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The System Works! A Quarter of all US children went hungry last year!

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Sunstone, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    I'll tell you something, mball - when you use good judgment, it DOES make life easier most of the time. Of course, sometimes life throws a curve ball at you, but even so, good judgment and sound reasoning can still help, even in the most trying situations. Wouldn't you agree?


    This proves to me (though of course, it's no surprise to me) that you do not actually even WANT to understand what I'm saying. I never have said, not one time, in this thread or any other, that good decision making or taking responsibility for your actions will eliminate poverty. What I SAID is that these components are necessary in order to truly better your life if you are stuck in a cycle of poverty. Of course I realize that there are some situations (usually involving disabiliy or personal tragedy) that create an ongoing need for public assistance, and will always be a struggle for the people involved, but for the majority of people who are poor in the US (by the way, most of them would be wealthy by much of the world's standards), a combination of bad decisions and bad luck have landed them where they are. These are the people who can benefit from programs, public and private, that also teach life skills and encourage personal growth and responsibility.

    [QUOTE
    OK, good. Now, we can get to some intelligent conversation, rather than just "Poor people are all irresponsible."
    ][/QUOTE]

    Is this an attempt at humor, or are you really this daft?

    I have never in my life said this, and I don't believe it. But YES, SOME poor people are irresponsible. Those are the ones who can benefit from life coaching - those are the ones who certainly don't need to spend their lives on public assistance at a cost to others who ARE responsible. Many people who don't handle their lives well do this because they have truly never been taught HOW to make better decisions. No one has ever believed in them, never rewarded them for good choices. These people can blossom when someone takes the time to truly help them get on their feet, rather than just chunking food stamps at them.

    Haven't you heard the old adage about either giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish? If you give him a fish, you have to keep doing that every single day for the rest of his life. But teach him to fish - take the time on the front end and give him the tools - and he can support himself. There's a whole lotta truth to this.

    Mestemia, this is the debate section, so I assume people who are on this thread are here to debate a point. No one on this thread asked me for help or advice, or approached me with just general conversation. If they had, my responses would have been different.

    In "real life" I volunteer my time and money to teach classes and counsel single women who are stuck in a cycle of poverty. The program I work with is very effective and the director has asked me back year after year for about the past ten years. So I guess I DO "treat people with the same consideration" after all.

    However, UV has never asked me for any advice, and I haven't earned the right to give her advice. She has, however, debated with me on numerous occasions. She's a good debater, obviously an intelligent woman. She strikes me as tough enough to engage in an honest debate. Personally, I think she's a fascinating woman, and she obviously doesn't want any sympathy from me. I

    I can, however, empathize with her situation. At 33, I found myself in much the same position as her. I was a single mom with four kids, receiving no child support, had no college degree, and I hadn't worked outside the home in 11 years. I had been a "good wife and mother," closely following the very strict rules of the church I belonged to. I had felt trapped in that marriage for years - my husband was abusive but in an insiduous way. He wouldn't actually BEAT me but he would terrorize us all with threats of violence, including threatening to shoot all of us (that was the last straw - that's when I finally left him). It's a long story but that's the shortened gyst of it.

    Anyway, my faith in God and Church was profoundly shaken. I had done everything "right" and now I was alone with four kids under age 10.

    I got out of this situation. It was very tough but I did it, and my own personal success involved getting out of that "victim mode" and determining that I would make better decisions - and accepting the fault that I had in staying in an abusive relationship with kids for eleven years. It was MY decisions, no one else's, that had put me into that relationship, and that marriage, and it was bad judgment that kept me there for eleven years.

    Sure - my exhusband had fault in it - and sure, a church that didn't offer help for that sort of situation also had fault - but ultimately, it was my responsibility. You can't change other people - but you can change yourself. When I realized that it was not my responsibility to change that man, or that church - it was a profound moment for me. It was my epiphany moment, actually -and the first step on my road to true freedom from him, and from an oppressive religion.

    My success didn't happen overnight - it took years of hard work, and I made other mistakes along the way - but I was on a better path.

    I found my faith again - a more balanced version of it that actually empowers rather than traps people.

    I raised my kids pretty successfully - even though we did hit some speed bumps along the way, and I've still got one who hasn't pulled his life together yet. But he's coming around finally, at age 21.

    I speak from a lot of personal experience on this topic, Mestemia. What I say isn't always fluffy and politically correct, but I know that it works because I've personally lived it, and the lives of the women I work with are also testimony that this approach works in many lives - at least, in the lives of people who are willing and able to change their direction. Those are the ones I am so passionate about helping.
     
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    One more simple question:

    If you're going to get advice from someone about how to escape the vicious cycle of poverty, do you think you should apply advice from someone who is stuck in poverty, or someone who has gotten out of it?

    Do you copy a diet plan from a coworker who is obese, or one who has successfully dropped thirty pounds?
     
  3. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    As I said, good judgement is great and helpful. It's just not a magical cure. Using good judgement doesn't guarantee anything.

    As for the rest of your post, I know you're going to take this the wrong way (I can't say I'd blame you), but honestly, it's not meant to be mean or anything. Try keeping the posts down to 5 or fewer lines. I know sometimes it's hard to say what you want in a small space, and I'm willing to read long posts, but when you make one after another, it gets tiresome.

    I have trouble a lot keeping my posts short, and I'm not always successful, but I've found being conscious of it has helped me improve in that way.
     
  4. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Well, mball, no one's forcing you to read my posts - that's for sure. But if you're going to criticize them, you ought to read them in their entirity rather than grasping at misconceptions and then misrepresenting what I wrote.

    That's my short bit of advice to you - and in just four lines, so it should be easy for you to understand.
     
  5. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Not using good judgement does however.
     
  6. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    Unfortunately, it doesn't.
     
  7. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    Nope, no one's forcing me to read them, which is why I'm not reading them fully. I'm reading enough to get the picture, though. Sorry, but you may say some other things in your posts, but what I've represented them as has been accurate, too.

    Longer posts are easy to understand, too. I just don't have the time to read them all the time. That's why I said an occasional long post is reasonable, but not when it's three in one page.
     
  8. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    None of this changes the fact that two adults working three and a half full time jobs
    can BARELY support a family of six. (two adults, 4 kids).

    There are simply no hours left in the day to work any more.

    This is a systemic problem.

    I will keep copy pasting this tiny little post,
    as nothing more need be said.
     
  9. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, the same is happening in the UK: the "traditional" family of one worker, one housekeeper is being eradicated.

    Our children are suffering because of it, both parents are slaving at work and their sent to a grubby Nursery - it's definiately not the right way to go.

    Either taxes have to come down, or cost of living come down so that only 1 parent has to work, infact it should be an obligation to make sure only 1 parent works, and the other raise the kids (regardless of gender).
     
  10. enchanted_one1975

    enchanted_one1975 Resident Lycanthrope

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    This thread reminded me that when I bought a sandwich for lunch today I had to pay 11% sales tax. And we wonder why our wallets are all empty.
     
  11. Zephyr

    Zephyr Moved on

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    Hmm, maybe both parents wouldn't need to work if there was some sort of system that could ensure that they can survive on one income, as opposed to our current "work or die" system.
     
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  12. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    I`d really like to see the standards of that Gov. survey.

    I ain`t buying it.
     
  13. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Yes, and if you want to pay even HIGHER taxes on that sandwich, just let the system be in charge of feeding every child whose parents officially fall below the "poverty line."

    Then YOU can "go hungry" instead.

    "NO MORE SANDWICHES FOR YOU!" (says the System Sandwich Nazi!)

    Did you know that an E-5 with three kids in the US military is technically below the poverty line? That's because the "system" only counts cash income - it doesn't include benefits.

    So that E-5 who gets free medical insurance and care for his entire family, free housing (or a generous housing allowance), a cost of living allowance (not taxed), and in some cases hazard pay and family separation allowance also qualifies for the WIC program, free or reduced lunches for the kids, and in some cases food stamps!

    And his wife can stay home pretty comfortably and not work outside the home at all.

    It's nice and basically I'm not complaining about that sort of lifestyle for our military families - I'm just using that as an example of one of the types of families in which "kids go hungry" because the parents are technically below the poverty line according to our federal government.

    Also - a woman can get even several THOUSANDS of dollars in child support or alimony but that isn't counted as income when it comes to determining a poverty line.
     
  14. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    How do you have a "half" of a full time job? Wouldn't that be part-time?
    May I humbly suggest it might be your line of work? If I remember correctly, you are a musician. That notoriously pays poorly.

    All in all, I agree. People simply shouldn't have to work more than one full time job in order to cover everyday expenses. If you want all the newest toys, then by all means, get that second job at McDonald's. But you shouldn't have to, just to survive.

    And as Zephyr and Paul mentioned, I would really like to see it possible for families to make it on one income. Not that I want the woman chained to the house. I just don't want both people to feel as if they have to work. I hear the ladies at my work talk about the cost of daycare all the time. Basically, half my paycheck every week would go towards child care, if I had a child. Is it really worth working at that point? Well, if you have to in order to eat, then I suppose you must. That's just not right.
     
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  15. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Let's talk about "functional obsolescence" in real estate. Forty years ago, kids shared bedrooms, and there may be only one bathroom in a house. Closets were small. Kitchens were generally large (because people cooked and had larger families to feed). Houses in general were smaller.

    Now those houses are often termed "functionally obsolete." Most Americans with kids - even those who are looking for a house or apartment to rent short term - will not even consider one with only one bathroom. In new construction, even your smallest starter homes, meant for families whose combined income is barely above poverty level - in fact, even most of your newer government subsidized housing - has large walk in closets, big master bathrooms, and electrical outlets EVERYWHERE. Why? Because of all our STUFF - and by golly, we NEED more than one bathroom.

    Wow - and they survived.

    Families had one phone - maybe even a party line (anyone remember those?). Even today, simple phone service for one home line costs under $40 a month. Anyone in here paying under $40 a month for phone service for a family of four?

    Maybe we wouldn't have to have two income family situations if we adjusted our lifestyles and focused on what we REALLY need (hint - it's not unlimited texting).

    I have two daughters. Both are married. My oldest daughter's husband is an E-5 in the Air Force (technically below the federal poverty level). They have four kids. My daughter doesn't work outside the home. Their kids take piano and dance lessons an my daughter is practically a gourmet cook who cooks most of their meals from scratch. They have a savings plan and save about $5000 a year. They have no credit cards (well, one for emergencies but it has a zero balance at present).

    She and her husband share a cell phone. They take a big family vacation twice a year. Several times a year my daughter flies somewhere for a long weekend with friends. They dress well and always look great - and buy nearly all their clothes at resale shops. They have a minivan that's about 5 years old and a clunker that the husband drives to work (no AC, faded paint job).

    Their kids are extremely healthy. They watch very little TV. They play outside and every day they take an hour long walk with my daughter.

    My other daughter is an E-5 in the Air Force. Her husband has a full time job. They work alternate shifts so that they only have to put their two kids in daycare for half a day - but that's still expensive. Because they work opposite shifts they barely see each other. The kids watch TV a large part of each day because the parent who works the night shift has to sleep sometime.

    They have every gadget in the world. Every electronic device you can name. They have so much stuff that their house is nearly bursting - every closet is chock full. They go on vacation every year - they charge it on a credit card and are pretty deeply in debt. The parents hire a baby sitter often and go out on the weekends - they really count on this adult time because they barely see each other the rest of the week. They always look sharp though - nice clothes.

    Their income is double that of my other daughter's family - but their lives are twice as hectic and much more strained. They work long, hard hours - in fact, it seems they work all the time. Thank God for fast food - they don't have any time to cook and barely have time to do laundry.

    Both sets of parents love their kids and are sacrificing for them in their own ways - for instance, with the second daughter, the parents are sacrificing time together so that the kids don't spend much time in daycare.

    But the oldest daughter's lifestyle proves that a family of six can get by very nicely on a very modest income.
     
  16. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    Buying sandwiches is the problem.
     
  17. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    OK, Kathryn, you win. There are substantially no children in the US who went hungry last year -- or who will go hungry in the future during this economic crisis -- for any reason other than their parents made bad decisions.


    (And the day I believe that, you can sell me the Brooklyn Bridge)
     
  18. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    But regardless of how bad a decision a parent (or parents) make in their business, financial or personal affairs, no child should be going hungry in America.
     
  19. JMorris

    JMorris Democratic Socialist

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    sure they should, thats the american way. if i have to help feed someone elses kid thats infringing on my rights to buy stupid **** i dont need, and filling that hole in my life is way more important than some stupid lazy kids, if they want to eat, they need to get a job.........

    -_-
     
  20. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    You're absolutely right - no child SHOULD go hungry in America. I am saying that even with tons of government assistance, children will STILL go hungry in America - because some parents are so wretchedly irresponsible (selling their food stamps, not bothering to simply feed their kids because they're just sorry as hell, misusing both money and government benefits, etc) that in spite of charity and government assistance, their kids will go hungry.

    I do not believe that most kids who "go hungry" in the US (and yes, I'd like to know more about the parameters of that survey) go hungry because of a lack of government assistance or benefits that are available - ALREADY available.

    That has been my point all along. The charities and programs are out there, but the parents still have to act upon them in order for the food to get from a source into their kids' mouths.

    That being said, I've never, not in any of my posts, or in my personal life, or in my own head, ever thought or believed that we should ever withhold or cut out government and private programs that help those who truly cannot help themselves - either short term or long term. We are still a wealthy country and we have the resources in both the public and private sector to help those who truly need it.
     
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