Does anyone here remember the "Poor Farm"? It was a place where old people, too old to work their farms and with no one able to care for them, were sent to the Poor Farm. My grandparents took me there when I was a very small child when they visited family members, took them food, and clothing and treats. I can't remember any of the faces except my grandparents'. I remember grandma crying, and granddad trying to comfort her. Neither one drove and depended on others to take them to The Poor Farm that was very far away. I remember the long drives to and from, and the terrible stench of the building when we got there.It was a big brick building with at least two or more floors. I can't remember the faces of our family members who resided there.

I also remember a natural spring near the town and the lush growth of vegetation and bird population. There were lots of frogs there and interesting things to watch.  

By the time my grandparents couldn't live alone anymore, there was a nice retirement home built in town by the farmers of the community who wanted a nice, clean place for the elders of Tekoa.  

My mother died far too young, after a two month stay in the hospital. My father was 86, I think when he diied after living seven year with me. There were other options for him and we chose him moving in with me. I worked full time and as he got older, I had home aids to help with bathing him. However there were options. 

With the changes taking place in Social Security and the safety net that so many worked so hard to create, I wonder what my sons and daughter will do? It is virtually impossible to work full time, raise a family, plus save for college and retirement. They live very frugally, are careful with their affairs, yet will face some tough challenges. 

One thing we have learned is to work hard, waste nothing, and find joy and pleasure in very simple things. 

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Comment by Christopher Cosgrove on April 14, 2014 at 3:07am

Here is a link to the Zeitgeist which I am currently watching. Rather pertinent in terms of your thought provoking post Joan.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 10:29pm

I misspoke. I bought my car in 1992 and filled my tank for $12.00. In 2014 it costs about $26.00. My car is 22 years old. 

Comment by kathy: ky on April 11, 2014 at 2:28pm
@pat, I couldn't agree more. Reagan started the ball rolling and everybody jumped aboard. Hatred of the poor is an excellent expression. Conservatives lack empathy. With their christian values, which are a joke, I would think they would keep in mind the expression 'there but for the grace of God goes l'
Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 1:26pm

Oh! Ruth! you must be getting tired of seeing my graphs. I am really telling the same old story I told all those months ago. I am pleased that you like them. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 11, 2014 at 1:22pm

Thanks for all of the great links, Joan.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 1:09pm

Michael, yes, families often care for their elderly at home. I took care of both my mother and father and it presents great challenges, especially working full time and raising a family. 

Families work hard to earn a decent living and train their children to become responsible citizens; however, with the wage-workers, it is a very losing battle and not because of the workers. It is the run-away consumption, made possible by credit. People take on more debt than they can support and when a crash comes, there is no cushion. 

So, the trick is, to earn as much as one can while maintaining healthy family life, live within the family income, and train the children to be frugal, to participate in the upkeep of the home, and learn all they can in school. People without skills have very few prospects in the coming economy. 

Climate change requires we be flexible and creative. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 1:03pm

As you can see, productivity rose constantly from 1948 to 2010. That means goods and services produced profits, wage workers do not have access to a share in the profits. They rely on wages, which have stagnated.

Don't think class war from above is real? Check out productivity an...

Wage stagnation started before 1975, and declined and remained flat. The price of food, fuel, commodities rose during this same period, putting wage earners even farther behind. In 1982 I bought my Saturn and filled it for $12.00; now it costs $25.00 to fill it. 

Change in real annual household capital income, by income group, 19...

Remember, the most recent crash didn't start until 2007, December, I think. Things got worse for wage earners, access to jobs with living wages declined. People used more and more credit card debt until they sank under the water line. 

U.S. Private Debt as a % of GDP 

I first saw Steve Keen's work in December, 2011. I follow his writings daily since then. He has been wrong on some predictions. The fact is, he predicted the last bursting bubble, along with several other economists. Read his pieces and I welcome any comment.   

Comment by Michael Penn on April 11, 2014 at 10:23am

Thanks for this posting, Joan. I learned something. As a child living with my grandparents I heard the term "the poor farm" pretty often but nevr knew what it meant. Sometimes jokingly someone would say to another adult, "I'm going to take you to the poor farm." If money was relly down some reference to the poor farm might be made.

Even so, my grandfather took care of his dying mother at their place. She was bedridden and my grandmother took care of her all the time. She would cry out, and in a few months she died. I was too young to know what was really wrong with "granny."

Later my mother took care of my grandmother in the same way. The men of the family seemed to have died more suddenly, or not need long term care.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 9:58am

Muddling Towards the Next Crisis: James Kenneth Galbraith in conver...;

"I think there is a tendency on the left to underestimate the success of the programs that created and sustained the middle class and the middle class mentality. There’s a tendency to focus on some statistical aspects of what’s happened to wages—median wages in particular—and to focus less on the role played by Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the housing programs, public education, and support for higher education, all of which gave us a population that had the attributes of a middle class society."

~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Inequality Is a Choice;

"On the one hand, widening income and wealth inequality in America is part of a trend seen across the Western world. A 2011 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that income inequality first started to rise in the late ’70s and early ’80s in America and Britain (and also in Israel). "


Robert Reich: Income inequality the defining issue for U.S.;

"The middle class and the poor are the job creators, not the people at the top. We need to reframe the debate."

~ Robert Reich

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 11, 2014 at 9:21am

Oopps, I mispoke. I did not mean Rahm Paul, I mean Rahm Emmanuel. The man who left to become mayor of Chicago.  

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benef...

Crooks, liars, thieves, charlatans, highwaymen. 



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