• VBB,

    You have just described the hypocrisy of the Demarcated party/ liberals or what ever you care to call these individuals. If it was not for the manipulation of the poor, liberals would have absolutely no argument at all. Therefore the existence of the Demarcated party would be void without a predetermined object (the poor)…

    February 22, 2011 at 9:32 p.m.

  • The government keeps people poor.....when someone on assistance gets a job they lose what helpful benefits they have immediately instead of being tapered down. Many times the people get frustrated & quit to get their asssistance back. If the government would give hand ups instead of hand outs, it would be more beneficial to those that are struggling & to society in general.

    If they held parents accountable in regards to their childrens education, that would probably go a long ways to helping schools, teachers & the kids themselves. If they are proposing holding teachers accountable for their students success or lack thereof, they should also hold the parents accountable....parents have far more control of their childrens abilities than teachers do, if parents don't care about school then that attitude will rub off on the kids & the teacher won't stand a chance.

    Also, when you think a family of 3 is living off of less than 19k a year, you are forgetting the assistance that is subsidizing them....deeply discounted housing, utility assistance, food stamps, wic, medicaid & actual $$....not to mention if they qualify for SSI & then any amount of tax they pay in they get back several times over in the form of EITC....the people I work with are averaging 7k per person on their tax refunds....we are actually losing employees left & right because they got their checks...they will go back to work after it's all been spent. In a couple months they will be back to struggling to get by.

    There are those people who can live on very little but they are becoming extinct. Everyone wants the newest & the best & they want it now, they don't know how to save for a rainy day & when it does rain they drown. I think personal business management should be a required class in highschool....everybody needs to learn how to budget & manage seems to be a lost art. And born2beme is correct, parents aren't doing their kids any favors by handing them everything they want on a silver platter....I am guilty of that myself.

    Education, personal responsibility & sheer will & determination is how you get ahead these days, if you are lacking any of the above, you are handicapping yourself. It is up to each individual to make sure they are preparing themselves & their offspring for the reality of life.

    Congratulations on your success & your marriage! I am really liking your stories & blogs....keep 'em coming!

    February 22, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.

  • Ok, ok, ok. In my lame Joe Pesci voice.

    I think little will cure the poverty problem until we realise "what is man." If man is just a clever animal, who really cares for we treat animals as a means to some good and our reason is the slave of our passions. If man is just some kind of puppet of god, then it too matters not for we are driven by sentiments at best and some predestined are demons at worst.

    However, if we see man as a rational animal with dignity and personhood, then we will treat our wives as partners not property, our children as gifts not rights to own, and our neighbors as ourself. Although there may still be poor among us even in this, they would be treated with dignity rather than as a means to use.

    In order to act, we must first decide "what man is." These seems to sum up most of the options, and depending on the one we choose will determine how we treat the poor.

    February 22, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.

  • Thank you all for commenting. We won't all have the same opinions and we shouldn't. But I think we can be constructive by just talking about it and acknowledging the sources of the problems we face as a nation.

    Usesomelogic, I'm glad that you brought up that the solution doesn't necessarily start with giving poor people more money. While that would be great in a perfect world - if we just had millions to give away - but we wouldn't be learning anything, would we? It's the "teach a man to fish" principle.

    On the other hand, sometimes you need a hand up, someone to acknowledge that you're struggling to maintain your money, family and sanity. It's not cut and dry. What looks like $1,000 is really $200 after taxes, rent, utilities, child care, food, clothes, toilet paper, etc.

    I was born into a very poor family. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. I am a first generation high school AND college graduate. I realize not so many are as fortunate to break the cycle. Most members of my family work hard, while others have given up and simply live off the government as described by usesomelogic.

    By 16, to save my family money, I lived on my own and worked full time while technically graduating from high school two years early. I NEVER want to endure that kind of hard work again. By the time I was done, all hope had been sucked out of me. I could have easily given up, but I found the strength to continue on to college. And here I am today.

    So the topic of poverty both perplexes me and saddens me. There are no hard and fast rules. I think, though, in my position as a journalist, it's my job to bring up these issues and encourage conversation.

    February 22, 2011 at 5:15 p.m.

  • I completely agree with you, Trysta. Something should be done for the poverty level in America; I just don’t know what. I know of many people who sit at home all day, everyday and collect food stamps, government health insurance, WIC, and even rent and utility assistance rather than getting a job. It absolutely infuriates me that people who are completely capable of working, won’t even get off the couch and apply for a job; they just expect the government and everyone else around them to pay for their lifestyle.

    Whereas, like my family, my husband and I both work full-time, support a household with two children and still cannot afford health insurance for ourselves or our children. When I recently applied for health insurance for our children via our wonderful government, we were turned down because they say we make too much money.

    One of the problems is that the government has not yet adjusted with the rising cost of living. Gas is at nearly $3 a gallon, electric rates have gone up, groceries have gone up and so on. My husband and I barely make it paycheck to paycheck and we don’t drive an expensive vehicle or live in an extravagant home, we just simply provide for our two children. A night out as a family or a couple is simply unheard of due to lack of funds, so we just stay home with the kids and watch a movie, play games or mess around in the yard.

    I really think that if the government and pay-scales actually met the cost of living standards in today’s society, the poverty level would improve dramatically. Until that point, I don’t see an improvement in the poverty level.

    Trysta: great article, by the way. It’s about time someone said something!

    February 22, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.

  • Unfortunately, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to poverty prevention. Poverty has many reasons and all of the reasons you mentioned play a part in it in one way or another.
    In my opinion, it starts with population control. YOu stay within the 1-2 kids per family area, and families have a easier time of supporting their own kids from birth through college. Fewer kids means fewer health costs, less childcare costs,fewer groceries, fewer clothes to buy, etc. It's just more managable.
    As to how you can teach young teens and adults to make better decisions? Teach them at a early age how hard it is to work for what they want and not have everything given to them. Goodness, most teens today don't know what a broom is for or how hard it is to work for that dollar. They dont' have to earn what they get. Mom and dad just give them anything and everything they want. Ex. Most teens have the most expensive cell phones that they make. Why?

    February 22, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.

  • Good blog
    That might be the problem; 100 views 80 proposals and then we fight about the proposals until the next crisis pops up because it's usually the other guy's fault anyway.

    There will always be poverty no matter how much public and private monies you throw at it. Survival instincts always take over; hence the crime rate is centered on poverty stricken areas. That's not an excuse but a reality.

    Several years ago a man told me that as long as people kept moving north in Victoria; the crime rate in the south will always be high. He said if people stayed in and cleaned up a poverty stricken area, crime would decrease and the local criminals would move on.

    I remember when NYC was a filthy discussing place but Mayor Rudy Giuliani employed several policemen to clean up the metropolitan area. I was there about seven years ago; took a red double- deck tour bus and I was really surprised by the improvement.

    I don't know if that's the answer you looking for but I thought I would throw it out there.

    BTW Back in my day we didn't rely on government statistics, didn't worry too much about the job to child ratio, and pretty much dealt with ups and downs of life, using a trial and error method.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:38 p.m.

  • Your looking at the problem the wrong way... People that have that many kids and are in poverty already have the solution they just stop working! The kids see that the parents are living off the government and repeat the cycle... This has been going on for so long that you have generations of people that have never known what it means to work, let alone work hard! The Question isn't how do we give another dead beat more government aid.. Its how do we get the dead beat to get up and start earning and learning how to put in a hard days work to support his or her family!

    February 22, 2011 at 4:33 p.m.

  • With more than 100 views, somebody here has to have some suggestions about poverty prevention. One hundred minds are better than one, right?

    February 22, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.

  • C'mon Jared. I know you have more insight into the poverty problem. While we may not always agree on some things, I know you take time to think about issues. What can we do to get really really poor people off the dependency of the government and moderately poor people in a better position?

    February 22, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.

  • I totally agree with you regarding who decides to have children for it is the husband and wife's responsibility to decide when to have conjugal relations.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.

  • Oh believe me holein1, I've thought about that a lot. And I think that's a personal decision for each couple to make. What's right for me might not be so for someone else.

    But in my situation, I'm newly married (just three months ago next week) and only 27. I do, however, have some complications with a blood disorder called S-protein deficiency that affects pregnancy. Which will likely prove to be financially and physically taxing. So I can't wait too long, but long enough to be fiscally responsible.

    When I see babies, my womb calls out to me VERY loudly! But I think I'll know when the timing is right. And it will be a leap of faith, not only in myself, but in my husband and my job and the school system and a million other things that I can stay up nights worrying about. lol.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:03 p.m.

  • If you're going to wait to have kids until you are ready, you never will. What are your criteria for knowing when you are ready?

    February 22, 2011 at 2:56 p.m.

  • I believe you're right Newcowboy. We live in a fast-food society, where lines of credit, bailouts and instant gratification are par for the course. I can't say that I'm not guilty, though. I have debt I accrued in my late teens/early 20s that I'm still paying off. When I didn't know any better. Luckily, however, when I was 16 and the other girls were saying how awesome it would be to have the unconditional love of a baby, I had a newborn brother and saw first-hand how difficult it is to raise a child on very little money.

    How can we reproduce that lesson, among others, so young adults and teens can make better choices? What is the root of poverty? Education, work ethic, debt, health, policies, irresponsibility?

    February 22, 2011 at 2:52 p.m.

  • Why should it surprise you that the government thinks you should be able to spend money - YOU DON"T HAVE! They do it all the time!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:31 p.m.