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 CourtesanNewton

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 CourtesanNewton

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

 

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

Win Love Child Season 1 & 2 on DVD

To celebrate the release of Love Child Season 2 on DVD from July 9, Essential Baby and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are giving away Love Child Season 1 & 2 on DVD to 13 lucky winners.

10 things I wish my pre-baby self knew

I look back at my pre-baby self and laugh at how ridiculously easy I actually had it. I remember complaining about how tired I was and how little time I had.

Creative ways to store your child's art

Ideas for storing your child's artworks have moved on from sticking them to the fridge door before guiltily dumping them in the bin.

Child abuse ignored because 'it's not your children': Waleed Aly

Waleed Aly takes apart the immigration law that's designed to "protect politicians"

How a newborn niece changed star Australian basketballer's life

In August 2013 star basketball Abby Bishop was 24-years-old and in the prime of her sporting career.

Guilt is my new shadow

No one warned me that when I gave birth there would be an additional side order of guilt.

12 brilliant Ikea hacks for kids’ rooms

Check out these creative upcycling ideas that transform regular Ikea items into something special for your little ones.

Child's nightmare about 'man with a light' turned out to be real

For three days, a three-year-old boy had been saying there was "a man with a light" outside his window at night.

Toilet truths after giving birth

The thought of going to the toilet after giving birth is often feared, but there are ways to make it less painful.

Woman asks strangers for $1 million to stop her having an abortion

An anonymous woman is taking an extreme moral and ethical stand by seeking $1 million in donations to prevent her going ahead with a planned abortion.

How a woman's dying wish made another woman a mum

"I kind of think about, 'What did I do beforehand? What kept me so busy back then?' Because now I'm really busy."

The parenting do-over: what six parents did differently second time around

In playgrounds across Australia, you can hear parents lamenting, "When we have our next baby I swear I won't be doing THAT again".

A solo birth, a wasp swarm and a forest fire: mum and baby's amazing story of survival

Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.

Boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

Child's play and laughter help battle fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.

Dad shares entertaining 'how to hold a baby' clip

For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".

The Australian baby with 100,000 Facebook fans

She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.

Tongue tie: what you need to know

Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.

My daughter is small but that doesn't matter

My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

Mother-in-law 'from hell' inspires survival guide

The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

The 83 children who were tragically let down in the last decade

Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.

Is it reasonable to expect your partner to give up drinking in pregnancy?

From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.

Stroke victim joins class action against makers of popular contraceptive pill

"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

When newborn photoshoots get messy

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.

Expert Q&A: Gross motor skill development in toddlers and preschoolers

Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

Name your baby Quinoa, win a $10K gift card

Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

 

FREE TICKET

Get your FREE ticket to the Baby & Toddler Show

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online 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.