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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:52 AM

Have you heard? The "poor" in America aren't really poor.

Some of them even have cell phones! Air conditioners! Why they're not poor at all.



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Reply Have you heard? The "poor" in America aren't really poor. (Original post)
Scuba Apr 2012 OP
cali Apr 2012 #1
SammyWinstonJack Apr 2012 #3
IDemo Apr 2012 #15
GoCubsGo Apr 2012 #2
CrispyQ Apr 2012 #23
AsahinaKimi Apr 2012 #63
dkf Apr 2012 #4
Scuba Apr 2012 #6
dkf Apr 2012 #11
Cirque du So-What Apr 2012 #14
Scuba Apr 2012 #38
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #39
Posteritatis Apr 2012 #7
dkf Apr 2012 #10
Mark D. Apr 2012 #34
dkf Apr 2012 #40
Mark D. Apr 2012 #66
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #44
TBF Apr 2012 #18
dkf Apr 2012 #31
TBF Apr 2012 #33
Mark D. Apr 2012 #36
TBF Apr 2012 #43
dkf Apr 2012 #45
TBF Apr 2012 #52
dkf Apr 2012 #54
TBF Apr 2012 #57
dkf Apr 2012 #61
TBF Apr 2012 #62
dkf Apr 2012 #64
LaurenG Apr 2012 #27
dkf Apr 2012 #35
jwirr Apr 2012 #37
SemperEadem Apr 2012 #47
dkf Apr 2012 #49
SemperEadem Apr 2012 #50
dkf Apr 2012 #53
SemperEadem Apr 2012 #58
annabanana Apr 2012 #60
HughBeaumont Apr 2012 #48
Mass Apr 2012 #5
TBF Apr 2012 #20
Riley18 Apr 2012 #8
cali Apr 2012 #9
Scuba Apr 2012 #12
jwirr Apr 2012 #41
Bette Noir Apr 2012 #16
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 #19
jwirr Apr 2012 #42
CBGLuthier Apr 2012 #65
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #28
no_hypocrisy Apr 2012 #13
Tsiyu Apr 2012 #17
TBF Apr 2012 #21
NNN0LHI Apr 2012 #22
Tsiyu Apr 2012 #26
chervilant Apr 2012 #24
Scuba Apr 2012 #25
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #29
Starry Messenger Apr 2012 #32
IDemo Apr 2012 #51
saras Apr 2012 #30
wendylaroux Apr 2012 #46
Zax2me Apr 2012 #55
HiPointDem Apr 2012 #56
Noodleboy13 Apr 2012 #59

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:55 AM

1. that's an amazing pic

I'm sure the crowd saying there's no *real* poverty in the U.S. would insist that this guy doesn't have to be on the street; that he's an alcoholic or drug addict and that it's his fault.

fuckers.

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Response to cali (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:09 AM

3. Homeless by choice is how my teaparty neighbor puts it.

And now I know where he gets that from, him being a reagan admirer.

I never knew reagan said that.

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Response to SammyWinstonJack (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:23 AM

15. "Urban campers", or something similar, I believe was how Raygun termed it

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:00 AM

2. Yeah. I heard they don't pay taxes either.

I hear that shit parroted every damn day by the brain-dead imbeciles in my area, who don't realize that they're one illness or layoff away from being poor themselves. Nor, do they understand that it will be at the hands of the very people for whom they are carrying water. And, never mind that millions of poor people acquired those cell phones, TVs, cars, DVD players, etc., before they lost their jobs and became poor.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:59 AM

23. Your last sentence is so spot on!

It stems from what you said about being one illness or layoff away from being poor themselves. They refuse to see that many of the poor were (even recently!) employed, housed & had many of the amenities of the middle class. Therefore, it could never happen to them.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:56 AM

63. Aren't these the same people

that Eric Cantor says avoid paying taxes..He's a ba$+@rd isn't he?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:11 AM

4. This guy is either poor or mentally ill.

 

If this is the condition of everyone you called "poor" the you have a point that they really are poor by any standard.

But if you call a person poor and they have a roof over their head, car, electricity, food, cell phone, air conditioning, tv, etc, then they aren't poor compared with the poor of the world.

It's all in the degree.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:13 AM

6. I knew I could count on you.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:51 AM

11. Hey I agreed that this guy is poor. What more do you want?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:19 AM

14. It wasn't the part where you agreed that the guy in the pic is poor

It was the commentary that came afterward - the part about all the things that make anyone with a place to live, cellphone, etc., not poor - and that's a page straight out of the RW playbook.

You know all those "poor people" we're always reading about? Turns out it's a crock. A new paper from the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation says the Census Bureau's defining almost 40 million - one in seven - Americans as poor is exaggerated and includes many people who are "not poor in any ordinary sense of the term" because they have housing, a "reasonably steady supply of food," and a host of modern amenities like cable tv, air conditioning, an Xbox and an oven and stove. Whew, for a while there we were worried about the economy, and perhaps even some inherent injustice within it.

"The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. The typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed. By its own report, the typical family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs."

http://www.commondreams.org/further/2011/07/18-3

Acknowledgement that you're parroting RW talking points - THAT's what *I* want.

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Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:40 PM

38. Yeah, I'm still waiting too. At least the "ignore button" in my head still works.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:42 PM

39. As night follows the day. n/t

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:26 AM

7. I find the UK definition of poverty interesting

They actually do break it up into degrees.

The obvious one is actual "literally do not have the resources necessary to survive" poverty, where people can't keep a roof over their heads or maintain an adequate diet.

However, they also recognize more relative forms of poverty, which they define in terms of what a household is or isn't able to do relative to society on average - the sorts of poverty where someone's got a home and isn't starving, but worries about what happens if there's a hole in their shoes, can't go out for dinner or a movie now and then, can't afford personal hobbies, or is too worried about what friends would think of their situation to have guests over. Sure, they might be keeping body and soul together, but it certainly isn't "enough" to really be able to be part of society in that situation.

(Rrrgh, I'm trying to find that whole definition they used now and can't. Stupid interwebz.)

It's a big distinction of course, but it's also one that needs to be kept in mind (and I'm thrilled that a few governments are trying to think in those terms). As you say, there's different kinds, and it's a nice response to people who pull the whole "they can't be poor - they have a refrigerator!" schtick. (Not that those people would generally listen anyway, but it's nice to have ammunition.)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:49 AM

10. Interesting...

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:48 AM

34. Missing The Shift

You miss the big picture of the lowering bar. Not only do you present right wing talking points, oblivious to the reason why the 'poor' family has 'all that' (housing, cell phone, etc.) is from before they became poor (as stated elsewhere). But the sub-debate you find in all of this is exactly what the powers that be want (as Carlin put it: 'The REAL Owners'). 40 million, and shock, half may be 'living that good'. Well, many of them are probably working. Maybe two jobs, maybe both providers, maybe even DINKs (Dual Incomes, No Kids).

It's like magic vaseline to let the sh*t continue unnoticed. When it's 60 million, or 80 million. When the middle class shifts from one man with a high school degree providing for a stay-at-home mom, two kids, a house paid for in 15, not 30 years. A car bought with cash, not credit, etc.. Just like Michael Moore pointed out in 'Capitalism, A Love Story'. Then 20 years later, both have to work for the same quality of life. The most massive shift of corporate income from workers to CEOs, Owners and Investors ever growing pockets.

That's the big three that most largely profited from this massive theft since some time in the 1960 until now. Then when Reagan policies successfully demonized unions and stagnated wages, the desire to keep living that way ushered in a wave of consumer debt thanks to easier credit and credit cards. Moore points this out as well. The right wing blames the middle class 'greed' for wanting to live a half-decent life, and not accept it's slow decline into poverty, so slow many miss it, as you did, even if you live that reality now.

Decades later, people in the so-called middle class have most of those happy suburban 'benefits' of life. Paid for by massive consumer debt, record-setting student loans, that even with low interest rates, eat up most of the increased income gained by having that degree. The money continues to trickle up, slow but steady. Every time this is pointed out, we're reminded of the land of opportunity where everyone can be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, even as our upward mobility is proven to be on par with UGANDA at this moment.

Since about 1980, 2/3 of growth has been in the top 1%. Each year now, about one trillion shifts from the bottom 99% to the top 1%. The middle class of today, when you extract their actual wealth or 'worth' (wage vs. hours worked - debts) is what would have been considered 'poor' in the 1950s. This with twice the family members working (in the declining number of two-parent families). So to hear you go on about relativity is bullsh*t. It's exactly what the elite, the 'real owners' want us to do, as this shift continues.

Well, thank God we're not in Somalia, or Indonesia. They have it worse. No kidding. They did back then too. Only a lot less worse now. The globalist elite view of relativity had me debating people not long ago who championed reducing minimum wage, and how de-unionization allows lower wages, which will somehow equal more jobs (hasn't worked yet!). Right. That's how our standards will improve, get paid less, and hope the off-shoring, Swiss account bastards put that extra back into hiring people that THEY DON'T NEED!

When the elite .01% in Cuba had 99.9% of wealth, when they sh*t in solid gold toilets as 100 meters away, a poor person wiped their ass with leaves in the woods, they brought the revolution on themselves. They blamed a philosophy (Marxism), but it's just a word for the results of desperation after the slow shift of wealth into the hands of a few. With minions as you ready to say we punish them if we show their excess, and on the flip-side, say the poor have it so good compared to those in Indian slums. Thank you so much.

What's remarkable is how those elites HATE paying people. Workers are parasites to be dropped at any time. If the Koch Brothers could run every oil well, every gas extractor, every refinery, with robots that never break down. With no actual workers, just the two of them, they would. The executives, the VPs, they too are parasites. They can't do better than you. Unpaid, they don't even ASK for your support, but you work for free for them anyway. You and many others, totally fell for it, totally miss the big picture shift.

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Response to Mark D. (Reply #34)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:43 PM

40. If nobody borrowed to pay for their car how could prices get so high?

 

Nobody could save enough to afford it

Debt allows the increase in cost and once all your neighbors start doing it you need to also.

Look at the skyrocketing cost of college...how much has it risen since congress changed the laws to make it impossible to discharge in bankruptcy? Now they have you hooked for life so there's no downside to loaning as much as these poor kids want because they will get it back later with even more fees tacked on.

People's misunderstanding and abuse of debt has caused so many problems. And you can blame the financial companies for offering it but cut off people's access and they are not happy.

Debt allows the inequity to grow even more, as some then have negative assets. But do they reverse course?

You will never hear me cheering on consumer debt, ever. It is what allows the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. And what is worse consumer debt doesn't even create a gain for the individual. At least if you used it to fund business inventory you can make a profit.

It used to be where loans went towards houses, which inflation helps make affordable, and business loans, where it can be used to make more money. Consumer loans are the instrument by which people spend more than they afford, for an asset that will have minimal value, obligating their future labor when they need to be saving.

But people want what they want and they will do as they please. They are being offered a drug...and they aren't turning it down.

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Response to dkf (Reply #40)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:58 PM

66. Short View

Personal responsibility. It's like a broken record. I know people shouldn't go into such debt. But it's like holding the perfect fishing lure over a fish, and yelling at it for biting the lure. The 50s through the 70s gave the middle class the idea they could buy and furnish a house, go on vacation, and drive a relatively new car. Paid for with wages. Wages that fell when women started working, because employers saw an excuse to lower them. Personal responsibility does nothing there. Quit and get another job elsewhere that is paying the same falling wage. 1980 or so, with their hero and a new path to feudalism in the Whitehouse, knocking out our last chance at rising wages (unions) we saw wages go flat, and they have been since.

Things get more expensive, the only way to fill the void is with credit. I know people didn't have to get the credit. They could have lived more simply. But rather than protest stagnant wages, they were too distracted by the banks waving easy credit in front of them. Living on the wages they got, without credit, would have meant no way out but to realize the elite was screwing them. It took until recently for enough to notice this screwing, when the bank of their home dried up with falling home values.

There's no credit to get, there's no equity to borrow against. So I'm hoping this will change. My point remains, we can sit around blaming victims for being misguided by the financial elite, we can try to find a time machine to go back to 1980 to start preaching to them then. But it's akin to running down the middle of the street holding up a sign saying 'don't get into an accident'. Good luck with that. Every call for personal responsibility is a call to accept less and less for our hard work, to accept an America where you MUST struggle and work almost all the time to barely break even.

Raising one's voice to say it's unjust just gets that same line. Move the blame from the corporations that pay less to increase the wealth of owners, upper management, wealth investors, and that's pretty much it. Call every attempt to get that wealth back down to the workers 'socialism' and every attempt to have them stand together 'corrupt unions', because it's worked so well so far. But as OWS has shown and as more are waking up to this nonsense, we aren't going to stand for it much longer.

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Response to Mark D. (Reply #34)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:53 PM

44. Thanks for putting this together. I hope it helps paint the picture. n/t

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:43 AM

18. It's a little hard to compare apples and oranges don't you think -

Now if we had world-wide socialism we could take over the means of production, turn them over to the workers to make decisions, and provide food/clothing/housing/education/medical care for all.

But that would be wrong, wouldn't it? According to the owners anyway. What would be your response to that?

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Response to TBF (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:26 AM

31. Socialism might be good for base sustainance, not so good for innovation.

 

I like what modern technology brings to my life, but then again I'm not starving so maybe I'm biased. I'm sure many people in this world who can't afford bread or rice and beans would prefer worldwide socialism. They wouldn't miss an iPad either because they've never had one.

If we had worldwide socialism, most Americans would see a decrease in their standard of living as they would be heavily taxed to pay for the 925 million people who go hungry every day. That is 3 times the US population.

Our 5% population uses up 25% of fossil fuels. By all rights we should drastically cut this use so that others can benefit from oil.

The world bank defines severe poverty as surviving on less than $1.25 a day, moderate poverty is $2/day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_percentage_of_population_living_in_poverty

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Response to dkf (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:31 AM

33. Justification for selfishness is your response?

I am not in the 1% but pretty darn close, and I would be willing to give that up in order to see folks fed. Besides, I think the top 1% are the ones who are going to feel that the most - not those amongst us who try to live on 30K a year. And I do believe we should drastically cut our use of fossil fuels.

I will give you points for an honest answer though.

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Response to TBF (Reply #33)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

36. Socialism

The 1% worldwide have something like 100 trillion or more in wealth. The doomsday scenario painted above on how helping the poor will make us more poor is already at work now. I still hear ignorant people say people 'live off' welfare. No, not anymore. You can't. Two years at a time, five years maximum benefits. It's impossible. It's about 1% of our GDP, it's not bankrupting us. Ask the Tea Bagger at any rally, and they'd think that it is. Merely setting a maximum yearly income from all sources, per person, at one million (not corporations, people) with a 90-100% tax rate above that could fund such global programs. It can start in the 'better off' places like America and in Europe, to fix our income inequality. Then it can build globally, without making it worse for the bottom 99%, but better. Billionaires like Buffett and Soros wouldn't complain about it, but the majority would. They believe you don't get more rich by giving money away, just enough to get a tax write off and make yourself appear 'charitable'. A 'department of peace' like Dennis Kucinich proposed (laughed at by even some on the left) could massively de-fund the military industrial complex. Socialism as total governance is a failure, as history has proven. But enough of it in social democracies can work, and does work. It is the best way to preserve capitalism, by making it work for everyone, and not letting it implode thanks to it's own machinations, when unregulated.

It's not hard to imagine Ayn Rand was the ultimate, slow detonating, smart-bomb from the USSR to America. She couldn't have been that stupid. She had to know a pure libertarian paradigm would lead to a collapse of capitalism after it's massive, under-regulated growth. The results have to be communism, be it governmental or small groups in what's left of America. Concentration of wealth is always how it's come to be, as a solution that's as bad or worse than the problem it's meant to address. The Tsar of Russia was the 2nd richest man in history behind Rockefeller himself (partially responsible for his overthrow, he helped fund Trotsky/Lenin to ensure his fall, since the Tsar would not let Standard Oil drill in Russia). The bankers funded the rest, and skimmed so much as they funded the military build up that consolidated ever more wealth in the cold war. We built enough weapons, wasting countless tens of trillions, to destroy the earth hundreds of times. But propose ideas that can shrink the wealth gap in at least the G8, then G20 nations first, and the third world later, and it's too much to ask for. Spend the time wasted with religious figures invading the 3rd world to tell them that birth control, condoms in particular, are evil. Even as they're shown as the best way to reduce unsustainable family size, the abortions they so loathe, and in the case of condoms, HIV and other STDs. So much wasted money and effort and minds in history.

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Response to Mark D. (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:51 PM

43. I don't think socialism would have to be a failure -

remember that they were competing in a larger world of capitalism/imperialism when they tried it. We did have a form of social democracy here from roughly the 30s - 80s and look how that turned out. The rich decided that was too much sharing and now we are back to servitude for many.

But, yes, I'd be willing to put capital gains taxes back to their pre-80 levels (tax as regular income) and give a try at redistribution/social safety nets. It did work for awhile here and is better than what we have now for sure.

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Response to TBF (Reply #33)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:58 PM

45. Well you can feed a lot of people.

 

I'm not in the 1% so I can't feed as many as you can.

Hey you might be more selfish than I am.

In fact I've been making regular donations to the food bank so on a pro rata basis I could be more generous than you. That would be a twist huh?

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Response to dkf (Reply #45)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:39 PM

52. The point isn't whether you and I donate to the food bank, because of course we both do.

The point is that why do we prop up a system that doesn't work for most of us collectively?

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Response to TBF (Reply #52)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:18 PM

54. How sure are you that it isn't caused by our own spending habits?

 

If people saved more then wouldn't they build wealth and not give it to the 1%?

I wish "The Richest Man in Babylon" was required reading in high school. It is so important to understand how money can work for you or against you. Of note...

"That what each of us calls our 'necessary expenses' will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary," Arkad stated.   "Confuse not the necessary expenses with thy desires."

http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/sevencures.html

It makes me ill to think how unprepared kids are for the real world.

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Response to dkf (Reply #54)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:30 PM

57. You're ignoring the systemic issues in favor of discussing

your interpretation of behavior. Typical right-wing tactic.

I disagree, when folks in the top 400 families control more than 40% of the wealth in the country there is not all that much left over for the other millions of families to save.

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Response to TBF (Reply #57)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:56 AM

61. What do Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Larry Ellison take from the poor?

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #61)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:38 AM

62. You can't talk about systems can you? Must always make it personal.

It is not about any one person. It is about a system that by definition holds most down and rewards a few for predatory behavior. That is inane.

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Response to TBF (Reply #62)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:34 AM

64. This is a slight twist on what I've been saying...

 

Simultaneously, the job system has bought time—and made some more jobs for itself by increasing debt. Public debt went up. So did credit card debt, student loan debt and housing debt. We now live in massive, pervasive debt -- all of which enslaves us still more. 

But debt has served an economic purpose. It has kept the job system going in two ways, First, it drove the production of  cars, TVs, gadgets, furniture, military equipment, and other stuff. Stagnant wages obviously cannot drive increased consumption. But debt can, and it did.

Second, a greatly expanded financial disservice industry was created to process and manipulate all the credit sloshing through the system. That, too, added jobs. 

"The truth is, if you took debt out of the economy over the last 30 years, the bankruptcy of both the theory and the practice of the job system would have become obvious that much sooner. "

http://www.alternet.org/visions/155186/is_it_possible_to_build_an_economy_without_jobs_/?page=3

This is also the mechanism by which wealth is transferred

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:06 AM

27. The poor in the world? This is about the poor here

Last edited Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:40 AM - Edit history (1)

and yes the poor get TVs and phones here unlike other places where the poor simply starve to death and die. Don't you feel that people who think like this are utterly out of place here? Opinions that never fit in with the rest of us just seem to piss a lot of people off constantly.

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Response to LaurenG (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:17 PM

35. This man seems like an obvious candidate for food stamps. I also doubt he has a cell phone or ac

 

As he can't even afford shoes. I don't think anyone would call him anything but poor. Most probably agree he is in need of some government assistance. The degree of assistance is debatable though.

But showing this pic and connecting it to all poor people is disingenuous.

Lastly, I'm not a socialist, so if that is your thing I won't agree with you much.

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:38 PM

37. Of course we are not poor compared to the poor of the world but is that really what you want for

us before we are helped?

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:06 PM

47. you are confusing "poor" with "destitute"

and there is a universe of difference between the two.

The person in the picture is more likely to be destitute if they are in the condition in which that picture puts them.

I dont' expect an apologist to be able to differentiate.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #47)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:25 PM

49. I do differentiate and that was my point to the OP.

 

They were conflating the two from what I read.

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Response to dkf (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:27 PM

50. he wasn't, though.

he was being sarcastic.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #50)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:40 PM

53. He did so by lumping the two together...

 

As you so correctly pointed out its not the same.

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Response to dkf (Reply #53)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:41 PM

58. however, I wasn't discussing his post

I was discussing your apologistic method of conflating the two when they are distinctly different.

If OP jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too to show him how to add a half gainer?

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #58)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 08:34 PM

60. Thank you SemperEadem.. . . . .n/t

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Response to dkf (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:10 PM

48. Siiiiiiggghhh . . . .

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:13 AM

5. Yes, unfortunately, this is not only a problem with the GOP

The focus of the Democrats on the middle class shows that they do not care about poverty.

Your picture is the extreme, but there are many people who are poor. They are not in the middle class.

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Response to Mass (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:47 AM

20. Correct. The "middle" class is the biggest lie consistently perpetuated worldwide -

and as long as we keep saying it the capitalists are laughing all the way to the bank.

"Middle" conjures up a little neighborhood of houses with folks working, kids going to school, medical visits, and a vacation to the shore in the summer. Who has these things? Not someone making 40K per year. Folks at higher incomes (or dual incomes that bring them higher) are the only ones with a prayer of that kind of lifestyle. Instead folks are losing their jobs and homes, can't afford their medical co-pays.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:32 AM

8. Reagan closed state hospitals for the mentally ill.

Then the people were left on the street without the mental or physical means to even keep collecting their Social Security or disability checks. I do not recallso much as a ripple when this happened. Now we have families who have no recourse available to help family members with mental illness and/or drug abuse issues.

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Response to Riley18 (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:47 AM

9. by and large state hospitals for the mentally ill, were terrible abusive

institutions that simply warehoused people. And it wasn't Reagan so much as it was a movement by those with mental illnesses and their allies who drove the deinstitutionalization movement.

And that the safety net is so fucked up is not a matter of state hospitals being closed.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:02 AM

12. If our public institutions are broken, we should fix them....

... not close them, nor turn them over to profiteers.


Lack of service for the mentally ill is disgracing our country.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:47 PM

41. There was not fixing what was happening in those institutions. My great aunt died in one and her

granddaughter did not get out until raygun and that movement you are referring to. The real problem was that too many people were put into them even though they did not belong there. ie. one could be put in there if a family member got 10 people to sign a paper saying they were mentally ill. That is how her granddaughter got there - her husband wanted to get rid of her.

Today my brother lives with his equally mentally ill wife on an acreage that belongs to our family and although our neighbors do not always understand him he is doing well and so is she. Institutions were used to hide problems that families did not want to deal with and they were dumping grounds. So they put the granddaughter in and kept her drugged up for most of her adult life and when she came out she was no longer able to be the person she was when they locked her up. Enough.

There is a simple solution: community based service for the mentally ill that are similar to those given to those with developmental disabilities today.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:27 AM

16. In the pre-Reagan California in which I spent my childhood,

there was no such thing as "homelessness."

And it's a myth that all State hospitals were abusive warehouses. I worked in one for years. The surroundings were spartan, due to budget issues, but the people who worked there were, on the whole, as competent and compassionate as anyone else in the nursing profession.

When the State hospitals were closed, the residents weren't moved into idyllic country homes. They were turned loose on the streets. In which would you prefer to live, if you were gravely disabled: a spartan but comfortable hospital, or under a bridge? Those are the choices.

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Response to Bette Noir (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:43 AM

19. Here they were given a script for their meds, no money and a one-way bus ticket to Chicago

I can remember when they did that like it was yesterday.

Don

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Response to Bette Noir (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:51 PM

42. You are correct about what happened to them after the hospitals were closed down but that did

not happen to the developmentally disabled who also left the institutions because the families who lobbied to close the hospitals also lobbied to get community based services. There was never an equivalent movement on the behalf of the mentally ill.

By the way all the homeless have never been mentally ill. I have been homeless because I do not have enough money to pay for the rent.

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:36 AM

65. All we know is one day in the early 80's our streets were suddenly filled

with the mentally ill. It happened and it mainly happened because of the cuts made under Reagan in 1982. I was in the health industry and lost my job because of those cuts.

Reagan began the dismantling of this country that the current crop wishes to finish.

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Response to Riley18 (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:14 AM

28. I was there when it happened and saw it happen as if in slow-motion with

 

my own eyes. (Had a sibling diagnosed as bipolar in his late adolescence\early adult years.)

I date my own political activism from the Reagan years but not so much around the specific issue of how society should handle its mentally ill, more around larger issues (like the nuclear freeze campaign and defending organized labor).

Of course, now we are seeing the apotheosis of Reagan-Bushism and it's not pretty. Still, "No one could have predicted . . . " Yeah right. I predicted it and so did many other leftists -- we were patronizingly and condescendingly dismissed as 'Nervous Nellie worrywart bookworm Commie pinko intellectuals."

Rant over.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:07 AM

13. My father grew up poor during The Depression and he still characterized

"hoboes" as bums and they choose to be jobless, homeless wanderers. But then again, he was raised in rural Pennsylvania.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:38 AM

17. Anyone who says, "The poor in the US aren't really poor"



is merely saying so to soothe his or her conscience, to justify taking more hefty bonuses, to rationalize stealing more from the worker, to bolster the argument against any sort of safety net for the low income, the disabled, the elderly or children.

Anyone who says "The poor in America aren't really poor," will not be happy (and really doesn't give a red rat's ass about anyone but him or herself) until we are like a true Third World country, with blind children begging at intersections and throngs of humans living in favelas.

Then they will say those blind children WANT to be blind, that it's "working out very well for them" begging drivers for spare change.

Anyone who says "The poor in America aren't really poor," is an an adulterated, greedy, blind, evil ASSHOLE. They think THEY are special and deserve to take, take, take. The rest of us are "just fine," they tell themselves, so they don't have to face the fact that they SUCK as human beings.






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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:48 AM

21. Excellent post - thanks. nt

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:49 AM

22. They are the same a-holes who say "You don't need health insurance, just go to emergency."

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:04 AM

26. Right, because that's "free"



as in "I don't have to contribute to the hospital - they can eat the cost of providing free care to the poor so I don't have to pay an extra dime in taxes for poor people's health care."

"People can live on air! We don't have to pay decent wages or have a social safety net! But I - the rich fuck who gets paid off the backs of the working class - cannot possibly live on air.

"I am SPECIAL and I need gobs of money or you all will suffer! I will take away all those jobs my class have created if I can't rip you off speculating on necessities or if I don't get my gigunda bonuses!!!!"



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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:00 AM

24. The poor in America aren't really poor?

I am reminded of my favorite Marshall Sahlins quote:

The market-industrial system institutes scarcity, in a manner completely unparalleled and to a degree nowhere else approximated. Where production and distribution are arranged through the behavior of prices, and all livelihoods depend on getting and spending, insufficiency of material means becomes the explicit, calculable starting point of all economic activity. ... Consumption is a double tragedy: what begins in inadequacy will end in deprivation.


The Corporate Megalomaniacs are counting on the Hoi Polloi's slavish devotion to rampant consumerism. They expect us to do or say anything to avoid the cognitive dissonance commensurate with realizing the BIG LIE of the wealth carrot meme.

Protestant work ethic, my shiny hiney.

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:01 AM

25. Thank you. Very good.

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:16 AM

29. Generally, the same sort of people who would say, 'Well, you know those folks

 

who stayed in New Orleans before Katrina struck really deserved what happened to them." Trust me, I heard this or a variation of it so many times it made me want to scream.

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:29 AM

32. +1000

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:31 PM

51. And, add to that -

The filthy rich never believe that they are rich enough, so long as there are still funds remaining for the pilfering.


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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:18 AM

30. Anyone who can't afford to participate in politics as an equal is POOR

 

The IMPORTANT definition is whether you can participate in your society as an equal or not. If you have to live as an underclass, you are poor, no matter how much material wealth you have compared to other countries.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:04 PM

46. Hunger is hunger

no matter how you get there. Anyone who doesn't feel sadness and shame from looking at this picture is morally dead.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:25 PM

55. They are better off than they were four years ago.

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:35 PM

56. goes along with the claim that the rich aren't rich. cause they have such high living expenses,

 

big mortgages, etc.

so they're not rich cause the upkeep on the mansions is fierce.

lol.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:54 PM

59. This is awesome news for me.

I thought that when I was living paycheck to paycheck things were rough, but now that the Powers That Be have determined I'm not poor, I'm going yacht shopping.
You are all invited aboard the SS Let Them Eat Cake.

peace,
Noodleboy

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