Author Topic: Poor Folks are Victims  (Read 98740 times)

neo von retorch

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #100 on: December 24, 2014, 11:21:16 AM »
It's interesting how many arguments basically come down to a variant of Nature vs. Nurture. On the one side, there's the argument that "they are this way. They choose to be this way." On the other hand, it's argued that "they are in this because of situation. Their surroundings caused their condition."

And in so many of these arguments, it's almost certainly a blend of the two.

Here's my anecdote: I was born in relative poverty. Family of six with a single, small income. My parents are very different from each other. One was a consistently hard worker who made purchases based on logic, need and common sense. The other was mostly concerned with wants. I developed habits from each of them, and still struggle because I see myself behaving in ways that I know, logically, to be bad. But I am doing well, overall, because of good logical decisions (and a lot of fortunate opportunities!) I like to quote The Mexican and say that I "Forrest Gump'd my way through it" to get where I am, stumbling across little lucky events that led me to my talents and profession, my education and my career.

Given my belief that individuals in poverty are partially a product of their environment and partially in their situations because of choices they've made (and that much of their behavior is the logical extension of the situations they've been exposed to throughout their lives), the question is what those that may (or may not) have the ability to change their situation can and should do. I do not believe that everything is already in place and that each of those individuals should (and can) just abruptly change all of their decision-making so that it leads to a successful life, free from poverty. So I think there may be things the rest of our society, our community, really, can do that will give them a step up and possibly start them on an alternate path. Of course I realize that many of these behaviors will be difficult (and in some cases impossible) to change, but that doesn't mean that any and all efforts should be immediately abandoned.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #101 on: December 24, 2014, 11:54:22 AM »
It's interesting how many arguments basically come down to a variant of Nature vs. Nurture. On the one side, there's the argument that "they are this way. They choose to be this way." On the other hand, it's argued that "they are in this because of situation. Their surroundings caused their condition."

And in so many of these arguments, it's almost certainly a blend of the two.

Here's my anecdote: I was born in relative poverty. Family of six with a single, small income. My parents are very different from each other. One was a consistently hard worker who made purchases based on logic, need and common sense. The other was mostly concerned with wants. I developed habits from each of them, and still struggle because I see myself behaving in ways that I know, logically, to be bad. But I am doing well, overall, because of good logical decisions (and a lot of fortunate opportunities!) I like to quote The Mexican and say that I "Forrest Gump'd my way through it" to get where I am, stumbling across little lucky events that led me to my talents and profession, my education and my career.

Given my belief that individuals in poverty are partially a product of their environment and partially in their situations because of choices they've made (and that much of their behavior is the logical extension of the situations they've been exposed to throughout their lives), the question is what those that may (or may not) have the ability to change their situation can and should do. I do not believe that everything is already in place and that each of those individuals should (and can) just abruptly change all of their decision-making so that it leads to a successful life, free from poverty. So I think there may be things the rest of our society, our community, really, can do that will give them a step up and possibly start them on an alternate path. Of course I realize that many of these behaviors will be difficult (and in some cases impossible) to change, but that doesn't mean that any and all efforts should be immediately abandoned.

Bravo!   Well said!

I am completely for this provided we do not start them on a path that requires us to continue to take care of them forever or requires them to do nothing to improve their situation.


netskyblue

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #102 on: December 24, 2014, 02:11:37 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.

And what about rural areas?  I grew up 30 miles away from the grocery store, doesn't mean we didn't still shop there.  It was just a weekly, or less frequent, occurrence.  And no, there wasn't any fast food or anything closer.  The nearest gas station was 10 miles away. 

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #103 on: December 26, 2014, 09:33:54 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.

Advertising has been a major catalyst or user of social-psychological research.  Marketers know WHAT we think, HOW we react, and WHEN, WHERE, AND WHY we buy.  They know you better than you do according to your purchase history.  Have you ever wondered why Target sent you an advertisement focusing on baby-related items?  It's because they know that you are 30, married, and recently bought a dress two sizes larger than previous.  Doesn't it creep you out that (besides MMM's website) the internet is filled with appealing advertisements for things that you have recently been researching on the internet?  Weird, huh?!

Advertising is actually pretty easy to avoid. For all the talk about the untold millions that McDonald's spends on advertising, I can't remember ever seeing a McDonald's ad.

MMM even said in one article that one of the best defences against buying stuff is not knowing what is available to buy. That definitely describes me.

GREAT THOUGHT!!!!  The problem with this is corporate/public tie-ins, such as school lunches sponsored by McDonald's, public bus stops flashing advertisements for Wal-Mart, billboards on the side of public freeways, etc!!  We are not asked if we want to be advertised to.  Our public spaces are overrun by private interests!  And if you think that "not paying attention" is the best answer, research "Partial Attention Realities."  The best way to contradict advertising is to DIRECTLY ADDRESS EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Read it outloud and say NO.  Just as an experiment, try to do this for one day.  Every single ad you see, intentionally address it.  You will realize that we are surrounded by private interests, and you will be exhausted by the end of the day!

It's interesting how many arguments basically come down to a variant of Nature vs. Nurture. On the one side, there's the argument that "they are this way. They choose to be this way." On the other hand, it's argued that "they are in this because of situation. Their surroundings caused their condition."

And in so many of these arguments, it's almost certainly a blend of the two.

Here's my anecdote: I was born in relative poverty. Family of six with a single, small income. My parents are very different from each other. One was a consistently hard worker who made purchases based on logic, need and common sense. The other was mostly concerned with wants. I developed habits from each of them, and still struggle because I see myself behaving in ways that I know, logically, to be bad. But I am doing well, overall, because of good logical decisions (and a lot of fortunate opportunities!) I like to quote The Mexican and say that I "Forrest Gump'd my way through it" to get where I am, stumbling across little lucky events that led me to my talents and profession, my education and my career.

Given my belief that individuals in poverty are partially a product of their environment and partially in their situations because of choices they've made (and that much of their behavior is the logical extension of the situations they've been exposed to throughout their lives), the question is what those that may (or may not) have the ability to change their situation can and should do. I do not believe that everything is already in place and that each of those individuals should (and can) just abruptly change all of their decision-making so that it leads to a successful life, free from poverty. So I think there may be things the rest of our society, our community, really, can do that will give them a step up and possibly start them on an alternate path. Of course I realize that many of these behaviors will be difficult (and in some cases impossible) to change, but that doesn't mean that any and all efforts should be immediately abandoned.

Bravo!   Well said!

I am completely for this provided we do not start them on a path that requires us to continue to take care of them forever or requires them to do nothing to improve their situation.

+1!!!!!

If you know the story Sisyphus, imagine that you are Sisyphus, your personal health and welfare are the boulder, and Public Intervention can determine the angle of the hill.  Bad policy will increase the angle, making the weight of the boulder greater; good policy will decrease the angle, making the boulder lighter.  I do not believe that we should push Poor Folks' boulders, just that we should not be ignorant to the fact that Bad Policy in the last 50 years, specifically related to corporate overreach, has increased the angle.  AND I hope that Mustachians can recognize that and stop yelling at those too weak to roll the boulder higher.  MMM gets us all stronger, making the boulder feel lighter, but just b/c we are strong doesn't mean that the hill is appropriately angled.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #104 on: December 26, 2014, 10:03:01 AM »
EDSMedS applause

right on the spot.

fields

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #105 on: December 26, 2014, 12:32:06 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.

I work in protective services.  There are so many problems with this view, I can't let it stand unchallenged.

1.  A background check provides pretty minimal information and will not tell you whether a person should adopt a child.  Even a home study is limited in its ability to assess whether someone can accept the issues older child adoption brings with it.

2.  The vast majority of children who have been removed from their parents and are available for adoption are older children.  You cannot remove a newborn because you believe the parents are dysfunctional.  You cannot remove a child because of poverty issues. 

3.  There are not lots of Americans who want to adopt, at least not from child protective services.  There are thousands more children waiting for adoption than there are people who want to adopt.

4.  It costs nothing to adopt a child through protective services.  In fact, people who adopt are very often granted subsidies to assist them in caring for their adoptive child.

5.  And, finally, perhaps the poster's biggest error in judgement:  Children do not want to be adopted by better, more financially-sound parents.  They want to remain with their own parents, no matter how poor, or abusive, or neglectful they are.  In fact, it is very, very common for children who were adopted to return to their biological parents when they turn eighteen.

I agree that children who grow up in poverty and dysfunction need better chances.  Adoption is not the solution.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 12:33:54 PM by fields »

Cassie

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #106 on: December 26, 2014, 02:24:41 PM »
Years ago I was a social worker in protective services & all your points are 100% true.  The only adoptions that cost $ are private ones.

Leisured

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #107 on: December 27, 2014, 12:11:01 AM »
Poor people can believe they are victims, and make being a victim a way of life, and the term I have seen on this forum is ‘complainypants’. The most obvious example is Muslim extremists who see themselves as being discriminated against by the rest of the world. They are professional victims, complainypants; the discrimination is an illusion, but the extremists do not care. The implication is that they have nothing better to do than be a professional victim.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about the Australian phenomenon of the ‘battler’. Battlers live payday to payday by design, and seek bragging rights about being a battler. Battlers live on Struggle Street and Do It Tough. Battlers see being a battler as a life achievement, the implication being that they have nothing better to do.

I understand that there is no clear parallel to the battler in American society, but I expect that living a victim lifestyle gets close.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2014, 01:35:13 AM »
Poor people can believe they are victims, and make being a victim a way of life, and the term I have seen on this forum is ‘complainypants’. The most obvious example is Muslim extremists who see themselves as being discriminated against by the rest of the world. They are professional victims, complainypants; the discrimination is an illusion, but the extremists do not care. The implication is that they have nothing better to do than be a professional victim.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about the Australian phenomenon of the ‘battler’. Battlers live payday to payday by design, and seek bragging rights about being a battler. Battlers live on Struggle Street and Do It Tough. Battlers see being a battler as a life achievement, the implication being that they have nothing better to do.

I understand that there is no clear parallel to the battler in American society, but I expect that living a victim lifestyle gets close.
Could you please define what a "muslim extremist" is, so that I can try to understand this?
As far as I knwo muslims are victims by a lot of people, especially the ones making all of the billion muslim extremists.

davisgang90

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2014, 06:42:41 AM »
Poor people can believe they are victims, and make being a victim a way of life, and the term I have seen on this forum is ‘complainypants’. The most obvious example is Muslim extremists who see themselves as being discriminated against by the rest of the world. They are professional victims, complainypants; the discrimination is an illusion, but the extremists do not care. The implication is that they have nothing better to do than be a professional victim.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about the Australian phenomenon of the ‘battler’. Battlers live payday to payday by design, and seek bragging rights about being a battler. Battlers live on Struggle Street and Do It Tough. Battlers see being a battler as a life achievement, the implication being that they have nothing better to do.

I understand that there is no clear parallel to the battler in American society, but I expect that living a victim lifestyle gets close.
Could you please define what a "muslim extremist" is, so that I can try to understand this?
As far as I knwo muslims are victims by a lot of people, especially the ones making all of the billion muslim extremists.
I'll take a shot.  Muslim extremists are those muslims who view their mission in life as the violent overthrow of all nations and imposition of a world-wide Caliphite.  They compose a tiny minority of muslims who I will agree are often victims, usually of their own governments who work overtime to direct the rage of their citizens at Israel, the US and the western world to divert the citizen's attention from the awful economic and human rights abuses of their own government.

LennStar

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #110 on: December 27, 2014, 07:39:08 AM »
Poor people can believe they are victims, and make being a victim a way of life, and the term I have seen on this forum is ‘complainypants’. The most obvious example is Muslim extremists who see themselves as being discriminated against by the rest of the world. They are professional victims, complainypants; the discrimination is an illusion, but the extremists do not care. The implication is that they have nothing better to do than be a professional victim.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about the Australian phenomenon of the ‘battler’. Battlers live payday to payday by design, and seek bragging rights about being a battler. Battlers live on Struggle Street and Do It Tough. Battlers see being a battler as a life achievement, the implication being that they have nothing better to do.

I understand that there is no clear parallel to the battler in American society, but I expect that living a victim lifestyle gets close.
Could you please define what a "muslim extremist" is, so that I can try to understand this?
As far as I knwo muslims are victims by a lot of people, especially the ones making all of the billion muslim extremists.
I'll take a shot.  Muslim extremists are those muslims who view their mission in life as the violent overthrow of all nations and imposition of a world-wide Caliphite.  They compose a tiny minority of muslims who I will agree are often victims, usually of their own governments who work overtime to direct the rage of their citizens at Israel, the US and the western world to divert the citizen's attention from the awful economic and human rights abuses of their own government.
ah, OK. That "obvious" was a pure quality measurement, not a quantity measurement.
I prefer examples that are plainly visible to anyone. Like people who dont get treatment at hospitals or are unnecessarily stopped and searched or even shot by police because they are black.
If it is pure quality, then for the US I would say the people who are known innocents and still hold at guantanamo bay. Who got there because the government of the US worked overtime to direct the rage of their citizen on Iran, Irak and everyone with a long beard to divert from the awful economic and human rights abuses by US government and private entities esp. in the so-called third world countries.

We are all victims in one or more meanings, but the important thing is: can you change that (get out of it, survive, be freee, whatever) and how hard is that?

resy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #111 on: December 27, 2014, 12:30:03 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.
W...T...F... dude. Some people REALLY don't know better. You know, kinda like you don't seem to know better about basic human compassion; I'm not going to get all judgy though, just going to take a moment and reflect on the type of life you could have that has made you so harsh then try to redirect you according to that... same approach we should be taking with poverty.

resy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #112 on: December 27, 2014, 12:49:25 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.
you know, its funny because when I read this guy's "poor" childhood I more of "middle class kid among richer kids" type of vibe. Newsflash: poor kids don't bring brown bag lunches to school, they eat the free cafeteria food.
also, this guy is just filled with so much anger, you can literally feel it... I wish that anger was turned into something more positive than the arrogance he has going on.

iris lily

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #113 on: December 27, 2014, 12:54:08 PM »
Poor people can believe they are victims, and make being a victim a way of life, and the term I have seen on this forum is ‘complainypants’. The most obvious example is Muslim extremists who see themselves as being discriminated against by the rest of the world. They are professional victims, complainypants; the discrimination is an illusion, but the extremists do not care. The implication is that they have nothing better to do than be a professional victim.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about the Australian phenomenon of the ‘battler’. Battlers live payday to payday by design, and seek bragging rights about being a battler. Battlers live on Struggle Street and Do It Tough. Battlers see being a battler as a life achievement, the implication being that they have nothing better to do.

I understand that there is no clear parallel to the battler in American society, but I expect that living a victim lifestyle gets close.

That's very interesting about your "battlers" in Oz.

I think it is common among blue collar/working class here to consider themselves tougher than the soft middle class because they are out in the world struggling, both physically and mentally. And then there is the underclass here, usually non-working, who rely on their street smarts to get by and they have disdain for middle class people and values since we (the great middle) are considered too stupid to live on The Street. And I suppose that we are.   

LokiMom

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #114 on: December 28, 2014, 06:13:32 PM »
It is really hard to get out of the poverty trap.  I did it, but it wasn't easy or pleasant.  If you don't have a lot of sheer stubbornness and strength of will you aren't going to get out.  That isn't common, not among the poor or the middle class.  How many middle class people would be where they are today if they hadn't been born into it?  Not many. 
My point is that it takes an exceptional person to drag themselves out of the way of life they were born into, raised to be a member of and strongly discouraged from leaving.  You have no support from the place you are coming from and no support from the place you're going to.

It's really not as simple as saying that people have to work harder and not be lazy to get out of poverty.  You not only don't have a support system or good role models, you actively have people trying to drag you back and make you like them.  They act like you're insulting them when you want a better life. 

Then you have the people who are in that class you're striving to get to.  They look at you as some lazy piece of trash that can't be trusted and doesn't deserve a break, because if you weren't so lazy you wouldn't need a break, you'd make your own success.

Yes, there are opportunities out there, thankfully many more now than there were 30 years ago.  But unless a child is getting support from family and friends they are rarely going to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. 

Poverty is is not just financial circumstances, it is behavior and limiting beliefs that are taught to children and reinforced by example each and every day.  Until you can stop that you're going to have very few who succeed in getting out of generational poverty.
 

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #115 on: December 28, 2014, 06:21:30 PM »
Poor people want to be poor, because if they wanted to be rich they would be rich.  It's so easy to be rich.  All you have to do is ask your Dad for some seed money for your business or to at least put you up at home while you design websites on the computer he bought for you (with the lessons he paid for).  Another easy way to get rich is to ask your Dad to call his friends and get a job for you at one of their firms.  It's so simple.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #116 on: December 28, 2014, 08:49:20 PM »
It is really hard to get out of the poverty trap.  I did it, but it wasn't easy or pleasant.  If you don't have a lot of sheer stubbornness and strength of will you aren't going to get out.  That isn't common, not among the poor or the middle class.  How many middle class people would be where they are today if they hadn't been born into it?  Not many. 
My point is that it takes an exceptional person to drag themselves out of the way of life they were born into, raised to be a member of and strongly discouraged from leaving.  You have no support from the place you are coming from and no support from the place you're going to.

It's really not as simple as saying that people have to work harder and not be lazy to get out of poverty.  You not only don't have a support system or good role models, you actively have people trying to drag you back and make you like them.  They act like you're insulting them when you want a better life. 

Then you have the people who are in that class you're striving to get to.  They look at you as some lazy piece of trash that can't be trusted and doesn't deserve a break, because if you weren't so lazy you wouldn't need a break, you'd make your own success.

Yes, there are opportunities out there, thankfully many more now than there were 30 years ago.  But unless a child is getting support from family and friends they are rarely going to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. 

Poverty is is not just financial circumstances, it is behavior and limiting beliefs that are taught to children and reinforced by example each and every day.  Until you can stop that you're going to have very few who succeed in getting out of generational poverty.
 

Congratulations!!!  And welcome to the discontent middle class (which I was born into)!  I'd love to hear about some of the mechanisms of your march-away-from-poverty, including what marked you as "in poverty," what actions you took to get out, and what marks you now as "not in poverty."  If you have a journal on the forums, please drop a link!

Poor people want to be poor, because if they wanted to be rich they would be rich.  It's so easy to be rich.  All you have to do is ask your Dad for some seed money for your business or to at least put you up at home while you design websites on the computer he bought for you (with the lessons he paid for).  Another easy way to get rich is to ask your Dad to call his friends and get a job for you at one of their firms.  It's so simple.

WHOA! LOL!!

After reading the thoughtful post from LokiMom, I about did a spit-take from your first two sentences.  Thank my Dad's friends that I learned to read everything before judging anything when I was 4!

I could say that I "clawed" my way higher up the middle-class ladder through hard work and determination, but I would not be where I am if I were not male, white, supported by my family, with a strong body (military) and natural curiosity (data analysis).  I'm lucky!  I hope we can all seriously appreciate luck when we experience it.

If there are any bootstrappers left in here that havent been turned off by all the mushy social oppression speak, I'd love to hear some discussion from (polite) opposing viewpoints. 

I'll spark another flame: if corporations were assessed a flat tax, we could provide FREE work training and education, thereby increasing skilled labor, wages, product quality, and satisfaction.  Currently, corporations generally pay $0 annual taxes due to massive investment in tax lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, and "relocation" to tax havens.

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #117 on: December 28, 2014, 09:31:41 PM »
Quote
I could say that I "clawed" my way higher up the middle-class ladder through hard work and determination, but I would not be where I am if I were not male, white, supported by my family, with a strong body (military) and natural curiosity (data analysis).  I'm lucky!  I hope we can all seriously appreciate luck when we experience it.

If there are any bootstrappers left in here that havent been turned off by all the mushy social oppression speak, I'd love to hear some discussion from (polite) opposing viewpoints. 

Bootstrapper here again! I did crappy menial jobs for years, eventually working my way up to entry-level office work (think photocopying and making coffee). Could I have "clawed" by way up the corporate ladder from humble beginnings? Who knows, because I couldn't be bothered to try! Why not? Because it's completely unnecessary. I can live a great life, travel frequently, and retire young while working as an office clerk in a low stress, relaxed office.

You could say I had some luck, but it was limited mostly to the kinds most people we're talking about also have, like living in a civilized country, public schooling, public libraries, internet access (well, we didn't have this until  I was a teenager), and having food, clothing, and shelter. Honestly, if your goal is just to live a healthy and comfortable life, you DON'T NEED special advantages, family connections, or any of that. You just need to seek out free, readily available information.

Jack

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #118 on: December 29, 2014, 01:01:05 PM »
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.

There are other programs that provide assistance for those things (e.g. Section 8 housing). Considering that all these programs are interrelated and therefore everyone who has successfully obtained food stamps has also been informed of the other programs, your scenario seems unlikely.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #119 on: December 29, 2014, 02:54:52 PM »
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.

There are other programs that provide assistance for those things (e.g. Section 8 housing). Considering that all these programs are interrelated and therefore everyone who has successfully obtained food stamps has also been informed of the other programs, your scenario seems unlikely.
Don't bother, there will always be another excuse.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #120 on: December 29, 2014, 03:01:04 PM »
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.

There are other programs that provide assistance for those things (e.g. Section 8 housing). Considering that all these programs are interrelated and therefore everyone who has successfully obtained food stamps has also been informed of the other programs, your scenario seems unlikely.


My brother who suffers from debilitating mental illness recently was left homeless when his live-in girlfriend kicked him out of the apartment they had been sharing for a year.  He had no savings because he wasn't able to hold a job due to his mental illness and he lost his Medicaid because he had temporarily taken on part-time seasonal employment for minimum wage.  While he was living in a borrowed tent camping out illegally on public land because our parents refused to let him stay with them because they were afraid of his mental illness, he tried applying for housing assistance.  The county government told him that he would have to be homeless for 90 days before they could offer any help.  I honestly don't know what he's going to do now because it's getting pretty cold out there.  There's only one homeless shelter in the county that will provide a bed to a single male and that shelter is always full up because it has only 30 beds.  I live hundreds of miles away in another state, so I couldn't help him more than to wire him a little bit of money as a Christmas gift.

Maybe I should just take him out behind the barn and put him out of his misery.  What do all you experts on social policy think?

BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #121 on: December 29, 2014, 03:27:25 PM »
It's interesting how many arguments basically come down to a variant of Nature vs. Nurture. On the one side, there's the argument that "they are this way. They choose to be this way." On the other hand, it's argued that "they are in this because of situation. Their surroundings caused their condition."

And in so many of these arguments, it's almost certainly a blend of the two.

Here's my anecdote: I was born in relative poverty. Family of six with a single, small income. My parents are very different from each other. One was a consistently hard worker who made purchases based on logic, need and common sense. The other was mostly concerned with wants. I developed habits from each of them, and still struggle because I see myself behaving in ways that I know, logically, to be bad. But I am doing well, overall, because of good logical decisions (and a lot of fortunate opportunities!) I like to quote The Mexican and say that I "Forrest Gump'd my way through it" to get where I am, stumbling across little lucky events that led me to my talents and profession, my education and my career.

Given my belief that individuals in poverty are partially a product of their environment and partially in their situations because of choices they've made (and that much of their behavior is the logical extension of the situations they've been exposed to throughout their lives), the question is what those that may (or may not) have the ability to change their situation can and should do. I do not believe that everything is already in place and that each of those individuals should (and can) just abruptly change all of their decision-making so that it leads to a successful life, free from poverty. So I think there may be things the rest of our society, our community, really, can do that will give them a step up and possibly start them on an alternate path. Of course I realize that many of these behaviors will be difficult (and in some cases impossible) to change, but that doesn't mean that any and all efforts should be immediately abandoned.

Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?





Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #122 on: December 29, 2014, 03:45:00 PM »
My brother who suffers from debilitating mental illness recently was left homeless when his live-in girlfriend kicked him out of the apartment they had been sharing for a year.  He had no savings because he wasn't able to hold a job due to his mental illness and he lost his Medicaid because he had temporarily taken on part-time seasonal employment for minimum wage.  While he was living in a borrowed tent camping out illegally on public land because our parents refused to let him stay with them because they were afraid of his mental illness, he tried applying for housing assistance.  The county government told him that he would have to be homeless for 90 days before they could offer any help.  I honestly don't know what he's going to do now because it's getting pretty cold out there.  There's only one homeless shelter in the county that will provide a bed to a single male and that shelter is always full up because it has only 30 beds.  I live hundreds of miles away in another state, so I couldn't help him more than to wire him a little bit of money as a Christmas gift.

Maybe I should just take him out behind the barn and put him out of his misery.  What do all you experts on social policy think?

I think that doesn't sound like a situation that can be fixed by handouts. He sounds like he needs to be institutionalized or live in some sort of heavily supervised housing. I don't think anyone here has argued that mental health services should not exist. We're talking about people who make bad financial decisions, not people who require psychiatric care.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #123 on: December 29, 2014, 03:59:55 PM »
It is really hard to get out of the poverty trap.  I did it, but it wasn't easy or pleasant.  If you don't have a lot of sheer stubbornness and strength of will you aren't going to get out.  That isn't common, not among the poor or the middle class.  How many middle class people would be where they are today if they hadn't been born into it?  Not many. 
My point is that it takes an exceptional person to drag themselves out of the way of life they were born into, raised to be a member of and strongly discouraged from leaving.  You have no support from the place you are coming from and no support from the place you're going to.

This is extremely true.

It's really not as simple as saying that people have to work harder and not be lazy to get out of poverty.  You not only don't have a support system or good role models, you actively have people trying to drag you back and make you like them.  They act like you're insulting them when you want a better life.

This described my wife's mother to a T. She (my wife) said the only way her mom would be happy with her, would be if she lived in a run-down house, barefoot and pregnant. Anything she did to better herself (work at McDonald's, go to college, become a nurse, move to another country) was met with fierce resistance. I don't want to share too much, but suffice to say, it was not the most nurturing of environments.

Truth be told, even things that should technically be holding us back (like having a third kid) were met with unkind words. So maybe her mom wasn't trying to pull her down, she was just spiteful? I dunno. Nonetheless, she never heard a kind word from her family about any of her accomplishments.

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #124 on: December 29, 2014, 04:53:55 PM »
Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

I don't believe there is a "floor no person can fall below."  That doesn't stop me from believing that our current status - we are the wealthiest union in the history of humankind, yet in 2009 the top 20% of American wealthy own 88.5% of the wealth! - is ideal, great, good, or even acceptable.  Doesn't the line go something like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?  Seems difficult to achieve liberty, or pursue happiness for that matter, when it is seen as justice that an average McDonald's wage for 635,000 employees is $9/hr ($19,000/yr), while the CEO makes $8,750,000 (in PAY, mind you, not to mention gains on investment), they spend $2,000,000,000* on worldwide advertising, and the annual profit is $5,500,000,000 (20% profit margin, thanks to shitty pay, cheap/terrible ingredients, etc.).

*I stated ~$1B earlier, but recently discovered that that represents US ads.  International ad campaigns total ~$2B!

BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #125 on: December 29, 2014, 05:48:07 PM »
Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

I don't believe there is a "floor no person can fall below."  That doesn't stop me from believing that our current status - we are the wealthiest union in the history of humankind, yet in 2009 the top 20% of American wealthy own 88.5% of the wealth! - is ideal, great, good, or even acceptable.  Doesn't the line go something like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?  Seems difficult to achieve liberty, or pursue happiness for that matter, when it is seen as justice that an average McDonald's wage for 635,000 employees is $9/hr ($19,000/yr), while the CEO makes $8,750,000 (in PAY, mind you, not to mention gains on investment), they spend $2,000,000,000* on worldwide advertising, and the annual profit is $5,500,000,000 (20% profit margin, thanks to shitty pay, cheap/terrible ingredients, etc.).

*I stated ~$1B earlier, but recently discovered that that represents US ads.  International ad campaigns total ~$2B!

It's simple economics.  All else being equal, wages of the lowest laborer are determined by the requirements of the laborer to meet his basic needs.  In a rich and growing country, a laborer will require higher wages for the same type of work.  In a poor country, the lowest laborer will require only what is necessary to meet his bare subsistence requirements.  As a worker becomes more valuable to the employer, he has more bargaining power to name his price.  The relationship between value added and compensation is not linear - it's exponential.  The CEO is managing one of the largest enterprises in human history and, according to the profit figures you reference, I'd say he is running it exceptionally well.

As for the 635k laborers, last I checked, every single one of them is free to go at any time.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #126 on: December 29, 2014, 06:27:30 PM »
Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

I don't believe there is a "floor no person can fall below."  That doesn't stop me from believing that our current status - we are the wealthiest union in the history of humankind, yet in 2009 the top 20% of American wealthy own 88.5% of the wealth! - is ideal, great, good, or even acceptable.  Doesn't the line go something like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?  Seems difficult to achieve liberty, or pursue happiness for that matter, when it is seen as justice that an average McDonald's wage for 635,000 employees is $9/hr ($19,000/yr), while the CEO makes $8,750,000 (in PAY, mind you, not to mention gains on investment), they spend $2,000,000,000* on worldwide advertising, and the annual profit is $5,500,000,000 (20% profit margin, thanks to shitty pay, cheap/terrible ingredients, etc.).

*I stated ~$1B earlier, but recently discovered that that represents US ads.  International ad campaigns total ~$2B!

It's simple economics.  All else being equal, wages of the lowest laborer are determined by the requirements of the laborer to meet his basic needs.  In a rich and growing country, a laborer will require higher wages for the same type of work.  In a poor country, the lowest laborer will require only what is necessary to meet his bare subsistence requirements.  As a worker becomes more valuable to the employer, he has more bargaining power to name his price.  The relationship between value added and compensation is not linear - it's exponential.  The CEO is managing one of the largest enterprises in human history and, according to the profit figures you reference, I'd say he is running it exceptionally well.

As for the 635k laborers, last I checked, every single one of them is free to go at any time.

Your assertion reflects my basic beef with capitalism: money/profit = good.
- http://www.nelp.org/page/-/rtmw/uploads/NELP-Super-Sizing-Public-Costs-Fast-Food-Report.pdf?nocdn=1
- http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/13/why-eating-quick-cheap-food-is-actually-more-expensive/
- "Another study by investigators from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University found that teenagers whose schools are within one-tenth of a mile of a fast food outlet are more likely to be obese than those whose schools are farther away." (Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, Nicholas Freudenberg, 2014, p103)

LokiMom

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #127 on: December 29, 2014, 06:51:14 PM »
"Poor people want to be poor, because if they wanted to be rich they would be rich.  It's so easy to be rich.  All you have to do is ask your Dad for some seed money for your business or to at least put you up at home while you design websites on the computer he bought for you (with the lessons he paid for).  Another easy way to get rich is to ask your Dad to call his friends and get a job for you at one of their firms.  It's so simple."
____________________________________

Wow!  Mitt Romney posts here! 


StartingEarly

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #128 on: December 29, 2014, 07:25:43 PM »
I am amazed how so many of you fail to understand sarcasm, it's severely depressing.

SwordGuy

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #129 on: December 29, 2014, 07:47:02 PM »
It's incredibly common for folks in any social group to try to hold others back from moving upwards into another social group. 

Part of the advice we need to give poor folks who want to climb out of poverty is to expect to need to get new friends.  Or at least totally ignore their current friends and family when they try to hold them back.

Rather than use this (and everything else) as an excuse for not trying, why not just better prepare them for what they can expect so they aren't surprised.

BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #130 on: December 29, 2014, 07:53:17 PM »
Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

I don't believe there is a "floor no person can fall below."  That doesn't stop me from believing that our current status - we are the wealthiest union in the history of humankind, yet in 2009 the top 20% of American wealthy own 88.5% of the wealth! - is ideal, great, good, or even acceptable.  Doesn't the line go something like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?  Seems difficult to achieve liberty, or pursue happiness for that matter, when it is seen as justice that an average McDonald's wage for 635,000 employees is $9/hr ($19,000/yr), while the CEO makes $8,750,000 (in PAY, mind you, not to mention gains on investment), they spend $2,000,000,000* on worldwide advertising, and the annual profit is $5,500,000,000 (20% profit margin, thanks to shitty pay, cheap/terrible ingredients, etc.).

*I stated ~$1B earlier, but recently discovered that that represents US ads.  International ad campaigns total ~$2B!

It's simple economics.  All else being equal, wages of the lowest laborer are determined by the requirements of the laborer to meet his basic needs.  In a rich and growing country, a laborer will require higher wages for the same type of work.  In a poor country, the lowest laborer will require only what is necessary to meet his bare subsistence requirements.  As a worker becomes more valuable to the employer, he has more bargaining power to name his price.  The relationship between value added and compensation is not linear - it's exponential.  The CEO is managing one of the largest enterprises in human history and, according to the profit figures you reference, I'd say he is running it exceptionally well.

As for the 635k laborers, last I checked, every single one of them is free to go at any time.

Your assertion reflects my basic beef with capitalism: money/profit = good.
- http://www.nelp.org/page/-/rtmw/uploads/NELP-Super-Sizing-Public-Costs-Fast-Food-Report.pdf?nocdn=1
- http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/13/why-eating-quick-cheap-food-is-actually-more-expensive/
- "Another study by investigators from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University found that teenagers whose schools are within one-tenth of a mile of a fast food outlet are more likely to be obese than those whose schools are farther away." (Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, Nicholas Freudenberg, 2014, p103)

I totally agree that capitalism coupled with democracy isn't always perfect.  It has flaws, yes.  But show me another economic structure - a real example, not some theory, which has provided as much freedom, social mobility, and economic opportunity to the masses.  Sure, money and power collect at the top - but that will happen regardless.  Look at how communism has worked out - a handful of oligarchs and an oppressed, starving populace.  At least with capitalism, all the agents have freedom to pursue their own interests.  Those fast food workers have every right to demand higher wages if they can get them - and are doing so now.  They also have the freedom to choose whether to work there at all.  With capitalism the poor actually have a choice about whether or not to get healthy, get educated, actually move up the economic ladder.

MoneyCat

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #131 on: December 29, 2014, 08:42:05 PM »
Very well said.  The key is determining the optimal point of equilibrium between expended resources and actual results.  Educated people will mostly agree that some sort of welfare is required to maintain an advanced society.  The ultra-conservative view is to provide only enough to avoid social unrest - Adam Smith himself held this view.  The liberal view is that a rich society has a moral duty to provide a floor which no person can fall below.

But how much money should be expended, and how is it most effectively allocated?  This is where the devil lies & where two otherwise reasonable people can come unglued...

Do we have a moral duty to our fellow man to provide a floor no person can fall below?  And where is that floor - food, water, clothing, education, housing, healthcare, air conditioning, cell phones, internet, cash?  Where does it end?  And how do we measure the effectiveness of these programs?

I don't believe there is a "floor no person can fall below."  That doesn't stop me from believing that our current status - we are the wealthiest union in the history of humankind, yet in 2009 the top 20% of American wealthy own 88.5% of the wealth! - is ideal, great, good, or even acceptable.  Doesn't the line go something like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?  Seems difficult to achieve liberty, or pursue happiness for that matter, when it is seen as justice that an average McDonald's wage for 635,000 employees is $9/hr ($19,000/yr), while the CEO makes $8,750,000 (in PAY, mind you, not to mention gains on investment), they spend $2,000,000,000* on worldwide advertising, and the annual profit is $5,500,000,000 (20% profit margin, thanks to shitty pay, cheap/terrible ingredients, etc.).

*I stated ~$1B earlier, but recently discovered that that represents US ads.  International ad campaigns total ~$2B!

It's simple economics.  All else being equal, wages of the lowest laborer are determined by the requirements of the laborer to meet his basic needs.  In a rich and growing country, a laborer will require higher wages for the same type of work.  In a poor country, the lowest laborer will require only what is necessary to meet his bare subsistence requirements.  As a worker becomes more valuable to the employer, he has more bargaining power to name his price.  The relationship between value added and compensation is not linear - it's exponential.  The CEO is managing one of the largest enterprises in human history and, according to the profit figures you reference, I'd say he is running it exceptionally well.

As for the 635k laborers, last I checked, every single one of them is free to go at any time.

Your assertion reflects my basic beef with capitalism: money/profit = good.
- http://www.nelp.org/page/-/rtmw/uploads/NELP-Super-Sizing-Public-Costs-Fast-Food-Report.pdf?nocdn=1
- http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/13/why-eating-quick-cheap-food-is-actually-more-expensive/
- "Another study by investigators from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University found that teenagers whose schools are within one-tenth of a mile of a fast food outlet are more likely to be obese than those whose schools are farther away." (Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health, Nicholas Freudenberg, 2014, p103)

I totally agree that capitalism coupled with democracy isn't always perfect.  It has flaws, yes.  But show me another economic structure - a real example, not some theory, which has provided as much freedom, social mobility, and economic opportunity to the masses.  Sure, money and power collect at the top - but that will happen regardless.  Look at how communism has worked out - a handful of oligarchs and an oppressed, starving populace.  At least with capitalism, all the agents have freedom to pursue their own interests.  Those fast food workers have every right to demand higher wages if they can get them - and are doing so now.  They also have the freedom to choose whether to work there at all.  With capitalism the poor actually have a choice about whether or not to get healthy, get educated, actually move up the economic ladder.

Canadian socialism seems to work pretty well.  I'd actually like it if the USA had a system like that.  Canadians may not have it on easy street, but they have nowhere near the number of worries that Americans have.  When you are sick in Canada, you get care instead of going bankrupt.  When you get old, you get a pension.  In addition, it's actually possible to have a career in the Arts in Canada because they actually value and fund Arts programs, unlike the USA where the Arts are pretty much just for trust fund babies.

iris lily

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #132 on: December 29, 2014, 09:24:42 PM »
...
I like Canada, but it's not some kind of dream land socialist haven. The USA is actually a cheaper country to live in.
A certain MMM gentleman seems to agree.

All of that said, I LIKE Canada, Canadians, and would consider moving there.

terrier56

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #133 on: December 30, 2014, 12:08:15 AM »
I feel like the system of handouts perpetuates the problem. For example giving your child something means they will enjoy it less than if they had earned that same thing. MMM reiterates this in many articles. In much the same way payouts can weaken someones drive to earn.

I will also add that no developed country has a good system for dealing with mental health. They should really be put in a separate pile when examining the poor (or complainy-pants's).

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #134 on: December 30, 2014, 02:37:49 AM »


/quote]I'll take a shot.  Muslim extremists are those muslims who view their mission in life as the violent overthrow of all nations and imposition of a world-wide Caliphite.  They compose a tiny minority of muslims who I will agree are often victims, usually of their own governments who work overtime to direct the rage of their citizens at Israel, the US and the western world to divert the citizen's attention from the awful economic and human rights abuses of their own government.

Thank you davisgang90 for your reply; my reply was delayed by Xmas festivities. I thought Muslim extremists are a well known, if very small, social phenomenon. I do not agree with your view that they are manipulated by their governments so as to distract attention from the failings of those governments, interesting idea though it is. I believe Muslim extremism is a bottom up phenomenon rather than top down.



Leisured

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #135 on: December 30, 2014, 02:48:35 AM »

Quote
I think it is common among blue collar/working class here to consider themselves tougher than the soft middle class because they are out in the world struggling, both physically and mentally. And then there is the underclass here, usually non-working, who rely on their street smarts to get by and they have disdain for middle class people and values since we (the great middle) are considered too stupid to live on The Street. And I suppose that we are.

Interesting idea, Iris Lily. Your description of the American 'Tough Guy' seems to be the American equivalent to the Australian 'Battler' that I have been looking for. Either way, what matters is that the Tough Guy / Battler has nothing better to do in life than to to brag about being a Tough Guy. Become a doctor, or lawyer, or mayor, or contribute thoughtful blogs to MMM forum? Nah.


BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #136 on: December 30, 2014, 10:07:12 AM »

On the other hand, I have a more optimistic view of humanity. I don't view poor people as helpless individuals compelled by marketing to eat three Big Macs per day.

I think many of the "defenders" of poor people in this thread actually have the most offensive views about them, acting like they are base animals lacking higher mental function, unable to do anything about their own situations.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Zikoris

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #137 on: December 30, 2014, 11:50:00 AM »

On the other hand, I have a more optimistic view of humanity. I don't view poor people as helpless individuals compelled by marketing to eat three Big Macs per day.

I think many of the "defenders" of poor people in this thread actually have the most offensive views about them, acting like they are base animals lacking higher mental function, unable to do anything about their own situations.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Totally. It's the same problem I have with modern Western feminism - it treats women like incompetent children, incapable of making free decisions, needing all kinds of protection and support. I find that highly offensive to women.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #138 on: December 30, 2014, 12:41:02 PM »

On the other hand, I have a more optimistic view of humanity. I don't view poor people as helpless individuals compelled by marketing to eat three Big Macs per day.

I think many of the "defenders" of poor people in this thread actually have the most offensive views about them, acting like they are base animals lacking higher mental function, unable to do anything about their own situations.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Totally. It's the same problem I have with modern Western feminism - it treats women like incompetent children, incapable of making free decisions, needing all kinds of protection and support. I find that highly offensive to women.

This type of thought can be dangerous b/c it can prevent important assistance.  It is like saying that we should not help pull someone out of quicksand while we stand safely on solid ground because they have hands and arms and the knowledge to pull and a vine within reach.  I agree that women and those in poverty - and just for fun, let's throw in the obese! -  have agency and the capability to learn, grow, improve, act, and succeed.  I agree that it is condescending to act "like they are base animals lacking higher mental function, unable to do anything about their own situations."  However, this thread is not aimed at talking down to these groups.  Instead, the aim is to discuss how we - the lucky, wealthy, and wise MMMers that we are - can assist agency; more specifically, how we can prevent obstacles to agency.

One consistent argument that is leveled against those in poverty, especially in these forums, is that information is available to succeed and therefore those that do not succeed are willfully ignorant.  There is certainly truth in the belief that information can be powerful: consider anti-smoking ads in the past 20 years (which some of the more staunch capitalists amongst us may demonize as "nanny state propaganda" or "interference with the market system") and the correlated decrease in smoking related deaths.  But information is very difficult to filter in our age of info-saturation.

This is the exact reason that I continue to reference the BILLIONS of dollars in expenditures for corporate advertising campaigns.  The intention of advertisements is to inform, specifically regarding your issues (hunger, loneliness) and consumer solutions (Drive on down to McD's and grab a Big Mac!).  Campaigns driven by social-psychological research has specifically targeted our base urges and semi-consciousness b/c they are shown to reduce agency.  Advertising drills into our brains until we give in to brand loyalty and "Ba dup bup bot ba."

It is ridiculous to say that we are calling those in poverty incapable while millions that are not in poverty are also duped by the deceptive "information" system our capitalist economy perpetuates.  WE ARE ALL VICTIMS of this ridiculous norm, those in poverty are a great point of entry into the discussion b/c they just happen to die or barely live due to this norm while the rest of us just have to wait longer to retire in our McMansions.  Health and wellness have become victims of our economy instead of our economy supporting health and wellness.

BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #139 on: December 30, 2014, 01:08:11 PM »
So how do you propose we prevent obstacles to agency?    And what system is better than democratic capitalism to enable the poor to lift themselves up, and allow people like you or me to freely express views, raise money, take action, campaign for what we believe in?

Furthermore, I fail to see how your prejudice views and overt generalizations toward the "lucky, wealthy, McMansion dwelling" class are helping anyone's case.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #140 on: December 30, 2014, 01:54:58 PM »
So how do you propose we prevent obstacles to agency?    And what system is better than democratic capitalism to enable the poor to lift themselves up, and allow people like you or me to freely express views, raise money, take action, campaign for what we believe in?

Check my previous posts in this thread for a few suggestions concerning decreasing corporate omniscience, which is the fastest way to increase the power of the individual.  I think capitalism has strengths, such as consolidating production, increasing overall wealth, and making unnecessary objects a powerful social force (i.e. SUV), but properly managing natural resources, providing accurate/actionable information, and caring for the disadvantaged are, at best, of peripheral interest to a capitalist.

I generally support a more socialist democratic model, but appreciate elements of classical anarchy.

Furthermore, I fail to see how your prejudice views and overt generalizations toward the "lucky, wealthy, McMansion dwelling" class are helping anyone's case.

Am I not allowed to poke fun at a highly-advantaged group?  Especially one of which I consider myself to be a member (except for the McMansion part)?  If it hurts their (our) feelings, they (we) can just support a PAC that will pay a politician to change the laws and prevent me from being too mean.

fields

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #141 on: December 30, 2014, 06:16:05 PM »
Let's take for example a client I've worked with.  She's a 25 y/o mother of four, ages two to seven.  She grew up in foster care, so is without the support of family.  She is not currently in a relationship with any of the fathers of her children, and receives no financial or practical support from any of them.  She has a Section 8 voucher, however she must pay the part of her rent that the voucher doesn't cover, approximately $500/month.  She needs to pay for heat and electricity, about $100/month.  She receives about $600/month in food stamps, which covers the majority of her food costs.  She has state-funded day care.  In an effort to improve her situation, she has been attending a secondary education program and was able to get a job as a home health aide.  To do this job, she must have a car so that she can travel from client to client.  She pays $200/month for her car, $200/month for insurance, $200/month for gas.  She earns $12/hr and works 30 hours a week while continuing to attend school.  Her net pay is about $300/week, not enough to cover her monthly expenses.  What should she do?

MDM

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #142 on: December 30, 2014, 07:12:52 PM »
She's a 25 y/o mother of four, ages two to seven. 
rent $500/month. 
heat and electricity $100/month. 
$600/month in food stamps [should] cover her food costs. 
state-funded day care.
pays $200/month for her car,
$200/month for insurance,
$200/month for gas. 
She earns $12/hr and works 30 hours a week while continuing to attend school. 
Her net pay is about $300/week, not enough to cover her monthly expenses.  What should she do?

Good questions and good to have a real example.  Some thoughts:
1.  Reduce insurance cost by adjusting policy options
2.  At least in the short term, gas cost will be ~1/2 of the past several years' amount.
3.  How does $360/wk gross become $300/wk net with her income and dependents?  That doesn't make sense at first glance - can you elaborate?

See below for a summary, including guesswork (e.g. no state/local taxes) that may or may not be accurate.


CategoryMonthly amt.CommentsAnnual
Salary/Wages$1,500$18,000
Federal Adj. Gross Inc.$1,500$18,000
Federal tax-$3332014 rates, stand. ded., 5 exemptions-$4,000
Soc. Sec.$93Assumes 1 earner paying$1,116
Medicare$22$261
Total income taxes-$219-$2,628
Income before other expenses  $1,719$20,628
Monthly Expenses:
Rent$500$6,000
Car Insurance$200$2,400
Electricity$100$1,200
Non-mortgage total$800$9,600
Loans:
Car$200$2,400
Total Expense$1,000$12,000
Available for other expenses and investment:$719$8,628

BBub

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #143 on: December 30, 2014, 07:40:14 PM »
Good advice there, but I think that case study goes to show that poor people in America absolutely are not victims.  This woman has government subsidized housing, a generous food allowance, child care, electricity, running water - I presume both hot and cold, a vehicle, and a freaking life coach to help her figure it all out!

Do you think the 1/3 of the human race that lives without access to clean drinking water would consider her a victim?

Look, I'm not trying to diminish the importance of social programs like those being administered to this woman.  And it sounds like she is the perfect candidate - working to improve her family's situation and outlook.  The poor should get assistance and a helping hand in this, the richest country in the world.  But to assert that they're being victimized and oppressed seems preposterous to me.  The starving and terrorized villagers in North Korea are victims of a corrupt system.  The Cubans are victims.  Poor people in America are not victims.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 07:59:36 PM by BBub »

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #144 on: December 31, 2014, 05:08:48 AM »
Thanks so much for the example, fields!

Good advice there, but I think that case study goes to show that poor people in America absolutely are not victims.  This woman has government subsidized housing, a generous food allowance, child care, electricity, running water - I presume both hot and cold, a vehicle, and a freaking life coach to help her figure it all out!

Do you think the 1/3 of the human race that lives without access to clean drinking water would consider her a victim?

Look, I'm not trying to diminish the importance of social programs like those being administered to this woman.  And it sounds like she is the perfect candidate - working to improve her family's situation and outlook.  The poor should get assistance and a helping hand in this, the richest country in the world.  But to assert that they're being victimized and oppressed seems preposterous to me.  The starving and terrorized villagers in North Korea are victims of a corrupt system.  The Cubans are victims.  Poor people in America are not victims.

I am an accountant, so numbers speak to me, but I am an auditor as well so I realize that numbers are rarely the whole story.  Our corporate complex is outpacing our ability to act in our own interest.  MMM has so many (adult) Suckas to rail against b/c corporations are fucking effective at targeting our base drives, which prevents real choosing and supports zombie consumerism.  Ads targeting children are probably the most heinous of the lot b/c they seek to create brand Suckas that lack an understanding of the world broad enough to realize they are being victimized.

One element that is not considered in the above budgeting - not to mention the failure to account for costs associated with healthcare, dental care, eye care, or clothing - is the daily experience of her children and their influence on the family finances.  On average, kids ages 2-11 see 25,600 ads per year!  Four children, seeing ~70 ads/day, amounts to ~8,500 ads/month screaming that they must buy buy buy.  No matter how hard-working their mother is - in this case she seems to really have her shit together - she will be competing with corporate giants and their partner marketing firms filled with psychologists that know exactly how to target her children's drives for love, fear, mastery, fantasy, humor, collection value, and mirror effect (Childhood Under Siege, Joel Bakan, 2011, p.18).  If they can force her to spend $1 for every 11 ads they consume, that $8,628 is gone in a flash! 

Best of luck to this woman that is obviously working harder than I am.  Statistically though, her and her kids are in for a lifelong fight.
http://www.publiceye.org/defendingjustice/pdfs/factsheets/11-Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Poverty.pdf

davisgang90

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #145 on: December 31, 2014, 06:21:54 AM »
My kids ask for stuff they've seen on TV.  No is a powerful word.  More people should use it.

More complainypants.

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #146 on: December 31, 2014, 06:24:04 AM »
My kids ask for stuff they've seen on TV.  No is a powerful word.  More people should use it.

More complainypants.

If you are advocating saying NO in the home, why would you not extend that to the society?

davisgang90

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #147 on: December 31, 2014, 06:33:16 AM »
I applaud the use of the word No in society, that's what I use to keep myself from buying stuff I don't need.  Not sure why we need to protect society from advertisers.

What other portions of free speech and free enterprise do you propose restricting?  Why not educate people instead?

EDSMedS

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #148 on: December 31, 2014, 07:07:53 AM »
What other portions of free speech and free enterprise do you propose restricting?  Why not educate people instead?

1) Restrict the ability for corporations to target children
2) Eliminate corporate sponsorship of governing bodies
3) Eliminate corporate/public adspace
4) Eliminate corporate/public partnerships

Free speech should belong to people, not corporations.  When you work for a corporation, your interests are subverted to the interests of profit.

Free enterprise is a joke.  It has historically been a song of the wealthy and has been used to support slavery, child labor, and the rape of natural resources.

davisgang90

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Re: Poor Folks are Victims
« Reply #149 on: December 31, 2014, 08:46:34 AM »
What other portions of free speech and free enterprise do you propose restricting?  Why not educate people instead?

1) Restrict the ability for corporations to target children
2) Eliminate corporate sponsorship of governing bodies
3) Eliminate corporate/public adspace
4) Eliminate corporate/public partnerships

Free speech should belong to people, not corporations.  When you work for a corporation, your interests are subverted to the interests of profit.

Free enterprise is a joke.  It has historically been a song of the wealthy and has been used to support slavery, child labor, and the rape of natural resources.

Right, you're the one who dislikes capitalism, the system of the world-wide economy.  Cause all the other systems work so much better. 

Who made the computer you use to access the internet?  Government? Non-profit? or a For-Profit Corporation?  Why?