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Old 09-05-2005, 01:42 PM   #16
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8.50 an hour...so you're probably working hard enough to stay at the poverty line aren't you? That's what's so sad...you can be working several dollars above minimum wage and still be in poverty.....so much needs to be done.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:43 PM   #17
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Speaking for myself, I live in a city where (excluding students) a very high percentage of the population is concidered "working poor" and the homeless rate is very high. I, myself, make below what is considered poverty level and get by with help from my family while working towards something better. Poverty is an everyday thing for many in this town, so it's not discussed much. You go to work, try to pay your bills on time and hope your rent check doesn't bounce. You vote for the lesser of two evils who usually don't have much to say about poverty in their campaigns because it's not like their bid for office hangs in the hands of voters who are poor, 'cause their numbers aren't very high.

This is speculation on my part, but maybe people in other areas don't discuss it much because they maybe don't see it on a first hand level? There are a lot of people living in the suburbs who's lives aren't touched by poverty. They don't see life in the inner cities or small towns on a daily basis but they do see the nightly news segments on poverty in the rest of the world.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2dork


This is speculation on my part, but maybe people in other areas don't discuss it much because they maybe don't see it on a first hand level? There are a lot of people living in the suburbs who's lives aren't touched by poverty. They don't see life in the inner cities or small towns on a daily basis but they do see the nightly news segments on poverty in the rest of the world.
Interesting thought...I agree that that probably contributes to the lack of discussion of the issue.

It just sickens me that we have friends and family living like this all around us...but the issue is generally ignored.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:47 PM   #19
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Providing a living wage for ALL workers would be a great start. Health insurance for EVERYONE would take it further. But until these are seen as rights that we all deserve, we won't see an end to poverty. A country that supports ideas like an 'ownership society' will see social Darwinism continue.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:50 PM   #20
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Re: The American poor

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Originally posted by U2democrat
I hope the tragedy down in the gulf has shown us that poverty is still a major problem here in America too. Rarely, if ever in FYM do I see people discussing the plight of the poor here in America. Don't get me wrong the poor people around the world have it rough too, but let's not let them overshadow those in our own backyard.

Why is it that the American poor are rarely discussed here in FYM? Does it make us uncomfortable? Is it more comforting to think that poverty is "over there"?

I'm just throwing those questions out there, I have a difficult time answering them myself.
I do not know why..

I do not feel uncomfortable talking about it in general terms. I do a TON of work with the Lions. I do a lot of work to help the homeless through my church.

When you look at the field of education, I deal with too many children who come to school not having breakfast. I deal with too many children who live in an environment where they are worried about their lives and the lives of the people around them because of drugs and violence in the apartment complex. I deal with children who are homeless, and living out of tents.

It affects me, and all I can say is I bust my ass trying to make their time at school at least the best part of their day. I wish I could say that something I do at school is going to make a difference in their lives down the road, but so much of their lives outside of school is such a tremendous burden, that the education does not always get through and stick.

I am proud of my students accomplishments, many of whom have scored advanced on the state testing. But there are another eight years of hardships and obatacles in their way.....

I have seen one family in ten years make it out and actually but a home. WOW what a feeling.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:52 PM   #21
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Interesting thought...I agree that that probably contributes to the lack of discussion of the issue.

It just sickens me that we have friends and family living like this all around us...but the issue is generally ignored.
There are privacy issues that get in the way of help I think. Schools are required to protect the identity of homeless children. I am not allowed to go to a local church and ask for help for the family. Many times it feels like the hands are tied. There is great concern about the stigma of being poor and hiding it.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:54 PM   #22
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Those are great posts Dread, thanks
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:55 PM   #23
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Exactly, najeena!

The problem is that we as Americnas are still livng with a wild west mentality that tries to tell us that if we're not successful than it's all our fault, when it's not always that simple.

In this globalized economy, I can try as hard as I can to improve my life but that doesn't mean that I'll succeed.

Oftentimes, the working poor are working HARDER than those who make more money than they (the working poor) are.

What needs to change in America is a committment to basic health care, basic educational opportunities and basic job security.

But that would mean that the top 5% of the richest Americans might have to share their part of the American pie a bit.

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Old 09-05-2005, 01:57 PM   #24
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Agreed 100%, jamila
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Old 09-05-2005, 02:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2dork
This is speculation on my part, but maybe people in other areas don't discuss it much because they maybe don't see it on a first hand level? There are a lot of people living in the suburbs who's lives aren't touched by poverty. They don't see life in the inner cities or small towns on a daily basis but they do see the nightly news segments on poverty in the rest of the world.
I think you're right. These people never see poor people. They think poverty is something that only exists in other countries. In fact, I know people like this. They have very sheltered lives and aren't curious about people who are different from them.
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Old 09-05-2005, 03:49 PM   #26
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In the US, we tend to think of poverty in terms of dolllar and cents. For a group that has the luxury of communicating by PC, it may be harder to truly grasp the idea of rich and poor.

Few of us have seen poverty in other countries. Sulawesigirl4 may have the best insight here. Lack of money doesn't always equate to poorness as surplus of money doesn't always equate to richness.

Perhaps it can be viewed in terms of expectations and availability of a lifeline. In the US, if you lose your job, you still have government services. In other countries, all you have is what you carry or what you grow.

I'd suggest that we, as individuals, are the best equiped to help meet needs of others. People in need of help exist everywhere.
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:15 PM   #27
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Just a couple of comments, nb.

First, computers are available to virtually every one in the USA nowadyas if they want to use one. Public libraries, community centers, etc all have computers available for public use, so just because you're using a computer doesn't say anything nowadays about your socioeconomic status.

Second, I travelled extensively in the 1980's in the Caribbean in some of the poorest countries there. I lived in absolute poverty with my friends when I was there (the stories I could tell).

Undoubtedly the poverty in the Caribbean and throughout Africa has only gotten worse in the last 20 years, but I just wanted to clarify that my allegiance to the world's poorest people comes out of firsthand experience with some of their poverty and, of course, my own.

MOST IMPORTANT:
" In the US, if you lose your job, you still have government services."

Actually no. I just lost my job last month and because of a lot of bureaucratic red tape, I'm receiving NO GOVERNMENT HELP!

I even had to go to my State Representative's office to get her assistance in trying just to get me food stampa while we petition for unemployment.

So not everyone gets government assistance when they become unemployed in the USA.

" In other countries, all you have is what you carry or what you grow."

I do agree with you on this, though, which is why no matter how bad it gets for me, I never forget about those much less fortunate in Africa and do all that I can to help improve their chances in life.

Just my observations.
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
Rather than calling for class warfare, why not look for common ground and alliances.
what common ground is there between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor?
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
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And education isn't the only answer because I have a college degree which means shit in the local economy that I'm competing for jobs for.
Mind telling us what your degree is? I'm curious.

Have you considered moving to somewhere where your degree would be valuable?

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Old 09-05-2005, 05:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by najeena
Providing a living wage for ALL workers would be a great start. Health insurance for EVERYONE would take it further. But until these are seen as rights that we all deserve, we won't see an end to poverty. A country that supports ideas like an 'ownership society' will see social Darwinism continue.
I look at health care as a pretty high priority, because we're talking about shifting economic conditions right now where corporations are either hiring "contract workers" (a fancy term for "I don't want to pay health care for my workers") and you have companies like GM whose health care costs are so large as to make them non-competitive. In fact, that's why a lot of the Detroit automakers have been actually building more plants in Canada, since they have national health care, while we don't. And, for them, Canada is literally as close as crossing a river to their east.

National health care isn't a rich/poor issue. It's becoming a necessary issue for economic competitiveness.

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