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Frontline: Poor Kids

Old 11-25-12, 11:27 PM
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Frontline: Poor Kids

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/poor-kids/

What an absolutely heartbreaking episode. This is one episode that sticks with you long after you watch it.

Couldn't believe it when the one family had another kid when they can't even support the two they have.

Kaylie's optimism throughout what she experiences is amazing. Amazing how aware she is that education is the only was out, and how her mom is putting her at such a disadvantage.
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Old 11-25-12, 11:46 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

That was one depressing ass program.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:52 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

America's Politicians (from the Federal down to the local level) need to address this issue, instead of passing it on, election after election. I'm absolutely amazed at how apathetic the Democratic AND Republican parties are towards our own problems in the US these days. And yet this issue of apathy isn't even discussed. On this forum, or anywhere. All we talk about is who's gonna lose what seat in Washington, and posting news releases of scandals and stupid distracting shit that America's Politicians just love for us to do.

Has anyone actually taken a look at what changed since this forum was even started? Anything positive? I remember when it was started, and all I see is shit getting worse by the year. No matter who is in the White House.

In any case, a start would be free electricity and even free gas to get to work. It seems like gas and electric companies make it rather difficult when it should be a rather basic process. "Oh, you haven't received any paychecks for the last two months? Well, you probably need help."

These two sectors make so much fucking money, they can start paying for their privilege to do business in the US (and screwing over hundreds of millions of consumers and getting away with it).

One of the highest poverty rates in the entire world.

Someday we will be #1.

One thing positive I can say is maybe we will actually create a new breed of politician from kids like these. Because our current politicians are one group of lazy-ass motherfuckers who don't care about the population they represent, and who will never be able to identify with hardship.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 11-26-12 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:28 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
One of the highest poverty rates in the entire world.

Someday we will be #1.
http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=69

Got a ways to go before we reach #1. Sad statistics though.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:41 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Yes, I was meaning to say we'll be #1 within modernized countries sooner than later.

Because there's no competition with Haiti, Nigeria, or Zimbabwe.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:47 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
Yes, I was meaning to say we'll be #1 within modernized countries sooner than later.
According to this link, we have only 1 spot to go for that.
http://http://thinkprogress.org/econ...rty/?mobile=nc

But they make reference to extreme poverty and relative poverty, so who really knows. I sure don't have the answers.

I did find this quote a bit encouraging "However, the social safety net has helped alleviate some of this suffering. For instance, food stamps reduced the number of children living in extreme poverty by half last year."
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Old 11-26-12, 11:59 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
One thing positive I can say is maybe we will actually create a new breed of politician from kids like these. Because our current politicians are one group of lazy-ass motherfuckers who don't care about the population they represent, and who will never be able to identify with hardship.
Lets hope.
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Old 11-27-12, 11:58 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

I watched it. It was very sobering, although I did have an unintentionally hilarious perception of the 14-y/o son trying to convince his mom that $30 Nike flip-flops are a "great deal."

I also found myself thinking the blonde mom who had another baby during the span of time that the show was developed probably caused a lot of her own "stress." I had a mom who was very ill for most of my life--I can't remember her healthy--and she used that fact to guilt trip her kids, constantly. To hear that little girl express fear at losing her mother made me want to shake Blondie till her teeth rattled and tell her to wake up and grow up.
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Old 11-28-12, 11:50 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

I live in an area where half of the students get free or reduced lunch from the schools. Poverty is decently high. I see a lot of them come through my office looking to rent. I am jaded to most of it. It almost always strikes me as "stop having kids that you can financially care for." They can get free birth control, they can give up kids to adoption, etc. I don't know how that part of the problem ends. I don't feel bad for the parents, I just feel anger. I feel terrible for the kids. But the parents seem incapable of taking care of themselves, much less their kids.
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Old 11-30-12, 04:55 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Dave hits the problem on the head. The foundation of all our poverty related problems is unwanted children. They grow up to repeat the cycle by having unwanted children of their own. It's a horrible problem and I don't know how it can be solved. I agree with DVDPolizie that it starts with our politicians. None of them want to say "Wait to start a family." "If you're poor don't have kids, it won't solve your problems."

Everything else DVDPolizie said is crazy. Free gass and electricity?!! Just because our utilities are sometimes crooked doesn't mean that my tax dollars should be used to give the poor free gas and electric.
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Old 11-30-12, 05:13 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I agree with DVDPolizie that it starts with our politicians. None of them want to say "Wait to start a family." "If you're poor don't have kids, it won't solve your problems."
Do you really think poor people have unwanted children because politicians don't tell them what to do?
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Old 12-01-12, 01:43 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Do you really think poor people have unwanted children because politicians don't tell them what to do?
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Old 12-02-12, 05:22 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Dave hits the problem on the head. The foundation of all our poverty related problems is unwanted children. They grow up to repeat the cycle by having unwanted children of their own. It's a horrible problem and I don't know how it can be solved. I agree with DVDPolizie that it starts with our politicians. None of them want to say "Wait to start a family." "If you're poor don't have kids, it won't solve your problems."

Everything else DVDPolizie said is crazy. Free gass and electricity?!! Just because our utilities are sometimes crooked doesn't mean that my tax dollars should be used to give the poor free gas and electric.
Obviously, you'd have to prove you were in a financially dire situation.

Your tax dollars have bailed out banks by the tune of billions of dollars, and you're not willing to help a fellow jobless family? That seems a little crazy to me.

I'm not really surprised by your reaction since this is what most people would say. This is why America will fail and fall hard on its big fat ass. Nobody gives a shit about each other and won't stand up for one another.

And this is also why politicians will rule your world, tell you how to live, and take your money and spend it as they please.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 12-02-12 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 12-02-12, 05:28 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Do you really think poor people have unwanted children because politicians don't tell them what to do?
Let's put it another way. If we had the US Government investing as much in advertising for planned pregnancies as they did drugs, I think we'd have a more educated society overall. But I see little--if any--acknowledgment of a population problem with low income families. If anything, the US Gov't gives incentives for low income families to have more babies. The US Gov't needs to REMOVE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES for families.

Want a baby? Great. You and/or your awesome Church can fucking pay for it.

That should be the message of the US Government.

We should reward those who try. Not continually rewarding failure.
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Old 12-03-12, 11:05 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
Obviously, you'd have to prove you were in a financially dire situation.

Your tax dollars have bailed out banks by the tune of billions of dollars, and you're not willing to help a fellow jobless family? That seems a little crazy to me.

I'm not really surprised by your reaction since this is what most people would say. This is why America will fail and fall hard on its big fat ass. Nobody gives a shit about each other and won't stand up for one another.

And this is also why politicians will rule your world, tell you how to live, and take your money and spend it as they please.
Thank you.

Please accept my apologies, if i've ever disrespected you in any thread on this site. Cheers to you DVD Polizei.
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Old 12-04-12, 01:30 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Do you really think poor people have unwanted children because politicians don't tell them what to do?
No, it's a much more complicated situation, but one thing the government could do is try and "set the tone" or "raise the bar". Right now we've degenerated into a society that doesn't recognize any stigma regarding men who abandon their families. We completely condone it. We shun smokers more than we shun dead-beat dads. We shun people who talk on cell phones during movies more than we shun women who've had 3 children by 3 men and then get pregnant again. We tacitly condone this irresponsible behavior because to oppose it might make us look racist.

But you're right, it’s not just politicians, it’s church leaders, teachers, everyone. If you're a child and your dad abandoned you, you need to be taught (and I know this hurts) that your dad was WRONG, what he did is deplorable, and should you grow up to do what he did you will be despised in the community. Currently we teach "families come in all different shapes and sizes" and it's not helping.
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Old 12-05-12, 03:04 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
I'm not really surprised by your reaction since this is what most people would say. This is why America will fail and fall hard on its big fat ass. Nobody gives a shit about each other and won't stand up for one another.
You can't be serious. American businesses and individuals gave nearly $300 billion to various charties in 2011. That doesn't even count hours donated. The main food bank in our state will have given out close to 8 million pounds of food this year alone.
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Old 12-05-12, 04:58 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

http://philanthropy.com/article/Char...Wealth/130469/

January 26, 2012

Charities Suffer From a Wealth Gap, Too
By Mark Rosenman

Although some presidential candidates label it “class warfare” or “the politics of envy,” more and more Americans are joining with the few elected leaders who have begun to talk about the nation’s profound economic inequality. But the topic isn’t getting very much attention from charities. This is in spite of the fact that a parallel inequality exists in the nonprofit world itself.

The silence is surprising for a couple of reasons. Today’s extreme inequality multiplies the problems people face and their need for charities’ services. It also directly affects the help they get. As a general rule, nonprofit organizations at the top of the financial heap are less likely to provide the kind of assistance needed by those suffering from economic inequity. The wealthiest charities tend to cater to the wealthiest Americans—and both mutually reinforce inequality in the society and in the nonprofit world.

Let’s look at some statistics about increasing inequality and then explore what it means for people and the organizations that serve them. Since 1979, after-tax income for the top 1 percent more than doubled while it fell for middle class and poor Americans. The top 5 percent of households now account for over 60 percent of wealth in the U.S.

Inequality is greater still in the nonprofit world to which people in economic distress turn for services. Charitable assets are even more concentrated than among wealthy people: The top 2.5 percent of organizations that report data to the Internal Revenue Service have over 50 percent of the wealth and bring in over 60 percent of charities’ annual revenues.

Colleges, hospitals, and health-care facilities alone constitute that top tier of charities. Compare their finances with those of human-service groups, which account for more than a third of nonprofit organizations but have only about 13 percent of annual revenues and 11 percent of assets.

In both the nonprofit world and the larger society, the rich get richer while the rest of us get poorer. We are in the first recession on record in which the median income of working-age people is lower at recovery than it was before the economy tanked, but the wealthy continue to enjoy their gains over both the short- and long-term. Much the same holds true for charities; the most prosperous organizations enjoy the largest increases in contributions while the smaller ones struggle to hold on.

Take colleges and universities, for instance. In nonprofits generally, even in foundations, the wealthier ones recover much faster than smaller ones. Coming out of the recession, higher education enjoyed one of the larger increases in charitable donations, at about 3.5 percent. Compare this with human services, which declined 1.5 percent in spite of contributions in response to disasters abroad.

Favoring colleges in and of itself contributes to increasing inequality in both the populace and the charitable world. Financial assistance to low- and moderate-income students has not kept pace with increases in tuition and related costs at both nonprofit and public institutions. This happens while the increasingly large salaries paid many university executives make them top 1-percenters themselves.

Looking at the top 200 or so colleges, only 15 percent of students come from the bottom half of the income distribution; 67 percent come from the top quarter. On many campuses, affluent students outnumber those from the middle class.

Such findings prompted Anthony Marx, former president of Amherst College and now head of the New York Public Library, to observe that “we are actually part of the problem of the growing economic divide rather than part of the solution.” A college education remains important to gaining, or at least holding onto, a decent economic position, but it also helps legitimate inequality by seeming to provide fair access as a route to meritocratic success.

Does it? Students with high test scores from low-income families were less likely to complete college than those with low scores from affluent families, according to an Education Department study. And only five institutions (that’s a number, not a percentage) were doing a good job serving those low-income students who managed to cobble together tuition, declared the Education Trust after examining 1,200 colleges. As President Obama pointed out in the State of the Union, higher education is not serving the nation well.

And colleges are not alone. Nonprofit hospitals share their elite financial status and also fail to do a good job serving those in greatest need—while also putting executives in the top 1 percent of wage earners. Two-thirds of hospitals dedicated under 2 percent of their total expenses to subsidized medical care; just 7 percent directed at least 5 percent to charity care. Yet we know that health-related crises are among the powerful factors that propel people down the economic ladder and exacerbate economic inequality.

This is not to suggest that those nonprofit organizations—universities, hospitals, and the like—at the top of charity’s financial pyramid fail to provide positive and needed goods to society, as well as to those in economic decline. They do. Yet with their elite status and economic power, they could do so much more to curb inequality through their programs and their own internal operations. This is true of foundations, too.

Human-service groups and smaller community-based organizations quite often are the most helpful to people and to society itself in dealing with economic inequality. They provide direct services and also push policy changes that would improve the plight of the downwardly mobile and the financially insecure. It is those organizations, as well as social-change groups, that are challenging the structural forces that drive economic inequality, although they do not do this often enough or vigorously enough. Yet they are among the organizations most strained financially in the face of budget cuts and decreasing contributions.

Contrary to politicians’ proclamations, it is not wrong or subversive to acknowledge America’s economic inequality and try to close the gap. In fact, it’s a gross disservice to our nation to deny or play down its existence or to assert simply that it’ll go away if we just give the wealthy more tax breaks and businesses less regulation. Acknowledging a divide doesn’t create it; we can’t solve a problem unless we are willing to see it and speak of it.

Nonprofit leaders need to talk more publicly about these dynamics and to act to close the gap between rich and poor. And foundations need to provide the necessary resources to challenge growing economic inequality. Together, nonprofits and foundations ought to counter the myth-making and obfuscation that characterize too much of today’s political discourse. They can help stave off further erosion of America’s strength by assuring greater equity in their own internal operations, beginning with salaries from the lowest- to highest-paid employees. They can also help low- and moderate-income people change the policies that exacerbate economic inequality while also offering them help in finding and seizing upon new opportunities.

Most of all, charities need to help people understand their shared interests and work together to improve the common good.

Mark Rosenman is director of Caring to Change, a project in Washington that seeks to improve how grant making serves the public.
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Old 12-06-12, 03:29 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

I have no idea what that article has to do with my point that American's care about other people and as a result give a lot of money and time in order to help others.
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Old 12-13-12, 12:20 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Nicholas Kristof of the NYT has been in the news for talking about *gasp* welfare form. Although all he is saying is "education is key!". He does make a good point that the poor kids today have replaced the poor old people of the past because the old people can vote.

]Profiting From a Child’s Illiteracy
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: December 7, 2012
THIS is what poverty sometimes looks like in America: parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes. Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability.

Many people in hillside mobile homes here are poor and desperate, and a $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way — and those checks continue until the child turns 18.

“The kids get taken out of the program because the parents are going to lose the check,” said Billie Oaks, who runs a literacy program here in Breathitt County, a poor part of Kentucky. “It’s heartbreaking.”

This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.

Some young people here don’t join the military (a traditional escape route for poor, rural Americans) because it’s easier to rely on food stamps and disability payments.

Antipoverty programs also discourage marriage: In a means-tested program like S.S.I., a woman raising a child may receive a bigger check if she refrains from marrying that hard-working guy she likes. Yet marriage is one of the best forces to blunt poverty. In married couple households only one child in 10 grows up in poverty, while almost half do in single-mother households.

Most wrenching of all are the parents who think it’s best if a child stays illiterate, because then the family may be able to claim a disability check each month.

“One of the ways you get on this program is having problems in school,” notes Richard V. Burkhauser, a Cornell University economist who co-wrote a book last year about these disability programs. “If you do better in school, you threaten the income of the parents. It’s a terrible incentive.”

About four decades ago, most of the children S.S.I. covered had severe physical handicaps or mental retardation that made it difficult for parents to hold jobs — about 1 percent of all poor children. But now 55 percent of the disabilities it covers are fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation, where the diagnosis is less clear-cut. More than 1.2 million children across America — a full 8 percent of all low-income children — are now enrolled in S.S.I. as disabled, at an annual cost of more than $9 billion.

That is a burden on taxpayers, of course, but it can be even worse for children whose families have a huge stake in their failing in school. Those kids may never recover: a 2009 study found that nearly two-thirds of these children make the transition at age 18 into S.S.I. for the adult disabled. They may never hold a job in their entire lives and are condemned to a life of poverty on the dole — and that’s the outcome of a program intended to fight poverty.

THERE’S no doubt that some families with seriously disabled children receive a lifeline from S.S.I. But the bottom line is that we shouldn’t try to fight poverty with a program that sometimes perpetuates it.

A local school district official, Melanie Stevens, puts it this way: “The greatest challenge we face as educators is how to break that dependency on government. In second grade, they have a dream. In seventh grade, they have a plan.”

There’s a danger in drawing too firm conclusions about an issue — fighting poverty — that is as complex as human beings themselves. I’m no expert on domestic poverty. But for me, a tentative lesson from the field is that while we need safety nets, the focus should be instead on creating opportunity — and, still more difficult, on creating an environment that leads people to seize opportunities.

To see what that might mean, I tagged along with Save the Children, the aid group we tend to think of as active in Sudan or Somalia. It’s also in the opportunity business right here in the United States, in places like the mobile home of Britny Hurley — and it provides a model of what does work.

Ms. Hurley, 19, is amiable and speaks quickly with a strong hill accent, so that at times I had trouble understanding her. Ms. Hurley says that she was raped by a family member when she was 12, and that another family member then introduced her to narcotics. She became an addict, she says, mostly to prescription painkillers that are widely trafficked here.

Equipped with a crackling intelligence, Ms. Hurley once aspired to be a doctor. But her addictions and a rebellious nature got her kicked out of high school, and at 16 she became engaged to a boyfriend and soon had his baby.

Yet there are ways of breaking this cycle. That’s what Save the Children is doing here, working with children while they’re still malleable, and it’s an approach that should be a centerpiece of America’s antipoverty program. Almost anytime the question is poverty, the answer is children.

Save the Children trains community members to make home visits to at-risk moms like Ms. Hurley, and help nurture the skills they need in the world’s toughest job: parenting. These visits begin in pregnancy and continue until the child is 3 years old.

I followed Courtney Trent, 22, one of these early childhood coordinators, as she visited a series of houses. She encourages the mothers (and the fathers, if they’re around) to read to the children, tell stories, talk to them, hug them. If the parents can’t read, then Ms. Trent encourages them to flip the pages on picture books and talk about what they see.

Ms. Trent brings a few books on each visit, and takes back the ones she had left the previous time. Many of the homes she visits don’t own a single children’s book.

She sat on the floor in Ms. Hurley’s living room, pulled a book out of her bag, and encouraged her to read to her 20-month-old son, Landon. Ms. Hurley said that she was never read to as a child, but she was determined to change the pattern.

“I just want him to go to school,” she said of Landon. “I want him to go to college and get out of this place.” Ms. Hurley said she was clean of drugs, working full time at a Wendy’s, and hoping to go back to school to become a nurse. I’d bet on her — and on Landon.

“When kids come to us through this program and come here, we can see a big difference,” Ron Combs, the principal at Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School here, told me. “They’re really ready to go. Otherwise, we have kids so far behind that they struggle to catch up.

“By second or third grade, you have a pretty good feeling about who’s going to drop out,” he added.

A group of teachers were in the room, and they all nodded. Wayne Sizemore, director of special education in Breathitt County, puts it this way: “The earlier we can get them, the better. It’s like building a foundation for a house.”

I don’t want to suggest that America’s antipoverty programs are a total failure. On the contrary, they are making a significant difference. Nearly all homes here in the Appalachian hill country now have electricity and running water, and people aren’t starving.

Our political system has created a particularly robust safety net for the elderly, focused on Social Security and Medicare — because the elderly vote. This safety net has brought down the poverty rate among the elderly from about 35 percent in 1959 to under 9 percent today.

BECAUSE kids don’t have a political voice, they have been neglected — and have replaced the elderly as the most impoverished age group in our country. Today, 22 percent of children live below the poverty line.

Of American families living in poverty today, 8 out of 10 have air-conditioning, and a majority have a washing machine and dryer. Nearly all have microwave ovens. What they don’t have is hope. You see it here in the town of Jackson, in the teenage girls hanging out by the bridge over the north fork of the Kentucky River, seeking to trade their bodies for prescription painkillers or methamphetamines.

A growing body of careful research suggests that the most effective strategy is to work early on children and education, and to try to encourage and sustain marriage. Bravo to Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio for backing a landmark initiative to add one-eighth of 1 percent to the local sales tax to finance a prekindergarten program. Early interventions are not a silver bullet, and even programs that succeed as experiments often fall short when scaled up. But we end up paying for poverty one way or another, and early childhood education is far cheaper than adult incarceration. I hope that the budget negotiations in Washington may offer us a chance to take money from S.S.I. and invest in early childhood initiatives instead.

One reason antipoverty initiatives don’t get traction in America is that the issue is simply invisible.

“People don’t want to talk about poverty in America,” Mark Shriver, who runs the domestic programs of Save the Children, noted as we drove through Kentucky. “We talk more about poverty in Africa than we do about poverty in America.”

Indeed, in the 2012 election campaign, poverty was barely mentioned. A study by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal watchdog organization, found substantive discussion of poverty in just 0.2 percent of campaign news reports.

Look, there are no magic wands, and helping people is hard. One woman I met, Anastasia McCormick, told me that her $500 car had just broken down and she had to walk two miles each way to her job at a pizza restaurant. That’s going to get harder because she’s pregnant with twins, due in April.

At some point, Ms. McCormick won’t be able to hold that job anymore, and then she’ll have trouble paying the bills. She has rented a washer and dryer, but she’s behind in payments, and they may soon be hauled back. “I got a ‘discontinue’ notice on the electric,” she added, “but you get a month to pay up.” Life is like that for her, a roller coaster partly of her own making.

I don’t want to write anybody off, but I admit that efforts to help Ms. McCormick may end with a mixed record. But those twin boys she’s carrying? There’s time to transform their lives, and they — and millions like them — should be a national priority. They’re too small to fail.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/op...nted=all&_r=2&
Most telling part:
But now 55 percent of the disabilities it covers are fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation, where the diagnosis is less clear-cut. More than 1.2 million children across America — a full 8 percent of all low-income children — are now enrolled in S.S.I. as disabled, at an annual cost of more than $9 billion.
My solution is pretty simple: offer $5,000 to anyone over 18 to be sterilized.
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Old 01-17-13, 03:42 AM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

Originally Posted by orangecrush View Post
You can't be serious. American businesses and individuals gave nearly kr.1,700 ($300) billion to various charties in 2011. That doesn't even count hours donated. The main food bank in our state will have given out close to 8 million pounds of food this year alone.
But why does there have to be the need for 8 million pounds of charity food?
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Old 03-23-13, 10:05 PM
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Re: Frontline: Poor Kids

The sad thing is a lot of the benefits that are meant to help the kids don't get to them. You see this all the time. Mom lives with Baby Daddy and he/she spends the food stamps on Mountain Dew and Snicker Bars rather than feeding the kids. One of my co-workers is going thru a situation right now where they area having to take care of a family members 8 month old who has a mom hooked on drugs and a father who is in and out of jail. When they got the kid she only weighed like 1 lb more than when she was born and it was obvious they weren't caring for her.
BKenn01 is offline  

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