Hello all. I am a low-income mid-30s Canadian living alone, no dependents. Advice from bank staff and popular internet blogs confuse me and don't make sense in my world (e.g. ensure an 8-10% return - but how do I do that without jeopardizing my future if I retire in a decade the investment does poorly). I feel some investments I made were silly but am not sure if I am paranoid. Please suggest good directions to explore. I will give specifics about my situation below, with my specific question in the last paragraph. [more inside]
Independent Vermont Culture Filter: Help us come up with a strategy to assure our 55 year old underemployed neighbor doesn't freeze to death this winter. [more inside]
The popular perception of Versailles and the 18th century French aristocracy holds that they showed a casual disregard for the the struggles of the poor. This surely has truth to it, but the famous "let them eat cake" anecdote quite likely never happened – so can you point me to any other evidence (letters, anecdotes, trial proceedings, etc) of how the French ruling class actually regarded the poor?
In a bid to make my 2015 different than my 2014, I'm interested in recommendations of media (podcasts, essays, short stories, etc) that tell inspiring tales of redemption, preferably from poverty. [more inside]
My (hypothetical) offspring will know a level of privilege and wealth early on in their lives that... frankly, blows my mind. How do I make sure that my kids grow up to understand the nuances of poverty, affluence, and everything in between? [more inside]
You are not my dentist, oral surgeon, or travel agent: can an extraction or root canal be delayed a week or two if the active infection has temporarily been resolved through a short (10 day) course of antibiotics? [more inside]
I'm looking for relevant and frequently updated sources of news (preferably online) about homelessness and related issues: poverty, supportive housing, etc. [more inside]
I'd like to read about the intersection of bodies, disability, race, gender, and class. All writing (and other?) genres welcome. [more inside]
I regularly come across people who, in the course of conversation, make a comment that reinforces a stereotype about poor people -- for example, that poor people are just out to "game the system," or they're lazy, or they mustn't really be poor because they have a nice cell phone. How can I challenge their stereotypes in a way that is succinct and not unduly confrontational? [more inside]
I finally have my act together, on a very basic level. What are the next steps to becoming a full-fledged adult? [more inside]
[ShortStoryFilter]: Sort of canonical (I'm sure I read it in junior high school in a collection) - unnamed Western tourist is in some village in unnamed developing country. Gets thirsty and asks for water from nearest hut- is given bucketfuls, and asks for more to douse himself. [SPOILER]: Later finds out that the only water supply in entire area comes from one faucet that drips tiny amounts and entire village waits in line for hours to fill one bucket. Ring any bells?
My life has been a bit hard for a while now. It has been ruthless #@$* for a few months. I need some strategies to force myself to keep going. Lots of moaning follows. [more inside]
There was a time in my childhood when my family was poor. Our situation improved as I grew up. But I must've somehow picked up this anxiety about things such as food and clothing. It doesn't exactly interfere with my life, but it can be a waste of mental energy and makes things a bit less enjoyable. Do you have any suggestions for me? [more inside]
My partner's 18 year old sister wants to marry her boyfriend of one year. They both live at home with their respective parents, are not planning to pursue post-secondary school, and are financially insecure (she does not work, he works part time). They have recently converted to a fundamentalist version of a new faith, and their plan is to rely on her disabled mother who would lose her benefits by caring for them - the mother is against this but of course loves her daughter. Their religious community is encouraging them (but not offering financial aid). What can we do to support her but not her decision? [more inside]
What's it really like living in extreme poverty in the developed (western) world? I am writing a dystopian sort of post-mini-apocalyptic novel. The themes are investigating something else, but for a realistic setting, I would like to know real stories (anecdotes & journalistic) about living in a contemporary semi-urban environment where resources are scarce. Stories detailing daily life post-katrina, war-torn environments in Europe, experiences of low income people who can not easily access nutritious food, medicine, clothing, information/Internet/tv - anything a middle class person in Australia might take for granted and not even consider - for example (can't remember source) a diabetic without regular power will be at extreme risk, because of an inability to securely store insulin. What's it like living in an environment where the invading force are unpredictable? What freedoms do you lose, what work arounds do you pursue? How differently does the community act, faced with these problems - and in what ways does it bring them together, and in what ways does it divide them? (I wish to avoid fictional accounts).
Where should a grad student in public policy (with a focus on poverty) intern in New Orleans this summer? What organizations do related work? What internships are there? [more inside]
Looking for slums that are similar to the former Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong -- areas where the population have created their own sorts of internal ecosystems for one reason or another, living together in some kind of (likely rather tense) harmony. Ideally, these would be places where people have trotted out storefronts/small businesses, and have somehow either leeched off the public infrastructure or created their own. Bonus points if the residents are essentially unauthorized to live there. Nowhere in the US, please (though I'd still be interested in knowing). I already know about Dharavi, Kibera, and the Tower of David in Caracas.
During my preteen and teen years, our family was impoverished. This was in the early to mid 90s. Throughout this time, I found solace in Tupac's music, which was both wholly understandable and mournfully, beautifully realistic. Now I'm a musician in my mid 30s. I want to cover some Tupac songs out of respect, as they were a big inspiration to me, but I don't want to offend anyone. As a white guy, can I do this inoffensively? If so, how? (For the uninitiated: his lyrical patter depends heavily on the n-word, which I am (and always have been) reluctant to use.)
I have of late been reading and watching first-person accounts of poverty in the United States. The most recent being Invisible Child. I would like to continue reading stories told from the perspective (or about the perspective) of those living in poverty in the US. Books, documentaries, articles are all welcome.
I'm looking for some non-fiction, anecdote-filled book recommendations covering the first ten to fifteen years of the sound-era studio system. Particularly those which focus on the activities of the studio personnel themselves (the writers, producers, crew, moguls), rather than the stars. Anything interesting on the poverty row studios would also be great.
I'm currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in VT and while I love it here in this socialist wonderland, I find myself wondering if poverty-related service wouldn't do more immediate good in a red state. [more inside]
I'm thinking of starting a low-key blog that posts black and white photographs of impoverished and disadvantaged people from around the world. The stories don't have to be elaborate or contain a lot of photos. Each one can consist of only one photo and a short description of the person's plight. Are there any similar websites/blogs out there? [more inside]
Hello. I am really in need of help and have never been set on any stable career or employment course. What can I do with very few resources (I am down to my last $100 bucks or so; I do not own a cell phone) to get a job ASAP or at least learn more about careers? Are there any lifehacks, tricks, ideas or pathways that I am missing? I know there have to be some people here who have recently had to find new jobs and know the modern job hunt a lot better than the standard advice that's outdated. What did you do when you felt between a rock and a hard place? One thing I was interested in is teaching (either substitute or full-time) but I have no clue how to become certified or where to start. My parents are really losing their patience and I have no clue how long I can be here without contributing pay from a job. [more inside]
Someone close to me (a man) is developing an increasingly conservative, even bigoted, viewpoint on a number of topics. Please help me figure out what the hell is going on and what I can do about it. [more inside]
One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to "identify a cause with lots of leverage".
This is not the question I wanted to ask this week, but last week, my employer forgot to submit my first time card on time, and I will (very) possibly not get paid this week. I am very poor right now. [more inside]
Please help me compile a list of rap songs that clearly illustrate what it is like to grow up and live in poverty -- for example, Brother Ali's "Only Life I Know" [YouTube, SoundCloud, lyrics] or The Coup's "Underdogs" [YouTube, lyrics]. [more inside]
Economics question regarding the relationship between the relatively high purchasing power of the "developed nations" and the debts (sovereign and other) of the so called "developing nations". If the Make Poverty History campaigns to cancel debts of developing nations are successful will this result in a noticeable reduction in the purchasing power of average people in "creditor nations" like the UK, USA, Germany, etc? [more inside]
So I'm going to Kenya in 5 weeks time for some work, and I'm meant to be briefing some colleagues (emphasis on brief) about some aspects of our work tomorrow. Something has leapt out at me, and I don't have the time to research it myself before presenting. [more inside]
My mom has what seems to be undiagnosed borderline personality disorder. For the last many years, she's burned bridges at work and let her self-loathing get the best of her, to the point that she's chronically unemployed, has alienated most of her friends, and has exhausted all her financial resources. She's hit rock bottom, with $0 in the bank and debts to pay. And she's turned to me for help, saying she doesn't know how to take care of herself. I'm 26. I'm struggling to pay back my own student loans. Please help me help my mom. This is in Canada. [more inside]
My AmeriCorps program is denying me my education award after I have served 10 out of the 11 months in my service year. The reason is because I am leaving for Teach for America. [more inside]
Abundance or Scarcity: Is current global aggregate production of consumable 'necessities' sufficient for current global population? Or are food shortages and starvation due to insufficient aggregate production? [more inside]
I need a short term solution to homelessness of a four person family (2 adults, 2 children) in the Los Angeles area?
My family (self, fiance, and two children, ages 4 and 7) is currently homeless in Los Angeles. We are at a complete loss here... can anyone provide any insight, advice, anything at all to help us figure out what on earth to do? [more inside]
What remedies exist for a cat beflea'd? [more inside]
I have a little more than $30,000 in "Stafford" federally subsidized student loans which have been in forbearance and/or deferment as I have been unable to find steady work since I finished school 3.5 years ago. At this point I am flat broke, living off food stamps and credit cards, and it appears my loan servicers are no longer willing to grant me further forbearance. What are my options? [more inside]
The book Portfolios of the Poor details the financial lives of people living on less than $2/day. Where can I find similar studies/narratives/stories about poor people in the US? [more inside]
I never had disposable income, so I'm realizing I have a weird relationship with money and things. Now that I'm making enough to feel rich (without actually being rich?), what stuff would make my life way better? What do normal people spend money on? I can get over this on my own, right? [more inside]
I'm looking for Best Practices worldwide for improving conditions for low-income families. Do any of you know of organizations with available data on specific ways that their programs have increased opportunities and quality of life for low income children and families? [more inside]
How can we help our houseguest who is severely depressed? Is it okay for us to require our friend and daughter move out, even if she hasn't been able to find somewhere else to live? [more inside]
I am looking for stories, books, and anecdotes about banks, landlords, and judges bending the law to evict or foreclose on poor people and minorities, especially in the pre-civil-rights era, and especially on black land-owners. Within the U.S., no particular geographical restrictions. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of songs that deal with poverty v. wealth in mate selection. [more inside]
Trying to climb out of huge life hole. Complications: shame, depression and probable ADD, inattentive type. Before you suggest therapy, I have an appointment at the local community mental health intake place this Thursday. I just need to know I can get through this, and that others have made major life changes at 40+ that have stuck. I have few IRL friends I can talk to about this. [more inside]
Mexico Oaxaca-What is the history or background of the poor old women who sell things at the Zocalo? [more inside]
What happens to elderly people in the United States who have run out of retirement savings, can't work, and aren't getting enough from Social Security to cover their living expenses? [more inside]
Escaping a bad life? [more inside]
I'm learning how to write scalable "enterprise-grade" software solutions, e.g. on the so-called "cloud." I've been programming for a couple decades, so this is not a stretch. Software is eating the world anyway, so I'm going to use software to save the world. Please help me cast a wide net. [more inside]
How do I find, collect, beg, borrow (but not steal) new books for a school library that is filled with 30 year old, out of date, books?
Boy brought home this ancient science book from the school library. I mean, so ancient that it was just flat out false. (It was about global warming, and had been written in the 80's and 90's. It was hopelessly out of date.) When I talked to the librarian about it, she said that they had almost no books newer than 10 years old, and that more than half the collection was over 25 years old. It is one of the oldest library collection in North Texas schools. [more inside]
Catch-up-the-North-American-filter: Please suggest films that I can watch to get up on the socioeconomic situation in Britain, leading up to the current unrest. Bonus if it's streaming on Netflix. Documentary or not.
What quick and free things can I do on a daily basis to help charities/those in need? [more inside]
Is there a term for this? People who are above the poverty level (and therefore not eligible for most social services) but below middle income (where they might have some discretionary income to spend on, say, education or legal services)? [more inside]