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Orphaned transracial international ungrateful insurgent Class Bastard.

Posts tagged poverty

Apr 18 '14



Younger gentrifiers love to make being poor some kind of trendy lifestyle of choice and romanticize the fuck out of it while actively and knowingly shitting on the people their stealing resources, homes, and livelihoods from. 

Hipster culture in a nutshell

(Source: realmauricemoss)

Feb 24 '14
Feb 4 '14
"The problem is not that poor countries cannot manage to drag themselves up the development ladder, the problem is that they are actively prevented from doing so. Beginning in the early 1980s, Western governments and financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF changed their development policy from one that was basically Keynesian to one that remains devotedly neoliberal, requiring radical market deregulation, fiscal austerity, and privatization in developing countries as a condition of receiving aid.

We were told that this neoliberal shock therapy – known as structural adjustment – would help stimulate the economies of poor countries. But exactly the opposite happened. Instead of helping poor countries develop, structural adjustment basically destroyed them. Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang has demonstrated that while developing countries enjoyed per capita income growth of more than 3% prior to the 1980s, structural adjustment cut it in half, down to 1.7%. When it was foisted on Sub-Saharan Africa, per capita income began to decline at a rate of 0.7% per year, and average GNP shrank by around 10%. As a result, the number of Africans living in basic poverty nearly doubled. It would be hard to overstate the degree of human suffering that these figures represent.

Robert Pollin, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, estimates that developing countries have lost roughly $480 billion in potential GDP as a result of structural adjustment. Yet Western corporations have benefitted tremendously. It has forced open vast new consumer markets; it has made it easier to access cheap labor and raw materials; it has opened up avenues for capital flight and tax avoidance; it has created a lucrative market in foreign debt; and it has facilitated a massive transfer of public resources into private hands (the World Bank alone has privatized more than $2 trillion worth of assets in developing countries).

Poverty in the Global South is not just a static given; it is being actively created. And the striking thing is that these atrocities are being perpetrated under the cover of aid. In other words, not only does aid serve as a powerful rhetorical device that cloaks takers in the guise of givers, it also operates as a powerful tool in the global wealth extraction system."
Dec 8 '13
"Like most reservation kids we wound up with our grandparents. We were lucky. Most Indian children are placed in foster homes. This happens even in some cases where parents or grandparents are willing and able to take care of them, but where their social workers say their homes are substandard, or where there are outhouses instead of flush toilets, or where the family is simply “Too poor.” A flush toilet to a white social worker is more important than a good grandmother."
Nov 22 '13
Nov 13 '13
Nov 9 '13
"As a child, my idea of the West was that it was a miasma of poverty and misery, like that of the homeless ‘Little Match Girl’ in the Hans Christian Andersen story. When I was in the boarding nursery and did not want to finish my food, the teacher would say: ‘Think of all the starving children in the capitalist world!"
― Jung Chang, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (via truc-machin-bidule)
Sep 25 '13
"Americans who have gone abroad to adopt and have later written about the experience have typically had little to say about the moral dimensions of the situation, or more precisely, the moral aspects of using their status and resources as consumers to take children from choiceless “surrendering” mothers. One woman reported that “on my fourteen-hour trip to Santiago … to pick up my adopted Chilean child, I thought a lot about government policies that push large numbers of poor people into giving up children out of desperation. Should I have allowed my political conflicts,” this woman muses, “to keep me from getting a child I deeply wanted?” Having raised the question, the author moves on and does not return to this mater. Elizabeth Bartholet acknowledges that during her adoption expeditions in Peru, she “did not get to know any birth-parents.” She acknowledges that “most of these women [who relinquish babies] have no good options,” but highlights the “stories” she’s heard “of the pleasure that some women seem to take in the life they are giving their children, as they look at him or her cradled in the arms of eager parents from faraway mythical lands of opportunity.”

It appears that Bartholet can believe in this “pleasure” experienced by relinquishing mothers because she believes that poor Peruvian women are profoundly different from herself. I say this because Bartholet’s description of her own quick and fierce bonding with the boys she adopted, a bonding that made the specter of separation unbearable to her. She writes that getting through the bureaucratic moments of uncertainty in Peru “without somehow cracking” were among the most challenging experiences in her life. The Harvard professor adds “The worst aspect by far as my terror that the child I had come to think of as my own shortly after he came home to lie with me would be taken from me.”

Bartholet writes, without any apparent sense of irony, that her friends would probably not understand “what it is like to have other people be in the position to take away for any or no reason the child you think of as your own.” She acknowledges that the child in question had been in her life for only one week, so her friends would have a particularly hard time understanding “why this child would feel uniquely mind.” Bartholet and other inter-country adopters use terms like “pleasure” ‘and “brave and courageous” to describe the experiences of poor third world mothers when their children are taken by foreigners. When inter-country adopters imagine their own potential loss of a child they just acquired, the terms are typically much more dramatic. One American woman having trouble leaving Brazil with a baby she was trying to adopt said, “Without my child, I prefer to die.”"
Rickie Solinger, Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States (via thecurvature)
Aug 10 '13
Jul 19 '13

Students who considered themselves socialists were not so much interested in the poor as they were desirous of leading the poor, of being their guides and saviors. It was just this paternalism toward the poor that the vision of solidarity I had learned in religious settings was meant to challenge. From a spiritual perspective, the poor were there to guide and lead the rest of us by example if not by outright action and testimony. As a student I read Marx, Gramsci, and a host of other male thinkers on the subject of class. These works provided theoretical paradigms but rarely offered tools for confronting the complexity of class in daily life. […]

[W]hen I told friends and colleagues that I was resigning from my academic job to focus on writing, I was warned that I was making a dangerous mistake, that I could not possibly live on an income that was between twenty and thirty thousand dollars a year. When I pointed to the reality that families of four and more live on such an income, the response would be “that’s different”; the difference being, of course, one of class. The poor are expected to live with less and are socialized to accept less (badly made clothing, products, food, etc.), whereas the well-off are socialized to believe it is both a right and a necessity for us to have more, to have exactly what we want when we want it.

bell hooks, where we stand: Class Matters, chapter 4  (via everminding)

(Source: facelessbitchmage)