U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 03-22-2015, 12:27 PM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,385 posts, read 6,798,249 times
Reputation: 14453


Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
I'm sorry but I'm missing the point here. Justin had a sucky upbringing. So do a lot of people.

It seems he has the ability to make decisions and he has made the decision to be a petty criminal/vagrant.

There are housing, job training, and all sorts of social benefits (including mental health) he could tap to get his life "in order."

What do you expect to be done?
We don't need "social benefits" -- we need a better system for measuring social "debts." and "delinquencies" -- not the ones cooked up by those who believe in some phony "common good" (for which we're all expected to pay too much), but as a direct and enforceable penalty for misbehavior.

Justin isn't going to change his attitude until he's made to recognize that the only other option is to continue the downward spiral -- and quite possibly, not then. We can continue to clean up after him, or force him to live in a very ugly world of his own making, until he recognizes that his present pattern of behavior can't lead anywhere but down. And that day may never come.

Now I recognize that if we tried to amass and measure all the costs of protecting ourselves from societal dead weight like Justin, and indemnifying all the victims, the cost would be insurmountable. But I do believe that a firm show of force, at the earliest stages possible, represents the only chance of breaking this pattern of parasitic behavior before it's too late.

Once established, the pattern merely repeats or intensifies until the parasite is either completely broken -- or dead.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 03-22-2015 at 01:33 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 03-22-2015, 01:30 PM
Location: Planet Earth
2,768 posts, read 2,314,254 times
Reputation: 4956
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
That's not his real name, of course; but his story is sadly typical of the collateral damage of a society which seems determined to let the unmotivated escape responsibility.

Justin was born out of wedlock, an early casualty of the failure of our culture to link the sexual revolution with education and sensible behavior.. He escaped the abortionist because of his mother's Catholicism and the dedication of his aunt, a non-cloistered nun.

For the first few years of his life, his mother led him through several unstable households, in several states, as her relationships with a series of irresponsible men changed. As he became more and more of a burden, she eventually threw him out of the house when he turned eighteen. but that didn't make the problem go away.

That was the start of a long pattern of semi-vagrancy, drifting from one locality to another, and occasionally sleeping under Mom's porch; a series of broken jobs (because "they don't pay enough", and most of them actually expected him to work), betrayal of anyone who tried to help -- sometimes leaving them with extra bills to pay, and occasional petty thievery, or tax and Unemployment fraud (but not big enough to result an any serious charges).

A little research on this individual turned up penny-ante arrests in no less than eight states, and a couple of cases of credit card abuse and identity theft.

The one trait tht has manged to keep Justin out of 'heavy-duty" jail is enough street sense to stay away from drugs, but I wouldn't be suprised to learn of a little "muling". He's also smart enough not to cause another pregnancy like his own, but doesn't seem to be able to decide whether he's straight or gay -- (turned up in San Francisco a few years ago and was promptly flown home courtesy of the police to clear up a few legal issues) but the market for "go-go boys" is limited.

Justin is 43 years of age, white, and Anglo-Saxon surnamed, and at this point, it's almost certain that he'll become more of a burden on all of us. I have no idea what his failure to live responsibly has cost us all in dollars and cents, but even if he were confined and compelled to earn it back, I doubt if it could be recovered.

But the point I seek to make here is that there are tens of thousands more like Justin in some way: some are more-attuned to the "gangsta" culture, and of course, many will either end up in the prison system, or make an early trip to the cemetery.

But until fairly recently, our society had much tougher vagrancy laws, and a system of local justice that made these guys' lives a lot less pleasant at an earlier stage. In many areas, the local news media also helped make them easier to identify and exclude.

The problem continues to fester; how should we deal with t?
Perhaps Justin would have been better off if the abortion pill was available to his mother. I mean if people don't want to deal with these "awful" and "icky" people who, allegedly, need to be "fixed" because they were raised by an "awful" and "evil" single mother...perhaps we can prevent the "problem" before it stops.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-26-2015, 11:24 AM
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,512,524 times
Reputation: 10428
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
The military can only "whip you into shape" if you want to be in shape! Most likely, this sort will get into the military, and then be booted out for non-obedience
Yeah, I know a "Justin" and he joined the Navy and was kicked out after about a year and a half. He was raised by a single mom who worked a lot, but never knew who his father was. She never taught him self discipline or self respect. Now he's about 40 and in the past 15 years, he's been unable to hold down any job for very long (usually gets fired for theft or just not showing up) and has been unable to keep any relationship going. He has gone back and forth between homelessness, a halfway house, sleeping on his grandmother's couch, and at times has found a "sugar daddy" who takes him in (he's very good looking and gay), but then "Justin" always screws up those situations and gets kicked out.

It's unfortunate, but it seems to always go back to the way these people were raised. They just can't take care of themselves and will always be a burden.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-26-2015, 01:28 PM
7,709 posts, read 3,849,358 times
Reputation: 4450
Originally Posted by scarabchuck View Post
Military sounds like the perfect place for 18 year old Justin. It is a much better plan than sleeping under the porch.
At the present time, the military only take about 1/3 of those who apply. They only want the best. I doubt that "Justin" would be accepted.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2015, 10:02 AM
2,502 posts, read 1,409,722 times
Reputation: 5336
Yes, I live in a major metropolitan area & see homeless/drug addicted/mentally ill people all of the time. As I said in a recent post, this social problem is awful, is becoming worse, and is affecting everyone - not just the homeless.

Re: the "Justins" of the world, there are a lot of them out there. Based on what I've both seen & what I know, a lot of these people are entitled & lazy; many of them are able-bodied & fully capable of working, but they don't see the need to hold down a full-time job for any length of time, since they can leech off of others, and/or they know that "the system" will take care of them. These people serve no use in society, and will all end up badly. They are a drain on a community/country's resources, and their existence causes an increase in crime, drug addiction, etc.

And, I strongly disagree that the way a person is raised has everything to do with whether or not they will end up like "Justin" or people like him. I myself know a family who had four children: Two of them ended up being responsible & productive members of society, and two others ended up being bums who never got their $%#% together, and depended on their families well into adult-hood. And, as far as I know, all were raised the same way. So, I just think some people are born lazy & entitled, and as long as society supports them, there will always continue to be people like this.

Last edited by The Big Lebowski Dude; 12-06-2015 at 10:46 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2015, 06:09 PM
5,185 posts, read 3,003,441 times
Reputation: 17711
I can't help but think of principles of behavior modification. The most rapid and reinforcing way to change behavior is punishment. That's a cold and ugly scientific fact.

Somewhere around the middle of the last century that scientific principle became politically repugnant. So we made the more "civilized" decision to attempt to alter social behavior with reward, or "help."

Unfortunately whatever behavior you reward you increase. And too many of us confuse enabling with being kind. For some reason an awful lot of us feel an intense need these days to prove that we are kind.

We have had a political party in control for too many years which fails to consider basic human nature when making its decisions. Bottom line is we don't know how to help.

Edited to add: That is assuming Government help is really an attempt to help and not something else.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-06-2015, 10:22 PM
538 posts, read 344,980 times
Reputation: 2992
'concerned' demonizing, much?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2015, 10:14 AM
5,185 posts, read 3,003,441 times
Reputation: 17711
Originally Posted by vicky3vicky View Post
'concerned' demonizing, much?
And this is a problem, also. When it has been demonstrated for decades that established solutions to the problem don't work, a group of people remain so determined to keep making the same mistakes in the name of benevolence (or possibly gain) that, unable to defend the indefensible, they are reduced to name-calling.

This only sets up an adversarial dichotomy which further prevents cooperative problem solving and achieving a goal both sides share - alleviating suffering.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2015, 10:22 AM
5,185 posts, read 3,003,441 times
Reputation: 17711
What solutions do you have, vicky3vicky, to a store of limited resources combined with increasing people who need them when some people have already used the system for thirty years with no apparent success?

Could you justify, for example, his allotted money being freed up to help younger needy people or do they have to do with less while we keep spending money on him?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2015, 12:17 PM
3,701 posts, read 3,029,556 times
Reputation: 10010
The OP was couching "Justin" as an absolute recalcitrant type with little to no redeeming qualities, leaving us with the general gist--that, by extension, most of those with problems are without redeemable value, and by further extension, we can and should be dismissive of all those we deem to be without value.

Justin, and the Justin's of our society are obviously missing something, what that something is isn't always understood by us. In that vein, we do however, understand our responsibility to each other as citizens of a modern society, and, by "modern" I'm referring to the fact of an enlightened view being the norm for our responses to most of our social ills. Looking back in our earlier times for clues to the how's of curing our social ills won't be all that instructive, the future will be best served by innovative thinking, and that doesn't mean we will always get it right first time out or even the hundredth time, sociology and all that it implies is a very complex undertaking the temptation to degrade it's efforts is becoming the stuff of national sport.

Looking at those whose lives are in a constant disarray should cause us to rethink the notion of behavior as a purely voluntary act, we know of those aberrant behavioral maladies such as ADD that cause major disruptions in the lives of children not to mention those they come into contact with, and we also understand the fact of behavior being a thing driven by our thoughts.

When those thought processes are disrupted by any type of aberrant neurological activity we see the person acting in ways we perceive as deliberate antisocial behavior, in other words: when we see this happening we have a choice of views, one suggesting a mental abnormality, or, thinking that the person in question is simply being difficult or belligerent by choice. Our current crop of Justin's will remain as a challenge to our notion of what constitutes a decent and caring society, and no, I'm not for any measures that offer rewards to those who violate our own security, nor am I supportive of helping people without their being a true partner in any attempts to ameliorate their dismal situation.

I don't have the answer in the form of treatment for these kinds of social misfits, we have a ton of people to do just that, but, I'd be the first to advocate for their early identification in the schools and the community in general, from there we will need to see what is going on in the lives of these people that could contribute to what we know will be a problematic future. I'm also of the mindset that is comfortable with the knowledge that our best efforts won't always be enough, at center here is the will to try.

Those who are worried about the money spent on our collective attempts to help the Justin's are simply dodging the truth of our national budget being blown on the creation of large infrastructure for the purpose of killing, not an altogether comforting thought to those who have a genuine interest in America having better spending priorities. Poverty and all that surrounds it is obviously contributing to a ton of our social ills, not that Justin's case is part of that consideration, but cutting down on social services spending, and I'm certain that this is more than just a bit part in the OP's contentions, isn't going to serve anyone in the long run..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top