Sunday, November 27, 2011

As we like to do on a Sunday night (and when we don't care about the 8pm football matchup), Hubster and I watched 60 Minutes.

I am still processing a piece they did about homeless kids in Florida.  Some of the statistics they shared were staggering - 25% of all children in America live in poverty, and one third of them live in Florida.

Watching the piece, I was almost in tears.  Especially since two of the kids interviewed, brother and sister, were so amazingly positive despite the fact that they live in a truck.  I just can't quite fathom that so many people in our country live like this.  It's so sad.

I just do not believe that some of the parents interviewed are homeless by choice, or because they are lazy.  Some of them worked in construction, an industry decimated when the economy faltered.  If the industry of your expertise collapses, what do you do?  What can you do, especially when you then are forced to compete with everyone else who worked in said industry?

I know that some people believe that their situation is all President Obama's fault.  And there are others who believe that it is former President Bush's.  I suspect that I am like most people and think that it's not quite as cut and dried as that.

To me, it's a systemic problem; everything feeds on everything else.  Kids are encouraged to go to college to prepare for work in intellectual industries.  Vocational schools are closing, leaving few avenues for people to learn trades.  Businesses cut staff in an effort to "streamline" processes and maximize shareholder profit.  As consumers, we want to buy the cheapest product, so much of what we buy is produced elsewhere.

I understand the desire to have more, better stuff, but at this cost?  When is it enough - when 90% of children are living in poverty?

I'm so mad right now, and I need to stew on this one; figure out what I can do...

No comments: