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 Poverty 
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In reaction to the topic last week, I was thinking about the second ? on the board and the book by Ruby Payne A Framework for Understanding Poverty. According to Payne, there are different types of poverty.
1. financial: Having the money to purchase goods and servics.
2. emotional: Being able to choose and control emotional responses, particularly to negative situations, without engaging in self-destructive behavior. This is an internal resource and shows itself through stamina, perseverane, and choices.
3. mental: Having the mental abilities and acquired skills (reading, writing, computing) to deal with daily life.
4. spiritual: Believing in divine purpose and guidance.
5. physical: Having physical health and mobility.
6. support systems: Having friends, family, and backup resources available to access in times of need. These are external resources. ]
7. relationships/role models: Having frequent acess to adult(s) who are appropriate, who are nurturing to the child, and who do not engage in self-destructive behavior.
8. knowledge of hidden rules: Knowing the unspoken cues and habits of a group.

I found #8 to be very interesting. I never thought about the rules that keep us stuck in a certain class. There is a test in the text that I would be glad to share with class and see how we all do. We had to read this book and discuss in meetings after school, even if we had already read the book. Many of us learned there were parts of each class group we knew, but we were definitely part of the middle class.

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Selena Hicks


Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:33 pm
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I too had read Ruby Payne's book while I was teaching, and while much of it was stuff I had learned through interacting with people of middle and lower class backgrounds, I was very surprised by the information regarding the upper classes. Some of my family's friends are well-off and I've spent time with them, but I haven't been involved with anyone who is truly wealthy. Payne talks about the emphasis on family name and breeding as well as the importance of the quality of your assets. She details the importance to the upper class of passing on land and assets to the future generations. Almost everyone has things that have been passed down in their family, but they are usually small items or individual pieces of furniture. People in the middle or lower classes cannot afford to keep the houses and land of their parents or grandparents on top of their own. Many can barely (or not at all) afford to keep up what they own. This is one way the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. When Wes' grandmother died three weeks ago, the family sold her house and split the profits among the children and grandchildren. I'm sure they would have loved to keep her home as a refuge and vacation place for the family, but even with seven children, they couldn't afford to keep the place. Immediate money was more important.

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Stephanie Holt Helmer


Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:20 pm
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This book really sounds interesting. And Stephanie my family is going through the exact same thing right now. My Great Grand Mother just passed away in April. She owned over 100 acres of farm land with a house and barn and pastures. She has 6 children who would love to keep it but can't because of the taxes and upkeep that it costs. They are trying to sell it now and split the profits. If they were wealthy enough that place would never be sold. So I agree... just another example of how the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. My mother likes to put it in other words... "You've got to have money to make money"

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Kristen Billings


Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:08 am
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My in-laws are as backwoods as it comes. They built a "shack" up around an old trailer as the boys were growing up- (I won't let my kids spend the night there- yes, I did marry for love!) Her parents passed away about 4 years ago. Her parents lived in the house her grandparents built. The floor is falling through, the rats and mice have made a nice home for the termites. They also inherited 3 acres of land, they refuse to tear down the house. It is the eyesore of the community. The only reason they can keep the house is he (father-in-law) is on disability and uses that to pay the taxes when the county threatens to take it away! They are so used to living with nothing, they do not see to tear down the house they could use the disability for what it is meant- to help buy food and other necessities. I do agree the rich get richer, by all means, but it is odd how the need for material goods can keep the poor getting poorer. They can't understand why they don't have the things they need, but they won't get rid of the house. I realize property taxes would increase if they did clean it up, maybe they are genuises and I don't see it.
Does this ramble make any sense? Let me know if I need to clarify what I am trying to say. I worked ghosttrain until 2 am last night! Not at all clear in the head!

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Selena Hicks


Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:41 pm
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