Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Student considers housing crisis, immigration, and hunger

Here is another interesting student reaction paper.  You never know where students will go with these informal writing assignments, and there is always something new or innovative in these.

First off I would like to discuss more in-depth the hungry [hunger] issue that we talked about briefly. I was looking on frac.org and found some interesting facts about hungry [hunger] that I would like to share with you. There were 36.2 million people living in households considered to be food insecure in the year 2007. Of these 36.2 million, 23.8 million are adults (10.6 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million are children (16.9 percent of all children). In some developing nations where famine is widespread, hunger manifests itself as severe and very visible clinical malnutrition. In the United States hunger manifests itself, generally, in a less severe form. This is in part because established programs – like the federal nutrition programs – help to provide a safety net for many low-income families. While starvation seldom occurs in this country, children and adults do go hungry and chronic mild under nutrition does occur when financial resources are low. The mental and physical changes that accompany inadequate food intakes can have harmful effects on learning, development, productivity, physical and psychological health, and family life. (FRAC, 2008) 

I really believe that immigration is a major cause of poverty. I know you will have a great deal to argue against what I believe, but when [we] bring the people of foreign countries over we are taking away plenty of jobs for our people that are suffering from poverty. Even if they are taking the low level jobs such as McDonalds and Wal-mart, those are still jobs [now unavailable] for our people. This is just something that I believe will help the ones in poverty. The government needs to make the immigration laws harder and more impossible for them to be citizens of the United States. I do not have anything against the immigrants, but believe we have our own problems and don’t need them coming to make more, such as being here illegally and so on. 

The second issue I would like to discuss is the housing issue that we hit base with this last week. There are not nearly enough places for people to live and the Section 8 housing voucher waiting lists are a mile long. There needs to be more built and more homeless shelters built. I was reading a very interesting article on MSN today [“More families move in together during the housing crisis,” by Stephanie Armour, USA Today, February 3, 2009] . It was about a dad that built a three family house and then lost his job. His family to help him out moved into it. 

“We're still living there now. Times are rough," says Tixe, 26, a publicist. "It's been very beneficial that we're all together. My stepbrother and I have a wonderful relationship now. We eat together for dinner, and I've become closer to my dad, too. This is an important time for family to help, the way the housing market is going. Our story is a testament to how families should come together to help with a mortgage." 

Another direct quote that I liked from this story was 

“The weak economy — which has brought surging foreclosures, sinking property values, vanishing home equity and mounting job losses — is playing a major role in family dynamics, pulling relatives under the same roof to pool their resources and aid relatives who've lost their homes.” 

This is so very true, and many are living paycheck to paycheck who never did before. Many family elders are living with family because they can’t afford their old home anymore. Many say they see a decrease of divorces because of financial reasons, which is very wrong, but what can we do? People are taking out their money from banks left and right. So many are staying in the rentals and afraid to buy homes. This economy is getting scary and something major needs to take place. 

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