Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why don't they just get a job?

Rant on, as they say on the message boards:

One of the most frequent criticisms I hear working in the field of maternal-child health, is this one: "why don't those moms just get a job"?

Well, they already have jobs, for the most part. Click on the above title to see some statistics. If you don't believe statistics, believe my anecdotal evidence. If you don't believe either, put your head back in the sand.

Or maybe you'd prefer to do some investigating on your own, if you want to know the truth. Do you work for a large company? Ask your human resource person what the lowest wage job is at your workplace. Multiply that by 2080 (the number of hours worked in 52 weeks at 40 hours per week). Then look in your city's classified ads and see what two bedroom apartments go for. And do your own math.

And while you're at it, see if you can figure out if there is a bus route from that apartment complex to your job site, because if you have to pay substantially more than 30% of your take home pay for rent, a car is probably not part of your lifestyle.

If there are low-paying jobs in our society (and there are) and we expect to find people to do those jobs (and we do), and we don't want to raise wages (and we don't, apparently), then the answer must lie in making it affordable to live in our communities.

Or simply acknowledge that we don't care where poor people live and raise children, as long as they fill our menial positions.

mary

4 Comments:

Anonymous Bruce Small said...

May I ask a slightly different question? Why don't some of these moms show a little bit of restraint in their breeding?

From the Gannet News Service, two weeks ago:

Congress is looking to cut $51B from social programs, and that of course would hurt poor families.

The example given is Mary Smink, 39, who lives on welfare. If Congress makes the changes, she will have return to work, but that means she will have to find child care for her 8-year-old son. Her daughters, who live with her but attend high school, would have to find child care for their sons as well.

Similar story, from the Tucson Citizen: A family of nine headed by a single mom is among thousands of Tucsonans who will be helped during the holidays by local charities.

Mary, can you grasp why people might be a little exasperated by this behavior?

12:26 AM  
Blogger mary said...

Oh yes, I certainly can. I'm exasperated myself. I want people to only have the number of children they can care for and can afford. That's what I did, and being a working mom all my life I'm pretty darn proud of that.

Do you have a solution, is my question?

And truly, we are not talking about the majority of the families I work with, who are young single moms who made bad decisions and have two or three kids. And lousy jobs.

No, I understand your frustration and quite agree. After that agreement, I still have to nurse the moms and babies, though. So get me a solution, one that's ethical, and doesn't hurt babies, and I'll be happy to entertain it!

mary

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Tom Rivers said...

"The example given is Mary Smink, 39, who lives on welfare. If Congress makes the changes, she will have return to work, but that means she will have to find child care for her 8-year-old son. Her daughters, who live with her but attend high school, would have to find child care for their sons as well."

OK, let's take a look at this example, which I am indirectly familiar with. A grandmother at 39. This is a woman who has built her life around the culture of victimology. Her kids each have different fathers, who are out of their kids' lives due to Ms. Smink's actions and accusations, not because they abandoned their kids. She has also alienated her own family. A steady stream of men has clearly set a poor example to her daughters, the younger of which is about 16 or 17.
Babies having babies.
The first question I would have here is: Who are the fathers of Ms. Smink's grandchildren? Is this a case of a high-school romance that went "whoops", or is there some young man out there who should be in jail?
And so the cycle continues.
Two young women who should be thinking of proms and finals are instead in a position of caring for their sons.
And so the cycle continues; another generation being primed for the vortex of the welfare system.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Eile Heitz said...

Being also indirectly (unfortunately) acquainted with Mary Smink, the question is: What ever happened to Angela, another daughter who apparently---got away?

Also, if you are a female in a committed relationship, try not to befriend Mary--not if you value your family.

5:19 PM  

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