Three rules for staying out of poverty

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Free4Life11, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Free4Life11

    Free4Life11 DIS Cast Member<br><font color=red>I just have to

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    What do you think?

    http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2012-01-27/story/three-rules-staying-out-poverty
     
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  3. runwad

    runwad Dis Veteran

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    I think it sounds like good old common sense:thumbsup2
     
  4. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    Sounds like a winner to me.

    Not sure why everyone doesn't do it that way.
     
  5. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

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    Well - for some people it's just not that easy.

    Graduating from high school is not too hard for some, almost impossible for others. Some kids are living in incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional households, where there is nowhere to study (and they can't go somewhere else because they are looking after younger siblings while their parents are working), nobody to wake them up for school in the morning, nobody to make sure they get nutritious meals. They may have learning disabilities (or brain damage caused by the drugs/alcohol their mothers used during the pregnancy) so that school is very tough for them, and their school may not do much to help. They may have to work long hours because the family needs the income.

    And, sure, having a full-time job (ideally with good benefits) is the goal of many people, but for some it's a tough goal to achieve. There are many reasons why people don't get hired and not all of them are things the person can change.

    My tips for not being poor would be: be born into a middle-class or wealthy family, with caring parents, who can give you a good start in life.

    Teresa
     
  6. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    I had nobody to wake me up to go to school. And yet, I got up every morning and made it to school.

    I won't get into the type of food we ate, but leave it at pre-food stamp times.

    Brought up in poverty, yet managed to graduate from HS, not get pregnant and went to college. Imagine that.
     
  7. nsmith

    nsmith Mouseketeer

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    I would add that if you are in poverty and trying to get out
    cells phones,
    cable tv
    cigarettes
    pets
    are wants and not needs.
     
  8. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Nah, I don't think its that easy.

    So, my pal Muushka will probably tell you I am usually a bit left of center and for all the work I do working with the poor, the bottom line is that number one is ALL important.

    Now I totally agree that my parents wealth exposed me to opportunities and my wealth will probably keep my sons out of poverty also but growing up there was absolutely no other mantra like you must finish school and my sons life would have seriously ended had they not finished h.s. some things simply are non negotiable.

    So I think what we have to do is find ways to assist (and no that does not always mean some type of "entitlement" issues) the kids who maybe don't get the support from home.

    The pregnancy thing simply ticks me off, probably because at no other time in the history of man has preventing a pregnancy been easier. No one has to have a child they do not want.

    I'm going to leave now because these threads always, always turn into rants about how the "poor" are really just lazy slobs living off of me and I had to walk 52 miles in the snow to get to school so everyone else should also.
     
  9. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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    And of your tips... people have a choice in ANY of that?

    Yes, life is tough for some folks. But that doesn't mean they can't succeed. There are plenty of stories of people who had to support families through high school or didn't have a place to study and somehow graduated.

    Part of that is the DESIRE to want to succeed and the WILLPOWER to follow through.
     
  10. Mkebound

    Mkebound Mouseketeer

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    I'd like to add a 4th tip: Spend less than you earn (this works for people no matter how much or little you make)
     
  11. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

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    Well, that was my point. Many things that people have no choice in have a huge effect on whether or not they succeed.

    The initial poster was talking about statistics - that if you have these three things, you are statistically more likely not to be poor. Still, some people with those things in their favour ARE poor. And yes, some people from very tough backgrounds will succeed. Statistically, though, they are not likely to.

    What gives someone the desire to succeed? Some of that is believing that success is possible. Sometimes it just takes one person -a teacher, a grandmother, to spark that belief. But some kids never get that one person. Some only ever hear that they are bad, stupid, doomed to failure.

    What gives someone willpower? Have you seen that "marshmallow" study? They give young kids one marshmallow, then tell the children that if they wait ten minutes without eating it, they'll get TWO marshmallows. Some kids can do it (and the study showed they are more likely to succeed), but some can't. They don't have the willpower. Why not? Well, one factor is trust. If adults in the past have repeatedly made them promises, and then not kept them, the child learns to grab what he can get now. He eats the marshmallow that's in his hand, because he's learned that if he waits ten minutes, he's likely to get no marshmallows at all. That's a very difficult lesson to unlearn, because it becomes a way of seeing the world.

    Life is more complex than "just have desire and willpower."

    Teresa
     
  12. tavettava

    tavettava DIS Veteran

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    I never had anyone ever wake me up for school either. My parents were 16 and 17 when I was born. We lived it whats called shacktown here in my city. They partied all the time never caring whether my younger sister or myself had food or clothing. I took care of my sister, even babysitting so that we could eat. I never was able to study because I had to take care of the house and had to make money to feed us. I never had the supplies for school I needed. I made sure both my sister and I graduated. We both went to college. I am a teacher, and she is in the medical field. So I think it's bs that not every person can succeed because of how they were brought up.
     
  13. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    Your post and Eliza's post have made me think.

    What if I had been involved in some sort of community project for poor kiddos?

    If I had someone giving me things that I had not earned?

    Someone telling me that my situation was out of my control?

    That perhaps there would be some sort of program to help me?

    Would I have still succeeded in life?

    Or by actually living in poverty, experiencing it and all the yuck that came with it?
    Was that the better teacher?
     
  14. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    Wow. Powerful post. Makes it hard to have a lot of sympathy, doesn't it?
     
  15. leebee

    leebee DIS Veteran

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    Looks like eliza61 hit the nail on the head. :rolleyes1 popcorn::
     
  16. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    I struggle with that also Muushka especially with my sons.
    I will absolutely never ever lie and say a wealthy background did not give me advantages. I knew from day one I was going to college and I knew I would not have to pay a dime to do it. I'd like to think I was appreciative of it and my parents also instilled a hard work ethic. I knew that if I fooled around and screwed up my pop had no problem yanking the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. Yet I also did not worry about gunshots in my Harlem apartment that was bigger than most houses. I went to private catholic schools, so can I turn around and say a kid from the South Bronx had the same opportunity? No, I don't think I can. So for me, it's not hard for me to have sympathy. I can't imagine having to dodge gunshots to get to your school. Let me turn it around, would I have been as successful as I am now if I was born in poverty exposed to the daily violence that I see in the kids I work with? I know folks here always say that the people they know on welfare are living in mcmansion and going to disneyworld but the clients home I visit, let me tell you the best description of them are hovels.
    Would I have exceeded living like that?

    I also am very aware of the fact that my wealth still brings me advantages. You know Sid the squid (honorable son # 1) is an Asperger kid. I know the advantages I had getting him the best care in this country. I read peoples stories of fights they have had with the public education getting help for their learning disable kids and I thank the Lord that I did not have to deal with that. like other so famously in the news I make well into the 6 figures and because of the current tax system, I routinely pay 12-15% income tax. I have never and probably will never pay any where near 30%.

    I like to think that I teach my sons strong work ethics but Rizzo is now doing his college search, never once did he have to think about cost. He does have to worry about me wringing his neck if he fools around but is his life easier because he doesn't worry about his next meal, or graduating with tons of college debt. I've told you about our cross country college searches. He does know that his choices are only limited by his grades. Have I done the right thing by giving him those opportunities?

    I try to make him understands the sacrifices others have made on his behalf and what we expect from him.
     
  17. ilovemk76

    ilovemk76 DIS Veteran

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  18. rnorwo1

    rnorwo1 DIS Veteran

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    Teresa has it right (sounds like we may be in similar fields professionally??)

    Statistics only tell you the probability of something happening, not whether or not it will certainly happen. So if we look at the variable "the consistent presence of a caregiver waking a child up to go to school" and see that there is a correlation between that and poverty level, then all we "know" is that some people (or type of people) who were represented by that study's sample will be more likely to avoid poverty if they had this type of caregiving. That is very different than saying that everyone who does not have a caregiver to wake them for school will necessarily be doomed to live in poverty.

    The fact that you were able to "beat the odds" is a great example of this. The original study (and I'm using that term loosely... I didn't read the study so am not sure of the validity of it) is listing what we call risk factors for poverty. Risk factors are very different than causative factors. Just because a study demonstrates a relationship between these factors and poverty does not mean that one causes the other, but rather that they are related in some way.

    In social sciences it is often very difficult to rule out confounding factors, so always interpret such statements very critically. The way that these three factors are listed make it seem as if a person can just simply do these three things, and then they will have really great odds of avoiding poverty, while the truth about poverty is that it is incredibly complicated and there are no simple solutions. So much of what each of the pps' have said can be correct, but it's just that each piece of knowledge and experience is a small part of the puzzle or perhaps only applies to certain people. In other words, each person's story, successful or not, is anecdotal evidence which neither confirms nor disproves any statistical conclusions drawn from these types of studies.

    What we do "know", from decades of research (and what Teresa was pointing out) is that there is not one path to avoid poverty nor one particular risk factor or set of factors that will guarantee poverty, but rather it is the additive effect of risk factors that increases one's chances of being impoverished. So, as we can see from tavettava's story, growing up in poverty without sensitive, responsive parents does not necessarily mean a person will never escape it, but we have countless studies that demonstrate that it will be much harder for most people to do so. And we also "know" that the opposite is true also... a child can have numerous risk factors (poverty, poor schools, live in a violent neighborhood, etc) but can be protected from all of these things by having a secure-enough relationship with a sensitive, responsive caregiver who instills trust and confidence into the child.

    So how did tavettava escape it and do so well? I don't know, of course, but there had to have been some sort of protective factor(s) present to counteract these risk factors... perhaps she/he is cognitively above average or gifted, was naturally resillient, had a caring teacher or neighbor or someone to instill a sense of trust and self-confidence in her, etc... there was some reason, whether it was her natural abilities or something in her environment/opportunities, that assisted her.

    Think of a child who experiences any one of these risk factors: growing up in poverty, being prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs, growing up with a mother always passed out from substances, experiencing abuse or neglect, not receiving (for one reason or another) an education, being raped/sexually abused, having cognitive limitations due to prenatal exposure or neglect, etc... There is no way to say which one of these horrible things will lead to poverty, but they are ALL, among other variables, risk factors for poverty (and other things, such as mental illness... hey, another risk factor for poverty that hard work can't easily overcome!) Add chronicity to any of these variables and it becomes more likely that the child will always be impoverished. Add several of these risk factors together and it becomes even more likely. Take away protective factors and it becomes even more likely.

    Is it possible that a child can be raised with all of these factors and still escape it? Yep. But it's not as likely. And that is why, for many people, these three rules may as well be a thousand, because they are just out of reach for some eople.

    And in anticipation of responses protesting hand outs and other bail-out type programs, I, and any other person very familiar with the complicated dynamics of poverty, will agree that that is not the way to end poverty. But neither is the philosophy of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, because some people just aren't born with boots.
     
  19. reginaastralis

    reginaastralis DIS Veteran

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    I think this is interesting, but not necessarily the norm.

    I wasn't born "well off" at all. My parents worked their butts off for what they had. My mom came from nothing. Now, with the upbringing I had, when it came time for school, I bailed. I hated it.

    ETA: I mean college, I did great in high school, but couldn't get my head out of a certain orifice to finish college.

    I've done two of the "wrong" things on this list. I had a baby right at 21, without being married, and without having finished school. With that being said, she was definitely the wake up call my mom wished I would have had years before. However, she awoke the drive I needed to get my ish straight. I've never been in poverty, not in the least. And when I think about what I don't have, and it's not a lot, I think about how badly I could have it. I think I'm darn lucky to be where I am.

    Now that I'm in school, paying for myself, I know what I want. Sometimes I think more kids in my generation just needed a swift kick in the butt to get this stuff accomplished.

    I think #4 should be the desire to actually do something to change your life, because mommy and daddy aren't going to be there to support you forever.
     
  20. Jedimom

    Jedimom Mouseketeer

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    Eh, I did all of those things right and still landed into poverty. Graduated high school. Heck, I graduated from college. Full time job. Married at 25. Ran a business with my husband. Then had kids. I did it all "right."

    For me, it was divorce which landed me in poverty. Despite so many rules and supposed repercussions in place, an amazing number of parents don't pay their court ordered child support, and even more amazing the court doesn't do much about it. /end rant on that subject

    Just saying...there are tons of reasons people find themselves broke, homeless, whatnot. Doing it all "right" doesn't prevent life from happening and mucking up the best of plans.
     
  21. Swan4Me

    Swan4Me DIS Veteran

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    I am always fascinated by those wealthy DISers who hang out on the budget board:)

    But if you didnt have to pay a dime for college-why did you end up with student loans?

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43404086&postcount=13
     

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