Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Mike- my point wasn't that I or my friends were living in poverty- but that people can struggle, financially, above the poverty level.
Ok, Hush, I see. I figured that when you responded to a thread discussing poverty, speaking of your friends then that meant there was some relation between them and the topic discussed. My mistake.
Struggle? We all have struggled. Everybody on this poetry site (except Ron) has struggled. Struggling is a part of life. Michaelangelo, the only human in history who spent more time working on his back than Anna Nicole Smith, struggled while painting the sistine chapel. Anyone who has gone to college without a silver spoon in their mouths or a scholarship in their pocket has struggled. We all worked jobs to get through. We all drove ten year old cars held together by rubber bands and prayer. We all ate cup-o-noodles and beanie weenies. Struggling is not always a bad thing. It makes future success much more rewarding. It's a part of life...we struggle to succeed....and it gives meaning to success. We feel good about our success, and even worthy of it, because we did struggle.Even for those who struggle all their lives without achieving success, they can feel a certain pride in the fact that they gave the best they had. Your friends' "struggles" has little to do with this thread. They simply went through a phase that is a part of life for the majority of Americans.
I agree with Brad- the fact that there are people worse and better off doesn't make it suck any less for you or your family if you can't make ends meet.
...and I agree with you both, up to a point. If I lose a son in a car crash, it doesn't lessen my pain to know that someone else lost three sons in a crash. If, however, I sit around moaning that I can't afford a flat-screen 56" HDTV, maybe someone should remind me that millions of people have no tv at all. Maybe someone should remind me that I don't just "deserve" it, I have to work for it.
Somone with a DVD player doesn't deserve foodstamps or financial assistance for college? I mean, it's cool- just sell off your possessions... that's what they make you do in order to qualify for Medicaid. They look at your assets- because by god, you better sell your house and use that to pay for medical care before we'll help you... literally making people become poorer in order to get help. That makes sense, right?
The most popular ploy by far....blame the government. You know, there was a time that men traded goods and values for the staples of life. Our country was founded by those actions. Settlers traded furs for groceries. Men traded labor for wages. That's what one had to do to survive. You gave to get. When I go to North Carolina we have covered dish dinners. Everyone brings a covered dish of meat, fruit, vegetables or whatever and we make a nice meal of it. Right now we have a nation full of people who didn't bring anything to the table with their plates out, saying "Where's mine?" It doesn't work that way. People stopped long enough to applaud JFK saying "Ask not what your country can do for you....." and then went back to saying, "What's my country gonna do for me?"
I don't know anyone whao has been denied college financial assistance because they own a DVD player.
I know a lot of people on Medicaid (and I'll be joining their ranks too soon!) and I don't know any who had to sell off their possessions to get Medicaid coverage.
This astounds me. Insignificant? Why care? Do you have any clue what homeless shelters are like? The one I worked in was simply a room with a row of cots. There was a long waiting list and you could only stay for a month at a time. There were also rules- if you were caught using drugs, committing crimes, etc- you were out... which is fair but when you consider how many homeless are mentally ill, and how many resort to crime (esp. prostitution) to get food....
You're leaving out a point...they ARE shelters and they HAVE been provided. True, they may not have private rooms with lacy curtains on the windows but they are better than the street and they are free. Yes, they have rules. Yes, they are for a limited time. The one I give lectures at allows them to stay for six weeks. During those six weeks the occupants are required to attend so many courses each week and the lecturers of those courses must sign their papers as proof they attended. Those who do not attend are asked to leave. The courses are designed to help them on the outside world in some way. In other words they have to bring their covered dish (their attendance and adherence to the rules) to share dinner. I find that hard to criticize, although you appear not to. There are also dozens of "soup kitchen" cafeterias in Miami and ft. Lauderdale where one needs only bring an apetite. Is that a requirement of the government? No, they just do it.
Our current system promotes poverty... Here I agree with you. It does. Our unemployment benefits promote poverty, along with food stamps. People realize that an unemployment check combined with food stamps can bring in more money than a low-level job working somewhere so why bother? The flip side of that is that there are also decent people who really need those food stamps temporarily to feed their families and unemployment checks to keep a roof over their heads. Do you throw them out to stop the ones abusing the system then? I've known poeple who don't work during college because, simply by not working, they plunge their income down and get more student aid, which replaces the income they'd ahve if they did work. I mean- why would you work? You mean, I assume, throwing out the little things like decency, self-respect and personal integrity? Then I agree....why WOULD you work?
Be that as it may, the main point of the article is they way John Edwards tries to twist and use these figures to get votes. One out of eight Americans live in abject poverty (according to him).......but HE can fix that. Of all of the poor people in the United States, despite his millions, I think that John Edwards, or anyone who uses these tactics to get votes, is among the poorest.