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I want to be poor

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posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 04:28 AM
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Before you get into this, please realize that I know it is nowhere near my usual polished style. The idea of this post is hastily crank out a first attempt at a writing style wholly unfamiliar to me and see how it does. Not that I'm unhappy with my typical form, just that I've taken some flak for my cookie-cutter approach to argument and I'm probably going to have to learn to walk all over again with a few new styles if I want to have a broader arsenal at my disposal.


I'm going to let you all in on a few secrets about me. I'm fairly normal at the most basic level: I have desires, hopes, dreams, goals, and even plans built upon those things. Unfortunately, I'll never have them. Would you like to know why? Would you like to know what the difference is between someone like myself and an unsuccessful person? There are several. Initiative, courage, fortitude, street smarts; these are the things that every unsuccessful person must have. I lack them, so I will never accomplish my goals.

You see, my desire is to invest in my education and my career in such a way as that I will some day never have to do any real work, or if I do, at least not have to work very hard, and yet be able to have everything that I need. Anyone, theoretically, can do this. It doesn't take money to not do much. That's the problem for me. I earn money. I can't find it within me to take the initiative in ruining my life, my family, and contributing to the ruin of my city; my values and civic virtue just don't rise to that level. I don't have the courage to be known by all who see me as a failure, incapable of supporting himself, and smile and hold my hand out unashamedly to recieve a handout. I'm not tough enough to sit around doing nothing. If I tried to stop going to school and stop working, I'd lose my friggin mind. I haven't got the stuff for that. Most of all, I'm just not smart enough to be unsuccessful. I've gone to such lengths to figure out how in the hell unsuccessful people get away with the things they do, whether it's owing money to everyone, stealing, selling drugs, or whatever else.

What a shame that I lack the necessary virtues to be unsuccessful, because I desperately want to be poor. I want to be so poor that strangers have to pay higher taxes to subsidize my meals, and my childrens meals at school too for that matter. I don't have children yet, but I would if I were poor, because I want to be so poor that the government sends me a check twice a month which I can use however I see fit, and that check should grow everytime I have a kid. Of course, since I'm going to be so poor, the police will have to understand that my children have little choice but to steal (God knows I'm not spending those checks on them! I'm poor!)- I expect several slaps on the wrist for them before they are sent to serve half of their sentence in prison where they will have free room and board, and of course the right to take college classes. I want to be so poor that if at some point I should decide to take a job because I want a few hundred bucks extra, it won't be taxed (not a permanent job of course, because I don't actually plan on doing much while I'm there- I only need as many checks as I can get for nothing before I'm fired. If I slip through the cracks at work long enough, I'll eventually have to quit- once I'm allowed to draw unemployment.)

Right about now, you're probably reaching for the kleenex, not only for my sake but for your own. If only we had the stuff to be poor, right? I have to tell you though, I haven't even told you the worst of it yet.

It's probably been a long time since you've cried over paying your insurance premiums. It's just another dull ache towards the end of the month, maybe a little bit of a stress if money is tight, but you manage and you know its there if you need it. But did it ever occur to you that if you didn't own anything you wouldn't have to bother with all of that??? You'd even be safe from the stuff insurance doesn't cover- heck, you could start a meth lab in your house- to hell with the fire hazard! You can always take next months check and go rent another place somewhere else. Your kids will have to change schools, and gangs, but hey, they're tough. If you're lucky, and a natural disaster should strike before the consequences of your own actions should catch up with you, not only will you not really have lost anything, but the federal government will give you money anyway (and imagine how funny it will be to listen to your landlord whine about how his insurance doesn't want to pay him). Thank god for that government relief money too if there is a natural disaster, because odds are that all the really fine girls will be able to get a ride out of town with somebody, so your only chance of seein action is to head down to the strip club with that relief money.

Good grief man, I really do wish I was poor. Why is it that God makes all the best things in life so unbearable to a healthy conscience?




posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 06:27 AM
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But don't kid yourself. You are poor. Congratulations.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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....and you're working out the bugs, please specify the desired point of your obtuse thesis? Sarcasm is a delightful read, but does require the same players ( antagonist, protagonists) and start-middle-end segments to be a valid info vehicle.
Metrosexuality of prose is a good thing & I applaude you for it!

We do have too many jeans & t-shirt types to keep it jaunty!



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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Vagabond, you should just go to prison. All your needs will be met.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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Poor is a state of mind unless you live in one of those small communities where poor is a way of life. In which case it would be easier to wrap barbed-wire around the lot than to try to fix the problem.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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Taking the quickest points first- I wouldn't say I'm poor really, except as a matter of slang. I'd say that I'm broke. Being hard up for cash is one thing. Resolving to be poor (which I agree, is at least in part a state of mind, brought about by the weaknesses I alluded to in that piece, which are so difficult for a functional human being to give in to that the ability to do so might actually be credited as a strength.)

The point is rather vague, as Bout Time mentions- this is in fact the chief reason I saw fit to add a disclaimer. I'm not entirely comfortable with having it referred to as "metrosexual". I see nothing wrong with jeans and T-shirt, although if I were going to a church, especially for a wedding, perhaps my own, I would at least be inclined to tuck my T-shirt into my jeans.

To the point of your question though BoutTime, it's sort of a stew of related points, as a rough draft often is. There are 3 chief points, any of which could be made the primary focus of an expanded and more specific article, or which could all be kept if a summary and prompt for action were added without too greatly disturbing the feel of the article. Those points, which should be at least mildly apparent, are:
1. To remain poor, making no progress at all towards improving ones economic status, requires choices and actions which a normal, functioning person would likely find unconscionable. Hence the first and second paragraphs and later references to lacking the necessary strengths to be poor;
2. To demonstrate the absurdity of the entitlement mentality, hence the outrageous expectations enumerated in the third paragraph;
3. To highlight the ironic advantage of those who make no effort and own nothing over those who expend great efforts to build assets, which is quite arguably and underdeveloped point since I have not pursued the logical implication thereof: that the welfare state is not conducive to upward mobility.

I think what is most lacking now is a summary, a prompt for action, and a little polishing ensure that those additions don't disrupt the flow of it piece (which I think could stand a little streamlining too).

One thing I have discovered about this style by virtue of the point I chose is that it is not a good medium for developing the writers ideas or for educating the reader, but primarily for calling attention to a topic which has already been covered (problem being that this isn't one of the topics I've covered in great detail before). If I were to attempt this style again (and I may eventually) I'd probably keep to a topic which I have covered at length for the same audience which receives the new piece- in my case probably one of several strategic military points which I have raised in the past and have been hard pressed to see acknowledged in the least, since the prevailing demographic in discussion of military affairs is of course hawks, and those recently have been in no small part Neo-Conservatives, who are slow to acknowledge any point which does not begin and end with American supremacy, but I digress- severely.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 03:33 PM
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Vagabond,

Have you by any chance seen this yet?:

Homelessness Survival Guide.

As the site itself will explain, that is the proper way to live homelessly. Not the kind of homelessness where you sleep on the sidewalk and pee on yourself.

Couple that with a good foundation in edible plants (which there are unbelievable amounts of, and very easy to find almost everywhere - just grab yourself a guide at a book shop), and general survival in the wild, and you could have it made.

And, though this may upset the simple beauty of living more simply, if you set yourself up a little space somewhere and can afford to set up some efficient renewable energy systems for a couple thousand dollars, you could take it that much further and run a computer or kick back and listen to your music or watch a DVD or two every now and then. And still be poor.


[edit on 12-10-2005 by bsbray11]



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 04:49 PM
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Not only is that more relevant to my point than some would initially believe, but it was in fact the subject of one of the most poorly represented (and consequently most misconstrued) threads that I have ever authored.


TheVagabond: 1. To remain poor, making no progress at all towards improving ones economic status, requires choices and actions which a normal, functioning person would likely find unconscionable


It seems to me that if necessity is truly the mother of invention, any person who functions at an adult level, unimpared by drugs or mental illness, would certainly find a way out of poverty if they should find themselves in it, either by birth or misfortune.

The idea, in a crude sense, occurred to me when I was still in junior high, after I'd seen a movie (I think it was called the Saint of Ft. Washington or something like that). It developed further over the following 3 years as I got into unconventional books such as the anarchist cookbook, getting even, and a few others. Some will note (and I suspect that at this point BoutTime has already begun to respond) that the sources I cite as the prompt for my thinking are rather unreliable as sources of any fact or even sound theory, but they set my mind in motion on various unconventional paths, especially in regards to improvising in the face of adversity. Later, the first chapter of Henry David Thoreau's Walden confirmed the viability of the idea for me. From that eventually grew a fascination with do-it-yourself technology which lead me to study the principles upon which many things I formerly took forgranted operate.

What I came to realize is that society, restrictive as it is, has not got a complete stranglehold on an individual. If we are stuck in a niche which is undesirable, all we need do is take the initiative to circumvent the obstacles presented by society.

Example: A person is born into poverty, goes to a crappy school and receives a poor education which will never suffice to get the poor soul into a decent school and thus into a profitable career or any sort of upward mobility.
What are this persons conventional options? Hunt high and low for scholarships, competing against those who were better prepared to qualify for them simply by the good fortune of being born elsewhere? Break the law? Get married, preferably to someone of better means? Join the military? Spend two or three decades working two full time jobs, abstaining from any kind of romantic life which might lead to the added burden of a family, induldging in nothing whatsoever that costs additional money, in hopes of eventually owning a home and thereby having the capital to build a financial future, only to have it snatched away by the government when that person dies, leaving the next generation of the family back at square 1?
Even these options, unattractive as they are, are workable, and some people make it by those means. Consider however, the unconventional options which a determined individual might avail himself of if he none of the more conventional options were available, yet he was determined to succeed.
In my experience in Southern California, if you work full time and have no regard for the quality of your living arrangement, you will still lose roughly 1/3 of your takehome income for rent, roughly 1/10th on gasoline, autoinsurance, vehicle registration, and occasional repairs combined. That's 13/30ths- nearly half, before you've even provided for your meals, which if you drink only water, eat mostly vegitable in modest portions, etc, might be limited to say, a dollar a meal, costing you an additional 2/30ths of your income. Meaning that half of your income is gone just on eating, shelter, and mobility. Then you'll need hygiene products, serviceable clothes, etc. When it's all said and done, the most spartan existance will devour, conservatively estimating, 60% of your income. 60% better saved towards whatever scheme you choose towards your upward mobility, whether that be owning a small home, buying an old desiel truck to start a moving company, or whatever.
If my home burned down today, and everyone who might possibly aid me perished in the blaze along with everything I am not currently wearing, I'd have a job tomorrow, a tent and a bicycle next week, and enough money to resume my education within a year or two, while continuing to work for a meager subsistence outside the overpriced luxuries generally promoted as necessities and granted for nothing to those who lack the ambition to obtain them for themselves.

The key to poverty is to find it within yourself to silence your pride and your conscience so that you can simply stop trying.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 11:55 PM
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It's encouraging to see I'm not the only one here that would willingly live in a poor economic situation. I wasn't sure that you weren't being sarcastic at first, but I don't guess you were.


I was in middle school too when the idea of living like some kind of Western monk, out in the Appalachians, occured to me. Not so much for any religious or spiritual reason as much as I wanted (and still want) to dedicate some serious time to an art that I want to advance in a manner that it hasn't seen for some 150 years or so. Unfortunately, you likely won't make much $$ doing it and would have to have another job for that, which would only leave me spare time to do the things I want. I don't want spare time. I want total freedom of my time. I don't want to be obligated to go do such-and-such for so-and-so, some task I can bet I wouldn't enjoy in the least, for $$ just so I can live properly. And this is where I totally lose interest in our modern American lifestyle. Why do I have to do all that just to live properly?

I see our modern system as a sort of voluntary slavery. The fact that it's (more or less) voluntary is probably the only reason why no one has yet to revolt against it, despite the way it empowers elite groups in ways that I doubt monarchies ever approached. I wouldn't be able to live conventionally under a system like ours without becoming mentally unstable. It would drive me mad.

So, I've been planning on becoming totally (and comfortably) self-sufficient in the wild, living around my current location rather simply until I have enough $$ saved up to put together everything I need, and then get together some friends of mine that are also up for it, and we'll see how things work out with Nature. I've been planning it for a while now, and am starting to work into fine details to try to ensure success. It's a little too ambitious to much comfort me regarding my future as of right now, though, (rather, it really concerns me at times), and so the plans envigor me half the time, and daunt me the rest of the time (I guess maybe this depends on how fed up I am with the system at any given moment?
). But I'm stubborn, even if discouraged, and when I'm feeling better about the idea, I feel it's infallible. And really romantic.


And speaking of romanticism (or transcendentalism, which ever), I haven't read Walden yet, but I've been wanting to for some time because it just sounds like a godly and relevant book. That and Civil Disobedience (they seem to be bound as one book pretty often anyway). I'd rather not read whole books off web pages. :-/



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 01:46 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
It's encouraging to see I'm not the only one here that would willingly live in a poor economic situation. I wasn't sure that you weren't being sarcastic at first, but I don't guess you were.


Yes and no. I was infact being sarcastic- my point was basically that I am against handouts, and so claiming the desire to be poor was definately sarcastic, designed to demonstrate that poverty, whether the sufferer knows it or not, is basically a choice which the individual could reject if sufficiently motivated.

You probably got the impression that I was not being sarcastic from my explanation of how I came to the idea, and that is not wholly a bad interpretation, though not one exceedingly relevant to my original post.

It is not so much that I would prefer or even "not mind" being poor, but that I place a high value on both independence and liberty, and that I have entertained various schemes to the effect of surviving outside of society should the need or desire ever arise either by unavoidable circumstance or by virtue of having to choose between my liberty and my place in society.

I was in middle school too when the idea of living like some kind of Western monk, out in the Appalachians, occured to me. Not so much for any religious or spiritual reason as much as I wanted (and still want) to dedicate some serious time to an art that I want to advance in a manner that it hasn't seen for some 150 years or so. Unfortunately, you likely won't make much $$ doing it and would have to have another job for that, which would only leave me spare time to do the things I want. I don't want spare time. I want total freedom of my time. I don't want to be obligated to go do such-and-such for so-and-so, some task I can bet I wouldn't enjoy in the least, for $$ just so I can live properly. And this is where I totally lose interest in our modern American lifestyle. Why do I have to do all that just to live properly?

I see our modern system as a sort of voluntary slavery. The fact that it's (more or less) voluntary is probably the only reason why no one has yet to revolt against it, despite the way it empowers elite groups in ways that I doubt monarchies ever approached. I wouldn't be able to live conventionally under a system like ours without becoming mentally unstable. It would drive me mad.

So, I've been planning on becoming totally (and comfortably) self-sufficient in the wild, living around my current location rather simply until I have enough $$ saved up to put together everything I need, and then get together some friends of mine that are also up for it, and we'll see how things work out with Nature. I've been planning it for a while now, and am starting to work into fine details to try to ensure success. It's a little too ambitious to much comfort me regarding my future as of right now, though, (rather, it really concerns me at times), and so the plans envigor me half the time, and daunt me the rest of the time (I guess maybe this depends on how fed up I am with the system at any given moment?
). But I'm stubborn, even if discouraged, and when I'm feeling better about the idea, I feel it's infallible. And really romantic.


And speaking of romanticism (or transcendentalism, which ever), I haven't read Walden yet, but I've been wanting to for some time because it just sounds like a godly and relevant book. That and Civil Disobedience (they seem to be bound as one book pretty often anyway). I'd rather not read whole books off web pages. :-/



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 02:30 AM
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This has honestly been one of the stranger threads I have read in awhile... I like it.



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Those babyboomer's have inflicted stress/pressure on their children to have all the materialism that they once strived for is having an affect on children all across this country. proof? i dont have any, but i see teenager's and people my age doing the exact opposite of what their parents have done/and are continuing to do.

baby boomer's wanted to break away from the status quo of their society that their parents lived through, and now the baby boomer's hcildren are doing that same thing.

materialism isn't everything and people are seeing more and more of that truth. I hear over and over that people (dont want to live in a big house and drive fancy cars) they want more time to do other things like travel, party, and live humbly w/ the basics and have their friends and family.

Perhaps it's a phase, but I do believe in my heart of hearts that the baby boomer's kids will not be living it up the way their parents do.



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 08:56 AM
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1. To remain poor, making no progress at all towards improving ones economic status, requires choices and actions which a normal, functioning person would likely find unconscionable. Hence the first and second paragraphs and later references to lacking the necessary strengths to be poor;
2. To demonstrate the absurdity of the entitlement mentality, hence the outrageous expectations enumerated in the third paragraph;
3. To highlight the ironic advantage of those who make no effort and own nothing over those who expend great efforts to build assets, which is quite arguably and underdeveloped point since I have not pursued the logical implication thereof: that the welfare state is not conducive to upward mobility.


Point #1: the intangible points are “progress” + “normal” + “functioning”. Moved out of the sarcastic context, the phrase “strength to be poor” lacks relevancy.
Is a person who starts out mopping floors at minimum wage at McD’s functionally poor? In almost all areas, yes. This person never misses a day of work, asks for extra hours, works them self up through fry cook to griddle man to night closing supervisor. It’s an economically depressed area, so the folks ahead of him are not making meteoric moves, so this takes years. In that time, biology did happen, love ensued, and more mouths to feed & shelter came into the picture. Progress has surely been made, a zero absence work history has been docked, impressive O/T has been accumulated.........but is that wage a living wage? Does the median income that defines poverty as a federal government stat still apply? No, but does the living wage exist and defacto poverty prevail? Yes.
Normal & Functioning: taken through a school system with gutted resources, with uninspired staff doing ‘time’ instead of shaping young minds, the home life ( if both parents are there) consists of multiple job-absentee parenting and younger sibling supervision. Great examples of diligence married to zero motivational direction = non-normal/functioning.
Strength to be poor: to know of something better is to have observational, thus tactical, resolve to improve ones lot in life. Given a scenario where that’s not a considerable factor dictates the outcome.

Point #2: Entitlement Mentality. While you outlined one polar example and the ‘criminal’ aspect of those who are unsuccessful ( drug dealing, theft), you skated by the real and vastly more prevalent application of that mentality active in America: the people of means and ways who structure our whole social commerce around perceived entitlements and the other polar extreme – the very affluent who function under a sense of Darwinisticly applied entitlements.
One extreme makes a great talking point for proponents of Darwinism, the other shapes the lives of all American classes.

Point #3: The Welfare State: any model governed by the anomaly (abuse by the shiftless at the expense of the diligent) is a non-working model – that is implied by saying we have a welfare state. There is no welfare state – except for the corporate socialism that is strongly applied today – the true area of Darwin application; more specifically, Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand application. We have strangled innovation by constant corporate bailouts/protectionist tariffs/ suspended corporate taxation......all of which is 100 time large allocation of monies than anything spent on ‘people’ support/safeguards/developments.
Upward mobility – I counter, from personal experience, that the social safeguards are an enabler of upward mobility as well as emblematic of civilization. Survival of the Fittest belongs in the wild, not as a first recourse to dealing with unemployment/feeding the poor/treating the helpless.

I’m a member of this organization, Business Leaders for Sensible Priorites.....it's a great representation of the reality that social responsibility and the accruing wealth are not enemy to each other.

Much, too much actually, of the average American's perceptions around spending on social support programs is dictated by political media assaults fuel by the very entites that wish you to focus your ire on the exceptions at the bottom of the caste, rather than the wealth at the top.




[edit on 13-10-2005 by Bout Time]



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
I was infact being sarcastic


Then I guess my skepticism of someone other than myself on ATS holding similar views was justified.

Here's how I see things:

The more you rely on our capitalist system for more personal security in the form of $$, the more $$ you are investing in keeping our corrupt system afloat: more of your money goes to fund our unjust wars, our corrupt government agencies and officials, and with most anything you spend $$ on, the more you are empowering enormous, ungodly corporations that serve as disease to any free society. If this is what economic success means, and it does mean this, unfortunately, then mooching off the system is petty in comparison. I would say trying to rip off these government agencies is honorable in comparison to living like Bill Gates in this country, as the people funding these programs (such as yourself, unfortunately enough for you) are also those empowering the whole corrupt system, keeping it all oiled up, but then I realize that most of those that do mooch off the system (and don't genuinely need the support, anyway) are simply ignorant and lazy themselves. But don't let that take away from the fact that everyone putting $$ into these programs for others' to use or abuse are also putting into these evil wars, agencies, corporations, pockets: even more $$. Petty stuff to complain about the poor, imo.

In comparison, you could become totally self-sufficient, and live off the land, or a life nearly as humble in a suburb or etc., and be far from poor, instead of trying to 'work your way up' economically or whatever you'd like to call it, and simply do your part for those in power to support this vile system that much more. There's nothing wrong with a simple, honest living anyway.

[edit on 13-10-2005 by bsbray11]



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 08:04 PM
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I'm poor.. And you definitely dont wan't to be poor.


The rich get richer and the poor don't get a fcuking thing.

You can still be poor and work your ass off... It still doesnt help, because there's always something or someone taking your money. Period.



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by Bout Time

1. To remain poor, making no progress at all towards improving ones economic status, requires choices and actions which a normal, functioning person would likely find unconscionable. Hence the first and second paragraphs and later references to lacking the necessary strengths to be poor;
2. To demonstrate the absurdity of the entitlement mentality, hence the outrageous expectations enumerated in the third paragraph;
3. To highlight the ironic advantage of those who make no effort and own nothing over those who expend great efforts to build assets, which is quite arguably and underdeveloped point since I have not pursued the logical implication thereof: that the welfare state is not conducive to upward mobility.


Point #1: the intangible points are “progress” + “normal” + “functioning”. Moved out of the sarcastic context, the phrase “strength to be poor” lacks relevancy.


I believe what you are detecting is not so much a lack of relevance but a severe dearth of cases in which that is an apt description of what is going on. It is relevant not because it illustrates what is happening, but because it contrasts with what is happening. Nobody is likely to be endeavoring, with great display of personal strength, to make themselves poor, but rather they lack the attributes which make up what I termed a "functional" person, and therefore there are no intrensic obstacles to poverty which must be overcome by determination or the other strengths which I ironically associated with poverty. In simpler terms, my point is that people who lack ambition, creativity, self discipline, and the ability to plan for their futures are far more likely than others to be poor because they lack these attributes which would set their conscience in opposition to conduct conducive to remaining poor.


Is a person who starts out mopping floors at minimum wage at McD’s functionally poor? In almost all areas, yes. This person never misses a day of work, asks for extra hours, works them self up through fry cook to griddle man to night closing supervisor. It’s an economically depressed area, so the folks ahead of him are not making meteoric moves, so this takes years.

But why is this person working at McDonalds, and why is his income not a sufficient living wage? Why has this person not taken classes to acquire new job skills and equip themselves for a better paying career? Why has this person not managed their expenses in such a way as they could afford to own a home, thereby eventually freeing up a major portion of their income from rent and establishing the beginnings of a financial future? In short, you have proposed that somebody might not content themselves to work at McDonalds their whole life; now tell me what is wrong with that picture.


In that time, biology did happen, love ensued, and more mouths to feed & shelter came into the picture.

Biology didn't happen. Biology prompted and choice happened. Whether or not it was a good choice is up to the person who made the choice- plenty of people believe that money isn't everything. It was a choice though. You're not born a single mother in the ghetto- you can be born into the ghetto but becoming a mother there is a choice and becoming a single mother there is the product of choosing poorly. In my opinion, a person would have to be a tremendous fool to get put themselves at risk of concieving a child before they had reached a point where doing so would not be a significant obstacle to their other goals for the future. I just started college- if I were to get somebody knocked up right now I'd have to drop out and go back to the construction trade- that's a choice which I know is before me, and I choose not to put myself at any risk of fathering a child.


Great examples of diligence married to zero motivational direction = non-normal/functioning.
Strength to be poor: to know of something better is to have observational, thus tactical, resolve to improve ones lot in life. Given a scenario where that’s not a considerable factor dictates the outcome


Monkey see, monkey do? I'd be inclined to think that an upbringing devoid of anything which ought to be aspired to would serve as a cautionary example and a wonderful motive for the child in question to seek out a better means of living life.


One extreme makes a great talking point for proponents of Darwinism, the other shapes the lives of all American classes.


I suspect that I have misunderstood you to some extent, because I honestly consider it beneath you to suggest that a man is not entitled to that which he has worked to earn, simply by branding it "Darwinism". At any rate, I understand you suggest two types of entitlement which are polar opposites. In a sense I agree.

Those who consider themselves entitled to that which they have gotten by their work are right. Those who consider themselves entitled to equality of results, not necessarily predicated on equality of effort, either simply because they are Americans and feel they should share in the overall wealth of America, or because they consider themselves incurably oppressed by and worthy of reparations from a system which does not infact force most conditions upon them, other than by custom which can be violated if one has the originality and personal courage to dare, are wrong. (I really need to simplify that syntax don't I? Sorry.)


There is no welfare state – except for the corporate socialism that is strongly applied today


Um... no?
Of course there is no welfare state. There are no welfare checks, there are no foodstamps, there is no federal student aid predicated on the poverty of your parents and uncaring for the children of parents who can theoretically afford to send their kids to college yet refuse. There are no free lunches in school. There is no aid with medical expenses for those with low incomes. There is no law mandating service by private medical care providers to people who can't pay, and this law has not been abused by illegal immigrants who will actually bypass hospitals in Brawley, Ca, San Deigo, etc and drive all the way to Palm Springs, Ca to recieve the best in unpaid for care at Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, where two relatives of mine have worked. Welfare state... what was I thinking?


We have strangled innovation by constant corporate bailouts/protectionist tariffs/ suspended corporate taxation......all of which is 100 time large allocation of monies than anything spent on ‘people’ support/safeguards/developments.


I'm not closed minded to your point here but I do not believe that the existance of a form of corporate welfare in anyway justifies welfare for the poor, especially since that money is not coming solely from the corporations or their owners, but from the middle class as well.


Upward mobility – I counter, from personal experience, that the social safeguards are an enabler of upward mobility as well as emblematic of civilization. Survival of the Fittest belongs in the wild, not as a first recourse to dealing with unemployment/feeding the poor/treating the helpless.


Social safeguards of what type? Minimum wage, prohibition of indentured servitude, the right to collective bargaining, etc etc? I could agree with you there. Recognizing it as a right to live beyond one's means and giving them money to facilitate that is not a social safeguard though. A person who works full time and does not have children they can not afford to raise will be able to feed themselves. The "helpless" is a wonderful word for appealing to ad misericordiam, but its fatal flaw is that it begs the question: "From whom do they lack help?". The answer is that they lack help from themselves.
Simply refering to something as Darwinism and calling it uncivilized is no argument against it. People in this country enjoy liberty, including the liberty to make choices which will yield undesirable results for themselves, but as a consequence they have the responsibility to cope with those results. If the removal of that liberty and the consequent responsibility appeals to a person, I recommend, in order of my personal preference, The United States Marine Corps, Federal Prison, or North Korea.



Much, too much actually, of the average American's perceptions around spending on social support programs is dictated by political media assaults fuel by the very entites that wish you to focus your ire on the exceptions at the bottom of the caste, rather than the wealth at the top.


Both forms of welfare are inconsistent with liberty. No social program ought to be undertaken at the expense of the general public which does not benefit the general public. Where it can be established to a high standard of probability that government assistance of a given industry or company or class of citizens (the poor for example) will be advantageous for all who are called upon to fund said assistance, it can to be carried out. In short, two wrongs do not make a right, and only within certain parameters can either type of welfare we have discussed not be considered wrong.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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The summation first – the intent of your thesis is that the lowest caste polar extreme of welfare is of immediate and actionable concern to the security of the United States, while the pinnacle caste + corporate welfare is not.
With all the metrosexuality of prose you’ve tried on ( that is not a knock by the way – I’m a jeans to Hugo Boss type of guy and the women in my life love it !
).
Reform in and around social support programs is an agreed about topic, but unless I’m mistaken, you’re on the path to or already at the Grover Norquist destination: I just don’t want to shrink government/social programs, I want to get it small enough to drag it to the tub and drown it” ??
I’ve walked with paupers to princes and have been both – some of your observation, in my opinion, are askew:


In simpler terms, my point is that people who lack ambition, creativity, self discipline, and the ability to plan for their futures are far more likely than others to be poor because they lack these attributes which would set their conscience in opposition to conduct conducive to remaining poor.


Not to call the obvious , but your current president is the bust to the above opinion. It has been my repeated, verified and vast experience that the inverse is true – affluent kids do not have the mettle forged in the ’necessity is the mother of’ or the ‘what does not kill you’ fires......they are overwhelmingly little electric slot cars – the groove and track are there for them to race around.
Contrast to the projects I’ve run through my company down in the Military District of Washington for various agencies: 10’s of thousands of people like my brother and myself, who came from the projects or dirt patches, and worked themselves up through the available systems – initially the social ones of food stamps/school lunch programs/daycare to the services to GI Bill educations to secured careers in trades and/or business.


But why is this person working at McDonalds, and why is his income not a sufficient living wage................ Why has this person not managed their expenses in such a way as they could afford to own a home, thereby eventually freeing up a major portion of their income from rent and establishing the beginnings of a financial future?


Go back to the “Functional + Normal” discussion above. In a fight analogy ( as I am prone to do, hence the ‘Bout Time’ handle!), eating jabs as a trade off to land a big right is most definitely a strategy....if you can endure the punches and don’t get knocked out. In the ladder climb from poverty, you have the absolute necessity of multiple variables being in place for things to happen your way and get to the higher rungs. People emulate successful habits/traits/actions/routes to make themselves successful. Real wages have steadily gone down over the years – RANT has a great detailed post on it. “Living Wage” accounts for healthcare premiums/housing/transportation to school & jobs/food/clothing/utilities – all realities that seriously impact what is left over for vocational training or academic pursuits. Management of expenses can be of KPMG caliber, but who is getting a home loan approved with that P&L sheet?


You're not born a single mother in the ghetto- you can be born into the ghetto but becoming a mother there is a choice and becoming a single mother there is the product of choosing poorly. In my opinion, a person would have to be a tremendous fool to get put themselves at risk of conceiving a child before they had reached a point where doing so would not be a significant obstacle to their other goals for the future.


Being as White single women with multiple children are our largest demographic on the welfare rolls, the ghetto is not where the poor choices are being exercised predominately. Goals are ethereal and tactical: you can target homes/cars/conspicuous consumption on the ethereal level – it’s easy to do, Lord knows there are enough media prompts. The tactical? That’s another story – where you start from + who in you life was available to help you read the map = tactical goals being acquired.


Monkey see Monkey do?


Exactly, as referenced above. That’s is how we are wired – the more eloquent way of saying it is that people who succeed all have been mentored though positive example/negative example and interpretation of which is which given by a direct or secondary mentor/mentorship vehicle.


I'd be inclined to think that an upbringing devoid of anything which ought to be aspired to would serve as a cautionary example and a wonderful motive for the child in question to seek out a better means of living life.


That’s too linear, life is not linear. A mentored life inclusive of positive examples has the view from the crest to make that summation – but if your complete existence is in the void, one man’s cautionary tale is another man’s blueprint.


I honestly consider it beneath you to suggest that a man is not entitled to that which he has worked to earn, simply by branding it "Darwinism".


It’s a broad brush you’re painting with, but I believe you’re citing a perceived inequality in the tax code? I’ll answer to that & apologize if I misread: That mentality or perception is echoed by the middle being squeezed by the ends. The problem is that the middle, meaning the middle class, does not acknowledge the top end and gravity......standing on a 2 ton steel plate while a 200 ton plate presses down on you.
I pay a great deal in taxes, but I also have a great deal of options to minimize that burden and the income flow that precipitated that.
It is the basic core of civilization and what defines it – establishing social safety nets for the well being of our citizens.
People fall prey to a variant of that old axiom – “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled off is making people believe it doesn’t exist”. The greatest trick pulled off by the Oligarchy-cum-Capitalists is to divert focus of culpability to the voiceless.
Do the math, as there are some I’ve authored and many other stalwart threads defining it: Our real budget allocations toward safety net social programs and education ( an ounce of prevention/pound of cure) are a minuscule fraction of what’s allocated to protectionist trade policies/corporate tax rebates/overkill military spending/dollar diplomacy ( the propping up of satellite nations & bought partnerships) .
We’re completely enamored with the ‘up by the boot straps’ and ‘rags to riches’ fairy tales in this country. Variables dictate that for the masses and you can not plan/set policy based on the anomaly ; it’s poor leadership and horrible planning.
Make no mistake – I do not advocate something for nothing. I endorse workfare over welfare, but we as a country need to establish nuances to systems that include enabling factors.


There are no welfare checks, there are no foodstamps, there is no federal student aid predicated on the poverty of your parents and uncaring for the children of parents who can theoretically afford to send their kids to college yet refuse. There are no free lunches in school. There is no aid with medical expenses for those with low incomes. There is no law mandating service by private medical care providers to people who can't pay


That does not make us Socialist, nor does it make us a Welfare state. Back to the above, I do advocate relief for the Middle, but my focus for ‘cuts’ looks upward not downward. The 2/3 ( Lower/Middle) carry the brunt, that is undeniable.
I have no problem with my taxes in my tax bracket - I have a problem with mismanagement, since that happens to be my vocation. I have a problem with the GOSPEL of the Invisible Hand being monkey wrenched down to a royal birth system. I have a problem with gluttony. I have a problem with idiotic short sightedness – as exemplified in the Bush Administration daily, with FEMA/ACE & Katrina in particular and the overall mentality of how the gutting of Americans capabilities ( education/improving their lot) in the bottom two classes for stupid cronyism/pork economics today will cost us a 1000 fold down the road.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Bout Time
The summation first – the intent of your thesis is that the lowest caste polar extreme of welfare is of immediate and actionable concern to the security of the United States, while the pinnacle caste + corporate welfare is not.


I've highlighted the part where you went wrong. To advocate action on one matter while failing to make another related matter the point of that particular writing is not to proscribe action on the second matter. If I speak against shooting yourself in the head, but fail to mention cutting your own throat, do you find it likely that I am in favor of or indifferent to cutting your own throat?
Let me also point out that even if I did not find both matters to be actionable, that the one polar extreme of welfare would still be a legitimate object of corrective action. Where is it written that you shall right no wrongs unless you will right all wrongs?


Reform in and around social support programs is an agreed about topic, but unless I’m mistaken, you’re on the path to or already at the Grover Norquist destination: I just don’t want to shrink government/social programs, I want to get it small enough to drag it to the tub and drown it” ??


In all fairness, you'd have been right a bit over a year ago or so. You may have heard me refer to myself in the past as a "recovering neo-con". I actually consider myself a "progressive by conservative means" now. I believe in spending money on public goods to as great an extent as the public finds worthwhile. Schools, including some colleges, should be not only better funded but more evenly funded, with help from the feds if need be, because an educated population is a public good and a boon to the economy. Aid with maintance of roads should be made available to poorer areas because this has an impact on commerce and tax revenues which is not necessarily confined to that local area. I believe in spending to create jobs. I would be likely to support virtually any program designed to help a person do for themselves. I simply do not believe in programs which give with no expectation of return, but merely encourage and support the very behavior patterns which keep a person in poverty to begin with.


I’ve walked with paupers to princes and have been both – some of your observation, in my opinion, are askew:


If you did that in Orange County or Riverside County, Ca there's a slim chance that you met some of my family. I was homeless briefly as a teenager because my mom was- I saw how she got there and I saw how she got out.
I have bummed around on the road to nowhere for a year making 8 bucks an hour and wasting it foolishly, when in retrospect I would have been fine if I'd been disciplined with it.
I learned a trade and spent another year and a half making 30 bucks an hour: I quickly discovered that unless you have some self discipline, however much money you make will always be just enough to stay broke. Luckily I did learn some discipline then.



Not to call the obvious , but your current president is the bust to the above opinion.


That's a bit of a copout though. Is the only escape from the truth of my suggestion that those who are born rich are likely to inherit daddy's money? All things being equal, will or will not the person who lacks the traits I named be more likely to find himself in poverty. I have no doubt of the "necessity is the mother of..." etc, but I'm not asserting that poverty gives you a weak character. I'm asserting that a weak character gives you poverty.
Suppose that two children are born into the same impovrished house, go through the same experiences, etc. One of them is resentful and feels like he's been screwed and spends the rest of his life expecting someone to come give him his due. The other becomes determined to make his own way out and rub it in the faces of whoever it is who he blames for the plight he was born into. 9 times out of 10, which of those two people will escape poverty, if either of them does?


initially the social ones of food stamps/school lunch programs/daycare to the services to GI Bill educations to secured careers in trades and/or business.


Look at the transition there; it's an important one. Foodstamps, school lunches and daycare systems: things you recieved as a child and couldn't really get for yourself. Then you grew up and got a GI Bill education, which you EARNED. I have no problem with anything you did in coming up.
The only thing I would propose to change about that path out of the ghetto that you described is that your care as a child would have come by virtue of some form of earning on the part of your parents. I know I'm about to hit a touchy subject and I sincerely assure you that it is not my intent to insult or to imply anything, but people who can't support children shouldn't have children.

I've got class soon. I gotta run. I'll reply to the rest this evening.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 04:50 PM
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Is the only escape from the truth of my suggestion that those who are born rich are likely to inherit daddy's money?


You missed my point almost completely; I said "they are overwhelmingly little electric slot cars – the groove and track are there for them to race around." in response to the playing field discussion, specifically, the 'mokey see/do' perspective.
They are given the track, with a well worn groove to follow or fall off - the lower castes do not have an abundance of that at their disposal and often not at all, the lower you go.




If I speak against shooting yourself in the head, but fail to mention cutting your own throat.....
.............Where is it written that you shall right no wrongs unless you will right all wrongs?


Respectfully, either you're unaware of the disparity in actual drain of the two poles ( and thus the real big ELEPHANT in the room ) or you're possibly ideologically predisposed to discount it. Again, the dollars do not justify, comparatively, the focus. I know the money thrown at the upper caste......it is the clear & present danger that you could have allotted the lion's share of the previous dissertation towards.
While it can be said that there are good/bad outlays going towards both extremes, the 'bad' towards social programs are, in the Conservatives perspective, universal - it goes against the byline of 'rugged individualism' so often spoken, seldomly practiced by them.
To use the analogy above, Corp. Welfare is the 12 gauge to the head, while Social Welfare is the knife in the azz.
It makes us less competative in world markets, handicaps future market share, causes a massive increase to the social welfare rolls, and will force us into preservation arms races and eventual wars. This lack of focus, in 5 short years, has already put us on the track to being the world's #2 economy by the time you're 40. Social Programs couldn't accomplish that suspect achievement....ever.



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by Bout Time
Metrosexuality of prose is a good thing & I applaude you for it!

We do have too many jeans & t-shirt types to keep it jaunty!


Forgive my lack of understanding, but what in the hell does "Metrosexuality" mean? This word doesn't exist in the dictonary!

Tim



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