Why myths about poor endure


Avro
#1
Scapegoating needy justifies society's failure to find political solutions

March 02, 2007
Judith McCormack

Our perceptions of poor people are full of stubborn myths. The man who picks up his welfare cheque in a white Cadillac, the teenage mother with a flock of illegitimate children, the loafer who works the system instead of a job – these are the stuff of urban legends.
The reality of poverty is surprisingly different. To begin with, the proportion of single parents on welfare who are under 20 years old is very small – 3 per cent, according to a National Council on Welfare study.
And nearly half of all single parent families on welfare have only one child, with another 31 per cent having only two children.
That couch potato with a weak work ethic? Another myth.
The grim truth is that more than half of all poor people are working. And even bleaker – almost one-third of people on welfare are children. When the proportion of poor people with disabilities is added to this mix, the picture looks quite different.
There is a notable absence of white Cadillacs among the poor as well.
Welfare incomes typically hover at around half the poverty line, not nearly enough money for adequate food or housing, let alone a car.
Perhaps the most persistent of these fallacies is the idea of widespread welfare fraud. In fact, the evidence suggests that the rate of welfare fraud is quite low.
As professors Janet Mosher and Joe Hermer found in a report to the Law Commission of Canada, the number of welfare fraud convictions in Ontario in 2001-02 was roughly equivalent to 0.1 per cent of the combined social assistance caseload.
Even more telling is that these convictions represented only 1 per cent of the allegations about welfare offences. And there were a large number of allegations – 38,452 welfare fraud investigations were conducted that year. The end tally? Ninety-nine per cent of them did not result in convictions.
In other words, a great deal of time and energy is spent looking for welfare fraud, but there doesn't seem to be much to find.
So why are these myths so resilient, despite the evidence to the contrary?
One reason has to do with underlying economic fears in society at large. For many people, concerns about financial insecurity and ending up poor are never far from the surface.
These fears can be handled by assigning certain traits to the poor that make them different from the rest of society. If we think of the poor as lazy and dishonest, then it seems less likely that poverty will happen to us, the hard-working, the responsible.
But these stereotypes are not merely the result of personal fears. They serve a number of other purposes as well. Blaming the poor for their own plight makes it possible to avoid a more searching examination of the social and economic factors that contribute to poverty.
For example, unemployment is an important determinant of poverty. But the unemployment rate is closely linked to broader economic policy decisions.
Increasing interest rates, for instance, usually results in fewer jobs and higher unemployment.
This means that finding a job is like a game of musical chairs for the poor. No matter how motivated an individual person may be, there will always be too few chairs to go around.
Similarly, a low minimum wage, or a lack of affordable housing are public policy choices that have a direct effect on poverty. Stigmatizing the poor allows politicians and policy-makers to ignore responsibility for those decisions.
The myths about poverty often serve other political purposes as well.
Defining the poor as lazy or irresponsible creates popular villains for the rest of us to condemn. It panders to a human weakness to feel superior to someone, and provides a handy target for complaints about tax dollars.
The same is true when those stereotypes are dressed up in the jargon of "welfare dependency," argued as the reason why poor children sometimes end up as poor adults.
The real problem is that poor children have severely limited resources, which often translates into less education and fewer opportunities as they get older. They may indeed end up losing that game of musical chairs, but not because of a particular mindset.
The truth is that, like the rest of us, poor people engage in a wide range of moral conduct and possess a broad array of personal traits and psychological outlooks. And the way to address a complex problem like economic inequality is from a variety of different angles.
Rather than scapegoating the poor, there are a series of practical steps that would have a significant impact on poverty.
Several of these steps have been canvassed in these pages – a higher minimum wage, affordable housing, universal child care, a guaranteed income, and accessible education.
These measures go to some of the most fundamental principles of civil society: ensuring human dignity and a fair shake for everyone, regardless of income.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/187305
 
tamarin
#2
Myths. Most people will operate from the anecdotal and personal experience. It isn't for a study to tell them how to think. Poverty is usually the result of poor personal choices. Myth? Of course not. Welfare is a necessity, an important social safety net in the modern world, but it's not to be a career. Everything possible should be done to move people into the working world.
 
jimmoyer
#3
Myths. Most people will operate from the anecdotal and personal experience. It isn't for a study to tell them how to think. Poverty is usually the result of poor personal choices. Myth? Of course not. Welfare is a necessity, an important social safety net in the modern world, but it's not to be a career. Everything possible should be done to move people into the working world.
-------------------------------------------tamarin-------------------------------------------------------------

Good post, tamarin.
Each statement in that post is pretty good.

I would add to your statement, "Poverty is usually the result of poor personal choices" that
those personal choices are also a result of previous generations in their families that have
also done poorly and so only the few break out of that cycle and pattern of bad choices and
bad culture of thinking.

Also your emphasis on getting "them" into the working world is superb.

The liberal left usually focuses on how heartless the conservative right is, instead of
focusing on the real long lasting changes for people to feel better about themselves by
working and "striving." Striving is necessary. Not comfort. Not luxury.
 
tamarin
#4
Jim, one of the key reasons we invest so much in public education is to mitigate negative influences at home. We strive, as a society, to give kids an equal chance and early. Education is the great leveller and it is in this realm that most poor personal choices are made. Futures built or broken.
But studies are a dime a dozen and it's important to realize hundreds of studies exist for most interest areas. And conflict is common. I'm enjoying the latest jostling in the vitamin field where once more a study leaps forward to suggest supplements are a waste of time. Again it will be personal choice as to what you think and what you do. And too it's smirk-time when viewing youth violence studies making the rounds. On the same day last week the Vanier Institute released a study deploring skyrocketing incidents of violence amongst youth since the 60's. According to the Institute, one in five kids now exhibits violent behaviour, up from one in twenty years ago. In some communities the figures are a shocking one in two. Contrast that with a profiled book that day by another feel good guru championing our youth for their low level of crime and misbehaviour. Two studies. Two completely different points of view. In the end you listen to your head.
 
Avro
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

Myths. Most people will operate from the anecdotal and personal experience. It isn't for a study to tell them how to think.

Sorry to disagree but many stories I have heard regarding the poor are from a friend of a friend who once knew a guy that had a neighbor who saw someone they believed was on welfare buy a six pack.

I've done some work with the poor and that's when the myth was broken for me.

To bad you didn't read the article I posted, it was a good one.
 
Sparrow
#6
I think the welfare system need to be improved. I know a single parent with a child, under school age, who is on welfare. She wanted to go to work, but instead of encouraging her the welfare system made in impossible. She is barely succeeding to pay her rent and feed herself and child on welfare. If she goes back to work between the salary would earn and what will be left, if any, of her welfare she will have less than if she remain solely on welfare. Instead the system should encourage her by supplementing her salary so that at least she will have the same amount of money. Even maybe a little extra would encourage many people in her situation back onto the job market. Let me say that she does not come from a "welfare family".

It is not easy for a welfare recipient to get jobs. Often employers will ask what they have been doing since their last job, or in the past years. Soon as they mention they have been unemployed or on welfare many employers will not hire them. They are caught between both and have a very difficult time getting out and sometime just give up. It is discouraging when you keep bunting a brick wall with you head.

I would be curious to see what these critics would say if the actually spoke to some of these people and heard their stories. They probably would find some lazy ones but I bet that most of their stories would really change their minds.
 
jimmoyer
#7
So what if both left liberals and rightwing conservatives stereotype or cartoonize this
issue of the poor ?

The real driving force behind left liberals is to use this issue as a prop on
their ongoing stage play entitled: Conservatives Are Heartless. The Left seems no better, if not
worse, in their own personal lives helping the poor than the conservatives do.

And the conservatives are often guilty of callous disregard when bloviating about this issue. I can't stand the egotism of some rich person who claims they did it all themselves. Invariably upon research this is rarely true. But the rare example of this
happening is awesome, inspiring and edifying.

I believe this issue of the poor is much more complex.
It's why it is not going to be solved. It is why being poor will never be eradicated.
But as Tamarin says we must provide some safety net.


Part of it has do with human perception. The art of contrast.
Would we know anything truly without its opposite ? Without its contrast ?

Do we understand the psychology of a people all united in a Depression feeling mentally
better than a poor person living next to the rich ?

This is no trivial point, as most will want to make it.

There is a poverty of spirit that translates very visibly into the material world.
 
OHCANADA
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by AvroView Post

Scapegoating needy justifies society's failure to find political solutions

March 02, 2007
Judith McCormack

Our perceptions of poor people are full of stubborn myths. The man who picks up his welfare cheque in a white Cadillac, the teenage mother with a flock of illegitimate children, the loafer who works the system instead of a job – these are the stuff of urban legends.
The reality of poverty is surprisingly different. To begin with, the proportion of single parents on welfare who are under 20 years old is very small – 3 per cent, according to a National Council on Welfare study.
And nearly half of all single parent families on welfare have only one child, with another 31 per cent having only two children.
That couch potato with a weak work ethic? Another myth.
The grim truth is that more than half of all poor people are working. And even bleaker – almost one-third of people on welfare are children. When the proportion of poor people with disabilities is added to this mix, the picture looks quite different.
There is a notable absence of white Cadillacs among the poor as well.
Welfare incomes typically hover at around half the poverty line, not nearly enough money for adequate food or housing, let alone a car.
Perhaps the most persistent of these fallacies is the idea of widespread welfare fraud. In fact, the evidence suggests that the rate of welfare fraud is quite low.
As professors Janet Mosher and Joe Hermer found in a report to the Law Commission of Canada, the number of welfare fraud convictions in Ontario in 2001-02 was roughly equivalent to 0.1 per cent of the combined social assistance caseload.
Even more telling is that these convictions represented only 1 per cent of the allegations about welfare offences. And there were a large number of allegations – 38,452 welfare fraud investigations were conducted that year. The end tally? Ninety-nine per cent of them did not result in convictions.
In other words, a great deal of time and energy is spent looking for welfare fraud, but there doesn't seem to be much to find.
So why are these myths so resilient, despite the evidence to the contrary?
One reason has to do with underlying economic fears in society at large. For many people, concerns about financial insecurity and ending up poor are never far from the surface.
These fears can be handled by assigning certain traits to the poor that make them different from the rest of society. If we think of the poor as lazy and dishonest, then it seems less likely that poverty will happen to us, the hard-working, the responsible.
But these stereotypes are not merely the result of personal fears. They serve a number of other purposes as well. Blaming the poor for their own plight makes it possible to avoid a more searching examination of the social and economic factors that contribute to poverty.
For example, unemployment is an important determinant of poverty. But the unemployment rate is closely linked to broader economic policy decisions.
Increasing interest rates, for instance, usually results in fewer jobs and higher unemployment.
This means that finding a job is like a game of musical chairs for the poor. No matter how motivated an individual person may be, there will always be too few chairs to go around.
Similarly, a low minimum wage, or a lack of affordable housing are public policy choices that have a direct effect on poverty. Stigmatizing the poor allows politicians and policy-makers to ignore responsibility for those decisions.
The myths about poverty often serve other political purposes as well.
Defining the poor as lazy or irresponsible creates popular villains for the rest of us to condemn. It panders to a human weakness to feel superior to someone, and provides a handy target for complaints about tax dollars.
The same is true when those stereotypes are dressed up in the jargon of "welfare dependency," argued as the reason why poor children sometimes end up as poor adults.
The real problem is that poor children have severely limited resources, which often translates into less education and fewer opportunities as they get older. They may indeed end up losing that game of musical chairs, but not because of a particular mindset.
The truth is that, like the rest of us, poor people engage in a wide range of moral conduct and possess a broad array of personal traits and psychological outlooks. And the way to address a complex problem like economic inequality is from a variety of different angles.
Rather than scapegoating the poor, there are a series of practical steps that would have a significant impact on poverty.
Several of these steps have been canvassed in these pages – a higher minimum wage, affordable housing, universal child care, a guaranteed income, and accessible education.
These measures go to some of the most fundamental principles of civil society: ensuring human dignity and a fair shake for everyone, regardless of income.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/187305

Hi there

I totally totally agree. I am "working class poor" and will probably be "poor" in a few years, then a few years after that, I will probably fall into the category or "dirt poor"...I am hard working yet the costs of living in general in Ontario are outrageous, making it very hard even for hard working and talented people to stay above water.
The housing is ridiculous, the Hydro is even more unbearable and rising still, taxes, well let's not even go there. Vehicle insurance is completely outrageous even though I'm in my forties with a clean driving record and no demerit points off at all!
I'm very seriously planning a strategy for moving out to New Brunswick where the cost of living is 28% cheaper than Ontario, the income range is only about 15% lower, and a beautiful home is around 130K - 150K, with a large property of at least a half an acre to boot. Penny for our thoughts.

 
Niflmir
#9
I think everyone agrees that poor people need help, I think however that people with any sort of ideological bias are prone to stereotype the poor. So people ideologically biased against people who identify themselves as the political right will stereotype poor people as completely helpless and victims of corporate insensitivity. Similarly, people ideologicall biased against the perceived left will view the poor as a burden on the system and as lazy people interested in money for nothing. Nothing can be gained or bettered by reducing this to a political issue. The fact remains: the majority of people want to work and we should do everything we can to get them work.

Of course, there are some people who just can't hold a normal job, for whatever reason. Then we have the terrible choice, do we let them fend for themself on the street, or pay to get them off our streets? If we want them off the streets, is it possible to get them some sort of work? Do we just push them out by force by criminalizing panhandling, like Rudy Giuliani did? How effective are any of these? I don't know.
 
Zzarchov
#10
I think the concept of eliminating or helping the poor is insane until you have a justifiable measure of poverty. Currently poverty is based on a set percentage of the population with the lowest income.

If we all lived like billionaires (in a fantasy world) there would still be the same level of poverty, and those suffering would only have the lifestyle of multi-millionaires..

So if you want action on poverty, set a quantifiable definition of poverty that isn't relative. It doesn't have to be dollar amounts, it can be things you need to be unable to do to become poor (unable to afford a home, or unable to send children to college, just something other than "moving goalposts")
 
Niflmir
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by ZzarchovView Post

I think the concept of eliminating or helping the poor is insane until you have a justifiable measure of poverty. Currently poverty is based on a set percentage of the population with the lowest income.

If we all lived like billionaires (in a fantasy world) there would still be the same level of poverty, and those suffering would only have the lifestyle of multi-millionaires..

So if you want action on poverty, set a quantifiable definition of poverty that isn't relative. It doesn't have to be dollar amounts, it can be things you need to be unable to do to become poor (unable to afford a home, or unable to send children to college, just something other than "moving goalposts")

Quite true, it is a common misconception to conflate poverty levels with low income levels. However, just like you, most people who are interested in these issues do in fact distinguish between absolute poverty and relative poverty (low income). StatCan provides an excellent explanation of this fact (external - login to view). Their explanation is based on a Canadian government panel which decided that poverty amounted to an inability to purchase the items in their list, called the Market basket Measure (external - login to view).

Essentially, the Market basket Measure represents the cost of the minimally acceptable life in Canada. It is meant to represent the cost of food, shelter and transportation which would be widely agreed upon to be minimally acceptable. It takes into account geographical variations in the cost of goods and services as well as some variation in family status (number of dependents). It is, by design, an absolute measure of poverty.

Keep in mind, that this only captures what Canada views as absolute poverty. We would still consider these people poor if they were living in a nation where they were the richest member where the locals would not view them as such.
 
MikeyDB
#12
Poverty is a subject near and dear to my heart….

The idea that there are “myths” associated with poverty is valid however similar to a whole host of clichés …there is sometimes a kernel of truth behind the myth. First hand...personal experience of the impact of these myths struck me the day I completed a form…application for tenancy where I currently live.

The form required that I specify my source and amount of annual income…

Source: Ontario Disability Support Program

Annual income: $10,900.00

Upon reading my application the building manager with a grim look on her face informed me that the application for tenancy was used to discover if my annual income reflected the formula used by the landlord to determine my eligibility as a potential tenant. The landlord required that the monthly rental amount be no greater than fifty percent of my monthly income….

My application had already been rejected on the same basis by several other landlords in my community and I was “up against the wall”…I had to be moved out of my then current accommodations in two days…. Single bedroom apartments in the city of London Ontario begin at $600.00/month…bachelors are unheard of and scooped up immediately if vacated…

I supplied testimonials from my two previous landlords that spanned the past five years and indicated that I was never delinquent with my rent and that there had never been an occasion of damage or police involvement (loud music, drug use, domestic incident etc..) and that I was regarded by these landlords as a desirable tenant.

The manager (then later the landlord personally) related previously unsuccessful tenancies contracted with people on disability and social assistance…

“You people receive the support of the community…get your benefit cheques and immediately go to the beer or liquor store and then.. when its time to pay the rent…you claim hardship and the landlord ends up not getting the rent.”

This landlord despite the letters of recommendation from previous landlords (whom were never contacted) leaped to the conclusion that while some folk receiving social support did in fact play the “victim game” to hide their poor habits and money-management skills… translated to every individual receiving social assistance.

I have a long history of helping other folk and several of them had written endorsements stating that they were prepared to guarantee my rental payments. After contacting one of these wonderful folk, the landlord decided to afford me the opportunity of occupancy and I ended up living where I currently live. (The manager and the landlord have approached me since moving into this building with apologies for their assumptions…my rent has never been late and the “formula” I’ve always used is that rent and living expenses are the first deductions from my benefit cheques.)

What many people don’t realize is that a great deal of difficulty in terms of being a person receiving social assistance is that the social assistance received is well below the cost of living (less than half of what these same governments refer to as LICO {poverty line}) and requires that recipients forgo other necessities to meet their accommodation obligations.

I am unable to afford the very same diet that Health Canada suggests appropriate for an adult of my age. I am unable to afford new clothing, footwear and both rainwear and winter coat or boots… I beg a ride from an acquaintance to get to used-clothing stores and deduct the shortfall between my benefit amount and my rental costs. I can afford to live indoors in this country by consuming far more starch and carbohydrates in my diet (pasta, breads and sugar laden foods) and imagining what it would be like to go to see a movie or watch cable TV or visit the museum or anything else vaguely like “entertainment”….

All of you people decided that this was the way the disabled should live.

Your wise spokesperson Mike Harris gave you the “common sense revolution” that translates as cutting support for the disabled and the poor and then blaming the victims when they turn to theft and crime (shop-lifting, fraud and drug-dealing) to have any chance at something even close to a “normal” life.

Poverty exists because Canadians can comfortably turn a blind-eye on homelessness and eagerly support state-sanctioned poverty. Canadians are animated and deeply passionate about anything that impacts their “living-standard”…if they have to pay a few pennies more at the gas pump…if the price of their cable TV goes up…if there’s a long line at Tim Horton's…but the poor and the disabled …they deserve second-class citizenship.

Everyone knows the poor and disabled are inarticulate, poorly educated, lazy, substance abusing leeches living lives off the hard-working contributing members of Canadian society….

And pigs can fly….

 
tamarin
#13
OHCANADA, my sympathies are with you. I'm amazed at the living costs in Ontario and how it is so many are able to scrape through. Even if the minimum wage is forced above ten bucks, it'll not cover expenses. Hydro is a stealth horse and will have to be watched. In many areas property taxes are rising yet again as municipalities buckle under the services load imposed by the Harris regime. There have to be answers. Dalton is up for re-election in the fall. His "no more new taxes" mantra won't work this time and folks are still pissed about his reneging on a healthcare levy. It's troubling. The Canadian economy is supposed to be this vibrant machine and yet so many aren't benefitting.
Mikey, I hear you. Something has to be done to fix the problem. But what probably worries the policy wonks is that we're overdue for a major recession. Ontario has had trouble with its budget for some years now. The shortfalls that will come with a recession might aggravate an already challenging situation.
 
DurkaDurka
#14
Mikey, are you not eligible for Canada Pension Plan? I thought you said you were in that age bracket in an old thread.

Also, do you think support for the poor was considerably better prior to Harris?
 
GenGap
#15
How can we state that poverty usually a result of poor personal choices? Is this not a stereotype?
Usually choices are made by the resources and situations experienced.
Many people who are poor, are stuck in a situation where society has placed them and they are not proud of it.
It is a matter of dignity for society to help the poor, we can not expect the poor the fend for themselves with 50% of what they really need.




Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

Myths. Most people will operate from the anecdotal and personal experience. It isn't for a study to tell them how to think. Poverty is usually the result of poor personal choices. Myth? Of course not. Welfare is a necessity, an important social safety net in the modern world, but it's not to be a career. Everything possible should be done to move people into the working world.
-------------------------------------------tamarin-------------------------------------------------------------

Good post, tamarin.
Each statement in that post is pretty good.

I would add to your statement, "Poverty is usually the result of poor personal choices" that
those personal choices are also a result of previous generations in their families that have
also done poorly and so only the few break out of that cycle and pattern of bad choices and
bad culture of thinking.

Also your emphasis on getting "them" into the working world is superb.

The liberal left usually focuses on how heartless the conservative right is, instead of
focusing on the real long lasting changes for people to feel better about themselves by
working and "striving." Striving is necessary. Not comfort. Not luxury.

 
GenGap
#16
Actually in Ontario the liberal party, is heartlesss. I never heard the conservatives being labled as heartless.


Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

So what if both left liberals and rightwing conservatives stereotype or cartoonize this
issue of the poor ?

The real driving force behind left liberals is to use this issue as a prop on
their ongoing stage play entitled: Conservatives Are Heartless. The Left seems no better, if not
worse, in their own personal lives helping the poor than the conservatives do.

And the conservatives are often guilty of callous disregard when bloviating about this issue. I can't stand the egotism of some rich person who claims they did it all themselves. Invariably upon research this is rarely true. But the rare example of this
happening is awesome, inspiring and edifying.

I believe this issue of the poor is much more complex.
It's why it is not going to be solved. It is why being poor will never be eradicated.
But as Tamarin says we must provide some safety net.


Part of it has do with human perception. The art of contrast.
Would we know anything truly without its opposite ? Without its contrast ?

Do we understand the psychology of a people all united in a Depression feeling mentally
better than a poor person living next to the rich ?

This is no trivial point, as most will want to make it.

There is a poverty of spirit that translates very visibly into the material world.

 
tamarin
#17
"Actually in Ontario the liberal party, is heartlesss. I never heard the conservatives being labled as heartless."

This is jest, surely. The Harris team was called "heartless" and a great deal worse. Oh, memory, where is your sting?
 
GenGap
#18
Interesting concept.
"A person that is poor, pays more for necessities, then someone who wealth."
I find poor people to purchase lower end products(necessities), and therefore have to purchase more then if they were to purchase a quality item.
Scenario 1
A poor person purchases second hand clothing. The life spend of the clothing is greatly reduced. this person goes back and purchases more in a given year. Transportation costs, time loss, and quaint rises.
Why not buy it new? IE. a pair of chains at Zellers for $20.00. 1 trip. by bus $6.00 verses 3 pairs at a thrift shop totaling $30.00 and 3 trips by bus $18.00.
 
GenGap
#19
lol I guess you could say Harper's party was heartless. I was refering to not hearing conservative voters as not being heartless.

Quote: Originally Posted by tamarinView Post

"Actually in Ontario the liberal party, is heartlesss. I never heard the conservatives being labled as heartless."

This is jest, surely. The Harris team was called "heartless" and a great deal worse. Oh, memory, where is your sting?

 
Walter
#20
"The poor you will always have with you" Matthew 26:11
 
MikeyDB
#21
Gengap
When a laborer in a sweatshop in the Phllipines or Banagaladesh or China or India or Mexico or etc. is paid pennies a day for a product that shows up on the shelves of Zellers KMart and WalMart who do you think is winning the war on poverty?
When the wealthy purchase products, are they buying products at the same stores?
When the opportunities for children...when it comes to education and participating in social activities at school that require special equipment..sporting goods for example... who has the benefit of an income capable of meeting the expectations that the wealthy dictate?
When a kid wearing used clothing and a kid wearing designer jeans (or a suit) apply for a job...in the postmodern world of consumerism...who do you think makes the most favorable first impression?
Is it poor kids who require extra bus fair...or is it the children dropped off at the school by their parents (or nannies) from the Escalade and the Johnny Bauer Explorerer? When activities that poor adults and children of poor people wish to participate in..is limited by subsistance incomes....who ultimately pays the price?
When more money can be made selling crack and MJ on the corner...who's going to be the people selling this stuff?
When governments create black-markets for tobacco products and firearms, who will be most vulnerable to being convinced that the wealthy don't really care about how the poor live..and will be more easily talked-into criminal activity...?
To suggest that the measure of poverty is simply a matter of income....is like suggesting that the children of wealthy families don't buy and sell drugs....we know they do...and we know that the reason why they do is because there's much more going on in the dynamic of that family and this society than simply that poor people make poor choices...
Poverty is a systemic issue and the perception of poor people being less-entitled to everything from high-priced legal help to a shot at an interview for a job is every bit as similar to other constructs in this society. Women have faced a double standard forever...and so have the poor.
 
BitWhys
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

"The poor you will always have with you" Matthew 26:11

I'll keep that in mind next time I'm signing off on Jesus' funeral arrangements. Thanks.
 
sanctus
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

"The poor you will always have with you" Matthew 26:11

And so? This means we must not try and help those less fortunate than ourselves? That we should not offer compassion and support as a society because of this one "OUT OF CONTEXT" verse of Scripture? Are you implying Jesus condoned poverty and supported it?

Sorry to ramble, but frankly I get so sick to death of people pulling pieces of the Bible out of the air out of context to the passage it was taken from.
 
L Gilbert
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

"The poor you will always have with you" Matthew 26:11

What kind of poor would that be? The poor in spirit? The economically poor? The morally poor? AOTA?
 
L Gilbert
#25
Anyway, the bit I like is; the left have no brains, and the right have no heart. I don't believe that even generally, just that it's funny.
 
#juan
#26
I can tell you about one myth about the poor. One of our neighbors had a young, married daughter with two children, twin boys. The husband decided life was too hard trying to support a wife and two young children so he left. This young girl was knocked up while she was still in high school and had no visible skills that would get her a decent job so one way or another, she ended up on welfare. The amount that welfare was willing to pay was about a hundred and twenty dollars over and above what her rent and utilities cost., not including a telephone. That hundred and twenty had to buy food and everything for a month. The myth of young single parents ripping off the system is BS. This young lady made some poor decisions no doubt, but the way it is now, she will pay for those bad decisions for a long time.
 
BitWhys
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

...I get so sick to death of people pulling pieces of the Bible out of the air out of context to the passage it was taken from.

thanks Padre. better you than me.
 
L Gilbert
#28
And her father is still a failure seemingly unwilling to improve. Admirable, ain't it, Juan?
 
sanctus
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

I can tell you about one myth about the poor. One of our neighbors had a young, married daughter with two children, twin boys. The husband decided life was too hard trying to support a wife and two young children so he left. This young girl was knocked up while she was still in high school and had no visible skills that would get her a decent job so one way or another, she ended up on welfare. The amount that welfare was willing to pay was about a hundred and twenty dollars over and above what her rent and utilities cost., not including a telephone. That hundred and twenty had to buy food and everything for a month. The myth of young single parents ripping off the system is BS. This young lady made some poor decisions no doubt, but the way it is now, she will pay for those bad decisions for a long time.


Same in Ontario. Social Services grants a lady I know, single mom as well with two kids, 1200 a month. Her rent is 750 = hydro. She has to buy groceries for a month. And can just have a hell of a good time on all that is left
Last edited by sanctus; Apr 16th, 2007 at 04:14 PM..
 
L Gilbert
#30
Yeah, more unadmirable behavior is routinely performed by gov'ts. Why the hell do we even have gov'ts if it can't do its work properly?
 

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