Poverty of responsibility

I'm a little weary with reading that poverty is the cause of people's ills.  Equally, that disability absolves people of any need to improve.  Certainly, students and those on Newstart (unemployment benefit) do not receive enough to survive without family and/ or charity assistance.

I often find the group which poverty is bandied about are families who receive more than a full time wage.  I do not mind helping those that need it but when people complain they are poor and receive more than workers and then spend their money on illicit drugs and use public housing, my sympathy is low.

The idea that someone who has a disability should not seek treatment and should be pitied rather than helped where possible grates.  The idea that some people can not get better when evidence suggests they can is annoying.  Low expectations are not a loving action.  This attitude of giving up where there is hope annoys me.  Clearly, disability can be limiting but often with a little help people can at least improve.  Sometimes it's just a matter of managing things well to improve quality of life.

I do think that a dose of cynicism with the use of the word poverty is needed in our community.  I also think that the words personal responsibility need to be deployed more often when appropriate.  I agree with the Business Council of Australia that Newstart needs to be increased to closer to the Aged Pension rate.

It is true, and tragic, that some people have dreadful childhoods and are abused.  These people should be helped by trained psychologists.  The idea that we repeat the cycle by not teaching people values that are shown to stop the abuse and/or "poverty" is absurd.

I read an article this week about families claiming to be poor, all while affording expensive illicit drugs, who were "bored" and "had nothing to do".  It's about time fathers were required to do volunteer work, look for work and/ or study just like childless unemployed and single parents.  Half the problem is the lack of incentive to do the right thing.

I never had the money when I was in my twenties to not engage in study/ volunteer/ work/ look for work.  You actually have to be fairly wealthy, barring ill health, to be self indulgent and moan about "poverty" and "boredom".  These families were an hour from main centers by train and could have easily found places to study for free through job agencies, or deferred through training organisations.

To stave away the boredom, and so called poverty, these families could have planted a garden; learned how to cook cheap meals; gone to the library; enrolled in a course to learn to read if they were illiterate instead of allowing it to stop them; looked for work; studied; volunteered their time to distract themselves from their problems; created art pieces and started a community art group; written a blog; learned how to take photographs/ create videos; cleaned their houses; cooked for others in the community;...I could go on.

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