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Poverty in the USA

Poverty in the USA

Old Feb 13th 2012, 6:01 pm
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Unhappy Poverty in the USA

I thought I might bring your attention to a thread on the MBTTUK forum. It was started by a former expat who moved back to England from Australia and is shocked about what is happening in the States.

On tonight's 'Panorama' in the UK there is a report about families living in poverty in the US and there are a couple of video clips. It's desperately sad, these beautiful children living in poverty...and one very sad little girl who said that they had had to eat a rat...

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=748317
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

I think a lot of people in the US are in denial about how many people live below the poverty line.

I've been to a couple of "Taste of the Nation" events run by "Share Our Strength" here in Phoenix and they have been great fundraisers. I've also donated to the local food bank here but it feels like a drop in the ocean.

Take a look at http://www.strength.org/ if you want to get some figures on childhood hunger in the US.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

I agree. I donate to local programs such as Feeding America and City harvest , City Meals on Wheels and Food Bank of NY. I think there has been so much focus on other parts of the world people tend to forget about what goes on close to home. In the restaurant business we have had several evenings where we donate that evenings tips to a local charity. Even a little bit helps.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by penguinbar View Post
I agree. I donate to local programs such as Feeding America and City harvest , City Meals on Wheels and Food Bank of NY. I think there has been so much focus on other parts of the world people tend to forget about what goes on close to home. In the restaurant business we have had several evenings where we donate that evenings tips to a local charity. Even a little bit helps.
Could not agree more we have a local church obsessed with sending people on mission trips to Honduras and the like. I am told by someone whose father founded an orphange there while a contribution from a group is welcome not a great lot is achieved on a 7 day visit with the cost of the airfare the money could be better spent at home in my opinion.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by ottotheboar View Post
Could not agree more we have a local church obsessed with sending people on mission trips to Honduras and the like. I am told by someone whose father founded an orphange there while a contribution from a group is welcome not a great lot is achieved on a 7 day visit with the cost of the airfare the money could be better spent at home in my opinion.
Couldn't agree more. I work in international development and couldn't think of anything less efficient. It's one thing if they are skilled people coming to fill a skills gap but if there are coming to just do unskilled work, there are PLENTY of local people who'd be able to do the work for far far less than the costs of the airfare, let alone all the administrative costs.

Let's face it, it's a feel good holiday. Nothing wrong with that, may as well do something good with your vacation, but if it's bang for your buck you're looking for, that's not the way.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Quite shocking, even when you have some knowledge that it was going on. The Brit who moved from the Amazon Basin to the US "because they need help just as much" says it all.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Charity should not be a solution.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by kimilseung View Post
Charity should not be a solution.
I agree.

And having been involved in a small way with a local charity, it is an extremely inefficient attempt at a solution.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
I've been to a couple of "Taste of the Nation" events run by "Share Our Strength" here in Phoenix and they have been great fundraisers. I've also donated to the local food bank here but it feels like a drop in the ocean.
totally understand...

... And then I am reminded of this story...
http://www.ordinarypeoplechangethewo...ish-story.aspx

And on the subject of charity not being the solution...

Don't give a man fish (and feed him for a day)... Teach him TO fish...AND mend his nets... (so he can feed himself and family every day...)

If you do THAT pro bono, is it still charity, and does it matter?
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post

Don't give a man fish (and feed him for a day)... Teach him TO fish...AND mend his nets... (so he can feed himself and family every day...)
Not sure about the analogy in the current situation...stop nicking all the fish off him when the boat comes in.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Not sure about the analogy in the current situation...stop nicking all the fish off him when the boat comes in.
My point is that typically many of us associate giving of something tangible - fish in this case - as charity.

But giving expertise (& time to train it) could also be seen as charity... And also a more preferential solution for the recipient... Who gets greater independence, self respect, purpose in life etc etc.

Not sure about your reference to 'nicking all the fish' so happy to get your guidance on that!
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Originally Posted by HarryTheSpider View Post
My point is that typically many of us associate giving of something tangible - fish in this case - as charity.

But giving expertise (& time to train it) could also be seen as charity... And also a more preferential solution for the recipient... Who gets greater independence, self respect, purpose in life etc etc.

Not sure about your reference to 'nicking all the fish' so happy to get your guidance on that!
I think the problems we are seeing at the moment are not because workers are untrained, although greater access to education could help some of them. More about suddenly losing a job and therefore housing and medical care. I say the fat cats are nicking a lot of the fish.
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Old Feb 13th 2012, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Feel sorry for these kids - but the rat story doesn't make any sense, unless the child in question comes from an abusive home.

Not an expert in the US welfare system by any stretch but my wife and mother in law were on welfare/food stamps for a number of years so I ran it past them. Certainly nowhere near a perfect system (health insurance etc..) but there were options to put food on the table beyond what the state and the schools give out - local charities (in Vegas they have Mormon humanitarian groups) soup kitchens, churches, food banks, food pantries, shelters etc. Have seen families in rural parts that hunt for food and eat stuff like squirrel - rats though?

Glad to say that the school in the BBC clip was awarded $100,000 from Target and now receives daily donations from local businesses. It has been able to start a trust fund to help impoverished kids get to college.

Last edited by HumphreyC; Feb 13th 2012 at 11:01 pm.
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Old Feb 14th 2012, 7:40 am
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Oh, and the constant digs at Obama were rather annoying. I thought the BBC was supposed to be impartial. I can't believe it's all his fault!
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Old Feb 14th 2012, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Poverty in the USA

Income inequality in the US is shameful. No wonder Warren Buffett thinks it's only fair that he pays the same proportion of tax as the middle class.

There are too many right wing ideological nutters over there.
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