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Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by Rufus_1611, May 31, 2007.
What is "severe poverty"? Only one cell phone? 2 months behind on your boat payment? Can only afford basic cable for the TV set? Really, to be that poor one would have to be "severely lazy" or "severe drug addict or alcolholic", or be a single mom with a "severely dead-beat old man" who hasnt learned how to play the welfare system. While I feel for the single mother who made a bad choices in life and am all for helping out I get sick of these scruffy looking men standing on the corner with a cardboard sign scribbled with the disingenuous message "I will work for food". Apparently he wont for anything.
Mat 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Mar 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
Jhn 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
No matter the wealth of a nation, the poor are always there. America has done more for the impoverished of the nation and the world, than all others combined. This is an article designed to condition the populace to accept the socialist agenda. This is of the genre the socialists trot out just before proposing yet another scheme to redistribute wealth.
These things are always skewed for political purposes. Having worked with the homeless for many years, I was appalled when the numbers of homeless tripled under President Clinton. However, was it his fault? Now, you might say that Clinton's administration shouldn't have adjusted the poverty line and declared that fewer were under the poverty line, but still, politicizing this issue leads us nowhere.
On the other hand, the nature of poverty has changed. Our poor people are dying of over eating and very few freeze to death in the winter. One can eat 2 meals most days in Seattle without raising a hand to do any sort of work. Half the winos refuse to go into a mission because they can eat OK without having to listen to a sermon.
THe USA is the only nation in the world where our poorest citizens die of morbid obesity on a regular basis, where the most poverty stricken own an average or 2 cars and 2 TV sets, and where those "most in need" have access to BILLIONS of dollars of free food stamps and government entitlements -- and MUCH of that $$ is never claimed by the eligible -- so it's just thrown away by bureaucrats.
The subject of this thread is bogus and false.
Aren't you the righteous one? If not for the grace of God, you could be one of those "dead beat old men" or "severely lazy" or "severe drug addict or alcoholic" (learn to spell) standing on the corner with a sign. God gave you the mind and the motivation to make it on your own, and you belittle those who are not as fortunate as you. If not for the grace of God, you could have committed arson, murder, or some other crime and be stuck in prison for life.
These are all gifts of God, as your station in life. Your condecending attitude towards God's creation is sickening and pathetic.
Illegal immigration rears it's ugly head again.
"At the same time, low-skilled immigrants with impoverished family members are increasingly drawn to the South and Midwest to work in the meatpacking, food processing and agricultural industries.
These and other factors such as increased fluctuations in family incomes and illegal immigration have helped push 43 percent of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty - the highest rate in at least 32 years. "
The breakdown of family values plays a huge part.
"Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank, disagreed. "It doesn't look like a growing permanent underclass," said Sherman, whose organization has chronicled the growth of deep poverty. "What you see in the data are more and more single moms with children who lose their jobs and who aren't being caught by a safety net anymore."
And then there are those that won't take jobs they are offered.
"But for 11 months in 2006, she couldn't find steady work and wouldn't take a fast-food job."
It is also worth noting that the census bureau's formula does not count non cash subsidies such as rent and food stamps, which can easily add up to $10,000 a year or more.
Yet, God's attitude is, "If you won't work, you won't eat".
Even the poor had to go pick the grain from the corners of the fields themselves.
Today, we require nothing. We encourage laziness.
I agee with your post. Having worked all my life, everyone is responsible for themselves. However, any skill you, I, or Mr dead poet has comes from God, so does the motivation to do that job, and the sense of responsibility to carry out that job.
My point is, that any of us, except for the grace of God, could be in that impoverished position. Mr DP says he is some type of technician, well God gave him that skill. The "lazy slobs" standing on the corner, maybe arent so bright. Maybe they have no sense of responsibililty.
The answer is to reach out to them with the Gospel, so God can make them realize their full potential. The answer is NOT looking down your nose at them and bragging about how much better one is than they. Do you hear me Mr Dead Poet?
A hungry stomach speaks loudly, though. If a person gets hungry, he will work, even if it's just to pick the grain from the corners of the fields.
What we've done, as a society, is picked the corners for them, prepared it, then served it to them, and paid them to eat it.
I had surgery on Tuesday, and had to go in for a checkup today, and was talking to the doctor about this very subject. I had planned on going to Tennessee to visit family in three weeks, and it's not looking as if I'm going to get to go. Part of the problem is that I'm a featured artist at a large local gallery in July and August, so I was going to have to cut the trip short to be here for the reception. But, I was also going to have a hard time getting the stuff ready for the show before my scheduled departure.
Then, the surgery, which sat me on my back side for a week. Less and less likely.
Then, more work offers coming in from New England.
Then, a request to drive a charter bus for 5 days.
More work than I can possibly perform in the time allowed, even working long, long hours.
"Help wanted" signs everywhere, yet people say, "I can't find a job".
In reality, they don't want to have to work, or don't want to have to work hard enough to keep the job, or want to work their own hours, or something else.
These guys standing on the corner with "will work for food" signs, usually will not work if you offer it to them, and when they're arrested for whatever reason, they usually have hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in their pockets. There were a couple of brothers arrested recently that would park their 2007 F-350 at the Wal-Mart, then walk to the corner in their hobo rags and beg.
Anyone who wants a job can have a job. There are plenty of jobs available. But, in this instant gratification society that expects a 45 minute war, they want to start out at $40 per hour, and expect it to be given to them without any effort.
A hungry stomach will produce effort. That's the way God set it up.
I am disabled. Which category do I fall into?
It saddens me that I get no help from Scripture on this issue. "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." I eventually had to tell God I'm sorry he made me the way he did and that if he did not want me to eat, I wouldn't. His choice. After my disability, I prayed for years for God to remove me from the earth, but he hasn't yet.
I get $643 in my disability check, after I paid the usual taxes my entire working life, as you all do, until it came my turn to file for benefits. I get $10 a month in food stamps. $10. Off the top I have child support for 3 kids and enormous student loans to pay (10 years of interest has doubled them). Whatever is left I use on rent first, then medication, and food last. I eat one meal a day the last week or two of every month, usually rice, sometimes with beans if I can afford them. This month, I have to find $186.50 within 5 days, or I will be homeless as of June 8th. Currently, I only leave my apartment twice a month to buy groceries and see the doctor, so being homeless would be a big change, and I am frightened because the neighborhood my public housing is located in is drug-filled and dangerous.
I'm sorry my check comes out of your taxes. I payed into disability for years, but probably not enough to cover more than a few years of my disability. I don't deserve to be supported; I contribute nothing to society beyond recycling disability check money. I try to be as little a burden as possible. I don't own 2 cars, a cell phone, have cable TV or a house.
A Christian charity once held a sort of fair in a park where the alcoholics and drug users sleep at night near my building. They hauled a large, iron bathtub into the park and hauled enough water to fill it. After a concert by a Christian college band and a short message, I lost count of how many homeless men and disabled people from the nearby government housing building were baptized in that water. It got very nasty very quickly, black and tarry. But to those people, it was being baptized into the death of Christ and raised into the new birth of His life. They didn't care how nasty that water looked. As they collected their life's possessions, usually in a backpack or shopping cart, I saw no one drive away in a new car or whip out a cell phone. I did see them lined up for bologna sandwiches being given away. I was in that line, too.
Families no longer take care of their old or widowed much anymore, despite what Scripture says. And I recall no point at which Jesus told anyone to feed any of the blind beggars or lepers he encountered. He healed some of them, though. Despite His not mentioning them much, I think He would want us to love them, to walk the extra mile, give them the extra cloak, consider their needs. And if some people are taking advantage of that love, God will address that in the end, and He will reward those who give in love. He loves a cheerful giver.
Herein, you have addressed the problem. Families should take care of their own. For those who need care who have no families, local church assemblies should do so. For those who fall through all other cracks, the government should take care of them. (Of course, before the "Great Society", governmental care of people like single mothers was in a dorm type of situation, with each woman getting an efficiency, a community kitchen with timed meals, day care, and they would find a job for you; none of this modern day "entitlements" that give them cable TV, swimming pools, AC, and all sorts of modern luxuries that encourage them to remain dependent upon Big Brother. For others, it might mean some assistance to the families to help them out, but generally it was the responsibility of the family and charities.)
Instead, we've turned to the government for womb to tomb care in every aspect of our lives.
And, just like any animal, the government is interested in self-preservation.
Gone are the days that a doctor could care for a poor person in exchange for a chicken. It's illegal for a number of reasons.
Government mandates and government permissions have run the cost of health care out of the reach of many.
Society has turned so many luxuries into necessities that people have to decide whether to have a TV or health insurance, so...
FWIW, bankruptcy is an option for student loans in hardship cases, and it sounds as if you might qualify. Bankruptcy is something that people turn to too quickly (it's the easy way out), but bankruptcy laws are there for a reason: Those who truly need it, even if it's through their own actions. It's to give a new start on life, whether through disaster or poor choices (and hopefully the person has learned a hard lesson).
Do I mind you getting money from me? No. But, I do mind the government extorting it from me, with no oversights as to its distibution. I would much prefer that the local church do it or some other charitable organization, such as the ones that I voluntarily donate to.
Around here, there are many churches that do that, and many people who refuse government help. It works well. Local grocers donate food, local churches distribute it, etc.
But, this world has changed so that disability checks are the only option in many cases.
BTW, I don't know the nature of your disability, but we have a local man who was a commercial fisherman who was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident. He took the initiative to become a CPA (which is looked on as woman's work in the Russian community) and has never taken a penny of government money. Although, due to hundreds of thousands in medical bills, he was forced into bankruptcy, he has since bought a customized truck to get his wheelchair to and from the office, and recieves no government money and is self-sufficient.
I have another acquaintance who was permanently disabled in a motorcycle accident, and he became a photographer. It was his hobby before, and it's his livlihood now.
What are your interests? What are your abilities?
My understanding is student loans cannot be escaped through bankruptcy. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong. There is a student loan forgiveness the disabled can apply for, which is immediately reversed if one ever works or attends school again. But since I still hope to work again, I do not qualify.
I believe that it is a truly exceptional case that a person is so disabled that they cannot work it all. Basically that would mean coma. Even a quadriplegic can use a computer, if slowly, with the right equipment and training. It's a matter of being able to get that training and equipment. For myself, I can use a computer, and I could work with it if I could do it at home. However, I have found no training and vocational therapy programs for the homebound. I do have a nearly-blind friend who wanted to volunteer her time coordinating benefits for other disabled people. There are some very strong government programs to help the blind, and they were able to get her a computer, an enormous monitor with a screen that even she can read, software, fax machine, etc, and the networking contacts she needed to get things done. Equipment, not training, but the fact that she was able to get something going gives me hope, even if she's volunteering.
But enough about me. The point of my post was that people can end up needy for all sorts of reasons. Our society by and large has shifted responsibility to help them from families and churches to government. And government is always the least efficient way to do anything. But please let's not assume that all poor people are just lazy. There's a place for tough love, and there's a place for just helping someone get going again. Just my opinion.
It's an exception, and it's on a case by case basis. PM me, and I will send you some info on it.
I don't think anyone here assumes that, but the vast majority are, and mostly because they're coddled by the government.
"Oh, you've got it so hard, you just can't help that you've _________ (insert excuse here)" is what they're told, instead of a way to work around it.
I know there are programs out there to help you, but I don't have links to any right off hand. I will see if I can find some.
I know many people like you or at least in simlar situations. Please know that I am praying for you and your family. Also, even if there are not scriptures that directly apply to the disabled in the Bible I know God loves you.
There are some people who have this mistaken impression that poor people, especially those who receive government assistance, are living the good life. Fact of the matter is, MOST of them are not. They are nowhere near living the good life. The poor people on assistance that I know, and have worked extensively with through various organizations, do not have a car (let alone 2 of them), their sections 8 or HUD housing does not have A/C (and that is here in Florida), and if they do have a cell phone it is one, and it is usually pre-paid and serves as their ONLY phone (here in Orlando it is MUCH, MUCH cheaper to have a pre-paid cell phone than a home phone even if it is just for local calls). Among others, I have worked with a non-profit that worked to find used, good condition window units to donate to the poor in our community. In some states A/C may be a luxury, but it is increasingly becoming a necessity for some here in Florida during the dead heat of summer. Fact of the matter is that many receiving food stamps are not getting enough to cover them through the end of the month. For some that is not an issue, but there are many others that use EVERY available dime to cover the essential bills and then medicine. I am not alone in my obeservation, as well, there is plenty of extensive research done in this area with actual stats to back up assertions. I encourage people to actually look into the matter; they might be surprised.
Chessic that $186 is a lot of money to you, I know. I don't know what your church family is like, but is it posible to contact the pastor and explain? I know you are disabled and would not be able to "work" off the debt, but maybe in exchange you could fold the bulletins or cut out the pieces for a children's sunday school project, something that is not strenuous. If your church does not have anything like this and you still don't feel comfortable approaching them just for money, look around for another church in your area. I know in Orlando there are myriads of churches that find a way to help those in need, and I would hope MO. would be the same way. Keep your head up! You may not be building up treasures on earth, but you certainly are building up treasures in heaven with your faith!
My biggest problem with welfare is that the government has no business aministering it. At least not at the federal level, and I doubt that most state constitutions don't permit it.
My second biggest problem is because the government administrates over the process, they simply look at "poverty" numbers. The situations the majority of those who are truly in poverty are usually worsened after being on welfare. It teaches no personal responsibility. It teaches and extends the cycle of dependency.
Here are some statistics on those living in poverty. I've inserted some comments in brackets:
+Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio. [Here, most of those who are wealthy don't have a garage and a porch. A few have patios. The average 3 BR home here is somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000.]
+Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning. [Here, AC is rarely needed. Hospitals and doctor's offices have them, and the really rich have them. But, I came from the South. At the time that my tax dollars were installing AC units in the housing projects because the old ones, which were only 5 years old, had been destroyed by the tenants. We had no AC for the first 5 years of our marriage because we couldn't afford it, even when it was over 100 degrees.]
+Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person. [I know some wealthy people here who live in Airstream trailers because that's all they need. I also know of one individual, who is middle class, who lives in a camper on the back of his pickup. I know two individuals, who make 6 figures per year, who live in homes smaller thatn 100 sf, one of them in 49 sf. This is voluntary because they see no need to spend more than necessary on a place that you're just going to sleep and eat.]
+The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.) [Ever been to Japan?]
+Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars. [They have programs that provide 0% financing for "poor" people with bad credit, yet many of us who work don't have this option.]
+Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions. [Necessities, I'm sure. Keeps them docile. Nothing wrong with TV, per se, but if you're poor, how do you afford it?]
+Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception. [DVD & VCR players are cheap now, but cable and satellite? But, those DVDs are still pretty costly. How much food could you buy for the cost of one DVD?]
+Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher. [OK, the microwave is probably more efficient than a regular oven, but prepared food is more expensive. Stereos are cheap. But, what's wrong with washing dishes by hand?]
These are some of the problems with running these programs via the government. It promotes the cycle of poverty, and promotes dependency upon the government.
It should be promoted indepence and self-reliance by the individual.
Instead of food stamps, why not commodities? Flour, tomato sauce, cheese, etc. Why are people permitted to buy Skittles and Coke for their kids for breakfast on the way to school? Why are they permitted to buy Ragu instead of making a little effort of their own? After all, if they're not working, don't they have the time to do so? Why can they buy t-bones, but not dog food?
You would have no interest or abilities or for that matter, the desire to do them if not for the gift of God from above. You have written a novel on how lazy and bad these people are. If not for the grace of God, you would be in the same crowd and someone would be typing demeaning posts about you.
The last time I checked, we are all sinners, and all equal in the eyes of God. Those who brag have a way of being knocked down a few notches.