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What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend?

Welfare Native Americans Mental Health 2014 Research studies

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#1 Cait

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

I've always hated the saying "Money can't buy you happiness."  I mean I hate it, especially when rich people say it.  It's not as if money had no ability to alter lives for the better now is it.  I hate this saying because it's what people say to the poor when they want the poor to shut up.  And, the poor usually do shut up because they have no idea what money does do.  Why?  They don't know because they have never EVER been out form under the day to day, hour by hour stress of having no money.  IMO the can't conceive of a life without the stress.  There may even be an assumption that everyone lives with that kind of stress.

It's true, money doesn't buy happiness, but it does reduce stress.  Stress reduction allows for happiness to ensue.  The reduction of stress reduces mental health problems.  Stress reduction is in my opinion the most important thing for money to do.

How many of us worry about care payments, or car rep[airs.  Roof repairs, plumbing mishaps?  What happens if your washing machines takes the dirt nap?  Do you run right out and buy another one, or do you have to begin going to a laundromat?  It's all about the stress of life.  Money reduces that stress.  It's just the way it is.  Money is a problem solver.  It isn't happiness, but it sure solves problems.

Apparently, I have been right.  :)  And so was Lyndon Johnson and his war on poverty.

http://opinionator.b...ef=opinion&_r=0

Quote

When the casino opened, Professor Costello had already been following 1,420 rural children in the area, a quarter of whom were Cherokee, for four years. That gave her a solid baseline measure. Roughly one-fifth of the rural non-Indians in her study lived in poverty, compared with more than half of the Cherokee. By 2001, when casino profits amounted to $6,000 per person yearly, the number of Cherokee living below the poverty line had declined by half.

[...]


Quote


When Professor Costello published her first study, in 2003, the field of mental health remained on the fence over whether poverty caused psychiatric problems, or psychiatric problems led to poverty. So she was surprised by the results. Even she hadn’t expected the cash to make much difference. “The expectation is that social interventions have relatively small effects,” she told me. “This one had quite large effects.”

She and her colleagues kept following the children. Minor crimes committed by Cherokee youth declined. On-time high school graduation rates improved. And by 2006, when the supplements had grown to about $9,000 yearly per member, Professor Costello could make another observation: The earlier the supplements arrived in a child’s life, the better that child’s mental health in early adulthood.

She’d started her study with three cohorts, ages 9, 11 and 13. When she caught up with them as 19- and 21-year-olds living on their own, she found that those who were youngest when the supplements began had benefited most. They were roughly one-third less likely to develop substance abuse and psychiatric problems in adulthood, compared with the oldest group of Cherokee children and with neighboring rural whites of the same age.




[...]

Quote


What precisely did the income change? Ongoing interviews with both parents and children suggested one variable in particular. The money, which amounted to between one-third and one-quarter of poor families’ income at one point, seemed to improve parenting quality.

Vickie L. Bradley, a tribe member and tribal health official, recalls the transition. Before the casino opened and supplements began, employment was often sporadic. Many Cherokee worked “hard and long” during the summer, she told me, and then hunkered down when jobs disappeared in the winter. The supplements eased the strain of that feast-or-famine existence, she said. Some used the money to pay a few months’ worth of bills in advance. Others bought their children clothes for school, or even Christmas presents. Mostly, though, the energy once spent fretting over such things was freed up. That “helps parents be better parents,” she said.

A parallel study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also highlights the insidious effect of poverty on parenting. The Family Life Project, now in its 11th year, has followed nearly 1,300 mostly poor rural children in North Carolina and Pennsylvania from birth. Scientists quantify maternal education, income and neighborhood safety, among other factors. The stressors work cumulatively, they’ve found. The more they bear down as a whole, the more parental nurturing and support, as measured by observers, declines.

By age 3, measures of vocabulary, working memory and executive function show an inverse relationship with the stressors experienced by parents.


Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:43 PM

The quote that pops into my mind immediately on this subject is Ben Affleck's character in the movie: Boiler room. "People who say Money isn't everything, don't have any. They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the grin on my F***ing face, ear to ear baby!"

Now, back to the topic....I really can't related to the poor. Thankfully, I've never been in that situation personally. So I can only imagine how difficult it is. I've also never been rich, unfortunately. And while being rich and having means most likely does relieve stress...I'm fairly certain that it also comes with it's own unique stresses.

A good poem on this issue is by Edwin Arlington Robinson


"Richard Cory"

  Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from head to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
  
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But he still fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.


And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
and admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.


So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Edited by Lord of the Sword, 20 January 2014 - 08:59 PM.

"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#3 Omega

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

Everybody has their own problems, and most people's range of horribleness is defined by the worst thing they've ever experienced personally. It's important to recognize that, subjectively, the horrors of being rich are just as bad to the person experiencing them as the horrors of being poor are to the person experiencing them. It's important to recognize the validity of others' lives, experiences, and perspectives, because it helps us form a community and work together.

And why do we care about working together? To solve the objective problems. Because by any objective measure, being poor is vastly worse than being rich.

The subjective and the objective both matter.

#4 Spectacles

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:49 AM

I grew up in a poor neighborhood. My dad had a steady job, the best he could get with his limited education. But both he and my mom had grown up knowing hunger and Appalachian-style poverty: on a mountain with no electricity and no indoor plumbing, etc.

So to them, of paramount importance was providing their kids with a stable home (indoor plumbing and electricity were their jacuzis) and a steady income so that my brother and I were not hungry and could study to make our lives better.

In that respect, we were a "wealthy" family in a poor neighborhood. Some of my playmates were chronically dirty and hungry. When it wasn't cold out, Dad always sat on the porch and smoked and read the newspaper after dinner. Two of his regular visitors were the younger brothers of my playmates: always coated in at least one layer of dirt, filthy shorts and no shirt or shoes, runny noses. Dad would give them treats. He explained to me once (because I was a kid and took offense that he was giving them some of my cake, cookies, etc.), "Them kids is hungry. I cain't stand to see it. Yo daddy was like that when he was a little boy." I shut the hell up and started sharing more of my stuff with them.

Their oldest sister, Corliss, was 16, old enough to drop out of school, and she did. Why? Embarrassment. She was smart. She read all the time. But the humiliation of poverty made it hard for her to go to school with kids who had more than three outfits and one pair of scuffed up shoes. At 16, she already looked like a little old lady who was disappearing into herself.

Corliss told me one day that ladies from a church came by to visit them. This happened a lot--"visitation." Church ladies would come to your house and make you feel bad about not going to church by sweetly inviting you--but you knew that folks like you weren't really welcome. And if you did show up, the church ladies wouldn't notice you were there and someone would stare at your dress and size you up in a most un-Christian, snobby way. Visitation was much more about making the church ladies feel superior.

Anyway, Corliss told me, trembling, that the church ladies brought them a bag of groceries and in it was a box of Kotex for Corliss and they asked her if she knew how to use them, "As if I didn't have enough sense or personal hygiene to know what to do when I get my period." They meant well. But in that moment, I saw how hard it was to be that poor: the countless slights, real and perceived.

All of this happened, by the way, in the mid-60s, before LBJ's Great Society. This family was just one in my neighborhood who struggled--or who gave up.

With few exceptions, the kids I played with grew up to live pretty miserable lives and pass those lives down to their kids. Some were able to find mentors that helped them break the cycle of poverty.

Poverty is shaming and stressful as hell. Literal hell. Not everyone who is in it is in it because of some moral or intellectual lack on their part. But some are. Many of their kids can be saved, however, if we give a damn and stop bitching about SNAP and WIC and other programs that help them out. "Here, take this offering of help, you lazy, sorry people" is not exactly helpful.

That's why, most importantly, children of poor people can be released from the cycle of poverty if their parents are given a sense of ownership/responsibility in whatever endeavor provides them with the money. Because, truthfully, there is something dis-empowering about charity, especially the way we attach such shame to it.

The cool thing about the casino dividends is that this is something the tribe earns, so its members feel good about receiving them. They feel successful and hopeful. It's a reward for something they and their tribe do. It isn't charity.

If we could find a way to duplicate that experience in poor communities around the country, it would be interesting to see if the results compared. I suspect they would.

In other words, the money is important. So is pride.

Edited by Spectacles, 21 January 2014 - 08:51 AM.

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#5 Nonny

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

View PostCait, on 20 January 2014 - 07:40 PM, said:

It's true, money doesn't buy happiness, but it does reduce stress.  Stress reduction allows for happiness to ensue.  The reduction of stress reduces mental health problems.  Stress reduction is in my opinion the most important thing for money to do.

How many of us worry about care payments, or car rep[airs.  Roof repairs, plumbing mishaps?  What happens if your washing machines takes the dirt nap?  Do you run right out and buy another one, or do you have to begin going to a laundromat?  It's all about the stress of life.  Money reduces that stress.  It's just the way it is.  Money is a problem solver.  It isn't happiness, but it sure solves problems.

Apparently, I have been right.  :)  And so was Lyndon Johnson and his war on poverty....

I can't help but notice that Cait is talking about real people.  While Affleck is a real person, the character whose lines he delivered may or may not be.  And whether Richard Cory was or was not, I can't help notice that the poet doesn't give a reason for his suicide.  

I have considered the possibility that the poet was just another officious busy body guilting poor people for desiring a better lot in life, but that's the song, not the poem, and now that I have googled it and read the poet's s-i-l's idea of who the probable subject was, and who not only did not kill himself but died impoverished, I'm still wondering what it has to do with pulling people out of poverty and watching their spirits soar.

View PostLord of the Sword, on 20 January 2014 - 08:43 PM, said:

The quote that pops into my mind immediately on this subject is Ben Affleck's character in the movie: Boiler room. "People who say Money isn't everything, don't have any. They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the grin on my F***ing face, ear to ear baby!"

Now, back to the topic....I really can't related to the poor. Thankfully, I've never been in that situation personally. So I can only imagine how difficult it is. I've also never been rich, unfortunately. And while being rich and having means most likely does relieve stress...I'm fairly certain that it also comes with it's own unique stresses.

A good poem on this issue is by Edwin Arlington Robinson


"Richard Cory"

I can't help but notice that when my father put a bullet through his head IRL, he was not a rich man.  And when I was living in my car, the low point in the years of poverty while I slowly recovered from an injury that never should have resulted in permanent physical disability (yes, I am one of the many who lost everything due to lack of good health care, and whose recovery was then further hampered by complete lack of health care due to loss of job), I couldn't help but notice that the stress of having to find a safe place to park every night, and the terror of losing the car and all possessions in it due to some kind of official interference, took over my life for the duration.

Stress from lack of enough money to live on?  I know it, I experienced it, and even 12 years after the VA rescued me with service-connection and comp&pen, I still feel it as a ghost stress.  It's not easy to overcome, either, when some folks are dead set against other folks getting the help we need, and have already managed to shut the government down once in recent years.
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#6 Cait

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

Here is the thing, I understand the whole American "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" culture.  American was indeed built on that.  People immigrated here with practically nothing, hoping for a better life.  They worked hard and many, many were successful.  It is a wonderful model for what can happen with some courage, drive, and dedication.  All the Horatio Alger stories are inspirational.

But, these stories happened in a time when there was plenty of room for expansion.  Plenty of uncharted places to go, make your mark, and make a life.  A young person leaving home to go make his or her fortune simply has no place to go where you can live on your own ingenuity and determination.  There are no places left to homestead. There are no open spaces where a man can just go live off the land on some mountain top.  This kind of country simply does NOT exist any longer.

There was a time when extreme poverty in a urban center was not a dead end.  You could take off, and try and make your fortune.  There was a whole country to explore and conquer.  Now?  There is no place to go.  If you try to go live in the mountains, the park rangers will arrest and fine you.  If you live on the streets, there is no north forty to go off and start a fire to unfurl your bedroll and get some sleep.

The pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a wonderful part of our culture, but it is gone.  Another kind of self-motivated success has taken its place, but the difference [besides the changes in technology and opportunities] is that space is limited.  Resources are limited.  Capitalism works wonderful as long as resources remain constant or are expanding.  Once resources become limited or monopolized, capitalism is a form of abuse.  I'm sorry if that offends anyone.  I don't know of a better system, but the evidence has been clear since at least the middle of the last century.  Capitalism relies on continued poverty.  Counts on it for low wage workers who are desperate.  Counts on the greed of the rich and powerful to support the abuse in order to maintain their own power.

There was a time, when we could all escape the abuse of landowners and sweat shops, by simply putting our thumbs out and heading west.  Now there is no place to go.  The world stopped expanding a long time ago, and we failed to take into account the changes that contraction wrought upon our culture.  We need to look at them.  We need to accept what is no longer, and face what is.

This article is  a very interesting example of a community taking resources to care for the impoverished and it seems to have very good results.  Which is the whole point in the end, to lift those in abject poverty out of that cycle both physically and emotionally.  I think it will be an interesting model to look at over more time.  We need new ideas for handling the problems of poverty. Simply patting someone one the back and telling him or her to work hard and get ahead isn't enough any longer.  It was once, but that is a long gone time in our history.

We don't need to become socialists or communists, [which both may be as outmoded as capitalism] but we need to think outside the box of "capitalism "do or die" as well.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#7 Cait

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:50 PM

http://www.housingwo...tion/index.html

Utah [save the jokes] has come up with a new idea for homelessness, and they are [according to reports] really making progress in eliminating homelessness.  The above is their website on homelessness.


Quote


For Utah, the policy focus is on the distal ends of the homeless spectrum: prevention and mitigation. It is at these extremes that funding and policy design has been targeted in an effort to prevent people from experiencing homelessness and to care for those who, left
on their own, would suffer homelessness indefinitely.

Preventing Homelessness


Prevention programs offer support prior to the loss of housing such as rental and utility
payment assistance for low-income families. Discharge plans ensure housing connections are made for individuals leaving institutions, such as jails, hospitals, and substance treatment facilities. For those currently in shelter, treatment of homelessness takes the form of rapid re-housing or placement into housing
with concurrent supportive services.

Ending Homelessness

For those who have been homeless for extended periods, and have a disabling condition, re-housing interventions provide safe, stable housing options. The State of Utah has adopted the Housing First approach which provides permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals so they can focus on stabilizing their disabling condition in a safe and supportive environment. Here, housing is not contingent on participation in supportive treatment programs or an expectation of abstention from drugs or alcohol, but on the basics of good tenancy. Residents are guaranteed stable housing as long they are good stewards of their personal and shared housing
areas and maintain good relations with other tenants, case managers, and property managers.


Guiding Utah is a "10-year action plan" developed by Utah’s State Homeless Coordinating Committee:
  • End chronic homelessness by moving people off the streets and into permanent, supported housing
  • Expand access to affordable housing and reduce overall homelessness
  • Prevent homelessness by easing people’s transition from domestic violence shelters, jails, prisons, mental health institutions and foster care
  • Create a statewide database to chart outcomes and drive change

Taking their cue from this blueprint, local committees in 12 regions throughout the state have developed their own HousingWorks plans, tailored to their unique demographics and social needs. Many have launched locally-grown experiments, which are already paying dividends. This centrally-lead, locally developed approach brings coordination without imposing mandates from the top down.



http://www.nationswe...elessness-2015/


Quote


Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 78 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. How’d they do it?

The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.



Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#8 FarscapeOne

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:21 PM

Interesting idea, and great in concept, but if they get to keep the apartments even after failing, I guarantee a LOT of people will not be trying very hard at all because they get it for free if they wait long enough.

At some point, the government will see that, and the "no strings attached" policy will become something similar to the Sanctuary Districts from the STAR TREK:  DEEP SPACE NINE two parter "PAST TENSE".

#9 Cait

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:26 PM

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View PostFarscapeOne, on 22 January 2014 - 12:21 PM, said:

Interesting idea, and great in concept, but if they get to keep the apartments even after failing, I guarantee a LOT of people will not be trying very hard at all because they get it for free if they wait long enough.

This.  This is not only not born out by these studies or the Utah program, but is the same kind of "the poor are too lazy and looking for a free ride" nonsense that the GOP has been spreading since the days of Reagan.  

The Utah program is perfect because it is based on pure economics.  It is cheaper for the state of Utah to give them an apartment than it is to leave them on the street.  Saving taxpayers money is the result.  What possible problem could any taxpayer have if a program is saving $$?  Or do people just hate the idea of anyone getting some help even if that help is cheaper in the long run?

The mistaken idea, that people will stop working and trying if they get any help at all or anything for free, is a LIE.  There are millions of people who recover and go on to leave healthy and productive lives with some help.  There are millions of people who also struggle at low paying jobs and menial jobs and never just give up to get a free ride, even though in some instances the low wages are equal to the free ride.  To suggest this, is to continue to spread the falsehood, that the "poor feel entitled to your money", and that is false.  That idea was part of a political campaign long ago and the idea found a home in the GOP.  

Are some people lazy?  yes.  You can see them everyday in jobs, collecting a paycheck, and pointing a finger at the homeless.   Laziness has nothing to do with poverty and joblessness.  Laziness has nothing to do with getting some help.  Laziness has nothing to do with getting some medical care.  Laziness itself isn't even a pejorative unless you  make it one.  Ever think, "maybe what you call laziness, is hopelessness to another."  And that when you give someone some help, you go a long way to restoring their hope, and that is the basis for the success of these programs.  Restoring HOPE.

In any event, in Utah, restoring that hope saves taxpayers money and reduces the crimes and public health issues because people are not homeless.  And that is the job of government.

I am so sick and tired of hearing the meme, "just watch and see what the poor do if they get some free stuff".  Even if there were a problem, it cannot be reduced to "They are too lazy and think they are entitled to free stuff" the way some political parties would have us believe.

What it is though, is a planned attack against the poor to vilify them.  It is a planned attack to marginalize them.  It is outright prejudice and discrimination, and should have no place in our discourse. The poor are not sub-human.  They are not less than we are.  They are not morally bankrupt and they are not parasites.  They are our reflections.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#10 Elara

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:06 PM

If I could add another 6 kudos to Cait's post (#9), I would. I am so tired of hearing people say that the poor are poor because they are lazy. Every income level has lazy people, greedy people that hold their hands out for more when given something, I'm sure there are rich people out there that never held a job a day in their life.

Speaking as someone who has lived most of her life below poverty level, I refused any help until I had my son. Then I had to, but only for a short while. I got a horrible job, cruel boss, lazy co-workers who left their jobs for me to complete, but it was a pay check and it supported my son and I. I did that so I wouldn't need help, but that job led to additional destruction of my joints, which with RA, that was the last thing I needed. I stayed in that job longer than anyone has (I know, I check help wanted ads), when I had to ask my co-workers to step up and do their share, I got chewed out by the boss, but still I stayed.
In the end, the damage done to me was too great and I had to go on disability, which I hate more than I can say. More than anything, I want a job, but with my health issues, it would have to be a really good, really easy job. I am not lazy, I've never been lazy. When I have a job to do, I don't stop until it's done, even if I am in pain, I keep going. So to just lump every poor person into this idea that we would just take free stuff and hold our hands out for more, really annoys me. Yes, some will, just as some people in every other income level will, but that doesn't mean that helping people pick themselves up and live better lives, won't work.
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#11 FarscapeOne

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

I did not say ALL of them would end up taking the lazy route.  I said a number of them will likely do that.  And you all know that is true because it is seen every day in the workforce.  I encounter that every day I work, and have so my entire life.  I don't watch those ads and campaigns you are referring to... I go with my own two eyes.  So I should just simply ignore what I've been seeing all these years?

#12 Tricia

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:32 PM

You can believe what you've seen or heard from your own experience but the key is knowing that that is not the norm, not anywhere near a majority of the people.  Most people don't try to 'work the system'
(of course those types that abuse the system are usually the ones reported on in the news and like to brag about taking advantage of the system.)

But that's my experience and I have seen those who take abuse the system.  I used to work in retail, specifically a grocery store and saw those who bought out of season fruit and pricey cuts of meat.  But I also saw those who were careful with their food stamp money, shopping carefully for the lower prices and using coupons.And they were the majority

Maybe there will be those  who take advantage of and abuse the Utah homeless program that Cait mentioned but I think that the majority will use it as a hand-up instead of a hand-out.  But then again that's my belief born of my own observations and experience.

Edited by Tricia, 22 January 2014 - 05:36 PM.

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#13 Lin731

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:48 PM

View PostFarscapeOne, on 22 January 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

I did not say ALL of them would end up taking the lazy route.  I said a number of them will likely do that.  And you all know that is true because it is seen every day in the workforce.  I encounter that every day I work, and have so my entire life.  I don't watch those ads and campaigns you are referring to... I go with my own two eyes.  So I should just simply ignore what I've been seeing all these years?
This is true, just as I'm sure you have worked with people whose main "job" was to do as little work as possible for that paycheck they didn't really earn. I have seen welfare recipients who game the system and ones who are actually working fulltime but are paid so poorly they can't pay their bills on what they're making. Perhaps if we stopped treating paying a decent wage like a dirty word, we'd have fewer people needing help. I see so many people busting their butts for crap wages and being told "well get a better job". Where? Companies bread and butter is low balling workers pay and there are plenty of folks (many of them poor themselves) defending these companies right to "keep what they've earned". Really? Did they go out their and build that product or provide that service all by themselves or did the folks working for them generate that wealth? So where is their right to earn a living wage? The rich have most of the wealth of this country while the rest of us fight over the scrapes and demonize people with next to nothing so that CEO, corporate board and share holders can reap the benefits. At the rate this country is going, there's gonna be a class war, and not in the figurative sense either.

Edited by Lin731, 22 January 2014 - 05:49 PM.

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#14 Cait

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:52 PM

View PostFarscapeOne, on 22 January 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

I did not say ALL of them would end up taking the lazy route.  I said a number of them will likely do that.  And you all know that is true because it is seen every  So I should just simply ignore what I've been seeing all these years?

I question "how" people interpret what they see with their own two eyes.  Each of us evaluates the things we see, based on our own experiences and conditioning.  But, what we think we see, isn't always the truth.

I have a story, I think I have told before.

I used to take the bus home when I was in High School.  I rode with a friend.  We used to go to a bus stop where a homeless man often sat.  It was unusual back then to see any homeless people.  We called them bums to be honest.  I did too at first.  My friend used to comment on how he had done that to himself because of laziness, drinking, foolishness, etc.  That any money we gave him would go straight to a bottle for the day.

That man sat there in his humiliation so quietly.  He never said a word, and at some point I actually looked at him instead of averting my eyes so I didn't have to see him.  He was barefooted and his feet were calloused and covered with open canker sores.  Once I saw it I could not see how the poor man could walk.  There were no hospitals to take in people like this back then.  No emergency rooms required to see to emergencies like this.  He simply lived with it--day after day.

I mentioned it to my friend.  I mean I was so worried about the man.  Once you really look, how can you not be concerned?  She said, it wasn't her job to fix every person who ruined their own lives.  I said to her that a Christian would help him regardless.  She said, the man didn't deserve her help.

I was a devout Mormon at the time.  And I mean crazy religious.  I went to church every morning before high school, and  I could not shake the image of the man.  I told her, that we could never know if this man wasn't our opportunity to show compassion.  I believed it was.  She did not.

What I did for the man is irrelevant.  I tried to help.  I gave him some money and some items to try and help.  It was a teenagers kind of help, nothing spectacular.  He disappeared from the bus stop after I did these things.  I never saw him again.  To this day I do not know what happened.  But, I do know this, if he had found a chump who gave him handouts he would have camped out on that bus stop forever.  "If" that was what he was all about.  But, he didn't.  He left his spot, and his freebies.

I always wondered if by really looking at him, I had somehow added to his humiliation.  I never once thought that he was trying to con me.

So, I wonder what people actually see in cases like this, and unfortunately for both you and me, we can NEVER really know what we are looking at because what motivates a person [laziness, compassion, humiliation] is an internal characteristic. It cannot be viewed externally.  And, to pretend that we know what is in the hearts and minds of others is hubris.  

What I decided a long time ago was to go with the best interpretation of what I think I see and understand.  And by that I mean, I'd rather give help to a freeloader, even if he is conning me, than deny help to someone who desperately needs a little hope and kindness.  And, if that makes me a bleeding heart liberal, so be it.  I's rather be that than be a Ayn Rand wanna be.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#15 Cait

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:59 PM

BTW, this is a great discussion.  I want to thank all the participants.  ALL of them.  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#16 Elara

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

View PostFarscapeOne, on 22 January 2014 - 05:03 PM, said:

I did not say ALL of them would end up taking the lazy route.  I said a number of them will likely do that.  And you all know that is true because it is seen every day in the workforce.  I encounter that every day I work, and have so my entire life.  I don't watch those ads and campaigns you are referring to... I go with my own two eyes.  So I should just simply ignore what I've been seeing all these years?

No, you didn't say "all", but you did say "a lot". I give you credit for not saying all, but to say a lot indicates that you believe a majority or at least almost a majority of them will just wait for, and expect, another hand out.
I was one person doing part of the jobs of 2 other co-workers, so I know about lazy people, but those two actually had money, meaning their families were quite well off. They had nothing to lose if they lost their jobs, so they didn't care. They got their raises on time, and got more raises than I did, because my shift was the "easy" shift. Neither one of them spoke up, they just took their raise. So yes, I saw it, too. But again, their families have money, when they left the job, they never had to worry about money.

Greed, and taking free stuff instead of working for it, is not limited to poor people, it's just some people, period.

View PostFarscapeOne, on 22 January 2014 - 12:21 PM, said:

Interesting idea, and great in concept, but if they get to keep the apartments even after failing, I guarantee a LOT of people will not be trying very hard at all because they get it for free if they wait long enough.

El
~ blue crystal glows, the dark side unseen, sparkles in scant light, from sun to planet, to me in between ~


I want a job in HRC's "shadow" cabinet. Good pay, really easy hours, lots of time off. Can't go wrong.

"You have a fair and valid point here. I've pointed out, numerous times, that the Left's or Democrats always cry "Racist" whenever someone disagrees with them. I failed to realize that the Right or Republicans do the same thing with "Liberal"." ~ LotS

#17 Elara

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

View PostCait, on 22 January 2014 - 05:59 PM, said:

BTW, this is a great discussion.  I want to thank all the participants.  ALL of them.  :)

It is. :nod:  And the articles were an interesting read, I hope others see what has been done and start to build on it, so that one day we don't have homeless, don't have poor people, don't have anyone struggling to simply survive.

By the way, Cait. You seem to have changed. ;) I always thought teal would make a good bar color when I was a WD. :D
El
~ blue crystal glows, the dark side unseen, sparkles in scant light, from sun to planet, to me in between ~


I want a job in HRC's "shadow" cabinet. Good pay, really easy hours, lots of time off. Can't go wrong.

"You have a fair and valid point here. I've pointed out, numerous times, that the Left's or Democrats always cry "Racist" whenever someone disagrees with them. I failed to realize that the Right or Republicans do the same thing with "Liberal"." ~ LotS

#18 Cait

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

View PostElara, on 22 January 2014 - 09:46 PM, said:


By the way, Cait. You seem to have changed. ;) I always thought teal would make a good bar color when I was a WD. :D

Yes, I asked if I could stop moderating and keep working on the Archive.  LoP was kind enough to say yes, and Orph created the new designation.  I'm the Librarian now.  :D

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#19 UoR11

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:15 PM

Sorry I've been too busy to write this up the last few days, but here goes:

Giving money to poor people helps quite a bit. But the key is to just give them the money, not set up elaborate programs with specific subsidies. There's several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that making people spend all the time getting all the various programs' forms filled out takes up so much time, they effectively get shut out of trying to work their way out of poverty. Related to this is that the cut offs on programs are such that the net benefit of working is close to zero, as they lose out on programs as quickly as they gain income. So how do we fix this?

Just give every adult in the US $1000 a month, no questions asked. Kill off all the rest of the welfare programs with the exception of SSI. Now you give people $12k a year, which while not great is enough to scrape by on. And anything they earn past this is still theirs. Yes, some people are going to do stupid things. Yes, there will be the occasional edge case. But trying to deal with all of those leads to the unworkable mess we currently have.
Yes, I am an economist. Yes, I do frequently sing "Can't Buy Me Love". No, I don't see any contradiction there.

#20 Elara

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:52 PM

View PostUoR11, on 26 January 2014 - 11:15 PM, said:

Giving money to poor people helps quite a bit. But the key is to just give them the money, not set up elaborate programs with specific subsidies. There's several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that making people spend all the time getting all the various programs' forms filled out takes up so much time, they effectively get shut out of trying to work their way out of poverty. Related to this is that the cut offs on programs are such that the net benefit of working is close to zero, as they lose out on programs as quickly as they gain income. So how do we fix this?

Just give every adult in the US $1000 a month, no questions asked. Kill off all the rest of the welfare programs with the exception of SSI. Now you give people $12k a year, which while not great is enough to scrape by on. And anything they earn past this is still theirs. Yes, some people are going to do stupid things. Yes, there will be the occasional edge case. But trying to deal with all of those leads to the unworkable mess we currently have.

Not to mention the confusion with the programs and which one a person/family qualifies for, and why one case worker says yes, while another says no. It's not a fun system.
But the biggest one that keeps people in these programs, is losing help if you save money or earn a little more. When my son was getting SS because his father died, any bit of money that I saved had to be proven that it wasn't from his SS or because he received SS. If I couldn't prove it was my money, I would have had to pay it to Social Security.
Before that, because there was no child support from his father, and my job paid little to nothing, we received a small amount of food stamps. When I was given a  0.25 raise, we lost the food stamps.
The way it is set up, guarantees that some people can never get out of the system.
El
~ blue crystal glows, the dark side unseen, sparkles in scant light, from sun to planet, to me in between ~


I want a job in HRC's "shadow" cabinet. Good pay, really easy hours, lots of time off. Can't go wrong.

"You have a fair and valid point here. I've pointed out, numerous times, that the Left's or Democrats always cry "Racist" whenever someone disagrees with them. I failed to realize that the Right or Republicans do the same thing with "Liberal"." ~ LotS



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