Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Social Work Makes Me MAD.

Not the class, but what we study in it.

I have my final tomorrow morning so I have been doing a basic overview of the chapters; this stuff makes me squirm in my chair every time I read it.

So many people are uninsured, CHILDREN are the highest population living in poverty....
High schoolers have to deal with violence, teen pregnancy, STDs, dropping out, etc.

In the city of Nashville alone, there is a 60%-70% high school graduation rate.
ONLY 60%-70%!
That's ridiculous!
These kids need to at least get their GED to get anywhere in the least bit, but obviously they are not even motivated to make it that far.

Why are African Americans 27 times more likely to go to jail for the same crime a white man commits? WHY?!

Out of everything I have studied today, the poverty threshold, its creation and current status is the thing that rubs me the worst way. Here is an excerpt of what is in my notes:

The Poverty Threshold was created by taking the 1955 cost of a minimum adequate diet for families of different sizes and multiplying the cost by three to allow for other expenses (the diet used was the Economy Food Plan, the cheapest of four food plans issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture).
It has never been updated to account for changing household consumption patterns.
(getting angrier...)
The cost of child care was NOT figured into the official guidelines because the typical family in the 1950s had one wage earner and a stay-at-home mother.
The guidelines do not recognize geographic differences even though the cost of food, clothing and housing VARIES from state to state and within states. Also, the poverty measure does not take into account differences between urban areas (where housing costs tend to be higher) and rural areas (where transportation costs are higher).

There are NO economic calculations made for anyone in this country that is living in poverty. I'm sorry but this just pisses me off. I mean, come on! We all know the cost of living is different in Birmingham, Alabama than it is in San Diego, California! How do they expect people to make it? Obviously, whoever made this whole thing doesn't actually care that there are real people out there barely getting by every single day.
Thinking about this brings me back to my volunteer work at the HIV/AIDS Center. Some of the paper work I had to file contained each client's monthly income. It was insane to see the digits vary from completely nothing to near $30,000. It's unfortunate that money has so much to do with the well-being of someone's health or general success in life... even if they are hit with the same tragedy.
I don't even know where to start or what it would take to create change. It is so easy to come across people here that are homeless and come around begging for money or help getting medicine or a ride, etc. But as a female, I am extra cautious and it cramps my ability to be generous. On top of that, I want better for them than to just give them a bit of cash. I feel like doing volunteer work is the only effective way to get them provisions they need.

Sigh. When are people going to wake up and realize that it is so much better to put more money toward preventative care than to clean up all the damage after someone's life has been ruined by a poor education (if any), poverty, disease, and/or crime??

Still squirming...

1 comment:

Chris Rouse said...

Social justice. Too bad so many christians ignore these issues. Great post and it's good to see that problems like these cause a justified anger.