Jump to content

America's broken dreams - Four corners


  • Please log in to reply
55 replies to this topic

#1 bluecardigans

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Did anyone catch the Four Corners episode this week?  Very, very sad.  Watching those two gorgeous babies sleep in a car every night was heartbreaking.  

Four corners. You can watch it on iview.

Edited by Display anemone, 15 February 2013 - 03:09 PM.


#2 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

yes I watched it, utterly depressing. I think families here might end up slightly (ever so slightly) better off, as we do have a bit more of a welfare safety net than the States. But only by a slight margin and I dare say there are families here who would have similar stories to tell.

I felt so sorry for that poor woman, going for the job interview with her kids, they were over it and mucking up, in the end she was over it and walked out - and I bet there would be unfeeling people out there who would then label her a quitter mad.gif

It really upset me and I couldnt sleep very well on Monday night...having said that I do recommend people watch it - its something we all need to see.

Edited by Lucretia Borgia, 15 February 2013 - 03:24 PM.


#3 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:16 PM

OMG - it is shocking.....
In the "great land of opportunity" there are 47.5 MILLION people on or below the poverty line.
Words fail me.  
That young couple with their two children..... cry1.gif      
oh, and the man who didn't want to "impose" on his friends any longer to have a shower..........ummm, I asked myself why don't his friends give him a room?  Even a garage would be better and safer than living out of a car.
The good ol' US of A is toppling off it's pedestal.  It is truely heartbreaking.


#4 Coffeegirl

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

It is quite scary to visit LA now (and other areas) and see so many homeless on the steeets.  

I mean the US has always had problems with homelessness, but it is getting really bad.   I remember the drive from the airport to our hotel and going under one of those giant overpasses and there must have been 50 people living under there.

The US has never been a country that helps it's poorest people.  Sure they can claim unemployment, but you need an address to send a cheque to, and no home, means no address.   Hundreds of families falling through the cracks sad.gif

And the lobbyists are so good at scaremongering and spending millions on scaring the people into believing that the suggested Medicare system (as propsed by Obama) would be an invasion of their rights.  I had US friends (who I thought were intelligent) tell me that it was just a way for the government to collect more data about them and tax them 50% or more  huh.gif   They absolutely could not comprehend the idea of relatively free medical services for all residents like we have here, nor that we didn't pay that much more in taxes than they did.

#5 SlightlyLeftFeral

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

I watched it, it was heartbreaking.

Whilst our welfare system is far from perfect, it is a lot better than what those poor people are getting.

It really highlights why we need a strong safety net for those who find themselves unemployed or under employed.

#6 LambChop

Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

More heart breaking than watching, is being there and seeing for yourself... definitely makes you realise how lucky we are in Australia to have choices.

#7 bluecardigans

Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

It blew me away that it was so common that contingencies had been set up such as the opening of the car parks for families to park in overnight while they slept in their cars.  How on earth do you raise productive adults in a car?

#8 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:00 PM

With good family relationships & attitudes being crucial to good mental health, I feel (hope) that the young couple will "make it" once / if, they get employment.  They seem to have a good attitude towards each other and about it all.
I like that the church opens it's car park at night, turns the lights out, then locks the carpark and keeps it supervised overnight - at least this means that the couples could sleep better & and are secure while they sleep.  I'd guess that they let them use the bathrooms in the morning too.
Good practical use of church property.  
Great attitudes from those people who supervise.

#9 JJ

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

Just watched it, thanks for the link. I've seen a few similar shows previously.

I have some US friends who are in these situations (online friends but have known them all for 10+ years) - no one is homeless at this point, but living in a tiny flat with a bunch of kids (in pictures it looks a lot like that first motel room in the doco), another one looking at living in a trailer, no medical care even though some of them are really unwell (if worse comes to the worst, they'll go to an ER and end up with a huge bill), no health insurance also means no intervention/help for kids with special needs, and they're always just one small, unexpected thing away from losing everything. Unless there are relatives who can help out a little, there is no safety net. No family + something bad happens = you're well and truly on your own and royally screwed.

I think if things don't change for the better, it may well result in all-out war. It's exactly the kind of situation that is an ideal breeding ground for very radical views and actions. I find the whole thing incredibly troubling. It's a time bomb.

#10 bluecardigans

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (TwiceThe Woman @ 15/02/2013, 06:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like that the church opens it's car park at night, turns the lights out, then locks the carpark and keeps it supervised overnight - at least this means that the couples could sleep better & and are secure while they sleep.  I'd guess that they let them use the bathrooms in the morning too.
Good practical use of church property.  
Great attitudes from those people who supervise.

Of course, without a doubt. It is just so sad that there are so many families sleeping in their cars in one area that they can fill an entire car park.


#11 Maniacal_laugh

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:50 PM

Thanks for the link, Ive started watching it.

Reminds me of the movie 'Wendy and Lucy' with Michelle Williams. You could feel the tension in every moment of the film, how close she was to losing absolutely everything, and how the smallest bit of bad luck could lead into a downward spiral. Well worth a watch if you haven't seen it.

#12 Snot stew

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for letting us know about this, I will watch it later original.gif.


#13 zande

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:13 PM

It was incredibly sad, I really felt for those 2 little ones, trying to imagine how hard it would be as a mother to go through that.

#14 kpingitquiet

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I haven't seen it, but I don't really have to. I've been homeless, living in my car and/or couch-surfing from friend to friend, even sleeping in a friend's business for a time, in the US more than once. It's certainly not great. What I will say is while there is not much assistance for people with no children (as I was at the time) it is a bit easier to get out of a bad situation, there, as long as there are not compounding issues like addiction and other mental illness. This is entirely due to the low cost of living and the very large service industry jobforce (gas stations, food service, grocery stores, big box stores, etc).

WITH children, it's far more difficult (if not nigh on impossible) to find work, as I'm sure the show pointed out. Though there is a large amount of assistance available for children, not everyone knows how to access it, or even where to begin to look.

#15 Chasing*Rainbows

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

Gosh that's heartbreaking. The poor women with the 2 babies just broke my heart.

#16 B.feral3

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

That was terrible. Next weeks episode regarding our two governments spending billions on some new military planes really demonstrates how messed up things really are.

I wondered what she was going to do with her children had she got the job at the hotel.  unsure.gif I don't think there was much chance of her getting it; she looked like she hadn't washed in a month. What a cruel vicious circle.  sad.gif

#17 loubee

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

I watched it too, breaks my heart to see people living like that. The little boy from the family of 6 was just tragic, I felt the world on his shoulders when they asked what he dreams about - nightmares  sad.gif . All of them such sad stories, you can only hope the young couple can get something togetherbefore their girls are old enough to remember such a life.


#18 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (loubee @ 15/02/2013, 08:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I watched it too, breaks my heart to see people living like that. The little boy from the family of 6 was just tragic, I felt the world on his shoulders when they asked what he dreams about - nightmares  sad.gif . All of them such sad stories, you can only hope the young couple can get something togetherbefore their girls are old enough to remember such a life.

sad.gif
He broke my heart that little boy....wise beyond his years....


#19 PigNewton

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

And even if they get jobs the wages are so low as to be laughable. You're still on the poverty line, you're just working poor. It's worth thinking about next time people start complaining about things costing more in supermarkets, restaurants and shops in general in Australia. They cost more because the staff get a wage they can actually live on. I know just going from my own wage as a supermarket worker, I earn at least 3 times what many retail workers in the US earn. Plus family benefits, plus medicare, plus super.

#20 kpingitquiet

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

Depends on the state, redkris. States with unions, like California, were paying $15-20 for checkout jobs in the early 2000s, more now. States like Virginia, with no unions, were paying around $7.50 in 1998 and around $9-10 now. However, you can also get a 2br apt for ~$700/mo (~$160/wk) or less in those cheaper states. The benefits are the bigger issue. Lots of grocery stores like to scoot around the benefits regulations by keeping staff at juuuuuuust slightly under the 6-month full-time requirement for coverage. If you do get over the line though, the coverage is amazing, but it's not that easy to get in the widely available low-skill/unskilled job markets that most desperate people are in.

#21 bluecardigans

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

The gentleman featured in the documentary who worked at Disney World makes $8.20ph.   sad.gif

#22 B.feral3

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (Display anemone @ 15/02/2013, 08:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The gentleman featured in the documentary who worked at Disney World makes $8.20ph.   sad.gif


I know. He'd worked his way up to that too. He certainly went to work each day with a big fat smile on his face though because he was one of the lucky ones with a job.


#23 PigNewton

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

QUOTE
Lots of grocery stores like to scoot around the benefits regulations by keeping staff at juuuuuuust slightly under the 6-month full-time requirement for coverage. If you do get over the line though, the coverage is amazing, but it's not that easy to get in the widely available low-skill/unskilled job markets that most desperate people are in.

I can completely believe that actually. I do think having a pretty massive union has helped retail workers in this country a lot. I also know that it's actually really hard to fire a worker from one of the big 2 supermarket chains as well (which can be frustrating but also works in the employee's favour)

#24 jedimaster

Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

I checked and its on again on ABC2 tomorrow night, 7.30. I will watch it then thanks OP.

#25 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

I think we do realise it.....I'll save my sympathy for those who can't afford a roof over their own head, as opposed to those who can afford to have their own business ...





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Why I breastfed my son until he was three

The fact that I not only breastfed my son, but breastfed him for three and a half years, seems pretty incredible in retrospect.

Do babies and young children see ghosts?

Do babies and young children see ghosts? If you’ve pondered the question, you’re not alone.

15 years with Essential Baby: meet Therese

"Life has a funny way of giving you what you need when you need it the most."

Mum causes a stir by taking a stand against leggings

A mum has found herself the subject of debate after claiming tight bottoms cause lustful thoughts in men.

Don't set a parenting goal for 2015 - do this instead

The problem with goal setting as a parent is the measure. How do we really know if we’re succeeding?

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

RPA hospital contacting mums after discovering vaccine storage fault

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is trying to contact women who had babies at the facility after discovering a fault in a refrigerator containing vaccines.

'Nutella' not a baby name, French court says

A French court has blocked parents from naming their baby girl after the hazelnut spread Nutella, arguing it would make her the target of mockery.

Why I'm never calling myself 'just a mum' again

I’ve grown three human beings. I feed them, dress them, teach them, care for them and love them 24 hours a day. Yet for eight years, when I meet new people and they’ve asked me what I do, I tell them: “I’m just a mum”.

Rosie Batty named 2015 Australian of the Year

One year ago, Rosie Batty could not have imagined she'd be where she is. Tonight the grieving mum who put domestic violence on the national agenda was named Australian of the Year.

Five reasons to hug more

Hugging – some of us thrive on it, even depend on it – and then there are those who don't care for it really. So, are they missing out?

Help - my three-year-old has started throwing tantrums

My daughter never went through the "terrible twos" but began throwing wild tantrums shortly after her third birthday.

That's commitment

First peek at Sonia Kruger's daughter Maggie

"She smells so good, I could eat her," Kruger tells co-host David Campbell.

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.