Author Topic: Incomes Collapsing in the US  (Read 357 times)

Offline Blueblood

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2017, 03:58:50 pm »
My disabled friend has these things and she is definitely poor.  She pays for her own cell bill, but we bought her the TV and computer and pay for her cable bill.  When someone is mostly house-bound due to a disability, having a couple "luxury" items is a necessity, and it doesn't make her not poor!  That's extremely judgmental to look at someone's meager stuff and claim they can't be poor.

She also earns a few extra dollars because she has a computer and is extremely intelligent, has a degree in science and can find a few things she can do at home.  To say a computer is a luxury item is also living in 1990...   it's pretty much a necessity these days.

That's the point of my post...  things that were luxuries are now commonplace.  They don't get that in Africa...

What is poor in relation to the rest of the world? 

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2017, 06:33:44 am »
My disabled friend has these things and she is definitely poor.  She pays for her own cell bill, but we bought her the TV and computer and pay for her cable bill.  When someone is mostly house-bound due to a disability, having a couple "luxury" items is a necessity, and it doesn't make her not poor!  That's extremely judgmental to look at someone's meager stuff and claim they can't be poor.

She also earns a few extra dollars because she has a computer and is extremely intelligent, has a degree in science and can find a few things she can do at home.  To say a computer is a luxury item is also living in 1990...   it's pretty much a necessity these days.
Some people don't understand poverty at all. They think you need to be living in a box underneath an overpass to be "poor." They've not read nor would they believe the research that shows just being in the bottom quintile income earners relates to poorer health, education, and other well-being outcomes. We're talking people who make up to $27,000 here. They don't look at these negative outcomes and see how they relate to poverty. They also don't see how poverty relates to their children's outcomes with poorer academic performance and greater risk of behavioural issues, as well as the other issues I mentioned for their parents. I guess the idea is if they're not living in a box under an overpass, they're not poor and government services are unnecessary. Thankfully, the people who study this stuff realize the kind of supports folks need and the government is at least somewhat willing to provide them.

Offline the_squid

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2017, 02:28:24 pm »
Some people don't understand poverty at all. They think you need to be living in a box underneath an overpass to be "poor." They've not read nor would they believe the research that shows just being in the bottom quintile income earners relates to poorer health, education, and other well-being outcomes. We're talking people who make up to $27,000 here. They don't look at these negative outcomes and see how they relate to poverty. They also don't see how poverty relates to their children's outcomes with poorer academic performance and greater risk of behavioural issues, as well as the other issues I mentioned for their parents. I guess the idea is if they're not living in a box under an overpass, they're not poor and government services are unnecessary.

Agreed.  It's a very short-sighted view of poverty.  If they can afford a TV, then they aren't poor has to be one of the dumbest arguments for cutting services to poor people that I've ever heard.

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... the government is at least somewhat willing to provide them.

This I disagree with.
My friend gets $1000 per month (same $$ as welfare).

She is supposed to provide her own housing
Provide her own food
Fight tooth and nail with the government to provide her the necessary medical treatments, which often go uncovered, or take months to get. 
And then use all the leftover money for her heating bill, electricity, TV, phone, etc.

She has friends who buy her groceries, and other things, otherwise she would be scrounging the expired crap from the food bank.  The government doesn't provide her with a level of income even close to what she actually needs.  And they rely on voters not to notice, or not caring enough, to make it an issue.  (or those like Blueblood who think the situation with my friend is just fine...  in fact, she should get less because she has a TV!)


Offline cybercoma

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2017, 03:02:46 pm »
That's why I say "somewhat." We can debate if it's enough, but the government does provide something, as opposed to the early 20th century and prior when they provided literally nothing.

Offline Blueblood

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2017, 04:37:28 pm »
Agreed.  It's a very short-sighted view of poverty.  If they can afford a TV, then they aren't poor has to be one of the dumbest arguments for cutting services to poor people that I've ever heard.

This I disagree with.
My friend gets $1000 per month (same $$ as welfare).

She is supposed to provide her own housing
Provide her own food
Fight tooth and nail with the government to provide her the necessary medical treatments, which often go uncovered, or take months to get. 
And then use all the leftover money for her heating bill, electricity, TV, phone, etc.

She has friends who buy her groceries, and other things, otherwise she would be scrounging the expired crap from the food bank.  The government doesn't provide her with a level of income even close to what she actually needs.  And they rely on voters not to notice, or not caring enough, to make it an issue.  (or those like Blueblood who think the situation with my friend is just fine...  in fact, she should get less because she has a TV!)

She gets a $1000 a month which is considerably more than others in other countries.  At the same time how much taxes should people be subsidizing her, 40%, 50%, 60%.  What sacrifices should families saving for their kids to go to university make?

Life sometimes isn't fair and she is fortunate enough to have a tv when truly poor people in other countries don't.  Unfortunately there isn't enough resources to have everyone living like upper middle class people off the backs of upper middle class people.  Unfortunately there is a limit.

The USA is in perpetual debt with the largest cost being social security.  The sad reality is, subsidizing poverty is unsustainable.

Offline the_squid

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2017, 04:49:55 pm »
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She gets a $1000 a month which is considerably more than others in other countries.

This has to be the stupidest reason not to help our own disabled citizens that I've ever heard.   ::)
Should we lower our standards to the levels of Ethiopia or Chad? 

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At the same time how much taxes should people be subsidizing her, 40%, 50%, 60%.  What sacrifices should families saving for their kids to go to university make?

Whatever it takes to get people to be able to buy fresh food and afford medical expenses.  Cut the military.  Cut the gay pride parade.  Let your kids pay for school, like my friend did before she became disabled. 

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Unfortunately there isn't enough resources to have everyone living like upper middle class people

A total red herring.  Now you're just making stuff up that I never said.  Nice try.

Offline JMT

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2017, 04:50:31 pm »
Not 'subsidizing' poverty is also unsustainable.  Why do you think crime rates have fallen precipitously?

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2017, 05:49:06 pm »
Not 'subsidizing' poverty is also unsustainable.  Why do you think crime rates have fallen precipitously?
This is a good point. The social welfare systems in the west didn't come about out of some sort of benevolence. They came about because they got support from the upperclass trying to protect themselves from an increasingly angry and aggressive underclass. The alternative to a social welfare system is guillotines.

Offline TimG

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2017, 05:57:55 pm »
Not 'subsidizing' poverty is also unsustainable.  Why do you think crime rates have fallen precipitously?
Because the population is aging and young men in their 20s make up a smaller percentage of the population. Support for poor people can never meet the demand because if government increased spending to meet current demand, demand would only go up as more people realize that government subsidies are preferable than working. The politicians demanding that we 'eliminate poverty' are selling snake oil because it can't be done.

Offline JMT

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2017, 07:19:50 pm »
Because the population is aging and young men in their 20s make up a smaller percentage of the population. Support for poor people can never meet the demand because if government increased spending to meet current demand, demand would only go up as more people realize that government subsidies are preferable than working. The politicians demanding that we 'eliminate poverty' are selling snake oil because it can't be done.

You'd be surprised to know that I agree with your second point.  Your first point is flawed though.  Why do you think people are having less children overall today.  'Subsidizing' the poor has done amazing things for our society, even if I agree that there are far too many lazy capable men siting st home.

Offline TimG

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2017, 07:40:19 pm »
Your first point is flawed though.  Why do you think people are having less children overall today.
The marginal economic cost of children is too large compared to the economic benefit they provide. I think we need programs to ensure people are not destitute but that should not be an excuse to ignore how human nature limits the practical size and scope of these programs.

Offline JMT

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2017, 09:06:08 pm »
The marginal economic cost of children is too large compared to the economic benefit they provide. I think we need programs to ensure people are not destitute but that should not be an excuse to ignore how human nature limits the practical size and scope of these programs.

Like I said, I don't disagree overall.  I just don't think that it's right that letting people starve will make us better off.

Offline Blueblood

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2017, 01:09:46 am »
This has to be the stupidest reason not to help our own disabled citizens that I've ever heard.   ::)
Should we lower our standards to the levels of Ethiopia or Chad? 

Whatever it takes to get people to be able to buy fresh food and afford medical expenses.  Cut the military.  Cut the gay pride parade.  Let your kids pay for school, like my friend did before she became disabled. 

A total red herring.  Now you're just making stuff up that I never said.  Nice try.

And how much are you willing to pay for it?  I don't think some people should be forced to pay over 50% of tax at gunpoint (which it essentially comes to). I'm saying the poor in Canada have it a lot better than other countries and they should be fortunate for even that.

There are charitable organizations that do a far better job of allocating funds than government.

Can't cut the military as we have commitments and it helps ensure sovereignty as well there are times it's needed.  Security first.  I would rather be able to pay for my kids to go to school than be soaked at tax time. 

The USA tried declaring war on poverty and it has been an abject failure.

Offline Blueblood

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2017, 01:13:35 am »
Not 'subsidizing' poverty is also unsustainable.  Why do you think crime rates have fallen precipitously?

Crime rates fall due to an increase in the economy, innovation, and people getting older. 

Crim rates are high where the poor are.  How much should poverty be subsidized.  As someone from waterhen you know full well that flooding the poor with free money does nothing to help their situation.


Offline JMT

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Re: Incomes Collapsing in the US
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2017, 09:00:18 am »
Crime rates fall due to an increase in the economy, innovation, and people getting older. 

And why do you think that people live longer?  Do you think that funding their survival might have something to do with it?