Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? - Page 17 - Mothering Forums
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#481 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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And it takes quite a bit of work and effort to live without a car, it may not directly provide a wage but I appreciate everyone who makes that effort because it helps reduce pollution and fossil fuel consumption. 

 

I think when people tell their stories is proves the point that it's not black or white.  Your snap judgment may not make sense once you learn how a caring, intelligent, ethical person is actually making their life decisions.


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#482 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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I guess I don't see two to five years as temporary and not having to do with a life style/choice.

 

 

http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/

 

I have a hard time taking that source seriously for a number of reasons:

 

1) It says both that 4 million Americans are on welfare and 4% of the population is on welfare.  Does not define what those mean (the population of the US is over 300 million).

2) uses the term "Aid to Families with Dependent Children": this was changed to TANF in 1996

3) While the average TANF benefit is right around $150/month per family this source says "welfare" pays more than an $8/hour job in 40 states. Minimum wage at the federal level for a full time job is over $1300/month.  What are they *now* including in "welfare"

4) Includes Unemployment Insurance in their statistics (artificially inflating "welfare", additionally unemployment is an insurance program that everyone pays into)

5) TANF is limited to a 60 month LIFETIME maximum. They show almost 20% over 5 years.

 

Statistics can be made to say virtually anything, especially when you don't include definitions or sources.

 

http://www.tanf.us/


 

 

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#483 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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My opinion please need it and use it. In my south east mi town I see peoplr at the welfare office with I phones, expensive clothes, new jordans, ect. I feel a lot do take advantage of the assistance. For thoes that need it yes. But stipulations of when the person would be going back to work would be nice too and i am a very strong believer in my random drug tests at work to keep my job, the same should be applied to thoes getting assistance. Please dont bash.
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#484 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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I was really puzzled about those high benefit amounts.  I didn't know what they were figuring.  But I noticed the AFDC term and it has been about 16 years since it was called that!  That's what I got when I was a single mom way back 1994, the maximum was $225 per month.  I worked as a nanny 25-30 hrs but that went 100% toward rent and utilities and I qualified for AFDC and food stamps at that time.  Even if you add about $200 of food stamps... that is so much less than those statistics.  I don't know what was done to make them misleading but they don't make sense to me as someone who was in the system way back when they must have gathered their data.

 

 

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My opinion please need it and use it. In my south east mi town I see peoplr at the welfare office with I phones, expensive clothes, new jordans, ect. I feel a lot do take advantage of the assistance. For thoes that need it yes. But stipulations of when the person would be going back to work would be nice too and i am a very strong believer in my random drug tests at work to keep my job, the same should be applied to thoes getting assistance. Please dont bash.

 

Hi there, and welcome. I don't think anybody thinks that it is fine to buy expensive things using benefits at all.  But then again a family member could have give a nice phone as a gift you never know.

 

What about people who are following the rules, though?  People who are actually poor?  And this whole thread was started to ask if it should be okay for a mom who is following the rules and telling the truth about her income to stay at home with a baby, with a husband working, but to get food stamps or medicaid if their income was low.  What d you think of that?


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#485 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:19 PM
 
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I was really puzzled about those high benefit amounts.  I didn't know what they were figuring.  But I noticed the AFDC term and it has been about 16 years since it was called that!  That's what I got when I was a single mom way back 1994, the maximum was $225 per month.  I worked as a nanny 25-30 hrs but that went 100% toward rent and utilities and I qualified for AFDC and food stamps at that time.  Even if you add about $200 of food stamps... that is so much less than those statistics.  I don't know what was done to make them misleading but they don't make sense to me as someone who was in the system way back when they must have gathered their data.

 

It could be due to Medicaid.  Insurance benefits for a family of four could easily be $1K/month, but that's NOT the same as income, kwim?

 

If they are considering unemployment insurance to be "Welfare" that could artificially inflat the number as well.  It is possible to get over $2K/month in unemployment benefits.

 

The info at the top says that it was updated in 2012, but as you said they're using a term that is 16 years out of date--- perhaps their other "facts" are out of date as well.


 

 

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#486 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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Well let's not debate the "ethics" of receiving unemployment legally and honestly and yet indulging in x, y, or z     (because it's welfare and you should act properly desperate and of course it doesn't matter that we all contributed to it just like private health insurance)


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#487 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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I have a problem with people considering unemployment to be welfare!

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#488 of 792 Old 01-28-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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Also, I just want to say that the most valuable thing that WIC has given to my family is breastfeeding support. When I found myself unexpectedly pregnant 3 years and 9 months ago, I didn't have strong feelings about breastfeeding either way. I figured I'd give it a shot when I  was on Mat leave, but then when I went back to work waiting tables I figured we'd have to switch to formula, at the very least supplementing my breastmilk. My own mother did not breastfeed my brother and only BF me for 8 weeks because she had to return to work. So that was my model for breastfeeding.

 

Through WIC I received a lot of information and support about the benefits of breastfeeding, and about the legal protections afforded to breastfeeding mothers who work. I didn't know that my employer was legally obligated to allow me time and space to pump while on the job so that I could give my baby bottles of breast milk instead of formula. I also received a mechanical pump for a number of months--maybe 6 or 9?--that I used to pump while at home, and a manual pump to use at work, all free of charge (the mechanical pump had to be returned but the manual one was a gift. At a recent WIC appointment I was informed that they now give mechanical pumps to working, breastfeeding moms instead of just loaning them out for a period!)

 

My DD is turning 3 this weekend, and she still nurses. I really don't think that would have been the outcome without WIC.


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#489 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 03:45 AM
 
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Kitteh, I'm so happy about how WIC helped you get into breastfeeding. That's awesome, and it really kind of connects with what littlest birds was saying about how those with a lot of health problems make healthcare more expensive for everyone. Breastfeeding just gets kids off to a better start and reduces the risk of many health problems for the mother, too.

 

I had a wakeup call in November when I went to the first well woman checkup that I'd been to in years, and learned that my actual weight was 294 lbs. I'm just under 5'10, not 6'10, so this puts me in the morbidly obese category. And I also learned that my blood pressure, which used to be normal, was in the prehypertensive category. So I've gotten back into incorporating yoga into my everyday life. And it's such a blessing to not be having to work 12 hour days or something to make ends meet. As well as allowing more time for yoga, it also enables me to be more mindful about what foods I put into my body. And since I have lots of time with the people I love, I'm not turning to junk food for comfort as I'd be very tempted to do if I were separated from them for long hours each day.

 

I'm just sayin', providing low income families with a little help can enable them to find a healthier balance between work and personal life and give parents the time and energy they need to take better care of themselves and their children, and can end up saving the taxpayers a lot more money in the long run.

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#490 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 04:58 AM
 
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Hopefully the need for assistance is a one-generation issues. We all try to help our kids do better than we do, don't we? If staying home while they're little can help prepare them for a lifetime where they have more financial success than their parents, then in the long term it's better for the economy to do that. Especially if it's just food stamps, which amounts for very little and also stimulates the economy.
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#491 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 05:15 AM
 
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Hopefully the need for assistance is a one-generation issues.

 

If you look into the data on the statistics of generational welfare you will see it certainly is generational. Certain states are far higher than others.

 

Having another child while receive "assistance" also not uncommon. 

 

Perhaps those who are responding are quite bias because of personal dependance (it's only a little milk over 5+ years-so what- when you can have saving and not spend your own money-unlike what others must do) and many must not live in states with high assistance populations or those who teachers are making less.

 

 

 

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We all try to help our kids do better than we do, don't we?

would be nice if all could be equal


 

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#492 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 05:35 AM
 
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yeah, it is hecka weird that people who have no jobs skills and are mocked and denigrated for existing arent able to teach their kids how to escape poverty. those lazy bastards.
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#493 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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To build on my previous post, I wanted to add that I think providing more nutritional education programs in poor communities, including one on one counseling for individuals or families that are struggling with obesity, would be a very good use of our tax dollars. I think prevention is a million times cheaper than medical treatment for the myriad problems associated with obesity. So for those who are really worried about how much the poor are costing them, it makes sense to support programs that can help people live healthier lives before they develop a major problem.


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#494 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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So for those who are really worried about how much the poor are costing them, it makes sense to support programs that can help people live healthier lives before they develop a major problem.

It certainly is a shame when private (non govt funded) groups do try- such as nutritional educational programs only to be meet with little expectancy and participation. I personally feel you should be mandated to attend classes (such as nutritional) in order to receive assistance but when we have little restrictions on what one can get with food stamps, as opposed to WIC, I doubt it would be received. I feel there is much that could be done as in only paying for whole foods and non-processed but that is not happening. At least with other forms of assistance there is mandated classes.

Giving vouchers that can be used at farm markets are not working in our area, we have a very low participation problem because the cost still is extremely higher than at a local store. Our local farm market has gotten a bad reputation, even by the local newspaper as the elitist market because of this. The cost vs going to a local farmer is more than double. Sadly most local farmers can afford to participate in the voucher program.


 

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Serenbat, until you go back and answer every 'but what about this?' example, until you go back and explain, without sarcasm and quotes around the word 'life style choice'  how another mother's choices are less worthy than yours  -your anger is ...at least baffling and really, if I took it personally I'd be offended. 

 

Who are you to judge?  You are a tax payer.  Well, so am I.  You are not the masses. You are one of many who feel like you are Taxed Enough Already, but I am one of even more who believes your philosophy is flat out wrong.  Unfair even. 


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#496 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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How is this NOT a 'life style choice' ?

 

 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Now my kids are older and yet because of our "lifestyle choices" we are still poor and I am still juggling around being a SAHM because we homeschool and have an autistic child who did badly in the school system.  We haven't received any assistance in a very long time, though if we had medical problems we would have to seek help with that. 

 

 

Quote:
 This one was totally planned, and we knew that doing so would mean continuing WIC.

 

and as it was pointed out-

Quote:
 choosing to have another baby when you are receiving assistance

 

you make a conscious effort to do something - that is a choice, it is different from loosing a job and needing aid for a temporary time, as it was designed for- choosing to have a life style that impacts your ability to seek employment that would cause you not to receive aid, having another child while still receiving aid, etc= life style choice - to me

 

 

 

just because you work a system to your advantage does not make it ethical - does it impact on other's? - certainly does

 

 

welfare and some assistance qualifications have changed in my state because it is a life style for some, it's meant as temporary aid- we do not have a system to aid mothers as some are using it for- this is far different from what other countries do after a birth of a child

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#497 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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just because you work a system to your advantage does not make it ethical - does it impact on other's? - certainly does

 

 

 

So, how do you feel about what I posted before:

 

 

Quote:

My biggest problem with people judging others for their "life style" choice is that we only seem to judge the people on the bottom.

 

For example, the average food stamps in the U.S. for a family of four is approximately $520/month. That means that family, though their "life style choice" costs the taxpayers just over $6000 per year.

 

Now, let's look at the other side instead. How about a person who choses to take out a million dollar mortgage. That certainly is a "life style choice." Now, interest rates are low now, but traditionally a 6% mortgage was considered good, so let's say because of the jumbo loan the interest rate was 7%. That person would pay (and deduct) close to $70K of interest the first year of their loan. In the 28% bracket, that would lead to a tax deduction of almost $20K and in the 35% bracket a tax deduction of almost $25K.

 

Those taxes have to be made up by everyone else. We are, in effect, paying $20-25K for that.

 

But there is not a lot of complaining about that "life style choice." Even though for each person who does that it costs 3-4 TIMES what it costs to put a family of four on food stamps for a year.

 

So, people complain less about subsidizing people in the top 5% than they do for people in the bottom 5%.

 

 

Exactly why is WIC such an issue for you (something that *over a lifetime* most families probably get less than a couple thousand dollars from?  How about people who use public schools for years and years and years?  Is that okay?  Is there *any* thing that is not "gaming the system" in your mind? 

 

How about people who get subsidized child care?  How about wealthy people who deduct their child care from their taxes meaning we ALL subsidize it? 


 

 

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#498 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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Exactly why is WIC such an issue for you (something that *over a lifetime* most families probably get less than a couple thousand dollars from?  How about people who use public schools for years and years and years?  Is that okay?  Is there *any* thing that is not "gaming the system" in your mind? They don't work the same way-not even close- the public schools system is open to ALL- if you choose not to use it, so be it, WIC is not for all- not even a fair comparison. The school system is not just for certain incomes- all children!

ETA - WIC and other forms of assistance were not designed for paying off student loans or for the notion that it just is easier for someone else to pay for your choices. If you can't afford to feed your own children maybe you should consider not having more until you can, but it is easier to know you just don't have it payed for it.  Also (while some do get away with it) if you have enough disposable income that your weekly nail apt is more important than paying your own money to feed your child, I also do not feel this is what assistance is designed for. And it's just so "little" amount, as a nation we don't feel all children deserve this or it would be offered for all to have the same start, so it must be for a reason-need, not need because you don't want to use your own money and can just bank it or keep the weekly apt.

 

How about people who get subsidized child care?  No, it is not equal either. Families making above the cut off still have to pay and depending on their taxes some are able to take the earned child credit- the taxes are based on what you earn/pay, if you don't earn enough to pay into why should you be able to take the tax break? Still families that that do not receive subsidies need child care- not at all equal or fair to the child.   How about wealthy people who deduct their child care from their taxes meaning we ALL subsidize it? You just fail to see what the system of welfare/assistance is designed to do, be temporary assistance, not a I'll take what gives me what I want system that we all are not part of- these are two different things , the system is not designed for staying on and on.


 

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#499 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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If you look into the data on the statistics of generational welfare you will see it certainly is generational. Certain states are far higher than others.

 

Having another child while receive "assistance" also not uncommon. 

 

Perhaps those who are responding are quite bias because of personal dependance (it's only a little milk over 5+ years-so what- when you can have saving and not spend your own money-unlike what others must do) and many must not live in states with high assistance populations or those who teachers are making less.

 

 

 

would be nice if all could be equal

dang! everything you say is sorta mean. what is up with that? can you not make a post with out trashing someone else. you made your "life choices" if you don't like them then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! but stop hating on people because they are using a system that gives them a wee tiny bit of breathing room. if it craps your hide so much then do something about that too. help a mama out, donate to a charity, go work with those in need. maybe if everyone helped each other then no one would need "welfare" but for now, we do. and since it seems that so many who hate on welfare seem to have a "it's not fair, what about me, it's every man for himself" sort of attitude, then stop paying taxes and go do it all yourself.

as for me, i am totally happy helping in both ways, paying taxes and actually going out and doing something. maybe one day will well all have what we need. <3

 

i also wanted to add that yes, you can buy crap food on food stamps, BUT i don't think a change will come for that, not because people refuse, but because big business depends on people eating crap food. if food stamps went all "only whole foods, raw dairy, organic meats" etc i think nestle, kraft and the lot would go nuts. not so much the people we wan t to eat better but can't afford it.

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#500 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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if food stamps went all "only whole foods, raw dairy, organic meats" etc i think nestle, kraft and the lot would go nuts. not so much the people we wan t to eat better but can't afford it.

 

Not to mention the grocery stores that serve lower-income areas... if there were much stricter limits on what food stamps could be used for, a lot of locally-owned businesses might shut down completely. Leading to even bigger "food deserts", all the problems that come with boarded up storefronts, etc, etc.

But hey, at least Serenbat wouldn't be lying awake in the deep-seated fear that someone, somewhere, is enjoying themselves...

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#501 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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Exactly why is WIC such an issue for you (something that *over a lifetime* most families probably get less than a couple thousand dollars from? How about people who use public schools for years and years and years? Is that okay? Is there *any* thing that is not "gaming the system" in your mind? They don't work the same way-not even close- the public schools system is open to ALL- if you choose not to use it, so be it, WIC is not for all- not even a fair comparison. The school system is not just for certain incomes- all children!Exactly why is WIC such an issue for you (something that *over a lifetime* most families probably get less than a couple thousand dollars from? How about people who use public schools for years and years and years? Is that okay? Is there *any* thing that is not "gaming the system" in your mind? They don't work the same way-not even close- the public schools system is open to ALL- if you choose not to use it, so be it, WIC is not for all- not even a fair comparison. The school system is not just for certain incomes- all children!
 
 How about wealthy people who deduct their child care from their taxes meaning we ALL subsidize it? You just fail to see what the system of welfare/assistance is designed to do, be temporary assistance, not a I'll take what gives me what I want system that we all are not part of- these are two different things , the system is not designed for staying on and on.

 

But it's still only "all" CHILDREN.  Many people pay taxes and will never have the benefit of it. Just like many people pay for WIC and never have the benefit of it (though, to be fair, it is for *at risk* children meaning that you can be high income and still qualify).

 

Actually, there is nothing that indicated WIC is supposed to be a limited or temporary help.  So, you're really fine with someone taking $20K/year in tax rebates on a purchase of a million dollar home but you begrudge the few hundreds of dollars someone takes from WIC to provide food for their child?  There are people who feel THE SAME WAY about the public school system--- that if you want to have children, you should be ready to provide for them (including paying for their own school).  It must be "nice" to have such a well-defined line of black and white that just happens to put all people needing a little extra help (that aren't wealthy) in the horrible camp.


 

 

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#502 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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And the only people eligible for over $20K in tax rebates a year on mortgage interest are those who can "afford" that size of house--- but you're not complaining about their (much larger) use of your tax subsidy.  Why is that?  Why all the jealousy towards the poor?

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#503 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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It certainly is a shame when private (non govt funded) groups do try- such as nutritional educational programs only to be meet with little expectancy and participation.

 

What I'd really like to see is programs that cater to low-income people in a way similar to that in which many grocery stores in middle to upper income neighborhoods cater to their customers. In some grocery stores near my mom's home in the suburbs, you could walk through on a Saturday morning and literally get your breakfast or lunch just trying all the samples, and can also get some fun ideas regarding different food combinations to try that you might not have thought of. Now, I certainly understand that this is done in wealthier neighborhoods because it increases sales of those products and benefits the companies selling them. It would be like suicide for food producers to do the exact same thing in poor neighborhoods where there are tons of hungry homeless people, or people who have some sort of a home but are just hungry and have little opportunity to try out new delicacies.

 

What I'm thinking of would be for a government or private educational program to partner up with grocery stores that are in walking distance for many poor people, and set up tables similar to the "sample" tables in the stores in wealthier neighborhoods -- only in this case, the educators would be demonstrating easy methods for preparing a wide range of natural, healthy foods. Samples could still be provided, of course, and educators could be available to help any people who'd like some help shopping for healthy foods on a budget.

 

This makes so much more sense to me than offering classes in a separate location from where people buy their food -- meaning, one more place to find transportation to, and to try to manage your small children while taking in a lot of new information. Some people have literacy problems, too, and having the education be so hands-on, as well as fitting so easily into the frequent grocery shopping routine that's part of every parent's life, and is obviously quite frequent for parents without cars who can't buy as much in one trip, just makes good practical sense.

 

I also agree with those posters who've said that home visits are not as likely to be popular -- in this case, I'm expanding the "home visit" concept to include having a nutritional educator come into one's home to provide personalized instruction. It's understandable, and doesn't mean anyone has anything evil to hide, when you consider that many of us who frequent MDC have parenting practices that we know are best for our kids and that we feel very good about, such as child-led weaning and cosleeping -- but that we wouldn't feel so comfortable bringing under the scrutiny of a government employee or other complete stranger who may not have done all the research that we've done on those topics. Plus, it's simply more cost-effective to send a group of educators into one place anyway.

 

I realize some people may say I'm promoting "enabling" -- but I actually think it's a lot more efficient to do things in the way that is most likely to get results. Everybody goes to the grocery store (or at least everybody with kids does), and seeing good food preparation ideas in action at the same time that you're choosing what groceries to buy on your limited budget, and getting help if you need it when looking for the healthiest foods at the lowest prices, seems much more likely to result in more low-income families eating a healthier diet. Plus, there are often huge discrepancies between the quality and selection of foods -- especially fresh fruits and vegetables -- that are available in stores that cater to the rich and those that are available in stores in poor neighborhoods. If more nutritional educators did their work in these stores, their presence and involvement with the stores would most likely help to change this unfortunate situation.

 

I'm getting kind of excited about my idea...I'm actually wondering what I might be able to do about it.

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#504 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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I'm wondering if we might have better results in our welfare system it it were run by ethical and successful business people. While I think there is soooo much wrong with the way corporations are running America, and with how we're labeled "consumers" and bombarded with advertising, I keep thinking about how most successful businesspeople invest a lot of resources into making sure that their products are marketed in the ways that are likely to get the best results at the lowest cost.

 

In contrast, it seems like many programs for the poor are run for the purpose of feeding into the stereotype that no matter what you do, the poor are always with us, they're always going to eat and feed their kids crap and have high rates of obesity and, now, high rates of childhood type 2 diabetes -- the kind that used to never surface until after about the age of 40, and high rates of all kinds of other health complications related to eating lots of empty calories for years and years...

 

If there were a well-run business set up for the purpose of lowering healthcare costs by increasing the likelihood that the poorest Americans ate a healthy well-balanced diet, it seems like there's be a lot more poor people feeling like eating natural, healthy foods was their own idea (you know, subliminal advertising messages or whatever you want to call them).

 

Just think how effective "marketing" has been in getting so many of us to spend money we don't have on things we really don't need or benefit from -- if government were really a force for good, and were run like an ethical business, surely its "marketing" would be just as effective for good as "corporate" marketing has been for bad in many cases.


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#505 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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I'm wondering if we might have better results in our welfare system it it were run by ethical and successful business people.

 

 

If you include ethical in the equation you would have to have it in the discussion. Is it ethical to have more children when you are already receiving assistance vs waiting to when you can provide on your own? 

 

 

Some places are doing some things - Philadelphia is running a city program that is addressing obesity for those on assistance.


 

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#506 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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Private groups offering nutritional education to low-income clients often do so with government funding. I used to write the grant proposals for programs to help low-income parents. They had a GED program, a job-training course, short-term housing for homeless families, and a couple of social work programs to support young and low-income moms, and a really great young fathers program. (That was basically one incredibly charismatic guy who turned a lot of young men's lives around--it was one of the highlights of my job to write grant proposals describing the work he did.) 

 

Our experience at that non-profit was that we had a lot of clients who wanted the programs, not that they refused to use them. It's true that only a minority of people really had it together to get everything out of the help that they could, and there were some great success stories. I would say most of the people who enrolled got a lot of what they were seeking--parenting advice and help, books for their kids, access to better jobs, counseling to deal with the after-effects of domestic violence, and so on, even though they were really at-risk families, people in serious crisis. Yes, sure, some dropped out, but mostly we helped people live better and not stay stuck. 

 

People are a lot better than we think they are.  

 

I don't think the answer is to seek more guidance from the private sector. The truth is that organizations like the one where I worked with private sector foundations and corporations, both to get funding and for help with getting jobs for clients. We actually worked with other non-profits, with the state, with the city, and with the private sector. That's usual. In some states more of the money comes from private donations and in some more from the state.

 

We were often, even at that time before the most recent economic downturn, caught in a bind by the welfare reform provisions. We couldn't offer job training to homeless moms in our shelter because they had to be on TANF to stay in the shelter and TANF required them to work, not get job training. Of course, they couldn't make too much money while they did it, because if they made too much they'd lose their housing. So we, as an organization, had to make those same bad choices as low-income moms do. All their three and four year old children had to be in daycare, even though their kids were traumatized by losing their homes. 


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#507 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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I was referring to religious groups in my area do not fair well with outreach, and our local farm market (also is doing food related programs) isn't doing well reaching those in need either- but that has more to do with their other issues, and given the funding my local markets is getting technically they are govt funded in certain ways.


 

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#508 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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First off, captain optimism, I really do agree with you about the basic goodness of people, and I didn't mean to make it sound like I was saying that poor people, or any people, need "subliminal advertising" to persuade them that they really want to feed their families real, healthy food and not junk. I've just been thinking about how successful businesses market their products in such a way that they're most likely to reach and be enthusiastically received by the target market.

 

If the product is a healthy lifestyle, then considering the fact that everyone already wants to feel good and have happy, healthy, successful children, it shouldn't be all that hard to get that product from the minds of the planners into the hands of the targeted group.

 

As parents, we do our own marketing when we prepare and serve our foods in the ways that are most appealing to our children, and make them easily accessible -- and there's nothing deceitful or patronizing about that.

 

I also agree with you and serenbat that there have been, and continue to be, some really good, helpful, effective programs out there. I just kind of feel like my idea of running the program right there in the grocery stores in poor neighborhoods, which has probably already occurred to others, and may actually be happening in some places for all I know, could make up at least some part of the missing puzzle piece and help fill in the gap between what many of us now know about food and  health, and what many poor people are actually eating.

 

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If you include ethical in the equation you would have to have it in the discussion. Is it ethical to have more children when you are already receiving assistance vs waiting to when you can provide on your own? 

 

I think ethical business people are most focused on operating their own businesses ethically, not on making sure that each and every customer fits in with their personal beliefs. It's true that most people are in business to make money -- but the smartest ones invest a lot in making their businesses customer-friendly, such as by hiring people who really care about other people and want to help them, and by training them to see things from the customers' perspectives and to assume the best even about the most difficult and disagreeable customers.

 

While looking for a definition that explains what it means to assume positive intent, I stumbled across a really good business article on the topic, and I've pasted the link below for anyone who is interested.

 

http://www.executivetravelmagazine.com/articles/how-to-assume-positive-intent


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#509 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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I also agree with you and serenbat that there have been, and continue to be, some really good, helpful, effective programs out there. I just kind of feel like my idea of running the program right there in the grocery stores in poor neighborhoods, which has probably already occurred to others, and may actually be happening in some places for all I know, could make up at least some part of the missing puzzle piece and help fill in the gap between what many of us now know about food and  health, and what many poor people are actually eating.

 

Actually, this is the key problem. Both urban and rural low-income families may live in so-called food deserts. These are areas with reduced access to fresh food. 

 

These are the areas the USDA considers food deserts: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/go-to-the-locator.aspx They figure out what counts as a food desert by whether the supermarkets are spaced far apart, so that people can't get to them. 

 

In my area, which is crowded and urban, the use of SNAP at farmer's markets has worked very well--but that's because we have pretty good public transportation and farmer's markets all over our city. My own area has gotten both private and public funding for anti-obesity programming--which they have put into public recreation facilities, maintaining crosswalks and bike lanes, and bringing locally-grown food into the public schools. 

 

Our attitude toward public health is pretty similar to our attitude toward public welfare. It's very blaming and shaming and all about individuals and their initiative. It's not really a public policy, it's a lot of noodging. 

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#510 of 792 Old 01-29-2013, 05:23 PM
 
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with all things ethical you have to make the choices

 

 

even given health foods it does not always mean the right choices are taken by those exposed to the importance of the options

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/will-philadelphias-experiment-in-eradicating-food-deserts-work/2012/06/08/gJQAU9snNV_blog.html - this is very small when you figure in the rest of the state on assistance, it is a large city but nothing is being address currently outside of larger areas on a scale like this


 

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