Author Topic: Poor Folks are Victims  (Read 98699 times)

EDSMedS

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Poor Folks are Victims
« on: December 13, 2014, 01:11:33 PM »
I love a good fight!

15% of Americans live below the government defined poverty line.  Black folks, hispanic folks, ladies, and incoming emigrants have a much higher likelihood of being poor.  22% of those in poverty are children.  The poverty industry makes >$33 BILLION/year.

You can say that an individual's choices are the problem, but often industries are raised to make individuals choose against their own interests. Example: McDonalds is less healthy and more expensive than a bag of lentils, but McD's advertising budget is $1B annually; when was the last time you saw an ad for lentils?

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 01:22:24 PM »

You can say that an individual's choices are the problem, but often industries are raised to make individuals choose against their own interests. Example: McDonalds is less healthy and more expensive than a bag of lentils, but McD's advertising budget is $1B annually; when was the last time you saw an ad for lentils?

McDonald's food is also full of fat, sodium, and sugar which poor people can get "addicted" to.  When you've spent a lifetime eating crappy food, good food doesn't taste right anymore.  Your body craves the junk that's bad for you.  When I escaped from poverty, I actually had to teach my body to love fresh fruits and vegetables.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 03:07:50 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.

Rezdent

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 03:46:03 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.

WTF?
Sorry but your stereotypical portrait of poverty doesn't match what I see. I live in a poor community. None of my neighbors are unintelligent nor are any of them lazy.

 Most of them did not get the benefit of a college education though.  Many of them work 2 full time manual labor jobs.  I'd guess they work much harder physically than YOU do.

Jeez, if it's so damn easy why don't poor people just do it?  Oh, right.  Because it isn't so damn easy to totally reinvent yourself or leave your family and friends and culture and habits behind.
It's not as simple as eating more broccoli.

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 07:52:50 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.

You must live an incredibly easy life if you think any of what you wrote is true.  Go read some Charles Dickens.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #5 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.

southern granny

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 08:27:38 PM »
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.

I work in a soup kitchen once  a week.  People start lining up 45 minutes before the doors open even when the temp is 30 degrees.  Some drive there, some ride the bus or walk. When the food is ready, they might stand in line another 20 - 25 minutes to be served.   They eat whatever has been prepared for them and they appreciate it.  If there are leftovers they carry them home for the next day.   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. 

StartingEarly

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 08:53:55 PM »
I have a friend who is on food stamps.  I see what kinds of things he buys with them and then he ends up with no money at the end of the month.  He buys things that I would think are extremely wasteful and I have 6 times as much money coming in.  I have tried getting him to buy mainly staples and to stop wasting his few dollars on soda, snack foods and alcohol, it is a losing battle to the point it's driving us apart as people.

This_Is_My_Username

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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 09:29:45 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.

holy shit!

That is embarassing. 

Primm

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 09:43:40 PM »
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.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2014, 08:01:38 AM »
So the originator of this thread is race-baiting[...]

Statistics are not race-baiting.  They are statistics. http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

MMM forums often have a sickening streak of holier-than-thou, evidenced by your anecdotal evidence.  I'm trying to draw out some arguments and some solutions here.  Thank you for participating.

I do not believe that poor folks are making perfect decisions with their resources; however, it is ignorant to believe that our cultural system of capital allocation is perfect, or that "financial education" of the poor will solve the problem.  McD's gave >$50M to their charity arm while spending >$950M on advertising.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2014, 08:22:13 AM »
Well what did you expect?  They're in business to make money!  They're not a charity organization!

Do you want to ban MacDonalds?  In poor neighborhoods? 

What about other potentially "evil" businesses that advertise their services, such as beer makers, car manufacturers, and cable TV companies?

You can't dictate people's choices.  MacDonalds sells prepared food in exchange for money.  People willingly want (and pay for) this service.  It is up to people to take responsibility for their own lives instead of continually pulling out the "VICTIM" card:  http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2011/04/taking-responsibility-versus-victim.html

MDM

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2014, 08:34:33 AM »

lithy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2014, 09:00:31 AM »
So because corporations advertise, then it isn't the poor people's fault?

Poor people are victims of their own choices.  Life can be hard, there is no denying that, but it doesn't make it any easier to not shoulder the praise/blame for your own decisions.

What exactly are you proposing to be done in this thread?

Jack

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2014, 09:21:42 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.

Jack

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2014, 12:00:32 PM »
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.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2014, 12:21:06 PM »
I have a good friend that worked for the county's "workforce development"  or unemployment office as a case worker trying to get folks work.  It was quite depressing for him. One of his paperwork requirements was to select a reason why the person was unemployed.  One of his most common answers was to the effect of "Poor Life Choices" (no pun intended). 

It's sad, but most of the poor in our community still have enough money for cigarettes, tatoos, and pickup trucks.  No to mention booze, pot and meth.  "Cultural poverty" is pervasive.

My wife currently teaches at the local community college which is a great way for people to get a leg up on life.  I am kicking around teaching a personal finance class after I am FIRE.  I plan on working with some of the local non-profits as well.  We don't have any illusions of grandor, but we can do our part to move the needle a little bit.       

tooqk4u22

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2014, 01:39:17 PM »
Poverty in the US is a problem, and is one that is extremely difficult to solve.  Accountability is also a major problem in the US - not just for poor people. 

There are some people where being impovershished is not a choice - primarily children, those suffering from psychological/mental disorders and those suffering from major physical disabilities.

Also food stamps are needed for many (especially those above) but they are misappropriated and the items permitted under the program for purchase are inexcusable (i.e. gift baskets provided at least 50% is food content, premade cakes, soda, chips etc.) - the program should support better health and limit crap.

Setting that aside I agree that it is relatively easy to get out of poverty from a practical perspective with some hard work, saving, and individual accountability (i.e. I am not a victim and even if I am I will remain one).  That said, emotionally/financially it can be very difficult because there are often times other mouths to feed/support and people are like crabs in a bushel - once you start trying climb out the others work to pully you back down - that is a very difficult situation to manage through and adds a lot of stress. 

In short, poverty is way to complex to solve with out foresight and leadership and is far to easy and inappropriate to apply stereotypes to. 

rtrnow

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2014, 01:47:36 PM »
The one thing I have not seen mentioned here or on the blog conversation are food deserts. I live in a mostly low income area where a large portion of the residents rely on a fairly sad public transportation system. The nearest grocery store is 3 miles away. However, right across the street from the largest low income apartment complex  near me are three convenience stores. While yes it's possible to make the 1 hour plus each way trip to the real grocery store by walking or taking public transit, I can't really blame people who don't. That's a hell of a lot of effort after working the long hours many of them do. I have spent a lot of time in kitchens with a lot of people making 10-12$ hour and most worked at least two jobs. I agree that you can always make better decisions and often people make bad ones, but it is not as simple as "just go the grocery store and get good fresh ingredients." In their shoes I might end up with dinner from the gas station too. It is also true that even at the grocery store looking purely at a cost per calorie, it's much cheaper to eat crap than real food.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2014, 01:54:35 PM »
I hear a lot about "food deserts" here in Houston (mostly from the liberal mayor, who thinks poor people ARE victims).  But I wonder about the economics.  IF poor people WERE to be inclined to spend their money in supermarkets vs fast food, wouldn't supermarket companies be naturally incentivized to build a supermarket nearby?  The lack of supermarkets around poor neighborhoods (if there even is a lack) leads me to conclude that poor people don't want to eat raw, fresh, unprepared food.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2014, 02:01:20 PM »
I hear a lot about "food deserts" here in Houston (mostly from the liberal mayor, who thinks poor people ARE victims).  But I wonder about the economics.  IF poor people WERE to be inclined to spend their money in supermarkets vs fast food, wouldn't supermarket companies be naturally incentivized to build a supermarket nearby?  The lack of supermarkets around poor neighborhoods (if there even is a lack) leads me to conclude that poor people don't want to eat raw, fresh, unprepared food.

Cause and effect?  There are actually food deserts - the operating costs are too high in many cases to support a full fledged store, available land is also an issue - generally takes government subsidies and leadership to pave the way.  I have a friend whose family has grocery stores and recently opened one up in a low income area - too soon to tell how it will do but the trends compared to other stores have it taking longer to get to full numbers. Plus waste/theft is a much bigger issue at these stores.  Again, not a simple issue so there is no simple cure or cause.




rtrnow

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2014, 02:01:40 PM »
I hear a lot about "food deserts" here in Houston (mostly from the liberal mayor, who thinks poor people ARE victims).  But I wonder about the economics.  IF poor people WERE to be inclined to spend their money in supermarkets vs fast food, wouldn't supermarket companies be naturally incentivized to build a supermarket nearby?  The lack of supermarkets around poor neighborhoods (if there even is a lack) leads me to conclude that poor people don't want to eat raw, fresh, unprepared food.

Obviously you are just here to troll so what's the point.

StashDaddy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2014, 02:07:49 PM »
Huh?  Trolling?  No, just trying to make an honest economic evaluation. 

Just b/c you don't like my conclusion doesn't make me a troll.  Perhaps we should all conform to your point of view with no dissenting thoughts?  Maybe then I could be your favorite forum pal, instead of a Troll.

rtrnow

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2014, 02:20:00 PM »
Huh?  Trolling?  No, just trying to make an honest economic evaluation. 

Just b/c you don't like my conclusion doesn't make me a troll.  Perhaps we should all conform to your point of view with no dissenting thoughts?  Maybe then I could be your favorite forum pal, instead of a Troll.

It's your tone not your conclusion. It's unneeded. Maybe try having a discussion without having to through in your little parentheticals.  There's no need for it. Maybe even leave out the politics. Your assertions also just seem silly. Poor people don't want decent food, really? Drawing the conclusion that no grocery store means poor people don't want one makes no sense. Maybe that don't build it b/c it's higher crime areas, or poorer people will spend less, or ... Those are just as valid as your conclusion. It's hard for me to imagine that you have ever actually worked with people in theses circumstances or have been there yourself.

r3dt4rget

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2014, 08:35:04 PM »
I love a good fight!

15% of Americans live below the government defined poverty line.  Black folks, hispanic folks, ladies, and incoming emigrants have a much higher likelihood of being poor.  22% of those in poverty are children.  The poverty industry makes >$33 BILLION/year.

You can say that an individual's choices are the problem, but often industries are raised to make individuals choose against their own interests. Example: McDonalds is less healthy and more expensive than a bag of lentils, but McD's advertising budget is $1B annually; when was the last time you saw an ad for lentils?

"Make individuals choose", isn't that an oxymoron?

To answer your question, there is no money to be made selling lentils. However, the service, convenience, and taste of McDonalds is easy to market, especially to the poor. Business are here to make money, not sell products that make the world a better place. The poor are less likely to have the skills and information to cook meals, let alone pick ingredients that are healthy and contain more value. This is evident in the food choices the poor make. Ironically, the poor have higher obesity rates. This means the poor tend to pick calorie-dense food that is pre-packaged and highly processed. Given equal volumes, natural food is often cheaper and contains less calories. If people were poor and had the skills and information to eat with value in mind, they would be eating beans, rice, eggs, etc. instead of McDonalds. It's a myth that healthy eating is more expensive. The fact is that in our society it takes more skills and knowledge to take advantage of nutritional value.

Mustachians have demonstrated that it's possible to live off $20k a year or less. And not just live, but live well. This is where personal responsibility comes in. In the analysis of individual cases of poverty it's almost certain you will find one or two major contributors to that persons current situation. Whether it's lack of education, having kids when not financially prepared, not preparing financially when they were not poor, or "inherited poverty", which is certain traits passed down from generation to generation that keep familes in a cycle of poverty.

There is one thing most people find hard to accept, but it is true. There will always be different classes of people in any society. There will always be poverty. It's not a solvable problem, but it is something we can try to minimize. The best approaches are education, outreach, community service, charity, etc. The worst approaches are endless entitlements, increased entitlements, and basically anything that can create dependency.

rtrnow

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2014, 07:27:15 AM »
I love a good fight!

15% of Americans live below the government defined poverty line.  Black folks, hispanic folks, ladies, and incoming emigrants have a much higher likelihood of being poor.  22% of those in poverty are children.  The poverty industry makes >$33 BILLION/year.

You can say that an individual's choices are the problem, but often industries are raised to make individuals choose against their own interests. Example: McDonalds is less healthy and more expensive than a bag of lentils, but McD's advertising budget is $1B annually; when was the last time you saw an ad for lentils?

Mustachians have demonstrated that it's possible to live off $20k a year or less. And not just live, but live well. This is where personal responsibility comes in. In the analysis of individual cases of poverty it's almost certain you will find one or two major contributors to that persons current situation. Whether it's lack of education, having kids when not financially prepared, not preparing financially when they were not poor, or "inherited poverty", which is certain traits passed down from generation to generation that keep familes in a cycle of poverty.


While I agree with your point, I am just in favor of making all the tools (primarily education in different forms) available to people. Most all of us have made bad financial decisions along the way. The fact is that it's generally easier to recover when you make more money. So, I agree with things like "if you can't afford kids then don't have them." That said, I don't think we just ignore an 18 year with a kid working for min wage and say "they made their bed."

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2014, 04:17:24 PM »
I hear a lot about "food deserts" here in Houston (mostly from the liberal mayor, who thinks poor people ARE victims).  But I wonder about the economics.  IF poor people WERE to be inclined to spend their money in supermarkets vs fast food, wouldn't supermarket companies be naturally incentivized to build a supermarket nearby?  The lack of supermarkets around poor neighborhoods (if there even is a lack) leads me to conclude that poor people don't want to eat raw, fresh, unprepared food.

There was actually a really good discussion on food deserts a while back. Some social justice organization posted a map of a large city that had all the food deserts marked, and Mustachians who lived there tore it to pieces. Some of the "food deserts" were a large prison complex, a cemetery, several public parks, and industrial areas with no housing. The rest were shown to actually have grocery stores in them, but were smaller than the cutoff size to count (they weren't little corner stores, just smaller than, say, a Walmart).

The concept of food deserts certainly seems plausible, but I would like to see actual evidence for their existence - a map of a city with food deserts drawn in, where only areas that humans actually live in are eligible, and where they use a reasonable definition for what counts (some sources consider it anywhere that requires walking more than 10 minutes to a major grocery store - totally ridiculous).

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2014, 04:38:34 PM »
The lack of supermarkets around poor neighborhoods (if there even is a lack) leads me to conclude that poor people don't want to eat raw, fresh, unprepared food.
George Orwell wrote about this issue in The Road to Wigan Pier

Quote
The minerís family spend only ten pence a week on green vegetables and ten pence half-penny on milk (remember that one of them is a child less than three years old), and nothing on fruit; but they spend one and nine on sugar (about eight pounds of sugar, that is) and a shilling on tea. The half-crown spent on meat might represent a small joint and the materials for a stew; probably as often as not it would represent four or five tins of bully beef. The basis of their diet, therefore, is white bread and margarine, corned beef, sugared tea, and potatoes Ė an appalling diet. Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even, like the writer of the letter to the New Statesman, saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw?

Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing. The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits; an unemployed man doesnít. [Ö]

When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you donít want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit Ďtastyí. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you. Letís have three pen north of chips Run out and buy us a twopenny ice-cream! Put the kettle on and weíll have a nice cup of tea. That is how your mind works when you are at the P.A.C level.

White bread-and-marg and sugared tea donít nourish you to any extent but they are nicer (at least most people think so) than brown bread-and-dripping and cold water. Unemployment is an endless misery that has got to be constantly palliated, and especially with tea, the English-manís opium. A cup of tea or even an aspirin is much better as a temporary stimulant than a crust of brown bread.

What is recommended as "healthy" and denigrated as "junk" food have changed since Orwell wrote that 80 years ago, but the basic issue hasn't changed: The poor don't have many pleasures. Junk food is a pleasure.

I was recently in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was a food desert. Nobody ate vegetables, the fruit was greasy so I didn't blame them for not eating it. The market was all breads and meats, with few fruit and vegies for sale. When I went to the steak restaurant, the "green beans" came mixed with bacon, which hadn't been listed on the menu, apparently "everyone knows" green beans come with bacon. There were no pavements to walk on except near the university, people were surprised and confused that I walked 2 miles from where I was staying to where I was training, as I walked through neighbourhoods with (apart from right near the uni) houses with rotting walls, etc. Around a quarter of all retail properties were vacant, and the remainder had a preponderance of "payday loan" joints.

Downtown was abandoned, and adjacent to it was a meth ghetto. There was a liquor store that never got robbed, because if it got robbed the store owner would raise his prices, and everyone would turn in the robber.

The town as a whole was poor. So they ate junk food, drank booze and smoked meth to cheer themselves up. Not sure about the meth, but if I lived there I'd certainly eat junk food and drink booze, too.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 04:47:53 PM by Kyle Schuant »

trailrated

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2014, 05:09:35 PM »
I think a big part of it is the mentality. If you are a victim you are saying that things happened to you and you had/have no control or power to change things even in the future. When you change and focus on what you do have control over you really have the power to change your life.

That is why when therapists deal with people that were abused in therapy they refer to them as survivors rather than victims because it changes the context of that individual and puts some "power" back in their hands.

My $.02 at least.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2014, 04:37:45 AM »
George Orwell wrote about this issue in The Road to Wigan Pier

What is recommended as "healthy" and denigrated as "junk" food have changed since Orwell wrote that 80 years ago, but the basic issue hasn't changed: The poor don't have many pleasures. Junk food is a pleasure.

I was recently in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was a food desert. Nobody ate vegetables, the fruit was greasy so I didn't blame them for not eating it. The market was all breads and meats, with few fruit and vegies for sale. When I went to the steak restaurant, the "green beans" came mixed with bacon, which hadn't been listed on the menu, apparently "everyone knows" green beans come with bacon. There were no pavements to walk on except near the university, people were surprised and confused that I walked 2 miles from where I was staying to where I was training, as I walked through neighbourhoods with (apart from right near the uni) houses with rotting walls, etc. Around a quarter of all retail properties were vacant, and the remainder had a preponderance of "payday loan" joints.

Downtown was abandoned, and adjacent to it was a meth ghetto. There was a liquor store that never got robbed, because if it got robbed the store owner would raise his prices, and everyone would turn in the robber.

The town as a whole was poor. So they ate junk food, drank booze and smoked meth to cheer themselves up. Not sure about the meth, but if I lived there I'd certainly eat junk food and drink booze, too.

Great thoughts here, Kyle!  I calculated that during my business trips, often to horrible shitty towns (with cheap business real-estate), I saved over $5,000 in 3 years from per-diem alone b/c I too would take a 2 mile hike to the closest grocery store so I could eat apples, peanut butter, hummus, and pitas for a week (and, if I felt like going crazy, some dark chocolate!).  It was a great way to see the town, get cheap exercise, and make bank!

I think you are right on to say that food becomes a luxury item for those that have little luxury.  The folks in the McD's commercials don't have discernible problems and they look so damn happy!  It is their "choice," but they are choosing more than nourishment, they are choosing a path to normalcy.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2014, 04:38:22 AM »

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 04:53:01 AM »
I think a big part of it is the mentality. If you are a victim you are saying that things happened to you and you had/have no control or power to change things even in the future. When you change and focus on what you do have control over you really have the power to change your life.

That is why when therapists deal with people that were abused in therapy they refer to them as survivors rather than victims because it changes the context of that individual and puts some "power" back in their hands.

My $.02 at least.

I absolutely agree!  I posted the forum title for bait b/c I think you can't have a strong argument unless you know the opposition's position.

It is not super helpful for those in poverty to consider themselves victims b/c it becomes a stopping point.  However, I think the phrase "victim" can inspire helpful folks to action.  MMM community SHOULD be full of helpful folks that are above the fray and can see the shitty system (that just happened to work for them) and AT LEAST shout about it.  It is not super helpful to insist that the 15% of Americans that are in poverty help themselves when another 15% will replace them in poverty due to a system that consistently recycles (and THRIVES on) suckas!  It's kin to the argument that obese folks should choose better diets even though they work 9 hrs a day, drive 2-3 hrs a day, live in a glorified box separated from social interaction, and are flashed images of delicious, deadly foods one minute for every three minutes of "entertainment programming."

I think MMM IS the most helpful social model currently available b/c, if followed, it provokes the individual to consider every choice as an economic choice.  That is a sad requirement, though.  It basically, and honestly, assesses life as an economic entity, with society as the antagonist that must be defeated.  My goal is to inch society toward a protagonist role.  Though I will continue to utilize and preach MMM standards, I will not allow my success within this fucked up system to prevent my awareness that this system is fucked up.  We have figured out how to produce food, housing, and health at a rate that SHOULD allow us to forget about them and focus on higher pursuits, yet our economic system forces some to consider nothing else.  That's not right.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 06:01:59 AM »
I absolutely disagree that society should take on more of a protagonist role.  If you do everything for people, they don't learn to do anything for themselves.  We already have free food, healthcare, education, etc etc etc.  Most don't even respect any of it.

If you make bad choices in life, you aren't a victim.  You are a Bad Choice Maker.  And you need to learn to make better choices in life.  Having society take on more of a "protagonist" role is like giving money to a drug addict.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2014, 06:57:20 AM »
I absolutely disagree that society should take on more of a protagonist role.  If you do everything for people, they don't learn to do anything for themselves.  We already have free food, healthcare, education, etc etc etc.  Most don't even respect any of it.

If you make bad choices in life, you aren't a victim.  You are a Bad Choice Maker.  And you need to learn to make better choices in life.  Having society take on more of a "protagonist" role is like giving money to a drug addict.

I don't think you're understanding my position.  I'm not saying put a band-aid over current conditions by providing hand-outs (although clean needle programs have shown to decrease the social costs from drug addicts).  I'm saying take a step back and aim to learn why folks become drug addicts (such as ~$1,000,000,000 advertising campaigns for burger-drugs).

I'm sure you benefited from your parents' support.  I did.  I'm sure you made mistakes.  I did.  I'm sure you received a second chance.  I did.  Lucky for us, huh?  I guess you can take the position that it is irrational to argue that women, folks of color, and children should be given the same opportunities though you and I are white adult men, but, if that is your position, consider me irrational.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2014, 07:22:20 AM »
Wow, I cannot believe I am hearing this.  During the politically-OVERcorrect era that I grew up in, colleges/companies bend over backwards to admit/hire women and minorities!  Women now outnumber men in universities these days.  All children, no matter the gender/color, have the SAME opportunity to get good grades in school.  The problem is the culture of the poor that does not value trying hard in school or getting good grades. 

Here in Texas, the big schools such as UT/A&M have a policy that if you rank in the top 10% of your high school, you are guaranteed admission.  The problem is that not all high schools are equal, so this is hidden affirmative action and discrimination.  BUT....it gives those growing up in the most ghetto of areas a big advantage--they don't have to try nearly as hard to get into the elite public schools.

I mean, you keep singling out MacDonalds, but all they do is sell food.  They are no different than Subway, Dominoes, Whole Foods, Morton's Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Kroger, etc.  It is not society's fault if people choose to buy too much of the food, and pay too much for it!  How exactly would you like to "solve" the problem?  Ban MacDonalds in poor neighborhoods?  Should we ban Whole Foods, too?  Since most people would say they are priced fairly expensively.  Should we ban super size combos if you don't have the caloric intake needs of a professional athlete?  Should we try to be like NY and ban big soda sizes?  I mean, where would you like to go with this?


EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2014, 08:14:33 AM »
Staying with McD's, I think there are some very common sense regulations that can affect this issue: 1) limit advertising to children; 2) provide better health education in schools; 3) eliminate corporate political influence through campaign finance reform; 4) examine zoning laws to prevent fast-food from becoming centralized and promote grocery store centralization; etc.

One solution that will NEVER assist the problem is to say, "HOORAY, we've got it right!  If you can't figure out this system, you deserve to die from diabetes or heart disease!"

Your arguments, though I disagree with the root bigotry, are helpful.  I've worked with quite a few folks like you, that live at the level of the problem.  Do you have any suggestions for change that could assist the problem?  Or are you going to stick with "it's all good"?

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2014, 08:25:36 AM »
Probably a pipe dream, but I believe that proper city planning could alleviate a ton of the problems the poor face. Having been to a number of American cities in transit to other places, I also believe most of the current American city planners should be shot :)

I mean, take a look at places like Vancouver that are fairly well designed. The city is designed around transit and biking. Streets without sidewalks are basically nonexistent. Minimal sprawl, and the few sprawly areas are being bought up and developed like crazy. Businesses and shops all have apartments for at least a few floors above them. Grocery stores everywhere - where we live there are three within easy walking distance, another three within easy biking distance, and a gazillion within easy transit distance. You go to pretty much any European city and it's the same thing.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2014, 08:26:14 AM »
I realize you're trying to help, and are probably a nice person who cares about others, BUT...

The only one of your solutions I agree with is #2.  (Since education is the key, and all of your other options are unrealistic, unconstitutional (free speech) and go against a society based on Capitalism).  We already have health classes in schools, where they teach kids what causes diabetes and heart diseases.  The smart ones learn, but the poor students don't.  What more can you do?  If they choose not to learn, lets stop calling them "victims".  Michelle Obama put in a big effort trying to get kids to eat healthier, and it looks like it backfired in a huge way.  Hopefully, she got through to some of them.  But again, eating healthy can cost a lot, too.  So lets ban Whole Foods and Chipotle in poor neighborhoods, right? 

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2014, 08:35:05 AM »
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.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2014, 08:46:24 AM »
Probably a pipe dream, but I believe that proper city planning could alleviate a ton of the problems the poor face. Having been to a number of American cities in transit to other places, I also believe most of the current American city planners should be shot :)

HERE HERE!  I'm reading a book right now - "Cubed" by Nikil Saval - that discusses the proliferation of Office Buildings in US cities and the social planning that resulted.  It's gross and disturbing.  I highly recommend it!

[...] all of your other options are unrealistic, unconstitutional (free speech) and go against a society based on Capitalism).  [...]

1) Free speech, as you call it, is no longer about ideas, it is about funding and lobbying.
2) I am not a fan of capitalism.  I believe in life, not profit.  It has been the driver of most of the modern problems we face. 
3) I can appreciate your critiques, but seriously, provide a solution or stop discouraging those that are trying.

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2014, 09:50:04 AM »
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.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2014, 10:10:44 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.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2014, 10:22:34 AM »
Projection bias. "I did it so everyone can". It's an easy mistake to make.
There is a nice saying that explains such behavior:
Parents of intelligent children believe in heredity.

Quote
I absolutely disagree that society should take on more of a protagonist role.  If you do everything for people, they don't learn to do anything for themselves.  We already have free food, healthcare, education, etc etc etc.  Most don't even respect any of it.
They cant learn for themselves.
Thats the main reason they make poor choices. They have learned them from parents and surroundings. Its a habit ingrained as hard as going to the toilet - and the amount of willpower to change it is tremendously.
btw: Willpower/decide on something is a resource poor people often have to spend a lot more then "rich" just for surviving the day. And thats not taken to account that if you are physically exhausted your willpower will be, too. Poor often have the hardest physical labor.
(germany, dont know how that system and stats apply to US) And even if a child has good grades (despite parents not able to help or afford help) in school, if it is from a poor family it will often get a recommendation for a lower rate (non-academical) school. children with academical parents are 7 times more likely to go to niversity then children from parents on social welfare with the same grades.

Quote
The problem is the culture of the poor that does not value trying hard in school or getting good grades. 
And that is just BS. Like your setting of poor=dumb
If you dont want people to think you are a troll, then stop these kind of things. If you really believe them, take a stroll to the next university library and look at the studies on this topic. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 10:27:47 AM by LennStar »

Rosewhipped

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2014, 10:37:25 AM »
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/


cam513143

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2014, 10:43:04 AM »
This isn't entirely true, and one of the biggest problems I have with these kinds of arguments.  I think that a huge problem with our education system is that school funding is based at least partially on property taxes, which creates a vicious cycle.  Basically:

Schools in low income neighborhoods are surrounded by lower value property >
Lower value property results in less funding from property tax >
School in area gets less funding >
Students don't get hep they need, resulting in lower grades, less real learning, and bad choices >
"Bad choices" lead to more poverty


I realize that this is a very simplified approach, and this has been written quickly on my break, but I thought I'd throw an idea into the ring.  This also isn't the entire problem, of course, but it certainly doesn't help.

Also, pretty new to the forums!  Excited for more interesting and stimulating conversations like this one!

All children, no matter the gender/color, have the SAME opportunity to get good grades in school.  The problem is the culture of the poor that does not value trying hard in school or getting good grades.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2014, 10:48:33 AM »
Probably a pipe dream, but I believe that proper city planning could alleviate a ton of the problems the poor face. Having been to a number of American cities in transit to other places, I also believe most of the current American city planners should be shot :)

HERE HERE!  I'm reading a book right now - "Cubed" by Nikil Saval - that discusses the proliferation of Office Buildings in US cities and the social planning that resulted.  It's gross and disturbing.  I highly recommend it!

[...] all of your other options are unrealistic, unconstitutional (free speech) and go against a society based on Capitalism).  [...]

1) Free speech, as you call it, is no longer about ideas, it is about funding and lobbying.
2) I am not a fan of capitalism.  I believe in life, not profit.  It has been the driver of most of the modern problems we face. 
3) I can appreciate your critiques, but seriously, provide a solution or stop discouraging those that are trying.

I have a hard time understanding someone in the US (or the rest of the industrialized world) not being a fan of capitalism.

What exactly do you think it is that drives the world's economy if not profit?  Who built the computer you use to connect to the internet?  A non-profit or a for-profit business?  Unless you live in North Korea I already know the answer.

greaper007

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2014, 12:39:43 PM »
Well what did you expect?  They're in business to make money!  They're not a charity organization!

Do you want to ban MacDonalds?  In poor neighborhoods? 

What about other potentially "evil" businesses that advertise their services, such as beer makers, car manufacturers, and cable TV companies?

You can't dictate people's choices.  MacDonalds sells prepared food in exchange for money.  People willingly want (and pay for) this service.  It is up to people to take responsibility for their own lives instead of continually pulling out the "VICTIM" card:  http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2011/04/taking-responsibility-versus-victim.html

You realize that people eat at McDonalds because it's cheap, but why is it cheap?    Are they just super efficent at making cheap meat, fries and soda.   Or is that meat grown on artificially subsidized government corn?    As a Texan I'm sure you realize that bovines are ruminants and thus can't actually process corn.   Which is why they're only stuffed with it in the last month or so of their life on a feedlot somewhere in Colorado (close your windows when you drive through Greeley).    Check out the price difference on conventional meat and grass fed meat next time you're at the Grocery store.   The grass fed stuff doesn't have the luxury of senators from Nebraska or Iowa subsidizing their food.    Same thing goes for the soda, why does soda  now have corn syrup instead of cane sugar?    Where does corn syrup come from?

Then what about the fact that industries like McDonald's are often the only employers (other than the drug trade) in poor areas.   So someone that does the right thing and works a job 40 hours a week on minimum wage can still qualify for food stamps.    That means that their profit margins are actually further supported by tax payers.

Ok, maybe we're just propping up a few industries like McDonald's and Monsanto.   There's a few other problems though.   When people live on this artificially cheap food, they get considerably more sick than people that eat well.    What happens then?   Well they use their state sponsored medical benefits to treat things like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.   It's a viscous cycle with people in the middle who are very stressed, probably have a history of trauma and might be working two jobs while they deal with things like domestic violence.   They often don't have the capacity to break the cycle.    I know that you and I are probably very successful, but I doubt either one of us could become the president.    That's what it's like for a poor person to break into the middle class in this country.

From what I can tell, car, cable and alcohol companies aren't competing in their industry with the advantage of government subsidized products (maybe beer).   Their products are also contributing huge sin taxes and regular taxes into the system to subsidize the problems created from their products.  Thus they're playing on an even more uneven playing field than fast food. 

I get that you had a rough time growing up and you extricated yourself from that situation.   I honestly think that's fantastic.   However, I think if you stopped to analyze some things you'd realize that there were people and things helping you along the way.   Maybe you had a loving supportive family that encouraged you to do well.   Great teachers that saw your talent, a good school system.   And just the fact that white guys like us don't really get hassled by the police and we're generally plugged into a  social system that makes it easier for us to succeed.  You have to accept that some people get an even more poop covered end of the stick than you did.    The only way to help them out of that situation is to have empathy.   

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2014, 12:45:29 PM »
Such fun in here today!

I am presenting an argument, not my opinion.  I could choose to argue that poor people are stupid, lazy, fat ingrates, though, in such a case I would be choosing the less compassionate argument.  I recognize capitalism has benefits.  I recognize that teaching self-reliance is valuable.  I also recognize that "redistribution" of funds within a capitalist society is not fair.  However, we have taught self-reliance for 100(+) years, we have given corporations more and more social authority, and we have allowed wealth to glob onto fewer and fewer, and I contend that it is not accomplishing what SHOULD be the ultimate goal of society: to provide opportunity for citizens to pursue joy.

If McDonald's is such an amazing solution to hunger, why must they spend $1,000,000,000 on advertising each year?  I don't think capitalism is ONLY negative, but recent developments in the political and social landscape have placed capital above well-being, and many would argue that that is an inseparable and inevitable fact of a capitalist system.  In that case, I must argue against capitalism.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2014, 01:07:50 PM »
I also recognize that "redistribution" of funds within a capitalist society is not fair.
Why?
A capitalist says everyone should have the same chance.
But that is not the case- To level the field, you have to move things (money or whatever) around.
I mean, if there were no distribution, resources would end up all in one hand, just because of randomn fluctuation (and thats actually mathematically proven)
Distribution does at least give everyone a bit - how little that may be.

Also you do recognise that you arent in a real capitalist society?
A real capitalist society has never existed, like communism never existed (or socialism, even in the "real existing sociallism" of the GDR).
Just remember the english law that forbit children unter 10 to work more then 12 hours a day in wool factories. What a insulting think to do to free capitalism, it was argued.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2014, 01:10:16 PM »
This isn't entirely true, and one of the biggest problems I have with these kinds of arguments.  I think that a huge problem with our education system is that school funding is based at least partially on property taxes, which creates a vicious cycle.  Basically:

Schools in low income neighborhoods are surrounded by lower value property >
Lower value property results in less funding from property tax >
School in area gets less funding >
Students don't get hep they need, resulting in lower grades, less real learning, and bad choices >
"Bad choices" lead to more poverty


I realize that this is a very simplified approach, and this has been written quickly on my break, but I thought I'd throw an idea into the ring.  This also isn't the entire problem, of course, but it certainly doesn't help.

Also, pretty new to the forums!  Excited for more interesting and stimulating conversations like this one!

All children, no matter the gender/color, have the SAME opportunity to get good grades in school.  The problem is the culture of the poor that does not value trying hard in school or getting good grades.

You are completely correct.  The current k-12 funding model in the US is designed so well-to-do people fund well-to-do schools for their children and poor people poorly fund schools for their children.  It is grossly and completely unfair.

We should, as a society, fight to replace that funding model.

Unfortunately, the only alternative usually put forward is to put centralized bureaucrats in complete charge of education.   That's just as bad.

We need to gut the federal and state departments of education.  We need to cut them down to 5 to 10% of their current size - at the most.   

Block grants from the feds to the states with almost no restrictions on how it gets spent on education.  The only restrictions are: no money for coaches, stadiums, fancy gyms, or sports teams, and no more than 5% to non-janitorial administrative staff costs.  Only fund basic physical fitness and intra-mural (internal to each school) sports.

States need to do the same for the city and county school boards.   Let each city and county school system decide how it needs to spend the money.

That way, we have local accountability and a minimum of waste on administrative empires or sports.