August 29, 2008
The Poor With Us
A aging barn Hwy 42 in Oldham Co Kentucky. As prices rise for maitenence, farms like this are being left for ruin and later sold for development. This horse farm was prosperous until recently but has fallen on hard times and I think it will be just a matter of time before it is sold off for development
Pray for Women in Chronic Poverty
With gas averaging $4.00 a gallon, middle class households may be pinched, but families below the poverty line are squeezed. Yet compare the plight of the poor in our country to the desperate situation of victims of chronic poverty resulting from war, famine, natural disasters and dictatorships. The order to help the poor in Matthew 25 is not to be taken lightly, even in bad economies.
The Center for Global Development recently analyzed aid and economic growth in poor nations, concluding that foreign aid that rises above 8 percent of the gross domestic product of a country actually has a negative effect, causing stagnant growth and worse conditions for the poor. Their takeaway is that we should help, but not help too much.
People want to pull themselves out of poverty. It feels good to be able to earn a living. Perhaps some of the anger directed at the U.S. in third world countries can be traced to our “excessive” generosity? Already, there are many organizations that are dedicated to helping spread local solutions to poverty: It may not be Lent, but for the poor, it is always Lent. Those to whom much has been given, much is expected. excerpt from a recent newsletter from Secretum Meum Mihi
45 million in U.S. are uninsured
Some 15.3 percent of Americans had no public or private health insurance in 2007, down from 15.8 percent in 2006, according to the latest U.S. figures released on Monday. A total of 45.7 million people were uninsured, down from 47 million.
"It's not perhaps the best use of the money that is being spent. And there are a lot people who feel that and would actually like to see coming out of the current campaign in the U.S. proposals for a universal health insurance MSNBC Source,
There are no "poor" people in this country, look at Africa, now thats poor. Those lazy people in ....(fill in the blank, I have heard people use every local in the country)...they just dont work hard enough...have too many kids... have the welfare mentality and so on.
Eze 16:49 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
John 12:8 (...and Jesus replied...)"The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
I stand here guilty. I am sitting in the lap of luxury thinking about the future and know that we have a lot of work to do in this country. I listened to some of the speaches at the DNC convention and will tune into the RNC convention when it comes and I know that they will bang the drum about poverty and the healthcare issue. Its getting very bad out there and I wonder how people are managing.
They arent. I am in the process of looking at homes in our area to possible buy and cannot believe how many are available for low and getting lower prices. Truth is some of them look like the people just walked away from them. I wonder where they went. I know that rents are way up and there are not many available units in decent places. Thats why I am hoping to buy something.I saw this presentation
and it really put into perspective how people are having to live. There are a lot of polititicians and media people who are saying "well people just have to budget and decide if a flat screen tv or cel phone are more important than healthcare insurance." That is not the reality of poverty in America. Lets be honest, people are in a huge bind, and while I am not a supporter of huge government handouts I do believe that people have a fundimental right to healthcare.
I love the rich white guys on TV and radio talking about how our grandparents didnt have insurance and they paid for the doctors visits out of pocket. Not true. The poor people...most people didnt call a doctor, they called an undertaker, as people died quickly from the most basic things that today's medical establishment can easily cure...for a price. Medical care costs 1000 times more now than it did 75 years ago and care now is more assessable than ever. Is it moral to deny life to someone because they dont make enough money at their crummy job? I also think that that there are a lot of hurdles facing the poor and the working poor that they and the rest of us have to try to leap over everyday, but many are not making it and the destruction that is being left behind in peoples lives is staggering.
What do you leave out of your budget? What do you do without?. Do without too much and the authorities will come and take your kids away. I personally know people who had to live in their cars, because they couldnt pay the rent on their income. These were 40 hour a week working people. One little thing happened and it blew them out of the financial water and they found themselves homeless.
I think the economy/low wage no insurance jobs/healcare issue affects every aspect of life. The cry of "we are too fat as a nation" is answered by the studies that show a direct corelation between income levels and obesety. The poorer you are the fatter you are. The rising costs of healthcare insurance for employers means fewer of us get insured every year. Less preventative treatment is paid for out of pocket because, lets face it, paying the rent comes first. Kids get the nationalized medical plan if their parents know about it and if their doctors accept it. Ah there's the rub..If
And so on. Healthcare insurance needs to be universal, not dependent on employer generosity...There needs to be a gap plan for working people 55 to 65, the largest group of working adults that have marginal (due to preexisting conditions)or no insurance coverage at all. They face the loss of what ever they have saved for retirement due to paying for treatment, and that creates the additional problem of one more seinor that has nothing for their retirement except Social Security. Its not always laziness that causes these issues as the pundits say...sometimes its just a fact, there was no extra money to save up for the future...the future came suddenly like a bad dream.
Whoever the next President is must take a hard look at the situation domestically. One of my biggest disappointments with Pres Bush was how little work was done on the domestic front. He wasted opportunities to work on reforming Social Security, Health Care management and the Immigration mess...The war while necessary has been badly managed and has had a blank check. There has been little accountability on either side of the Aisle in Congress for the financial situation in our country. Little wonder that speculators feel that now is the time to run up the prices of commodities... As American's wages stagnate and the average person falls futher and futher behind, the only intervention of the goverment it seems can pull up the runaway horse of inflation and stagnation. Im no economist, but everytime I go to the market and I see women struggling to get what they need for their families . Yes I know that there are the five dollar coffee addicts and the ladies that surf the shopping channels, but frankly there is less and less of this, and we all know it.
I dont have the answer. As a business owner I believe in a free market and dont want the government telling me what I can or cant charge. As a Christian I feel that poverty is all of our problem. As a woman that is aging and facing a retirement that is likely going to befunded only by Social Security, I am concerned about what happens to the elderly today as it has a direct impact on my future tomorrow.
I am watching the candidates closely, listening for any sign that business as usual is over. With the resounding call for change I see little of substantive ideas from either side. Its going to be a rough ride ahead for the working man and woman in the years to come, I just pray that we dont forget the less fortunate in our scramble to keep our heads above water
Labels: Health, Politics