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ChocolateReignRemix

The stress of poverty - poverty as a disease

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Articles like this just reek of "the deck is stacked against you, so don't even try."  

I get that the more problems you have in life, the more problems those problems create.  I just refuse to buy into the idea that our lives are based ONLY on luck and that our own choices have nothing to do with it.  If our choices have no effect on how our lives turn out, then there's really not much point in parenting, or supporting friends, or contributing to charities, because life will just turn out however luck and chance says so.

 

 

 

In reality, I believe that as much as genetics and biology DO play a role, as well as just straight past experience, our own choices have a LOT of influence on how our lives actually turn out.  And the truth is if a person tries, they might not succeed, and some folks are less likely to succeed than others.  But never trying.....that's never going to help.  

 

Generally speaking, good choices are more likely to yield good results than bad choices.  

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26 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Articles like this just reek of "the deck is stacked against you, so don't even try." 

 

Did you actually read it?  Because that is not what it says.

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I found it quite interesting. It also made me think of the new studies relating the amount of childhood trauma to problems later in life. It seems that research is showing more and more that we need to address poverty, dysfunction, mental health, substance abuse, etc before children are even conceived, as the longer we wait, the more costly the remedies and the lower the chances of success.

And it reinforced my belief that two of the most important things we can do to help with generational poverty are to make excellent public education available to all, including real s*x education, and also make effective birth control easily and cheaply available. It never ceases to amaze me that we can live in such a rich, developed country and still have such high rates of unplanned pregnancies. Thankfully, we finally seem to be doing much better with teen pregnancy rates. It also makes sense to implement some of the research proven strategies he discussed for helping parents make good choices for the long term. And perhaps increasing programs like the EITC that have proven effective for lifting people out of poverty while not making them deal with all of the hassle that can accompany so many other         programs for low income families.

Although the author experienced the chronic stress of poverty and lacked good education in his younger years, he definitely seemed helped later by quality education, mentors, and delaying parenting until his own life was on track. And he didn’t mention experiencing other traumas such as violence or abuse or family chaos and dysfunction that can compound the effects of poverty. So it seems like he had a good head start right there, despite the poverty.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Articles like this just reek of "the deck is stacked against you, so don't even try."  

I get that the more problems you have in life, the more problems those problems create.  I just refuse to buy into the idea that our lives are based ONLY on luck and that our own choices have nothing to do with it.  If our choices have no effect on how our lives turn out, then there's really not much point in parenting, or supporting friends, or contributing to charities, because life will just turn out however luck and chance says so.

 

 

 

In reality, I believe that as much as genetics and biology DO play a role, as well as just straight past experience, our own choices have a LOT of influence on how our lives actually turn out.  And the truth is if a person tries, they might not succeed, and some folks are less likely to succeed than others.  But never trying.....that's never going to help.  

 

Generally speaking, good choices are more likely to yield good results than bad choices.  

this.  there were times in my childhood I was below the poverty line (my mother refused welfare, but we qualified).   I also grew up seeing the excuse of "___ has had a hard life and it's not their fault".   totally IGNORING the absolutely stupid choices - like illegal drugs, shoplifting, leading to arrest, etc. etc. etc.  but I still heard the excuse ' not their fault because they've had a hard life."  

I also had times as an adult we were below the poverty level due to unemployment and business failures.  and just when we thought it couldn't' get worse - it got worse.

attitude matters.

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38 minutes ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

 

Did you actually read it?  Because that is not what it says.

Yes, I did, in fact, I read the whole thing which was a bit tough.  And yes, that's exactly what I took away from it, even to the very end.  I can understand how you don't see that is what it says, but really, that's what I took away from it, even to the very end.  

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Very interesting. I also will have to re-read it.  I just finished “Hillbilly Elegy” and I’m reminded of that book.   The HE author also talks a little of poverty and childhood trauma and especially that “fight or flight” that goes well into adulthood.   I’ll re-read it.  Thanks for sharing!  

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2 minutes ago, Thatboyofmine said:

Very interesting. I also will have to re-read it.  I just finished “Hillbilly Elegy” and I’m reminded of that book.   The HE author also talks a little of poverty and childhood trauma and especially that “fight or flight” that goes well into adulthood.   I’ll re-read it.  Thanks for sharing!  

One of the few books in the last decade or so that I was able to read within 24 hrs.  It exactly reminded me of that.  

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

I get that the more problems you have in life, the more problems those problems create.  I just refuse to buy into the idea that our lives are based ONLY on luck and that our own choices have nothing to do with it.  If our choices have no effect on how our lives turn out, then there's really not much point in parenting, or supporting friends, or contributing to charities, because life will just turn out however luck and chance says so.

This is kind of an oversimplification. One can be “lucky” that they got good parenting, had supportive friends, or found a suitable charity to help them. That’s why we do all of these things. 

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2 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

This is kind of an oversimplification. One can be “lucky” that they got good parenting, had supportive friends, or found a suitable charity to help them. That’s why we do all of these things. 

I tend to think yes and no.

 

One can also be lucky that they got good parenting, supportive friends, or found a suitable charity and yet, still end up high on opioids, homeless and arrested for theft.  

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Thanks. That was an interesting article. 

I did not get 'there's no point in even trying' from the article. 

I do think the idea of poverty as a disease is interesting; to me  the model seems to have greater potential for reducing poverty effects long term.

The model seems to fit well also into the idea of providing social and financial support to pregnant women, mothers and small children as a way of improving long term outcomes.

Edited by StellaM
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Very interesting. I see the things he's talking about in a volunteer position all the time. It's sad and can feel hopeless.  The observable effects are well known by those working with people experiencing generational poverty. I really appreciate that he tried to identify not just the root problems but directions to address these issues. 

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To the point about "it will never be enough" even after an almost 7-figure income ....

I can relate to the feeling that one is never really safe from going broke.  I had that for some years when I was in the rat race big time.  Even after I had paid off all my debts and was building my 401K, I still updated my manual spreadsheet to the penny every week and projected out when I hoped to have enough money that whatever happened, even if I lost both my arms and legs but still didn't qualify for relief, I could still pay my [minimal] bills.

I needed a restart.  In my case, I got it by reading Deepak Chopra, especially a short little book about the 7 spiritual laws of success.  Learning that giving from what I had was the one way to make me feel successful and reasonably secure.

I do see people with enough, more than enough, up to and including millionaires, who haven't and may never realize what "enough" really means.  I feel sorry for them.

I agree that poverty can have long-term biological and psychological results, but I don't believe it's hopeless for anyone except the severely brain damaged.

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7 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

I have to disagree with the idea that if you are poor, making one mistake means you are in a sudden death gamble.  Too many people around me are poor, and they aren't dead from their mistakes.  Those working above the table have no problem feeding themselves, but they can't make taxes easily while paying for medical and eventually when they get older are driven out of their homes, which are often their ancestors' homes.  That isn't a result of poverty, but of  federal, state and local government policy.  Even if they worked every hour available, they can't make that kind of money as 70 year old laborers or etsy sellers.   Same thing almost happened to my grandparents, but they didn't live in the type of area like mine where property taxes rise high quickly as a result of an influx of people who are renting basements, attics, barns etc  to families and flooding the schools with needy students.  The policy of not raising taxes on multifamily illegal rentals to cover the school tax means all those who are living legally get taxed out.  The medical pricing policy affects them greatly..sometimes to the point they go without.

    

In this passage "the march to global disorder can only be arrested by adopting measures that begin to price in the stacked deck that I and anyone else born into deep poverty sees, and resents. "  what does 'price  in' mean

 

By ‘price in’ I think he means account for, as in recognize and seek to modify.

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The guy who wrote this article likes to ramble and I disagree with what he has to say.

 

1) bring low income and having few material things does not really mean bad, even though the media tries to constantly say it does.

 

2) handing over welfare that brings the no income or unemployed up to the middle class while leaving the lower to middle middle class unable to provide is not okay and lends to a fear from lower income people that they will lose money/benefits as they attempt to enter the lower middle class so they cannot even begin to work their way up

 

3) the guy who wrote this likes to hear himself speak. He rambles. He was so busy trying to prove he is so superior in knowledge of things not really on his point that he lost his point. 

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59 minutes ago, Janeway said:

The guy who wrote this article likes to ramble and I disagree with what he has to say.

 

1) bring low income and having few material things does not really mean bad, even though the media tries to constantly say it does.

 

2) handing over welfare that brings the no income or unemployed up to the middle class while leaving the lower to middle middle class unable to provide is not okay and lends to a fear from lower income people that they will lose money/benefits as they attempt to enter the lower middle class so they cannot even begin to work their way up

 

3) the guy who wrote this likes to hear himself speak. He rambles. He was so busy trying to prove he is so superior in knowledge of things not really on his point that he lost his point. 

 

There is a world of difference between "low income and having few material things" and poverty. They are not remotely the same. Poverty is consistently not having enough to meet basic survival needs (such as food, basic shelter, clean water) for yourself and your family. That doesn't have anything to do with the media. 

I provide support/volunteer with organizations that help Native Americans on the Pine Ridge (& other) reservations in South Dakota. I am familiar with the conditions there and I can say, hands down, true poverty is bad. Really bad. None of those people hope to reach middle class. That's a pipe dream, and they know it. But perhaps some disaster assistance after a major hailstorm (which followed a tornado) would be nice.  But they don't even qualify for that. I recently gave some money to a leader there who was trying to supply firewood to the elders, because they have old people who literally freeze to death in their own homes, every year. 

Or take the poverty in Alabama, where raw sewage is floating in people's yards and they don't have the money to fix it, and hookworm is now a problem. 

That's poverty, and yet we pretend it doesn't exist, or blame the people in those conditions for not being able to help themselves even though they have zero resources, low education, low nutrition, and very limited job opportunities. And yet, somehow, we always have money for corporate welfare and taking care of the haves. 

 

 

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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Having few material things by choice is not bad at all.

Having a low income, especially by choice, is not neccessarily bad either.

Having an income that is insufficient, despite one's best efforts, to house, feed, warm and clothe oneself, and engage in broader society (in terms of education, culture, health, leisure) - that is actually 'not good'.

Let's not spin poverty as 'not bad'.

Edited by StellaM
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4 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Articles like this just reek of "the deck is stacked against you, so don't even try."  

I get that the more problems you have in life, the more problems those problems create.  I just refuse to buy into the idea that our lives are based ONLY on luck and that our own choices have nothing to do with it.  If our choices have no effect on how our lives turn out, then there's really not much point in parenting, or supporting friends, or contributing to charities, because life will just turn out however luck and chance says so.

<snip>

 

I think the problem is that a lot of people DO get the message that the deck is stacked against them so they shouldn't try. As children.  And those who make good choices or are lucky enough to have an adult who doesn't have that attitude invest time in them sometimes have members of their community biting back at them for doing something bad.  That's my problem with the Salvation Army church - I've heard a lot of stories that it has a culture that encourages bad decisions and embracing poverty by misusing the Bible to do so. I've heard plenty of stories from people from other cultures were similar dynamics existed.  I have a sibling who is a therapist who has quoted some book at me over and over that discussed the sociology of poverty and how to the truly destitute poor people are the only important possessions, so the idea that you might try is actively discouraged in dozens of open ways.  Generally I lean libertarian and would be unlikely to mention to anyone that they should check their privilege but in this particular case I think that if you even acknowledge better choices are an option you are coming from a more privileged place than those this article is discussing.

Which ISN'T to say I think we shouldn't try.  I only mean that it is important that all of us do what we can to help those we can.

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On the subject of choices...

Being poor in material things (yet necessary like clothes) seems still different in a way than being poor in spirit or perceiving yourself without choices. Many of my clients come from poverty level backgrounds, many from incarceration. I frequently hear something along the lines, "I didn't know I had a choice. My parents / neighbors/ uncle/ always said  'we are not those kind of people' - evidently referring to people who have choices. Now, I am definitely not one who makes excuses for behavior as I lean to existential approaches but it can happen that some view themselves as not having a choice.

Then there are those who have choices, know it and choose poorly - more than once. 

Edited by Liz CA
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I have come to think of deep poverty as a disease based on observation.  I wouldn't say that it is hopeless but the long-term effects are as potentially crippling as medical illnesses can be.  I live in a neighborhood that is a mix of generationally poor families in subsidized rental housing, elderly people barely hanging on, and middle class owners (mostly single people)......very few of which are able/interested in maintaining their properties adequately.  The very poor make choices that I can observe that are completely perplexing to my always-middle-class brain.  Until I read a few books and experienced close relationships with people in this situation, I was inclined to believe that their bad choices caused their poverty rather than their poverty driving their bad choices.  Even a very surface head shake wondering why people would fill their yards with garbage or accumulate several junk cars makes sense when you realize the insides of their slumlord-owned homes are so bleak that what happens in the yard is of little concern.

It is purely anecdotal, but I was once very close to woman who grew up in an extremely poor and unstable home.  She also spent many years in the foster care system and in fact aged out while in foster care.    She was lucky in that she stumbled upon support and help that is not common for someone in her situation and by the time I met her, she was married and firmly in the middle class bucket.  But she was never able to change her brain to be middle class.  I watched over 10 years as it all unraveled, largely because she could never adjust her impulses away from the fight-or-flight mentality that was ingrained in her from her childhood poverty and instability.  She was absolutely powerless to change this even though she was aware of it and actively sought to "correct" it.  She is very intelligent and had read books and saw therapists trying to address this.  She KNEW it was interfering with her choices and relationships.  She was not successful.  Her marriage disintegrated as her husband never could understand why she did the things she did.  Once divorced, an unplanned pregnancy, what I would consider poor financial decisions that seemed perfectly rational to someone inside her brain, and an injury that made her unable to work has landed her in hopeless poverty again.  That injury is a perfect example of the different choices the very poor make from middle class people.  It happened at her job and in her experience people who reported injuries at work would get fired.  So she didn't.  Which meant she eventually got fired anyway because she could no longer do the job well and she did not get any workman's comp to boot.  The hope is gone.  So much so that she has pushed away all of her middle class friends....mostly because she is embarrassed by what she has become again.

There IS something to this.  It is not impossible to work your way up and bootstraps and all that stuff, but to deny that the cards are significantly stacked against the very poor is just cruel. 

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Wanting to believe that growing scientific evidence is wrong is entirely different from scientific evidence being wrong.

And pretending that people want to lift those in poverty by reducing the resources of low and middle income families is made up crazy talk.

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I read the article--some last night and the rest this morning and I am going to read it again.  I forwarded it to dh.  I liked it.  A lot.  I would say what he described is definitely reality for an entire demographic.   I have been leaning toward this line of thinking for a while.  My brain keeps saying 'there has got to be more to 'this' than meets the eye.'  I found it helpful in that I can reframe my opinion of 'choices' people make.  I have been so thoroughly disgusted by some in poverty before--and I don't want to be.  I have slowly been working toward understanding and this article helped me toward that end.

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19 minutes ago, skimomma said:

I have come to think of deep poverty as a disease based on observation.  I wouldn't say that it is hopeless but the long-term effects are as potentially crippling as medical illnesses can be.  I live in a neighborhood that is a mix of generationally poor families in subsidized rental housing, elderly people barely hanging on, and middle class owners (mostly single people)......very few of which are able/interested in maintaining their properties adequately.  The very poor make choices that I can observe that are completely perplexing to my always-middle-class brain.  Until I read a few books and experienced close relationships with people in this situation, I was inclined to believe that their bad choices caused their poverty rather than their poverty driving their bad choices.  Even a very surface head shake wondering why people would fill their yards with garbage or accumulate several junk cars makes sense when you realize the insides of their slumlord-owned homes are so bleak that what happens in the yard is of little concern. 

It is purely anecdotal, but I was once very close to woman who grew up in an extremely poor and unstable home.  She also spent many years in the foster care system and in fact aged out while in foster care.    She was lucky in that she stumbled upon support and help that is not common for someone in her situation and by the time I met her, she was married and firmly in the middle class bucket.  But she was never able to change her brain to be middle class.  I watched over 10 years as it all unraveled, largely because she could never adjust her impulses away from the fight-or-flight mentality that was ingrained in her from her childhood poverty and instability.  She was absolutely powerless to change this even though she was aware of it and actively sought to "correct" it.  She is very intelligent and had read books and saw therapists trying to address this.  She KNEW it was interfering with her choices and relationships.  She was not successful.  Her marriage disintegrated as her husband never could understand why she did the things she did.  Once divorced, an unplanned pregnancy, what I would consider poor financial decisions that seemed perfectly rational to someone inside her brain, and an injury that made her unable to work has landed her in hopeless poverty again.  That injury is a perfect example of the different choices the very poor make from middle class people.  It happened at her job and in her experience people who reported injuries at work would get fired.  So she didn't.  Which meant she eventually got fired anyway because she could no longer do the job well and she did not get any workman's comp to boot.  The hope is gone.  So much so that she has pushed away all of her middle class friends....mostly because she is embarrassed by what she has become again.

There IS something to this.  It is not impossible to work your way up and bootstraps and all that stuff, but to deny that the cards are significantly stacked against the very poor is just cruel. 

The bolded.  Now I will remember this when I am inclined to say 'why can't they at least clean up their yard.'  

The complete solution is probably out of reach for humans. I can however change my thinking on it which in turn will lead me to be helpful when possible. 

Edited by Scarlett
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2 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

I think you read a different article than the one posted, lol. He likes to hear himself speak?? He’s writing the darn article! It’s an intro and an ending to his connection, his interest, and his opinion. 

If you are able to explain, could you elaborate on how he is “ so busy trying to prove he is so superior...”

Always a great day when I can hop on the chat board and have my suspicions confirmed that yes, the spirit of idiocy is well and thriving. My guess is that the author put Hillary’s name in there and it triggered all sorts of crap in some well trained minds here. 

Cheers!

 

 

I noticed that too. I am not political so it didn't bother me....I think his reasoning is sound regardless of politics.

Edited by Scarlett
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Also I didn't read the article as 'there is not hope'.  I read it much more like 'current approaches will never work for the majority born into poverty.'

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I don’t think that calling it a disease is the correct use of the word. I will definitely agree, however, that poverty affects a person’s thinking big time. A peron can think poor, act poor, and talk poor because of how they were raised even when their actual financial situation is pretty good later on in life. 

The author seems to be making the case that escaping poverty, so to speak, is impossible in a capitalistic system. That simply isn’t true. I could say more, but I’ll leave it at that.

Edited by Fifiruth
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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I read the article--some last night and the rest this morning and I am going to read it again.  I forwarded it to dh.  I liked it.  A lot.  I would say what he described is definitely reality for an entire demographic.   I have been leaning toward this line of thinking for a while.  My brain keeps saying 'there has got to be more to 'this' than meets the eye.'  I found it helpful in that I can reframe my opinion of 'choices' people make.  I have been so thoroughly disgusted by some in poverty before--and I don't want to be.  I have slowly been working toward understanding and this article helped me toward that end.

 

The other thing can actually be just practical.  I've been in a situation where I had junk to get rid of, but actually had no capacity to get rid of it.  No vehicle to take it to the dump, no money to pay to have someone else do it.  So what do you do? You stick it whee you can and eventually you are going to learn to ignore it.

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3 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

That is gov't policy.  Similar is happening here....people voted to upgrade sewer/water district capacity after 9/11, when many city people moved in.  They built twice what was needed for the new population...but were out of capacity in less than ten years.  Now most of them are senior citizens and they don't have the money to expand.  Those who have bought the older homes from the elderly who have passed have the homes stuffed with one family per bedroom/basement/garage and won't vote for expansion.  The water issue is horrible...flakes of metal settle to the bottom of one's glass.  It has taken three years to find a supply of water big enough to put a well on, and start the permitting process.  This situation is not a result of the people's poverty, it's gov't policy turning a blind eye to enforcing the rule of law.

 

??? It’s not similar at all. Sounds more like your personal rant against a situation in your particular area.

Government policy on sewers is not the source of these people’s poverty. The Homeowners don’t have the money to fix the problem(s), regardless of regulation or enforcement. They have NO money. They have very limited - or no - access to employment, or to local education that leads to employment. Most can’t afford to move to the city, or they don’t (esp in the case of the Rez) want to abandon their people.  Government programs could potentially help resolve some of the foundational risks to these peoples’ health and lives but that isn’t a priority  

 

Edited by Happy2BaMom

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I think this is a bigger effect than poverty.  people think emotional trauma of children and poverty always go hand in hand, and that middle class children don't experience it.   both groups can have the emotional support - and both groups can have emotional neglect.   

then there's the epigenetics that this stress can be passed on through DNA.

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52 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

The other thing can actually be just practical.  I've been in a situation where I had junk to get rid of, but actually had no capacity to get rid of it.  No vehicle to take it to the dump, no money to pay to have someone else do it.  So what do you do? You stick it whee you can and eventually you are going to learn to ignore it.

Well we are probably talking about different levels of 'junk' in the yard.  

 

Edited to add--I tried to find a picture of what I am referring to....but all I could find are pics of crime scenes or natural disasters or dumpsters out front.....nothing that shows people LIVING that way.  But I see plenty in this small town I live in.  

Edited by Scarlett

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So what is the solution, in a nutshell?  The guy went on and on but I didn't really see solutions in there.  But some of you say that he suggested some.

Should we use the public school system to address the need for different thinking, since that is a way to reach nearly everyone?  Or the welfare system, or even perhaps the prison system?

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Addressing social problems the way we address disease is newish, I think, but really smart. Even if you don't think it literally is a disease, using a disease model could be a better way to approach it.

I don't think of pieces like this as saying that individual choices don't matter or that poor people may as well not try. Of course choices matter and exist. But poor people often have fewer of them. And even when they have a "better" choice, sometimes other pressures make  it harder to choose it. Such as a choice to get more education. The short term problems someone living in poverty has to overcome can be really tough to take advantage of an opportunity to get more schooling, even though it might be a better long term choice. And of course one wrong choice doesn't ruin most people's lives, but when you're middle class you can make tons of bad choices and still come out middle class. If you're living in poverty, you might get out of it with luck or a few good choices or even with making mistakes, but most people will have to really hit every good choice in a very long series of choices. That's really hard.

Seconding the epigenetics as a factor too.

I think solutions start by recognizing that people in poverty cannot always just pull themselves out by their choices alone.

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What I'm reading is that a lot of it comes from people not actually realizing they have a choice.  Like certain options are not for them to consider, when that is not actually true.

So how do we change this - what do we do for a 10yo /12yo / 16yo who is at risk of passing by a series of available choices because he thinks those are not open to him?

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48 minutes ago, SKL said:

So what is the solution, in a nutshell?  The guy went on and on but I didn't really see solutions in there.  But some of you say that he suggested some.

Should we use the public school system to address the need for different thinking, since that is a way to reach nearly everyone?  Or the welfare system, or even perhaps the prison system?

I thought the suggestion section was weak, but one of the things he touched on was financially incentivizing helpful prioritization behavior, like getting the kids to school every day on time.

I felt like he kind of tacked that stuff on, and didn’t really think it through.

Policies, IME, are not as workable as determined, loving, local people who teach and who refuse to give up.  But, I imagine that the combo would be the best.  Still, a determined, loving, teaching, local person who refuses to give up is going to trump everything else.  That’s the Marva way, for instance.  Or the former principal of one of our local elementary schools, who basically set out to uplift a whole neighborhood from that job vantage point, and who accomplished a ton.  Bureaucracy always can steamroller over those individual efforts, particularly in the long run, but it usually can’t negate them completely at least for those being helped in the moment.  The starfish analogy holds here.

 

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6 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I thought the suggestion section was weak, but one of the things he touched on was financially incentivizing helpful prioritization behavior, like getting the kids to school every day on time.

I felt like he kind of tacked that stuff on, and didn’t really think it through.

Policies, IME, are not as workable as determined, loving, local people who teach and who refuse to give up.  But, I imagine that the combo would be the best.  Still, a determined, loving, teaching, local person who refuses to give up is going to trump everything else.  That’s the Marva way, for instance.  Or the former principal of one of our local elementary schools, who basically set out to uplift a whole neighborhood from that job vantage point, and who accomplished a ton.  Bureaucracy always can steamroller over those individual efforts, particularly in the long run, but it usually can’t negate them completely at least for those being helped in the moment.  The starfish analogy holds here.

 

So what can we do to empower local people who care enough to help?

Is the current reality that prevents so many well-meaning people from spending quality time with other people's kids part of the problem, and if so, how can we address that?

Having been very active in the volunteer community with at-risk kids, I know there are many people who would be willing to do more, but the structures are not conducive to this.  For example, a poor person who has "made it" often does not live in or near the type of community he grew up in.  But there are some things that can be done to address that issue too.  In my county, there are incentives for well-off people to build their homes in poor neighborhoods, and this is often done by people from those communities (or similar) who have done well.  I am not sure how much impact this has had though.  Not sure if it has been studied.

I also think it is important to give low-income / poor kids the opportunity to perform volunteer service for others with different problems.  We often think of poor kids as being capable only of receiving, which is probably detrimental to their development.  I do think churches etc. do this, but there should be opportunities for those who do not attend a house of worship.

I also think there is a lot of abuse in poor communities that goes unaddressed, leaving kids feeling like they deserve no better.  I would be in favor of stepping up responsiveness in those communities.  Perhaps some new ideas about how the local community can work with parents and kids at risk.

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Well we are probably talking about different levels of 'junk' in the yard.  

 

Edited to add--I tried to find a picture of what I am referring to....but all I could find are pics of crime scenes or natural disasters or dumpsters out front.....nothing that shows people LIVING that way.  But I see plenty in this small town I live in.  

 

Oh, I think I know what you speak of.  The thing is though, once that becomes the standard, just what you do - that junk isn't something carted away you just put it in the yard, it gets out of control very quickly. And it just isn't noticed.   I mean, imagine every time people decluttered they just stuck it into the back yard - it would pile up very quickly.  And some people are more or less hoarders, and I think poverty can really exacerbate that.

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Probably one of the most generally affective things to do is simply have a solid set of social security policies, and reducing the income gap, so that you have more children who are not coming from the worst sorts of poverty. An effective educational system and state supported higher education. Actual food in school lunches for everyone. Good community rec opportunities, for free.  And so on.

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9 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Probably one of the most generally affective things to do is simply have a solid set of social security policies, and reducing the income gap, so that you have more children who are not coming from the worst sorts of poverty. An effective educational system and state supported higher education. Actual food in school lunches for everyone. Good community rec opportunities, for free.  And so on.

Something I have wondered about is how widespread meals provided through the school system is worldwide.  In the US, we have had a number of programs that have attempted to feed children in conjunction with the school system (to the point that some children eat 15 meals per week at school), but I have not seen this when I have traveled internationally.  In most places I have visited students do not even eat lunch in a school cafeteria (much less breakfast and dinner).  I have wondered if it is better to provide healthy meals through the school system or provide families with access to healthy food options.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Something I have wondered about is how widespread meals provided through the school system is worldwide.  In the US, we have had a number of programs that have attempted to feed children in conjunction with the school system (to the point that some children eat 15 meals per week at school), but I have not seen this when I have traveled internationally.  In most places I have visited students do not even eat lunch in a school cafeteria (much less breakfast and dinner).  I have wondered if it is better to provide healthy meals through the school system or provide families with access to healthy food options.  

 

I don't think there is a good answer.  Probably a multi pronged approach...but who knows.  I often think education--I mean very very specific education-- on how to access social programs would help.  

My community (rural part of a rural area) has a food pantry at the Fire Department.  Our neighborhood (again rural) Facebook page keeps us updated on what is in there and when it is empty.  All my cynical mind can see is addicts cleaning it out and selling it for drugs.  But it makes everyone feel oh so good to put food in there.  I am the same with the backpack meals.  I wonder how much actually gets to the kids who need it.  I just can't understand not having enough to feed ones kids.  I know I was raised up by a single mom with no help from our dad and we were very much in poverty.  But my mom never ever failed to feed us or clothe us or have heat for us.  She never had a utility turned off either.  

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Probably one of the most generally affective things to do is simply have a solid set of social security policies, and reducing the income gap, so that you have more children who are not coming from the worst sorts of poverty. An effective educational system and state supported higher education. Actual food in school lunches for everyone. Good community rec opportunities, for free.  And so on.

I think the bigger problem is that even with all of those provided, some kids still don't take advantage of some of them, because they think "those aren't for our kind of people."  The mentality of "I am a poor person" which attaches despite the presence of what is objectively "enough."

Most if not all low-income areas in the USA offer 2-3 daily meals to all children as well as food money subsidies, housing subsidies, etc.

There are free activities in low-income communities that are either open to all, or open only to low-income kids.

"Effective educational system ..." is a bit vague, but obviously it exists in theory in every low-income community in the developed world.

Growing up poor, I observed many families who had much more, materially, than I had, also stay-at-home moms, who still grew up with the mindset that they were not going to go to college or do anything other than live paycheck to paycheck.  Including very bright and capable kids.  We had access to the same neighborhood programs, libraries, and so on; they had more access than I had to nutrition, health care, etc.  They came home to the clean house, milk, and cookies; I came home to chores.  It's not about material things; it's a mindset.  (With the exception of abused and neglected kids, of course.)

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19 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Something I have wondered about is how widespread meals provided through the school system is worldwide.  In the US, we have had a number of programs that have attempted to feed children in conjunction with the school system (to the point that some children eat 15 meals per week at school), but I have not seen this when I have traveled internationally.  In most places I have visited students do not even eat lunch in a school cafeteria (much less breakfast and dinner).  I have wondered if it is better to provide healthy meals through the school system or provide families with access to healthy food options.  

 

Yeah, it seems more and more, we want the public school systems to be everything to everybody. I don't think that's the answer. It's mission creep and I don't think its fair to the teachers and administrators. It just the easiest answer because that's where you can easily get to the children. 

Providing for the families to reach the kids can be difficult too. Because we want to not be circumvented by parents with less than healthy intentions/behaviors. 

I would love to see my church begin an after school program at our new building. It is being built within walking distance of a public elementary school. Not a poverty stricken area, but not upper crust either. Theres probably hidden poverty there. 

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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I have not read all the responses, but a few things:

1.A-there are degrees of poverty and I believe that the article is referencing the lowest level. Or the worst off. I am not going to go into it, but where I came from, the picture of that horrible place he showed would have been considered fine to good. Some people that talk about being poor like this really just have no idea. Some people TRULY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING. "It's a mindset" my backside!12173_dbaf2035bf0b7571c754f3925b0ea95b.j

1.B- Everyone IMO thinks they absolutely DO have some idea and everyone who talks about stuff like this thinks their own heart is in the right place. 

2- I am not enamored with the writer's inspired poverty-as-disease, which is evidently new to him. It is not new to most people. Go get your ACE score! I am willing to bet that if your grew up in a place like that^^^ it's wicked high. 

2.B- The optimism in this article about considering extreme poverty a disease having a positive effect on the lives of the extremely impoverished is misplaced IMO. The closing sentiment of not continuing to see the very poor as simply too stupid to harness globalism (or whatever) is on point, though. 

3- Americans tend to talk about the very very poor as if they are something altogether separate from themselves, like down on their luck vampires or Elizabethan courtiers . And everyone and their mother in law knows what THEY need, dontchaknow. When, in fact, they just need the same freaking things everyone else needs. 

4- Capitalism thrives with an underclass. While middle class citizens wring their hands over the poor, the people with actual power shrug and/or smile and dig into their cake. There is a reason for that.

4.B- Oh, I'm sorry this should be 4.A: surprise!! America has an underclass. This appears to be new news to some of my peers. 

 

Edited by OKBud
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3 minutes ago, OKBud said:

I have not read all the responses, but a few things:

1.A-there are degrees of poverty and I believe that the article is referencing the lowest level. Or the worst off. I am not going to go into it, but where I came from, the picture of that horrible place he showed would have been considered fine to good. Some people that talk about being poor like this really just have no idea.

12173_dbaf2035bf0b7571c754f3925b0ea95b.j

1.B- Everyone IMO thinks they absolutely DO have some idea and everyone who talks about stuff like this thinks their own heart is in the right place. 

2- I am not enamored with the writer's inspired poverty-as-disease, which is evidently new to him. It is not new to most people. Go get your ACE score! I am willing to bet that if your grew up in a place like that^^^ it's wicked high. 

2.B- The optimism in this article about considering extreme poverty a disease having a positive effect on the lives of the extremely impoverished is misplaced IMO. The closing sentiment of not continuing to see the very poor as simply too stupid to harness globalism (or whatever) is on point, though. 

3- Americans tend to talk about the very very poor as if they are something altogether separate from themselves, like down on their luck vampires or Elizabethan courtiers . And everyone and their mother in law knows what THEY need, dontchaknow. When, in fact, they just need the same freaking things everyone else needs. 

4- Capitalism thrives with an underclass. While middle class citizens wring their hands over the poor, the people with actual power shrug and/or smile and dig into their cake. There is a reason for that.

4.B- Oh, I'm sorry this should be 4.A: surprise!! America has an underclass. This appears to be new news to some of my peers. 

 

To the bolded in 1 I agree.  It is difficult to see the full picture, but from what I can see it is not covered in trash, there appears to be a stove pipe so probably heat, and thete is a cover over it protecting it from rain.  

To the bolded in 2, that made me nod my head and made me determined to remember that for IRL.

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41 minutes ago, SKL said:

I think the bigger problem is that even with all of those provided, some kids still don't take advantage of some of them, because they think "those aren't for our kind of people."  The mentality of "I am a poor person" which attaches despite the presence of what is objectively "enough."

Most if not all low-income areas in the USA offer 2-3 daily meals to all children as well as food money subsidies, housing subsidies, etc.

There are free activities in low-income communities that are either open to all, or open only to low-income kids.

"Effective educational system ..." is a bit vague, but obviously it exists in theory in every low-income community in the developed world.

And in the linked author's case, school lunches, public education, and social services would not have necessarily made any difference. Much of what he describes regarding his childhood is associated with a particular educational philosophy, associated with particular religious beliefs.   

Edited by Bootsie
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7 minutes ago, OKBud said:

I have not read all the responses, but a few things:

1.A-there are degrees of poverty and I believe that the article is referencing the lowest level. Or the worst off. I am not going to go into it, but where I came from, the picture of that horrible place he showed would have been considered fine to good. Some people that talk about being poor like this really just have no idea. Some people TRULY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING. It's a mindset my backside.

12173_dbaf2035bf0b7571c754f3925b0ea95b.j

1.B- Everyone IMO thinks they absolutely DO have some idea and everyone who talks about stuff like this thinks their own heart is in the right place. 

2- I am not enamored with the writer's inspired poverty-as-disease, which is evidently new to him. It is not new to most people. Go get your ACE score! I am willing to bet that if your grew up in a place like that^^^ it's wicked high. 

2.B- The optimism in this article about considering extreme poverty a disease having a positive effect on the lives of the extremely impoverished is misplaced IMO. The closing sentiment of not continuing to see the very poor as simply too stupid to harness globalism (or whatever) is on point, though. 

3- Americans tend to talk about the very very poor as if they are something altogether separate from themselves, like down on their luck vampires or Elizabethan courtiers . And everyone and their mother in law knows what THEY need, dontchaknow. When, in fact, they just need the same freaking things everyone else needs. 

4- Capitalism thrives with an underclass. While middle class citizens wring their hands over the poor, the people with actual power shrug and/or smile and dig into their cake. There is a reason for that.

4.B- Oh, I'm sorry this should be 4.A: surprise!! America has an underclass. This appears to be new news to some of my peers. 

 

 

It's the design, innit ?

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19 minutes ago, StellaM said:

It's the design, innit ?

 

Yes. Shocking that it does not merely happen in exotic places. 

And the contempt people heap upon that lowest class is very alive and well.

Including in places where people try to diagnose what, exactly, is wrong with them in the hills and have theoretical discussions about how we (by which they mean, universally, the government) might help them. 

By all means, lets NEVER EVER STOP talking about poverty and trying to do things about it. But let's quit pretending that we've traced the root cause to the impoverished themselves. I couldn't care less if your uncle Jim and your cousin Janice is poorer than they have to be because they made choices. Jim and Janice are completely irrelevant to the systemic problems at hand.

Gene expression therapy isn't going to cut it. Those of us who have had the luck (and don't ever let anyone tell you it's anything other than luck) of ending out somewhere else can tell you better than anyone else that whatever personal healing we get to have (medical or otherwise), it does absolutely F-all for everyone back home. By definition, and, again, design. 

People can do things like wrap their heads around micro-loans to women in other countries and the good they do very handily. But here we come up with convoluted ways to convince ourselves that poor women and children need something other than money and the opportunity to put it to good use and strong support systems and protection from what amount to very powerful bullies, in both the acute (abusers) and the otherwise (greed) sense. 

Edited by OKBud
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