Real poverty is ignorance

Pie chart on a stock chart with a budget

Guest Post:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is tired of hearing about ‘poverdy.’ There will be many of us who have dealt with a really tough time in our lives. The way that you deal with it dictates how you come through it. Taking responsibility is probably ‘number one’, followed by hard work and careful budgeting.

In my view, poverty is generally more a state of mind rather than the state of one’s bank balance but, unfortunately, everything seems to be measured in money terms these days. It certainly applies to the government’s attitude…  ‘Having a hard time?  Right, here’s some more money’, when it should be ‘Having a hard time? Right, let’s look at how you are spending your money. Let’s put some conditions in place, conditions that must be adhered to’.

I would say something like, ‘ We would like to assist you through this tough time. We are prepared to give you $ xxx a week as a benefit and, in return, we will expect you to remain sober, feed and clothe your children, make sure that they get plenty of sleep and regularly attend school’. Make it a contract rather than just a hand-out.

I also would insist on a reliable contraceptive and I’m not talking about just ‘keeping your knees together’.  Mindful of the fact that many of these young beneficiaries have not been taught by their mothers how to run a household and care properly for children, I would provide a mentor to teach the essentials of home care.

It is impossible to expect a person’s behaviour to change until their attitude has changed and to change attitude, they must want to live a more disciplined, productive life. They must want a better life for their children. They must also want to achieve a better life for themselves.

We need to have expectations of them and we need to have firm rules in place. We need to reward if our expectations are met. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense.

When Paula Bennett was the minister in charge of welfare, she provided mentors for the young single mothers who chose to keep their babies, a positive and successful move, I’m told.

I have just come across a relevant quote:

Real wealth is happiness, not fortune. Real poverty is ignorance, not being penniless.

by The Blonde

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A guest post submitted to Whaleoil and edited by Whaleoil staff.

Guest Post content does not necessarily reflect the views of the site or its editor. Guest Post content is offered for discussion and for alternative points of view.