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Thread: Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-08-2013 05:16 PM
serenbat
Quote:
You can't be on welfare and stay at home. TANF requires parents to work or attend school or job classes for at least 30 hours/week to obtain benefits.

you can stay home and be on TANF (at least you can in my state)- if the child is under 6 and you have no child care, or under a year, as well as if you are unable to work (mentally or physically), lack of transportation also can exempt you

02-08-2013 03:43 PM
littlest birds
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

It might help - or not.

 

I don't think much harm comes from discussing how to prevent poverty in the first place.    I don't think all poverty can be prevented, but some might be. Isn't discussing poverty prevention worth a shot?

 

Welfare and food banks and the like offer help to people in poverty.  That is great - but they do not seem to do much to prevent it.  It would be nice to be able to talk about poverty prevention without resorting to (and I know you did not say this)  "…so you want to shame and take babies away from teen moms?"  

 

Yes. I think poverty reduction and prevention are excellent subjects. I'm not sure who is helped and when, though. It's not helpful for people who are already there in a low income situation. Those folks need strategies and hope and power, and unfortunately most low wage jobs help people feel powerless and hopeless.

 

Who are the folks who engage with such a discussion? Are the ones who are interested the ones who need it? 

 

Life coaching, maybe... But not by obligation!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stacyann21 View Post

You can't be on welfare and stay at home. TANF requires parents to work or attend school or job classes for at least 30 hours/week to obtain benefits. If you're talking about Calfresh (food stamps), then yes I think anyone eligible should be provided with benefits. With the amount of money we spend on military in this country, there is no justification for children going hungry. i also agree there should definitely be a better parental leave system. But like others have pointed out, many people can't even find a living wage job so I don't see that happening in our lifetime.

 

Most of the debate lately here has been about receiving anything at all as a SAHM, generally with a partner working at a lower salary and qualifying for food stamps and/or medical assistance while the mother is at home with babies/preschool children.   

 

I agree there are already many rules.  It may be that at the beginning the thread was intended to be about hypothetical family leave but it did descend into mythical "welfare queen" territory. 

02-08-2013 02:28 PM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

So the solution that will lower the use of welfare is to provide facts?  

It might help - or not.

 

I don't think much harm comes from discussing how to prevent poverty in the first place.    I don't think all poverty can be prevented, but some might be. Isn't discussing poverty prevention worth a shot?

 

Welfare and food banks and the like offer help to people in poverty.  That is great - but they do not seem to do much to prevent it.  It would be nice to be able to talk about poverty prevention without resorting to (and I know you did not say this)  "…so you want to shame and take babies away from teen moms?"  

02-08-2013 01:45 PM
stacyann21

You can't be on welfare and stay at home. TANF requires parents to work or attend school or job classes for at least 30 hours/week to obtain benefits. If you're talking about Calfresh (food stamps), then yes I think anyone eligible should be provided with benefits. With the amount of money we spend on military in this country, there is no justification for children going hungry. i also agree there should definitely be a better parental leave system. But like others have pointed out, many people can't even find a living wage job so I don't see that happening in our lifetime.

02-08-2013 12:34 PM
littlest birds

So the solution that will lower the use of welfare is to provide facts?  So first provide information, then are the people still free to choose or do you have new rules for welfare? 

 

I think there are already a lot of active educational efforts of this kind that aim to help women create better futures for themselves.  These include educational programs and job skills as well as family planning help.  Implementing more is expensive, so I am not sure how much more we should pursue when funding is scarce.

 

The key to helping people help themselves is anything that helps them believe they have real power to get beyond mere survival. The people who get stuck receiving assistance for long periods either have major problems or simply have no pathways to success that appear walkable.  Those who believe in a better future will generally take that path, but those who feel crushed by their failures will often balk.  Those who are broken have a hard time seeing hope. 

 

Most of the moms that posted here are not stuck in such a cycle of hopelessness.  Most people who post on Mothering.com are actively building a good life for their children, which is why they are interested in learning about nurturing natural parenting methods.  That doesn't match up much with "generational" welfare recipients.  While you may think fraud is common, or you may think even that bad character or laziness is common, I doubt it is common here.  However, there are many members who do receive some kind of assistance. 

 

To go way way back to the original post topic, if I were to meet a woman who is a SAHM and also receives some kind of assistance I would have no reason in the world to think she has been an abuser of the system, that she has or will be in the system for many years, or that she is making a bad decision that takes advantage of others.  While there may be people who "ought to" bring more personal responsibility into their lives so they need less help, I have no reason to think that anyone who is a SAHM is that kind of a person.

02-07-2013 04:48 PM
serenbat
Quote:

what exactly do YOU see as a way to do this and then HOW do you see it happening and WHAT do you see as the outcome? how do you tell people... you can only have X number of kids X number of years apart? how do you do that? and to what end? some people prefer to have 3 or more kids really close together, other prefer 3 or more kids years a part, some only want one, some none, some 10? do we need sex ed? YES!  family planning? possibly. home ec classes? i don't know. probably would be a good idea. 

you want the government nosing around in this area, spending your hard earned money to tell people how to have kids, when to have them, how to space them... but in the end, stuff happens. all the planning in the world won't always keep someone from being poor/sick/homeless. does it help, yes. but it isn't a 100%. 

this thread is making me nutty. i think the lovely people here who have been so brave to share their personal stories have gotten the shaft very often. 

i think i am done. 

knowledge is powerful, I never understand this type of fear

 

why have it be so wrong to be told simple facts, take that and apply them-it would be helpful to so many who do not have the family recourses to understand and guide them

 

a bit of history on the prosperous societies and how they were able to feed their children is always helpful too

 

 

I see it as nothing but sheer good

02-07-2013 11:57 AM
mamaofthree

what exactly do YOU see as a way to do this and then HOW do you see it happening and WHAT do you see as the outcome? how do you tell people... you can only have X number of kids X number of years apart? how do you do that? and to what end? some people prefer to have 3 or more kids really close together, other prefer 3 or more kids years a part, some only want one, some none, some 10? do we need sex ed? YES!  family planning? possibly. home ec classes? i don't know. probably would be a good idea. 

you want the government nosing around in this area, spending your hard earned money to tell people how to have kids, when to have them, how to space them... but in the end, stuff happens. all the planning in the world won't always keep someone from being poor/sick/homeless. does it help, yes. but it isn't a 100%. 

this thread is making me nutty. i think the lovely people here who have been so brave to share their personal stories have gotten the shaft very often. 

i think i am done. 

02-07-2013 11:12 AM
serenbat
Quote:
 that we don't already tell them?

where is this grand message you are talking about?

 

 

we are not getting a message out there

 

child development / preparation classes simply are not happening all over - my state doesn't mandate them and very few schools even run the program, we don't even mandate sex ed!

some feel we are promoting having babies (TV programs, making teen mom celebrities) not the opposite

 

we are not sending a message to mom's with children (already on assistance) -it is part of the goal of TANF, along with marriage- but implication is up to the states- I can tell you where I live there is no message getting out

 

when was the last time you head any talk about birth spacing from the government for all citizens?

 

this nation does not talk or promote family planning yet in any real way, some are hoping that changes with the ACA, at least for contraceptions occurs,  but so far we (as a nation) have not done much at all with FP/RH here at home yet spent the money overseas 

 

 where do you see that it's happening? 

02-07-2013 10:38 AM
mamaofthree

i keep wanting to know EXACTLY WHAT sort of things should we be telling people that we don't already tell them? and how is increased shame going to stop people from doing what they are doing? it does feel very degrading to have to ask for help, some people won't ask even though they could have a better life if they had a bit of help. does anyone truly want to go back to the days of taking children from their teen mothers just because we don't like that 15 years are occasionally having a child? or how about just not having a safety net at all, no food stamps, no welfare of any kind. forget SS, let the old die hungry and alone, no health care for those blasted lazy poor,no food for children. just stop all aid at all and HOPE that all those people who say they would help if all those bagillions in tax dollars that went to feed and house the poor, was actually still in their pocket, that they would, you know ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE?!

 

>:(

02-07-2013 05:15 AM
serenbat
Quote:
serenbat, what exactly are you linking to? That URL takes me to the "Our America with Lisa Ling" landing page, not a topic specific page or a specific video. 

it had been linking directly to the show - now it goes to all of them, since this has passed - it is called "Generation XXL-morbid Obesity" - it talks about one 4 year old who is 101lbs. My point being, no one (family, friends, doctors, neighbors, etc) gave judgment to this mother prior to now on how she was raising this child? - this link might work better - http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/Generation-XXL-4-Years-Old-101-Pounds-Video

 

Polliwog - the whole point is we have laws that to combat this (in place and fought for) - actually in my state with TANF you could not stay home and homeschool you child, (there was a  mentioned about child with autism and the need for the parent to stay home) 

we should be able to do this and not have a child moved to a different school, we also should not (IMO) move children from a community (my comments were general comment for the whole system, not just for one parent like on here)

 

 

 

 

Quote:
I think this message is being given to girls on a regular basis.

This isn't just for girls!

I also do not support support a biological urge as a justification for welfare - not all young women hurry to have a baby, most young men want lots of sex, is it good for the child (children) to also not have a structure unit for care? That is a big part of the message, not only do they cry and poop, you need to provide other things for them. 

02-07-2013 04:45 AM
Polliwog
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post


those were your words and that is how it comes off -better as in because she is with me (not where she was)

I do too- that's why I said about removing children from their community to really nice, suburban well funded schools (that means to me... better life-not what they would have had and I find it offensive to read!)  and no one puts down poverty as the reason, that's not done. Adoptions are happening- that is real, not in numbers they once were but still occurring. 

I know what Katharine is saying. I've taught in both kinds of public school systems. Better funded districts typically have more resources to meet the needs of children with disabilities, have staff who are more likely to stay in a school and not leave after a year or two, and often have a better teacher/child ratio and smaller class size. It's a lot harder to diagnose, treat, and/or effectively teach a child with "hidden disabilities." Queenjane and I are friends. We know a lot about the backgrounds of each other's children. We also know quite a bit about the lasting effects of child abuse and neglect. Some of it is irreversable. In our children's cases, the system worked as it should. Money wouldn't have fixed anything. In fact, my daughter's mother would have had to have someone LIVING WITH HER 24/7 to keep DD safe and healthy. We're not talking about shoes and clothes. Or even food, water, or electricity.

I wish my children's birth parents could have parented them. At a conference, the keynote speaker (a family court judge and adoptive parent herself)referred to adoption as "the least worst option for a child." I love my kids to death, but I wish their birth families hadn't broken in the first place.
02-07-2013 12:41 AM
cynthia mosher
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

OT- 

 

I can think of some real good that would come of it if we did deal more with this and the trend is going  the opposite, certainly it is not helping, I feel we are taking some non-judging and making dangerous mistakes-IMO 

 http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/our-america-lisa-ling.html beyond tragic - IMO and hard to watch!

serenbat, what exactly are you linking to? That URL takes me to the "Our America with Lisa Ling" landing page, not a topic specific page or a specific video. 

02-06-2013 06:46 PM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I don't think that is what is being said by most posters.  What is being said is that maybe we should impart the knowledge to young people that some choices are more likely to lead towards poverty than others.  

 

I think this message is being given to girls on a regular basis. I think its pretty damn natural to want to have a baby in your prime childbearing years, despite our current economic and political climate not really supporting that choice.  I had wanted a baby for years and years before i finally had one (was 23 when my oldest was born) and it was very painful to walk through baby clothes aisles and be desperately longing for a child and not having one. I think that too much of the emphasis though on having girls wait is on "look how AWFUL and HARD it is to have a baby, they cry, they poop, they cry some more!! and did you know a pair of shoes cost fifty collars and a crib $500??" (they always take these girls to expensive boutiques on these shows to point out how expensive babies are, they never mention thrift stores and garage sales!) and not enough emphasis on real financial education,

02-06-2013 03:43 PM
kathymuggle

I don't think that is what is being said by most posters.  What is being said is that maybe we should impart the knowledge to young people that some choices are more likely to lead towards poverty than others.  

02-06-2013 02:39 PM
queenjane

I know...it kinda cracks me up that people would say "hey maybe we should try NOT supporting teen moms! maybe there should be more shame!!" its not like we've ever tried THAT right???

 

isnt the teen birth rate the lowest its been in ages anyway??
 

02-06-2013 02:24 PM
contactmaya

Yes, take the babies from those wayward sinful girls.  

02-06-2013 11:15 AM
mamaofthree

i agree, i say we just judge everyone and shame them into behaving the way we see fit. i am sure that will work wonders in having a society of little automotrans that do not do anything different or act different. if it means i don't have to see someone who is overweight or i don't have to pay for someone else's kid or food for the poor, then i say LET'S DO IT! because you know back when we shamed and hid teen from the public and forced them into adopting out their children or forcing them into marriage we had a much happier/better/less dependent society. i mean my MIL grew up in the 30's/40's and there were NO teen moms and not much safety net, and wow, so much better society. and two of my aunties had babies while they were teens, and the shame, oh the shame. they were shipped off and had their babies taken from them. see so much better then now a days where those silly teens go about having babies and keeping them.  

(note the sarcasm here)

02-06-2013 08:02 AM
contactmaya

Are we just talking about teenage moms now?

02-06-2013 03:59 AM
mammal_mama

I have heard that Europeans are much more direct than Americans when it comes to letting their friends know that they're putting on too much weight, as well as letting them know about other problems such as body odor.

 

It probably depends a lot on the spirit in which the criticism is given and received. I know that overweight American schoolchildren are still subjected to lots of bullying and teasing, and it seems like it can actually make the problem worse by making some children so depressed that they end up eating for comfort even more.

 

I guess I'd need to actually be able to spend some time in European society to see if the way in which they're hard on obese people is similar to schoolyard bullying, or what. It is rather hard for me to picture a culture where friends and even mere acquaintances -- even those I only know in a professional capacity, such as a postal worker or grocer -- would think it was okay to feel me up just to see how much fat I had on me.

 

I guess if that's the price I'd have to pay in order to have better public transportation and affordable stores in easy walking distance, I'd happily accept the situation in my own city where life is seriously inconvenient if you don't have a car. Because being routinely felt up just because I was fat would be so completely unacceptable to me. But I don't think that necessarily has to be the tradeoff. I think we can make our cities more human-scale and still not have to deal with strange men feeling us up.

 

Back to my comment about the American schoolchildren who end up overeating even more because of the bullying -- I think bullying the poor can, and does, have a similarly negative effect. There's a reason why so many people in our society are striving to be more open and accepting of others and less judgmental. In most cases, I think it's because they didn't find others' judgmental attitudes very helpful to them in their own lives.

02-05-2013 11:03 AM
serenbat
Quote:
I don't think judging individuals gets us very far.

It does if you look at other subjects.

 

Some (and using the loosely here) do judge people by crimes they commit. 

We do send messages that certain behavior is not acceptable in our society (pedophiles, etc)- we send messages that society does not look favorable on certain personal behaviors as well. So I would say it is more easy for certain things vs simply acknowledging and keeping quiet on others.

It's easy to say don't kill someone vs now think, wait, plan and have that baby later or now get your life better before you have another.

 

Also in other parts of society - a job, you are judged, by showing up (at the basic level job) long term commitment, experience, corporation, etc - you get judged and some even get advanced based on other's judgement of you.

 

ETA- I would take it a step further and say if you have spent your life not being judged and understanding that others to that, you will have a difficult time in the work force and keeping a job. Ability and who you are, how you conduct your life plays a big role in a job. I see that as judgement and like or not are judged. 

 

Quote:
The transition to adulthood is difficult for some of us. 

it can also be when you don't have to move there at any pace and can take years and years and no one say anything negative about it to you

 

 

Quote:
 I don't know how to make private companies stop creaeting shows that advertise for kids to have babies.

I certainly feel many parents find it EASY to allow the easy way in so many aspects of their child's life (again Kathy made this point with what she had posted about how certain segments of society rear children with different values and expectations) - easy is just that easy! Not having a hard talk and wondering when they are 30 why they are hanging with 20 year olds and acting like a "kid" and the grandparent is home watching the grand-chidlren all weekend.

 

Also if there was no one watching these show, but we love this crap! If we (general society) see some over-weight (or morbid) it makes us look thin- again, it's easy- it's an easy mindset, no one is demanding seeing shows about a family committed to growing/living organically - change comes from demand and we are taking the easy way out on many topics.

 

 

OT- 

 

Quote:
If it makes you feel any better, outside of the US people are vastly harder on people who are overweight.

I can think of some real good that would come of it if we did deal more with this and the trend is going  the opposite, certainly it is not helping, I feel we are taking some non-judging and making dangerous mistakes-IMO 

 http://www.oprah.com/own-our-america-lisa-ling/our-america-lisa-ling.html beyond tragic - IMO and hard to watch!

02-05-2013 09:42 AM
sarafi
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

 

On the other side, I'd be a fool if I said, "I have no choice but to remain morbidly obese and inactive, because that's how my society is structured right now." It's crucial for me to be creative and find ways to move myself into an increasingly active lifestyle, and into increasingly healthy and environmentally-friendly food choices. These are things I am doing -- but I'll admit I still feel frustrated with people who complain about those like my dh who suffer from lifestyle-induced diseases (he has type 2 diabetes with neuropathy and non-alcoholic cirrhosis) and can't pay for their own health insurance or healthcare, thereby costing the taxpayers a lot of money...

 

I'm frustrated because many of the complainers just focus on the personal responsibility (and yes, my husband and I both do have the responsibility to develop good habits and make good choices) -- but they seem not to see the basic, common-sense reality that if we want to reduce healthcare costs, we should be smart enough to see what other developed nations with much lower rates of obesity, and the related illnesses, are doing differently.

 

 

If it makes you feel any better, outside of the US people are vastly harder on people who are overweight. Yes, a lot of our cities are built around the idea of cars as many of them evolved around the same time. Lack of neighbourhood stores may seem to correlate, but this has been a problem for a few generations and our weight gains have really only been a problem on a large scale in the current generation. And even in our very walk-able village, most people drive to shop once or twice a week, and they are still in good health.

 

I think we Americans, just got out of the habit of walking for exercise or pleasure as a society. It's always something we can do individually if we care to, for myself it does help to have an errand to attach to the walk.

 

In Japan, people are full on ruthless and shaming towards the overweight and employers can be fined if their employees don't fit basic (very slim) health requirements. They even tried to institute weekly public weigh-ins a few years ago to stem the problem.

 

I am literally full-body-felt up at least once a week by three different people who have made it their personal duty to see me lose my (albeit shocking 70 lb. pregnancy weight gain in the time they knew me). One man and two woman, and only one I would consider a friend, and yet she still does it also no matter how many times I beg her not to. One of these people is just my mail-man, the other is our local butcher--it's like they know I don't want to drive to do business elsewhere. At the same time, it is a fairly effective weight-loss motivationROTFLMAO.gifI'll give them that

02-05-2013 09:32 AM
seraf
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I had a friend who was a social worker in south Georgia. I won't name the town, things can get around... but she worked with teens in a housing project and most of the young girls couldn't wait to get pregnant so they could "start getting their checks" like their momma did. greensad.gif I can't tell you how depressed that makes me feel on so many levels.

These girls' math teachers clearly failed them. If they get a check for $400 a month, they're making 55 cents an hour to care for that baby. If they took care of someone else's baby for $3 an hour/ 7 hours a day / 5 days a week, they would get the same check but get nights and weekends off.
02-05-2013 09:30 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

It sounds like you're saying teen mothers need to face more judging from society. What form would this judgment look like? Kids still have to eat whether their parents (it isn't just the moms) made bad choices or not. I'm not sure what effective judgment there would be.

 

Not serenbat…but I am going to give my opinion anyways.

 

I don't think judging individuals gets us very far.  For starters, it can come across as mean, we do not know their circumstances, it can be a slipperly slope to policy that does not respect individuals etc.  I believe  in treating individuals with decency and respect, unless they have done something where they do not deserve it (and that does not include getting pregnant at 17).

 

We can judge actions without judging the person as a whole.  I judge smoking (it is unhealthy, it cost lots of money, it is addictive, parents who smoke are more likely to have kids who smoke).  I have friends who smoke.  We never discuss it, but if they brought it up (ha!) I would be honest and say that it isn't one of their better choices.  I certainly have the right (obligation?) to tell young people that smoking is a poor life choice.  I remember times when we were afraid to talk about smoking for fear of making kids of parents who smoke ( and the parents themselves) feel bad.  Yet we did talk about it, and in this area at least, smoking is way down from 20-30 years ago.  

 

There are ways to lower your chances of falling into poverty, and one of them is to have some financial security before getting pregnant.  We can and should talk about that, and we should be able to do so without worrying that we are offending those who did have a child when they were not financially stable.  

 

WRT to teen and very young adult pregnancy - I do not think it is only lack of sex ed and birth control that is a problem.  I remember visiting my cousin when I was 19.  A whole lot of her friends (who were 19-22) were pregnant or had babies.  I think most of them did it on purpose because they were overwhelmed with thoughts of "what do I do with my life?"   Having a baby gets you out of those worries - you now have a purpose, a job, and yes - a check.  The transition to adulthood is difficult for some of us. 

02-05-2013 09:21 AM
mamazee

I agree that those teen mom shows aren't helping anyone. They just make having a baby as a teen look glamorous. They should show women actually giving birth and then working on taking th weight off afterward, staying up all night with screaming babies, and stretchmarks. That would be a more accurate picture of having a baby and wouldn't make it look glamorous and fun. 

 

Really though I truly don't know what society would do to judge. I don't know how to make private companies stop creaeting shows that advertise for kids to have babies. I am not saying you want babies to starve - I just know that having babies go hungry isn't an option. I only want to know what options there are. What can be done differently? What solutions are there? I'm not sure but it sounds like you have ideas. I'm just curious what the ideas are.

 

I wonder if some people here are agreeing more on the specifics but focusing more on different parts of it - like you're focused on abuse, and we're focused on not punishing the babies who were born into this, but we might actually agree on the overall problem of people having babies before they're prepared. And we might agree about some ways of responding to that - I don't know.

02-05-2013 09:11 AM
serenbat
Quote:
 What form would this judgment look like?

like what you see right here- are these all teen moms? I don't think so

 

society messages are just that - verbal and hey how about a ad campaign thrown in there too? we can't even get sex ed as a national policy for schools let alone talking about planning

and like lots and lots of talk about it all over

 

I do see People magazine and what a MTV baby show can buy in the way of new boobs & tattoos (and we also have one of those teen mom's right near me)- the family has made the local paper

 

you are never going to learn it unless it's out there, look what bringing it up here is like -IRL most don't want to hear anything about it- it's not easy--it's judgement, it's you want babies to starve

 

there are all types of people receiving assistance/welfare (start of the thread), not all are teen moms, some are older and still do not know they should have planned, we can't even do what should be simple - getting the message out prior to having the baby and when you are on your second (or more) and you are still on assistance, how well does it go over?

02-05-2013 08:54 AM
mamazee

It sounds like you're saying teen mothers need to face more judging from society. What form would this judgment look like? Kids still have to eat whether their parents (it isn't just the moms) made bad choices or not. I'm not sure what effective judgment there would be.

 

I mentioned schools because I see this as an education issue. Kids aren't learning the benefit of putting off having children. They have to learn it somewhere, and they apparently aren't learning it at home.

02-05-2013 08:46 AM
serenbat
Quote:
That comes from good and complete sex education, but sadly we don't have that in the schools as much as we did.

not just here - school should play many roles but society has a greater impact!

 

the part kathy made about judgement is this too (a few have seemed to agree with it)

 

if we (society) find expectable (by means of non-judgement) we open up all areas - is it expectable to shoot someone you disagree with? should felony convictions prevent you from getting certain jobs? is the alcoholic the best one to be a bus driver?, etc 

 

this nation has not had a serious conversation on family planning (we did try several decades ago) but most JUMP quickly to a discussion on size, not planning!

not what is involved for the good of the child-it been done here and pointed out, it's right for me, now- it's your problem if you have a problem with it attitude

 

if we support this by means of not judging it becomes OK

 

we (nation) don't even do -IMO near enough for the drop out rate

 

 

 

Quote:
but she worked with teens in a housing project and most of the young girls couldn't wait to get pregnant so they could "start getting their checks" like their momma did.

yea and it's not happening any place else

02-05-2013 08:05 AM
philomom
Quote:
Originally Posted by seraf View Post

Wait, people are all on welfare because they started off with no education, no job, no house, no family? No one is in the system who works 1, 2 or 3 jobs? Had kids when they had plenty of money and the future looked great but something happened along the way?


I had a friend who was a social worker in south Georgia. I won't name the town, things can get around... but she worked with teens in a housing project and most of the young girls couldn't wait to get pregnant so they could "start getting their checks" like their momma did. greensad.gif I can't tell you how depressed that makes me feel on so many levels.
02-05-2013 07:43 AM
seraf
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

yes, you can use personal responsibility and not tie it into the economy

personal responsibility in self - as in it's not great to not take the responsibility in getting pregnant when you don't have a job because you have not even finished high school, no means of additional support (a spouse/family to watch a child), no housing, not having another child while already receiving assistance - those are factors that personal responsibility can and should be a part of and that is being missed- we are not sending that part of the message

Wait, people are all on welfare because they started off with no education, no job, no house, no family? No one is in the system who works 1, 2 or 3 jobs? Had kids when they had plenty of money and the future looked great but something happened along the way?
02-05-2013 07:38 AM
mammal_mama

kathymuggle, thank you for clarifying! I see now that you're just trying to balance things by exploring the conservative point of view more thoroughly.

 

I do agree that we all need to find that balance in our own lives, between seeing how societal structures need to be improved in order to facilitate everyone's access to all the resources and opportunities that provide for optimal health and wellbeing, and seeing how we can still succeed and create good and happy lives for ourselves and our children right now.

 

If I just keep focusing on the structural problems and pointing my finger at all those in power who seem (to me to be) intent on blocking our evolution into an economically and environmentally sustainable society, then I run  the risk of settling into the role of victim. For example, I previously shared my frustration about living in a city where there's not enough public support for initiatives that could make our city more human-scale and enhance everyone's ability to walk or use bicycles more to get from place to place, and where we still don't have enough public support to enable tons of neighbor-owned stores to pop up all over the place selling affordably-priced, locally-grown/produced, organic foods (if big government can subsidize big agriculture, why can't it subsidize the healthier options?)

 

On the other side, I'd be a fool if I said, "I have no choice but to remain morbidly obese and inactive, because that's how my society is structured right now." It's crucial for me to be creative and find ways to move myself into an increasingly active lifestyle, and into increasingly healthy and environmentally-friendly food choices. These are things I am doing -- but I'll admit I still feel frustrated with people who complain about those like my dh who suffer from lifestyle-induced diseases (he has type 2 diabetes with neuropathy and non-alcoholic cirrhosis) and can't pay for their own health insurance or healthcare, thereby costing the taxpayers a lot of money...

 

I'm frustrated because many of the complainers just focus on the personal responsibility (and yes, my husband and I both do have the responsibility to develop good habits and make good choices) -- but they seem not to see the basic, common-sense reality that if we want to reduce healthcare costs, we should be smart enough to see what other developed nations with much lower rates of obesity, and the related illnesses, are doing differently.

 

I also think we'll eventually have the evidence to support my belief (and the belief of many) that a lot of cancers are caused by unsustainable practices such as pesticide use. I actually think there already IS enough evidence to support this, but I wonder if our public policies will ever support this knowledge.

 

 Developing a more environmentally sustainable society could greatly reduce healthcare costs related to BOTH obesity and cancer. And moving in this direction makes a whole lot more sense than scapegoating the many poor people who are sick due to "lifestyle choices" or whatever term people want to use.

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