickey 13 Mar 07 - 10:36 PM
Dickey 13 Mar 07 - 11:14 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Mar 07 - 03:22 AM
Barry Finn 14 Mar 07 - 06:47 AM
Bobert 14 Mar 07 - 07:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Mar 07 - 07:45 AM
Barry Finn 14 Mar 07 - 07:51 AM
Dickey 14 Mar 07 - 11:27 AM
Scrump 14 Mar 07 - 11:46 AM
Bobert 14 Mar 07 - 11:56 AM
Dickey 14 Mar 07 - 12:59 PM
dianavan 14 Mar 07 - 01:30 PM
Barry Finn 14 Mar 07 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Mar 07 - 02:37 PM
Dickey 14 Mar 07 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Scoville 14 Mar 07 - 03:13 PM
dianavan 14 Mar 07 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Janie 14 Mar 07 - 04:43 PM
Bobert 14 Mar 07 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Mar 07 - 06:19 PM
Donuel 14 Mar 07 - 08:01 PM
mg 14 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM
Wordsmith 14 Mar 07 - 11:54 PM
Ebbie 15 Mar 07 - 11:02 AM
Dickey 15 Mar 07 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,mg 15 Mar 07 - 12:20 PM
Ebbie 15 Mar 07 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,mg 15 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM
Ebbie 15 Mar 07 - 01:47 PM
Donuel 15 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM
Bobert 15 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM
dianavan 15 Mar 07 - 05:03 PM
Dickey 15 Mar 07 - 05:23 PM
Ebbie 15 Mar 07 - 05:44 PM
Bobert 15 Mar 07 - 06:02 PM
GUEST 15 Mar 07 - 06:40 PM
Bobert 15 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM
TRUBRIT 15 Mar 07 - 07:54 PM
Dickey 15 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM
mg 15 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM
dianavan 15 Mar 07 - 08:58 PM
mg 15 Mar 07 - 09:07 PM
Janie 15 Mar 07 - 10:05 PM
dianavan 15 Mar 07 - 11:32 PM
Barry Finn 16 Mar 07 - 01:01 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Mar 07 - 02:37 AM
Bobert 16 Mar 07 - 07:56 AM
Bobert 16 Mar 07 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,geezer reject of society 16 Mar 07 - 10:26 PM
TRUBRIT 16 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM
Dickey 17 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM
Dickey 17 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM
Wordsmith 17 Mar 07 - 01:59 AM
dianavan 17 Mar 07 - 03:04 AM
Bobert 17 Mar 07 - 07:35 AM
Janie 17 Mar 07 - 11:13 AM
Dickey 17 Mar 07 - 01:05 PM
dianavan 17 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM
Bobert 17 Mar 07 - 03:29 PM
Ebbie 17 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM
Bobert 17 Mar 07 - 06:22 PM
Janie 17 Mar 07 - 10:37 PM
Dickey 17 Mar 07 - 11:48 PM
Peace 18 Mar 07 - 12:17 AM
Bobert 18 Mar 07 - 09:08 AM
Dickey 18 Mar 07 - 10:33 AM
Janie 18 Mar 07 - 09:57 PM
Janie 18 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM
Wordsmith 19 Mar 07 - 01:04 AM
Wordsmith 19 Mar 07 - 01:12 AM
Bobert 19 Mar 07 - 07:14 AM
kendall 19 Mar 07 - 07:47 AM
dianavan 19 Mar 07 - 01:33 PM
Peace 19 Mar 07 - 01:37 PM
kendall 19 Mar 07 - 08:26 PM
Peace 19 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM
Dickey 19 Mar 07 - 10:12 PM
Peace 19 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM
Janie 20 Mar 07 - 05:14 AM
kendall 20 Mar 07 - 07:02 AM
Peace 20 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM
Janie 20 Mar 07 - 11:44 PM
Janie 20 Mar 07 - 11:51 PM
dianavan 21 Mar 07 - 01:02 AM
Barry Finn 21 Mar 07 - 01:31 AM
kendall 21 Mar 07 - 07:04 AM
Dickey 21 Mar 07 - 02:08 PM
beardedbruce 21 Mar 07 - 02:15 PM
Dickey 21 Mar 07 - 03:14 PM
Dickey 21 Mar 07 - 09:32 PM
Janie 21 Mar 07 - 11:14 PM
Peace 21 Mar 07 - 11:22 PM
Janie 21 Mar 07 - 11:33 PM
Barry Finn 22 Mar 07 - 12:44 AM
Dickey 22 Mar 07 - 12:54 AM
Barry Finn 22 Mar 07 - 01:00 AM
Wordsmith 22 Mar 07 - 03:04 AM
dianavan 22 Mar 07 - 05:24 AM
kendall 22 Mar 07 - 07:26 AM
Dickey 22 Mar 07 - 02:57 PM
Barry Finn 22 Mar 07 - 04:49 PM
kendall 22 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM
Peace 22 Mar 07 - 05:13 PM
Bobert 22 Mar 07 - 08:59 PM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 12:31 AM
Janie 23 Mar 07 - 01:24 AM
Janie 23 Mar 07 - 01:31 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 07 - 02:38 AM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 08:00 AM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 11:22 AM
Wesley S 23 Mar 07 - 11:40 AM
Peace 23 Mar 07 - 11:46 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 07 - 12:10 PM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 03:22 PM
Scoville 23 Mar 07 - 05:08 PM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 06:17 PM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 07:29 PM
dianavan 23 Mar 07 - 07:52 PM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 07:56 PM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM
Bobert 23 Mar 07 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 10:20 PM
Dickey 23 Mar 07 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM
Janie 24 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM
kendall 24 Mar 07 - 08:10 AM
dianavan 24 Mar 07 - 01:32 PM
kendall 24 Mar 07 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,sco 24 Mar 07 - 02:36 PM
Janie 25 Mar 07 - 01:10 AM
Peace 25 Mar 07 - 01:14 AM
Dickey 25 Mar 07 - 02:27 AM
dianavan 25 Mar 07 - 04:18 AM
Bobert 25 Mar 07 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,meself 25 Mar 07 - 10:41 AM
dianavan 25 Mar 07 - 01:14 PM
kendall 25 Mar 07 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,meself 25 Mar 07 - 03:00 PM
Dickey 25 Mar 07 - 03:26 PM
Janie 25 Mar 07 - 06:31 PM
Dickey 25 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM
Bobert 25 Mar 07 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,meself 25 Mar 07 - 10:27 PM
Dickey 25 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,meself 25 Mar 07 - 10:41 PM
Barry Finn 26 Mar 07 - 02:21 AM
dianavan 26 Mar 07 - 03:29 AM
Bobert 26 Mar 07 - 07:56 AM
GUEST 26 Mar 07 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,meself 26 Mar 07 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Dickey 26 Mar 07 - 07:00 PM
Peace 26 Mar 07 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,meself 26 Mar 07 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Dickey 26 Mar 07 - 07:59 PM
Bobert 26 Mar 07 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,meself 26 Mar 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 07 - 08:14 PM
Bobert 26 Mar 07 - 08:16 PM
Barry Finn 26 Mar 07 - 08:18 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM
Peace 26 Mar 07 - 08:27 PM
dianavan 26 Mar 07 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Dickey 26 Mar 07 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Dickey 26 Mar 07 - 10:19 PM
Janie 27 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM
Janie 27 Mar 07 - 12:46 AM
mg 27 Mar 07 - 02:58 AM
Wordsmith 27 Mar 07 - 03:03 AM
dianavan 27 Mar 07 - 03:05 AM
Barry Finn 27 Mar 07 - 03:12 AM
Janie 27 Mar 07 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,meself 27 Mar 07 - 09:20 AM
Dickey 27 Mar 07 - 03:45 PM
Dickey 27 Mar 07 - 04:38 PM
Dickey 27 Mar 07 - 11:51 PM
dianavan 28 Mar 07 - 12:16 AM
Janie 28 Mar 07 - 01:01 AM
dianavan 28 Mar 07 - 03:17 PM
Bobert 28 Mar 07 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM
Dickey 29 Mar 07 - 12:33 AM
GUEST,meself 29 Mar 07 - 12:35 AM
Bobert 29 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM
Dickey 29 Mar 07 - 02:49 PM
Bobert 29 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM
Donuel 29 Mar 07 - 08:34 PM
Bobert 29 Mar 07 - 09:29 PM
Janie 30 Mar 07 - 12:36 AM
Janie 30 Mar 07 - 01:03 AM
Wordsmith 30 Mar 07 - 02:20 AM
Peace 30 Mar 07 - 02:29 AM
Peace 30 Mar 07 - 02:35 AM
dianavan 30 Mar 07 - 04:16 AM
Bobert 30 Mar 07 - 08:39 AM
Bobert 30 Mar 07 - 06:51 PM
Bobert 30 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM
Janie 31 Mar 07 - 12:43 AM
Peace 31 Mar 07 - 03:08 AM
Bobert 31 Mar 07 - 08:34 AM
Janie 31 Mar 07 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,meself 31 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM
Bobert 31 Mar 07 - 07:08 PM
Peace 31 Mar 07 - 07:29 PM
Dickey 31 Mar 07 - 11:58 PM
Dickey 01 Apr 07 - 12:05 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 01:05 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 01:31 AM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 02:07 AM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 02:17 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 03:20 AM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 03:26 AM
Bobert 01 Apr 07 - 08:54 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 09:04 AM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 09:33 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 11:06 AM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,meself 01 Apr 07 - 05:08 PM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 05:11 PM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 05:12 PM
Bobert 01 Apr 07 - 06:23 PM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM
Dickey 01 Apr 07 - 07:01 PM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 07:25 PM
Bobert 01 Apr 07 - 08:08 PM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 08:24 PM
Bobert 01 Apr 07 - 08:35 PM
Janie 01 Apr 07 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,meself 01 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 05:05 PM
Bobert 02 Apr 07 - 05:06 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 05:08 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 07:21 PM
Peace 02 Apr 07 - 07:37 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 10:52 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 11:16 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 11:38 PM
Dickey 02 Apr 07 - 11:44 PM
Janie 02 Apr 07 - 11:59 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 06:38 AM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 07:29 AM
dianavan 03 Apr 07 - 01:33 PM
Scoville 03 Apr 07 - 02:43 PM
Bobert 03 Apr 07 - 06:46 PM
Bobert 03 Apr 07 - 08:11 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 09:58 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 10:02 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 10:08 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 10:13 PM
Peace 03 Apr 07 - 10:23 PM
Janie 03 Apr 07 - 11:00 PM
Dickey 03 Apr 07 - 11:18 PM
Dickey 03 Apr 07 - 11:20 PM
Dickey 04 Apr 07 - 12:02 AM
Wordsmith 04 Apr 07 - 04:00 AM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 06:23 AM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 06:48 AM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 06:51 AM
Dickey 04 Apr 07 - 12:12 PM
Charmion 04 Apr 07 - 05:27 PM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 06:29 PM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 06:37 PM
Bobert 04 Apr 07 - 06:38 PM
Dickey 04 Apr 07 - 07:05 PM
dianavan 04 Apr 07 - 07:13 PM
Peace 04 Apr 07 - 07:22 PM
Bobert 04 Apr 07 - 07:50 PM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 08:25 PM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 08:37 PM
Janie 04 Apr 07 - 08:39 PM
mg 04 Apr 07 - 08:44 PM
Bobert 04 Apr 07 - 09:27 PM
Dickey 04 Apr 07 - 09:43 PM
Peace 04 Apr 07 - 09:45 PM
Dickey 04 Apr 07 - 11:29 PM
Peace 04 Apr 07 - 11:31 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Apr 07 - 03:16 AM
George Papavgeris 05 Apr 07 - 04:41 AM
Janie 05 Apr 07 - 07:12 AM
Barry Finn 05 Apr 07 - 09:53 AM
Peace 05 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM
Dickey 05 Apr 07 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Apr 07 - 03:13 PM
Peace 05 Apr 07 - 03:18 PM
Scoville 05 Apr 07 - 04:52 PM
Peace 05 Apr 07 - 04:55 PM
Bobert 05 Apr 07 - 05:40 PM
Janie 05 Apr 07 - 07:14 PM
Janie 05 Apr 07 - 07:29 PM
Janie 05 Apr 07 - 07:31 PM
Bobert 05 Apr 07 - 08:42 PM
Janie 05 Apr 07 - 09:45 PM
Peace 05 Apr 07 - 11:10 PM
mg 05 Apr 07 - 11:45 PM
Janie 06 Apr 07 - 01:58 AM
Bobert 06 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,mg 06 Apr 07 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,meself 06 Apr 07 - 01:45 PM
Peace 06 Apr 07 - 01:55 PM
Dickey 06 Apr 07 - 02:42 PM
Peace 06 Apr 07 - 02:46 PM
Dickey 06 Apr 07 - 02:53 PM
Dickey 06 Apr 07 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Janie 06 Apr 07 - 03:24 PM
Dickey 06 Apr 07 - 03:41 PM
dianavan 06 Apr 07 - 03:53 PM
Barry Finn 06 Apr 07 - 05:03 PM
Bobert 06 Apr 07 - 07:00 PM
Janie 06 Apr 07 - 07:34 PM
Wordsmith 07 Apr 07 - 03:20 AM
Peace 07 Apr 07 - 03:29 AM
Dickey 07 Apr 07 - 03:42 AM
Barry Finn 07 Apr 07 - 09:13 AM
Dickey 07 Apr 07 - 11:29 AM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 11:43 AM
Janie 07 Apr 07 - 12:40 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 12:50 PM
Peace 07 Apr 07 - 12:53 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,meself 07 Apr 07 - 01:12 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 01:21 PM
Ebbie 07 Apr 07 - 01:56 PM
Janie 07 Apr 07 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,meself 07 Apr 07 - 03:14 PM
dianavan 07 Apr 07 - 05:15 PM
Bobert 07 Apr 07 - 08:15 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,meself 07 Apr 07 - 09:07 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 09:11 PM
Bobert 07 Apr 07 - 09:11 PM
dianavan 07 Apr 07 - 09:12 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 09:30 PM
Barry Finn 07 Apr 07 - 09:37 PM
Peace 07 Apr 07 - 09:38 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 09:50 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 10:03 PM
Barry Finn 07 Apr 07 - 10:03 PM
Dickey 07 Apr 07 - 10:20 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 10:40 PM
Barry Finn 07 Apr 07 - 10:47 PM
Peace 07 Apr 07 - 10:55 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 10:59 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 11:02 PM
dianavan 07 Apr 07 - 11:07 PM
AWG 07 Apr 07 - 11:22 PM
Dickey 07 Apr 07 - 11:25 PM
pdq 07 Apr 07 - 11:31 PM
Peace 07 Apr 07 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,meself 07 Apr 07 - 11:33 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:11 AM
dianavan 08 Apr 07 - 02:32 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:37 AM
Janie 08 Apr 07 - 02:43 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:51 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:55 AM
dianavan 08 Apr 07 - 03:24 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 09:56 AM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 10:18 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 10:51 AM
Barry Finn 08 Apr 07 - 11:00 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 11:03 AM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 11:05 AM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 11:17 AM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 11:42 AM
Barry Finn 08 Apr 07 - 12:02 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 12:22 PM
Dickey 08 Apr 07 - 01:04 PM
Peace 08 Apr 07 - 01:07 PM
dianavan 08 Apr 07 - 01:21 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 01:32 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 01:35 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 01:47 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 01:53 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 02:10 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:20 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:23 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 02:44 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 02:48 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 03:01 PM
dianavan 08 Apr 07 - 03:02 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 03:17 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 03:20 PM
Don Firth 08 Apr 07 - 03:22 PM
Peace 08 Apr 07 - 03:26 PM
Janie 08 Apr 07 - 03:35 PM
Dickey 08 Apr 07 - 03:37 PM
Peace 08 Apr 07 - 03:48 PM
Peace 08 Apr 07 - 03:51 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 04:18 PM
Dickey 08 Apr 07 - 04:36 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 05:42 PM
Barry Finn 08 Apr 07 - 07:24 PM
dianavan 08 Apr 07 - 07:35 PM
Bobert 08 Apr 07 - 08:11 PM
AWG 08 Apr 07 - 09:46 PM
TRUBRIT 08 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM
Janie 08 Apr 07 - 10:26 PM
Dickey 09 Apr 07 - 04:00 PM
Peace 09 Apr 07 - 04:01 PM
AWG 09 Apr 07 - 04:16 PM
Amos 09 Apr 07 - 05:12 PM
dianavan 09 Apr 07 - 05:28 PM
AWG 09 Apr 07 - 05:41 PM
Peace 09 Apr 07 - 06:22 PM
Amos 09 Apr 07 - 07:09 PM
Bobert 09 Apr 07 - 08:11 PM
AWG 09 Apr 07 - 08:46 PM
Bobert 09 Apr 07 - 09:17 PM
mg 09 Apr 07 - 10:22 PM
Dickey 09 Apr 07 - 11:42 PM
dianavan 09 Apr 07 - 11:57 PM
AWG 10 Apr 07 - 12:06 AM
Dickey 10 Apr 07 - 01:10 AM
Janie 10 Apr 07 - 04:02 AM
GUEST,meself 10 Apr 07 - 09:05 AM
AWG 10 Apr 07 - 09:45 AM
Amos 10 Apr 07 - 10:02 AM
mg 10 Apr 07 - 12:33 PM
Ebbie 10 Apr 07 - 12:38 PM
dianavan 10 Apr 07 - 12:52 PM
Peace 10 Apr 07 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Dani 10 Apr 07 - 06:32 PM
Amos 10 Apr 07 - 10:17 PM
Janie 10 Apr 07 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,meself 10 Apr 07 - 11:11 PM
Janie 10 Apr 07 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,meself 10 Apr 07 - 11:22 PM
dianavan 10 Apr 07 - 11:38 PM
Amos 10 Apr 07 - 11:40 PM
Azizi 10 Apr 07 - 11:45 PM
Peace 11 Apr 07 - 12:45 AM
Wordsmith 11 Apr 07 - 03:37 AM
Peace 11 Apr 07 - 04:01 AM
Bobert 11 Apr 07 - 06:49 PM
Bobert 11 Apr 07 - 07:49 PM
Bobert 11 Apr 07 - 08:00 PM
Dickey 11 Apr 07 - 09:52 PM
Janie 11 Apr 07 - 11:10 PM
Bobert 12 Apr 07 - 05:31 PM
autolycus 12 Apr 07 - 05:44 PM
Barry Finn 12 Apr 07 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Apr 07 - 06:37 PM
Barry Finn 12 Apr 07 - 06:58 PM
Janie 12 Apr 07 - 07:43 PM
Bobert 12 Apr 07 - 07:54 PM
dianavan 12 Apr 07 - 08:42 PM
TRUBRIT 12 Apr 07 - 10:26 PM
Dickey 12 Apr 07 - 11:39 PM
mg 12 Apr 07 - 11:48 PM
Bobert 13 Apr 07 - 12:56 PM
Dickey 13 Apr 07 - 01:40 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 07 - 02:28 PM
Dickey 13 Apr 07 - 02:52 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM
Bobert 13 Apr 07 - 07:56 PM
Dickey 14 Apr 07 - 11:28 AM
Bobert 14 Apr 07 - 01:51 PM
Bobert 15 Apr 07 - 12:01 PM
dianavan 15 Apr 07 - 02:58 PM
Bobert 15 Apr 07 - 04:19 PM
mg 15 Apr 07 - 06:01 PM
Bobert 15 Apr 07 - 07:00 PM
Bobert 15 Apr 07 - 08:32 PM
GUEST 16 Apr 07 - 11:17 PM
Dickey 17 Apr 07 - 12:02 AM
dianavan 17 Apr 07 - 01:15 AM
Janie 17 Apr 07 - 07:00 AM
Bobert 17 Apr 07 - 08:53 AM
Amos 17 Apr 07 - 10:23 AM
Bobert 17 Apr 07 - 06:01 PM
Scoville 18 Apr 07 - 10:55 AM
Dickey 18 Apr 07 - 02:28 PM
Dickey 18 Apr 07 - 02:50 PM
dianavan 18 Apr 07 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Apr 07 - 04:46 PM
Bobert 18 Apr 07 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Apr 07 - 06:56 PM
Bobert 18 Apr 07 - 08:01 PM
Bobert 18 Apr 07 - 09:14 PM
Janie 18 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM
mg 18 Apr 07 - 10:44 PM
dianavan 18 Apr 07 - 11:26 PM
mg 19 Apr 07 - 12:18 AM
Peace 19 Apr 07 - 12:20 AM
Dickey 19 Apr 07 - 01:12 AM
Peace 19 Apr 07 - 01:16 AM
Bobert 19 Apr 07 - 07:30 AM
Bobert 19 Apr 07 - 08:13 AM
Bobert 19 Apr 07 - 08:28 AM
Dickey 19 Apr 07 - 08:45 AM
Dickey 19 Apr 07 - 04:31 PM
Bobert 19 Apr 07 - 07:24 PM
Bobert 19 Apr 07 - 07:57 PM
Wordsmith 23 Apr 07 - 04:35 AM
Peace 23 Apr 07 - 10:12 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 12:17 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 12:38 AM
dianavan 24 Apr 07 - 02:40 AM
Wordsmith 24 Apr 07 - 04:55 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 08:55 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 09:41 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 09:53 AM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 10:11 AM
dianavan 24 Apr 07 - 01:03 PM
Bobert 24 Apr 07 - 09:36 PM
Peace 24 Apr 07 - 10:39 PM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 11:22 PM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 11:24 PM
Dickey 24 Apr 07 - 11:33 PM
Peace 24 Apr 07 - 11:50 PM
Bobert 25 Apr 07 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,mg 25 Apr 07 - 04:35 PM
Bobert 25 Apr 07 - 07:53 PM
Dickey 25 Apr 07 - 11:15 PM
Peace 25 Apr 07 - 11:36 PM
mg 25 Apr 07 - 11:51 PM
Dickey 26 Apr 07 - 12:09 AM
Wordsmith 26 Apr 07 - 12:31 AM
dianavan 26 Apr 07 - 01:37 AM
Dickey 26 Apr 07 - 12:11 PM
Bobert 26 Apr 07 - 08:12 PM
Janie 27 Apr 07 - 12:39 AM
Dickey 27 Apr 07 - 02:47 PM
Peace 27 Apr 07 - 02:51 PM
Dickey 27 Apr 07 - 03:29 PM
Dickey 27 Apr 07 - 04:28 PM
dianavan 27 Apr 07 - 04:52 PM
Bobert 27 Apr 07 - 07:57 PM
Dickey 28 Apr 07 - 02:04 AM
dianavan 28 Apr 07 - 03:40 AM
Bobert 28 Apr 07 - 08:52 AM
Dickey 28 Apr 07 - 11:53 AM
Dickey 28 Apr 07 - 12:35 PM
dianavan 28 Apr 07 - 05:59 PM
Bobert 28 Apr 07 - 06:51 PM
Peace 28 Apr 07 - 06:53 PM
dianavan 28 Apr 07 - 10:00 PM
Barry Finn 28 Apr 07 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Apr 07 - 10:18 PM
Peace 28 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM
Barry Finn 28 Apr 07 - 10:47 PM
TRUBRIT 28 Apr 07 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Apr 07 - 11:37 PM
TRUBRIT 29 Apr 07 - 12:21 AM
Barry Finn 29 Apr 07 - 12:33 AM
Dickey 29 Apr 07 - 12:35 AM
Barry Finn 29 Apr 07 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,mg 29 Apr 07 - 01:10 AM
TRUBRIT 29 Apr 07 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,mg 29 Apr 07 - 01:27 AM
TRUBRIT 29 Apr 07 - 01:31 AM
Dickey 29 Apr 07 - 01:41 AM
dianavan 29 Apr 07 - 02:32 AM
TRUBRIT 29 Apr 07 - 02:50 AM
Barry Finn 29 Apr 07 - 03:19 AM
Dickey 29 Apr 07 - 03:27 AM
Barry Finn 29 Apr 07 - 03:35 AM
Bobert 29 Apr 07 - 08:19 AM
Dickey 29 Apr 07 - 11:50 AM
Bobert 29 Apr 07 - 08:14 PM
Dickey 30 Apr 07 - 01:19 AM
dianavan 30 Apr 07 - 02:49 AM
Ebbie 30 Apr 07 - 03:41 AM
Ebbie 30 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM
Dickey 30 Apr 07 - 12:45 PM
Dickey 30 Apr 07 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,mg 30 Apr 07 - 01:37 PM
Ebbie 30 Apr 07 - 02:25 PM
Dickey 30 Apr 07 - 02:34 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 07 - 08:31 PM
Peace 30 Apr 07 - 08:47 PM
Bobert 30 Apr 07 - 09:00 PM
Dickey 30 Apr 07 - 11:59 PM
Peace 01 May 07 - 12:07 AM
Dickey 01 May 07 - 12:22 AM
Dickey 01 May 07 - 12:26 AM
Dickey 01 May 07 - 01:39 AM
mg 01 May 07 - 02:59 AM
Bobert 01 May 07 - 07:50 AM
Dickey 01 May 07 - 08:17 AM
Bobert 01 May 07 - 08:01 PM
Dickey 01 May 07 - 09:57 PM
Peace 02 May 07 - 12:04 AM
Bobert 02 May 07 - 07:40 AM
Dickey 02 May 07 - 09:27 AM
AWG 02 May 07 - 05:05 PM
Bobert 02 May 07 - 07:01 PM
Dickey 02 May 07 - 10:40 PM
Peace 02 May 07 - 11:20 PM
AWG 03 May 07 - 07:46 AM
AWG 03 May 07 - 07:47 AM
Dickey 03 May 07 - 08:33 AM
dianavan 03 May 07 - 01:55 PM
Bobert 03 May 07 - 07:43 PM
Dickey 03 May 07 - 08:07 PM
Dickey 03 May 07 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,RRR 03 May 07 - 08:57 PM
Ebbie 03 May 07 - 09:42 PM
Dickey 03 May 07 - 10:22 PM
Dickey 03 May 07 - 10:31 PM
Ebbie 03 May 07 - 10:59 PM
Peace 04 May 07 - 12:07 AM
dianavan 04 May 07 - 03:08 AM
AWG 04 May 07 - 07:37 AM
AWG 04 May 07 - 07:44 AM
Dickey 04 May 07 - 09:50 AM
beardedbruce 04 May 07 - 11:58 AM
Bobert 04 May 07 - 08:09 PM
Bobert 05 May 07 - 07:40 AM
Dickey 05 May 07 - 11:20 AM
dianavan 05 May 07 - 02:36 PM
Ebbie 05 May 07 - 02:53 PM
Dickey 05 May 07 - 03:20 PM
Bobert 05 May 07 - 05:32 PM
Dickey 06 May 07 - 12:43 AM
Bobert 06 May 07 - 09:41 AM
Dickey 06 May 07 - 09:55 AM
Janie 06 May 07 - 11:09 AM
AWG 06 May 07 - 11:22 AM
Bobert 06 May 07 - 01:16 PM
dianavan 06 May 07 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Dani 06 May 07 - 05:38 PM
dianavan 06 May 07 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Dani 06 May 07 - 07:55 PM
dianavan 06 May 07 - 11:18 PM
Dickey 07 May 07 - 12:32 AM
dianavan 07 May 07 - 03:21 AM
Bobert 07 May 07 - 07:23 AM
Dickey 07 May 07 - 01:12 PM
dianavan 07 May 07 - 03:38 PM
Bobert 07 May 07 - 05:42 PM
AWG 07 May 07 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,mg 07 May 07 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,mg 07 May 07 - 08:17 PM
Bobert 07 May 07 - 08:52 PM
AWG 07 May 07 - 09:09 PM
Peace 07 May 07 - 09:11 PM
mg 07 May 07 - 09:14 PM
mg 07 May 07 - 09:17 PM
Bobert 07 May 07 - 09:19 PM
mg 07 May 07 - 09:24 PM
mg 07 May 07 - 09:25 PM
Dickey 07 May 07 - 11:16 PM
Dickey 07 May 07 - 11:43 PM
mg 08 May 07 - 12:08 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 12:20 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 12:29 AM
Dickey 08 May 07 - 12:31 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 12:33 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 12:39 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 01:08 AM
dianavan 08 May 07 - 03:14 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 03:41 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 04:03 AM
mg 08 May 07 - 04:15 AM
Bobert 08 May 07 - 07:16 AM
Dickey 08 May 07 - 10:09 AM
Dickey 08 May 07 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,mg 08 May 07 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,mg 08 May 07 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,mg 08 May 07 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,mg 08 May 07 - 05:03 PM
AWG 08 May 07 - 05:49 PM
Ebbie 08 May 07 - 05:55 PM
Barry Finn 08 May 07 - 06:19 PM
Barry Finn 08 May 07 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,mg 08 May 07 - 06:33 PM
Bobert 08 May 07 - 07:52 PM
mg 08 May 07 - 08:49 PM
mg 08 May 07 - 09:02 PM
Dickey 08 May 07 - 09:43 PM
Bobert 08 May 07 - 10:02 PM
Bobert 08 May 07 - 10:12 PM
kendall 09 May 07 - 07:34 AM
Peace 09 May 07 - 03:39 PM
Greg F. 09 May 07 - 04:09 PM
AWG 09 May 07 - 05:33 PM
Bobert 09 May 07 - 07:41 PM
Janie 10 May 07 - 12:26 AM
Dickey 10 May 07 - 12:29 AM
TRUBRIT 10 May 07 - 04:23 PM
Bobert 10 May 07 - 05:06 PM
Janie 11 May 07 - 12:22 AM
Ebbie 11 May 07 - 01:24 PM
TRUBRIT 11 May 07 - 11:27 PM
katlaughing 11 May 07 - 11:42 PM
Janie 12 May 07 - 12:37 AM
TRUBRIT 12 May 07 - 12:47 AM
Janie 12 May 07 - 12:58 AM
katlaughing 12 May 07 - 03:32 AM
Amos 12 May 07 - 08:17 AM
katlaughing 12 May 07 - 11:18 AM
SINSULL 12 May 07 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Janie 12 May 07 - 11:23 PM
Janie 13 May 07 - 12:48 AM
Bobert 13 May 07 - 09:32 AM
Stringsinger 13 May 07 - 11:43 AM
Dickey 20 May 07 - 02:11 AM
GUEST,dianavan 20 May 07 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,Dani 20 May 07 - 10:24 AM
Dickey 20 May 07 - 11:13 AM
Dickey 20 May 07 - 11:50 AM
Peace 20 May 07 - 04:08 PM
Janie 20 May 07 - 05:06 PM
Bobert 20 May 07 - 08:52 PM
Dickey 21 May 07 - 10:53 AM
Dickey 21 May 07 - 11:00 AM
Bobert 21 May 07 - 07:47 PM
Peace 21 May 07 - 08:12 PM
Bobert 21 May 07 - 08:21 PM
Janie 21 May 07 - 09:29 PM
Dickey 22 May 07 - 03:28 AM
Dickey 22 May 07 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,dianavan 22 May 07 - 04:33 PM
Bobert 22 May 07 - 07:29 PM
Dickey 22 May 07 - 08:58 PM
Dickey 22 May 07 - 09:27 PM
Bobert 23 May 07 - 07:53 AM
Dickey 23 May 07 - 10:41 AM
Dickey 23 May 07 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,dianavan 23 May 07 - 04:44 PM
Peace 23 May 07 - 04:58 PM
Peace 23 May 07 - 05:08 PM
Bobert 23 May 07 - 08:04 PM
Peace 23 May 07 - 09:12 PM
Janie 23 May 07 - 09:44 PM
Dickey 24 May 07 - 09:44 AM
Dickey 24 May 07 - 10:28 AM
AWG 24 May 07 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,dianavan 24 May 07 - 03:36 PM
Stringsinger 24 May 07 - 05:32 PM
Bobert 24 May 07 - 08:30 PM
Dickey 24 May 07 - 10:27 PM
Dickey 25 May 07 - 09:37 AM
Bobert 25 May 07 - 06:32 PM
Dickey 25 May 07 - 11:53 PM
Dickey 26 May 07 - 12:05 AM
Janie 26 May 07 - 11:49 AM
Dickey 26 May 07 - 02:12 PM
Bobert 26 May 07 - 05:35 PM
AWG 26 May 07 - 10:23 PM
Dickey 26 May 07 - 11:41 PM
Janie 27 May 07 - 12:13 AM
Barry Finn 27 May 07 - 12:35 AM
Dickey 27 May 07 - 12:56 AM
Bobert 27 May 07 - 07:57 AM
Bobert 27 May 07 - 08:35 AM
Dickey 27 May 07 - 10:10 AM
TRUBRIT 27 May 07 - 09:41 PM
Peace 27 May 07 - 09:44 PM
Ebbie 27 May 07 - 09:50 PM
TRUBRIT 27 May 07 - 10:01 PM
Janie 27 May 07 - 10:47 PM
Janie 27 May 07 - 11:00 PM
Janie 27 May 07 - 11:59 PM
Peace 28 May 07 - 12:01 AM
Janie 28 May 07 - 12:18 AM
Peace 28 May 07 - 12:19 AM
Peace 28 May 07 - 12:22 AM
Peace 28 May 07 - 12:52 AM
Peace 28 May 07 - 12:55 AM
Ebbie 28 May 07 - 03:22 AM
Dickey 28 May 07 - 07:56 AM
Janie 28 May 07 - 10:18 AM
Janie 28 May 07 - 11:55 AM
Dickey 28 May 07 - 05:48 PM
Janie 28 May 07 - 06:37 PM
Peace 28 May 07 - 06:40 PM
Janie 28 May 07 - 07:23 PM
Dickey 28 May 07 - 07:24 PM
Janie 28 May 07 - 07:47 PM
Dickey 28 May 07 - 08:19 PM
Janie 28 May 07 - 08:22 PM
Dickey 29 May 07 - 01:51 AM
Dickey 29 May 07 - 01:53 AM
Bobert 29 May 07 - 08:17 PM
Peace 29 May 07 - 08:20 PM
Janie 29 May 07 - 11:38 PM
Dickey 29 May 07 - 11:49 PM
Dickey 30 May 07 - 12:33 AM
Barry Finn 30 May 07 - 01:58 AM
Bobert 30 May 07 - 06:27 AM
Janie 30 May 07 - 06:51 AM
Dickey 30 May 07 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,dianavan 30 May 07 - 11:56 AM
Janie 30 May 07 - 07:13 PM
Bobert 30 May 07 - 08:14 PM
Janie 30 May 07 - 08:25 PM
Janie 30 May 07 - 09:19 PM
Bobert 30 May 07 - 09:38 PM
Janie 30 May 07 - 09:45 PM
Dickey 31 May 07 - 08:37 AM
Dickey 31 May 07 - 08:59 AM
Bobert 31 May 07 - 08:12 PM
Dickey 31 May 07 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,dianavan 01 Jun 07 - 01:55 AM
Janie 01 Jun 07 - 02:36 AM
Bobert 01 Jun 07 - 09:06 PM
Dickey 02 Jun 07 - 12:40 AM
Bobert 02 Jun 07 - 04:37 PM
Dickey 03 Jun 07 - 03:03 AM
Bobert 03 Jun 07 - 09:02 AM
Dickey 03 Jun 07 - 11:19 AM
Bobert 03 Jun 07 - 09:02 PM
Dickey 04 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,dianavan 04 Jun 07 - 05:15 PM
Bobert 04 Jun 07 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Richey Rich, aka AWG 04 Jun 07 - 07:16 PM
AWG 04 Jun 07 - 07:34 PM
Bobert 04 Jun 07 - 08:53 PM
Dickey 05 Jun 07 - 09:37 AM
Peace 05 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM
Ebbie 05 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM
Dickey 05 Jun 07 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,harpgirl 05 Jun 07 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Janie 06 Jun 07 - 12:26 AM
Peace 06 Jun 07 - 12:27 AM
Bobert 06 Jun 07 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,dianavan 06 Jun 07 - 12:22 PM
Dickey 06 Jun 07 - 12:52 PM
Peace 06 Jun 07 - 01:03 PM
Big Mick 06 Jun 07 - 01:20 PM
Bobert 06 Jun 07 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,dianavan 06 Jun 07 - 09:35 PM
Ebbie 06 Jun 07 - 10:06 PM
Dickey 06 Jun 07 - 11:51 PM
Dickey 07 Jun 07 - 01:13 AM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 07 - 04:03 AM
Bobert 07 Jun 07 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Kipp 07 Jun 07 - 10:03 AM
Dickey 07 Jun 07 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Kipp 07 Jun 07 - 12:24 PM
Peace 07 Jun 07 - 01:53 PM
Peace 07 Jun 07 - 02:49 PM
AWG 07 Jun 07 - 06:06 PM
AWG 07 Jun 07 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,dianavan 08 Jun 07 - 02:13 AM
Big Mick 08 Jun 07 - 05:28 AM
Dickey 08 Jun 07 - 09:52 AM
Peace 08 Jun 07 - 09:54 AM
GUEST 08 Jun 07 - 10:03 AM
Peace 08 Jun 07 - 10:14 AM
GUEST 08 Jun 07 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Kipp 08 Jun 07 - 12:22 PM
Bobert 08 Jun 07 - 12:23 PM
Peace 08 Jun 07 - 02:25 PM
AWG 08 Jun 07 - 05:06 PM
Peace 08 Jun 07 - 05:08 PM
Peace 08 Jun 07 - 05:15 PM
AWG 08 Jun 07 - 05:18 PM
Bobert 08 Jun 07 - 05:32 PM
AWG 08 Jun 07 - 05:53 PM
Dickey 08 Jun 07 - 10:00 PM
Kipp 09 Jun 07 - 10:12 AM
AWG 09 Jun 07 - 10:19 AM
Ebbie 09 Jun 07 - 01:48 PM
AWG 09 Jun 07 - 04:39 PM
Peace 09 Jun 07 - 06:09 PM
TRUBRIT 09 Jun 07 - 06:16 PM
Peace 09 Jun 07 - 10:00 PM
Dickey 09 Jun 07 - 10:49 PM
Janie 10 Jun 07 - 12:52 AM
Janie 10 Jun 07 - 12:53 AM
AWG 10 Jun 07 - 10:05 AM
Ebbie 10 Jun 07 - 12:35 PM
AWG 10 Jun 07 - 12:54 PM
Ebbie 10 Jun 07 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,dianavan 10 Jun 07 - 01:10 PM
AWG 10 Jun 07 - 01:47 PM
Peace 10 Jun 07 - 01:52 PM
Janie 10 Jun 07 - 01:54 PM
AWG 10 Jun 07 - 01:58 PM
Peace 10 Jun 07 - 02:03 PM
Big Mick 10 Jun 07 - 04:51 PM
Ebbie 10 Jun 07 - 05:06 PM
AWG 10 Jun 07 - 06:50 PM
Big Mick 10 Jun 07 - 07:40 PM
Janie 11 Jun 07 - 12:49 AM
AWG 11 Jun 07 - 09:37 AM
Dickey 11 Jun 07 - 09:45 AM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 09:46 AM
AWG 11 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 10:04 AM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 10:06 AM
AWG 11 Jun 07 - 10:15 AM
Kipp 11 Jun 07 - 10:43 AM
AWG 11 Jun 07 - 11:04 AM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 01:49 PM
AWG 11 Jun 07 - 02:24 PM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 02:50 PM
Bobert 11 Jun 07 - 05:26 PM
Big Mick 11 Jun 07 - 06:18 PM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 07:02 PM
Bobert 11 Jun 07 - 09:23 PM
Janie 11 Jun 07 - 11:22 PM
Peace 11 Jun 07 - 11:24 PM
Janie 12 Jun 07 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,dianavan 12 Jun 07 - 02:00 AM
AWG 12 Jun 07 - 04:04 AM
AWG 12 Jun 07 - 04:15 AM
Big Mick 12 Jun 07 - 09:20 AM
Kipp 12 Jun 07 - 10:20 AM
Peace 12 Jun 07 - 12:19 PM
Kipp 12 Jun 07 - 12:58 PM
AWG 12 Jun 07 - 01:52 PM
Ebbie 12 Jun 07 - 02:34 PM
Peace 12 Jun 07 - 05:12 PM
Bobert 12 Jun 07 - 08:02 PM
Dickey 12 Jun 07 - 08:29 PM
Big Mick 12 Jun 07 - 09:51 PM
Dickey 12 Jun 07 - 10:37 PM
Janie 12 Jun 07 - 10:59 PM
Janie 12 Jun 07 - 11:24 PM
Big Mick 12 Jun 07 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,dianavan 13 Jun 07 - 12:59 AM
Peace 13 Jun 07 - 01:39 AM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 03:21 AM
Bobert 13 Jun 07 - 07:51 AM
Dickey 13 Jun 07 - 09:40 AM
Dickey 13 Jun 07 - 09:45 AM
Kipp 13 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM
Peace 13 Jun 07 - 01:21 PM
Kipp 13 Jun 07 - 01:55 PM
Peace 13 Jun 07 - 02:01 PM
Janie 13 Jun 07 - 07:18 PM
Bobert 13 Jun 07 - 08:38 PM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 08:41 PM
Dickey 13 Jun 07 - 08:44 PM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 08:51 PM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 08:57 PM
Bobert 13 Jun 07 - 09:14 PM
AWG 13 Jun 07 - 09:33 PM
Peace 14 Jun 07 - 12:13 AM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 01:04 AM
TRUBRIT 14 Jun 07 - 01:48 AM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,dianavan 14 Jun 07 - 03:46 AM
Bobert 14 Jun 07 - 07:11 AM
Dickey 14 Jun 07 - 09:21 AM
Kipp 14 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 10:33 AM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 12:09 PM
Big Mick 14 Jun 07 - 01:00 PM
Peace 14 Jun 07 - 01:54 PM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 01:58 PM
AWG 14 Jun 07 - 03:55 PM
Janie 14 Jun 07 - 05:49 PM
GUEST 14 Jun 07 - 06:21 PM
Bobert 14 Jun 07 - 06:42 PM
Bobert 14 Jun 07 - 08:01 PM
Dickey 15 Jun 07 - 12:03 AM
AWG 15 Jun 07 - 07:47 AM
Janie 15 Jun 07 - 07:49 AM
Dickey 15 Jun 07 - 10:36 AM
Peace 15 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM
Kipp 15 Jun 07 - 01:10 PM
Janie 15 Jun 07 - 01:10 PM
Bobert 15 Jun 07 - 08:50 PM
Big Mick 15 Jun 07 - 09:33 PM
Janie 16 Jun 07 - 12:44 AM
Big Mick 16 Jun 07 - 03:20 PM
Bobert 16 Jun 07 - 06:55 PM
AWG 17 Jun 07 - 08:13 AM
Dickey 17 Jun 07 - 08:52 AM
Big Mick 17 Jun 07 - 08:52 AM
Big Mick 17 Jun 07 - 09:03 AM
Bobert 17 Jun 07 - 10:34 AM
Dickey 17 Jun 07 - 11:03 AM
Big Mick 17 Jun 07 - 11:12 AM
Dickey 17 Jun 07 - 11:59 AM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 12:25 PM
Big Mick 17 Jun 07 - 02:20 PM
AWG 17 Jun 07 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,dianavan 17 Jun 07 - 04:25 PM
Big Mick 17 Jun 07 - 04:32 PM
AWG 17 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM
Bobert 17 Jun 07 - 05:10 PM
AWG 17 Jun 07 - 09:26 PM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 10:41 PM
Janie 18 Jun 07 - 01:20 AM
Bobert 18 Jun 07 - 08:05 AM
Dickey 18 Jun 07 - 08:54 AM
Dickey 18 Jun 07 - 08:58 AM
Dickey 18 Jun 07 - 09:02 AM
AWG 18 Jun 07 - 09:12 AM
Peace 18 Jun 07 - 09:59 AM
Kipp 18 Jun 07 - 10:34 AM
Dickey 18 Jun 07 - 11:15 AM
AWG 18 Jun 07 - 11:31 AM
Kipp 18 Jun 07 - 12:40 PM
AWG 18 Jun 07 - 01:17 PM
Peace 18 Jun 07 - 03:36 PM
Dickey 18 Jun 07 - 09:03 PM
Bobert 18 Jun 07 - 09:23 PM
Dickey 19 Jun 07 - 11:26 AM
AWG 19 Jun 07 - 11:38 AM
Dickey 19 Jun 07 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Spidey Bobe 19 Jun 07 - 01:53 PM
Peace 19 Jun 07 - 04:26 PM
Bobert 19 Jun 07 - 05:30 PM
AWG 20 Jun 07 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,dianavan 20 Jun 07 - 03:17 AM
Peace 20 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM
AWG 20 Jun 07 - 10:24 AM
Dickey 21 Jun 07 - 12:52 PM
Dickey 21 Jun 07 - 01:18 PM
Bobert 21 Jun 07 - 06:39 PM
Dickey 22 Jun 07 - 12:35 AM
Dickey 22 Jun 07 - 01:40 PM
Bobert 22 Jun 07 - 06:31 PM
Dickey 22 Jun 07 - 11:47 PM
Dickey 23 Jun 07 - 12:31 AM
Dickey 23 Jun 07 - 01:30 AM
Bobert 23 Jun 07 - 11:32 AM
Dickey 23 Jun 07 - 11:46 AM
Dickey 23 Jun 07 - 12:05 PM
AWG 23 Jun 07 - 01:38 PM
Bobert 23 Jun 07 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,dianavan 24 Jun 07 - 12:26 AM
Janie 24 Jun 07 - 01:57 AM
Bobert 24 Jun 07 - 09:37 AM
Dickey 24 Jun 07 - 10:38 PM
Janie 25 Jun 07 - 01:00 AM
Bobert 25 Jun 07 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,dianavan 25 Jun 07 - 10:28 AM
Uncle Boko 25 Jun 07 - 02:53 PM
Bobert 25 Jun 07 - 04:46 PM
Bobert 25 Jun 07 - 06:36 PM
Janie 25 Jun 07 - 10:36 PM
Janie 25 Jun 07 - 10:46 PM
Janie 27 Jun 07 - 01:03 AM
Bobert 27 Jun 07 - 08:40 PM
Janie 28 Jun 07 - 12:54 AM
Dickey 28 Jun 07 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,dianavan 28 Jun 07 - 03:02 AM
Bobert 28 Jun 07 - 07:38 AM
Dickey 28 Jun 07 - 09:10 AM
Janie 28 Jun 07 - 06:04 PM
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Ebbie 30 Jun 07 - 12:40 PM
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GUEST,Art Thieme 03 Jul 07 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 12:22 PM

This thread is for people who wish to discuss, argue, reiterate, spew, state, declare, avow or otherwise attest that there is or isn't poverty in the USA. This thread is not about tits, Iran, nuclear weapons, Saddam Hussein or Natalie from the Dixie Chicks. Poverty in the USA was caused by Canada. (I figured I'd get THAT on the table to begin with.) Hope y'all have a happy discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 12:27 PM

Thank you, PEace. I would like to begin the discussion by pointing out that there is, indeed and beyond doubt, poverty in the USA, and has been for a long time. There is also poverty in Canada and Latin America.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 12:27 PM

Nice one :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 12:34 PM

http://poverty2.forumone.com/webguide/region/9

Poverty in Canada? Damned right there is. I live in Canada's richest province and about 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line. However, the thread wasn't started to slag thge USA. It was in response to a few posters who are discussing it on other threads meant for other things. (I was one of 'em.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 12:47 PM

One of the previous points of discussion was the percentage of people below the poverty line in the USA and in the UK. It was difficult to decide if the UK figures were actually western figures or not. We certainly have poverty in the UK and there is definitely poverty in the USA, I think it is the degree of poverty that was difficult to determine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:04 PM

Poverty
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well-being and life. Since poverty is understood in many senses, these essentials may be material resources such as food, safe drinking water, and shelter, or they may be social resources such as access to information, education, health care, social status, political power, or the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with other people in society.

Poverty may also be defined in relative terms. In this view income disparities or wealth disparities are seen as an indicator of poverty and the condition of poverty is linked to questions of scarcity and distribution of resources and power. Poverty may be defined by a government or organization for legal purposes, see Poverty threshold.

Poverty is also a type of religious vow, a state that may be taken on voluntarily in keeping with practices of piety.

There is a lot more and it gives ways for measuring poverty. It is interesting to look at the definition in relative terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:08 PM

I don't live in a heavily populated "inner city" area of the US so my observations may not hold true country-wide.

However, one thing that I *have* seen in the areas where I have lived, (Oregon, Virginia, Michigan and Alaska) is that no one- child, woman or man - should have to go hungry. We have soup kitchens and shelters that see to that. And another one pops up whenever one shelter is at capacity.

Going homeless in preference to sleeping or hanging out in a shelter is a more problematic question. I have known homeless men who say that they prefer to sleep under a bridge, for instance, to staying in a shelter. As one man told me, in the shelters there is always a boss, a bully, who is the one who decides what time the lights go out, if the windows are open or shut, if there is any talking.

My only 'expertise' in this area is that I have done volunteer work (tutoring, as well as helping serve dinner) in a shelter and I have often hired workmen from there as casual laborers. In the process I have talked with many.

One man, perhaps more motivated than most, agonized over it. As he said, How do I start over? A few days of painting or hauling or cleaning won't bring me enough money to get an apartment. If you don't have an address, you're not going to get a job...

In one way a woman with small children is in a better situation than a single man is. There don't appear to be as many options for men; fewer people care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Partridge
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:16 PM

"Poverty in the USA was caused by Canada"

I don't understand this, how did Canada do this?

Pat x


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:18 PM

Canada is to blame for all the evils of the world, didn'tyaknow?

8-{E


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:37 PM

Canada not only caused the poverty in the US but they are also responsible for all those d*mnable cold fronts. I say we invade.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:47 PM

There was once a truely revealing and interesting thread that discussed poverty in our own lives, but the premise of this thread is sophmoric yet probably of valuable for a middle school curriculum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:50 PM

I think it was started to get Dickey's poverty discussion off a couple of other threads but he hasn't shown up yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM

Poverty is caused by the few rich people who have all the money.

MSNBC had an extensive article about how many billionaires are now in London about 5 hours ago, showing that it's largely London's fault; but apparently someone paid them to take their name down so they hid the entire article. Maybe BBC has it up, but I'm too poor to pay the connect time to look.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 02:04 PM

The worst poverty I've seen yet was in Trinidad. Pretty awful. It is ameliorated to some extent by the fact that it doesn't get cold down there, so you can sleep outside or in some pathetic shack you built and not freeze to death.

One of the side effects of the Trinidad poverty is a tremendously high crime rate. You DON'T go out at night there if you are wise. Kidnappings, murders, break-ins, and robberies are very common. The police are little help, because they're corrupt. There are private detective agencies you can hire which are quite effective, but only people who are quite well off can afford their fees. Example: Someone stole your car. Don't bother calling the police, because it won't do you any good. Instead, hire a private detective agency. They will find the guy(s) who stole your car, shoot them dead, and return it...for a hefty fee! It's worth it if it's a valuable car.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 02:10 PM

The worst I have seen was driving into Acapolco back in the 70's. The mountainside AWAY from the ocean was covered with people living in less than boxes- two posts and a top cover were the better ones I saw.

Then we visited the 15th century Catholic Church in the nearby inland town, and saw the silver alter rails a foot in diameter, and the box the people were putting their centavos into...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scoville
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM

Men have fewer options than women with small children?? Are you kidding me? Because the last time I checked, there really is no reliable form of affordable childcare for people who cannot pay for it out of pocket, and current welfare laws are notorious for trapping people--if you work too much, you lose all your benefits (but still don't make enough to get by), so you have to stay on welfare, and pretty much anything you do to improve your economic lot on your own results in the government pulling another rug out from under you.

The U.S. isn't nearly as badly off as a lot of places, but a lot of people here are much worse off than they should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: beardedbruce
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 02:19 PM

"The U.S. isn't nearly as badly off as a lot of places, but a lot of people here are much worse off than they should be."


This is a comment I can agree whole-heartedly with. The poverty that I saw in Mexico was painful to see, but the poverty I saw in Native American reservations was heart-rending, although not quite as bad. As an American, I felt , in some fashion, responsible for what the people living on the reservation had to deal with. That bothered me, that the US government had made treaties, then repeatedly broke them and driven those people to marginally livable areas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 02:43 PM

I read somewhere, bb, that the ONLY treaty the Native Americans made with the newcomers that was not broken was the one they made with the Quakers. The government broke them whenever circumstances changed, such as wishing to open a new territory to settlers.

Scoville, I did mention "a single woman with small children"- local governments will go to work to settle them into an apartment, while they tend not to do anything of the kind for a single man.

As time passes and children grow older, I agree that the welfare system is morally bankrupt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scoville
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 03:11 PM

They tend not to do much more, though, and I'm not sure that offsets the incredible additional burden of raising small children without a safety net, especially considering the terrible long-term effects of not having stable housing, good nutrition, or a safe neighborhood and home environment (since poor kids seem to be disproportionately at risk of abuse by stressed-out and underequipped mothers or stepfathers/boyfriends) when kids are young. A man without kids doesn't have those worries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 03:17 PM

It's complex, but made worse by overpopulation in general, loss of traditional ways of earning a livelihood, women having children out of wedlock, and drug and alcohol use. Lack of mobility of populations because they are attached (and rightly so) to a particular place and occupation. Megafarms rather than smaller family farms and self sufficiency. There is a "psychogene", a word I just heard of..but expectations are passed down of poverty. I know that is true in my family. Education. Too many dropouts. Too much curriculum for the college bound and the rest be damned. A lot lot lot of poverty could be reduced and often eliminated by mother and father getting vocational training in high school, hopefully another level at a community college, being married, having a small number of children and avoiding drugs and alcohol. And diet Pepsi. So there are ways to break into the cycle. Birth control. Expectations that girls will not get pregnant before marriage (what a concept) and will complete an education. Same same boys. No tolerance of drugs or crime, which makes the experience of poverty so much worse if you are afraid for your life..and makes people who would step in to help or to house you afraid to do it...

Education of course, combined with social parameters that make it hard for people to drop out of school, get pregnant early and unmarried, use drugs etc. Government as a last resort for employment and for housing, and all housing on public dime drug-free or else in high lock-down places with high security where all adult drug users are assembled and children not exposed to them. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 03:44 PM

Damn, Scoville. Read my sentence: In one way a woman with small children is in a better situation than a single man is.

You are jousting at a non-existent enemy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 03:47 PM

BB - Yeah, I know what you mean about Mexico. I've seen that too. Pretty comparable to what I saw in Trinidad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 03:58 PM

I've been taking a 33-week Catholic social justice class called JustFaith at my church, exploring social justice concerns and programs in my community, in the US, and in the world. We've done a huge amount of reading, including one of the several books Jonathan Kozol wrote about the South Bronx; and Cloud of Witnesses, a collection of short biographies of social justice activists that was published in Sojourners Magazine, edited by Jim Wallis; along with other books on compassion, racism, and Catholic Social Justice teaching. I got to hear Jim Wallis speak in Los Angeles last weekend on the theme of his recent book, God's Politics: God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

I suppose the most disturbing book we read was Dispossessed, Mark Kramer's study of the urban slums of Nairobi, Manila, Mexico City, Bangkok, and Cairo. We don't have that kind of poverty in the United States.

The program also involves four "immersion experiences," face-to-face contact with the poor. We ate with the homeless and later cooked for them and provided them lodging in our church hall in a program called The Gathering Inn. We spent a day in Colusa in the Central Valley of California, touring substandard housing and talking with organizers and volunteers in a local community organizing project of the PICO network. We attended a Mexican-American fiesta and talked and feasted with Catholics from our area we'd never met before. And then this week, we spent two disturbing hours in the county jail (on a tour). I do volunteer work every week at a women's center in Sacramento, and I have contact with the poor there, too.

In Colusa, we found twenty housing units in the back yard of an old house. The apartments were little bigger than jail cells - about 10 feet wide by 15 feet deep, with a bathroom and shower facility in a separate building. Those twenty units were shut down by the city six months ago, but another apartment we visited smelled of gas and had obviously dangerous electrical and plumbing connections. The occupant was a farmworker, about fifty years old, who hasn't seen his family in Mexico for eleven years.

Yes, there's poverty in the United States. I suppose many of the poor here have television and aren't starving, but they don't have the security of stable housing and employment and health care and a home with two parents. They may have a car to drive, but can't afford to insure it. I suppose many of the poor are mentally ill or lacking in intelligence and skills, but certainly society has an obligation to help them deal with those shortcomings. I suppose that drugs also have a lot to do with the causes of poverty in the U.S. Recent immigrants also have a tough time during their early years here, especially if they came here illegally.

Every once in a while, I'll hear somebody blame the poor for their poverty, and that kind of thinking drives me crazy. I've met a lot of poor people, but not many of them seem to be poor because they're lazy. Usually, their poverty seems to be caused by the hopelessness of their situation, but their inability to find a way out of the deep hole of their poverty. If you grow up in an area plagued by violence and drugs, how likely would you be to have the strength to find a way out? Many of the American poor just don't have the intellectual ability and focus to be able to do a job – there are a number of people I've met that I can't imagine anybody wanting to hire.

So yes, there's lots of poverty in the United States. It's all around us, but often not easy to see. And there aren't any easy solutions to it. Before we pass judgment on the poor, we should make sure we've taken the time to mingle with them and to see things their way. Think about how we'd deal with such a hopeless situation. Certainly, there are heroes who have pulled themselves out of their poverty - but how many of us would have that sort of courage in a similar situation?

A decade or two ago, there was a short time when it was almost fashionable to have compassion with the homeless in the United States. I don't know what happened - I think people got bored with the issue of homelessness, and forgot about the poor. Maybe once again, it's Time to Remember the Poor.

-Joe-

Here are a couple of worthwhile Jim Wallis links:


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:26 PM

One of the worst obstacles to poverty is people shutting up other people who have possible suggestions. They just drift away out of the problem.

It has to be untangled.Providing safety for poor people has to be one of the most important things..where old women are afraid to leave their public housing units..or private...Where children are afraid to go to school or ride the school bus. Where there is safety, there are ways for the human spirit to find ways to move up and out of bad situations. A flower pot here and then a garden and then a fruit orchard in an abandoned lot. People cutting each other's hair and minding each other's kids while one works. Fixing each other's cars. The violence of various areas makes everything so much harder..where firefighters and taxis don't want to enter an area. We could go in with guns a blazing and clean some of those places up and put in semi-jails (with freedom to come and go but with restrictions) the thugs who make it so hard for their neighbors.

More later. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:31 PM

Is poverty relieved by charity, welfare, compassion, reform?

Or revolution?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Member
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:41 PM

Years ago when we were in a position to do so we gave regular contributions to an international aid organization and through that helped support a family in South America. One Christmas when we had more money that usual due to settlement of a contract, we were able to send some extra money. About three months later the case worker sent us some photographs. The family had bought some bags of cement, tin sheets and cinder blocks. The covered their roof because it had always been leaking in the rain; they put a cement floor in their kitchen area--it had been dirt floor until then, and the cinder blocks were used, I think, to make some raised sleeping platforms so they didn't have to be on the floor. The father worked--he is a carpenter, and he and his wife had three children. The son for whom we provided x dollars per month received his first pair of shoes because of the aid organization, his first trip to the dentist and his first school supplies. That put some stuff in perspective for me. I think back to those pictures and realize that just because I miss a meal doesn't mean I'm starving, and just because I need a patch on my jeans doesn't mean I am destitute. Sometimes we take the luxuries we have for granted. The folks in South America were in need of necessities. Big difference there. Now, if I have no milk or sugar for the tea I have it without. If there's no tea, water is fine. Sometimes we just don't know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Member
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:43 PM

Good question, Richard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mgarvey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:50 PM

Extensive police work to prevent spread of violence and drugs

Proper nutritional use of food stamps with mostly true foods and a small percentage for treats

Medical clinics.

Workfare.

Emergency shelters.

WPA type programs.

Subsidized housing, range of houses depending on behavior and lifestyle of tenants.

Mandatory vocational training for every student in America, including those with Harvard buildings named after them.

Drug tests throughout school and in any state colleges.

Bully pulpits from the president on down (and I hope President Obama expands on what he is saying now) telling teens especially to quit bullying each other (hear me cute little cheerleaders), stay in school, get trained, don't vandalize property, don't join gangs (and a lot of people join for protection as a viscious circle)...

First and foremost, make it safe for people to come out of the bunkers. Make sure there is basic food and shelter (and for single folks that could be a cot in an old warehouse and leftover school lunches that are thrown away by schools). Have many many public bathrooms with showers and washing machines, staffed in part by the users themselves. Lots of stuff can be done. The City of Hope I think in LA..big huge complex..takes people off the streets, feeds them, and sends them back onto the streets cleaning up graffiti, picking up trash, and going from house to house in teams asking what do you need? Could be a new roof, or appliances moved or whatever. It is really interesting to see.

Also those microloan things are working well in other countries. We have so many regulations here, I don't know...

We have to get men back in the equation. Another vicious circle..they were essentially thrown out of their families and out of public housing and the nation has never recovered. Get them back with their families, encourage women to show respect to those who are not violent or abusive, even if they don't have great jobs...Give some parenting classes....women have learned how to raise children without fathers..not always with great results. If they truly don't want a father for their children, or can't arrange to get a good one before the biological alarm clock buzzes, they can be foster mothers or adopt. There is no excuse on the face of the earth except one that makes me think a single woman anywhere should deliberately bring a child into the world (the one exception is if husband is in combat).

Well, that is all for now. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:54 PM

"the one exception is if husband is in combat"

It would be nice to end that, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,MarkS
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:58 PM

A curious side question might be:

What causes prosperity?

Ignore for the moment those who have inherited, won, or married lots of money; they are really a small minority of the prosperous anyway.

Lets hear some prescriptions for prosperity!

Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM

Yes indeed, there is poverty in the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 05:03 PM

"Is poverty relieved by charity, welfare, compassion, reform?
Or revolution? "

Perhaps the correct answer is - all of the above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 05:19 PM

Many of the "charity" programs have moved away from long-term handouts, and have changed to a focus on providing seed money for community organizing so that people can pull themselves out of poverty.

The books I've been reading differentiate between charity and justice. Charity is giving people things to fill their temporary needs. Justice is giving people what they deserve - the right to be able to provide for their needs themselves.

Both are necessary, but justice is the long-term solution. I don't think that violent revolution will accomplish anything good - but there certainly is room for a strong but nonviolent revolution.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 05:20 PM

LIsten to Suse Orman..she was really getting into that with women last night on a PBS special. She brought up some interesting points..she had 8 points for prosperty. I missed most..but two were generosity and cleanliness. She said you can't be prosperous if you are dirty and/or cluttered. May or may not be true but it is osmething to think about and to get home ec back into the schools for. Rush Limbaugh said something similar..that where there is poverty there is chaos. Eliminate some of the chaos, which can be done in some places of US...and prospertity has a chance. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 05:25 PM

It used to be that business made something or served somebody for a profit for the owners and workers. Customers were served and workers were paid.
Now it seems that a business is to serve the stockholders with huge holdings who would neither use the product or service of a company.

Workers be damned. Customers be damned. Its the Board that matters.

The poverty tread mill begins with anyone but the super rich having to go into debt for a meaningful education.

Banks and credit institutions are now exploiting the poor as never before. Interest rates of 30% are not uncommon.
You might sign a crdit document that says your interest rate is 17% but the credit card company can raise it as much as they want whenever they want.

Credit companies now make sure that your "DUE DATE" is payable on a Sunday or the last day of a holiday so that they can induce fines if you even try to pay on the due date.

Your deposits take 3 seconds to enter the bank. But if you try to draw on it, the typical wait is 7 days. All the interest goes to the bank and you are fined if you try to cash a check for your money,

Charging people for what they already own also induces poverty.

In Bolivia Bechtel coporation has made it illegal for people to collect rainwater. They MUST use piped water which is a1/4 of the income of the poor - or risk jail and fines.

In the US we are charged and fined to use our own money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:11 PM

"In Bolivia Bechtel coporation has made it illegal for people to collect rainwater. They MUST use piped water which is a1/4 of the income of the poor - or risk jail and fines."

Thats why water should be considered a basic human right. If we could start there, the world would be a better place.

Comparing the poverty in the Western world to poverty elsewhere is comparing apples and oranges. On a world scale, we should focus on clean water. If we could provide water purifiction units to developing countries, the labour of women and children would be greatly reduced. So much of a woman's time is spent trying to keep her family clean and healthy. I think its the least we should do.

Yes, we should re-define poverty. What is considered poverty in North America and Europe is different than poverty in S. America and Africa.

But lets talk about the Western World. Most of us do have access to clean water and food is available through welfare, food stamps, etc. - maybe not the best food but there is really no excuse for children starving.

What is needed is adequate housing and access to education. There is no excuse for any child to live in the U.S., Britain or Canada, surrounded by such abundance and be denied the basics. If we have the will, shelter could be made available to all. To stop the cycle of poverty, we must also insure that childcare is available and that minimum wage is increased. We can certainly do better. The only thing stopping us is greed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:12 PM

I agree that credit card companies are ripping off the public.

It is probably the results of Lobbying that allow them do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bee
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:16 PM

Guest mg, some of your ideas are interesting, some I find frighteningly dehumanising and aggressive. There is also a faint hint of misogyny, as you sound out regarding out-of-wedlock pregnancy with apparently little regard for the fact that in or out of wedlock, children have fathers, and rather than being in combat, perhaps some of those out of work fathers should be encouraged to stay at home with their children while the perhaps more employable mothers work.

Workfare, where it has been tried, has been immensely expensive: mothers need costly childcare, upgraded education, often have no work appropriate clothing (office clothes can be expensive, if you have no basic wardrobe - I don't), cannot afford transportation to distant workplaces. Homeless men on welfare often have psychiatric issues and are simply unemployable. Workfare only sounds good to the righteously indignant about poor people getting some of 'their tax dollars'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:21 PM

I am all for men staying home with their children and I said men should be back in the picture and respected, regardless of their employment status. I would work with the easiest people to place in jobs, which would be the younger ones in general, and those without psychiatric issues. There will always be a need for total care for some people and partial care and subsidizing for others. And tax dollars are paid with great injury to their own families by workers in minimum wage jobs, slaughtering chickens etc. We need to reduce the number of people needing help..it will never be zero..but it has been reduced and can be reduced further and their taxes will help support the seriously handicapped better than now, provide universal health care etc. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:27 PM

Hmmm. Well, here are some things which I think any decent modern society should provide for its public, free of charge.

All medical care.
Pure drinking water.
Education from primary school through college.
A modern transportation grid (highways, etc) that is kept in good shape (meaning snow removal and repair).
Police forces and a justice system and good legal aid for poor people.
Shelters for homeless people and job training for same and job offers if and when such training is completed successfully.

Most of our modern societies provide some of the above services for free, but not all of them.

It all costs money, obviously, and we all know that...but whether these things ARE provided or not is not a question of whether it costs money...it's a question of whether people accept that it is something that MUST be done to have a decent society...or not.

If they feel it MUST be done, they are always willing to pay the cost.

In addition to that, running such programs would provide good, paying work for a lot of people and would further generate good returns by reducing crime, improving living standards, and improving the capabilities of many formerly disadvantaged people to contribute usefully to society.

In short, it would pay for itself soon enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:32 PM

I agree with everything up to reservatons about total college costs. If it is something society needs, where there is a reasonable chance of employment, yes. Teachers, nurses, electricians, accountants, yes. Art history ?? Not sure. Maybe partial. Ways to work off college loans through working in community projects, teaching etc. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: number 6
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:35 PM

I invite anyone posting to this thread to come here to Saint John, New Brunswick (Canada) ... visit the North End ... hey ... while your out this way take a trip up to New Waterford, or Glace Bay Nova Scotia.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM

Well, mg, regarding college, I'd say that every type of knowledge is useful to some extent in building a healthy society....but most students have something on their mind when going to college. They are concerned as to whether their college education will prepare them for a job that is both well paying and personally satisfying. As such, they will tend to gravitate toward courses that seem to promise gainful employment. So I think that things would naturally tend to balance out in that sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:55 PM

I'm glad to see that it appears that rain water is no longer a luxury in Bolivia.

"Between December 3-5 (2005) , El Alto was also the site for the First National Congress in Defence of Water, Basic Services and Life, which FEJUVE and the Coalition in Defence of Water and Life from Cochabamba, headed by Oscar Olivera, were the main forces in organising. Just as the people of El Alto in January forced out the French multinational Suez, which had bought out the city's water supply following the privatisation of Bolivia's water in the late 1990s, the Coalition in Defence of Water and Life led the heroic struggle in 2000 that forced the government to break its contract with the US corporation Bechtel. Bechtel had bought out the water supply and begun charging the people of Cochabamba for rain water they collected.

More

Bechtel Corp., incidentally, has a long, somewhat unsavory history. Wikapedia:

"The Bechtel family has owned Bechtel since incorporating the company in 1925. Bechtel's size, its political clout, and its penchant for privacy have made it a perennial target for journalists and politicians since the 1930s. Bechtel has maintained strong relationships with officials in many United States administrations, including those of Nixon, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. The company also has strong ties to other governments, particularly the Saudi Royal Family."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 07:19 PM

Read "Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington. It is a prescription for getting out of poverty and is the philosophy shared by any vocational educators I have known, who absolutely revere the writings of Booker T. Look at the rules that the reciipients of Gremen?? loans must agree to live by. One thing globally is not participating in dowry programs. Great idea. It is very important to teach almost everyone some basic life skills...some home repairs..very important. Teach in junior high or early high school. No reason to have rat holes etc. in houses. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 07:20 PM

Thanks, eanjay, for posting the various definitions of poverty from Wikipedia. Which definition is under discussion here? Or rather, which shading of poverty is under discussion? To fail to delineate that leads to interesting, and perhaps, entertaining discussion. But not to much else.

There are people in prosperous industrialized countries who do indeed live in the same abject poverty as do countless people in third world countries, but not nearly as many, and for those that do, the most immediate causes, and therefore the solutions are different than for in those countries and parts of the world where abject poverty is the rule rather than the exception.

I don't expect that poverty, in any of its forms or definitions can ever be irradicated--and as the world population grows, and the resources shrink, it approaches the point where it is not even possible in theory.

That said, in countries with the resources and the means, the only reason abject poverty exists is because the majority of the citizenry of that country allow it to exist. What Little Hawk said in his 6:27 post is a pretty succinct summation.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 07:57 PM

Very intersting observations by many folks here and which I can find little to disagree with...

I've had kinda two working lives in my life, each lasting about 20 years... My second career, if you can call it that, continues on and has little to do with the discussion... My first 20 years, however, had me teaching GED in the Richmond City jail, working at a half wat house with recovering drug addicts and rounded out as a social worker in "adult services" for the Richmond Welfare Department...

So, my observations are based on what I experienced during 20 years in the trenches...

First of all, there are one heck of a lot of poor people who most people never see... Poor people tend to not be visable... Oh sure, folks see homeless folks and, like in Washington, D.C., folks livin' in cardborad boxes on steam grates but what we see isn't even the tip of the iceburg...

For years,I have driven to a barber shop in N.E. Washington to play blues and have driven thru some areas that, unless one lives there, the average person will never see... Block after block of slum and poor people and this in the nation's capitol...

When I was a social worker, there were about 10 housing projects and the poor people were kept in those projects as if the were prisoners... Yeah, they were outta sight and outta mind for most people... We social workers knew different... These projects housed (ha) tens upon thousand of people who had one thing in common... They were poor...

When it comes to numbers, it isn't an exact science since many folks just fall thru the cracks... Throw in the high cost to live in many areas and the ***defined*** poverty thresholds can be thrown out the window...

Take for example Washington, D.C... Rents for a 2 bedroom apartment average $1300 a month... Sure, some might argue that this is an average but I'd point out middle wage earners don't have to rent... They own... So if one takes the rent and multiplies it by 12 and factors in the amount of gross income it takes to afford to live in the "average" 2 bedroom apartment, that amount in itself exceeds the federal povery income levels to be consider poor and all this money is doing is paying rent...

I'll kind leave this for now as I realize that long posts somethimes don't get read but over the coming days I would like to add to some of the things that mg has allreeady brought to the discussion, especially education...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 09:58 PM

One huge problem is people on the edge having to fill prescriptions, many of which could be avoided and some are crucial. Once the common knowledge in best-selling books dribbles up to the medical profession about diabetes cause and effect, and the nutritional considerations, lots of money can be saved in heart, diabetes and other medicines, offset by spending more money on proper food.

The lens I see things through is overpopulation. I tend not to see as much the stuff other people see. People can't exploit people who are not desparately poor...well, not as much. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 10:16 PM

When kids go hungry in a land of plenty
When parents have nowhere to turn
When people live in cardboard houses
It's then we'll see the cities burn

If folks think that we can continue to discriminate economically against the poor in society, and if folks think that the poor 'have brought it on themselves', then folks, IMO, are thinking wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 10:26 PM

I have been through the worst slums in DC, Savannah, Jacksonville etc. Places where you roll up your windows real tight, lock the doors and try to avoid eye contact.

And I have been to Jamaica and riding through the good part of town you see much worse. Seems like tha average inhabitant there has the long dreadlocks that look like they have been plasterd with mud, pushing a ramshackle cart on roller skates, something like those lowboy carts at Home Depot. Everything they own is aparently on the cart

I have been in Mexico near the border and You see what is apparently Indian mothers with their legs wrapped up in fake bandages with mercurochrome poured on them, holding a muchacho or two and begging. Mamacitas at the market trying to find the least rotten tomatos to buy.

I have been through El Paso and looked across the river at a city of little mud shacks with no glass in the windows. A chicken sitting in the window is an indication of being well being.

I have heard that in Cancun, when you get out of the city, a home consists of four sticks driven into the ground, wrapped with tar paper and a roof of scrap metal or old automobile hoods. Streets? Water? Electricity? Forget that.

With the exception of Canada, I kiss the ground when I get back home from a foreign country in the western hemisphere. I have never been to the eastern hemisphere. It is my belief that the poor in America are better off than the average person in most other countries.

There are always extreme cases but the extreme case of poverty in the US would not be considered extreme in other countries.

I will with hold my opinions on the eastern hemisphere because I have never been there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM

Even when viewed through a macro lens, it is the choices that those of us who are not living in poverty in 1st world nations make that are ultimately the building blocks of many of contributing causes and many of the partial solutions to poverty, at home and in third world economies. Do you belong to a labor union? Have you urged your union leadership over the course of years to support fair labor practices in thrid world countries, or urged your leadership to lobby Congress to provide incentives for just labor practices in third world countries and disincentives for unfair practices? Or have you simply been content for your leaders to lobby for protectionism?

Do you habitually shop at Walmart, and buy 5 pairs of jeans for $15.00 each, made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh. That Levi plant in Burlington, NC would not have closed if you had realized you only needed two pairs of jeans, at 30 dollars each, made there by people who are, or could be your neighbors, and who were paid a living wage for their work, but are now out of work because the mill closed down? And do you understand that if you had bought those two pair of jeans from a local merchant, the $30 would have stayed in your community, paid a sales clerk in your community, kept a locally opened small merchant opened for business, paying taxes and employing people? And if the sweatshop workers in those third world countries were paid a living wage in their country and if they had decent working conditions, that would go a long way toward providing a sustainable economy in their own communities, such that the jeans they make would have a market in their local community?

And that your aunt, or your father, or your husband or you would not now be out of work because the business all went overseas?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: number 6
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 10:56 PM

I've seen the mentally ill, aids victims, homeless camped out in cardboard tents, under the Gardner freeway, and in the ravines of Toronto.

I've seen pensioners lose what little they have on life in a tenement fire here in Saint John. They couldn't even get contents insurance even if they could afford it since the building was so dilapitated and unsafe. Insurance companies wouldn't even think of insuring it. These pensioners worked all there lifes on minimum wage spending their remaining days on about $400 a month government pension. About $300 a month went to the slum lord. What they ate I couldn't imagine.

There are many apartment slums here in Saint John that don't have heat or water. Many children live in these abodes. Winter here can be very harsh.

Sure, the above isn't Jamaica, Cancun or any of these other exotic locations were the bourgeous of Canada go to vacation ... cheap vacations since the staff of the hotels, bars and restaraunts are staffed by people who are paid next to nothing ... but the above situations I mentioned are real in a country that has 'everything'.

Yeah, I'm grateful for what I have ... but I'm aware what is in my own backyard, I do what little I can by advocating in my community in regards to the lack of adequate housing ... but it's like banging your head against a very hard concrete wall. I'm also aware that myself, and pretty well everyone I know is a hairline away from being thrown into the depths of poverty by unknown, but real circumstances.

Solution ... I think dianavin mentioned greed above in her post. The human element of greed is the evil that permits human beings to live in such misery.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 11:19 PM

But now you are out of work, at least for a time. You probably don't fall into abject poverty, but times are hard and money is tight, and what do you do? You get scared. The 'what if's' sets in. Maybe you find another a job in a few months, or maybe in a couple years. In the meantime, you've lost ground financially. The job you found doesn't pay as well as the one at the mill, the retirement savings and the dream of the camper permanently parked in a campground/mobile home park in Florida where you could spend the winters when you retired is gone. You feel deprived-understandably in the context of the Great American Dream-which is not dead, by the way--only deeper into dreams. You used to consider yourself a generous person, but gee whiz, you still have two cars to keep going and the dirt bike, and now the dirty sumbitches in State government or the Feds. want to up and raise taxes when you are barely getting by, and even before the sh*t hit the fan, you couldn't a bought the dirt bike, or the faster computer, or the Martin guitar if your money was all going for taxes...and as you get worse off, and don't think you can afford more taxes, some one who was already way worse off than you now has to pay a $3.00 Medicaid co-pay for medicines. What's three dollars? When you're disabled or sick and on Welfare that pays $276 a month for you and your kids to pay rent, utilities, etc, and you have to take 4 different psychotropic drugs for your mental illness, one for your blood pressure and one for the osteoarthritis that is beginning to cripple your hands, that $25=4.00 in medicaid co-pays is almost 10% of your monthly income. Then the tags come due on the car you have to have becasue there is no mass transit to get you to the grocery store or the doctor' office and the car insurance get cancelled for non-payment, but the kids have to eat and you have to get to the doctor so you drive on expired tags with no insurance and get pulled by the state trooper and are now going to have to come up with $275 for the fine, plus still get the tags renewed and the insurance reinstated....

Folks--like Bobert, I'm a social worker--been at it almost 35 years now. This scenerio is pretty typical. And it has a cascade effect that is felt around the world in our now global economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Member
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 11:41 PM

Many people will not ever understand the effects of poverty until they see a single mom cry because she can't feed her kids. Or watch a single mom put off buying herself footwear because her kids need clothes, so she goes to her secretarial job wearing running shoes. She saves the bus fare and walks there despite it taking over an hour. She tells the kids that the burnt-edge part of the egg is bacon, so the kids think that's what bacon is for many years. And you see her at Christmas hoping for a miracle because she has nothing to put under the tree. It does bad things to the human spirit. It did to hers, and I often think she never forgave herself for it although I know for fact her kids didn't think there was anything needing forgiveness. I hope in death she's finally found the peacefulness she didn't have for much of her life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:12 AM

OK. Let us come up with some plans to prevent such things from happening.

Girl gets a good home ec class in high school where she learns the difficulty of raising children as a single mother and hopefully decides not to go this route and has no accidents along these lines. She learns to sew. She is able to take gently-worn clothing and fix them up sufficiently to wear them to work or clothe her children quite inexpensively. She wears the running shoes to work and has a cheap pair of K-Mart type dress shoes that last forever at work.

She knows how to cook nutricious meals out of next to nothing..oats and beans and chicken thighs and carrots and sunflower seeds. She has the children planting seeds in flower pots. She is judicious in her choice of male companions and eventually finds a nice one to marry her, or else does not but takes community college classes when the children are a bit older, trading off child care with a neighbor in similar circumstances.

She gets her car fixed by bartering overnight child care with a neighbor who works the night shift. She becomes an LPN and has a slightly better pay and benefits. She splits an apartment with a fellow nurse and does a bit better. She watches the Suse Orman show and does some smart things with her tiny amount of money.

Not a great life but better. So much could be done with good high school classes.

I would like to hear plans from people.. Not laments...we all know how bad it is and not too many people are all that greedy. I don't think that is the cause. There are multiple interacting causes..now we add meth into the equation and creepy men abusing the woman's 10 year old daughter and eying the 7 year old...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM

I have a room for rent right now that I can't rent out. Even when I advertise I don't get callers. It is for $250 a month in a place with low incomes. I would even lower the price a bit for a clean, sober, hard-working single woman.

Landlords who are slumlords should be prosecuted. However, there are so many social ills that you have to put up with and so many laws that screw the landlord, and I was one for most of my adult life that modest income people are driven out because you will be ruined, as I was, by bad tenants. You will often get good ones in, and they have these dufus sons or brothers they will sneak in and the good tenants will leave. I could tell you many stories. I only have my house now and rent out two rooms in it and I am scared to death to advertise for fear of who I will get. So there need to be provisions for the mentally handicapped people, and there need to be high security situations for the violent people and also their victims. There also needs to be some straightening out of the sordid social mess that we have now. It can be done. That is the first step, believing it can be done. Part of the problem is women and the creepy men syndrome. Oh but he loves me when he isn't drinking and bashing my head in. Oh but he wouldn't do that when he is molesting my 12 year old daughter. Oh but I have to let my meth addicted son live with me and steal from my neighbors to support his habit....

There is way more to poverty than a lack of money...what causes what? It doesn't matter. It all causes more. There are places to break the cycle. One is the drug situation. One is the creepy men situation. One is the out of wedlock children situation.... straighten out one thing and lots more fall into place.

A shortage of clothing, bedding, furniture, cars....can be taken care of in America where we have surplus of all of that..not good ways of distributing used goods but we are getting there with freecycle etc. We are going down the wrong road in a lot of pathological ways though and will reap the whirlwind....mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:51 AM

"I would like to hear plans from people.. Not laments"

Fucking pardon me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 02:47 AM

What does not help the poor is idiotic simplistic moralising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 05:06 AM

A little hope & education wouldn't hurt a soul
How bout a song on poverty


No Tomorrow For The Poor by Barry Finn

Tune: Virginia Lags, Traditional

Inside the ghettos dwells the greatest of crimes
Where kids with no hope are serving their time
Where they're shocked into feeling that life has no price
They live and they die no tomorrow

With no higher learning, no place they can turn
They see daily the wealth from crime they can earn
They're under the gun every time that they turn
And we ask why they have no values

Their language is foreign, their culture is strange
There's slight chance for survival outside of a gang
To get life from drugs beats the pain of no change
There's no light at the end of their tunnel

There's abuse of all kinds that runs rampage with rage
And the cycle runs deeper with each passing age
Until lock them away is all we can say
They've been locked away all of their young lives

We'll draw cheap labor from them that'll slave
And watch while we help the rest into the grave
Keep them from good health, good schools and good wage
And hope that there isn't a backlash

So now let us finish and shake hands with our fate
And don't be surprised when you're a victim of hate
What they've been robbed of, to you they'll relate

You'll be hunted as prey by your victim

Barry Finn 1997

After all these years I still haven't decided weither or not to drop the last line.
Poverty is real & it surrounds us everywhere.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM

I don't have much time this morning but would like to point out jsut a couple things for thought and Janie, having been in social work for 35 years (which I find incredulous since she doesn't look a day over 35 to me...) will remember...

One thing that came out of the Great Society and War on Poverty was federal funds for all kinds of little things... Theye were called Title XX (20) funds and they provided social workers with a menu of serices that could be purchased...

GUEST, member brought up the woman working as a secretary and had to make a choice between riding the bus or walking an hour to work and, yeah, these are the choices that we as social workers used to have resources to purchase... Under Title XX the Richmond Department of Welfare purchased bus tickets and social workers were able to furnish them to needy clients...

....some of which were very much like the WICS lady who was trying to do the right thing and hold a job but there were also physically and mentally disabled people who needed to get to appointments, treatment sessions and to rehablitation centers...

But then along came the Reagan administration and all Hell broke loose as Title XX was reeled in big time and social workers became scroungers, beggers and cab drivers... This opne change in our nation's resolve to fund programs to help the poor was the first shot fired accross the bow of folks who really had no idea how to lift themselves out of poverty...

The one Title XX program that was cut that I found most hurtfull was the "companion porvider" program where younger and more mobile clients (and non clients) were paid a few bucks to go into the homes of eledery poor and help with grocery shopping, cooking, housework, etc... This was wonderful program even though at the time the limit was 12 hours per week but those 12 hours were the difference between absolute misery and just plain misery for our elderly...

Yeah, there has been this right winged idea that money isn't the answer and I would agree that money, in itself, isn't the answer but it is part of the answer and if we are going to have a realistic discussion about poverty it is going to get around to money, folks...

More later...

Great thread...

Gotta go...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 07:46 AM

mg,

At a minimum you are being incredibly naive, and you have no basis whatsoever to make the assumptions you have about guest member's family or mother and the reasons they were so poor from the information provided in the post. There is nothing wrong with home ec and nutrition education, but that would have done nothing to have lifted this family out of their poverty.

You have absolutely no information about the history or the situation of the family-yet you assume it is intirely Mom's fault, i.e.If people are poor it is because they make bad choices--maybe out of ignorance-but bad choices must be the reason.

How do you know Mom 'got' herself in this situation. for all any of us know she was widowed at an early age, or beat by a drunk husband until she had to leave with the kids, or had to quit college or drop out of high school to help take care of a sick or dying parent, or to help support her own mothers family. You ignore the information that she works. And you must think she is absolutely bouncing with energy when she gets home to sew all those gently used clothes and she has scads of time to buy in bulk and prepare food from scratch, etc., etc. etc.

Guest,member, I have no idea whatsoever what your family circumstances were that you had to live in such soul numbing poverty-all of you, your Mom especially. But I hate that it was like that.

I, too, hope your mother is truly at peace now. Blessings on her and on you.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:37 AM

Bobert-I've got your back on this one for sure!

It was actually during the Nixon years that the American public began to lose the will to assure a minimal standard of living for all of our citizens. The federal government began chipping away at the funding for programs then and began to badly mess with the Food Stamp program. It was, however, during the Reagan era that the Title XX programs went completely the way of the dinosaurs. The big turning point was with the passage of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981.

The Title IV and the Title XX programs, and the Food Stamp program as it was operated under the original requirements and regulations, did not eliminate poverty in the US. They did, however, go a very, very long way toward mitigating against the very worst effects of poverty-the lack of minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Under the auspices of the original Food Stamp program, malnutrition had been virtually eliminated in the United States by the early 1970's. By the early 1980's, we again saw significant levels of malnutrition in this country.

These programs cost the tax payers money. And somewhere along the way, a majority of those of us who have more than we really need lost the will and the moral imperative to insure that nearly everyone had at least enough.

In the early '80s I was a Policy Specialist with the Division of Economic Services for the West Virginia Dept. of Human Services. I had the dubious honor of rewriting West Virginia's programs and policies for administration of title IV-A ( Aid to Families with Dependent Children, a.k.a. AFDC), the Food Stamp program, and some of the Medicaid eligibility rules that were required as the result of the 1981 legislation. It made me so sick of what was happening that I left that position and went back into the field to direct practice, where I could try to do something directly in the lives of people to try to help mitigate against the drastic changes in programs and public spending.

For a long time, I thought the tide would turn, that the public will to insure a minimum level of economic safety for all of our citizens would return. It is 26 years later, and it still hasn't happened.

And it is not to blamed on the government. It is not to be blamed on conservative Republicans. Bill Clinton's Work First program is much harsher and more restrictive than anything that came before.

What we have now (or don't have) in the way of a social safety net is an expression of the will of the voting public.

When I opened this thread, my first thought was to stay out of it. After 35 years I am tired of talk and little action.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: John Hardly
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM

Green Envy -- Pover T. & the M.Gs


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:44 AM

There is no dearth of ideas about causes and solutions to the worst effects of poverty, no matter where in the world it exists. (Need I say that the worst effects of poverty are people not being able to meet basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and health care?) Beyond ideas, there is a large body of solid research as to what kinds of conditions and programs work to minimize the effects of poverty, and to decrease the rate of poverty.

The bottom line is-guess what?-money. And most of that money has to come from tax dollars.   Who ultimately decides how much money will be collected in taxes? Those eligible to vote in resource rich democratic countries. Who ultimately decides how and where public dollars will be spent? Those eligible to vote.

What ultimately determines how local and global economies look and function? The consuming public.

Are some people lazy and/or ignorant and make bad choices that contribute to their own position of poverty? You betcha. But do each of us who do not live in poverty make choices about what we do, how we vote, what we spend, what we think we must have, and what we place the most priority on that results in other people being pushed into, or held into conditions of poverty? Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. And unless or until a majority of the individuals in society assume personal responsibility for the effects on others of the choices we make, a huge number of human beings around the globe are doomed to suffer needlessly.

Droughts on the scale now seen in Africa, for instance, that lead to environmental conditions in which subsistence is impossible are largely from the effects of global warming. How many cars do you have? What consumer choices do each of us make that make it so profitable for the rain forests of the Amazon to be destroyed?

How many of us choose to create a market for new homes in new subdivisions standing where second growth forest and good farmland once stood?

We are each and every one of us individually responsible.

Janie

Janie

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:46 AM

(I guess all three of me needed to sign that last post:^)

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:17 PM

"...folks who really had no idea how to lift themselves out of poverty..."

I quite often wonder why some people seem to dwell in poverty while others are able to lift themselves out of misery. I think it may have something to do with the ability to network, socially, and the ability to access services and goods that are available.

I also know that to escape the cycle of poverty, you must be able to see that you have choices and are able to make decisions. You must have hope. When people feel that they are trapped, they become helpless. I also know that you must be very assertive about your right to access the programs that are out there.

When discussing poverty, I think that we must be aware that for many, it is only a temporary situation. I was there once as a single mom but I can guarantee that the only way I was able to succeed was because I had a strong social network of friends that were able to help with hand-me downs and childcare, etc.

If all of us were to extend the hand of friendship and help that neighbor (whether they are elderly or a single parent or...) Sometimes it just takes knowing that someone cares that helps you to regain your self worth.

Take a neighbor shopping.
Offer to help with childcare.
Help with the gardening.

There is alot we can do to ease the burden to insure that people are not feeling isolated and alone. Poverty is depressing and its hard to lift yourself up if you are feeling down in the dumps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 12:43 PM

You have absolutely no information about the history or the situation of the family-yet you assume it is intirely Mom's fault, i.e.If people are poor it is because they make bad choices--maybe out of ignorance-but bad choices must be the reason.

THE HELL I DO. THERE IS NOTHING I THOUGHT OR SAID TO SUPPORT THIS.

How do you know Mom 'got' herself in this situation. for all any of us know she was widowed at an early age, or beat by a drunk husband until she had to leave with the kids, or had to quit college or drop out of high school to help take care of a sick or dying parent, or to help support her own mothers family. You ignore the information that she works.


I SHOULD NOT HAVE TAGGED IN TO THIS PARTICULAR POST. I WAS SPEAKING GENERICALLY AND SHOULD HAVE MADE THAT MORE CLEAR.

And you must think she is absolutely bouncing with energy when she gets home to sew all those gently used clothes and she has scads of time to buy in bulk and prepare food from scratch, etc., etc. etc.

THIS IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS DONE. SHE (GENERIC)CAN HEM A SKIRT IN 20 MINUTES ONCE A MONTH OR SEW A FEW BUTTONS ON. IT WILL TAKE HER 10 MINUTES TO THROW SOME MEALS TOGETHER, NOT COUNTING COOKING TIME AND HER CHILDREN, IF THEY ARE OLD ENOUGH CAN HELP. IF SHE IS IN GOOD HEALTH, SHE GENERICALLY, THESE THINGS ARE NOT PROBLEMS. These are skills that everyone, every single person needs to have.


This is a very very serious problem..taking what people did not say or think and get into they are blaming the victim mentallity. It totally shuts down conversaton. No, they might be looking for solutions to very serious problems. I think it is not unreasonable to expect people in good health to cook food from scratch, a pot of soup on the weekend, a pot of oats in the morning. Fast and premanufactured food is a serious serious problem in this country and everyone who has children has to find healthy ways to feed them. That used to be expected that they would cook food. With a used George Foreman grill ($1 at a thrift shop) and a used slow cooker ($1 at a thrift shop, a person can put out some good and cheap and healthy dinners. And you do not need to cook. You can do a lot with reheating foods you ahve already cooked, and healthy salads and sandwiches etc.

That is what I am trying to say. We need to get young men and women in high school and make sure they know how to do these things. We shouldn't be graduating them if they can't cook a pot of beans or make an omellete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 01:14 PM

I agree that being able to sew and to cook are skills most people need. They are also skills that most people have. And they are skills that most of the people that I work with who are extremely poor use. And I work with a lot of extremely poor people.

At least, most of the people with whom I work who are extremely poor cook when they have food to cook.

dianavan, thanks for sharing your experiences and observations. In many cases, the presence or lack of supportive or extended family or other significant informal social supports is a very significant factor. These social supports are resources. And what is poverty about? Lack of resources.

Education is a resource. Life skills are resources. A garden is a resource. Access to health care is a resource. Transportation is a resource. Money is a resource.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 02:39 PM

You're right, Janie.

I had life skills, a garden, health care and access to education. Although I did not have supportive family, I did have a network of supportive friends. I could cook and sew and I knew how to access services that were available to me. I am happy to say that my children who are now adults, did not know that we were poor.

btw - Self-esteem is very important. It helps you get past social workers (gate-keepers) who think it is their job to decide who is eligible for services. Many times they make this judgement based on their own value system. A social worker can open doors or make you feel unworthy. Sometimes I had to lie to get what we needed and I hated the system for making a liar out of me. You do what you have to do.

I once had a teacher who said that instead of preparing students to become human resources, we should be preparing students to become resourceful human beings.

Makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 07:00 PM

Makes sense to me, too, Dianavan.

Janie and Bobert, thanks for your postings.

For the past thirty years or more poor people have been the scapegoats in this country. It gets tiresome to hear them blamed for everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:15 PM

""The U.S. isn't nearly as badly off as a lot of places"

Presumably true - but those places are a lot poorer than the USA. That's no excuse for unfair distribution between the rich and the poor in such places, but even if things were fairly shared out there's less to go round.

The question is how a country that is quite incredibly rich by world standards can manage to have sections of society that are genuinely hard-up, including hard-working people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:34 PM

"I quite often wonder why some people seem to dwell in poverty while others are able to lift themselves out of misery"


Dianavan: I agree 100%


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM

Well, I guess this next part needs to be said so I'm going to say it.... Janie allready knows it but maybe some others don't...

ADC (Aid ot Dependent Children) and AFDC (Aid to Families (ha) with Dependent Children, the two mainstays of public assitance for women and tbheir kids prior to the "Welfare Reform" (ha, part 2) under Clinton, was anti-family...

Huh???

Yeah it was a punitive system where case-workers were trained to look for evidence of men-in-the-home during home visits... See, havin' a man in the home (ha, part 3, slum housing project rat infested apartment...) meant a woman could loose "her check"... Which back when I was a social worker wasn't nearly enough to make it throught the month... $360 for a mother and three kids...

What a lot of folks don't know is that after 3 kids the check didn't change much even thought there were additional kids to be cared for???

Like what was the all about??? Run the dads out and then punish the moms???

So, yeah, when we talk about poverty, we're talkin' a lot about moms anf their kids...

Dads???

Well, sure, there was the Bureau of Support Enforvement??? What a joke... I knew folks in that department an' that was the cushiest job in the entire sysyem 'cause these folks sis nothin' 'cept push papers, talk about what they were going to have for lunch, etc... But I can't blame them 'cause the system was set up not to go after the dads...

I will talk more about this in another post 'cause it is an imporatnt part of the solution but this is post is about the mind-set of the folks who were making the rules during the Reagan years and it was anti-family...

Janie can add her own spin on it and she probably will but it was anti-family...

So here we are with a very distinct history of forcing poor people to make decisions that are/were very much not strong in the areas of "family values" and these values have been passed down from generation to generation???

So when mg asks what makes folks do what they do and why they don't make choices that she might make I'd suggest that a little knowledge of our history might throw some light into why folks do what they do... It's almost condition/response...

There is a certain ethno-centric thing that goes on when folks who have perhaps had some close calls with poverty and dodged the bullet where these folks, usually those with a differnet mind-set and set of skills, have come out from their "bad luck" and feel they now understand what it is like to having been raised in a poor family (less, of course, a man-in-the-house)...

Now before someone jumps all over me and says "Hey, Bobert, what about this person or that person who made it thru the projects and the system?"

Well, yeah, there are a few examples of kids who have "made it" but the odds aren't very good... No, not very good at all... About the same odds at some rich kid endin' up homeless livin' under a bridge...

But, just for the folks who are taking this thread seriously, my next post is going to be a "case study" about such a rich kid, who was one of my clients, who ended up homeless an' livin' under the bridge... I won't be usin' his real name because of privacy issues but it it might perhaps get some folks to think about "Well, that could never happen to me..."

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 08:41 PM

You really wonder, Dickey? That would imply you don't think you have the answer to start with. Most encouraging.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:03 PM

Well, McG.... Janie, I and others are just startin' to tell then real story... The one that folks outside don't know... Yeah, Dickey, is probably very muich in that category but, in his defense, he has been fairly well behaved so far and hasn't tired to highjack this thread, as he has done in others...

That is progress on his part... At the very least he is sittin' back an' takin' some of this stuff in... It's a long torturous story and one that some of use have first hand knowldge about so...

...as much as it pains me, I'd give Dickey passin' marks so far... At least he hasn't thrown a hand-grenade into the discusssion yet... That is progress...

Let's let the story unfold... I think between Janie, myself and maybe a couple others we will all come out with a better perspective on this very difficult, yet important, issue...

Best thread for a long time here on Mudcat!!! By far...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:12 PM

A litle aside here: There is a lot we don't know about the variables in people's psyches. For instance, one kid can grow up in a home where the parents are alcoholic - and that kid never touches a drop. Another kid, maybe in that same home, grows up in a home with alcoholic parents and is in and out of reform schools and rehabs for the next 40 years. Why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:15 PM

On this thread there is some very ugly blaming of the poor for being poor, some very ugly middle class and in some respects right wing patronising moralising. It fills me with that petrol emotion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM

"gasoline emotion"? I don't get it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:44 PM

Your observations about choice are right on the money, too, dianavan. Without the perception that one has viable choices, one has no hope. Some people do not know the choices that are available to them. And in some situations, there are no viable choices, or the choices you have to make conflict with your values and erode your sense of self worth--like having to lie just to get the basic needs of your family met.

Self worth is hard toget, and even harder to keep when one is poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 09:50 PM

Hang loose, Richard....

This story is just beginning to be told...

Those who have been brainwashed into singing the company fight song will hang as long as they can but as the entire story is told will end up, in the words of Bob Dylan, "peekin' thru a keyhole on their knees..."

I promise...

There are those of us who have been in the trenches an'' are willin' to share what we know and what we have seen...

so.... patience, my frined, patience...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:13 PM

I'd forgotten that bit about the Dads, Bobert. And I here I was, thinking fondly of the 'glory days' of being poor in the good ol' US of A!

Still, there were the Title XX programs, and the odd grant money here and there, and no co-pays for medical care or prescriptions with Medicaid. Somehow or other we grabbed a bit of yarn here, a nylon cord there, and maybe over here not much more than a thin bit of cotton thread. From those different little bits of string, we managed to tie enough knots to together to have a social safety net. I admit it was awful low to the ground, and there were definitely spots where a body might break on through, but it was there. It's gone now, or so full of holes as to be worthless, mere flotsam.

Now I wanna hear your case study.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:15 PM

So when mg asks what makes folks do what they do and why they don't make choices that she might make I'd suggest that a little knowledge of our history might throw some light into why folks do what they do... It's almost condition/response...

I will try again. I did not say that. Do not say I said what I did not say. I am for almost every social program there is. I want people to look for ways to get people out of poverty and to keep them out if they might slip toward it. The best way to get into it or stay in it is to have children before you are ready, use drugs or alcohol and not have vocational training and be in an unsafe environment. If you go after those 4 cornerstones, you can help all sorts of people. I have never ever blamed the victim here. But the victim is not only the visible poor person, but like I said, the marginally poor person who has to pay more taxes than she should whilst slaughtering chickens for a living, or the person who ahs to live next door to a crack house etc. etc. I get really really angry when people say I said stuff I did not say, have never said, have never thought. I will say and have always said that we have to untangle some of the social pathology that co-exists with poverty, without worrying about what causes what. It each causes each other..poverty leads to chaos, chaos leads to poverty. If you clean up the drugs and crime out of a neighborhood, resources, including jobs, will most likely flow in. Thrift shops and coffee shops and small groceries so life becomes easier. More bus routes. Better fire service. taxi drivers so you can get in and out. What is wrong with any of this? I am not interested in being abused over this but know that I will be. But abuse me for what I say, not what I do not say, or that you presume I am secretly thinking. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM

mg, If I jumped too hard on you, I apologize for that. I accept your position that you are a concerned, caring person, engaged in active inquiry and looking for viable solutions to problems that have plagued mankind since we first formed communities and societies.

I do not read Bobert's paraphrase of your statement as inaccurate, nor do I read it as any kind of attack or put down on you. He is simply restating the question you asked and which he intends to try to help answer.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bee
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:31 PM

I have been poor often in the past, and fortunately for only a brief period (six months) was too poor to buy adequate food. It was a very enlightening experience. It was before food banks in my area, and I was too proud/stupid to ask for welfare. Let me tell you that it takes very little time with less than needed B complex and other vitamins and protein for the body and brain to start acting out in a very predictable manner.

You become nervous, you tire quickly, you are easily confused, fearful, and sleep poorly. In this state, looking for work becomes an unbearably difficult task, and you don't present well to prospective employers, who may already be looking askance at you because of your less than businesslike clothing. You are always tired, yet because you must, you walk long distances to get to interviews or appointments, therefore often arriving dusty or sweaty.

You can't afford the simplest grooming aids: deodorant, hair products, skin lotions, etc. You likely have to pay to get clothes washed, and you wear them longer than you normally would. You look poor. The older you are, and especially if you are a woman, the more obvious this is.

When I did get work, and a small paycheck, I went straight to a co-op food store, and I remember my hands shaking as I picked out good food to buy, cheese and rice and vegetables and fruit. I had fussy tastes before that experience, wouldn't eat celery or tomatos or asparagus or parsnips and so on. My flavour prejudices just disappeared overnight. There are very few food items I won't eat now.

For many years after I worked with low income working mothers and their children. I know some of those mothers were often hungry. I know their occasional odd behaviours were as often due to food deprivation as anything else. My local charitable donations go mainly to food banks and the volunteer fire department.

I get angry when I hear people blaming the poor for their poverty, or raving against social assistance. It isn't a simple problem with a simple solution. 'The poor' aren't some kind of solid mass to be 'dealt with'; they are individual humans with individual needs, problems, talents, abilities, dreams, concerns, dammit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM

Bee    Yes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:47 PM

I will say, however, that there are some good reasons why big programs tend to be 'one size fits all", and that there are macro benefits to them being heavily regulated that probably balance out the equally significant costs of their inflexibility.

Accountablility, prevention of discrimination, protection from corruption, nepotism, cronyism and patronage are the biggies.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 11:08 PM

"The best way to get into it or stay in it is to have children before you are ready, use drugs or alcohol and not have vocational training and be in an unsafe environment."

Mary, I fit all of that criteria at one time and I can bet that lots of other women have too.

Is anyone ever 'ready' to have children? How many young people never go to bars? How many young women grow up believing that if you are pretty and sexy, you will get married and your husband will take care of you so you don't really need any skills except homemaking skills. How many women are abused by those husbands? How many women find themselves on the street with all of their dreams smashed to smithereens?

I know that this is changing but too often, I see women who have been abused and victimized. For some, it started in childhood.

How many women found themselves with no where to turn when their dreams were destroyed?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 11:38 PM

Up above, somebody questioned subsidizing an art history major, favoring more "practical" college majors. When I was hiring federal investigators, I often found that the Art History majors were far superior to the Criminal Justice majors - the Art History majors had learned how to "think outside the box." I think there's something wonderful about the idea of somebody climbing out of poverty to study Art History. Lord knows, if we're going to end poverty, we're going to have to think outside the box.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 03:24 AM

Thank, Joe. I was thinking the same thing.

These days there is no guarantee that a specific undergraduate degree is going to get you a job. Most employers just want to know that you have an undergraduate degree, period. What's important is personal growth so you might as well study what interests you. If you want to get specific, you'll have to do a Masters Degree, anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 05:09 PM

I think America and England need to set their own houses in order before they start pontificating about other less fortunate countries.

There really is NO excuse for people to be in poverty in these countries. They are rich.

The entire problem stems from
1) the Dutch auction that occurs every election time, when the party that promises the lowest taxes wins.
2) the governments are simply so corrupt that they cannot be trusted to spend the tax dollar(pound) honestly - getting good value for the taxes raised and help to the people in need.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 06:29 PM

Okay, first let me clear up a little misconception/miscommunication here... I'm not trying to put word into anyone's mouths and not trying to twist anyones words to fit a desired outcome of ther discussion... It is a discusssion but is also a subject that I have had a lot of firts hand experience with and have given alot of thought to...

With that said, I'll continue with another *chapter* (for lack of a better term) in this discussion...

In the mid 70's there was a push for "deinstitutionalism"... Long word but short definition... What occured was a rethinking, some fueling by costs and others by compassion, of not keeping mentally ill people indefinately in state run mental hosiptals so...

... hundreds of thousands people who had been treated (ha) and housed for some period of time in these hospitals were released...

As I was a social worker in "adult services" these folks became my clients... My case load averaged 70 with at least 50 of these being folks who had been thru Eastern Sate Hposital in Petersburg, Va... Might of fact, about every 2 weeks I would drive the "welfare car" from Richmond to Petersburg and collect anywhere from 2 to 5 new clients, take them directly to the eigibilty department, get them signed up for General Relief ($56 a month at the time) an' use Title XX money to get them into flop houses where they would have a furnished (ha) room, get them Food Stamps even tho most of the places I could place them in had no cookin' facilities, get them set up with Mental Health folks, etc...

The problems with this was that for about 90% of these folks, we could get them somewhat stabilized and involved in some adult day care program (also Title XX) but for these 90% they would be back in Central State within 6 monhs... This was what Janie knews all to well as the "revolving door"... It was a vicious cycle... These folks didn't have enough resources to actaully have half a chance of breaking the cycle... And they had no support system other than the programs that we had then...

But as the Title XX funds were taken away under Reagan the minimal programs and reources that we had started to dry up yet we still had this revolving door cycle...

...Well, over the years the revolving door has become ever increasingly the prison door as we are now housing our mentally ill in prisons... Ask any prison guard anywhere in the United Sates and if this guard is honest he or she will confirm this... Oh sure, we still have state run mental hospiatsl and folks do land in them early in ther cycle but further down the road it's prison for them...

Now, there is something else I need to say here and Janie will abck me up on this... There isn't much upward mobility in our country... Kids who grow up in poverty tend to end up as adults living in poverty... I used to take case files home with me at night and I saw the same cycle over and over and over... Some of these case files would go back to when these folks were born, would talk about the no-father-figure, about abuse, about foster homes, about arrests, etc...

Yeah, some folks think that if poor folks would just do this or that then they could break the cycle... Problem is, and I mean no disrespect here, some of you have told how you went thru periods of times when thigs weren't working for you... Mighta been a health issue or and employment issue or a divorce or a death... But things weren't working for you and you might have found yourself having to scrape and scramble... The difference is that you knew how to scrape and scamble and you worked you way out of your unfortunate situation... Well, you ask, why can't other folks do this??? Well, these folks don't have the same upbringing that provides the life skills to scrape and scamble their way out... Most of them have never been "out" and "out" if foriegn to them...

Okay, this may be a genralization and folks in Mudville love to say "Hey, but what about ___________, Bobert??? You are generalizing..." Yes, it is a genralization but it is based on obseravtions I made of being a social worker for at least a couple thousand folks over about a 10 year period...

So if we are going to look for solutions one thing that won't work is trying to tell folks not to do drugs or have babies... That is not a realistic approach... What is a realistic approach is for us to accept the reality that folks are going to do drug, have babies, get drunk, get arrested for fightin' with their spouses, significant others, faily, friends, their socail workers, etc... This is reality and they only way out of this reality is to restore the funding that we once had and do all the things right while our clients do everything wrong and hope to get to some of their kids in the process...

Hungry kids don't do well in school and kids that don't do well in school don't stay in schools... Just restoration of the money we used to spend for school breakfast programs would help but it isn't just about breakfast programs but child care subsidies which have now been frozen for the last 6 years... And head satrt programs... And livable wages... And decnt health care... And, and...

Okay, I was going to provide a "case study" about ***downward mobilty*** where kids who have everything end up living under bridges and I promise that I will do that but I felt that before I could tell that story I needed to clear out a little more misconceptual deadwood...

Again, I mean no disrespect to anyone here... This just happens to be something that I *wish* sometimes I knew nuthing about...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 06:43 PM

(Sidebar: as I understand it, psychotropic drugs came on-stream in a big way in the 1970s, and this was the rationale for the large-scale deinstitutionalization that occurred in those years - in theory, many people did not need to be institutionalized if on a psychotropic drug regimen).


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 07:02 PM

Thanks, bobert, for explaining that in easy language. I, too, know that story. Not only are many of the mentally ill unable to care for themselves, they are easy prey on the streets. Yes, there are many examples.

Two kids who were born to a mother with a mental age of 12 who had been raped. We had no proof, but by the time we were aware of the kids, it was certain that they, too, had been sexually abused. The youngest had normal intelligence but what chance does he have?

Then there was the brilliant physicist who was schizophrenic and violent. They kept putting him in prison for assault. He would return to the streets and assault again. One day he came at a police officer with a knife. He was shot and killed. His daughter was my best friend. He left behind a wife and three kids. The two sons have met untimely deaths.

We can go on and on and, yes, meself, it does coincide with new miracle drugs that were supposed to be cost effective. It didn't work out and this social experiment has gone on long enough. We have the same problem in Canada. Its fine for some but definitely not for others. We need to provide safe places for these people, many of whom are the homeless we see on the streets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 07:05 PM

meself, That is true to a large extent. Much more effective antipsychotic medications really made a big difference in the number of people with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI)who did not require long-term hospitalization because of florid psychosis.

However, costs were what really drove changes in government policy. It was thought a lot of money could be saved by moving the mentally ill into the community. Hospitalization is expensive, most state psychiatric facilities are State funded--Medicaid will not pay for hospitalizatin in a State facility. And the mentally ill were turned out in droves with no thought to what their needs were to live in the community. And law makers still don't get that it costs as much or more than hospitalization to adequately serve people with SPMI in the community. The community services, housing, (both supervised and unsupervised), psychosocial rehab programs, mobile crisis services, ACTT services, and income maintenance programs are still grossly inadequate. The mentally ill are a disenfranchised population, they have no political clout, and no real hope of political power. While plenty of people in the USA arwe homeless who are not mentally ill, the dramatic rise in homelessness in the USA over the last 25 years correlates very strongly with the disinstitutionalization movement.

I was working in the public welfare system back then, in a rural area and was pretty oblivious to it. bobert, you know a lot more about the immediate aftermath of deinstitutionalization than do I. However, I moved over into public mental health after I went back to graduate school for my MSW, and have been working with SPMI populations, as well as other indigent populations in need of mental health and psychotherapy since the early 90's. It was bad then. It is much worse now, at least in North Carolina, where we have just started another cycle of 'Mental Health Reform' (Ha! to quote Bobert.)

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 07:07 PM

Good point, GUEST, but yer "in theory" is the operative term here...

Yeah, If I could be with 50 clients every day to be sure they stayed on their meds we certainly would have had a higher successs rate... Problem is that wasn't and still isn't possible...

One thing that could help would be more money for "adult day care" where folks, as part of a condition for being on the street, would have to check in daily and perhaps these programs could administer the meds, mush the way a nurse might administer drugs in a hospital setting...

BTW, and I'm not too why this hasn't been brought up by anyone, but out local departments of mental health have also undergone cuts in funding...

And, BTW, part 2.... As much as I hate to bring this up and perhaps it has changed somewhat and I will defer to Janie on that but when I was a socail worker there wasn't a ltta love between the folks in Social Services and Mental Health... Oh sure, we were cordial and went to some of the same training session but when it came down to clients the folks I worked with tried to get the mental health folks more involved and vice versa... Bottom line, a loot of clients were like ping-pong balls between the two agencies...

Janie??? How's it in yer parts these days???

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 07:21 PM

I can only speak about the community in which I practice, Bobert, but here, we have a pretty darn good relationship with Adult Services. I think the child therapists and case managers also tend to have very cooperative relationships with the Child Protective Services workers. Where we do bump heads sometimes is between Adult Mental Health and Child Protective Services. CPS workers don't always understand that I can not share with them chapter and verse of what goes on in a therapy session with a parent and have any hope of doing effective therapy. Of course I report any instances of neglect or abuse of children, but the actual work of therapy needs to stay between the therapist and the client. It is otherwise impossible to build the trust and rapport essential to successful therapy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 07:31 PM

Oh, don't get me started on CPS, Janie... That's an area where I can get really angry... Like who wrote those regs??? Some angry guy who gets his jollies beatin' his kids???

Heck, when I was in the field I'd reprt lots of stuff to CPS and they would say stuff like, "Did you see the kid gettin' beaten?" and I'd look 'round at kids with whelts all over 'um an' adults screamin' at the top of their lings at 'um and CPS would so much take the referral unless I'd say that I witnessed the beatings...

Hey, it's bad 'nuff that these adults felt is was oaky to threaten and scream at kids in the presence of, ahhhh, me, a social worker but worse that the kids were obviously being beaten and CPS wouldn't do anything...

Hope that has changed, too... Glad to hear that Mental Health and Social Services is doing well in yer parts... That's a bit of good news...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 08:52 PM

I wrote a big long thing about vocational education but I guess it didn't show up. ANyway, I do not believe for a minute that people are doomed to poverty, if they live where there are opportunities..some places it is hard to imagine working your way out of it, say Bangladesh..oh my goodness..where are great miracles happening every day? Where are the microloans started and who got the Nobel Peace Prize? People absolutely, if they are of normal (oh a loaded word) health and vigor can, in many places, get out of poverty. They do it every day. Mental health problems are a whole other story and need lots of intervention, but even many people with mental health problems could be contributing something in a sheltered situation, and many are. They need a lot of help.

One thing we do, another sensitive area, is pour so much money into special education situations where there is not much hope for a person realistically to become productive. I am talking about profound, severe cases. Those same resources put into vocational counseling and training of people with poor environments but "normal" intelligence and capacity, would reap thousands of times the benefits. This is not what people want to hear though and not where the money goes. I have seen money going for one instructional assistant taking one child to the bathroom each day and not much else. That same money could have funded a vocational counselor, such as me, as I would have worked for those wages, and Icould have placed 100 students perhaps a year in programs that would have gotten them out of poverty. Don't tell me it can't be done. You aren't talking to the right people.

It is very important to listen to people with different approaches and not thing one group or profession has all the answers. They have part of the answers. Not all of them. Look at the problems in the Romanian orphanages years ago...it is obvious to the casual observer that so many of the problems there could have been solved by a good plumber or two. Refugee camps..plumbing. Homelessness on the streets, plumbing. Migrant worker housing, plumbing. Need to hear from nurses and place them in the schools and all over the place. They tend to be very results oriented. This is a multi-faceted problem, poverty, and there are some people who it is fairly easy to get up and out. Some it will be impossible and they will have teo be supported in a clean and decent enviornment with supervision. Many of them should just get a small amount for incidentals and should not be given a social security check that can be stolen or not spent on essentials. There need to be almost dormitory situations for many people who otherwise do end up on the streets. There needs to be a sorting process so that people who need to be institutionalized are to least extent possible of course, that those who just need some support, such as day care and transportation get that, and there needs to be not just a financial safety net, but a real safety net, so they can take the bus late at night, so an ambulance will come if they are called, so girls can walk to school unhassled in the mornings, so children can play outside once again. Some of this is not too hard to accomplish...probably if you keep one person out of jail you can hire one policewoman if the money was in the same pot. We could do a lot with better lighting. We could do better security in housing projects. We could have more cameras pretty much everywhere and I know people would complain but too bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 09:50 PM

Do not become disabled in the US of A unless you are married to some one with a good job and you are already carried on their medical insurance. You are screwed whether you have much of a work history under your belt before you become disabled, or whether you don't. If you do have much of a work history and you become disabled because of mental illness, you are, in some ways, doubly screwed.

Without the work history, your only income will be from a program referred to as SSI, and that assumes you do not have assets in excess of $2000, including retirement savings. For 2007, you will get a maximum of $623 a month. That is what you have to live on. In most States you will also get Medicaid. That $623 is all you get to pay rent, utilities, property taxes, household supplies, vehicle or transportation expenses, over-the-counter medical expenses, a $3.00 co-pay for each prescription drug you have to take and for some doctor visits, most of your food (you will probably get about $40 a month in Food Stamps, clothes, everything. There is some housing assistance available but the waiting lists are very long for section 8 housing, and the public housing projects are very dangerous places to live, even in rural area or a small town such as the one in which I live. Where I live there is no public transportation, no soup kitchen, no rooming houses. A dilapidated, rat infested mobile home in a slum trailer court will cost you $450/month plus all utilities. After you pay your rent, you have $177/month to pay for utilites, soap, toilet paper, food, laundry mat, to pay some one gas money to take you where you need to go, or to keep a car running, licensed and insuranced, and for the co-pays on any prescription medications you take. If you have-let's say--schizoaffective disorder, you are probably prescribed (and yes, really do need) 4 to 6 psychiatric medications a month, at $3.00 co-pay per prescription. If you have any other medical problems that require medication, add $3.00 for each additional prescription.

Do the math. What are going to let go? Let them cut off the heat or the water so you can take your meds and eat? Or visa versa.

In 2005, there were approximately 114,000 adults between ages 18 and 64 receiving SSI disability benefits in North Carolina. That is only 1 of 50 States.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM

In the case mentioned above, say the person was not mentally disabled, but just low income with that same amount of money flowing in. In the first place, I know the laws sometimes prevent this, but she should share the trailer with two other people, even if it means bunk beds, sofa beds etc. Now she is paying $200 about in utilities and rent. Hopefully one of them could drive and the others pay for gas and rides. If they each get $40 a month in food stamps, that is $120 for 3 people. Hopefully one can cook. I wish there were more surplus food programs, but I hope they have oats frequently and lentils and nourishing soups and have room for a few carrots and peas in the garden. Maybe one can cut hair and barter with other people in the trailer park for moose someone has shot, or fish they have caught. For fun they go to a garage sale now and then and gradually get some nicer furniture and curtains and fix the place up a bit. They plant a rose bush by the door which they bartered for some child care and some tulips which they bartered for painting a shed. I would live that way myself...and expect that I might have to some day...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 11 Mar 07 - 11:05 PM

Now about the rat problem. The owner of the trailer court needs to have an exterminator over and he needs to have authority enough to insist on hygeine practices that are not conducive to rats. Now, every high school student in America and the world should have the knowledge and some skills to fight rats, cockroaches etc. They should know how to repair holes where they come in, how to protect food from them in tight containers, be prepared to set traps and dispose safely of the rats caught. We just can not afford as a nation to keep producing helpless people..I am talking about non-handicapped people of adequate potential etc. Now, a wise community would say, we have a rat problem, and we have an employment problem. Let us contract out with some people to set rat traps and go around and clean up places they like to hide and you kill two birds with one stone. Hopefully either these three women in the above scenario have been taught those skills or can acquire them or they can barter a ride in their car, which one of them hopefully has, or a home cooked dinner of trout and lentils and blackberry cobbler, or a haircut, for someone to set the traps for them and plug up the rat holes. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 01:52 AM

WOW, I'm stunned reading this.
You want to know why some can't pull themselves out of their "poor situation"? They've already been beaten to death by the time they realize that there even exists an out (no light at the end of the tunnel). Poverty produces very few fighters & survivors, mostly corpses & skeletons. There is no "war on poverty" there were only a few battles & they all ended by the 70's. Along with any fights like for higher education & health reforms & the push to rid the homeless from the streets. All these issues tie into one another. There's a reason there's no real "war on drugs " or a war on any other front that will eat up the social services dollar. The pie is getting smaller, the slices are becoming thinner & the poor are very easy scapegoats & become easy prey to any other program looking to steal a buck. Who'd want to be a social worker at what their paid or for that matter a teacher or work in the field of day care services. All these occupations pay little though they are probably the most important to the healthy, moral future of the children who'll be our next generation of "deciders", it's only done for love & humanity & that doesn't help those that are in need very much. We don't think much about what's a priority & we reflect it in their pay scales, that's a social problem. Without a decent education, decent health, a good family network & a decent home life & social programs that will offer at least a drop of hope, most won't do well never mind having the disadvantage of being poor which means most of the resources Janie mentioned above are out of their grasp.

Growing up for me was a fight. In school, after school, in the neighborhood, in stores, trying to get around. Getting a haircut, wearing clean & decent clothes, even having keeping good teeth. Instead of going to museums we played on their roofs, in burned out buildings, no matter what we were doing it was a fight, to stay dry, to stay warm to stay fed & it's always a struggle. I never realized it then & I didn't realize it was the same for the adults too. No wonder there were so many faimlies fighting, drinking, gambling, on drugs. The stress levels without those pressure relief valves had to be explosive. Then add to that the hoplessness & pain of not being able to see an end & the heartbreak knowing that your kid is doomed to the same. Taking painkiller's would be just what the health department would order. I can't tell you how many kids I grew up with became hookers, junkies, bank robbers, killers. I don't know of anyone that's alive now, I'm sure there are some & I'm sure they've all moved as far from there roots as possible too. Just think of how many people you know that still know of a few childhood friends or how many you yourself might know? When you grow up poor & surivive it & you look back & you can't find one person alive from your teenage days back to your childhood you have to look at those percentages with a very sad heart & ask what's wrong here. I haven't heard of one person in over 20 yrs. No wonder I feel rich having a few good close friends. It's funny when when someone says just do this or just do that it might make things a bit easier. They have no idea. After having the life beat out of you day after day it's hard to have a disire. Almost like a drowing person reaching for a rope that drifting farther & farther away. They say that once you give up drowing it's a peaceful way to go, after a while so go the poor.

As for Bobert's mention about a reversal on the poverty programs, that's only the tip of the berg. The poor & middle class subsidize this nation & the middle class are only an acident away from joining their less fortunate poorer class these days. When a blue collar worker pays more in taxes than many corporations what else can you call it but a subsidy. A CEO can make 2-20 million for banckrupting a company & stealing the employees retirements & life savings, then refuse to pay the employees wages, the taxes & the fines, & then gets the same amount of time that a poor person without a high priced lawyer gets for stealing neccessities, what else can it be called. When Exxon kills a way of life, steals the living from a seacoast of industries, eterminates a host of natural resources & makes the public pay for the restoration & cleanup of the disaster it caused, then costs the public to then bring them to account for their ways & when called to justice won't pay up even after 15yrs. & still it pays less in taxes than some mom & pop outfit, why is it, is it because the poor are draining them. These companies are making billions off OUR land, from OUR government, off the backs of OUR people & we're subsidizing them? We should have a national health plan, a fair welfair system that works for those that can't, a NATIONAL PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM that's decent for all instead of a system that's not worthy of a 3rd world nation & they should be footing at least a part of the bill.

You want to help the poor, stop the rich from helping themselves.
Spend money at home instead of billions on wars that only the rich benifit from & the poor die in. Bring back the social reforms of the 60's & the money to fund them instead of pissing the dollars into porkbarrel politics. Stop sending jobs overseas along with crates of greenbacks. Kill offshore accounts for multinational corporations that are bleeding us dry of our resources & then milking us with their tax benifits. Like I said there is no war, it's called RAPE!

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 06:08 AM

Barry,

I think you have just about covered it all.

Love,

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 11:53 AM

Well said, Barry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 12:18 PM

I would like to see this thread - and further - become a permanent discussion board, a springboard for action...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 12:38 PM

The poorest people I have ever seen was in Chad. People I once have stayed with for a night in an American (not: USA) reservation were rich in comparison. The poorest German too is rich for them.

No money for the bus to school? There's no choice because there's no bus at all and what prevent children to go to school for months (before the rain comes) is hunger. They don't have the physical energy to move. And if they still can, sitting all day on the hard floor and doing rote learning (no books, no pencils, no paper) is too much for them.

The Wiki article on poverty in the USA (sorry if I have overlooked someone else linking to this) has some good thoughts about absolute and relative poverty definitions.

Nevertheless, even if someone is subsidised to be "rich" by a Chad perspective, there should be in Western countries (except inability or a lot of young children to look for) no need for such subsidies, but work and wages (high) enough for everyone to be over an absolute poverty line.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 02:08 PM

Barry - Your ability to express yourself is amazing. Most kids that experience the childhood trauma of poverty have trouble learning to write at all. Its a gift. You should seriously explore the possibility of publishing. Your story would open the eyes of many.

When you said, "I never realized it then & I didn't realize it was the same for the adults too," I began to re-think what my own children went through. My daughter still carries some of those scars. Luckily, we did have hope and that was largely due to student loans and grants, subsidized housing, govt. healthcare, a kind dentist and generous friends.

Today we are all doing well and I try to do what I can for the less fortunate but I know its just a drop in the bucket. Most of my time is spent teaching children to read and write but its difficult to access support for families when you realize that a child lacks the essentials in life. All that is left is hope.

We spend billions of dollars making the lives of others miserable through war, when that money should be spent for healthcare and services to the poor. I believe that if we become strong and prosperous as a nation (I mean all people) it will enable us to give meaningful help to the developing nations. Until then, we have to fight the greed around us and speak out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 03:55 PM

Wolfgang, whilst I admire anybody who goes and works in the third world, I think you're making the old Streets of London mistaken argument

How can you tell me that you're lonely
and say for you the sun don't shine?

Just because there are some people in the world, or in history in BLOODY miserable circumstances, it doesn't mean ones own situation is a barrel of laughs, and you have no moral right to bewail the misery that you feel about your own life.

Those of us with experience of working in the inner cities and have seen the wastage of young lives - somehow engineered by our rich society - we know what we've seen. Its not made any less heart breaking by knowing that there are people somewhere even worse off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 06:24 PM

Very good, Barry...

I was getting there piece at a time but you have laid it out...

What a lot of folks just can't realize is that they see poverty from a different perspective, with life skills and backgrounds where they were taught problem solving... These are great things to have if you find yerself, ahhhh, poor but like You have said, Barry, kids that grow up poor don't have that perspective...

More later...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 06:24 PM

It is really really important to get the message out to students that there is hope, and there are ways out of a trap. Some places are harder than others, say Appalachia or remote Indian reservations. It may be impossible for some, but not for all. Our ancestors did arrive here in poverty, unless they were Native, and they escaped unbelieveably bad circumstances. For one thing, almost everyone can get a high school degree now, even if they have dropped out. They can go to a community college hopefully. Everyone who thinks things are hopeless needs to talk to the folks at the community colleges. That is their mission, at least in Washington....to provide these opportunities to people. Some classes are free. There are loans and grants and work study. I have worked at 2 colleges who didn't even put out notices for work study students because there were so many more jobs than students to fill them. There were community college courses going unfilled sometimes for lack of students. There is at least one state ( I think it was North Carolina) where someone..the governor??? said students can graduate from a 4 year college debt free by working 10 hours a week and taking the grants available and going to a community college the first two years.

One of the tragedies is not having sufficient resources, but another great tragedy is there being resources that people do not know about. They have to know the plan, the escape route, from these situations. They have to know how a pregnancy can certainly alter their plans and should be told how to avoid it. Things, at least on the fringes of cities, are not totally hopeless. There are jobs for LPNs and mechanics and dental hygenists and plumbers and legal secretaries. In two years someone is out of poverty. Maybe not in a great place, but out of the direst situations.

It sounds to me like people need to coordinate more with the community colleges..not every state is as blessed as Washington but there are good programs here and there. PLEASE DO NOT LOOK AT THIS THROUGH SHE IS BLAMING THE VICTIM BLINDERS YOU MIGHT HAVE On. TAKE OFF THE BLINDERS. We still need lots of social programs, we need more policing of dangerous neighborhoods so people can get to and fro safely (that alone would be such an improvement to peoples' lives) and we need to pass on messages of hope to young people. Tell them this again: no drugs, no pregnancies, graduate from high school and then two years of a community college. I'm not one to believe the sky is the limit and people have endless opportunities, but sending out this message of hopelessness is not healthy for them....we need to fix things, crack some heads, send General Honore down to wherever to inspect the rat infested places...and let people know the way out of these situations.....

P.S. If you are in touch with these people in dire circumstances, please to print this out and give it to them. They need to hear there is hope. If I can, I will try to search out specific programs for them. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 06:40 PM

mg--there are some pretty dismal hollers where the coal mines have gone all mechanized in West Virginia--but I think it would be much, much tougher in large urban areas.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 06:57 PM

Ummmmm, not to harp on this one, mg.... But your perspective represents either the very small percentage of folks who grew up in poverty and somehow beat the odds or a more middle class perspective of how folks *ought* to be able to solve problems...

While this may have worked for you it is like speaking Greek to those who, like Barry, grew up in poverty...

No disrespect intended but you seem to be preachin' to folks who ain't got a clue... I'm sure you mean well but I don't think you quite get the disconnect...

I learned this lesson when I was about 20... Yeah, I came from a middle class family and inspite of my family's activism in the civil right movement there were some lessons I needed to learn... I was in my 3rd year in college and got hired By R-CAP (Richmond Community Action Program) and assigned to work in the Hillside housing project in south Richmond... Some of the stuff I did was more like case worker stuff but I also became involverd in NWRO (National Welfare Rights Organization) and organized a chapter in that housing project and did some other orgainizing with the anti-war movement and civil rights stuff and, well, these activities led me to bring both the Black Panthers and White Panthers to Richmond for some rallies and get-togethers...

It was at one of these get-togethers at the housing project with some real ***together*** White Panther folks and we had 'bout 40 folks packed into one apartment and they made their pitch and afterwards I said something that was meant to be halpful but came of as condescending and...

...this dude from the White Panthers took me aside and said, "Hey, man, yer talking *to* these people and not *with* them..."

I remember the feelings of utter embarassment... And, yeah, I was defensive... And, yeah, it took a few days for that lesson to set in but it set in like concrete... And it was the best lesson I can honestly say that came to me from the 60's...

Again, I mean no disrespect here, mg, but you can't preach to folks who haven't been exposed to what you may have been exposed to... Yeah, yer heart can be 100% pure, yer motives 100% pure but, bottom line, if you are to be effective, you can have all the great ideas in the world, yer gonna have jst take folks the way you find them...

I've mentioned something that an radical, young, black minster once told me and it goes like this "You can have sex with a gotilla but you are going to have to do it on the gorilla's terms..."

I don't know if this makes any sense, mg, but it is the cornerstone of being effective in any position where you are dealing with folks who grew up in poverty...

Again, I mean absolutlely no disrespect here...

Ummmmmm, I keep tryin' to get to that "downward mobilty" that Janie has talked about with a case study of one of my formed clients and I will get there but it seems that with this thread there seems to be a bit of "bringing up the rear" and that's okay... Hey, here we are pushing 120 posts and, as far as I can see, we haven't had any trolls jump in and try to mess stuff up so I think we're doin' purdy good... Even if it mean a little back tracking...

See... This post is a prime example of what that guy from the White Panthers was talking 'bout... Hey, ya' gotta take it as it comes and talk with folks...

Yeah, when this thread was started I kinda had an outline in mind of stuff I thought would be benefical and while I still have things I wnat to share, I'm just going to let the thread come to me and see where I can throw some stuff into the mix that will hopefully be informative and, even better, helpfull...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 07:23 PM

mg--I can't decide whether to hug you or to shake you.

You are clearly a good-hearted soul.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 07:41 PM

Don't dismiss what mg is saying - I think you're talking PAST each other. The things she's talking about are going to be useful to a number of people, and no doubt there are a number of people that could benefit from her sort of advice and approach - but it's not one-size-fits-all ... her approach is not THE answer, but it is an answer that would work for some people. Obviously, it is not the answer for everyone ... I don't think you're in disagreement, necessarily; it's more like you're talking about different aspects of the same issue ... if you see what I mean ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 08:06 PM

"We need to provide safe places for these people"

We need to provide a safe place for everyone. The place we all live in and work in and relax in. That sounds like some impossible dream? It's not, it's how things really can be, and for enormous numbers of people round the world it's more or less how things actually are. I'm sure that applies in a lot of places inside the USA as well as outside it.

And don't believe anyone who suggests the old institutions - the asylums, the sub-normality hospitals and all that, were "safe places". The crime was that all too often the money saved by shutting them down wasn't used to provide proper help outside the institutions, it was stolen to give tax cuts to people who didn't need tax cuts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 08:19 PM

What I have gleaned from this discussion is that folks come from different types of poverty depending on the environment.

ie: The Hillside housing project in south Richmond is a completely different environment than small town Washington State or Rural Manitoba.

Different folks need different types of help and the best we can do is give what we can and pressure the government to provide for those in need. There really is no excuse for children to go hungry or homeless in the U.S., Canada or Britain.

Stop spending billions on useless wars that cause more misery and start spending those dollars at home. Enough is enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 08:32 PM

Lest anyone think I grew up in the sheltered classes, I grew up working class. My father was a postman and my mother was a telephone operator when I was young. They had each grown up in dire poverty. I was on my way to prosperity and actually was prosperous for quite some time but essentially ran out of steam so have had to backtrack quite a bit. But there is this expectation of hopelessness that was passed down even to my generation, that the potato famine would come back, that we'd have to be sharecroppers again as on my mother's side. I had to turn down incredible opportunities because of my parents' beliefs..I was one of those clever but not deep students who could ace all these tests. I turned down hundreds of thousands of dolalrs in scholarships all over the country, and thought, despite being a National Merit finalist, that I would be lucky if I went to the community college. So there is that going on all over the place, from families, from peer groups who are threatened if their members move on, from gangs, from religions who see poverty as a preferred state, as my local Catholic church did. There are chains that can be broken. Sometimes it is easier than you think. Start with the easy ones. The ones that have the motivation and energy and just need the information and encouragement.

Also contact your local county extension agent and get him or her working on the rat problem or cockroach or whatever. And get even the urban children into 4H if you can, and find the vocational teachers, the home ec teachers in the schools. Don't bother with some of the others..they are too focused on the few kids going to Harvard all too often. Coordinate with your employment security department and your community colleges. Get some retired women in to teach some of these mothers how to cook and can and sew. Get people to double up to save rent. T here is no reason someone has to spend $600 a month for a single person on rent and utilities. I have a room for rent for $250..it would be more in a big city.

If you are working with high school students, see that they graduate with a CNA if possible. Almost guaranteed jobs anywhere.

Like I said, I will correspond with the fundamentally OK people..if they have severe drug abuse or mental handicaps I am not the one to help them...I would of course have to cc someone with any conversations so they could be assured I am not abusing etc.

YIKES..when I am the positive person in a conversation, it is a pretty dismal situation....I'm pretty realistic and pragmatic and not given to painting rosy pictures. mg


PS: What would the Mormons do when faced when these situations? I bet they have ways of handling these things. Contact them. They have some very practical wyas of doing things and have thrift stores and stuff. Also, just put out the word of what particular people need...work clothes, or whatever. Sometimes stuff can be gotten here and there..toys for children..school clothes...can be done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 09:37 PM

I agree, meself. And I think many of mg's ideas are very helpful, especially for young people who already have a few eggs in their baskets of resources. And whose life experience has not already killed hope and maimed the psyche or personality.

AND it is alll being done and is has been done. However, what we as a society mostly offer is false hope. Why? Because we consistently provide too little to get the job done, and even that is usually offered too late.

As dianavan said, there are a number of people who experience poverty as a terrible but temporary time in their lives. These are the people who may go through a terrible patch of not having financial resources-but like dianavan, they had important other resources on which to draw that were also a necessary component of making it out of that state of financial poverty.

It is true that there was a time when anyone who wanted to go to college could problaby find the financial aid in grants and loans to do so. But that is a thing of the past. I can't remember the numbers now, but I recently read an article and was myself shocked to realize how post high school vocational and college aid have shrunk under the auspices of the shrub administration. It was either by 25 or 50%. Either number is huge.   

Suppose you do get the financial aid pulled together. Lets say you are a divorced mother of two. Chances are excellent you are going to be on a waiting list for help with child care costs. Or a child gets sick and you have to miss a week of classes, and then you can never get caught up because you also work at the local convenience store. Swap child care? With whom? Your Mom's a crackhead so you sure aren't going to leave the kids with her, and all the other women you know are at work or at school when you are. And then the timing chain breaks on your 20 year old car.

There are hundreds of thousands of really, really destitute people living in these United States. When they try to borrow or barter with one another, more times than not they end up preying on each other. We are talking desparate straits here.

As a society, we have allowed people to get so far down in a hole that there really is no light to be seen. If we happen to notice them down in that hole, we throw peanuts down the hole. Or we drop down a rope and pull them halfway up then leave them dangling till the rope rots and they drop back down again.

Money talks. IT. TAKES. MONEY. Whether it is a program that provides services, training or education, child care, car repare or bus tickets, or direct financial aid.

IT. TAKES. MONEY.

And the richest country the world has ever known won't fork over.

I am weary down to the depths of my soul of being in this battle. This not an interesting discussion to me. This is the work of my life. And I step back to see what I have accomplished in concert with many others on a number of fronts.

What I look for the results of the fruits my labor, I see that I have been a failure.

Just think how much more weary and soul sick are the men, women and children whose lives we are discussing here.

I think I need to bow out of this conversation for awhile.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 12 Mar 07 - 10:15 PM

It is the system - or governments - that have failed, not you. You have done what you could, and continue to do what you can. I'm sure you have been a positive force in many lives, whether you see it or not.

I teach school, and most of the kids I teach live in the kinds of circumstances we've been talking about. For most of them, all I can do is haul myself out of bed in the morning and be there for them when they come dragging in late and sleepy and hungry. Beyond that, it often seems I don't have much to offer them - but for many of them, despite their angry outbursts or displays of indifference, it seems to mean a lot that someone's there who's going to treat them with a measure of respect, and who cares enough to push them to try to accomplish something, whether they do or not. And mostly they don't, by the usual standards, anyway. Most of them will still quit school by grade eleven, most will have troubled lives. But maybe their lives would be worse without having had the experience of being treated with respect and being cared about by a few people who were paid to respect and care about them. I imagine this is analagous to the situation you work in, to a degree ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 12:48 AM

Janie, you never fail when you give what you can.

Sometime, I too, feel like beating my head against the wall. We work in outdated, underfunded institutions run by bureaucrats who have no idea what its like on the front lines.

melf said it well. Give what you can and remember to do it with respect.

Mary - I thought I was the only one with parents that seemed to discourage every available opportunity I had. I was offerred a scholarship to a private school when I was 14. My parents came up with all kinds of excuses. I wasn't allowed to go. In the end, it was because they were afraid they'd lose me. They thought that they might not be good enough for me if I associated with the upper classes.

I didn't go to universitsy until I was nearly forty.

I look back and remember the people who encouraged me - the public librarian, the dentist, the mother of the grocer, the 'outsider' who married my uncle, my grade 3 teacher and last but not least, the step-father of my children.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 04:01 AM

Janie, there's no way in Heaven that you are or were a failure. I have followed this discussion from start to finish, and can say you, and Bobert have been in the trenches, yet it appears you have done well for yourselves and your clients. Burnout is a major result in many who work in Social Services or Public Health. It is at times a thankless job, fraught with many obstacles, poor pay, little cooperation at times between agencies, sometimes obstruction by those agencies...I've met many a mean, rotten civil servant, and I use the term "civil" loosely, in my encounters with the system...and neither you or Bobert are disgruntled or discouraged or burned-out. I would've loved to have worked with you both. What we need is more social workers like you...and MORE MONEY. What is also needed is more historical perspective like the two of you were providing.

I worked in Public Health for a few years. My first job in it was for a Family Planning clinic in upstate NY. I was a clinic manager, which really meant doing everything at one point of time or another...in addition to being in charge. It was during the Reagan administration, so I know Bobert is spot-on, to borrow a British expression. I took a $2000 cut in pay to accept the position. All of my friends were making $11,000 starting pay. You do the math...it was huge! But, I wanted to do it. I loved that job.

Back then, Family Planning clinics were allowed to counsel clients on all forms of birth control...we gave out free samples generously...and we did pregnancy testing as well as treat STDs...there were only a few then...in all of NY state there were only 2 remaining cases of syphilis! Gonorrhea was just starting to become sensitive to penicillin...and there were the usual female disorders....if only we'd known then that HPV causes most cervical cancers...still we treated that, too. AIDS was not even an inkling. We didn't know about it.

I got a real bird's eye view of social services; we had our own social worker, and she was a peach. Our staff was multicultural...we had blacks, hispanics, and whites. Our clients were also from different age groups...I can't say how old our youngest was, but our oldest patients were in their 60's - 70's...getting pap smears and breast checks. We had a sliding scale, so we serviced any and all who came through our doors. We did have some rich people.

I don't have time to get into more specifics, but we did patient education with every prescription or IUD or any of our procedures. It was, at times, an uphill battle...eyes would roll...sighs were audible, and yet one could feel good knowing that you'd done your best. You can give out tools. You cannot make someone use them. We did not do abortions, but we were allowed to do referrals...at least up until I left and went on to another job in Public Health. Things changed rapidly. The first to go was our overtime...such as it was. We were obliged to fulfill county, state and federal mandates. Usually if we fulfilled the federal ones all others were covered. One of the mandates said that we needed to contact individuals under certain circumstances at least three different times of the day...morning, noon, and night...and since most of the clinics only ran till 5PM, we'd have to bring our work home with us...for which we were reimbursed. Needless to say, we all kept doing that part of our jobs despite no longer being paid for it. I could go on, but I did see what the poor, the working poor, and middle-class, upper-class get out of life.

I know I'm rambling. What I wanted to say is that it seems no matter what it's called, health, education, and welfare always get the most cuts...while, as someone far more eloquently pointed out, the rich companies get tax breaks, breaks on pollution, breaks on just about everything...and the poor? They get trounced on. I, too, btw, have been on both sides of the counter. It's not pretty. But, please, keep this thread going. It is important and very informative. And, thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:36 AM

Tho I have to get to work and don't have much time I'd just like to say to you, Janie, that as long as you contininue to fight, you will never be a failure and...

... even if you do get "burned out" (something I know too much about) yer still not a failure...

The love you give to people, even the tough love variety, is what you have to give... That makes you a success...

The only failure is within this punitive, self serviing system that serves the ruling class which in itself is the *real welfare class* at the espense of the poor... Yes, it is the Biss Hog's of the US that can't see that they are the ones benefiting from the labors of everyone else and has a "Let them eat cake" attitude...

More later...

Hang in their, Janie...

(((hugs)))

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scoville
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 10:28 AM

I can't remember the numbers now, but I recently read an article and was myself shocked to realize how post high school vocational and college aid have shrunk under the auspices of the shrub administration. It was either by 25 or 50%. Either number is huge.

We think this is a thinly-disguised form of the draft--drive kids into the armed forces by taking away their college aid so they feel like they have no alternatives.

As always: A rich man's war and a poor man's fight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 11:19 AM

There is intellectual poverty, emotional poverty and physical health poverty in the States.
This is exacerbated by financial poverty.

But people in the States don't really know poverty the way other countries have experienced it. Africa, India, Haiti.....

Americans are still economically rich compared to many countries but more poor in other ways.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bee
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 11:51 AM

Stringsinger, as someone else pointed out earlier, just because someone else has lost a leg doesn't make a person feel good about losing a hand.

I understand burnout, and I urge anyone who experiences it to make every possible effort to get away from the cause for a while. I saved enough money (not much, trust me) to leave my job and take a six month leave once, and it was the best thing. I came back with perspective and energy, which I had lost.

I spent over a quarter century working with 3 to 12 year old poor or low income city kids, who acted out and fought and sometimes physically attacked their caregivers, but were nonetheless children with hope and with prospects, if they could be allowed to see them. I've seen most of them grow up and make a good life, and a few die by violence, and a few end in jail.

The best, most treasured compliment I've ever been offered was from a prematurely cynical eight year old girl, who one afternoon looked at me thoughtfully and said: "You really like kids, don't you. A lot of teachers don't like kids, but you do."

If you're too burnt out, you can't feel caring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 07:10 PM

Now I usually don't get all that excited over polls and stats but thought I'd share just a few that were compiled by the "Mother Jones" staff and published in their June,'06 issue...

*In 1985 the Forbes 400 were worth $221B combined. Today they're worth $1,13T- more that the GDP of Canada...

*Among the Forbes 400 who gave to the 2004 presidential campaign, 72% gave to Bush...

*In 2005 there were 9 million American millionares, a 62% increase since 2002...

*In 2005, 25.7M Ameericans reieved Food Stamps, a 49% increase since 2000...

*Only estates worth more than $1.5M are taxed. That's less than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the governemnt at least $55B a year...

*Only 3% of students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half...

*Bush's tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1M an extra $86
,722- or Harvard tuition, room, board and an iMac G5 for both kids...

*A 2 child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050 or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid...

*Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage has fallen 43% since its peak in 1968...

*If the $5.15 hourly minumum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now satnd at $23.03...

*A minumum wage employeee who works 40 hours a week for 51 weeks goes home with $10,506 before taxes...

*Such a worker would take 7,000 years to earn Oraccle CEO Larry Ellison's yearly compensation...

*Ellison recently posed in "Vanity Fair" with his $300M, 454 foot yacht, which he noted is "realyy only the size of a large house"...

*The $17,530 earned by the average Wal-Mart employeee last year was $1,820 below the poverty line for a family of four....

*5 of America's 10 richest people are Wal-Mart heirs...

*The US governemnt soends $500,00 on 8 security screeners who speed execs from Wall Street helipad to American's JFK terminal...

*Poor Americans spend 1/4 of their income on energy costs...

*Exxon's 20005 profit of $36.13B is more that the GNP of 2/3 of the world's nations...

*CEO pay among military contractors has tripled since 2001. For David Brooks, the CEO of bulletproff vest maker DHB, it's risen 13,233%...

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay, there were more than the ones I picked out but I thought that since the discussion has touched on just how the ruling class has never had it so good while the poor get poorer, I thought some might find some of these stats intersting...

Do they tell the entire story??? Well, not excatly but they do tell a good portion of it...

More later...

No, not more stats...

Bobert

p.s. Before one of the loyal Bushites jump down my throat and bring up the fact that I haven't been a stats kinda guy, please reread the intro of this post...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:16 PM

Sorry for my melt down last night. It has been an exceptionally difficult week in the brave new world of mental health reform in my neck of the woods, where we are transitioning from publicly provided services to privatization. Doesn't cost the taxpayers nearly as much. Of course, we don't deliver nearly as much either. It seems there is money to made from serving the poor, as long as you cherry-pick your clientele and severely restrict what services you are willing to offer. a number of companies have swooped in. My formerly public clinic was divested from the public system about 9 months ago. I work for a corporatation for the first time in my adult life. It's not a non-profit, its a not-for-profit, which means they need to make a profit, but they don't distribute it to share holders. In theory it goes back into the company so services can be expanded. Nice theory. They made me a manager not long after that. So I get to manage the shrinking of services to my community The whole thing stinks. I hate it.

When I say I have failed, that's what I'm referring to-those statistics Bobert posted, and others available in public policy journals, School of Social Work research papers, government statistics, and many other scholarly sources. Bobert, you have failed. All of us who have worked in the public arena since the mid 1970's as social workers, educators, public health providers, advocates, lobbyists, Catholic Charities workers-the list is long-have failed to be effective as change agents on a societal level. The tide is still running out. Individually have we perhaps been able to be helpful resources to a few people our lives have touched? Yes. And that does matter. But have we, by oour individual or collective efforts been able to exert enough influence on public policy such that the numbers on homelessness and malnutrition have dropped? Have we made a difference on a scale that matters in society?

No.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 08:36 PM

"They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within ..."

I wouldn't call it boring. I would call it sacrificing your soul ...

I would call it endless days of banging your head against the wall with little or no thanks.

I would call it ...

oh never mind.

Go play some music and dance and give thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 09:06 PM

Best idea I've heard in a long time, dianavan. Thanks!

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 10:36 PM

*Bush's tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1M an extra $86
,722- or Harvard tuition, room, board and an iMac G5 for both kids...

*A 2 child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050 or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid...

Harvard Says Poor Parents Won't Have to Pay


Aiming to get more low-income students to enroll, Harvard will stop asking parents who earn less than $40,000 to make any contribution toward the cost of their children's education. Harvard will also reduce the amount it seeks from parents with incomes between $40,000 and $60,000.
        
"When only 10 percent of the students in elite higher education come from families in the lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough," said Lawrence H. Summers, president of Harvard, who will announce the financial aid changes at a meeting of the American Council on Education in Miami Beach today.

Dr. Summers said that higher education, rather than being an engine of social mobility, may be inhibiting it because of the wide gap in college attendance for students from different income classes.

Harvard officials said they believed theirs would be the first selective college to remove the parental contribution for low-income students, though some colleges do this unofficially to attract students they want.

At Harvard, the idea of eliminating the parental contribution grew out of focus groups with lower-income students last fall. University officials found that many of the students were paying some or all of their parents' share themselves.

Peter M. Brown, a junior from Oklahoma who participated in the focus groups, said that was true for him. One of seven children whose father died in 1991 and whose mother works as a schoolteacher, he said he did not show his mother the bill for the parental contribution. Last year it was nearly $3,000.

Only 7 percent of Harvard undergraduates are from families with earnings in the lowest quarter of American household incomes, and 16 percent are from the bottom half. Nearly three-quarters are from families with earnings in the top quarter.

Dr. Summers said that the numbers at most other selective private colleges were similar.

Harvard's tuition this year is $26,066. With room, board, books and other expenses, the total can reach $44,000. Harvard provides about $80 million in scholarship aid.

Parents who earn less than $40,000 are now asked to contribute an average of $2,300. That figure will drop to zero under the new plan, which begins in the fall. Parents with incomes of $40,000 to $60,000 will have their contributions cut to an average of $2,250, from an average of $3,500.

Students will still be expected to contribute by working over the summer and in the school year.

Harvard officials said they expected the new initiative to cost about $2 million next year and to help about 1,000 of the 6,600 undergraduates.

As tuition and other costs at most colleges have risen faster than family incomes have, students have increasingly turned to loans.

Harvard and other universities with large endowments have given more grants in recent years, reducing the amount students must borrow. Princeton has removed loans from its aid packages for all students. Harvard has reduced loans but allows students to use them to offset the amount of work they must do. This year, Harvard graduates will have an average debt of $8,800, compared with $14,600 in 1998.

Mr. Brown, the junior, said his mother's entire salary was well below the cost of a year at Harvard. In the past, he has simply asked her what she felt she could contribute.

"She'd give me a figure," he said. "It was not as much as the school asked. I would say, `I really appreciate that,' and then I would make up the difference."

He said he led a "spartan life" at school to save money. Besides spending about 10 hours a week on a federally subsidized campus job, he is always looking for other jobs or studies that pay participants.

Under the new plan, he said, "I won't have to look every week for people who need boxes moved or other things."

Brian K. Fitzgerald, staff director for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, said Mr. Brown's situation was not unusual.

"Lots of kids, including middle-income kids, are making up that parental expectation out of their own earnings," said Dr. Fitzgerald, whose committee advises Congress.

Under federal financial aid programs, parents who earn less than $15,000 a year are not expected to contribute to their children's college education; the advisory committee has recommended that that figure be raised to $35,000, or at least $25,000.

"The reality today is that in families earning $35,000, those parental contributions are simply not there," Dr. Fitzgerald said.

Dr. Summers said that making college more affordable for low-income, high-ability students would address only part of the problem. The more difficult challenge, he said, was giving lower-achieving, low-income students the support they need to qualify academically.

He said Harvard would expand its recruitment of lower-income students. Harvard is also starting a summer academy this year for high school students from low-income families.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 13 Mar 07 - 11:14 PM

"*The US governemnt soends $500,00 on 8 security screeners who speed execs from Wall Street helipad to American's JFK terminal..."

A. Airline passenger pay for security screening:

AVIATION SECURITY FEES

In total, the Committee has assumed the collection of $1,990,000,000 in aviation security user fees in addition to the $250,000,000 in aviation security user fees that must automatically be deposited in the Aviation Security Capital Fund. The Committee assumes that, of this total, $1,640,000,000 shall be collected from aviation passengers and $350,000,000 shall be collected from the airlines. The Committee cannot support the budget request to increase passenger security fees by $3.00, raising the fee from $2.50 to $5.50 on the first leg of each flight and retain the $2.50 charge for a second leg if the passenger is connecting.

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:o7Q_Uptw8CoJ:thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/%3F%26sid%3Dcp109QuAhF%26refer%3D%26r_n%3Dhr079.109%26db_id%3D109%26item%3D%26sel%3DTOC_158414%26+tsa+airport+fees&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=us&lr=lang_en

B. Screening at the "Wall Street" Helipad is done by a private firm:

Under the Transportation Security Administration the aforementioned agreement allows US Helicopter to utilize the TSA's Screening Partnership Program (SPP) for the establishment of security screening operations to support US Helicopter's airport shuttle service at the East 34th Street Heliport in New York City. US Helicopter's expanded service from the East 34th Street Heliport will fall under the same TSA security regulations as all commercial flights in the United
States. All passengers, carry-on baggage and checked baggage will be screened in accordance with the TSA's standards for commercial operators. US Helicopter, under the contract with McNeil Security, will provide the screening personnel and the TSA will supply the certified security equipment and oversight, affording travelers with the utmost in convenience, security and service at the East 34th Street Heliport.

http://www.flyush.com/pdfs/USH_Jan04_07_PR.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:22 AM

Dickey, it shouldn't be about charity, education should be a right.

I am amazed and delighted by much of the posting on this thread.

But surely experience should have taught that hardly anyone at the very bottom is helped by believing that "God helps those who help themselves" (or analogues).


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 06:47 AM

Janie, you & the few others didn't fail. I remember my mother telling me a bit of rememberences she'd say "oh & there was a time when things were really bad & this one woman, I can't remember her name but if it weren't for her I don't think I could've made it, I'll never forget her". The little things count & they're remembered.

Another thing is that the poor may be under-educated but they're not stupid for the most part. They do know when they're being pried upon, taking advantage of, been pushed out the door & passed over for the sake of other government programs. They know that their kids go to war & die in a rich persons battle for bucks. But there's not much to do about it when the maiin struggle is to survive & they know that too, though some may not be fully aware of how they get used & abused.

Great that Havard is doing something about it's enrollments. Richard's right, education should be a right, just like health care, not just a benifit for the rich. It's funny though. I went to school in Boston across the river from Harvard, with what I learnt in the school of hard knocks Harvard wouldn't have let me in to qualify to clean their door steps & why should they have. But kids no matter where they come from should be given the education today that would have at least have put them on a level playing as the others that afforded themselves a high priced education. And that is still not happening.

Yes Frank, in poor & poorer countries the poverty is even bad & worst. But to have it in a rich country is a shame. And twice as shameful when those rich countries not only don't come to the aid of those nations like Africa, India, Haiti..... but won't even come to the aid of their own first. Seeing this why would anyone else hold their breath waiting. Reagan told the world to "just say no" actually he was telling the world no as well as telling his own people no, no aid, no help, no money!
Bush was embrassed into putting $10,000 out of his own pocket for the folks in New Orleans, an actress put up 1 million. How dam cheap can a nation be with it's own?

Poverty with the vets is just another war of words. There are thousands of ex-military living on the streets along side of thousands of phycially, mentally & medically challanged people that are treated as criminals. Begging, working for food & dying on doorsteps trying to find more permanent places of shelter & safety by getting themselves into a hospital or prison. Imagine that, so desperate to survive in the comfort of some safety that they'd prefere prison to what's available though there own government, and some of them are only there because they fought for their government. We do not look after our own and again they know it.

I used to think that my mother was always cooking. Every time someone knocked on the door when my step dad wasn't home she'd always answer it with a big kitchen knife in her hand. Post tramatic stress comes to mind when I think about it. Living in poverty is sometimes like living in a war zone. It's a wonder that some can function at all & the price they pay is high & the price that it costs the rest of U.S. is even higher in the long run, I would think. We are a short sighted people.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 07:12 AM

Yeah, Janie...

I vividly remember my 10 some years workin' as a social worker in Adult Services and I remember, and you will be able to relate to this, the mumber of social workers, case managers, eligibility workers, etc. who had thrown in the towel... Sure, they were still employed but they did the bare minimum... Looking back, I kinda understand how that could happen... With the Reagan administration's dismantling the Great Society programs by starving them to death folks did become disallusioned...

Like you, I wouldn't give in... I'd just try to find other rersources... I had ministers who would hide if they saw me comin' 'cause they knew I was goinna ask them to strongarm their congregations againn for this or that... But it did get to that point where we were asked to fight the good fight without any resources left and, yeah, it was frusterating...

A lot of good social wokers burned out leaving the ones who had allready figured out that they could keep their lousy paying jobs as long as they din't put too much of their emotional self on the line...

But failure??? Yeah, okay... But on the other hand, it wasn't a fight that we could win without the political will to win...

More later...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 07:45 AM

I'm still puzzled why there should be any poverty in a country as wealthy as the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 07:51 AM

I'm not puzzled McGrath, just pissed because there shouldn't be. There's no need for it, except that it does give the very wealthy a good veiw.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:27 AM

"*Only 3% of students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half..."

In the state of Georgia, any student who graduates from high school with at least a B average is eligible for free college tuition and a $300 per academic book allowance at any of the state's colleges or universities.

http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-South/Atlanta-Education-and-Research.html

More than 16,000 score free college tuition
By Marie Szaniszlo Boston Post September 16, 2006

State education officials yesterday mailed letters to each of the 16,169 class of 2007 high school students who qualify for a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, offering four years of free tuition at any public Massachusetts college.

"*A 2 child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050 or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid."

Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program: Oklahoma residents with a family income of less than $50,000 at the time of enrollment who maintain a 2.5 high school GPA and take a set of required college-preparatory courses can receive free tuition at Oklahoma public institutions and partial tuition at Oklahoma private schools if they maintain a 1.7 GPA for their first 30 credit hours and a 2.0 GPA after that.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060408/8free_tuition.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scrump
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:46 AM

Poverty in the USA - wasn't that a hit for John Mellencamp?

... I'll get me coat :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:56 AM

Dickey,

Get a life... These stats are national... You are, as per usaul, trying to compare apples with oranges...

Now back to the ***discussion***....

Scrump,

Let me help you with it...

Barry,

Ditto...

McG,

Ditto...

Opps, my 5 minutes of after lunch pudder time is up...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 12:59 PM

*These stats are national... You are, as per usaul, trying to compare apples with oranges*

Recently, processes such as the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid), have allowed poorer students to gain a college education through government subsidies designed to eliminate the difference between the rich and poor.

The last 15 years has seen a dramatic rise in the demand for private tuition with a large proportion coming from poorer families who have seen the need for manual or semi-skilled work decrease and who correctly view the education of their children as the only way of their 'breaking free' of the inevitable long queues for a handful of lowly-paid jobs. The matter is often exacerbated by these children being in excessively large classes in schools which fail to attract the best teachers.

In this respect tuition has turned from the private governor/governess of the Victorian era providing education to a privileged few to a non-elitist and cosmopolitan service for the masses.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuition


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 01:30 PM

Dickey - "... a $300 per academic book allowance," covers what percentage of the annual required reading at a college or university? One or two texts require that much money! Annually, as many as 30+ books may be required. Do the math. Add that to tuition and living expenses.

Any student from a low income home that is able to achieve a 3.00 or better in high school should be given the opportunity to attend university with books and tuition covered.

I have a daughter that is a A+ university student and is looking at $70,000.00 in student loans. I tell her its O.K., she's young, its an investment in her future but ...

Have you ever tried to pay your own way through university, Dickie?

You should discuss something you actually know something about instead of pulling random figures from questionable data.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 01:43 PM

I have a daughter finishing up her 2nd year & a son going in, $2,050 doesn't slice bread, doesn't come close. With her high grades, scholarships & grants she's already up to her elbows in loans, she works there too. Books $300 that the cost of ONE.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 02:37 PM

That book thing is such a ripoff. There is no reason that professors can't get together and put stuff online for students to download say for $20, especially if they are being paid by the public in state universities.   And there is no reason a book to be used one semester and then passed on (for heavens sakes tell your children to sell their books while they can the minute they are done with them..they will probably never look at them again)...to be hard-bound. The government needs to step in here and state professors need to produce cheaper textbooks that can be used in 80% of classes. What Harvard does is up to them. Speaking of which, I think it is best for almost everyone to go to their state colleges..it is just to easy to disconnect from the family if you can't afford trips back and forth. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:02 PM

No it does not include food shelter or clothing or transportation or entertainment or medical expences or spending money or birthday cakes but it does cover the tuition and $300 for books at least in Georgia.

"pulling random figures from questionable data"

The sources were all given If you care to look.

"Have you ever tried to pay your own way through university, Dickie?"

Why would one have to with free tuition? Whoever said going to colege was cheap? Bobert seems to be saying it is impossible for poor people. I have pointed out that there are sources for enabling them to go to college. Is this a good thing or not?

All you are doing is sending a message to poor people telling them they cannot afford to go to college so they will be poor forever.



Low-income in-state students at all 3 campuses will be eligible

By CHRISTINE FREY

Students from low-income homes will be able to attend the University of Washington free under an ambitious scholarship program the university intends to launch next year.

The UW said Wednesday that it would cover the costs of tuition and fees for all in-state students who quality for Pell or State Need grants. The university's new undergraduate scholarship offer, called Husky Promise, is guaranteed -- no matter how much tuition increases.

The intent is to improve access to higher education, particularly for students who are academically prepared for college but can't afford it.

"This is a very simple statement and commitment to the citizens of Washington that the University of Washington will always be accessible to them regardless of their financial circumstances," UW President Mark Emmert said in an interview.

Any new, continuing or transfer student who is a resident of Washington and meets financial requirements is eligible. The university expects to support about 5,000 undergraduates a year through the scholarship program at its Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campuses.

Students from families who are at or below 65 percent of the state's median income -- 235 percent of the federal poverty level -- can receive scholarships. That means a family of four with an income of $46,500 or less would be eligible.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/288403_uw12.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Scoville
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:13 PM

That book thing is such a ripoff. There is no reason that professors can't get together and put stuff online for students to download say for $20, especially if they are being paid by the public in state universities.

Talk to the book companies. Professors often cannot do this--at least not without risking litigation--because of copyright issues. Many texts used in my classes were not "textbooks" per se but ordinary books.

But yes, it is a rip-off. Even buying used mine were usually between $400 and $600 a semester.

* * * * *

I'm sorry, but students should not have to hold down full-time or multiple jobs in addition to full-time school. I'm a good time manager and there is no way in Hell I could have done that and paid sufficient attention to my academic work. (I did work on campus, mind you, but part-time). Frankly, I don't give a crap what are the particulars of the figures, it's just gotten way too expensive and there is simply not enough aid. People should not be in debt for decades to pay for college.

I don't think one can make a blanket statement, however, about what kind of school students should or should not attend. I went to a small liberal arts school 3,000 miles from home and was perfectly happy. My mother called once a week and emailed sporadically (we had never had email until I went away to school); I never got homesick and never felt disconnected (at least not in a bad way). However, I would have felt lost and disconnected in a big state school. I'm currently taking library classes from a large university and I absolutely hate it--no individual consideration at all, one big fat administrative bureaucracy, totally impersonal. Some kids do better in a big university environment, some do better in a small college environment, one size definitely does not fit all. I would not have traded my undergraduate experience for anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 03:32 PM

So where does that leave students from a lower-middle class or middle class family? These are the students most likely to need the assistance because they do not want to add financial burden to parents with siblings still at home or perhaps they come from single parent homes where expenses are not shared with anyone or they simply fall through the cracks of eligibility criteria.

Criteria is very strict and, like welfare, unless you're starving, there is very little assistance except for loans. Why should eligibility be linked to family income? At 18 you are considered an adult, right? If able, most parents do help but not always. I help by providing boots, coats, book bags, computer, etc. but my ability to help is limited regardless of what I am presently earning. I can also provide board and room. Just how far is a parent expected to go? According to the criteria you provided, all the way.

The reality is that even working part-time, living at home and being subsidized by mom, the loan is already $70,000.00. Its interest free and she's young so she has plenty of time to pay it off. Most people aren't willing to take those kind of chances without guarantees.

Barry's right. One text can cost $300.00. Use texts are usually unacceptable. The profs want you to have current editions and these are rarely available. Why should university students study old material? It just doesn't work that way in real time.

What appears on paper has nothing to do with reality of obtaining a university education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:43 PM

When I was in graduate school from '90 to '92, my books and coursepaks ran about $1200 a semester. I imagine the cost is double that now. Maybe more than double.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 04:45 PM

No, Dickey, I haven't said its "impossible" (your words, not mine) but based on the real world is is highly improbable... Do you actually know any folks who work with the poor??? if so, they will be glad to bring you up to speed...

Man, I'm glad that I ain't facing havin' to go to college again these days... Yeah, I came from a middle class family and I know it was s struggle fir my folks, even though I worked part-time all the way thru both of my degree programs....

Books were cheap back then and you could by used books for a song... Truth be known, I din't buy alot of my books but just hunted up professors who tested from their lectures and took good notes...

But realisticly, if I were faced with the kind of debt kids are faced with today to go to college I would have just taken a pass, thank you...

But, college ain't a real issue here since poor kids very rarely get to attend college... Finishing high school is a stretch...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 06:19 PM

I just looked up Washington State University..tuition and mandatory fees for one year are about $6300 X 4 that is about 26,000. I would hope and pray that most students could earn enough through work-study etc. to pay room and board and transportation. So they might have student loans for a 4 year state school of under $30K. Now, they could go for two perfectly fine years at a community college for much less. THey could live at home unless circumstances require them to get out. THey could live with a few friends.

Say you have a $30K loan at the end of 4 years, do not marry and do not have children or other people to support. Pay it off at $500/month (and think of what jobs you are likely to get before taking on a debt)or $6K a year and gone in 5 years. I am assuming a takehome pay of $1500/month and being able to live as a single person on $1000 a month, which I don't know why a healthy person could not. Does not include medical insurance so pick a major that will either teach you to do your own surgery or look for a job with benefits. Maybe you need a teaching degree...good benefits.

I don't worry about anything above and beyond a state college education with the first 2 years at a community college. If they can pull it off, fine, if not, they're still fine. Our problems are complex, and include insufficient funding on a number of levels but it also includes producing people without enough skills through both our ever devolving family structures and our educationally bankrupt educational system. I hope we haven't reached the day yet where young people can't fund at least the room and board poart of their education...through their own hard work and enterprise. That needs to be part of their vocational counseling, which if they don't have and they need some, send them my way. I have helped all sorts of people, refugees from places they had to eat rodents to survive..people from hard hard situations so it can be done. Not always. But quite often. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 08:01 PM

Joe Offer, excellent post and course offering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM

I should say I am an omniist and I am for almost everything other people are for here...but I want to go farther and crack some heads in the process...the drug dealers and the women who let the creepmen into their daughter's bedrooms, the creepmen themselves, the gangs who terrorize the old ladies in the housing projects, the slumlords, the teens who play hooky and defy anyone to educate them and then complain 20 years later about this and that, the media that permits astonishing vulgarity that is absolutely a cesspool for children, the schools that can't or won't insist on decency in clothing, language etc. Bus drivers who won't throw hoodlums bothering other people off the bus...I could go on. A lot of things need to be cleaned up at the same time that things are fixed and without cleaning up the cultural mess you might as well throw money down a rathole. Both things can happen at once. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 14 Mar 07 - 11:54 PM

I just want to add a few comments. I vote, yet I feel, as I'm sure many do, that I have absolutely no control over what happens both before and after the elections to those we have elected. This is primarily, I feel, due to PACs, of which most average Americans, I think, are not members. It all comes down to the HAVES and the HAVENOTS, doesn't it ultimately, and this is despite the fact that the HAVENOTS far outnumber the HAVES, and I'm sure the numbers are growing.

We were unable to change what Reagan did to the system...it has just gotten worse since then. All we could do is keep going to work and hoping we made a difference, and we did! There is plenty we can do individually, and I'm sure those who are doing it should be congratulated. Should this keep us from trying? Absolutely not! Peace.

Someone mentioned Pell grants, and it rang a bell in my dusty brain. I did a quick search and settled on Wikipedia's entry on the subject, knowing that their reliability is sometimes questionable due to user amendments. That said, here is what I found:
"Pell Grant
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Pell Grant program is a type of post-secondary education federal aid provided by the Federal government of the United States, and is the largest need-based grant aid program in the country. It is named after Senator Claiborne Pell, though its actual name is the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program. They are awarded based on a "financial need" formula determined by the U.S. Congress using criteria submitted through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Because of the high levels of need required to obtain a Pell grant, receipt of them is often used by researchers as a proxy for low-income student attendance.

Federal budget legislation passed in early 2006 cut the federal financial aid budget by $12.5 billion. While the maximum Pell Grant legislative limit was raised to $5,800 through 2011, maximum Pell grant awards were not funded at this level. The maximum award available to students has been frozen at $4,050 since 2003-04.

For 2006-07, the maximum Pell grant available to students remains $4,050. Due to high increases in the cost of post-secondary education and slow or no growth in the Pell grant program, the value of Pell grants has eroded significantly over time. In 2005-06, the maximum Pell grant covered one-third of the yearly cost of higher education at a public four-year institution; twenty years ago, it covered 60% of a student's cost of attendance, this however also allows a greater number of students to benefit.

President Bush signed legislation into law on February 15, 2007, to fund most federal programs, including education programs, for the remainder of the 2007 fiscal year and increased the maximum Pell Grant by $260 to $4,310. This is the first increase to the maximum award since 2003. The rise in the maximum Pell Grant award is effective on July 1, 2007."

Hardly a drop in the bucket of higher education, sadly.
I do want mention that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." And then, you just keep putting one foot down after the other. I enjoyed the time I spent working with the poor, and doing the best with what I've had to work with at any given time. Can we as individuals do better? Yes. Can we as a nation do better? Not until we find a way to effectively break the stranglehold that people of wealth and power have on the way things are done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 11:02 AM

"Pay it off at $500/month (and think of what jobs you are likely to get before taking on a debt)or $6K a year and gone in 5 years. I am assuming a takehome pay of $1500/month and being able to live as a single person on $1000 a month, which I don't know why a healthy person could not." mg

Good god. I realize that you are posting that only as one scenario among many but this one is seriously flawed.

$500 a month repayment? With take-home pay at $1500 (good luck!), what about rent, utilities and food? When rent alone will cost you somewhere between $600 and $1300 a month? Frankly, $50.00 is more realistic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 11:20 AM

Bobert:

If "college ain't a real issue here since poor kids very rarely get to attend college"

Why do you cite statistics on the subject? Remember you said "Like they say, stats are for loosers....

You ain't gonna hear a bunch of stats outta me 'cause I don't need 'um"


I agree that college is not the real problem because there are plenty of opportunities for poor kids to attend college.

The problem is that so many of them do not finish high school.

Why is that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 12:20 PM

Good Golly Miss Molly. I could easily live on $1000 a month and get a room in a shared house in the cities I know of, Seattle and Portland, for under $400 or split an apartment with two or three people or take care of an elderly person in exchange for free rent or stay with relatives and do some of the housework in exchange for reduced but not free rent. If necessary, I could do odd jobs or get a Saturday job housecleaning or doing whatever. I fail to see the problem. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 01:24 PM

This conversation reminds me of an elderly and wealthy friend I used to have (He has since died).It was his contention that he actually spent less than I did and therefore it was I was being profligate.

In actual cash it may have been true- but he failed to include all the things he already had in place, things like cars, home, contacts, rental properties, large farm (which he leased to someone else), good quality clothing - and lots of it - that wore like iron, credit line, little night life, abstemious lifestyle... In any given month he didn't have to spend much cash.

Any youngster just out of college may be responsible way beyond his years- but he is still a youngster with all the emotions that entails. He and she want relationships, dreams explored and coming true, parties, clothing, concerts and CDs and DVDs and maybe, even, their own wheels.

To expect a youngster to live like my elderly friend is not realistic. Waiting for five years before he and she can start acting young is not realistic. Becoming debt free by the age of 27 is not realistic.

I have no doubt but that it can be done- but expecting it or requiring it it is not realistic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM

I am flabbergasted. I don't consider someone 22 or so years old to be a youngster. I would not want to turn a young adult loose on the world that could be putting clothing, dvds etc. before paying off debt. Are we asking taxpayers, many of whom are supporting families on $1000 a month..to subsidize these parties and CDs and concerts for these "youngsters?" Yes, I believe we are. It is astonishing. This is not dire poverty we are talking about. This is what I would call irresponsibility. The people I somewhat work with are shucking oysters for minimum wage or vacuuming hotel rooms seasonally. That is who is paying for these dreams explored and coming true. Not boss hog. As for relationships, they should be looking for likewise responsible people who put paying off debt ahead of incurring more or asking others to subsidize it. I am again not talking about dire poverty scenarios..just poorly trained, in my opinion, young people.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 01:47 PM

Good luck.

Now back to the original premise of this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM

its probably been posted already http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxvIvd7ecak


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM

Sidebar to Dickey,

Do you want to participate in this discussion or just attack every danged little thing I say here???

If you want to participate, fine...

If not, go find another thread where people actually give a danged about you, your ideas (what ever they are???) and yer little sniping...

Like I said on the last thread yuou completely highjacked with yer baitin' and bullcrap, you are a jerk...

And until you allow yourself to become part of this discussion I'll do what I did in the last thread that you highjacked with yer juvenile behavior and that is...

...ignore yer self righteous, jerk self...

Bye, Part 2 (or is it now 3???)

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 05:03 PM

Mary - Nobody expects those who are working for minimum wage to supplement those who have attended university. If that is what is happening, we need to take a serious look at the tax structure.

I agree with Ebbie. After slogging your way through university and finally landing a job, repayment of your loan should be a reasonable percentage of your newly acquired income. It is reasonable to expect that a person with a university level job would have enough money to dress professionally, pay for living expenses and transportation as well as balance the demands of their job with liesure time activities. They have probably had to move away from home to find that job and it takes time and money to furnish an apartment, as well.

When I left university, I was working part-time, raising two teen-aged kids, paying for a 3-bedroom apartment and the bank wanted $400.00 a month. My part-time work was required on order to obtain a full time position. I didn't own a stick of furniture, except my kids' beds nor did I own any kitchen appliances let alone major appliances. I was trapped and being threatened with credit collection. The minute I was given a full-time contract, they threatened to garnishee my wages.

Not all situations are as neat and tidy as you think they are, Mary, and you should stop using your own personal circumstances to judge others. In fact, it may be your life that is abnormal. Many, many people start life with very little and do not have family to fall back on.

My student loan debt was $50,000.00. Had I been on welfare for the same period of time, the govt. would have given me the same amount of money tax free. If people are to become educated, there must be some incentive. Threatening people or making them feel guilty is no incentive at all. Re-paying a loan with interest for the rest of your life, is punishment for daring to break free from a cycle of poverty.

Just because I now make good money, doesn't mean that I'm rich. There are debts to be paid. In fact, Mary, my lifestyle changed very little from my pre-college days. The biggest difference was that I no longer worried about how to pay the rent or whether or not there would be enough food on the table. Above all else, I found the self confidence and acquired enough language to defend myself against those who would try to make me feel like I was a burden on society. My children have reaped the benefits of my education and nobody can ever take that away from me.

Take the blinkers off, Mary, you are in no position to judge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 05:23 PM

I only attack what I see as the use of "facts" that the poster does not know to be true and does not care if they are true in order to prove a point.

This is especially telling when the poster self righteously claims that he is against using these "facts" while at the same time using these "facts".


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 05:44 PM

I'm with Bobert: Buzz off, Dickey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 06:02 PM

Sorry, folks, for that little house-keepin'...

Ahhhhh, Janie was talkin' about how the safety net and how it has become almost non-existent and I was trying to add somehting related to that which I have finally gotten aroud to and that is a case study of a client I had who experienced quite a bout of "downward mobility"... And this was during the time when the net was alot stronger...

When I was in social work and would recieve a new case I would take the file home with me so that I could at least scan the various notes that other case workers, case managers, social workers, etc had made so that I'd have a certain understanding of a new client and what had been done and what worked for a while and what didn't and...

...as much as it pains me to say, most fell into very predictable categories... No, I'm not sayin' anything like "seen one, seen 'um all" but there were some definate patterns in terms of behavior, treatments, failures and successes, tho success had to be constantly redefined...

But then I got this young man, Adam (real name protected) who just din't quite fit the usual models... He had attended Randolph Macon College in Asland for 2 years and had come from an upper class family from the suburbs of Richomnd...

Adam had experienced some mild schizophrenic episodes in his teens, had been seen and treated in various private and public facilities and did very well until his 2nd year in college... Yeah, okay, this was the 70's but Adam wasn't a partier, didn't abuse drugs, didn't use alcohol at all and was deeply spiritual but...

...the episodes were no longer as easily controlled with medications and became dehibiliting... He dropped out of school and stayed at his parents house but during the bad times he would be in his room yelling at the walls... His parents tried to get him more private help but Adam wouldn't participate with any consistency and the bad times became longer in duration and, frankly, he must have scared his parents to death...

Finally, they confronted him with an altimatum to go in-patient or leave... He left...

Over the next 4 or 5 years Adam found hiumself in Central State Hospital, jails, flop houses, church sponsored homes, etc. and even occasionally back at his parents house but he just didn't stabilze...

I recieved his case in 1978 and picked him up at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va. along with another new client and he was very articulate and came accross as kinda shy and we talked about all kinds of stuff on the 45 minute trip back to Richomnd... He was every intelleget and well read which was something I rarely found in new clients from Central State... And he was close shaved and clean... Something else which stood out...

I took him directly to the eligility department and was able to get him a rent voucher while he waited to get his $56 monthly general relief check and Food Stamps... I then took him to one of my better flop houses on Grace Street (flop house row) and got into a room in the back of the house... I liked this particualr house because the lady who ran it also prepared meals for some of the folks...

Well, I went back two days later to see how Adam was doing and was amazed that he had done something I can't say I remember any of my clients doing... He had bartered with the landlady and had gotten some paint and had fixed his room up very nice... And he had created a little area for his religious studies and had a meditation rung with a small table with his Bible on it with candles and all...

(See, Janie, why I rmember this client so vividly???)

Adam kept all his appointments at Mental Health, stayed on his medications and seemed to be doing fine...

Fine???

Well, okay... Schizophrenic folks kinda stand out a little and most folks are slightly uncomfy around them even where they are doing, ahhhh, fine...

So, one day I got a call from Adam... He wanted to go to Philadelphia to see an old friend but was afraid to go for fear of being locked up or institutionalized... Hey, I can understand how he must have felt since he had spent 5 years in and out of jails and hospitals so I crafted a letter that he could present to any authority who stopped him on his trip telling them that he wasn't a daager to anyone, got some $$$ for the rround trip bus trip and set him on his way...

He was scheduled to be gone for 3 0r 4 days but...

...when I hadn't heard from him after a week was more than a little concerned so I went to the rooming house and his landladt said he hadn't returned...

...hmmmmmmm?

About a month later I got a call from a social worker in Trenton, N. J.... Adam had been living uder a bridge and had been badly beaten by another homeless person... Porbably a territorial thing... But Adam had the letter with him and so we arranged to get him back to Richmond...

I picked him up at the bus station... He wasn't doing well... He had scabs all over his face... I doubt if he even tried to defend himself because he was so timid but we had him back and his landlady was happy to see him and he got back on his meda and seemed to be doing okay...

Then I got to work one mornin' and there were half a dozen frnatic messages for me from his landlady...

...Adam had somehow gotten a gun and killed himself the night before...

Sniff...

Well, my frineds, Adam is one case study... And these were times when the safety net was stronger... Would an Adam take his life today??? Maybe... But that is not the issue here... What is the issue is that regardless of how one might think that being poor can never happen to them, it can... Here was a kid seemed to be on the fast track in the world yet found himself fallen pray to a nother homeless person under a bridge in Trenton, N.J...

And that was when the safety net was strong...

Sorry about the long post but...

And, Adam, I hope you are in a better place....

Peace

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 06:40 PM

Mary - Nobody expects those who are working for minimum wage to supplement those who have attended university. If that is what is happening, we need to take a serious look at the tax structure.

------------------------
That is exactly what is happening right now. People in US paying minimum wage and earning very little do pay taxes that subsidize education. And we should take a look at the tax structure and way reduce it for lower income and I dont really care how much upper income people make and I don't care if they double my taxes either. And I want us to reform and simplify taxes and get rid of obvious tax scams particularly.
---------------
I agree with Ebbie. After slogging your way through university and finally landing a job, repayment of your loan should be a reasonable percentage of your newly acquired income. It is reasonable to expect that a person with a university level job would have enough money to dress professionally, pay for living expenses and transportation as well as balance the demands of their job with liesure time activities. They have probably had to move away from home to find that job and it takes time and money to furnish an apartment, as well.
---------------------------

it takes very very little money to furnish an apartment the way most college students and those newly graduated furnish them..a garage sale here, parents' attic there, friends passing on stuff. They don't need to spend much money on furnishing...I doubt I have ever bought new or expensive furniture in my life. Right now, the room I essentially live in, about 10 x 10, and could live in half the space and share with a roommate if necessary, consists of one second-hand bed,one exercise machine, a Costco table, computer, free TV and TV stand and ironing board and folding chair. It is not bad. If I have this much for the rest of my life I will consider myself lucky. There are other areas of the house I could use, and I am buying this prefab house if I can hang on to it, which I might not be able to. But essentially I live in the equivalent of a rented room with shared bath...

-------------------------------
When I left university, I was working part-time, raising two teen-aged kids, paying for a 3-bedroom apartment and the bank wanted $400.00 a month. My part-time work was required on order to obtain a full time position. I didn't own a stick of furniture, except my kids' beds nor did I own any kitchen appliances let alone major appliances. I was trapped and being threatened with credit collection. The minute I was given a full-time contract, they threatened to garnishee my wages.

Not all situations are as neat and tidy as you think they are, Mary, and you should stop using your own personal circumstances to judge others. In fact, it may be your life that is abnormal. Many, many people start life with very little and do not have family to fall back on.

My student loan debt was $50,000.00. Had I been on welfare for the same period of time, the govt. would have given me the same amount of money tax free. If people are to become educated, there must be some incentive. Threatening people or making them feel guilty is no incentive at all. Re-paying a loan with interest for the rest of your life, is punishment for daring to break free from a cycle of poverty.
------------------
They shouldn't be paying off loans for the rest of their lives. That is what I am saying. I offered a simple, doable scenarioro for a single, unencumbered person paying off loans through a state college, the one I work for in fact, in 5 years, without living in poverty. Simplicity perhaps. Poverty, no. Luxuries: a few. Doable? It is done all the time. This is not a bad situation. THis is a situation 90% of the world would love to be in. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM

This thread is somehow moving less toward poverty in America toward the problems of financing college...

Lets get real here... For most kids that grow up in poverty college isn't a goal or even on the radar screen... Heck, a high school diploma would be a great achievment...

This conversation about college, while intersting, has little do do with the subject at hand... It is, for the most part, a middle class conversation...

Mg, I hate to get on you again 'cause I know that in yer heart you belive very strongly in man's ability to survive adversity but...

...people tend to learn life skills very early and if there aren't the kind of role models to teach kids these skills... Kids that don't get them early ain't gonna get 'um later... What they are gonnna get is inforamtion from their peers who tend to be like themselves... By the time these kids get into their teens, unless we have thousands of Job Corpes like programs to bring these kids into the game, they won't develope these skills... Sure, you could live on $1000 a month... So could I... So could most folks who grew up in situations where these skills were taught...

I hate to keep harping on this but if you are going to be good working in any social program it's important that you at least understand that your clients don't have the same skills as you... If you truely want to help them, recognize this very important part of helping people...

Yeah, I know it is tough... And it is frustratin' but once you internalize it then you can maybe try to be what, in the wrods of the late Carl Rogers, "client centered" where you recognize that your client does not have your world of life view... It's hard to teach folks how to get there but if you can just try to see that your clients won't make the choices you would make, it makes it easier... They will make inappropraie choices and for you to say, "Hey, if you'd just do this or that then...." ain't gonna do much more than drive them away...

I'm sorry... It was the hardest lesson for me to learn but once I did then, as a social worker, it made my job easier... And, no, I'm not saying that you don't have expectations for your clients because you should... It's just that you might try setting those expectations not on what you can do with a $1000 a month but what they can reasonably do with it...

Like I said, I'm sorry but if I can just get you to see that then as long as you work with people you will be more effective... Carl Rogers called it "unconditional positive regard" and it has really to do with yer client and not you...

Enough on that topic... By now, I've either broken thru or I haven't...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 07:54 PM

I posted a lengthy post today that for some reason self destructed. The good news is that I PM'd Joe Offer and found I was not black balled or something awful like that but subject to some sort of computer glitch that eats long posts......

So to try again, I read Littlehawk's post of the 9th and thought that it spoke volumes. He said - let me paraphrase - that if many modern societies provided the following FREE as a basis much would be done to balance out the inequities of the world.....

- all medical expenses
- clean pure drinkingwater
- education from primary through college
- modern maintained and usable highways (I inferred this also means decent free or low priced public transport....)
- a decent police force and justice system
- shelters for the homeless and job training

Doesn't this answer many of the issues that this thread is talking about? One of my daughters dates a young man of 22 who was the child of a single parent, dragged up as best she could by someone who had no parenting knowledge or skills (no role models). By 16 he was living in a series of shelters, with no job skills or training, by 18 he was the father of a child, now 4, whom he does not support. He works 'under the table' for $8 an hour and points out he is better off doing that in Maine than working for a regular job at $11 an hour and paying taxes (and in Maine $11 an hour isn't bad money for someone with no HS diploma and no skills and nothing to offer other than his physical strength......). I see no future prospects for him at all ....... my husband and I put him through some training for the trade of lead removal (not everyone's favorite job but it pays and has benefits....) but when he was offered a job he could not take it because he had no car and no way to get there.
Free public transport AND a decent public transport system would have got him to his place of work....and given him a decent job with benefits....!

The cost of medical care overrides everything......; I pay $1400 a month (A MONTH) for medical insurance. It was pointed out to me recently that I was lucky to be able to afford the premiums and I fully accept that........; but this is insane!!! I was talking to my sister, in England, recently about the whole issue of national health, or lack of, here. She said, as many English people do, that National Health is not what I remembered and one had to wait for things like elective surgery...I figured I could live with that! At the end of the conversation when I had reiterated again and again what the lack of national health meant, my sister said - yes, but, surely anyone who is pregnant gets health care - right? Wrong I said. But she could not conceive of a country that did not provide that basic level of health care.......let alone the richest country in the world......

And then we have the issue of the schools and what they provide or don't provide. I have a son with learning disabilities -- significant ones. If he were the son of people with different lifestyles than ours he would have dropped out, or failed out, of school already. Because we are self employed and can run to the school at the drop of a hat. he is still in school, and God (or someone) willing, will graduate this summer. We fight about his support in the school system (or lack thereof) or his accommodations (or lack thereof). If classes had ten students or fewer, this would not be an issue - with ten students in a class the teachers could handle an LD child in a class -- they could work with different students at different levels at the same time.....

But of course, we have a war to pay for.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM

Bobert: Instead of attack I should have used the word *point out*. Attack was your word.

I have never seen you so eloquent and your typing has improved immeasurably.

What has brought about this change?

However you still get annoyed when someone points out something you said that was inconsistent, inaccurate or contrary to something you said earlier.

The reason for the thread drift is due to you posting some of your "facts" for the purposes of reinforcing some point you are trying to make.

*Only 3% of students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half...

*Bush's tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1M an extra $86
,722- or Harvard tuition, room, board and an iMac G5 for both kids...

*A 2 child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050 or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid...

If this has no bearing on the discussion, why did you post them?

I have pointed out that college tuition is free to poor people in some areas and under consideration in other areas. Are you objecting because this is a bad thing or a good thing?

UTA, UTD offer tuition free to the poor
Program streamlines, publicizes existing financial aid options

By Jay Parsons

The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Dallas on Tuesday announced plans to guarantee free tuition for in-state undergraduate students with family incomes below $25,000.

The two local schools join a University of Texas systemwide push to erase fears among low-income students who believe college isn't affordable. Some of the system schools began programs last year.
http://www.uh.edu/ednews/2007/dmn/200701/200670124tuition.html


A movement to help the poorest students grows at the Ivies
by Anya Kamenetz

You've probably never heard of Gateway Community-Technical College. The fastest-growing of Connecticut's colleges, it occupies a former factory building on New Haven's waterfront but is due to move to a new downtown location next year. Thirty-seven percent of Gateway's 7,391 for-credit students rely on need-based grants from the federal and state government and the school itself, to fund nearly all their direct educational expenses. Eighty-eight percent of the students work, 38 percent full-time, and most are quietly chipping away at a part-time course load, stretching their enrollment out over many years. The average student is a 29-year-old, white, single working mother.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0510,kamenetz,61856,6.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:38 PM

I would add food stamps into the list, with WIC-like restrictions on what could be purchased and agricultural commidities when available, with a smaller amount set aside for treats, junk food, empty calories etc.

I would also like to see us really get serious about construction rules. Why do we have everything made out of wood here? I still can't believe it. It is a constant fight under the best of conditions to keep it from molding and rotting. Under sorrier conditions it blows away in hurricanes and burns and kills people. In floods it can't really be cleaned properly. We have better building materials. I don't understand why we have a cement shortage. We certainly have rocks and sand here and they tend to occur where there are poorer areas. Every public house and I would say every house that wants insurance should in the future be made out of cement or something fire and hurricane and bug and floodproof. Unfortunately, then sometimes they aren't good for earthquakes, which wood is, but this gets back into poverty situations. People in general, and I include myself, do not have the skills that they used to and do not have the time to keep after repairs on houses. They also have some bad habits like drugs that can make their behavior such that they burn things down easier. I would never in a million years build group housing, apartments, shelters, whatever, out of something that burned down or could not be totally steam cleaned. if people had houses that didn't need too much upkeep, that would take a signficiant source of strain and stress away, and why oh why do they keep rebuilding stick houses in the paths of hurricanes. Don't bother answering. there is no ansewr that would satisfy me. It is dumb dumb dumb. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 08:58 PM

I know that its different in Canada but really, what kind of a job will a 2 yr. college diploma get you? If you ever hope to have a family, it wouldn't be enough to get by.

I agree with Bobert, it doesn't really matter how many grants and loans are available to low income families for books and tuitions, most kids that grow up in poverty don't even graduate from high school.

I think the only way to put a dent in this problem is to start by educating students about birth control. Of course this isn't a solution. Some will get pregnant and some will keep their child. The next best thing is to provide food, shelter and incentive for the mothers. Healthy mothers mean healthy babies.

There is no way the problem will get better unless there is a will for it to get better and by demanding that your tax dollars be put to better use. That means funding social programs, including health and education. It will cost money, lots of it, but when you realize how much has been spent on war, you realize the money has always been there it just hasn't been there for the poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 09:07 PM

Construction, drafting, LPN, physical therapy assistant, mechanics, engineering technician, laboratory technicain, medical technicain, dental hygenist, legal secretary, computer programmer, web designer, executive secretary, medical transcriptionist, X-ray technician, property management...etc. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 10:05 PM

There was a very interesting piece on ,em>All Things Considered this afternoon about the underground economy in poor neighborhoods, how essential it is to survival, and how limiting it is in terms of fostering conditions that would make it possible for people to move beyond survival. It was a long and complex piece that I can not summarize well, but is worth going to the archives to check out.


Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich, Metropolitan Books, New York; 2001. 221 pp. is a real eye opener if you have any illusions about what it is like to try to live on low wages in America.

Read it. Then imagine what it is like to 'live' on even less.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 15 Mar 07 - 11:32 PM

Wow, Mary.

I had no idea employment standards in the U.S. were so low. In Canada, you need four years to become a dental hygenist and do you realize the kind of wardrobe that is required by a legal secretary? Only two years required for web design? What are the pre-requisites? Besides that, web designers are a dime a dozen. Nursing? Don't even get me started. There must be a shortage of workers in the U.S. because in Canada, you either need a skill(plumber, carpenter, electrician) or a minimum of four years of university to find a job capable of supporting a family and thats with two people working.

If you have a family member to give you an 'in', two years of college might do, but nepotism is frowned upon. Two years of college in Canada will get you into a four year university if you have the GPA, but there are no job guarantees. In fact, unless you have a Master's degree your job prospects are pretty dim unless you want to work for very low wages.

Gone are the days when a high school diploma and a couple of years of college was enough to get a job that would support a family. It won't get you anything except, maybe, a husband with a good job. Around here its called an M.R.S. degree.

And yes, Janie, I know all about the underground economy. I live in B.C. where the traditional resource based industries are gone. The young, unemployed men have little choice but to work under the table. I'm sure its the same in the States. In fact, I lived in a community where money did not change hands. Any money you had was spent elsewhere. Everything, including labour, was bartered.

Its a pretty dismal situation where it is truly damned if you do and damned if you don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 01:01 AM

"Around here its called an M.R.S. degree." Love that Dianavan!

Yes Dianavan, education, about birth control, drug & alcohol abuse, about health care

& Yes Mg, teach these poor folk life skills, like how to cook a healty meal & sow their own clothes
Show them how to fish.

Whose gonna teach them, that ended in the 70's there is no more money to teach/educate/help poor people.

Poor folks, really poor folks don't have the time for an education, their time is eating up by living, by surviving.
Their kids at 16 are usually out the door trying to make it in their own world because their parents world of being so poor can no longer support them, they are in some cases trying to help support the family where they came from or trying to make it easier on their siblings.

There's a reason why poor kids don't finish high school & it's criminal they they don't/can't. Offer what ever you'd like but until society decides that they're a worthwhile investment, it's not gonna change. And the kids that are impared in one form or another have no hope, they eventually are the make up of our homeless.

The reason college education is being mentioned so much here is we know there's a connection between breaking the poverty glass wall & being educated is the way but that's only the visible leap, the last step in the breaking of the barrier. You get a poor kid through college & they've made it, they're in a bright new world, theyve written history. You've better odds at herding cats or bringing horses to water to drink. You get a poor kid TO college & you're witnessing a blessing.

From when they open their eyes & realize that's not a fur coat around their necks their dreams get shattered. Pre natal care wasn't part of the program & neither will any follow up heath care for life. Child care is pretty much a bartered favor with neighbors , so there goes any pre-schooling or any child rearing education for the parent(s). Because one job doesn't cut it the "kid gets left behind" longer than what's exceptable but they're between a rock & a very hard place & usually under-the-table jobs & under full time employment has no benies so there goes any sick time (that's enough to make a poor folk choke) vacation or holiday pay, it's just unhealthy if someone gets sick. So let's move in with your best friend's family so the rental costs can get cut or rent out some one's room, that's for poor teenagers without kids, (how long can an adult see that as a future) not for their poor folks who are already cramped into a hovel that cost 3X it's worth but they can't manage a house of their own because, well you know the system is against them even though it'd be cheaper for them if they did own. Well, one bad illness would wipe it all out anyway, so.
Well if they did have a spot of land at least someone could teach the to grow a crop, let me see you beat a rat to a root or beat the neighbor to a plant that's old enough to be harvested. Do you see the odds that start to mount, are the pattens starting to show & they're not even off the garden path yet.

Scroll back up to the song above & disect it

It's a "life with no hope" & hope is where you need to start, without it the rest doesn't mean squat.

They live under the gun at every turn of there life, you try to function under those conditions! Can you say PTS

Poor folks you'll find that their "language is foreign, the culture is strange" & so far there's only a few here as far as I can see that have an idea of what being really poor is like.
It's like inmagining you're in a war only you weren't

You don't get it!!!

Some people when they get raped or beaten they don't even go outside again & when they have to they're reliving the fear again & again & again. That fear is the same for anyone that fights to survive day after day after day! My wife used to ask me how come you never get nervous about anyting. I still sit in resturants with my face towards the door. I did finally make it to college after I got a GED & then it was nite school & then I never could get any loans, grants or funds to finish & I was one of the luckier few, I did get to start & run my own construction company but I always had the brains I was more of a survivor than a lot of others, though I don't know why.

I'm not trying to pull rank here & say that you can't imagine unless you were poor too. I'm just trying to give a better insite into the life that many think is so easy to work out of. Some do but it so few in comparison to those that come from a healthier backround that it's criminal that the playing fields couldn't be a bit more on the level seeing as it's those folks that really end up funding the rest.

That brings it all back to the way this nation is structured, fix that & you'll win the war on many fronts not just the war on poverty but it's really not a war our government wants to fight.

Sorry for the long ramble.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 02:37 AM

It is frankly sad and horrifying, almost sickening, to see the ideas of the humble and deserving recipients of charity being rolled out here. They are positively pre-Dickensian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 07:56 AM

Sorry, folks but Sidebar #2 for Dickey...

First of all. I provided my source for the stats I presented... If you have problems with their stats, fine... Contact them...

But really, what I find objectionable about your posts is that they all seem to have one purpose and that is to change the conversation with endless academic data squabbling... This adds nuthin to the discussion but detracts from it...

During the mad-dash-to-invade-Iraq Teribus used this tactic over and over and would get folks attention diverted away from the meat-'n-taters of the issue into his little narrowly defined academic world... Problem is that it is a nuthin' but a tactic to try to *** control** the conversation from ideas to finy little definitions and insignificant bits and pieces of information...

In other words, what you do here in Mudville is attempt to highjack dicusssions that don't support your obvious partisan positions...

That is a plain as I can say it, Dickey... But i guess you are too right brained ('er left, whichever it is that makes folks want to grow up to be accountants) to see what I'm sayin'...

Now, it's back to Bye...

Write "Mother Jones" if you wanta squabble with the ststa I provided... They were the source...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 08:08 AM

I agree with you, mg, about your idea of building better structures... We could certainly do this if we had the will to do so... Wood constructed buildings are cheaper to build per square foot and that is why we continue to build them with wood...

As for concrete, yeah, we do have all the resources to build with it but the cost per square is much higher than stick building... It is a dilemma... I'm building a spec house right now that is part block, part brick, part stone (chimney) and the rest wood... The wood is by far cheaper than the brick, block and stone portions...

Again, it comes down to will...

Just like the War on Poverty that the US valently beagan which has been slowly dieing on the vine...

BObert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,geezer reject of society
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:26 PM

Try being a person who is disabled, & well under the poverty level. After an auto accident-which was not my fault-the auto insurance cut me off from any income reimbursement or medical after one year.
I lost my job & most of what I owned except for my best instruments. I used up all of my savings, and when the "settlement" came, I owed over $28,000 in medical bills & the settlement was for $25,000 before attorney's fees. I had to file bankruptcy.
It took 3 1/2 years to get on social insecurity disability, after being turned down 3 times of course. When it was finally granted, the "back pay" was half of the actual amount which I should have been given. (congress saves $$ this way, you see) Medicare is a joke-when you have only a soc security check, you cannot afford to go to a Dr as most Drs don't accept it cause it doesn't pay enough to them, not to mention the deductible, so you end up paying for office visits & most of the RXs.
I no longer have the physical abilities I used to have as a professional musician, and I am in terrible pain every day of my life. The drs these days don't think it's a good idea to have me on painkillers all the time, so I have no pain meds. I had to move to a state which offers medicaid to disabled people in order to have medical. With only a few hundred bucks per month, I certainly can't pay for concert tickets, neither am I able to attend music festivals, it is too painful, anyway.   
Over half of the disabled persons in the USA do NOT have medical. Many end up on the streets, having not enough money to live on even if they get a social security disability check. The upper end of the scale is $816 now, of which about $90 is deducted for medicare.
The waiting list for housing where I live is 5-7 years. Then you get into the projects. If you are very lucky, you have a spouse--I do not--or maybe you live with a relative, however this can be very dificult, as they tend to not understand the seriousness of the pain and depression.
During the welfare reform @15 years ago, I was a caseworker for food stamps, aid to families with dependent children (basic welfare), and medicaid. Now I am one of the throwaways of society with no value according to congress, because I cannot work anymore.
Yes, Virginia, poverty does exhist, and there is no Santa Claus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 16 Mar 07 - 10:38 PM

I've said it before and I will say it agin, with monotonous regularity -- NATIONAL HEALTH......what happened to Guest - geezer reject of society is a crime -- nothing more and nothing less.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM

Dear Bobert: Mother Jones did not post those stats.

Why did you post those stats from Mother Jones?

Example:

*The US governemnt soends $500,00 on 8 security screeners who speed execs from Wall Street helipad to American's JFK terminal.

The security is from a private firm and air passengers pay a fee to cover screening. So what good are your stats?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM

According to Mother Jones *MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'s estate charges academic authors $50 for each sentence of the "I Have a Dream" speech that they reprint.*

I am posting this because MLK was a civil rights leader and helped the poor. I believe this is true because I found this to coroborate the assertion:

The 39-year-old entrepreneur and manager of the King estate is banking on the historical deal to be worth between $30 million and $50 million within three years. According to Jones, the estate's mission is "to teach people all over the world about Dr. King and the impact he had on social change in the latter half of this century."

Since his arrival in Atlanta in the late 1970's, Jones, a New York native, has been creating his own business legacy. From his numerous development deals for TV shows such as the animated morning series Da Munchies and the TBS documentary Assassinations: Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., to his investment in Atlanta Live, the country's largest Black-owned nightclub, Jones has established himself as a local mogul to be reckoned with.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_n7_v28/ai_19945622/pg_4


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 01:59 AM

Guest, geezer, might I ask where it is you moved to? I have friends in similar circumstances.

Janie, thanks for that book reference...I'd forgotten about it. I saw the book review for it when it first came out and meant to get it from the library.

dianavan, I have been furious since Bush and Co. have put abstinence at the head of the list of viable birth control methods. Indeed, tying it to aid to Africa, for one, by stipulating that of the $20 million that we were going to give them, one third had to be spent on abstinence training. I was going to offer my services...for that kind of money, I'd promote practically anything...just kidding...actually I couldn't help but wonder why it would cost that much to preach about it..."just don't do it?" Brochures explaining the procedure? Slide shows? "Gee, I like you; want to do it?" "No, I can't. I practice abstinence....so should you!" I could go on...maybe we should start a thread on the very subject. See if we can come up with $6.6 million ways to say, "Sorry, can't have sex with you."

I'm still reeling that the Surgeon General under Bill Clinton...no jokes, now...well, a few...was fired because she promoted self-satisfaction and condoms.

But, to get back to the real issues here. Poverty is a very sad subject...thank you to Donuel for providing that YouTube link. At first, I was lost watching it. I almost broke it off before the clincher came. That was awesome...and awful at the same time.

I once lived in Mexico briefly a long, long time ago. When we were landing at the airport in Mexico City, I saw these tiny structures...well, it was hard to say what they were, but the closer we came to the tarmac, the more I began to get the picture....they were huts....and people were living in them....right next to the runways. Can you imagine? Can anyone fathom the level of poverty that brings one to live that way? It was the first of many vivid images that changed the way I looked at life in general and my own life. But, I will tell you one thing I learned from Ivan Illich while I was studying there, and that is that we must feed the poor...cure what ails them...and, above all, not preach to them. It actually is based on Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs. I recommend the latter as a reference to this very subject. It actually applies to all of life when you think of it.

Peace to you all, I'm tired now and gotta say goodnight!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 03:04 AM

Its long been said that one of the best reasons for the wealthy to provide for the poor is that if they don't, the poor (who outnumber the rich) will rise up.

In the 60's it was peaceful demonstrations and pleas for reason and compassion. My generation actually tried to change things for the better by becoming social workers and teachers - many have burned out. In Vancouver we are beginning to see something new - violent poverty activists.

In Vancouver, the Anti Poverty coalition and other groups of young, homeless youth are beginning to march and demonstrate aggressively. They are taking over unoccupied building, stealing the Olympic flag, defacing the Olympic clock, marching and confronting police officers. They are very serious about what they are doing and their numbers seem to be growing. These kids are serious.

I wonder if they will be forcefullly disbanded or if others will join them. I wonder if this will spread to other provinces and to the States. It seems to me that angry rebellion by youth is inevitable when there is so little hope. I do think that with the 2010 Olympics on the way, the government will have to deal with the homeless situation. So far, protestors have been dealt with harshly.

I hope that these young people will continue to stand up for the poor and demand better living conditions for everyone. Its going to be a long battle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 07:35 AM

Yo, Dickey,

Hate to burst yer "ah-hah-Bobert-gotcha-bubble" but "Mother Jones ***did very much*** print those stats...

Source: "Mother Jone", May/June 2006, " The Perks of Privilege, How the rich get richer" by Clara Jeffery, Page 24-25...

Have a nice day, Prickey...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 11:13 AM

Geezer's story is very, very typical of what happens when some one becomes disabled in the USA. There are others dear to us here on the Mudcat who have similar histories.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 01:05 PM

Bobert: I said they did not post them. They printed them but they did not post them in this thread. You did. That's why I am asking you why you posted them here?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM

Bobert - Its obvious that Dickey likes to argue for the sake of argument. He very seldom has a point and will go round and round saying absolutely nothing of importance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 03:29 PM

Oh, you've noticed that, too, d???

He's like Teribus on steroids...

Very anal...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM

I would like to see Dickey hollering down into a dark well and, in return, hearing nothing.

(


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 06:22 PM

Something I have been meaning to get around to in this discussion of poverty and why rather then seein' it in decline we have had larger percentages of poor people every year going back several years and that is the "Welfare Reform Legislation" during Clinton's asministration.... This was terrible piece of **** legislation that was not comprehensive enough in its scope to actually be effective.... Quite the opposite... It was mean spirited and punitive and took America way back to pre-Great Society days...

It was about as dumb as outlawing cancer...

Hey, I could have understood it if it had included sufficiently funded job training, housing aid, transporation aid and especially child care... The later has been absolutely disgracefull... The pool of money for child care has now been frozen at 2001 **actual dollar amount*** levels... What makes this even worse is that with the time limits on public assistence there are single moms who have tried to play by the rules, get up at 4:30 in the morning, get their kids to day care and get themselves to the bus to begin work at 7:00 making $7.00 an hour or less... But with that ppol of $$$ for child care not changing when new moms become available for the vouchers the moms who have been barely makin' it are now either loosing their vouchers entirely or havin' the value of the voucher reduced to a point where the cart tips back toward abject poverty...

This is what I mean by ill-thouht-out and mean spirited... This is the kind of legislation that one would expect to get from a Congress diminated by men who don't have a clue and this is the legislation that is just now showin' just how enti-human men can be toward blaming women for having kids and not being able to keep "their man" in the home...

It is completely chauvinsitic, cruel and evil...

My hope is that as poverty continues to rise, not just in numbers, but in percentages, that this ill-thoought out bill will be revisited... There are now more women in Congress who understand that nuthing was fixed back in '96... All '96 was was a ticking timebomb...

There are now women having to quit their jobs because they can no longer afford to work??? Can't afford to work, Bobert??? Yeah, can't afford to work...

Here's the part that bugs me the most about Wwelfare Reform... It clearly balmes the women for making poor choices but for every kid in poverty, which BTW is 1 in 5 kids in the country, there is a dad somewhere who isn't taking the balme for poor choices... And guess what???

Give???

Other than court orderd support from divorces, the Beareau of Support Enforcemnt isn't all that excited in bringing the true dead-beat dads into the discussion??? Might of fact, these deadbeats were never seen as being a major part of any plan... Plan, Bobert??? What plan???

That's what I mean...

And so 1 in 5 kids in the richest country in the world will go to bed hungry tonight...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 10:37 PM

Bobert, I think you are overgeneralizing too much in your statements about child support and poverty. More than half of non-custodial parents of children on welfare also have incomes below the federal poverty line. (See http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-05-99-00392.pdf for a 2002 report regarding this from the Inspector General's office. You will need to scroll down to find the appropriate report and section).

While collection efforts and successes by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) vary from State to State and County to County, in most places they go after child support for children on welfare quite agressively these days. Through the auspices of the federal OCSE, State OCSE's have many more tools than they did in the 80's to both locate non-custodial parents and to garnish wages and tax returns.

The main problem is this; You can't blood out of a turnip.

Additionally, when OCSE develops and collects child support for a family on welfare, the child support goes to the public assistance agency first to reimburse government for some or all of the amount of public assistance that has been paid to the family. Any arrearages paid by the absent parent are applied first to past public assistance paid to his (or her) children. A majority of these absent parents do not and cannot pay enough child support to equal or exceed the amount of the welfare check the family receives, so government keeps the money.

Here is an example: Mom and one child get a $276 per month TANF check.

Aside:(TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families--name changed from AFDC or ADC when the Work First program was implemented--denotes that the assistance ends after X number of years, no matter what. I think the limit is 3 years, but don't for sure right off the top of my head.)

Back to example--Mom gets $276 per month. Once she goes on welfare, OCSE starts agreesively pursuing child support. 18 months later they locate the absent parent, find out he is working at a car wash for $7.00/hour, and start garnishing his wages for $50 per week child support. That equals $215 per month child support ($50 x 4.3 average weeks in a month is how government figures that.) Government keeps it all. In January, they attach his tax refund of $478. that money is kept by the goverment to reimburse itself TANF payments made to his kids during the time before he was located and wages garnished.

His children reap no benefit from the child support that was developed by OCSE 'on their behalf.' Government keeps it all.

I see the logic of this and understand why it is done. There certainly plenty of deadbeat parents around. But the bottom line is this: poor+poor=poor.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 11:48 PM

Bobert:

I see you are quoting those loser stats again.

How can you claim the US is the richest country in thw world when it is #8 in per capita income?

.         Luxembourg         80,288
2.         Norway                  64,193                 
3.         Iceland         52,764
4.         Switzerland         50,532
5.         Ireland         48,604
6.         Denmark         47,984
7.         Qatar                  43,110                 
8.         United States         42,000
9.         Sweden                  39,694                 
10.         Netherlands         38,618


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 12:17 AM

The longer you keep responding to this guy, the more of your time you waste.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 09:08 AM

Well, Janie, you are completely correct and I do understand that these fathers ain't got a lot of resources and most themselves are livin' in poverty...

I should have made that point...

But with that said, I also think that Welfare Reform places way too much ***blame*** on women... Yeah, I know that one can't really blame victims but that seems to be the crux of Welfare Reform... It's like *** pilin' on*** folks who never had the boots, let alone the bootstraps, with which to pull themselves up...

But I agree that one can't get blood from a turnip...

BTW, what are you seein' in yer area with child care??? 'Round here, and there was just a nice piece in the Post on it, the timebomb factor has kicked in big time and lots of moms can not longer afford to work anymore and the state, with it's budgetary woes, isn't able to pick up the slack... But then again, Virginia isn't big on taxes and is more hung up on building new roads and not kicking more $$$ into child care... I know that N.C. has the 7% sales tax and I believe higher income taxes than Virginia so maybe you all have more resources to cover the Bush administrations failures to keep up...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 10:33 AM

I am ready for the hard questions Bobert but it looks like you are not.

Bobert: I still have never posted a cut 'n paste... All my stuff I come by the ol' fashion way: hard work.

All that stuff you posted on 13 Mar 07 at 07:10 PM was cut and pasted from Mother Jones.

Now again, I am asking you how you figure the US is the richest country in the world?

I researched it the old fashioned way, hard work, and I found out it is #8 down the list.

After we get that straightened out the one in five "fact" is next.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 09:57 PM

Serious lack of funding to subsidize day care here, also, Bobert. Day care services have always been underfunded. I'm not sure of the why's on that. I think the States have to put up a significant amount of the funding for day care supplements, and I think the funding comes from a patchwork of assorted programs and grants.

I know little, if anything, about day care supplement programs or funding, but I'm going to speculate that the State doesn't want to get into the business of licensing and regulating every single woman who provides day care in her home. I think I am correct in saying that in North Carolina, the State will only provide day care assistance when the service is provided by a licensed provider (read facility.) And then, only if money is available to do so. To require licensing of home providers would drive many of them out of business, greatly reduce the already tight availability of day care providers, and disrupt the underground economy enough that it would increase the demand for public assistance. I think there is also a good bit of cost shifting to parents and Boards of Education for school age children who attend school-based aftercare programs.

The lack of funding also probably reflects the remnants of that double standard that women so often get caught in--they should stay home and care for there children, but they should also work for peanuts outside the home.

I don't know that I agree that TANF and Work First blame women anymore than did AFDC. The rules and regs. DO continue to operationalize our western/protestant/capitalistic belief that the poor have only themselves to blame.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM

Let's talk about values and they way values help and hinder finding effective means to alleviate poverty and deprivation.

I'm too tired to articulate this well, but I want to toss it out now, lest I forget or decide it is too much trouble to articulate later.

I'm thinking of a a client with a child in a Headstart program. A number of times she has expressed dismay about the lunches the children in the program receive. I actually think they are very good lunches. But she considers them to be seriously lacking because they are often vegetarian lunches with no meat and light on the starches. She is truly outraged by this. To her, vegetarian chili is an outrage. She sees it solely as cost-cutting at the expense of her child's nutrition.

Her position is certainly partly about ignorance. but it is also about values and past experience. A real meal has meat, and that is all there is to it. In her life and experience (she grew up very poor in rural North Carolina,) if there is no meat on the table, it is because the family can't afford it. And she didn't grow up in a family that had nutritional information, so a meatless meal was also a very meager, unbalanced meal. Her dismay at the Headstart lunches reveals her values about food and nutrition, not merely her ignorance about the same. You can (and I have to a small degree) provide nutrition education, but she ain't buying. Why? Because the issue is one of values and not just lack of information or education.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 01:04 AM

There have been many valid topics raised since I was here last, but I can't speak to them now. Before I forget, I did want to thank Bobert for his well-presented case study of Adam. I remembered it after I'd logged off and was hitting the hay. It is a shame it ended sadly.
The discussion of the changes in welfare and other comments early on reminded me of a patient who was being seen in a clinic I ran. She was an older client...nice lady...who was on welfare...food stamps, etc. who had sarcoidosis. She was very positive, despite her own illness and living situation. She was divorced, and her husband was supposed to be providing her with alimony, but the state couldn't find him. (More on that later.) In addition, she was unemployable. To make matters worse, she had a child, who she adored. I think he was about 5...but this was almost 30 years ago, so forgive my memory lapses. He had cystic fibrosis. (Yeah, I couldn't make this up if I tried.) The woman was in a constant battle with social services because they wanted her to put her child in an institution. Not because she wasn't taking good care of her son, which she did. She was well-groomed herself and smart. At a hearing, she pointed out that it would cost the state, at that time, $1000 a month to institutionalize her son, yet all she wanted was a $500 a month increase in his care benefits. The state, naturally, refused to see the logic in this argument. I'm serious. We couldn't believe it. Still, she forged ahead. Her son was thin and pale and, well, a mess, but she had a stroller...one of those foldable kinds...which she had rigged with his oxygen tank and all of the gear she needed to suction him, which he frequently needed. You could feel the love when she entered a room.
At any rate, one day she came into our offices...we were in a state-owned and operated building, a floor just above the Public Health Nursing Dept. We operated several of our FP clinics onsite, as well as another set of clinics in a house offsite. She'd been crying, and after we'd calmed and sat her down, we asked what had happened. She had her son with her, and he seemed his usual self. Well, amid further tears, she told us that welfare had discovered, during an unannounced visit to the house she rented an apartment in, that she had a male living with her...he was also on welfare. They gave her an ultimatum...either he went or both their benefits would be adjusted to...well, you get the picture. Back then, you were not allowed to share rooms or apts. if you weren't married. That meant two men or two women on welfare weren't allowed to do so either. Which, of course, led us to wonder, well, then, how the heck was anyone to get ahead? We set the client up with our onsite social worker, who knew how to wring the most out of the system with the least amount of ruffled feathers. (BTW, the husband? Our client kept giving welfare his address and phone number, yet they couldn't find him in the next town over? This was before NYS got the legislature to pass the aptly-called "deadbeat dad" law and got the justice system to enforce it rigorously.) That's just one story out of how many? I have more. Even now, though, it takes a lot out of me to relate, let alone relive, them as I do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 01:12 AM

Now, on to the piece I came prepared to share:

Excerpts from:The New York Times Magazine
3.18.07 p.15-17
The Way We Live Now

A Slow Emancipation
In Africa as in America,
slavery's legacy continues to unfold
across the generations.
By Kwame Anthony Appiah

Once, when I was a child in Kumasi, Ghana, I asked my father, in a room full of people, if one of the women there was really my aunt. She lived in one of the family houses, and I'd always called her auntie. In memory, I see her lowering her eyes as my father brushed the question aside, angrily. Later, when we were alone, he told me that one must never inquire after people's ancestry in public. There are many Ashanti proverbs about this. One says simply, Too much revealing of origins spoils a town. And here's why my father changed the subject: my "auntie" was, as everyone else in the room would have known, the descendant of a family slave.

My father was trying to avoid embarrassing her, although I don't think he regarded her ancestry as an embarrassment himself. Undlike her ancestors, she could not be sold; she could not be separated against her will from her children; she was free to work wherever she could. Yet in the eyes of the community - and in her own eyes - she was of lower status than the rest of us. If she could not find a husband to provide for her (and a prosperous husband was unlikely to marry a woman of her status), the safest place for her was with the family to which her ancestors had belonged. So she stayed.


(Then the article goes into the history of that country's slavery and more of the writer's recollections. The last two paragraphs are where I had my epiphany.)

But the politics of abolition and redemption, now as then, go only so far. You can legislate against the peshgi (my insertion: a debt that must be worked off) system, pass laws regulating working conditions and, in a dozen ways, deny legal recognition to the slaveholder's claim to manage the lives of his slaves. You cannot thereby command respect for them or grant them self-respect, because these things are not within the power of the market or legislature. Nor can you guarantee that someone who has experienced only slavery will be prepared to manage a life alone, even if he had the money to do so. There's no neat toggle switch between slave and free.

The woman I asked my father about is not a slave. but she carries on something crucial to the enslavement of her ancestors. Beyond the possibility of being sold away and the impossibility of making your own decisions, slavery meant that certain people were hereditarily inferior. You can abandon the slave markets and demand that all who work are paid for their labor and free to leave it, but even if you succeed, the stigma and the status won't give way so easily. That's why I haven't told you her name. Emancipation is only the beginning of freedom.


I'm not sure if some will get the connection between these paragraphs I've excerpted, but if you substitute poverty for the word slavery, perhaps, the light will glimmer in your mind, too. I thought this might help some who don't seem to get the subject in its entirety. If a society views its poor as if it were their fault they are poor, instead of taking responsibility for the social structures that keep them "in their place" and refuses to acknowledge the way society has actually caused the poverty to grow rather than be reduced, then the poor, even equipped with the tools to get them out, probably won't be able to abandon the life and communities in which they've lived their entire lives. Of course, there are exceptions...there always are, but when even some of the very people, who are there to help them, make them "feel their place" through each encounter, well, how can they escape? And, if even the workers make that feeling felt, how do you think the ones in society that are actively trying to make sure they never leave their situation treat them when they try?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:14 AM

Too much readin' and too little time before work today...

Will be back this evening...

Values??? Yeah, Janie, and we can run with them for quite awhile...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:47 AM

Very interesting thread. Now, I was raised in the poorest county of one of the poorest states in the union. I have seen poverty first hand. I know the damage it does to one's psyche. So, tell me this: How many of you were born into such poverty, as opposed to most of you who have only been observers?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 01:33 PM

Kendall - My parents were both born into poverty and I was born to working class poor. Aside from their own determination and hard work, I believe that it was the GI Bill and good economic times that helped my parents claw their way into a better situation.

By the time I was born they could be considered working-class poor. My children were born to a university educated (thanks to the Canadian govt.), single mom who struggles to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

Yes, it can be done with support and government assistance but...

what Wordsmith said is very, very true. Poverty is a social shame. Each time you succeed by climbing your way up the socio-economic ladder, you have to hide the shame of your past. Its like entering another country. You don't speak the same language, your manners are different and you solve problems in a different way.

You no longer have a social structure to support you. You become a stranger in unchartered territory. Not only that, the family and friends from your past, although they say they are proud of you, treat you like you are now different than they are. You are not the same.

So there you have it. You become a stranger to your family and friends and your new peers know that you are different but they can't quite put their finger on it. I'm watching my highly educated daughter experience the same thing. Her experiences, attitudes and her politics are different than mine and she struggles to fit in with her peers, socially.

Sometimes you wonder if its worth it or if you should have just stayed within the security of your own social class. Wordsmith's example was excellent, "the safest place for her was with the family to which her ancestors had belonged. So she stayed."

It takes an immense amount of courage to leave behind all that is familiar to you.   "You cannot thereby command respect for them or grant them self-respect, because these things are not within the power of the market or legislature." Thanks, Wordsmith for explaining why there is no neat toggle switch.

I still advocate, however, for 'equal opportunity'. Its important to have choices and to know that what you become is not pre-destined. Its called hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 01:37 PM

"How many of you were born into such poverty"

We were so poor that if you didn't wake up with a hard-on Christmas Day ya had nothin' to play with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 08:26 PM

There are many poverty jokes, but I'm not going to get into those.

When someone told me that in her situation every morning, whoever left the house first was the best dressed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 09:39 PM

You're right. But I had to take the place of the bait in the mouse trap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 10:12 PM

I am not trying to paint a rosy picture or deny that poverty exists in the US but I found that an average of 3.6 percent of Americans suffered from hunger in 2004/02 according to the USDA:

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err11/err11appD.pdf page 2 table D1

Prevalence rates of food insecurity and food insecurity with hunger
by State, 1996-98 (average), 1999-2001 (average), and 2002-04 (average)

This is less than 1 in 27.7 adults and kids, not 1 in 5 but it is still to high.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 10:18 PM

That's more than 11,000,000 people. Been there and done that. "I''ll tell you one thing, Jack, you listen when your stomach speaks [thank you Jesse]."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 05:14 AM

I'm not trying to split hairs, but that USDA figure is actually the percentage of households in the USA that experience hunger, and not the percentage of individuals. Relative to many other places, even that is a low figure. but in the USA, with our resources and with our dumpsters full of uneaten food, no one should have to go hungry for a night.

See http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/hunger-facts-domestic.html for more statistical information on hunger in the United States.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:02 AM

The unemployment rate is around 5% which is a relativly small number of Americans, but when you are out of work, you are 100% out of work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:23 PM

"And the Democrats are no better. Let's not forget that it was Clinton who dismantled the system of social welfare we fought for in the 1930s and 60s. He slashed the welfare rolls from 12 to 5 million in a matter of years, and now that there are no jobs to go around, there is no safety net for millions of the most vulnerable members of American society. But the fact of the matter is, we don't want welfare - we want quality jobs, health care, housing, and education, and we don't mind working hard to get these things. But the capitalist system is based on the endless pursuit of profit - our interests come second to the interests of the CEOs and billionaires."

From here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:44 PM

Values.

I'm gonna ramble a bit and not try to tie things together real tightly here.

There are some who would say that many people who live in poverty make choices that put them there and/or keep them there. I agree.

There are some who say that many people who don't live in poverty make choices that cause or contribute to creating and maintaining poverty. I agree.

In all societies, beyond a certain age, people are expected to take responsibility for the choices they make. (Responsibility is not synonymous with blame.) I think this is reasonable, and when people can see and do this, my observation is that it is empowering. If I don't understand that I have responsibility, how can I ever believe that I have the power to effect change from within or from without?

In all my years of practice have I observed lots of people making bad or ineffective choices? Oh yes indeed!

In all my years of practice have I seen people make impulsive and needlessly uninformed choices? You betcha!

In all my years of practice have I ever encountered one single individual whose goal was to make bad choices? Never. Nada. Not once.

With respect to personal well-being, my observations and experience has been that individuals always make the best choice they know how to make at any particular time given the knowledge and the resources (internal and external) available to them at the time. Not once in 35 years of practice have I observed anyone approach a choice from the standpoint of "I want to make the worst possible decision that I can right now," even when they may in fact be making that worst possible decision.

One of the primary influences on the choices each of us make are our values. Our paradigm. Our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world. Our values permeate every big and small decision we make. Our values/beliefs determine the color of the lens through which we view the world. They are the scales on which we weigh the worth of ourselves and others.

No where in the 'rule book' does it say that all the values/beliefs, both major and minor, we harbor as individuals, as communities or as societies must be, or are, congruent.

More often than not, people and societies mistake values and beliefs for 'fact' or 'objective reality,' (whatever that is:O)

So--what do values have to do with poverty?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:51 PM

Well, for one, societal values that are in conflict with one another lead to social welfare programs that do not come anywhere close to fulfilling their mandate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 01:02 AM

Janie - I agree with most of what you say but I wonder about this - "One of the primary influences on the choices each of us make are our values."

I think the primary influence is education because learning to think critically gives us the ability to make informed decisions. Thats why education should be a right.

If you are uneducated, you must rely on values which are contained within a belief system that is handed down from one generation to the next.

So yes, values are the primary influence but values can change or be altered depending on your level of education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 01:31 AM

Education is the most important weapon in all battles, poverty, drugs, health. Yes it should be an EQUAL RIGHT to all.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 07:04 AM

Peace, you make an excellent point. We don't want welfare, we want jobs. Ok, one thing we could do is stop buying foreign goods. Sure you can save a few bucks on a pair of jeans made in Singapore, but what are they doing for us?
We are selling our country to China and handing them the knife that could be used to stab us in the back. Of course, when they do, we will not be wearing an expensive made in America by union workers shirt!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:08 PM

Janie: You may be right about it being the percentage of households. I can't find that report any more.

I did find another report that put the actual number of children as .7% in 2004. A far cry from 20%.

Historically it was

1998        1.0
1999         .7
2000         .8
2001         .6
2002         .8
2003         .6
2004         .7

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err11/err11b.pdf page 5


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:15 PM

0.7 +/- 0.1 between 1999 and 2004 inclusive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:14 PM

Fact:

*Exxon's 20005 profit of $36.13B is more that the GNP of 2/3 of the world's nations...

Facts:

Mobil Exxon profit margin in 2006 10.6%
Pfizer profit margin in 2006      15.7%
Citigroup profit margin in 2006   18.7%


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 09:32 PM

Barry:

"Education is the most important weapon in all battles, poverty, drugs, health. Yes it should be an EQUAL RIGHT to all."

There is free public education in the US K-12. There is even free tuition at many colleges including Harvard to the underpriveleged.

However the people need to take advantage of the opportunity and strive to obtain an education.

Why do the Asian Americans do so much better in school, graduating more often and continuing through college more often? Are they more privileged than other xxx-american minorities?

"The national graduation rate for the public school class of 2000 was 69%. The rate for white students was 76%; for Asian students it was 79%; for African-American students it was 55%; for Hispanic students it was 53%; and for Native Americans it was 57%."
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_31.htm

"The study, released recently by the Public Policy Institute of California, found that only 13 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of Blacks had earned a bachelor's degree. That compared with rates of 31 percent for Whites and 62 percent for Asian Americans, based on 2000 Census data.

The study found that 11 percent of American Indians earn bachelor's degrees, the lowest rate of any group."

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DXK/is_3_22/ai_n13619954


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 11:14 PM

I suspect that if one were to analyze the demographic attributes of high school drop-outs, controlling for race and ethnicity, that the most common denominator would be lower socio-economic status.

Ditto for demographic statistics related to both college attendance and college graduation rates.

What all groups with elevated high school drp out rates have in common, is they are all groups that have long histories of being devalued because of race, ethnicity and/or socio-economic status.

'Isms' are expressions of values. Racism and prejudice of all kinds embody values. While individuals, families, communities and minority groups of all sorts may hold values that differ in some ways from those of the larger or more powerful society, these smaller groups also absorb the values of the larger and more powerful society.

Children are sponges. If a minority child lives in a society that devalues that child's group, the child will internalize that and devalue themselves. If a child is told they are not likely to succeed at something. They are less likely to succeed at something.

And most of us prefer to stay away from places we do not feel welcomed or valued.

One way to cope with this is to be defiant. One way to cope with this is to insulate oneself and find a sense of power and belonging in a gang. Etc. Etc. Etc.

In line with dianavan's remarks about values and education, the age at which we really begin to 'lose' these kids in school and also the age at which they are becoming capable of those critical thinking skills. It is the age at which they are ready to try out different ideas and identities and values that may be different from those of their parents. From a developmental perspective, when that child disengages, a golden, and perhaps critical opportunity has been lost. Or at the very least, the window of opportunity to acquire or to reshape critical values and beliefs becomes substantially smaller.

A kid that is really engaged and who really has a sense of ownership, belonging and entitlement to be whatever they have the potential to be does not suddenly flip a switch off and quit school at age 16. The process of alienation and disengagement begins well before the point at which the kid drops out.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 11:22 PM

"The process of alienation and disengagement begins well before the point at which the kid drops out."

THAT is a major truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 11:33 PM

In my previous post

... begin to 'lose' these kids in school and also the age ...

should have read
...begin to 'lose' these kids in school is also the age....

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 12:44 AM

Dickey, Harvard & the few other colleges that you mention just started this practice. You said many. Name me many that have been doing this practice for any number of years.

I do know that in the US K-12 is free, I'm still putting 2 through their schooling, 1 in college & 1 on his way this yr.

So what are you trying to say?

<"Why do the Asian Americans do so much better in school, graduating more often and continuing through college more often? Are they more privileged than other xxx-american minorities?">

<"The national graduation rate for the public school class of 2000 was 69%. The rate for white students was 76%; for Asian students it was 79%; for African-American students it was 55%; for Hispanic students it was 53%; and for Native Americans it was 57%."
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_31.htm">

<"The study, released recently by the Public Policy Institute of California, found that only 13 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of Blacks had earned a bachelor's degree. That compared with rates of 31 percent for Whites and 62 percent for Asian Americans, based on 2000 Census data.">

<"The study found that 11 percent of American Indians earn bachelor's degrees, the lowest rate of any group.">

Again, what are you trying to say Dickey?

Are you trying to point out that American minorities a born too stupid or too poor. That they are they from a more socio-economic depressed class? Are you thinking that Asian Americans are born wealthier or that they're born brighter?

I'm not challenging your stats Dickey, which I'd tend to be ok with. But seeing as you attached my name to them I'm wondering what the point was & if you're trying to say that the xxx-american minorities can only fault themselves for being born too poor, born too stupid or just had the bad luck of being too stupid & too poor to pull themselves out of a rut?

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 12:54 AM

Barry: I asked a question. It was not based on any assumtions. Do you know the answer. The reasons?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 01:00 AM

Poverty, Dickey, Poverty!

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 03:04 AM

I'm glad connections were made by more than one. Thanks. In response to Kendall's question - a valid point - I wrote a big spiel about my own life, then deleted it. I've been relatively lucky. It's like that song, Sinatra used to sing: That's Life. Since, someone mentioned the company, I thought I'd share these stats instead:

In 2006, ExxonMobil made $39.5B (that's billion) in profits.

That breaks down to:
$1,252 per second,
$4.5M per hour,
$108M per day.

While you read this, ExxonMobil made another $15,000! (SL 2.02.07)


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 05:24 AM

"Why do the Asian Americans do so much better in school, graduating more often and continuing through college more often?"

The roles and responsibilies in Chinese families are very clearly defined. If you are a Chinese student, you don't have to do anything other than study. Your food is prepared for you, your laundry is taken care of, you aren't expected to work and you don't have to care for little brothers and sisters. You are an investment for the future. With everything being provided for you, you are expected to do well.

If all family systems were as effecient, their children would also be excellent students.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 07:26 AM

A few years ago there was a college professor who did a study and came up with this theory, that of the three distinct races, the most and least intelligent were:

1. Asian
2.Caucasian
3. Blacks.

He had a number of death threats and I wonder if someone finally got him?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 02:57 PM

Barry: So poverty is the reaqson for poverty?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 04:49 PM

No, Dickey, it's a lack of education & the understanding of their situation & the lack of necessary means to escape it.
I believe that poverty is an institution that serves the very wealthy, the very powerful in government & in the private sector and that witout it the distrubation of knowledge & wealth would be more evenly spread but it would be a cost that those that at present & past had & have & will never part with. So the poor are the grease that the wheels of fortune grind & there they will remain.

Without them the rich & powerful would not live so well!

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 05:02 PM

If we all had phDs, who would flip our burgers?

Seems to me that it goes like this. It's circular, ignorance, poverty, crime. Round and round it goes.

Remember the bumper sticker that said, "If you think education is expensive, consider ignorance". Believe me, it's hard to learn on an empty stomach.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 05:13 PM

People who ain't 'been there' generally do not understand, Kendall. To many people, missing breakfast and lunch is hunger. (That remark is directed to no one on this thread.) Some folks will never understand. That's just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 08:59 PM

Haven't had much computer time over the last last 3 days and not mush this evening but since I was last here I noticed a very distinct pattern... There are two camps here...

One camp wants to discuss some very heady stuff...

The other, for what ever reasons, has no interst in discusssing the subject but throwing out endless stats, re-enforcing what my Stats 201 professor told the class on the 1st day which was, "I can use stats to prove 1 = 2 or anything I want to prove..." and then on to prove that 1 = 2!!!

Stat folks, you know, the ones who somehow come up with those 1 = 2 kinda stas in discussions seem to me to be hiding from the realities of the discussion... That's been my obseravtion throughout my life and it holds here in Mudville...

But that's kinda about ***values***... Yeah, there are folks who rather than say to themselves "Hmmmmm, poverty is a real thing... There are millions of kids that will go hungry tonight... What can I do" who rather than stop there will go searching for stats that say the oppisite...

The only conclusion on why folks would dismiss poverty, or balme it on it's vitims, is that these folks hust don't want to share... I can't think of any other reason why folks would go to such an extent to ***rationalize*** po9verty as some kind of ***career choice***???

So, yeah...

...it does come down to "values"...

Some folks "value" every life and have a desire that everyone has an equal right to prosperity and happiness...

Some folks don't and have a "value" that, "If you din't want to be poor, you should have picked richer parents..."

Okay, to be fair, some folks do find their way outta the cycle... But it's very few... Janie and I have seen it up close...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:31 AM

Bobert:

You are the one that brought the stats into the discussion. Why?

Now that they are here, if someone feels that they are not accurate or do not relate to the real poverty situation in America, I think they can discuss it.

You throw out a number about how much money Exxon/Mobil made. Is that the reason for poverty? People are piss poor in Mexico where the state took over the oil companies, some of them were seized from the US. Are the people in Mexico better off because they have no huge oil company there?

There has to be the biggest everything. Hamburger chain, ball of string, city, etc. Exxon sells the most oil and therefore makes the most money. Is that the reason for poverty? Get rid of Exxon and the next oil company becomes the biggest.

Exxon made $39 billion off of $339 billion in revenues. Citicorp made $24 billion off of $131 billion in revenues. Nearly twice the profit margin. Is Citicorp less evil than Exxon because they had less revenues or more evil because they made a higher percentage of profit? Microsoft made $12 billion profit on $39 billion in revenues, a 30% profit. GM lost $10 billion on $192 billion revenue.

Stating how much money the largest corporation made is a red herring, a straw man issue, a diversion and will not get to the root of the reason for poverty.

Companies want people with money that they can sell goods and services to, not poor people that can't buy anything and are a poor credit risk.

The only way companies can profit off of poor people is from cheap labor such as illegal aliens. The same anti-poverty crowd is pro-illegal alien. These people work cheap and bring down wages all over the country. The law that makes it illegal for companies to hire illegal aliens needs to be enforced. That will increase wages on the low end of the scale and help poor people.

Now, on to the root causes of poverty. It begins at home, with the family. All you need to do is study the Asian minority for example. They have a sense of family that is lacking among other minority groups. They start out with less than other minorities and soon they are middle class.

It is very true that education is the key to eliminating poverty but the people must want and seek to get an education like the Asian minority does. The government cannot do that for people, they have to do that themselves. Civil rights leaders need to encourage young poor people to get and education and tell them it is possible, give them a positive attitude. Instead I hear them blaming others for the problem and sending the message that they can't get ahead because other people are preventing them from getting ahead.

Dianavan said: "I quite often wonder why some people seem to dwell in poverty while others are able to lift themselves out of misery. I think it may have something to do with the ability to network, socially, and the ability to access services and goods that are available.

I also know that to escape the cycle of poverty, you must be able to see that you have choices and are able to make decisions. You must have hope. When people feel that they are trapped, they become helpless. I also know that you must be very assertive about your right to access the programs that are out there."


It looks to me like the Civil rights leaders need to be giving the poor people a message of hope and making them aware of the opportunities to escape poverty.

I don't want to belittle the sacrifices or important and valuable contributions to society Bobert has made with his social work. He knows a hell of a lot more than I do about the plight of the poor down in the trenches but you have to treat the disease, not just the symptoms. Citing a bunch of stats that may or may not be accurate and that may or may not related to the problem are not helpful and only serve to exacerbate the problem.

The Brown Daily Herald

"Problems facing the black community in America are primarily due to the breakdown of the nuclear family, the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson told a half-filled MacMillan 117 Tuesday. His speech was followed by a heated question-and-answer session.

Though he cited personal experiences with segregation during his childhood, Peterson said the major perpetrators of racism in America today are organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and black leaders like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton....."

Bill Cosby

""....What was needed, said Cosby, was "parent power!" He elaborated: "Proper education has to begin at home.... We don't need another federal commission to study the problem...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:24 AM

Beaubear (to borrow from Ebbie) don't get sidetracked by things that don't really matter to this discussion.

You and I, and others posting here, Wordsmith for example, have seen it up close. But others here have lived it.

There is nothing cut and dried, nothing straight forward, nothing black-or-white about any meaningful discussion or exploration of values.

Most of us are familiar with the term 'value-judgement.'

A more accurate phrasing of the way most of us often operationalize that term is 'moral judgement passed on those whose values appear to differ substantially from my own.'

People also tend to pass moral judgement on themselves when their lives, for myriad reasons, don't measure up to the values they have internalized.

Now, I ain't sayin' that we should nver make moral judgements. However, many of the moral judgements we make on others or ourselves, are made on the basis of insufficient information or evidence. When one realizes that, those jedgements tend to be more tentative.

I think, to at least some degree, poverty does cause poverty. Or rather the conditions that accompany poverty and are the result of poverty do contribute to the perpetuation of poverty. I hope we all agree, however, that the conditions that create and perpetuate poverty are extremely varied and complex. In addition, to borrow a term from psycholigical concepts, the factors involved are more oten than not overdetermined. (Means like the layers of an onion. Identify one valid cause. Peel it away. There is another layer beneath it. And another, and another, and another.) The number of layers varies from one place to another, and from one individual to another.) It would not be acurate at all to say that a prime cause of poverty is poverty.

Values are one ring of the onion. Remember that any one ring of the onion consists of many thin layers that can also be separated and examined.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 01:31 AM

One of the false assumptions that I think we make in this country--which has the actual physical resources at hand to shelter, feed, clothe and provide adequate medical care to our entire population--is that the vast majority of people living in this country who are poor, have the capacity to function and work well enough to pull themselves out of poverty, given enough help with education and work skill development.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 02:38 AM

& then there are those that are so beaten that they don't care anymore, life itself have no value, they value nothing, for them there is no hope, they see no hope, they will never see hope nor have any values unless someone or something runs deep & heavy interference. They are LOST & there are many of them.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:00 AM

Janie,

Yeah, it is complex but the one thing that you have pointed out and both of us has seen is the strong correlation between kids who grow up in poverty and that same group who grow up to be poor adults...

There isn't a lot of upward mobility in the US...

What is most disturbing is that it really doesn't have to be like this... The country has the resources but not the courage to redistribute those resources...

Sadder yet, much of the wealth that the US enjoys was created by the very folks who share the least in the product (wealth) such as alot of black folk, in particular, who were responsible for the building of much of the country's infastructure in the 19th century of which the economis engine runs... But these folks didn't share in the spils...

Opps... Gotta go to work...

Later

Beaubear


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:22 AM

Here is Bobert's message for poor people: "black folk, in particular, who were responsible for the building of much of the country's infastructure in the 19th century of which the economis engine runs... But these folks didn't share in the spils"

You were screwed by whitey and he owes you something. Until you get it you will always be poor.

According to the 1860 Census, 8% of familes held slaves. How many Americans died fighting slavery? How much do their decendants owe? How much do the Africans that sold fellow Africans into slavery owe?

Keep on sending those "your can't get ahead because you did not get an even break" messages Bobert, that will eliminate poverty for sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:40 AM

The REST of the numbers that were left out:

Total Population
31,183,582

Free Colored Persons
476,748

Total Free Population
27,233,198

Total Number of Slaves
3,950,528

Slaves as % of Population
13%

Total Number of Families
5,155,608

Total Number of Slaveholders
393,975

% of Families Owning Slaves
8%


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:46 AM

I cannot believe that anyone can try to blame poor people for being poor. What a disgusting thing to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:10 PM

I don't see where Bobert said anything about anybody owing anything.
Dickey are you now shoveling words into Bobert's mouth?

What was said & what you're saying he said are worlds apart!

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 03:22 PM

What does "But these folks didn't share in the spils..." mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scoville
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 05:08 PM

"Spoils". It was just a typo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 06:17 PM

Typical rich kid response, Dickey... You are jerk...

And, thanks Scoville, fir the assist... Dickey knew what I meant... But he is a rich fat man who sits 24/7 in front of his computer with his smug little mentality harrassin' me about anything that happens to be stuck up his butt...

I'd like to have him work one real day with me in the real world of, ahhhh, real work... Then he's have some level; of understanding of what life is about without the silver spoon stuck in his face...

Or better yet, give Dicky a night livin' under a brifge in Trenton, N.J...

Yeah....

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 06:47 PM

Exxon is at it again:
When found foraging through a neighbor's trash for food, 19-year-old Bruce Jackson was just 4 feet tall and weighed only 45 pounds.
        
(AP) A couple accused of starving their four adopted sons was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury, a prosecutor said.

Raymond and Vanessa Jackson were each indicted on 28 counts of aggravated assault and child endangerment in a case that inspired widespread outrage and was a touchstone for efforts to reform New Jersey's child welfare system.

The couple was charged in October with aggravated assault and child endangerment after a 19-year-old adopted son was found foraging through a neighbor's trash for food. Bruce Jackson was just 4 feet tall and weighed only 45 pounds.

Authorities found three younger adopted boys in the family's home who were undersized.

By the end of February, the boys, who were placed with other families, had gained between 15 and 33 pounds and grown in height between 1.5 and 6.5 inches, authorities said.

The Jacksons have said the boys had eating disorders that predated their placement with the family. Their defenders said they took in troubled children no one else would take.

But officials said the boys were locked out of the Jackson family's kitchen, were fed uncooked pancake batter and resorted to eating wallboard.

Three girls in the home — two adopted and one a foster child — were of normal size. All seven children were taken from the Jacksons by the state child welfare agency.

A report issued in February by Kevin Ryand, New Jersey's independent child advocate, said state workers consistently failed to carry out state policies in the case. Ryand recommended sweeping changes for the state's Division of Youth and Family Services.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:11 PM

This is a sad and disturbing story - but what exactly is your point in putting it in this thread, with your apparently sarcastic if vague introductory remark about Exxon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:29 PM

There is no point, meself... He just loves the sound of his keyboard... Or keyboards... Fir all we know Richey may have a staff of righties pumpin' out all this crap...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:52 PM

What does this have to do with poverty?

You are part of the problem, Dickey. There are too many people like you that want to blame the poor for everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 07:56 PM

....while suckin' on their silver spoons...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:00 PM

Bobert: In case you have not noticed, I have avoided attacking you personally. I merely point out that you claim ststics are for loosers, post stastics, refuse to back up those statics and complain when someone else gives a statistic.

Have you pointed out any root causes of poverty?

Evidently some people here think that Exxon causes poverty because they keep mentioning how much money they make.

Something that was left off of that previous story is that the parents were paid $28,000 per year for fostering those boys, and the state forked it over.
"The Jacksons adopted the boys through DYFS and were receiving a stipend from the state, which peaked at about $28,000 a year before the oldest child turned 18 last year, according to Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Sarubbi said locks apparently were used to keep the boys from the kitchen and that the children were fed uncooked pancake batter, cereals and peanut butter and jelly."


After spending nearly three weeks alone and surviving on raw pasta, mustard and ketchup, a 2-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, girl was in good spirits Tuesday morning at a hospital, officials told CNN.

"The child is doing well," said David Foreman, a spokesman for Wolfson Children's Hospital, where the toddler was brought for treatment. "She was sitting up this morning, talking and laughing with the nurses."

Officer Ken Jefferson, spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said the little girl was brought to the hospital Monday, suffering from malnutrition, after an officer responded to a call from the child's father, Ogden Lee.

Lee, 33, was at the apartment of his estranged wife, 22-year-old Dakeysha Lee, who has been incarcerated since September 10. He told the responding officer that the apartment manager had let him into the apartment, where he found his daughter.

"The child basically survived on raw pasta, mustard, ketchup," Jefferson said.

Lee told the officer that he had been seeking a divorce from the mother and "had limited contact with his daughter during this process."

"After having no contact for several weeks, he vigorously tried to make contact," the police report said.

Jefferson said the mother was charged Monday with an intentional act of child abuse for leaving her daughter alone, notifying no one of the circumstances.

She will appear at an arraignment hearing Tuesday morning, he said.

According to records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Dakeysha Lee had a pair of misdemeanor arrests as a juvenile, and was serving time for shoplifting and a bad check, both misdemeanors."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM

I still don't get your point. Are you saying that these failed parents (to put it mildly) and others like them are the causes of poverty? Are you saying that the unfortunate children are the causes of poverty? Are you saying that government social assistance programs are the causes of poverty? Or what?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM

The root cause of poverty is greed coupled with power...

This country has the resources and wealth so that no child should be going to bed hungry tonight... These kids don't make the choice to go to bed hungry... They don't make the choice to live in a housing project where gunshots are heard every night... They don't make the choice to live in a one parent home... 'or to see their mom get up at 4:30 in the morning to catch a bus to a job that pays her $6.00 an hour...

No, these choices have been made by the greedy people, who BTW are the ***real*** welfare class in America... Yeah, it's their game, their rules, their, their, their...

..and when I read your stuff, Rickey, you reek of folks like them as you try to shift the blame away from your own greed and power and place it on choices that a hungry kid is making tonight...

You show no compassion... No understanding... No Christainity... No nuthin'... Just endless posts of just how folks who have either lived the reality of poverty or those of us who have deeply witnessed it and it's horrid anti-human effects are in your little smug word...wrong...

No, sir, you are wrong... This isn't just my opinion but the opinion of Ghandi, Jesus, Mohammed, Dr. King and just about anyone who has ever lived who knew the meaning of ***compassion***...

Go back to yer silver spoon...

Jesus told Mathew that there is "nothing hidden that won't one day be found and no secret kept that one day won't be public knowledge" and with each of you posts you prove those thoughts to be very true...

You are like the tin-man.... Heartless...

You ask what the cause of poverty is??? I told you... Lyndon Johnson told you... Bobby Keenedy told you... Martin Luther King told you... A 100,000 people told you in the "Poor People's Campaign"...

Yet, you do yer Vinnie Barborina thing... "Duhh, you talkin' to me???"

Yeah, we are...

Get off yer butt an' spend a little less time harrassin' me and a little more time trying to make a difference in the ***real world***... A good start would be to take yer rich 24/7 computer butt down to yer local women's shelter and ask if there's anything that you could do...

You do that and the rest will fall into place...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:00 PM

Oh, yeah, in case I didn't specifically say it...

... yeah, I think ***we*** collectively owe a share of our national wealth to black people...

We collectively stole them from their families... We collectively sold them as chattle... We collectively used them as slaves and/or
peasant class workers to build our infastructure... We collectively set them free with absolutely ***nuthing***... We collectively treated them as second class people... We collectively lynched them... We collectively made them feel as if they were no welcome in the only country they knew...

And we collectively continue to some degree doing all the things I've just mentioned...

And it no wonder that though there are more white folks (in numbers) who are poor there is a much larger percentage of balck people who are poor... Much, much larger...

So, yes, we collectively have some "repair"ations to make to blacl people...

Do think diffeerntly is teerribly racist and narrowminded...

But, we also owe "repair"ations to coal miners in West Virginia, to hunkies who ran the steel mills in Youngstownh, Ohio, to migrant workers who have put food on our tables going back as long as nayone reading this has been alive...

Yes, we collectively owe all the oppressed people.... That ***was*** waht the War on Poverty was supposed to be about until rich Republicans hired enough PR people and spent enough $$$ on PR ads to slam anyone who wasn't greedy... Thay slammed liberals... They slammed Warl Warren... They slammed Bobby Kennedy... No, they friggin'paid some poor shmo who didn't even know who Bobby Kennedy was to kill him... Same with Martin Luther King...

If you can't shut 'um up opne way, do it another is what the right wing in America is all about...

"Yeah, I don't have to give them niggers nuthin'... Hey, I didn't do that..." Yeah, this has been the battle cry of the rich, the greedy, the powerfull...

What a bunch of totally anti-human, greedy, uncompassionate, unChristain crap...

So for the smug-among-us... Screw you... You know what I'm sayin' is right...

You want to end poverty??? Change your thinking and the rest will follow... You can't have it all!!! Bring back the funding for breakfast programs so that poor kids would not only have an reason to go to school but also get at least one decent meal a day... Restore child care programs... Fund mental health... Pass a real mnimum wage law... Provide health care for every American... Put yer money where your mouth is on education.... The list goes on... Google "Great Society"....

Yeah, this is all about ***collective*** values... We have ***collectively*** created proverty and the only way to reverse it is if we ***collectively*** change our values and proirities...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:20 PM

Well put, Bobert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 10:52 PM

Bobert: You are not smug are you?

Now what is your message for poor people? Is it "you are owed a living"? If that is not the message, what is it?

Seems to me the if "we" owe minority groups anything, "we" owe the Asians just as much as nay of them. How come having something owed to the Asians is not holding them back? Look at their graduation rates. It is better than the Caucasians.

You can't answer the hard questions so instead you try to belittle me. I haven't belittled you. I am just pointing out your inconsistencies.

Are you saying that Bill Cosby and Jesse Lee Peterson don't know what they are talking about? Are they heartless, smug and born with silver spoons? I don't know about Peterson but Bill Cosby was raised up poor as dirt in Philly back before the civil rights movement but due to good parents, none of that held him back. He worked after school to help the family. He was in the Navy.

He is described as an American actor, comedian, television producer, and activist. I don't hear him moaning and groaning about the biggest corporation in the world making the biggest profit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:02 PM

"Now what is your message for poor people?"

I don't think his message is for POOR people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 12:00 AM

A wise woman made a wise post a few days ago.

Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Ebbie - PM
Date: 17 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM

I would like to see Dickey hollering down into a dark well and, in return, hearing nothing.




Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 08:10 AM

I get a kick out of clueless people talking about poverty. It's like talking about far flung foreign countries. There are those who have read about them and those who have been there.I really think that those of us who have been there have a better picture than those who have read about them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 01:32 PM

I think that's why it should be mandatory for policy makers to live for one month on a welfare check. Give each of them a different scenario, ie: single mom with one, two and three kids, single male, single female, disabled, elderly and so on.

At least when they sit down together, they would have some experience on which to base their decisions.

I also think it should be required for teachers to take at least an introduction to sociology or cultural anthropology.

In fact, the trouble with most of our large, archaic institutions is that the bureacrats that make the decisions have absolutely no idea what its like to live the lives of those who are being effected by their decisions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 02:19 PM

"Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,sco
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 02:36 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 01:10 AM

One value that I think mg has been articulating (Mary, if I'm wrong, please jump in and correct me) and I have been missing in reading her posts, is frugality, meaning the careful use of material resources. If one values frugality, one takes pride and finds satisfaction in being frugal. If one doesn't value frugality, one resents having to be frugal, and resents being expected to be frugal. I wonder if what mg has been trying to say is this; Teach young people the skills that are needed to be frugal. That is an excellent idea. From her posts, I also think mg values frugality, and practices that value in her life in a very real way. But our dominant culture does not place high value on frugality. If mg's solutions to poverty around teaching home economics, etc., are to be successful, the kids being taught need also to be taught to value frugality. That is much more difficult, since it is not a widely held value in our post-modern American culture.'

My paternal grandparents placed great value in being frugal. Both of them grew-up on poor, eastern Kentucky dirt farms. When young, they were frugal by necessity, but also by religious upbringing. They held to the same standards of frugality throughout their lives, even once it was no longer necessary for them to be as frugal. For them, it had the force of moral imperative.

I am not frugal. And I know very few people who truly are. I don't make alot of money--social workers, teachers and the like never do. If I were truly frugal, and truly moderate-if I consistently put my needs ahead of my wants, I would have no debt right now, would be certain I have put away enough money for retirement, and would consistently have enough money in savings to fix the roof when it needed it, go to the beach for a long weekend occasionally or for a whole week every few years without using a credit card, or pay cash for a new refrigerator when the one I have finally dies (which will be soon, I'm afraid.) And I am not saying I live extravagantly, am a spend-thrift or am in debt up to my ears. But worries about money and finances are constant and chronic. Car or home repairs get left undone because I don't want to go into debt to do them, but am not willing to be frugal enough to have the money put away to do them. Mostly I feel like I don't make enough money to be able to put that money away. More truthfully, I don't live frugally enough to have the money put away.

In two generations what was once a pretty widely held value in our culture has nearly gone extinct. Frugality as a value has been replaced with consumerism as a value.

When those of us who do have some material resources are not frugal with them, we use more than our fair share of the available resources. Directly and indirectly, we are contributing to poverty in our country.

The dominant society expects those who live in poverty to adapt our values regarding, for example, education. And I think most people who live in poverty in this country do value education. I don't think any of us run into many adults who quit school who will say, in hindsight, that they don't wish they had that high school diploma or GED. They well may say, however, that it was not, and still is not, an attainable goal.

We can also expect those who live in poverty (speaking in generalities) to hold the dominant cultural value of consumerism. If I blame a poor person for not being frugal, it is the skillet calling the kettle black. Is a poor person just as responsible for not being frugal as a person who is not poor? Yes. But, I will again say that blame and responsibility are not synonyms. It is unjust to blame the person living in poverty for not being frugal if I do not also blame myself and others who are not poor for not being frugal. And I will say that many poor people with whom I work, while not nearly as frugal as were, say, my grandparents, are much more frugal than am I or anyone else I know who is not poor.

Back to the definition of frugal-the careful use of material resources. For those who live in abject poverty, they have few material resources with which to be frugal. No matter how frugal they may be with the very minimal resources they have, the resources are not sufficient for basic needs to be met.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 01:14 AM

That is a fantastic post. Bravo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 02:27 AM

"No, they friggin'paid some poor shmo who didn't even know who Bobby Kennedy was to kill him... Same with Martin Luther King"

Bobert: Who paid whom to shoot Lincoln and Reagan?

You seem able to make broad general statements but you can't answer specific questions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 04:18 AM

Excellent post, Janie. When you are poor, instant gratification makes more sense than being frugal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 10:12 AM

Yes, very good point, Janie...

Our culture is not frugal.... It is not taught... It is not even made to be a life style that is admirable but...

...quite the opposite...

Our society has had it rammed down its throat to consume, consume, consume...

"Man come on the TV
tell me how white my shirts should be
but he can't be a man
'cause he don't smoke the same
cigarttes as me..."

Been goin' on a long time with ad-men, peer pressure, money lenders all in cohoots to keep folks consumin' and more importantly...

...in debt!!!

Didn't use to be like that... When I grew up in the 50's in Northern Virginia everyone was purdy much, ahhhh, for lack of a better term...middle class... Norhtern Virgina in the 50's meant living in a 2 or 3 bedroom house, not McMansions but not slums either... We had Congressmen living in out sub-divison.... We had generals... We had war heros... We had bankers... But everyone lived frugaly by today's standards and debt was something associated purdy much with buying houses and cars... Oh sure, there were a few "charge cards" around for store like Sears or Montgomery Wards but you paid the balance every month...

But these days our society is not frugal... It is an out-of-vougue value and for folks who are poor it is very frustrating to be told that to be a success you have to own __________ 'r ___________ and to not have the resources to do it...

Actually is is downright cruel... And it makes people who are poor feel like failures which gets internalized and that internalization turns to anger and it all becomes a very vicious cycle that doesn't help people learn to make better (for lack of a better word) choices for themselves...

And the absolute boorish display of greed/consumerism is blasted 24/7 on the TV... Yeah, Boss Hog could wear the spoils of his success (theft) with a little more compassion and class but no... He flaunts it...

So, as part of a real national effort to end poverty Boss Hog needs to be re-educated to first stop his boorish consuming but more importantly to be made to see that he hasn't earned the share of wealth that he falsely believes that he has... No, the playing filed is not level... He needs to understand this and he needs to go back to doing waht his parents and grandparents did and that is to live a more frugal lifestyle...

(But, Bobert, if Boss Hog didn't consume so much then the economy would crumble!!!)

Bullfeathers... Actually the economy would do just fine and so would the planet as people would be making decisions not only what ad-men say they should but on what is healthy for society and the planet...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 10:41 AM

"When those of us who do have some material resources are not frugal with them, we use more than our fair share of the available resources. Directly and indirectly, we are contributing to poverty in our country."

I'm not so sure about the economics of this - whatever its evils, it seems to me that consmerism does create a great deal of employment - and I'm speaking as someone who is frugal to the point of being a skinflint; I have to admit that I don't do my part to create that employment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 01:14 PM

Good point, Bobert.

Credit creates something else. A false image. Many folks who have credit, use it to create the illusion that they have more than they actually do. Without the credit to fall back on, they too, would join the ranks of the impoverished. In fact, many people are just one step ahead of the creditors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: kendall
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 02:32 PM

I once heard a poor man say "I don't make enough money to have a budget."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 03:00 PM

I once heard a poor man say, "I don't make enough money to have a budgie."

Okay, I was just leaving ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 03:26 PM

Janie:

A wise man said in a post long ago:

"Bobert, you wouldn't know a fact if it fell out of a tree and landed on top of you."

I still haven't heard any response out of Bobert about why the Asian minority is not held back by the same reasons he gives for poverty, Jut name calling.

I still haven't called him any names. I just ask for some clarifcations of his facts and some answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 06:31 PM

Hi meself,

Economics is not my strong suit, but I guess my response to that is, at what real cost? At what wages and working conditions? In the USA, the consumerism that has become the norm is made possible by cheap, foreign labor who work at wages and in conditions that are comparable to slave labor, while causing a substantial loss of jobs in one industry after another in the USA.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 09:31 PM

Bobert: "Bring back the funding for breakfast programs"

Looks to me like it didn't go anywhere :

State by State Performance
While the national ratio was 44:100, thirteen states served school breakfast to at least 50 out of every 100 low-income children
eating school lunch:

State....School Breakfast to School Lunch Ratio
Oregon...............55.9
West Virginia........55.7
Kentucky.............55.4
Oklahoma.............54.7
Mississippi..........54.5
South Carolina.......54.1
Texas................53.8
New Mexico...........53.2
Vermont..............53.2
Arkansas.............53.0
Georgia..............52.8
Louisiana............51.2
North Carolina.......50.5

Six states served school breakfast to fewer than one in three low income children eating school lunch:

State School Breakfast to School Lunch Ratio
Connecticut..............33.0
New Hampshire............32.7
Alaska...................32.0
Utah.....................31.0
Illinois.................28.4
Wisconsin................26.5

Five states had double-digit increases in the number of children receiving a free or reduced price breakfast in 2004-2005 over the
year before:

Percent Increase in Number of Low-Income Children Receiving School Breakfast
New Jersey......39.1%
Idaho ..........17.0%
Nevada .........15.6%
Utah............15.5%
Wisconsin.......11.2%
        
By not reaching the 55:100 ratio reached by the best performing states, underperforming states are foregoing significant federal funding. In 2004-2005, the ten states foregoing the most federal funds missed out on a combined $249.4 million and leaving 1.2 million potentially eligible children unserved (almost two-thirds of the national totals):

State        Students Not Served Dollars Foregone
California........315,101......$63,290,662
New York..........206,688......$41,760,346
Illinois..........185,221......$37,795,649
Florida ..........106,923......$21,570,936
Pennsylvania.......97,495......$19,691,487
Ohio ..............74,620......$15,146,602
Michigan...........66,904 .....$13,558,412
Wisconsin..........64,309......$12,881,144
New Jersey ........62,635......$12,623,828
Arizona............55,147......$11,125,387



http://www.frac.org/pdf/SBPscore_sum.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 09:34 PM

Dickey,

In case you haven't noticed, I'm ignorin' you because you have not ***added*** one sincle thing to this discussion... Not one...

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Others,

Good point, Janie...

There definately is an aspect of sellin' stuff that has been made by other country's poor folks is going to have to catch up to us.... I belive that my Econ 201 professor refered to it as "floating" where stuff like this balances out over the long run... Okay, it may take awhile but there will come a point where the Chinese have so many of our dollars that a natural adjustment will take place...

Throw in the political scene in this country with so many folks who once had good jobs with some decent benefits falling further and futher behind and I think that "adjustment" is going to come sooner than later...

Yeah, Boss Hog has had a purdy good run this time around but if the US is going to survive itself and its corrupt government then only some adjustments will be what it takes to do so...

This isn't going to come as good news to Boss Hog, who BTW, has never had it so good... Like I pointed out in my last post, there waas a time when Congressmen lived in the same neighborhoods as the mechanic at the local Ford dealership... No, I'll be the first to admit that we won't be seeing those days anymore but, if the US is to survive, the gross inequities between the "haves" and the "have nots" are going to lessen...

***Revolutions*** occur when the Boss Hogs can't be brought to the table... I am hoping that won't have to be the case hwere in the US but I am not all that sure that won't be the case and like I have said before...

...if it does come down to ***revolution*** it will start in the South with the angry NASCAR dads who have figured out that Boss Hog is using Budwiser and race cars to placate them on one hand while sticking his other hands in their pockets...

I understand angry NASCAR dads because I have spent my life living with them and there's ont thing about these folks that I have learned is that once they turn on you they ain't turnin' back... So if there are Boss Hogs reading this, you might wants thaink about just how long you think you can get away with screwing folks...

But, then again... Historically, Boss Hog has never hasd the sense to know when he has stolen too much...

And, yeah, this is also all about poverty... If angry NASCAR dad figures out that he will work until the day he dies to pay off the debt to the "company store" then when he hears discussionas about "poverty" he will be less inclined to blame the victims...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 10:27 PM

Okay, I'm going to try to take on Dickey's recurring question re: success of the Asian minority as opposed to certain other minorities.

If you consider what's been said on this list, your question has been answered to some degree indirectly. Much, if not most, of the discussion has focussed on what could be called the "psychology" of poverty, rather than the systemic (mis)distribution of wealth. Where the latter has been faulted, it's been in relation to underfunding of health, education, and social welfare programs - but, as I say, much of the focus of this discussion has been on the kind of mindset that helps to keep people in poverty. In other words, no one seems to be denying that there are ideas, attitudes, outlooks, and - it's been addressed explicitly - values, that function to keep people in poverty (your posts seem to imply that none of the rest of us will admit this). Where the real difference seems to be is that you seem to feel that if people have such ideas, etc., then their misfortunes are their own fault, and that they deserve poverty, while some of the rest of us feel that they are not necessarily entirely to blame for their psychology, and to some extent are the products of social injustice.

So - I'm going to relate an anecdote which I feel conveys the crux of the issue better rather than would a long and convoluted argument.

I saw this story about a year ago on the Canadian national (CBC) news. It concerned the visit of a black American in his eighties to a small outport in Newfoundland, and this visit was quite a public event there. This man, whose name I promptly forgot, had been a sailor in WWII, and had been involved in a shipwreck off the coast of Newfoundland. He and some of the rest of the crew swam to shore, and found themselves on a narrow rocky shore, trapped there by high steep cliffs. It was the middle of a stormy night and they were freezing; he sheltered himself in the midst of some rocks and prepared to die. However, the men of this nearby outport rappelled down the cliffs, at considerable risk to themselves, and were able to carry and hoist the survivors up the cliffs, and from there take them to their village. By the time this black man was discovered by one of the rescuers, he just wanted to die, and would not co-operate, but the rescuer forced him up, and made him walk back and forth on the beach till it was his turn to be taken up. After which, he was taken to a house, stripped down and put into a hot tub, where several women scrubbed the oil off him, at which point they discovered he WAS a black man - he assumed the game was up then, but they went on with their work as if that meant nothing. The next morning, he and the other survivors were taken away on another ship ... Now this man, sixty years later, described that as a transformative event in his life. Before that, he said, no white person had ever spoken a kind word to him, but here, these white men risked their lives to save him. He stayed in the navy for some years, and demanded and fought to be allowed to do such things as to take a radio operator's course, and a diving course, which had traditionally been closed to blacks; later he went into business, and became successful and wealthy. He began to speak to black audiences, particularly of young people, about his experience and what it meant. The implication of his story was that through this war-time experience, he came to realize that he was just as good as anyone else, and it was that realization that allowed him to get ahead. Otherwise, he would likely have remained just another person living in poverty who "deserved" to live in poverty because of his piss-poor attitude. Was his message to the poor kids he talked to that they deserved to be poor? No - his message was that they did NOT deserve to be poor - and they didn't have to be poor -

(That man, by the way, made several visits back to that outport over the years, and made several big contributions to the community, including a community-center, as I recall).

Here's another one. Does the name Lesra Martin ring a bell? He was the kid who ended up playing an instrumental role in the freeing of Hurricane Carter. He was taken from a Brooklyn ghetto by a group of Canadians and brought to Toronto - they found that although he had passed grade 10 (as I recall), he couldn't read ... With their help, he graduated with honours in a couple of years, got a law degree, and eventually became a Crown Prosecutor, the equivalent of a D.A., I suppose. Meanwhile, back in Brooklyn, his siblings led the "typical" ghetto life; one brother shot and killed, another in and out of jail ... The difference? Lesra had been given opportunity, and had come to believe in himself, through a longer-term transformative experience.

Now, what those of us who work in the "helping" professions try to do is give less dramatic transformative experiences to the people we work with every day. Sometimes we are a bit like that rescuer trying to force someone who has given up back onto his feet. We try to convince them that they are as good as anybody else, that they can achieve what others have achieved, and we try to steer them toward opportunity. And, yes, we get distressed when tight-fisted governments and mean-spirited politicians seem to be doing their best to limit that opportunity everywhere we look.

Now for the Asians. First of all, there is a selection process before they even get here. As a general rule, those without self-confidence, ambition and coping skills don't get here. And often they come from backgrounds that have given them very solid and strict rules of behaviour, and clearly defined roles in family, community and work life; the Chinese and Confucianism is a prime example. And they are not arriving on our shores with internalized notions of being second-class citizens. And, for that matter, many of them are not arriving with nothing; I have no idea what the percentages are, but there are many Asians immigrating with university educations and professions ...

Okay, I've said enough; you should get the idea ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 10:34 PM

Bobert: Is your claim that funding for shool breakfasts whent somehwere and needed to be brought back true or untrue?

You ignore me because you cannot support your statements or statistics and cannot answer simple questions.

By the way, your last post had nothing to do with poverty except in other countries. It is entirely a rant against capitalisim.

It belongs in another thread about capitalisim.

Now Bobert, do you think Bill Cosby and that Peterson guy are wrong about poverty? Notice that this is on subject.

_______yes

_______no


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 10:41 PM

What does Bill Cosby say about poverty? Remind us, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 02:21 AM

Do you know what's on the menue Dickey? No! I didn't think so!
And those stats are still far to low.

Bill doesn't want to be reminded.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 03:29 AM

meself is right, dickey. You cannot impose the values of one culture on another culture. There is nothing about N. American culture, at present, that encourages anything other than mindless consumerism.

You're going to have to try a little harder, dickey. You keep comparing apples to oranges. This has been pointed out to you previously. You are boring and have nothing to say of any importance. How old are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 07:56 AM

Bill Cosby is right when he talkes about balck people taking on personal responsibility but wrong...

,,,in assuming that the conditions are right for any greater opportunity for collective upward mobility...

So, for him to say to blacks, under the current conditions, "Pull yourselves up" is not only cruel, but unrealistic...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 06:42 PM

Even Dianvan, whom I seldom agree with, said:

"I quite often wonder why some people seem to dwell in poverty while others are able to lift themselves out of misery. I think it may have something to do with the ability to network, socially, and the ability to access services and goods that are available."

I think this should be the message for poor people.

Seems to me the Civil Rights leaders need to be telling poor people how to overcome poverty. To empower them rather than tell them it is the fault of so and so and we need to fix that situation or you will always be poor.

For about the third time, What enables the Asian minority to overcome poverty when other minorities cannot?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 06:58 PM

Ho hum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Dickey
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 07:00 PM

My cookie got eaten somehow. The last post was mine.

Breaking the Silence
HENRY LOUIS GATES JR.
Monday, March 26, 2007 New York Times

''Go into any inner-city neighborhood,'' Barack Obama said in his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, ''and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.'' In a speech filled with rousing applause lines, it was a line that many black Democratic delegates found especially galvanizing. Not just because they agreed, but because it was a home truth they'd seldom heard a politician say out loud.

Why has it been so difficult for black leaders to say such things in public, without being pilloried for ''blaming the victim''? Why the huge flap over Bill Cosby's insistence that black teenagers do their homework, stay in school, master standard English and stop having babies? Any black person who frequents a barbershop or beauty parlor in the inner city knows that Mr. Cosby was only echoing sentiments widely shared in the black community......"


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 07:09 PM

"For about the third time, What enables the Asian minority to overcome poverty when other minorities cannot? "

It is often the case that immigrants are able to 'raise themselves from relative poverty' by acquiring investment money from other people. The problem is for many other folks, there IS no investment money.

The above is a generalization, but an apt one. Some places in Canada have been 'economically taken over' by SE Asian people, and I don't begrude them that. But to suggest it was done by money they made in Canada starting from scratch is balderdash. People do not rise from poverty without a helping hand up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 07:15 PM

In fact, under the great Mr Mulroney, Canada brought in a policy to fast-track the immigration process for (primarily Asian) immigrants who commit themselves to invest so many tens-of-thousands of their own money in Canada. Many wealthy Asians have gained (bought) Canadian citizenship under this mercenary policy. (So much for "Give us your tired, your hungry ... ").


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Dickey
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 07:59 PM

So it is a lack of investment money that keeps minorities other than the Asians from completing high school?

Was it investment money that enabled Bill Cosby to emerge from poverty or was the support of his family?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:03 PM

Well, what Dickey is not capable of internalizing is that Asians came to this country as immigrants, not slaves....

Slaves were not afforded an eductaion... Then along came the Civil Wra (which it wasn't...), the Emmancipation proclamation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow which kept black people basically uneducated or grossly under-educated until Brown v, Topeka Board of Education in 1953...

Then it took years after that to make any progress toward black being afforded access to education... Blacks still do not enjoy equal access to an education as Asians ansd whites... Part of the problem is this frustrating cycle of keeping blacks segreagtaed which, inspite of the progress since '53 is still a major problem in many communities accross America...

But bottom line, the Asian argument is not an argument at all but another patented right wing distraction...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:10 PM

Was Bill Cosby calling for a reduction of funding for education, health, and social welfare programs? Just wondering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:14 PM

Oprah Winfrey Bio

"Oprah Winfrey rose from poverty and a troubled youth to become the most powerful and influential woman in television and, according to Forbes Magazine, the world's most highly paid entertainer. Though primarily recognized as a talk show hostess, Winfrey also produces and occasionally acts in television movies and feature films.

Winfrey's parents, who never married, were teens when she was born in rural Mississippi. She was originally named Orpah after a woman from the Book of Ruth but a spelling mistake on the birth certificate changed it to Oprah. She spent her childhood growing up in abject poverty on her deeply religious grandmother's farm. When she was older, Winfrey moved in with her mother in Milwaukee, WI. This proved a difficult time as Winfrey alleges she was repeatedly sexually molested by male relatives. Winfrey became a bit of a wild child during her early teens, experimenting with sex and drugs until the age of 14 when she gave birth to a premature baby. It died shortly after, and upon recovering, Winfrey chose to live with her father in Nashville. It was under his stern guidance that Winfrey found discipline, stability, and the inspiration to excel in school and change her life..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:16 PM

Well, myslef, I've heard Bill Cosby a few times an' what he basically says is "pull yourselves up by your boot straps"... He isn't into programs... Hey, he's a rich guy, ain't he??? He is no spokesman for black folks... He represents the ruling class...

He is not only bigoted but doesn't even seen to have any level of understanding of American history...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:18 PM

Dickey, look at the Head Start Programs, Bushes poster child for the poor. A couple yrs ago he froze funding. So the program now suffers each yrs as costs for food, teachers, site, facilities & rent increases as well as wages & resources go up. This was the poor program for pre schooling & eduaction. This is the same reason why his "No Children Left Behind" act is a reversal for the poor. It gets worse each year. We are going backwards. Granted this didn't start with him it's been going on for at least a 1/4 of a century.
We were doing better when Crosby was a kid.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM

Slavery in America


"...But slavery itself was not destroyed. In California after the Civil War, thousands of young Asian women were enslaved to serve as prostitutes for the Gold-Rush settlers. Chinese men were virtually enslaved to build the railroads and develop the Western mining industry..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 08:27 PM

Dickey,

For the last time, I would sooner drink liquid shit than engage in conversation with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 09:07 PM

Dickey - Do not misrepresent my statement. Your interpretation is way off the mark. Here is my key phrase, "...the ability to network, socially, and the ability to access services."

Lets not forget that the Chinese culture has a long standing and deeply held stereotype of Blacks. That makes Afro-Americans the bottom of the totem pole in racist terms. Native Americans may be more disadvantaged today because of reservations, systemic sexual abuse and alcolholism which has also led to some pretty horrible stereotypes and discrimination. But for racists, the Blacker you are, the lower you are. Chinese, by the way, are whiter than most White people.

The separation and destruction of African families as a result of slavery resulted in a total break-down of language, social networks and cultural values. Anyone who can climb out of the years of segregation and discrimination that followed, is the exception, not the rule.

While some Chinese were subjected to less than adequate working conditions and pay, they were able to retain their language and traditions. In fact, the language and traditions are so important to the Chinese, that to this day they encourage their English speaking children to learn either Cantonese or Mandarin so that their values can be transmitted. Their social networks within North America are vast and I doubt if even you, Dickey, could live up to their family expectations.

And don't forget, Dickey, the majority of the Chinese in America today are not the immigrants that came to work on the railroad or the in the mines. Many of them arrived from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and are from the educated, business class. There are many different Asian cultures and its impossible to lump them all together and claim that they were all enslaved because they worked on the railroad.

That is a far cry from decades of slavery and segregation of African Americans, where many were denied even a basic education. Its very difficult to encourage your children to read if you can't read, yourself. Even if you can only read in your first language, you can still pass on to your children a love of books. Chinese have always valued education. How many Africans do you think could read when they were brought to America as slaves? How many understood the value of education? How many could communicate with each other in their own language?

Let me guess - Oprah's daddy valued education and Bill Cosby's folks could read. Obama is highly educated and my guess is that his family could read, too. All three of the above are more White than Black, Dickie, I can almost guarantee that. I don't think they would disagree. They try to relate, yes, but I doubt that they have the experience to be able to speak for the majority of African-Americans or anyone who has lived a life of poverty with no encouragement from anyone.

We, as a society, can change this but only if we have the will. Unfortunately, there will always be Dickies to make excuses for the greedy and turn away when they see hunger on their own doorsteps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Dickey
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 09:23 PM

the Naturalization Act of 1870 granted the right of naturalization to "aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent," Chinese immigrants would be forced to wait until 1943 before obtaining the right to become citizens. Filipinos and Indians would not gain the right of naturalization until 1946.

http://www.ailf.org/ipc/policy_reports_2004_eatingbitterness.asp#note7


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,Dickey
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 10:19 PM

"anyone who has lived a life of poverty with no encouragement from anyone"

Exactly Dianavan, Who has given them encouragement? Their parents? All they get is sympathy from their "leaders" who turn everything into a race issue.


''A lot of us,'' Mr. Obama argues, ''hesitate to discuss these things in public because we think that if we do so it lets the larger society off the hook. We're stuck in an either/or mentality -- that the problem is either societal or it's cultural.''

It's important to talk about life chances -- about the constricted set of opportunities that poverty brings. But to treat black people as if they're helpless rag dolls swept up and buffeted by vast social trends -- as if they had no say in the shaping of their lives -- is a supreme act of condescension. Only 50 percent of all black children graduate from high school; an estimated 64 percent of black teenage girls will become pregnant. (Black children raised by female ''householders'' are five times as likely to live in poverty as those raised by married couples.) Are white racists forcing black teenagers to drop out of school or to have babies?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:39 AM

Poverty occurs on a significant scale in a place where there is 'enough' to go around because of grossly inequitable distribution of resources. It just seems logical, in this instance, that concentrated wealth depends on the existence of a rate of poverty within the population that is far in excess of what the available resources suggest is either unavoidable, and/or mainly attributable to the 'failings' of most of those people who live in a state of poverty.

Racism (or tribalism, or choose-your-religionism, depending on what part of the world you happen to inhabit) does not cause poverty.    Institutionalized racism is, however, a very useful and efficient vehicle by which a society or dominant culture may assign a large number of the necessary number of people to be part of an exploitable underclass. It provides the rationale and 'moral' justification needed for a society to do so, while letting most of it's better off inhabitants be able to go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. It further serves to create and help maintain the social conditions necessary to insure the continuity of an underclass.

Assuming the same history of social and economic conditions and policies exclusive of slavery, I opine that the number of people living in poverty in the USA today would be the same, even if slavery had never existed. Demographic characteristics of the underclass would be different--as a society we would have identified other groups to serve disproportionately as an underclass.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:46 AM

Oh why not...........300!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: mg
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 02:58 AM

I don't buy that..that people are hoping for an underclass. How does it benefit them? More taxes? More crime, which is not a necessary aspect of poverty...but there is one thing that might go through peoples' minds..and that is...my son and now my daughter..is not going to fight in any wars so we just better have some people who will do it instead..so for that reason, which I have never heard anyone voice before, and I think it is subconscious until this very moment...I think people do accept behaviors which almost gaurantee poverty (drugs, crime, children out of wedlock)so that there is a "class" of people who will do the fighting. I think there is no other reason that people would want other people to be poor..they might have to pay more for garbage removal, for dairy products, etc., but they would pay fewer taxes and would be safer and towns would be prettier. They are allowed to be kept poor, and many things stated on this particular thread will keep people poor and drag more into their midst besides...for only one reason I can think of, and that is to die so that your son or daughter might not have to. And no, I don't think this is nice or good civic practice or even humane but I think it is happening on a subconscious level. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:03 AM

I followed that story about those underfed kids from start to finish, and it was a real travesty, but it has absolutely nothing to do with poverty, and belongs in a blog about child abuse. The family, as photos I'm sure are available online, was a picture of contrasts. The foster parents hid behind their church, who vouched for them, until the truth came out. Many were suckered by this poor excuse for foster parents, but, again, this does not belong in this thread.

I think baiters are in it just for the superiority they think it affords them...*hint*...*hint.*

BTW, that family was just one in several who featured prominently in the investigation of DYFS in NJ. Another, along similar lines, was a family who already had several children of their own, upper middle class, who adopted two brothers from Russia, then starved them and chained them to a leaky water pipe in a cement basement when they were "bad." One of the boys died down there, which is how the story broke. These people were upright, born-again Christians. It just amazes me how people can be blind to the harm they do regardless of their beliefs.

Now, back to poverty: I read a story in a local paper during my absence...about a podiatrist who, once a year, donates free foot exams and brand new shoes to the men in a homeless shelter. Now that's a doable and very practical project. I like practical solutions. Of course, one has to volunteer such services.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:05 AM

Well said, Janie. Somehow this discussion went from poverty to racisim but it is our socio-economic system that creates an underclass. By now, we should all know that if you classify people according to gender, race or class; its the women in every group who are the most frequent victims of poverty. Thats why I say that if we truly want to help, we must focus our energy on helping the women.

Healthy and happy women produce healthy and happy children.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:12 AM

The "poor pool" is for the rich to dip into Mary when they have a thirst & after they (the poor) are used up then they can go off to the wars & dies. The poor pool is a rich & valuable resource. The grinding of them is what this nation was built on & what keeps it wheels greased & it's rich & powerful so alive & healthy & so few & the poor so many. Crime is benifical & so are drugs, gambling, a cheap labor force to draw from, cheap housing for cheap workers, low wages & no benifits, migrant workers. Look at what ails the poor the most & follow the money back to the source. We will not drain that pool just to put out the fire!

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 07:44 AM

MG, I don't think the vast majority of people in a society sit back and consciously say-"We need some more poor people." I am saying that left to its own devises, and with the way the human mind operates (catagorizing is a primary way the human brain organizes data), this is how societies and social structure tend to evolve. It happens in places where there actually is not enough to go around also. However, when we as individuals in a society are willing to try to take a look at our assumptions and the effects of those assumptions (values and beliefs) on others and the social structure, we can then attempt to change them.

I'm really rushed now and don't have time to develop this right now. If it still seems relevant when I get back tonight, I'll expand.

And Mary, I think you are right on target about the poor as cannon fodder also--it is pretty much all the same process.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 09:20 AM

"Somehow this discussion went from poverty to racisim" -

SOMEHOW one specific "contributor" derailed an interesting and impassioned discussion on poverty and turned it into another re-hashing of the same tired old arguments about race ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:45 PM

"If you can't shut 'um up opne way, do it another is what the right wing in America is all about...

"Yeah, I don't have to give them niggers nuthin'... Hey, I didn't do that..." Yeah, this has been the battle cry of the rich, the greedy, the powerfull...

What a bunch of totally anti-human, greedy, uncompassionate, unChristain crap..."


Republicans give a bigger share of their incomes to charity, says a prominent economist.

In Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (Basic Books), Arthur C. Brooks finds that religious conservatives are far more charitable than secular liberals, and that those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.

Some of his findings have been touched on elsewhere by other scholars, but Mr. Brooks, a professor of public administration at Syracuse University, breaks new ground in amassing information from 15 sets of data in a slim 184-page book that he proudly describes as "a polemic."

"If liberals persist in their antipathy to religion," Mr. Brooks writes, "the Democrats will become not only the party of secularism, but also the party of uncharity."

http://www.philanthropy.com/free/articles/v19/i04/04001101.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 04:38 PM

9.8% poverty rate for Asians in 2004, down from 11.8 percent in 2003.

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2006/cb06ff-06.pdf page 2


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:51 PM

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

You can read part of this book on line.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 12:16 AM

Dickey - Do you ever read what anyone else has written or are you just writing to listen to yourself? At least I hope you understand your posts because they make no sense to me. Like someone said earlier, try shouting down a well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 01:01 AM

A social system is a prime example of an entity that is larger than the sum of its parts.

A society, being the largest human social system, is also the most complex.

The institutions, both formal and informal, that provide the main framework for a societal system usually serve two functions --protection and control. The paradox or dialectic of these two functions is quite apparent, and reflects the paradox inherent in any human social system, be it a system of two (for instance, a married couple) of several hundred (mudcat) or millions (a society).

Imbedded in that dialectic is another--the autonomy of the individual vs. the need of our species for social structure to survive.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm realizing I'm a long way from drawing my conclusions, and getting to that point may be so dry and convoluted that I'll be the only one still awake when I get there. I don't want to kill this thread by accident. And I'm guessing most people reading this thread are already knowledgable about social theory and social systems theory, and don't need a 101 course from me to see what I am trying to articulate.   

Where I'm ultimately headed is that poverty and oppression is an effect of society, any society of any size, as opposed to an intention of that society, or an intention of the vast majority of the individuals who make up that society. In macro-terms, focusing on blame-whether you are blaming the poor guy for being poor, or the rich guy for being rich, is probably not very useful to any effort to mitigate poverty.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 03:17 PM

Janie - You are right about the social system and you are right about "focusing on blame-whether you are blaming the poor guy for being poor, or the rich guy for being rich, is probably not very useful to any effort to mitigate poverty," but...

I do blame governments who care more about the interests of the rich than they do about providing for the needs of the poor. I also blame people who support politicians who claim to be Christian but spend tax money on death and destruction while ignoring the poverty at home. I also think it is too damn easy to be smug in the comfort of your own home and assume that you are entitled to health care and education, while others are not. I also blame those who do nothing to promote change.

I also know that I can only do what I can do and I try very hard to remember that but sometimes emotion wins.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 07:51 PM

D is absolutely correct... Beneath this all government certainly has its hand in the mess... Bottom line, governemnt has evolved into existing to serve the monied class... The real "welfare mentality" isn't among our poor but our rich... They just don't get it... All the breaks are aimed at keeping them rich and in trun, they give a "kick-back" to the folks in government thru very generous campaign contributions...

The rich know this... They knoew it all too well and that is why they not only buy off politicans but they now fund blogs that go out and try to change the conversation... Right here in out little corner of Paradise we have several ***shills*** for the ruling class... These people have one thing in common and that is they won't carry on a converstaion... They will, however, rpovide lots of links (mostly funded by the ruling class) to try to turn the conversation away from the realities of poverty...

Now, I'd like to say a few things about the cannon-fodder coming from poor families... Well, okay, I'll admit that most kids from the very poorest families don't finish school and don't end up in the military... It's the kids from the families, who while being poor, aren't as poor and where the kids parent/s keeps them in school long enough for "No Kid Left Unrecruited" to take effect... Kids are ***targeted*** by recruiters in the 8th grade and the usual speil is "Okay, kid, we care about you... We're gonna give you lots of $$$ and we are going to provide you with educational opportunities..."

That's purdy much the deal and so, yeah, lots of folks in Iraq tonight are from these families... Poor??? Yeah... The way outta the ghetto goes thru Iraq... It's sad but it's also true... Problem with this is that it does go thru Iraq and there is no promse that these kids will come home alive or not disabled...

But I don't want to end this post on Iraq as we have enough war threads but will reiterate that the rich will stop at nothin' to get their way... They have had their way since the early 80's when they called off the Great Society...

We won't make any progress but continue to seeing rising per capita poverty rates climb until we get back to the ***good war***..

..the Great Society...

There are those here who can't quite seem to get it that it is going to take some redisribution of our national wealth to fight and perhaps elliminate poverty... This really shouldn't be rocket science but for those folks it seems to be way over these folks heads...

Like I said, it ain't rocket science...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 08:25 PM

Well, I don't know if I am a shill or not but I certainly will not carry on a conversation with you because you are just too rude, pure and simple.

The way to fix and eliminate poverty is to respectfully listen to people with ideas to contribute, and assume that they have good intentions and perhaps experience in what they are talking about. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:33 AM

Bobert: Your accusation of there being ***shills*** here is like blaming things on evil spirits.

I sir, am not a shill. I could use the same sort of accusations to explain away your position and to discredit you but I prefer a more realistic approach to the problems in life. You have good intentions and I am never going to make fun of them. You have done a lot of work to help poor people and I am not going to make fun of that.

My intention is to point out the contradictions I see in what people present as facts. Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Communists, rich philanthropists, foreign governments etc. all have had good intentions in trying to solve the problem of poverty for a long time. They have not been able to do it.

In Russia they had a whole revolution against the powerful and the rich aristocracy. That didn't do it for them. In China, 2 million people starved to death while poverty was being eliminated in a great classless society. Was it the fault of the rich people in China?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 12:35 AM

What's this? Poor Asians?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:54 PM

Dickey,

No, you are very much a "shill"... And, worse, you are a "true beliver shill"... From the looks of things here you support 100% of George Bush's policies... I can't remember you ever breaking ranks... That, my friend, is a "pitchman", i.e. "shill"...

mg,

Sorry you think I'm rude... Yeah, I've tried in the most delicate ways, including my terribly embarrassing experience at a W@hite Panther gathering, to get you to open your mind and become more "client centered"... That was meant to be helpful...It was not meant to be rude but apparently you considered it to be...

As for the shots I take at Dickey, yeah, sometimes they get a tad edgy but no more eddy than his to me...

Back to Dickey,

Revolutions by their very nature aren't for ever... Thomas Jefferson once said that for a country to stay healthy it needed an occasional revolution... Okay, I think he was speakin' in terms of revolution of ideas but none the less, revolutions have moved our country forward... We had the industrial revolution in 1n the 1860's... And we had a cultural revolution a hundred years later...

So to equate the need for another revolution of new ideas and policies in the US with the current status of either China or Russia is another apples & oranges red herring...

More later... Lunch hour is over...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 02:49 PM

Bobert:

Tell me which one of those revolutions eliminated poverty?

And yes I do disagree with Bush on some things like his refusal to enforce laws against illegal immigration. It creats more poor people and makes the legal imigrants poorer by driving down their wages too.

Your quotation of statistics like how much money the largest corporation in the world made is a red herring and your blaming poverty on the rich is a straw man issue.

Not a single answer in the lot. Why do you claim the money for school breakfasts needs to be brought back when it was never taken away? Do you make statements like that out of ignorance or is it propaganda?

At one time you stated apartments were $1300 minimum. I pointed out that they average $1300. There is a range of $585 to many thousands up around Rock Creek Park. You still insist that poor people can't afford an average apartment. Who is supposed to rent the lowest price apartments Bobert? Seems to me people rent apartments according to their income or are all apartments supposed to cost the same?

You don't have answers so you try to discredit me by claiming I am being paid.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 07:43 PM

Dickey,

None, but most have at least closed the gap between the haves and have-nots... That is the challenge for the US... There has never been such a wide divide...

As for the apartment "up around Rock Creek Park", it's way the heck up... I mean, almost to the beltway... That area is a notoriously slummy area... I know, I drive that way every August for the DC Blues Society's Festival... Let's put it this way,k it's so bad that you wouldn't last 24 hours there without becoming a statistic... Have you been there??? Would you want to riase a family there... Would you as a qworking mother who has to catch the 6:15 Metro bus every mornin' want to stand at a bus stop in that area???

I mean, lets get real here, Dickey... This is the projects without the Section 8 money...

When I use the twerm average it means just that... That figure was printed in the Washington Post several months ago... Average means that you take all the available housing in an area, add up all the monthly rentsa nd then divided by the number of apartments that were available... Yeah, it factors in the Capitol Heights neighborhoods and the Adams Morgan neighborhoods and the posh Georgetown neighborhoods but it also factors in "up around Rock Creek's and lots of neighborhoods in NE, where BTW, I have gone to play blues going back many, many years at Archie Edwards Barber Shop... I know DC, Dickey... I grew up 'round DC so pleeeeze don't gettin' all righteous about where folks can live fairly safely in that town...

My largest hope for you, my friend, is that one mornin' you will wake up as a 40 year old balck woman making $8.00 an hour, no husband, three kids and trying to make yer way thru life in the DC area... Yeah, that is my hope... If you had to be this woman fir just one day, you'd get it...

But that won't happen and you know it won't happen and that is why you feel all smug and comfy in yer safe little world...

That's one thing about poverty... Rich folks and their shills just don't get it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:34 PM

Heric just explained a bit of the new bankruptcy law in (sub prime thread)

With a record number of foreclosures people will be falling into the newly created black hole of the BRAND NEW bankruptcy law.

I don't know enough about it but it sounds horrid.




I predicted 5 years ago that the jewel in Crown of the great Republican Heist , after taking away welfare, pensions, social securty, and stock market investments (billionaire hedge funds exempt) would be stealing people's homes in a great flood of foreclosures.

In another 5 years Banks will be so house property rich that its possible they may suffer because of it. I hope they choke on it.

Hmm, people might just need to move to Mexico and Canada   8*p


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 09:29 PM

Yo, Donuel...

Tell Dickey what it's like 'bout 4 miles north of where you live... You know the neighborhood up there... He thinks its like middle class, 'er somethin'...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 12:36 AM

Hi dianavan--I'm right on the same page with you re: getting angry.

I think most of us experience anger as the most energetic of all our emotions. At least I do. That energy is power. Like all power, it can be wielded for a useful purpose. Like all power, it can be used indiscriminantly (I absolutely can not spell anymore--don't know if I spelled that right or not) and be ultimately self-defeating. Like all power, it can be discharged randomly, leaving behind nothing but chaos.

When I am angry, I try to remind myself that anger belongs on the bus, but not in the driver's seat. If anger is in the driver's seat, it will at least take a wrong turn, and will often run into a ditch. It is not uncommon for the bus to wreak. With me on it. And I forgot the seatbelt.

Martin Luther King Jr. chose to direct his anger at the systems that supported social injustice instead of directing it at 'Whitey.' The effective power of the civil rights movement was due to the ability of him and other leaders to take the energy generated by the anger of his people at the social injustices they endured and focus it in a deliberate way to effect social change. He used that energy to turn anger into power equal to the power of money and used it just as deliberately to influence public policy. He rejected stereotyping, and was careful in his public actions and utterances to refrain from stereotyping Whites. He pointed his finger at systems and institutions, not at people. In doing so, he raised the consciousness of a nation. Clearly he did not harness all of that energy. I don't know that he wanted to. When young, angry, disenfranchised blacks rioted in the inner cities of our nation, the blind and indiscriminant explosion of their anger caused terrible damage to the businesses and infrastructure of their own communities, but the fear those riots generated, in combination with a greater and more refined use of that energy was quite effective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 01:03 AM

Martin Luther King Jr. was a master manipulator. Good on him.

He kept his 'eyes on the prize.'

Kennedy's "War on Poverty" and Johnson's "Great Society" programs arose directly out of the civel rights movement. By focusing on issues rather than on people, by declining to demonize whites, King's tactics and ability to channel the energy of anger, he minimized resistance and made common cause with others involved in social injustice, or effected by social injustice, and maximized their collective power.

If his approach had been exclusively anger-based confrontation--"You piss me off, you jerk" the whole movement would have suffered and been less effective. the defensiveness that is a natural reaction to personal attack and stereotyping would have substancially reduced his ability to form coalitions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 02:20 AM

I was just on the food thread, and you know what strikes me as absurd? The fact that people keep ragging on the poor for their food choices, as if they had alternatives. I'm not poor, yet I can't afford most fish these days, unless it's got Mrs. Paul's or Gorton's on the package. (I prefer the latter, actually.) Chicken, which used to be the be-all and end-all for low prices, along with ground beef, is now through the roof, unless you count the higher priced cuts of meat like lamb, etc.

What can poor people buy? Pasta...large loaves of white bread...potatoes...I could go on, but you get the drift, I'm sure. Not to mention junk food, which is extremely tempting, and no wonder why.

I've been in grocery stores in poorer areas of the US where people made rude comments because someone used food stamps to buy chips and beer. Not that I approve if that's all they buy, but who's business is it of theirs? How can we teach nutrition if the prices are too high to make it realistic?

How can you get people to buy prescriptions if it means giving up something else? I'm thinking about Vets, here. BTW, the waiting period for prescriptions used to be 6 months where I used to live.

Fresh vegetables? I don't know about you, but where I live, they're at a premium at the grocery store, which is why I got a membership at Costco's. But that price keeps rising, too. I get more pound per buck there, and the quality is better, but what are the poor supposed to do? They can't even get there, if they could split a membership.

I did some volunteer work before Thanksgiving quite a while ago with a group I belonged to. We went to grocery stores and asked for pledges of food, turkeys and all of the fixings or whatever the store manager/owner wanted to donate. We signed them up and then went back to pick up and distribute the food. I was quite pleased with the results. However, when we were in the initial phases, I had a couple of markets I had to visit that were in poorer areas, and I can't tell you how disgusted I was by the lack of quality of their produce and their meat departments. The meat was literally green in the wrapper. Not just one pack, but almost all. Spoiled fruit and vegetables...it was a travesty. We only asked them for canned or frozen products, and at that we were reluctant. I'm sure that still exists. Is it any wonder the poor react the way they do?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 02:29 AM

Some perspective(s).


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 02:35 AM

One in Five Children in Rural America Lives in Poverty


Read it and weep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 04:16 AM

I can tell you from experience that a child that lives in rural poverty is richer than a child that lives in urban poverty.

If you're poor in a rural area, chances are there is a garden in your backyard and room for you to run. Most likely you have a roof over your head. You might even get to fish and hunt.

An urban area probably provides better educational opportunities but if your food and shelter are lacking, its hard to take advantage of those opportunities.

All in all, I'd rather be poor in a rural area. At least you can fend for yourself and you don't have to live in fear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 08:39 AM

Well, first of all, I agree with Wordsmith's post with the one exception... Food Stamps *cannot* be used to by beer... But, yeah, you go to innercity mom 'n pop grocery stores in the poor neigfhborhoods and there isn't much actual nutrition to be found in 'um... So when yer choices are limited to this junk food or that junk food yer more than likely going to end up buying, ahhhh, junk food...

As for "anger"... Oh, boy... I kinda need to talk about this because it is a very real danger for anyone working in the human services field... But I don't have time this mornin' to get into this... And I'm not too sure how I want to approach it without makin' some folks angry with me... So let me think about it today as I play "equipment operator" and push dirt around... Hopefully by tonight I'll work up the right way to talk about this and the courage to talk about it but...

... it is very real as it relates to those who have made a decision to except lousy pay to do some of society's *dirty work*...

Later...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 06:51 PM

Well, not much activity since last here but I know there are at least a couple folks reading this thread who have PM'd me so I reckon I'll delve into this "anger" issue...

Now, I'm not speaking for anyone but myself here and these are observations I made during my years in social work, working as a jail house teacher and working in an inhouse drug treatment program...

What I want to talk a little about here is how folks in "human services" deal with anger... And I think it is relevant to the discussion because it is these folks who are on the front lines... Not their supervisors or their supervisors but the actual case workers, case managers, social workers otr whatever job title has been given to folks who are in "the field", which means that they are making the home visits and doing the heavy liftibn in dealin' with folks...

When I was with Adult Services in Richomnd as a "case manager" the job required either a MSW (Masters in Social Work) or a BA and x-number of years of related experience so we aren't talking here about folks with little or no eductaional backgrounds but college eductaed professional people...

Folks who I knew came into the Adult Services with great enthusiasm thinking they were going to make the difference... BTW, very little in college trains folks for the realities of the job unless one was fortunate enough to have had some practicum during their studies... But folks came in isealistic and that ain't a bad thing...

Then reality sets in real quick... Heavy case loads and little resources... I carried between 50 and 65 cases... That is one heck of a lot of paper work if I didn't do anything else... Just typing reporst of the stuff I was doing fir folks and keeping up with the C.I.D.'s (Client Information Documents) took up 10 hours every week...

But the further one gets into the system the less idealism that remains with them... I saw it repeatedly with new hires and waht I also saw was as folks figured out that they weren't really going to have the time or resources to really get folks moving toward independent living they would become angry...

Now, these folks are the same folks who are out there every day on the front lines and, yeah, most of them are angry... But the interesting part of this is how people deal with not being able to change the world and make things better and what I saw were of folks who had been in "the field" for, oh, 5 years....

...and, sorry, but I need go for a walk with the P-Vine thru the geardens now as the day is winding down so...

I'll be back... This may take a while...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 08:23 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 12:43 AM

Hi bobert,

From what you have had time to post so far, I don't have any idea about where you are headed, although I will be interested to see. I just want to say that I am not talking about an 'anger' issue. I am talking about 'power' issues.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 03:08 AM

One of the things King (and Abernathy) did so well was organize poor people so that their 'anger' could be directed and used to create 'power' for themselves. That was part of the reason King was killed, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 08:34 AM

Well, danged pudder... I wrote a long post that would have tied the begining of the story with the end but when I hit "submit" all that happened was it went back to the main page and the post didn't stick... I'll have to muster up the time & courage later to rewrite it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:36 AM

Peace,

I think you are entirely right. From what I have read, King himself knew that he was likely to be killed, and made a decision to take that risk. I'm not a King scholar--I'm pulling from what I have read and heard over the years in newpapers, lay literature, interviews with other civil rights leaders who were close to him.

But what he did, in addition to directing the anger of his own people to useful purpose, was manipulate the carelessly wielded anger of his opponents, such that the civil rights movement benefited. He used their own anger against them. Even unto death.

I don't mean to say he chose death. Nor do I mean to say that his death brought more momentum for change than would have resulted had he continued to live and lead. What I am saying is that he did not squander his death.

Gotta go. More later. I'm sure everyone is waiting with bated breath:^)

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 09:43 AM

It is chilling to listen to the sermon King gave in a Memphis church the night before he was assassinated ... "I have been to the mountain; I have seen the Promised Land" (reminder: reference to Moses, who led the Chosen People to the Promised Land, went up the mountain to see it, knowing he wasn't going to live to reach it himself). It is essentially about how will not be with his followers much longer; it will be up to them to carry on ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 07:08 PM

Well, still don't have time to rewrite that rest of the "anger" post seein' as it's half time of the Ohio State-Georegtown game but i'd just like to point out that Dr. King's ace in the hole was none other than, LBJ... Yeah, love Lyndon or hate him, he did have Dr. King's back and I really think that when Dr. King was gunned down in Memphis that it hurt LBJ right down to his heart...

Now back to b-ball... Sorry...

B~

p.s. Guest, meself... A must book is "A Testament of Hope" which is availbale cheap in paper back and has almost every essay and speech that Dr. King ever wrote or gave... It is filled with stuff that will give you the chills...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 07:29 PM

You nailed it, buddy.

"For Johnson, civil rights loomed as the most intractable legislative problem of the decade. The Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, ordering an end to segregated schools, had outraged Southern senators. They circulated a Southern Manifesto urging massive resistance to school integration, but Johnson declined to sign it. In 1957 President Eisenhower proposed a tough civil rights bill that Southerners adamantly resisted. Johnson recognized the symbolic value of enacting the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, but he feared that a protracted filibuster would split his party. His removal of the key enforcement provisions of the law steered it through to enactment. Not until 1964, when Johnson was president, would a strong civil rights act finally win passage."

Although he took lots of flak--much of it deserved--over thge Vietnam War, and despite doing his best he mostly just managed to say "Nigrah", he stood up for laws that enabled a more meaningful civil rights to be realized by people who needed it. There were then and are now many things I admire about Lyndon Baines Johnson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 31 Mar 07 - 11:58 PM

Bobert says poor folks can't afford the rent of an average $1300 per month apartment but he has no answer about who is supposed the rent the apartments renting below $1300 down to $575. His only explanation is to call me a smug rich man's shill.

The part of town I was referring to was like Connecticut avenue whre rents are $4000 and above with a door man and all.

Now if I was to wake up as a 40 year old balck woman making $8.00 an hour, no husband, three kids and trying to make yer way thru life in the DC area, How would I have gotten into that position?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:05 AM

End Welfare Lite as We Know It
It's been nearly 10 years since President Bill Clinton signed the landmark 1996 welfare reform law. The anniversary has been the occasion for various news stories and opinion pieces, most of them praising the law's success in reducing welfare dependency.
        
And it's true: welfare caseloads have fallen an astounding 60 percent since reform efforts began. But even as a strong supporter of welfare reform, I find it difficult to muster unqualified enthusiasm for the law and how it has been carried out.

In the years immediately before the law's passage, welfare dependency seemed out of control. From 1989 to 1994, for example, caseloads rose 34 percent. Analysts argued over how much to blame the weak economy; worsening social problems, primarily out-of-wedlock births and drug addiction; and lax agency administration. But few claimed that another 1.3 million people on welfare was a good thing.

Responding to the growing concern, Mr. Clinton campaigned for president on a promise to end welfare as we know it. But he had in mind something far different from what the Republicans handed him in 1996. Nevertheless, he signed the legislation that ended the welfare entitlement and gave states wide discretion, as long as they put 50 percent of recipients in work-related activities and imposed a five-year limit on financial aid.

Many feared a social calamity. But in the years since, although researchers have strived mightily, they've found only small pockets of additional hardship. Even better, the earnings of most single mothers actually rose.

These twin realities--decreased caseloads and little sign of serious additional hardship--are why both Republicans and Democrats think welfare reform has been a success.

But the results are more mixed. Caseloads fell, yet they did so seemingly regardless of what actions the states took. They fell in states with strong work-first requirements, and those without them; in states with mandatory work programs, and those without them; in states with job training programs, and those without them; and in states with generous child care subsidies, and those without them.

In fact, the consensus among academic researchers is that it took more than welfare reform to end welfare as we knew it. If one looks at all the studies, the most reasonable conclusion is that although welfare reform was an important factor in caseload reduction--accounting for 25 percent to 35 percent of the decline--the strong economy was probably more important (35 percent to 45 percent). Expanded aid to low-income, working families, primarily through the Earned Income Tax Credit, was almost as important (20 percent to 30 percent).

What's more, the best estimates are that only about 40 percent to 50 percent of mothers who left welfare have steady, full-time jobs. Another 15 percent or so work part time. According to surveys in various states, these mothers are earning about $8 an hour. That's about $16,000 a year for full-time employment. It is their story that the supporters of welfare reform celebrate, but $16,000 is not a lot of money, especially for a mother with two children.

What about the other 50 percent of families who left welfare? Well, some mothers did not need welfare, perhaps because they were living with parents or a boyfriend, and some left because of intense pressure from caseworkers. More troubling, about a quarter of those who leave welfare return to the program, with many cycling in and out as they face temporary ups and downs.

In addition, when they're off welfare, some of these families survive only because they still receive government assistance--through food stamps (an average of more than $2,500), the Women, Infants and Children program (about $1,800 for infants and new mothers), Supplemental Security Income (an average of over $6,500), or housing aid (an average of $6,000). Their children also qualify for Medicaid. In reality, these families are still on welfare because they are still receiving benefits and not working--call it welfare lite.

So, yes, welfare reform reduced welfare dependency, but not as much as suggested by the political rhetoric, and a great deal of dependency is now diffused and hidden within larger social welfare programs.

As a result, public and political concern about dependency has largely disappeared.

The tougher work and participation requirements added in this year's reauthorization of the law could help states address the deeper needs of welfare families. But many states are already planning to avoid these new strictures with various administrative gimmicks, like placing the most troubled and disorganized families in state-financed programs where federal rules do not apply. This would only further obscure the high levels of continuing dependency.

For now, welfare reform deserves only two cheers. Not bad for a historic change in policy, but not good enough for us to be even close to satisfied.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:05 AM

Interesting article and interesting perspective, Dickey. I would guess there is some validity in support of the point of view it represents. However, it is not an objective survey of the research, and does not include any citations of the research on which it purports to base its conclusions. It is opinion mascarading as fact. It leaves me with no way to judge to what extent the conclusions he draws are valid. As such, it is only a piece of propoganda.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 01:31 AM

I view the article Dickey cut and pasted above as propoganda. An arguement could perhaps be made that it is actually an op-ed piece. If it is weighed as an op-ed piece giving one man's informed opinion, it is a unidimensionally informed opinion. I am much more likely to thoughtfully consider another pov that is multidimensionally informed, especially when the subject is an extremely multidimensional issue such as poverty.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:03 AM

Is Joseph J Besharov connected in any way with the American Enterprise Institute?


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:07 AM

If so, here are the companies and corporations who support the AEI.


'Most of AEI's Board of Directors are CEOs of major companies, including ExxonMobil, Motorola, American Express, State Farm Insurance, and Dow Chemicals.

Big donors include the top conservative foundations, including Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Corporate supporters have included: General Electric Foundation, Amoco, Kraft Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors Foundation, Eastman Kodak Foundation, Metropolitan Life Foundation, Proctor & Gamble Fund, Shell Companies Foundation, Chrysler Corporation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Pillsbury Company Foundation, Prudential Foundation, American Express Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Corning Glass Works Foundation, Morgan Guarantee Trust, Smith-Richardson Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, and PPG Industries.

Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron, was until recently on the board of trustees of American Enterprise Institute. Other famous former trustees include Vice President Dick Cheney.

AEI Fellows and Scholars [partial list]
Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House.

David Frum, a presidential speechwriter for President Bush, contributing editor to the right-wing magazine Weekly Standard.

Christina Hoff Sommers, anti-feminist crusader, author of Who Stole Feminism? How Women Betrayed Women.

Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, a book that asserted inherent intelligence differences between the races.

Ben J. Wattenberg, host of PBS weekly show "Think Tank."'


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 02:17 AM

Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey - PM
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 12:05 AM


Look at the time of the post; look at the day. Dang. Dickey has a sense of humour. Good one, sport.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 03:20 AM

Rats. I too just lost a post.

I mispoke in my last post. The propoganda piece Dickey posted is not about poverty, it is about welfare dependency, a related but separate issue.

One way to reduce welfare dependency is to reduce poverty. However, while a reduction in welfare dependency may indicate a reduction in poverty, we can't assume that. The reasons for reductions in welfare rolls require very careful and thorough analysis before a reduction can be considered a valid indicator of a reduction in poverty.

It is obvious that there is some common ground. I see it. I want Dickey to see it. Or the president of Exxon to see it. If I allow my anger to be in control, or if I use my anger unskillfully and thoughtlessly, there is a strong risk that I will both waste some of my own power and resources, and deny myself access to the resources available to Mr. Exxon. Where common ground is concerned, I don't want to be the only one left standing on it. I don't want my anger to create or contribute to any barrier to me being able to exploit that common ground in service to the goal of reducing poverty.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 03:26 AM

"WELFARE RATES

- Single person, expected to work*: $397 per month.

- Single parent with one child, expected to work: $707 per month, plus $107 from the national child benefit, for a total of $814.

- Single parent with two kids, one over 12, one under 12, expected to work: $856, plus $198 national child benefit.

- Family of two adults and two children, one over 12, one under, expected to work, $1,053, plus $198 national child benefit.

- 'Expected to work' is defined as someone with no physical or mental barrier to employment.

Rates for people not expected to work are slightly higher. For example, for a single parent with one child, not expected to work, it's $839, plus $107.

*******************************************************

The above figures in Alberta are from 2003.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:54 AM

Dickey,

Get on the friggin' airplane and I 'll pick you up at the airport and give you a tour of the neighborhoods where you can get an apartment fir $475...

Or shut the heck up...

You don't know DC... I do...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:04 AM

Peace,

I'm curious about welfare assistance programs in Canada. Do the programs and payments vary by province or or township, or are they uniform throughout the nation? Is there a program similar to the Food Stamp program in the USA that provides for routine, non-emergency assistance to purchase food? Is your national healthcare system uniform, such that medical benefits are the same for your entire citizenry? Is the funding entirely from federal dollars, or do provinces also kick in money from more local taxes?

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:33 AM

Do the programs and payments vary by province or or township, or are they uniform throughout the nation?
* They vary by Province, but there is a Federal program that adds a few bucks depending on how many children people have.


Is there a program similar to the Food Stamp program in the USA that provides for routine, non-emergency assistance to purchase food?
* People can get emergency assistance by going to a Social Assistance office. But mileage may vary.

Is your national healthcare system uniform, such that medical benefits are the same for your entire citizenry?
* The medicare program: we pay about $90/month for a family and about $60/month single. The services are uniform across Canada. However, people if they wish can 'upgrade' from a room that is shared to a single room (space permitting) but they have to pay the difference in cost. That is where work medical programs come in. Families on welfare are deemed to have paid their Medicare benefits.

Is the funding entirely from federal dollars, or do provinces also kick in money from more local taxes?
* (From Wiki which explains it fairly well) Canada's healthcare system provides diagnostic, treatment and preventive services to every Canadian regardless of income level or station in life.

Each province in Canada manages its own healthcare system. For example, each province issues its own healthcare identification cards and negotiates with the federal government for money to cover healthcare costs. Each province also provides its own prescription drug benefit plan, available to every Canadian regardless of income level. The prescription drug benefit is, however, adjusted for income, with a higher co-payment required for those with higher personal incomes. The prescription drug benefit is very comprehensive and rarely excludes a medication. Where a medication is excluded that is needed by a patient, the patient applies for coverage under the plan for that drug using a Section 8 form.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:06 AM

Back to common ground. I also want to be careful that I don't allow myself to be co-oped by Mr. Exxon. I need to be very clear about the following.
1. My bottom line regarding policy or political concessions I am willing to make with respect to negotiating a limited coalition agreement around that common ground. This requires me to do a 'big picture' cost-benefit analysis BEFORE I even enter into negotiations.
2. I need to do a good inventory of my resources, and I need to have a pretty good idea of the resources available to Mr. Exxon. I want to know that I have enough leverage to avoid being co-oped if I do enter into negotiations, I want to know if I have enough power to not get pushed off of the common ground, but I also want to be sure I have an exit strategy that allows me to retreat with my assets intact from common ground if that is necessary.
3. I want to know my BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). I want to have a good idea of the strength of my BATNA. I want some idea of Mr. Exxon's BATNA and the strength of his position.

I need to do all of this because there are definite limits to the area of common ground. I want the point of contact and the goals of negotiation to focus on what we have in common, not on our differences. I want my anger to be out on the perimeters of the common ground, patroling, on guard duty. I can always call it in if needed, but I don't want to lead with it.

I want the biggest stick I can find. then I want to walk softly with it.

It goes without saying that I don't even step onto the common ground unless I am pretty sure my stick is big enough to back me up. But I don't want my anger to be so out front that neither Mr. Exxon or myself will risk sniffing around the edges. I don't want my anger to obscure from my vision the awareness that there may be common ground out there on the playing field.

Janie

-


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 11:19 AM

Ignore this post. I'm experimenting with something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:08 PM

Just don't inhale ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:11 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:12 PM

I inhale. BUT, I don't absorb!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 06:23 PM

Well, if yer not goin' to inhale, then pass it over to me....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 06:42 PM

Don't Bobert that joint, my friend...


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 07:01 PM

Bobert:

Where is your answer to whom is supposed to rent the apartments costing less than the average?

Where is the answer to why you claim that the the funding for breakfast programs needs to be brought back when it dodn't go anywhere?

Excuse me but I do not wish to shut up. The reason I am using the $575 low number for an apartments is because that is the lowest price I can prove exists by searching on the net. I am sure lower priced ones exist.

I was born in Alexandria and I have lived and worked in the area all my life. I have seen every part of DC including parts that do not exist any more due to urban renewal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 07:25 PM

Jeez, Dickey--go stalk on someone in another thread!


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:08 PM

Yeah, Dickey...

All your are proving her, my frined is:

1. Yopu don't have any desire in discussinfg this subject

2. You don't wnat anyone else diascussing this subject

3. You don't know jack about DC...

4. When offered an opportunity to learn jack about DC you run like a scared dog back to yer little juvinileistic game playin'...

Ya know what, Dcikey... I think the reason that you won't meet me in DC so I can learnbt you up on the realities of poverty is that you are really a 13 year old girl and yer daddy won't let you...

Have a nice day...

I have no more time for chickensh*ts like you for a while... Go stalk someone who cares....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:24 PM

I stay off of most hot topic threads these days so was not familiar with Dickey, while many of you already were. Like most people, I have to learn from my own mistakes. It is my nature to try to get along and it is my training to try to foster communication. Problem is, sometimes I find myself reinventing the wheel. I stand by my remarks regarding anger and power, but I failed to recognize that the rest of you have had opportunities on other threads to assess whether Dickey was worth engaging, and you already knew there is no substance there with which to engage in dialogue. I really didn't want him to be a distraction, but in fact, he really hasn't been, because so many of you already knew you weren't dealing with anything with any real substance.



Dickey--I hope you are not suffering from the delusion that you have contributed anything to the discussion on this thread. You may or may not like or accept what Bobert or anyone else here has had to say. You may challenge their statements til you are blue in the face. You can challenge their assertions all you want.

Can't nobody here stop you.

According to the commercials, can't nobody stop the coppertop bunny, either. but who cares. It's just a robot.

You may be one fine, smart fella in 3D. Wouldn't know. And probably never will, cuz judging from your posting history, you aren't interested in folk music and aren't likely to turn up at the Getaway or other music gatherings where mudcatters might meet one another. Liberals or conservatives, radicals or reactionaries, completely apolitical, whatever our pov's about all the things that get discussed in the BS section, nearly everyone here on the 'Cat have one firm piece of common ground. Folk Music. You apparently don't even have that. You apparently are just something that got its key cranked up, stumbled in here, maybe bumped into a wall so the 'Parade' function button got pushed, and since that is what you are programmed to do, that is what you do. Parade across the field, bump into the fence, turn around as you are programmed to do, and parade back.

On this thread, you act like a mindless robot, programmed with a few set responses to external stimuli. You have linked to the words of other people. Specifically, propoganda pieces. You have quoted statistics, but have not evidenced any critical thinking. You haven't really even expressed a cogent opinion about anything. In spite of being very specifically invited to do so. And you think you are entitled to a response from Bobert? There are some very articulate conservative thinkers on the Mudcat. I bet they cringe when you arrive on the scene.

Mindless. Mindless. Mindless.

When Bobert called you a shill, he wasn't calling you names. He was naming your behavior.

Sorry folks. I guess I just had to find out for myself.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 08:35 PM

Okay, I think I got the little pest calmed down long enough to rewrite the post I started about "anger" and maybe this will be the condensed version as the longer one wouldn't stick but...

Speakin' stricky from my own obseravtions during my years as social worker I found that folks would come in with all kinds of humanistic and idealistic feeelings and after 5 years woule be pared down into two categories:

1. Those who still felt deeply that that could make a difference and were openly "angry" and...

2. Those who had thrown in the towel, stuffed their idealism in their tummies and were just going thru the motions...

I wish there was a 3 category but this is purdy much waht I saw... There wer 6 of us in my Adult Services unit and Ginny Dize and I were the only 2 of the 6 that fit in that first category... The other 4 fell very much into that 2nd category... No, I'm not saying that these 4 did absolutley nuthin' but danged close... They had become paper pushers and weren't trying to put together comprhensive plans for their clients but the bare minimum...

Hey, first of all, given the lack of real resources we were dealing with, I'm not making an judgement on these four... Heck, they had learned how to get along... Ginny and I hadn't...

The point here is that these are folks on the front lines (think "Support the Troops" here) of our waelth nation's efforts to deal with the large percenttage of folks who live in poverty...

It is my premise that this war (which it isn't) on poverty is being waged by folks who either no longer give a danged or go home angry every night...

This is ***not*** a formula for success... It's bad enough that under Reagan and again under Clinton our nation sent an undeniable message to the poor that they aren't a priority but when you have folks who are angry who are left puttin' out the fires it is a sad state of affairs...

And for the folks who become the get along socail workers all is well... These folks have made the supreme consesssion... They have sold their soles to the devil for a pay check and some security and a pension and have willed themselves to just ***do the time***... Many of my friends who fell into this category, including one of my best friends, have now been going thru the motions for some 40 years and roundin' retirement age and, hey, I'm okay with that...

But for folks like me who never quit and I suspect that Jnaie falls into this category, mnay burned the slam out...

I did...

I'm kinda gald that the much longer post I wrote that ended up in the ozone ended up there 'cause it went thru some every personal details of my own burn out and what happens to socail workers when they burn the slam out... It ain't purdy and if it's allright with everyone (except the usual pest) I'd rather not go into it...

I will, however, thru into this discussion that this war (which it isn't) is being fought by some angry folks who have individually statked out the manner in which they will continuie the fight while being angry...

It ain't purdy... Janie knows of what I speak...

So, bottom line, when we talk about poverty in this country, it serves us well to know something about the grunts in the trenches...

Like I said, it ain't too purdy no matter how they individually deal with the anger of not having the resources or support to win too many of the battles...

And I know that things haven't changed much because many of my oldest and dearest friends are still at it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:55 PM

Well said, Bobert.

Well said....

I took a 4 1/2 year break, because I saw I was being burned to a cinder. Then, when I had the opportunity to go to graduate school, I resisted the idea of going for my MSW, because I knew what I was setting myself up for. I explored a number of different options. I went to a career counselor. I consulted with friends and family. But it seems this is the work I am meant to do.

At the time I began graduate school, I wasn't sure if I wanted to follow the mental health specialty or hospice. then my sister died and I knew the hospice work would hit too close to home, so I headed for mental health. (I was leaning that direction anyway.) I still intended to protect myself. My 5 year plan was to practice in a public mental health setting until I got my professional license, then start a part time private practice that would gradually turn into a full-time private practice. I'd do a little pro bono work on the side, or work 1o to 15 hours a week in public mental health to feel like I was 'doing my part.' But the need for skilled clinicians in public mental health was too compelling, and my years in public welfare was a real resource to the people I was serving in public mental health.

I've been in public mental health a couple of years longer now than I worked in public welfare. within the past year, public mental health has now been privatized in North Carolina. I find I am teetering on the edge of burn-out again. The public agency certainly had its fair share of flaws, but there I at least had sufficient job protection to speak truth to power. That job protection is no longer there in the private sector, and I am choking on my own phlegm, not sure how much I can risk and still keep my job.

The thing about being a psychotherapist is the possibility of actually empowering some one is always there, on a one-to-one basis. Seeing a person recognize their own power, seeing them learn to use the tools and resources within them, seeing them learn how to acquire additional tools and make some headway, however small, toward leading more satisfying, effective lives, provides a lot of protection against burn out.

With privatization, my clinic is now expected to make a profit. If we don't, the corporation will close us down. Then who will serve the mentally ill population living various degrees of poverty in my community? As a public agency, we were always having to deal with the scarcity of resources, but our presence in the community to provide services was never in question. The tax payers weren't going to provide adequately to meet the mental health needs of this poor, incapacitated population, but they would provide something. There is no longer that very minimal guarantee. Even that guarantee has now been rendered null and void.

For people in the helping professions, I think burn out is largely the result of feeling ineffective. Of so often not having the resources to be able to be effective change agents in the lives of the people we serve. We become like those people, those people living in poverty, who can never garner sufficient resources to get the job done, to get out of a perpetual state of poverty. We lose hope. It is what so many social workers entered the profession to do-offer hope. Once the social worker herself loses hope, s/he is bankrupt, and really offers nothing.

What makes me the most angry is this. the mantra is 'make the best possible use of the limited resources available.' But resources are not that limited. There are lots of resources. In this country, in this state, in this county, in this town, there are plenty of available resources. It is not that the resources are not there. It is that they are not allocated in a justice and equitable manner. (Equitable doesn't mean equal, it means fair.)

This is a a bit of a 'stream of consciousness' post and is probably too personal and also at best pretty egocentric, if not down right narcissistic.

It is what it is.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM

Nothing to apologize for. Nothing for YOU to apologize for, that is. More than apologies are owed from some other sources.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:05 PM

Sarah is 60 years old. She has Bipolar Disorder and cycles rapidly between depression and hypomania--in spite of good medication compliance and very close and careful monitoring by her psychiatrist. She had one hospitalization for a suicde attempt 4 years ago during a period when her living situation would have been difficult for anyone to cope with. Other than that, she has functioned well enough to stay out of the hospital and be primary caregiver for her now 15 y.o. grandson, also with bipolar disorder, as well as to provide some shelter, care and guidance to her daughter (mother of the grandson) who has schizophrenia, drug problems, no insight, and who has consistently refused treatment over the years. Her daughter is basically a street person who wanders into and out of Sarah's life when daugh's situation gets desparate and she needs rescued. Her other two adult children have college degrees, are working professinals and live out of state. They are not estranged from her, but are not very involved with her either. I doubt she has let them know what her circumstances are.

Sarah was the victim of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather from age 3 until she was age 21. I won't go into the psychological damage and brainwashing that traps an otherwise intelligent teenager and young woman in such circumstances until age 21. Although extremely bright, her bipolar symptoms prevented her from obtaining a college degree. She did go to school to be a beautician and worked at that trade. she has also managed motels, and worked as a convenience store manager.   

She has been married twice. The first man she married during a hypomanic episode. She was also looking for an escape from her stepfather. He was alcoholic and abusive. The second husband was not abusive, but had affairs, and treated her as unpaid hired help.

She has been disabled for a number of years. She worked enough to draw Social Security, a little over $600 per month. The amount she receives is low enough that she qualifies for Medicaid as well as for Medicare, so her health care is pretty well covered. The original disability determination was due to the bipolar disorder. Since then she has developed a number of other medical problems that in and of themselves would preclude her working at any job she is qualified to do.

Needless to say, she also has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She has legal custody of her grandson and has had him since he was an infant. Because his bipolar symptoms are poorly controlled, she receives an SSI check for him--about $300 per month. He also has some organic learning and behavioral problems, probably attributable to his monther's drug use during pregnancy. As he has entered adolescence, and as Sarah has become less physically and mentally able to cope with him, his dysfunctional behaviors have esculated to the point that she agreed to the recommendations of his treatment providers that he go to a short term therapeutic foster care home. He is doing reasonably well there. Sarah is on good terms with the therapeutic foster parents.    She has him on weekends. It is clear from those visits that he will most likely revert to old behaviors if he returns to her home. She simply does not have the energy and the internal resources left to set the limits with him that are neccessary.

The placement is temporary and is due for review at the end of the school year. The possibility exists, but is not insured, that it can be continued. It is probably in the best interest of both Sarah and her grandson for him to continue to live in a therapeutic setting. (It is also unlikely, given the organic problems, that he will ever be able to function in society completely independently.)

Because the placement is temporary, Sarah continues to receive a portion of his SSI check. She is, for the most part a good money manager. She lives in a run down but very neatly maintained mobile home that she rents for $475 per month. Utilities cost about $200 per month. She drives an old car on which she must pay taxes and insurance, and also has the attendent costs of maintenance, repair and gasoline. She did have ok credit for someone in her situation., which she used sparingly. However, she co-signed a high interest furniture loan for her 1st cousin who then defaulted. Trying to rob Peter to pay Paul, she ran upp her own credit card. Then she responded to a sharkey credit offer she received in the mail that she though would help her situation. She ended up converting a 13% credit card rate to a $24% credit card rate. This happened during a hypomanic episode.

She was on the list for a housing supplement and had moved to the top of the waiting list. Based on conversations both she and I had previously with the housing authority, she and I were operating on the assumption that the housing supplement, if it came through in time, would enable her to keep her housing if her grandson stayed in foster care and his check was stopped. His placement there is voluntary. This is not a protective services case. He wants to come home. She has been struggling in both her individual therapy with me and with the in-home faily therapist who works with her and the grandson together to resolve her own ambivalence about his best interests and her own feelings that she might be abandoning him if she continues to consent to the foster care placement when school ends, should that be clinically an option.   Everyone involved in the case have hoped that a return home will be indicated, but all involved have known it is a borderline situation.

Last month, when she rose to the top of the waiting list for a housing supplement, she was called in for a final review. She heats with fuel oil. It costs %500 to fill the tank. It has to be paid all at once, even though it is used all winter. She scraped and saved and was finally able to have the tank filled in November. Because the bill was paid in full in the previous calendar year, housing would not allow it as an expense. If they had prorated the cost over the heating period, the prorated cost would have qualified her to stay at the top of the waiting list. They say the rules won't let them. She is back at the bottom of the waiting list.

If her grandson does not return to her home now, she will be unable to support herself. (There is not one single rooming house in my area, Mary, and no candidates for room-mates--she has looked.) This greatly complicates the decision making process regarding her grandson.

She is embarrassed and ashamed that she is unable to adequately support herself, that she is unable to work. She is embarrassed that she can not provide for her grandson as she would like. He recently had a birthday, celebrated with her and the foster family. she got him a CD. They got him a nice, new shiny bicycle. She appreciated their generosity to her grandson. And felt terribly humiliated. she felt like a failure.

Sarah is poor, but not destitute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:06 PM

Yeahm Janie, the idea of privitization is scarey... When profit becomes the bottom line it is difficult to alot the time and resources to a client you have that ***gut feeling*** about who you think has a chance to actually beat the odds and succeed... Under the public sysytem there was more room for that because not every move you made was scutinized...

You know what I mean...

As fir burn out, yeah, it is when the internalized anger and the feeling that you can't win collide... That is wxactly what it is and it isn't pleasant...

I my case, I developed a good old fashioned full blown case of anxiety disorder... That stuff ain't no fun at all... I'd rather have a broken leg any day of the week... With the acute anxiety disorder I was hospitalized and this is where the rub comes into play... When a social worker is hospitalized with symptoms of burn out guess who they are hospitalized with??? Yup, folks just like their clients!!!

But nevermind that... A year of nasty drugs and lots ot exercise and counseling I was back to my old self... But it was harrowing...

And though I did change careers I have always attracted and been attracted to folks who used to be my clients... My wife referes to me as a "maga-nut" because of the folks who I enjoy being with and maybe she's on to something... Guess, once a social worker, always a social worker...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 05:08 PM

I should probably begun the last post with the statement that I have changed some details to protect confidentiality, and in this case, anonymity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:21 PM

I am copying this link from BS: Public Libraries and the mentally ill, a thread just started by Rapaire. The article talks about a number of things, but key among them is homelessness and the mentally ill.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:37 PM

Many people don't care because they think it can't or won't ever happen to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM

I'm going to post a couple of links that relate to the official 'poverty threshhold' and 'poverty guidelines' utilized for statistical, research, and most importantly, policy decisions and program eligibility in the United States. I'll have to do it two posts.

Warning: this some very dry reading. It is, however, essential reading if you want to have any understanding at all of
1. how our government defines poverty,
2. the benchmarks used in most research studies and statistical    analyses indicating the number of households officially living in poverty
3. The financial eligibility requirements that are used to determine who gets public assistance or qualifies for assorted government needs based programs. (Different programs use different per centages of the federal poverty level. ex. income not in excess of 100% of the federal poverty level. income not in excess of 130% of the federal poverty level, etc. Allowable deductions from income to determine eligibility for assorted programs are also often limited to deductions allowed in the formula used to determine poverty levels.

My next post will contain the first link.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 10:52 PM

The link to the FAQ page of the Economic Policy Institute gives some information about the current official measures of poverty, and a very condensed idea of what goes into the formula. It is geared toward the lay reader. The EPI would be classified by some as a liberal think tank. that may be, but their data is sound and generally presented in a good, objective way. They tend to let the data speak for itself, without trying to put a 'spin' on it.

Pole around the website some for other good information and analysis.

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/issueguides_poverty_povertyfaq


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:16 PM

This is a report from a panel commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in the early nineties that proposed a major revamp of the methodology used to determine offical poverty threshholds and guidelines.

Go to the bottom of the page, and especially check the links to the preface and the executive summary. Warning. This is VERY dry reading.

This represents good and thoughtful research methodology, tries to stay out of the politics of the issue, and clearly acknowledges that all decisions regarding social science research includes an element of judgement (value judgement).


Their recommendations have never been implemented. I did not research further to see if they were ignored or outright rejected by policy makers.


http://books.nap.edu/readingroom/books/poverty/index.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:38 PM

Re: the EPI. Well, yes, they are a liberal think tank. I actually found and read the NAS panel report before I found the EPI website. I also posted both links before I went back and read to the bottom of the EPI FAQ and saw where they referenced the Panel's report. I had googled for 'Federal Povery Levels, USA' simply looking to see what the guidelines currently are, and what methodology is used.

Got distracted before I found the actual current numbers. I'll go see if I can find them now.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:44 PM

Hey Bobert:

You have expended a lot of energy avoiding answering a few simple questions regarding some "facts" of yours. Who rents the apartments that are below the $1300 per month average and why do you claim the money for school breakfasts needs to be brought back?

You can ask me anything you want and I will try my best to answer but I will never use name calling as a substitute for an answer.

It looks like you really care about poor people and have gone beyond the call of duty in trying to help them but have been frustrated. I feel a little pious in even talking about because I am not poor but I feel for poor people too.

My Dad woke up one day when he was 16 with no parents and three sisters to take care of with no assets, no money and only distant relatives. He told me stories about hopping aboard a truck full of baskets of apples at a stop light in Richmond during the depression. He filled his shirt with apples and when he jumped off of the truck at the next light, his shirt tail came out and all the apples rolled down the street. And the time when he built our first house in Alexandria out of scrap lumber from construction projects scabbed together. The times when he had to hunt squirrels and rabbits for food. Under adverse conditions he took care of his siblings got out of poverty and I guess he is sort of my role model. I don't like the fact that there are poor people. I wish there were no poor people. If there was a sure cure I would support it But I don't see the cure. I think we need to study the cause and eliminate the causes and best as possible instead of concentrating on patches. As Ben Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So far I have not seen anybody define the causes except for a lot of maudlin sentiment, government bashing, company bashing and rich people bashing. Some companies like credit card companies are predatory and some people fall prey to them. I think they should be regulated by the government. Pay day loans, video poker and all that too.

I think the key to helping people out of the poverty cycle is education. People that are really determined, get an education even under adverse conditions.

I do not claim to know everything and I make mistakes so If I am wrong, please correct me but I don't see how posting incorrect facts like "Bring back the funding for breakfast programs" when it was never taken away or poor people can't afford the average $1300 apartment serves any purpose except as a red herring or a straw man to be kicked around and to blame things on. Could it be that Bobert was just plain wrong and refuses to admit it?

I think that these so called "civil rights leaders" pander to and feed off of the poor by sympathizing with them, telling them they are victims and that people are plotting against them. They prey on the victim mentality. Others try to send the message that they can succeed if they want to and if they try. The government can't legislate that and rich people can't buy that for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:59 PM

2007 HHS Poverty Guidelines
Persons
in Family or Household 48 Contiguous
States and D.C. Alaska Hawaii
1 $10,210 $12,770 $11,750
2 13,690 17,120 15,750
3 17,170 21,470 19,750
4 20,650 25,820 23,750
5 24,130 30,170 27,750
6 27,610 34,520 31,750
7 31,090 38,870 35,750
8 34,570 43,220 39,750
For each additional
person, add 3,480 4,350   

From the following officail website.
http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/07poverty.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:38 AM

Dickey,

Pay attention.

There is a wealth of information on this thread, on the web, in public libraries, within the halls of universities, and in government funded research and reports that identify the many, complex, and overdetermined reasons that people are poor.

I agree that education is one value resource (go back and read dianavan's and mg's posts) and public dollars that promote and support education and job skills training are public dollars well spent. Education should also include educating mainstream America about how our personal and societal values, institutions and choices contribute to poverty. Even so, education is only one piece of a very large picture.



There is no one key.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:29 AM

"I think that these so called "civil rights leaders" pander to and feed off of the poor by sympathizing with them, telling them they are victims and that people are plotting against them. They prey on the victim mentality. Others try to send the message that they can succeed if they want to and if they try. The government can't legislate that and rich people can't buy that for them."

Please define 'so-called.'

Please define 'others'

Please go talk to a sample of African-Americans, making sure your sample is mulitgenerational. While we are a long way from having righted the wrongs of institutional racism in this country, look at the increase in percentages of African Americans in the middle class. Look at the increased percentages of African Americans who go to college. Look at the increase in the percentages of African Americans in white collar and skilled jobs. Look at those percentages in terms of percentages of the African-American population. Look at those percentages in terms of increase in total percentage of the general population. Compare the numbers pre-civil rights movement to post civil rights movement.

Then come back and tell us that the preponderent effect of the civil rights movement, and of the civil rights leaders, was to foster victimhood and dependency.

The leaders of the civil rights movement helped people stand up and NAME their condition. It did not create their condition.


Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:33 PM

dickey - Access to education is very important but its not the answer for everyone.

How can a single mom go to college if she can't afford day care?

How can people learn if they are hungry or sick?

How can people look for work when they have nowhere to sleep?

You talked about your father's experience in the depression. That was a national experience. In other words, most everyone was in the same boat. Its not like today when the gap between haves and have nots is ever widening.

Politicians must look at a re-distribution of the wealth to fund social programs that will benefit everyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Scoville
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 02:43 PM

I'm sorry, but the poverty guidelines are a joke. You can't actually support yourself on those. Twelve people sharing a house and absolute bare-minimum food and clothing, maybe, but it's life on the edge at best. That seems to be assuming you and your dependents never get sick or injured, nothing you own ever breaks or wears out, you can live somewhere where everything is within walking distance, your portion of the rent doesn't go up, and you are able to work until the day you drop dead so you won't need to plan for retirement or old-age care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:46 PM

Dickey,

Actually, compared to the nergy you have used up stalking an' attackin' me, I've used up little to no energy in avoding answering your question... Your question is so simplistic that I can't understand why you think it's the "holy grail" of this discussion... You have elivated your rather benign nit-pick into some kinda ah-hah-Bobert-gotcha-monster when it is is less than a cockroach... I just don't get your question...

I point out that poor folks are being displaced becuase of high rents in DC and if they can saty in the city are having to live in very dangerous neigborhoods and you go balistic??? I just don't get yer question, I guess... What is the big deal here, Dickey??? I mean, gol danged... It ain't rocket science...

You want to ba single mom working fir 8 bucks and hour with a couple kids and no husband in DC... Do the math... This woman and the millions just like her accross the US are seeing the same situation with urban center being revitalized and rents pricing them into the nastiest neigborhoods that haven't gone revitalization...

This isn't my imagination... It is a national trend...

So yeah, you can get a friggin' $475 a month apartment 3 miles north of Rock Creeek apartment... Do you want to raise yer kids there???

Now back to yer dad... Hey, my dad went thru the same crap... His mother died when he was 11 and he was sent off to work at age 11 on a farm but he made it okay...Never finished high school but ended up working as a district manager for Ford Motor Co... But that was then and this is now... Lots of folks came thru the depression and did just fine because after WW II there was work for anyone who wanted it and the pay was decent by late 40's/eraly 50's standards... That is as long as you were white...


But beyond that, Scoville is entirely correct... The guidelines are a joke... If we used realistic guidlines we'd probably double the number of folks who are living in poverty...

And guess what...Wiht the exception of the upper 1 ot 2% everyone is one catastropic illness away from joing those ranks... There isn't even a friggin law on the books that says that a health insurance carrier can't drop you if you get sick...

So, Fickey, lets say that tomorrow morning, you wake up and go for you annual checkup and the doc finds a spot in the exray and it's cancer... And so yer health insureer drops you 'casue, ahhhh, for no other reason but "they can" legally...

And the treeatment is going to be 'round $500,000, which it can very easially, you might be looking fir one of them $475 apartments in some ghettoe yerself...

Farfetched???

Well, yeah...

But this can happen to you...

Do, yeah, this is why I rail against the governemnt... Rather than "govern" a civil society they are stealing our national accumulated wealth and funneling it to the upper 1 to 2%...

This is not the way enlightened societies behave...

Period!!!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:11 PM

Now I'd like to make a comment about "education"... Yes, while education seems to be that threshold that folks who don't really understanf the cycle of poverty, it is the "holy grail" but...

...this is for folks who don't understand what it is laike to grown up in poverty these days... And it is somewhat part of the4 problem in breaking the cycle of poverty but...

... it isn't the folks who are stuck in the hampster wheel of povertyy but the folks who have some "power" to exert their values on the folks who spend the money...

Yeah, the folks who nedd some educatin' are the folks here, like Dickey, but not only Dickey but the Dickies of the world who would rather preach to poor peoploe how to get outta of poverty which is like speaking a forieng language or smugly balaming folks for bad choices...

Either way, it won't break the cycle... No, the American people in general need to be educated, top to bottom... And if that were to occur then we could get the War on Poverty back on track... There isn't a silver bullet herer but many pieces of buckshot that need to be fired in this war...

And yeah, it's gonna take breakfast programs... It's gonna take more $$$ for child care subsidies... It's gonna take more Section 8 housing... Bottom line, inspite of the right wing rhetoric that you can't fix problesm with money, it's goning to take money...

Heck, we give Billions and billions to rich fat cats wioth the hope that it will trickle down... It's time to level the playing field and invest those billions in our poor and let it trickle ****up****....

This is some basic bottom line stuff here...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:51 PM

I'm about to post another series of links, this time regarding distribution of wealth and income in the USA. Some pretty interesting reading on some of these sites, in addition to the graphs. Again, I only know how to do it one post at a time.

Hhttp://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.htmlere is the first.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 09:58 PM

Here's number 2

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/american_income_taxation.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:02 PM

Fixing first link. (I hope)
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:08 PM

Straight from Uncle Sam

http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/workpapr/wp233.pdf


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:09 PM

For your reading pleasure-more links to census bureau data.

http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/pubsmain.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:13 PM

Don't just look at the stats. Read (or at least skim) the explanations and analyses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Peace
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 10:23 PM

The guy who needs to read those links won't. His mind's made up and that's that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 11:00 PM

I am not a believer in leveling. It is fine with me, and probably in the nature of things, that some have more and some have less.

But if you are looking for the most significant reason there are significant levels poverty in a nation with our total wealth, these numbers tell the story.

Grossly inequitable distribution of wealth.

Who determines how resources are distributed? Those with the power to do so.

Who has power? People with money. Lots of money.

How many people have lots and lots of money? Not very many.

The richest of the rich, and the richer of the rich could still be rich. The merely rich could still be very well-to-do. The upper middle class could still be middle class. The vast majority of us could still muddle along from payday to payday and be ok barring any catastrophic illness. And we could guarantee that even the worst off among us were guaranteed a basic but adequate standard of living. That basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and medical care were sufficiently met.

In this country, in these United States of America, in this, the richest country in the history of the world, the only reason so many are so poor is because that is the only way the richest can stay that rich.

That, my friends, is social injustice.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 11:18 PM

Bobert:

I never said it would not take money to "fix" poverty but the money should be spent in the right places.

Education is one factor. Parental neglect is another.

And yes, people should be told when they make bad choices. Like this: Here is a good choice and here is a bad choice. Joe made a bad choice and he suffers. If you make a bad choice you will suffer like Joe. It is not rocket science.

But you still have not explained who rents the apartments that cost below average or why you say the money for breakfast programs should be brought back. Spending on school breakfast programs has gone up not gone away so please explain your rhetoric.

I just remembered that my dad told me he had a car that was so worn out that the spark plug holes were stripped. He had to wrap a strip of a rag around the threads and screw in the spark plugs real gently to get them to stay. He had to featherfoot the gas pedal or the plugs would pop out and put dents in the hood. It was a flat head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 11:20 PM

Janie: I like your link. Here is what I found

Stop Blaming the Media!
by G. William Domhoff
October 2005

"Like everyone else, progressives have a strong tendency to blame the media for their failures. As horrible as the media can be, they are not the problem. Blaming the media becomes an excuse for not considering the possibility that much of the leftist program is unappealing to most people -- third parties, calls for a planned non-market economy, the use of violent tactics by some groups, and a tendency to rely on charismatic leaders. None of these has any appeal to average Americans, and it is not the media that created this negative reaction.

When activists complain about the nature of media coverage, they are actually demanding that the media abandon an independent journalistic stance and champion their cause by reporting what they want reported. This is in effect what people from the left and right constantly do: attack the media with the hope that they will bend in their direction, then blame the media if their program fails.

Today the main culprit is said to be television, with its misleading or distracting images, and non-stop advertising, but the complaint goes back to the days when there were only newspapers. It leads to endless dissection of every media story to find any mistakes and distortions, but progressives rarely consider the possibility that the media distortions are not the reason why they often lose. Blaming the media reinforces tendencies toward conspiratorial thinking. It crowds out creative thinking about how to make use of the media as part of strategic nonviolent campaigns....."


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 12:02 AM

Here's what I found at http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/workpapr/wp233.pdf page 51


It tells me that the majority of families make between $25,000 and &49,999 and the majority of thise hava head of household between 35 and 44years old.
TABLE B-1
SURVEY OF INCOME AND PROGRAM PARTICIPATION, WAVE 7 SAMPLE SIZE:
UNWEIGHTED COUNTS OF FAMILIES, BY AGE OF HEAD AND FAMILY TOTAL INCOME, 1995
Family Total Income
..........Less than..$10,000-.$25,000-.$50,000-.$75,000-.$100,000..All Income
...........$10,000.....24,999..49,999....74,999...99,999 ..or More...Classes
Age of
Head
25-34.......576........1,318...1,389......515.....164........50......4,012
35-44.......409..........982...1,609......926.....345........182.....4,453
45-54.......271..........663...1,131......741.....388........277.....3,471
55-64.......318..........572.....798......378.....179........120.....2,365
65-74.......388..........877.....715......206......68.........36.....2,290
75 and
Older.......536..........866.....371.......77......20..........9.....1,879
All Ages*.2,498........5,278...6,013....2,843...1,164........674....18,470

* Age 25 or older.
Source: Capital Research Associates analysis of Survey of Income and Program Participation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Wordsmith
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 04:00 AM

I've chosen to ignore any comments by a certain someone...HE WHO SHOULD NOT BE NAMED...which, btw, makes reading this thread somewhat of a challenge. It's been a while since I've been here.

First, I forgot to give kudos to Bobert a while back for his case study. It was truly moving. And, yes, you're right about beer not being able to be purchased with food stamps...I guess I didn't make that clear. What I meant to say is that I've seen people rag on those who buy beer and, say, cigarettes with their welfare money as well as buying chips with food stamps.

Second, thanks to both Bobert and Janie (your case study was also poignant) for lending us their expertise and for their patience with us. It is truly a difficult subject, but I think your examples make it easier to understand, for some, at least.

dianavan was right about it being somewhat better to be poor in a rural rather than urban setting, however, it's been my experience that in the rural communities I've lived in, there's more people who are willing to stick their faces into your business, and who have no qualms about making you feel the size of a peanut, but less worthy. Manners don't seem to exist. People say out loud whatever their brains are misfiring over when they're in public, or in private for that matter. The gossip is outrageous. It's far worse than that game of Telephone we used to play. It adds depression to the mix and skims what little self-worth you had down to the bone.

Janie's case study pointed out exactly what happens in the system. Your furnace goes out in the middle of winter, for example. You call the company that services it and provides you your fuel. They send a guy out to examine it, incurring a service charge. He says he can't get it to run, goes out to check your fuel meter and discovers you're out of fuel. Ironically, you have an appointment to see social services for an emergency fuel allotment check you qualify for that very day. Service guy says, I'll talk to my boss and get him to deliver 50 gallons of kerosene before you have to leave for your appointment, even though you've made it clear that you're behind in your payments to the heating co. because you've been waiting on the appointment with social services. The fuel is delivered, the guy can now check the furnace and finds, much to your relief, that the problem was the lack of fuel. Off you go to your appointment.

Instead of getting the "nice" social worker you've had in the past, luck of the draw gets you one of the angry "thinks it's his/her money being doled out" ones, who proceeds to run you through a mini-version of the book, "Catch-22." (Mind you it's been a while, but) the dialog goes like this:

SW: How much fuel do you have in your furnace? (Remember, they have your supplier on record, so there's no point in fudging.)
C(lient): 50 gals.
SW: 50 gals? Well, then, you don't need emergency fuel funds.
C: But, I do. My furnace went out in the middle of the night, and when the fuel co. finally called back from the message I left on their machine, they sent out a service man.
SW: Well, you're not supposed to contact your supplier to fix a furnace. We have a contract with a business here in town (45 mins. away from your house by car.)
C: I didn't know.
SW: Well, I'm not responsible for what you don't know.
C: Sorry, I was just trying to explain. So, what was I supposed to do?
SW: You were supposed to call us and tell us your furnace was down, and then we'd send a repairman from that co. to check it out.
C: I didn't know. Besides, as it turns out, I was out of fuel.
SW: How'd you know that?

The dialog went on in this circular reasoning for over an hour...almost reducing the client to tears, but not quite breaking her. I think that po'd the SW even more than the fact that the client really wasn't trying to scam her, and the SW knew it. BTW, the client never got the emergency funds, but instead had to make due with the annual allotment to which she had already qualified, because, of course, since the furnace now had 50 gals. in it, it wasn't empty, was it! This is a true life story, and a real participant was hurt in the process, but she's since recuperated...yet dreads having to visit Social Services ever again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:23 AM

Good example of public policy in action, Wordsmith.

The most disturbing thing to me about what happened with the woman whose story you tell is this: Had it been a 'nice' social worker, the outcome would have been the same.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:48 AM

Oops! Got it wrong. The real culprit is she made two bad choices.

First, she had the temerity to call some one to see what was wrong with the furnace. She compounded it with another bad choice when she let the guy put 50 gal. of fuel oil in the tank.

I really admire the effectiveness of the social worker with whom she dealt, the one who made it clear the problem was her bad choices.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:51 AM

A few days ago I was walking with a friend. We were talking and I wasn't paying attention. I started to step out into the street when she grabbed my arm and jerked me back. I had nearly stepped out in front of a car.

Maybe she should have let me do it so I could learn from my mistake?

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 12:12 PM

I lived in a mobile home once when I did not have the money to buy a house. It had a kerosene pot burner. When it quit heating the first thing I would do is check the fuel to see if it was empty. If it was empty I could always get go to a local place an get a 5 gal can filled to get me by for a few days.

To light it I had to let some oil into the pot and drop in a piece of burning paper. Once it had burned a short while, gone out and there was a fog of vaporized fuel in the bottom. When I dropped in the burning paper to relight it, the fuel "blew up" like gasoline vapor and singed my face, removing my eyebrows and eyelashes. I stood there stunned for a few seconds and then I heard the clang of the vent cap landing in the street.

I never made that bad choice again and if someone had warned be thay my face was in danger, I would not have made the bad choice to begin with.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 05:27 PM

Mr. Dickey, has it occurred to you that the woman in Wordsmith's example may have had absolutely no idea how to tell what the problem was with her furnace? And even if she had, how can you be so sure that, like you, she was strong enough to carry a five-gallon can of kerosene from the nearest service station -- possibly miles away? I'm a well-fed middle-aged woman who works out frequently, and I know darned well what a 20-litre jerrycan of gasoline weighs -- too much for me to carry more than a block without injuring myself!

Let's not get into the dangers of amateur furnace-starting: the woman in Wordsmith's example was almost certainly brought up from babyhood not to do dangerous things, but to call someone qualified to do it who could be trusted not to burn her house down! Which she duly did, and for which she was severely punished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:29 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie - PM
Date: 10 Mar 07 - 10:44 AM
...Are some people lazy and/or ignorant and make bad choices that contribute to their own position of poverty? You betcha. But do each of us who do not live in poverty make choices about what we do, how we vote, what we spend, what we think we must have, and what we place the most priority on that results in other people being pushed into, or held into conditions of poverty? Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. And unless or until a majority of the individuals in society assume personal responsibility for the effects on others of the choices we make, a huge number of human beings around the globe are doomed to suffer needlessly....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:37 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Janie - PM
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 11:44 PM

Values.

I'm gonna ramble a bit and not try to tie things together real tightly here.

There are some who would say that many people who live in poverty make choices that put them there and/or keep them there. I agree.

There are some who say that many people who don't live in poverty make choices that cause or contribute to creating and maintaining poverty. I agree.

In all societies, beyond a certain age, people are expected to take responsibility for the choices they make. (Responsibility is not synonymous with blame.) I think this is reasonable, and when people can see and do this, my observation is that it is empowering. If I don't understand that I have responsibility, how can I ever believe that I have the power to effect change from within or from without?

In all my years of practice have I observed lots of people making bad or ineffective choices? Oh yes indeed!

In all my years of practice have I seen people make impulsive and needlessly uninformed choices? You betcha!

In all my years of practice have I ever encountered one single individual whose goal was to make bad choices? Never. Nada. Not once.

With respect to personal well-being, my observations and experience has been that individuals always make the best choice they know how to make at any particular time given the knowledge and the resources (internal and external) available to them at the time. Not once in 35 years of practice have I observed anyone approach a choice from the standpoint of "I want to make the worst possible decision that I can right now," even when they may in fact be making that worst possible decision....


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:38 PM

And once again we are back to folks who make poor decisions... Yes, lots of poor people ***do*** make poor (bad) decisions but preaching to them isn't going to change much... This is what "client centered" social work is all about... Yeah, someone from a middle class back ground with a MSW certainly is more apt to make good decisions in a pinch but poor people don't have those backgrounds and experiences that provide them with the larger menu of choices that middle class people have...

Also, poor people tend to move more becuase of various financial factors and when it comes to mechanical systems from one pl;ace to another it can get comlpicated...

Lastly, since Dickey seems to wonder who rents what in the DC area as if when I tell him he'll leap down upon me from a tree I'll tell him... The folks who can... Pure and simple... I still don't get his point, if he even has one...

I'll be back later with just one more personal story to tell about life as a social worker...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: Dickey
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:05 PM

Bobert: My question is simple. You say that poor people can't afford an average apartment. What does that mean in the context of this thread? What does it imply? It seeme to me you are trying to imply that it is some sort of problem for poor people. Why is it a problem when there are less expensive apartments? Are middle class people supposed to rent those cheaper apartments? Are the lower priced apartments supposed to go empty because poor people deserve to have an average priced apartment?

They probably can't afford an average priced automobile either so should someone give them financial aid so they can afford one?

I don't drive an average priced automobile and when I rented apartments I went to the lower priced ones and not the average priced ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 07:13 PM

Hmmm - Good choice or poor choices? Seems a bit subjective to me.

The oil furnace is a good example.

As a kid, my family was up and down financially. During an up time (with the help of a GI bill and a job at the mill), my parents bought a very humble house and struggled to make the mortgage payments for the rest of their lives.

Since both parents worked, I had to come home from school at 11 years old and start the furnace. I had to remove the grate from the floor, stand over it and drop a match down the hole. Everyday I thought I was going to explode. Did my parents make a good choice or a bad choice when they gave me this job?

Another time I had to go into the crawl space under the house because my mom and dad couldn't fit. I had to replace something on the furnace (could it have been the pilot light?) and I had to scoot in on my back with a flashlight, a screwdriver and the part. My dad gave me instructions on his hands and knees talking into the crawl space and I got the job done in spite of the cobwebs and my fear. Good choice or bad choice on my parents part?

Then there was the job of helping my dad shingle the roof...

What I'm trying to say is that what may appear to be a poor choice is actually the only choice for some. Sometimes when you're struggling, you don't have a choice, you just have to do it and you do it with whatever resources you have. You just blink back the tears.

I've worked in schools where the poverty rate was very, very high. If you want to survive, you check your psychology at the door because everyone knows that psychology was made for rich folks. It doesn't apply to the poor. Hats off to those who struggle and make it in spite of all the odds and hats off to those who have the compassion to help the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Poverty in the USA