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  •  So you came after me -- (0+ / 0-)

    -- because somebody, two weeks ago or more, came after you?

    Oh.  Okay.

    •  No, because you said the same thing we've all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd, FloridaSNMOM

      heard before, countless times, in any diary that mentions lack of money. I do wish my tone was a bit better, though.

      Get 10% off with KATALOGUE2013 at my shop, or go to the Kos Katalogue!

      by LoreleiHI on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:05:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

        Please elucidate . . . ..

        •  because ANY time anyone writes about food (5+ / 0-)

          and poverty - someone comes along and tells us to eat more beans and rice and tofu.  Every. Single. Time.  And some of us have food issues - most of us have food issues actually that have diaried about it - and we're poor, not stupid.

          We know about the benefits of rice, beans and tofu - IF you can eat it.  But that is a big if.  I'm allergic to soy for example - tofu is not a good food choice for me.  More than a couple meals of rice and beans personally and I get so sick at the idea of eating it that it triggers anorexia - which is far worse for my body given my other health issues.

          So while this was pretty nice -  it was still the same old same old - and limiting the choices of poor people (even by suggestion) to rice, beans and tofu is NOT COOL.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:38:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let me add to LoreleiHI (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, JamieG from Md

          ...as someone who has been low income all my adult life and I am 60 years old, the issue here that makes we po' folks touchy is that, look, we know all the ways to make ends meet.  Believe me, we already know about the beans, and the tofu, etc.  

          I am not saying you have this intention but ...sometimes suggestions like that appear to be judgements about people that somehow they are "wasting" their small incomes. No, we cannot "waste" something that does not even pay the electric bill or bus fare to get to work. We know how to make every dollar stretch until it snaps, but that stretched dollar is not enough. so making suggestions as if we can stretch that dollar more is beyond ...obvious.

          Upper income folks are kind of ignorant about the situation of American poverty. They do not understand that poverty is not a "choice". Poverty is an institution..  The most annoying about this gross misconception is that somehow people choose to be poor ~ and choose to "waste" their small incomes, and choose to endure the blame and stereotypes that haunt us.

          Let me educate a little about this Poverty Institution ~ and PLEASE go tell your other upper income friends about this so they understand better. It would sure help because this thing about choosing poverty makes for a great deal of terrible laws and policies:

          in-sti-tu-tion noun

          a well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, as marriage: the institution of the family.
          5.
          any established law, custom, etc.

          The poverty institution is based on the reliability upon racism, sexism (including LGBTQ), ageism, classism, and disabilities. The poor are far from being a "burden", indeed the poor are one of the cornerstones of the upper income's ability to maintain their positions.

          1. Charities
          You will notice that usually 2nd on the list for the reason to promote tax breaks for the rich is for "charitable contributions". Most of the time these "contributions" are just a domestic Cayman Islands for the rich who actually contribute little or nothing after their tax breaks. They use mega-non-profits to get their tax breaks, employ their relatives in 6 figure positions, and then pat themselves on the back that they are "helping the wittle baybees". But often less than 20% of their "contributions" are actually carried out in their mission and services to their clients is minimal. On the average these mega-n0ons bring in about $52,000-$67,000 per client yet only give less than $2000 in direct services. Their services are punitive, and do little to assist with the real needs of a family or person. It should also be noted that these mega-nons bring in $Millions in government grants and contracts.

          I might add to not include small non-profits here who are actually doing the REAL work on the ground. Not only do they operate on a budget that would not pay the salary of a DSHS manager, they do 10 X the work. They do not get government funding or contracts because they are not schmoozing with the politicians and policy makers, and they do not know rich people who would even understanding their very important missions.

          So as you can see in mega-charities alone who usually where people with no income or little incomes, are USING the poor for their enrichment.

          2. Work
          This is two fold because not only do the poor perform cheap labor that enriches the upper classes, they also create employment for those same classes.  The upper classes are employed in many ways: as "gatekeepers", in the government, with mega-nons, in contracted private businesses, for people with disabilities (the hi-tech industry for instance charges heueuege prices for "adaptive equipment" for computers and other types of media access).  So now whenever one of your upper income buddies snark, "How many jobs does a poor person create?" You have an answer: The poor create lots of jobs for all other classes. In social work, in the health fields, in non-profits, in the colleges, in hi-tech and with private industry to name a few.

          3. What is "work"?
          When Welfare Reform was codified into law, it also codified something else: unpaid work. It in essence says this work is "doing nothing" or in other words adding nothing to our communities, WRONG!
          The truth about this unpaid work is that it actually adds quite a few things to our communities. Whenever anyone asks me why they should "support other people's kids", I ask them back: "With your question, my question is; Why should my kids support you when you can no longer support yourself? Why should my kids support your Social Security, why should they fight in your wars, why should they maintain and run your infrastructures, and why should they take care of you when you can no longer care for yourself?"
          But this unpaid work is not only for the care of children. It is also about caring for one's elders, and one's spouses as well ~ all requiring the agonized decisions as to whether to work for a wage or the 24/7 care for a loved one. In an AARP study they found that unpaid care SAVES us over $450 BN per year if we had to replace this labor with institutions for women to go out there making rich men richer saying, "Do you want fries with that?" Labor statistics say women who are the most impacted by unpaid care, will LOSE in a work lifetime over $275,000 in lost wages ~ the AARP says these losses are over $400,000. http://www.aarp.org/...
          Social Security calls these unpaid years "zero years" meaning that this time served is not counted in their calculations.  Not only are women forced to live off the person they are caring for while caring for them, they have ZERO to show for it after this person dies or grows up. You would be stunned at the many women who have done this work living in their cars and in shelters because there is no supp0ort for them at all.

          Yet Welfare Reform calls all this work "doing nothing". They refuse to support this work and tell people that the only "work" is paid work and that there is no other way to contribute to their communities.

          People in poverty are caught up in a sticky web of an Institution that seldom lets them go ~ much of the reason being they are depended upon by the upper classes for their own comforts and security.  There are few escapes from this spider's web of deception.  The few who have escaped this Institution are shoved in the face of the poor to "prove" that they can also escape, but this is an illusion.

          So whenever someone gives these suggestions as if the person is somehow "wasting" what little they have, this is in many ways another way to hide society's responsibility as to the perpetuation of poverty.  It is saying, "it is your fault, if only you did not "choose" your situation..."

          I know this is not what you meant, I am just saying that poverty is a complicated and quite embedded economic and social condition that needs a better answer than blaming each person for something they cannot escape, no matter how much tofu or beans they eat.

          I really want to thank you for asking your question and I hope you wanted a real answer. Most of all I do hope this helps you understand enough so that you go out there and discuss these things with your friends!

          Love, Cat in Seattle
          Board member of People Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (P.O.W.E.R.)
          http://www.mamapoer.org

          PeeEss: POWER is one of those small nons that operate on less than a DSHS manager's salary yet do 10 X the work.  If you want to contribute there is a place to contact someone to do some work for people in need and/or to make a donation

          First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they hurt you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi

          by mntleo2 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:36:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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