Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Poverty Cycle

Like a typical female, I feel a need to have a network of female friends (or acquaintances) who are in a similar life stage as I am. Read: Working Mother With Young Kid. So, what better way to marry social media with this age old need than to join the myriad of facebook groups out there. 

It is an eyeopener. You "hear" about mothers who face a lot of issues with mother in laws, husbands, kids, colleagues, everyone. You are exposed to people that you won't really have a chance to talk to in the real world. Under the cover of anonymity - if there is really such a thing in today's online world, you hear stories and learn about the mindsets of others. 

It comes as a shock to me that in this virtual world, there are quite a number of mothers who are so young and so financially dependent on their husbands / families for support. Twenty-three year old with 2 kids age 4 and 2 talking about divorce, finding an admin job, trying to get maintenance.  Nineteen year old talking about living with in laws because they cannot apply for BTO since they do not meet the 21 year old age criteria. Young mothers complaining about not being able to get subsidies for their first BTO because they and their spouse do not have an income in the past year. 

Blows my mind. 

Here we are, talking about retirement and worrying about making money on our next trade. These women out there are far far far away from any form of financial independence. And what's worse is that the children they have are not going to have the fancy tuition, the stable family that children needs to thrive. Hell, they may not even get 3 meals in a day or a complete family. 

And i wonder, how did it become like this? Can these children grow up and be like us - wondering about savings and retirement and being financially independent? Can they get out of their poverty cycle? The odds are stack against them from the beginning. It is not only the poverty that their parents are in, but also the lack of maturity on the part of the parents. No job, no savings, impulsive behavior, the blame game, the victim mentality. I am not trying to judge, or rather i am trying not to judge, but i am awaken to the fact that there are so many people out there who actually will never ever be able to retire early. and as a mother, my heart goes out to their kids. 

I try not to be one of those who just criticise the government and then when asked what could be done better, turn around and say i am not paid millions so i don't have to think about that. If face with a problem, I want to be able to have some semblence of constructive thought than playing the victim or blaming others.  No, i am not trying to be noble. I am just trying to rescue my brain cells and to have a better attitude to life. You are what you think. 

But I can't see a way out for these kids. 

Education? Yes, provided the education field is really levelled. with the sprawling number of private centres and private investors backed tuition centres (read: knowledge universe), it is going to be a tough fight for these kids. And that is why i think private centres should be regulated. 

Subsidies? A lot of these mothers like to think that they should be paid for staying at home and that will solve a lot of issues. Maybe. But i am not in favour of handing fishes out if you are not sure the fish will be eaten by the right people. Teaching them to fish is definitely better. I am also not certain their kids would be able to do better in life than others. 

A mentor / mentee program? There are some social programs for kids. Maybe. 

I don't have a clue. 

1 comment:

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