cmerritt87

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Samuel J. Eldersveld Quote

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2009 at 4:26 am

seldersveld

According to Samuel J. Eldersveld, the true test of the humaneness of a group, or society, or nation is how it cares from its poorest members. What do you think about this quote?

The Working Poor

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2009 at 4:11 am

The working poor are, as the phrase denotes, poor individuals who have been fortunate to obtain jobs. In the United States, there are approximately 2 million working poor (Davis). I am thrilled that the United States government has worked hard in trying to provide all Americans with jobs. However, the United States must do a better job of providing American citizens with jobs that enable them to rid themselves of that dreaded “impoverished” label. This entails: raising the minimum wage, expanding the work week, and so forth. Working and remaining poor is extremely unfortunate. It is horrible to believe that individuals work their fingers to the bones only to remain poor. This must change.

Hope

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 3:47 am

A fellow for the Brookings Institute makes an excellent point in that, “too many of our teens and young adults are having children before they are married and before they are ready to be good parents. In my view, the solution to this problem resides as much in the larger culture—in what parents, the media, faith communities and key adults say and do—as it does in any shift in government policy per se. However, government can help by providing resources to those fighting this battle in the nongovernmental sector, by insuring that its own policies do not inadvertently encourage childbearing outside of marriage, and by supporting programs that have had some success in reducing early, out-of-wedlock childbearing.”

This fellow makes an excellent point—not that I necessarily agree with this specific aspect of it. I agree with the underlying premise in that there are certain parts in the government’s social policy that does not fully encourage individuals to escape the realm of poverty. Many believe that if the government wants to help impoverished families, it needs to provide jobs, housing, and hope—nothing more, nothing less!

Responsibility

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2009 at 3:02 am

I strongly feel that reducing (and ending) poverty requires a focus both on what government needs to do as well as on what individuals need to do. We need a mixture of responsible policies and responsible behavior. However, I feel that the government should construct policies that provide opportunities for the poor to become responsible. It is quite difficult for the poor to become responsible if they have no money, no home, and so forth. It may prove benefiical if America, the Land of Opportunity,  provides the poor with a chance to prove they can handle responsibility just like the middle and upper classes.

George Bernard Shaw Quote

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2009 at 5:22 am

gbs3

“Do not waste your time on social questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness”

What do you think about this quote?

Step it Up!

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2009 at 4:54 am

“Because the government lacks funds, time, and expertise to understand the specifics of given markets, it necessarily relies on private parties for a large portion of the knowledge it does have. These parties have their own interests, and the information they convey carries a range of conscious and unconscious biases” (Joseph V. Kennedy).

In my opinion, the private sector needs to “step it up”! While many corporate CEOs are making millions, flying on private jets, taking multiple high-priced trips a year, impoverished families are wondering where they will get their next meal from. I am just stating facts and by no means am I suggesting that CEOs should change their lifestyle. I merely feel that the world would be a better place if the privileged few dedicated more time to making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate! If the U.S. government must rely on the private sector to aid in combating poverty, it would be nice to see a private sector that is actually concerneprivate_jet_gulfstream_sm8ud and knowledgeable of it!

The Irony of Employment

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2009 at 5:38 am

child-care-pic“One of the key challenges that low-income parents face is the heavy implicit tax imposed by child care. When going to work necessitates placing a child in day care, the parent only receives the difference between his or her salary and day care expenses in return for working. Due to their lower salaries, this burden falls relatively hardest on the working poor. This significantly reduces the net rewards from working. The impact is only partially offset by the fact that current law gives parents a tax credit for up to three thousand dollars of work-related child care” (Joseph V. Kennedy)

Isn’t it amazing that the lowest of American classes can actually lose money from working if they have kids? There has always been great emphasis on providing employment for the impoverished, but it may not always prove beneficial. For instance, let’s say a poor mother has three young kids to take care of. Once she obtains a job (which isn’t likely to be high paying), she will have to pay for child care. If the child care expenses end up exceeding that of her paycheck, is it really worth it for her to work?

Day by day…

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2009 at 2:50 am

“Poverty is not solely a matter of income. To some extent it is caused by the high crime rates, low property values, poor schools, and other factors that surround most poor neighborhoods. Although increased income should help ameliorate these factors over time, it does not suddenly help them go away. If markets and power relationships are tilted against the poor, higher income may merely result in rising prices as a series of unscrupulous dealers take advantage of workers with litter experience and few alternatives. This objection can be overdone. Unregulated markets tend to be extremely responsive to new demand, and at some point, the poor have to be held responsible for their own choices if they keep purchasing inferior services even when better ones are available. Moreover, their ability to make smart decisions when given the chance is frequently underestimated. Nevertheless, concern about the persistence of environmental factors has some basis in reality” (Joseph V. Kennedy).

How can the poor be “held responsible [for] purchasing inferior services” when it may be all they can afford. Why does it seem as if the poor are often blamed for their circumstances? Granted, I do believe that there are those who have made bad financial choices, etc. However, no one enjoys living in an impoverished state and thus should not be fully blamed for their condition. When the poor purchase various inferior services, they do so primarily because they have no other option. These individuals and families live day by day (literally)! Do we have a right to scrutinize the way the poor spend the little money they do have? Inferior or not, I believe they know what “services” are best for them.

Mother Teresa Quote

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2009 at 2:48 am

mother-teresa-1

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” –Mother Teresa

What is your opinion about this quote?

Revolving Door

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2009 at 2:40 am

“The federal government already provides several services to its workers that could usefully be expanded to a broader audience. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) provides a choice of low-overhead diversified mutual funds into which employees can divert their income. Although in the past the TSP also provided far lower levels of client services, these concerns have largely been addressed. The Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) offers federal workers a broad range of health plans. The FEHBP negotiates prices and coverage with numerous companies and presents them to workers. Employees who are denied coverage for a particular procedure can appeal to the government for a decision on whether the denial was unjust. Every year, employees can elect to change plans. A number of commentators have advocated extending the FEHBP to other citizens” (Joseph V. Kennedy).

In the past, blue-collar and poor workers have had limited options in necessities such as investing in mutual funds, health care coverage, and so forth. It is great to see that there are finally government plans that provide the poor with options. In these types of “revolving door” programs; the poor aren’t punished for unjust systems. They are provided with plenty of time to make tough choices and take advantage of suitable programs that best aid their current circumstance.