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August 10, 2006

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I don't really get the need to push poverty stats about employment. Your much better sticking to education (though we disagree with your presciption for correcting that system).

If 25% of the jobs in the economy pay below poverty its not really a strong stat. I'm willing to bet of the 300,000,000 people residing in the US, over 50% working, there are a whole lot of income not picked up in this stat (say drug dealing, hustling, used car selling and other income supplementers which the job just formally hides). Then add voluntary part time workers (kids, retirees, etc....). Then add those starting out with a small skill set (again kids, returning to the workforce types like jail-release, drug rehabilitators, etc...). For these people this low pay is inconvenient but part of the process of climbing the ladder or living with fewer responsiblities.

The real issues with poverty is the lack of access to mental health facilities or substance abuse counseling. People mired in poverty usually blow multiple chances at climbing a ladder out of it.

If you looked at welfare stats they are usually pretty posative as they show most single mothers (the primary recipient) usually slowly improves their skill set in the economy and move up the ladder. Though they may never become wealthy this segment of our economy is living at a higher standard of living that at any other time in history (much higher than when there was a formal war on poverty directly supporting them). If we created a workable solution for healthcare (a savings of around $400+ per employer/employee) we'd be able to really address the issues and improve their standard of living in the top 25% in the first world.

Oh yeah - I don't believe in the lottery. Very similarly to the easter bunny, santa claus and fairies. But if others want to waste their money on it, it's a free country and if easy to access gambling wasn't available they would gamble it on black-market games. Its a free country and freedom don't work without personal responsiblity. NOTE: I also would point back to poverty being a function of substance abuse (i.e. gambling) for many which requires personal responsiblity to recover from.

"Poverty is a function of substance abuse..."??? Now that's a new one.

If you don't think those mired in poverty don't face extremely high rates of addiction you obviously are clueless and never lived in a low income neighborhood nor studied the subject.

Take a cross section of a thousand people raised within poverty and you will notice many demographics which emerge suggesting very specific behaviors and lifestyle choices that correlate very stronly with those trapped in poverty.

The largest factor is drug and alcahol abuse which prevent many from completing basic K-12 education, land people perputaully in the justice system, and essentially acts as a poverty trap from many locking generations into poverty needlessly.

Prison recitivism also correlates highly with those who fail to avoid substance abuse after released from prison.

Hey, Dare, I just read your response. And I would have to agree, to a point. However.....I have to tell you that drug addiction and alcohol abuse is not limited to being a function of poverty. In fact, from my immediate experience, with the young people I know, I have to say that the ones from families of doctors, lawyers, etc. have extreme problems with drug abuse and alcohol abuse. And we're not just talking pot. These rich kids are some of the biggest dealers around, of cocaine, ecstasy, heroine, and some that I had never heard of til my own kids started filling me in on what their peers are up to. Walk the halls of Lincoln and I bet you find more drugs than in Roosevelt, simply because those kids can afford it....And they get just as mired down in it as any kid from a poverty background.

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