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 HandsOnNewton

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 HandsOnNewton

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 NorthPole_WolfCubs

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 ...





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Meet the latest baby giving the internet hair envy

"As a bald man, I'm very proud of my 2-month-old's hair," wrote new dad Brian Gorham, 32, along with a photo he shared to reddit.

Woman hits back after shop assistant labels her engagement ring as 'pathetic'

A US woman has been applauded worldwide for sharing a photo of her modest, US$130 engagement ring after a shop assistant labelled it "pathetic".

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome baby boy

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcomed their second child, USA TODAY has confirmed.

After his grandkids moved away, this grandpa came up with a beautiful way to stay in touch

Chan Jae, a 75-year-old man from Korea, missed his grandsons terribly when they moved overseas.

20 gorgeous Christmas stocking and sack options

It seems every year that Christmas-themed goodies for kids get less tacky and more stylish.

Dad's genius hack for how to go shopping with a baby

A dad has shared his genius hack for tackling Christmas shopping with toddlers.

How I gave birth far too drug-free for my own liking

I certainly wasn't shy about medication. In fact, my policy on this was, in the immortal words of Britney Spears, "Gimme gimme more".

Christmas-inspired names for your December baby

Due during the festive season, or just have a love of Christmas?

Three-year-old mistakes policeman for Santa, so naturally he goes along with it

When an adorable three-year-old spotted a white haired gentleman in a restaurant she naturally assumed he was Santa Claus.

To VBAC or not to VBAC?

"If, after careful assessment by their maternity care provider, there seems to be no reason why a woman shouldn't be offered a chance at VBAC, then the opportunity should be provided."

Baby tries broccoli for the first time, immediately regrets it

It's probably fair to say that broccoli is an acquired taste.

'I didn't think I'd have pimples as a grown-up ... then I fell pregnant'

As specialists treat more adults for acne, Lucy Sheref reveals the emotional cost of years spent struggling with the condition.

Stranger's act of kindness helps overwhelmed mum in supermarket

A random act of kindness from a stranger in the supermarket brought a mum to tears, exactly when she needed it most.

21 adorable Christmas outfits for your baby

December 25 is just around the corner, and it's the perfect opportunity to dress your bub in a sweet festive outfit.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

What pregnancy is really like: mums share their honest opinions

We asked real women what surprised them during their pregnancy. They've shared their experiences in the hope of preparing the rest of us better for the ride

The truth about big-headed babies

Research suggests that big headed babies become more intelligent than their smaller peers. One mum shares the positives and negatives of having a big headed baby.

How to encourage your baby's gross motor development skills

There are some everyday things that parents can do to improve gross motor skills and coordination.

'My baby's extra thumb saved her life'

A mum whose daughter was born with an extra thumb says that the extra digit saved her life.

He gave her his liver, she gave him her heart

Heather Krueger and Chris Dempsey's origin story began in a darker place than most: with stage 4 liver cancer.

Toilet training from birth? It is possible

This method, called elimination communication (EC or assisted infant toilet training), is becoming increasingly popular in the West.

Watch hilarious montage of strangest pregnancy questions on Yahoo Answers

Some of the strangest questions about pregnancy - and some of the most bizarre spelling - have made for a hilarious video.

How to reduce your chances of perineal tearing in birth

The use of heat packs, along with other aspects of clinical care, can reduce your risk of tearing in birth.

 

Baby Names

Unusual Celeb Baby Names

Click through the gallery to read the details and see some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.

 
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.