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Old 06-18-2012, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Fife
6,516 posts, read 4,136,447 times
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The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider now than 40 years ago we need improvements in areas such as neighbourhood renewal, taxes and education which are needed to limit inequality. Deep cuts to benefits and tax credits are likely to increase inequality year after year.

The gap between rich and poor has grown faster in Britain than in any other developed country over recent decades.

Gap between rich and poor growing fastest in Britain - Telegraph
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,828 posts, read 1,726,540 times
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As part of the lower class myself, I've never considered myself to be that 'different' from people with a higher income. We go to the same schools, we have access to the same health care, we live in the same neighbourhoods for the most part (due to subsidized rent) and even as part of the lowest class with both parents on welfare there was always enough money to buy the basic necessities like food and clothes. It is only now that I'm in University that I've come to realise how 'poor' I really am because all of my fellow students have much more to spend than me. They can go shopping whenever they want, they have a car, their parents pay for their tuition and rent, they go out to dinner all the time, etc. Some of this is mitigated by the fact that I receive 500 euros a month in study grant (not a loan) whereas those with 'wealthier' parents get only 250 euros. It doesn't really bother me though, I've learnt to be responsible with money and appreciate the value of every euro, which is also important to me. I will probably earn a lot more money in the future considering my high education but I doubt I will ever be a reckless spender.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,828 posts, read 1,726,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Just because someone has money even loads of it does not mean he has class nor intelligence. It means he has learnt by what ever means the way to make money. No respect due until other criteria met.
Exactly. And just because someone does not have a lot of money and isn't highly educated, doesn't mean he's stupid. My father is very intelligent but he dropped out of school at 14 because his father passed away suddenly (heart attack) and there was no one else to provide for his mother and younger brother (this was back in the late 1960s when there was no proper welfare system in place). He spent most of his life doing hard factory work but now most of that is outsourced to other countries and he's too old to start learning a new profession (plus he won't get hired anyway because employers prefer younger workers) so now he's on welfare. My mother is on welfare too because she is severely disabled (spina bifida) and very limited in the type of jobs she can do. It's easy for people to blame the poor for their living conditions and say the people on welfare are just lazy and dumb but that's not the reality. Although I must say that there are a lot of people who take advantage of the welfare system and there should be stricter control in order to prevent that.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Fife
6,516 posts, read 4,136,447 times
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Well LindacG it isn't like that everywhere. As part of the lower class also I stay in an estate where 90% of people are poor we go/went to the same under preforming school, there is below par public transport in my area, I know people who have sat for 2 days without electricity as they have ran out of money, and as you say even if you do go to university it is very hard to pay your way. Also as you say you have to be responsible with money but that goes out the window when rent, electric, gas, food, travel costs etc are spent there really isn't any money left. Simple things like topping up your mobile phone, going for days out with your kids, traveling places, buying clothing are luxuries for a lot of poorer people.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:43 AM
 
1,597 posts, read 1,500,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
As part of the lower class myself, I've never considered myself to be that 'different' from people with a higher income. We go to the same schools, we have access to the same health care, we live in the same neighbourhoods for the most part (due to subsidized rent) and even as part of the lowest class with both parents on welfare there was always enough money to buy the basic necessities like food and clothes. It is only now that I'm in University that I've come to realise how 'poor' I really am because all of my fellow students have much more to spend than me. They can go shopping whenever they want, they have a car, their parents pay for their tuition and rent, they go out to dinner all the time, etc. Some of this is mitigated by the fact that I receive 500 euros a month in study grant (not a loan) whereas those with 'wealthier' parents get only 250 euros. It doesn't really bother me though, I've learnt to be responsible with money and appreciate the value of every euro, which is also important to me. I will probably earn a lot more money in the future considering my high education but I doubt I will ever be a reckless spender.
You are fortunate that you appear to live in The Low Lands, either Belgium or Netherlands where social security is a buffer against obvious class discrimination. All the more reason the ensure the safety net remains in place to retain a level of that will allow those on the lower levels in society can maintain a decent level.
Hope you maintain the belief of social justice for others even if you are a high earner in the future.
m
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:01 AM
 
1,597 posts, read 1,500,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Exactly. And just because someone does not have a lot of money and isn't highly educated, doesn't mean he's stupid. My father is very intelligent but he dropped out of school at 14 because his father passed away suddenly (heart attack) and there was no one else to provide for his mother and younger brother (this was back in the late 1960s when there was no proper welfare system in place). He spent most of his life doing hard factory work but now most of that is outsourced to other countries and he's too old to start learning a new profession (plus he won't get hired anyway because employers prefer younger workers) so now he's on welfare. My mother is on welfare too because she is severely disabled (spina bifida) and very limited in the type of jobs she can do. It's easy for people to blame the poor for their living conditions and say the people on welfare are just lazy and dumb but that's not the reality. Although I must say that there are a lot of people who take advantage of the welfare system and there should be stricter control in order to prevent that.
Some of the smartest and successful people didn't attend university which is increasingly for all intents and purposes little short of conveyor belt degree shops. So many come out with a degree but barely with an education.

AS for taking advantage of the welfare system ask yourself how the well to do take advantage of the tax system and in cases pay less tax that workers.

There has been an assault of sorts in recent years putting down folk on benefits and underlining a deserving poor and non deserving poor as was the case a hundred years ago.
I'm just a little surprised the right wing British press are not suggesting a return to the poor houses where folk worked long and hard for their keep in conditions of slavery.

Meanwhile the rich grow ever richer and are difficult to make accountable having the means to control a lot of information.
Remains to be seen if social media will address areas of increasing injustice or if apathy all too prevalent with far too many of the young will win out or a change in thinking will come into being.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:02 AM
 
467 posts, read 257,656 times
Reputation: 203
It's their karma & also choice. I try to generally avoid.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:08 AM
 
1,597 posts, read 1,500,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Well LindacG it isn't like that everywhere. As part of the lower class also I stay in an estate where 90% of people are poor we go/went to the same under preforming school, there is below par public transport in my area, I know people who have sat for 2 days without electricity as they have ran out of money, and as you say even if you do go to university it is very hard to pay your way. Also as you say you have to be responsible with money but that goes out the window when rent, electric, gas, food, travel costs etc are spent there really isn't any money left. Simple things like topping up your mobile phone, going for days out with your kids, traveling places, buying clothing are luxuries for a lot of poorer people.
There is disadvantage everywhere for shore but it is addressed in different countries differently. Scotland where you appear to come from I would suggest has a lot of very entrenched social issues,that sadly have been in place for perhaps generations.
I take it there would be limited options going onto further study as the poster living in Belgium/Netherlands has been able to do?
I don't always think university is necessary but in certain deprived areas there are all too few options and anything that may get a step out of un/under employment would I imagine be of advantage.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,828 posts, read 1,726,540 times
Reputation: 3161
Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Well LindacG it isn't like that everywhere. As part of the lower class also I stay in an estate where 90% of people are poor we go/went to the same under preforming school, there is below par public transport in my area, I know people who have sat for 2 days without electricity as they have ran out of money, and as you say even if you do go to university it is very hard to pay your way. Also as you say you have to be responsible with money but that goes out the window when rent, electric, gas, food, travel costs etc are spent there really isn't any money left. Simple things like topping up your mobile phone, going for days out with your kids, traveling places, buying clothing are luxuries for a lot of poorer people.
Well, we live in different countries and the OP's question is country specific so my situation obviously doesn't apply to everyone. In my opinion, mobile phones, vacations, days out, shopping etc. should be considered luxuries for people on welfare. I don't think other taxpayers should be responsible for those expenses (although welfare recipients here do get 'vacation money' which amounts to about 500-600 euros a year). Welfare or other government benefits are meant to cover the basic necessities and anyone who handles their money responsibly will be able to do that. My study grant is sufficient to pay my rent, my tuition fees and my health insurance, as a student I get free public transport, and for the other expenses (such as groceries and leisure activities) I can take a student loan against very low interest or get a part-time job. I don't feel sorry for people who say they don't have enough money for food or clothes because if you dig a little deeper, you'll find that there is always some other reason for this that is basically their own fault. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people complain about not having enough money for food while they smoke 2 packets of cigarettes a day or drink a lot of beer Or people who are living the good life and borrowing lots of money to go on holiday and buy all kinds of unneccessary luxury stuff, but then they end up in debt and are forced to cut back on their expenses. I am convinced that anyone who spends their money responsibly can easily live a normal, comfortable life on welfare, at least in my country. You don't have to worry about health care, education, retirement, housing (or even transportation if you're a student) and the money you receive is enough to prepare nice meals every day and buy some snacks and candy too. As long as you don't waste money on expensive unneccessary things like cigarettes and alcohol, and as long as you don't spend money you don't have, nobody has to live on water and bread in this country.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
2,828 posts, read 1,726,540 times
Reputation: 3161
Quote:
Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
You are fortunate that you appear to live in The Low Lands, either Belgium or Netherlands where social security is a buffer against obvious class discrimination. All the more reason the ensure the safety net remains in place to retain a level of that will allow those on the lower levels in society can maintain a decent level.
Hope you maintain the belief of social justice for others even if you are a high earner in the future.
m
Of course, I will always support the welfare system. I wouldn't have been able to go to University without the benefits I've received - unless I had a full-time job at the expense of my full-time study or borrowed thousands of euros in student loans - so it would be very hypocritical of me to deny others those same benefits as soon as I've 'escaped' the lower class.
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