Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 08

Today is Blog Action Day. From their website:

On October 15th bloggers everywhere will publish posts that discuss poverty in some way. By all posting on the same day we aim to change the conversation that day, to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause.

Well, as of today, my family is living in poverty. We closed on our house and land, and are how "house poor" as it is sometimes called. All our available cash went into this purchase, and there is nothing left. In fact, there's less than nothing left - our bank account went into the red over this.

But... how poor can we be with family around us?

There is so much talk right now, about how poverty is on the rise. We mention the cost of gas, the cost of oil, the cost of electricity, and we mourn the rise in the prices for even staples such as milk and bread. I hear people complain about it every day.

Yet, who is working on the solutions? Politicians talk of injecting the economy with money, but I fail to see how that does more than put a bandaid onto a severed artery. We can't count on the government to rescue us. Not only are they simply not going to do so, it's morally wrong.

That's right - it's morally wrong! When a child in our care misspends her allowance, we don't hand the child another $20 and go about our day. We lecture the child, or somehow sit down to teach her that the lack of money is the result of her poor spending habits. We teach her better ways to save and spend. If it's a repeat problem, we may even go so far as to take away the child's allowance altogether. We certainly don't aid and abet the child in spending beyond her means, though. Why should we expect the government to do so with us?

There are very few people in our country that are incapable of having at least a small garden, even if it's in containers. There are very few people in our country who can't work at SOME job in order to pay the rent. There are very few people in our country who are capable of living without credit cards.

These few facts are depressing. There are people starving, and there is land to plant food in... and people are left to starve. Those selfsame people often don't bother learning to feed themselves; instead they expect Big Brother to fix it, and either spoon feed them a job, or better yet, give them money for not working.

Poverty is a scary thing. I've been a single mom unable to work because welfare paid me more than working and paying the daycare I'd need in order to work. I hated being on welfare. Perhaps if welfare didn't exist, we could spend that money for subsidized or free daycare at work places, thereby freeing up thousands upon thousands of women who would otherwise be working and earning a fair wage.

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