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Old 11-21-2010, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
926 posts, read 1,863,157 times
Reputation: 718

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
There's no doubt the income gap has increased dramatically. That's a serious issue that needs to be addressed by any society that hopes to remain sustainable.

However, that's different from the problem of people who are capable of being productive who opt to simply ride the social welfare system. In my opinion that abuse occurs not only among the very poor but among the middle class as well. As I said before, I know a number of people who are drawing significant government payments which are wholly unjustified. In several cases they've paid little or nothing into the system. A society can't last long that way either.
And as I've stated, that abuse is a mere blip in the total economic picture of the country versus the billions that are lost in subsidies and tax breaks given corporations and the super rich and the subsequent income inequalities this creates. And need I mention that those super rich who are responsible for a lot of this country's jobs have made it more likely for able-bodied individuals to use welfare as their jobs are moving steadily overseas.

The problem is, when it comes to politics, it's always easier to lash out on the poor and working class, and main street welfare is the target MUCH more often than corporate welfare. Most people don't know the extent to which corporations receive welfare and the Tea Partiers that are the focus of this conversation don't bat an eye about it, but most of them DO have a knee-jerk, hostile reaction against any social services that benefit the poor (and which can benefit them as well). And beyond that, the former hurts us A LOT more than the latter.

The fact that their particular movement is at the forefront of American conservative politics and conservative politics controls Congress, this particular hypocrisy is going to be the focus of conversation and the cause of concern, not the reality that a fraction of the population uses social services when they may not need it. Statistically, it's an actually insignificant occurrence. And if you were to quantify it, other than your anecdotal experience, what percentage of able-bodied individuals lazilly take advantage of food stamps, medicaid, and other welfare services? 15% 20% How much money would you say that costs?

It's like me getting beat down and stabbed but complaining about a splinter in my finger. Yes the splinter is annoying and causes discomfort, but getting stabbed would be the focus of any sensible person.

Last edited by bizchick86; 11-21-2010 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:25 PM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,687,439 times
Reputation: 9544
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizchick86 View Post
And as I've stated, that abuse is a mere blip in the total economic picture of the country versus the billions that are lost in subsidies and tax breaks given corporations and the super rich and the subsequent income inequalities this creates.
You think? It would be interesting to see the statistics.

In any event, that's mixing apples and oranges. As I've said earlier, corporate welfare and the growth in income disparity are serious problems that need to be addressed.

However. this doesn't excuse the abuse of welfare payments on the other end of the spectrum. I know people who are drawing disability checks although in my opinion they are not disabled, and others who've been pulling in unemployment checks and food stamps (they actually charge up your debit card now) for years. I also know able bodied people who've been living in government housing for most of their lives. A few of them, I am sad to say, are in my own family.

What troubles me most is not simply the amount of money but the fact that we have a sizable chunk of our population that simply isn't contributing to the system. I do not know the numbers but my anecdotal experience suggests this cohort is growing in size.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,463 posts, read 4,117,786 times
Reputation: 2162
So your priorities are geared towards getting on the few low-income earners on the bottom end of the class spectrum for their profligate ways. Understandable. I can get with that.

But to say that addressing the matter of profligacy of the upper incomes earners should be sidebarred simply because it's different to you? Apples & Oranges? That's some lazy logic right there.

Stuff like that is why I can't take serious the claims of these wannabe fiscal conservative types. The tax dollars that are geared towards family welfare programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the corporate welfare like farm subsidies, business bailouts, and expensive non-competitive government contracts to politically connected private firms. And believe me, corporate welfare is growing in size as well, very much so over the last 30 years since 1980.

The abuses that stems from both programs should be addressed with equal vehemence or not all. Any conversation on reforming our system will be a non-starter unless folks are willing to drop their ideological/cultural blinders with regards to certain hot button issues and come to a meeting of minds.

I am willing to drop my blinders, if only for the sake of reforming our government. The question is, are you prepared to do the same?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
You think? It would be interesting to see the statistics.

In any event, that's mixing apples and oranges. As I've said earlier, corporate welfare and the growth in income disparity are serious problems that need to be addressed.

However. this doesn't excuse the abuse of welfare payments on the other end of the spectrum. I know people who are drawing disability checks although in my opinion they are not disabled, and others who've been pulling in unemployment checks and food stamps (they actually charge up your debit card now) for years. I also know able bodied people who've been living in government housing for most of their lives. A few of them, I am sad to say, are in my own family.

What troubles me most is not simply the amount of money but the fact that we have a sizable chunk of our population that simply isn't contributing to the system. I do not know the numbers but my anecdotal experience suggests this cohort is growing in size.

Last edited by AcidSnake; 11-21-2010 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:08 PM
 
12,925 posts, read 21,008,612 times
Reputation: 4083
Quote:
Originally Posted by midtown mile girl View Post
I get 3 papers; NY Times, Wall Street Journal and the AJC. The AJC I get to keep up with local news and the comics (I have to have comics to give me a smile). WSJ tells me where the money is going in the world, which gives a perspective on foreign policy and just how interconnected the world is through business. The Times, well I do get a more liberal view, but they tend to have a lot of human interest, arts, and just funky little stories that you would miss otherwise. I also prefer to actually have a paper in hand, just because you can get it on your computer does not really make it better. It's easier to linger with the paper.
Good post--and so true.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
926 posts, read 1,863,157 times
Reputation: 718
No one excused anyone's abuse. Nor is this about a personal opinion but rather a reality of how the system works. If you'd like more insight into this, read David Cay Johnston's book Free Lunch. The wealth gap isn't magically increasing, it's over years of abuses and policies they have influence over that has created these astronomical gaps, brought this country to shambles, and led to ridiculously high unemployment rates and low income in poor neighborhoods (50% unemployment for black men in NYC and a 17,000 median income in the Bronx while a neighboring Manhattan district boasts the highest median income in the country).

It's not mixing anything. If you care about abuse, one would think you'd care more about the abuses that create the most harm.

Of course that cohort is growing in size! Have you seen unemployment rates recently?!

One's immediate experience of course will affect one's outlook on life. We are simply asking you, and hundreds of thousands of Americans who hold your views, to look at the bigger picture. By focusing on a "sizable chunk" (whatever that actually means) we ignore the historical fact of a grotesquely larger amount being used to maintain the status quo and destabilize the financial opportunities for everyone else that's not rich.

By the party in control focusing on that "chunk," we risk our current young adults and children not having necessary services like medical care and quality education. By focusing on that "chunk," generations of our descendants are less likely to have ANY type of security net and face even lower levels of wealth and higher income gaps. Focusing on a "chunk," creating wide-reaching reactionary policies for that chunk, and preventing national policies we're in dire need of because of perceptions of this chunk harms the livelihood of millions of Americans now and in the future.

No amount of discomfort with a few-able bodied folks using welfare when they may not need will take precedence over the livelihood and even lives that are at stake by the majority of America's corporations gaming the system at the expense, both in health and of the pocketbooks, of the masses.



Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
You think? It would be interesting to see the statistics.

In any event, that's mixing apples and oranges. As I've said earlier, corporate welfare and the growth in income disparity are serious problems that need to be addressed.

However. this doesn't excuse the abuse of welfare payments on the other end of the spectrum. I know people who are drawing disability checks although in my opinion they are not disabled, and others who've been pulling in unemployment checks and food stamps (they actually charge up your debit card now) for years. I also know able bodied people who've been living in government housing for most of their lives. A few of them, I am sad to say, are in my own family.

What troubles me most is not simply the amount of money but the fact that we have a sizable chunk of our population that simply isn't contributing to the system. I do not know the numbers but my anecdotal experience suggests this cohort is growing in size.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:23 PM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,687,439 times
Reputation: 9544
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
So your priorities are geared towards getting on the few low-income earners on the bottom end of the class spectrum for their profligate ways. Understandable. I can get with that.
Well, that's hardly my top priority but it's not an insignificant issue. As I said, it's not just about money, but my concern that we've got a growing segment of the population that isn't contributing. That won't do in the long run.

Quote:
But to say that addressing the matter of profligacy of the upper incomes earners should be sidebarred simply because it's different to you? Apples & Oranges? That's some lazy logic right there.
If you think income disparity should be sidebarred then we'll have to disagree. As I said earlier, it's a serious problem that any sustainable society will have to address.

As to prolifigacy, what high earners do with their money isn't my concern. I may think buying a Lambo is silly, but if they've got money to burn who cares?

Quote:
The tax dollars that are geared towards family welfare programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the corporate welfare like farm subsidies, business bailouts, and expensive non-competitive government contracts to politically connected private firms. And believe me, corporate welfare is growing in size as well, very much so over the last 30 years since 1980.

The abuses that stems from both programs should be addressed with equal vehemence or not all. Any conversation on reforming our system will be a non-starter unless folks are willing to drop their ideological/cultural blinders with regards to certain hot button issues and come to a meeting of minds.
You're repeating what I just said a few posts back, so I'm not sure where you think we disagree.

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Old 11-21-2010, 02:25 PM
 
12,925 posts, read 21,008,612 times
Reputation: 4083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizchick86 View Post
No one excused anyone's abuse. Nor is this about a personal opinion but rather a reality of how the system works. If you'd like more insight into this, read David Cay Johnston's book Free Lunch. The wealth gap isn't magically increasing, it's over years of abuses and policies they have influence over that has created these astronomical gaps, brought this country to shambles, and led to ridiculously high unemployment rates and low income in poor neighborhoods (50% unemployment for black men in NYC and a 17,000 median income in the Bronx while a neighboring Manhattan district boasts the highest median income in the country).

It's not mixing anything. If you care about abuse, one would think you'd care more about the abuses that create the most harm.

Of course that cohort is growing in size! Have you seen unemployment rates recently?!

One's immediate experience of course will affect one's outlook on life. We are simply asking you, and hundreds of thousands of Americans who hold your views, to look at the bigger picture. By focusing on a "sizable chunk" (whatever that actually means) we ignore the historical fact of a grotesquely larger amount being used to maintain the status quo and destabilize the financial opportunities for everyone else that's not rich.

By the party in control focusing on that "chunk," we risk our current young adults and children not having necessary services like medical care and quality education. By focusing on that "chunk," generations of our descendants are less likely to have ANY type of security net and face even lower levels of wealth and higher income gaps. Focusing on a "chunk," creating wide-reaching reactionary policies for that chunk, and preventing national policies we're in dire need of because of perceptions of this chunk harms the livelihood of millions of Americans now and in the future.

No amount of discomfort with a few-able bodied folks using welfare when they may not need will take precedence over the livelihood and even lives that are at stake by the majority of America's corporations gaming the system at the expense, both in health and of the pocketbooks, of the masses.
Beau-ti-ful post, lady.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,463 posts, read 4,117,786 times
Reputation: 2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Well, that's hardly my top priority but it's not an insignificant issue. As I said, it's not just about money, but my concern that we've got a growing segment of the population that isn't contributing. That won't do in the long run.
You seem more keen to address the issue of family welfare abuse than you are abuses of other forms of government welfare. The first mention of welfare you made on this thread involved your critique of individuals you know of who are abusing the social welfare system.

So yeah, I'd say you are making it a top priority whether you want to admit it or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
If you think income disparity should be sidebarred then we'll have to disagree. As I said earlier, it's a serious problem that any sustainable society will have to address.
The issue here is not about income disparity. The issue here is the abuse of the welfare system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
As to prolifigacy, what high earners do with their money isn't my concern. I may think buying a Lambo is silly, but if they've got money to burn who cares?.
What does someone buying a Lambo have to do with the issue of welfare abuse? You seem unwilling to directly address my comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
You're repeating what I just said a few posts back, so I'm not sure where you think we disagree.

No, I am not. You haven't directly addressed my question of your willingness to equally address both types of welfare abuse. You are simply talking around the corporate welfare issue.

Last edited by AcidSnake; 11-21-2010 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:29 PM
 
28,148 posts, read 24,687,439 times
Reputation: 9544
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
Y You haven't directly addressed my question of your willingness to equally address both types of welfare abuse. You are simply talking around the corporate welfare issue.
I've said it several times. But one more time, just for you -- yes, of course, corporate welfare needs to be addressed. It's a serious problem that contributes to gross income disparity and that's incompatible with a sustainable society.

However, that's a different discussion and it doesn't respond to the point I raised.

As to the prolifigacy of high earners, you're the one who brought that up, not me. To repeat, since you apparently missed it the first time, I couldn't care less about that.





BTW, my ex-brother-in-law and my friend's son would undoubtedly be delighted to see so many progressives leaping to their defense. I can see them both hoisting a beer with the hand that's not holding the remote control and saying, "Right on, brother."

Last edited by arjay57; 11-21-2010 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,463 posts, read 4,117,786 times
Reputation: 2162
Took awhile to get that out of ya.

I happen to feel that abuses of both social AND corporate welfare should be addressed. One problem will NOT be solved independent of the other, if you want the reform of government to be comprehensive. It's a fairytale to think otherwise, "apples & oranges" aside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I've said it several times. But one more time, just for you -- yes, of course, corporate welfare needs to be addressed. It's a serious problem that contributes to gross income disparity and that's incompatible with a sustainable society.
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