Ibthaj Khilji

Medical Student,

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What do we know about the poverty in our own backyards?

If you ask anyone about poverty, and related issues, I'm sure they can come up with an answer relating to the inhumane environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. And yet, poverty surrounds us even in the closest Utopian societies we have created. To what extent are we aware of the number of people who use our local homeless shelter, or the number of single families struggling to get by. This is a call to awareness, please share your experiences and knowledge as I look to gain mine.

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    Apr 7 2012: poverty makes the haves very uncomfortable..most are happy to contribute to some anti poverty effort far far away with anice clean check but are uncomfortable being confronted with the relaity of bitter poverty right in their own community.

    I guess it is the same reason that people who have sstrokes or are diagosed wiith a devastating terminal illness are dropped by even close friends.

    I think its about feeling a personal vulnerability and also a sense of akwardness and helplessess in how to make a difference or help. It is a very difficlut thing for most people to overcome.

    Thank you for your wonderful question. I have been away and am just checking back in after a long time. I would like to have engaged you and Don and others more on this. Perhaps we can resurrect it later.
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    Apr 1 2012: The short answer to your question is: Little to none. My perspective shows: Poverty is a crisis of human greed and lack of enforceable governmental action. The millions/billions/trillions spent each year by the US to help sustain/improve life in poverty stricken areas rarely ever reaches the intended needy. There are too many opportunities for local government entities and individuals to divert monies to their own pockets in the process. The "haves" are literally stealing the lifeblood and food from the poorer and less educated "have nots". I believe this same scenario to be true throughout many other nations and governments. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/peter_eigen_how_to_expose_the_corrupt.html

    I recently devoted myself to finding out exactly how much power the State of California has over the individual Counties within it's borders. The answer: NONE. The State of CA continuously allows the individual Counties to do whatever they want - even outside of established State law.

    For instance: Over assessed taxation to acquire property that is sold at auction and slush funded into "construction" projects that benefit only the owners and Board of Directors of the construction companies that are awarded contracts. Also: the redirected monies earmarked for local Economic Development Agencies, (EDA grants) and Air Quality improvement funds have been spent in construction projects arranged to keep the monies in the hands of a few well connected gangsters. I would be happy to share my research and documentation with anyone interested.
    I have documented in this award winning piece of video attempting to gather support for the poverty stricken in my neighborhood.


    Please keep asking the good questions,

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    Apr 1 2012: It costs 87 billion to cure world hunger. The united states spends more than that a year just to be in afganistan. I consistantly see signs about giving your spare change to feed the homeless yet it is within our power to cure it. It is up to people like you can me to talk, to spread the word, to research and interpret to many people who have not had the oppurtunity to. All we can do is raise awareness and maybe what happened with kony 2012 could happen with world hunger.
  • Apr 2 2012: I think that people who live in poverty are excellent problem solvers. They are constantly running raound putting out fires and making things work. If we could teach them how to apply this skill to work we would have a great employee, the question is how do we teach them and what. I suggest careers focused on crisis situations like getting people housing, healthcare, education and basically doing human services work. It doesn't pay a fortune but is rewarding and can pay the bills.
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    Apr 2 2012: I got my first look at poverty driving through S. Carolina and Georgia back roads with my family a few years back. I was so saddened to see how people live in this country....And here in the big cities people throw out food, furniture, clothes, the works....sad, very sad.

    I just feel like there is no equal treatment of humankind. It is a terrible situation. So much mismanagement of funds and so much corruption. Will it ever end?