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  #1  
Old 11-26-2000, 09:21 AM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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OK. I intended the title to be inflammatory, and don't necessarily believe it to be true. But I'll relate a true story.

I'm painting contractor. Summers especially can be very busy, and house & yard-work get ignored. A student friend of mine was cleaning my house (mostly just vaccuuming & cleaning floors. I would NEVER ask anyone to clean my toilet.) However she graduated & got a job, so I wanted to find someone else & thought it would be nice to offer the work to someone who could really use it, rather than one of the big commercial services. I have a couple of times hired people standing at street corners with signs looking for work - I like thinking I'm paying someone who can really use it!

So, one of my contracts is a large apartment complex. All subsidised housing, AFDC & so on. Roughly 800 tenants. The housekeeper suggested I put up a sign in the central mail room area looking for a housecleaner. I did, words to this effect: Light housecleaning once a week needed. Flexible hours, close by, on bus route. Good money, CASH paid. Also the same in Spanish, and I left my home & cell phone numbers. I'm thinking these are very poor people, and I would have paid $20 an hour (the going rate), which I assume would have been a nice little monthly under-the-table amount of money for someone.

The signs were up for over a month and I did not get ONE freaking call. NOT ONE.

Why? I can understand there may be some mistrust, or childcare issues (although the apartments did have a free onsite childcare facility). But not one single call, even to ask how much I would pay, out of about 800 adult residents? Was I being elitist? I've been poor too, slept in my car & lived in a roach motel for 6 months in the mid-80's. I grew up very poor. Never went on any kind of assistance, and even cleaned houses for a couple of months. I would have jumped at the chance for some extra money, especially untaxed (that's why I specified CASH paid. Most people understand what that means.)

So why on earth did I not get one fucking phone call?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2000, 09:40 AM
Spider Woman Spider Woman is offline
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I don't know why you didn't get a call. Some people may have had difficulty with daycare, and sometimes literacy is a problem. Or maybe nobody really reads the notices. Do you think someone may have taken them down?

In our state, Minnesota, the AFDC recipients (it's called something else now since the reform) are in classes and seminars eight hours a day. They offer typing tutorials, interviewing skills training, portfolio building (references and certificates, not financial), parenting classes, stress fighting classes, computer program training (Word, Excel, Access, etc.) and lots of other stuff. I found this out because as a dislocated worker, all of these things were made available to me through the Dislocated Worker Program and I took advantage of as many as I could.

I did notice that a lot of the people who were in the (formerly) AFDC program were young single mothers who seemed stressed/and or depressed.

I think words like "lazy" are cognitive short-cuts: they describe a set of actions but really don't explain any of the conditions behind the actions. I feel blessed for the advantages I had growing up, and for my family of origin. A lot of people weren't as lucky and have done better in life than I have, but others have had really terrible life circumstances and not seemed to be able to overcome them.

It is really kind of you Carina42, to offer work to disadvantaged people. I hope someone will see it and take you up on your offer. I think it would be cheering to be around someone such as yourself, who grew up poor and became successful.

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  #3  
Old 11-26-2000, 09:41 AM
Benno Benno is offline
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In reply to your OP (just what is an OP by the way?),
I think poor people are poor because they lack the knowledge of how to motivate themselves to earn a salary. And even when they have this motivation, they may come up across some obstacle which they will not know how to deal with, which will also stop them flat dead.

Generally they donīt have the life coping skills. Others too, are just plain lazy. Others choose to be poor...well, specifically, everyone chooses to life their life however they want. But you know what I mean...i hope.

WHy did you not get one reply to your ad? I suspect people in that neighbourhood either choose to be poor, thought the job would already be gone, the ads WERE pulled down for some reason, or the ppl thought they lacked the skills to get the job. BEing poor can be a sure fire confidence and esteem killer I am sure, and when applying for a job those things are pretty important, and poor ppl know that I think.

Benno
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:00 AM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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Benno: OP = Original Post. I agree, general life coping skills, plus the stress of being poor, a single mother, illiterate & so on likely leads to a form of depression & inertia.

And I agree with SpiderWoman, "lazy" is a perjorative short-cut term. I did use that term for effect, not because I think it's so in all cases. But it's difficult not to be judgemental. We paint empty apartments there several times a month. Most people -men and women- are home during the day, many drinking, smoking, and there are colour televisions in every apartment. Surely not all of these folks are so depressed, sozzled or encumbered they can't work a few hours a week. I chat with the tenants, many seem quite able and pleasant. "light housecleaning"? It's not like I was requiring a PhD for Chrissakes.

The sign was up for over a month (And EVERYBODY goes to the mailroom to get welfare checks!) But not one single call out of that many people, even assuming some couldn't read it? I bet if the sign read "$20.00 free for every resident, check at office," there would have been some response! I'm thinking pure-D lazieness is a big component. I'm just trying not to be too snotty and ditto-head about it.
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:26 AM
lee lee is offline
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I was poor because i was on my own with no reserves, no driver's license, no car, and no connections. My fiancee was going to school but had a tiny stipend that covered not even rent where he lived.

We move to the midwest and were poor together for many years. Where we moved to had a low enough cost of living that we were able to get through with $500 a month. This mony was from a stipend, work study and disability. I did not get a job because i could not find one within walking distance or one that was strictly daytime hours so i could take the pathetic local bus. I had plenty of motivation to earn money and get a job but it simply was not a possibility early on. My safety was more important than trying to earn money and the only job i could have gotten was one where I had to walk alone at night a few miles to get there and back.

Instead, I tutored my husband through school and econmized. I made food from scratch and did our laundry, including the towels, by hand. Wringing out clothes by hand to line dry sucks, especially in winter. When he graduated, he could not find a job in that town that used his degree so he worked as a hotel night auditor. Minimum wage, 40 hours a week. I went to school then mostly on grants and scholarships. I also had work study and our income was a bit more, nearly $11,000 one year, then a record for us. He has health problems and was sick a few times, resulting in time off work and having to change jobs. We both worked as hard as we could and still ended charging some stuff, like clothing. In my final semester, we had to go on food stamps as we could no longer afford enough food.

I graduated after 5 years with 2 degrees, a bachelor of science in Mathematics and bachelor of science in Computer Science. I graduated Magna cum laude. I now have $200 a month to pay in student loans, which is no problem on my income. We moved just after graduation to a suburb of a big city because jobs were ore plentiful there. We do quite well, but are paying off a lot of credicard debt. Debt not run up foolishly, but debt that allowed us to live to get our degrees and find decent work.

One more illness, one more unexpected set back, one less scholarship, we would still be poor. We are not any lazier than most people, but we were poor for a long while. I have done well at my jobs, as has my husband. We have received promotions, bonuses and praise.

Laziness does not cause poverty. My husband walked to and from his job everyday, a mile and a half each way for years. The jobs available to us paid parely enough to live. Toward the end, they did not cover that. Better jobs were not to be had for us until we moved after receiving degrees.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2000, 10:56 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Carina, I don't know why there were no responses. Inertia, maybe?

Did the sign say how much you're paying? If not, most folks probably thought it was minimum wage.

A scrupulously honest welfare recipient might not respond, because I think money earned must be reported, and some of it is deducted from your grant. That's how it was in the old days, anyway.

Maybe they just didn't need it. A few hours of work isn't going to make a big difference to someone who has what they need to survive. If your sign had asked for full-time work, there might have been more interest.

I'd try again -- Christmas is coming. Tell them what you're paying and where the job is (so they don't need to fret over transportation). Give more details about what they'll be doing, so the guy with the bad back will know if he can handle it. If it could work into a full-time job, tell them that too.

As for the rest of the OP, I don't know why some folks don't want to work. We have a big problem where I work with steady attendance. It's a union factory, good pay and benefits, and we pay enough so that you don't really have to put in 40 hours to get by. Especially the younger kids, still living at home, no obligations except maybe a car payment.

So with us, it's not that people don't want to work, they just don't want to work as much as we need them to.
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Old 11-26-2000, 11:08 AM
Benno Benno is offline
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Lee> You should be proud (and probably are) of you ability to deal consistently with shitty quality of life, knowing that it was for signifigant long term gain ie:graduating and increasing quality of life with higher income.

Laziness may not cause poverty, but it can be a signifigant contributing factor, and probably determines quite a few ppls position in life.

I was most lazy when I was 18/19/20. I went on the dole (welfare in Australia) and had a high enough quality of life to have absolutely no need to find work. It just wasnīt a priority. This is probably the same reason a lot of ppl on welfare donīt get a job. THey just donīt see how it will improve their quality of life, and sometimes it doesnīt.

People have to improve the quality of their minds first before anything in their life can change.

Benno
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2000, 11:09 AM
JubilationTCornpone JubilationTCornpone is offline
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An experiment

Back in college, my classmates and I conducted an exercise wherein every student was given a certain number of playing cards -- some of them more "rare" than others. Our objective was to trade cards with one another in an attempt to acquire more of the elusive "rare" cards.

After a few initial trades, most of the students -- the ones who didn't have the rare cards -- just sat at their desks, doing nothing. They realized that the effort involved in trading far outstripped the likelihood that they would get a winning card.

When the exercise was over, the instructor looked at the class -- the majority of whom had been sitting around idly -- and said, "Think about that, the next time you say that people are poor because they're lazy."
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2000, 11:19 AM
Serendipity28 Serendipity28 is offline
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WOW! $20 an hour?!

I was a manager for a company for years and never made $20 an hour! The work was far harder than cleaning a home!

Here abouts, I do know that the going rate for a house keeper, independent of a company, is only about $8 an hour. The cost of living might be cheaper here also.

I know quite a few poor people and they're not lazy. Most work two jobs at minimum wage each, with no benefits, just to get to about $15000 a year. A couple do odd jobs between jobs. Stores are hiring around here, but they offer minimum, or just barely above, wage, mostly under 40 hours so they don't have to pay over time or benefits.

Good high paying jobs locally are often beyond these people's reach because they're all technical or require degrees. I know one guy who put himself through college to become a draftsman and hopefully get a job with one of many good local firms. Well, every place he went, they were not hiring anyone but people with 'experience.' He got a job at one at $10 an hour, worked in the office for a week then was put to work on construction sites because 'they decided they did not need another draftsman just yet,' so he quit. He's now working in a totally different field, making slightly better money, his drafting degree gathering dust.
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Old 11-26-2000, 11:21 AM
TomH TomH is offline
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Quote:
AFDC recipients (it's called something else now since the reform)
I believe that's the old name for what is now called TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and most of the recipients are single mothers with young children so childcare may have been the major obstacle. Even if, as in Carina's example, there is free childcare available, many mothers will not want to use it and to some extent you can't blame them for being choosy about who they leave their children with.

I'm not sure whether the question in the OP is "are poor people lazy" or "are unemployed people lazy". There are large numbers of working poor who work extremely hard for very little reward. This is particularly true in the USA, where the combination of the "Work First" approach and limited duration of state benefits (e.g. TANF) combine to force some people into very low paid jobs.

I've done some research into unemployment (in the UK so YMMV); the principal reasons why people remain unemployed seem to be (in no particular order):

1. Health: mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, other chronic illness (e.g. back pain), all of which are highly correlated with long-term unemployment

2. Lack of skills: basic skills (literacy and numeracy); job-related skills and "soft" skills such as being able to speak to a customer politely (you'd be surprised how many people have genuine difficulty expressing themselves politely!)

3. Family/personal circumstances: people caring for children, elderly relatives or a disabled spouse. As I said, people are very selective about whether or not to use a particular childcare facility and if they don't like the ones that are available to them they may choose not to work rather than leave their children there.

4. Motivation: As others have pointed out, it's more complicated than simple lazyness. People who might have grown up in households where nobody worked and live in areas where very few people work don't necessarily see full-time employment as the normal state of things. People who are made redundant (I think this is what Americans call "dislocated") from declining industries after many years of work who have never had to go out and look for a job before. And people in areas of high unemployment who might have spent many months trying unsuccessfully to get and retain a job who eventually give up

5. Transport: I don't know if this is a problem in the US but many people in the UK live in areas where public transport provision is poor, can't afford a car and don't have the resources to relocate.

On to Carina's advert, I can think of a few reasons why it didn't get a response:

If it isn't in a place where people are used to seeing job adverts, it might just not register with them or they might think that it's not above board.

One day's work a week isn't enough to live on but it might affect TANF or other benefit payments. In other words, if they declare their income honestly they might be no better off.

No indication of the hourly rate might have made people suspicious that it would be less than the going rate and "flexible hours" might imply that you wanted them to be flexible to suit you, not vice-versa.
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Old 11-26-2000, 11:54 AM
Sterra Sterra is offline
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Maybe they were just all honest?:0
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2000, 12:08 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Not OP, just a ramble.

Motivation might be the most important factor in "bettering" ourselves, speaking just financially or materially.

I don't have much by some standards, but I'm content. I have the time and money and could return to school and possibly find a better-paying job, but I'm okay with where I am. Or I could take a part-time job, save a bit more for retirement, longer vacations.

There are people where I work who work full-time and go to school, many have a part-time job or small business on the side. A few are working past retirement age, and one guy (who volunteers for all the overtime) came out of retirement and back to work because his wife was driving him bonkers.

They're all more motivated than I am. All for different reasons. Some of them are supporting extra family members, a few have expensive drug habits. One woman works two jobs because she refuses to let her kids apply for student loans. Doesn't want them to start off with all that debt.

Another woman works an extra job because she's a jewelry nut -- sees something she wants and clerks at K-Mart until she has enough money to buy a new ring or bracelet. Another guy restores classic cars, and one guy works extra to pay for his yearly fishing trip to Canada.

I wouldn't mind doing any of those things, but I don't want them as badly as they do. I could quit work and live on what my husband makes, but then I wouldn't be able to have a new car, or buy the books I want. I guess I'm as motivated as I need to be, to get what I want.
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Old 11-27-2000, 04:25 PM
BlinkingDuck BlinkingDuck is offline
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I used to believe that poor people were poor because of health problems/mental problems, self esteem problems, all sorts of problems that people have mentioned. I still think this is mostly true but I never in my life have met someone that shook my beliefs in human nature like my step son and his father.
This is a guy (step son and father are the same type of person) who told me that he didn't want to work, wanted to spend as much time watching tv and playing on the computer as he could and that work was a waste of time. He told me that he thought I was nuts for working as much as I do. He looks at life to be enjoyed and to let society support him and at people who work as wasting their life. Maybe he has a point. His dad and him live in a trailor together and work enough to pay for electricity, food and computer games (no car is needed, though father has one). I never even considered that there would be people that would VOLUNTARILY be poor! It was a shock.
I'd do light cleaning for a few hours a month for $20 an hour!
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Old 11-27-2000, 06:36 PM
erislover erislover is offline
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Citing personal example

While there are, perhaps, good reason why some people are poor I still feel that there is no reason one cannot work as this situation bears testament to.

Mentioned in another post, I spent over three months working in Cleveland's Housing Projects (when I lived there, but no longer) and I met quite a few interesting people. Only one of them (and I had to enter almost every apartment) was motivated to finding a job. He even gave me his resume to turn in for him where I worked, which I did. I'd HATE to live in that condition.

The projects' required my company, which was contracted for the work, to hire a percentage of the labor force from the projects themselves. This was one full time person at $10 an hour. To give some light, I normally only made $8.50 (but this paid union wages, so I actually was making an absurd $26).
I primarily worked with this fellow because my coworkers couldn't stand him. I had the opportunity to ask him how long he had lived there.
20 years.
Needless to say I was shocked. "God," I said, "Do you like it here?!?" ; "Hell no," he replied. But he found an hour every day to work out, an hour every day to drink a 40 with the other lazies, and only took this job to tide him over for a few months (to buy said alcohol and other...nicities).

So you can't tell me poeple aren't poor because they're lazy. Out of every housing unit I was in, as well, I saw able-bodied men and women who didn't work because they didn't need to. Only twice did I find a tenent that had some factor which would impede employment. Though I am not a huge fan of generalizations, I find that at least here, in this location, the stereotype was true.

My two cents.
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Old 11-27-2000, 06:41 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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Since I'm not to sure of the area you live in, this is a WAG, but 20$ an hour is a damn good offer for housecleaning, maybe too good. If the building is full of people who usually make minimum wage or less, then they may have been suspicious that the offer was too good to be true, and afraid of what else the job might entail. But on the other hand, you'd think at least one person would call just to check it out.
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Old 11-27-2000, 08:17 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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I'm not sure lazy is the word. My experience in this area is almost non-existent, being a child of the relatively affluent suburbs, but from what I've read, I think there's a small segment of the population that is just basically cynical and opportunistic. They think working is basically for suckers. Part of this comes from simply never having been socialized to work. Part of it is due to the fact that the marginal value of holding an unskilled job is not all that much of an improvement over a welfare stipend.
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Old 11-28-2000, 08:45 PM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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I guess I thought that if people thought the way I would in a similar situation, they would think thus: "Here's
somebody offering cash for fairly mindless work; I should call & see how much I can make. If it seems like I can do this without affecting my dole, that could be "X" extra I can make a month for a few hours work."

Bear in mind, I didn't specify an amount. But I would have paid $40-60 for 2-3 hours of mainly cleaning floors. That's what I had been paying.

Being an entreprenurial type, I would have thought further: "Wow. If I can clean one person's house for $X, maybe I can clean 5 houses a week and make $X...and so on." I guess that's how I DO think, which is why I have worked my way up from nothing, own a house, have employees, some security, and a relatively good life. And all I do is paint houses.

So, maybe I'm being arrogant. But I grew up so poor that toilet paper was often a luxury, I remember my mother often making us casseroles out of rice and chicken food (I'm not making this up), and I had to work for any pocket money I had. And I, and my three siblings, are all very self-sufficient and quite successful. So I see people sitting around watching TV, (something I never had growing up) smoking, breeding, and waiting for a weekly check from the Big Titty, and I get a bit resentful. I pay taxes so some fat teenager can have babies, drink beer all day & watch Jerry Springer?

I'm trying to have some compassion (really.) I think of the inertia & the depression & the hopelessness that someone in that situation must feel. I'm not talking about people like Lee; I admire her perseverance, and those like her. I just can't imagine the kind of inertia that leads someone to only be able to imagine a life of government subsidised, roach infested housing, no work, and no hope for improvement. I'm not talking about the working poor, the mentally ill, or the chronically addicted. I think it's very sad that there seems to be a segment of the population that has so little hope, and so little pride, that nothing seems worth working towards.

OK, I'm sure I've pissed at least someone off out there!
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Old 11-28-2000, 09:05 PM
katie1341 katie1341 is offline
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I've been a public defender for almost 14 years and so I deal with truly indigent and largely hopeless people every day. Most of them are what I would call victims of circumstance- they grew up in poverty and just haven't been able, for whatever reason, to escape it. Others could do something with their lives with a little effort, and it frustrates the hell out of me to see this. By the time they get to me, they're not only broke but charged with a crime, and an awfully lot of the folks I represent are charged with drug offenses (don't get me started on decriminalization).
I try not to be judgemental because it doesn't seem fair- I was fortunate enough to have middle-class parents who encouraged me to go to college and law school and made sacrifices to see that I got there. I do think that s small minority of the people that I deal with are "just lazy". Every once in a while I wind up with clinets who actually quit their jobs so they'll qualify for representation by me rather than have to hire an attorney.
My $0.02.
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Old 11-28-2000, 10:43 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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I went through a year of coding school about four years ago through a federal job-training assistance program. The gummint paid for my tuition, books, supplies, and helped cover emergency expenses like car repairs, utility bills, and so forth. The only requirement is that I keep a job in this field for 5 years. At the time, it was that or welfare.

Most of the other people I went through school with were in the same fix I was in, who were looking for better jobs than grocery-store checkout clerk.

Some of the others, OTOH, were there because the state of Texas told them to get jobs or get kicked off the dole. (This was in the earliest days of welfare reform.) So, they stayed in school for as long as humanly possible. When the caseworker got wise to one of them, the student was forced to look for work. She deliberately botched every job she interviewed for, and took a minimum-wage job in a fast-food restaurant so she could claim she couldn't find a job in her field to be able to stay in school. Another went through the program, then refused to get a job because she didn't think it was right for a woman to work outside the home.

I'm not saying that these people are representative of all welfare recipients, or even poor people. Some are poor (as I was) because of circumstances outside their control; others are poor by choice, as these two people are. I guess it's just where your priorities are.

Robin
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Old 11-29-2000, 01:19 PM
tradesilicon tradesilicon is offline
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I think we can probably agree that there is no one reason for poverty in this country. There is a different story to be heard for almost anyone in a bad way. The 'lazy' group exists (know many of them personally), but so do quite a few others as we've heard here.

The reasons for poverty in the US are quite different than those world-wide. I think many people who are at poverty level in other countries would do much better here (ie - the motivation would be there). I'm refering to those who currently have no choices where they live, but here would be able to go after many jobs (even what have been referred to in this thread as undesirable) and make a good life for themselves. What bugs me is that many citizens of the US believe they are above that. Too bad. I remember cleaning toilets as well as floors, and anythign else (legal) to make a dollar. No regrets. Things are very good now, but if I ever had to pull myself out from under again I'd look for any kind of work before a hand out.
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Old 11-29-2000, 01:29 PM
tradesilicon tradesilicon is offline
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I think we can probably agree that there is no one reason for poverty in this country. There is a different story to be heard for almost anyone in a bad way. The 'lazy' group exists (know many of them personally), but so do quite a few others as we've heard here.

The reasons for poverty in the US are quite different than those world-wide. I think many people who are at poverty level in other countries would do much better here (ie - the motivation would be there). I'm refering to those who currently have no choices where they live, but here would be able to go after many jobs (even what have been referred to in this thread as undesirable) and make a good life for themselves. What bugs me is that many citizens of the US believe they are above that. Too bad. I remember cleaning toilets as well as floors, and anythign else (legal) to make a dollar. No regrets. Things are very good now, but if I ever had to pull myself out from under again I'd look for any kind of work before a hand out.
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Old 12-03-2000, 01:58 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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Laziness may not cause poverty, but perhaps poverty causes laziness. Consider the fact that there is a significant number of working poor. For every person like lee, there are several who try, but don't have the discipline, skills, inteligence, or luck
Quote:
One more illness, one more unexpected set back, one less scholarship. . . .
to make it. If you grew up in a family or neighborhood in which a lot of people didn't have a job or want one, and those who did were generally no better off but worked a whole lot harder, you might decide work was for suckers, too.
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Old 12-03-2000, 03:46 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I don't know why you didn't get calls (I suspect you would have more response if you put the part about $20/hr on your signs, though).

What I do know is that laziness is not a necessary prerequisite for being poor or worse than poor. In 1997 I was completing my fourth year as a professional social worker, making what seemed to me to be a spectacular amount of money ($26,500 annually before taxes) considering that I could have done what I was doing then at any time during the previous years when I had not been able to land such a position. But here I was, and I figured, now that I've had such a position to list on my resume, I'll never again have to worry about being unemployable.

Then the agency went belly-up, got defunded. Between September and February, I was on unemployment compensation and send out hundreds (eventually nearly a thousand) of applications in response to ads for social workers. In February, I took a miserable low-wage job doing invasive telephone research for commercial corporations (one step about telemarketing at best), which required me to bike 22 miles per day on a borrowed bicycle. By the skin of my teeth I managed to make it to a few job interviews while holding that job.

Any minor fluctuation in my circumstances at that time could have put me out homeless on the street and unable to retain the miserable shit-job, let alone continue to seek better jobs for which I was qualified. As it turned out, the landowner evicted every tenant in the building on 1 month's notice 2 years later, and if this had occurred THEN instead, that would have done me in for a pretty long haul. Heck, if I'd hit a sandy patch of gravel and sprained my ankle, THAT would have done it.

Now I seem well-ensconced in a job paying more than twice what I was making as a social worker, mainly because I picked up the art of programming in FileMaker Pro in order to manage social work clients while working as a social worker.

Luck is not the whole story by any means. I acknowledge that I am bright, learn skills quickly, and, once given a domain in which decision-making is necessary and admired, run my space effectively with a minimum of tedious hand holding and micro-management, and I'm a responsible person

But that description fit me when I had no official degree or experience to put on a resume; and it fit me when I had both but couldn't get a job nibble in my chosen field. So it also isn't motivation and skill either.
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2000, 09:04 PM
Saint Zero Saint Zero is offline
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I can't believe people actually believe that poor people are lazy. Amazing. That's not to say there aren't poor people who simply won't work, but I assure you sometimes it isn't because you don't want to work.
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Old 12-06-2000, 04:04 PM
Usurer Usurer is offline
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Speaking as one who takes advantage of the poor...

In my experience as a pawnbroker, poor people remain poor because they have no coping skills. They seem to be unable to think creatively about solving problems and, to a certain extent, seem to suffer from "learned helplessness", or just locking up like a deer in the headlights when faced with a problem.
In several cases, I've tried to tell poor customers of mine how to get ahead on their bills, even gave them free copies of my personal finance books. All to no avail.
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Old 12-08-2000, 12:26 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Carina, are you, perchance, Canadian?

Just wondering since $US20/hr seems like an awful lot for a housekeeper. No, I guess not--you mention AFDC is an American program, or so I thought.

What do programmer analysts make in your neck of the woods? I'll move there!
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Old 12-09-2000, 09:51 AM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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Quote:
A scrupulously honest welfare recipient might not respond, because I think money earned must be reported, and some of it is deducted from your grant.
ROTFLMFAO

To answer the OP, yes ::Ducks::

OK, Usually. I deliver to fast food restaurants and most of the employees (not just the kids) make me think 'This person is way overpaid, even at minimum wage'. Occasionally I see someone that works way to hard for the paltry pay they must receive. I believe this second group will eventually work their way out of poverty.

There are many high paying blue collar jobs that require nothing more than hard work and reliability. I am sure the poor have obstacles to overcome such as transportation, inertia, etc. But most of the companies that have these high paying jobs simply cannot find people willing to work hard.
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Old 12-09-2000, 09:55 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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JimShep -- what was funny, in the quote?
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  #29  
Old 12-09-2000, 10:01 AM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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Quote:
JimShep -- what was funny, in the quote?
Do you think anybody is that honest? If they were they sure woud not accept money for doing nothing.
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  #30  
Old 12-09-2000, 10:10 AM
Spider Woman Spider Woman is offline
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jimshep says:

Quote:
There are many high paying blue collar jobs that require nothing more than hard work and reliability. I am sure the poor have obstacles to overcome such as transportation, inertia, etc. But most of the companies that have these high paying jobs simply cannot find people willing to work hard.
Can you provide cites or websites for this, or is this your personal opinion?

Here in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the pay is depressed compared to other areas in the state. I was laid off in March from a factory job where I had worked almost 25 years. Many of the jobs I looked at in other factories started at $7 an hour or less. That is not enough to make house and utility payments. My unemployment checks paid me more, and I enrolled in the areas' Displaced Worker Program and took some computer and office skills classes. Many of those jobs start at about $8 an hour. I am fortunate enough now to be temping at a place that pays $10.68 per hour, which is almost unheard of in this town for a temp. This job will last until the 19th of this month, and then I will be looking again.

One of the problems that many employers have around here is finding workers, and getting them to stay. If they were to offer better pay and benefits, they would probably not have this problem.
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Old 12-09-2000, 10:17 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Yep, I've known some. Really. More than you'd think.

Used to be, if you failed to report income, or money received as a gift, or sporadic child support payments (back in the days before the states took it over), you could lose your eligibility. That's a scary prospect.

Some people were honest to a fault (if that's possible), and some probably might have liked to "cheat" a little, but thought they'd be found out for sure. Remember back when folks thought the government was competent? I knew people who believed caseworkers knew (or could find out) anything about them, and they lived in fear of having a boyfriend spend a night.

I remember one woman who refused to accept money or gifts for her child (from the child's father), because she just didn't want to deal with the caseworkers and the paperwork.

This was 30 years ago though, and I suspect times have changed.
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Old 12-09-2000, 10:29 AM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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Just had second thoughts about my last post. I did not mean to imply that anyone forced onto welfare (temporarily) by circumstances is dishonest, but anyone who stays on welfare when they are capable of working is not honest.

Spider Woman -- Actually it is personal experience, my last two jobs were like this, (relatively) High pay, hard work, no skills. A helper at my company can make $30,000 a year, easy. You take boxes off the truck, stack them, and wheel them into the store. Not brain surgery by any means, but very physical. I assumed (maybe wrongly) that these jobs were around everywhere. And these companies hire plenty of people, they just quit when they see how hard the work is.

Not trying to start a debate, but most women would be physicaly incapable of doing these jobs.

I live in Massachussetts, and both these jobs were away from the higher paying (and cost of living) Boston area.
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Old 12-09-2000, 10:52 AM
Spider Woman Spider Woman is offline
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jimshep:

You are probably right about some women not being able to handle that sort of job, although I have worked with several who could have and did work at physically challenging jobs. Most of those sorts of jobs around here start at about $9 an hour. Thirty an hour for a non-union shop, which many places in St. Cloud are, is unheard of, and even the unions don't help much.

I have never been muscular, and could not do that sort of lifting at any great speed.

I believe that it has become more difficult to survive than it was when I first started working many years ago. The cost of living (housing, groceries, utilities, etc.) has far outpaced the wages, especially around here. I think it would be easy for people to become discouraged. Also, many of the welfare recipients around here are young, single mothers whose partners split when they became pregnant. These young women have the cost of daycare to add to the other bills they need to pay.

I admire the changes that the welfare program in our area has made. They have esteem-building types of classes, and skills training which may make it easier for people to try to better themselves. I personally don't believe that poor people choose to be poor. I think that everyone does the best they can with the personal coping skills available to them, as Usurersaid. By the way, Usurer, it's nice to know that there are people like you out there trying to help.
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  #34  
Old 12-09-2000, 05:02 PM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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That was $30,000 a year

It's all paid by what you do, so the average pay is anywhere from $11-$14 an hour, depending on the route and how fast you work. An average day is 8-12 hours, 4 day work week and an extra day or two is usually available, but no time and a half. A helper who works 5 days (about 50 hours)can easily make that $30,000. Great pay IMHO.

For the $9 an Hr Spidar Woman mentioned.
$9 hr X 40 hrs a week X 52 weeks = about 19,000. Throw in 5-10 hours a week OT at time and a half and you are in the mid 20's, I don't consider this poor. For me 50 hours is a normal week, so maybe that's a step above 'not lazy'
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Old 12-09-2000, 07:18 PM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
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spooje sticks his nose in where it don't belong

There are 2 catagories of poor. The working poor and the unemployed poor. Are the working poor poor because they're lazy? Some are, some because they're addicts, some because they're uneducated, some because they don't have the language skills. As for the unemployed, I don't know. I've known many poor immigrant workers in my day. My deadbeat dad always said 'If you try to outwork one of 'em, you'll have a heart attack'. For the most part he was right, they were not lazy.

As to why the OP's ad did not recive calls, I have several thoughts. 1)There are many working poor who already have full-time (40+hrs, but for low wage)jobs. Such a part-time gig may well interfere. No one is gonna put short term cash ahead of a steady paying gig. 2) I have seen many such ads in Los Angeles. You see them on bulliten boards in laundromats and grocery stores and what-not. Most of them seem, well, a bit hinkey. The kind of screw job that promises some cash, but does not deliver. That happens often in these parts.
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