Before I discuss the readings I want to share a very recent experience I encountered that greatly ties to poverty. Although I work multiple jobs (4) I still struggle with money due to the cost of college and living off campus. Unfortunately I do not have the option to live with my parents seeing as how many have suggested to do so to alleviate the pressures of rent and so on. With that being said, I don not have a grand apartment nor do I live lavishly. While walking in my apartment complex I frequently see an unusual amount of litter as well as random objects and belongings thrown about. For example and my main point, one of the random objects I saw was an abandoned shopping cart. Some may not understand why seeing just a shopping cart would make me think of poverty but for me, I associate a single, abandoned shopping car with the homeless. I’m not sure if that is a negative bias I should work on removing but either way, when I saw the shopping car just carelessly pushed off into the bordering trees I couldn’t help but to feel slightly embarrassed. I don’t want to use the word ashamed however I would be embarrassed if my family were to notice that or if I were to be with a friend in my neighborhood and they see that. I take pride in the fact that I work incredibly hard to a worth-while life and that I do it on my own. Having something I associate with a pride (my home) with something I aim to never encounter (homelessness) made me angry and bothered. I was bothered by the fact that I have to live in this apartment for 6 more months, I was bothered that those around do not care about the appearance and the value of our homes and I was bothered that I pay a leasing office for grounds cleaning and landscaping yet they take such little care of it. To conclude, I was surprised and embarrassed in myself but also in the fact that something so random and simple could give me such negative feelings. There could be other reasons for the shopping cart to be there other than poverty related subjects such as teenagers taking it from the nearby grocery store for all of the stupid things teenagers do. Either way, it has been 9 days and the cart remains. I’m curious now how long it will remain.
Continuing onto the readings, the first article that interested me was on welfare and drug testing. Although I have not done further research on the subject, I have often wondered why we do not drug test for welfare already. We have to take a drug test to land a job so why wouldn’t we do it for the equivalent? After reading I have come to understand the lack of funds and the over allocation for funds for things that seems far more important with the use of common sense? The fact that the nation is so severely in debt and such an abundance of money is continuously pushed into something that is clearly and statistically not working enrages me. Leave it to the government to continuously waste our money and in the long run hurt those they are “helping”.
Next that caught my eye was the 20 things about living in poverty that rich people never have to think about. Number 3 mentions the consumption of poor quality food rather than healthy due to price and this I greatly relate. I greatly enjoy cooking but most of my meals resort to ground beef that I have frozen for the month and rationed out for the meals due to the cost of fresh ingredients. I don’t consider myself rich and I’m not sure what the author considers rich but a vast amount of people are faced with this in varying income brackets.