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View Diary: "Americans React to the Poor with Disgust" (139 comments)

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  •  Outstanding diary (17+ / 0-)

    I have worked in social services for my entire career. Once in awhile I have opportunity to educate groups of students or propsective donors about poverty adn social issues. I find that most people are not cruel, but thoughtless.  There is a human tendency to break things down into a simple explantion. It's why we are so receptive to sound bites and memes, and even why some of the spats on this site due to either/or; black/white; binary thinking.

    The message I try convey, with some success, is that people may find themselves stuck in poverty due to bad luck, bad choices, bad circumstances, or a combination thereof. The common element is usually that if one thing goes wrong then other things start to unravel and it goes from bad to worse.

    Kid gets sick, miss work, lose job, can't pay for both rent and car, let the car go, can't find work on the bus line, etc. etc. etc.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:31:54 AM PDT

    •  Thanks CN...much appreciated (6+ / 0-)

      I teach and run into the same issue--students trying to find the magic bullet (usually education) but have trouble seeing the other factors that create poverty, especially in the urban area where I live and work.

      What's frustrating is when I talk to adults who should know better and I get the same answers as from the kids...  

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:37:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Education as magic bullet (4+ / 0-)

        Wonder where they get that idea, what with every pundit and politician and teacher hammeing away with that simple message.

        And remember, that as the "not poor" peer across the great divide at the "poor", things are just as hard to see from the other side. It must look so easy - get a skill, get a job, everything should fall into place.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 11:57:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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