Where you live makes a difference in escaping the impacts of poverty

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 19, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    @fowersjl - the number of people receiving food stamps/assistance 46,700,000…. that is not 30% or even 40% of 313 million… not matter what math you use. Now that said, the rate of increase is way out of proportion to what it should be… I completely agree that this points to something systemic going on.

    Now the funny thing about mentioning college students is we have two very highly rated universities in our area, and therefor get lots of LDS young families - conservative families may I add - that live in the area. The percentage of those families receiving assistance is huge. I have nothing against them using the system as it is made available to them… but these are hardly ambitionless people just looking for a handout. In our ward they are mostly medical students.

    But that doesn't fit the nice little narrative we have - now does it. Oh well…. they are all good kids.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    March 19, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    It's very difficult to glean much of a message from a tautology like 'where you live influences...(your chances of success)'. The report seems almost supercilious -- as if one were trying to establish grounds for a pre-conceived ideological position and unable to find any real substance. Perhaps more emphasis on comparatively unavailable resources might have provided information, but the title consumed that effort.

  • Ex-Pat of Zion Lititz, PA
    March 19, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    correlation is not causation

  • Reader81 SLC, UT
    March 18, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    Having lived in very poor areas and in areas with great opportunities, I fully agree with this article. As mentioned in this article, access to resources is less in these neighborhoods. Businesses won't locate in poorer areas for various reasons, which impacts health care, the availability of healthy food, higher paying employments, access to books, and so forth. It can be difficult for those living in these neighborhoods to access resources because they can't afford transportation costs, thus continuing compounding the difficulty of trying to overcome poverty. Those in inter-generational poverty face increased challenges, including mental health issues from trauma/abuse/neglect, not understanding the skills needed to overcome poverty, an environment of instability, and so forth. Simply saying that they need to learn how to work, they're "lemons," or their parents should have taught them (how could they if they didn't know?) shows a lack of understanding and compassion. Few people can make it out of a crisis without some sort of support or help, including ourselves.

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    March 18, 2014 8:56 p.m.

    If I look at my life and all of my siblings' lives in comparison with my parents' level of education and income we are all very similar. Most of us are college graduates, we all have steady incomes with savings, we all own homes and we are raising our children to be educated and to work hard. My husband is very much like his father, working in the same field of engineering. My oldest son is going to graduate from college this year and he has already purchased his first home. None of us are what would be considered wealthy but we do well. I think this shows that the reason poverty is perpetuated is that even though people have choices and some can rise above their bad start in life, children mostly emulate what they see their parents do or their parents' low expectations leave them unmotivated to do more. It takes encouragement and support from parents to get their children to do well in school or even attend school. The zip code is just where they happen to live and perpetuate the problems.

  • Rebel ,
    March 18, 2014 7:38 p.m.

    Location, Location, location is usually the choices the children parents make.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    March 18, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    @TRUTH has some truth in what he says. 49.1% receive some kind of assistance from the government, either food stamps, medicaid, welfare checks, and even Social Security and medicare. What is deplorable is the alarming rate that the food stamps percentage has risen, from 30% to 40% in 4 short years. And 50% of those people applying for food stamps (and receiving them) are college students. Of course, lack of jobs for college kids may have contributed to that number and there isn't any relief in sight, unless current policies are changed...cause it's quite obvious after six years of trying the current administration's way, it isn't working very well.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 18, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    As a part time liberal, and part time conservative, but one who lives in a town with lots of long term poverty…. it is easy to see why it is so hard for these kids to get ahead. Why you come from generations that have little more than a middle school education themselves, it is hard for family to aspire to higher ambitions when no one in their own group has ever achieved the promised land. It becomes self fulfilling prophecy. It is the "world of possible" that is severely distorted.

    The problem with welfare is it does nothing to change this condition. Welfare does a good job of keeping people fed, or with a roof over their head, but it does nothing to change a mindset of defeat. My wife has been a teacher in many of the schools where thees kids go - and it is sad to see them start out with all the same hopes and dreams the other kids have - only to see them continually have their expectations of what they can achieve slowly strangled and eventually disappear. welfare can't fix that problem… that change comes from elsewhere...

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    March 18, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    Of course the situation you are raised in is going to influence how successful you are in life. In this case location is synonymous with situation, as locations group together people of like minded social and economic status. Wealthy people are going to make sure that their children have the absolute best education and the best opportunities for them to move forward in their lives. Poor people, well either don't care or don't have the means to provide the same opportunities to their children. Some kids are resilient and rise above it anyway, many don't. Truth be told, many people on these comment boards probably wouldn't either, though they take no small pleasure in looking down upon those who got trapped in that downward spiral.

    This is why we have public school, to provide opportunities to those children who otherwise wouldn't have them, these days on here that's considered communism or at the very least socialism. We also can't have a conversation on topics like this without the tea party extremists accusing the media and the Deseret News of subscribing to Obama's agenda and trying to brainwash us.

  • Justin M Sacramento, CA
    March 18, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    I grew up on the west side of SLC (just past I-15 and north of North Temple), and most people I knew from there sank into drugs, poverty, crime, etc.

    Yes, my mom was a welfare mom, and through hard work, education, and frankly, a lucky break, I got out of there. But I was cratering badly in high school, when I reached out to my dad's family to get me out of there.

    It's terribly difficult to rise from that environment when all around you (and in your home) that despair and way-of-life exists.

    A few special teachers who reached out to me and encouraged me along the way, and took the time to listen to a kid whose home life was hel* went a LONG way to help give hope and encouragement.

    I'd suggest we do more to reach out with positive messages of hope and honest friendship than simply spout political rhetoric. Those in their youth didn't choose their environment, and it takes someone showing a better way to show the way out.

    A hand up... not a hand out. (although at times, we could all use help)

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    March 18, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    Thank you Weber State Graduate! You are exactly right.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 18, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    "49% who dream to collect a steady welfare check!"

    And until some people deal with real data, not made up, cleaver sounding sound bites… and that is what they are intended to be is "bites"…. nothing will be resolved. 49% of Americans do not receive welfare checks. This is a pure and simple falsehood… all intended to purport to some kind of superiority.

    For crying out loud, some of the states that have the highest welfare rates are so called conservative states. And it has absolutely nothing to do with social engineering…. or mommy pants. It has to do with the fact that they are largely agrarian states… area where the economy has moved past people, whose skills are out of date.

    Just to clear up some of the "miss-information" being spread here - 12,800,000 people receive welfare. That is 4.1% of the US populations. 38% are white. 39% are black. 16% are hispanic. 47 million receive food assistance. That is about 15%, mostly children via schools. That is no where near 49%.

    When what you are saying right… you don't need made up facts.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    March 18, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    Poverty is more of a social and cultural phenomenon rather than a result of any systemic roadblock to success. Being raised in poverty is a distinct disadvantage, but not because the system itself actually blocks equal opportunity.

    It is precisely the cyclical nature and intrinsic cultural conditions of intergenerational poverty that contribute to its transmission, which make it extremely difficult for children born in poverty to experience any kind of vertical social mobility.

    This is where liberal and progressive thinking get it wrong...that demonizing success and implementing more bureaucratic welfare programs will elevate those in the lower economic strata without any focus on the intrinsic nature of the problem.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 18, 2014 11:02 a.m.


    I think we see who the actual shill is here.

    You really think the 49% "dream to collect a steady welfare check?" Really? If that is what you think, then you need to get out more. Many of those 49% are the working poor. Many - if not most - would gladly do whatever it takes to get off welfare. Yes, they'll even "take responsibility for their lives." There's only so many high-paying jobs available. The factory jobs were all sent overseas by capitalists who profited greatly by doing so - all while wearing the little flag lapel pins.

    You can't ship all the jobs to foreign countries, cut education funding, cut job training programs, and then kick sand in the faces of the very people you took the opportunities away from (see Paul Ryan's speech from last week). Please explain where the 49% are supposed to get these great jobs to support their families.

    Mom jeans. Is that supposed to be funny? It wasn't funny the first time the Fox News "journalists" said it - and it still isn't. New shtick, please.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    Dauly, until the poor wake up and stop voting for shills like Obama/Clinton they will continue to be poorer and the rich richer.....the 1% are not the problem, its the 49% who dream to collect a steady welfare check!

  • Dauly Provo, UT
    March 18, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @ Truth,

    I am not sure how improving school attendance and access to health care is communism? Your statements need to be flipped on their head, those who working don't have enough already. It is the wealthy who have too much (top 1% own 35% of all wealth), and it is not from all the hard work they have been doing. Please watch the Non Sequitor and get out of the Utah bubble to see that it is all of us in the same boat, don't harsh on the destitute just because you are merely poor.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    March 18, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Saying location determines a child's outcome is like saying an orchard determines what kind of fruit comes off the tree. If you plant lemon trees, you get lemons. You will never, ever get apples. All the symptomology described in this article points to the breakdown of the family. The zip codes are merely gathering points that facilitate the continuing decay. Coming from a family of eight which lost a parent in adolescence to middle teens, I'm glad the values and the worth of work we were taught while young saw all of us achieve levels of success even though our early circumstances were austere. A very wise man once said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Also, "The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of far greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches." David O. McKay

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 18, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    You ain't seen poverty till you seen what high utility bills can do, and to think that the city chose to have propane over natural gas, the high cost of a phone co. over a cheaper one with more services then 10x the water bill over night. when [email protected] is adding 5% compounding every year. Then to think you got the cost of gas to go any where. Now say you go to the store for grocery's, what you got last month, you don't have enough money for this month. That not even thinking about taxes that is going to be taken out of the pay check or property taxes, insurance that has increased year after year. that 25 cent an hour raise a year isn't going to go the distance. So there ain't any money to be saved.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    The present liberal admin makes it a defacto standard for all to assimulate poverty,,,,,,all you have to do to qualify is vote democrat wear mom jeans and espouse liberal media ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Hollywood and you will receive a check owed to you because clearly those who work for a living have too much!

    Clearly Comrades, the only solution is for all of us to expect the "elite" to live poorer, more modest, austere lives and (I almost hate to mention such an obvious point) the institution of a global collectivist hegemony (i.e. "communism").

    Even the Dnews is on board, foisting this kind of garbage reporting on the masses of conservatives in our state! Time for a revolution!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 18, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Having worked through school and creating a skill makes a difference in escaping the impacts of poverty.

    We all have the opportunity to succeed in this country.