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have nOts explores our deeply held national belief that it is not possible to be poor in America...Unless you're really trying!
Are the majority of the poor simply "scamming the system" as many Americans apparently believe? And if not...how did we as a nation come to adopt this belief and who is benefitting from our ignorance?
have nOts attempts to provide an honest look at how we came to believe what we do about poverty and why these beliefs may be contributing to the current disastrous trend of predatory corporate capitalism. Most importantly, the film challenges us to discover how we became a nation that appears to have so little empathy for the most vulnerable among us.
"Rochester New York is a medium sized city with a population of about 1 million. What most people don’t realize is that welfare comes in two flavors now…
“Welfare” – the recipient receives full benefits of rent/utility allowance/daycare subsidy/health insurance/foodstamps.
The other option is simple “Assistance” – Health Insurance and/or Foodstamps and/or HEAP grants.
How have we created a nation where someone can work full-time and STILL not have enough money to feed their families? Just ask the women denied their class action lawsuit against Wal-mart, our nations largest employer."
In the Rochester area, there are only about 30,000 people on “Full Welfare” - this includes the mentally ill, the physically unable, and the drug/alcohol abusers...a tiny fraction of the population that may always need help - BUT there are almost a QUARTER OF A MILLION people who receive some type of assistance – Medicaid/Foodstamps/HEAP Grants – All of these people ARE WORKING! The last Census results showed that OVER 58% of the children in Rochester NY live at or below the poverty line!
Over 15 yrs ago, President Clinton established sweeping welfare reform. One of the requirements of “Assistance” is to HAVE A JOB. Those who are “Unemployable” – usually due to not having a high school diploma or drug addiction – are exempt from working TEMPORARILY but must attend GED classes/ job training/drug rehab in order to receive “Welfare” benefits. They have a limit of 5 years maximum on “Full Welfare.” There is no time limit to those receiving “Assistance” of some kind.
The mission of Ruined Eye Productions is to entertain, enlighten, and educate. Our goal is to bring issues of social justice and media literacy to the public eye as well as to highlight people, events, and organizations that are making a difference in our communities. We strive to present real issues and ideas to viewers in ways that will illuminate the way they "see" the world and to promote positive change.
Beth Lane resides in Rochester New York. She is currently a participant in the graduate program at Rochester Institute of Technology in the School of Film and Animation. Her particular field of interest is documentary film making and she has several projects in production.
What We Need & What You Get
This film began production in 2009 and is in need of finishing funds.
Donations will be used for equipment rental/purchase, travel and crew expenses for out of state interviews, royalty fees for music and archival footage use, and costs of post-production services.
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