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Social Problems: Babies Do Not Want To Be Crack Addicts!

Updated on October 13, 2012

An Overview

The United States of America, arguably the most powerful nation on Earth: defenders of liberty, champions of social justice, and seemingly incapable of handling their own internal issues. Or do those states simply not care?

What does a doctor do when confronted with a patient dying of cancer and also suffering from ingrown toenails? In the case of the United States of America, the patient is treated with a lotion to soothe the pain of the toenail and the cancer goes untreated. It seems that this has always been the course of treatment.

The social ills in this country have always been tucked in a corner to be dealt with at a later time. The issue of slavery during the founding of this nation was shelved for a better time, but that better time never came. Poverty is something that happens to other people and as long as that is the case then let’s not bother with it. Crime? Yes, we have crime, but we also have prisons and as long as we have those then really, what’s the problem? Poor education system? Yes, we have that, but what do we expect our leaders to do? They are too busy protecting the fat cats who keep them in office. Struggling economy? Yes, we certainly have that, but our imports are helping China so no worries Mate!

Not since the Great Depression have our nation’s leaders concerned themselves first and foremost with the basic needs and problems of the citizenry. For far too long this nation has been reactionary in its actions rather than progressive. Too much crime? Build more prisons! Poor education? Lower the standards so everyone passes! Too much poverty? Well, we haven’t found a band aid for that cancer yet, but we’re working on it, right?

The problems are escalating and the answers are diminishing and that is not a recipe for success, not for a nation that purports to be the greatest on Earth.

So let’s look at those numbers and then we’ll take a look at progressive action rather than reactionary.

What does their future look like?

How many future gang members can you see?
How many future gang members can you see? | Source

PROSTITUTION

There are more than one million prostitutes in the United States. Worldwide there are forty million. 78% of all prostitutes are women and the average age of entry into the profession is….13 years of age.

The world’s “oldest profession is a $100 billion business and is legal in much of the world. It is also an incredibly dangerous profession, with the life-expectancy of a prostitute twenty years less than the average.

ILLEGAL DRUGS

There are currently 22.6 million Americans over the age of twelve who are illicit drug users. The illegal drug market is the largest business in the United States. Stop and think about that for one minute. There is no accurate way to determine the exact number of drug addicts and alcoholics in the United States, but rough estimates put the number at 17 million alcoholics and 8 million drug addicts.

GANG MEMBERSHIP

There are currently 30,000 gangs in the United States with an estimated 800,000 gang members. In 1992 there were only 100,000 gang members. In the last 20 years, in L.A. County alone, there have been 15,000 gang-related deaths. 50% of the gangs in the U.S. are Latino; the remaining 50% are spread among other ethnicities.

PRISON POPULATION

In 2010, the last year when figures were available, there were 2,266,800 adults in prisons across the United States. There were an additional five million in the parole system and another 71,000 juveniles in the juvenile detention system. The cost of the prison system in this country alone is $60 billion per year.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS….YEP, WE’VE GOT THEM!

To say that the United States has social issues is like saying a dog has fleas. It is such common knowledge that it practically goes unnoticed in the Land of the Free. We acknowledge it and then we lock our doors at night and hope it does not affect us.

Our solution as a country is incarceration and it is failing miserably. Prisons and local jails are overflowing with prisoners, so much so that early release is encouraged in many jurisdictions. In other words, as a society we recognize that there are problems, so we lock away the problems, but there are so many problems that we unlock the cells and let the problems roam free early. It is a revolving door and an endless cycle, so we lock our doors at night and hope it does not affect us.

Reactionary solutions are obviously not working.

CHILDREN ARE NOT BORN HOPING TO BE CRIMINALS, ADDICTS, OR PROSTITUTES

Take all of the statistics listed above and then realize this: not one of those addicts or criminals were born that way. There was not a single one of them who, when they could first speak, asked their mothers or fathers to teach them how to be prostitutes or alcoholics or criminals.

If we can accept that last statement as the truth then we have to ask ourselves how does this happen? How do children become addicts, bank robbers, gang members, murderers and prostitutes?

Yes, I know, there are sociopaths and psychopaths roaming among us, but certainly that only explains a small proportion of the lost souls we see daily. Do the math! One in every ten people in the United States falls under one of the categories listed above. Am I the only one shocked by that number? This is a societal epidemic and it is growing and as a country we have no solution other than to jail them all.

So how did this happen?

I am going to venture forth here with my own opinion; I believe the two greatest problems which have led to this epidemic are poor parenting and poverty.

POOR PARENTING

This one should come as no surprise to anyone. I’m not sure when it happened, but parenting skills have diminished over the past few decades. We have become a lenient society. Part of the problem, for sure, is the fact that there are a great many single-parent households. The demands put on a single parent are enormous, and after the job has been done and the household chores have been completed, there is less time available to devote to parenting.

Even in two-parent households, if both parents are working full-time we once again have a situation where the kids are not getting the quality parenting they need. However, there also seems to be a trend towards more lenient parenting, and I have to lay this right on the doorstep of the 60’s Generation. You all remember that generation, right? Rebellion did not happen only in the streets; we saw more and more rebellion in the homes, and eventually those rebellious kids grew up and swore they would never raise their children the way they were raised.

We then moved on to Generations X, Y, and Z, and the parenting skills were further watered down until today we find rudderless kids with no concept of direction, morality, or proper skills for interacting with others. There is an increased number of children who feel entitled, and the concept of paying your dues is a foreign one at best.

Raising children is a full-time job if done properly. At an early age children learn the difference between right and wrong. At an early age children embrace love and all that it entails. If they cannot find the attention and love they need, they will go elsewhere to find it, and whatever morality they learn will be learned from their peer groups.

We have crossed a line in this country and it is a line that is very difficult to re-cross. When children are not the number one priority in a family then something needs to change, and if it doesn’t change then problems will arise, and we are seeing those problems in today’s society.

POVERTY

For the purpose of definition, the poverty level in the United States is considered $22,314 for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual.

With that in mind, 46 million Americans are living at or below the poverty level, and 27% of children are living below the poverty level. Breaking it down by race, 9.9% of whites are living in poverty; 27.4% blacks; 26.6% Hispanics; and 12.1% Asian.

Looking at it another way, the poverty level for married couples is 6.2%; for single mothers the rate is 31.6%.

These statistics raise some interesting questions and observations, and I am not here to debate politics nor am I here to debate the need for social programs. I am simply making an obvious statement that crime is traditionally higher in depressed areas. It is a simple fact that when people are living in poverty, they will do anything necessary to find a way to survive, and yes, that includes crime.

Add to that the fact that the level of education is generally lower in poverty areas. Poor districts pay lower teacher wages, which in turn means less-qualified teachers and less money for special programs. Poor education means less chance of gaining employment and we are right back where we started....people will do anything to survive.

The only question I have as a tax-paying citizen is this: how can this type of poverty exist in a nation that claims to be the greatest on Earth? If this type of poverty exists, and it does, why isn’t the number one priority of the government to do everything possible to help the citizens?

I feel as though I am beating a dead horse. If we can spend billions of dollars on foreign aid, and we do, then why can’t we aid our own citizens?

Do you want proactive? How about if we make it a priority to put people back to work in this country? A national infrastructure initiative to improve bridges, highways, pipelines and sewers would cost an estimated $2.2 trillion, but in the process would put millions of Americans back to work. Yes that number is high, but so is the $700 billion spent on the defense budget. Critics will say that defense spending is necessary to protect us from foreign harm, and that is fine. My question is who is going to protect us from the harm we face each day in our cities?

The numbers of crimes, gangs, drug addicts and prostitutes do not surprise me at all; in fact, I’m a bit surprised the numbers aren’t greater. When people cannot work….when people are not parented…when people will do anything necessary to survive….then the problems we currently face should come as no surprise.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I in no way condone prostitution, criminal activity, gangs or addiction. I do, however, understand how and why they happen. I do not live in some self-constructed Utopia where I believe everything will be better if we all just love one another, because that simply will not happen. I do, however, believe we can take a huge step forward by lessening poverty in this country and returning to some old-fashioned values regarding parenting.

During my years of teaching I saw far too many sweet,loving kids have their lives turned inside-out from abuse and neglect. I have had four students commit suicide. One is a prostitute, if she is still alive. Two that I know of are in gangs. One died in prison. It makes me sick to think about it and I can't stop thinking about it. No caring human being should stop thinking about it.

Children are not born wishing to be criminals or rejects of society. Behavior of that sort is a learned behavior, or a behavior that appears, to them, to be the only way to survive.

If you want the social ills of this nation to improve then you need to give the citizens a reason to hope; without hope then all bets are off!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Another Moment With Bill

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Wow, this is powerful stuff. All these things most of us are aware of on some level. However many are hiding their heads in the sand and don't want to face up to it. I think most people today are struggling to keep their heads above water and put food on the table. I agree with the kids today and their entitlement. Lets go back to when we were kids..well I know we cannot. Who do we blame?????? Or is it years of government issues and changes? I am glad I am not a young person today because the future is pretty scary. This is a great hub and really well written. Voting up of course and sharing. Actually going to share with some of my other social sites.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol! I am sick to death of our social ills in this country and the complacency among those who are not affected. This country was founded on a stronger set of morals and compassion than what we see today. Thank you for sharing!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I've seen prison videos, shown them to recalcitrant kids....still they take time to change. I have shown canings, seen them, but change really takes a lot of time. Still we have to start somewhere, and the point is, to begin!! Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, it is much too late for the last few generations, but we have to begin to change things for future generations. Thank you for the visit, as always!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Was reading carefully Billy and I agree thoroughly. Just remember you are writing on election year, and Bill Clinton, Obama and the Republicans are promising changes, but at the same time blaming one another. You have said it all to say the least. Having been abroad, I can tell you a little of what... or where the problem. Teo Roosevelt and F.D. Roosevelt and Truman made this country a world watch dog. So whenever Korea had a problem, we stepped in. Whenever North Vietnam (with The soviets behind the scenes) attacked Seoul, The U.S. intervined and sent our guys away. What was happening at home? The kids were being exposed to liberty and that Boob Tube (TV). No more working along with your parents as in the big years of deppresion after 1929. Government needed to help allies like Israel and keep Russia at bay. I mean I can into history and bring up the pieces of a big puzzle. What happened to Rome after it wanted to Keep Brittania and Gaule as simple satellites of a centralized power? Seems that what we did painstalkingly to the world, as the Big daddy, is coming back to us like a boomerang. What we did to the indians after George Armstrong Custer is coming back to us. What we supposedly did (blackWater) to the "infidels" is still coming back to us, through those sleeping cells. Big uncle Sam needs cash to protect our Country, but yeah we have a time bomb inside. Movie stars die with overdose. Why they didn't help the needy and probably would be alive today? The thing is.. we have created our own Sodom and Gomorrah. We are a weaker Nation with no education. 22- 26 million fellows need those drugs to keep this System going. So our kids, sorry to say it...even my own, are inheriting the American nigthtmare, not that American dream, from the 70's. Unfortunately Rome fell, and AEvans said it two years ago. We are closing the cycle of the life as a super Power. We won't be here too long, and there won't be a Billy, a Cloud explorer, or me... to make or initiate the changes needed. Unless we go back to God. Which was separated from the State from the very foundation of this Country. But God already knows what is going to happen. Some "angels" will intervine and plead, but all is staged already. .. Not being negative, is just a fact. If a car is going to hit you, and you just don't have enough time to face it and avoid it, then be ready like the Titanic... which never made it to safe harbour. Thanks Billy. I Hope I have given some light from another point of view.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      It's the ol' ostrich mentality: stick your head in the sand and it will go away. I'm guilty of it - just about everyone I know is guilty of it. I think so often we just want to feel safe and if we lock our doors, we'll hopefully make that happen.

      That being said, I also feel like people just don't know what to do. Other than donating to charity and trying to volunteer more (which, for a lot of people can be a challenge), I think people often feel at a loss as to how they can help others.

      I think it takes a slow, but steady change in mentality. I mean it might start with keeping cans in the car and when you're at a street corner, you can hand the homeless guy a can of beans.

      Baby steps.

      I know that if I ever become a parent, I'm totally different than so many in my generation. It helps that I was raised by my grandmother. She was really strict and even used a lot of tough love, but it made me a person of upright character - at least I hope so.

      I have a tiny, modest house in the country. I have visions of teaching my kid the wonders of butterflies in the garden and the virtues of making bread. I don't live near a lot of people at all, and we've thought about moving to the city if we have a kiddo, but then we think, we'll WE'D be unhappy and it wouldn't be fair to the kid, right? Our biggest thing would be socializing him/her...to that we'd take the kid on our travels and to the in-laws and meet family friends. I really have no idea if that would work, but I think our spartan lifestyle could actually be good for a kid...and maybe defy the moral laxness that exists in society. *sigh*

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "what do we expect our leaders to do? They are too busy protecting the fat cats who keep them in office." - You hit the nail here, in my opinion. I may sound a little extreme but I do think that the entire sociopolitical system is more or less doomed until bribery/lobbying is taken out of the political equation. Until then, this rotten system will just continue to decay.

      "Too much crime? Build more prisons!" - This is only a reactionary solution and the cause of the problem is overlooked. There is no interest to have this issue dealt with though, jails and prisons are profitable businesses on Wall St. The more inmates one has the higher the share prices go ...

      "17 million alcoholics and 8 million drug addicts"- This is an interesting statistic: more people have an alcohol problem.

      "We acknowledge it and then we lock our doors at night and hope it does not affect us."- Haha!! Yes, indeed. This is like the saying about the roadrunner sticking its head in the sand when in danger.

      " If this type of poverty exists, and it does, why isn’t the number one priority of the government to do everything possible to help the citizens?"- Because there is no profit in solving this problem and as we all well know, the only thing that really matters in the United States is to make a profit.

      And if the end in all is profit then, it is understandable to be where we are - AK AK Loaded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FbecpuvS8U&lis...

      Too many kids are educated on and by the street. "Got my masters in cocaine and doctorate in marijuana" ...

      "Children are not born wishing to be criminals or rejects of society." - Yes, I can certainly agree with You here. Children are missing the guidance needed. Either there is no money for them (education/social programs) or time (parents are too busy working their life away to make ends meet).

      Thank You for raising awareness on the issue of poverty and street life. This one hit close to home since as Spice 1 would say "I have one foot in the gutter, the other in the grave".

      All the best!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Billy this makes me so sad. I know its true that why I am so sad.. thank you for being brave enough to approach this subject. God Bless you for writing this

      sharing

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you inspired this one recently; I was reading one of your hubs and realized I needed to write this. Thanks for great input and you are very right, the number one priority in this country is profit....and there is no profit in solving poverty....well, there may be in the long run, but the short term profits will not be seen by this generation.

      I'll keep raising awareness and howling at the moon because, quite frankly, I'm tired of complacency and indifference in this country. I don't really care if this pisses people off; at least when they are pissed off they are showing they have a pulse.

      All the best to you as well

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi my dear lil' Sis, thank you for taking the time to leave a meaningful comment. This is one of those hubs that nobody will want to read, and that's fine with me I guess; it still needs to be written. I'm tired of the ostrich mentality and those who employ it. I'm tired of people only caring about themselves. I'm tired of people not having the moral backbone to take a stand and speak out.

      You will be a terrific parent when the time comes, and a spartan upbringing will never hurt a child, as long as there is love.

      love you Cyndi,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, interestingly enough, my views have diminished since I began my crusade against complacency and indifference in this country, and I think that speaks volumes about people. Cyndi just called it the ostrich mentality, and I think that is very close to the truth. Just stick our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away....but it won't...it in fact is getting worse.

      Yes, we are the modern day Rome and yes, we are collapsing, and nobody seems to notice because they are too busy complaining because the price of bread rose and they can't afford to see the latest movie release.

      So they tune into the latest "reality" show on television....why? Because it makes them feel better about themselves.

      Anyway, buddy, I'll keep howling at the moon, and feel proud to have you and Mike and a couple others howling next to me.

      Take care my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie; this is the stuff that is hard to write because I know nobody wants to read it....because it strikes much too close to home. I appreciate you taking the time to read, and for caring.

      peace and happiness to you,

      bill

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, This is an incredibly interesting hub. You're not writing about my own country but in some of these areas, you could be. I don't remember a time as financially strapped as this, the whole of the west is in the doldrums. In the UK, there are many families living below the poverty line but that won't change with the coalition government trying to sort out the entire country's debt (meaning the 'banks' debts -while they continue to hand out bonuses in the millions - go figure!) - all the time we are going from the particular to the general and the people who need the most help are soon heard as no more than a whisper. We certainly are living in scary times. I fear for young people the most and I agree with you to some extent that us previous generations have possibly not helped matters. I found your comments about the defence budget and the creation of an infrastructure work scheme very interesting; I think the UK should also consider this - and Lord De Cross' comments in regard to fighting almost all of 'your' 'battles' abroad is spot on. How much money has peacekeeping cost our nations over the last three or four decades when our young people can't be found even a minimum wage to do work that the whole country needs? You've rattled a few cages Bill - good on ya!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I appreciate your words and support, Mr. Billybuc. Thank You.

      To be honest, this was one of my initial reasons for starting to put my writing out in the open. I wrote for many years before joining Hub-pages but three years ago I decided that I can try explaining to those who do not know much about the street life, that hustlers, street-kids, gang-bangers and such, are not all pure scum and none wished their circumstances but once in the gutter, You gotta do what You gotta do ...

      I have not even scratched the surface ... I have just written a few hubs on these issues ... I am not sure how many people are ready to hear what I have to say.

      "Padre Nuestro que estas en los Cielos

      Please show love to my brothers and perros

      Trapped in ghettos vivendo su vida" - Fear No Evil (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4JYOXMFxA8&fea...

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Really bill! this is a very very sad situation. When we see the people whom we know go through such situations, we have to consider ourselves to be so lucky! i agree with your words, a powerful write up. lets just hope for the best and continue to do our bit for now!Take care :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, these hubs are not well-received, and I guess to some extent I understand that....but that won't stop me from writing them. I do not write for the approval of the HubPages masses. Social justice....or injustice....is something I have been passionate about since the 60's, and that part of me just won't be silenced.

      Take care my friend

      bill

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Holy Cow Bill, that was very intense and powerful!!!!

      In my area, most of the programs to help those in poverty have had huge budget cuts and many of the programs were cut all together. People that need help aren't able to obtain it.

      In regards to parenting, another tough subject in my area. Many children are being raised by their grandparents and many are in foster care. In a few of those cases the children didn't need to be in foster care but were turned into child services for disciplining their child and no not abusively.

      It is truly hard to be a good parent and I am sure many do all do that they can to raise children properly but unfortunately the points you brought up make it very hard.

      Inflation continues to rise yet the income does not because many companies cannot afford to give raises. Another point in my area is that full-time work starts at 40 hours but most jobs are 45-54 hours a week and the cost of living is extremely high (ex. small 2 bedroom rental cost $1100 a month utilities NOT included) so many parents do not have a choice but to do what they can just to put a roof over their heads.

      And hospitals are absolutely ridiculous now. My mom had to have emergency surgery and the hospitals need a form of payment upfront even if the person has medical insurance.

      As the saying goes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The government spends way too much time wasting time instead of doing their job to help this country grow. A country is only as strong as its weakest link and with so many in poverty there is a long weak chain.

      AWESOME JOB!!!! Many Votes and Shared!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Very powerful hub bill! I hope its a slap in the face for people to take better care of their children. Even a little love and discipline go a long way. Voted up and shared!!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Yes - love one of your recent comments about an "ostrich mentality." I see this across the board with parents of some of the other kids in my children's classes. Boredom, lack of structure, lack of accountability.... its all a recipe for disaster. Yet, most people seem content on focusing on themselves and looking out for #1, rather than realizing the strength of a community takes effort on everyone's part. Well written and passionate - voting up, as always! Best, Steph

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Steph....I saw far too much of it while I was teaching....I am now tired of seeing it. :) This calls for an entire culture shift in thinking and I don't see that happening any time soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, I am blown away by the poor parenting I see on a daily basis....how can those kids hope to have a happy life when all they know is what they see growing up. It saddens me.

      Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again Shruti.....you are kind and caring and for that I will be your faithful friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jools, I'm guessing a few cages need rattling. The insanity continues and there is no end in sight. I keep waiting for wiser minds to intervene, but maybe there aren't any out there. I'm sorry to hear that your country understands this all too well; I suspect that all industrial nations are undergoing this change, and that frightens me greatly.

      Thank you Julie!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, it seems to be an insurmountable problem, but if people don't speak out or if they are not aware, nothing will change. There are so many problems now, it almost renders this hub too simplistic, and I thought about that when I wrote it. Nothing can be done for this generation, but change has to happen or it will only get worse for future generations.

      Thank you for a great comment and for sharing.

      bill

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Another extremely good offering, my friend! You know we see eye to eye in this area. But, I'm starting to think another direction more and more. The 60's generation was one of the first to maximize the emphasis of college. Plus, many went to college to escape military duty. We were educated by those that demanded change of the US viewpoints, as much as the revolutionists did. These concepts were then passed on as society opened it's mind to the "professionals" that dictated how we raise a family, discipline the children, and validate the actions of criminals. The more these "professionals" appeared on television and in magazines, the greater the problem grew. Society put its belief in a group that had no experience, only philosophies. These were taught as "sciences" instead of philosophies. Obviously, these philosophies have proven to be a major problem with today's society. But everyone still seeks them out because the family values were never taught as they should've been. In seeking to make life better, life has become exactly opposite. In fact, many times, the more educated a person is the less in touch with reality they seem to be. It took me years to get the sociology classes out of my head so that I could view what was really happening. Not a pleasing sight, by any means. Btw, it's only my philosophy that I state, not science by any means.

      Great Job! Keep 'em coming!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I love that comment and I have often thought about it as I look back on the 60's....we even saw that sort of thinking and policy making in the education field. All of these new education methods to make learning increase, but what no one understood was that there was nothing wrong with education in the first place.

      Forty years later we are still trying to fix that which was originally not broken; it's almost comical if it wasn't so damn tragic.

      Thanks buddy!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I am finally here and catching up. We had to meet Emma's pre-school teacher for the first time today, so I it has been a busy one so far. I totally agree with premise of your article about poor parenting and poverty being the two main causes of why children grown into adults who have a myriad of problems. When I taught, I too saw my fair share of kids who were already starting down the wrong path and parents who didn't believe that their child had any faults. If I had a dime for every time, I heard, "Not my child!" Seriously it is all about nature vs. nurture and indeed if we don't model the proper behavior for our own children, then how to do expect them to make it in this world! It totally boggles my mind how parents can think anything but this. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted too!!

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 4 years ago

      I love that you discuss such important issues. Many people cannot find the time to bother with these problems and many people don't know what to do to help or make a change. Articles and discussions such as this can save a life. Even if it changes just one person's life it's worth it.

      I've seen a lot of youth fall prey to the streets and never come back. Some have, but I'm not sure what happened to most of them. I live in an area with prostitution and a lot of drugs fairly close to family neighborhoods and it's scary. Drugs, lack of money etc. will drive people to various forms of crime and it seems to be a continuos cycle. Very sad. I'm glad there are people willing to make a change. The cycle can be broken, I have seen it happen.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, big doings, meeting the pre-school teacher. I hope it went well.

      Of course you understand the main point of this article....parenting skills have deteriorated over the years, and we are paying the price now. I, too, have sat in on many a conference with parents who refused to believe that their little darling was unruly and anti-social. I can tell you that would have never happened when I was a kid...I dreaded those meetings because I knew my parents were going to agree with the teacher.

      Anyway, thank you as always for being who you are, and for sharing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nmdonders, it is comments like yours that encourage me to keep writing about subjects like this. I would love to write feel-good hubs and how to wash your dog hubs, and turn my head to the problems, but then who would speak out? We have too many citizens willing to turn their heads and ignore....I can't do that.

      Thank you for adding to the discussion and a great comment.

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      nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello billybuc, I am just blown away by your hub!!!!! You hit the nail on so many points. Like you, I truly believe that in order for the social ills of our country to change, these individuals need to be willing to make a change within themselves. Our country will to continue to spiral out of control if these problems are not resolved. I do feel bad for the children born into whatever situations because the parents chose to make bad decisions and they have to bear the burdens through no fault of their own. It's not up to the government or political officials, the churches or other social service agencies to bail out some of these families. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for helping one another, but I have seen too many people abuse these governmental and other social service agencies just so they don't have to work. And that angers me!!!!! Our taxpayer dollars are going to bail out people that do not want earn a honest day's pay!!!!!!! It seems that some people want something for nothing and that is not right. I still say that it is up to the parents to start RAISING their children while they are young so that they can learn positive life values and skills that will help them to become more productive citizens of our country. Voted up and away!!!!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Nina, and thank you! It truly does start with parenting. I don't know when it became the fashionable thing to do to let kids raise themselves, but it is a recipe for disaster, as we now see. Don't have children if you aren't going to sign on to be a parent. Seems pretty obvious to me. :)

      As for social programs, the certainly have their purpose, but they are now being abused to the extreme. I know people who prefer not to work and instead they work the system, and I can't abide by that.

      I really appreciate your comment; you have some great points in this and you have added greatly to the discussion.

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      Robin Grosswirth 4 years ago from New York

      Anytime you write, we listen. Just look at the readership and you just published this piece.

      As usual, this is quite comprehensive and a lot to digest.

      One thing to underscore, because of the standardized tests and standardized mediocre education, students have higher failure rates and schools have funneled kids into prisons. Prisons are warehousing young people and contaminating the future of our country because these kids should have been saved and nurtured by providing them with safety nets, educationally.

      Without a good education, people cannot hope to support themselves and wind up feeding from one system to another, sadly.

      Thanks for this great read and forum.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You said it,Billy. One prison that IO write to, said that his mother was an addict and gone a lot. He joined a gang to have a sense of family. One thing lead to another and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was arrested as an accessory to murder. It is a vicious cycle that repeats itself. We must have more birth control and teach people how to use it. Obviously, we cannot sterilize the poor, nor do they all deserve it. It's just sad that they don't have a course in hiugh school on how to be a good parent.

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      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I could not stop reading this hub. What is happening in the US and in the world? Other countries in the world have always looked up to USA and we wanted to be like you. We have been watching American TV series and movies like forever, and I know more about the presidents of America than the presidents of Finland.

      You have many issues to solve, but I can see the same problems becoming more common here. What's happening to the kids? I really hope that Finland can be a leading country in Europe when it comes to good education, like it is today. Good parents and good education is what we need. I've said it before; Children are our future.

      Bill, my intelligent friend, thank you for writing this powerful and impressive hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Robin, I could not agree more. There are kids in the 3rd grade who already do not have a chance....their education is so sub-par that they are hopelessly behind before they ever become teenagers. I really should have mentioned education and perhaps I'll add that soon. Thank you for the great comment my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Avian, I will see some parents walking down the street, dragging their kids and yelling at them, and I want to walk over and take the kids away from them.....it is an epidemic in this country and getting worse...which only leads to worse crime and on and on we go.

      Thank you for adding to the topic!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, i have been here all my life, and I do not recognize my own country any longer. I want to hope and believe but my goodness, we are buried in problems at a societal level and they are getting worse by the day. I hope Finland can figure it all out too; maybe I'll go live there instead of here. :) Thank you my dear; you make my heart sing when I read your kind words.

      friends forever,

      bill

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      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Bill, I fugured people haven't heard of lingonberries before, beacuse they only grow in cold climates. I'd really love to see you living in Finland, but I would not recommend it to anyone who isn't prepared to wear five layers of clothes in the winter.

      To be serious, I guess Finland has its own problems. More drugs are coming into the country from east, the suicide rates are the highest in Europe, people are getting older and we don't know how to take care of them, the intake of alcohol is increasing, teens under the age of 18 don't have much to do, we have unemployment and we have had several school shootings the past years etc. The problems are here, but I think the situation in the US is worse.

      You are a wonderful human being, Bill. :)

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, Wow !! You really should run for office, I would certainly vote for you, if I was residing across the pond. This is real powerful stuff. I don't know what the answer to the problem is, but I can assure you it is not just an American problem.

      Somewhere along the line we became much to greedy and selfish. In the last few decades the large businesses just grab as much as they were able to stuff away into their Swiss bank accounts.

      We look back at the Victorian era, and we see poverty and filth, but there were also great philanthropists who also put a great deal back into society not many of those around this days. I know money will not solve the root problem but it could help to make a start. That's my rant for the week. take care and watch out for your blood pressure :).

      My best to you

      Jo.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made my dear, I don't know what to do with you....you are so nice to me that it's hard for me to live up to the standards you have set for me. :) Thank you Made; you brought a smile to my face; people like you give me hope for the future. Have a great evening and sleep well dear one!

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      Sam Graham 4 years ago from Australia

      Really interesting article. I agree with a lot if what you say, especially in regards to poor parenting. I used to work some of the most deprived areas in the UK within child protection dept., and poor parenting was the most common reason children were removed. It's so sad and at times heartbreaking for these children to be taken away from their homes, even when they are being neglected. Often, the parents had themselves experienced similar parenting and really didn't have positive role models. Teaching them where to start is very difficult as they are entrenched in belief systems and behaviors taught to them that are for them the 'norm'. This is not an excuse however for any child to be mistreated. It is like a disease spreading through our society. We have to find away to instill confidence, self respect and a 'want' to change.

      Although, I believe there are certain people that do need financial assistance with housing, living etc., I think in many circumstances it is too easily accepted by individuals and society that this is ok. There has to be another way for the fit, healthy individuals to give back something to society and give them a purpose and 'hope' for the future. Something has to change and we are all responsible in some way, whatever the small deed action we take.

      A recall great article.

      Thank you.

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      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      What you give, you'll get in return. :) I should have been sleeping a long time ago. I have to get up in six hours. Enjoy the rest of your day!!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You too Made!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, the last thing I want to do is become involved in politics....that would make me bitter and cynical and I don't need that to happen. I'll just keep spouting off and hopefully someone will listen and begin a change in their life. One person at a time. I can't change the system but I can change one person at a time. Thank you for your comments; I agree completely with your statements about greed and selfishness.

      Have a great evening.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Samnasy, it is a never-ending and self-perpetuating cycle and somehow it has to end because I can tell you, in the United States it is getting worse instead of better. This country is devouring itself from the inside out and changes need to begin. I know for a fact we have it within our power, in this country, to lower poverty, but we are much too busy worrying about feeding big business and uplifting the profit margins. As long as poverty is allowed to grow exponentially these problems will continue.

      I agree completely with you about social assistance; there is far too much of it; instead, I want to see jobs created that will allow people to fend for themselves.

      Anyway, thank you for a great comment.

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      bakingbread-101 4 years ago

      I thought change would at least start to come with the last election, but alas, it DID and in the wrong direction. B.O. stinks and so I will try Romney - not because I believe in all that he stands for, but I don't believe B.O. is credible any longer.

      I am one of those single parents. I adopted my daughter. It was a choice I made and it is harder than I ever imagined it would be. I love her with all my heart but after working 7:30pm-3:30am, getting home at 4:00am, waiting until 5:00am to get her from child care and getting her home. I can take a nap from 5:30am-6:45am and then have to get up to get her up for school. I bring her to school for 8:00am and then go home to sleep for my "night". I'm with her afternoons and I ride her hard at times, but I am truly trying to raise a lovely well-rounded child.

      She did not choose to be a drug addict or alcoholic, her birth mother chose that. I know who my birth father was, but sadly, my child will never know that because the 3 named fathers turned out not to be. The birthmother prostituting for alcohol and drugs caused that issue.

      I know many "poor" mothers and they are amazing citizens. It is sad they've not had the opportunity to dig themselves from being poor. Sadly though, too many are as Billbuc describes above, which is why I want to move my child from where we currently live.

      Fabulous hub.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I whole heartedly support your message, Bill. People are without hope due to the reasons you have listed, accelerated by the lack of employment. Breaks my heart. We have to keep trying to reach the world with positive thoughts and prayers. You are fulfilling a need and purpose with your writing. Thanks.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You are spot-on with this. Maybe writing about it will help, I hope so. A child born in poverty usually remains there, what a shame. We as a nation can do better...

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      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      You are so right about the children. It's heartbreaking. Our nation's children are lost. For the vast majority the preferred method of human contact is via electronic device. So many can't go outside due to legitimate safety concerns. We have a huge chunk of them that are literally latch key kids. The TV and the internet are raising them. That's where they spend the vast majority of their time. The ones I see every day actually working hard to learn and build a future are typically the poor ones though. Of course, this is not the majority of students. I worry for them. The economy is getting worse not better. Will there be a chance for even the best of them? God help those of them that are not working hard now. Can you imagine what kind of chance they will have when McDonald's is hiring people with masters degrees these days?

      Thank you so much for never shying away from the tough subjects! You always and without fail leave me thinking and wanting more. God bless you.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      billybuc...you have tackled a huge set of issues here. Our social ills are vast and complex, I agree. And as a teacher I too saw much more sadness in the eyes of children who were in situations that no child should have had to be in. Often very young children were put in the care of extremely elderly grandparents by social service agencies rather than leave them in neglectful and abusive home situations. I spent a LOT of time doing much more than teaching as I am sure you know. .

      I have personal knowledge of children who were addicted to this or that drug at a very young age. One young man, in his early twenties now is in an out of jail because he has been unable and perhaps unwilling to break the cycle of drugs which began when he was a child. I do believe that as an adult we have to begin to own a way out of such a quagmire. That too raises a whole other set of questions and issues.

      Return to old fashioned parenting for sure.

      You are so right...these negative behaviors are learned. Children learn by the examples that are set which speak volumes about how lives should be lived.

      It takes ALL of us to fix these problems. We ALL have to care not just a few. And we cannot look to the government to fix everything. By not speaking up, by not being involved in how our communities are run we are part of the problem..you know, that old saying. if we are not part of the solution then we are part of the problem.

      And one way to be involved is to speak up.

      Keep on speaking, billybuc.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Baking, I was watching Clinton's speech last night, and in it he talked about the old economy will never return, and I am sure he is right about that....but then he said we need to re-train people to take over jobs in the new economy, and I couldn't help but think....how in the hell does a single mother of three who can barely make enough money for food and shelter, how does she go to college to learn new skills. It is absurd to think that is going to happen. It is just like you described in your own case....where would you have had time (not to mention money) to go back to school while raising your daughter by yourself?

      I believe it's too late for our generation, but hopefully something will be done to end this insanity for future generations.

      Thank you so much for your great comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! This is an endless downward spiral and it will take bold action on the part of leaders to change it....I haven't heard a plan yet by politicians that makes me think this will end anytime soon.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I'm not sure what else I can do but write about it and bring it to the awareness of others. Thank you as always for visiting and caring.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vix, I'll tell you what I find interesting....my views on these social hubs are always down....of course, if I write a light-hearted hub the views are up. People don't want to hear about how bad things are; as long as it's not happening to them they are perfectly satisfied to hide their heads in the sand....until it comes up and bites them in the butt; then we have a different reaction.

      I'll keep writing; this is what I do, stir it up, shout from the mountaintops, tilt over windmills, in hopes that someone becomes aware.

      thank you my friend; you are a treasure and a kindred spirit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you are a gem, and thank you! I have to pace myself on these hubs....they depress me and I don't like depression. I'm a pretty positive person but I'm becoming cynically positive if that makes any sense. I don't see this getting better; in fact, it's getting worse. Poverty is horrible in this "great" country and those trapped in poverty will continue to do whatever they have to do to survive.....and our solution as a country is to build more jails. I can't wrap my brain around thinking like that....I really can't!

      I appreciate your comment and you are oh so right. I don't know how we return people to old-fashioned parenting, but I know it's crucial if this cycle is going to end.

      Thank you again!

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi billybuc - Whew!!! You are taking on the weight of the world on your shoulders dear one. You're right, when there is no hope, all is lost. Babies born who are hooked on crack just hurts my heart to no end. You are right as far as parents go, especially today. The statistics of a young boy growing up in a home without his father, are not good. Almost all of them or a large percentage of them wind up in prison. There was a study done and they went to several prisons for men, and asked each prisoner did he have a father present in the home, did he know his father or did he have any type of relationship with his father, and these answer to all of these questions was "no." How very sad. It is difficult enought with both parents in the home, but I couldn't imagine with just one. The problems of this world will not be solved overnight, but we can address them one at a time and try to find solutions, if our leaders would cooperate. A lot of time spent in prayer too. Try to have a lovely evening and think thoughts of the simple pleasures in this life tonight. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith and I'm doing exactly that; I'm done for the day and clearing my head of all concerns. I will get on these subjects for a couple days and then need to step back and take a break, for my own peace of mind.

      No, these problems are not going to be solved overnight....and most likely not in our generation.....but they need to be discussed and new approaches need to be tried, because what we are doing as a society is not working.

      Thank you for your concern and your huge heart.

      peace and happiness, always,

      bill

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      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Well said, Bill.

      We should stop saying, "none of our business" a beautiful hub by Paula. This mind our own business attitude will put the kids and their future in jeopardy.

      Many votes on this sensitive hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Ruchira, and I loved Paula's hub! Exactly the point.....it is our business, each one of us!

      Thank you my friend! Have a wonderful weekend!

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Great article. I won't give you a lot to read because I want you to get started on the next. Thanks

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...I appreciate that Martin! Thank you!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      "rudderless kids" how true! The crux of the matter is the lack of family life, respect, and some form of discipline in the home. These kids are so left on their own with no direction or back up from their homes...I know there are times when things are really tough at home but I have seen them in school. Parents are called due to a discipline problem and their reply is, "what do you want me to do about it?"

      I think we are at a point in time where we have to begin to cherish family life again...the family as a loving unit....the family as a place to go for advice...the family as a place to go for help, and so on.

      The Government can help but the real saving starts at home. Kids need the love and direction of their parents no matter what's going on in the world. Start with love and respect in the family!

      Great hub Bill, everything you said, as always, is true!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thank you! This is such a huge problem......millions of homes where parenting is secondary....and the problems just escalate......I'm not sure of the solution but I know it's getting worse. Love at home is the very first step.....without that all bets are off.

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Powerful message! I lived for a long time in one of these areas. The rate for illiteracy was 80%. I worked in several social service programs and I learned so much that broke my heart. People born into these conditions you describe really have a major disadvantage in life starting out. Being raised in impoverished homes with all of these social problems going on really does limit these kids chances for a happy life. Even the ones that are bright just don't have the encouragement or mindset to think outside of their current lifestyle. I would encourage anyone who honestly cares about other people to work or volunteer in these areas. Not only will it change the perspective that impoverished people are just deadbeats, but a positive, educated, caring person can actually make a difference in the lives of people in these situations. As a teacher, I am sure you already know this. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, every word you wrote is true! These people are born with two strikes right out of the womb, and the cycle just continues with each generation. Poverty must be eradicated in this country; I'm not smart enough to know how to do it, but I'm smart enough to know that if it isn't then crime will continue.

      I have worked similar jobs, and I have taught the disadvantaged, and it is heartbreaking.

      Thank you for your compassion my friend!

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      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Bill,

      First of all, I don't agree with you that nobody wants to read these hubs.

      Do people really not care or could it be that they feel they have no power to bring about change.

      All I know is I appreciate your passion and compassion in wanting to make a difference.

      Sharing!

      Have a PIPO day :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, thank you! I was feeling a bit like the lone wolf howling in the wilderness....of course, most people care....but I think that some become desensitized over these things,and some hide their heads in the sand and pretend that if they don't see it then it won't happen to them....and yes, some feel they have no power.

      So I'll keep howling! :) You are a kind, caring human being and I appreciate you.

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      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      Hey billybuc,

      I enjoyed your article and epspecially the closing of "people need hope". I think you've hit the nail on the head in every aspect. I could hardly contain myself reading all the stats, gangs, prostituion etc. I mean I knew it was prevalent in society but not that prevelant. I guess I'm one of those who would rather live in "my" world then the world your describing, which sadly is "our" world.

      ~Becky

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, few people know those statistics, and quite frankly I think it's because they are too ugly to fathom. None of us want to know how bad it is.....not really.....and so we live in "our" world and keep that dirty, ugly stuff at a distance. I'm as guilty as anyone. However, it is reaching the point where we have to pay attention because it's in practically every household. Thank you for the visit and for caring.

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh how true Billy;I know only too well how destructive drugs can be ;many need to get their heads out of the sand and start trying to make a difference.

      Thank you so much my friend and here's to so many more to come.

      Eddy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I am sure that this one hit close to your heart; I'm not sure how we wake up people to the fact that drugs are destroying a culture. I guess we keep writing, eh? Thank you my dear; have a wonderful day.

      love,

      billy

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