@LucreLout Re: 1930s
I'm mostly there with you.
I too never knew that sort of poverty - I came from a single-parent family, and although my father was not one of the type the CSA would have had us believe all absentee fathers are and always paid his child support to my mother without fail, my mother still worked TWO jobs in local education (as a nursery nurse and a part-time youth worker), as well as a weekend job with one of our neighbours on a sandwich fan at football matches, in order to support us and to put me through university. I never went hungry in the manner described by some of the older generation, but I am *FULLY* aware of just how much my mother sacrificed for me to have a better life. The only reason she could even contemplate affording her own home was through Right To Buy.
But even then, while attending university, to make ends meet I lived at home, and was fortunate that my hometown university (Sheffield) was ranked third in the country for my course at the time, so i didn't class that as a disbenefit. I also took a part-time job myself, where I worked stacking shelves at a local supermarket for 20 hours a week after lectures. I graduated, got myself a good job with good prospects, got myself my professional qualifications, and am now fortunate to be living in the sort of financial comfort that my mother could have only dreamed of at my age.
I too had no more opportunity - due to either my background, home life, upbringing or through my failing (and since closed and reopened at least twice) local comp than anyone else in my peer group. I worked hard to get where I am, and to be in a position where when I have kids they will have some of the advantages that i did not.
This is how the world *SHOULD* work - each generation building on that which came before them.
Quite why I should be expected to feel guilty that some feckless imbeciles have been unable to take a system that worked perfectly well for me I shall never know. Even more so when I see parents walking round during the day, drinking cheap lager and smoking endless fags while failing to maintain control of the three or four children running round only to hear the refrains of "It's not fair the government cut our benefits! How can we feed our kids now?"
Work hard. Have aspirations. And most of all, if you truly believe the situation to be so bad that you consider hope for your own self-betterment to be lost forever, be willing to sacrifice and forgo things for yourself in order to provide better for your children.