I wrote a post a while back on the issue of poverty Australian style, and how it can be a very different creature to anything seen in places such as India or Vietnam.
Id like to expand on a few more points I’ve become aware of in my job as provider of goods to the “poor”.
I’ve long assumed at least pert of the reason poor people had trouble getting ahead was the lack of ability to purchase quality goods. After all no-one expects a lot from a $200.00 fridge. But a poorer person replacing a fridge every couple of years would be a considerable burden on their finances, preventing them from being able to purchase quality goods designed to last a decade or more.
I have been in places this bad before.
I don’t assume that anymore.
This is not a blanket statement, but probably correlates to somewhere around 50% of my clients.
They have no quality goods because they live like pigs.
Harsh? No way. Heres a few examples from the last few weeks.
$1400 Westinghouse fridge freezer, about 8 months old, found left on the verge for rubbish collection. It cost $600 to repair, the basic cause of the shorted out motherboard? Cockroaches.
I had to dismantle and reassemble every panel in the machine to kill the thousands of roaches living INSIDE the fridge.
Washing machine, $500.00reasonable brand, rooted within 3 months due to massive cockroach infestations shorting out the electrics again.
I went to a regional town to chase a lady for money (shes in jail, but that’s another story), her mother is a customer and asked if I could take a look at a CD player. I went in the house (its 9.00 in the morning), its filthy, it stinks of dope smoke ( the breakfast of champions) and I can see roaches wandering on the floor between the mattresses, piles of clothes and lounge chairs. The dogs have free run of the house and one of the kids obviously has scabies along an arm and shoulder.
I can’t find the fault with the stereo, so I ask the lady to bring it in next time she comes to town. (there’s a reason I ask her to bring it in). Today she brings it in, and as the boot of the car is popped I see hundreds of roaches which have come from the stereo and speakers in there. I just take the main stereo, and after she leaves spray/remove well over 100 cockroaches from the guts of the machine.
I have had 3 computers, all less than 6 months old returned jammed up with, you guessed it, cockroaches.
I have had to replace a main woofer for a Kenwood surround sound system, not roaches this time, but the wiring on the inside was corroded from rat faeces. They didn’t have a pet rat.. I have replaced a Wii at the same address from roaches as well.
Heres a few suggestions for our political masters.
1: Remove children immediately from these environments. Their parents may say they love them, but unless they meet certain minimum standards of cleanliness they are manifestly unfit.
2: Compulsory birth control for those deemed unfit to parent. If they want to rejoin society and meet certain minimum standards the birth control can be removed.
3: No more increases in spending on higher education until every child capable of doing so reads/writes, and understands basic budgeting and hygiene before they leave primary school.
4: People living in public housing are to be compelled, by whatever means, to meet minimum standards of hygiene.
The following outcomes could be expected.
1: Far fewer hospital admissions for filth caused illnesses.
2: Far fewer children born to those least likely to provide for them.
3: Far lower crime rate, from
A: Fewer children born into dysfunctional “families”
B: Far more people educated to be useful members of society.
4: Massively reduced welfare rolls, welfare should be a stopgap, not a life sentence.
It would take a politician with balls of steel to propose any of these things, the cries of “racism” from vested interest groups would be deafening. But i ask you what good is an advocacy group if it doesn’t tackle a parent who allows children to live in filth? That sees a child who dies from malnutrition and scabies (as witnessed by a copper mate of mine) , its nappy full of cockroaches, written off as a “cot death”?
Heres a story from a customer of mine. She described how bad the roaches were in her house. She was having trouble sleeping because whan she rolled over in bed she was crushing roaches in it with her.
She blamed this on “the roaches are bad here”, rather than the filth and degradation she and her kids were living in.
I’m angry this happens in my town, in my country. I can’t influence this in any way, I have written letters to Homeswest (the WA government department that supplies state housing) asking for sprays to be carried out in certain properties, and to their credit they have usually done so. But these properties are supposed to be inspected by the department, how can they turn a blind eye to drug abuse, filth, damage and vermin infestations of near biblical proportions?
How can children’s services leave kids in environments like this?
How can doctors and the health profession not speak about the filth caused admissions and illnesses which can be eradicated with basic hygiene?
The parents are responsible, if they are unfit then the children MUST be removed. Quite frankly I don’t care if they end up in racially segregated institutions to maintain cultural background, but they must be told their parents love drugs/drink/filth, more than they love their children. It’s the truth.
August 6, 2010, 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm
Interesting post mole, unfortunately your post only highlights that we have become a state where the feckless can live in squalor supported by the state, where a ‘do nothing’ attitude is the norm for those who see no future because they have no-one to show them how better their lives could be.
When we, as a society, decide that welfare means giving a hand up, not a hand out, then those who see welfare as a way of life will never stop suckling at the welfare teat instead of seeking productive work & the benefits it can bring. (Thats my rant)
August 7, 2010, 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm
Too right. There should be a sense of shame if you are able bodied, sound of mind and unemployed for any length of time.
If you are uneducated then no flipping burgers at McDonalds isnt beneath your dignity…
August 6, 2010, 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm
This is truly shocking, but thanx to the PC brigade, we’re not allowed to cast any aspersions on these people. In a similar way, there will always be homeless people who choose to be that way (some of them leave behind nice homes in the burbs, even loving homes, cos they want to dance to their own tune)- yet when Tony A. said as much some time ago, he was predictably castigated as heartless, non understanding etcetc.
Years ago when I was teaching some ‘at risk’ sec. kids, I used to supply their pens, rulers, books etc out of my own pocket, cos I liked to run a well organised program. Imagine my shock when I discovered at Ekka time (show time), they not only attended every day, but went on all the rides & bought all the sample bags- so it was a matter of priority, not amt. of money, that was the problem. And to think, I used to restrict my own kids to attending once every 2nd year, with a limit of 3 rides & 3 sample bags each (but they could choose which ones!!!)
August 8, 2010, 4:42 am at 4:42 am
Gotta hit you up on one point there, Mabba. That’s a little strange if you were paying for materials for kids who actually did have the money (at a public education facility no less), just not the inclination (nor their parents), and noble of you indeed, yet it could be argued you, in turn, (as a consequence?) short-changed your own kids in regards to the Ekka when your post suggests they were good students and perhaps may have wanted and were warranted more time and fun there… call it a reward for their good work that was denied them for the sake of a bunch of losers?
August 7, 2010, 4:24 am at 4:24 am
just got around to reading your first two posts, mole (don’t know how i missed them). strong stuff this. i have to agree, what keeps the poor impoverished is lack of education. i have been poor in the past, but never for long, if i could help it.
cj – you are right, welfare should be a hand up, not out.
August 7, 2010, 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm
Cheers, until my business brought me into contact with this class I had no idea just how impoverished a life people in Australia could lead…
August 8, 2010, 1:10 am at 1:10 am
Unfortunately, the government probably put these people in the too hard basket decades ago.
Whilst there is only so much people and governments can do, it’s quite clear they aren’t doing it.
Primarily, these people are a victim of themselves. Yet only a Liberal or right-leaning government would come close to implementing the drastic policies needed to fix the situation, and then all the advocacy groups and media would scream blue murder, and the Libs would be voted out of Office.
The ALP would never do as such, especially in the case which Mabba pointed out. They too would be booted out as much of their voter base would turn against them.
And thus it is as it is today.
August 8, 2010, 4:30 am at 4:30 am
If you’re talking about Aboriginals, mole, these are a race and culture that quite simply did not evolve one iota in 50,000 years.
Yet perhaps like the crocodile, enough was enough.
To impose housing on a people who have been content living day to day the same way for 50,000+ years is folly.
If some people want that way of life, then good on ’em. There’s enough room. And it’s important.
Frankly, who gives a shit whether they were right or wrong?
I’d advocate an option. Option 1: live in a Western society and do it properly, or there will be consequences such as mole mentioned.
Option 2: Live like in the oldtimes but deal with the fact you can ulitize a fair bit of land, and be free of external control, but can’t necessarily live just anywhere you damn well please because, frankly, you had spears and the rest of the world had guns.
Deal with it…. yet that’s still a ton of space considering this is Australia. Choose option 2 and it’s up to you… and the rest of us will defend that land with said guns, but you can get fucked when it comes to cockroach spray.
August 8, 2010, 11:59 am at 11:59 am
Carpe has summed it up well, it doesn’t matter how much help you give some people, they still expect and want more.
What money they receive from the Government is spent on anything except the proper needs of their families.
Have seen this at first hand while living in W.A. families were even given cleaning materials that were never used, cars that were a write off [and they were given another one] wood for the fire place and the water heaters [that was in use in that area] but they still pulled the palings off the fence and used that.
All you could do was shake your head.
August 11, 2010, 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm
I reckon i should have taken my own kids to the ekka every year- but I still would have put restrictions on the rides & sample bags, cos money doesn’t grow on trees, & they have to learn to make choices- BTW, the best part was just enjoying their company, & the night events with fireworks (all free too: so money doesn’t buy everything). But I was still amazed when I realised my students’ lack of basic materials had nothing to do with lack of money, but everything to do with priorities- & I guess I was selfish, wanting to have a well organised classroom…
August 17, 2010, 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm
Geez mabba, you’re soft. If I wanted to go to the Show as a kid, I had to work at the show and pay my own way. We used to get jobs leading the animals around the ring at judging time – it was a few hours work per day, and it came with free entry and a hot dog for lunch. That was it.
August 15, 2010, 10:27 am at 10:27 am
As someone who’s received the government largesse in the past, I can attest to it being far too easy to live on.
Even now I get a small amount from Centrelink as a single parent, and if I wanted I could game the system to get plenty more. I’ve even had them ask me if I wanted more money.
Like I said to them, I have a wage I can live on nicely, and the little bit I get is a bonus, but don’t give me any more. I don’t need it, nor do I want it.
I’ve known people who live as Mole has seen, and it’s disgusting. Home Help and Meals on Wheels finding piles of dog faeces in the corner of the baby’s room, and pretty near any other room, clothes piled knee high on the floor, and a week’s worth of dishes in the sink. The kids filthy, but mum can still afford brand new camping gear.
Our welfare is too damned generous, and I have to laugh when I see the occasional stories on the tabloid shows with the single mothers bleating about needing more money. They have nice houses, nice cars, and staffies. A staffy is not a cheap dog to have around.
August 15, 2010, 10:32 am at 10:32 am
Just to add, my car cost $2500 from the local repo auction and it’s great. Looks like crap but drives like the clappers, and that’s what I want.
My fridge and stereo I got from Radio Rentals years ago with one of those rent/try/buy things (that was always the plan), and I’ve only ever bought one television in my life. We currently have 4 tvs in the house! 2 have to go.
I haven’t bought a pc for years – my brother in law works in computers and bought me a reco one a few years back so I didn’t have to pay for that, either.
There are always ways of getting quality products at low prices; you just have to shop around and lower your aspirations. They are only appliances.
And cockroaches? A $15 pack of cocky bombs from the supermarket.
There are no excuses for living in squalor in this country in this day.
August 19, 2010, 1:14 pm at 1:14 pm
2500 for a car??? Mine cost 500. And I love her. Her name’s Scarlett.
And that’s Scarlett Johannson, not O’Hara, JFTR.
August 16, 2010, 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm
I thingh u are very cock eyed
becose u never been longsighted if my belif is blunder why Islam growing with airspeed in europe.
I hope to early Islam indian giver all word
please be very broad minded
August 19, 2010, 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm
I think you’ve studied too many idioms and forgot about spelling and grammar.
And as for your point, which is akin to a cockroach under a pile of soiled nappies, Islam might really want to explore the concept of open-mindedness.
August 19, 2010, 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm
boy on a bike: I actually agree with you – way too soft! Very impressed with your pay your own way efforts- you were terrific!
August 21, 2010, 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm
ps- but they were such nice little scrubbers (my own kids, not the students)- so enjoyed their company
May 5, 2011, 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm
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