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Passions in Poetry

Poverty

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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Waukegan


0 posted 08-27-2007 04:50 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


ďOverall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR, or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry, and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his familyís essential needs.Ē


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjE3NTA4Yjc0NjQxMDA4ZjhlZjczMWM0YWNlM2JhOTg=


.

serenity blaze
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1 posted 08-27-2007 05:38 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/povdef.html
Larry C
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2 posted 08-27-2007 05:50 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty
serenity blaze
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3 posted 08-27-2007 06:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I am one storm away from homeless.

We played it "safe" too--civil service jobs--the only sure bet in a welfare state. We lived the American Dream. We screwed up bigtime by paying off the mortgage that paid our flood insurance too. (We thought that was what we were supposed to do...)

Civil Servants...it's very easy to end up on the wrong side of that desk.

Somewhere, the state of Louisiana still houses over 200 unclaimed bodies, victims of Hurricane Katrina. The low evacuation rate can be chalked up to "recklessness" or the fact that it was August 28--and social security and yes, welfare checks, don't arrive until the first of the month. Even if everyone owned those assumed vehicles--in a state that supplies many natural resources--they couldn't afford the gas.

They are going to ring little bells in commemoration here. I understand President Bush is going to be here too. (Personally, I wish he'd wait until five days after--just to keep with tradition. )

Y'wanna know why our nation's poor are fat?

Talk to me after "bean week", potatoes, and feeding eight people on three chicken leg quarters.

I was going to write something about this all, but I can't get past this song, lyrics by Paul Simon, but the origen of the tune is questionable. It may be an old hymn, "St. Matthew's Passion" written by Bach.

And if Paul Simon minded me sharing the link--trust it would not be available.

It pretty much sums up how I feel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE3kKUEY5WU

It's not just us, either. Take a ride OFF the interstate some time--from Northern Mississippi, the bottoms of Kentucky, to Flint, Michigan...and more places than I care to know.

And sing an American Tune.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


4 posted 08-27-2007 08:38 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


SB,


Yet the question to be asked is does your particular story
extrapolate to 37 million?

How much poverty in the United States is actual
as opposed to political?  I never owned a washer
or a dryer much less a home; where does that put me,
(I don't even have a cell phone; what's cable?)?

John
.

.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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5 posted 08-27-2007 09:14 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Funny that you asked that, John. I came back here to quote myself--I may be one storm away from homeless--but so are you.

One wildfire, one dam burst, one mudslide, one collapsed bridge, one swollen river, one drought--have I covered it all? (I came back to add a blizzard)

Not quite.

One corporate take-over--are you guys sure you know how far in debt you are? Have you asked your spouse? (One calamity and you will know for sure if your neighbor's high-end lifestyle is on credit or not--suicides here were rampant, just like the Great Depression, John.)

How sure are you?

Don't think I'm sitting here saying "oh poor ME"--not at all.

Poor U.S.

My father, I swear to you, until chemotherapy crippled him? He got up everyday and replaced a nail, a board, or just did something to maintain the upkeep of his home.

I'm not seeing that happening in our government.

Those are sinkholes in our highways, not speedbumps. And I am not suggesting our government do it all--I've got a hammer--I've got a nail--I do what I can.

But oh--y'gotta admit, there's some disparity on the willingness of those able...

AND?

quote:
I never owned a washer
or a dryer much less a home; where does that put me,
(I don't even have a cell phone; what's cable?)?


Do you have children John?

Or maybe you are gonna tell me you are running your computer there, OFF THE GRID--that is run by happy squirrels who do this for you eating granola bars that you make yourself?

Give me an expletive break.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


6 posted 08-27-2007 09:41 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

SB,


Yet is that the same thing
as Poverty as America through
the political view understands it?

And by the way, I saw a lot of well off
suddenly bite it when the company/economy went south;
still that's not the same thing for they had
something by which to prepare, ( in the professional
world that I lived in you always treated some part
of your salary as a severence package).

John
serenity blaze
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7 posted 08-27-2007 09:48 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I can only say what I know, through my point of view--and that is this:

If the political view doesn't take into account class distinctions and the obvious gulf of understanding that is occurring now--right now--there are going to be serious ramifications.

And weren't you the one asking what the French should do about their revolting peasants?

I gave you more credit for more sense, then, John.

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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8 posted 08-27-2007 09:54 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'll see your edit and go "all in" John:

"And by the way, I saw a lot of well off
suddenly bite it when the company/economy went south;
still that's not the same thing for they had
something by which to prepare, ( in the professional
world that I lived in you always treated some part
of your salary as a severence package)."

Try coming "home" to a job, that says you are not fired, not laid off, but on "Leave Without Pay" until further notice. You lose your salary, your health benefits, and get this? You can't even file for unemployment, because technically? You are still employed.

"We are just not paying you until further notice."

That's what our government did to us.

Our EMPLOYER...

think, John. Think.
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


9 posted 08-27-2007 09:58 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

SB,

It translates to the same question:
does that translate to 37 million?

Around me immigrants with little or no education,
legal or not, as my father did, are owning homes,  making good;
how do you explain that?

John
serenity blaze
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10 posted 08-27-2007 10:10 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

You know damned well I can't crunch those numbers. And why should I?

I can't even explain how we are making it.

I am sitting here though, about to slam the off button on my computer--because it has been two years...and I can try to make you see--for the first time, I am really trying to explain to someone what happened--and you are obstinately turning your head away--to look at people who don't really matter to you, while you congratulate yourself on your self-sufficiency.

And I don't know your story--you may very well live up to all that you just espoused--but:

I will ask you again John--

do you have children?

I'll bet you don't. I am sitting here typing in tears, and I am one of the few LUCKY ones here.

I had a lot of help.

Forgive my selfishness.

I can't afford 37 million.

I have two--and they are kind of expensive, John. (and no, they don't have cellphones, no cars, and yes, they go to public school, and why am I explaining this to YOU?)

My kids are my comfort. May you find, I dunno, something equivilant, if not the same.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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11 posted 08-27-2007 10:16 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

smile--

yanno what?

I am so outta here.

There's a nice moon out there.

ta, John.
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


12 posted 08-27-2007 10:28 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Yes, it is a nice moon,
which means for us all
it will in the end
be resolved.

John


.
serenity blaze
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13 posted 08-27-2007 11:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*sniff*
Larry C
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14 posted 08-28-2007 02:05 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

SB, Please know how much I care. Trouble is I got no money to put where my heart is so all I can offer is my shoulder. Somehow, I feel your pain yet I cannot imagine. And here in Arizona we're just one microburst from broke. I'm not sure how you survive. But I do know what it means to be a survivor. That you do exceptionally well and you make me proud to be your friend.

You can't put a face on 37 million. But I can recognize your lovely face and then I begin to feel the challenges of Katrina, even from here.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

rwood
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since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


15 posted 08-28-2007 12:42 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I don't feel I could have made it through the way Karen has. Dunno, until one is in a situation it's hard to tell what anyone is capable of, but I'm angry & heartsick for her just from reading her accounts. She & so many countless other Katrina survivors were smacked around in every direction with things that would cause anyone to feel an amount of hopelessness. AND senselessly screwed out of things that would take most anyone under. That's the thing, for me. I came from dirt poor upbringings but I didn't know it. See? I didn't know I lived in poverty because there was no hopelessness or anyone screwing anybody out of anything. We shared what we had with a pride and sense of security I still don't have today with a bank account.

Sorry, just had to say something, and I don't mean to speak for you Karen, you do fine, hon. All to your own. I just know there's a difference between poverty level and being beaten down to that level.
serenity blaze
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16 posted 08-28-2007 04:18 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'll try this again. (I just lost a lengthy reply..sighing.)

I just came in to thank Larry and Regina for their kindness and sensitivity. And I am smiling at Larry too--because I had just typed that even if you were incredibly wealthy--wealthy enough to not even blink at a monthly stipend to me in my name--that is not what I want anymore. After losing every "safety net" from fathers, to siblings, to jobs, to even the metaphorical father figure of the assurance of our government--what I want is the security of self-reliance.

What I want is a saleable skill, that will translate in any state, or any country--the security of knowing I have the capability of taking care of me and mine in any circumstance. I might as well ask for, well, last night's moon, huh?

But I'd like to think that what I dream of is possible--A fair wage, in trade for a legal service--one that doesn't entail my walking on the backs of other human beings. More money? Sure, that would be great. Right now I'd settle for enough money. But with more money, I could pay forward the generous help that was shown to me and my family during that incredibly difficult first year after Katrina.

John? I don't know your story, and you don't know the whole of mine either. But I assume we are both sitting here in bags of flesh, and therefore we both know pain. Mine isn't greater, and yours wouldn't make mine any less valid.

So peace to you all.

And I'd like to take this moment to plug my favorite organization--Habitat for Humanity. I assure you they are legit--and they are actually doing what others only promise. One home at a time.

You guys are my heroes.
Larry C
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17 posted 08-28-2007 08:06 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

SB,
I'm feeling pretty wealthy about now, thanks to you. And you can't counterfeit that!

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


18 posted 08-29-2007 02:45 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

LOL.

A car? What kind of car? I have a couple of friends (who are above the poverty line, mind you) one recently graduated from college, one still in school. Their cars suck- a 92 Tempo and a 94 Berreta that run- sometimes- and when they don't run, some other expense has to go by the wayside to afford to fix it. Think there's money for a car payment there? And that's without the burden of kids.

And owning a house? LOL. Didn't you start that housing market thread, John? It's easy to own a house... until it gets foreclosed on. My mom (a single mom, and a successful one, mind you, although your precious article would probably debate me on that) had a lien placed on her house... due to healthcare costs. And she wasn't in poverty either.

Did you open Karen's link?

"Family A has five members: two children, their mother, father, and great-aunt.

Their threshold was $24,662 dollars in 2006."

My boyfriend and I made that much (combined) during college. Our rent was cheap, our (crappy) cars were paid off. but you can bet we were couting our pennies when rent came due and eating a lot of Ramen noodles.

And that's for TWO people, not FIVE.

Bute man, have an ounce of pity for those in poverty, you're just a bleeding heart liberal. Next time I treat a dirt-poor patient (and boy, do I see a lot of them in the inner-city hospital where I work) I'll just tell him/her that they aren't really that poor- and anyway, if they worked more, they'd lift themselves out of paverty.

It's not like I've ever seen people leave the hospital against medical advice because they had to work, or because they had children at home and nobody else to care for them (ever think that THAT may be why some poverty-stricken people don't work more?)

*shaking my head*

Stupid John Edwards, how dare you campaign for the poor??!!
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


19 posted 09-04-2007 09:21 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
As expected, Tony Snow is resigning his post to, as Atrios put it, "spend more time with his conscience." Sorry, just kidding. I have no idea whether Snow has a conscience. He's resigning because he's out of money. Not long ago, he told Hugh Hewitt that "Iím not going to be able to go the distance, but thatís primarily for financial reasons. Iíve told people when my money runs out, then Iíve got to go."

Snow makes $170,000 a year. Real median income in this country is about $50,000. So this White House spokesperson doesn't think you can live on $170,000, but repeatedly told the press corps that "It is worth reminding people of how good this economy is."


--Ezra Klein

C'mon guys, get over it, there are real people out there with real problems.
rwood
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Tennessee


20 posted 09-05-2007 07:31 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood



Nice job perks.

He gets to avoid poverty at all costs, & retire comfortably in the great state of Denial with comments like:

"It is worth reminding people of how good this economy is."

Let him trade salaries with a Teacher for a year and see if he really Means what he says.

I mean, it's mean to mean meaning from your own means as if it's the mean for all.

*it's a commanding word that's not always easy to live with*


Huan Yi
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21 posted 09-05-2007 01:57 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi



"Let him trade salaries with a Teacher for a year and see if he really Means what he says."

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/All_K-12_Teachers/Salary

Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


22 posted 09-05-2007 02:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

And your point?

After all, there are more important people to think about.

Snow has cancer.

How many of those numbers do?

Snow has the best health care in the world.

How many of those numbers do?
TomMark
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LA,CA


23 posted 09-05-2007 04:25 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Poverty in many countries are true life while in some other contries is politics. In America, I would rather think that poverty is a political term.

As Larry c added the link to Wiki, poverty shall not be talked in statistical term. It shall not be defined by lower 10 percentile or 5 persentile  in refrence of the median.

I had a friend who was a doctor and brought family money from UK to buy a big house together with a forest and guest house. I have another friend who was a worker and own a house worth 60,000$ with a pool(a present of housing project by Queen E). I will not call the later living in poverty.

A friend of mine, an Gynocoloist in Bangladesh, her husband, a judge in suprimcourt, did not want to spend the money for a trip to zoo (6$), too much for her consider the exchanging rate. Is she poor? by American standard, she might be. But she was not live in poverty in her country.

Thinking of people in third-world countries, in war zones like iraq, no enough food(ignore the nutrient part), no water(ignore the dust, the bacteria and chemical ), no shelters ( ignore the adjusted temprature), to me, talking about poverty here is a laughing matter.

I have seeing homeless people in every city I went and to those Government shall lend a hand but why care about them (Goverment do have shelters for them though)? If they do not bother themselves to vote...even vote..quite insignificant amount of numbers.

So, if one has whatever one NEEDS for a life (I did not say that has to be comfortable), one shall not be called living in poverty. One of my dear friends is a radiologist in Texas. Income 400,000 a year and 30 days vacation time. We shall all work hard for that position. But then, there are still someone living in poverty by statistics.

American Government is good. Australia Government is better because people living in "poverty" has many benefit..food, child care, and housing. Their monthly "income" from Government can offered a morgage for a very decent singel house with a big yard. Shall I call them living in poverty? of course not, not at all.

wish all people in this world could have a good lunch
Balladeer
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24 posted 09-05-2007 04:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting topic which has made many turns due to personal positions and opinions.

One of the things to be taken into consideration is the definition of poverty. How many of us really know what poverty is? How many of us know what being hungry really means? We have our own definitions based on our own lives, what we are accostumed to and what others have around us. The government sets a "poverty level". How ridiculous is that? As the flip side of the coin goes,"if you have to ask, you can't afford it", so goes the fact that, if you have to ask if you are impoverished or not - you aren't. We type on a computer, from our homes, and speak of poverty. Karen, I know how well you have fought the good fight. I can only imagine the hills you have had to climb and how far you have come based on sheer determination and a refusal to give up. What basically put you into that condition was one of the biggest natural disasters in recent history, though, not poverty....and look how far you have come. Yes, you and your husband have been making it back by your own determined efforts but, at least, the opportunity has existed for you to do so.

Hush, you speak of your friends with the 92 and 94 cars and college educations and make some point (?) that, when there's a car repair, they have to make adjustments...that has something to do with poverty? You and your boyfriend, both attending college, both with paid off cars and renting a place, eating a lot of noodles....this has something to do with poverty? You speak of the inner-city hospital patients you see. THERE I agree with you. There I am sure you see poverty. can you equate them with your friends or you and your boyfriend in college? I find it unlikely.

Brad, bringing Tony Snow up in a poverty topic makes no sense to me at all, except for laughs, I guess. Based on your location, I KNOW you know what poverty means.

Regina, I don't know any teacher who lives in poverty, either.

We are spoiled. Pure and simple. We complain about stations in life that millions of others would die for. We scream poverty from our houses, with cars in the driveway, clothes in the closet, tv and stereo going and we complain that we can't afford the new HD flat screens. At times like this, I can understand why much of the world despises Americans. We complain about old paid-off cars while millions have never driven a car. We complain about eating noodles once in a while while millions haven't eaten anything in days. We complain about hunger while there are hundreds of thousands in India and Africa who walk miles each days just for drinkable water. There are children who rely on scraps left on tables in outdoor restaurants to survive. There are other children who turn to prostitution even before their teenage years to feed their families. Hungry people - actual HUNGRY ones - can feel the pain of their bodies feeding on themselves while in pain due to lack of food.  I've lived in countries where that happens. I've seen it.....and I still can't imagine how it actually feels. Neither can you.

It's not entirely our fault. That's our culture. That's how our "keeping up with the Joneses" attitudes develop from a very early age, like having to have an I-pod because all the kids have them. Poverty? Nobody reading this is in poverty. One of the most ridiculous things the government can do is to set a "poverty level",  a line where one can claim with conviction that they are poor, verified by the government. John is right...it is ludicrous to set that level and apply it to people who have all the things he listed at the beginning of this thread.  We should spend more time being grateful for what we do have and less time complaining about what we don't. There are a lot of people out there who would gladly trade places with you, believe me.
 
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