Skip to main content

View Diary: "People are poor because of the bad choices they make" (39 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Coffetalk is republican lite. Not have children if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee, Annalize5

    not married. So what to do with the children if husband is soldier and killed fighting oil war or simply leaves fo r another woman who then supports him so he doesn't have to pay child support... Ah yeah let em die.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Did you read my comment or the link? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, arizonablue

      I said I fully realize that sometimes people have circumstances happen to them, like the ones you mentioned.

      But there is clearly a link between single teenaged girls have children and poverty.   Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but it IS that way. A girl who has a first child at 16 and drops out of school is much more likely to be poor than a girl who doesn't have a child, stays focused on school, and gets training in a marketable skill.  Do you disagree with that?

      True, it is sometimes harder for a teenaged girl in a disadvantaged family to make the "right" decision ("right" in the sense that it gives her the best chance making a decent living for herself).  I understand that.  Making certain decisions is easier for some than for others.  That said, it's irresponsible to imply that one's own decisions -- whether they are easy to make or difficult to make -- have NOTHING to do with one's own financial circumstances.  

      As a woman, I think we need to tell young women the truth -- that if you have a child at 16, you are making it more difficult for yourself to get to a place where you will earn a decent living, so that is a bad decision to make.  If you make a mistake and make that bad decision, you are going to have to work harder to overcome it.  

      •  Admirable but totally a "Don't Do Drugs" (0+ / 0-)

        kind of thinking. It hasn't worked since god knows when. Sixteen year olds will continue to copulate, they won't use birth control, they will get pregnant and all your good advice will be for absolutely nothing

        As a woman, I think we need to tell young women the truth -- that if you have a child at 16, you are making it more difficult for yourself to get to a place where you will earn a decent living, so that is a bad decision to make.  If you make a mistake and make that bad decision, you are going to have to work harder to overcome it.  
        It hasn't worked since god knows when. Sixteen year olds will continue to copulate, they won't use birth control, they will get pregnant and all your good advice will be for absolutely nothing. Mind, this is no new thing...been going on since the "you show me yours, i'll show you mine" game..."same game, under the porch".
        •  Seriously? that's the attitude you think we (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          should take?  Sort of "you're going to have unprotected sex anyway, so if you end up dropping out of high school with no skills and with children to support, it's not your fault at all that you are poor."

          Or should we say, even to teenagers, the following: your actions have long-term consequences.  If you have unprotected sex, and have children, as a teenager, you will make things more difficult for yourself and you will make it more likely that you end up poor, and you will have to work harder to bring yourself and your family into the middle class.  Yes, if you make that bad decision, we will provide opportunities for you to help yourself and your family, but it won't be easy, and that's in part a consequence of your decisions.   So try to make wise decisions.

          I vote option 2.  

          •  So as long as you acknowledge that even people (0+ / 0-)

            who do everything right can still end up screwed, we will admit that there are some things that you can do that will guarantee you end up in the shitter.  Having children before you have finished high school(and some college), not finishing high school, not thinking about what you actually want to do with your life(kids without rich parents have little room for error), doing drugs, getting arrested, marrying the wrong person(someone that has a drug or alcohol problem).  But all that said, we do not pay people a living wage in this country.  I refer you to the GPS program that Fareed Zaharia just did on job creation in other countries.  It is organized and thoughtful and not left completely to the capitalist market.  We have to admit that our job creation and training system in this country is broken and we are NOT preparing the vast majority of young people for a productive work life.  

            •  I agree that the best thing we can do (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              for people below the poverty line is (1) provide them with the opportunity and skills to get a job that pays a living wage; and (2) improve our economy so that we are creating jobs for people with such skills and that pay a living wage.  As I linked to elsewhere, the more education, the more pay AND the less unemployment; this downturn, like most, is hardest on those with little education and/or no marketable skill set.  

              Assuming that we will create lots of jobs that pay enough for that student who borrowed $100,000 to get a degree in Drama is completely unrealistic.  No one in the real world is willing to pay very much (with the exception of the rare Hollywood star) for that skill or degree.  Ditto for a number of things -- arts & crafts, philosophy (absent some graduate degree), etc.  We need to steer people to realistic expectations of what their degree or non-degree training will do for them. If you choose to make pottery (like my friend), or you want to be an actor in local theater, or you want to be an artist, you have to be realistic about the kind of income you reasonably can expect to earn from that. (I have friends in all three areas who are struggling, but went into it with their eyes open.) On the other hand, setting a goal of creating more jobs for degrees in health care, engineering, architecture, accounting, marketing, computers and IT, business management, machinist skills, plumbers, electricians, health care workers, bookkeepers, auto mechanics, HVAC technicians, etc. -- skills that people will pay others to do -- should be paramount.  That should include not only jobs that require degrees, but also jobs that require a high school diploma and some skilled training.

              So long as we have a whole lot of people willing to do jobs that don't require a high school diploma or any particular skill, I can't see wages for those kinds of jobs increasing significantly.  People who do not have skills or training to do anything other than unskilled labor or maybe working in a fast-food restaurant are just not going to see significant increases in what they can earn.    It's a matter of supply and demand. That's why we need to make it clear to young people that they can improve their chances through (1) no children born absent two parents with stable jobs to support the children; (2) education; (3) marketable skills -- and we need to follow through on making sure our economy creates more of those kinds of jobs.  

      •  Causation the other direction (0+ / 0-)

        Someone in an abandoned school district with an abstinence only curriculum, no family doctor, and no role models for being a woman who defers childbearing, is coming from behind on making good decisions.

        Staying in high school is not just a matter of choice. The family has to be able to afford a member without an income.

        You are right that choices matter but there is a risk of using that as an excuse for inaction.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site