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Offlinelonestar2004
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Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence.
    #4343036 - 06/27/05 02:47 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Thoughts On Poverty

And Its Absence


http://www.fredoneverything.net/Poor.shtml

May 16, 2005

One reads much about the poor in America, their piteous lives, their blighted hopes, and the unrelieved downtreading of them by various social ogres such as oppressive corporations who sell them greasy hamburgers. (Why does my wretched spell-checker object to ?downtreading?? You can?t be downtrodden unless someone downtreads you. How obvious is that?)

This I submit is goober-brained nonsense. America has precious little poverty, if by poverty you mean lack of something to eat, clothing adequate to keep you warm and cover your private parts, and a dry and comfortable place to sleep. In the ?inner cities? or, as we used to call them, slums, there is horrendous cultural emptiness, yes, and the products of the suburban high schools are catching up fast. But poverty? The kind you see in the backs streets of Port au Prince? It barely exists in the United States.

The problem is that the poor do not know how to be poor.

As a police reporter for the better part of a decade, I?ve been in a lot of homes in allegedly poor parts of cities. Physically they weren?t terrible. Some (not many, really) were badly kept up, but that isn?t poverty. The residents could have carried the garbage out to the dumpster in the alley. They just couldn?t be bothered.

Ah, but they were indeed morally deprived, culturally and intellectually impoverished, or what we used to call shiftless. I?ve come into an apartment in mid-afternoon and found a half dozen men sitting torpidly in front of the television, into homes where the daughter of thirteen was pregnant and on drugs. The problem wasn?t poverty. The poor can keep their legs crossed as well as anyone else. If the daughter could afford drugs, she could afford food.

Most of these homes would have been regarded as fine by the graduate students of my day. They would have put in board-and-cinderblock bookshelves and a booze cache and been perfectly content.

The reality is that the wherewithal of a cultivated life of leisure, if only in tee-shirts and jeans, is within the reach of almost all of the ?poor.? If I had to live in really cheap welfarish quarters in Washington, DC, which I know well, on food stamps and a bit of cash welfare, what would I do?

I?d have a hell of a good time.

First, I?d get a library card, which is free, for the public libraries of the District. The downtown library, over on 9th Street, is a huge dark half-empty building in which very few people appear and none of the poor. I?d spend time reading, which I enjoy and the poor don?t. They aren?t interested.

A great many of the poor can?t read, and the rest don?t, but in both cases it is by choice, not because of poverty. The poor can go to the public schools. Their parents can encourage them to study. The schools are terrible, but neither is this because of poverty. The per-student expenditure in Washington is high. The city could afford good teachers and good texts. It isn?t interested.

Music? A hundred-dollar boombox these days provides remarkably good sound, and I?d roll in pirate CDs. The poor listen chiefly to grunting animalic rap, but that is by choice, not by necessity. Washington is neck-deep in free concerts by good groups, as for example the regular ones at KenCen. All of these are advertised in the City Paper, which is free. You never see the poor at these performances, though there is no dress code or discrimination. They aren?t interested.

Washington abounds in good museums and galleries, usually free, none terribly expensive. There is the entire Smithsonian complex, with the National Gallery of Art; there is the Phillips Collection, the?on and on. You never see the poor in them. They aren?t interested.

In parts of Washington near the Hill there are, or were, sometimes thirteen liquor stores encompassed in a four-block circuit (this I think is the number I once counted). You hear of drugs being the curse of the slums, but fortified wine may be as bad. You see old men with paper bags wobbling and bumping into things, a very short way from cirrhosis. Again, a choice: they could spend the money on something else.

All of this much reminds me of homosexuals and AIDS. Like illiteracy, AIDS is voluntary. I don?t dislike homosexuals, certainly wish AIDS on no one?but they know how HIV is transmitted. It they choose to indulge, well, so what? People ride motorcycles without helmets. It?s their decision, but don?t expect me to be particularly stunned if they, or I, croak as a result. Don?t want to study? Your decision. I don?t care. We make our choices.

So it is with poverty.

I now encounter charges that culpability for the usually unimpressive health of the purportedly poor rests with McDonald?s, which sells them foods loaded with fat and salt. Indeed McDonald?s does. But eating Big Macs is a choice, isn?t it? The poor could buy better food at the supermarket. Further, they know they could. They tend to watch a lot of television, with its endless health warnings. They eat fat because they want to eat fat.

Is this, in the tiresome phrase, blaming the victim? Absolutely. When the victim is to blame, blame him. If I get drunk and suffer a hangover, is it your fault? Jim Beam?s fault? Why?

Some will object that the (slight) poverty of the American poor somehow forces them to make bad decisions, which they know to be bad decisions. Well, if the poor have no free will, and haplessly do what their environment ordains, can not the management of McDonald?s plead the same?

If the poor of America were truly penurious, and forcibly kept so, I would see things differently. The sweated children of New York, the slaves of the South, the virtual slaves of the Industrial Revolution in England?these had a cause for complaint. They suffered greatly, and had no way out.

Neither did they have the subsidized housing of today, the welfare, and the leisure consequent to these, nor free medical care, nor public schools which by law they had to attend, nor free libraries, nor the array of special and unearned privilege called ?affirmative action.? Today?s poor do have them. They also live in a society that has begged them, prodded them, enticed them to do something with and for themselves. They haven?t. They aren?t interested. And neither, any longer, am I.


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4343565 - 06/27/05 04:57 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

:bow:


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OfflineBCBudJohn
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4344511 - 06/27/05 09:12 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I have to disagree fundamentally on your position.

Firstly, my outright disagreement that anyone who is poor is there for a personal reason ignores the fact that lack of oppurtunity perpetuates poverty. If your family was poor, you can bet that you are most likely in a similarly poor situation. Statistics show that the middle class is growing smaller, and the separation between rich and poor (nationally, and internationally) is growing. This is a natural trend that occurs in un-regulated and un-moderated capitalism.

The issue of poverty as related to drug use is also questionable if one considers the proportion of people who only started using drugs once they begin living on the streets (presumably for other reasons of family, abuse, or what have you) Not to mention free, accurate, and un-bias opinions about drugs are difficult to find and are not compulsory. (we've been lied to about tobacco and marijuana for decades, ignoring the growing number of users of methamphetamines and opiates). Drugs are not the problem, drug abuse is the issue. It is widely accepted that drug abuse is a mental illness that should be treated like any other social problem.

It is my belief that poverty is a social issue that is everyone's responisibility. To solve poverty, one needs to address varying climates that foster the development of poverty, such as free and easily-accessible health-care for all people, legal and regulatory frameworks that focus on compulsory education on drugs as well as safety nets in the system to help users to make the right choices and re-gain their lively hood. This includes social housing and a correctional system that focuses on education and re-habilitation rather than coercement and deterrants.

Poverty affects everyone in the long-run, and we all know that if left unchecked, it can turn into a much greater problem of gangs, riots and crime. The solution isn't to put up more walls and ghettos but to address the problems head-on with an open and positive dialogue.


--------------------
Peace
John


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: BCBudJohn]
    #4344675 - 06/27/05 09:49 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

A guy named fred on everything wrote this article. it is a little harsh but has some good points.

America does not know true poverty, except in extreme cases. The so-called "poverty line" is quite high... problem in this country is so many have so much, that the inability to purchase luxury items is viewed as "poverty".
A car is luxurious, as is a television, a computer, new clothes, junk food, air conditioning, ..

and to expect those as some sort of entitlement is just nonsense.

The poor in this country have a lack of judgment, self-control, and respect. I have worked with the poor and you would be very suprised to see how many own cell phones and eat at burger king.





http://youngnationalist.com/poverty.htm
A report issued by the nonpartisan Working Poor Families Project and sponsored by the Annie E. Casey and Ford and Rockefeller foundations, takes a statistical look at the plight of low-income working families in the United States. According to the study, one in five jobs pays less than a poverty-level wage for a typical family of four. A poverty-level wage is based on Census Bureau data from the year 2002 and is considered to be less than $18,244 in annual income. In the Working Poor Families Project, a threshold of $36,488, or twice the poverty-level wage, was used to qualify a family of four as ?low-income.? The median income for a family of four in the U.S. is $62,372. According to the study, 9.2 million families, including 20 million children, fall into this category.


Fuck.... that means our "poor" have income in the top 10% to 20% of the world.


IMO Life is about choices and how everybody chooses to do things and what options are available to them. Many "poor" make poor choices.

We become products of every choice we make.

People do not decide one day, "I think I'll be a poor person". They in fact become that way because of choices they have made in life.


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: BCBudJohn]
    #4344876 - 06/27/05 10:53 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Statistics show that the middle class is growing smaller...




Bullshit. Source, please.

But let's for the moment pretend the middle class is growing smaller (which it isn't, but let's pretend for the next minute that it is) -- did you ever think that might be because middle class families are becoming wealthier?

From: http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/25/pf/record_millionaires/index.htm?cnn=yes


Number of millionaires hits record
The ranks of Americans worth $1 million grew 21% in 2004; the $5 million club grew even faster.
May 25, 2005: 12:48 PM EDT
By Les Christie, CNN/Money staff writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The number of millionaires in America reached record highs in 2004, hitting 7.5 million, according to a new survey.

That represented a gain of 21 percent, the largest jump in the number of U.S. millionaires since 1998, according to the survey by the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based research firm.

Spectrem counted Americans with net assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residences but including second homes and other real estate holdings. There were 6 million millionaires in 2001, when the bursting of the tech-stock bubble pruned more than a million Americans from this status.

**********************************

Gee.... since slightly less than two per cent of the American workforce gets paid minimum wage, that means there are almost three times as many millionaires in the US as there are people working minimum wage jobs. No wonder people claim the middle class is shrinking.

And as Fred pointed out, the American "poor" are typically far from poor. As he also points out, it doesn't take much in America to not be poor. To avoid becoming poor in the U.S. you must do three things: graduate from high school, marry after the age of 20, and marry before having your first child. Only 8% of those who do all three become poor; 79% of the poor failed to do them. Contrary to Leftist mantra, democratic capitalism forces poverty on no one.

Quote:

It is my belief that poverty is a social issue that is everyone's responisibility.




It most certainly isn't my responsibility. I've never made anyone poor. Quite the reverse. As an employer in a third-world country I have taken more than a few people out of poverty.

Quote:

To solve poverty, one needs to address varying climates that foster the development of poverty, such as free and easily-accessible health-care for all people, legal and regulatory frameworks that focus on compulsory education on drugs as well as safety nets in the system to help users to make the right choices and re-gain their lively hood.




Or you could just persuade people they ought to finish the high school which is provided to them by law for free, wait till they reach drinking age before getting married, and use the dirt cheap (when not actually given away for free in about three dozen various social programs) birth control methods available in every pharmacy in America.



Phred


--------------------


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OfflineSycronica
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: Phred]
    #4346573 - 06/28/05 01:38 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

A car is luxurious




Where i live, that is not true. My town has like 3 factories and maybe a dozen stores. Most of which are never hiring. If I want a job of any kind I HAVE to have a vehicle to drive to another town for a job. If I want a job that pays enough to pay RENT I have to go to another town. Even for groceries we go to another town cuz this small town is overpriced and very small selection.

There is no bus station, no cabs, no trains. It's have a car or strap myself to someones leg who does.


--------------------
Think for yourself. Question authority.

Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice.

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time.


Edited by Sycronica (06/28/05 01:39 PM)


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InvisibleDieCommie
Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: Sycronica]
    #4346667 - 06/28/05 02:22 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Maybe living in a small town is a luxery. I cant afford it. I have to live in the city.


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OfflineSycronica
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: DieCommie]
    #4346865 - 06/28/05 03:29 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

That's funny, I'd like to move the city but I can't afford it  :lol:

In all seriousness the cost of living in the surround large cities of here is significantly higher than the small town areas. Rent, utilities even food is more expensive in the city. But if you buy cheap food you can get buy w/o spending too much on that. Mmmm ramen noodles  :lol:


--------------------
Think for yourself. Question authority.

Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice.

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time.


Edited by Sycronica (06/28/05 03:35 PM)


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InvisibleSoopaX
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: BCBudJohn]
    #4346911 - 06/28/05 03:43 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

BCBudJohn said:
I have to disagree fundamentally on your position.



It's not HIS position. But lets see what you say




Quote:


Firstly, my outright disagreement that anyone who is poor is there for a personal reason ignores the fact that lack of oppurtunity perpetuates poverty. If your family was poor, you can bet that you are most likely in a similarly poor situation. Statistics show that the middle class is growing smaller, and the separation between rich and poor (nationally, and internationally) is growing. This is a natural trend that occurs in un-regulated and un-moderated capitalism.




If people in the ghetto were given proper role models, then they'd be suceeding at a much more 'normal' rate. These people, as the article asserts, are poor because they aren't trying very hard. I can tell you stories of my best friends grand father coming over from Russia, dirt poor. He was a Jew and owned his own bricklaying service. His Christian competetors would go to his job sites every night and knock his bricks over, until he beat the crap out of three of them one night. This man came over dirt poor, and his son turned out to be one of Detroits most prominent pathologists. His son, my friend, was a federal prosecutor for the FTC and retired at forty years old. If you TRY hard, and if you value education, you can 'make it' in America. If your parents are poor, but are trying hard to put you through school, to encourage you to use your mind and get an education, you will have a much greater chance than someone who's parents sit around smoking dope and drinking beer all day. My question do yo, do you think most parents in the ghetto are in the former or the latter category?
Quote:


The issue of poverty as related to drug use is also questionable if one considers the proportion of people who only started using drugs once they begin living on the streets (presumably for other reasons of family, abuse, or what have you) Not to mention free, accurate, and un-bias opinions about drugs are difficult to find and are not compulsory. (we've been lied to about tobacco and marijuana for decades, ignoring the growing number of users of methamphetamines and opiates). Drugs are not the problem, drug abuse is the issue. It is widely accepted that drug abuse is a mental illness that should be treated like any other social problem.




who cares? If you are spending money on crack and you can afford it, thats fine with me. Smoke your heart out. IF you are on public assistance, or whining about not being able to get food, and you are doing ANY drugs, then you are spending your money on something other than food and it's not my fault.
Quote:


It is my belief that poverty is a social issue that is everyone's responisibility. To solve poverty, one needs to address varying climates that foster the development of poverty, such as free and easily-accessible health-care for all people, legal and regulatory frameworks that focus on compulsory education on drugs as well as safety nets in the system to help users to make the right choices and re-gain their lively hood. This includes social housing and a correctional system that focuses on education and re-habilitation rather than coercement and deterrants.




At what point will you give up the "throw money at them" solution, and start the "They have to take some responsibility for their actions".
Quote:


Poverty affects everyone in the long-run, and we all know that if left unchecked, it can turn into a much greater problem of gangs, riots and crime. The solution isn't to put up more walls and ghettos but to address the problems head-on with an open and positive dialogue.



Dialogue? Talking? How about "Hey, stop being a lazy bastard, take care of your kids, make sure that they go to school, work two jobs if you have to, get some education, learn to read, stop smoking crack, get a decent job and see what happens!". That sounds like a great talk to me. but the talk of "Hey, we'll give you more and more money!" sounds like horseshit.

you missed the entier point of his article.

First, the people that are called "poor", really aren't so. They aren't starving in a sewer, like real poor people are throughout the world. They are sitting in their free houses with our a/c that they got for free eating free food. Get a job, Mr Lebowski!


--------------------


Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man


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InvisibleDieCommie
Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 28,149
Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: Sycronica]
    #4346916 - 06/28/05 03:44 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Sycronica said:...the cost of living in the surround large cities of here is significantly higher than the small town areas.


I dont believe that for a second.


Move to a big city in the southwest. Thats where the lowest cost of living is.


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OfflineSycronica
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: DieCommie]
    #4347005 - 06/28/05 04:01 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I said the cost of large cities "here" where I am. Which is great lakes area. Where that does apply. I have friends who live in the nearby large city and the rent there is more than what it is in any of the small towns near me.

Maybe someday I will move the southwest. I have visited there before and did enjoy myself. But I was just pointing out that having a car is faaaaaaar from a luxery, it is a nessesity in probably any small town. And not all people live in small towns by choice.


--------------------
Think for yourself. Question authority.

Forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice.

You can fool some people sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time.


Edited by Sycronica (06/28/05 04:01 PM)


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InvisibleDieCommie
Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: Sycronica]
    #4347174 - 06/28/05 04:56 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Its amazing how decident and spoiled a society can become in two or three generations.  The majority of the world does not own a car.  For 99% of human history there were no cars.  If you wanted water or food you had to walk to get it.  Today still, in countries with real poverty, people have to walk miles just to get semi-clean water (and carry it on there back).  They dont get "jobs", they grow what they can just to survive.

As far as your town goes, you should tell me where you live!  I know you can rent an apt. for <$500 in Detroit, and if your paying less than that, then I may be able to afford my dream of living away from the city. :thumbup:


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Thoughts On Poverty And its Absence. [Re: DieCommie]
    #4347205 - 06/28/05 05:06 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Ew...you live in Detroit? That pretty much is a third world area from what I have heard.


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