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fresh veggies on a salad bar

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Jul 17, 2013, 11:29 AM
lady of shallot
fresh veggies on a salad bar
Are any of your suspicious about how clean such food is? Sometimes I like to get some cauliflower or such that would take me a while to eat a whole head, but I wonder if this food is as clean as the other (a/c it is handled more)

Same with bagged salads and food at the deli counter. I like a broccoli slaw that is sold (4.99 a lb) and sometimes but rarely macaroni or potato salad. These are so easy to make and mine are usually very good.

On the thread about weight loss, that is one part of the discussion we did not have. That is the cost of fresh veggies/fruits. I rarely buy any berries a/c cost. . . blueberries though are grown in Maine and freeze beautifully. Also avocados are at least 1.29 a piece. (sometimes on sale for .99) Watermelon I can sometimes get at my discount store whole for 2.99.

I think the reason so many poor people are overweight is not ignorance but the cost of fresh food. different 2 or 3 generations ago when everyone had gardens and did canning.

We watched the Lewis and Clark presentation on PBS last night. We have listened to the diaries on tape and read the journals also, but were reminded again of their diet. When available 9 lbs of meat each per day! Of course when they were starving they ate dog and horse. No fresh veggies on the journey nor of course did any of the Indians they encountered eat any.

One interesting comment was about the readily available salmon at one point and the men would scorn that and eat dogs or horsemeat!
Jul 17, 2013, 01:02 PM
I doubt I would hve lived to the age I am if I worried about the things most folks do about food handling, germs, bacteria, etc.

A good friend of mine who is also in the medical profession and I agree - in order to be and stay healthy you need to have built us some immunity by exposing your body to such stuff to begin with.

A dear couple from church are watching their professionally educated daughter (about 35 years old) struggle with terminal Lyme's disease.
I wonder if her chances to beat this are diminished because her immune system was already so compromised from being raised in the "germ bubble" that she was by her mother. For over three years or more now, she is hospitalized almost every couple of months for intravenous antibiotic therapy because of an infection. The other days she resides in a nursing home because she can't sit up without passing out or having seizures. Her little boy lives with his Dad. Heartbreaking.

And yes, studies have shown that the obesity our population faces is due directly to poverty and food prices as one of the major factors.
Jul 17, 2013, 01:27 PM
lady of shallot
A dear couple from church are watching their professionally educated daughter (about 35 years old) struggle with terminal Lyme's disease

Well this is something I am ignorant of. I did not know Lyme's disease could be fatal!

That poor dear woman, although it would seem difficult to raise someone (I would think) in a germ bubble. But I do have an auto immune disease (or have had. . . psorosis)

This is a very sad story for all of that family!
Jul 17, 2013, 03:39 PM
I had a friend years ago...educator of nursing in a private Christian school...who became allergic to everything but 4 food items. She sent me a list and I couldn't imagine how she could survive on that. Her brother's church built her a mobile home that did not have any wood items (yep, allergic to this, too.) She went on national television to show people what could happen if they had an allergy by eating only a tablespoon. I miss my friend and know that her Home now is a better one. It's just the memories her family and friends have of her struggles. When I'm told someone has an allergy, I don't take it lightly.

Lurah, my thoughts and prayers for the young woman with Lyme's disease. I thought Lymes disease came from a Tick bite? Guess I need to research it a little more.

My sister discourages our mother from eating out. We prefer she doesn't go to salad bars. It's best if she eats at home and knows how the produce has been cleaned and prepared.
Jul 17, 2013, 04:24 PM
I've always felt that it was cheaper to buy "from scratch" than the processed foods. And I feel it is either ignorance, continuing to eat what you grew up with, or laziness that cause the lower income people to be overweight.

How much is a bag of potato chips? How much is a 5# bag of potatoes -- the 5# is way less than the chips and will feed you far longer as well.

A box of hamburger helper is how much and you still have to buy a pound of hamburger to make it -- buy the same hamburger, some fresh onions, some pasta, and ingredients to make tomato sauce and you've spent far less money but have far more food.

Sure there are "gourmet" fresh foods (and I'm including things like blueberries, raspberries, leeks and fennel) that are terribly expensive but GOOD, PLAIN fresh food is really economical IMO.

I spend far less at the supermarket in a week than friends of mine who prefer the more processed foods and I really thing I eat better!

Whenever I think something fresh is "too expensive" I think of that bag of potato chips and how much per pound I would be paying for those potatoes -- suddenly, a pound of cherries at $4 isn't all that bad although I do consider it a splurge! But there only in the market for a short time so it's a once a year splurge!


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Jul 17, 2013, 04:47 PM
Rant time!

Many of you probably never heard the term - "Food Desert". That is where many of our poor live. Yep, a 5 lb bag of potatoes is cheaper in some places than a store brand bag of chips. But try walking home with that bag of potatoes. Look how much loose potatoes cost. Those of you who no longer work outside the home, or have full kitchens and work a 9 - 5 job with a spouse to help with the child care. Try that if you are work 2 or 3 part time jobs on your feet making minimum wage (let's not forget more and more of our working poor are now being asked to take check cards with fees in payment for their work!)

I am so freaking furious now that our friends on the boards have shown their total ignorance and absolute lack of empathy for our working poor that I can't even finish this. Mad

Yep - tell the over weight cashier at McD's that she could be buying fresh blueberries for next winter at her local farmer's market and put it away in the deep freeze. Take a photo of the look you get back.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,

Fun and Info
Jul 17, 2013, 05:08 PM
Charming, good for you. At the risk of causing a furor, I have to say this: I spent my whole working life in the F ood S tamp P rogram from a lowly eligibilitly worker to the Assistant Director statewide, and I can tell you that the ig norance of the general public when it comes to the barriers that the poor/working poor face is heartbreaking. They are criticized if seen with a full grocery cart with no one even considering that they have to make their way W al M art as best they can. Even if they have a car, gas is expensive so is it surprising that they purchase their month's worth of groceries when the allotment is first posted on FS accounts. And if transportation is expensive, so is fresh, nutritious food!!!!!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Jul 17, 2013, 05:55 PM
Bravo, Charming and Sms, for setting the record straight.

Last year, celebrity restauranteur and chef Mario Batali and his family took the Food Stamp challenge for one week. Now, here's a guy who knows his way around food shopping, nutrition and meal planning. Read how they fared:

This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
Jul 17, 2013, 07:03 PM
lady of shallot
And I feel it is either ignorance, continuing to eat what you grew up with, or laziness that cause the lower income people to be overweight.

This is pretty harsh Martha.

Many years ago I did not have a car (or even know how to drive a/c of previously living in NYC so long) I remember walking home from the grocery store to my third floor walk up apt and having to set the bags down periodically to rest.

I struggled very much and I did know how to eat and wasn't overweight. Oh and at this time I worked full time for a travel agent and at night for an airline!

I kept a weekly record of every expenditure I made and had it projected too. I used to be furious when my boss (the owner of the travel agency) told people that my 72.72 weekly salary was more than he took out of the business.

Which even that was a lie as he took $75 for spending money. His bills came to work with him and were paid by the business, I was very tempted to ask him if I could do the same thing.

His was the attitude that you are now displaying. I'm surprised and disappointed.

You evidently have never had the misfortune to suffer economically. Maybe you never lived on your own, let alone had children to raise by yourself. I remember one woman I worked with (this in the wearing stockings days) and she could not afford stockings to wear to a job interview.

Another thing Martha is that food is your interest. If I'm not mistaken it is how you earn the money you do earn. Of course you would know food preparation.

In fact I often think that the person most equipped to suffer from poverty is the person that has had a privileged upbringing who has had the life experiences. . . going to camp, special sports and classes etc that teach them many survival skills. How much of that do you think poor people get?

My the way I was not talking about salad bars in restaurants (which I never use) but salad bars in supermarkets. Buying a few clumps of broccoli or cauliflower is cheaper than buying a whole head.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Jul 17, 2013, 07:50 PM
LOS - To answer your original question - in many states grocery stores are covered by the same inspection process as restaurants. Part of food prep in restaurants is to follow certain procedures to rinse vegetables I think running water was a requirement back in the day.

Fun and Info
Jul 17, 2013, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by lady of shallot:
By the way I was not talking about salad bars in restaurants (which I never use) but salad bars in supermarkets. Buying a few clumps of broccoli or cauliflower is cheaper than buying a whole head.

I'm sorry I thought you were referring to cleanliness of a true dining room salad bar. I do not buy precut prepackaged foods from the produce section unless it is used on vacation, taking on the run because I won't be home, or just to have a small quantity I need so I don't throw it out when it's spoiled, etc. My DH has a kniption if food spoils in our house!

But you are correct it is much cheaper, healthier and wiser to purchase the raw product. However, as our dept was advised when getting an adopted family to share with at the holiday, "remember that you can give them a large ham or turkey, but the family situation may be such that they don't have refrigeration, freezer or even a tradional range to cook with."

I recently watched a PBS show about the food desert - it is also alot of passed down family traditions with the foods we choose to eat as well that contribute to the health and nutrition problems.

Speaking of my own self - unhealthy eating isn't because I grew up poor. I grew up in what my DH points out was "a very wealthy family" on a farm with fantastic fresh red meat meals 3 times a day! Our children have contributed much to opening my eyes that I can make more wise food choices! Gosh, at the time my father always owed the bank big time, I never thought we were wealthy at all.
Jul 17, 2013, 10:38 PM
Yes, Lyme's disease can be fatal if not diagnosed early. In her case, Drs. in the Midwest took 10 years to diagnose this girl, by then the disease had attacked her heart. Most of the specialists for this disease are found on the East & West coasts where deer tick Lyme disease is rampant. Count this THERE ARE ZERO, NONE, NOT A ONE ANYWHERE out here in the region who are properly accredited to work with these patients specifically.
Jul 18, 2013, 05:05 PM
e any of your suspicious about how clean such food is? Sometimes I like to get some cauliflower or such that would take me a while to eat a whole head,

Yes, but I look at the whole offering of the bar.

Here, there is a grocery store that has an excellent (clean-looking) salad bar and the food looks very fresh.

But, there are other grocery store salad bars where the food shield is less than squeeky clean and the food itself looks a couple of days old. I skip those grocery salad bars.

LoS, I do the same thing--especially because The Husband doesn't really care for salads since they take too long to eat. I buy a few things, and add to it from the grocery store salad bars.

Around here, they are subject to inspection, but there's a limit to how far that goes.

So, I'm just careful where I purchase.
I don't wish to comment on the other subjects brought up. Just on the original post.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Indexlady,
Jul 19, 2013, 08:06 AM
I never purchase any salad bar items since I saw other customers pick out items with their fingers, ugh! The store may try to keep everything fresh and clean but that's only half of the story.

The lack of grocery stores with fresh vegetables in lower income areas also contributes to the problem. In my metropolitan area the stores in these areas carry fewer fresh items and often what they do carry is not as fresh as it is in the suburban stores. Schools are so intent on testing in my state that they do not offer many home ec type courses. Often people need to know how to prepare food, not everyone grows up in a household that makes food from scratch or even knows how to use fresh vegetables, etc. I read an article a couple of years ago about people who have never made mashed potatoes from scratch, they only knew about buying the stuff in supermarkets.

The recent discussions about the farm bill highlight the issues with the food stamp program. I don't think that the food budget that the current program envisions is sufficient for those who need help. I know that I would find it hard to survive on such a budget and I know how to cook from scratch.
Jul 19, 2013, 10:34 AM
Froo Froo
I always buy fresh or frozen veggies depending on seasonal peaks and pricing. I never buy off a salad bar and shun any mayo laden salad I did not personally make where I reduce the mayo and exercise healthy prep and storage. I always wash my fruits and veggies due to handling, waxy coatings and especially pesticides. Those on tight budgets have additional options such as home growing and canning, local farmers markets and even discounted produce in grocery stores which often are still blemish free, crisp, juicy and flavorful. Frozen veggies sans sauces, additives or butter are good alternatives. Avoiding processed foods with preservatives, dyes, high sodium or sugars is always wise. BTW, one has to wonder how safe veggies offered in restaurants are too. I have witnessed sub shops and delis where the clerk handles food sans washing or gloves and in some cases, money as well. I avoid establishments in clear violation of health laws.
Jul 19, 2013, 11:06 AM
16paws, the news coverage on food stamps would lead you to believe that each household receives the maximum allotment for their size. That is not true. The only ones who receive the maximum are those with zero income or zero income after allowable deductions. In fact, at the time of my retirement, most single, elderly clients received $12.00 monthly.

Froo, those on tight budgets are not likely to have access to the resources necessary for home growing and therefore canning. And, of course, access to farmers markets and discounted produce is dependent on transportation which is a big barrier to the poor.
Jul 20, 2013, 10:31 AM
I know that each state has different programs for food stamps, etc. I don't think that it would be easy to live on such a small amount. I don't see how anyone could live on $12 a week let alone a month! I see that you live in Louisiana which has been on the news regarding the number of people who live below the poverty line and food stamps. Ohio also has many state legislators who receive lots of government help for their own farms but vote against aid to those who live in poverty.
Jul 20, 2013, 10:42 AM
Actually, the FS program is more "national" than any other social program. There are a few variations among the states and recipients in a couple of states or territories get more than the rest, but by and large old folks get $12.00 or not much more. The states have NOTHING to do with the FS program regulations. This is strictly a federal program, so don't blame your state legislators for the farm bill!!! But, if it goes to block grants, then the states WILL have power, and I say Katy bar the door because they will destroy what is basicly a good program. I can only hope that the REAL beneficiaries of the program (the grocers) will lobby c ongress successfully to prevent it.
Jul 20, 2013, 10:54 AM
Froo Froo
sms, I didn't read thru the entirety of responses. I was speaking of those who could afford those options I posed. There are of course food banks for those in need. Some cities grow victory type gardens or roof top gardens to help with this group also. The discount produce carts at grocery chains should not be ignored either. Also, there may be a chain such as Aldies(sp?) that offers off brands and reasonable fresh produce too if they have access to those.
Jul 20, 2013, 12:34 PM
Froo, whenever anyone mentions the FS program, I get on my soapbox! Smile While I was still working I wondered out loud to a colleague whether we would ever be able to put the plight of the poor out of our minds and just go with the middle class flow that everyone else seems to. She assured me that we would not--we would always see everything through the eyes of the poor. I don't know whether that is good or a curse...
Jul 20, 2013, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by sms29s66:
Froo, whenever anyone mentions the FS program, I get on my soapbox! Smile While I was still working I wondered out loud to a colleague whether we would ever be able to put the plight of the poor out of our minds and just go with the middle class flow that everyone else seems to. She assured me that we would not--we would always see everything through the eyes of the poor. I don't know whether that is good or a curse...

sms - Bless you for seeing through the eyes of the poor. I wish more of our family, friends, television talking heads and legislators would do the same.

The problem is with the FED Farm Bill - the House is doing everything they can to reduce the FS allocation and give more to the farmers. Of which many of the ones receiving the Gov't handouts are our legislators.

Shame, so many states want to criminalize the poor and make the into beggars for anything they get from our tax dollar when the fat cats keep getting more and more and never have to beg. In fact, they have the media so in their pockets they broadcast that it is our national duty to give more handouts to those who are not in need. One legislator from TN turned my stomach recently talking about how the poor need to get jobs and quit living on the dole while he has his hand out for many thousands of dollars of farm aid. Mad

Fun and Info
Jul 20, 2013, 02:14 PM
Charming, I am holding out hope that the REAL beneficiaries of the FS program (W al M art and the other big grocers) will flex their muscles and quash the House efforts to starve the poor. Think about it...who profits most with poverty programs? The poor family who gets a Section 8 voucher to live in a substandard house, or the s lumlord being paid top dollar rent by the feds? Same for the FS recipients who don't actually get enough to feed themselves, but every dollar they DO get goes to the grocers!!!!!
Jul 20, 2013, 02:22 PM
I hope so, but agri business has an awfully big lobby in DC.

What is interesting in LOS topic that has been completely coopted by this discussion is the very real fact that obesity is not just a problem with the poor. Has anyone looked around at the kids you see in the malls lately? They seem to either be little toothpicks planning to be the next Twiggy (we'll explain for those on here under 50) or they are little tubs. I noticed our better department stores now has a line of Jr clothes for our "heavier" young teens. Because, hey, every little fat girl wants to wear the latest midriff baring top and low slung jeans. (I can say little fat girl, because I was one!) I suppose times have changed because the last thing I wanted was to wear anything that emphasized my size.

Fun and Info
Jul 20, 2013, 03:37 PM
lady of shallot
What is interesting in LOS topic that has been completely coopted by this discussion is the very real fact that obesity is not just a problem with the poo

I am amazed to see in decorating magazines where they have pics of editors and other upper echelon people who in some way are connected with the magazine, the many instances of obesity. And what about Paula Deen and Ina Garten. They sure know about food. I think it is sad that many people are finding it acceptable (not that I can throw stones here) to be overweight.

BTW Froo, "my" supermarket has once again been sold. I noticed that the "seconds" cart for fruits and veggies is no longer there. I too always wash my fruits/veggies including banana skins and watermelon, cantaloupe etc. Mostly though I wash my HANDS before doing anything with food. I can't believe people who let their kids sit down to dinner without first washing their hands!
Jul 20, 2013, 09:53 PM
I agree obesity is commonplace now. Growing up I rarely saw overweight children, now it is commonplace.
I'm concerned about the health of children, of course it is unhealthy for adults, but in some families it is just accepted to be overweight.
My heart breaks for the children who need better choices of less food and more exercise.
Yes, some poor people have little choices, but many people at every income level do have choices but make bad ones that affect many other people.
I've heard people ranting about rail thin celebrities who set bad examples, but then compliment obese celebrities for being real, isn't that an equally bad example?
BTW, does anyone watch Hallmark movies, ever notice the women are always "normal" size?
I don't mind that Ina Garten is overweight, she is not in the public because of her weight, of course it would be nicer if she weighed less as it is better for her health.
Never wash bananas, I only soak cantaloupe and watermelon when I'm in Mexico, not in the USA.
Jul 20, 2013, 10:57 PM
Since that wide spread either e-coli or salmanila (sp)(can't remember which) I think it was last year ON cantaloupe that were raised in the US...I wash all melons with a veggie wash before I cut anything!
In fact, all purchased veggies get washed with homemade veggie wash before consumption. What I grow here at home gets washed off with water & a scrub brush if needed (like carrots)!

I agree about the farm bill, but there is one other factor that I don't think they are considering....the farmer that grows the crops, milks the cows, etc. also benefits from food stamps by having a bigger market to sell to.

However, the "farmers" that benefit the most are big conglomerate corporations and not individuals. And guess who they con tribute to by way of campai gn contri butions...both sides!

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Jul 21, 2013, 03:10 AM
ga, the reason the FS program is run by the USDA is because the legislators who wrote the original bill knew it would benefit farmers, too. But, the current crop of legislators is abysmally ignorant of history (ALL history!) and they glory in their ignorance.
Jul 21, 2013, 07:17 PM
I have got to get my 2 cents in on this food stamp business. And my opinion probably won't be popular.

I was raised in a family that would rather be that be on any kind of public assistance.

My Dad worked hard, and I think we had plenty, but there were 7 children and our grandmother for my parents to support. We only had one car and my father took that to work, and only drove it between work and home as gas was expensive.

My mother went to the grocery store pulling a red wagon, which she used to get the groceries home. I was a teenager before I ever, and I mean ever, had a bite of processed, store bought, ready made food. No food came in boxes at our house. Never saw such a thing. We ate simple, nutritious meals made from in season foods because that was the cheapest. We rarely had treats. I didn't even know such a thing as soda pop existed. We were all fit and slim, and I have to say happy. We were expected to help at home and work hard in school, and to prepare for jobs in our future by gaining marketable skills. My parents never wasted money on things like ciga.rettes or alch.ohol or even magazines.

So mom's tips for feeding the family were to buy the big sack of potatoes, and wheel it home in the wagon. She bought the big bag of carrots too, and budget buy hamburger, and a big bag of onions. Add a few cans of tomatoes, and you can make dinner for a family of 10 for a long time. Breakfast was usually oatmeal. Lunch was a peanut butter sandwich and an apple and water.

So even though I have sympathy for people who are down on their luck temporarily, I think most people in that situation need to work a little harder, and do a little better, and get themselves to self sufficiency as quick as they can. There is a self respect in a simple economical life, that seems to be missing in those who sit around and wait for handouts from the government.

Sorry sms29s66, but I think the FS program, and other government handout type programs should be used very rarely, if ever, and I believe most people, who aren't legitimately disabled, can support themselves if they have a mind to.
Jul 21, 2013, 07:27 PM
Oh, and about buying a small amount of something from a salad bar to take home....just wash it when you get home, then you will know it is clean.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: cocok,
Jul 22, 2013, 11:31 AM
WOW! Reading this post was like a "train wreck" for me... just couldn't look away!?! Talk about going off the rails at times!!

Anyway, on salad bar stuff. A little OT... not so much on cleanliness of products but quality. Have a friend who goes to a higher end supermarket at lunch with co-workers on occasions to get lunch at their salad bar. The next time she went, got a salad, and 2 separate containers of their sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil and REAL bacon bits... said they were very good and lb for lb a MUCH better deal than buying separately.
Jul 22, 2013, 11:39 AM
cocok, the next time I see a senior citizen using FS stamps, I'll chide them about about working harder and suggest they get a wagon.
Jul 22, 2013, 12:29 PM
I would not criticize a senior citizen for using food stamps. Sometimes age can be disabling.
Jul 22, 2013, 02:10 PM
It's all too easy to bash the poor.
Jul 22, 2013, 02:53 PM
You talk about being poor, sms29s66, as if it is a lifetime sentence. It isn't.
Jul 22, 2013, 04:14 PM
Thirty seven years with Social Services convinces me otherwise for a large segment of the population. You can flatter yourself with the notion that all it takes is an individual's determination to make something more of himself, but public policy weighs heavily on everyone's ability to achieve. Student debt is an example.

But it is apparent that we are not going to reach an agreement on this subject, and it has been discussed enough for this thread.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Jul 22, 2013, 06:15 PM
lady of shallot
I didn't even know such a thing as soda pop existed.

This makes me think of during WW 2 when my dad (father of six children was serving our country) and we children would ask my Mom, (who was working in a neighborhood grocery store) if we could have a treat. She would occasionally give us a quarter to buy a bottle of ginger ale.

We can't compare life today to life then or even when Cocok who I think is much younger than I, is speaking of.

Laws, customs, expectations, morals, etc have all changed. Did you know it was against the law to have s ex when you weren't married? I am not speaking of a dultary I mean two single people. If we compared everything of today to everything of our young selves say between 10 and 20 there is so much more to consider than just economics.

When we moved to this town there was a poor farm still in existence. It wasn't occupied but that had at one time been a "safety net" My mother told about a bureau we had for many year in our dining room, that in her youth had been used to store bed linens for the times neighbors would be in need of nursing help.

Our newspaper had a separate section on the aging of the population of Maine, yesterday. A friend called me this morning and we were talking about it. She hadn't read it but she said that everyone should have saved enough to take care of themselves in their old age. The articles were really about the lack of facilities in Maine and services, not so much the cost of them.

The breakdown of the family, the relaxation of attitudes re: children born out of wedlock, the phenomenon of large numbers of working mothers, day care even when mothers don't work etc.

We can't judge others by the standards of another time. Many of us have just skated by with no ill effects from fortune or bad luck. Not necessarily because we have been superior in our decisions or efforts, but just because that is the way our lives have worked out.
Jul 22, 2013, 07:15 PM
Thank you LOS for not getting annoyed with us.

I found an interesting report this morning on upward (or lack there of) mobility in the country. It seems if you were born poor in most areas of the country you will more than likely die poor.

Here it is:

Sorry - the interactive chart is not downloading with the article. Frown
Also the Pew Charitable Trust great info on the topic.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,

Fun and Info
Jul 22, 2013, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by sms29s66:
but public policy weighs heavily on everyone's ability to achieve. Student debt is an example.

What do you mean by this? Please explain how you relate student debt in this?
Jul 22, 2013, 11:07 PM
This is from the Ohio Poverty Law Center: Not surprisingly, the study found that the relative cost of post-secondary education was more burdensome for lower income households. A family living on $36,000 or less per year would have to pay more than 70% of its income to cover college costs, after accounting for grant aid.

Fun and Info
Jul 23, 2013, 12:49 AM
Meicha, isn't it generally supposed that a good education is the best way out of poverty? Ergo, if a good education is financially out of bounds for already poor people, then loans are the only way. Loans = student debt. Student loans are definitely controlled by public policy and have been in the news lately.
Jul 23, 2013, 02:24 AM
I do believe that education is the best way out of poverty. I also believe in hard work, and self sufficiency. And I don't believe that life just happens. We make decisions, and our decisions have consequences, good and bad.

For instance, I have a female relative who is raising a daughter alone due to divorce. She is making about 1,000 a month. That is 12,000 a year. I consider that poverty or pretty close to it. She receives no maintenance or child support, (bum of an ex) and no public assistance. How does she do it? She lives on principals of economy. She drives her very old car as little as possible, she never eats out, and she prepares meals that often substitute beans for meat etc. Her home is very modest, but it is clean and orderly. She buys her clothing and most of her goods at thrift shops. She doesn't have a computer at home, and no cable, no fancy telephone, etc.

Her daughter is attending the local university. When her daughter was young she explained that she would have a better life if she was educated, but that there would be no money for college, so the daughter worked hard, and focused on her schoolwork, so that she could qualify herself for a scholarship, which she did earn. Her daughter has a part time job during the school year, and works full time during the summer to supplement the scholarship money. They have not borrowed any money for schooling, and will not be in debt when she graduates.

Her daughter will do better that she does financially because she has set herself a practical course of study and will graduate with marketable job skills.

Again, I grew up in a family system with a very clearly defined work ethic, where economy was practiced out of necessity, and "sitting on the dole" as my parents put it, was unacceptable and unheard of. I learned that to do without was plain and simply OK.

I know that there are people who need assistance. And some people need it due to no fault of their own. True. But I still maintain, that Food stamps or other assistance programs should be a temporary help, and that the real good comes when people are helped to be able to gain self sufficiency.

As I said, I expect that my opinion on this will probably be unpopular.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: cocok,
Jul 23, 2013, 10:48 AM
Why is it praiseworthy that your female relative was dumb enough to have a child with a bum and then not pursue child support? Children are legally and morally entitled to the support of both parents.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sms29s66,
Jul 23, 2013, 11:33 AM
Don't think Cocok meant it as "praiseworthy"- just stating the facts as relating to family member. I agree about child support, however there are men who skate by without ever paying a dime of support-old saying, can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.
Jul 23, 2013, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by mamaspoon:
Don't think Cocok meant it as "praiseworthy"- just stating the facts as relating to family member. I agree about child support, however there are men who skate by without ever paying a dime of support-old saying, can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

Actually with the way the courts work these days they will squeeze every dime they can out of that turnip. If he gets a paycheck anywhere in the US they can go after him.

Fun and Info
Jul 23, 2013, 11:42 AM
And some guys have no paycheck, or pay once or partially and then lag behind for next 6 months until they go to court again. Some women at that point just give up.
Jul 23, 2013, 11:49 AM
Who do you think goes after the deadbeat parents? Child Support Enforcement is part of the dreaded Social Services that everyone loves to hate.

But we have surely beat the poor to death on this thread. Enough...The poor don't DESERVE fresh veggies on a salad bar!!!!
Jul 23, 2013, 01:06 PM
As far as my relative, you are right, mamaspoon, I am just stating the facts in her situation. As far as pursuing child support, she doesn't have the means or time to chase after it, and she knows there isn't enough to get, to make it worthwhile. She just moved on.

And to set the record straight, sms29s66, I don't hate social services.

I also don't hate the "poor". Obviously, I have given examples from my own life in this discussion to show that I can relate to hard times.

What my point is, is that I believe that people in general do better when they can achieve self sufficiency. I am not in support of any system that encourages dependance on government handouts, without an exit pathway from that assistance. By exit pathway I mean a plan to get off assistance as soon as possible by gaining job skills or learning how to better manage financially or whatever. I believe that government assistance should be temporary, not a way of life.

Of course there are going to be people who aren't going to be able to get off assistance. The elderly for instance, or people who are permanently disabled.

And I am not beating the poor to death, and I am not saying the poor don't deserve fresh food.
Jul 23, 2013, 01:33 PM
In this age of no new taxes, which budgets do you think gets cut the deepest and fastest? Which are usually the last to get restored when times are good? Frivolous stuff like job training. Even then many localities have cut out child care or reduced it to the point of non existence so what is a woman to do with her children? We as a society has decided it is easier to blame the poor and walk away saying much as what has been posted here.

No one thinks twice about the corporate raiders and billionaires who take and take and take - they are bigger welfare queens than anyone who receives food stamps and WIC. As long as major corporations get by without paying a dime in taxes, our local governments are happy to give my hard earned tax dollars to any tom, d-ick and harry corp that puts on a good story, and billionaires don't pay their fair share - I will have no problem with any poor person getting a few crumbs from the table.

To reiterate what I posted previously - with the squeeze on the middle class and working poor (and unfortunately today many who used to be middle class are now working poor) they should take advantage of programs available. Trust me - Donald Trump takes every tax handout available and if he's not too proud, why should I be? In fact things like unemployment, food stamps, WIC and others do more for the economy than a tax giveaway to the Donald. That money goes right back into the local economy, not socked away in an off shore account.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,

Fun and Info
Jul 23, 2013, 03:36 PM
Yay, Charming. I am going to resist taking the bait of discussing the Child Care Program. I was in charge of the first Quality Control review of that program in Louisiana. Let me just say that I was astounded to discover the number of state legislators whose relatives suddenly became owners of day care centers....
Jul 23, 2013, 03:36 PM
lady of shallot
And I don't believe that life just happens. We make decisions, and our decisions have consequences, good and bad.

Life does just happen (who wants to get sick or blind or fired etc?) and we do make decisions and our decisions have consequences, as you illustrate Cocok in your story of your relative.

I believe also in education but as higher education becomes more and more necessary for any kind of employment it does not equal an increase in jobs paying living wages. My DD graduated from a very good private college (student loans/aid /scholarships. . . we paid back the loans) but her desired work was not in a field that paid very well. When she got her first apt with 2 friends she had to take the least desirable accommodations because she could not pay an equal share of the rent.

Now she is a stay at home Mom and it is her husband's salary that supports them all. This is what I mean by some people "skating" by. Now that I am very near the end of my time, I see how fortunate I have been, in health, safety, esteem of my fellows, acceptance, etc. It's true that I have not made major foolish mistakes or taken risks or had self destructive habits but by and large my good fortune really has had nothing to do with me.

About the cost of higher education. If I recall my DD's first year of college was about 1/2 our annual income. Yesterday I asked a friend what she considered the lowest amount of a wealthy income. She said 250K a year. I repeated that to DH and he said "yes, unless you have 5 kids on college!" I do know of one such family (triplets in between two singles)

Sometimes I wish I could know what my Dad would think of his 18 grandchildren. Three have terminal degrees, and nine more have college degrees. In general the degreed people do do well, but sometimes it is a mate's income. At least 2 of the non educated also do very well and in one of those cases it was in fact "luck" that is the reason.