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eddhead
September 13th, 2011, 12:49 PM
September 13, 2011

U.S. Poverty Rate, 1 in 6, at Highest Level in Years

By SABRINA TAVERNISE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/sabrina_tavernise/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

The portion of Americans living in poverty last year rose to the highest level since 1993, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, fresh evidence that the sluggish economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.

An additional 2.6 million people slipped below the poverty line in 2010, census officials said, making 46.2 million people in poverty in the United States, the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been tracking it, said Trudi Renwick, chief of the Poverty Statistic Branch at the Census Bureau.

That figure represented 15.1 percent of the country.

The poverty line in 2010 was at $22,113 for a family of four.

“It was a surprising large increase in the overall poverty rate,” said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “We see record numbers and percentages of Americans in deep poverty.”

And in new evidence of economic distress among the middle class, real median household incomes declined by 2.3 percent in 2010 from the previous year, to $49,400. That was 7 percent less than the peak in 1999 of $53,252.

“A full year into recovery, there were no signs of it affecting the well being of a typical American family,” said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard. “We are well below where incomes were in the late 1990s.”

According to the census figures, the median annual income for a male full-time, year-round worker in 2010 — $47,715 — was virtually unchanged from its level in 1973, when the level was $49,065, in 2010 dollars, said Sheldon H. Danziger, professor of public policy at the University of Michigan.

“That’s not about the poor and unemployed, that’s full time, year round,” Professor Danziger said. Particularly hard hit, he said, have been those who do not have college degrees. “The median, full-time male worker has made no progress on average.”

The youngest members of households — those ages 15 to 24 — lost out the most, with their median income dropping by 9 percent. The recession (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/r/recession_and_depression/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) continued to push Americans to double up in households with friends and relatives, especially those ages 25 to 34, a group that experienced a 25 percent increase in the period between 2007, when the recession began, and 2011. Of that group, 45.3 percent were living below the poverty line, when their parents’ incomes were not taken into account.

“We’re risking a new underclass,” said Timothy Smeeding, director of the Institute for Research and Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Young, less educated adults, mainly men, can’t support their children and form stable families because they are jobless.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us/14census.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

ZippyTheChimp
September 13th, 2011, 01:04 PM
Reminds me of this post (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13337&p=372956&viewfull=1#post372956).

eddhead
September 13th, 2011, 01:23 PM
Just read through those posts; it is astonishing that people really believe that crap. That is how people like Rick Perry get elected.

Ninjahedge
September 13th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Now when you compare it to total combined worth and see that the number of $$ has not paced the increase in poverty, you are heading up to a modern day French Revolution.

It is strange how easy it is to convince the "average Joe" that it is somehow American to give "absolute freedom" to individuals and companies when they seem to forget about the textile warehouses, coal mines and railroad industry. They look at other countries and say "well, that is not how WE do it" but yet balk at any allusion to "socialism". (While at the same time scream bloody murder if anyone touches Social Security, well, touches it in a way that will take it away from them, not in a way that will eliminate its trust fund for vapid savings and reduction in corporate taxes for a few years).

There is a big problem, however. How are we going to be able to keep a large, undereducated workforce working in modern day America? It is one thing to say that they will have to give up on some luxuries that we take as commonplace now (HDTV, hell, I remember when CABLE TV was a luxury!), but that is not everything. We want 99 lettuce, but scream about migrant (illegal) labor.

We scream about joblessness, but refuse to take the crappy jobs that are out there that are being forced to be crappy because of our own unwillingness to pay... vicious cycle. Hell, I just had a bit of leftover roast chicken with rice and broccoli from Costco. The chicken was $5. The whole thing! And the other stuff, cheap as well. We have gotten so used to that we are unwilling to give up on wireless internet access in order to allow our farm workers to be able to afford to feed themselves.

There are just too many things in this loop to simply point a finger and say "There he is!" But we need to stop sitting on our asses and find a way to turn this around or we will not be able to sustain this growing imbalance and shift in the job markets.

Merry
September 14th, 2011, 09:24 AM
Activist's harsh words make waves

Are the poor desperate? A media myth, he says.

September 04, 2011

by Alfred Lubrano

The poor are not so bad off.

Many have DVD players, air conditioners, cellphones, refrigerators, and cable television. Hunger and homelessness afflict relatively few.

So says Robert Rector, a well-known conservative writer/activist and tea-party darling.

He contends that media outlets mislead Americans into thinking the poor are desperate when, in fact, most people below the federal poverty level - $22,050 a year for a family of four - live relatively comfortable lives.

http://articles.philly.com/images/pixel.gif
Countering Rector's claims, experts who study poverty call his work "pseudo-social science" and accuse him of twisting facts to promulgate a right-wing agenda.
Regardless of how he's perceived, Rector is known for having the ear of U.S. policymakers.

For 20 years, Rector, 60, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, has huddled with Republicans in Congress to devise plans to limit benefits for the poor.

Many credit his analysis of American poverty for helping to alter the welfare system in 1996, when it morphed from an entitlement program to one that requires recipients to get jobs or training.

"What Grover Norquist is to income taxes, Rector is to poverty programs," said Sheldon Danziger, director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. Norquist is the antitax advocate who claims 236 U.S. House members and 41 senators as signatories to his famous no-tax-increase pledge.

"Rector is very, very influential with House Republicans and has been for years," Danziger said.

Rector's latest report for the Heritage Foundation - centered on air conditioners and other "amenities" among the poor - was released in July and has been widely disseminated in newspapers around America.

Conservative radio and television personalities, including Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, often cite Rector's work.

"It is really extraordinary to think about these conveniences that are enjoyed by these people," O'Reilly recently said in reference to Rector's statement that 78 percent of poor families have air-conditioning and 64 percent have cable or satellite TV.

That's echoed by conservative activists and bloggers such as Jennifer Stefano, cochair of the Loyal Opposition of PA, a tea-party group in the Philadelphia suburbs.

"If you can afford a microwave and cable TV, I don't see how the government can call you poor," Stefano said. "The idea of poverty is not what most Americans think it is."

http://ht.ly/6n0wB

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 09:32 AM
To people who are working and just scraping by, the concept of people lying comfortably in the safety net, regardless of that being reality of not, is very grating. The same with the appearance of featherbedded gov't jobs. Somewhat strangely, to a lot of these people, the rich got that way because they worked for and deserve it. It's any appearance of rewarded lazyness that drives them nuts.

Fabrizio
September 14th, 2011, 09:45 AM
Re: the article.

True. Poverty IMHO is not so much about income.

But this Robert Rector fellow still doesn't get it.

If I did not have easy access to good fresh produce, if I did not have extensive public transportation, if I did not have good free medical care, if I did not have a good library, inexpensive cultural events, attractive architecture and good urban design that allows me to live without a car, a nice park nearby, a low crime rate... etc...if I did not have those things, I would consider myself to be poor.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 10:25 AM
You need income if you have a family.


To people who are working and just scraping by,Why the third person? What do you think?

stache
September 14th, 2011, 10:32 AM
It's silly to think of a microwave as being an American luxury. You can pick them up for $30.00 and I'm sure some people have them in lieu of an oven, similar to how some poor people used to have toaster ovens to prepare food. Also this kind of statement conveniently ignores the rural poor, which I'm sure are more hard pressed than the typical urban poor person.

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 10:49 AM
You need income if you have a family.

Why the third person?


I'm not just scraping by. But I go on other forums that cover other subjects, where people who are have been posting. This is the impression I get from them.





What do you think?

I tend to agree, but you can't have everything. If you have a safety net, there are alway a certain % of people who will lay in it and do nothing to get themselves out, and develop and entitlement mentality. If you don't have it, you get patches of the third world squalor showing up here.

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 10:51 AM
You do have to admit that what constitutes poverty here is orders of magnetude better than what it would be in, say, Somalia. It's more poverty in the relative sense than absolute.


It's silly to think of a microwave as being an American luxury. You can pick them up for $30.00 and I'm sure some people have them in lieu of an oven, similar to how some poor people used to have toaster ovens to prepare food. Also this kind of statement conveniently ignores the rural poor, which I'm sure are more hard pressed than the typical urban poor person.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 10:59 AM
I tend to agree, but you can't have everything. If you have a safety net, there are alway a certain % of people who will lay in it and do nothing to get themselves out, and develop and entitlement mentality. If you don't have it, you get patches of the third world squalor showing up here.

Do you feel the same way about what corporations have done, and how they've been subsequently treated, over the last few years?

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 11:06 AM
You do have to admit that what constitutes poverty here is orders of magnetude better than what it would be in, say, Somalia. It's more poverty in the relative sense than absolute.

You can't really define absolute poverty.

lofter1
September 14th, 2011, 11:51 AM
One serious illness, one bad accident, perhaps the birth of a child, can easily tip the lives of those living month to month to month.

Ninjahedge
September 14th, 2011, 12:02 PM
If you do not know if you will have enough money the next week to eat... THAT is poverty.

Just because there are individuals out there that "ruin it" for everyone, does not mean the majority are like them.

Also, one thing these studies fail to mention are how many of these people have AC, can pay the electric bill for it, have a microwave, have enough money for food to put in it, and have cable TV so they can watch Fox et all make light of their situation?

A refrigerator is a LUXURY? (It is an item listed in the same book) If you are working a minimum wage job, and some other off-the books cash and carry crap labor, you do not exactly have the time to go shopping every two days for your food.

This study is false in that it does not outline exactly how good these items are. Hell, by his standards, Bin Laden was living a "comfortable" life with his color TV and in-the-window AC unit.

Now what is also ironic is the detachment of the other facts siting the migration of funds to the upper class. NOT by hard work, but simply because you can earn more money when you HAVE more money to use. This rustic American fantasy of the hard worker making his way up and out of the masses to become one of the wealthy and prosperous is just that, a fantasy. Few have ever made this happen no matter how hard, or smart, they have worked and it is unfair to propagate this fallacy.



Now, all that said, there are problems in our system. What motivation is there to work if they cut your benefits OFF when you hit a certain level? Wouldn't it work better if your benefits slowly tapered off the more you earned so that you still got more money when you worked more hours? What about education and training? We just want to think that people will be able to get what they need "if they just worked hard enough"? We have no respect for education in this country at all levels. We take it as a punishment somehow and a burden to society to fund it.

There are just too many inconsistencies and gaps in our overall plan of action and too many pundits pointing fingers at the visible few to lay blame on.

Maybe one of these guys will acknowledge that a $50 used AC is small comfort when you are sitting beneath it on an empty stomach.

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 12:16 PM
If you're talking about bailouts, to some extent yes. Several big banks (Citi and BoA come immediately to mind) should have been taken over and sold off/liquidated. If you have other issues, be more specific.


Do you feel the same way about what corporations have done, and how they've been subsequently treated, over the last few years?

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Yeah, you can, deprivation to the point of iminent death by starvation is a pretty good absolute. That is pretty widespread around the world.


You can't really define absolute poverty.

lofter1
September 14th, 2011, 12:29 PM
That's never been the dividing line in the USA.

But if that makes you feel better, it's one way to get over the issue.

BBMW
September 14th, 2011, 01:21 PM
Thankfully.

But it does point out the difference in what we consider poverty, and what it is a lot of the rest of the world.


That's never been the dividing line in the USA.

But if that makes you feel better, it's one way to get over the issue.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 01:32 PM
If you're talking about bailouts, to some extent yes. Several big banks (Citi and BoA come immediately to mind) should have been taken over and sold off/liquidated. If you have other issues, be more specific.There are many actions by corporations, such as holding municipalities hostage by threatening to leave unless they get concessions.

Not that they shouldn't be free to do these things, but they shouldn't have been given any special protective status.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 01:41 PM
But if that makes you feel better, it's one way to get over the issue.A standard formula:

1. Widespread economic pressure on the middle-class. (TRUE)

2. Entitlement and abuse by a percentage of people below the poverty level. (TRUE)

Convince the people of #1 that the elimination of #2 is going to solve their problems.

lofter1
September 14th, 2011, 02:34 PM
... the difference in what we consider poverty, and what it is a lot of the rest of the world.

Actually what you describe above is in regard to probable imminent death, not poverty.

The US Govt (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/methods/definitions.html) uses a slew of definitions and empirical measurements (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/measure.html).

If someone wants to claim that conditions in someplace like Somalia are the proper benchmark for what's allowable in the USA, then not much can be done to knock that loose.

Ninjahedge
September 14th, 2011, 02:37 PM
When elimination of ALL FUNDING TO THE LOWER CLASS will not do squat.

With a larger chunk of the wealth, people bear a larger chunk of the responsibility to hold their end, unless we eliminate all tax benefits, special programs, locked in government contracts, and other benefits the more affluent individuals (and corporations) have been able to aquire for themselves.

I would bet money that if you looked at the cash that has either been lost to, or just plain given out to individuals and corporations above even what we would call affluent or large scale, you would see an enormous difference between capital spent on corporations and capital spent on social aid.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2011, 03:42 PM
Yeah, you can, deprivation to the point of iminent death by starvation is a pretty good absolute. That is pretty widespread around the world.Of what use is that? What you describe is how medical rescue workers respond in disaster areas.

Poverty has to be relative, or you get Jacks ridiculous concept of impoverished.

lofter1
September 14th, 2011, 03:46 PM
Burying folks is cheaper than feeding them.

Bottom line, if they can't cut it then so be it.

That's the America we want?

Ninjahedge
September 14th, 2011, 04:47 PM
I thought we were "better" than Somalia....


Are you saying we should keep to the same standards as third world impoverished nations when it comes to fiscal ratings?

BTW, the US does not lend itself easily to the same kind of tribal-living-in-grass-huts lifestyles.

Add insult to injury, when people are not ALLOWED to "live off the land" because someone else owns it... I mean, look what happened to the original Americans..... (BEFORE the casinos, that is)

ZippyTheChimp
September 15th, 2011, 08:46 AM
People have a Grapes of Wrath view of poverty.

Ninjahedge
September 15th, 2011, 09:11 AM
I will remember to keep a mouse in my pocket.

eddhead
September 15th, 2011, 11:13 AM
Thankfully.

But it does point out the difference in what we consider poverty, and what it is a lot of the rest of the world.

Europe included?

BBMW
September 15th, 2011, 01:45 PM
No, all I'm saying is what's considered poverty here, would be considered a significantly luxurious lifestyle in much of the world (Somalia definitely included). That's all.


I thought we were "better" than Somalia....


Are you saying we should keep to the same standards as third world impoverished nations when it comes to fiscal ratings?

BTW, the US does not lend itself easily to the same kind of tribal-living-in-grass-huts lifestyles.

Add insult to injury, when people are not ALLOWED to "live off the land" because someone else owns it... I mean, look what happened to the original Americans..... (BEFORE the casinos, that is)

BBMW
September 15th, 2011, 01:46 PM
The flip side is, how many unproductive can the productive support? And does the safety net breed nonproductivity?


Burying folks is cheaper than feeding them.

Bottom line, if they can't cut it then so be it.

That's the America we want?

scumonkey
September 15th, 2011, 02:36 PM
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): Are there no prisons?
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth.
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): Why?
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for?
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): Huh! Nothing!
Second Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0425102/): You wish to be anonymous?
Ebenezer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0799237/): [firmly, but calmly] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there.
First Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0398233/): Many can't go there.
Second Collector (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0425102/): And some would rather die.

eddhead
September 15th, 2011, 02:45 PM
The flip side is, how many unproductive can the productive support? And does the safety net breed nonproductivity?

I have a big problem equating poverty stricken with unproductive. Frankly, it is offensive.

Many of the poverty stricken are working poor and NOT unproductive. But they are underpaid.

Moreover, many of our underemployed citizens are so because of macroeconomic conditions. They may be underemployed, but they are not necessarily unproductive.

You seem to have a penchant for gauging one's productivity on the basis of one's income. Do you really think that the Average CEO is 400 times more productive than the average corporate employee??

eddhead
September 15th, 2011, 03:33 PM
It should be noted here that labor is a commodity and like all commodites commands a price (in this case known as 'wages') in an opem market that is driven by supply and demand dynamics. The fact that a given job type commands a low price, or poverty range wage is an indication that there exists an over-supply of people with the skills that are necessary to perform that job, relative to the demand for people with those skills. It does NOT mean that people employed in those fields work any less hard or are any less productive than the rest of society, only that their services are not in great demand. The cause of this is for the most part weak macroeconomic employment conditions that undercut employment opportunities.


This idea that the working poor are unproductive is tea party drivel. It is typical of the overly simplified rationalizations that are emblamatic to most tea party arguements. If it helps them sleep at night, fine, but don't pretend that it is not pure unadulterated bullshit.

BBMW
September 15th, 2011, 04:40 PM
I have a big problem equating poverty stricken with unproductive. Frankly, it is offensive.

Many of the poverty stricken are working poor and NOT unproductive. But they are underpaid.

Working poor <> unproductive. Since they're working, they are probably carrying most of their own load, but with difficulty.




Moreover, many of our underemployed citizens are so because of macroeconomic conditions. They may be underemployed, but they are not necessarily unproductive.


Unemployed = unproductive. If they're receiving benefits, they're being carried. Not so much a moral issue (yes, it may or may not be their fault), but a financial one. They're a drag on the system.



You seem to have a penchant for gauging one's productivity on the basis of one's income. Do you really think that the Average CEO is 400 times more productive than the average corporate employee??

Depends how you look at it. They deploy vastly more assets, their decisions effect vastly more money and people. They have much more individual influence on events. In that sense yes.

But that's not the point. This isn't about equality. It's about survival and success/failure at the national level. If too much in the way of national assets are waisted propping up citizens who really need to be supporting themselves, it isn't being deployed in ways that could be building assets and national strength going forward.

For example, something like 43% of the federal budget is spent on the elderly. Is this smart? Are we investing a vast amount of money in people who are never again going to be productive? While it would never happen, what would happen if we wholely cut this off an redeployed it to education, infrastructure, and other investments that would actually yield a future return? Which would make us more competitive with our surging competitors (China and others.)?

scumonkey
September 15th, 2011, 04:55 PM
For example, something like 43% of the federal budget is spent on the elderly. Is this smart? Are we investing a vast amount of money in people who are never again going to be productive?
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/spock_slap.gif
do you really believe that old age means you will never again be productive...just wait till you get old ...?!

BBMW
September 15th, 2011, 05:01 PM
If they can be productive, why do we need all these programs to support them?

lofter1
September 15th, 2011, 06:18 PM
Unemployed = unproductive. If they're receiving benefits, they're being carried. Not so much a moral issue (yes, it may or may not be their fault), but a financial one. They're a drag on the system.


Okay, I'll take the bait ...

What do you suggest that we DO with all those unproductive types that are dragging you down? And please carry out the argument to the end, and not simply post the easy first step of cutting them loose.

eddhead
September 15th, 2011, 06:20 PM
@BBMW The idea that you can gauge one's productivity levels by one's income levels is pure fallacy. The average fortune 500 CEO earns 400 times more than his average employee. There is no way she/he is 400 X more productive. The fact is, the game is rigged against the average Joe. More and more we are becoming like Locomotive Breadth (that one was for Zippy).

BTW, my reference was to UNDER employed, not unemployed.

Working poor does NOT equal unproductive. People in these roles are often performing valuable functions. They are just not being compensated for the work they do. Their compensation levels are not commensurate with their contributions. That does not make them unproductive, it makes the exploited. And as for the elderly, why don't we just kill them when they reach 65.

LIke I said, it is pure rationalization and bullshit. But whatever helps you sleep at night...

ZippyTheChimp
September 15th, 2011, 06:40 PM
The fact is, the game is rigged against the average Joe. More and more we are becoming like Locomotive Breadth (that one was for Zippy).Noted.

scumonkey
September 15th, 2011, 09:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sp-VFBbjpE

Ninjahedge
September 16th, 2011, 08:51 AM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/spock_slap.gif
do you really believe that old age means you will never again be productive...just wait till you get old ...?!

Maybe we should kill them when they are 30........

14085

BBMW
September 16th, 2011, 12:12 PM
If we're talking "normal" unemployed (meaning non-elderly able bodied), give them the normal six months unemployment, then they're on their own. If they end up living under a bridge, so be it. However, that doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases. Looking into the abyss is very motivating. People figure out how to get by. I would also limit repeated uses of unemployment. I was having a conversation with a few friends about this, and they were bringing up how they know people who knew how to "surf" the system (work as minimally as possible and stay on unemployment as maximally as possible). This should be detectable and preventable. There would be no welfare for able bodied adults. If you have kids and you can't/won't support them, they'd be subject taken away (especially if they were born while the parents were in no position to support them.) While I have reservations about state or private social services agencies raising kids, kid cannot be allowed to be used as lever to extort benefit money. I think if it gets seen that having kids doesn't get you benefits, you'll see a lot less kids born into poverty.

I'm going to point out something that has already happened (or is in the process of happening) but no one wants to acknowledge: The concept of retirement as it has been known for the last fifty years or so, basically as an extended vacation from late middle age until death, is over. It's just not going to be affordable for the vast majority of people hitting "retirement age". And the gov't is not in a position to try to prop up this concept. SS will at some point have to end it's retirement benefits system, and convert everything to something like it's disability program (SSI). When someone reaches a point where they're physically unable to work, they can apply for disability, subject to rigorous examination. But if they're still able bodied at any age, they won't get benefits.


Okay, I'll take the bait ...

What do you suggest that we DO with all those unproductive types that are dragging you down? And please carry out the argument to the end, and not simply post the easy first step of cutting them loose.

ZippyTheChimp
September 16th, 2011, 12:44 PM
If we're talking "normal" unemployed (meaning non-elderly able bodied), give them the normal six months unemployment, then they're on their own. If they end up living under a bridge, so be it. However, that doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases. Looking into the abyss is very motivating. People figure out how to get by.The people you earlier describes as "working and just scraping by" may not realize how easily they can fall into poverty. A lot of it is caused by sinking into debt. And before you say "don't go into debt," tell me how easy that is when you have children.


If you have kids and you can't/won't support them, they'd be subject taken away (especially if they were born while the parents were in no position to support them.) While I have reservations about state or private social services agencies raising kids, kid cannot be allowed to be used as lever to extort benefit money. I think if it gets seen that having kids doesn't get you benefits, you'll see a lot less kids born into poverty.How would those people those people that are just scraping by, already pissed about people not working and getting benefits, feel about paying to raise their children?

If you fell into poverty, would you want your children taken away by the state?

Ninjahedge
September 16th, 2011, 01:17 PM
Less kids born into poverty if we do not help support them?

What world are you coming from? You realize that they no longer pay more for kids after, I believe, the third, so this is a lame comment.

To turn the table, if we were to regress even further where kids were not guaranteed some sort of medical care and our infant and childhood mortality rate started to climb back up, how much you wanna bet we start going back to "old school" methods in which more kids = a greater chance of having some survive to adulthood?

They still HAVE this in some of the very countries you describe where "we should us them as an example of true 'poverty'" (paraphrase). Seems like true poverty does not make a good prophylactic...

The key here is simple. Money is not needed to be thrown at a problem, but money is not to be eliminated either. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have many that will agree to APPLYING the money in ways that work rather than just shuffling it around to as many different administrators as possible before it gets thrown out the door of a passing crop duster.

eddhead
September 16th, 2011, 04:03 PM
BBMW - Your comments are incredible. I don't have time to address the all here but I would remind you that we're talking about people living in poverty which encompasses more than just the. They do not always correlate. What about the underemployed and other working poor?

Your comments regarding the unemployed living under a bridge are astonishing. In this economic climate it takes people more than 6 months to find jobs. That surf the system observation is bullshit. This is not a case of motivation it is a case of lack of opportunity.

As for SS it will continue to exist in some fashion. They may raise the retirement age, or eliminate the payroll tax ceiling, but it will continue to exist. The idea that people will work until they die of old age is politically non-viable.

Ninjahedge
September 16th, 2011, 05:17 PM
One of the biggest things that has happened is that the advent of transportation and globalization has made it so that the "traditional" family and even township is no longer a community. You can't get the family to take care of grandpa because Jr is out working in Pennsylvania, the kids are all in different states as well, and the "community" could not care more than the fact that Grandpa does not mow his lawn often enough.

Every so often you get a church group to come in and help, but it is just not a tight family or community anymore....

Now we could go BACK to this, but we would be CRUSHED in the global market.

As for SS, it always amazes me that those that cry out "socialism" at the drop of a hat would be the ones that would actually enjoy a good barn raising. Nothing says "America" like a bunch of people coming together ot help another out......but that isn't socialism.....

lofter1
September 16th, 2011, 11:48 PM
I'm loving the image of hordes under bridges, munching on the bones of the unproductive. Not to mention fenced in masses of young ones, pining for Ma & Pa, crying for food (which of course won't be available to them until they perform 12 hours of work per day).

BBMW: You only took your USA Disposal argument to Step Two: Cutting Them Loose (which doesn't require much more thought than Step One: Cutting Them Off).

You've not told us what society should expect to do with / keep itself safe from the 14,000,000 currently unemployed (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate). By your argument they've proven themselves unproductive by the mere fact that they don't work, and are thereby worthless to society (and you and yours). My original option (a nail through the forehead for one and all) does have those bothersome burial costs, so that's probably no longer viable (given the harsh economic reality we're dealing with). So ...

Should we mulch them up and spread them about as fatteners in the holding pens at the local slaughterhouse? Perhaps round them up and dump them in some holding tank near a Pennsylvania fracking site? Or transport them en masse to one of our island Protectorates, where they can productively sew jeans and t-shirts and work off the cost of their South Seas transport?

So many unproductive types, so many options.

I'm all ears.

hbcat
September 17th, 2011, 08:26 AM
If we're talking "normal" unemployed (meaning non-elderly able bodied), give them the normal six months unemployment, then they're on their own. If they end up living under a bridge, so be it. However, that doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases. Looking into the abyss is very motivating. People figure out how to get by.

Do you mean normal employment to include working at places like Walmart for 7 to 10 dollars per hour? The report out this month states that more than 15% of the US population is living in poverty. Other statistics show that more than 9% are unemployed. That means that *many* millions are employed and are already living in poverty. These people don't need to look into the abyss -- they're already in it looking out.


I would also limit repeated uses of unemployment.

That's great, and I am sure nearly all of the currently employed people would like to limit their uses of unemployment insurance, which they pay year in and year out.



I was having a conversation with a few friends about this, and they were bringing up how they know people who knew how to "surf" the system (work as minimally as possible and stay on unemployment as maximally as possible). This should be detectable and preventable. There would be no welfare for able bodied adults. If you have kids and you can't/won't support them, they'd be subject taken away (especially if they were born while the parents were in no position to support them.)

I don't know where to start. You assume many or even most of the 45 million people living in poverty, including the elderly and children, are freeloading. Some people will abuse *any* social welfare system, and I agree they need to be stopped whenever and however it is possible. But this is NOT the leading cause of poverty or its cure.


I'm going to point out something that has already happened (or is in the process of happening) but no one wants to acknowledge: The concept of retirement as it has been known for the last fifty years or so, basically as an extended vacation from late middle age until death, is over.

Ay yai yai...

lofter1
September 17th, 2011, 11:25 AM
Let's not forget to take away their Cadillacs (which they use to navigate their crafty unemployment schemes).

About this: No one wants to acknowledge that "the concept of retirement" is not what it was a generation ago???

Gotta ask: How old are you? And who do you hang out with? You must be on Mars or somewhere equally isolated if this conversation isn't taking place in your world.

lofter1
September 17th, 2011, 12:58 PM
The jobless in New Jersey find refuge in Tent City

CNN (http://articles.cnn.com/2011-09-15/us/tent.city.new.jersey_1_tent-city-brigham-plastic-garbage-bags?_s=PM:US)
September 15, 2011

Cars and trucks cruise along Cedar Bridge Avenue, drivers listening to radio anchors reporting the headline that a record 46 million Americans are living in poverty, while 50 feet from the bustling boulevard, hidden by the woods that border the road, lies a shocking example of that shameful statistic.

Behind the trees, six dozen homeless Americans have set up camp, in tents, teepees and huts, residents of what they call Tent City. It's a place where those out of work and out of luck can drop out of society while living as cheaply as possible.

"It's a community here," said the Rev. Steven Brigham, who founded Tent City in 2006 as part of his Lakewood Outreach Ministry Church. "They have a sense of belonging."

In the past year Brigham has seen Tent City's population nearly double as the jobs recession drags on.

Angelo Villanueva jabs at a homemade punching bag he hung from a tree -- a plastic bag filled with dirt wrapped with tape. It's a "stress reliever," said Villanueva. He's a skilled mason who worked construction jobs for nearly two decades, then fell victim to a sucker punch from the housing collapse. Villanueva, also an artist who has been drawing sketches of Tent City, never dreamed that he'd be among the nation's homeless.

"You think of a homeless person, you think of a wino. But it can happen to anyone at any time," said Villanueva. "I had the wrong conception of a homeless person -- I figure he's a bum, a deadbeat."

... Lakewood Township referred CNN's inquiry to its attorney, Jan L. Wouters, who did not return phone calls and e-mails.

Brigham, with the help of a private attorney who is donating his time, has been battling the suit.

"The government has a responsibility to be sympathetic to the plight of the poor and to the homeless. And to push them out is cruel, it's cruel and unusual. It's cold-hearted," said Brigham.

The two sides had reached a temporary agreement that required Brigham to dismantle some of Tent City's structures. But, at a hearing this week Lakewood Township gave notice it intends to move forward with its legal effort against the encampment.

Ocean County, where Lakewood is located, provides shelter for the homeless in motels and hotels, as well as a shelter in Atlantic City (which is in Atlantic County), according to Jean Cipriani, attorney for the Ocean County Board of Social Services.

"The county has no position on Tent City," said Cipriani.

Tent City residents are hopeful they'll be able to remain in their community, even through the winter. That's what Marilyn and Michael Berenzweig did last year. Marilyn, a textile designer who worked in New York just two years ago, and her husband Michael, a former public radio producer, have been living here for 16 months, with fading hope of finding employment.

"It's very hard for a company to decide to use a 61-year-old trainee. I'm too young for Social Security. It's going to be a rocky flight. It's been a rocky flight," said Marilyn Berenzweig.

hbcat
September 18th, 2011, 06:15 AM
Forgive if this has been posted already --

"Okay poors, the free ride esta over..."


http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-18-2011/world-of-class-warfare---the-poor-s-free-ride-is-over?xrs=share_copy

ZippyTheChimp
September 18th, 2011, 06:54 PM
I was wondering where Ann Coulter was.

Ninjahedge
September 19th, 2011, 10:20 AM
My original option (a nail through the forehead for one and all) does have those bothersome burial costs, so that's probably no longer viable (given the harsh economic reality we're dealing with). So ...

You know, we would have to make sure those nails were inspected.


Too many contractors out there willing to use a smaller nail to save money and we have a bunch of partially lobotomized nail-heads running all over Florida.

Ninjahedge
September 19th, 2011, 10:31 AM
Tent city is bad in so many ways, not the least of which being a barometer on our own financial health.

The main problems that we get in areas like this are, ironically, health and hygiene, followed by crime. I am not saying that these people WANT to be sick, or are breeding grounds for gangs (quite the opposite), but just like the poor villages in many nations, these little tent cities are prone to others that will steal the food from a babies mouth.

As for hygiene, this is tough... You can't just start building bathrooms and showers for every homeless camp, but it might be good to start making some partially government funded "campgrounds" that can at least provide a fresh water tap and some way to dispose of the human waste. Otherwise we are looking at disease factories. These are the places where, if they are left long enough, you get cases of the Mumps coming back, and all the gremlins of yesteryear rearing their ugly heads again..

But simply shoving them into someone else's back yard is NOT a solution. You do that enough and "not my problem" becomes EVERYONES problem, in more than aesthetic ways....

The main problem is, in our own mercuric political system, we are fast to judge but slow to act. We are first to point but last to carry. Not many have the intelligence to comprehend the enormity of the scope that needs to be undertaken and, unfortunately, even less have the patience to do so.