Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
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Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

Percentage of Program Beneficiaries Who Report They “Have Not Used a Government Social Program”

Program “No, Have Not Used a Government Social Program”

529 or Coverdell 64.3

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction 60.0

Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit 59.6

Student Loans 53.3

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit 51.7

Earned Income Tax Credit 47.1

Social Security—Retirement & Survivors 44.1

Pell Grants 43.1

Unemployment Insurance 43.0

Veterans Benefits (other than G.I. Bill) 41.7

G.I. Bill 40.3

Medicare 39.8

Head Start 37.2

Social Security Disability 28.7

Supplemental Security Income 28.2

Medicaid 27.8

Welfare/Public Assistance 27.4

Government Subsidized Housing 27.4

Food Stamps 25.4

Source: Suzanne Mettler, “Reconstituting the Submerged State: The Challenge of Social Policy Reform in the Obama Era,” Perspectives on Politics (September 2010): 809.

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?
safewrite wrote:

Percentage of Program Beneficiaries Who Report They “Have Not Used a Government Social Program”

Program “No, Have Not Used a Government Social Program” 529

Coverdell 64.3

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction 60.0

Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit 59.6

Student Loans 53.3

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit 51.7

Earned Income Tax Credit 47.1

Social Security—Retirement & Survivors 44.1

Pell Grants 43.1

Unemployment Insurance 43.0

Veterans Benefits (other than G.I. Bill) 41.7

G.I. Bill 40.3

Medicare 39.8

Head Start 37.2

Social Security Disability 28.7

Supplemental Security Income 28.2

Medicaid 27.8

Welfare/Public Assistance 27.4

Government Subsidized Housing 27.4

Food Stamps 25.4

Source: Suzanne Mettler, “Reconstituting the Submerged State: The Challenge of Social Policy Reform in the Obama Era,” Perspectives on Politics (September 2010): 809.

Safewrite

I reformatted this for clarity, but I still am not sure I understand it.  Does this mean for example that 60% of the people who have claimed a Home Mortgage Interest Deduction say they have not used a government social program? 

What does this data mean to you?

That people who say they are against government programs are often the beneficiaries, but don't recognize or acknowledge it?

They are so pervasive that they are taken as our due -- we are entitled?

We are so socialistic we are too far gone to save?

There are many ways to view this.  What are you thinking?

Travlin 

 

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

Social Policy Reform.    You mean the Tax Code?

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

All the same questions as Travlin.

In America we have a massive entitlement mentality.  It has permeated our society and become a way of life for millions of people.  It is amazing.  What happened to an honest days work, pride in supporting ones family, being responsible, and be self sufficient ?  All of these were the fundamentals that America was founded on and cherished and worked within for 200 years and we did good.  We did real good.  We started with nothing and created created enormous wealth and security for millions of people.  Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

 

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?
dshields wrote:

Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

It all started with that evil rock n roll music.  Remember our parents said it would lead to ruin?  Cool 

Travlin 

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

 Proverbs 1     the wisdom  did not get passed down  or was rejected .  Now we pay the piper.

FM

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dshields wrote: All the same
dshields wrote:

All the same questions as Travlin.

In America we have a massive entitlement mentality.  It has permeated our society and become a way of life for millions of people.  It is amazing.  What happened to an honest days work, pride in supporting ones family, being responsible, and be self sufficient ?  All of these were the fundamentals that America was founded on and cherished and worked within for 200 years and we did good.  We did real good.  We started with nothing and created created enormous wealth and security for millions of people.  Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

Well, let's see. I do work a full time job. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I work in the private sector. I am NOT in a union and there are no union members where I work. There are millions of Americans like me.

I've never been on Food Stamps or social security. However, I attended college and received Pell grants and Federal-subsidized student loans. I paid off my loans to Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. I have taken time off for the birth of my twin sons under the Family Medical Leave Act - which wasn't something the Republicans and Big Business were eager to see passed, but I bet many of you - conservatives and liberals alike - have used or are glad is there for you.

I work an 8-hour day, 40-hours per week, and am paid over-time occasionally. Though oftentimes I have also worked an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours for free because I didn't get that authorized overtime but still had work to do and the corporation I work for has turned a blind eye, I am mindful that the American labor movement as helped. Can you believe bakers in San Francisco actually went on strike in the early 1900s trying to get a 12-hour work day rather than a 16-hour work day? Or that unions fought for the weekend. Or that unions have fought for an 8-hour day and thus have helped normalize the actual idea of an 8-hour day. I am also mindful that child labor laws and public education means that children (not necessarily mine) won't have to be "breaker boys" in a coal mine somewhere, breathing coal dust and getting lung disease.

I won't bore you with the details, but I once spent a summer working in a plastics molding factory 6-days per week, without air conditioning, in a tropical country, breathing the plastic fumes. They've never heard of mandatory rest breaks of 10 minutes every 4 hours, or filter masks, or overtime pay. I was actually called out for trying to make trouble for telling them of labor conditions in the U.S. As a teenager, I've worked in farm fields in the United States alongside migrant farm laborers, and sprayed pesticides from a leaky backpack sprayer without protective equipment other than the T-shirt on my back to soak up the chemicals and a handkerchief over my nose.

So while I think some union abuses are great and have railed especially against UAW and government employee union excesses and stupidity, I am also mindful that without unions, corporations in America would still be paying workers in company script, redeemable only at the company store, union protests would be broken up by armed government troops or paid thugs. In fact, that's what we see in the rest of the world, where workers - including children - toil in sweat shops in unsanitary, unhealthful conditions, soemtimes going months without pay, as they do American factories (or especially 3rd-party-suppliers' factories - so American corporations can pretend to keep their hands clean) in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Saipan, etc. Everything is masked by capitalism, because in capitalism, commodity is a commodity no matter if it was made from trees illegally logged, or made in a Chinese prison tannery where workers breathe harsh acids and handle chemicals with their naked hand, or children sewed the clothes, or people in the fields were sprayed with pesticides from a cropduster.

I actually, however, think what used to be called "moderate" is now called "liberal" by a reactionary right that has managed to redefine the language of politics into an extreme of "you're either with us, or against us". Somehow, some of my American values of freedom, family, and personal responsibility have become co-opted as conservative values that apparently liberals can't have - while others of my just-as-American values of fighting for fairness, or decent working conditions, or laws and regulations on the excesses of corporations have become demonized as liberal values or socialist..

Poet

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Re: Entitlement mentality? What entitelment mentality?

Judge Andrew Napolitano's book  "Constitution in Exile" explains a lot of this. It's a bit infuriating to read, actually- it also showed me how much the history taught in schools has been perverted to fit a political agenda. 

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Travlin, response

Travlin,

I do not think government programs will solve all the world's ills. Neither do I think that they are nessicarilly evil. But they all come with a price - a price we are increasingly unable to afford as a society.These programs will be severely modified or eliminated in the not-too-distant future. What I found amazing was the large percentage of people who did not realize these programs are taxpayer funded. Nothing more or less was my motive for posting this. One of the ways our lives will change is when the current unsustainable situations crumbles and such assistance will not be available any more. I myself had, at one time, and FHA mortgage and a government student loan. Look at the list. Many of us have participated in one or more of these programs.

One more thing. There is a "holier-than-thou" sort of look down the nose from some conservatives: a sense that they are better than "those people on welfare" and that they are oh-so righteous because THEY don't use up taxpayer dollars. I'm a conservative, my preious post rather prove that--especially on the Glenn Beck thread--and the belief this study uncovers, that the average American has not used a "government social program", rather boggles my mind. We ALL use these programs.

By posting this study I'm not saying that these are bad programs or good programs, or that goverment programs per se are good or bad. I'm saying that we, as a society, do not seem to realize that they are funded via taxpayers.

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"Home Mortgage Interest

"Home Mortgage Interest Deduction 60.0:"

Is this a social program? I don't think so. Actually I think it's just the other way: The little guy who pay no tax can't deduct anything. High incomes however enjoy an lower net interest rate and therefore can afford an even bigger house...

So if this is a social program unlike some of the other ones the wealthier you are the more you benefit from it. As a matter of fact, a country like France far more "socialist" than the US got rid of mortgage interest deduction a long time ago for this very reason.

 

 

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Entitlement mentality

Like SailAway, I do not see that all these programs belong in the same category. Even the loans you wrote about having enjoyed - how can that be considered an entitlement when you knew you'd be paying them back. Perhaps the rates and terms were a little better than you could have received from a private loan, but they were hardly handouts that you expected to receive without reimbursement.

Same with social security and unemployment - they tend to be paid into by the same people who later benefit from them. Sure, sometimes there are discrepancies - the one who works for a week and collects unemployment for 2 years or the one who retires early and lives forever, collecting far more social security than what was planned per individual. But these are flukes that could possibly be corrected with common sense and a little backbone without affecting the majority of the population.

Most of these programs aren't in and of themselves evil, as you already mentioned, it is the abuse and misuse of programs that are designed to be a helping hand or a leg up that throws them into the entitlement category. Welfare and dependent care that is designed (and used) as a safety net for the deserted single mother who is finishing school so she can get a job is quite different than that used by someone having babies for the specific purpose of collecting a check from the state. When we pool them together we put ourselves in a quandry - "well, we can't stop that program because it helps truly deserving people."

The hardest part about cutting programs is we want to be able to go in and just sweep a hand across the paper crossing off x, y and z and voila; balanced budget. But what we really need is to *revamp* programs to weed out the areas where corruption has enabled entitlement.   

And then we have the areas where some entitlements (if you want to call them that) are granted to cover up corruption: I, for one, would be quite happy to forego my tax deductions in return for a complete revamping of the not-properly-ratified and illegal income tax.

~ s

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Thanks for your response
safewrite wrote:

Travlin,

I do not think government programs will solve all the world's ills. Neither do I think that they are nessicarilly evil. But they all come with a price - a price we are increasingly unable to afford as a society.These programs will be severely modified or eliminated in the not-too-distant future. What I found amazing was the large percentage of people who did not realize these programs are taxpayer funded. Nothing more or less was my motive for posting this. One of the ways our lives will change is when the current unsustainable situations crumbles and such assistance will not be available any more. I myself had, at one time, and FHA mortgage and a government student loan. Look at the list. Many of us have participated in one or more of these programs.

One more thing. There is a "holier-than-thou" sort of look down the nose from some conservatives: a sense that they are better than "those people on welfare" and that they are oh-so righteous because THEY don't use up taxpayer dollars. I'm a conservative, my preious post rather prove that--especially on the Glenn Beck thread--and the belief this study uncovers, that the average American has not used a "government social program", rather boggles my mind. We ALL use these programs.

By posting this study I'm not saying that these are bad programs or good programs, or that goverment programs per se are good or bad. I'm saying that we, as a society, do not seem to realize that they are funded via taxpayers.

I thought that's what you were getting at.  Those are very good points to make, and I see things much the same way.  Thanks for clarifying.

Travlin 

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agreed

Sailaway, Saffron,

I agree that the home mortgage deduction is not a program, per se. It's part of the (you nailed it) unconstitutional IRS boondogle that keeps he middle class, such as it is, from coming after TPTB with pitchforks and torches. It's not a program, even though my source put in on a list of them. The home mortgage deduction is, however, one of the few ways left to keep "gains" from inflated dollars from being taxed.

Yet I can see the mortgage deduction dissapearing as an increasingly desperate government looks for sources of funding. It's already been trimmed back to "main residence only" - no second homes.

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home interest deduction

We need to keep the home interest deduction for 3 reasons -

1) Many households have that deduction planned into their financial system.  Removing it would be a major blow to them.  It would cause their taxes to go up and eat up their discretionary income.  This would lead to less consumer spending right in the middle of the great recession.  Very bad.  Can you say double dip ?

2) The housing industry is in major trouble as it is.  This would be a major blow to it.  Not good.  Many more people laid off.

3) The government does not need more money.  The government has plenty of money it just spends it incorrectly.  The government needs to reduce spending not increase it.  The only way to shrink the government is to deny it money.  If you take the money it has to shrink.  Cut the money and you cut the government.  This is a good thing.  The fed gov is far far to large.  It is the biggest thing there is.  That is all broken.  Statist have expanded the government into a soft tyranny that is destroying the country.  It is the single biggest problem we have.  If we had the government and government spending under control we would be in much better shape than we are now.

 

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I find it alarming that the

I find it alarming that the fight about "there is no money" and we need to stop spending keeps being aimed at the bottom.  Yes, these programs need reform,  but a hundred welfare cheats do not come close to costing us what corporations get in welfare every year.  Dozens and dozens of examples of more than tax breaks being given to people to bring in jobs, which they do not.  In the case of what used to be one of my favorite places,  Cabela's,  they got so much aid and government assistance that every dollar they earned had cost the local area  $1.36.

The consistent insistence that giving tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations will create money has been proven to be very wrong.  

Talk about a sense of entitlement.  

Stability and progress lies in the tension between business, labor and the government.  All three have a proven track record of getting out of control, bloated and corrupt without the tension created by the other two.  There is no survival for the economy if any one side gets too much power.  Right now the corporations have got too much.  They've worked very hard at winning it and using the media expertly to convince everyone else that it is the other two that are too powerful.  Look long and hard at what has happened since we began our journey down the path of total deregulation.  

We do not need to take it any further than restoring some semblance of balance.  But,  we need to address the unbalanced presentation of the issues.  Divide and conquer is keeping the lower classes at each other's throats which is preventing the insurrection.  If it is not stopped the insurrection will be fought violently between the people at the bottom.  It will get very ugly.  If the people at the bottom figure out what is actually going on and band together they may be able to use the system that exists to make changes.

 

 

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Have you ever driven on a

Have you ever driven on a paved road? Thank a government program.

Have you ever turned on a switch of an electric light? Thank a government program.

Even this "cyber-space" is compliments of government programs...

Of course I am entitled.... entitled to drive on paved roads, drink clean water, even type this senseless dribble into cyberspace...

 

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Have you ever flown on a plane?

Carl,

Do you thank Orville and Wilbur Wright every time you are on a plane?  I don't because if they had not created the first airplane, someone else would have.  Do you really think we would never have the things you mention if we did not have "government programs" to do them?  I think we would have most, if not all, of these things.  They might have happend at different times but we would get them eventually and who know what other things might have been created along the way.  It is always easy to see direct consequences of actions, it is the indirect consequences which are much harder to determine.

In what way is federal government action necessary for any of these things?

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Government BACKS 95% of all mortgages
dshields wrote:

We need to keep the home interest deduction for 3 reasons -

1) Many households have that deduction planned into their financial system.  Removing it would be a major blow to them.  It would cause their taxes to go up and eat up their discretionary income.  This would lead to less consumer spending right in the middle of the great recession.  Very bad.  Can you say double dip ?

2) The housing industry is in major trouble as it is.  This would be a major blow to it.  Not good.  Many more people laid off.

3) The government does not need more money.  The government has plenty of money it just spends it incorrectly.  The government needs to reduce spending not increase it.  The only way to shrink the government is to deny it money.  If you take the money it has to shrink.  Cut the money and you cut the government.  This is a good thing.  The fed gov is far far to large.  It is the biggest thing there is.  That is all broken.  Statist have expanded the government into a soft tyranny that is destroying the country.  It is the single biggest problem we have.  If we had the government and government spending under control we would be in much better shape than we are now.

So how about we just stop having the government back 95% of all mortgages (FHA, Fannie, Freddie) and make the Fed exchange back to the banks, dollar for dollar, all the mortgage-backed securities that it bought at full face value?

Poet

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Mortgage interest deduction
dshields wrote:

We need to keep the home interest deduction for 3 reasons -

1) Many households have that deduction planned into their financial system.  Removing it would be a major blow to them.  It would cause their taxes to go up and eat up their discretionary income.  This would lead to less consumer spending right in the middle of the great recession.  Very bad.  Can you say double dip ?

2) The housing industry is in major trouble as it is.  This would be a major blow to it.  Not good.  Many more people laid off.

I don't disagree with these points but Isn't it a bit hypocritical to be talking about shared sacrifice and advocate cuts to entitlements and transfer payments but claim that a big subsidy for the rich and middle classes can not be touched?  Certainly this would hurt many ( including myself ) and may push people thar are currently struggling, over the brink but I think the same could be said about cuts to entitlements and transfer payments.  Do we really need more of a housing industry at this point anyways when there are such a high % of empty houses?

The real shame to me was not allowing the fincial institutions that were leveraged up and caused the problems in the first place to fail in 2008.  It would have been absolute carnage but at least there would have been a cosmic justice to those that caused the problems actually paying the price for their actions.  I short deep recession would have been far better for us all than what we currently face.  Imagine what could have happened if the few prudent non-leveraged financial institutions could have bought all the toxic mess for pennies on the dollar during bankruptcy liquidations.  These new owners would have been incentivized to keep the mortgage holders from defaulting and therefore could have passed large principle reductions down and still made tons of money.  It would have been win-win except that the major wall street banks would have been destroyed so we know the the FED and treasury could never let that happen.

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Poetically stated
Poet wrote:
dshields wrote:

All the same questions as Travlin.

In America we have a massive entitlement mentality.  It has permeated our society and become a way of life for millions of people.  It is amazing.  What happened to an honest days work, pride in supporting ones family, being responsible, and be self sufficient ?  All of these were the fundamentals that America was founded on and cherished and worked within for 200 years and we did good.  We did real good.  We started with nothing and created created enormous wealth and security for millions of people.  Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

Well, let's see. I do work a full time job. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I work in the private sector. I am NOT in a union and there are no union members where I work. There are millions of Americans like me.

I've never been on Food Stamps or social security. However, I attended college and received Pell grants and Federal-subsidized student loans. I paid off my loans to Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. I have taken time off for the birth of my twin sons under the Family Medical Leave Act - which wasn't something the Republicans and Big Business were eager to see passed, but I bet many of you - conservatives and liberals alike - have used or are glad is there for you.

I work an 8-hour day, 40-hours per week, and am paid over-time occasionally. Though oftentimes I have also worked an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours for free because I didn't get that authorized overtime but still had work to do and the corporation I work for has turned a blind eye, I am mindful that the American labor movement as helped. Can you believe bakers in San Francisco actually went on strike in the early 1900s trying to get a 12-hour work day rather than a 16-hour work day? Or that unions fought for the weekend. Or that unions have fought for an 8-hour day and thus have helped normalize the actual idea of an 8-hour day. I am also mindful that child labor laws and public education means that children (not necessarily mine) won't have to be "breaker boys" in a coal mine somewhere, breathing coal dust and getting lung disease.

I won't bore you with the details, but I once spent a summer working in a plastics molding factory 6-days per week, without air conditioning, in a tropical country, breathing the plastic fumes. They've never heard of mandatory rest breaks of 10 minutes every 4 hours, or filter masks, or overtime pay. I was actually called out for trying to make trouble for telling them of labor conditions in the U.S. As a teenager, I've worked in farm fields in the United States alongside migrant farm laborers, and sprayed pesticides from a leaky backpack sprayer without protective equipment other than the T-shirt on my back to soak up the chemicals and a handkerchief over my nose.

So while I think some union abuses are great and have railed especially against UAW and government employee union excesses and stupidity, I am also mindful that without unions, corporations in America would still be paying workers in company script, redeemable only at the company store, union protests would be broken up by armed government troops or paid thugs. In fact, that's what we see in the rest of the world, where workers - including children - toil in sweat shops in unsanitary, unhealthful conditions, soemtimes going months without pay, as they do American factories (or especially 3rd-party-suppliers' factories - so American corporations can pretend to keep their hands clean) in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Saipan, etc. Everything is masked by capitalism, because in capitalism, commodity is a commodity no matter if it was made from trees illegally logged, or made in a Chinese prison tannery where workers breathe harsh acids and handle chemicals with their naked hand, or children sewed the clothes, or people in the fields were sprayed with pesticides from a cropduster.

I actually, however, think what used to be called "moderate" is now called "liberal" by a reactionary right that has managed to redefine the language of politics into an extreme of "you're either with us, or against us". Somehow, some of my American values of freedom, family, and personal responsibility have become co-opted as conservative values that apparently liberals can't have - while others of my just-as-American values of fighting for fairness, or decent working conditions, or laws and regulations on the excesses of corporations have become demonized as liberal values or socialist..

Poet

Awesome post! I have been reading the back and forth of the Union, WI, collective bargaining debate, and this post frames the discussion very well in my humble opinion.

The have's and have not's are not in a position to truly understand one another's position. Perspective is everything in this debate. I personally know what it is to have 6 digit's in your checking account, and how it feels to have your mom hand you food-stamps to pick up some milk at the store. There aren't too many people that can say they have had both experiences in their life.

Knowing what it means to be wealthy or poor is the real debate. It strikes right to my core when I hear/read someone saying "people on welfare are..." or "rich people always....". Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes, my ears close, my anger wells up, and I have to walk away.

 

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The upper crust thieves
Rihter wrote:

Awesome post! I have been reading the back and forth of the Union, WI, collective bargaining debate, and this post frames the discussion very well in my humble opinion.

The have's and have not's are not in a position to truly understand one another's position. Perspective is everything in this debate. I personally know what it is to have 6 digit's in your checking account, and how it feels to have your mom hand you food-stamps to pick up some milk at the store. There aren't too many people that can say they have had both experiences in their life.

Knowing what it means to be wealthy or poor is the real debate. It strikes right to my core when I hear/read someone saying "people on welfare are..." or "rich people always....". Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes, my ears close, my anger wells up, and I have to walk away.

Really, some people have it backwards. The entitlement mentality are those grubs on Wallstreet and those in top government seats (often rotating positions between one and the other) who feel they can continue to financially rape this country and expect the working class to continue paying for it. This is really Robinhood in reverse. And then these corrupt, self-important worms blame the workers for the mess and crush them down even more when the well runs dry. Somethings got to give. And it will be their smug heads on a spike.

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gut check
Rihter wrote:
Poet wrote:
dshields wrote:

All the same questions as Travlin.

In America we have a massive entitlement mentality.  It has permeated our society and become a way of life for millions of people.  It is amazing.  What happened to an honest days work, pride in supporting ones family, being responsible, and be self sufficient ?  All of these were the fundamentals that America was founded on and cherished and worked within for 200 years and we did good.  We did real good.  We started with nothing and created created enormous wealth and security for millions of people.  Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

Well, let's see. I do work a full time job. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I work in the private sector. I am NOT in a union and there are no union members where I work. There are millions of Americans like me.

I've never been on Food Stamps or social security. However, I attended college and received Pell grants and Federal-subsidized student loans. I paid off my loans to Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. I have taken time off for the birth of my twin sons under the Family Medical Leave Act - which wasn't something the Republicans and Big Business were eager to see passed, but I bet many of you - conservatives and liberals alike - have used or are glad is there for you.

I work an 8-hour day, 40-hours per week, and am paid over-time occasionally. Though oftentimes I have also worked an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours for free because I didn't get that authorized overtime but still had work to do and the corporation I work for has turned a blind eye, I am mindful that the American labor movement as helped. Can you believe bakers in San Francisco actually went on strike in the early 1900s trying to get a 12-hour work day rather than a 16-hour work day? Or that unions fought for the weekend. Or that unions have fought for an 8-hour day and thus have helped normalize the actual idea of an 8-hour day. I am also mindful that child labor laws and public education means that children (not necessarily mine) won't have to be "breaker boys" in a coal mine somewhere, breathing coal dust and getting lung disease.

I won't bore you with the details, but I once spent a summer working in a plastics molding factory 6-days per week, without air conditioning, in a tropical country, breathing the plastic fumes. They've never heard of mandatory rest breaks of 10 minutes every 4 hours, or filter masks, or overtime pay. I was actually called out for trying to make trouble for telling them of labor conditions in the U.S. As a teenager, I've worked in farm fields in the United States alongside migrant farm laborers, and sprayed pesticides from a leaky backpack sprayer without protective equipment other than the T-shirt on my back to soak up the chemicals and a handkerchief over my nose.

So while I think some union abuses are great and have railed especially against UAW and government employee union excesses and stupidity, I am also mindful that without unions, corporations in America would still be paying workers in company script, redeemable only at the company store, union protests would be broken up by armed government troops or paid thugs. In fact, that's what we see in the rest of the world, where workers - including children - toil in sweat shops in unsanitary, unhealthful conditions, soemtimes going months without pay, as they do American factories (or especially 3rd-party-suppliers' factories - so American corporations can pretend to keep their hands clean) in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Saipan, etc. Everything is masked by capitalism, because in capitalism, commodity is a commodity no matter if it was made from trees illegally logged, or made in a Chinese prison tannery where workers breathe harsh acids and handle chemicals with their naked hand, or children sewed the clothes, or people in the fields were sprayed with pesticides from a cropduster.

I actually, however, think what used to be called "moderate" is now called "liberal" by a reactionary right that has managed to redefine the language of politics into an extreme of "you're either with us, or against us". Somehow, some of my American values of freedom, family, and personal responsibility have become co-opted as conservative values that apparently liberals can't have - while others of my just-as-American values of fighting for fairness, or decent working conditions, or laws and regulations on the excesses of corporations have become demonized as liberal values or socialist..

Poet

Awesome post! I have been reading the back and forth of the Union, WI, collective bargaining debate, and this post frames the discussion very well in my humble opinion.

The have's and have not's are not in a position to truly understand one another's position. Perspective is everything in this debate. I personally know what it is to have 6 digit's in your checking account, and how it feels to have your mom hand you food-stamps to pick up some milk at the store. There aren't too many people that can say they have had both experiences in their life.

Knowing what it means to be wealthy or poor is the real debate. It strikes right to my core when I hear/read someone saying "people on welfare are..." or "rich people always....". Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes, my ears close, my anger wells up, and I have to walk away.

 

I really appreciated Poet's post too. I had probably even more of a financial roller coaster ride. After a decade of struggle traversing lower and middle class, I ended up single and on permanent disability and very very poor. After about a year of this I married a wealthy tech publisher in Seattle. Then the dot com collapse, business failed, left the country. We landed on our feet and have recouped our losses, but man, it's been tense. There is nothing like living something, experiencing it first hand. It's the best education;  visceral. The gut check that keeps on giving.

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RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
have you ever flown on a plane...
goes211 wrote:

Carl,

Do you thank Orville and Wilbur Wright every time you are on a plane?  I don't because if they had not created the first airplane, someone else would have.  Do you really think we would never have the things you mention if we did not have "government programs" to do them?  I think we would have most, if not all, of these things.  They might have happend at different times but we would get them eventually and who know what other things might have been created along the way.  It is always easy to see direct consequences of actions, it is the indirect consequences which are much harder to determine.

In what way is federal government action necessary for any of these things?

 

Hi,

No I don't thank the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, Tesla, Stoddard or any other visionary who had an idea. Please don't mix inventions with what I said.

I pay dearly for paved roads, electric transmission lines, clean water and a lot of other "modern" conveniences.

If humans could all act with humanity, there would be no need for any interventions. However, humans behave, well, like humans. We ALL tune into WIIFM radio on a daily basis.

The issue that I have is with the hypocrisy that so-called conservatives preach when they talk about the "free market" Like the "free market" would save us from this path that we are all on.

What I was trying to point out was, we have all benefited from those "government programs." Would paved roads still be there? Would there be clean water to drink? The internet? Sure. I was not saying that the "gooberment" is the answer to everything. Alas, when I meet someone who says to me, "Hi, I am from (insert government title here)." The first thing I do is put my hand on my wallet. Really, I do. And I deal with many different "agencies."

I was trying to point out the hypocrisy when someone says, "I have never benefited nor taken money from a government program."

As for consequences, if we all observed what we learned in Kindergarten, we wouldn't need a nanny. Sure, some of us would still have "unintended consequences" and wet our pants. But, for those, someone would help us out, find a dry pair of pants for us and share their cookie with us to make things better.The rest of us would welcome them back to play.

Unfortunately, we all act like adolescents with raging hormones and need hall monitors.

C.

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dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
home interest deduction

Recent posts on this thread do bring up some interesting points.  I agree that the entitlement mind set does run from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I think it is all busted.  From big banks that take crazy risks and get bailed out by the tax payers to ghetto queens with 6 kids and no job - the entire thing us busted.  The problem we face now is how to fix it.  This is a very difficult problem to fix.  Start with the top end - the big banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, all of it - they get bailed out because they are too big to fail.  You know what ?  They probably are too big too fail.  I work for a wall street company (that never got one thin dime of bailout money) and I can tell you that the amounts of money that flow between these institutions on a daily basis is amazing.  If just one of them, say citi, failed to pay for one day there would be an instant dire emergency.  The fed or the treasury would move in and pay.  They have to or there will be a domino effect.  I don't pay you and now you can't pay someone else and so on.  The problem is they are too big but nobody seems to be doing anything about it.  They love to talk about it but they do not do anything about it.  When it was believed that AT&T was too big they forced it to split up into separate smaller companies.  Nobody is doing that with the banks.  Until that happens nothing has changed and it is the countdown to the next bailout.  All I can guess is that it must be extremely difficult to summon the political will to force them to divest.

The ghetto queen seems to have the same political clout.  You just try to cut welfare by enough to make a difference and watch what happens.  Try to cut medicaid or social security, you pick the major entitlement.  Everybody talks but no cutting is going on.  It is the same with the banks.

However, I see the mortgage deduction in a different light.  It is a way of reducing the income of the government.  The fed gov has to be cut and cut substantially.  The mortgage deduction reduces the amount of income to the government which is a good thing.  Many entitlements are out flows from the government.  Any way we can cut the inflow into the government is good.  The only way to reduce the government is to cut the revenue stream going into the government.  If you cut the inbound revenue stream into the fed gov it will shrink because it will have to.  The fed gov is far far to large, intrusive, and over bearing.  The fed gov only grows.  It has grown far outside its legal purview as defined by the constitution.  This is one of the major reasons why we are all in trouble.  It is amazing all the various things the fed gov is doing that it should not be doing and would not be doing if it did not have the money to do it.  Borrowing gigantic sums is not the answer - that just leads to disaster.

We need to get fed gov spending cut back to somewhere around the inbound revenue stream.  The benefits to the people of America and the world would be remarkable.

 

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Rihter
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Posts: 77
re: deshields

I used to be in finance as well. I felt most of the institutions and people I worked with on a daily basis were morally bankrupt, and would argue they have already failed.

You excuse Wallstreet because of it's role it plays, and I excuse the " Welfare Queen" because of her ignorance. The banks can do far more harm than the poor.

The banks are supposed to be professionals who broker a deal for their customers. They are sup[posed to know the extent of risk/harm they can cause. They get paid to know it. I got paid to know it. When I noticed we were doing more harm than good, I quit.

Banks are not to big to fail. They already have.

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Carl Veritas
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Posts: 294
Protective Tariffs, 

Protective Tariffs,  Subsidies,  Bail-Outs and the Tax Code  are all apparatus of government.   Depending on the party in power, the same apparatus is used to promote their own causes.     But  there is no winner, because as the apparatus grows, it is our own liberty that loses. 

 

 

 

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soulsurfersteph
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Posts: 204
poor
Rihter wrote:

You excuse Wallstreet because of it's role it plays, and I excuse the " Welfare Queen" because of her ignorance. The banks can do far more harm than the poor.

The poor can do incredible damage - and actually do damage our society greatly. I moved to Los Angeles soon after the 1992 riots and the angry poor had destroyed many parts of the city. 

I used to believe that all poor people were "noble" - they were just poor, downtrodden victims of the system. Then I lived in LA for a long time and knew wayyy too many people who were taking advantage of the system. Yes, I am sure there are hard-working poor people. But not all are working hard. Many are just taking advantage.

Here's my observation - certain people, when they get things handed to them, get lazy. They don't want to work, they don't want to better themselves. And this may be a *psychological* issue. Maybe somewhere deep inside they are self-hating for taking the money. They feel they have no purpose in life, so they give up. I am reminded of the mother of a friend I used to have, who used to be a trophy wife and was jilted for another younger model when she got too old. She gained 200 pounds, and would sit around on the couch doing nothing while expecting her daughter to take care of her, in her 50s! She'd given up on life.

I don't know for sure why some people give up and some people will fight for themselves. All I know is, I have been absolutely *shocked* at the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being productive.

They don't have spark or drive. They aren't able to follow through and complete anything of value. They do not contribute much of anything to their neighbors and generally they take from their own families.

The upshot is this - you have a lot of poor, aimless young people brought up in broken households who have nothing better to do but do drugs, cause trouble, and have sex and then babies when they really shouldn't have them, perpetuating the cycle. These are the people who are going to start the riots when the crap hits the fan.

The neighbors I used to live next door to - would SHOCK you - could only afford to live there because it was a husband, wife, and their friend...the wife worked at Jamba Juice, the husband was selling his mom's prescription drugs on the street (valium etc), and I don't know what the friend did. Two young toddlers in the unit were basically ignored and neglected, while their group of lazy friends came over *nightly* to drink beer and party and play video games....all the while the kids were running around at 1 am, with the little 2 year old girl regularly not wearing any clothes in front of everyone.

These people do not care about the rest of the world, they care about themselves. And these aren't the worst - as they weren't taking government money but "making their own money" by selling drugs. 

I've seen a lot. I met a whole assortment of unsavory characters in LA and the ones who were getting handouts or had easy money were the laziest people I have ever met.

Having work to do and a purpose in life is ennobling. Being stuck in a government handout system is disempowering and ultimately enabling the worst traits in human nature.

I half think the best thing for people on welfare would be for the money train to stop. They'll be forced to be more resilient. Unfortunately, some will starve (some children too), some will turn to robbery and violence, and some will give up. But maybe some will finally find some freakin' spark inside of themselves and pick themselves up.

I don't have an answer. But please do not make all poor people out to be martyrs. A good many of them are simply dysfunctional and lazy.

 

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
oh yea...
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Rihter wrote:

You excuse Wallstreet because of it's role it plays, and I excuse the " Welfare Queen" because of her ignorance. The banks can do far more harm than the poor.

The poor can do incredible damage - and actually do damage our society greatly. I moved to LA soon after the 1992 riots and the angry poor had destroyed many parts of the city. 

I used to believe that all poor people were "noble" - they were just poor, downtrodden victims of the system. Then I lived in LA for a long time and knew wayyy too many people who were taking advantage of the system. Yes, I am sure there are hard-working poor people. But not all are working hard. Many are just taking advantage.

Here's my observation - certain people, when they get things handed to them, get lazy. They don't want to work, they don't want to better themselves. And this may be a *psychological* issue. Maybe somewhere deep inside they are self-hating for taking the money. They feel they have no purpose in life, so they give up. I am reminded of the mother of a friend I used to have, who used to be a trophy wife and was jilted for another younger model when she got too old. She gained 200 pounds, and would sit around on the couch doing nothing while expecting her daughter to take care of her, in her 50s! She'd given up on life.

I don't know for sure why some people give up and some people will fight for themselves. All I know is, I have been absolutely *shocked* at the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being productive.

They don't have spark or drive. They aren't able to follow through and complete anything of value. They do not contribute much of anything to their neighbors and generally they take from their own families.

The upshot is this - you have a lot of poor, aimless young people brought up in broken households who have nothing better to do but do drugs, cause trouble, and have sex and then babies when they really shouldn't have them, perpetuating the cycle. These are the people who are going to start the riots when the crap hits the fan.

The neighbors I used to live next door to - would SHOCK you - could only afford to live there because it was a husband, wife, and their friend...the wife worked at Jamba Juice, the husband was selling his mom's prescription drugs on the street (valium etc), and I don't know what the friend did. Two young toddlers in the unit were basically ignored and neglected, while their group of lazy friends came over *nightly* to drink beer and party and play video games....all the while the kids were running around at 1 am, with the little 2 year old girl regularly not wearing any clothes in front of everyone.

These people do not care about the rest of the world, they care about themselves. And these aren't the worst - as they weren't taking government money but "making their own money" by selling drugs. 

I've seen a lot. I met a whole assortment of unsavory characters in LA and the ones who were getting handouts or had easy money were the laziest people I have ever met.

Having work to do and a purpose in life is ennobling. Being stuck in a government handout system is disempowering and ultimately enabling the worst traits in human nature.

I half think the best thing for people on welfare would be for the money train to stop. They'll be forced to be more resilient. Unfortunately, some will starve (some children too), some will turn to robbery and violence, and some will give up. But maybe some will finally find some freakin' spark inside of themselves and pick themselves up.

I don't have an answer. But please do not make all poor people out to be martyrs. A good many of them are simply dysfunctional and lazy.

 

You are sooooo right.  You think LA is bad you should check out Kansas City - Meth Capital Of The World.  I think it is more than just liberalism run amok - I think it is a long term power grab.  The larger the class of dependency is the higher the probability that people from one political party will be elected.  I am not going to say the names as I am trying to be less partisan these days as there are many statists on this site and I think I upset them.  I don't want to upset them and to be honest they often do have valid points just sometimes they are carried to extremes that do not pass the rational man test.  However, if the class of dependency grows to the point where it is 51% or more of the people who vote we are all in the most serious trouble we have even been in.  It is the doomsday scenario.  That would really be the end.  We are close now.  Look who got elected president.  Handouts do disempower people.  I have seen this.  People need to be self reliant.  People need to feel good about themselves.  People need to stand on their own two feet and make a difference.  We used to believe in that in America.  These are the principles America was founded on.  We have lost our way and statism is one of the reasons we did.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/03/The-2009-Index-of-Depen...

It is worse than you think...

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Thank you, A.P. and Rihter
agitating prop wrote:
Rihter wrote:
Poet wrote:
dshields wrote:

All the same questions as Travlin.

In America we have a massive entitlement mentality.  It has permeated our society and become a way of life for millions of people.  It is amazing.  What happened to an honest days work, pride in supporting ones family, being responsible, and be self sufficient ?  All of these were the fundamentals that America was founded on and cherished and worked within for 200 years and we did good.  We did real good.  We started with nothing and created created enormous wealth and security for millions of people.  Then something happened.  Something really bad happened.  We lost our roots and our way.  And now what used to be called "normal" is now called "right wing".  Why is that ?  What happened to us ?  Why have we failed ?

Well, let's see. I do work a full time job. I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I work in the private sector. I am NOT in a union and there are no union members where I work. There are millions of Americans like me.

I've never been on Food Stamps or social security. However, I attended college and received Pell grants and Federal-subsidized student loans. I paid off my loans to Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. I have taken time off for the birth of my twin sons under the Family Medical Leave Act - which wasn't something the Republicans and Big Business were eager to see passed, but I bet many of you - conservatives and liberals alike - have used or are glad is there for you.

I work an 8-hour day, 40-hours per week, and am paid over-time occasionally. Though oftentimes I have also worked an extra 30 minutes to 2 hours for free because I didn't get that authorized overtime but still had work to do and the corporation I work for has turned a blind eye, I am mindful that the American labor movement as helped. Can you believe bakers in San Francisco actually went on strike in the early 1900s trying to get a 12-hour work day rather than a 16-hour work day? Or that unions fought for the weekend. Or that unions have fought for an 8-hour day and thus have helped normalize the actual idea of an 8-hour day. I am also mindful that child labor laws and public education means that children (not necessarily mine) won't have to be "breaker boys" in a coal mine somewhere, breathing coal dust and getting lung disease.

I won't bore you with the details, but I once spent a summer working in a plastics molding factory 6-days per week, without air conditioning, in a tropical country, breathing the plastic fumes. They've never heard of mandatory rest breaks of 10 minutes every 4 hours, or filter masks, or overtime pay. I was actually called out for trying to make trouble for telling them of labor conditions in the U.S. As a teenager, I've worked in farm fields in the United States alongside migrant farm laborers, and sprayed pesticides from a leaky backpack sprayer without protective equipment other than the T-shirt on my back to soak up the chemicals and a handkerchief over my nose.

So while I think some union abuses are great and have railed especially against UAW and government employee union excesses and stupidity, I am also mindful that without unions, corporations in America would still be paying workers in company script, redeemable only at the company store, union protests would be broken up by armed government troops or paid thugs. In fact, that's what we see in the rest of the world, where workers - including children - toil in sweat shops in unsanitary, unhealthful conditions, soemtimes going months without pay, as they do American factories (or especially 3rd-party-suppliers' factories - so American corporations can pretend to keep their hands clean) in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Saipan, etc. Everything is masked by capitalism, because in capitalism, commodity is a commodity no matter if it was made from trees illegally logged, or made in a Chinese prison tannery where workers breathe harsh acids and handle chemicals with their naked hand, or children sewed the clothes, or people in the fields were sprayed with pesticides from a cropduster.

I actually, however, think what used to be called "moderate" is now called "liberal" by a reactionary right that has managed to redefine the language of politics into an extreme of "you're either with us, or against us". Somehow, some of my American values of freedom, family, and personal responsibility have become co-opted as conservative values that apparently liberals can't have - while others of my just-as-American values of fighting for fairness, or decent working conditions, or laws and regulations on the excesses of corporations have become demonized as liberal values or socialist..

Poet

Awesome post! I have been reading the back and forth of the Union, WI, collective bargaining debate, and this post frames the discussion very well in my humble opinion.

The have's and have not's are not in a position to truly understand one another's position. Perspective is everything in this debate. I personally know what it is to have 6 digit's in your checking account, and how it feels to have your mom hand you food-stamps to pick up some milk at the store. There aren't too many people that can say they have had both experiences in their life.

Knowing what it means to be wealthy or poor is the real debate. It strikes right to my core when I hear/read someone saying "people on welfare are..." or "rich people always....". Whenever someone starts talking in absolutes, my ears close, my anger wells up, and I have to walk away.

 

I really appreciated Poet's post too. I had probably even more of a financial roller coaster ride. After a decade of struggle traversing lower and middle class, I ended up single and on permanent disability and very very poor. After about a year of this I married a wealthy tech publisher in Seattle. Then the dot com collapse, business failed, left the country. We landed on our feet and have recouped our losses, but man, it's been tense. There is nothing like living something, experiencing it first hand. It's the best education;  visceral. The gut check that keeps on giving.

Thanks, Agitating Prop and Rihter.

I guess I was just tired of all the name-calling and labeling and lack of desire to even want to empathize or understand - on both sides.

I'm sure some'll act outraged and have questions and accusations and what-not - rather than empathy or understanding - when they read this. A person's comments and reactions to the following article will tell you more about themself, their world view, and how they see the poor - than about the poor.
The High Cost of Poverty: Why The Poor Pay More

Personally I wouldnt say poor people deserve to be where they are, even if they do make self-destructive decisions sometimes. Nor would I blame the government or blame corporations or society, even though sometimes that's just it. There are usually multiple components.

But once a person is down there - especially if down as a family with children, or in poor health or disabled - it is extremely difficult to get back up. For some it is a slow downward spiral. You're doing you best to keep your foot on the brakes as you slowly go down the hill.

Poet

Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
Naive response
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Rihter wrote:

You excuse Wallstreet because of it's role it plays, and I excuse the " Welfare Queen" because of her ignorance. The banks can do far more harm than the poor.

The poor can do incredible damage - and actually do damage our society greatly. I moved to Los Angeles soon after the 1992 riots and the angry poor had destroyed many parts of the city. 

I used to believe that all poor people were "noble" - they were just poor, downtrodden victims of the system. Then I lived in LA for a long time and knew wayyy too many people who were taking advantage of the system. Yes, I am sure there are hard-working poor people. But not all are working hard. Many are just taking advantage.

Here's my observation - certain people, when they get things handed to them, get lazy. They don't want to work, they don't want to better themselves. And this may be a *psychological* issue. Maybe somewhere deep inside they are self-hating for taking the money. They feel they have no purpose in life, so they give up. I am reminded of the mother of a friend I used to have, who used to be a trophy wife and was jilted for another younger model when she got too old. She gained 200 pounds, and would sit around on the couch doing nothing while expecting her daughter to take care of her, in her 50s! She'd given up on life.

I don't know for sure why some people give up and some people will fight for themselves. All I know is, I have been absolutely *shocked* at the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being productive.

They don't have spark or drive. They aren't able to follow through and complete anything of value. They do not contribute much of anything to their neighbors and generally they take from their own families.

The upshot is this - you have a lot of poor, aimless young people brought up in broken households who have nothing better to do but do drugs, cause trouble, and have sex and then babies when they really shouldn't have them, perpetuating the cycle. These are the people who are going to start the riots when the crap hits the fan.

The neighbors I used to live next door to - would SHOCK you - could only afford to live there because it was a husband, wife, and their friend...the wife worked at Jamba Juice, the husband was selling his mom's prescription drugs on the street (valium etc), and I don't know what the friend did. Two young toddlers in the unit were basically ignored and neglected, while their group of lazy friends came over *nightly* to drink beer and party and play video games....all the while the kids were running around at 1 am, with the little 2 year old girl regularly not wearing any clothes in front of everyone.

These people do not care about the rest of the world, they care about themselves. And these aren't the worst - as they weren't taking government money but "making their own money" by selling drugs. 

I've seen a lot. I met a whole assortment of unsavory characters in LA and the ones who were getting handouts or had easy money were the laziest people I have ever met.

Having work to do and a purpose in life is ennobling. Being stuck in a government handout system is disempowering and ultimately enabling the worst traits in human nature.

I half think the best thing for people on welfare would be for the money train to stop. They'll be forced to be more resilient. Unfortunately, some will starve (some children too), some will turn to robbery and violence, and some will give up. But maybe some will finally find some freakin' spark inside of themselves and pick themselves up.

I don't have an answer. But please do not make all poor people out to be martyrs. A good many of them are simply dysfunctional and lazy.

 

No, none of that would shock me. I spent 22 years in the different neighborhoods of Southern Cali. I was in Huntington Beach when the riots occurred.  lived the life you are explaining. I don't have to have any examples tossed at me because I was that example. I grew up in a crack house. All the images you witnessed on T.V. or as a bystander, I lived.

My mother was convicted of fraud when I was 11, and she did 2 years. She hit rock bottom. She was a high IQ person who never had an opportunity (or even knew it existed) to be anything other than what she was. She had no idea anything else existed.

She earned her GED in prison, started her 2 year degree in prison, finished her BA while living in a halfway house after prison, and then earned a job as a drug counselor placing addicts in housing after they were released from prison.

My sister and I moved back with her after 5 years of her putting her life back together (thanks to all those social programs demonized by the right). While she began raising us again, and working, she did 2 things she had never done before in her life. She bought a car from a car lot with her own money/credit, and she rented her first fully detached house without a cosigner. Over the next 4 years she managed to earn her Master's Degree as well.

My mother, prior to her being 35, is the example you are trying to depict. I am the child in your example. You have no idea what you are trying to explain and capture in your post. The poor individually do not have the power to be the burden on society Enron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bernie Madoff, etc... can be.

I own my own business, I'm married, 2 kids, own my home, 2 cars, a garden, root cellar, a dog, and a picket fence. The ice cream man in my neighborhood growing up accepted food stamps. My house was raided every summer by the cops until I was 9 years old. I had my first HIV test when I was 11 because I pricked my finger on a needle in my neighbors front yard. The problem with the assertions in your post is this; you don't know your wet if you've never been dry. Perspective is everything. My mother and I knew nothing but the world we grew up in. It took her going through hell to realize there is a heaven.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Right on, Rihter!
Rihter wrote:
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Rihter wrote:

You excuse Wallstreet because of it's role it plays, and I excuse the " Welfare Queen" because of her ignorance. The banks can do far more harm than the poor.

The poor can do incredible damage - and actually do damage our society greatly. I moved to Los Angeles soon after the 1992 riots and the angry poor had destroyed many parts of the city. 

I used to believe that all poor people were "noble" - they were just poor, downtrodden victims of the system. Then I lived in LA for a long time and knew wayyy too many people who were taking advantage of the system. Yes, I am sure there are hard-working poor people. But not all are working hard. Many are just taking advantage.

Here's my observation - certain people, when they get things handed to them, get lazy. They don't want to work, they don't want to better themselves. And this may be a *psychological* issue. Maybe somewhere deep inside they are self-hating for taking the money. They feel they have no purpose in life, so they give up. I am reminded of the mother of a friend I used to have, who used to be a trophy wife and was jilted for another younger model when she got too old. She gained 200 pounds, and would sit around on the couch doing nothing while expecting her daughter to take care of her, in her 50s! She'd given up on life.

I don't know for sure why some people give up and some people will fight for themselves. All I know is, I have been absolutely *shocked* at the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being productive.

They don't have spark or drive. They aren't able to follow through and complete anything of value. They do not contribute much of anything to their neighbors and generally they take from their own families.

The upshot is this - you have a lot of poor, aimless young people brought up in broken households who have nothing better to do but do drugs, cause trouble, and have sex and then babies when they really shouldn't have them, perpetuating the cycle. These are the people who are going to start the riots when the crap hits the fan.

The neighbors I used to live next door to - would SHOCK you - could only afford to live there because it was a husband, wife, and their friend...the wife worked at Jamba Juice, the husband was selling his mom's prescription drugs on the street (valium etc), and I don't know what the friend did. Two young toddlers in the unit were basically ignored and neglected, while their group of lazy friends came over *nightly* to drink beer and party and play video games....all the while the kids were running around at 1 am, with the little 2 year old girl regularly not wearing any clothes in front of everyone.

These people do not care about the rest of the world, they care about themselves. And these aren't the worst - as they weren't taking government money but "making their own money" by selling drugs. 

I've seen a lot. I met a whole assortment of unsavory characters in LA and the ones who were getting handouts or had easy money were the laziest people I have ever met.

Having work to do and a purpose in life is ennobling. Being stuck in a government handout system is disempowering and ultimately enabling the worst traits in human nature.

I half think the best thing for people on welfare would be for the money train to stop. They'll be forced to be more resilient. Unfortunately, some will starve (some children too), some will turn to robbery and violence, and some will give up. But maybe some will finally find some freakin' spark inside of themselves and pick themselves up.

I don't have an answer. But please do not make all poor people out to be martyrs. A good many of them are simply dysfunctional and lazy.

 

No, none of that would shock me. I spent 22 years in the different neighborhoods of Southern Cali. I was in Huntington Beach when the riots occurred.  lived the life you are explaining. I don't have to have any examples tossed at me because I was that example. I grew up in a crack house. All the images you witnessed on T.V. or as a bystander, I lived.

My mother was convicted of fraud when I was 11, and she did 2 years. She hit rock bottom. She was a high IQ person who never had an opportunity (or even knew it existed) to be anything other than what she was. She had no idea anything else existed.

She earned her GED in prison, started her 2 year degree in prison, finished her BA while living in a halfway house after prison, and then earned a job as a drug counselor placing addicts in housing after they were released from prison.

My sister and I moved back with her after 5 years of her putting her life back together (thanks to all those social programs demonized by the right). While she began raising us again, and working, she did 2 things she had never done before in her life. She bought a car from a car lot with her own money/credit, and she rented her first fully detached house without a cosigner. Over the next 4 years she managed to earn her Master's Degree as well.

My mother, prior to her being 35, is the example you are trying to depict. I am the child in your example. You have no idea what you are trying to explain and capture in your post. The poor individually do not have the power to be the burden on society Enron, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bernie Madoff, etc... can be.

I own my own business, I'm married, 2 kids, own my home, 2 cars, a garden, root cellar, a dog, and a picket fence. The ice cream man in my neighborhood growing up accepted food stamps. My house was raided every summer by the cops until I was 9 years old. I had my first HIV test when I was 11 because I pricked my finger on a needle in my neighbors front yard. The problem with the assertions in your post is this; you don't know your wet if you've never been dry. Perspective is everything. My mother and I knew nothing but the world we grew up in. It took her going through hell to realize there is a heaven.

Right on, Rihter! Right on!

Sorry, Soulsurfersteph. As much as I admire a lot of what you write (here and in your other blog sites), sometimes I think you are off. Things are a lot more nuanced.

Poet

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