Inspired by the discussion surrounding the WaPo piece “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps” , Westgirl shared her experience of living in poverty long term.
The article “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps” was sent to me about a dozen times by mid-morning. I tweeted my thoughts about it and you can see them below in the Storify I made (which may look wonky since embed doesn’t work correctly in wordpress, so I had to convert to html and …yeah).
I don’t have much to add to the series of tweets. A lot of people really loved this piece and I respect that. I suspect it’s because people are liking a narrative that addresses going from stability to poverty in a short time since it’s becoming a common story.
As always, I just like to look at things through a more critical lens and offer perspective that may be outside of popular opinion.
Thoughts on WaPo “Drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”//
via OUR TIME
There’s a wealth of information on tumblr regarding social work & mental health. These are listed together because the issues quite often go hand in hand.
Thanks to Creative Social Worker for putting this directory together.
Creative Clinical Social Worker
So, this is fun. High school GPAs may be a good indicator afterall of future income BUT not if that student graduating is the woman variety.
A Woman With Perfect Grades Is Worth The Same As A Man With A 2.0 Average | ThinkProgress. ←link
I don’t think grades are everything usually. I think a lot of parents and schools use grades to measure intelligence and potential way too much. But hell…I have twin daughters who are graduating next year and it’s depressing to raise daughters to believe they ARE equal beings and can have success in whatever field they choose when society isn’t quite up to speed on the matter. They both currently have a 3.9 GPA. They’re proud of their academic success and have some great aspirations for college. How do we keep our daughters motivated to succeed when no matter how much they focus on their goals, they face going into a job market that determines their value as less because of gender?
The answer is not that they need to “lean in” more. This is not something we can fix by telling our daughters to work harder and be smarter.
On a related note, everyone is talking about Jill Abramson being fired from the New York Times and speculation has gone straight to pay gap issues. I echo what Maria Shriver says. “I don’t know all the ins and outs of the Abramson case, but I do know this: Jill Abramson is going to be fine. What I also know is that the gender pay gap in this country is real, especially for low-income working women. That’s who isn’t doing fine.”
It’s still a significant problem. Congress (ok, Republicans in Congress, specifically) have voted no on every measure meant to close the gender pay gap.Equal pay shouldn’t be such a hard thing to achieve.
Recently, David Leonhardt tried to link fidgety boys to poverty, stating that boys are in a crisis state and girls are doing just fine. There’s a lot to pick apart in his article but one flawed point made was this:
To put it another way, the American economy — for all its troubles (and all of the lingering sexism) — looks to be doing pretty well when you focus on girls. The portion of women earning a four-year college degree has jumped more than 75 percent over the last quarter-century, in line with what has happened in other rich countries. Median inflation-adjusted female earnings are up almost 35 percent over the same span, census data show — while male earnings, incredibly, haven’t risen at all.
One of the causes of widening inequality in the U.S. is due to the fact that nobody is getting a decent pay increase . The rate of pay increases since the late 60s hasn’t kept pace with inflation. Women still on average make 77 cents for every man’s dollar… and this is all women. Women of color and transgender women earn less than white women even. Black women, for example, earns less than 70 cents for every dollar a man earns. Over the last quarter century, women’s earning may be up almost 35% (thanks,feminism.May the future version of you be more intersectional and fight equally for everyone) but it still isn’t even equal to a man’s dollar. I have a fidgety boy myself but I am far more concerned about the future my daughters have. There is a crisis for ALL children being raised in poverty (equal consideration given to single parented households and two parent households). Fidgety or not, my son is still going to start his future career at a better advantage than his sisters.
I mean, unless something changes to equalize things. Finally.
ok! ok! hold it! I just want to say something you know, for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 63 cents. now, fifty years ago that was 62 cents. so, with that kind of luck, it’ll be the year 3,888 before we make a buck. but hey, girl
(That 63 cents was back in 1990. And we’re up to 77 cents 20 years later.
Well,goodness. I always stress than while personal narratives can share common threads, there are many ways poverty can look but I connect with this personally. Metcalf lives about 2 counties away from where I do. It’s hard to even get dental coverage through medicaid here if you’re an adult and very few dentists will even accept it. The one closest to me is a horror show. And by closest, I have the same issue as Metcalf …transportation. Right where I live, we have a great public bus system but traveling outside of the area isn’t easy.
We are also in that dangerous space where if I were to just get a part time job, we would lose assistance but any income I make wouldn’t be enough to offset the lost assistance PLUS cover the cost of childcare. Hell, a part time job probably wouldn’t even cover the cost of childcare here. The daycare subsidy waiting list is long, so that isn’t a huge help.
Almost all of this list of brain damaging habits are things more likely to affect people in poverty. I am so sorry for my redundancy at times but we really need to shift this focus off of weight issues being the primary health concern among those in poverty and give more attention to brain health being the main concern.
2/ Many people who live with (or have lived with) food insecurity tend to overeat when they do have food because they don’t know where their next meal is coming from and it may have been a while since they had enough food.
4/ Affordable foods that provide enough calories (especially in food deserts) are high in sugar.
5/ People in poor, non-white neighborhoods are exposed to more hazardous pollution. Low income housing overall tend to be in more polluted areas of cities.
7/People sleep with their head covered when it’s cold because they can’t afford heat. (thank you, JW from the comments!)
This is actually a few days worth of reads. The screen on my laptop broke ,so it’s away being fixed (yay, warranty). So, I’ve had to share The Family Computer. Cross your fingers my laptop comes back to me quickly.
“Why does McDonald’s need four years to bring their workers out of poverty?”
Things I love about Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s take on the $15 minimum wage plan announced by the mayor:
- She starts by crediting people around the country who have been organizing for $15/hr.
- She points out structural issues with the way the Mayor’s plan was developed and announced.
- She raises serious questions about the extended timeline.
- She points out that she led a process to develop a plan that was never voted on.
Kshama Sawant is kind of my hero right now.
Mary-Faith Cerasoli, above, is “sleeping in her car, showering at college athletic centers and applying for food stamps.”
“They call us professors, but they’re paying us at poverty levels…I just want to make a living from a skill I’ve spent 30 years developing.”
“Students aren’t getting what they pay for or, if they are, it is because adjuncts themselves are subsidizing their education.”
One of my fave things about Saturdays on Twitter is #.
This article is by Dorothy Brown, a professor of tax law at Emory University Law School. The racial wealth gap has hit an all-time high while Barack Obama has been president. The median net worth of white households is now 20 times that of black households. Why?
Some argue that the gap is a current manifestation of a historical problem. Others say blacks are to blame. While I can’t eliminate the lingering effects of slavery and Jim Crow, or change stereotypes, I can highlight one area where blacks may be inadvertently contributing to the racial wealth gap: When most black people buy homes, we hurt ourselves economically.
Home ownership has been an important vehicle in creating a solid white middle class, but it has not done the same for most black homeowners, because blacks and whites buy homes in very different neighborhoods. Research shows that homes in majority black neighborhoods do not appreciate as much as homes in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods. This appreciation gap begins whenever a neighborhood is more than 10% black, and it increases right along with the percentage of black homeowners. Yet most blacks decide to live in majority minority neighborhoods, while most whites live in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods….
“50% of African-American children born in Mississippi grow up in poverty as opposed to 16% of white children” rethinkms.org/2014/05/02/rep
US interests are best served when people around the world don’t go hungry. ow.ly/wpMKu
Immigration Reform Is Partly About How Much Poverty to Welcome bit.ly/1kosdYo
I guess maybe it’s good to consolidate all the mean people into one post. Keep the hate contained a bit.
Yes, talk of Donald Sterling’s racism is totally relevant here. Long before the audio of his racist comments came to light, he was a racist who was sued by the federal government on more than one occasion for discriminating against blacks & latinos by refusing to rent housing to them. Structural racism like this contributes to inequality. I don’t want to rehash what happened and why it was wrong. I just have things to say to some of the reactions supporting Sterling.
Such as: “No one should have their property stripped away and have to pay money because someone was offended by something they said!” – Stop acting like Sterling is the one being oppressed here. At the end of the day, he’s still a billionaire and a racist. He’s going to be fine but if not, I’m sure he can go work on Clive Bundy’s ranch.
My point is, this lifetime ban from the NBA, fines, and probably being forced to sell the Clippers is not going to impact this man in the same way he can impact others. The NBA held him accountable for racist words but who is going to hold him accountable for discriminatory practices in his other business ventures and daily life?
Apologists need to just stop worrying. That rich white dude is going to be ok.
Paul Ryan won’t let poor people testify at hearing about poverty. This is a SSDD thing.
You can read Tianna Gaines-Turner’s testimony here , what she would have said if real live poor people could have said some words.
And again, can someone explain why PAUL RYAN is the one holding a hearing on poverty?
We’ve probably all seen this meme floating around faceboob. The first time I saw it, it was posted by the dad of one of my kids’ classmates. I have no filter sometimes, so I left him a comment asking him, “Do you think of my family as wild animals? We get food stamps.”
His answer was… “Of course not YOU! I mean those other people.”
My answer to this is always,”If you can recognize that I’M not the stigma you have in your head representing food stamp recipients, then why is it so hard to imagine that your entire narrative about poor people on food stamps is wrong?”
All of this aside…. and not really looking to “debunk” the faults in this meme right now…
This screenshot is of a South Dakota GOP Senate candidate’s Facebook post.
SD peeps, do not let this person be voted into office.