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Boot straps

Posted by david52 z5CO (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 10:55

The linked article is written by a self-described "Rockerfeller Republican" who, over the past 15 years, has come to view the world somewhat differently. It touches on the differential treatment in the justice system, photo-ids, cultural ignorance, etc.

excerpt:

"I dove into the research literature to try to figure out what was going on. It turned out that everything I was "discovering" had been hiding in plain sight and had been named: aversive racism, institutional racism, disparate impact and disparate treatment, structural poverty, neighborhood redlining, the "trial tax," the "poverty tax," and on and on. Having grown up obsessed with race (welfare and affirmative action were our betes noirs), I wondered why I had never heard of any of these concepts.

Was it to protect our Republican version of "individual responsibility"? That notion is fundamental to the liberal Republican worldview. "Bootstrapping" and "equality of opportunity, not outcomes" make perfect sense if you assume, as I did, that people who hadn't risen into my world simply hadn't worked hard enough, or wanted it badly enough, or had simply failed. But I had assumed that bootstrapping required about as much as it took to get yourself promoted from junior varsity to varsity. It turns out that it's more like pulling yourself up from tee-ball to the World Series. Sure, some people do it, but they're the exceptions, the outliers, the Olympians.

The enormity of the advantages I had always enjoyed started to truly sink in. Everyone begins life thinking that his or her normal is the normal. For the first time, I found myself paying attention to broken eggs rather than making omelets. "

In many ways, this mirrors my own journey.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Boot straps

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 11:28

Wow, quite an article.

Recent studies have shown that in the US it is almost impossible to "boot-strap" from the lower to the middle or middle to upper class, though it's terrifyingly easy to go the other way. Opportunities don't exist, education is terrible, innovation and the opportunity to start a business take huge amounts of money, so to get rich you have to be rich. The few that make it are so unusual, they get written up in newspapers and magazines.

I work in public health (there are no republicans in public health), and am brought face to face with these realities on a daily basis. It's heartbreaking to see children, 4, 5 and 6 years old, smart, eager to learn, happy, and know, just by looking at their address, what their future is.

Attending inner city public schools is pretty much a sentence to lifetime failure - poor reading and math skills, no idea how to get a job, and no job skills and no future. And it goes on for generation after generation.


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What is aversive racism? It has an etymological ring of an oxymoron.


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According to the following report, upward mobility is very difficult, if not impossible for many.

"Report: Poor People Pretty Much Fu##ed

WASHINGTON According to the results of an intensive two-year study, Americans living below the poverty line are "pretty much fu##ed," Center for Social and Economic Research executive director Jameson Park announced Monday.

"Although poor people have never had it particularly sweet, America has long been considered the land of opportunity, where upward class mobility is hard work's reward," Park said. "However, our study shows that limited access to quality education and a shortage of employment opportunities in depressed areas all but ensure that, once fu##ed, an individual tends to stay fu##ed."

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 34.6 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 2002.

"Not only are the down-and-out fu##ed, but the number of down-and-out fu##s is growing," Park said. "Conditions of disadvantage are often passed from one generation to the next, making it especially difficult for young people to emerge from the cycle of poverty."

"Man, my heart goes out to those poor fu###rs," Park added.

America's increasingly rigid class system worsens the situation for the poor.

"After analyzing the economic performance of U.S. households over the past several decades, we concluded that class mobility, while steady in the '70s and '80s, declined in the '90s," Park said. "About 40 percent of families ended the decade in the same economic strata in which they began it. That's up from about 35 percent in the '80s. That's good news for those sittin' pretty, but it spells 'f##k you' to the poor."

As a result, Park said, there are more poor people, and those poor people are much more screwed than poor people were a decade or two ago.

"As the split between the upper and lower classes grows, and the middle class continues to shrink, we're moving closer and closer to what can only be called a 'no way out, dude. Sorry, you're fu##ed'-type situation," Park said. "Not only are the poor fu##ed at the moment, but any chance they once had of changing their miserable lives is pretty much gone, too. Essentially, they're fu##ed for all time."

The CSER study identified four major poverty groups within the U.S. The first two groups one composed of disenfranchised blue-collar workers, the other made up of members of poor rural populations have been adversely affected by the nation's gradual shift to a technology-based, global economy. Researchers have dubbed disenfranchised blue-collar workers the Factory Fu##ed, while members of poor rural populations are called the Farm Fu##ed. Park characterized the individuals in these two groups as "fu##ed from the get-go."

The other two rapidly expanding groups of poor fu##s are the suburban poor, whose members can't afford the rising cost of such basic necessities as healthcare, and the urban underclass, whose members are found in the nation's troubled inner cities. Researchers termed these groups the Recently Fu##ed and the Utterly Fu##ed, respectively.

Economist Harold Knoep said there's little reason for sympathy.

"In a healthy capitalist economy, some people are going to be out-competed," Knoep said. "I'm sorry, but some of those fu##-ups have fu##ed themselves. I am not condoning an anarchic 'f##k or be fu##ed' ethos, but I can hardly get behind a welfare state that punishes the unfu##ed by fu##ing all equally."

While he expressed concern for the nation's poor, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said increased funding for social programs isn't the answer.

"Nobody's saying poor people aren't fu##ed," Hastert said. "But what about all the people in this great nation who are not fu##ed? If the financial resources of the economically stable are diverted through some well-intentioned but fiscally irresponsible social-service program�to the people who are fu##ed, where does that leave those who were sailin' along fine? Fu##ed."

Ed Cranston, an under-employed, Detroit-area machinist who made $14,000 last year, said he was not surprised by the report.

"They say I'm fu##ed?" Cranston asked. "$hit, man, tell me something I don't know."


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Good, really good, article.

Never being sure here on HT which questions are rhetorical, I Googled "aversive racism"...

... based on the idea that evaluations of racial/ethnic minorities are characterized by a persistent avoiding of any interaction whatsoever with that of other racial and ethnic groups. As opposed to old-fashioned racism, which is characterized by overt hatred for and discrimination against racial/ethnic minorities.

The subtle racial behaviors of any ethnic or racial group act who rationalize their aversion to a particular group based on majority rules and stereotypes. (Wiki)

I don't know if I ever, personally, had an epiphany moment. Until college my world was blindingly white and I didn't have any preconceived notions about things I basically knew nothing about or experienced firsthand. My parents were university educated, were balanced with a sense of social justice, voted Democratic. I grew into things with a pretty clean slate as regarding my fellow human beings, and I pretty well managed to carry that through my life so far.

In truth, any bootstraps I had were to keep foorwear in place, and not to pull myself up with. I don't have a compelling personal narrative. Would I be a better person if I did - or just a different one?


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I though it meant something like that. IOW, segregation.


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guess that kind of debunks Demifloyd's aruguments, doesn't it.

Doesn't she frequently talk about such things or types of things. work hard, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, kind of stuff?

HMM, seems she doesn't really know what she is talking about, does it?


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Markjames - you neglected to mention your article was dated 2003 and from "The Onion".

I was interested in the article on Joe Biden hitchhiking to the DNC, but my f##.... limit was reached.

pn - I think segregation would be too narrow. Seems aversive racism affects the subconscious behavior - one might be completely unaware of one's own bias and how that bias affects behavior.

Almost as if it's a subtle bias based more on ignorance than maliciousness.

I suppose those who interact with minorities on an equal footing might be less likely to have hidden prejudices. Maybe as an employer, or one dispensing benefits, something too subtle to recognize or put a finger on might creep in.


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There's often much truth behind satire. I don't question any of that or the seemingly insurmountable difficulty in being upwardly mobile in these times... just think MJ should have cited his source.


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It's more a case of "never having walked in those shoes" so it's easier to justify, and perhaps a little bit of "blind political belief syndrome", I'm thinking, Littleone... or maybe it's a case of "avid consumers of Republican-oriented media are more poorly informed than people who use other news sources or don�t bother to follow the news at all."

But there ARE big discrepancies between the way some people think or say it is, and the way it truly is in reality.

The truth is, "it's more like pulling yourself up from tee-ball to the World Series", unless you are given a good set of bootstraps to begin with, and nothing untoward happens to you along the way.

Life has taught me many things, and one of those things is that opportunity is not equal for everyone. It may have been easier to rise through the classes at one time, but that time has passed. And I've learned that being informed means reading from as many sources as possible, and not choosing just one point of view to look at.

It's very true that we begin our journey in life thinking that our norm IS the norm... for everyone. But then, as we grow and our world opens up, we learn many new and sometimes surprising things. I use the term "the big picture" quite often, but I wonder at times if everyone really knows what that means. It means everything, globally, including what goes on behind curtains and closed doors, from the most poverty stricken to the wealthiest, from the innermost city to the most outlying areas, and includes every people everywhere, and in every circumstance on earth... it means including everything.

I'd like to write more, but don't have the time, and so, I shall revisit this thread at a later hour.


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 16:20

Here's a recent article

Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.

At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) - a country famous for its class constraints.

One reason for the mobility gap may be the depth of American poverty, which leaves poor children starting especially far behind. Another may be the unusually large premiums that American employers pay for college degrees. Since children generally follow their parents - educational trajectory, that premium increases the importance of family background and stymies people with less schooling.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Harder for Americans to rise...


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we are less economically mobile than Europe!


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Posted by littleonefb z5MA (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 16, 12 at 15:16

guess that kind of debunks Demifloyd's aruguments, doesn't it.

Doesn't she frequently talk about such things or types of things. work hard, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, kind of stuff?

HMM, seems she doesn't really know what she is talking about, does it?

*

You just love to bring my name up, don't you littleone?

Yea, I do know what I'm taking about when it comes to bootstraps.

You see, I did it, my family did it, my husband did it, his father did it, and I know a lot of people that do it.

I don't know one person that spent their time typing on a forum whining about their lot in life and what others have that did it or waiting for someone else to do it for them, though.

Not ONE.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--if you can't make it in the United States of America, you can't make it anywhere.

If you can't make it in the United States of America, look in the mirror for the reason why you haven't.


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I've said it before and I'll say it again--if you can't make it in the United States of America, you can't make it anywhere.

Demi, I'm going to disagree with this one. Hear me out on the reasoning.

While the USA is rife with jobs, opportunity, and the potential for upward mobility... there are many other places, mostly in first and second world countries, with that same potential.

The difference, as I see it, comes in some of the social programs between the different countries. A serious medical illness could force a family in the USA into bankruptcy that would not in some other countries. Perhaps the cost of an education is too much, an education that would be cheaper or free in another country.

Now, while I don't doubt that there are ways that most people could work their way through these problems (get an extra job to afford education, work your way back after a bankruptcy), I think it still stands that it would be easier to "make it" in a different country.

So, I think that should be revised to "if you can't make it in the United States of America, you could still make it somewhere else."


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It is a fact that one poor generation leads into another and then another and then another. You ever stop and ask yourself if the government quit keeping people down by throwing money at them instead of lifting them up to train and educate them this chain of poverty could be broken?

Demi is absolutely right. I came from nothing, very poor, had nothing to eat lots of times. Won't go into too much detail, but I was an average kid, didn't have any family members for role models, not even a parent to help me study or show me what it would be like to achieve greatness. I lived in bad neighborhoods and was physically and mentally abused for 15 years. What I did have was a desire to do better for me, determination and a good work ethic. So I finished high school and went on to work. For that matter I was working part time my senior year. I didn't have the luxury of spring breaks or vacations. Vacations, what the heck is that? Never had one in my life. I went out and made a good life for me, nice car, nice apt., nice clothes, food to eat, etc. Oh, and I took the bus till I was 23 years old. God forbid if a kid today had to take public transit. My first car was a 69 Ford Falcon and come complete with over 200,000 miles, holes in the floor and no brakes!! Paid $100 for that gem. After I saved enough for a better car, I went on to buy a new car every 4-5 years. I took jobs that offered security like insurance and health coverage. I did all the responsible things on my own with no one's help.

If the truth be told the percentage of people who really can't make a better life for themsleves due to physical or mental infirmity is very small compared to the number of people we have walking around taking government money saying "oh poor me, poor me."


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So, I think that should be revised to "if you can't make it in the United States of America, you could still make it somewhere else."

*

Okay, Hamiltongardener. I'll go along with that.

I agree that times have changed somewhat with health care costs skyrocketing so much, but yes, with perseverance and determination and good decisions, everyone can make it.

(I always include the caveat, if you have your health and aren't mentally unstable).

Everyone has opportunity--everyone can go to public schools, and everyone can get into college if they want.
You only have to work a couple of jobs and save money, go at night, or work at night, go to junior college, online, join the armed forces for an education--there are many, many ways.

Not everyone has the same background, the same family support, the same type of education available, but everyone has it. Everyone has a chance if they don't bog themselves down early with a marriage, children, an arrest record, debt, and/or sloth.


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GM you have a sad story but one of many. I worked with disadvantage kids. Where I think you miss is the very thing I heard during the RNC.....The appreciation of who gave you the bootstraps.

Are you missing who feed you, who educated you, who gave you the job? You were not born with those straps that you profess that you pulled up.

If as you say you did not have a parent to help you study. Did you have a teacher? Did you starve to death? Did you plant a money tree and picked the money off of it to buy the car? I say look back and be grateful for the straps.

What would have happened if you had been hurt and had medical issues that required expensive meds, before you got insurance? You were this poor and there was not federal assistance? Do you think because now you do not need help now and you suffered it is something you would like to see another 15 yr old experience? Does it make you feel good to think a 15 yr old is out hungry and so what you are not hungry now?

That is where I see this whole I, I, I, I me myself and I. It just sounds so crass to me. I don't get it maybe I needed to suffer more to get that thought of the only about me and not my money to understand you and Demi.


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Marquest, it does not seem to me that you are trying to understand.

Conservatives are sick of being falsely characterized and judged this way.

I have yet to see a conservative, including myself say anything other than we have compassion and want everyone to succeed, have health care, good educations, and opportunities and encouragement to be the very best that they can be.

The difference is we don't believe that redistribution of wealth and throwing other people's money at a problem is always the answer, especially in view of the waste and track record of the government in administering programs that so often only hurt the people they were intended to help--we now have more people than ever on food stamps and five or more generations of people dependent on welfare for a lifetime--just getting by in poverty and not required to do anything to get out of it by the government that perpetuates the problem.

The present administration, contrary to what I thought might happen, has done more in my opinion to polarize and cause discord between citizens of this country with socioeconomic warfare.

Thus, we see posts where people accuse conservatives of only caring about their money and not people. Why do you do this when you know full well I've never said anything of the sort and neither has any conservative here, at least that I can recall? Why do you feel it necessary to state what you think I care about? Or any other poster? Why can't we just have our opinions without you being judge and jury on a personal level?

HUH?

I want to be able to care for myself, not have what we have spent a lifetime carefully saving and planning, be taken and squandered, perpetuating the problems, then in the end I'm dependent on the government myself because of it. I don't want to see more money thrown at people, I want to see them realize their potential and care for themselves.

No one should be on government assistance other than for a very temporary period, unless they are permanently disabled.


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Demi, you keep referencing those who spend their times on the computer whining about their lot in life, about what others have that did it, and waiting for others to do it for them.

As long as I have been a member of this forum, you have fairly often made references to these poor people you know who spend their time on the computer indulging in this whining and wanting what everyone else has.

You said that not one successful person you know has ever done that. Not one.

So, in fairness regarding this discussion please discuss more about those you know actually do spend their time on the computer whining and wanting someone to give them - whatever -, please?

Just one, just a single story about person you personally know and the state of their life which seems to compels them to sit behind a computer whining about what they don't have, why they want what others do have and keep wanting others to give it to them -

because I have never in my entire life ever known a single solitary person who EVER did such a thing. Not one, not ever.

Is it just one person in perhaps your family or neighborhood or social circle who does it and it just irritates you to no end - as it would me too, frankly.

I wouldn't ever assume that because that I knew one person who spent their time in such envy and expressed it on the computer all day, I wouldn't decide that it was a national trend in behavior of the poor. I'd realize it was one person who didn't seem to be able to get their act together and I would wonder why. Mental illness, too much rejection in the work force since 2008, I would wonder what it was that ended them in that chair behind the computer with the behavior online that you suggest you know so many indulge in.

Is it an entire group, large percentage of people that you know or is in your family, social circle or neighorhood that are poor and sits on the computer whining about it instead of using all their resources to try to get by in this bad ecomony?

I don't know a single solitary person who does. I can't get over the difference in our lives, you are apparently much more financially comfortable than am I and yet you are so familiar with so many who do this while I am unaware of even a single person I know who does this.

Those I know who lost everything startig in 2008 are way too busy being productive in any way they can find to be. They spend about as much time on the computer as do I - not much at *all*, often not even logging on for a few days at a time. If even that.

Please elaborate more about the person or so many of all thoses you know or are around so much, who spend all their lives on the computer whining about their financial lives?

I'm really shocked at the differences between the two of us regarding our personal experiences with the people around us.

I'm not financially comfortable to the degree that you seem to me to be (everything is perception, I understand you could actually be as poor as a church mouse) -

but I'm comfortable enough to be content with my lot in life which my husband and I also worked terribly hard for (while raising our children at the same time both working full time, always, myself to my own personal retirement, he continues his second career)

and I've never felt that anyone wanted to be given what I had simply because I had it and they didn't, or to be simply taken care rather than the choice of working a living wage job.

Not one person.

I hope you will tell us about your experiences with these people so I can better understand where you are coming from.


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mylab123, you turned on my light, I guess that is why it is so hard for me to understand. This description Demi and others describe is just never anybody I have ever known. These people are not family members or somebody I know so I cannot understand the description.

Demi I did not read any further than...The difference is we don't believe that redistribution of wealth and throwing other people's money at a problem is always the answer,

It is not useful info for me because I cannot wrap my mind a description of throwing other people's money at a problem GM's story of being hungry to my mind is not throwing my money at a problem. To me that is a problem I cannot think of it as throwing as a term I can wrap myself in and feel human. Animalistic but not a feeling human being. Awww no.

Maybe tomorrow I can read the rest of your response.


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Mylab, I understand the intent of your post.

I'll give you points for a good try, however, in trying so hard to point out the differences you think there are between us.

I will tell you that I believe that you and I are not unalike--that we want the same things for ourselves and our fellow man. I just happen to believe that compassion combined with tough love and personal responsibility is the best way to ensure that those goals are reached.

I believe that I said that I don't know of a person that pulled themselves up by their bootstraps by whining about their life and their problems day in and day out on a computer.

You wasted your time in not being careful in reading, though.

I did not say I knew individuals that did these things, I said I didn't know anyone that pulled themselves up by their bootstraps that spent their time regularly on a computer (or a coffee shop, or a domino table or on a barstool or anywhere else for that matter) complaining about their life and how it wasn't fair.

I do have experiences with people from all walks of life and socioeconomic groups and indeed, maintain friendships with people that live below the poverty level, people that are in the upper 1%, and everywhere between.

I consider that diversity in my life and relationships one of my greatest blessings because I am able to literally see from other people's points of view, and see what decisions they made that have affected their lives, and what uncontrollable factors affected, and were allowed to affect their lives.


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I want to know what people are drinking when they are sitting here talking on this forum because some of the questions and comments are so distorted I can't make sense of them. I'm also going to keep my comments short because it's obvious some of what I'm saying is not being understood and then explanations are requested and gee I don't want to spend the night here, as much as I love all of you.


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The mere idea that any person can become wealthy "on their own" is so simplistic and betrays such a lack of understanding of how societies actually operate that there is indeed no point in arguing the subject.


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Everyone has opportunity--everyone can go to public schools, and everyone can get into college if they want.
You only have to work a couple of jobs and save money, go at night, or work at night, go to junior college, online, join the armed forces for an education--there are many, many ways.

Not everyone has the same background, the same family support, the same type of education available, but everyone has it. Everyone has a chance if they don't bog themselves down early with a marriage, children, an arrest record, debt, and/or sloth.

I get what you're saying Demi. In my own small microcosm, I would be exactly the posterchild for what you are talking about.

I spent the early part of my life on the reservation. Us "ethnically challenged" people aren't supposed to be able to better ourselves. My parents divorced so I come from a single parent family. A number of my peers got into drug use or drinking in high school, while I stayed away from it. A number of them dropped out or skipped so much they failed classes. I stuck with it. I had not a dime from my family for university because they didn't have the money. Between working, grants, and student loans, I went anyway. I also became a single mother, but continued working and persuing my education, I did NOT want to go on welfare like so many of my friends did. So I completely and utterly get what you are saying about personal responsibility and bootstraps. For the most part, I agree. I've watched plenty of people game the system or give up without trying just because they are told "It's not your fault."

HOWEVER, I also realize how quickly some of that could have changed for me. A car accident, an illness. If my son had been surprise twins or triplets, I would have never been able to afford the daycare, let alone survive on a part-time job and student loans. Post-secondary education costs are very low here, and student loans are available. Health care costs are very low here, with basic and emergency coverage being universal... you can get an education without having to worry about losing your employer's coverage.

So yes, I agree that people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but I also believe that those bootstraps (low cost education, student loans, healthcare, daycare if necessary, retraining for injured workers, etc) will need to be provided for those people who come from families who cannot provide for them.

It's teaching a man to fish, right?

If those above services are provided to society, then you are right. Healthy and mentally stable individuals need to take advantage of them and pull themselves up.


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Bootstraps are there

Hamiltongardener, YES YES YES!

Your life and life decisions are a perfect example.

And of course, I know that people have uncontrollable setbacks--I noted that, but the fact of the matter is it is how we react to those setbacks that further define our lives.

No one can overcome everything bad that happens to them to put them on a completely level playing field, or even level to where they were before. No one the same starting point--to some that think that people born with money were, well, some of those people don't have the advantage of having the same type of loving, sacrificing parents that some impoverished child might.

What's that that is repeated here all the time, "if you haven't walked a mile in my shoes....?" That holds true for EVERYONE, not just people that go through life thinking they got a raw deal.

Most setbacks and circumstances are temporary, or not enough to keep people from doing better or meeting their goals, if only adjusted a little.

At the very least, the time spent making excuses, complaining, blaming others and resenting what others have can be better spent making one's own life better.

At the very, very least--that time spent could be spent with a positive attitude instead of a negative attitude.


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"Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll sit in a boat all day drinking beer!" I dunno... it was something I read somewhere that I thought was kinda funny!

But seriously...

"The mere idea that any person can become wealthy "on their own" is so simplistic and betrays such a lack of understanding of how societies actually operate..."

An accurate assessment. No one is alone in any pursuit. A person relies on not just those who have come before and built the roads, the schools, and those who perform all the public services that keep a nation moving, keep it safe, keep commerce moving, etc... but all the people who teach, who offer services, who offer jobs, or who work for them, and on and on. There is no "me" or "I" in a person's built fortune. That's a very small and blinded world view.

I'm not sure that some people without physical limitations understand exactly how limiting many can be. It often occurs to me that some people who appear to spend more time on computers may, in fact, not have a choice... because they are either disabled to an extent where sitting is necessary, or they do a lot of work that earns income on said machine.

One cannot automatically assume that people who post on message boards are lazy and use their time unwisely. For all anyone knows, there's income being generated at the very same time, or that person cannot spend their entire day moving about physically. Without personal knowledge of a person's individual situation, it's impossible to make statements to such effect... they are not accurate. They are merely assumptions and stereotypes.

Unless you truly HAVE walked a mile in another person's shoes, you can't know exactly how those shoes fit.

I'm not sure when America went from "we, the people" to "me", but it's a crummy way to view or interact with the rest of the world... in my opinion.

It's very obvious that a lot of things have become socially institutionalized, perhaps a little stigmatized, and opportunity is not always equal. So, no man is an island, and bootstraps are not an automatic given.


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And yes, Hamiltongardener, I have said forever it's teaching someone how to care for themselves, not perpetuating their position by just handing it to them. We should have safety nets in place to help people that are temporarily in trouble, or permanently disabled with no one to care for them.

I still want to start some type of organization for young people to teach them about responsibility, how to get a job, be a responsible employee and how to keep the job and get promoted, how to budget, why not to go into debt, how to save, why not to intentionally have children out of wedlock when you can't care for them--basic life skills that aren't taught in the home. Teaching people to fish, yes.


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RE: Boot straps

questions and comments are so distorted I can't make sense of them. I'm also going to keep my comments short because it's obvious some of what I'm saying is not being understood and then explanations are requested and gee I don't want to spend the night here, as much as I love all of you.

GM,
It is morning, you and I are of different mindsets and just as you said you do not understand the questions I was saying I did not understand you and Demi's perception of society and your place in a civilized society.

If you read my question in my mind the simple answer is....I do remember who helped me get those straps to pull up. That was why I asked the questions as a point of some place to run through your mind did any of these things help me find these straps.

If you are of the mind that you were born and the entire development of where you are today you saw no one in your mirror then it would take one simple answer to all my questions. "Nobody" I lived in the woods ate what I could find in the wild and when I became an adult I got a job and was successful.

Our society was developed as working together as a whole. I see the party of "my money" "throwing my money" "I built this" as a barbaric caveman attitude.

So you see we have totally different outlook on life. I realize there are people that had to struggle to get where they are and there is a tendency to hold tight to what they have for fear of going back to hunger but that is an issue that that particular person has to live with.

I am human and have had my struggles but I want others to have opportunities to pay it forward and I do not mind paying it forward because I appreciate what was done so I could be successful and do not feel "I lived in a cave" and escaped out of that cave and did it all alone.


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RE: Boot straps

I am human and have had my struggles but I want others to have opportunities to pay it forward and I do not mind paying it forward because I appreciate what was done so I could be successful and do not feel "I lived in a cave" and escaped out of that cave and did it all alone.

*

I feel the same way.

I do pay it forward.

I would imagine that GGM does too.

So what's your point?


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I still want to start some type of organization for young people to teach them about responsibility, how to get a job, be a responsible employee and how to keep the job and get promoted, how to budget, why not to go into debt, how to save, why not to intentionally have children out of wedlock when you can't care for them--basic life skills that aren't taught in the home. Teaching people to fish, yes.

Demi there is a government program that does that and a trade to get employment to put that knowledge to work. Money management is useless if you do not have a income to manage. It is one of those programs you say throwing your money at. It is one of those programs that when they say cut entitlements that would be sacrificed,

You really should consider your values before you use a party's talking point.


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first ,move to china where romney sent the jobs..


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Demi we were posting at the same time I guess.

I feel the same way.

I do pay it forward.

I would imagine that GGM does too.

So what's your point?

My point....."I built it" Throwing them my money" "pull yourself up by your boot straps"

Our society was developed as working together as a whole. I see the party of "my money" "throwing my money" "I built this" as a barbaric caveman attitude.


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And since you see us as a whole, how much of your entitlements and specifically which ones are you willing to give up to help our society's cause, marquest?

Me, I'm in support of means and I'll take my chances with it.


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It depends on your cause. Is it for everyone or do we think it is possible to pick and choose and be successful?


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Marquest,

I think you and Demi are actually agreeing on this point, you guys are just saying it in different ways.

It looks to me like Marquest is fully in favour of programs that;

a) Teach a man to fish ie. training, education etc.
b) Teach life skills that they may not have learned at home.
c) Care for those who cannot care for themselves, ie. elderly, disabled.

What Demi wants is not to have money go to people "for free" who are able bodied. For example, they get a welfare cheque only if they are attending job training (I think Demi has mentioned that before).

Demi, feel free to correct me if I have any of that wrong.

Marquest, I think it may just be the way Demi words her responses that is causing the confusion here. You said "Our society was developed as working together as a whole." and you are right. Those of us who are educated and working have a responsibility to pay taxes that benefits society as a whole. But there are two sides to everything. It is the responsibility of others to use the societal benefits provided in order to improve their lives and become a benefit to society themselves. That way, both sides will be working together as a whole.


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Hamilton this is our basic welfare Reform Act.

The Conservative would have you believe that people show up at a welfare office and ask for a check and sit back the rest of their life and collect a check.

The assistance is for elederly, disabled, and children. I especially have no problem helping a kid and I would not care if that kid's parents had millions. If it helped the kid I would be willing to accept a small percentage of error. Everything has to have a margin of error. But when you are talking about children I am willing to accept that margin.

Read this... Does it appear to you that someone is going to live a good life for the rest of their life on welfare?
---------------------------------------------
The welfare reform law of 1996 emphasized the need to help welfare recipients become self sufficient by finding work. The law allowed states to administer welfare programs as they saw fit using federal funds, as long as they showed progress in achieving the broad goal of moving people form welfare to work. The focus of welfare swung from guaranteeing assistance to those in need to encouraging personal responsibility.

-The law established individual state welfare programs called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which received federal funds.

-Along with limiting lifetime benefits to five years, the welfare reform law required recipients to find work or enroll in a job training program within two years. Failure to do so could result in a cutoff of benefits except in the cases of parents with infants.

In about 600,000 families, only children were eligible for aid. In June 2010, the most recent source of data, about 1.8 million people received benefits.

Here is a Texas example of Cash and food stamps.....For 5 people 980.00 a month. We are talking about 5 people and 4 of them are children. Would you be upset?

Tell those 4 children to pull themselves up by their boot straps you do not want to throw any of your money at them. Like they are animals you would throw money at them to grovel at your feet picking up your pennies. Please.

A single-parent family of four in Texas with no resources or income would receive a total of $980 per month.


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Hamiltongardener, you are correct in expressing my position.
Thank you. I know you aren't the only one that gets it, but you are one of few that does not have an agenda in trying to mischaracterize my position.

*

Marquest, why won't you lay off the these types of comments,"you really should consider your values before you use a party's talking point"?

A--I don't use anyone's talking points, and I resent your parroting of that little phrase like other liberals do here--it's the Democrat's own little tired talking point itself.

As I have said before, there are reasons that an opinion is shared--we all feel the same.

I could say you get your talking points from MSNBC and Obama to say everything you say on this forum and it could be true.

The difference is, I'm not so low a person as to accuse you of that, and also I an not the kind of person that chooses someone to target and make up little ways to insult them every opportunity I get--I would never be as petty to you as you are to me. I've never done anything to you, I've not castigated you or insulted you for giving your opinion on a thread. Why do you continually do this to me and others?

Can you just not stand it that someone has a different opinion than you and you have to insult them for it?

B--You are one of the last people that should lecture me on considering what my values are. My values are admirable and they're just fine.

You have not and will need see a post by me questioning someone's integrity or values after they post their opinion.

The Saul Alinsky Group has about succeeded in ruining this forum, even for me.

I'm quite sure that is the objective, but the problem comes in when it's only that group participating it won't be nearly as much fun with no one to insult but one another and when you realize you didn't change one thing, one opinion, you didn't punish anyone, you didn't cause anyone to lose any money or any sleep and you didn't stop a conservative vote.

You just wasted a lot of time and hot air insulting people.
For what?


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Demi instead of looking for an insult look for the message.

When you look for who you support you consider your values.

Hamilton pointed out we both have the same values but......

You took it as an insult. This is why it is difficult to have a conversation when someone is too sensitive to every comment.

There were a lot of issue listed above.

Do you see anything in the Welfare policy that gives you the impression that you would be against children receiving assistance?

Would you think you are throwing your money at people if you feel you have compassion?

I will never deny that I use my parties talking points. Why? Because I believe those points and my values are those talking points. So you can feel free to say I used MSNBC or my local news station, or any internet site I post. I am proud of them and I can say those points are how I feel. I will not be upset or offended.

You say your values are fine. State my position of caring for the poor and yet you come up with disparaging comments of The difference is we don't believe that redistribution of wealth and throwing other people's money at a problem is always the answer,

Mylab tried to understand and asked did you know someone that was getting all this free money.

You want to start a program to help that has existed for years created by a Democratic President. That is where I say it is great to say I have values and I want to help people, etc. It becomes just words that sound good if you do not support candidates that also share your values.

You never answer the questions. It becomes poor me I am great you insulted me. But no answer or support for your comments.

It is like if you do not have the answer you pull out the poor me card. Can you answer any of the questions?


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Read this... Does it appear to you that someone is going to live a good life for the rest of their life on welfare?

Tell those 4 children to pull themselves up by their boot straps you do not want to throw any of your money at them.

Marquest, please understand. I have not said and do not believe that people are living a good life on welfare. I'd like to please ask that you not mischaracterize what I said by diverting it like that.

Trust me. I have lived that life, I have been that child living in a family on welfare. From what I have seen, I am much more of a liberal than most of the Democrats on this forum in terms of MY support for social programs versus what they will "accept".

But you are not understanding what I am trying to say. Or you are misrepresenting it, I am not sure.

In a functioning society, rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. People have the right to receive help from their government and society but in return, they have the responsibility to use that help to the best of their ability to limit the amount of help they receive. Simple as that.

I believe both you and Demi are saying the same thing. But for some reason, the communication connection is just not being made.


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Hamilton I am going to apologize to you and Demi. I am not trying to argue. It seems my words are coming across as combative.

What is going on with sensitive today?

I was asking if you understood our Welfare system and the Welfare wonderful life that is being projected if you think the flacts reflect the talk.

I have an appointment and will be back tonight to address the rest of your response,

But please accept my apology. an ignore my answer if it sounds crazy. It is rushed because I have to do a hospital visit.


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My opinion, formed over time through reading the postings of everyone here, is that I might interpret the difference as some people viewing welfare willingly, and others seeing it more begrudgingly.

I keep seeing the word "redistribution", but that's not an accurate description. Everyone who pays into the federal and state tax base gives a little bit for everything paid out. I don't know how anyone can see the welfare program as wealth redistribution... unless they begrudge giving to that program, or would prefer to pick and choose who they feel is deserving enough to receive any help.

The difference is perceived attitude, I think. I don't have any issues with the taxes I pay going to help those less fortunate, whether they're children, the elderly, disabled adults, or even those adults who find themselves down on their luck and in crisis. Helping others should come naturally to a society that claims to be largely christian in nature, though it does seem that finding a lot of good Samaritans these days is becoming more difficult.

I think the difference might be perceived attitude.


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Hamilton I am going to apologize to you and Demi. I am not trying to argue. It seems my words are coming across as combative.

I completely understand. Sometimes the exasperation of trying to get a point across makes all of us sound combative. And I do appreciate the point you are trying to make about welfare and as I said, trust me, I fully understand that point.

I will say that I don't believe anyone thinks it's a wonderful life that people on welfare live. I will give you an example. When I was really young, my mother once had to ask a neighbour kid to come back to visit later. The reason was that the girl had brought over her toast and jam breakfast to eat and was eating it in front of us. All we had in the fridge for several days was baby formula for my baby brother and my mother actually watered it down and gave us each a glass for breakfast. We had nothing else and could only visit the food bank once in a month, we had gone earlier that month.

Hopefully that tells you why I am sensitive when someone casually makes a statement asking me if I think people on welfare live a good life or if I think those 4 children should be told to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I fully, fully, FULLY understand what welfare is and the life lived on it.

Anyhoo, that's a different matter.

The matter at hand being bootstraps and yours vs Demi's view. I still think you guys are saying the same thing and yes, Demi does word things to sound combatative, but I think Demi has gotten used to being on the defensive here. So let's look past that.

I'm going to speak for Demi again because I seem to have gotten good at the translating. :-D

Demi says she does not want to just "throw money at a problem." I think what she is saying is this: If we just throw money into welfare and food stamps, nobody is getting the help that they REALLY need to stop the cycle. Yes, welfare is necessary, but it is also necesssary to put money toward more useful programs like job training, and loans. Then people can get OUT of being dependant on the system.


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I'm going to speak for Demi again because I seem to have gotten good at the translating. :-D

Demi says she does not want to just "throw money at a problem." I think what she is saying is this: If we just throw money into welfare and food stamps, nobody is getting the help that they REALLY need to stop the cycle. Yes, welfare is necessary, but it is also necesssary to put money toward more useful programs like job training, and loans. Then people can get OUT of being dependant on the system.

*

Yes, Hamiltongardener, you absolutely understand me.
Yes, you can speak for me~ Thank you!

And marquest, I would like nothing more than to honestly communicate with you, and it seems that you are taking the time to do that without personal insults in the last few posts.

I will most certainly respond to those that do not take the liberty of assessing my character and motivations, but only want to understand or just politely disagree.

Yes, we have so many programs, and some do some good.

So many do not, and not everyone that needs the program gets it because people from all socioeconomic groups need these skills. There are many well to do young teenagers that don't understand about budgeting and interview skills.

So many children are driven through the fast food drive through after they're picked up at day care or after school, delivered home, whether parents either willfully ignore them or literally don't have the time for them, they are relegated to television and video games, and on the weekend parents don't take the time to teach them these life skills. This is true from all walks of life, and of course there are exceptions in all walks of life where parents are doing excellent jobs in this regard.

In any event, what I want to do is not really being addressed specifically in this region where I live. There are too many people that do not understand customer service or how to hold a job, do not make good financial decisions, and become dependent on government or family and are never able to realize their potential.

THAT is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and not practicing personal responsibility, in my opinion.


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There are many well to do young teenagers that don't understand about budgeting and interview skills.

Hah!

Understatement of the year. I notice a number of business owners whose teenage and young adult children act as if money grows on trees. Not to mention the "vibe" they sometimes give off... like having to do something for the business is boring, they give a half-arsed effort.


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Yes there are many Mom and Pop business that are ruined when the children take over so poor are not the only ones lacking in character.

I just do not understand your value Demi of what you say you desire that do not match your politics.


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Demi:

"I still want to start some type of organization for young people to teach them about responsibility, how to get a job, be a responsible employee and how to keep the job and get promoted, how to budget, why not to go into debt, how to save, why not to intentionally have children out of wedlock when you can't care for them--basic life skills that aren't taught in the home. Teaching people to fish, yes."

I think Demi is on the right track. I think Ira Glass and his commentators on a program I listened to last night on NPR would agree. I think it's worthwhile to listen to the program to see the latest thinking in what REALLY keeps the poor from succeeding. Hint: It's not the poverty, per se.

Here's the transcript, but like the site points out, it's always better to hear it and there's a link there if you have a faster access to the internet. Sit back and enjoy what was a bit of an eyeopener for me and I hope for you, too.

"James Heckman

Well, it was surprising, you know, in a few months, you could actually teach people the knowledge that they would acquire in four years of high school.

Ira Glass

Oh, I see.

James Heckman

Maybe a couple more. So it seemed to me-- really, the average preparation time for a GED is like 32 hours. And the average amount of study time for a student in high school is around 1,000 hours per year. And you say, "Well, wait, that's like 3,000, 4,000 hours versus 32." And from an economic standpoint, if that were true, it would be a real miracle. And it would be very cost effective. All eighth graders should take the GEDs."

Read on....

(I don't expect I'll be back to comment. Too much else for me to do right now, but I thought this was worthwhile enough to post.)

Hay


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Thats a good read, Hay.

About half way down, they start talking about near-constant domestic violence and the lasting results.


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I took the GED at 16, agreed, IME the study required was not much. I was unusually well-read for my age, so someone else might have required more study but still most anyone could pass that test with less than 100 hours of prep.


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My own husband is a product of taking the GED... from where he went on to college and a career. If an accident at work hadn't taken him down, he'd probably own his own large company now. He was on his way, at one time, with an offer on the table to run a huge company closer to the west coast, but was injured in the interim.

One doesn't necessarily need to come from money to make money, but having a working body when one is headed in that direction certainly helps. It's just another story of counting those blessings while you have them... because you never know when they will be snatched out of your hand by a roll of the dice.

There may come a time when you have to ask yourself where your priorities lay.


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In our non immediate family alone we have literally dozens of able-bodied working age relatives that are second or third generation poor or low income.

They'll always struggle financially, but not due to education or knowledge. The majority have high school educations (Not GEDs), some have college educations and some have BOCES vocational training.

They simply don't have what's necessary to be successful at anything - Goals, Plans, Back-Up Plans, Motivation, Discipline, Mental/Physical Toughness etc. They're not willing to work hard, sacrifice and delay rewards to get ahead, plus quit easily. Quitters never get ahead.

Like many local poor and low income residents they argue for their limitations, blame other for their shortcomings, accentuate the negative and minimize the positive. Family and friends they hang with also argue for their limitations, have defeatist attitudes and love to commiserate with others in similar situations. Misery loves company...

Short-Term they've had some successes, but Long-Term they've pretty much failed at everything they've attempted - diets, exercise programs, meal planning, household budgeting, saving, investing, quitting bad habits - smoking, drinking, pot smoking, gambling (lottery tickets/scratch offs), unnecessary spending etc.

Just last week I asked one of them (currently subsidized by numerous welfare benefits, working 4 to 20 hours per week @ $9 per hour) "Don't you want more out of life? - a home, a vehicle, money, security, self respect, self sufficiency, independence, freedom of mobility etc.

They pretty much communicated that they were "somewhat" unhappy with their current situation (mostly not owning a reliable vehicle, lack of independence and having limited disposable income), but not unhappy "enough" to work more hours, find second part-time job, or a full-time job that required commuting, hard work, repetitive motion, overtime, weekends, second/third shift etc.


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The challenges many of our poor and low income face are lack of reliable transportation, driver's licenses and ability to pass background checks, drug testing, DMV checks, aptitude tests, physical fitness assessments, probationary periods etc.

Interview skills are very poor as well.

We have more jobs than ever locally, but the pre-post screening process is tougher than ever as well.

It's sad, but much of our population can't even get a pizza delivery job since they don't own a vehicle, or don't have a driver's license.


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Hay's link addresses some of this as well, but in a context of formal education - that success in school is equally dependent on goals, plans, self-discipline, patience, being polite, not just the ability to read and write. "Soft skills" is the way they put it.

I also thought that the results of telling kids in these failing schools that 'intelligence can be improved' - just telling them that they weren't going to be constantly stuck behind' made such a huge difference.

Yesterday, I wasn't minding my own business and listened in on a conversation between a mom - working at the checkout - and her daughter who had walked in from somewhere - about finding a working vehicle so the daughter could get to work, since their own vehicle was broken down. Just something that a lot of us don't have to consider.


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I have considered that everyone in the world will not have the same level of intelligence, drive, ability.

I think of it as saying why do we have short people. I am tall why can't they be tall. I made perfect grades in school why can't my brother, sister do the same. We were not all built by the same manufacture and if there is a defective part be replaced.


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Exactly, Marquest. Not everyone is the same. That's it in a nutshell.

Out of my own three children, only one received perfect and above average grades throughout school. Do you think that's a product of treating the one any differently than the others? No. They were all given the same opportunity, all went to the same schools, and all were treated in the same manner. It's a matter of them each being an individual, and not being built the exact same as the next one.

Not everyone strives for the same, exact things in life. We each have our own goals in mind, different personalities, different drive levels, different abilities, etc.

That's why teaching to standardized testing makes little to no sense. And while we still must group kids together and ensure they're learning certain things on an average level, taking the "personal" out of education doesn't serve our children.

And then, as David notes, there are many other areas in life that we have to worry about... like transportation, our health, etc...

Sometimes, all it takes is for one thing to be out of kilter, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. And the further one gets behind, the harder it is to catch up and retrieve that same place in line.


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Yesterday, I wasn't minding my own business and listened in on a conversation between a mom - working at the checkout - and her daughter who had walked in from somewhere - about finding a working vehicle so the daughter could get to work, since their own vehicle was broken down. Just something that a lot of us don't have to consider.

Every year like we lose quite a few workers and tenants due to vehicle breakdowns, repossessions, suspended licenses etc.

Vehicle and license losses often snowball into job losses, multiple job losses, evictions, foreclosure, tax seizure, loss of possessions, separation... too much to list.

I've offered to give used vehicles to many of our poor and low income relatives, but they still couldn't afford the costs of maintenance, repairs, insurance, gas ($4 plus per gallon), registration, inspection, tickets, tolls, towing, impound fees etc.

One of my cousin's daughters, a new driver was quoted something like $170 per month for basic liability insurance.

She bought a used vehicle last year, but between the cost of 4 new tires, brakes, taxes, registration, inspection and insurance, she can't come up with the money to put it on the road.

Where she lives, you can't keep unregistered vehicles on your properties, so she was warned, fined then her car was towed and impounded, so she had to store it at another location.

To add insult to injury, where she lives currently has no parking whatsoever, so she can't really have a car until she moves.


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  • Posted by kwoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 15:05

Forbes had a semi-interesting article/interview recently that had me thinking. It was an interview with a guy who wrote a book about why kids succeed. His conclusion was that "character" played a large if not the largest role. I was left kinda wondering, well, how do you teach or learn that.... you need examples of it in your life. That's not decision making, sometimes that's luck. To have someone of character show you the way and to be able to recognize or appreciate that, that can be a HUGE break in a kid's life. Or, not.

Forbes of all places... it was kind of a snippet but the author and book seemed interesting... see if I can find it.


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I was left kinda wondering, well, how do you teach or learn that.... you need examples of it in your life. That's not decision making, sometimes that's luck. To have someone of character show you the way and to be able to recognize or appreciate that, that can be a HUGE break in a kid's life. Or, not.

*

Exactly!

That's why I have this compulsion to do something about reaching youngsters when they're twelve to sixteen years old, when they are just beginning to be aware of something outside their own realm and how the world works.

Some just don't have anyone in their life to look up to or ask questions, or get advice or direction from that could help them make the best decisions.


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I think that's a part of it, KWoods... and I constantly say that we learn a good deal through the examples we have set for us. Building self worth, self esteem, and character is important to children's overall growth process.


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FTA: "Yes, when schools have tried to do character education, they've talked about moral character over performance character. Values and ethics including honesty and integrity, respecting others.

I don't think those are unimportant. But these other qualities - persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and optimism - are more important in the long run and also more easily taught in a school environment."

Here is a link that might be useful: Is this it, kwoods?


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I was in some groups that helped teens and now do Senior outreach. I am more successful with teens and seniors. It is very rewarding. There are so many organizations out there begging for help.

Demi try joining Big Brothers Big Sisters or Kiwanis groups for children,

You can also go here and find a match for what you would like to do in your area.

I would like to hear what you accomplish and the joy it gave you when your wishes and dreams are acted out in real life.

Here is a link that might be useful: Volunteer


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I'm getting a non retrieval message on my link. Easily found by keying in forbes getting kids to succeed. First entry on page.


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  • Posted by kwoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 18:49

Thanks duluth, that's the book.


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Marquest, thanks.

I have worked with individual young people, and that is rewarding, but my goal is to reach many young people, not just working with one or two over a period of years. I have inquired into a program that is after school and you meet with one young person, help them with homework, mentor them, etc. one a week. That's good but I want to reach more than one.

I will vouch for Big Brother Big Sister, having been to some meetings and worked with attorneys who were very involved in the organization.

One of my daughters has been a Big Sister in the BBBS program to a young girl for the last four years--even with her recent career move across the country last year, she still talks with her every week and has traveled back and spent time with her. She considers it a commitment that is very important.


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Demi, Junior Achievement offers exactly what you're describing:

My sister teaches this in Michigan. The description below is from the JA No. Louisiana website:

8th grade JA Economics for Success� explores personal finance and students� education and career options based on their skills, interests, and values. It also demonstrates the economic benefits of staying in school. Six required volunteer-led activities.

Here is a link that might be useful: JA


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Thanks, jmc--I volunteered for four years with Junior Achievement and that is indeed, more of the direction I'm thinking, but on a larger scale.

I taught 5th grade JA, which was at that time, and may still be, more business/employment/basic financial classes.
The kids liked my classes because I took props--a pizza box for a "pizza business" and made it interesting for them.
It was rewarding and I think the kids enjoyed it.

I'm thinking larger scale than volunteering on a personal level, I'm considering developing a long term program to reach at risk youth and larger numbers.


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JM that was my next suggestion.

Demi I think you are not giving yourself the credit for your reach, I look at it that by helping in a couple agencies it reaches further than just the one you touch.

By giving the needed skills to one reaches past the one you directly touch.

If you say you have done don;t stop while you are thinking of bigger you are missing the bigger picture of the good you can be doing now.


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Big Time Boot Strapping

"The average net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans rose to a record $4.2 billion, up more than 10 percent from a year ago, while the lowest net worth came in at $1.1 billion versus $1.05 billion last year, the magazine said. Seven in ten of the list's members made their fortunes from scratch."

Hay


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Four hundred guys control the wealth equal to 1/8th the economy of 310,000,000 people.

These guys really need, no - NEED - more tax cuts.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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Yet another of many reasons people are unsuccessful.

Delayed Gratification Self Discipline the Key to Long Term Success

The Stanford Marshmallow Study

Stanford University psychology researcher Michael Mischel demonstrated how important self-discipline (the ability to delay immediate gratification in exchange for long term goal achievement) is to lifelong success? In a longitudinal study which began in the 1960s, he offered hungry 4-year-olds a marshmallow, but told them that if they could wait for the experimenter to return after running an errand, they could have two marshmallows.

Those who could wait the fifteen or twenty minutes for the experimenter to return would be demonstrating the ability to delay gratification and control impulse.
About one-third of of the children grabbed the single marshmallow right away while some waited a little longer, and about one-third were able to wait 15 or 20 minutes for the researcher to return.

Years later when the children graduated from high school, the differences between the two groups were dramatic: the resisters were more positive, self-motivating, persistent in the face of difficulties, and able to delay gratification in pursuit of their goals. They had the habits of successful people which resulted in more successful marriages, higher incomes, greater career satisfaction, better health, and more fulfilling lives than most of the population.

Those having grabbed the marshmallow were more troubled, stubborn and indecisive, mistrustful, less self-confident, and still could not put off gratification. They had trouble subordinating immediate impulses to achieve long-range goals. When it was time to study for the big test, they tended to get distracted into doing activities that brought instant gratification This impulse followed them throughout their lives and resulted in unsuccessful marriages, low job satisfaction and income, bad health, and frustrating lives.

Here is a link that might be useful: Delayed Gratification Self Discipline the Key to Long Term Success


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