No war but class war - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your family's yearly income?
Less than $10,000 7 3.27%
$10,000-$20,000 10 4.67%
$20,000- $30,000 16 7.48%
$30,000- $40,000 25 11.68%
$50,000-$75,000 51 23.83%
$75,000- $100,000 48 22.43%
above $100,000 57 26.64%
Voters: 214. You may not vote on this poll

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#181 of 224 Old 08-25-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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While it's supposed to be a place to talk about this issue I really think it's creating more division than anything else. Periodically I notice that people still seem to enjoy division. Whether is "class", education, politics or race... sometimes people fall into a zone of comfort by how they identify themselves. They'll argue their staunch belief to no end and hoist themselves up on their pedestal. It's not worth anything if the division continues. To balk at other ideas as a possible real issue is to close your mind and fall back asleep. Stay awake and realize there is so much more to learn.
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#182 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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Low income survival net- the one thing I learned from growing up with parents who were not so good with money- savings is the FIRST thing to come out of pay, not the last.  We aim for 10% but when times were really tight, it was sometimes 5% or even less- it was however, ALWAYS something.  The only thing that was really hard was that when I was very broke, I qualified for food stamps, but periodically that tiny amount into savings would creep up to be enough that I was disqualified until that money was spent down.  While I do understand the thought process, I think that undermines financial security for people who are truly the working poor. 

I agree that this is frustrating does kind of encourage people NOT to save. That small amount of money could pay for emergency repairs, rent, etc. but instead you have to spend it on food, and when all the money is gone and you finally qualify for food stamps, and then your car breaks down and you can't get to work, who is going to help with that car repair??? It locks some people into a vicious cycle of never being able to get ahead -- or even make ends meet. Why not just help people buy food for a year while they get back on their feet, and then they'll still have their safety net so they can STAY on their feet??

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#183 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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I do think insisting that people (particularly families)  who have very, very little money can save money is elitist or unrealistic. Feeding people and paying the rent top saving.  I would even argue an acceptable quality of life comes before saving anything beyond an emergency fund.  My MIL was determined to save, save, save so during my Dh adolescence they lived in one of the crappiest areas of Montreal - and he went to the crappiest highschool.  She could have afforded better, but wanted to save.   

 

As for credit - most low income people I know do not have credit issues.  The people I know with credit issues are those who once made a decent income and then something happened - usually job loss.  As they figure out what to do  the debt rises.  Some of this is inevitable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#184 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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Not everyone is capable of saving. There are families who can't quite get enough money together to adequately feed and clothe everyone. And I don't think that's a small number of people. If you're in a situation like that, you just plain aren't saving anything. You aren't going to have your kids go barefoot and not have a warm coat and be hungry so you can put money aside for a rainy day. Every day is a downpour at that point.
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#185 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I do think insisting that people (particularly families)  who have very, very little money can save money is elitist or unrealistic. Feeding people and paying the rent top saving.  I would even argue an acceptable quality of life comes before saving anything beyond an emergency fund.  My MIL was determined to save, save, save so during my Dh adolescence they lived in one of the crappiest areas of Montreal - and he went to the crappiest highschool.  She could have afforded better, but wanted to save.   

 

As for credit - most low income people I know do not have credit issues.  The people I know with credit issues are those who once made a decent income and then something happened - usually job loss.  As they figure out what to do  the debt rises.  Some of this is inevitable.

 

How?  How is it elitist and unrealistic for several MDC mamas to tell you that *they* have saved money despite having very little income?  They did it.  There is nothing unrealistic and elitist about that.  Making the assumption that those with little money cannot save is elitist.  It is like telling your daughter she can't be an astronaut and then saying to a female astronaut who corrects you and says "I did it" to shut up because she is just being elitist and unrealistic. 

 

Do most low income people you know share their credit histories and ratings with you?  That is one thing I will give hildare.  Credit companies are great at preying upon those who are the most vulnerable.  I know a lot of individuals with low incomes who have major credit issues.  And yes, they have shared that with me because through my job many of them had a goal of working on a budget which I helped them with. 

 

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#186 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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How?  How is it elitist and unrealistic for several MDC mamas to tell you that *they* have saved money despite having very little income?  They did it.  There is nothing unrealistic and elitist about that.  Making the assumption that those with little money cannot save is elitist.  It is like telling your daughter she can't be an astronaut and then saying to a female astronaut who corrects you and says "I did it" to shut up because she is just being elitist and unrealistic. 

 

Do most low income people you know share their credit histories and ratings with you?  That is one thing I will give hildare.  Credit companies are great at preying upon those who are the most vulnerable.  I know a lot of individuals with low incomes who have major credit issues.  And yes, they have shared that with me because through my job many of them had a goal of working on a budget which I helped them with. 

 


Yes, SOME families are able to save while living on very little.  But they aren't representative of the very poorest - as those people don't have computers or the internet b/c they can't afford anything beyond the barest of necessities.

 

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#187 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post



 

How?  How is it elitist and unrealistic for several MDC mamas to tell you that *they* have saved money despite having very little income?  They did it.  There is nothing unrealistic and elitist about that.  Making the assumption that those with little money cannot save is elitist.  It is like telling your daughter she can't be an astronaut and then saying to a female astronaut who corrects you and says "I did it" to shut up because she is just being elitist and unrealistic. 

 

No, it is not elitist.  It is reality.  If you have trouble feeding yourself, saving is not a priority.    Moreover, this poll clearly shows that most people on this thread are not low income - so someone of middle or high income insisting low income people can save rubs me the wrong way.  

 

Do most low income people you know share their credit histories and ratings with you?  

 

Most of my family is low income.  Many friends are.  People blah-blah-blah pretty easily.  Some of them have no credit debt, and some have a small amount (often under 3000$ - huge for them, but small comparatively).  My husband worked in banking for 7 years.  The people who came to him with huge debt issues were not working poor or on assistance- they were people who used to have money and then didn't and this caused issues, or people who made good money but overspent. I am fairly confident of the statement I made for my area.

 



 

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#188 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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Yes, SOME families are able to save while living on very little.  But they aren't representative of the very poorest - as those people don't have computers or the internet b/c they can't afford anything beyond the barest of necessities.

 


How is that any different than what I said? 

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#189 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Seriously, ladies.  I have been viewing about 8 threads right now where we are gouging eachothers eyes out.  What is going on?  Is EVERYONE raggin?  RETRACT THE CLAWS!!!!!!!!

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#190 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post


Moreover, this poll clearly shows that most people on this thread are not low income - so someone of middle or high income insisting low income people can save rubs me the wrong way.  


 



But how do you think many of those middle or high income people got there?  It's not like many people graduate college and are netting $100k right away.  Even wealthy people often started out low income.


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#191 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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I'm not low income anymore, but I was- for a very long time.  I'm not talking about 25K low income, I'm talking about 10-12K/year low income- on a good year!  (And, I had more than one Masters degree while earning these HUGE sums of money...) I lived with extreme poverty for many years, which is why I am comfortable saying that anyone who truly wants to save can.  Even $5 a couple times a month will help.  

 

You have to make hard choices- less than ideal housing (on 10K/year, it had better be less than $400/month- all utilities included ) tiny grocery budgets, thrift shopping for clothes, drive a car that's at least a decade old, and don't finance it- or go without.  If you do have a car, understand that you have liability coverage only because that is all you can afford. You can't take on any ongoing expenses without a REALLY good reason.  Internet?  Only if you can do something with it to help further your education or bring money in the door. 

 

Also, you have to be willing to accept help that is out there. That's hard- it means setting aside your dignity and pride.  It means enduring the dirty looks from the person behind you in line at the grocery store when you try to use an EBT card (foodstamps) and you know they have just classified you as lazy and worthless as a human being.  It means jumping through the hoops of opening all the choices in your life to criticism from people sitting on the other side of a desk, who will determine if you are worthy of help.

 

Some people are so afraid of poverty that they are unwilling to accept that it could happen to them, and they are quick to classify someone struggling as one of "those" people, because then they, safely enough, can not be one of US, and it's a safer place.  If only lazy people, or only people who make bad decisions wind up poor, they are insulated from it. It is really hard to feel safe when all that creates the difference between someone leading a privileged life and someone struggling to meet the most basic needs is a single stroke of luck. 

 

 

 

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#192 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Seriously, ladies.  I have been viewing about 8 threads right now where we are gouging eachothers eyes out.  What is going on?  Is EVERYONE raggin?  RETRACT THE CLAWS!!!!!!!!



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#193 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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But how do you think many of those middle or high income people got there?  It's not like many people graduate college and are netting $100k right away.  Even wealthy people often started out low income.



Yes, and?  Maybe they saved while they were low income, but low income comes in different stripes, doesn't it?  It is not realistic to expect everyone (including people who make so little they have difficulty feeding people) to save.  That was my point - as some seemed to be saying everyone can save.  I think that kind of thinking shows very little understanding of the depth of some peoples poverty.  

 

I do know in some circumstances people who are low income can save.  

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#194 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

Seriously, ladies.  I have been viewing about 8 threads right now where we are gouging eachothers eyes out.  What is going on?  Is EVERYONE raggin?  RETRACT THE CLAWS!!!!!!!!



bolding mine.  Careful careful  nono.gif...I saw someone on another thread chewed out for suggestion we were all raggingorngtongue.gif  

 

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Yes, and?  Maybe they saved while they were low income, but low income comes in different stripes, doesn't it?  It is not realistic to expect everyone (including people who make so little they have difficulty feeding people) to save.  That was my point - as some seemed to be saying everyone can save.  I think that kind of thinking shows very little understanding of the depth of some peoples poverty.  


I think a lot of people got defensive b/c some posters made it sound like there was no way any poor people couldn't have savings or credit card debt.

 


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#196 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Having a savings account on a low income is quite easy when you don't have children or pets and your health is perfect. I have certainly been on both sides of the spectrum. And I'll tell you that when it's just you or you and your partner it's easier to build up the savings but you throw anything else into the mix and it gets HARD!
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#197 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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Im not saying it maliciously.  Just trying to light the friggin mood around here.  This black cloud is getting big.  Bring out the sunshine PEOPLE!
 

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bolding mine.  Careful careful  nono.gif...I saw someone on another thread chewed out for suggestion we were all raggingorngtongue.gif  

 

I agree with you - and a smilie with claws would rule!



 

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I think it's pretty clear that the deregulation of the credit card industry (started under Reagan), as tracked pretty well with the overall decline/stagnation of the American middle class. Things have changed and it's not as good for the average person as it was during the first three decades after WWII, when the US economy was so dominant worldwide. 

 

 

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Im not saying it maliciously.  Just trying to light the friggin mood around here.  This black cloud is getting big.  Bring out the sunshine PEOPLE!
 



 



I know.  I said it jokingly.  Given the cloud though I can understand if you did not understand my intent.  smile.gif

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Seriously, ladies.  I have been viewing about 8 threads right now where we are gouging eachothers eyes out.  What is going on?  Is EVERYONE raggin?  RETRACT THE CLAWS!!!!!!!!
 

lol....I am not "raggin" but I do have a serious case of the pregnancy grouchies.  I am retracting my claws now though...

 

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I think a lot of people got defensive b/c some posters made it sound like there was no way any poor people couldn't have savings or credit card debt.

 


Exactly.  And then on top of saying that those with lower incomes couldn't have any saving (which is an elitist and judgemental thing to say anyhow), those of us who said that it is possible in certain cases for those with lower incomes to in fact save money were then called unrealistic and elitist.  Nevermind many of the people saying that it is sometimes possible to save had done it themselves. 

 

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#201 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Yes, and?  Maybe they saved while they were low income, but low income comes in different stripes, doesn't it?  It is not realistic to expect everyone (including people who make so little they have difficulty feeding people) to save.  That was my point - as some seemed to be saying everyone can save.  I think that kind of thinking shows very little understanding of the depth of some peoples poverty.  



I disagree with this.  I truly do believe that everyone can save, but when you earn next to nothing, it takes HUGE discipline to do so, and it is EASILY wiped out so you have to start back at square one. 

 

    .

.

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Exactly.  And then on top of saying that those with lower incomes couldn't have any saving (which is an elitist and judgemental thing to say anyhow), those of us who said that it is possible in certain cases for those with lower incomes to in fact save money were then called unrealistic and elitist.  Nevermind many of the people saying that it is sometimes possible to save had done it themselves. 

 

I am pretty sure you are talking about me so I reread what I wrote above.   When I said some people could not save I used words like "very, very little money" and "people who have trouble feeding themselves".  I did not state all low income people.  If I did I will edit.  I stand by the fact that it is elitist and unrealistic to expect very low income people to save. If you or any else was able to do so  - good.  It is not impossible.  It is still an unrealistic expectation, however.   I have no idea why you think it is elitist that I think some people who are in (hopefully temporary) circumstances  cannot save.

 

And, while my claws are still out a tiny bit (although I am neither menstruating or preggo)  should people go hungry to save?  Use food banks to save?  Because for some people that would be the choice.
 

 

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#203 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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I disagree with this.  I truly do believe that everyone can save, but when you earn next to nothing, it takes HUGE discipline to do so, and it is EASILY wiped out so you have to start back at square one. 

 

    .

.


That is Ok.  We can disagree.  I do agree with the huge discipline and easily wiped out part, though.

 

I must admit I do not see a big need for me to save in such circumstance (dire poverty).  I would work on increasing my income and standard of living over squirrelling away a few dollars.

 

Savings are a very personal thing though, and for some poeple having 50$ in the bank (if that is what they have saved) may make them feel more secure and that is a good thing.

 

 

 

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#204 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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And, while my claws are still out a tiny bit (although I am neither menstruating or preggo)  should people go hungry to save?  Use food banks to save?  Because for some people that would be the choice.

 

 



Honestly, yes.  If they aren't accessing the services available to them, they are struggling more than they need to.  I know that in my community, we have a very small food bank (it's actually a closet in the Sheriff's office) but there are a number of people who would really benefit from having the courage to walk in and ask for help.  We've such a stigma around asking for and accepting assistance (again, it comes down to the us/them issue) that people are forgoing any savings at all for their pride.  

 

Once someone knows what they are earning, they need to facilitate life changes to make it possible to live with what they ARE earning, not stagnate bemoaning the need to earn more. 

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#205 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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It occurs to me that when we talk about "saving" we may not even be discussing the same thing. For some, that may mean have a bank account with a balance over $1. For others, it  may mean having a dedicated savings account with a minimum balance that doesn't get touched. For others it may mean a jar in the freezer with cash.

 

My claws are retracted as I gently suggest, it is tough to talk about privilege & prejudice, and any money conversation will invariably bring up those themes. Money & credit are tools, but they are not tools that are available equally to everyone or that can be used by everyone in the same way. Discrimination & prejudice & isms play a huge role in people's access to resources. It is a good thing to discuss. Can we each focus on speaking from our own experience without assuming that we can know if our truths are applicable to anyone else? I personally am uncomfortable assuming that I understand anyone else's situation. Many days, I feel like I scarcely fully understand my own. And no matter how much I learn about another person's situation, I always assume there is more I don't know. Money issues are unfathomably complex. It's like food or religion...there's so much there.


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Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

Seriously, ladies.  I have been viewing about 8 threads right now where we are gouging eachothers eyes out.  What is going on?  Is EVERYONE raggin?  RETRACT THE CLAWS!!!!!!!!


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#208 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Honestly, yes.  If they aren't accessing the services available to them, they are struggling more than they need to.  I know that in my community, we have a very small food bank (it's actually a closet in the Sheriff's office) but there are a number of people who would really benefit from having the courage to walk in and ask for help.  We've such a stigma around asking for and accepting assistance (again, it comes down to the us/them issue) that people are forgoing any savings at all for their pride.  

 

Once someone knows what they are earning, they need to facilitate life changes to make it possible to live with what they ARE earning, not stagnate bemoaning the need to earn more. 


y'all--if you've ever had a felony, not only can you not vote, but you are disqualified from any assistance, whether it be medicaid or housing.  also, the services are usually only available to "legal" occupants in the US.

 

also..  retracting claws. 

 

i think that the people who have posted who describe how their families were able to put money by were also talking about how they grew up, two of the posters described intact families and circumstances that must have taken place at least 20 years ago, plus or minus a few.  i TOTALLY agree that for most families that were working class, or lower middle class, 2 decades ago, that was indeed a reality and a viable option. 

I think this bears repeating: economic times have changed.  There are lots of people living in the US who live in poverty, and struggle with joblessness, homelessness, and things like being unable to obtain a freaking bank account.  Saving is not a reality for people, in most circumstances, when life is this way.  poverty is very real, and it's hard to understand if you haven't ever seen or experienced it.  i don't think it's elitist to assume that if you can barely feed yourself you can't possible put money into a savings account.  for pete's sake, don't you have to have a minimum balance to even open a bank account? 

 

there are also people who don't live in extreme poverty but who have either had a drastic change in circumstance-- or who have always struggled to get by.  A really fantastic book that would be worth a read is Nickel and Dimed.  It's by an undercover reporter who tries out several jobs that pay around minimum wage and describes what life feels like there.  you can read an exerpt on google books. 

 

me, i have eaten food out of dumpsters.  i have lived in a house with 5 other people, and have had to decide whether to put gas in my car to go to work or buy bread and peanut butter to eat lunch.  i have stolen countless rolls of toilet paper.  but i was able to go to school because i have and recognize that i have privilege.  when i grew up, i had the fortune of not being a color that is discriminated against, and i had options available to me that are not present for other people who are still living with oppression.  and still, i know that i am fortunate because the experiences i had with being poor weren't permanent and they didn't trap me because of the privilege i was born with. 

 

I think it's really worth thinking and talking about-- but it's hard to talk about it when life is insular or if you're into denying that life is severe and harsh for so many freaking people.  and i'm not saying that income = lack of social awareness, but when we try to talk about this kind of thing and people are getting offended, it's worth suggesting that perhaps lots of us are very fortunate, myself at this point in time included, and it's hard to see the whole entire bleak picture that equals the struggle and sad reality for so many. 

 

purslaine and junipermoon like this.

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#209 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hildare View Post




y'all--if you've ever had a felony, not only can you not vote, but you are disqualified from any assistance, whether it be medicaid or housing.  also, the services are usually only available to "legal" occupants in the US.

 


That one person may be ineligible, the remainder of the household will still be able to have assistance, also, this only applies to drug felonies, and in many places, it's easy to get around or has already been changed.  As for the legal residents only being eligible, I can't really say that is necessarily wrong.  While I can't STAND our current immigration laws, they do exist, and I don't think someone should be able to cross the border and expect ongoing assistance.  It just doesn't make sense to me. 

 

There will always be barriers to access, but that is something that will only come to light as more people speak out about what the barriers are in their own lives, and as we hear their challenges and advocate for change. 

 

 

 

 

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#210 of 224 Old 08-26-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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See!  And she knows what I mean!



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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post




ROTFLMAO.gif

 



 Wouldnt I get in trouble for that? 

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