chemvictim wrote:That makes me incredibly sad, and angry.
Is there a religious element? I've known a few religious people who leave things in God's hands to the extent that they've completely abdicated responsibility for themselves. Disclaimer: this is a specific sort of person and is not at all intended to be a generalization of Christianity or any other faith.
Or are they just delusional? Or nobody ever taught them to think, or to respect themselves?
One thing for sure, I would not want them involved in my health care.
Your questions are really simple, but the answers are quite complicated and I'm not sure I understand all of the moving parts. Here's my attempt (sorry ahead of time for my lack of brevity):
The short answer is all of the things you listed come into play. At the crux of this issue is, I think, the aversion to sexual education and prophylactics. At some point in the familial chain is a religious element that is affecting the decisions. However, those religious beliefs are not actually practiced outside of this one issue. For example, my students obviously had sex well before marriage, and with multiple partners. This doesn't bother me at all, by the way. But they have been taught that talking about sex or using birth control is absolutely, 100% not ok.
Exacerbating this issue is the lack of role models (I hate that term). A lot of my students' moms were single, teen moms. And a lot of their fathers are either not around, in jail, or are active in their lives, but their involvement is nothing but pernicious.
Young girl, no father figure, teen mom, no sex education outside of "you can't do it" and "you can't have BC," and young guys with the same type of home situations all add up to teen girls who end up pregnant, more often than not, multiple times and often with more than one guy. And the guys, as we have discussed before, have no real responsibility to their children or the woman. "My dad isn't around" becomes a history repeats itself kind of thing.
I had a student who was 19, had two kids (same father) and was getting married to another guy. Problem: the guy was in prison (not jail) and her mom was completely supportive. Her dad was not in the picture at all. They were going to have a "jailhouse wedding."
My point to all of this is that when we're talking about the unemployed, "the poor," those on welfare, etc., we aren't talking about a homogeneous group. I'm not advocating punishing the rest for the sins of a few. However, there are issues that need to (somehow) be addressed outside of things that mother has said that I agree with (getting unemployed Americans working, raising minimum wage, etc.).
The group of people I have a lot of experience with are the type of people who will, and to be very clear do, lie and cheat to live off of the system. I don't know how large of a slice of the pie these people represent, but I honestly don't believe it's a tiny percentage. Man, do I have stories...
"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke
"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen