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[P]
Kill The Poor

By Robert Acton in Culture
Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:30:49 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I've been a soup van volunteer for three months plus a couple of weeks. I've also been casually mentioning this example of my beneficence in everyday conversation for about the same length of time. I use this particular phrasing, rather than "I work on a soup van", because what I'm trying to emphasise is that I didn't take it up lightly or gingerly. In the beginning, I didn't know exactly how it would turn out, but I did know that I wanted to be good.

Between then and now, an awful lot became clear.


Each night, once a week, we would start out in a kitchen at about 6:30 PM. There was a big vat of soup over an industrial gas grill that had to be made up, stirred, and ladled out into thermoses. Sandwiches, hot food and sweets were unpacked from boxes donated by restaurants, take-out shops, airlines, and put into bags for us to carry. Fruit cordial was mixed with water. This all took about an hour. Then we piled into vans and drove them to rooming houses in the slums of Northern Melbourne. Here's what happened on one night, the latest.

The van pulled up at the first house, opposite the exhibition gardens. It was freezing. A man and woman were walking back and forth on our side of the street. He kept bending his knees, straight then bent again, and flapping his arms like in the old Chicken Tonight commercials. He seemed cold. The woman sat down on a step, under a shop's awning. Apart from them and us, there was nobody else around. We weren't far from the city centre.

The house itself obviously used to be something quite different. Before World War II it was a single residence of what could only have been a very wealthy family, overlooking parkland and only a short walk from the river. Now it had been subdivided, gutted, and crammed with low-income accommodation. The entryway and the corridor it opened onto were lit by a coachlight, which looked like it hasn't worked for some time. Ivy and petunias still shielded it from the street.

Inside, I knock on a door. "Soup van!" calls Kate, my partner.

Room One: A man opens the door I've just knocked on, then sits back down. He is half of a couple in their sixties, staring fixedly at a tiny TV in a room drowning in trash. The entire space was about six feet by twelve, which was typical of the rooms we visited. A shoebox, really.

Their bodies had been visibly worn down. An old Kambrook convection heater faced into a wall and blew hot air. We gave them three cups of vegetable soup, a cold sausage in batter, and some salad sandwiches. It wouldn't be so bad for them, I thought. There's always something to watch on TV.

"Soup van!"

Room Two: Almost immediately a man with a drooping, spotty face opened the door. He was large and heavyset, and walked with a shuffle, his legs shuffling under his skirt. He also wore a blouse, and an orange wig which hung down to his waist in long tangles.

"Hello Audrey," smiled Kate.

Sometimes John is Audrey. Sometimes John is John. Either of them will get very, very upset if mistaken for the other.

"How's it been with you?" I ask.

"Not very good," he sighs. His breasts seem to sag with affirmation. "I was attacked on my way home from the transgender club last night." He waits.

Kate gives a sympathetic cluck on cue.

"Well... raped would be a better word actually..." he continues, encouraged. I offer him a pie. He nods and takes it. We also give him a cup of soup, a chicken salad sandwich, and some cordial (raspberry, please).

In between these rooms I'm trying to describe were more closed doors than open, where we knocked but got no answer. "He's out on the town tonight," explained one neighbour. The corridors were narrow, just barely enough for two people to pass each other, and stair cases bent at three right angles just to climb a single floor. The steps, if they'd been any shorter or narrower, would have been unclimbable. The whole structure resembled a rabbit warren, and this made sense from an economic point of view.

Another room, this one bathed in a dim bluish fluorescent light. The occupant introduced himself as Damek. On one side of his room sat a bed. The sheets were stained half black. On the other, a sink with two taps set into the wall, holding unwashed cups and empty beer cans. Pizza boxes, clothes and more empty cans covered the floor in between. Another man sat on the bed, not saying anything. Taking Kate's hand in his, Damek introduced this other fellow as his drinking buddy.

"Eight beers he can drink," Damek said. He turned his shoulder back, indicating the man on the bed, and coincidentally pulling Kate closer. "You know how many?"

"Eight?" smiled my partner, genuinely I thought.

"Sixteen beers I can drink," Damek announced. He laughed, looking her in the eye.

"You've had a good feed tonight, too," I said, pointing at the pizza boxes.

"Do you know my name?" he said, ignoring me.

Kate nodded. "Damek?"

He picked up a cheque from Centrelink1 which had been sitting on the sink, presenting the payee's description for her to see. It confirmed we were indeed speaking with Damek. He put it back down on the sink, where it began to acquire a water stain in the corner.

"I have a good name!" he said. "Do you know where I come from? Which country?"

I fished out a plastic cup and began pouring some soup. He told me to pour another four, then asked what kind of sandwiches we had.

Meanwhile, a man wearing faded Adidas pants and no shirt had been emerging from the door next along. The reek of weed followed him like a cowed wife.

We finished giving Damek his soup, plus two salmon sandwiches (he didn't like chicken) and a packet containing cheese, dry crackers and a coffee sachet. Kate apologised and explained we still had many more people to go to, then extricated her hand and knelt to pick up her bags. Damek watched her head for a moment, then seemed to change his mind and went back to his room. As the door closed the other man, the drinking buddy, was staring at the sink.

Adidas man was watching us. He didn't seem to be in a good mood. "Ramona?" he said.

"No," I said, "she's with the other group tonight."

"The bitch" he mumbled with unsurprising venom, as if there were no word more true and accurate.

I looked at Kate but she wasn't looking back, just half-smiling at the man.

"Fucking bitch. You tell her she's a cunt". We gave him a cup of soup, a vegetable pastie, a salad sandwich, and a chiko roll.

"Cunt. Need cunt," we heard indistinctly as the door clicked shut.

Later, back in the van, I mentioned this last man to Ramona.

"That's Roland," she explained. "He has good days and bad days. He got a bit aggro with me last time, asking for more food than we had. I wouldn't give it to him. So he gave me a shove. That was a bad day." She paused, and I wondered what a shove looked like. "So I take the clients across the road now." She paused again. "He's a nice man. He's trying."

"When did that happen?" I asked.

"About three months ago," she said.

It was 11.30 PM by the time we finished up back at the kitchen, washing and cleaning out all our containers, pans, jugs.

. . .

Three months, one hundred days, 2,400 hours, 144,000 minutes. T. S. Eliot said, "In a minute there is time / for decisions and revisions / which a minute will reverse". Is this really true?

Having passed by 144,000 of these minute opportunities, it seemed a safe bet that in the next rough 360 until he became hungry again, things wouldn't change dramatically at Casa Roland, or anywhere else we'd ever been. In the store room next to the kitchen there were more boxes of food waiting. In hospitals somewhere in the city, there were wards of comatose patients, lost cases, hooked up to life support.

In the end, it did only take a minute to tell everyone goodbye, and maybe a minute more to get in my car, start it, and drive away.

1 Centrelink is the Australian Government's welfare agency. Standard payments for non-employed adults are $612.44 per fortnight.

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Display: Sort:
Kill The Poor | 305 comments (275 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
Portrait of a man desperately in need of Jesus. (1.16 / 12) (#9)
by My Other Account Is A Hulver on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:26:01 AM EST



I believe drduck is a genuine account, and I don't delete him because I'm a hypocrite. - rusty
half-truth... (none / 0) (#14)
by bobsquatch on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 12:19:46 PM EST

Come on, the story is about other people besides Roland.

[ Parent ]
a zero (none / 0) (#191)
by maluke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:12:05 PM EST

lemme explain why i rated that comment "0 Hide".

it's a religious spam, that's why. would you go into more detail as of why this man needs a jesus, and why you believe he needs your sermons at all and you would deserve my "1 Discourage", yet this way, by posting it [nt], you show your disrespect to those who do not agree w/ you, so it's just like if you were shouting out your slogan in the mall - no matter if anybody cares. it's too easy to you to do and steals people attention and thusly time. and it leads nowhere in this form anyway, so it's a spam and a zero from me. get it?

[ Parent ]

Half reasoning (none / 0) (#210)
by MrLarch on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:00:18 PM EST

It disrespects people who would agree with it more so because the account name sounds like something designed to troll and the short sentence fragment sounds designed to elicit a reaction, either a mad modding down from "zealots" or a pat on the back from the poster's own ilk (likely someone of the mind that disruption of honest discourse provokes "thought"). If he'd gone into personal detail it would be even easier to believe one way or the other, and the comment might even prove a point or elicit empathy (even if it was dishonest). As it is, it's less spam (for that would assume honesty in the posting -- much too far a leap for here) and more of the same old baited crap flooding.

[ Parent ]
And what to do with this "Jesus" thing? (none / 0) (#270)
by neozeed on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:54:55 PM EST

put it on the dashboard? threaten the poor people with it? Perhaps he could withold food, unless they bow & kiss the feet of his Jesus...
Great freakin idea!

-----------------------
Unless you're alive you can't play. And if you don't play, you don't get to be alive.
[ Parent ]

I live in melbourne (3.00 / 5) (#10)
by djmann88 on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:46:45 AM EST

I live in North melbourne too, and its always been pretty poor. The seven-eleven opposite my front door has been robbed 15 times in 18 months. Three doors down there is a Government Housing Estate, 20 story high apartment blocks storing 200 apartments each, 12 of them on randomly placed in a grass park. They are so old that the pre-stressed concrete floors for each level sag about 18 inches in the middle, but there is no money to replace them, and the people who built them cant be sued.
I used to call it little serbia because of the refugees from that war, but now its little africa, because of sierra leone, liberia, somalia and now sudan. I always take short cuts through this parkland estate, and Ive seen 30 grown men and women surround 2 police officers and threaten them.

Because many are refugees they are socially isolated, which makes them easy prey for refugees from the same region that got off the boat 1 year earlier. Hence drug use is fucking big problem.

Most people get public housing when they are unemployed and keep evermore, often when they earn 3 times as much as i do at my work.
I suspect the only solution is to burn all public housing to the ground. Clumping problems together only makes things worse.

other types of subsidized houseing (none / 1) (#12)
by Norkakn on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 11:12:24 AM EST

I think it was Chicago that is experiementing with mixed income buildings.  So that the heavily subsidized housing would share a building with lower and middle class appartments.

I wish them luck

[ Parent ]

Unfortunately . . . (1.66 / 3) (#13)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 11:23:39 AM EST

. . . that just destroys the value of the housing for those paying full freight. HUD (US) tried "sprinkle housing" in my area. It was fought off by property owners, who knew that having subsidized rental housing in the neighborhood would lower property values for those who bought homes. I have nothing against housing for the poor, but don't do it at my expense by putting it next to my house and making me take a hit in property value.

[ Parent ]
If not you (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by physicsgod on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:14:55 PM EST

Then who? Into whose backyard should we put the poor?

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
There are still open spaces left. (none / 0) (#20)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:23:49 PM EST

Or neighboorhoods that are run down that could use the vitalization. But putting a Section 8 apartment next door to me is tantamount to a taking of my land, which the government cannot legally or morally do without compensation.

[ Parent ]
I know how to stop those fascist tyrants! (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by The Fifth Column on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:31:43 PM EST

Just brandish your gun collection at them while holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence and yelling out random selections.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Do you have a point? (none / 0) (#23)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:33:45 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I am offering a solution to your problem. (none / 1) (#25)
by The Fifth Column on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:36:02 PM EST

You can take it or leave it, but at least recognize it for what it is.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

Thanks, but . . . (none / 0) (#26)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:39:23 PM EST

. . . I prefer to fight "sprinkle housing" through the political process before resorting to force of arms :).

[ Parent ]
That's kinda fucked up... (none / 1) (#46)
by cburke on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:52:34 PM EST

When putting poor people near you, and thus lowering your property value (because who wants to live near poor people?) is "tantamount to a taking of my land".  

I have first hand experience of how mixing Section 8 housing in with other types -- specifically mixing apartments in a single complex in particular, when the subsidies make the Section 8 resident more profitable than the paying -- can be a bad idea.   But seriously, the way you put it is fucked up.

[ Parent ]

How isn't it a taking? (none / 1) (#52)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:23:25 PM EST

If the government put a sewage plant next to your house, wouldn't you get a lawyer and fight? Either way, the government is destroying the value of your property, and that's a taking.

[ Parent ]
What have you lost? (none / 0) (#57)
by cburke on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 11:24:56 PM EST

Nothing but a hypothetical sale value.  Nothing you have is gone.  Is everything that lowers your property value wrong?  As if beyond property rights you have a right to property values; with stocks at least the CEO is obligated to look after the value, even then you have no 'right' to that value.  But apparently poor people and sewage plants are similar, in that they constitute an unlawful hit to your property value.  Right, like I said.


[ Parent ]
There's a difference here. (2.00 / 2) (#80)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:06:00 AM EST

This is a state actor lowering the property value, and there's precedent for this concept: when the EPA lowered owner's property values by declaring them wetlands, the Supreme Court agreed that was a taking.

[ Parent ]
Not quite (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by cpt kangarooski on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:33:41 AM EST

IIRC, you have no right to any given property value. Only at best, an expectation, which isn't protectable.

What happened in the example you cite was that the government denied the landowner the right to do a great many things with his own property.

However, had they merely incidentally lowered the value of his property by doing things elsewhere (e.g. if he owned a toll road, and the state put in a free highway next door), then he'd be SOL.

So no, you're not going to be able to claim a taking when you get annoying neighbors via state action.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]

OK, as cburke so rudely pointed out . . . (none / 0) (#190)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:59:56 PM EST

. . . it might not legally be a taking (although there has been no case law cited here supporting that--because no one rich enough to fight a case has this done to him), but the state is certainly stealing property value by its use of nearby property.

[ Parent ]
Why lowering? (none / 0) (#288)
by QuantumG on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 11:40:58 PM EST

I mean if the local council chooses to open a swimming pool in my neighbourhood but decides not to do the same in your neighbourhood then my property values will go up (who doesn't like swimming pools?) but yours will stay the same. Those bastards!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Huge difference (none / 1) (#100)
by cburke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:46:33 AM EST

The difference between your property and not your property that may, however, have an effect on the perceived value of yours.

But that's exactly the leap from 'property rights' (i.e. your right to the property you own) to 'potential property value rights' (i.e. your right to not have the hypothetical sale value of your land reduced by outside factors not directly related to your land) that originally made me say "that's fucked up".  Turns out I was reading the situation correctly, too.

That's just fucked up.

[ Parent ]

So you disagree. (none / 0) (#156)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:05:31 PM EST

Of course, the state generally doesn't do this to people as rich as the ones who owned the wetlands who could afford to take it all the way.

[ Parent ]
No, I don't disagree. (none / 1) (#184)
by cburke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:49:11 PM EST

With the result of that case.  You said it yourself:  "owned the wetlands".  Not "owned land near what was declared wetlands" but "owned the wetlands".

Until the state wants to start putting poor people on your land your example does not apply to the situation you first described in such a fucked-up manner as "a taking of your land".  It also does not support your view of property value as a property right.

[ Parent ]

Whatever. (none / 1) (#188)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:51:33 PM EST

Please cite case law.

[ Parent ]
You cite. (none / 1) (#192)
by cburke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:24:28 PM EST

Look, dude, you said that putting poor people on nearby, but not on land you own and thus lowering your property value constituted a "taking of my land".

You attempted to support this by stating that people were compensated when the land that they owned was declared to be protected wetlands.  That's not even parallel.

You are the one theorizing that any action the state takes that doesn't involve your property yet may as a side effect lower your property value requires you to be compensated.   Your example illustrates my reasoning, not yours.  So you come up with a cite for your fucked-up opinion.

[ Parent ]

So you don't have a cite . . . (none / 1) (#194)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:28:27 PM EST

. . . very likely because the government wouldn't dare do this to people who could fight back to the Supreme Court. Whether it's legally a taking or not is an open question, I'll admit, but it's most certainly a moral taking.

What I find interesting is that none of the bleeding hearts here disputed my assertion that Section 8 housing lowers property values when placed near legitimately acquired property. That's something the do-gooders should work on fixing if they want to help those who are poor.

[ Parent ]

Hypothetical losses and moral taking... (none / 1) (#197)
by cburke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:20:06 PM EST

... very likely because the government wouldn't dare do this to people who could fight back to the Supreme Court.  

Even in your example of wealthy owners of Florida wetlands, the compensation was only related to the land they owned, not to the fate of other land.  

I'm not going to bother looking for citations when you are the one extending property right to include right to property value.  Even if that notion held water, I would be terribly surprised to find that the government hasn't done it repeatedly.

Whether it's legally a taking or not is an open question, I'll admit, but it's most certainly a moral taking.

And I most certainly disagree.  Your hypothetical property value is not something you own, and thus cannot be taken from you.  Just like if you mis-time you stock sales and only profit 5% when you could have profitted by 20%, you didn't lose 15%.  You gained 5%.  The hypothetical value that you wanted your stock to be worth when you sold it is irrelevent.  When the government allowed horseless carriages on the street, would you have called the subsequent drop in your shares of buggy whip and horse shoe makers "a taking"?  Would a government mandate for hydrogen/fusion/whatever fuels cause to seek recompense for the decreased value of your oil fields?  What if they only mandated fusion research, which might eventually result in your oil fields being worth less?  I'm sure you'd be furious at the blatant theft of your potential tobacco crop profits after the state-run tobacco lawsuits.  Exactly how hypothetical and tangential does this loss have to be before it isn't a "moral taking" anymore?  How can you call the "loss" of money currently sitting in someone else's bank account unmolested "a taking"?

If you bought land with the expectation that said land would have, retain, or attain a certain sale value that's your problem, and I'd be interested in finding out if you have any evidence to the contrary.  Until these property value lowering actions actually effect your property, I don't see how you have any argument for even a "moral" taking.

What I find interesting is that none of the bleeding hearts here disputed my assertion that Section 8 housing lowers property values when placed near legitimately acquired property. That's something the do-gooders should work on fixing if they want to help those who are poor.

I don't dispute it because I agree that it is true, but I don't give a shit about your property value.  But hey, I'd love to do things like provide the poor with more opportunities and better standards of living so that crime is reduced, tangentially raising your property value.  At least to the extent that your lowered values aren't simply the result of the stigma of being near poor people.  Why you think I should worry about your property value for its own sake is beyond me, excepting maybe that it'd make people like you more willing to have poor people near them.

[ Parent ]

Without that willingness . . . (none / 0) (#198)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:22:03 PM EST

. . . Why you think I should worry about your property value for its own sake is beyond me, excepting maybe that it'd make people like you more willing to have poor people near them.

You'll have an uphill fight every time you try to put a project in a good neighboorhood. That's why you should care.



[ Parent ]

Nothing hypothetical or tangenital . . . (2.00 / 2) (#199)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:24:15 PM EST

. . . about the middle class flight that occurs when real estate is devalued by having subsidized housing placed near it. I notice that none of the hypothetical and tangenital examples you mention involve real estate.

[ Parent ]
Oil fields aren't real estate? (none / 1) (#209)
by cburke on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:55:20 PM EST

There's a lot of land in Texas that won't be worth a plug nickel if Mr. Fusion ever comes to pass.  I'll feel so bad for all the people whose hypothetical money was stolen by larcenous scientists and the robber-barons at the EPA as I'm flying around in my bananna peel-powered car.  Your land value is just as hypothetical as your stock value -- it is based only on what others are willing to pay at any given moment, based on a thousand factors that you can't sue anyone over.  When(if) the bottom falls out of the real estate market like it appears, maybe people will realize this.  Wealth on paper is expensive-looking toilet paper regardless of whether it comes from stocks, real estate, or beanie babies.

I know that the unwillingness to have poor people nearby is real.  I know that you really hold the opinions you do.  Now, maybe if you didn't flee as soon as the poor people moved nearby, thus flooding the market with homes in your area, your property value wouldn't drop so much.   Personally I believe a lot of the problem is tied up in people's greater concern for their paper wealth than for their fellow man.  But when faced with the reality of opinions like "lowering my property value by helping the poor have homes is theft!" I tend to forget such noble goals and respond "that's fucked up".  Being told by those same people who obviously don't give a fuck about the poor that if I care about the poor then I should care about their property values causes me to say "you're fucked up" and worry more about helping the poor while ignoring these people.  Productive?  No, I have to admit.  Could I have changed your mind regardless of my choice of verbiage?  Hmm...  you tell me.

[ Parent ]

How the hell did I miss the oil fields? (none / 0) (#211)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:29:41 PM EST

I'll refrain from disingenuously arguing that it's the mineral rights, and not the real estate that falls in value in that case.

Now, maybe if you didn't flee as soon as the poor people moved nearby, thus flooding the market with homes in your area, your property value wouldn't drop so much.

Let's say I saw the light and came to believe that handing people things rather than giving them enough to survive decently, but not so much they're not motivated to improve their lot. But then I'm still screwed, because my neighbors won't, and I'll be stuck with a worthless plot of land in a decaying neighborhood as more and more homes are bought up by absentee landlords mining Section 8 gold.

Could I have changed your mind regardless of my choice of verbiage? Hmm... you tell me.

I have an open mind--but like many, I have the weakness that it closes pretty darn quickly in the face of open hostility. Would a change to gentler language make me solicit HUD to buy the house next door? Probably not.

[ Parent ]

Open mind or not (none / 0) (#290)
by kahako1 on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 04:37:59 PM EST

You have no right to perceived property values. If a section 8 project were coming my neighborhood I'd fight it or move. I do not like the potential negative impact would have on my family.

I do not believe that I am entitled to my property value. Shit happens. I cannot control or predict people or markets. But what really disgusts me is the belief in entitlements is so prevalent. It not the poor. Its the middle class and rich. I worked hard I have a right to be wealthy i.e. society owes me wealth. B.S. society owes you nothing. Just as it owes the poor "morons who should get off their asses" nothing.

Join me in the struggle to get wealthy (maybe you already are). Take advantage or our welfare state (almost everyone can get some if they play it right) if you want. But, shut up about what you are entitled too. Or, actually don't. Thats what's great about the US everybody gets a chance to whine.
"... always look on the bright side of death..." - Eric Idle
[ Parent ]

Talked this to death. (none / 0) (#292)
by acceleriter on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 12:30:43 AM EST

But we're not talking "theoretical" here, and I had already mentioned fighting. While the reality is that the government can pretty much do whatever the hell it wants, that certainly doesn't mean it has a moral right to. I don't recall having said that ociety "owed" me anything.

[ Parent ]
Sure. (none / 0) (#235)
by ckaminski on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:34:16 AM EST

Put a 10 unit apartment block in the midst of a collection of million dollar saltboxs, and yes, your property values will decline.  In the Northeast (Metro boston), it probably wouldn't even register.  

[ Parent ]
Whatever, fucktard. Here's your fucking cites. (none / 1) (#281)
by rigorist on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:03:32 AM EST

San Diego Gas & Electric v. City of San Diego
Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan

Oh, by the way, you are a fucktard who doesn't know shit about the takings clause.

You licensed to practice anywhere, fucktard?

[ Parent ]

Where are you licensed to practice? (none / 0) (#293)
by acceleriter on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 12:33:46 AM EST

Cockbreath?

[ Parent ]
P.S. (none / 0) (#294)
by acceleriter on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 12:44:28 AM EST

Neither of your "cites" address the kind of taking involved.

[ Parent ]
I notice our little paralegal hasn't come back. (none / 0) (#305)
by acceleriter on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 10:11:03 PM EST

nt

[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#72)
by curien on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:37:52 AM EST

That's retarded. Seriously, there's no way to form a consistent system from that postulate. Your property value is set by the market, not by the government.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
See other post about precedent. (none / 0) (#81)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:06:45 AM EST

"That's retarted" is a pretty lousy counterargument, BTW.

[ Parent ]
You've failed to address second sentence nt (3.00 / 2) (#82)
by curien on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:33:03 AM EST

"BTW" is a pretty lousy counterargument.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
I stopped reading your comment (none / 1) (#157)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:06:27 PM EST

after "retarded."

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, what did you say? (none / 0) (#218)
by curien on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:06:50 AM EST

I stopped reading you're post after the word "I".

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 1) (#175)
by irrevenant on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:24:59 PM EST

You've bought your land, you're free to do what you want with it (within legal limits).  But you haven't bought the land next door - the owner of THAT land is free to do whatever they want with it too...

[ Parent ]
There's this thing called zoning. (none / 0) (#179)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:21:35 PM EST

Thank goodness it can be used to stop this sort of do-gooder meddling with neighborhoods at the local level in many cases.

[ Parent ]
Hence the... (none / 1) (#236)
by ckaminski on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:40:12 AM EST

(within legal limits) clause of the GP comment.

Zoning == legal limits.

[ Parent ]

Far away. (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by The Fifth Column on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:25:50 PM EST

I would suggest Yucca Mountain, but I think the upstanding people of Nevada may oppose that.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

How about yours? (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 01:35:14 PM EST

Have you contacted HUD to express your willingness and desire to see a tract of projects erected next to your home? Or are you like the other limousine liberals who want to help the poor, but not in their backyards?

[ Parent ]
How about everyone's (none / 0) (#33)
by levesque on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 06:01:38 PM EST

Or if one building out of every ten creates problems, how about one apartment out of every ten apartments.

[ Parent ]
Limousine liberals! (none / 1) (#49)
by GenerationY on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 09:17:37 PM EST

Hehe. I used to be accused of being a Champagne Socialist, but obviously things have moved on. You gotta keep up with the Joneses even in the left-wing game these days. Ack...

[ Parent ]
Pretty common on this side of the pond. (2.00 / 2) (#51)
by acceleriter on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:22:24 PM EST

Champagne Socialists sounds like alliteration (especially if drunk--Champagne Shocialists). Just rolls of the tongue--I like it :)!

[ Parent ]
NB (none / 1) (#53)
by GenerationY on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:29:39 PM EST

I'm not a socialist, more of a pedant who once had to read the books. But I'd be careful using the term to a real live socialist because its actually nonsensical. You'll get a puzzled look and they'll ask if you if you are suggesting that only the bourgeoisie are good enough for fine drink...it will rapidly become ugly whatever you say to that.

But yeah, another one for the rhetorical armoury.
Limousine Liberal makes more sense though.

[ Parent ]

yours! /nt (none / 1) (#75)
by fleece on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:04:40 AM EST





I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Boo hoo hoo (2.33 / 3) (#85)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:39:48 AM EST

You don't own the HUD-subsidizied houses, so what right do you have to complain? That the HUD is doing what it wants with it's own money? How is a contract between two parties any business of nosy neighbours?

God you NIMBYs make me sick.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Misplaced Annoyances (none / 1) (#90)
by virg on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:17:26 AM EST

> You don't own the HUD-subsidizied houses, so what right do you have to complain? That the HUD is doing what it wants with it's own money? How is a contract between two parties any business of nosy neighbours?

I tend to agree with your view on the NIMBY set, but this is a bad approach to the argument. If HUD does something in his neighborhood that reduces property values (including his), then it becomes his business in that his house is now worth less (will sell for less, will garner less as collateral for a loan, etc.) so he's not just being a "nosy neighbor".

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#93)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:37:15 AM EST

It's none of his business. It's a contract between two parties that has been entered into freely. It's nothing to do with him.

He may very well speculate upon (and complain about) the hypothetical future reaction of the property market to these external events, but he cannot seriously claim that anything is being taken from him.

The simple fact is, in a market economy, external events often reduce the value of our property and capital. For example, businesses may be devauled due to increased competition and price-cutting. Fluctuations in the commodity market may make farmers lose money. But only NIMBY property owners feel such a sense of entitlement to claim that something is being stolen from them when this happens.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Urm... (3.00 / 3) (#103)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:03:09 PM EST

It's none of his business. It's a contract between two parties that has been entered into freely. It's nothing to do with him.

HUD is a gov't program, meaning it's not some contract between two private parties. It's a contract between a private party and a public, governmental party. Since the home owners in the area are members of the government - they pay taxes, are citizens, etc., etc. - then they should most definitely have a say in how their tax dollars are spent.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#214)
by rob1 on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 12:02:22 AM EST

He's not a member of the government. He's a member of the public. Members of the public don't have any direct say in how individual programs and agencies are run. They can express themselves by lobbying and voting, but that's it.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Right (none / 1) (#241)
by skim123 on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 01:29:33 PM EST

He's not a member of the government. He's a member of the public. Members of the public don't have any direct say in how individual programs and agencies are run.

I concur that they don't have a direct say in how an agency is run, but how is having a bunch of neighbors petition to have HUD not sprinkle in subsidized housing into their neighborhoods doing that? It sounds like they are lobbying their politicians to make a policy change - namely DON'T PUT THEM POOR FOLKS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. I see nothing wrong with this, and applaud those who take an active role in their local governing process rather than just sitting there bitching about it.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Misdirection (none / 0) (#250)
by virg on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 05:24:03 PM EST

> It's none of his business. It's a contract between two parties that has been entered into freely. It's nothing to do with him.

It is indeed his business if it'll affect his property value. You can claim that he has no entitlement to the value in his property, and you'd be right, but you have no right to say he has no business trying to affect things that will affect his property values. His reaction to the change is the only thing he rightly should do. You can claim that the deal is not his business, but the externalities of that deal affect the community, and saying that those in the community do not have any right to try to affect their community is short-sighted.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
I bet you'd change your tune . . . (none / 0) (#193)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:24:29 PM EST

. . . if it were next door to your house. Or have you already contacted HUD and asked them to build in your neighboorhood. If not, let me respond to your NIMBY retort with "You hypocrites make me sick."

[ Parent ]
Resorting to ad hominen, eh? (none / 0) (#195)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:35:30 PM EST

Oh yeah, heres some LOGIC 101 for you: It would be hypocritical if they came into my neighbourhood and I bitterly complained that my property was being "stolen". It's not hypocritical for me to not actively encourage them to come, because I wasn't criticizing you for not doing that.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

So you haven't volunteered. (none / 0) (#196)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:39:43 PM EST

That's what I thought.

[ Parent ]
P.S.: Here's some LATIN 101 for you: (none / 1) (#200)
by acceleriter on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:29:18 PM EST

it's ad hominem (which you engaged in before my alleged use of it, anyway--but misuse of Latin is more offensive.)

[ Parent ]
Resorting to nitpicking my spelling? (none / 0) (#213)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:59:58 PM EST

I take it my logic is so unassailable you've got nothing else to complain about.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Yeah, that must be it. Not.; (none / 0) (#226)
by acceleriter on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 07:30:07 AM EST



[ Parent ]
You forgot to address . . . (none / 0) (#251)
by acceleriter on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 06:44:45 PM EST

your use of ad hominem. That, and you haven't said what you're doing to help the poor. Oh, wait, holding you to your stated stance is "illogical."

[ Parent ]
RE:Clumping problems together (none / 0) (#162)
by quadcity on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:19:31 PM EST

>Clumping problems together only makes things worse. We have the same problem here, in the US. Some localities scatter their subsidized housing (called section-eight housing here), with much better results. Some forward-thinking cities buy substandard housing and rennovate it, killing two birds with one stone.
- Mike T.
[ Parent ]
Dead Kennedys Kill the Poor (2.14 / 7) (#31)
by mcgrew on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 03:24:36 PM EST

Efficiency and progress is ours once more
Now that we have the Neutron bomb
It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done
Away with excess enemy
But no less value to property
No sense in war but perfect sense at home:

The sun beams down on a brand new day
No more welfare tax to pay
Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light
Jobless millions whisked away
At last we have more room to play
All systems go to kill the poor tonight

Gonna
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor tonight

Behold the sparkle of champagne
The crime rate's gone
Feel free again
O' life's a dream with you, Miss Lily White
Jane Fonda on the screen today
Convinced the liberals it's okay
So let's get dressed and dance away the night

While they:
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor tonight

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Register That Weapon! (none / 1) (#50)
by Peahippo on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:16:24 PM EST

Jane Fonda on the screen today
Convinced the liberals it's okay


Christ, I just about fell off my chair when I read that. That wasn't a song; it was fucking PROPHECY. The Liberals really would be falling all over themselves in a self-justification frenzy once "nuke the poor" became the prevailing, sick philosophy of their depraved class. After all, how many Libs lined up behind GWB when dropping bombs on Iraqis became the forefront of American foreign relations?


[ Parent ]
I had a song stuck in my head (none / 0) (#69)
by Scrymarch on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:39:59 AM EST

About this time last year, my head radio was playing Radiohead's cover of DK's When You Get Drafted on a constant loop.  I got sick of it after a while, but it still seems a shame it doesn't exist.

[ Parent ]
$612.44 per fortnight (none / 1) (#39)
by QuantumG on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:02:28 PM EST

Where'd ya get that from? Maybe you ment per month.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
The rates (none / 1) (#40)
by egeland on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:14:28 PM EST

...are here.

--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]
maybe he's suggesting (none / 1) (#44)
by QuantumG on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:34:33 PM EST

The partner'd rate. So if there's two of you you'd get $356.00 per fortnight each, which would be $712 per fortnight total, which is only $100 more than what he's saying. I think he's just trying to make people outraged.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Brilliant. (1.40 / 5) (#41)
by Empedocles on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:14:55 PM EST

Perhaps you should consider looking to see how long a fortnight is before you arbitrarily assign it a definition of your own making.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
Heh, you must be american (1.00 / 2) (#43)
by QuantumG on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:31:50 PM EST

A fortnight is two weeks.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
I know a fortnight is equal to two weeks. (1.75 / 4) (#47)
by Empedocles on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 09:12:10 PM EST

I wrote that because your original post implied that a fortnight was equal to a month.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
How (none / 0) (#48)
by QuantumG on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 09:14:55 PM EST

Where'd ya get that from? Maybe you ment per month.

Please tell me how that implies one is equal to the other... try actually reading before you hit reply.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

How odd. (1.20 / 5) (#56)
by Empedocles on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:44:17 PM EST

Perhaps you should consider thinking before you write.

Also, your spellcheck seems to be broken. Perhaps you should fix it before someone thinks you're barely literate in English or something.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]

perhaps... (2.00 / 3) (#66)
by coderlemming on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:37:52 AM EST

Perhaps you should reconsider what someone has said before making sarcastic "perhaps you should consider ... before posting" replies.  I'll clear this one up, and this stupid thread can die already.

$612.44 per fortnight?  Where'd ya get that from? Maybe you ment per month.

So clearly the OP meant that it seemed like $612.44 is an awful large number to be paid twice monthly, and perhaps that's the actual total monthly payment.


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]

Dense today? (1.25 / 4) (#68)
by Empedocles on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:00:14 AM EST

The reply to the original comment that listed the rates made that abundantly clear.  You, however, are ruining my flamewar fun by pointing out the blazingly obvious.

Back to marching off cliffs with you.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]

this makes me want to go back to threaded /nt (1.50 / 2) (#79)
by fleece on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:18:32 AM EST





I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
That's $857.88 US? (none / 0) (#60)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:11:03 AM EST

damn. gau here is only $339 per month + $87 in food stamps. i could buy a lot of crack with $850! and according to that rates page, it's actually AU $394 per fortnight, so US $1100 per month! damn, i should move to australia.

[ Parent ]
hate to burst your bubble (none / 0) (#61)
by QuantumG on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:14:06 AM EST

but when you convert from AU$ to US$ you get a smaller number, not a larger number. Go back to your calculator.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
now you know why i'm on gau! (none / 0) (#63)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:17:19 AM EST

d'oh. AU $394.60 = US $281.70. still more than i'm getting...

[ Parent ]
Became clear... (2.75 / 4) (#42)
by cburke on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:25:48 PM EST

What did?  That poor people are like everyone else?  That inertia is the greatest force in most peoples' lives?  Yeah, I'm as surprised as you.

Inertia (none / 0) (#289)
by Koatdus on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:27:06 PM EST

The saying needs to be changed..."television is the opate of the masses."

I know people on both ends of the spectrum and the poor seem to spend a lot more time watching TV then the rich.

Not that you can blame tv for making people poor but it does seem to be a symptom of the  mental state that keeps people poor.  Escapism perhaps? Or perhaps just lazyness... "I am tired and now I am just going to sit here and watch TV."

People with the "get ahead" mentality seldom have the time to sit around and watch a tv show.  They are busy doing and going and making.  

I am not sure how you instill that get ahead outlook in someone.  It runs in families and is probably because the kids saw their parents doing it. My inlaws all have it. I was amazed when I first met them that all most all of them ran their own businesses. No one in my family started a business... we all worked fourty hours a week for someone else.

My daughter seems to have it too.  She is nine and all summer long she runs her own lemonade stand and hires the kids next door to run it for her when she can't be out there.  

All on her own, she even came up with the idea to pay them by the cup sold so they would sell more.

Saddly the kids of those "on the dole" never learn anything else so you end up with generation after generation of poor.  

Perhaps instead of the parents our tax dollars would be better spent on the kids.

Educate them on how to start and run a business and how to climb out of the hole they are in.

There would also have to be a fair amount of re-education as to how society doesn't owe them anything and in fact they owe society the effort to live usefull, productive lives.  For those that say re-education is wrong... well if you don't want to be re-educated you don't need to receive tax money.

Those who are disabled should continue to receive a monthly check although I have the impression that many of those who claim disablity could easily do something else.  I know people on disability who can no longer work construction but would do just fine in other non-physical lines of work if they bothered to develop new skills.

For the parents who are able bodied, provide half price child care as long as they are holding a job or running a business.  For those that think they can sit around and do nothing... let them starve.

---
Every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward - T. Edison
[ Parent ]

Blah (none / 0) (#297)
by kaens on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:26:43 AM EST

"I know people on both ends of the spectrum and the poor seem to spend a lot more time watching TV then the rich.

Not that you can blame tv for making people poor but it does seem to be a symptom of the mental state that keeps people poor. Escapism perhaps? Or perhaps just lazyness... "I am tired and now I am just going to sit here and watch TV."

People with the "get ahead" mentality seldom have the time to sit around and watch a tv show. They are busy doing and going and making."

While this may be true for where you live, around me (Bridgeport, West Virginia) it seems like both the rich and the poor watch alot of television, although moreso the poor simply because they cannot afford the "entertainment" that the rich can around here, and even that is sparse.

In all honesty, at least around here people don't seem to think that there's much else to do. Personally, I use the TV for games and movies and barely ever watch television....I would rather read a good book or hang out with some freinds.

Another point is people with the "get ahead mentality"...around here that doesn't matter - you can create and make all you want, but you're not going to get anywhere because people still aren't going to notice you unless you are creating stuff for the high school or the church on the corner.

Agh I don't think I even have a point.....maybe I just need to get myself somewhere else other than WV.


--I surface, and I stagnate.
[ Parent ]

Moral of the Story: (1.85 / 14) (#45)
by Kasreyn on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 08:44:22 PM EST

Poor, marginalized, helpless people are poor, marginalized, and hard to help!

FILM AT ELEVEN

-1


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
articulates my feelings about this website (2.50 / 4) (#54)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:42:31 PM EST

with more clarity than i probably could in less than fifteen minutes' writing. (which, by my reckoning, makes this article one of the most worthy of my vote i've seen to date.)

yes, these people are beyond help. yes, our efforts are undone in a minutes' time, but it's the quest that's important. after all, didn't his strength increase just a little bit every time sysiphus pushed that boulder up the hill? the struggle makes us better, even if only a little, with each day, each minute.


rmg: comments better than yours.

small typographical correction: (1.50 / 4) (#55)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 10:43:40 PM EST

"sysiphus" should obviously read "sisyphus."


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
always (none / 1) (#84)
by shokk on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:36:45 AM EST

but it's the quest that's important
the struggle makes us better

So what you're saying is that the well-off need the poor to make them feel a little better when they stop to drop off a can of soup or some such little thing? Making ourselves stronger is not the point. Making their existence a little less miserable is the point. Realization that you won't be able to do much more than make them a little more comfortable is important. Sure you could give US$100k to someone to change their lives, but there are still a million more like him and you can't do that for all of them without yourself becoming poor along the way. The poor will always be poor.


"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]
and besides (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by emmons on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:48:56 PM EST

Giving people like that $100k isn't going to change their lives, it's just going to allow them to spend $100k and end up a year later in the exact same situation.

Money isn't the problem with people like that. Often it's their values that are the problem.

There was a time when the US school system taught personal responsibility.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

roar (2.00 / 2) (#121)
by atarola on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:24:20 PM EST

emmons:
There was a time when the US school system taught personal responsibility.
Since I am an ignorant American (taught by the US public school system and all) and completly lacking in all geography skills, would you please point out Melbourne, Australia to me on a US map?

No? You can't? Then what the fuck does this story have to do with the US public school system?

Please unplug your keyboard,
atarola


"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live"
-- John F. Woods
[ Parent ]
I know where it is... (none / 1) (#166)
by mcgrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:52:30 PM EST

...but I didn't learn it in school. What do American schools teach? That learning is a thing to be avoided, that curiosity must be punished, that sports are more important than art, literature, music, and science combined. That you are worthless. That your rights are nonexistant and you might as well be in prison.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

roar x2 (none / 1) (#181)
by atarola on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:23:28 PM EST

mcgrew:
...but I didn't learn it in school. What do American schools teach? That learning is a thing to be avoided, that curiosity must be punished, that sports are more important than art, literature, music, and science combined. That you are worthless. That your rights are nonexistant and you might as well be in prison.
So, American schools suck... gotcha.

Could you please educate me on the connection that fact has with helping the homeless in Australia and the Author's experience with it?

Cheers,
atarola


"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live"
-- John F. Woods
[ Parent ]
ugh already (none / 0) (#206)
by MrLarch on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:49:04 PM EST

Could you please educate me on the connection that fact has with helping the homeless in Australia and the Author's experience with it?

They're people. That's the connection. The rabid "antigeocentric" position often misses that point.

[ Parent ]

no shit (none / 0) (#215)
by emmons on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 12:51:17 AM EST

When did I say or even imply that Melbourne, Australia is in the US? shokk used USD in his comment, and since I was replying to his comment, I figured it would be safe to make a comment on the US school system.

Further, my comment was really more about human nature than anything. But, I suppose you wouldn't like to comment on substance. I understand; you feel much better about yourself when you can call other people stupid. I'm glad that I could help you cope with your low self esteem.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

'tard extensions allow onscreen keyboard (none / 0) (#228)
by fleece on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 08:42:55 AM EST

for pointy-click type(s).



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Very interesting! (2.33 / 3) (#114)
by bakuretsu on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:01:19 PM EST

Is that one of the fundamental differences between the extreme conservative and extreme liberal ideals in America?

Liberals say, "Oh, those poor people, we must extend a hand to help them. Salve their wounds, if only for a short while." In the meantime, the conservatives crow, "Those poor people, if they wanted to get out they could, and we need people to take out our trash, anyway, don't we?!"

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

the poor will always be poor (2.50 / 2) (#136)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:10:38 PM EST

as long as resources are limited and a social hierarchy exists. if resources are plentiful and there is no ruling class in control of distribution, there is no need for anyone to be poor.

[ Parent ]
Hmm The poor need not be "poor" (none / 0) (#225)
by Wallas A Hockpock on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 03:34:49 AM EST

as long as resources are limited and a social hierarchy exists. if resources are plentiful and there is no ruling class in control of distribution, there is no need for anyone to be poor. See if that was true in the morning by the afternoon it would be untrue. Human nature. There will always be "poor" people human society is self regulating that way. More realistic is this simple proposition. Every adult human is entitled to the dignity of a living wage job. Not a hand out, a job they they get paid for doing. A job that will allow them to make their own way in diginity.

[ Parent ]
Re: Hmm... (none / 0) (#279)
by trane on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:19:00 PM EST

See if that was true in the morning by the afternoon it would be untrue. Human nature.

Not if I were in control of the distribution. Or John Coltrane, or Gandhi, or Jesus...

[ Parent ]

Yes true. (none / 0) (#283)
by Wallas A Hockpock on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 07:36:52 AM EST

But you or I are not likely ever to be in control.

I'll get the grammar bad here I bet. I support making it a obligation of society to it's members  that everyone has the opportunity of employment at a living wage at a minimum. A living wage is not poverty. A living wage means having enough to be free of want for food, clothing and shelter. I would do this and I am a freeking libertarian. Go figure.

[ Parent ]

Sysiphus - getting stronger? (3.00 / 2) (#151)
by rdmiller3 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:22:54 PM EST

Um no. It's a nice thought, in a sort of there-might-eventually-be-a-happy-ending way but I've never seen any version of the Sysiphus legend where he got any stronger or had any chance of getting out of his special punishment.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/sisyphus.html

Last I heard, our hero was still slated to push that stone for all eternity, stronger or not.

[ Parent ]

I used to live near there. (none / 1) (#58)
by davedean on Sun Sep 26, 2004 at 11:26:00 PM EST

Now I dont.

That place is a HOLE. "Stabby Flats" on Brunswick and Gertrude only just win the title of "Fitzroy's Ghetto" by weight of numbers. The little shitboxes on Nicholson are still concentrated evil.

I have, on early mornings, come across the soup-people standing out near the exhibition building, feeding the poor.

We should nuke gertrude street +/-5metres from orbit. Take out the vast majority of the inner city slum land in one hit.

-Dave
--
Dave Dean
Google loves me again! New Formula!

Nice overall (2.00 / 5) (#62)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:15:05 AM EST

but this simile is really really bad: "The reek of weed followed him like a cowed wife."

yeh (none / 0) (#64)
by forgotten on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:52:33 AM EST

i cringed a bit when i read that, and i've been desensitized by the k5 fiction section.

best left out.

--

[ Parent ]

huh (none / 0) (#91)
by speek on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:27:20 AM EST

The one flash of brilliance makes you cringe.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

2nd try (none / 0) (#65)
by Robert Acton on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:21:54 AM EST

"The reek of weed clung to him like a stray hair to his porcelain basin..."

--
I am cured.
[ Parent ]
better... (none / 0) (#67)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:39:24 AM EST

but they're still such different things..."like over-applied cologne to a man worried about his body odor", or "like the sound of voices to a schizophrenic" are the best i can come up with right now heh. it may in fact be best to leave it out altogether. but do as you wish, i've already voted +1 FP!

[ Parent ]
That's really terrible (none / 0) (#117)
by The Fifth Column on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:08:39 PM EST

The original simile was just fine.

A man shall not lay down with another man and ravage his reeking, unshaven cornhole.
[ Parent ]

fine (none / 0) (#134)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:02:26 PM EST

chacun a` son gou^t, I guess...

comparing the smell of weed to a cowed wife just offends me somehow.

[ Parent ]

simile (none / 0) (#298)
by kaens on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:33:15 AM EST

like semen to wet pubes.


--I surface, and I stagnate.
[ Parent ]
it's really pretty good when you think about it (none / 0) (#76)
by fleece on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:08:13 AM EST





I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
You call that article "nice"? (nt) (none / 0) (#86)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:48:47 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
very good (none / 1) (#77)
by fleece on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:14:25 AM EST

I've been very anti-PC of late, so I really enjoyed this.

I also have this theory based on my experience (in Australia I'm talking) that it is actually very difficult to go to jail, especially for a lengthy stay. You have to fuck up time and time again, and show no improvement over an extended period.

If what we're lead to believe is true, this is quite a different situation to the US, where it seems it's pretty easy to end up in jail. I'd love for someone to be bothered doing the research and a write-up on this. Outside of what would be considered extreme or violent crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery, etc, what do you have to do to go to jail in Australia?



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
Duh (2.00 / 5) (#105)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:05:45 PM EST

Australia IS a jail so there's no sense putting people already in jail into a different one (except for controlling an unruly population).

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 1) (#138)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:13:28 PM EST

i wonder if you misinterpret the point of the article, or if i do? i take the title to be as sarcastic as the song by the dead kennedies someone else has kindly posted.

[ Parent ]
Well .... not quite. (3.00 / 3) (#212)
by mrt on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:55:26 PM EST

Australia has a very different attitude towards crime and punishment than the US. For a start, the USians have a very puritan religious undercurrent which makes them get very emotional about things like drugs and prostitution.

So in the US, you get a lot of drug users and prostitutes going to jail and being put outside the system. Many states have legalised prostitution in Australia and several states have de-criminalised marijuana. Of course, for much of Australia's history the marijuana has been grown and supplied by certain members of the state police, something which is less likely to happen in the US.

Also, because we have unemployment benefits (or should I say, "used to have") our robbery rate used to be quite low, but in the last 15 years or so has increased every time the govt. makes it harder to get unemployment benefits.

Lastly, Australians generally have a "us and them" attitude towards authority. They don't have faith in the system the way Americans do, and they help each other to break the law (less so now with many immigrants coming from countries with authoritarian regimes like Iran and China).

Outside of what would be considered extreme or violent crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery, etc, what do you have to do to go to jail in Australia?

Not pay your parking fines, insider trading, contempt of court.


-

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
[ Parent ]
i'd rather kill the rich still (2.62 / 16) (#78)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:16:12 AM EST

they have more goodes to steal ;-)

i used to do aids outreach/ education in the lower east side of manhattan in the early 1990s... i've been to the needle exchange programs and i know the type: utterly beyond salvation, uttlerly beyond argument: permanently fucked and of no help to anyone else or even themselves

what do you do with a feral, animal human being?

some just have been stuck down so long, it's beyond argument whether they deserve their lot in life or not, they are so utterly fucked in the head it would be better to just kill them and make them into fur coats? is that your gist? lol ;-P

you can argue all you want about if the environment makes the ill-adapted loser or the ill-adapted loser makes his environment... the truth is of course it's a feedback cycle- some get stuck in it, some escape, but it does have a sucking sound and it does hold you down... you can't even tell who deserves what anymore: the trail of crimes and causes and effects and self-destruction is so complete and psychologically irretrievable that there is just no teasing it all out: which came first- the loser or the environment, it all merges into one

it's just that some have been down so long that really, truly, there is no more arguments, regardless of all the "society is to blame!" or "personal accountability!" bs on either side- there is little redeemable left in some, they are just utterly fucked, whether they deserve it or not, so they are just beyond redemption or question or blame or accountability

so what do you do?

i think that at that point, the question becomes not one of cause and effect and blame and who deserves what... there is just considering your attitude, your basic premise to a flat inscurtable moral surface:

when presented with a feral human being, what do you do?

me, honestly, my reaction is to just let them be, give them food since society can afford it very easily, and forget about them, don't let them bother you, and don't let society bother them, leave them alone like some sort of wild animal... as long as they don't hurt anyone else, let them wander the earth, unmolested and unmolesting (but if they do wind up hurting someone though, go ahead and turn them into fur coats lol ;-P )

either way, like i said beofre, i'd rather kill the rich... they have more goodies you can steal ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Is the government really helping them? (none / 0) (#111)
by labradore on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:44:39 PM EST

Would it be better or worse if the state abandoned these people completely?

[ Parent ]
well that's my whole point (none / 1) (#135)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:10:31 PM EST

these people are beyond judgment- they are so far afield of you and i's typical day-to-day questions of society's responsibility vs personal accountability

they are feral human beings

so then the question shifts- it's not about them anymore, it's about you

in other words, what should a society's first impulse be towards the utterly destitute?

benign neglect just makes their plight uglier it seems- they starve, and they won't even help themselves or they are unable to

so i choose weak altruism, and you can even paint my concern as selfish if you choose to: i just don't want to see people starving outside on the street... give them food, and ignore them otherwise in every regard... allow them to continue fending for themselves, because truly, some of them are so fucked up that any further help will be useless to them- they will just misjudge and ignore any other help you give them, including housing: almost in the most extreme, truest spirit of independence, a house to some of them is not wanted (and for some of them, a house or place of abode is just simply outside their ability to maintain as a frame of reference- due to mental defect, paranoia, social maladaption, etc.)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

yup (none / 1) (#271)
by garote on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:04:45 PM EST

Agreed. Feed 'em, but don't bring 'em home.

(And if they ask for money, give 'em a banana.)

[ Parent ]

these people seem pretty tame to me (none / 1) (#139)
by trane on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:17:47 PM EST

i've had some experiences with the homeless and crack-addicted that make these people look harmless. lying, violent, thieving, snitching, conscience-less, fucked up crackheads who fuck with people for the pure enjoyment of it.

[ Parent ]
Out of interest... (3.00 / 4) (#87)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:52:12 AM EST

... exactly what were you expecting? Those people are so poor they need to be fed from a soup van. Of course they're going to be dirty, smelly, unlovable, violent, dangerous and rude!

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
Trash ... (3.00 / 3) (#126)
by Cheetah on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:00:34 PM EST

Last I looked, taking out the trash doesn't require money, just the ability and willingness to pick it up and put it somewhere else. As much as I might like to think that many poor are not bad people but just bad luck, there seem to be so many that don't take basic efforts to make their residence other than a shithole that I am really left to wonder ...

[ Parent ]
Nice troll. (none / 0) (#258)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:45:31 AM EST

If it's not, you're a bloody idiot.

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Please elaborate. (none / 0) (#276)
by tsubame on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:41:30 PM EST

I don't see what was so trollish about that comment.

---
"Congratulations, that's now my new sig." -mcc, in response to my comment about circlejerk meta k5 sigs.
[ Parent ]
Depends (none / 1) (#262)
by dasunt on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:50:03 AM EST

Last I looked, taking out the trash doesn't require money, just the ability and willingness to pick it up and put it somewhere else.

Depends on where you live. I know of a few seniors who live in areas where you have to pay for trash pickup. Way more common if you own/rent a home or duplex then an appartment.



[ Parent ]
During the "Great Depression"... (none / 0) (#163)
by quadcity on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:24:34 PM EST

"exactly what were you expecting? Those people are so poor they need to be fed from a soup van. Of course they're going to be dirty, smelly, unlovable, violent, dangerous and rude!"

During the "Great Depression" in the US, there were many more poor people than today, but the crime rate didn't skyrocket.
(The situation was likely the same in the UK and Australia. Does anybody have any knowledge about this?)

I think it's more of a problem with society than just economics.
- Mike T.
[ Parent ]
not really. (none / 0) (#172)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:13:06 PM EST

If everyone is poor, then you're all in the same boat, you're still "equal" to the rest of the society.

Today, in modern western countries, a vast majority are not poor. Being poor amongst the rich is more difficult mentally, and this ups the crime rate.

Adding to that, the US crime rate is already wacked, so I wouldn't really use it as an example.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

For your consideration (2.25 / 4) (#88)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:57:00 AM EST

Assuming here that most readers are not familiar with the Australian dollars value versus the American one, here is the conversion:

AU$612.44 per fortnight = US$873.71 per month.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Wow (none / 0) (#95)
by minerboy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:10:52 AM EST

That's pretty generous. Add to that the low penalties for stealing, and you have a Lazy bastards paradise



[ Parent ]
Yet (none / 0) (#98)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:28:58 AM EST

Australia's unemployment rate is nearly as low as America's. See here. How do you anti-welfare bigots explain that?

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

Long term unemployment (none / 1) (#99)
by minerboy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:40:25 AM EST

For Australia is 6 times higher than the US - 5 % in the US involves people switching Jobs



[ Parent ]
yeah, (none / 1) (#112)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:46:24 PM EST

between McDonald's and Burger King.

The Unemployment rate is a piss poor measurement of anything, really, which is why the US has a low one, but has a lower quality of life as well compared to other countries.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Wrong (none / 0) (#132)
by minerboy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:32:30 PM EST

Try the Human development index for starters. The US is 8th, ahead of Japan, France Germany, the UK. The first seven countries are all small population countries, like Norway, and Canada.



[ Parent ]
Thanks for proving my point. (none / 0) (#137)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:12:13 PM EST

Australia is 3rd on that list, so clearly unemployment numbers don't factor in as much as you say they should.

Population is really irelevant, and is already taken into account. As well, a country like Canada is phyically bigger than the US, so a small population should make it even harder by your reasoning to rank so high. If you look at the detailed index, the US also has a higher GDP than all of the countries ahead of it but Norway.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

but you said (none / 1) (#141)
by minerboy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:33:58 PM EST

{The US) has a lower quality of life as well compared to other countries. - Actually, it has a higher quality compared to other countries. Only a few are slightly higher owing to limited imigration, or a limited gene pool with a proclivity for Living longer.

Australia and Canada are recently starting to see increased immigration. It will be interesting to see how they cope.



[ Parent ]
um, huh? (2.00 / 2) (#144)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:53:37 PM EST

Actually, it has a higher quality compared to other countries.

Well, I would think that the US being the "best country in the world" should be in at least the top 5.

Australia and Canada are recently starting to see increased immigration.

I can't speak for australia, but I'm a Canadian, and to say we're only "recently" seeing increased immigration is ludicrious and simply ignorant of the country.

Canada is built on immigrants, an has been aceepting them in large numbers for a long, long, time.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

I guess it dependson what You mean (none / 0) (#164)
by minerboy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:42:38 PM EST

By large. In the last 10 years, the US has received twice as many immigrants as Canada has for its entire history (Not counting when it was a colony). It looks like in recent years The US generally takes in six times as many as Canada.



[ Parent ]
compare properly... (none / 1) (#170)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:07:07 PM EST

From this page:

The foreign-born population of the US is 9.5 percent of the total population (in 2000). This can be compared to the 2000's proportions of 22.7 in Australia; 16 percent in Canada; 6.3 in France; 7.3 in Germany; 3.9 percent in Great Britain; and 5.7 in Sweden.

Clearly, we've got a lot more immigrants, percentage wise.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

I did (none / 0) (#232)
by minerboy on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:28:19 AM EST

Abillity to absorb immigrants does not scale with population, in fact it is quite the reverse. There is only so much Land / Water / road space etc. Further, The background, training, and culture of the immigrants is important.

By the way, Immigration from Canada to the US is about 3 times the level of US to Canada immigration, which actually suprised me.



[ Parent ]
part time immigrants... (none / 1) (#233)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:23:21 AM EST

We call it the "brain drain" up here.

Basically there was a big scare a few years back that we were losing all of our "best and brightest" to bigger salaries in the States. You're emmigration figures reflect that.

I should point out though, that we don't care too much about them (the figures) up here, reason being that newer studies show that upwards of 80% of those leaving Canada for the States for better job oppurtunities return within 10 years.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

we leave to pay off our student debt... (none / 0) (#274)
by lurker4hire on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:27:46 PM EST

... and return when we're finished whoring ourselves out to highest bidder.

[ Parent ]
HD Statistics (none / 0) (#142)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:45:34 PM EST

I always find it interesting that supposedly places like Norway and Australia are better to live than the good ol' US of A, but both have higher suicide rates. Just a thought.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
less likly to confine... (none / 0) (#145)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:56:52 PM EST

I'd venture a guess that both of those countries are less likely to chuck people in jail for the slightest drug offence. That probably accounts for the difference right there.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
am I to conclude (none / 0) (#146)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:59:31 PM EST

that you believe there is some sort of correlation between drug use and suicide? Evidence plz, and remember to check anything from the DEA - make sure it cites an actual study instead of "we think this might be the case" as they have a rather bad track record regarding - kthnx!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I didn't say that... (none / 0) (#148)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:07:53 PM EST

You asked me for an explination, and I ventured a guess... what do you think the reason is then? I'm listening.

you believe there is some sort of correlation between drug use and suicide

No, but there's a correlation between mental instabilty and suicide, as well as mental instability and drug use. I'll leave it to you to put two and two together.

Try not to let your ridiculous libertarian dogma get in the way of thought though.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

just askin' (none / 0) (#155)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:50:05 PM EST

no reason to get snippy. for Norway, my explanation would be seasonal affective disorder, which most psychs conclude. Australia, I figure, is because the most notable cultural export of theirs is Crocodile Dundee.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
actually (none / 0) (#177)
by Mizuno Ami on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:55:47 PM EST

I've got a friend in Norway. Alcohol is practically illegal.

[ Parent ]
yeah but do they throw you in jail? (nt) (none / 0) (#178)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:14:19 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Actually it's 437.21 (none / 0) (#96)
by louferd on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:20:47 AM EST

The currency converter I tried gave me $437.21, which makes more sense, given that Australian dollars are lower than the US. You may have converted backwards by mistake. :)

[ Parent ]
Heh (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by rob1 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:26:03 AM EST

I nearly made that mistake myself. Notice he said month, not fortnight.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB
[ Parent ]

sorry if that's confusing (none / 0) (#102)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:57:19 AM EST

but we Americans don't do the whole "fortnight" thing.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Yeah we do... (none / 1) (#130)
by Gooba42 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:04:29 PM EST

Altogether I've held 3 jobs and one of them paid weekly, the other 2 paid once eevry 2 weeks or once a fortnight.

Americans do "the fortnight thing", we just don't say "fortnight" when we do it.

[ Parent ]

backwards... (none / 0) (#110)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:44:03 PM EST

the AUS dollar is almost exactly the same as the CDN dollar.

(for our purposes anyway)

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

"Slummification" (3.00 / 6) (#89)
by UCF BullitNutz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:05:51 AM EST

My mother lives in an area where the property values were neither high nor low, I'd say if anything, they were on the high end of the middle of the range. Then, there were some "low-income" apartments set up about a mile away. After about 6-7 years of watching the values go up and up, she was getting ready to sell the house and move to Nebraska (lots of family there) since I had since went to UCF, and my sister was also heading to USF. Plans were, after my brother graduated and headed towards a university, she would sell the house and move. However, she's lucky if she'll make more than a few thousand on the house. Before the projects were built, she was looking at about a 25% profit if she had sold back then. Those damn projects killed the property values and made the local grocery store jack their prices up due to shoplifting and various property damages (drunk drivers, angry drivers who can't drive anyway, vandalism, etc) so in addition to a depressed housing market, the cost of living has increased as other local groceries have raised their prices, seeing that the closest one to us had raised its prices and allowed for a larger profit margin while still keeping prices competitive. Moral:

Always fight low-income housing developments. If the powers that be want to house the poor, they had better do it right, and that means either subsidize the housing that's already there, build shelters in urban/metro areas where such developments don't have much of an effect, or give the recipients a friggin' class on how to keep their property in reasonable condition and how to be a good neighbor. Quiet, peaceful neighborhoods where all the residents get along just don't mix with slummification.

Don't get me wrong, I'd happily pay my share of the extra tax burden in order to see those damn projects torn down and the denizens moved into areas that such developments won't have such an adverse effect on the community. Paying more money to the gov't is far less painful than losing a prospective 80-90 grand on the sale of your house.
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix

UCF: Let me guess, English major? (none / 0) (#108)
by desiderata on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:36:35 PM EST

"since I had since went to UCF"
"see those damn projects torn down and the denizens moved into areas that such developments won't have such an adverse effect on the community"
BTW, do you think those people like living in those projects?

[ Parent ]
English: Creative Writing (none / 0) (#229)
by UCF BullitNutz on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:04:22 AM EST

....it was typed in haste.

For some, yeah. I think that those who have had rough times would be happy to have a home that wasn't the former dwelling of a large house appliance. Others enjoy the ability to just live off of welfare.

However, some see it as a halfway house, and are honestly trying to gain more control over their life.
----------
" It ain't a successful troll until the admin shuts off new user registration for half a year." - godix
[ Parent ]

Woah there! Not in my neighborhood! (3.00 / 2) (#119)
by claes on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:15:06 PM EST

... If the powers that be want to house the poor, they had better do it right, and that means (...), build shelters in urban/metro areas where such developments don't have much of an effect,

What a minute! People live in urban areas, and let me tell you low income housing causes a hell of a mess around here too.

We've just closed down one, and prevented a school from turning into low income housing, and an empty lot from turning into boys town.

The problem is that NOBODY wants poor people. Some of the few viable solutions are:

  1. Stealth. Buy single family dwellings on the sly and pack them full of loosers.
  2. The inner suburbs, spread thin so that they can't get together and roam around and cause trouble.

-- claes

[ Parent ]

Poor and the "The Poor" (3.00 / 4) (#124)
by cione on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:47:54 PM EST

Low income is one thing. Dead beats that milk the system are another. You can have a family of five that screwed up early and now have become trapped in the system. Then you can have a family of five that has kids once every three years so that the social welfare system has to keep giving her money. I was being nice by saying family. Why should the dead beats care about their neighborhood, its not theirs. They know they wont ever own it and some have no desire to.

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

mmmm soup (1.40 / 5) (#94)
by noogie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:48:42 AM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
KITH reference? (none / 0) (#101)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:56:49 AM EST

Please say yes.

Don't EVER contradict me in front of the boy!

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
i dont know what is (none / 0) (#106)
by noogie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:11:43 PM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
[ Parent ]
Kids in the Hall (none / 0) (#140)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:28:46 PM EST

There was a sketch with a dad telling bedtime stories to his son which had a number of jokes, but later the mom came in and the boy swore and she said, "You watch your mouth mister, or I'll wash it out with soup."

Dad said: "Uh, dear, I think you mean 'soap.'"

And Mom gives Dad this look, and says, very sharply: "Don't you ever contradict me in front of the boy!"

Anyway, after they both leave the room, the boy goes: "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... soup!"

Hence my thought at a KITH reference... but alas, no.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Only families with children get welfare in the USA (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by cryon on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:04:00 PM EST

You mentioned that unemployed people get some sort of welfare in Australian. It is much worse here in America. Only families with children get welfare in America, with few exceptions. Also, if you are disabled, crippled, etc, you can get payments. In many instances people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own can get money from the govt for about 6 months. That is it. Also, here in America the only people who can free healthcare are the disabled, the elderly (over 64 (they are trying to raise that age), and single mothers with children who have no savings. And it takes a long time and a lot of trouble to get on any of these programs. If you are dirt poor (no savings, low income) you can get free care if you are about to die. And they will still try to make you pay for it.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

That's not good (none / 1) (#107)
by Nursie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:18:57 PM EST

In the UK anyone unemployed can get it (in theory), as long as they can prove they are looking for work and are available to work at short notice etc. etc.

I think if you just got fired for any reason (not downsizing or being made redundant, but properly fired) then you're punished by not getting the payments for a bit, same if you voluntarily left work but, in theory, anyone that's unemployed and actually wants to work gets the benefit for as long as needed.

And you know we have universal free health care.....

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
That's insane. (none / 0) (#109)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:41:43 PM EST

In canada, anyone can get welfare if you don't qualify for EI (Employment Insurance), which most people who have had a job at one point in time would get.

They make you "look" for a job, but nobody is completely cut off.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#115)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:05:10 PM EST

That's why Canada's GNI us around 23 K while that of US is over 35K.


[ Parent ]
of course... (none / 0) (#120)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:19:17 PM EST

It matters how much one considers GNI relevant to anything.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
GNI (none / 0) (#123)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:46:31 PM EST

Yeah, but if there is a less to share to begin with ( and we are not talking here peanuts but 1/3 ) then there is less to go around ...

[ Parent ]
Do we even count? (none / 1) (#129)
by cione on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:03:19 PM EST

On the serious side. Do we count people that dont make anything. I mean do we count people that dont work in the average?

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

not really... (none / 1) (#133)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:01:37 PM EST

Yeah, but if there is a less to share to begin with ( and we are not talking here peanuts but 1/3 ) then there is less to go around ...

Your arguement assumes two things:

  1. That GNI is an accurate measurement.
  2. That each factor that goes into calculating GNI is equally accessable by everyone included in the GNI calculation.
#1 is dubious at best, and #2 is not even close.

If the GNI of the US is $35,000, yet this is because  10% of the population is making upwards of $50 million, while the other 90% is making $10,000 a year, the number is a "feel good" measurment, and utterly meaningless when compared to a country that has 75% of it's people making $20,000 and the remaining 25% make $50,000.

Clearly, the vast majority of folk in the second country are better off.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

You are exagerating a bit (none / 0) (#149)
by Matimus on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:12:03 PM EST

Your numbers are quite regressivly skewed. By your numbers the GNI would be $5 million. There really are two ways of thinking about this issue.

1. It is the job of the government to ensure that its people prosper.

2. It is the job of the government to create an environment in which people can prosper.

It is clear by this article that there is a certain portion of the population that cannot help themselves, but the vast majority (more than 75%) can and will help themselves when pushed. Struggle builds character. Without financial or social difficulties society would atrophie, and human progress would slow. Deviation is a necessity for progress.
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]

lol (none / 1) (#165)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:51:08 PM EST

if that's the case, you should really give away 90% of what you own in order to "build character".

Seriously, why is it that those relativley well off are the first to suggest such lunacy?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Alright (none / 0) (#180)
by Matimus on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:22:07 PM EST

I am open to your suggestion. I have worked hard to be where I am, and before that my parents worked hard to help me be where I am (as any good parents should), but should I throw most of it away and start over I do believe I would be a better person. I have never lived in a slum been on welfare or personally used food stamps. Those experiences would no doubt round my experiences and perhaps even change my views. I don't know that I am the first to suggest such 'lunacy', perhaps it IS because I am in the top nth percentile. I doubt that any of the above listed experiences would change my opinion that the unequal distribution of wealth is natural in a capitolist society. I feel that progressive taxation is good for the economy, but there is such a thing as too progressive (hinging upon punishing the wealthy for being sucessful).

I would be pleased to read your views on the matter if you will provide them. What is the ideal for society? What is the roll of the average person in that society?
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]

hmm, good questions (none / 1) (#183)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:48:59 PM EST

Without going into a major essay of my personal views, I suppose it's only fair that I try to address your questions.

Ideally, (and I do mean ideally) I believe the socialist utopia - true socialism - is best. Practically, of course, such a utopia is unworkable, and I recognize that. I recognize that it's opposite, pure capitalism, is destructive and morally repugnant.

In the real world, I feel most of Europe has a good grasp of the society that we should strive for. I am not European, but Canadian, and although I love my country and generally agree with the way it conducts itself, I think that certain aspects could be more socialized  for the benefit of all.

I don't think there is a "role" for a person within a society because I think the individual is the primary being, not the state. I do believe however, in the state's role to actively support that individual, in whatever they choose to do, with the expectation that future individuals will  benefit from the achievements of the current crop.  

Because of this, I believe in self-determination, but not at the expense of others. I define "expense" liberally, since I believe that there is a point beyond the satisfaction of needs and desires called excess. The level of excess is determined by society, but I think would be better determined as being above the 80th percentile. In saying that, I support the notions of social welfare, universal health care, universal education, and a strong government. At the same time I also realize the benefits of the private sector, profit as motivator and innovation in general.

I honestly believe that the welfare state is not only workable, but desirable. I'm a Keynesian at heart. I believe that capitalism although feasible, is inherently immoral, and needs to be held in check by a strong government.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Thank you (none / 1) (#189)
by Matimus on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:53:36 PM EST

I'm happy with your prompt reply. No useful argument can be had without a mutual desire for understanding.

I suppose I agree with you that fundamentally socialism would benefit many people. I read on your website a short blurb you wrote about the Canadian Olympic team. I will use Olympians as an example of where I think socialism could benefit many. What percentage of people do you think actually have had a chance to even try 10% of the events at the Olympics. I would say less than 1% but a liberal guess of 5% or 10% will still prove my point. The olympians who win gold, and are concidered to be the 'best in the world' only really represent the best of the very small fraction of people that had a chance to not only try the sport, but also had the opportunity to hone their skills. With a totally even slate I would wager that none of the people who won gold medals at this last Olympics would even have been eligible had every person in the world been given an equal chance. Thereby socialism would extract from society the most talented. Sports serve as a good example of the competative nature of humans as well, and the natural order. Naturally there is a small portion of the population that can run faster, jump higher or throw further than the vast majority. I believe that socialism may work on a small scale, in the absence of corruption. But on the large scalse it becomes more like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, it goes against the natural order.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, its not so much about right and wrong with me, but more about what I think works pretty well most of the time with the minimum of effort (capitolism) as opposed to something that hasn't worked 100%(yet) anywhere and takes an extremely huge effort by all people involved(socialism).

You mentioned nothing of freedom or democracy at all. I hold freedom to be the most important ideal. In a few of the worlds working socialist societies (eg. China or USSR) freedom has been seriously hindered. Do you believe this to be a symptom or necesity of socialism? Or is it related to something else? If it is related to something else, what is that other things relationship to socialism?
sigs r dum
[ Parent ]

some points... (none / 0) (#205)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:47:16 PM EST

Socialism has worked, and form continue to do so. Most of Europe is sufficiantly socialist and they are doing fine.

China and the Soviet Union are not socialist societies. They are communist societies, (and bad examples of that, even). There is quite a difference, although I know it's common in the US to consider them one and the same.

You mentioned nothing of freedom or democracy at all. I hold freedom to be the most important ideal.

Democracy is the purest form of socialism, and vice versa. I honestly think freedom, although very important, is an overated illusion. America is one of the least free nations on the planet. Try and see how free you are by operating without a bank account for a couple of months.

My views on freedom were stated above, when I mentioned that I believe the role of the individual is seperate from the state, and superceeds it. In Canada, I enjoy a sufficient amount of freedom to persue my own interested. I link freedom however, to equal access. For example, how free is a black child from Compton to go to college? How free is a teenaged single mother to ensure her child receives the best possible health care?

Freedom is not limited to those with the ability to pay.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#160)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:15:21 PM EST

There is no such disparity of income and the mere fact that US is the biggest consumer in just about every category (especially consumer goods) suggests that the income level for the majority if people in this country is quite high.

[ Parent ]
lol (none / 1) (#168)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:56:20 PM EST

There is no such disparity of income

There sure is.

From the article:

In the United States, the richest 1 percent of households owns 38 percent of all wealth.

The top 5 percent own more than half of all wealth.

In 1998, they owned 59 percent of all wealth. Or to put it another way, the top 5 percent had more wealth than the remaining 95 percent of the population, collectively.

The top 20 percent owns over 80 percent of all wealth. In 1998, it owned 83 percent of all wealth.

no such disparity indeed.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#171)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:09:02 PM EST

You are talking about savings or accumulated wealth which is a completely different matter than  montly disposable income.

[ Parent ]
hello? (none / 0) (#173)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:16:30 PM EST

Poverty is a measure of wealth, not disposable income.

Nice try in changing the topic at hand though.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Not really (none / 0) (#186)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:24:00 PM EST

Well, if you define wealth in the sense who owns what,  then in societies where much greater part of the economy is owned and run by the government ( France for example) obviously this will not show up as a part of wealth accumulated by individuals but rather by the society as whole.

If an individual owns a factory or a company then the total value of these properties (liquid and otherwise) will count towards his wealth while a government owned company will count towards national wealth   - a distinction that has no real effect on the bottom line of the employees.

[ Parent ]

have you lived outside of the US? (none / 0) (#202)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:34:46 PM EST

I suggest you at least reseach how state run corporations operate... the french aren't communists.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#217)
by kurioszyn on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:06:07 AM EST

Have I lived ?

Yeah, I was born in EU and moved to US about 10 years ago.


[ Parent ]

I going to take a guess you're young then (none / 1) (#219)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:13:29 AM EST

Because I'm not sure you're fully versed in the topic at hand.

That's not an insult, just an observation.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#221)
by kurioszyn on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:18:16 AM EST

No, you are wrong again.

I am 30 years old and I have lived in Poland and Germany ( my father being German and mother being Polish.)
Finished my education in Europe and moved to US around 1996.
Been here since - as you can see I enjoy it a lot.

BTW.
I am way to old to get insulted easily - especially by a response on the net ( of all places).

[ Parent ]

That explains it. (2.00 / 2) (#223)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:46:53 AM EST

Not to offend, but there is a HUGE difference between post-communist Poland and Western Europe.

I can understand why you appriciate the US so much. I know many Eastern Europeans and they all share similar viewpoints.

I suppose personal experiences tend to shape you views toward the world - mine included.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Eu vs USA (none / 0) (#238)
by kurioszyn on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:58:48 AM EST

" but there is a HUGE difference between post-communist Poland and Western Europe."

I know. It is getting smaller but it is still there... but you missed another part. I actually spent almost half of my life in what used to be West Germany and I am quite familiar with Western European conditions.

While there is nothing wrong with their system per se ( as opposed to communism ) but it is not an optimal society in terms of maximizing achievements and progress. A society that punishes its best and brightest may achieve better distribution of wealth but at a certain price - they simply won't be as efficient as for example more competitive societies like US.

I have no problem with Europeans having different priorities but it is really laughable when they delude themselves with communist style 5 year economic plans in order to "catch" up with US.

And it is even more ridiculous when they try to portray USA as a some sort of ruthless jungle where people eating people is a norm rather than exception. It is simply not the case - US has a different set of priorities but it is still a modern society where people do get decent health care and aren't slaves working for XIX style tycoons.

[ Parent ]

US "poor" (none / 0) (#187)
by kurioszyn on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:31:09 PM EST

Check this one out and try o refute stats in that article:

http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?control=1230

Looks like US "poor" are generally better off than average EU  household.

[ Parent ]

lol... sorry but that's ridiculous. (none / 1) (#201)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:31:41 PM EST

First off, the title "Is Inequality Necessarily Bad?" already acknowleges the exsitance of the inequality you refuse to admit to.

Americans enjoy more material amenities, better manufacturing jobs, higher earnings, less hectic schedules, and more Big Macs with less effort.

Let me take deconstruct this "argument" peice by peice:

  1. more material amenities: irrelevant to quality of life, but probably true.
  2. better manufacturing jobs: Tell that to the folks in Flint, MI.
  3. Higher earnings: Of course, but more user fees, and no university or medical care (both of which are "free" in sweeden.
  4. Less Hectic Schedules: um, no. Americans work longer and more than any other nation save Japan. Oh, and "Pace of Life Index" is a fabrication, do a google search.
  5. More Big Macs: This is a good thing? Big Macs are barely considered food in Sweden. (which is why they're not all fat bastards.)
The rest of his "numbers" are so ludicrious they're not even worth mentioning. You can't use things like washing machines and big macs to compare societies, because the "value" of having these are measured in differing scales in both countries. This retard even had the gaul to compare CARS!

All the creature comforts listed have been specifically targeted to American consumers... and you wonder why they have more of them! You may as well compare the number of scooters per household!

This dingbat even compares meat consumption, (are big macs counted as meat?) without even taking into account the CHOICE of the consumer (japan?? did he include fish?) to even eat meat!

Seriously dude, if this is all you can find to rebutt my arguments, call it a day.

BTW that guy is an idiot.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Here is some more .. (none / 0) (#220)
by kurioszyn on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:14:05 AM EST

"more material amenities: irrelevant to quality of life, but probably true."

Irrelevant ? Says who ? You ?
I think millions of people risking their lives trying to enter US ( and EU for that matter) would disagree with your idealistic assessment.

"Big Macs are barely considered food in Sweden."

Yeah, well if they sell them somebody is buying them ...
And from what I hear they sell pretty darn good.

"All the creature comforts listed have been specifically targeted to American consumers"

And the comforts you would rather use as a comparison are not targeted at American consumers but rather targeted at whom ?
And if you are going to bring comforts that are popular in EU how will that make your comparison any more valid ?

Anyway try this - I think most people would value these "comforts" regardless of their cultural background.

http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=567&id=1418652003
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10951355&dopt=Abstract

[ Parent ]

um, my friend... (none / 0) (#222)
by Run4YourLives on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:43:49 AM EST

I know we have a difference of opinion here, but your points are a little out of whack and all over the map.

Irrelevant ? Says who ? You ?

Um no, says the people who developed the measurement... the UN. (Remember, you linked to it earlier) I don't remember them measuring dishwashers per capita.

Yeah, well if they sell them somebody is buying them ...
And from what I hear they sell pretty darn good.

Actually, using that google thing again would show you that McDonald's had to do a major restructuring of it's Sweedish stores in 1999. They also have a menu that includes: Baby carrots, vegetable nuggets, milk, and juice. Regrettably, I couldn't find info on their big mac sales... must be a trade secret.

And the comforts you would rather use as a comparison are not targeted at American consumers but rather targeted at whom ?

I wouldn't use any comforts at all as a measurement. I'm the one who is ridiculing their use, why would I introduce my own? The idea of forming some sort of a measurement of life based on the number of ___ people in a particular area own is stupid.

Anyway try this - I think most people would value these "comforts" regardless of their cultural background.

I'm not too sure what breast cancer has to do with the topic at hand (oh, and recycling links from other comments is a bad idea, btw) but since the US has a higher rate to begin with, I would expect their doctors to lead the way in treatments.  
 

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

No kidding. (none / 0) (#248)
by DavidTC on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:25:17 PM EST

People in the US are so poor that very few of them have washboards, clothelines, or outhouses.

I always knew there was something fishy with the 'material goods' way of measuring wealth, and you just hit it on the nose.

How many people in the US don't own a PAL television? A goat? A bus pass?

Look at that...most of the US can't even afford a bus pass!

If you're going to compare material goods, you need to take the manufacturing price of every item that people own, and add them up. Just comparing cars does nothing. There are places even the very poor own cars, and places where almost no one does, in US alone. (Not the sales price, the manufacturing price. If everything here costs twice as much it does for you, I'm not magically twice as wealthy if I have the same amount of stuff.)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Relative (none / 1) (#208)
by mcgrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:53:57 PM EST

If the Canadian is paying half the mortage payment, no fucking health care costs, half as much in utilities, a third as much ingroceries, thana Canadian making 23k is MUCH better off than an Iraqian making 35k.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Woah, not everywhere (none / 0) (#118)
by cione on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:12:48 PM EST

Its not everywhere that you must have kids. In Oregon you can be single and get foodstamps and other social help. There is also the Oregon Health Plan which covers people's medical that meet the special little guidelines. Section 8 housing which is Oregon's housing authority normally wont help unless you have kids but that due to budget constraints and children need a roof and adults generally dont (social thinking). Now county and cities put their own limits and on what you may or may not be eligable for depending on how much money is that counties or cities budget.

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

well, I did say "with few exceptions" (none / 0) (#122)
by cryon on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:44:04 PM EST

Actually, in many states, single ablebodied people can get foodstamps, at least for a while, but only if you are essentially broke, i.e., no assets to speak of, and then I am pretty sure there is a time limit.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

[ Parent ]
which is the funny thing (none / 0) (#125)
by cione on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:59:52 PM EST

If someone is in need and doesn't have the skills needed to get out of the loop then feeding them for a limited time surely is answer. That way the problem isnt the goverments problem but the local church.

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

It does help (none / 1) (#237)
by rusty on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:45:16 AM EST

Short-term unemployment payments help a lot of people get through a few months while they're looking for a new job. A friend of mine lost his engineering job in MA last winter, and got unemployment checks for a couple of months while he looked for a new job. It's not much, but it covers rent and food when your job unexpectedly disappears out from under you. Of course, he also did a little commercial fishing during that time, which also helps keep the pockets full. The under-the-table economy in the US is simply enormous.

I would guess (totally unencumbered by any evidence, mind you) that the majority of "welfare" or social assistance money goes to people in this situation. The problem of the chronically poor is a great poster-child for partisan debate, but I doubt it actually eats up the lion's share of the money.

If anyone has numbers that either support or disprove that idea, I would be interested to see them.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Skills and No Skills (none / 1) (#259)
by cione on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:21:50 AM EST

I am more leaning to the "worst case". I have friends that have used Social Welfare for short terms also. The problems lies in the people with no skills at all. Some dont want too, and others can't hold any sort of job. They know just how long to work to get benefits again. Mind you I am not saying all must learn some kind of trade but the cycle for many is easier to maintain than to stop and to some extent the system makes it that way.

I would hope that the lions share of the money goes to the situation you mentioned. I would like to get back the share that goes to the dead beats even if it was only 10%.

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

Unemployment kept me fed (none / 0) (#267)
by wiredog on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:54:12 AM EST

Didn't cover rent, but it covered food.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
serious question. (none / 1) (#230)
by fleece on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:23:49 AM EST

I've never been to US so I honestly don't know....

If you can't get social security payments without children in most states, wouldn't that greatly increase the number of children conceived with the soul purpose of a single mother being to become eligible for payments?
. I just imagine then if it's a choice between have children or you don't get a brass razoo, I reckon it would be like breeding time at the zoo...

and all those social security kids would become good little consumers, so why would the govt. discourage it...?



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Yep thats it (3.00 / 2) (#234)
by cione on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:24:17 AM EST

As much as many people would love to say that it doesn't exist, it does. Oregon for example cuts off welfare when a child reaches the ripe old age of 3. I know of one great woman who has children with ages of 8, 5, and 2. You see, if another child comes along then you get assistance for not 1 but 2. Just keep it up every 3 years.

Social Security is totally different but it too plays the game. You see Social Security is what everyone pays into and then gets payments when they retire. Loophole is that if you can prove your disabled then you get to collect early. My dad died before I was the age of 18 so I collected  benefits for schooling until I was 18. Well my mother collected and saved it until I was old enough to use it wisely. It can be used correctly. Problem arises when some welfare white trash person comes along and says "I am so sick" followed by "I dont think I can work again" then they find some stupid doctor that doesn't want to fight the system and signs off so they get social security benifits plus all the welfare. Just goes to show that with some serious laziness and lack of morals you too can screw the system.

There are those that use the system as intended if not most but the rotten apples always find their way into the pool.

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin
[ Parent ]

To clarify what the parent poster said: (none / 0) (#207)
by mcgrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:50:14 PM EST

The US Government only gives cash grants to families. They get food stamps and medical, but no cash. States and municipalities are allowed to give checks, and many do.

Welfare was changed in 1996 to gibe a fife year lifetime limit on grants to families, and they can only get one two years straight.

But as bad as this is, the real tragedy is the working poor. The minimum wage is way too low in this country.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

mental health, nazism, kill the geek (3.00 / 5) (#116)
by chro57 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:05:29 PM EST

So the global artificial intelligence looked at these pathetic human bastard and thought : "they would be more happy dead".

So the nazi looked at these pathetic overweight geek obsessed with name, symbols, and idea, and said : "our society would be better if they were dead".

they said : let kill all undermensh, with no house, with mental or physicial health problem, with differents  sex habits, or religious habits. Or who write books, or drawed degenerated art.

What was important was the triumphant young athletic blond with blue eyes.

Have you ever cared for someone with Alzeihmer disease ? There is something wonderfully sad : they don't recognize you, and ultimately cannot even eat alone, make mess, but, yet, there is still something in their eye that cry : "I am human, and digne of being protected by other humans."

Even if there is no hope, we shall care for them, allow them to eat and get warmth.
They may welcome you in another life.

If I put some miligrams mercure in your bloodstream, your brain is going to be fucked for years. Like paralysed : it would "work", but couldn't evoluate, learn anything new. But it would ultimately heal. So for the time you are transformed in a living dead, are you still eligible to get food and housing ?


Hmm... (1.50 / 2) (#127)
by Jazu on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:01:30 PM EST

>>there is still something in their eye that cry : "I am human, and digne of being protected by other humans." Sounds delusional to me. We'd better shoot you too. Along with all the schizophrenics, gays, and brunettes.

[ Parent ]
Damn, forgot to set it as plain text(nt) (none / 0) (#128)
by Jazu on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:02:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Then start with yourself (none / 0) (#204)
by mcgrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:46:38 PM EST

The retards like you have to go.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

we don't have to kill 'em (none / 1) (#158)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:13:08 PM EST

but can we please stop subsidizing their miserable existence?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
They still die (none / 0) (#203)
by mcgrew on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:45:51 PM EST

only slower. Is their torture what you want? I can't believe how fucking heartless you neocons are. As well as clueless.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

okay (3.00 / 2) (#231)
by LilDebbie on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 09:26:52 AM EST

we offer free suicide advice too. that can't cost that much, can it?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Alzeihmer's Disease (none / 1) (#243)
by cronian on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:35:46 PM EST

Would you want to live with Alzeihmer's disease? If I got it, I think it would about time for me to die. When people are ready to die, they should be allowed to die. I'm quite healthy and young now, but I recognize the time will eventually come.

I don't think peole should commit suicide everytime they feel some suicidal tendencies, but if people don't have any reason to live and they aren't going to find one, suicide might be a good option. Mild cases of Alzeihmer's disease might not be enough, but at a certain point if peole really can't have a meaningful connection to the world, what is the point of pushing them to live longer?

In dealing with poor people, we are dealing with what are considered legitimate purposes in life. One which many assume legitimate is a working at a job. Others, might be helping people, religious taks, and scholarly tasks. The parent comment seems to be saying that the act of living is enough purpose for life itself, and the existence of death is just a misfortune of reality. I disagree in believing that death does indeed have a purpose. However, I believe people can be helped to that end, and the no one should regulate the purpose. If we assume, these poor people have found a purpose on their own, aiding them with food will merely help them follow this purpose. However, some object as this purpose does not involve earning money. The author of the article apparently, thought it only legitimate if these people were seeking another purpose.

An objection to discounting or not emphasizing the economic purpose, would be that it discounts from making stuff, which is neccessary. However, the amount of things produced could be less. The other question with government-sponsored welfare is that it takes from the productive members of society. Without questioning the worth of the productive members of society, it is to see a large proportion of income comes from cheating and scamming others, which most wouldn't define as valuable services. Many so-called communists or Marxists took this idea to the extreme, and claimed owners, holders of capital, etc. were all in this category which isn't exactly true.

The important point is that many people holding "important" jobs, find themselves without purpose in their lives. Their children, often seeing with their path leads, often feel the same. Some might argue suicide among these people must be prevented to preserve their "neccessary" place within society. Although, this isn't really the case, because they probably just do crap, anyway. Maybe, I should learn to more concise. If you've read this much, well...

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
The Poor Requirement (2.50 / 2) (#131)
by tarsi210 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:28:13 PM EST

Like living larger than your fellow man? Perhaps we need the poor in order to live nicely. I feel bad for them...but that's the shit. I thought about this a lot once, and wrote an article about it. It's definately an issue that won't go away soon.

Philosyphia
Dealing with the poor (1.80 / 20) (#143)
by Stylusepix on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:49:24 PM EST

I think that the poors' strongest incentive to stay poor is the dole. Give them housing and enough money to buy beer, drugs and TV, and they've got little incentive to get out of their misery. So australia gives them over 800$ USD a month plus free food ? Why should the poor work, given that is a given ? Work is hard, the dole isn't.

The minimum-wage laws are also a serious problem. Some poor people have no job because they are too weak and/or stupid to warrant being paid minimum wage. Take the low-intelligence poor woman of 4'11". She hasn't got the physical build nor the brains to do much. The strong poor man of 6'0" may be stupid, but at least he produce work worth the minimum wage. As for the intelligent, yet disfigured dwarf, well, that is another issue entirely.

So. Let's take our small woman. On a scale of 3 to 18, she may have an intelligence of 6, a wisdom of 4, a charisma of 8, a strength of 5 and a dexterity of 8. With those stats, minimum wage is something no employer would want to pay. However, at half minimum wage, she suddenly is job-worthy. And, think about it: she takes little to feed. She uses up little space. Why would a governement prevent her from working by giving her 800$ a month and keeping her off the job market by setting a minimum wage way too high for her physical and intellectual capabilities ?

The system encourages her to spawn, likely with other poor individuals, producing children of questionable stats. And those are likely to be loyal evil, of allegiance to a higher-intelligence chaotic evil individual. That is the lot of the poor.

So, if the governement stops these incentives to the poor, what happens ? They've got to work. At low wages. As for their housing ? Well, without governement intervention, I'm sure the private market can build affordable half-height underground appartments at reasonable costs. 50 square feet with 4 feet ceilings are all the poor really need. And if they want something bigger, well, they can develop their skills until they have enough funds to move somewhere bigger. See, being underground, the incentive is now on them to climb up the social ladder.

What about the children ? Jonathan Swift's idea are a great inspiration that can solve much problems. But it's not enough. Society should offer free contraception (perhaps depo-provera ?) and sterilization to anybody who wants it, and market it strongly to the poor. Show to the poor how children are a liability. Show them how destitute they will be if they've got children to take care of, and how those very children will end up just as poor and stupid as them. We can discourage the poor from spawning, and offer them what they need to avoid doing so. When they wanna get an abortion - push sterilization, or at the very least depo-provera.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?

Speaking of sterilization (none / 0) (#147)
by ttfkam on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:04:54 PM EST

I hope you don't breed either.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Don't worry (none / 0) (#150)
by bskahan on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:20:13 PM EST

So. Let's take our small woman. On a scale of 3 to 18, she may have an intelligence of 6, a wisdom of 4, a charisma of 8, a strength of 5 and a dexterity of 8. With those stats, minimum wage is something no employer would want to pay.
Applying 3d6 analogies to real life is not, generally, an effective way to find a mate.

[ Parent ]
your hopes are futile (none / 1) (#154)
by Stylusepix on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:47:04 PM EST

Soon, my kind shall overtake yours. Over earth, we shall rule - with an iron fist and a glass sword. The damage our blow shall deal will be as high as a byte can be. No doubt, we shall spawn, and spawn again, to no end. And through genetic engineering, we shall be made stronger, faster, better.

Yes. The dawn of the third age of mankind is here.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]

Glass sword? (none / 0) (#275)
by BigZaphod on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:02:44 PM EST

Seems like it'd break as soon as you tried to use it...  bring it on!


"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
[ Parent ]
that's right (none / 0) (#277)
by Stylusepix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:02:29 AM EST

You're absolutely right. I talk of a single blow, knowing full well that the glass sword will shatter afterwards. The shards hurt, real bad. It takes but one strike to do 255 of damage. Which is, trust me, enough to put an end to even a town guard's valuable-armor-plate protected life.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]
good god you're clueless (1.50 / 1) (#153)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:36:45 PM EST

Keep playing those role playing games, it'll keep you away from real life (ie the rest of us) as much as possible.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
dude (none / 0) (#161)
by LilDebbie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:15:24 PM EST

my 4th level commoner will totally own that bitch

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Any Jonathan Swift reference gets my vote :) [n/t] (none / 1) (#167)
by patrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:54:31 PM EST


I never could think of a good sig
[ Parent ]
RE:chaotic evil individual... (none / 0) (#174)
by quadcity on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:18:41 PM EST

"On a scale of 3 to 18, she may have an intelligence of 6, a wisdom of 4, a charisma of 8, a strength of 5 and a dexterity of 8. With those stats"
LOL! I haven't rolled 3d6 in a long time.
- Mike T.
[ Parent ]
Hey (1.50 / 2) (#224)
by o reor on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 03:13:57 AM EST

This reminds me of some guy in Germany who had decided to get rid of the handicapped people, the unproductive and generally all those fellows who could possibly lessen the overall quality of the German offspring by bearing "degenerate" children. The difference is that he didn't just sterilize them, he had them die in gas chambers. Can't remember his name, bu that guy must have been the chancellor in Berlin in the late 30s.

[ Parent ]
godwin would not be happy (3.00 / 2) (#242)
by Stylusepix on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:19:41 PM EST

How can you compare encouraging people to get sterilized (in the end, it is their choice - and it is better for themselves, too) to mass gasing ?

I heard of that privately financed program the other day, offering around 250$ to drug addicts that would get sterilized. It is encouraging to see some people laying down their own funds for such a noble cause. And the best part is, everybody consents ! See, consensual decisions between adults is good. Forcing stuff unto people is bad. Really bad.

So when the government seizes the people's funds to feed the poor, that is coercion. And said coercion should be reduced to the smallest amount possible. Okay, we should not let the poor starve, and I believe we do need a governement. However, the poor need less governement support and oversight. Then, they can be even poorer and be driven to dig out of their hole. Or stay there, but they aren't gonna be comfortable as they are now.

And they should certainly be no laws encouraging the poor to spawn in order to get more dole.
Go; you're an it-getter, but No; it's all in good fun (and games). Laugh, in stock?
[ Parent ]

This is comedy, Right? n/t (none / 1) (#227)
by brain in a jar on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 07:50:34 AM EST


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

Life as D&D (none / 0) (#296)
by slippytoad on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 09:53:15 AM EST

On a scale of 3 to 18, she may have an intelligence of 6, a wisdom of 4, a charisma of 8, a strength of 5 and a dexterity of 8.

Yes, of course. A person's worth to society can be measured in just a handful of stats, achieved by the roll of a 20-sided die.

'm sure the private market can build affordable half-height underground appartments at reasonable costs.

So you also are a fan of early Genesis, I see.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]

WHY the stats at all? (none / 0) (#303)
by WobL on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:35:55 PM EST

Couldn't you simply describe this person without resorting to D&D stats? Apart from indicating a dangerous lack of contact with the outside world for someone commenting on such a topic, it doesn't lend me to anticipate any eloquence in either your writing or your thoughts.

[ Parent ]
The Poor (2.70 / 10) (#152)
by chris at redeeming us on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:30:45 PM EST

I was poor and I was slightly rich.  Now I am neither.  Stuck somewhere in between.

Having been poor and spending time in poor areas of the U.S. I certainly can and do care for the poor.  

But I have a hard time feeling the least bit of pitty for the rich.  I don't give a rats ass how much of their paycheck or mine, since I am not poor, goes to helping the poor.  You will not hear me complain.

Some of these poor people that you degrade so easily have been hurt so bad by people like you that they have lost some of their humanity, but not nearly as much as those that aren't poor and don't identify with them.

Perhaps you have never lost a job, perhaps you have never had children to care for, perhaps you have never been over run with medical problems, or lost your posessions in a disaster, perhaps you aren't mentally slow or physicaly handicapped....but by God you have lost your humanity.

It's easy to lose it when you see all the dumb decisions that people make and all the unfortunate circumstances that can ruin a life.  Yet, that's no excuse.  

If you give them food but you have no love for them then what good have you done?  

Only love can heal their wounds and only loving someone other than yourself can heal yours.

Try it sometime before you lose your life and your humanity.

-Chris

No offense, ... (2.00 / 2) (#176)
by Gailin on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 06:37:10 PM EST

... but it seems you are living in the clouds a bit.  

Love is beautiful, but it is not a panacea.  

While I agree with alot of what you say, it seems that you are oversimplifying the solution, if there is one, to the problem.

My $.02

Gailin

[ Parent ]

he's oversimplifying?? (none / 1) (#246)
by speek on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 03:44:31 PM EST

He's not the one driving around in a van delivering soup and quitting in frustration and despair that that didn't make the sun shine on the poor beggars.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

every society will have the same amount (none / 1) (#159)
by auraslip on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:14:07 PM EST

of poor and helpless, drug users and drunks

we shouldn't pretend it's a effect of the modern world
124

You're probably right. (2.00 / 2) (#169)
by handslikesnakes on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:59:33 PM EST

But that doesn't mean we should pretend there's nothing we can do to improve their quality of life and/or make them useful to society.

[ Parent ]
but it also means (2.75 / 4) (#216)
by emmons on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 01:18:29 AM EST

That we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that the problem is completely solveable. There will always be those who, regardless of what we might try to do to help, simply refuse to do anything to improve their situation in life. When making economic policy we should always be mindful of this, less we bankrupt society by trying to improve the lives of those who refuse to be helped.

That's not to say that we should simply give up, but it's important to be very careful when making policies that affect the necessary carrot and stick attributes of the market economy.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

Policy or society ? (3.00 / 2) (#245)
by Gord ca on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:50:16 PM EST

I view such problems more as problems with society rather than problems of government policy (or problems that can be solved well by government policy). Society failed to train them to help themselves, and by dumping them in slums it isn't giving them the support and motivation they need to get out.

Speaking of motivation, I'm rather leery of applying market-based thinking to the problems of poverty. Market theory is based on the actors being perfectly rational and having perfect knowledge; this is so far from true for most people in poverty, it makes the theories useless. It would be wise for a poor person to completely abstain from all intoxicants: how many do? For many people, having some real friends (not just drinking buddies) and getting laid a bit would be more motivation than if their income was doubled.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]

read it again (none / 1) (#254)
by emmons on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:39:36 PM EST

I'm saying that we need to accept that the problem will always exist regardless of how we try to solve it. Human nature is such that some people, regardless of background, genetics, education, religion, social standing or whatever, will end up in a slum spending all of their money on booze. It's an unfortunate and hard fact of life: we cannot save everyone.

We can save some of them, however. But, when we make economic and social policy to address the issue, we must be mindful of the unintended results of those policies.

Placing blame solely on society for creating such individuals is disingenuous. Let me explain:

In economics, we observe people's actions and create models that hold true to the average (and usually several standard deviations). However, there is no individual human on this earth that has perfect knowledge and is perfectly rational. Yet the average human is nearly so. Therefore we use that model.

In social studies, we use statistics that show that people from certain groups will tend more to end up certain ways. We can use that data to form a model to predict average behavior for the group. However, like with economics, you will never find an individual that fits perfectly all of the models that can be made of him. Individuals are not machines.

Therefore, when we make public policy, we must take both models into account. Liberals tend to take social models and ignore economic ones, conservatives tend to take economic ones and ignore socials ones. Neither is complete and adhering strictly to only one thrusts us into either a socially free but starving socialism or an economically free but starving monopoly state. We need to become better at using both models.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]

demonstrably untrue (2.60 / 5) (#185)
by Wolfkin on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:55:10 PM EST

The percentage of poor is smaller now than it's ever been.  People whom you think of as "poor" are usually at least as well off as the average person was only a few hundred years ago, and often far better off.

If anything, this vast increase in wealth has contributed to increasing the number of people who can get along while in drug-induced hazes.  This shouldn't be construed as a bad thing, though; it's just a relaxation of the evolutionary pressures on humans.  Those people would mostly be dead in earlier times.

--
Randall

[ Parent ]

Yes, 50% (none / 0) (#239)
by PhilHibbs on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 12:19:09 PM EST

50% of the population will always be below average income.

[ Parent ]
Better specify (none / 1) (#240)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 01:28:55 PM EST

You'd probably better specify _median_ income, just to keep some annoying pedant from correcting you.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

i'm a statistical nazi (none / 0) (#299)
by mrgomel on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 08:33:39 AM EST

It's not annoying, it's very important to understand the difference. Consider a situation when only the top 1% of the population is benefitting from growing GDP (only their income is rising). The average income will be rising, while the median will stay flat. In such a situation politicians who use the average can keep telling people that they are benefitting from the growing GDP, when they are not.

[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#244)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 02:38:21 PM EST

In a group consisting of Bill Gates & any 9 people I know, 90% would not only be below average, but FAR below average.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I knew this would happen (nt) (none / 1) (#252)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 08:25:44 PM EST


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]
I wonder how many amish are poor (none / 0) (#247)
by speek on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 03:53:29 PM EST

or helpless, drug users or drunks.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Good question (none / 1) (#255)
by epepke on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:56:43 PM EST

If you knew of a person who had no health insurance, no electricity, no taxable income, no central heating, no public utilities, would you consider that person poor?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
but do you know the reasoning? (3.00 / 2) (#257)
by The Amazing Idiot on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:07:48 AM EST

"answers pertainging to parent questioning Amish as poor"

---If you knew of a person who had no health insurance

They do, in the truest sense. They all work together, for the benefit of the community. If one is sick or injured, the rest pitch in for his job. The injured person then tries to do best what they can (or rest, if doctor order). Do they buy "health shares" from Anthem? Nope.

---no electricity

It's a religious choice, as seen that electricty makes people lazy and lethargic. TV as worst example.

---no taxable income

Unsure about that.. Not understanding of Amish-Govt tax codes.

---no central heating

The family room, where the stove is, is where your family should meet and be a "family". They dont want everybody holed up away from each other. That's just people related to each other in different rooms, not communicating to each other.

---no public utilities

I consider that we are modern, and we still use a well for water. They just pump to get it, we use electricty. We also have a septic tank. No sewage service comes way out where we live. We also use propane tanks for our gas and central heating. There's no gas service out here either....

The only 2 puplic utilities we have out here are electricty and telephone. And IIRC, the Amish DO use telephones, just not in the house directly.

---would you consider that person poor?

If you use your or my standards, possibly. But you need to consider if the person CHOOSES to live like that, and they willingly accept it, knowing that better DOES exist, and can be fairly easily obtained.

[ Parent ]

You only got about 10% of my point (none / 1) (#295)
by epepke on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 01:41:24 PM EST

Like everyone else who is responding to me. I suppose it you get a single true/false value, The Amish are poor/not poor, you'll be happy. I know that this is really hard, but please try to get beyond something that can be answered with a single bit of information.

My point is that the notion of poverty is socially constructed and also relative. The original article described a group of people who have a higher income that I had last year (just as an example), get to drink what even I consider quite a lot of beer, have a reasonable degree of independent living in an apartment, get to go to the club, and have free food brought to them. Yet they are poor, because the culture decides that they are poor.

Everything I mentioned are things that, in the US, are presented as indicators of poverty. I did not make this up; I'm reporting.

There are cultures in which if you have a reliable hunting bow, you're rich. There are cultures in which if you have an older color television, a kerosene heater, an older model car, and enough food to become obese, you're still poor. There are places in the US where only the rich even own cars, and there are cities where only the poorest do not have them.

So think about this the next time you see something comparing rates of poverty between countries and cultures.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
other answer good (none / 0) (#264)
by speek on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:40:16 AM EST

But, it really comes down to - do you really consider the Amish poor? Do you pity them? Do you know anything about them? They generally do quite well for themselves, based on their own standards, and many of ours.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

actually... (none / 0) (#280)
by Battle Troll on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:20:06 PM EST

A lot of Amish are horse-and-buggy millionaires.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Clarification (none / 0) (#249)
by Gailin on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:44:22 PM EST

My comment was not inclusive of the poster of the story, it was directed towards the individual who posted the comment I responded to.

Whether the poster of the story is over-genralizing as well is irrelevant to my comment on the love fixes everything post that I replied to.

On the root topic of the story.  Personally, I don't think there is a solution to this problem.  But I hope that people do not stop trying to find one.

Gailin

$612.44 per fortnight? Where'd that come from? (none / 0) (#253)
by tuxedo-steve on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:28:27 PM EST

Centrelink payment rates for unemployed individuals.

For a single person with no children, that's $394.60AU ($282.93US) per fortnight. I don't know where you got your figure of $612.44pfn from.

After you've paid your rent and bills that doesn't leave much, especially if you've got a drug or alcohol addiction to feed, as, right or wrong, many of these people do. Melbourne isn't the cheapest city in the world as far as rent is concerned, and electricity can be especially pricey over winter, as Melbourne can be quite a chilly city.

You can scrape by on Centrelink money, but that's about it. And it's worse if you're a student. You receive less support and have less opportunity to work to pick up the slack.

- SMJ - (It's not just a name - it's a bad aftertaste.)
of course, a single person in America can only $90 (none / 0) (#261)
by cryon on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:33:31 AM EST

In almost all cases, the only kind of assistance an able bodied single person under 65 years can get is food stamps, which is maybe $90/month, and that is only if you have about zero savings. If a person were were to consider things entirely by logic, that person should emigrate to Australia from America.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

[ Parent ]
How they gonna afford the air fare? (none / 0) (#263)
by Nursie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:25:23 AM EST

Actually the US would probably pay to ship em there and make it someone else's problem.....

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
I was not referring ONLY to poor people (none / 0) (#265)
by cryon on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:54:16 AM EST

Any person who does have a great chance of getting into the upper income group in America, those people should be all logic be emigrating to Australia. For example, if you are black or Hispanic, why stay here? If you are already 35 and have not yet gotten into a good career track, why stay here? Of couse, there would be family considerations. etc. But the main obstacle is lack of understanding the entire situation, IMO.
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

[ Parent ]
oops, I meant to say any person who does NOT (none / 0) (#266)
by cryon on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:56:19 AM EST

...have a good chance of getting rich. Which by definition is MOST people. Why not move to a country with a good social safety net, with universal health care? I just do not understand the lack of logic in the human critter....
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[ Parent ]
Me Neither (none / 1) (#268)
by Nursie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:58:41 AM EST

As I said in a post on another story, I think it comes down to a weird peversion of the American dream - A lot of USians don't want to tax the rich, or stand up for workers rights because they have the deeply held (but ultimately mistaken) belief that one day they will be part of that rich elite. The fact that it is, and stays, a small rich elite should prove to them how unlikely it is.....

Europeans and Australians and others don't suffer from this, in fact most seem to suffer from the opposite, wanting a good social safety net because they think at some point they'll probably have to use it.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
What's your idea of "rich"? (none / 1) (#269)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:53:24 PM EST

Compared to my parents, I'm rich, and I got there with very little help from the government. However, I'm not "elite" by any stretch of the imagination, and never expected to be. While Kerry's tax increase on > $200,000 won't affect me, that income is certainly possible for someone with more ambition than I had, or at least a combination of ambition, luck, and starting out middle class.

I'm all in favor of worker's rights, because I do have the (possibly mistaken) belief that you can be succesful without screwing your employees, but I'm against over-taxing someone who got "rich" by determination and hard work.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

I'm talking l33t! (none / 0) (#278)
by Nursie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:50:32 AM EST

By rich elite I mean the execs at the top, the millionaires, the guys getting the multi-million dollar bonuses, and the corporations they own and run.

I'm all for people getting rich through determination and hard work, but that's not always the way. And I consider it quite unethical to cut back employee wages and benefits and at the same time hand out massive bonuses to directors who manifestly do not work as hard.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Mmm (none / 0) (#302)
by WobL on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:31:09 PM EST

Speaking as a European (UK), I'm more than happy paying higher taxes to help other people, that's the whole point of me earning as much as I can, so that I can give back to what I've grown up having: free good education, free good health service, decent standard of living etc. Saying I'd only do it in case I ever need to rely on it is just colouring my actions with incorrect motives, possibly because you can't think of any alternative than that I would be looking out for myself when I pay.

[ Parent ]
Mental attitude. (none / 0) (#287)
by ghjm on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:54:46 PM EST

For 10 years I "never felt comfortable" in North Carolina. Then I decided that I would prefer to feel comfortable. So I did.

The fact that it took me 10 years, and you some unknown quantity more than 4, to decide to be comfortable in a new environment is a testament to our own stubborn inflexibility, not an indictment of the concept of moving.

Besides which, I never seriously lacked for money in either place, and I doubt you did either - it might make a big difference to your attitude if you had always been hungry and poor in your eastern mixed forests, and had plenty to eat and a purpose in life in Hawaii.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

I have got almost identical experience... (none / 1) (#256)
by Maljin Jolt on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 12:41:49 AM EST

...playing Sims. Small b&w tv, dirty kitchenware everywhere on the floor, crude dirty people sleeping whole day. Everything changed dramatically after my tiny stupid sims joined the army. As a top secret service officers, they became rich, very rich. They could even afford a hifi stereo and swimming pool.

Impressive (none / 0) (#301)
by WobL on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:26:23 PM EST

So is this over many years of playing Sims or just a short-term piece of research? Either way, the Sims is a valuable way of gathering societal information, not just one group of programmers' representation OF society's mechanics, honest.

[ Parent ]
There are no easy solutions (3.00 / 3) (#260)
by slaida1 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:49:46 AM EST

Yet people still come up with these stupid "give'em love and caring" or "more soup! more money! more safe houses!" solutions. As if those aren't tried already and many times over, politicans fishing for votes playing those cards knowing full well those won't work except for the part that they get more supporters "for being such a humanitarian".

Some people don't care about money as long as there's enough to keep'em alive. That materialistic semi-reality that TV shows us, most are maybe suckered to believe in it but there are still many who don't buy it. They'll look poor seen through our happy-consumer eyes. But I've got to remind myself yet again: everyone of us is different, we live in different worlds, look at those worlds differently, judge our lives with different standards.

If someone looks, smells, talks, lives and behaves like a bum and is "officially" labeled one, he still isn't. Maybe to some he is, but to those who don't give a shit about "generally accepted" standards or unwritten (hell, even written) rules, he's as much a human being as anyone of us.

That kind of attitude is one way of saying "I don't give a shit about all this stuff, every one of you, your accomplishments and your dreams are as worthless to me as beggars' are!" or "we're all equal!" as somewhat more polite person might put it.

In short, maybe poor people are content enough with their situtation that they won't bother or even see good enough reason to improve it. Let'em be, I say.

yes, that'd be the easy solution [n/t] (none / 0) (#272)
by Phil Urich on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:18:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
sorry, ignore me (none / 1) (#273)
by Phil Urich on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:20:51 PM EST

I replied to hastily, I had actually only skim-read what you had written, and I felt like making a snide remark. Feel free to ignore it, it doesn't make sense anyways.

[ Parent ]
I don't get it (none / 1) (#282)
by lukestuts on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 11:35:43 AM EST

What's this article got to do with 'Kill The Poor'? It certainly got my attention and now I know that someone gives poor people soup but there was no killing of poor people in the article. In South American countries, the poor and homeless are killed on a regular basis when they shelter near Cathedrals and other city centres.

Is the title really suggesting that giving people a hot drink and something to eat makes them poor? That charity is a bad thing? Welfare? If you give someone free food, you've given them free food - end of story.

Dead Kennedys (none / 0) (#300)
by King Mob on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 06:53:01 PM EST

The title is taken from a song from the most excellent album "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" by Dead Kennedys, the infamous punk rockers.

Here's the lyrics:

Efficiency and progress is ours once more
Now that we have the neutron bomb
It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done
Away with excess enemy
But no less value to property
No sense in war but perfect sense at home

The sun beams down on a brand new day
No more welfare tax to pay

Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light
Jobless millions whisked away
At last we have more room to play
All systems go to kill the poor tonight

Gonna
Kill kill kill kill kill the poor tonight

Behold the sparkle of champagne
The crime rate's gone
Feel free again
O' life's a dream with you, miss lily white
Jane fonda on the screen today
Convinced the liberals it's okay
So let's get dressed and dance away the night

While they
Kill kill kill kill kill the poor ­tonight

Come to think of it, they also have a number called: "Soup is good food".

[ Parent ]

lol (none / 0) (#285)
by ShiftyStoner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:28:20 AM EST

600 dollars a day huh. 600 dollars a day and they are still poor, does that seem odd to anyone else. how come these poor people arnt rolling around in feraris n shit.

maybe they could spend that 600 a little better you know. probly get better than a shoebox know what im saying. sure a lot of them would spend 300 of that per day on heroin or coke or something but theyd still be livin like kings.

i don't know, maybe australia is pulling an america.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

fortnight (none / 0) (#286)
by ruggiero on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:20:26 AM EST

1 fortnight = 14 days. Also read the comment below about how it is actually more like 400 australian dollars than 600. -Jim

I want to see them starving (none / 0) (#291)
by walwyn on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 08:40:26 AM EST

I want to see them starving,
The so called working class
Their wages weekly halving
Their women stewing grass
When I ride out each morning
In one of my new suits
I want to find them fawning
To clean my car and boots.

Phillip Larkin - Poet Laureat


----
Professor Moriarty - Bugs, Sculpture, Tombs, and Stained Glass
I'm not quite sure of the point of this article... (none / 1) (#304)
by WobL on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:55:39 PM EST

This is obvious stuff. The fact that the inertia involved in changing a life is (according to both basic common sense and - I believe - the Bible) bloody hard. So yes you won't see lives turned around in a few months. Well spotted. This is what we call humanism coming to terms with the fact that we are very bad at picking ourselves out of the holes we get ourselves into, and then falling flat on its face.

The point of doing something like the soup run is because it's a job that needs to be done. Don't do it because you want to feel altruistic, or warm and fuzzy inside because of how well you've done. Doing it with that intention - i.e. with highly mixed motives - will undoubtably lead to disappointment when the people you're helping a) don't instantly change their ways or b) do more than grab what you offer and run.

It's a job that needs to be done. If you're doing it in ten years' time, well done. You're now matching what many people in churches all over the globe do, and do not out of a sense of duty, but do gladly. And not hoping for a warm fuzzy feeling, but for a different reason entirely.

So yes. I don't know quite what the point of your writing was. Of course there will be people who cheat the system and so forth but hey. Price you pay for helping loads more. Get that global perspective and you'll be fine. Stay parochial and blinkered and you'll moan about it forever. Of course you won't feel great about it, that's not the point. Don't dip your toe into an experience and then write about it as though you're an expert. You simply end up commenting more on your motives for trying the experience and how little you thought about what the experience would be like.



Kill The Poor | 305 comments (275 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
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