Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous
So the term "MORE" is what is insulting. When I say more, I am usually thinking of health care. The poorest of the poor get it completly free (I'm not saying they shouldn't) , but as soon as you get a job, even if you can barely live on the income, you loose the health care. This shouldn't be, those people are poor too (not Middle class though).
I should not have used the term "Middle class", I am not even sure what that is, probably making over $70,000 a year for a family of 4 maybe? I have experiences with the very poor myself. I've have met prostitutes, even lived with a man, when visiting my Mother in my youth who was a murderer -released from Prison. I have seen the devestation, walked among it in a very big city, sat & listened to her many stories, but I have also observed their "choices" along the way. Many of them choose wild living over other paths, but the choices were there.
We are probably considered low income with a family as large as we are, husband makes a little less than $50,000. We dont get any help because we manage our money wisely & carefully. I came from a home where I didnt always get lunch money, wasn't wanted there, Step Mom wanted my dad to herself, and told when I left I was not to come back. I guess I am just a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps type of person". I had to be or what would have become of me. I learned from all of my mothers BAD choices in life how not to live. She had more priviledge than me, also more love at home.
You ask Are they not exactly the same as me and deserving of the same things? My answer to that depends - if they are going to go out and waste it on drugs, booze & cigarettes. I'd say NO. I would not give a homeless man or woman cash.
Of coarse there are plenty of wonderful people who are born in poverty, and many good people in this world like yourself who are looking out for them. I may not be the most religious person these days, but many who find themselves in really hard times find lasting friendships and acceptance within these buildings, they are treated the same, a place of belonging.
I feel this country is blessed because we do have many caring wonderful people - so what is the answer? Seriously, what can solve this? Your feeling ashamed in the food line, is it enough to bring some of these people home & crash at your house?
What is the answer Trenton. You say Love them, have compassion, give them an education (I think they all get this ) and food, shelter (none is starving in America, this is the nation of obesity). The Foster care system is a disgrace, the parents, in my opionion, have far TOO MANY RIGHTS, too many chances to get their lives together, while their innocent children suffer years upon years. So many could be saved from this pain , adopted at an earlier age into a loving home, but instead grow up terribly dysfunctional, tossed to and fro.
What is the answer? Can we make/inforce these people to live right? We can only offer them what we are already offering them. What more can we give them? I am not one who will make endless excuses for people who continue to make bad choices once they are of age. A lot of it is untreated mental illness too, another whole problem in society.
I know this is off topic and it's my fault because I went there so I hope y'all don't mind me continuing
First, free healthcare means clinics with a very small amount of doctors willing to take the small fee's medicaid/medicare will pay. It does not mean choice.
Second, educational opportunity is based upon income. This is because the poorer you are the less likely you can afford to live in a public school district where the education is up to par. Couple this with disillusioned teachers, corrupt administrations and parents that don't care or don't have the time to care and you get a crappy education.
Third, the answer is not more money given to welfare programs or given to school districts that under perform.
Fourth, middle class...ah me. My husband makes about $60k and we live in a wealthy area. It is very tight budgeting and balancing. Ironically, we want for nothing. My children get to attend the best schools, live in a safe neighborhood that has wonderful family oriented events and the beach is less than a mile walk from our house. We pay $600 a month for our health insurance. Sigh. Taxes are horrible. NJ is not a cheap state to live in. I will say right now that we're not the norm. Money is really only important to me in that we need it to provide for our family. With each purchase I make, I always think, ahha...I'm no happier than I was before this purchase. DUH! I'd much rather be taking our extra cash and investing it into positive change for the world. I'm not the norm though and so I've accepted this but I still find it frustrating.
I know life is what you make it. I know you think that if you can do it, anyone can do it or that you can only feel sorry for people for so long...self responsibility is important. The problem is that society is reliant on the poor as scapegoats. Everyone cannot be middle class or rich.
Lastly, the answer is the children. You cannot
leave a helpless child in an environment of poverty, drug abuse, addiction, crime and less than adequate education and expect them to suddenly overcome and become high functioning, well balanced adults. If this happens it is the rarity rather than the norm.
In NJ we have what is called Abbott School Districts, created after legislation that ruled children living in poverty receive less than adequate education than children who don't. The problem with this is millions is sunk into these school districts and little improvement is seen. Tax payers are angry and the students in these school systems are still failing miserably.
The foster care system is over burdened in all states in the US, across the board. This safety net where most children from the worst circumstances end up, is poorly run and over burdened. Advocacy for children that have had the worst happen to them is almost non-existent, foster care families in well to do areas are just as non-existent.
What is the answer? All adults stepping up to the plate and caring for more than their family and their direct communities. A government bureaucracy will never solve the problems of the human condition. Couple this with declaring that these children undoubtedly deserve better. Programs that empower children and teach them that they are worthy of being themselves, that they have choices, that education is available if they work for it, that they, too, deserve to live the life of their dreams.
We talk about abuse. We all know at this point that I've had some share of abuse as a child. It is absolutely NOTHING compared to what I have seen in the lives of children in foster care. It is so tiny that it makes me feel ridiculous for feeling sorry for myself at all. My parents are wealthy and I was raised within this wealth. Some in my extended family are extremely wealthy...they struggle with issues of alcoholism that allow them to wither away in their big, perfect houses. Perhaps this is one of the major reasons that I realize wealth does not equal happiness at all. It instead gives off the appearance of success. Oh but how jaded our ideas of success really are.
A few years ago myself and a few others began a program Journal to Graduation. It was similar to the Freedom Writer's Foundation...which you can watch the movie which chronicles the experience and teaching of Erin Gruwell. FWF Home - Freedom Writers Foundation
Programs like these are the answer. I fully believe in the power of non-profits but until more people care about issues that are real without bias, and get out and volunteer...create and connect with children in these circumstances, broad sweeping change will not be possible.
In NJ we have an organization called CASA. It is the best darn organization I have ever worked with. Volunteers from the community sign up for a minimum one year commitment to advocate for a child in foster care. They have access to all the files and go to court with only the child's best interests in mind. They also look for resources for their child. It has a 93% success rate in changing children's lives. It's impossible to get a real peak into the lives of any of these children and not want to stand up for them.
So, my point is...until we all care enough to step up and take part in changing the lives of children in these circumstances, until we SHOUT that these children are worthy of more than they have been handed from birth...yes, the cycle will continue.
What organizations receive the most funding in the U.S.? The answer is medical NGO's (Non-Government Organizations). Why is this? It's because anyone who knows someone they love who suffers with or has had a medical issues, such as breast cancer, is willing to step up and shout on their behalf. They become a band of pink unity willing to do whatever it takes to cure this horrible cancer that affects so many women. Billions and billions of funds, but more importantly, a loud, unified and resounding voice that screams for a cure.
Do children who are born in the worst of circumstances deserve this band of support any less?
It's time we step up and shout on the behalf of those without the ability to give themselves a voice. You want change, complaining about free healthcare amongst the poor won't do a thing to change it. I promise. I know exactly where you're coming from. I've felt exactly like you but the more information, education and actions I took towards understanding what was going on...the more clear it became.