The "working poor" .

Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
The "working poor" .
25
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 2:24pm
http://216.239.37.104/search?q=cache:qReg_I06MLsJ:www.gvsu.edu/philanthropy/cri/pubs/lit_review_working_poor1.pdf+Working+poor&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

I found this an interesting read, and I think it pertains to a lot of the welfare discussions we have had here, and the discussions regarding health insurance.

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 12:55pm
I am going to lunch and am going to read this. Warning: I have a LOT of thoughts on this and hopefully will be able to digest them all by the time I come back.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 1:26pm
The item that stuck out for me is "50% of working poor families have an adult working full time" Which means in the other half, noone is working full time. Huh? Doesn't that count under the heading of "your own fault"? Also, it seems that most of the issues can be fixed with more child care subsidies. Most states have low cost to no cost health insurance for children.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 1:40pm
You know, there was a discussion on another board about how low would you go to stay home. Some people do go pretty low-doing without insurance, without savings and living paycheck to paycheck. I think sometimes it is voluntary but other times people are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

You have no skills and 3 young children. You can work retail but you are working for daycare. What do you do? You stay home and your husband works incredibly long hours at 2 places that don't offer insurance. He works as a laborer and a grocery clerk. It is easy to say don't have 3 children without skills but it happens every day. I don't know the solution. I wish I did. I wish there were some answers out there about the working poor and insurance, working poor and daycare and working poor and housing.

Sometimes, I think that people do not know a different way. They saw their parents doing the same thing. They saw their mother going from retail job to retail job and struggling to survive. I had a great friend in high school. Her mother had her when she was fifteen. She then had another child at 20 and another at 25. My friend saw how much her parents struggled. They had nothing beyond a high school diploma and they lived paycheck to paycheck. My friend got pregnant in high school despite seeing the struggles of her parents. I have not talked to her but I imagine she is now part of the working poor.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 1:44pm
Makes one wonder why people don't use better birth control.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 1:50pm
Don't get me started. I just quake when I hear a woman say,"We don't use birth control. God handles our birth control." Religious choice but they usually can't afford another child.

Here is a perfect example and I hope I am not violating any TOS.

http://www.quiverfull.com/13children.html

My favorite part of the very long article is that they have 13 children and he has worked almost every single job in the worst job possible list.

Sorry-I know it is kinda off topic.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 2:32pm
I will never forget, there was an article awhile back in our local paper about how a young woman was *struggling* to better herself, etc. Well she was 23yo and had just had baby number FOUR. Yep, FOUR!!!! All of them with different men, of course she wasnt married to any of them. And she is complaining because rents are so high in our town, and that she had to live in a 2 bedroom apt, etc. All I could think was that I know people who would have loved to have several children, but opted not to in order to be able to responsibly provide for the children they already had. I know people who would adopt an infant in a heartbeat. And I KNOW birth control can be had for FREE in this city (and I would assume, in most cities!) When I was 18 and a student, I went to the womens clinic for birth control and my annual exam. Even when I was 22 and still going there, I only paid a minimal amount because it was based on income. There is NO reason in this world that a person cannot obtain reliable birth control. Or better yet-if you are that young and already have children, what about abstinence??!!!

Argh. Okay, jumping off my soapbox......

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 2:48pm
I had my first at 21. I got pregnant at 20-I was a college drop-out and I was a very confused young woman. I had a retail job that paid just above minumim wage. It was a very difficult time in my life. I had 2 friends that offered to pay for an abortion. I decided not to go that route for various reasons. I had Zak and I got a much better position. I could afford daycare and I had health insurance.

I went to a singles mother group. Two of the other mothers had their children their senior year of high school. Their parents were very wealthy. Both had apartments that their parents paid for and they were going to college which was paid for by their parents. They had WIC and they had state insurance (TNCare). They were astounded that I was working. They kept asking me about going to college. I had my child on TNcare and hated it. I hated being beholden. I was eligible for WIC while pregnant and did not take it. I wanted to go back to college but not at the expense of other people. I don't know it that makes sense.

I just felt I had screwed up-I had gotten pregnant when I knew better. I needed to be responsible for my child-not the state and not the federal government. It did not seem right to take aid when I was capable of taking care of my child. So, I did. Sometimes, I wonder about going back to school. The time is not right yet-I will eventually.

Also, we did not have another child for five years. We waited until we could afford it financially and emotionally. I would have loved to have children closer in age but it did not happen. I would love to have another one but we can not afford it. I just get so angry when I hear about people having children and expecting other people to take care of them. It does not happen all the time-crap happens and we need help sometimes. It should be a step up, though not a way of life.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 2:51pm
Ok, I've got it together...

There are a couple of things I want to point out...

First, I would argue that being "working poor" is easier on any given day than being unemployed poor. I am glad this study seems to address that. There are (as the article stated) some instances where being stuck in the middle are quite stuck. When a person gets a job and gets off welfare they are cut off automatically. I think that they should get "stepped down" off of benefits instead of being abruptly cut off. But I think the fact that the unemployed poor often fare better is a sad testament to our society. Some posters seem fond of talking about "their money" going to this or that. Personally, I'd rather see "my money" go to building up strong families than supporting weak ones.

Second...you ever heard the saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink."? That's by and large how I feel about those welfare to work entrepreneurship/home ownership and self-sufficiency programs. I have seen so many people go through those programs and not do anything with them. Case in point my kids paternal grandma. She has taken every class from entrepreneurship, to home ownership, to stop smoking classes, to free aerobics, to pharmacy technician classes and she's certified to be a darn daycare center director. Well...she never started her business, doesn't intend to buy a home (at least not in the near future, she still smokes, is still overweight and has hypertention, is not a pharmacy tech and no longer works in child care. To me, I think there should be a contractual commitment to do something with the classes these people take or at least for them to put some kind of investment into it. Otherwise it's spending good money on nothing. Now I'm sure there are people who actually do something with these classes, I just haven't seen it happen yet (and I've seen a lot of people doing these classes).

Lastly, I think there is some merit to the statement that as the working poor try to advance upwards there is a partial ostricization from their "home society." I work and I make about as much as two working parents on my block would. Now I don't advertise my income but I am one of the few homeowners on teh block, I drive a relatively new vehicle, I'm not on government assistance (don't know how my neighbors know that but they know) and I have two children whom I don't get child support for (they know that b/c everyone pretty much knows their dad), so I'm looked at as "rich." The fact that I try to invest my money instead of buying "stuff" makes me even more wierd in their eyes. I don't have new furniture or fancy electronics, but I am rebuilding my bathroom. I don't have the latest CD's and I just got my first DVD player as a present, yet I have a savings account now. So I think the feeling of being an outsider in your own environment coupled with the challenges of surviving below the poverty level persuades some people that it's easier not to even try. Does that make sense?

Luckily I personally don't give a rats butt what people think of me, I want it all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 3:38pm
Woops, for some reason it won't let me edit but I meant to say being working poor is HARDER than being unemployed poor (at least in my neck o the woods).

Sorry bout the typo.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 5:18pm
What about WOH poor vs SAH poor? ;-)

Pages