Author Topic: Poor Folks are Victims  (Read 97673 times)

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #50 on: December 19, 2014, 01:31:01 PM »
We also need to destroy the dominant culture of ignorance that infects American schools.  I'm not specifically referring to schools attended by the poor.  I know of plenty of middle-class Americans who suffer from this cultural disease.   I assume the poor do as well, but if not, then bully for them!

This should be society's rules for someone who is physically and mentally capable of graduating from high school:

1) If you don't graduate, you cannot collect any form of welfare from the government at any level except for remedial classes.   
2) If you don't graduate, society will not pay for your medical care.   
3) If you don't graduate, you can only receive 1/2 of the standard unemployment benefits.  This reflects the fact that you will be on unemployment more often than others.
4) If you don't graduate, all jail and prison sentences are doubled.   If you graduate while in jail or prison, the sentence reverts to the original sentence.
5) If you don't graduate, all fines are doubled.
6) If you don't graduate and have a child you cannot afford to take care of, we will take that child and give it to someone who can.  And we will fine you for being a pain in the ass to society. (That applies to males and females.)
7) If your child is not on track to graduate, the child can request or the state can require that you lose parental custody to a parent who might do better.
8) If your child is not on track to graduate, you will be fined.  If you cannot pay the fine, the state reserves the right to enter your residence and take your favorite stuff until the value of the fine is covered.
9) If you threaten a teacher or other school employee in order to coerce them to pass a child, you get a prison sentence.
10) If you are a teacher or other school employee and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have passed, you get a prison sentence and all your belongings are confiscated. 
11) If you are a school administrator and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have been passed or coerce someone to do so, you will be hanged and your body will be dismembered and buried underneath the school toilets.  It will help other students and staff learn a foreign language.  The relevant phrase is "Pour encourager les autres."

Our official education motto should be "Learn or Starve."

If you are about to explain that we should not do this because some people legitimately cannot graduate from high school, then work on those reading comprehension skills.  Hint: look above for the bolded, italicized text.

Once people realize that you really have to graduate or your life will be total crap, they'll find a way to make it happen.

greaper007

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #51 on: December 19, 2014, 02:04:44 PM »
Sword, you're essentially advocating that people who are thrown overboard and aren't able to swim are responsible for drowning.

I completely agree that there are people that cheat the system.    I can think of three aunts and uncles that are receiving subsidies that they don't entirely deserve.   I also know that they grew up in a family with viscous alcoholic parents, and their roles and place within the family was detrimental to their future success.   Some people become very successful and controlling from those situations, and some people become addicts.   They became addicts.

As many people on this thread have said, much of what is happening is beyond people's control.   I do think it's a good idea to task people with more responsibility and ultimately, control for their future lives.   However, that's more difficult and expensive than what you're proposing.   

We could only implement the type of system that you're suggesting if we were able to first, level the economic playing field for all schools, make sure parents have all the resources they need to work a decent job and still have enough time to spend with their kids, continue to improve healthcare access and costs, take care of institutionalized oppression for all lower ses groups (African Americans, appalachian whites etc), end for profit prisons, increase the minimum wage, legalize drugs etc.

You can't put a boot on someone's head and tell them to stand up.   I know that  most poor people didn't have the same opportunities that I did.    I'm mostly successful because I was born white, male, and relatively rich, not because I really did amazing things.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 03:28:23 PM by greaper007 »

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2014, 02:59:50 PM »
Food deserts really do exist.  For instance, until recently there was no supermarket in Chester, PA because the residents were so poor that they kept shoplifting food and the supermarket had to close down because they couldn't make profits.  Public transportation in Chester is terrible and the closest supermarket was miles away so people had to depend on fast food and premade rice and beans at the corner bodega.  That is the reality for a lot of poor people.

Recently, a new supermarket opened in Chester because it was developed and funded as a cooperative by members of the entire community who are operating it like a credit union.  Capitalism failed them so they have turned to socialism.

Really? I'm looking at Google maps and for Chester there seems to be several:

- Fare and Square
- Manly Fine Meats and Grocery (?)
- Chez Penn Food Market
- Chester's Co-op
- Fresh Plus
- Twin Grocers
- Bottom Dollar Food
- Kang's Village Deli
- Avenue Market
- Walmart
- "Grocery Outlet" - assuming it's a Costco-like place?

Looks like it's not far from a Costco as well, for anyone with a vehicle.


Moneycat, i was so ready to post this about Chester since I live less than 5 miles from there!  Glad someone else was on the ball.   Here are some various articles about it in case anyone is interested:

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/nations-first-non-profit-supermarket-opens-in-chester-pa
http://delcoheronsnest.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-good-and-bad-in-chester-again.html
http://www.delcotimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=DC&date=20130923&category=NEWS&lopenr=130929897&Ref=AR&profile=1030040
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/02/25/philabundance-to-open-grocery-store-in-chester/
http://6abc.com/archive/9266135/

Thanks for sharing all the articles on the supermarket in Chester.  I have made a career out of teaching in low-income area schools and most of the communities I have taught in don't have full-service supermarkets.  Most of my students would purchase pre-made food from corner bodegas, because they couldn't get anything else.  It's pretty sad.

On a related note, before the supermarket opened, I went to a soccer match at the brand new state-of-the-art stadium in Chester and people were protesting outside the game because they were angry that their tax dollars were being spent on a stadium instead of attracting a supermarket.  It was so ridiculous for that community.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 03:02:02 PM by MoneyCat »

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2014, 03:35:59 PM »

This should be society's rules for someone who is physically and mentally capable of graduating from high school:

Our official education motto should be "Learn or Starve."

There is so much wrong with it, I honestly dont even know where to start - morality, psychology, brain science...

People like you are giving communits and social darwinists a bad name. Thats nearly a feat in itself.

StartingEarly

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #54 on: December 19, 2014, 03:41:08 PM »
I don't think so.  He clearly is saying anyone capable of graduating should.  I don't see how that's not a true statement.  Anyone who willfully should choose not to when given every opportunity afforded should not be let off the hook.  Exigent circumstances aside everyone should be able to at least graduated high school.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2014, 05:23:54 PM »
I disagree that public school funding inequity is the problem.  My high school was in a poor, rural area.  Zillow rates it a 4\10. My teachers weren't exactly ivy leaguers!  I've had my share of bad teachers, but I usually managed to do well in the classes due to something called "reading the book."  But I guess that requires some proactivity in life. 

The problem with schools in a poor area is that the CULTURE of the kids is awful.  No amount of additional school funding will help that!  Its up to the individual to have the desire to learn, get ahead, and want to contribute something to society....or at least aim for a high-paying career!

I mean, some of the commentors on here literally have an excuse for everything.  It is quite embarrassing to read.  I thought this was a website for becoming wealthy through hard work and badassity, not how to become wealthy through complaining and making excuses!!!!!!!


greaper007

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2014, 06:39:31 PM »
I disagree that public school funding inequity is the problem.  My high school was in a poor, rural area.  Zillow rates it a 4\10. My teachers weren't exactly ivy leaguers!  I've had my share of bad teachers, but I usually managed to do well in the classes due to something called "reading the book."  But I guess that requires some proactivity in life. 

The problem with schools in a poor area is that the CULTURE of the kids is awful.  No amount of additional school funding will help that!  Its up to the individual to have the desire to learn, get ahead, and want to contribute something to society....or at least aim for a high-paying career!

I mean, some of the commentors on here literally have an excuse for everything.  It is quite embarrassing to read.  I thought this was a website for becoming wealthy through hard work and badassity, not how to become wealthy through complaining and making excuses!!!!!!!

Wow.    Who hurt you?

viper155

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2014, 06:42:56 PM »
What--there are no white people in poverty?!  Would you like to ban mcdonalds and force everyone to eat lentils?  The poor are poor for a reason--unintelligent and lazy.  They CHOOSE to eat at mcdonalds b/c they like the way it tastes and is "easier" than cooking.  They arent smart enough to realize "hey gee, eating this is making me both fatter and poorer at the same time...maybe I should eat some fucking vegetables!"  There is no "cure" for poverty.  Quit making excuses for people and labeling them a "victim."  It is up to people to be more intelligent and own up to their poor decisions.

AMEN Stashdaddy!

viper155

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2014, 06:45:06 PM »
We also need to destroy the dominant culture of ignorance that infects American schools.  I'm not specifically referring to schools attended by the poor.  I know of plenty of middle-class Americans who suffer from this cultural disease.   I assume the poor do as well, but if not, then bully for them!

This should be society's rules for someone who is physically and mentally capable of graduating from high school:

1) If you don't graduate, you cannot collect any form of welfare from the government at any level except for remedial classes.   
2) If you don't graduate, society will not pay for your medical care.   
3) If you don't graduate, you can only receive 1/2 of the standard unemployment benefits.  This reflects the fact that you will be on unemployment more often than others.
4) If you don't graduate, all jail and prison sentences are doubled.   If you graduate while in jail or prison, the sentence reverts to the original sentence.
5) If you don't graduate, all fines are doubled.
6) If you don't graduate and have a child you cannot afford to take care of, we will take that child and give it to someone who can.  And we will fine you for being a pain in the ass to society. (That applies to males and females.)
7) If your child is not on track to graduate, the child can request or the state can require that you lose parental custody to a parent who might do better.
8) If your child is not on track to graduate, you will be fined.  If you cannot pay the fine, the state reserves the right to enter your residence and take your favorite stuff until the value of the fine is covered.
9) If you threaten a teacher or other school employee in order to coerce them to pass a child, you get a prison sentence.
10) If you are a teacher or other school employee and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have passed, you get a prison sentence and all your belongings are confiscated. 
11) If you are a school administrator and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have been passed or coerce someone to do so, you will be hanged and your body will be dismembered and buried underneath the school toilets.  It will help other students and staff learn a foreign language.  The relevant phrase is "Pour encourager les autres."

Our official education motto should be "Learn or Starve."

If you are about to explain that we should not do this because some people legitimately cannot graduate from high school, then work on those reading comprehension skills.  Hint: look above for the bolded, italicized text.

Once people realize that you really have to graduate or your life will be total crap, they'll find a way to make it happen.

AMEN Swordguy

greaper007

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #59 on: December 19, 2014, 06:47:52 PM »
A few people always make these threads disheartening.    I thought one of the points of this forum was to pay it forward.   Having empathy for people's circumstances and trying to help them through so that they could spend their lives enjoying their time instead of working jobs they hate for things they don't need.   I thought this was a movement, not a chance to bolster one's ego on the backs of less fortunate people.   That's ugly.

All of us have gotten to the place that we are because someone helped us.   I don't understand the lack of empathy.   
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 06:49:33 PM by greaper007 »

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #60 on: December 19, 2014, 07:21:36 PM »
A few people always make these threads disheartening.    I thought one of the points of this forum was to pay it forward.   Having empathy for people's circumstances and trying to help them through so that they could spend their lives enjoying their time instead of working jobs they hate for things they don't need.   I thought this was a movement, not a chance to bolster one's ego on the backs of less fortunate people.   That's ugly.

All of us have gotten to the place that we are because someone helped us.   I don't understand the lack of empathy.

All the information a person could ever want about personal finance, saving money, and retirement is available free for anyone who chooses to go looking for it. I don't think many Mustachians were led by the hand to ER - we all found our way here through reading, research, and just a general desire to improve our lives. I certainly have sympathy for people who have genuinely bad circumstances like the mentally ill, disabled, really really stupid, etc, and think there should be a strong safety net to help them (particularly life-skills type education like cooking and critical thinking/decision making, and getting reading and math skills up to a grade 8 or 9 level), but people who just make bad life choices and financial choices? Nope. Decisions have consequences.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #61 on: December 19, 2014, 07:45:08 PM »
Sword, you're essentially advocating that people who are thrown overboard and aren't able to swim are responsible for drowning.

I completely agree that there are people that cheat the system.    I can think of three aunts and uncles that are receiving subsidies that they don't entirely deserve.   I also know that they grew up in a family with viscous alcoholic parents, and their roles and place within the family was detrimental to their future success.   Some people become very successful and controlling from those situations, and some people become addicts.   They became addicts.

As many people on this thread have said, much of what is happening is beyond people's control.   I do think it's a good idea to task people with more responsibility and ultimately, control for their future lives.   However, that's more difficult and expensive than what you're proposing.   

We could only implement the type of system that you're suggesting if we were able to first, level the economic playing field for all schools, make sure parents have all the resources they need to work a decent job and still have enough time to spend with their kids, continue to improve healthcare access and costs, take care of institutionalized oppression for all lower ses groups (African Americans, appalachian whites etc), end for profit prisons, increase the minimum wage, legalize drugs etc.

You can't put a boot on someone's head and tell them to stand up.   I know that  most poor people didn't have the same opportunities that I did.    I'm mostly successful because I was born white, male, and relatively rich, not because I really did amazing things.

Getting a high school diploma is not the same thing as getting an equal education.   It would be nice if it were but it's not and it's unlikely to be despite reforms that either of us might propose.

Getting a high school diploma requires learning basic arithmetic, reading, writing, basic science, civics and history.   It mostly requires studying, doing the homework, paying attention, and putting up with boring or pointless BS.   (The latter is probably more important a skill for climbing out of poverty than most realize.)  If the standards are lower in poor schools it will be correspondingly easier to graduate.

I'm all for providing meals and daycare for kids so people can work.  I'm even willing to provide a subsidy to help out the parents if they need it.   (Although my willingness to do so for the 2nd or later child conceived in poverty is pretty much nil.)   

I'm willing to fund keeping the schools open later so the kids have a safe place to study if they need it.  Ditto for transportation home.

I'm willing to totally restructure the school system funding so all schools get adequate resources. 

But unless we convince people to stop squandering their educational opportunities I think too few will be well equipped to

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2014, 07:10:46 AM »
I don't think so.  He clearly is saying anyone capable of graduating should.  I don't see how that's not a true statement.  Anyone who willfully should choose not to when given every opportunity afforded should not be let off the hook.  Exigent circumstances aside everyone should be able to at least graduated high school.

Exactly.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2014, 07:17:45 AM »
A few people always make these threads disheartening.    I thought one of the points of this forum was to pay it forward.   Having empathy for people's circumstances and trying to help them through so that they could spend their lives enjoying their time instead of working jobs they hate for things they don't need.   I thought this was a movement, not a chance to bolster one's ego on the backs of less fortunate people.   That's ugly.

All of us have gotten to the place that we are because someone helped us.   I don't understand the lack of empathy.

You clearly do not get it.

I am willing to pay more in taxes to make schools better.  ALL schools better.

I am willing to pay more in taxes to provide a better quality social safety net.

I am NOT willing to help people who are perfectly capable of helping themselves and who choose not to.  I want society to set clear expectations that people have to get off their butts and do their part.   Knuckling down and graduating from high school is the first step on the rung to success.   

If someone is capable of graduating we should expect them to do so.   We should help them do so.  We should encourage them to do so.   Hell, I'm even willing to pay them to do so if their family needs money!   

But they have to do the work.  There is no magic pill they can take that will give them a high school education nor is there a magic pill that will give them the good study habits or good work habits it takes to do so.   All that requires hard work.

Since they are capable of that hard work we should expect them to do it and hold them accountable for choosing not to do it.


MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2014, 07:30:48 AM »
If they can't afford bread, then let them eat cake.  It should be obvious to anyone. [/sarcasm]

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2014, 02:42:48 PM »
If they can't afford bread, then let them eat cake.  It should be obvious to anyone. [/sarcasm]

No, if the kid's parents can't afford bread, and it's a temporary situation, give them bread.

I was accused of not having any empathy.  Simply not true.

I truly empathize with kids who are born to dysfunctional parents.   Dysfunctional parents include non-functioning alcoholics, drug addicts, people who won't get a job or choose not to keep the job they have, or just folks who cannot function successfully in our society, or those who just don't give a damn about their kids.

It's totally, grossly unfair to the kids. 

If there was a magic wand we could wave to make those parents functional I would need shoulder surgery from waving it around so much.

But there is no magic wand.  Nor is there a magic social policy that will solve that problem.

So, that's why I think kids with dysfunctional parents should be able to ditch them and quickly get better parents.  Parents that can feed and cloth them.  Parents who are sober and not on a drug trip.  Parents who can teach them useful life skills that will enable them to succeed in life.

And to hell with the dysfunctional parent's feelings about that.   Those feelings are simply unimportant compared to the welfare of their children.   That doesn't mean I don't feel for their pain (assuming they have any).  It just means that compared to the welfare of their children it doesn't matter when it comes to deciding what to do for the kids.

Expecting the kids to succeed with dysfunctional parents getting in their way is cruel.    If we need to fund schools to stay open in the evening so they have a safe, quiet place to study, so be it.  If we need to feed the kids dinner, so be it.   If we need to fund daycare for children, so be it.

If we need to put the kids in dorms away from their parents so they can focus on studying so they can graduate, so be it.

We've tried "helping" people in the current manner and now we have 3rd generation poor folks who are effectively institutionalized that way.
One could argue that the stats that show less upward mobility coincide with the creation of the modern welfare state...

But absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing we do will make a tinker's damn if the kids don't take their educational opportunities seriously.    That's why I also propose serious consequences to a failure to graduate for those who are physically and mentally capable of doing so.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »

One could argue that the stats that show less upward mobility coincide with the creation of the modern welfare state...
Of course, one could and ignore all scientific data, as most of this post, again.
You dont help children if you take them away from - whatever the english term is - their social surroundings.

Why are you so focust on a grade, anyway?
There are scores of successful people who have not finished higher education and started getting very rich or very useful or... 
Not to mention war generations and such like.
School is a great place to get a formal education (!=useful knowledge), win friends, waste a lot of time and lose creativity and learning fun. Sometimes the opposite is possible, of course.

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2014, 03:31:04 PM »
I think we should just eat poor people's babies.  That will solve the problem.  (Yes, that's a Jonathan Swift reference.)

greaper007

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2014, 04:08:51 PM »
I'm not really sure why a few people on this thread are convinced that their unenlightened, evidence free theories on the cause, and solution to poverty are so sound.   Especially since they espouse their reams of credentials, and cite all the difficult work they did in their school career.   Yet, they don't seem to quote studies that support their position, or give an example of times that social organizations implemented their particular theories with success.

I've yet to see any evidence that removing children from a home, or increasing jail sentences based on levels of education has ever worked.   On the contrary.    I can show you Native Americans in their 60s that were forcibly removed from their homes and communities up until the early 60s and placed in boarding schools.   Where their hair was cut, they weren't allowed to speak their native language.   And worst of all, they endured unspeakable abuse.   Verbal, physical and widespread forcible rape by authority figures.    That's a particular sort of genocide that America is really good at.

These theories are evil, this is how things like apartheid or genocide happen.   They start from the thought that other people are willfully ignorant or lazy and deserve what comes to them.    I suggest that the right wingers on here really seek out some first person source material on what it's like to grow up in a poverty stricken area.   The lack of role-models, jobs, education or hope.    The Ms Pat episode on the WTF podcast is an easy starting point.

After that, actually look for research that doesn't conform to your biases.   I'll sum it up for you though, mental health access for dealing with the trauma that many of these people have experienced is the first point.   I grew up in a wealthy household with a raging father and codependent, enabling, emotionally distant mother.   I didn't really start to get over that until I started going to therapy this year at 34.   I can't imagine what it's like for people in truly bad situations.   And number two, people have to be able to play an active role and guide the programs that are put into place to help their lives.

Honestly, you guys are just bullies.   For whatever reason you loathe something about yourself and chose to lash out at people that are weaker than you in order to feel better.   I get it, I used to do it.   But I always knew it was wrong, and it made me feel dead inside.   You have to embrace love and empathy or you'll never truly be happy.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2014, 04:16:54 PM »
I truly empathize with kids who are born to dysfunctional parents.   Dysfunctional parents include non-functioning alcoholics, drug addicts, people who won't get a job or choose not to keep the job they have, or just folks who cannot function successfully in our society, or those who just don't give a damn about their kids.
....
So, that's why I think kids with dysfunctional parents should be able to ditch them and quickly get better parents.  Parents that can feed and cloth them.  Parents who are sober and not on a drug trip.  Parents who can teach them useful life skills that will enable them to succeed in life.

And to hell with the dysfunctional parent's feelings about that.   Those feelings are simply unimportant compared to the welfare of their children.   That doesn't mean I don't feel for their pain (assuming they have any).  It just means that compared to the welfare of their children it doesn't matter when it comes to deciding what to do for the kids.

In principle, I kinda agree with you. But I'd be against any policy that tried to implement your plan on any kind of scale. Why? Because I have to think about what would happen to that perfectly implemented (ha!) policy 30 years from now.

30 years ago, I was allowed to play by myself, without constant parent supervision. Heck, I was often left in the car by myself while one (or both) of my parents ran into the store. Now people are being arrested because their child wasn't within arm's reach at all times.

So..."dysfunctional" parents either have to change, or have their kids taken away. Who gets to define "dysfunctional"? What would happen is in the case of a generation, "dysfunctional" will mean "non-conformist/different". So either conform or lose your kids.

I've had heated discussions with one of my child's teachers (pre-school years) about how my daughter wasn't dressed appropriately. Either wearing sandals on cold days (we once forgot to pack a backup pair of shoes in her backpack, I promptly went home and retrieved a pair), or not wearing warm clothes (I pointed out the coat she had in her cubby; if she complained about being cold, put on a coat...should note that she was NOT complaining). All this in an area that saw snow once in the three years we've been here (melted within an hour), and has a mere handful of days that are below freezing. If such a law were in place, I fear that she would have been taken from us and forced to wear sweaters and coats on mild days.

Our son's school is requiring parents to provide iPads. I'm probably not going to purchase one (he has an Android tablet and a Windows tablet, both costing less than a single iPad). Should I worry that he'll be taken away from us and given to a family that have bought the Apple kool-aid?

We buy used clothes for our kids when possible. Under $100 total in Christmas gifts, many from op-shops (thrift stores), for the oldest two. Oh the humanity! Won't someone think of the kids??!!

We have a car that's nearing 20 years old. Surely that's a safety hazard. I've taken the oldest on motor scooter rides since he was five (earlier, but not on the main roads). Someone should stop me!

And at the mere mention of going halfway across the world for no other reason than "it might be fun," we should have been stopped at the border and forced to return to Tennessee. Taking kids away from their aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc. should be illegal.

I'm not saying all children should be forced to live with their parents, regardless of circumstances. I'm saying, we have to be very VERY careful. Road to hell, good intentions, and all that.

Expecting the kids to succeed with dysfunctional parents getting in their way is cruel.    If we need to fund schools to stay open in the evening so they have a safe, quiet place to study, so be it.  If we need to feed the kids dinner, so be it.   If we need to fund daycare for children, so be it.

If we need to put the kids in dorms away from their parents so they can focus on studying so they can graduate, so be it.

Problem with this, is that INITIALLY the longer hours will be optional. Then semi-mandatory, then completely mandatory. Same with dorms, if it's offered to everyone, it'll start out optional. Then semi-mandatory, then completely mandatory (as in, you'll need someone from the school district to approve any deviation from policy, like underclassmen being semi-forced to live in college dorms).

thepokercab

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2014, 04:56:10 PM »
Since this topic seems to manifest itself on a daily basis here, maybe we should just create one topic called "Why are poor people poor?" and let folks have at it.   The boot-strappers can opine on how poor people are just lazy and stupid and looking for a hand out, liberals can respond with data and research to try to argue that the issue is more nuanced and also driven by macro-factors, and the boot-strappers can just ignore it.  Rinse and repeat.


Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #71 on: December 20, 2014, 05:53:47 PM »
Since this topic seems to manifest itself on a daily basis here, maybe we should just create one topic called "Why are poor people poor?" and let folks have at it.   The boot-strappers can opine on how poor people are just lazy and stupid and looking for a hand out, liberals can respond with data and research to try to argue that the issue is more nuanced and also driven by macro-factors, and the boot-strappers can just ignore it.  Rinse and repeat.

We call everyone lazy and stupid. Especially the high earning people who post case studies complaining about having no savings but spending ridiculous amounts on junk (STUPID) and hiring people to do damn near everything for them (LAZY). Why should one group of people be exempt? We should all take a close look at the stupid and lazy habits/choices that are costing us money, regardless of income.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2014, 06:16:51 PM »
Since this topic seems to manifest itself on a daily basis here, maybe we should just create one topic called "Why are poor people poor?" and let folks have at it.   The boot-strappers can opine on how poor people are just lazy and stupid and looking for a hand out, liberals can respond with data and research to try to argue that the issue is more nuanced and also driven by macro-factors, and the boot-strappers can just ignore it.  Rinse and repeat.

We call everyone lazy and stupid. Especially the high earning people who post case studies complaining about having no savings but spending ridiculous amounts on junk (STUPID) and hiring people to do damn near everything for them (LAZY). Why should one group of people be exempt? We should all take a close look at the stupid and lazy habits/choices that are costing us money, regardless of income.

NICE!

I believe we are all victims!  If you haven't screamed "FUCK YEAH" while watching the post-apartment-fire bar scene in "Fight Club" then you may not understand my tone.  Advertising expenditures were over $160 BILLION in 2012!  http://www.emarketer.com/Article/US-Total-Media-Ad-Spend-Inches-Up-Pushed-by-Digital/1010154  That doesn't mean we have to stay victimized - as mentioned before the term "survivor" is often applied to provoke a greater sense of agency - but we SHOULD recognize that consistent negative pressure is being applied.

We are all stupid and lazy in some way.  When I am stupid and lazy and allow advertising/convention to make decisions for me I may lose 6 months of my early retirement opportunity.  When a poor person is stupid and lazy, they can't pay for dental care or housing or chronic disease treatment or potatoes or higher education.  That's not a system to be proud of, even though I AM WINNING.  When someone can't step back from their pedestal of privilege to perceive this issue, especially within a community such as MMM where intelligent folks repetitively recognize the ridiculousness of NORMS, it makes me hurt.

I'm still interested in hearing more from the "bootstrappers" regarding realistic solutions beyond "stop being stupid and lazy." 

We also need to destroy the dominant culture of ignorance that infects American schools.  I'm not specifically referring to schools attended by the poor.  I know of plenty of middle-class Americans who suffer from this cultural disease.   I assume the poor do as well, but if not, then bully for them!

This should be society's rules for someone who is physically and mentally capable of graduating from high school:

1) If you don't graduate, you cannot collect any form of welfare from the government at any level except for remedial classes.   
2) If you don't graduate, society will not pay for your medical care.   
3) If you don't graduate, you can only receive 1/2 of the standard unemployment benefits.  This reflects the fact that you will be on unemployment more often than others.
4) If you don't graduate, all jail and prison sentences are doubled.   If you graduate while in jail or prison, the sentence reverts to the original sentence.
5) If you don't graduate, all fines are doubled.
6) If you don't graduate and have a child you cannot afford to take care of, we will take that child and give it to someone who can.  And we will fine you for being a pain in the ass to society. (That applies to males and females.)
7) If your child is not on track to graduate, the child can request or the state can require that you lose parental custody to a parent who might do better.
8) If your child is not on track to graduate, you will be fined.  If you cannot pay the fine, the state reserves the right to enter your residence and take your favorite stuff until the value of the fine is covered.
9) If you threaten a teacher or other school employee in order to coerce them to pass a child, you get a prison sentence.
10) If you are a teacher or other school employee and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have passed, you get a prison sentence and all your belongings are confiscated. 
11) If you are a school administrator and you falsify records to pass someone who should not have been passed or coerce someone to do so, you will be hanged and your body will be dismembered and buried underneath the school toilets.  It will help other students and staff learn a foreign language.  The relevant phrase is "Pour encourager les autres."

Our official education motto should be "Learn or Starve."

If you are about to explain that we should not do this because some people legitimately cannot graduate from high school, then work on those reading comprehension skills.  Hint: look above for the bolded, italicized text.

Once people realize that you really have to graduate or your life will be total crap, they'll find a way to make it happen.

One major burden of this approach is defining "physically and mentally capable."  Isn't that the same line we currently tread when discussing who should be claiming disability?  Who becomes the authority for physical and mental capability? 

Also, I breezed through school without ever trying and retained very little beyond what I use day to day.  What is so damn important about chemistry?  I don't use that malarchy!  I'm a fucking financial auditor!  And I never went to school for finance/auditing but now regularly earn organizational performance awards for identifying and implementing systemic improvements within federal organizations.  Was biology really that important for my contribution to society?

fields

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2014, 07:08:05 PM »
I have worked with poor families for years.  The issues are very complex. 

First, please remember that entitlement programs benefit CHILDREN.  Do you really want to cut programs that provide nutrition to children?  Do you know a way to ensure children get food that does not involve giving access to food to their parents?  Do you really want children to grow up in substandard housing, moving multiple times every year, or living in hotel rooms, which are the country's shelter placements?  Do you know a way to ensure that children are living in homes their parents, who get less in cash benefits every month than a market rate apartment rents for, can afford (did you know that the WAIT LIST for subsidized housing opens at most a couple of times a year?) 

Second, children growing up in poverty do not know there is another way they can live.  They don't have any idea that working hard in school can lead to a better life.  Sure, teachers and guidance counselors tell them that, but they've never seen it happen.  No one they know has ever done that.

Third, the ability to choose a behavior that is contrary to one's emotional state is a skill largely absent among poor youth and, unfortunately, many poor adults.  This skill is critical to success at school, in the community, and at work.  Our country's school teachers have been telling us this for at least a decade now, and instead of paying attention, we are just demanding our teachers do the impossible, which is to educate a classroom in which ten or fifteen kids are acting out all day long.  Until we find a way to teach poor children to manage their emotions (which most middle class children begin to learn in infancy), they will remain at a tremendous disadvantage. 

Lyssa

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2014, 02:55:56 AM »

I'm still interested in hearing more from the "bootstrappers" regarding realistic solutions beyond "stop being stupid and lazy." 


"Bootstrapper" from a very different background here (the German social net is MUCH more comfortable than its US counterpart).

I wish the focus around here would be less about supporting the consumption habits of the non-working lower class and more about investing in their children. For example, we have a voluntary schedule for doctor's visits (totally free of charge) which monitor the development of children ("U1" immediately after birth to "U9" at 5-6 years old). As you can imagine, those who need it most are not taken to the doctor after infancy.

I would like to make those appointments mandatory. And to have interventions occur if something is not right. If development is delayed, preschool should be mandatory (see Perry pre-school study. It's amazing what a few regular hours in a different environment can achieve).

If there are signs of severe neglegt, physical or sexual abuse _all_ children should be taken out of the house. Not only the one who showed up at the hospital with more than suspicious injuries (sadly, this is common here. You almost have a "right" to mess each of your kids up before it is taken away.).

The children should then be transferred to good homes and not "just a little better than their parents" homes (progressive German social scientists have figured out that once children experience a good home they are likely to scream "NOOO!" if the state would like to hand them back to their "parents". We can't have that. It would totally expose the system's cruelty, you see. So we practise something that is called milieunahe Unterbringung, rough translation: near-class accomodation. This has recently led to the death of a little girl because she accidently took the heroin substituting drug of her foster parents.

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #75 on: December 22, 2014, 05:35:37 AM »
I have worked with poor families for years.  The issues are very complex. 

First, please remember that entitlement programs benefit CHILDREN.  Do you really want to cut programs that provide nutrition to children?  Do you know a way to ensure children get food that does not involve giving access to food to their parents?  Do you really want children to grow up in substandard housing, moving multiple times every year, or living in hotel rooms, which are the country's shelter placements?  Do you know a way to ensure that children are living in homes their parents, who get less in cash benefits every month than a market rate apartment rents for, can afford (did you know that the WAIT LIST for subsidized housing opens at most a couple of times a year?) 

Second, children growing up in poverty do not know there is another way they can live.  They don't have any idea that working hard in school can lead to a better life.  Sure, teachers and guidance counselors tell them that, but they've never seen it happen.  No one they know has ever done that.

Third, the ability to choose a behavior that is contrary to one's emotional state is a skill largely absent among poor youth and, unfortunately, many poor adults.  This skill is critical to success at school, in the community, and at work.  Our country's school teachers have been telling us this for at least a decade now, and instead of paying attention, we are just demanding our teachers do the impossible, which is to educate a classroom in which ten or fifteen kids are acting out all day long.  Until we find a way to teach poor children to manage their emotions (which most middle class children begin to learn in infancy), they will remain at a tremendous disadvantage.

Thanks for posting this.  One of the reasons I get so angry when people post these "poor people are stupid and should starve" threads is because I grew up on nutrition programs and without them I would have starved.  Until I was 13, I was unable to work for myself (and then I worked under the table for nearly nothing), so I depended on those nutrition programs to eat and there really wasn't anything I could do about it.  There are a lot of people out there who believe that kids like myself should just die, because they are born to bad parents.  At least, that's the message that comes across with this "bootstrap" nonsense.  The parents are not going to "shape up".  It's just not going to happen.  But there is a chance that the kids can be saved.

By the way, since I escaped from poverty, I now pay for other people's children to go to public school and I pay for other people's federal and state benefits.  You don't hear me bitching about it.  Ever.

Lyssa

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #76 on: December 22, 2014, 08:33:31 AM »

By the way, since I escaped from poverty, I now pay for other people's children to go to public school and I pay for other people's federal and state benefits.  You don't hear me bitching about it.  Ever.

I'm all in all fine with my tax rate. I'd just like to redistribute a lot of it. Specifically I'd much rather pay for food, kindergarten and preschool for kids from dysfunctional families than hand over xyz amount of money to the parents for each of their kids with no one ever checking if such money is indeed spend for the kids.

Momentarily, a non-working familiy with 3 kids receives rent, health insurance and a certain amount for paying heating and energy bills plus the following lump-sums:

- 360 EUR for each parent
- 234, 267 and 302 EUR for each of the children (depending on age)

So you'll end up with: free accomodation and health care as well as 1523 EUR per months to spend how you see fit. Furthermore, there are a lot of other discounts available (for sports, museums, public transportation, etc.) as well as the opportunity to get food and second hand clothes for free.

I think you could find quite a few Mustachian families living on less.

Yet, malnourishment (either too skinny or obese kids), summer clothes in winter, households without a single book and otherwise neglected children can be found everywhere and have almost become the norm in certain districts.

I'm not saying that the US system is the correct one (I consider it too harsh, especially on the kids). I'd just like to caution those who think that pouring money on the problem eventually would make the problem go away. It does not.

LibrarIan

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #77 on: December 22, 2014, 09:02:47 AM »
@StashDaddy (and really anyone else who might find this interesting):

The conversation in this thread seems to be focusing heavily on food (a major part of poverty and life in general). The example of McDonald's keeps coming up. Yes, people can and should choose better quality food, but McDonald's and other similarly unhealthy places to eat have enormous advertising budgets, and advertising has been shown very clearly to alter someone's behavior for better or for worse. If you have very little money, you're hungry and you see a multitude of McD's ads showing off cheap food that looks filling, you would probably be inclined to eat there more often.

For any and all, I highly, highly recommend the book Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement. This book discusses these issues at length. Here is the synopsis:

"In this era of eroding commitment to government sponsored welfare programs, voluntarism and private charity have become the popular, optimistic solutions to poverty and hunger. The resurgence of charity has to be a good thing, doesn't it? No, says sociologist Janet Poppendieck, not when stopgap charitable efforts replace consistent public policy, and poverty continues to grow. In Sweet Charity?, Poppendieck travels the country to work in soup kitchens and "gleaning" centers, reporting from the frontlines of America's hunger relief programs to assess the effectiveness of these homegrown efforts. We hear from the "clients" who receive meals too small to feed their families; from the enthusiastic volunteers; and from the directors, who wonder if their "successful" programs are in some way perpetuating the problem they are struggling to solve. Hailed as the most significant book on hunger to appear in decades, Sweet Charity? shows how the drive to end poverty has taken a wrong turn with thousands of well-meaning volunteers on board."

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Charity-Emergency-Food-Entitlement/dp/0140245561/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1419263838&sr=8-2&keywords=sweet+charity%3F

Jack

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #78 on: December 22, 2014, 09:44:01 AM »
Also, I breezed through school without ever trying and retained very little beyond what I use day to day.  What is so damn important about chemistry?  I don't use that malarchy!  I'm a fucking financial auditor!

Chemistry is important so that you can do things like read the labels on stuff and manage to avoid poisoning yourself. Chemistry is how I learned that drinking methanol, mixing bleach and ammonia, and playing with mercury are bad ideas, for example.

Speaking of retaining knowledge from school, that's also where I learned not to look like an idiot by misspelling "malarkey." ; )

On a more serious note, I'm going to go ahead and assume you retained more than you think. For example, I assume that as a high-school graduate that you have at least some minimal understanding of how government works, along with some minimal understanding of history and economics, such that you are not entirely too incompetent to vote. I assume that even if you weren't a financial auditor, you would have retained at least the minimal math skills necessary to keep track of your household's expenses. I assume that you attained a minimum level of literacy such that you are capable of reading things like street signs, employment applications and news articles.

Leisured

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #79 on: December 22, 2014, 11:38:49 PM »
Further on junk food. Thank you Kyle Schuant for the quote from George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier.

I recommend the website below.

http://karenlebillon.com/

Karen Le Billon is married to a Frenchman and has observed the school lunch program in France. The French take food seriously, and subsidized school lunches are available. She says that advertisements for junk food on French TV are required to carry health warnings. There is no school lunch program in Australia, but I understand that there is a school lunch program in the US. How does the American school lunch program compare with the school lunch program in France? How would American students from poor backgrounds react to good quality school lunches?

A school lunch program, properly run, would ensure that students from poor households get at least one good meal a day.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #80 on: December 23, 2014, 01:27:58 AM »
Further on junk food. Thank you Kyle Schuant for the quote from George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier.

I recommend the website below.

http://karenlebillon.com/

Karen Le Billon is married to a Frenchman and has observed the school lunch program in France. The French take food seriously, and subsidized school lunches are available. She says that advertisements for junk food on French TV are required to carry health warnings. There is no school lunch program in Australia, but I understand that there is a school lunch program in the US. How does the American school lunch program compare with the school lunch program in France? How would American students from poor backgrounds react to good quality school lunches?

A school lunch program, properly run, would ensure that students from poor households get at least one good meal a day.

About school lunches, there is an interesting story to be found on this blog about an scottish girl
http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/
what reminded me of this blog was your words of taking food seriously. Well, there is a contest to make the best meal in japanese schools.  This post:
http://neverseconds.blogspot.de/2013/03/staying-in-japan.html

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #81 on: December 23, 2014, 04:49:34 AM »
Also, I breezed through school without ever trying and retained very little beyond what I use day to day.  What is so damn important about chemistry?  I don't use that malarchy!  I'm a fucking financial auditor!

Chemistry is important so that you can do things like read the labels on stuff and manage to avoid poisoning yourself. Chemistry is how I learned that drinking methanol, mixing bleach and ammonia, and playing with mercury are bad ideas, for example.

Speaking of retaining knowledge from school, that's also where I learned not to look like an idiot by misspelling "malarkey." ; )

On a more serious note, I'm going to go ahead and assume you retained more than you think. For example, I assume that as a high-school graduate that you have at least some minimal understanding of how government works, along with some minimal understanding of history and economics, such that you are not entirely too incompetent to vote. I assume that even if you weren't a financial auditor, you would have retained at least the minimal math skills necessary to keep track of your household's expenses. I assume that you attained a minimum level of literacy such that you are capable of reading things like street signs, employment applications and news articles.

LOL!!  1) I have made a contribution to society without being able to spell "mal-argh-kee" and I'll bet you googled the spelling anyway. 2) I have yet to drink poison even though I guessed my way through chemistry. 3) Reading is generally understood by 1st grade and I was reading before Kindergarten. 4) The highest math I use day-to-day is algebra, and that is most commonly through an IT program like Excel... 5) Government works? ;) 6) Addition/subtraction (aka. Personal Finance) was taught (and not REALLY taught) in 1st grade.

My point is that education is important but our current system may not be all that wonderful.  Why is it that we don't focus on important life skills - personal finance, debt management, defining your passion, health, food production - but we demand that every student in America must know how cells are structured?  Our focus is wonky.  It is GREAT to provide training on science, math, etc, but demanding that every student understand them enough to pass a standardized test is inappropriate, especially while we have a country full of idiots that don't realize that sitting on their ass on their couch while the TV talks at them is an unhealthy addiction that contributes to diabetes and heart disease.


I'm still interested in hearing more from the "bootstrappers" regarding realistic solutions beyond "stop being stupid and lazy." 


"Bootstrapper" from a very different background here (the German social net is MUCH more comfortable than its US counterpart).

I wish the focus around here would be less about supporting the consumption habits of the non-working lower class and more about investing in their children. For example, we have a voluntary schedule for doctor's visits (totally free of charge) which monitor the development of children ("U1" immediately after birth to "U9" at 5-6 years old). As you can imagine, those who need it most are not taken to the doctor after infancy.

I would like to make those appointments mandatory. And to have interventions occur if something is not right. If development is delayed, preschool should be mandatory (see Perry pre-school study. It's amazing what a few regular hours in a different environment can achieve).

If there are signs of severe neglegt, physical or sexual abuse _all_ children should be taken out of the house. Not only the one who showed up at the hospital with more than suspicious injuries (sadly, this is common here. You almost have a "right" to mess each of your kids up before it is taken away.).

The children should then be transferred to good homes and not "just a little better than their parents" homes (progressive German social scientists have figured out that once children experience a good home they are likely to scream "NOOO!" if the state would like to hand them back to their "parents". We can't have that. It would totally expose the system's cruelty, you see. So we practise something that is called milieunahe Unterbringung, rough translation: near-class accomodation. This has recently led to the death of a little girl because she accidently took the heroin substituting drug of her foster parents.

How was this program initiated?  Does Germany utilize non-profit organizations to lead these efforts or is it strictly top-down Governmental action?  Thanks for bringing your germanic perspective to the conversation!

lithy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #82 on: December 23, 2014, 05:35:37 AM »
Since this topic seems to manifest itself on a daily basis here, maybe we should just create one topic called "Why are poor people poor?" and let folks have at it.   The boot-strappers can opine on how poor people are just lazy and stupid and looking for a hand out, liberals can respond with data and research to try to argue that the issue is more nuanced and also driven by macro-factors, and the boot-strappers can just ignore it.  Rinse and repeat.

We call everyone lazy and stupid. Especially the high earning people who post case studies complaining about having no savings but spending ridiculous amounts on junk (STUPID) and hiring people to do damn near everything for them (LAZY). Why should one group of people be exempt? We should all take a close look at the stupid and lazy habits/choices that are costing us money, regardless of income.

Agreed here, to me the idea that "the poor" are exempt from criticism for their choices is patronizing and just as unhelpful as those who would suggest that not a single person in the world is deserving of welfare or charity in some fashion.

What I feel like the posters being profiled as bootstrappers are at least attempting to argue is that we can't simply ignore the actions of the poor as a possible cause of their situation.  Do they have a lot working against them?  Sure, but to say that it is beyond their control is typical whiny-pants blame shifting. 

The poor as mentioned by several in this thread, make poor choices that have adverse effects on their ability to escape poverty.  The children of poverty learn these decisions and often don't correlate the two and end up repeating a cycle of poverty.  I think that's something a lot of posters should be able to agree on.  How you would implement public policy to ameliorate the issue is probably not so easy to agree on.  ;)

Lyssa

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #83 on: December 23, 2014, 06:07:07 AM »

I'm still interested in hearing more from the "bootstrappers" regarding realistic solutions beyond "stop being stupid and lazy." 


The children should then be transferred to good homes and not "just a little better than their parents" homes (progressive German social scientists have figured out that once children experience a good home they are likely to scream "NOOO!" if the state would like to hand them back to their "parents". We can't have that. It would totally expose the system's cruelty, you see. So we practise something that is called milieunahe Unterbringung, rough translation: near-class accomodation. This has recently led to the death of a little girl because she accidently took the heroin substituting drug of her foster parents.

How was this program initiated?  Does Germany utilize non-profit organizations to lead these efforts or is it strictly top-down Governmental action?  Thanks for bringing your germanic perspective to the conversation!

You're welcome! I find it quite interesting to compare different systems, the reasons given and their outcomes. Quite often you can end up with the same results by making very different mistakes. :-) And sometimes good examples are ignored even if you would not need to travel very far to observe the great results. Just because.

The milieunahe Unterbringung is a top-down approach without much new legislation being passed. Terms like "harm", "danger", "fit to do...", and "help" have been interpreted in the 50ies and 60ies in a way to e.g. take children of unwed mothers and place them in church-run children's homes (where a lot of abuse happened) and are now interpreted in a manner which places most importance on "help for troubled families" and "achieving small scale progress while maintaining the integrity of the family system" vs "protect the ones who can't help themselves". NGO's and companies working with the state authorities go along with it since otherwise they would not be assigned any cases (in a form of public private partnership). Driving forces behind those priorities are both the wish to get the job done as cheaply as possible from the conservative side (nothing cheaper than handing kids back to their parents) and a very dangerous brand of progressive sentimentality on the left side that just can't stomach the thought of imposing bourgeois values and habits on lower class families.

golden1

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #84 on: December 23, 2014, 01:32:45 PM »
Quote
Quote from: Primm on December 14, 2014, 09:43:40 PM
Quote from: StashDaddy on December 14, 2014, 10:22:46 AM
So the originator of this thread is race-baiting, and you are assuming things about someone you do not know.

And your plan to change my mind on this issue is to refer to a mostly-FICTION writer from 19th century Britain?  Seriously?

Here in 21st century america, there ARE NO STARVING PEOPLE.  When was the last time you heard on the news of someone starving to death?  The poor today eat like kings of old, thanks to food stamps, WHETHER THEY CHOOSE TO WORK OR NOT.

As for me, I grew up relatively poor, by american standards.  I wore hand-me down clothes all the way up until the time I started to make my own money.  We didn't have the latest Nintendo, or the latest anything, and I brown-bagged bologna sandwiches all the way thru school.  I wasn't the coolest kid, or the most popular, but I worked my ass off ( while my peers were doing drugs and going to parties), got nearly all A's, and graduated 4th in my class.  I love to learn, and still do.  I will do whatever it takes to be successful.  I chose to get a degree in chemical engineering PURPOSEFULLY b\c it had the highest starting salary.  It was no accident, and  making it thru a ChE program was pretty damn hard--you try it sometime!  I ate ramen noodles all thru college.  Hell, I was too poor to even afford MacDonald's.

Yeah, it sucked at the time, but I now realize that growing up so "poor" was actually the best thing for me.  Being poor can actually be a very good motivator to work hard and be successful in life--IF YOU'RE SMART.  Not many people are.  Most poor kids would rather beat the shit out the kids who try hard in school, than try to work hard themselves.  Sad fact in america.  That's why we have to import high-tech workers from other countries, who have experienced REAL poverty (not the fake kind we have in america), and will put in any amount of work to become successful.  So no, I do not feel sorry for the poor.  Anyone can become rich in america, if they have the right work ethic.  Not many do.  So much to say about this issue but I will end it here for now.

Projection bias. "I did it so everyone can". It's an easy mistake to make.

There's more to it than that. Nearly everyone working his or her way up through more than one social class has experienced envy, name-calling and more often than not abuse from fellow 'victims'. I know I did. That makes it a lot harder to be compassionate and leads to extreme positions like 'everyone can make it'. On good days I'll try my best to aim for a middle ground between 'try harder!' and the just as wrong patronizing pad on the head, assuring everyone that nothing is ever ones own fault.

I think this points out one of the biggest barriers to social mobility that not a lot of people talk about - the  fact that in order to jump social classes, it often involves estranging family and friends and forming entirely new peer groups.  This can take a very serious emotional and psychological toll on some people.  People will accuse you of being "uppity" or a "snob" if you are the first of your generation to graduate high school or college.   Perhaps this is why so many "bootstrappers" have very little empathy for the poor, because they were rejected by their family and friends for wanting to achieve, or because they rejected them in order to move "up".


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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #85 on: December 23, 2014, 03:21:03 PM »
I think this points out one of the biggest barriers to social mobility that not a lot of people talk about - the  fact that in order to jump social classes, it often involves estranging family and friends and forming entirely new peer groups.  This can take a very serious emotional and psychological toll on some people.
Certainly the same is true in other aspects of life. For example, I once had a personal training client whose boyfriend drank 3 slabs of beer a week (a slab is 24 cans) and who came from a life of weekends of alcohol and party drugs. She made good progress while she was with me, I said, "you know, there is a powerlifting contest in 3 months, you could work towards that."

She replied, "Oh, my friends wouldn't be down for that."

She quit after 6 weeks. Her results were good, but her results changed her. She had to either change her friends, or stop effective workouts.

The same applies for people dealing with obesity.

There's a reason we've formed this community, and we spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about "those idiots" who live differently. For all the macho chest-thumping talk of doing it all on your own, most of us need some community, some friends and family who want to live as we do.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #86 on: December 23, 2014, 04:36:13 PM »
I truly empathize with kids who are born to dysfunctional parents.   Dysfunctional parents include non-functioning alcoholics, drug addicts, people who won't get a job or choose not to keep the job they have, or just folks who cannot function successfully in our society, or those who just don't give a damn about their kids.
....
So, that's why I think kids with dysfunctional parents should be able to ditch them and quickly get better parents.  Parents that can feed and cloth them.  Parents who are sober and not on a drug trip.  Parents who can teach them useful life skills that will enable them to succeed in life.

And to hell with the dysfunctional parent's feelings about that.   Those feelings are simply unimportant compared to the welfare of their children.   That doesn't mean I don't feel for their pain (assuming they have any).  It just means that compared to the welfare of their children it doesn't matter when it comes to deciding what to do for the kids.

In principle, I kinda agree with you. But I'd be against any policy that tried to implement your plan on any kind of scale. Why? Because I have to think about what would happen to that perfectly implemented (ha!) policy 30 years from now.

30 years ago, I was allowed to play by myself, without constant parent supervision. Heck, I was often left in the car by myself while one (or both) of my parents ran into the store. Now people are being arrested because their child wasn't within arm's reach at all times.

So..."dysfunctional" parents either have to change, or have their kids taken away. Who gets to define "dysfunctional"? What would happen is in the case of a generation, "dysfunctional" will mean "non-conformist/different". So either conform or lose your kids.

I've had heated discussions with one of my child's teachers (pre-school years) about how my daughter wasn't dressed appropriately. Either wearing sandals on cold days (we once forgot to pack a backup pair of shoes in her backpack, I promptly went home and retrieved a pair), or not wearing warm clothes (I pointed out the coat she had in her cubby; if she complained about being cold, put on a coat...should note that she was NOT complaining). All this in an area that saw snow once in the three years we've been here (melted within an hour), and has a mere handful of days that are below freezing. If such a law were in place, I fear that she would have been taken from us and forced to wear sweaters and coats on mild days.

Our son's school is requiring parents to provide iPads. I'm probably not going to purchase one (he has an Android tablet and a Windows tablet, both costing less than a single iPad). Should I worry that he'll be taken away from us and given to a family that have bought the Apple kool-aid?

We buy used clothes for our kids when possible. Under $100 total in Christmas gifts, many from op-shops (thrift stores), for the oldest two. Oh the humanity! Won't someone think of the kids??!!

We have a car that's nearing 20 years old. Surely that's a safety hazard. I've taken the oldest on motor scooter rides since he was five (earlier, but not on the main roads). Someone should stop me!

And at the mere mention of going halfway across the world for no other reason than "it might be fun," we should have been stopped at the border and forced to return to Tennessee. Taking kids away from their aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc. should be illegal.

I'm not saying all children should be forced to live with their parents, regardless of circumstances. I'm saying, we have to be very VERY careful. Road to hell, good intentions, and all that.

Expecting the kids to succeed with dysfunctional parents getting in their way is cruel.    If we need to fund schools to stay open in the evening so they have a safe, quiet place to study, so be it.  If we need to feed the kids dinner, so be it.   If we need to fund daycare for children, so be it.

If we need to put the kids in dorms away from their parents so they can focus on studying so they can graduate, so be it.

Problem with this, is that INITIALLY the longer hours will be optional. Then semi-mandatory, then completely mandatory. Same with dorms, if it's offered to everyone, it'll start out optional. Then semi-mandatory, then completely mandatory (as in, you'll need someone from the school district to approve any deviation from policy, like underclassmen being semi-forced to live in college dorms).

You make some very cogent, rational arguments.

I do still believe that children who recognize their parents are not good for them should have the option (more easily done than currently) of putting themselves up for a speedy adoption.   I have zero desire to put kids in boarding schools.  Our adoption process could be streamlined to work with a minimum of time and expense.


SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #87 on: December 23, 2014, 04:46:28 PM »
I have worked with poor families for years.  The issues are very complex. 

First, please remember that entitlement programs benefit CHILDREN.  Do you really want to cut programs that provide nutrition to children?  Do you know a way to ensure children get food that does not involve giving access to food to their parents?  Do you really want children to grow up in substandard housing, moving multiple times every year, or living in hotel rooms, which are the country's shelter placements?  Do you know a way to ensure that children are living in homes their parents, who get less in cash benefits every month than a market rate apartment rents for, can afford (did you know that the WAIT LIST for subsidized housing opens at most a couple of times a year?) 

Second, children growing up in poverty do not know there is another way they can live.  They don't have any idea that working hard in school can lead to a better life.  Sure, teachers and guidance counselors tell them that, but they've never seen it happen.  No one they know has ever done that.

Third, the ability to choose a behavior that is contrary to one's emotional state is a skill largely absent among poor youth and, unfortunately, many poor adults.  This skill is critical to success at school, in the community, and at work.  Our country's school teachers have been telling us this for at least a decade now, and instead of paying attention, we are just demanding our teachers do the impossible, which is to educate a classroom in which ten or fifteen kids are acting out all day long.  Until we find a way to teach poor children to manage their emotions (which most middle class children begin to learn in infancy), they will remain at a tremendous disadvantage.

If parents cannot take care of their children - AND NEVER COULD (that last part is VERY important as these comments do not apply to a functional family that has fallen on temporary hard times - we should let the children be adopted by people who can take care of them.   Not like our current adoption process that takes years and years and 10s of thousands of dollars!  Something quick and simple.   Hell, one can get a Secret security clearance faster than one can adopt a child that wants you to adopt them!   

You see, I want the kids fed and clothed.  I want them exposed to good role models.  I want them taught successful life skills.   If the parents are just on temporary hard times, give them the help they need.  All for it.

But if the parents have never been able to take care of the kids, to hell with the parents.   Take care of the kids by putting them in an environment they can succeed in.

This takes care of the problems you mentioned about growing up in a household that hasn't got a clue in hell of how to get out of poverty.  Don't make the kids do that.  Let them grow up in middle class homes.  Our country has people who scour the world for children to adopt because our own adoption process is so damn dysfunctional.

And if the parents who were NEVER able to take care of their kids have more kids they STILL can't take care of, fine the living daylights out of them as you rescue their new kids.   

Happy kids.  Happy functional parents.   Society is better off.   The biological parent ne'er do wells?  They are better off economically.   Maybe they'll get their act together.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #88 on: December 23, 2014, 05:39:00 PM »
I have worked with poor families for years.  The issues are very complex. 

First, please remember that entitlement programs benefit CHILDREN.  Do you really want to cut programs that provide nutrition to children?  Do you know a way to ensure children get food that does not involve giving access to food to their parents?  Do you really want children to grow up in substandard housing, moving multiple times every year, or living in hotel rooms, which are the country's shelter placements?  Do you know a way to ensure that children are living in homes their parents, who get less in cash benefits every month than a market rate apartment rents for, can afford (did you know that the WAIT LIST for subsidized housing opens at most a couple of times a year?) 

Second, children growing up in poverty do not know there is another way they can live.  They don't have any idea that working hard in school can lead to a better life.  Sure, teachers and guidance counselors tell them that, but they've never seen it happen.  No one they know has ever done that.

Third, the ability to choose a behavior that is contrary to one's emotional state is a skill largely absent among poor youth and, unfortunately, many poor adults.  This skill is critical to success at school, in the community, and at work.  Our country's school teachers have been telling us this for at least a decade now, and instead of paying attention, we are just demanding our teachers do the impossible, which is to educate a classroom in which ten or fifteen kids are acting out all day long.  Until we find a way to teach poor children to manage their emotions (which most middle class children begin to learn in infancy), they will remain at a tremendous disadvantage.

If parents cannot take care of their children - AND NEVER COULD (that last part is VERY important as these comments do not apply to a functional family that has fallen on temporary hard times - we should let the children be adopted by people who can take care of them.   Not like our current adoption process that takes years and years and 10s of thousands of dollars!  Something quick and simple.   Hell, one can get a Secret security clearance faster than one can adopt a child that wants you to adopt them!   

You see, I want the kids fed and clothed.  I want them exposed to good role models.  I want them taught successful life skills.   If the parents are just on temporary hard times, give them the help they need.  All for it.

But if the parents have never been able to take care of the kids, to hell with the parents.   Take care of the kids by putting them in an environment they can succeed in.

This takes care of the problems you mentioned about growing up in a household that hasn't got a clue in hell of how to get out of poverty.  Don't make the kids do that.  Let them grow up in middle class homes.  Our country has people who scour the world for children to adopt because our own adoption process is so damn dysfunctional.

And if the parents who were NEVER able to take care of their kids have more kids they STILL can't take care of, fine the living daylights out of them as you rescue their new kids.   

Happy kids.  Happy functional parents.   Society is better off.   The biological parent ne'er do wells?  They are better off economically.   Maybe they'll get their act together.

I really wish life was as simple as you seem to think it is, because it would be really comforting.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad people out there who would love to get their hands on some little kids for bad reasons.  That's why the adoption process is so long and expensive.  They do their very best to weed out dangerous people (although it still often doesn't work.)

Besides, there may be a big "market" for couples to adopt cute little babies, but who is going to adopt the surly 12 year olds with mental illnesses from neglect and abuse?  Frequently, these kids are removed from their parents' houses and put into foster homes which turn out to be even worse than where they came from.  You can do a Google search and come up with thousands of examples of that.

Usually, the best option is to keep kids with their parents, even if their parents are less than ideal.  It's a heck of a lot better than most other options for them.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #89 on: December 23, 2014, 08:04:34 PM »
I really wish life was as simple as you seem to think it is, because it would be really comforting.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad people out there who would love to get their hands on some little kids for bad reasons.  That's why the adoption process is so long and expensive.  They do their very best to weed out dangerous people (although it still often doesn't work.)

Besides, there may be a big "market" for couples to adopt cute little babies, but who is going to adopt the surly 12 year olds with mental illnesses from neglect and abuse?  Frequently, these kids are removed from their parents' houses and put into foster homes which turn out to be even worse than where they came from.  You can do a Google search and come up with thousands of examples of that.

Usually, the best option is to keep kids with their parents, even if their parents are less than ideal.  It's a heck of a lot better than most other options for them.

The adoption process is as long as it is because it's moronic.   In theory it has to do with protecting the children but it's really about petty control and budgets.

You are right, nasty people might adopt a child.  It's easier to just give birth to one, less red tape and the child has no protections other than God (who mostly appears to have other priorities), so that's what most of them do.   

Background checks don't take that long to do.  As I said, one can get a Secret security clearance which requires a financial, criminal, coworker, neighbors and friends background check (over a decade's worth of past history) in a tiny fraction of the time it takes to adopt a child.   There aren't many traitors that get thru it, either.

As for your comment about adopting surly 12 year olds, let's think that thru a bit.  Personally, I've never seen or heard of any one being born as a 12 year old.   Someone born to folks who cannot and never have been able to afford children would be placed with functional parents right away.  They would never be exposed to the corrupting influence of their dysfunctional birth parents.  Problem solved for that case.  (Except for the crack addicts who give birth to children who addicted at birth...  No solution for that one, sorry, other than to say the sooner the kid is away from them the better.)

You may not be aware of this, but there are LOTS of great American families that try to adopt older kids, too.  They system is so screwed up that most of them just can't make it happen.  They just can't continue to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars as the years of bureaucratic dithering drag on and on and on.  If the process were more reasonable even more would adopt.   Provided, of course, that restrictions on who can adopt the child as set up by the birth parents are tossed in the trash can where they belong.   Problem solved here, too.

I know several families that have gone thru the adoption process.  I've had them explain to me, in detail, the kinds of moronic things they have to go thru.  It's insane.

As for foster homes, of course some are bad.   Duh.  Some birth parents are bad, too.  Some adoptive parents will be bad, too.   We have to balance the likely benefits of getting a child situated in a permanent home with parents who want them and can take care of them vs. doing reasonable background checks.   If we make the adoption process faster we'll need fewer foster parents which means we can get a better quality of them on average.   

There are ZERO guarantees in life.  Any course of action we take can go wrong.   The current system and the self-toxic belief and action structure it has created is so grotesquely flawed that we have to act to change it.  We can be certain the current system will lead to worse and worse results. 


Leisured

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #90 on: December 24, 2014, 12:01:28 AM »
Further on food deserts. I drove taxis in an Australian country town for a while, and single mothers living on welfare would receive their welfare payments into a bank account every fortnight, on a day known to welfare recipients as ‘payday’. Some of these single mothers lived about 4 or 5 miles from a supermarket, and it was common for a single mother to phone for a taxi, take her children to the ATM, withdraw money, and then go on to a supermarket. About 90 minutes later, she would phone for another taxi to take her, her children and the groceries home, and she would stock the fridge and the pantry for a fortnight.

Only a minority of women from poor backgrounds choose the single mother way of life. Today, a single mother on welfare benefits gets A$720 a fortnight, about US$600.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #91 on: December 24, 2014, 05:14:47 AM »
I think this points out one of the biggest barriers to social mobility that not a lot of people talk about - the  fact that in order to jump social classes, it often involves estranging family and friends and forming entirely new peer groups.  This can take a very serious emotional and psychological toll on some people.
Certainly the same is true in other aspects of life. For example, I once had a personal training client whose boyfriend drank 3 slabs of beer a week (a slab is 24 cans) and who came from a life of weekends of alcohol and party drugs. She made good progress while she was with me, I said, "you know, there is a powerlifting contest in 3 months, you could work towards that."

She replied, "Oh, my friends wouldn't be down for that."

She quit after 6 weeks. Her results were good, but her results changed her. She had to either change her friends, or stop effective workouts.

The same applies for people dealing with obesity.

There's a reason we've formed this community, and we spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about "those idiots" who live differently. For all the macho chest-thumping talk of doing it all on your own, most of us need some community, some friends and family who want to live as we do.

Huzzah!  +1!

Community is a huge element of well-being.  One reason I began this discussion is b/c I have perceived this growing separation, aided by moralistic judgement, of Mustachians from Poor Folks.  MMM targets Rich Folks (>$100K income) that are poor due to obviously stupid choices (You HAVE to drive your SUV 55 miles to work everyday?!), aka Suckas.  Suckas bolster our culture of consumption through chasing/creating fads.  Suckas are whiny, stupid, unhealthy, uninteresting, lazy car-clowns that have the opportunity to reverse all that with some simple changes to their consumption patterns!

Poor folks do not have such a simple path.  In our culture of consumption, emulating Suckas in an attempt to gain "the good life," they are exhibiting normal tendencies but lack the income to support them (think homeless man with an iPhone).  I am not interested in simply bolstering those bad choices with government subsidies but I find it useless to moralize against a group that has the full weight of culture on its back.

I hang around here because Mustachians have their heads far enough above water to recognize who is trying to push them under.  This consolidated intelligence should be utilized for problem solving instead of moralistic poverty bashing!  Let's change the culture by addressing our neighbors with heads just below the surface - Suckas - and the system trying to hold us under - thoughtless consumption driven by advertising - that can drown us all!  Let's make it possible for those sunk to the bottom to find buoyancy in the embrace of Mustachianism instead of driving them deeper under the dark waves through moralistic demagoguery.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #92 on: December 24, 2014, 07:46:14 AM »
Another way to put this topic is that "victims are poor people." Because oppression seems to trend downward. If someone is oppressed (defined as "denied an equal ability, intentionally or accidentally, to attain a stable, meaningful existence alongside other members of the individual's society"), they tend to become poorer, less healthy, less likely to trend upward. If someone is born with a crippling disease, if they are victims of a natural "oppression" (don't read too much into that word choice), that also denies them an equal opportunity to obtain a stable existence. It's just that, in this case, the thing causing the oppression is random, natural chance, not a human entity. But the trend is still the same: the victim becomes poorer, or at least is more likely to become poorer, in their existence compared to others of the same society.

I hate to use an analogy, but it is like being robbed. You will be poorer for the experience.

That's not quantitative talk though. Just analogy. So whatever.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #93 on: December 24, 2014, 08:11:52 AM »
And just to add insult to injury, pure randomness is all thats needed to make a very unfair distribution.
One reason why I am a big fan of inheritance taxes - something unbelievable stupid from capitalist view, because: for what are you working when "nothing" is left after you died!

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #94 on: December 24, 2014, 09:06:53 AM »
Another way to put this topic is that "victims are poor people." Because oppression seems to trend downward. If someone is oppressed (defined as "denied an equal ability, intentionally or accidentally, to attain a stable, meaningful existence alongside other members of the individual's society"), they tend to become poorer, less healthy, less likely to trend upward. If someone is born with a crippling disease, if they are victims of a natural "oppression" (don't read too much into that word choice), that also denies them an equal opportunity to obtain a stable existence. It's just that, in this case, the thing causing the oppression is random, natural chance, not a human entity. But the trend is still the same: the victim becomes poorer, or at least is more likely to become poorer, in their existence compared to others of the same society.

I hate to use an analogy, but it is like being robbed. You will be poorer for the experience.

That's not quantitative talk though. Just analogy. So whatever.

Really excellent thought!  I have fun with the term "victim" b/c it is at both ends of the improvement spectrum: NEGATIVE b/c it can allow a victim to claim no responsibility and therefore ; POSITIVE b/c it forces attention to the victimizer.  It always starts a good fight!

Are there folks in here that would NOT agree that advertising victimizes us all?

Metta

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #95 on: December 24, 2014, 09:46:58 AM »

Thanks for posting this.  One of the reasons I get so angry when people post these "poor people are stupid and should starve" threads is because I grew up on nutrition programs and without them I would have starved.  Until I was 13, I was unable to work for myself (and then I worked under the table for nearly nothing), so I depended on those nutrition programs to eat and there really wasn't anything I could do about it.  There are a lot of people out there who believe that kids like myself should just die, because they are born to bad parents.  At least, that's the message that comes across with this "bootstrap" nonsense.  The parents are not going to "shape up".  It's just not going to happen.  But there is a chance that the kids can be saved.

By the way, since I escaped from poverty, I now pay for other people's children to go to public school and I pay for other people's federal and state benefits.  You don't hear me bitching about it.  Ever.

It's not just "bad parents" who sometimes find themselves in poverty. My sister lost her husband and her job and was plunged into a serious financial problem that she is still dealing with. She is going to school to find a better career but meanwhile she accepts help from everyone in the family and help with food and medical care from the social programs established by the government so that her two girls will have a better life. She is a very good parent. (Far better than most I've seen.) Her lack of a good job does not make her a bad parent. Sometimes I think that people here conflate having money with being a good person and it just isn't the case.

We have social programs because "there but for the grace of God, go I". We are all inches away from disasters and all are likely to need help from someone at some time.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #96 on: December 24, 2014, 10:01:07 AM »
Are there folks in here that would NOT agree that advertising victimizes us all?

Irritates, bores, angers, and instills hatred of certain companies? Yes! Victimizes? How so? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #97 on: December 24, 2014, 10:23:44 AM »
Are there folks in here that would NOT agree that advertising victimizes us all?

Irritates, bores, angers, and instills hatred of certain companies? Yes! Victimizes? How so? I'm not quite sure what you mean.
At the lowest level we are all victimized by emission from the energy needed to produce and watch the advertisement.
And then there are the children who come running to their mother "mama, X has A, that was in TV! I want A, too!". And if the child doesnt get it...

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #98 on: December 24, 2014, 10:35:52 AM »
If food stamps allowed them to "eat like kings", I don't think they would be lining up at the soup kitchen.  I will admit that the crowds are much bigger toward the end of the month, after the food stamps have run out.

It's illegal to sell food stamps. However, that doesn't stop it from happening. Part of the reason people still show up at soup kitchens despite the existence of food stamps is that they're selling them so they can buy things that otherwise wouldn't be approved.

As an aside, my neighborhood farmer's market doubles the value when purchasing with food stamps. Since (I'm told) food stamps sell in the range of 50 cents on the dollar, if some not-poor person were willing to act unethically they could get their fancy organic food at a 75% discount.

Stealth wealth is one thing but I admit I would probably be embarrassed to use food stamps.

Apparently, food stamps aren't actually stamps these days. Instead, they come on a card that you swipe just like a credit/debit card. Even the next person in line at the checkout shouldn't be able to tell the difference. Nobody should be embarrassed to use food stamps that he was given by the government.

However, a person should be ashamed to be using ones bought from somebody else, because he's enabling that person's drug habit.

Or the poor person sold them to afford heat, rent, daycare etc. 

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #99 on: December 24, 2014, 11:04:45 AM »
There was a 2nd season episode of "South Park" that fits perfectly into many of the anti-poor people arguments made on this thread.  Here's a quote from the episode "Chicken Pox":

Quote
Gerald: [reading] "'My Final Solution' by Kyle Broflovski. My dad is the smartest guy in the whole wide world. He has taught me that all poor people are actually things called clods. I wanna live in a world of only gods so my idea to make America better will go ahead and I can put all the poor people into camps." WHAT!? "If we get rid of them, there will be nothing but rich people, and there won't be any hunger, poverty or homeless people, 'cause they'll all be dead. The End." Oh God, what have I done?