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Old 08-24-2018, 08:10 AM
 
394 posts, read 244,865 times
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I have an honest question. What do you guys who think we're heading to hell in a hand-basket (I do also, but my reasons may be different...) do to support yourself? Obviously you are intelligent, and educated, or at least well read, and articulate. I ask because the small amount of success that I have had in my life has been facilitated by the very things many of you despise. The military, corporations, and hard work. Things maybe some refuse to do.

I realize I have many advantages and have had much luck (greased by sweat and desire, and, at times, desperation) but I did come from a very poor family. Many people in the world don't have the opportunities we, as citizens of the USA, have. The World bank has said moderate poverty is living on $3.10 a day... Most in the US are far from that level of poverty.

Good luck, Rg
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:24 AM
 
3,700 posts, read 3,026,594 times
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Poverty in America seems to be a subject which elicits a lot of emotion, and that's no big surprise when we consider the many myths about our country being a classless society and "our" wealth as something that has a large spread among the citizens. while we do have a better economy than most of the world, we still suffer a persistent fact of many Americans living in poverty. The Op has presented the government's stats as proof that poverty is almost a thing of the past, and, if one was to live their life in such a way as to never cross paths with those suffering from poverty, well, the stats serve as the one and only pipeline of information.

I'm not saying that we haven't spent a ton of money toward the goal of eradicating poverty here, but the fact of an entrenched poverty is, fact. In my city I can drive around to the usual places I shop, eat, get my car fixed, etc., and in that daily running around I seldom have a reason to go to those areas where the homeless are camping, and since I'm doing well financially, I could simply ignore the streets which have become tent cities. I can look the other way when beggars are on the street corners, and I do, because I don't want to contribute to their self destruction.

But on any given day, I'm always aware of that presence of poverty, it shows on the faces of the disheveled wanderers who never look right at you, it shows on the faces of children who tag along with mom to the bus stop, they are going grocery shopping, and I know they will be getting lots of that low cost food with very little real nutrition. I see big beautiful schools in the "nice" parts of town, and then I note the shabbiness of other schools around the areas of huge Rabbit warren housing for the poor. It shows on the faces of those who work at two jobs, and still are poor. When i go to donate items at my local St Vincent thrift shop I see those who have more than likely been poor their entire lives, they are getting free food and clothing. But this is all viewed by some as proof of our success in driving poverty out of America, seriously.

None of those I see living in poverty are laying by the roadside starving, but they aren't contributing much to society either. So the government may want us to believe that it can "fix" our poverty problems, and it can give us the "proof" that this is what they have accomplished in a big way, and then we can all rejoice in the knowledge that "our" poor are infinitely better off than those in India. And finally we can go off to the big sports arenas, theaters, nice restaurants, our ski trips, or getting that new shiny ride, and know in our hearts that the poor are really alright...Safe, happy, and prospering.

I certainly don't have much in the way of answers to the problems caused by poverty, but I do understand the reasons for wanting to think we may have done our duty to the least of our citizens, after all, nobody wants to look like a heartless SOB, but as we age, we can't help but note the persistence of our social ills regardless of the money we throw at them. So, I guess we should just be happy that the government is happy with their proof of success..

Last edited by jertheber; 08-24-2018 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:01 AM
 
3,700 posts, read 3,026,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raggedjim View Post
I have an honest question. What do you guys who think we're heading to hell in a hand-basket (I do also, but my reasons may be different...) do to support yourself? Obviously you are intelligent, and educated, or at least well read, and articulate. I ask because the small amount of success that I have had in my life has been facilitated by the very things many of you despise. The military, corporations, and hard work. Things maybe some refuse to do.

I realize I have many advantages and have had much luck (greased by sweat and desire, and, at times, desperation) but I did come from a very poor family. Many people in the world don't have the opportunities we, as citizens of the USA, have. The World bank has said moderate poverty is living on $3.10 a day... Most in the US are far from that level of poverty.

Good luck, Rg
I think SOME may be heading to hell in a "hand-basket," but on average I think most of us in America are actually doing quite well. On that note I'd have to say that we shouldn't allow ourselves to become complacent with regard to our social problems, stats aside, we still have some very real and growing problems in America. Are there answers? I don't know, but allowing ourselves to admit to our national failings is a good start.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,425,981 times
Reputation: 14933
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkmax View Post
Food insecurity absolutely is still a thing in the United States.
In contrast to many other countries, no one dies from starvation in America.

In contrast to the images shown on late night commercials depicting swollen bellies of African children due to near starvation with stick-thin mothers who cannot feed them, no children are brought to the hospital like that in the USA.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
12,685 posts, read 9,425,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
...but on average I think most of us in America are actually doing quite well.
I agree. The vast majority, as we're in the midst of a very strong economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
On that note I'd have to say that we shouldn't allow ourselves to become complacent with regard to our social problems, stats aside, we still have some very real and growing problems in America. Are there answers? I don't know, but allowing ourselves to admit to our national failings is a good start.
Whereas you note the glass is part empty, I celebrate that it is 9/10ths full.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:16 AM
 
57 posts, read 27,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkmax View Post
Please don't use "The Onion" as a source. You do know it's satire, right?
OMG I was too quick to believe this and did not look at source. Thank you for pointing this out (hope you got a chuckle at my expense )

However one might admit that things are so out of control with this admin that everything is believable. The pathway toward the 1% is filled with learning how to spend other's money to better hord one's own (splains why trickle down econ won't work). Trump excells in this skill.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:29 AM
 
57 posts, read 27,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
I agree. The vast majority, as we're in the midst of a very strong economy.

Yesterday I started learning about economy. I found the Real-World Economics team very helpful: You Create Money, Shadow Government Statistics and this one, as well as the RWE blog. I think I have avoided the "Onion-effect" even though the titles sound a bit shady....

The RWE Team explains the history of the quaterly numbers, what they mean, and what they do not measure. For example:

"...[W]hen the headline unemployed become “discouraged,” they are rolled over from U.3 into U.6. As
the headline, short-term discouraged workers roll over into long-term discouraged status, they move into
the ShadowStats measure, where they remain. Aside from attrition, they are not defined out of existence
for political convenience, hence the longer-term divergence between the various unemployment rates.

The resulting difference here is between headline-May 2016 unemployment rates of 4.7% (U.3) and
22.3% (ShadowStats)."


So unemployment is actually over 20%, more than a 5th of our adult population. I feel that this is a huge priority.

My bias is that most people can work, and absolutly should. I work in a high school that even kids with major disabilities and medically fragile status are expected to be employed though the adult transition program. The school has an amazing, fully inclusive Vo-Tech program for the kids to explore. A graduation requirement is that all students present either proof of employment or college acceptance. They are not sitting in front of the TV self medicating.

The students with disabilities/fragility may not master the same productivity levels that you might be held to, but they put in a days work demonstrating appropriate work skills (reliability and appropriate interaction).

Early intervention (parent training/suport birth-3) and the school communities (continuing family involvement and business support) are our most valuable assets to address social issues. Meanwhile, education is always under attack, under-funded, and understaffed. Faculty and staff need high-level education and training which requires appropriate salary (right now most new teachers actually qualify for welfare and have student loan debt I usually have a side job). Trump hired Betsy Devos to dismantal these assets.

Last edited by eselpee; 08-24-2018 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,570 posts, read 1,141,729 times
Reputation: 6538
As a black man I know a little something about poverty. We are the poorest demographic in the country, despite all the rich black athletes and entertainers you see on television.

I agree with the OP in that the war on poverty is largely won. There are no famines in America or lack of access to runnng water. There is no one sleeping on dirt floors. America’s underclass is the envy of the world.

The war is on laziness. Too many people are so damn lazy in this country, they just want stuff given to them. Free education, free healthcare, minimal wage hikes, free food, etc. nothing is free in this country.

If you are poor in this country then it was 100% your choice. No one forced you to drop out of high school to work at McDonalds. No one forced you to have kids out of wedlock. No one forced you to be a convicted felon. No one forced you to finance a used foreign luxury car. No one forced you to marry or date that bum who doesn’t like working.

No one is stopping you from doing something the world wants done so you can provide for your family. The poor in this country will never have sympathy from the poor in Mexico.
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:00 PM
 
394 posts, read 244,865 times
Reputation: 1461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
As a black man I know a little something about poverty. We are the poorest demographic in the country, despite all the rich black athletes and entertainers you see on television.

I agree with the OP in that the war on poverty is largely won. There are no famines in America or lack of access to runnng water. There is no one sleeping on dirt floors. America’s underclass is the envy of the world.

The war is on laziness. Too many people are so damn lazy in this country, they just want stuff given to them. Free education, free healthcare, minimal wage hikes, free food, etc. nothing is free in this country.

If you are poor in this country then it was 100% your choice. No one forced you to drop out of high school to work at McDonalds. No one forced you to have kids out of wedlock. No one forced you to be a convicted felon. No one forced you to finance a used foreign luxury car. No one forced you to marry or date that bum who doesn’t like working.

No one is stopping you from doing something the world wants done so you can provide for your family. The poor in this country will never have sympathy from the poor in Mexico.
Rocko, I agree to a point. There are some who are poor due to circumstances outside of their control. Others are their own worst enemy.

Good luck, Rg
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:34 PM
 
17,749 posts, read 15,026,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raggedjim View Post
So you think the poor are murderous robbers?

That sounds a lot like one of the silly, leftist accusations . The link between crime and poverty is often the observation that crime is bad for business , not that the poor are inherently criminal.
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