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  • Poverty in the United States…

    Poverty in the United States…
    Is it a result of bad financial decisions? Drug problem? Equality issue? Mental health? Bad education = not understanding the resources out there?
    How does poverty look different in the US vs a 3rd world country?

  • #2
    Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    And enablers, manipulators, criminals, charismatics.....

    There are as many causes as solutions. The problem is that no band-aid policy can fix it.

    I have been reading Thomas Sowell (Conflict of Interests, Wealth, Poverty and Politics, many others) since I was in grade school, nobody seems to want to hear it.

    Comment


    • #3
      My take-Poverty in America is a choice. There are too many reasons NOT to be poor unless those in power need to keep a bottom to gage their own wealth.

      With free education and unlimited resources, those that manage our cities and those that manage their families are not making the best decisions for themselves or communities if they are indigent.

      In America, we have options and can always make change if we don’t allow others to make poor management decsidions for ourselves.

      it’s starts with family, then with education and then with the privilege of being an adult.

      In third-world countries, there is systemic corruption and lack of infrastructure and resources. A desert is no place to raise an empire. Move to an oasis to have a fighting chance.

      Comment


      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        Totally agree

    • #4
      This is a great topic!

      I grew up constantly moving from one roach infested house to another when mom couldn’t pay the rent. We were on food stamps, Medicare, and anything else she could get. When it came time for me to go to college, my education was completely PAID for through government grants. The government actually overpaid me and I had $2000 extra to help pay for my books/living expenses. I didn’t take out a single student loan to go to school. I had zero debt.

      I have family members that are considered to be lower class or living in poverty. Every tax season, they get $8-10,000 back in tax money. Do you think they invest it into their future? No. They buy another crummy car that will get them by until next tax season, get more tattoos, take family trips to the zoo or circus and blow every last dime.

      I think it’s definitely a lack of education of the resources out there and a lack of motivation to do better than previous generations.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
        This is a great topic!

        I grew up constantly moving from one roach infested house to another when mom couldn’t pay the rent. We were on food stamps, Medicare, and anything else she could get. When it came time for me to go to college, my education was completely PAID for through government grants. The government actually overpaid me and I had $2000 extra to help pay for my books/living expenses. I didn’t take out a single student loan to go to school. I had zero debt.
        But someone else did (had debt) because of it.
        I am not dissing you or anyone that qualifies and uses any type of assistance... I'm just saying free isn't free.

        I grew up in a normal middle class family with a working parent and a stay at home parent. Took regular family vacations, and lived a pretty comfy life. We lived within our means and worked hard for the things we could. We had a large garden for almost all our veggies/fruits. My dad hunted (deer/elk etc) for meat and raised a few pigs, cows, rabbits and chickens. My parents had a nice vehicle (only one though...lol!) We wore hand me downs and hand-made clothing. We went to church on Sunday. We rarely if ever went out to eat. I have happy memories of my childhood. I never felt hungry, poor or unloved.

        In today's world, my family would be considered poor. But I just think my parents made smart choices. Hard ones... like moving away from their hometowns to find better work, less cost of living etc. Compromised on one parent staying home and not giving their kids literally everything. Working hard and doing things themselves verse paying some one else to do it.


        Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
        I have family members that are considered to be lower class or living in poverty. Every tax season, they get $8-10,000 back in tax money. Do you think they invest it into their future? No. They buy another crummy car that will get them by until next tax season, get more tattoos, take family trips to the zoo or circus and blow every last dime.
        Its a vicious cycle. I know a lot of people that get back a lot of money at tax time and a majority of them pay back past due bills or purchase things (usually frivolous) that they have been wanting. There are a few that "play the system" but I do honestly believe that most of them are simply stuck in a cycle created by our government (for many reasons) and either don't know how to get out or don't see a reason to try to get out. You can't really blame them.


        Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
        I think it’s definitely a lack of education of the resources out there and a lack of motivation to do better than previous generations.
        Your comment about previous generations stuck out to me.... what does "Do better than previous generations" mean?

        Personally, I don't want to do better than previous generations. I want to live the same way. Earning my way. Appreciating what I have and knowing what is or isn't within my budget. Doing those things invokes a sense of pride and accomplishment that the people living off the system don't get to feel. I don't know if they value those things though...

        We have become a very shallow and vain society. Vanity, appearance and opinions are more important that integrity, truth and hard work.

        I think so much of the poverty we see in the US is due to poor choices. The things society values is so mixed up now days.

        Comment


        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, I agree with that.

          The vicious cycle is very real and I do blame the government for some of that. I was trying to make that point but didn’t get there. LOL but seriously, you give a family $10k when they’re used to making ends meet on $20k a year and they are definitely going to get what they have wanted. I watched my mother do it every year. I learned how to blow $500 in five seconds flat or make $20 last a family for two weeks. I think if people were more educated about finances in general, people would make better financial decisions with large lump sums of money.

          Onto the “doing better” stuff LOL

          For reference - I’m 31YO. On one side of my family, my grandparents (70 YO) lived/provided a similar middle-class lifestyle as you described. If I had that lifestyle growing up, I don’t think I would’ve had the motivation to do better for myself. I would’ve wanted the same as them, just like you mentioned.

          However, my parents (50 YO) didn’t do well for themselves. Both of them dropped out of high school and had me at 19 & 20. My mother was a single parent by the time I was 2 and had my little brother. We were on welfare and anything else she could get from the government. We moved from one roach infested house to another when she couldn’t make rent. She’d leave the landlord high and dry. At one point, we had our gas turned off and were heating with Kerosene heaters and taking a bath at our neighbors house once a week. At 16YO, I was helping to pay my mother’s bills. That’s not a life I wanted live at all. As a child living in poverty, I wanted to do better than the previous generation I was born into.

          When my oldest DD10 was born I was 21. I was on welfare and received free childcare. By the time she was 6 months old, I was present an opportunity and made the right choices to better our lives. We were completely off of all government assistance by the time she was 13-15 months old. Frankly, had I listened to my mother, I wouldn’t have taken that job opportunity.

          DH and I now live and provide the very middle class lifestyle for our DD much like the one you described. This is a life I am more than grateful to have considering where I started.
          Last edited by GirlMomma; 04-06-2022, 11:26 AM.

      • #6
        BC, I had a similar upbringing; a modest living but full of happy times....I think the key word is CONTENT. This culture wants so much.....My own family has tvs in every room; we all have vehicles, etc. My own family has fallen prey to some of this. My brothers and i shared a room during the winter growing up and didn't KNOW that meant we were saving money....My brothers SHARED their first 1970's truck and made it work. You just don't see this kind of contentment anymore.
        Last edited by Annalee; 04-06-2022, 10:34 AM.

        Comment


        • Cat Herder
          Cat Herder commented
          Editing a comment
          True. I did not own a TV or computer until my own kids were in elementary school. They were unnecessary luxuries. Once I got them it was several more years before I got cable or internet. A cheap DVD player and a used copy of Works Suite 2001 was all I needed. lol!!! The first home I bought (alone) was $35,000, 2bd, 1ba. My current one was $125,000, 3bd, 2ba. I have never owned a new vehicle. Most of my furniture was second hand. We built the kids loft desks/beds ourselves. I am still not a spender, I choose carefully and save more than I spend each month. I know the other shoe is dangling up there....

        • Annalee
          Annalee commented
          Editing a comment
          CH, totally understand, I grew up with four tv channels and what dad watched, we all watched.....and the tv went off, literally off, after 11:00, nothing could be viewed but now you can watch TV 24/7. Dad KNEW where we were, what we did, and we had all meals together. Communication always, even if it was not pleasant from some bad decisions from my brothers and I. But we had alot of feeling/emotion and shared these emotions. This culture has very little emotion of ANY kind. Scary! I see this in my daycare kids.....no consequences even when there are consequences.....kids just ignore EVERY THING! Crazy!
          Last edited by Annalee; 04-07-2022, 02:18 PM.

      • #7
        Another word for thought; jobs are every where here....no one wants to work. My son worked for shell gas station from age 16-20 while in high school then vocational school. Now there are signs on the door to be patient as there are not enough staff. They pay well, offer insurance/benefits.....part-time/full-time/days/nights.....you pick but NO ONE will work. I realize shell isn't a career per se but it's a good start until something else comes along. The ones that WILL work can't pass the drug test???? so many issues out there!

        Comment


        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          I think that’s because our society has become very vain like BC said. They are too “proud” to start somewhere. Most of my generation and the generation after me want instant gratification so they won’t work their way up.

          I also believe that the stimulus money given out to people during the pandemic and the extra unemployment benefits are a direct cause of people not wanting to work now.

          But in the same sense, with inflation being so high, you can’t support a family on $400 gross a week. That’s assuming they’re getting paid $10/hour for 40 hours/week. Which goes back to the vicious cycle of the government keeping the lower class in poverty.
          Last edited by GirlMomma; 04-06-2022, 11:31 AM.

        • Cat Herder
          Cat Herder commented
          Editing a comment
          I made $7.40 an hour as an atlanta paramedic. I brought home less than $400 per week working 24 hour shifts. I have always had a second job. My DH, dad, brother and almost everyone I know work two jobs. That is the norm and reality for most of us "bootstrappers". Man, that term is as annoying as boomer. My grandmother was a boomer....... she literally work in the fields and groves. Literally. She ended up in the projects only after the health issues from her childhood polio made it impossible for her to work any longer. No generation has been unscathed.
          Last edited by Cat Herder; 04-08-2022, 09:39 AM.

        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          Cat Herder sorry I just saw this. I do agree with you there!

      • #8
        Take poverty case by case. For some it is their fault. For others it truly isn’t. Everyone in America has access to schools, but it’s not the same schools. They don’t have access to the same education. Their race matters. Their parents poverty and environment kids are raised in matter too. This is where equity comes in. Then laws that were created to keep others above and others below. It’s all very real whether people want to continue to deny it or not. Doesn’t change that it’s real for many. The just “work hard and good will come” or “work hard and make good choices” mantra doesn’t apply to everyone. Then you have a system that preys on people. Wants them dependent on it. It’s like food industries making food that is as addicting as cocaine. They study the brain, they put millions into research to make the food addicting and then there you have it. A society where obesity is every where. There is a reason many can’t stop at one Oreo. And it’s not lack of self control. And then go look at food stamps and see the foods that our wonderful government is providing stamps for? The companies that are making addicting food for profit. ETA: it’s a card now, not stamps. And you can buy any food you want with the card. Just saying the govt knows and helps fund these addicting/unhealthy foods that effects the health of these marginalized groups in greater numbers than those that can afford better food.
        People are preyed on. It’s so unfair in so many ways. It’s easy to miss this when you aren’t who they are targeting.

        But yea some people are just really ignorant with money. No matter how much they have, they will make dumb choices with it. I had to explain to people what debt was and paying interest and how you can’t buy something with a line of credit and then sell it and then take that money and buy something else. Lol. Like you need to pay that loan off. My mom robbed Peter to pay Paul my entire life. And I just see so many continue to do it. In some of these cases, I don’t know that my education was any different or better than theirs. I was told years ago America wants you in debt. It’s true.

        We are about to enter in a whole new level of territory though. It’s looking really bad out there.
        Last edited by MissCait; 06-02-2022, 10:54 AM.

        Comment


        • Michael
          Michael commented
          Editing a comment
          Most of what you wrote I agree with, but it is also much more complicated. I do know there is no easy way to success. Patience, persistence and support are very important to build a family, business or community upon. I agree that too many people are easily manipulated by the materialistic things they desire in life. Selfishness erodes at the fabric of civility. I wouldn't want to say that "religion" or "God" is needed to find the true worth of life. I believe someone should still be able to understand the difference between a constructive and destructive nature without the dogmas of institutionalised religion.

          Once we start allowing exterior forces to dictate our future needs or actions--manipulation, these days, seems to be the end result. Then, the vices money becomes the greatest motivator. Uncontrolled impulses become the degradation of the mind and body. I am not judging others; I am judging the purposeful endeavors for money and control that may be bad for the spirit of America and its future. We shouldn't have to watch the decay of America and humanity in order to appreciate what we "had". We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to preserve that which is "good" for our future happiness.

        • MissCait
          MissCait commented
          Editing a comment
          I do think to be successful by whatever means one defines that, it does take patience and hard work and support. To even be successful with internal peace, takes those
          things. Successful in relationships, and on and on. I just was saying that America does have a system that
          unfortunately benefits some over others. And I’d like to say that we all can see this and move on from this, but now I’m concerned that we have even bigger problems.

          Yes humans are selfish, I agree. Always have been. And I think manipulation has always been what set us apart. We didn’t become dominate species because we were nice. Religion helps in that creates fear and helps control the masses, but now many see through that. I think humans are evolving past religion. Though I know they say it’s the devil and means the world is ending. And maybe they are right? Anyway, suicide rates are up, violence, mental health issues, people can’t send their kids to schools or grocery shop without fear. Media creating divide and controlling the masses. Inflation. Wars. I mean we are in a crap show right now. Those are the facts that no one can deny and something is causing it.

          I agree with your last paragraph too, but I worry we no longer have that control anymore: our own responsibility to preserve which is good for our future. I hope I’m wrong.
          Last edited by MissCait; 06-02-2022, 02:54 PM.

      • #9
        Biden says he can't control gas/food prices sky-rocketing so I guess we will all be on the poverty-line soon enough

        Comment


        • GirlMomma
          GirlMomma commented
          Editing a comment
          DH and I worked hard to get where we are. But because of the costs of food and gas, I am so afraid we will fall into the poverty-line.

          Also… can’t be open up a pipeline here in the US?!

        • MissCait
          MissCait commented
          Editing a comment
          Can’t control or won’t control to push the green deal. 🤔🤔🤔 Regardless, the reason won’t change what is coming our way.
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