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Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Kofi Annan Quote

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2009 at 12:12 am

kofi_annanKofi Annan states that “Poverty devastates families, communities and nations. It causes instability and political unrest and fuels conflict.”  I think we would all agree that poverty devastates families, communities and nations.  I also believe that no one would argue against the notion that poverty causes instability and political unrest.  However, I do not feel many have considered the impact of poverty on international conflict.  Many (including myself) naturally attribute conflict between states to ethical beliefs, political beliefs, and so forth.  Annan brings up an excellent point that leads me to the following question:  If poverty were to decrease worldwide, would we also a decrease in interstate conflict?  What do you think?

Spreading the Wealth

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I don’t think anyone would disagree with the notion that “poverty is an issue that negatively impacts the entire world”.  For decades, numerous countries come together under various organizations (such as the United Nations) in hope to putting an end to this worldwide dilemma.  I think it is wonderful that the United States, among other countries, aids developing nations in fighting poverty.  While I do not disagree that the United States should globalize its efforts to fight poverty, I do feel that America’s ability to end poverty amongst its “own” is inhibited when it offers so much financial assistance to others.  Let me reiterate—there is absolutely nothing wrong with America aiding other nations in my opinion.  I think it is admirable, not to mention that various countries assist us in other various capacities.  So what do you think…should America continue to “spread the wealth” to other countries…does aiding other countries truly limit America’s ability to end poverty for its own citizens…would it be moral for America to stop providing an abundance of financial resources to nations abroad? YOU TELL ME!indian_poverty_china-business-daily_blogspot_com

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2009 at 4:41 am

Michael Darby states that “discussions to poverty tend to focus on welfare because at a superficial level anyway, it is a subject on which we all agree. We all hate it.  Liberals hate welfare because the system treats applicants like criminals and does not give them enough money to support their children.  Conservatives hate it because the system costs the taxpayers money, discourages work, and encourages what they see as dependency”.  So what is the bottom line? Why does poverty exist?  It seems as if we overlook so many aspects of poverty.  To me, at the end of the day, Americans musk ask thereself “do ALL Americans (of all socioeconomic statuses) have access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  If you do not answer affirmative to that question, than part of me assumes that reducing poverty would increase access to these inalienable rights.  I can care less of what liberals or conservatives think. I just believe that America would be well-served if a welfare system is put in place that can be respected by all (regardless of political affiliation)!

Ohhhh the Possibilities…

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 at 1:52 am

Charity is the giving of help to those in need.  Americans oftentimes believe the government should solve all of the “problems” in the United States.  Then there is a sense of intense frustration when various needs are not met.  I agree that the government should solve many (not all) of America’s problems—among which is caring for the lowest of American classes.  When I see the status of the impoverished never improve, I become frustrated and wonder why we even bother electing American officials.  Then it occurred to me one day that I should stop complaining and actually do something about it. So I was thinking, “Of the 300 million Americans, what if 150 million of those gave 12 dollars a year to a charity aimed at ending poverty.  Simply stated, this scenario is assuming that 50% of Americans give a dollar a month to a charity (I feel this is a reasonable assumption).  If this scenario were to come to fruition, Americans would raise $1,800,000,000/year geared toward fighting poverty—yes, almost 2 billion dollars a year.  There isn’t much to say now, except for “OH THE POSSIBILITIES”.

Television: A Learning Tool?

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 1:10 am

Televison Production and PlacementTelevision has always been viewed as a deterrent of learning.  Many teachers, parents, and the like have complained that television can limit a child’s potential to grow intellectually.   However, let’s discuss the importance of television from an impoverished family’s perspective.   As discussed in the earlier stages of this blog, children who come from low-income families oftentimes do not have the opportunity to go to summer camp, attend afterschool programs, and so forth.  Hence, they often stay at home during the summer and (if they are too young to work) may resort to watching television a great portion of the day.  I would be evading the truth if I said that television does not deter learning in some way.  However, if it is going to be around for the rest of time, one might as well use it as a learning tool.  Parents who cannot afford to send their child to afterschool or summer programs should make sure their children are watching education programs such as PBS, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, TLC, and so forth (…let me preface myself by staying that there may already be parents who are doing this). Furthermore, local libraries have dozens of educational videos available for use.  I am, by no means, suggesting that parents should conduct learning in any particular way. I just believe that if the existence of a lower-class is going is not going to go away anytime soon, than one should make the most of the resources available.  While this does not (and should not) replace the value of education programs, this could close the gap in learning amongst socioeconomic classes. Believe it or not, television can be used as a learning tool!

Making Work Pay

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 at 4:50 am

In order to properly address poverty, one must look at what the United States is doing right and wrong. Too often, politicians as well as everyday American citizens only focus on what the United States is doing wrong. We must remember that helping combat poverty for millions of Americans is not easy. While I don’t necessary endorse a particular way in addressing poverty, I feel that “making work pay” would be a good start. When this term is used, it usually refers to providing America’s homeless with incentive to work. It has been argued that investing in welfare programs is not enough. As the old adage states, we can either give people a fish or teach them how to fish! Making work pay will provide impoverished families with the resources to go out, find jobs, and better support themselves. When this is coupled with welfare programs, then America increases its potential to decrease poverty rates across the United States.

Unplanned and Early Pregnancies

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2009 at 4:15 am

Do preventing unplanned and early pregnancies really help impoverished families escape poverty’s grasp? And if so, should the government invest financial resources? Whether you affirm or negate the previous questions, studies do suggest that preventing unplanned pregnancies really do improve the status of families in poverty. However, research does not strongly support the notion that government funding toward preventing unplanned and pregnancies is beneficial. We are currently in a major economic crisis. Many would suggest that investing in something less tangible is a major risk. However, if the Obama Administration is already spending 878 million dollars to boost the economy, why not spend a little bit more to aid families living in poverty—this is just a thought. Moreover, it is important to recognize that money shouldn’t merely go toward providing financial aid to the lower classes. It should go towards means by which the lower classes are taught to escape poverty’s realm. The promotion of preventing unplanned and early pregnancies is merely an aspect to this agenda.

Benjamin Franklin Quote

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 4:29 am

ben-franklin-21“Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright”

What do you think about this quote by Benjamin Franklin?

Learning beyond the Classroom

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 4:16 am

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“What do children do when they are not in school? Children from prosperous circumstances are likely to spend much of their time in scheduled activities including organized after-school programs, sports, music lessons, and reading and writing groups among other things. Summertime is often organized around camps, or summer programs centered on nature and the environment, computer skills, and hobbies, or physical outdoor skills. Above all, most of these activities are structured and disciplined around teaching and learning” (Neuman). Unfortunately, children who live in impoverished homes oftentimes do not have the opportunity to acquire such learning skills during the summer. It would prove beneficial on multiple fronts if city and state governments would (better) fund summer programs attendance for the underprivileged. Not only would this provide an opportunity for disadvantaged children to learn during the summer, it would also create jobs (a much-needed commodity during the current economic state). Furthermore, children from all economic classes would immerse themselves in the lives of children from different economic backgrounds, thus creating greater cohesion amongst classes. Most importantly, expanding educational learning provides opportunities for the next generation to be able to completely address issues surrounding poverty in the United States of America.

One Size Does NOT Fit All!

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2009 at 3:42 am

Every classroom can be characterized by its great diversity of learners, including students who are learning English as their second language, students readying below grade level, students with behavioral problems, students from varied cultural backgrounds, and students who have learning disabilities. The challenge is in meeting the needs of a diverse student body who have widely divergent skills (Neuman). After delving into the literature on poverty, a common problem in American schools is that they are too often comprised of a “generic” education. Sure students need math, science, reading, and so forth. But there are skills many impoverished students need beyond those (such as “homemaking”). No, I cannot persuade on what is needed. It is up to school district to examine to expand the curriculum to better suit all students! No, one size does not (nor will it ever) fit all.