Poverty

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    Jul 20, 2012 1:39 PM GMT
    So I saw a couple of episodes of people going through poverty in MTV's show True Life (the only show I watch on MTV) and I was wondering what drives these people to poverty. I had my own thoughts but I am curious to know what you all think?

    The first thing I noticed about all of the people filmed is that they have at least one child at an early age making minimum wage or more than 2 children. Children are obviously expensive and they're becoming much more expensive than they were a decade ago. In a way I felt bad and sorry for people but they ruined their lives when they had children. I just finished "I am working my way through poverty," the latest episode about poverty. I didn't feel bad for the young couple because they decided to keep the child while they were in high school which can setback alot of goals to accomplish in your life. Now they struggle to keep ends meet. Why? Because you have a child! Who the hell told you to keep the baby and then decide to live together without any means of support. They think they will get through poverty but they should've understood that there's alot you have to go through in order to actually live a normal life in this country. Think about the important bills you have to pay, think about the taxes you have to pay, think about investing in yourself for education. Seriously, some people really need to get this through their head before they decide to make a decision in their life direction.

    I come from a big family and majority of my aunts and uncles have made kids at such a young age. Our generation? Only two out of 20 cousins have children. My aging cousins in their 30s are still not even married. I'm glad my generation in our family understand more about the horrors of marriage and children at an early age.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 20, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    You're pretty disgraceful for condemning homeless people and blaming their children. Way to show empathy for those less fortunate than you.
    Really I don't know how you sleep at night.
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    Jul 20, 2012 5:18 PM GMT
    Being poor in this country is much better than being poor in every other country. You're watching poor people read a script on MTV for fuck sake, so that statement about "you have to do a lot to live a normal life in this country" is BS and only applies to yourself and what YOU consider normal. Also, most women in poverty ridden countries have children at a much younger age because that's life. Being born into poverty isn't the worse thing that can happen to you, suicide rates are highest amongst people with money.
    Go figure.


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    Jul 20, 2012 5:34 PM GMT
    Poverty by what definition? Economically? Spiritually?

    Money isn't everything, and it shouldn't be the basis of which a persons worth is judged.
  • Karl

    Posts: 5787

    Jul 20, 2012 6:37 PM GMT
    visit my country , go living in any province except the 5 central cities.
    You'll know what is the poverty icon_rolleyes.gif
    Dont look at people above you , look down please .
    You're still lucky than so many people. icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 7:02 PM GMT
    From what the OP wrote I don't think he meant the homeless man asking for change at a offramp. There are many people I see in life who are not homeless but are clearly not making ends meet and never seem able to get off the state assistance wheel or even build any future.

    Children seem to be a unifying theme for many of these people. I'm not going to claim choosing to have children at an early age makes one poor but I think the aversion of abortion in this country does contribute to many low income households who due to early children never obtain higher education or get far in life.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 20, 2012 7:22 PM GMT
    ATC84 saidFrom what the OP wrote I don't think he meant the homeless man asking for change at a offramp. There are many people I see in life who are not homeless but are clearly not making ends meet and never seem able to get off the state assistance wheel or even build any future.

    Children seem to be a unifying theme for many of these people. I'm not going to claim choosing to have children at an early age makes one poor but I think the aversion of abortion in this country does contribute to many low income households who due to early children never obtain higher education or get far in life.


    So you sympathize with homeless people but support showing open scorn for those who are just too poor to pay their bills?
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    Jul 20, 2012 7:34 PM GMT
    Boris saidSo I saw a couple of episodes of people going through poverty in MTV's show True Life (the only show I watch on MTV) and I was wondering what drives these people to poverty. I had my own thoughts but I am curious to know what you all think?

    The first thing I noticed about all of the people filmed is that they have at least one child at an early age making minimum wage or more than 2 children. Children are obviously expensive and they're becoming much more expensive than they were a decade ago. In a way I felt bad and sorry for people but they ruined their lives when they had children. I just finished "I am working my way through poverty," the latest episode about poverty. I didn't feel bad for the young couple because they decided to keep the child while they were in high school which can setback alot of goals to accomplish in your life. Now they struggle to keep ends meet. Why? Because you have a child! Who the hell told you to keep the baby and then decide to live together without any means of support. They think they will get through poverty but they should've understood that there's alot you have to go through in order to actually live a normal life in this country. Think about the important bills you have to pay, think about the taxes you have to pay, think about investing in yourself for education. Seriously, some people really need to get this through their head before they decide to make a decision in their life direction.

    I come from a big family and majority of my aunts and uncles have made kids at such a young age. Our generation? Only two out of 20 cousins have children. My aging cousins in their 30s are still not even married. I'm glad my generation in our family understand more about the horrors of marriage and children at an early age.


    I haven't seen the show but it sounds to me like you're assuming they're miserable because of their choices. Maybe had they given up their child they would have gone to college and been successful but they may have been less happy than they are right now regretting giving up their child and their family obligations?

    Many studies have shown that money and even the great things that come along with it stop correlating with happiness after about $10 000 - meeting the absolute bare minimum of needs. A bare minimum most people don't even understand as minimum. Eg: no car, no cell, no cable tv etc.

    How much do you think these poor families are making for doing this TV show? I would suspect they wouldn't be there if they let on how happy they are so there's probably some acting going on as well. I suspect there are a lot more very happy poor than very happy rich.
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    Jul 20, 2012 7:53 PM GMT
    If you look at poverty from a macro-social perspective, if you're born into poverty, the odds of living at (or below) the federal poverty level your entire life is very high. A life of poverty has cyclical effects that are hard to break.
    I know America is the land of opportunity, but some people aren't afforded the same opportunities as others... You can look at this by state, region, rural/urban, etc.

    With that said, I believe that if these people didn't have kids, they'd still be childless, high-school educated, 20-somethings, struggling to make ends meet. The equation isn't as simple as making better choices. Sometimes the better choice for a person living in persistent poverty wouldn't be on my, or your, radar. It's all about perspective.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jul 20, 2012 8:13 PM GMT
    People make choices that lead them to where they are in life. The nice thing about life is that you can make choices to change it. Maybe the choice is limited, but you have to do it one step at a time. Some things in life lead you closer to being a better person in the future.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:22 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidPeople make choices that lead them to where they are in life. The nice thing about life is that you can make choices to change it. Maybe the choice is limited, but you have to do it one step at a time. Some things in life lead you closer to being a better person in the future.


    Exactly! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:23 PM GMT


    www.trackingpovertyandpolicy.org/
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:26 PM GMT
    uoft23 said
    Boris said
    Many studies have shown that money and even the great things that come along with it stop correlating with happiness after about $10 000 - meeting the absolute bare minimum of needs. A bare minimum most people don't even understand as minimum. Eg: no car, no cell, no cable tv etc.
    One only need to look at countries where people are much poorer and see the happiness within. Their happiness doesn't come from wealth but from family, togetherness and love.


    The choices we make do make a big difference in how successful we are in our culture. I don't think you can compare poverty in America with that in other areas of the world. It's like comparing apple and oranges. We've developed a society that puts material wealth ahead of love and set the benchmarks of being successful directly with the accumulation of wealth. It's very hard to break the cycle when opportunity is extremely limited, not because of a lack of talents, but because we set the standards at how much schooling, where you got your education and who you know. It take a lot of determination to build yourself by your skills from poverty into the next level of the econ ladder and beyond.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:28 PM GMT
    cdub341 saidIf you look at poverty from a macro-social perspective, if you're born into poverty, the odds of living at (or below) the federal poverty level your entire life is very high. A life of poverty has cyclical effects that are hard to break.
    I know America is the land of opportunity, but some people aren't afforded the same opportunities as others... You can look at this by state, region, rural/urban, etc.

    With that said, I believe that if these people didn't have kids, they'd still be childless, high-school educated, 20-somethings, struggling to make ends meet. The equation isn't as simple as making better choices. Sometimes the better choice for a person living in persistent poverty wouldn't be on my, or your, radar. It's all about perspective.


    Give me a break. When my parents came from Afghanistan, they didn't speak a word of English. Both of their families were consisted of 8 people living in a ONE bedroom apartment with ONE bathroom. My parents worked their ass off to learn English and work to support their family. Where did all their siblings ended up after many years of hard work? In mansions. *knock on wood* all of their siblings turned out living in wealthy neighborhoods and started businesses that grew. We lived in a tiny townhouse in Queens to an old giant house in Long Island that we had to share with my father's whole family to living in a beautiful big townhouse in a wealthy neighborhood in VA. They did so much to turn their life upside down and escape poverty. They make more than what a college student makes after graduation. How is that a bunch of immigrants become more successful without a high school diploma than many Americans who have been here alot longer. It's all about using your brain.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:31 PM GMT
    I was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.

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    Jul 20, 2012 8:32 PM GMT
    cdub341 saidIf you look at poverty from a macro-social perspective, if you're born into poverty, the odds of living at (or below) the federal poverty level your entire life is very high. A life of poverty has cyclical effects that are hard to break.
    I know America is the land of opportunity, but some people aren't afforded the same opportunities as others... You can look at this by state, region, rural/urban, etc.

    With that said, I believe that if these people didn't have kids, they'd still be childless, high-school educated, 20-somethings, struggling to make ends meet. The equation isn't as simple as making better choices. Sometimes the better choice for a person living in persistent poverty wouldn't be on my, or your, radar. It's all about perspective.


    Another thing. For example, the teenager in the episode. He was working over 40 hours a week to support his child and wife. If he wasnt married or was childless, he could've saved alot of money working over 40 hours a week to get an education. He could've had more time to study or become more of an entrepreneur. Do you see the difference in the lifestyles? He chose the wrong path. He stopped himself from doing drugs and becoming part of the gang culture before he knew his girlfriend was pregnant.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:34 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidI was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.



    Exactly. You're a perfect example of how society should work.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:36 PM GMT
    Boris said
    cdub341 saidIf you look at poverty from a macro-social perspective, if you're born into poverty, the odds of living at (or below) the federal poverty level your entire life is very high. A life of poverty has cyclical effects that are hard to break.
    I know America is the land of opportunity, but some people aren't afforded the same opportunities as others... You can look at this by state, region, rural/urban, etc.

    With that said, I believe that if these people didn't have kids, they'd still be childless, high-school educated, 20-somethings, struggling to make ends meet. The equation isn't as simple as making better choices. Sometimes the better choice for a person living in persistent poverty wouldn't be on my, or your, radar. It's all about perspective.


    Give me a break. When my parents came from Afghanistan, they didn't speak a word of English. Both of their families were consisted of 8 people living in a ONE bedroom apartment with ONE bathroom. My parents worked their ass off to learn English and work to support their family. Where did all their siblings ended up after many years of hard work? In mansions. *knock on wood* all of their siblings turned out living in wealthy neighborhoods and started businesses that grew. We lived in a tiny townhouse in Queens to an old giant house in Long Island that we had to share with my father's whole family to living in a beautiful big townhouse in a wealthy neighborhood in VA. They did so much to turn their life upside down and escape poverty. They make more than what a college student makes after graduation. How is that a bunch of immigrants become more successful without a high school diploma than many Americans who have been here alot longer. It's all about using your brain.


    I think it's easy to pick individual examples to prove your point but they don't represent the majority. Many immigrants struggle in Toronto to get ahead and often it takes an entire generation meaning the parents never achieve the dream - they work so their children can.

    And there are some examples of people that are lazy and are therefore poor. But there are many more examples of people that had great jobs and lost it all.

    But like, cdub341 said, there are a lot of cyclical properties behind poverty. Parents of low income disadvantaged minorities that never went to school may tend to see school as a luxury and that their children should get out and working the minute they graduate high school. Their children do just that and place little value on higher education. There are lots of reasons people are poor and it's not usually because they want to be.

    I think as a society that places such high value on material things we also assume people that are "poor" are unhappy. I don't think that's always the case, at least as we see it.
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    Boris said
    TropicalMark saidI was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.



    Exactly. You're a perfect example of how society should work.
    Oh Im sure the conservaposse will spin their heads reading that post LMAO!
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidI was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.



    Good post!
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    Boris said
    TropicalMark saidI was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.



    Exactly. You're a perfect example of how society should work.
    Oh Im sure the conservaposse will spin their heads reading that post LMAO!


    I guess I just did!
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    Jul 20, 2012 8:51 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    TropicalMark saidI was raised on welfare.. I was raised in rental housing. I made a decision before I turned 17 that I would never live my life that way or raise children that way.

    I fulfilled that decision and it took work, determination and sacrifice. It was all worth it today.

    Yes every individual can make a conscious decision at a young age. Just depends on motivation, determination and willingness to sacrifice in a degree that may be uncomfortable. Most of the time, they will be successful.. maybe not in being rich or wealthy, but the satisfaction of knowing they can be self sufficient and comfortable. And sometimes shit happens (i.e. losing a job, economy crash etc..) and one ends up where one doesnt want to be or didnt plan.
    Get back on the horse and do whatever it takes, however hard or small/insignificant.



    Good post!
    I can do those ya know.. regardless of what John thinks.icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 20, 2012 9:06 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    So you sympathize with homeless people but support showing open scorn for those who are just too poor to pay their bills?


    More like indifference.

    Before getting defensive I'd reread my post. I cited specific examples from my life where I see people stuck in and endless low income cycle and it began right out of high school with a kid instead of advancing through college or a career.

    The US has a large number of low income households that include children. We also have a higher birthrate than many European countries as well as higher numbers of teen pregnancies.
    world_net_birth_rate_20071.png
    world_teen_birth_rate.png
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 20, 2012 9:22 PM GMT
    ATC84 said
    HottJoe said
    So you sympathize with homeless people but support showing open scorn for those who are just too poor to pay their bills?


    More like indifference.

    Before getting defensive I'd reread my post. I cited specific examples from my life where I see people stuck in and endless low income cycle and it began right out of high school with a kid instead of advancing through college or a career.

    The US has a large number of low income households that include children. We also have a higher birthrate than many European countries as well as higher numbers of teen pregnancies.
    world_net_birth_rate_20071.png
    world_teen_birth_rate.png


    Honestly, I'm sensitive to this issue, and I find your "indifference" to be equally disgusting.
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    Jul 20, 2012 9:22 PM GMT
    Boris said
    cdub341 saidIf you look at poverty from a macro-social perspective, if you're born into poverty, the odds of living at (or below) the federal poverty level your entire life is very high. A life of poverty has cyclical effects that are hard to break.
    I know America is the land of opportunity, but some people aren't afforded the same opportunities as others... You can look at this by state, region, rural/urban, etc.

    With that said, I believe that if these people didn't have kids, they'd still be childless, high-school educated, 20-somethings, struggling to make ends meet. The equation isn't as simple as making better choices. Sometimes the better choice for a person living in persistent poverty wouldn't be on my, or your, radar. It's all about perspective.


    Give me a break. When my parents came from Afghanistan, they didn't speak a word of English. Both of their families were consisted of 8 people living in a ONE bedroom apartment with ONE bathroom. My parents worked their ass off to learn English and work to support their family. Where did all their siblings ended up after many years of hard work? In mansions. *knock on wood* all of their siblings turned out living in wealthy neighborhoods and started businesses that grew. We lived in a tiny townhouse in Queens to an old giant house in Long Island that we had to share with my father's whole family to living in a beautiful big townhouse in a wealthy neighborhood in VA. They did so much to turn their life upside down and escape poverty. They make more than what a college student makes after graduation. How is that a bunch of immigrants become more successful without a high school diploma than many Americans who have been here alot longer. It's all about using your brain.



    Yes, this may have worked in this situation, but there are situations unlike your parents. There are a lot of kids who suffer from the decisions their parents made. I've worked with teenagers who've been responsible for their younger siblings since they were 12. If there isn't a stable home and supportive environment, education comes second to survival. (Think Maslow's hierarchy of needs). Without a proper education, the cycle continues because that's all they know.

    I'm not arguing that these people couldn't have made better choices, everyone could... It's just harder to escape poverty than people think. There are so many factors that work against a person. Depending on where a person lives; food could be more expensive, more scarce, and things like healthcare facilities are almost non-existence. Simple things that some people take for granted are unheard of in certain environments.