Week in Review
Doctors don’t just treat symptoms. They order tests and procedures to find the cause for the symptom. Because if they don’t the underlying problem may get worse. Causing greater medical problems for the patient later. Or worse. This is how medicine works. Because it’s not a government bureaucracy making medical decisions about the patient. Now contrast that to how government programs operate.
When a government program shows symptoms that something isn’t right what do government bureaucrats do? Address only the symptoms. By throwing money at them. While never addressing the underlying cause for those symptoms (high chronic unemployment, families below the poverty line, rising federal debt ceiling, etc.). Instead they just politicize those who are struggling. And blame everything else but the underlying government policies for their suffering (see Why you can’t “bootstrap” yourself out of poverty by Nicole Goodkind posted 1/17/2014 on Yahoo! Finance).
When money is at its tightest, cost-saving choices are often impossible to make, digging impoverished Americans deeper and deeper into the pit of day-by-day living…
A car…is a necessity for many jobs but the down payment can be insurmountably high. And even after the down payment poor drivers still face monthly payments, high gas prices, and the fact that low-income car buyers pay 2% more for a car loan than affluent people. Low-income drivers can also pay up to $400 more annually than wealthier drivers to insure their cars (for a car of the same model and with the same driver risk).
A lack of capital can also make it impossible to afford the security deposit on an apartment causing those in poverty to live day-to-day in expensive hotels…Those in poverty who are able to rent or buy homes are also more likely to get household appliances through rent-to-own companies and end up paying more due to added interest.
…banks often charge large fees for those who don’t have a minimum amount of capital in their accounts—this makes cash checking establishments, who charge incredibly high interest rates on pay-day loans, the only choice for many.
Ben Hecht, CEO and president of Living Cities, an organization that works to revitalize impoverished areas, joined The Daily Ticker to discuss why it costs so much to be poor.
“Many of us are salaried employees and many poor people, if they’re working, are hourly employees,” explains Hecht.
If you’re an hourly employee who needs to apply for benefits or even see a doctor, you’re missing out on vital pay, Hecht points out…
One of the biggest disadvantages that those in poverty experience is a lack of broadband Internet. “One of the fundamentals about poverty is a lack of access to economic opportunity,” says Hecht. “And we all know that the number one factor in economic opportunity is education and we know that in today’s world much education, even in public schools, is done online.”
A lack of broadband access is not why kids are doing poorly in school. It’s because they spend too much time online with their social media. Or spend too much time having fun with sex and drugs instead of doing their homework. And those who do buckle down and study are being taught things like global warming and the unfairness of capitalism. Instead of the math and science skills high-tech employers need. It’s so bad that they have to hire foreigners in the visa program to fill their high tech—and high paying—positions.
What is this about being able to take time off with pay to run errands if you’re salary? Every salary job I had didn’t work that way. You were hourly until you reached 40 hours. Then you were salary after 40 hours. So if you worked only 36 hours because you took a half day for personal business you got paid for 36 hours. But if you worked 65 hours to bring a project in on time you got paid for 40 hours. Because you were salary. And were expected to put in the hours necessary to get the job done. The hourly guys laugh at the salary guys. For if they work 65 hours they’re paid for 65 hours. With 25 of those hours paid at a time-and-a half premium.
Banks have employees who don’t work for free. And how does a bank pay for their employees? In one of two ways. From the interest they earn in lending your money. Or the fees you pay when you don’t deposit enough money to lend. Just look at the numbers. If someone has an average balance of $3,000 the bank can earn about $4.62 a week on that by loaning it out. Whereas if someone has an average balance of $25 the bank can only earn about 4 cents a week. And 4 cents a week isn’t going to help pay anyone’s paycheck. Even if you have 100 depositors. Which would give the bank about $4 each week to pay their bills. While having 100 $3,000 depositors would provide $462 each week to help pay the bills. So they must charge fees for low balances. Or lay off workers.
The reason why people can’t save for down payments and security deposits is because they don’t have the job skills to earn a larger paycheck. Either they didn’t graduate from high school. Or they are a young single mother who became a mother before getting higher-paying job skills. For the path to a higher paying job is to graduate from high school. Go on to college. Establish a career. Go to church. Then get married and start raising a family (see Strong families steeped in Conservative Values and Traditions do Well in America posted 1/11/2014 on PITHOCRATES). Whereas the people most mired in poverty are young women who have children out of wedlock.
The system isn’t unfair. The system works very well for those who do what’s best for their future instead of what’s the most fun right now. We need to take care of the children born into poverty. But we need to address the cause of this poverty. The breakdown of the family. And the abandoning of our culture and traditions. Those things that made America great. For the left can talk about the War on Women and Christian oppression all they want. But it is their libertine attitudes that are putting young single mothers into poverty.
We need to listen to the wise words of Cary Grant in Operation Petticoat. When the women came aboard the submarine accompanied by a ‘wow’ from the crew Grant’s character said, “Mr. Stovall, Lt. Holden’s influence upon you is starting to worry me. I suggest you “wow” less and “tsk tsk tsk” a little more.” As a society we need to ‘wow’ less and ‘tsk tsk tsk’ more. Promote marriage and family over the casual sex that so often results in abject poverty.