Can we talk about the "poverty trap"?

(5 Posts)
CapricaSpoox Thu 23-Oct-08 18:04:06

It's something my dad keeps on bringing up. It's quite a depressing concept actually!

Recently dd's teacher told me that she falls under "gifted & talented" & might be in with a chance of applying for a scholarship to private secondary schools because of this.

My dad commented that it could be dd's ticket out of the "poverty trap". It's sort of grated on me since. While I accept that I certainly am in a poverty trap, in that I am highly unlikely to ever earn enough to be able to stop claiming benefits or to buy a house or go on nice holidays (and though i'd like to be a bit more comfortably off, it's actually other things in life that make me happy), I don't see why dd would end up being in one just because she is the product of a single parent. I've never before thought of dd's future in that way, as if she'll be confined to this poverty trap.

My dad's just talking crap isn't he? (He often does!) As if he thinks private school is her only route out of it...and we're not in a bad position as it is really. i happen to think dd is one of the luckiest 5 yr olds alive.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 23-Oct-08 18:10:01

I think you are only 'stuck' in poverty in this country if you allow yourself to be (obviously there are exceptions to this i.e. carers etc) but most people who are able to work could work their way out of poverty if they really wanted it and worked hard enough.

There are so many opportunities i.e. adult learning, distance learning, working up the job chain etc if you just put in the work.

so niether you or your dd are stuck in poverty if you want it bad enough, I'm saying it's easy but its doable.

And no private school wont make all the difference.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 23-Oct-08 18:10:51

sorry I not saying its easy. I know damn well its not I'm trying to do it myself

nooOOOoonki Thu 23-Oct-08 18:32:05

I think a lot of it is down to expectation. If everyone you know is living in nice houses and have good jobs and went to university you expect your children to do the same. As a result of this you prioritise education/or a strong work/business ethic, and they expect to be able to do this.

Private ed. or not.

However if most people you know don't work or have low paid jobs that you expect your life to be. Also it is more likely that you live in an area where the local schools aren't 'performing' well and your peers don't value education. Your expectations are therefore different.

However I don't think it is as black and white as that. Many people who have no expectations placed on them do well. Perhaps as they make a decision to 'get out' of the situtation into which they were born. And those that do often do very well, perhaps if you have that amount of determination you are likely to succeed.

CapricaSpoox Thu 23-Oct-08 19:27:31

I think your view SheSells could be unpopular with a few people. It's not just carers who could be stuck in a poverty trap, is it. Bad health/luck/lack of opportunities/low self esteem - all sorts of things stop people from achieving what they otherwise could.

In my case it is as you say though. I always made a conscious decision to do a "worthwhile" job which are necessarily low paid, but because I am quite intelligent, i could have done anything really if i put my mind to it. There was no way i wanted to go work in the city or do a high flying job that involved lots of travel, for example. Even now that money is more of an object, I just stubbornly refuse to consider doing something i would not be happy doing.

I am studying now as well as working part time in the hope that I will get an idea of what sort of career i want to move onto next, and while it would be good to ultimately earn more than i do now, that is not my primary reason for doing it. I want to stop feeling "stuck" in the sorts of jobs i've done so far, as opposed to the sort of salary range i'm in. if that makes sense.

noooOOooonki i know quite a few determined people who have done as you've described, getting out of a shitty background. In fact their ambition and hard work ethic has been quite inspiring to me.

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