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2012 U.S. Presidential Debates
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10593
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ember778 wrote:
If they really wanted to get out of poverty then they would try harder. I think the notion of being on unemployment for two years is bullshit.

People in India are poor as fuck. They hardly even get to eat enough and they still study their asses off and try and pull themselves out of poverty.

The more you give people the more they expect. Why should they try if they can just live off the government. I believe that giving benefits to those who don't try to do anything for society is further enslaving them not helping them.

I think this is a dramatic oversimplification of a complex issue, and by making it oversimplified you're lumping a large group of hardworking poor in with a relatively small group of lazy poor. This isn't simply a question of what people want, or how hard they're willing to work. If that were the case then everyone who worked hard would be a millionaire, but they aren't. That's because there are a lot of issues involved besides "what you want" and "how hard you work" that influence how successful you are.

For instance, children who come from low socioeconomic status (SES) families are less likely to have insurance and less likely to be physically healthy than higher SES children. Poorer health is linked to less academic achievement. In a related vein, low SES children are less likely to eat nutritious meals (second link) and nutrition is linked to academic success in adolescents. So right off the bat children from low SES families are at a disadvantage, and that's to say nothing of environmental factors (violent neighborhoods are also not conducive to educational success, for instance). These hurdles cannot be overcome simply by wanting or working hard. Poor nutrition can't be overcome by wanting and working hard.

Indeed, a variety of studies have shown that economic mobility is low in the US, meaning that much of the success of a child is tied directly to the SES of their parents, not how hard they work. In Canada only about 20% of a child's SES was determined by that of their parents, rather than their own efforts. In the US it's almost half. Meaning we have very low mobility - you're likely to die in the SES into which you're born, no matter what you do. This is a policy problem, tied to things like minimum wage and health care, which are beyond the control of individuals. In fact, that OECD link (second link, this paragraph) says flat out, "Redistributive and income support policies are associated with greater intergenerational social mobility." That means welfare increases the chances someone born poor will achieve a higher SES, not lowers it.

This is just scratching the surface. I could go on for a long time. Issues of access to information and resources (poor kids go to poor schools, don't learn how to use computers, makes it harder to find and apply for scholarships); the effects of peer pressure and low opportunity environments increase antisocial behavior, like violence; the effects of parenting styles on mental health (active vs. passive coping mechanisms, which are linked to academic success; depression and anxiety scores, etc.); the utility of high SES social contacts in opening doors...

This is complicated stuff. Sure, saying, "if you don't want to be poor, work harder," is easy - it gets you off the hook for having to worry about the poor, because you can just write them off as wastrels. It's just totally out of touch with reality.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10593
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, because people like anecdotal evidence, I was born poor. The reason I'm not poor now is because I was supported by a variety of social systems that enabled me to overcome barriers. I lived for several years in Canada, and having universal health care helped me stay healthy as I bounced from job to job before going back to school. I was able to attend college for essentially free (ended with $4,500 in debt), because my state is relatively generous when it comes to education spending. Had those resources not been available, I couldn't have afforded to get my education.

I feel strongly about giving back now because I know I didn't succeed on my own. No one does. I succeeded because I had a great family, dedicated teachers who pushed me, counselors who helped me find scholarships, administrators who rearranged budgets, and professors who fostered my potential. I'm able to whip your ass on issues of social policy now because the educational community in my state is phenomenally devoted to students. Yes, I worked hard, and it paid off, but my social mobility didn't spring from that. It came from a web of personal, professional, and social factors that combined to create opportunities, which only then was I able to work hard to achieve.
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Bart



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 1572

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen - Because he knows what he's talking about.

I'm from Belgium and very glad of that. It meant I got out of University with both a very good diploma and no debt. Being from Belgium also means I'll probably be paying quite a bit of taxes, but I know where that money is going to go and how it makes my part the world one of the best to live in, so I won't be complaining.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1790
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Also, because people like anecdotal evidence, I was born poor. The reason I'm not poor now is because I was supported by a variety of social systems that enabled me to overcome barriers. I lived for several years in Canada, and having universal health care helped me stay healthy as I bounced from job to job before going back to school. I was able to attend college for essentially free (ended with $4,500 in debt), because my state is relatively generous when it comes to education spending. Had those resources not been available, I couldn't have afforded to get my education.


Hm. By contrast, I grew up as a military brat in family of four on enlistee pay post-Vietnam, when being in the military wasn't nearly as revered as it is now. Our family was poor too, but we traded moving wherever and whenever Uncle Sam wanted us to for the healthcare and housing they supplied, which were both better than nothing, but far from extravagant. My mother worked waitressing jobs wherever she could find work to help make ends meet (sidenote: it was impossible for her to find work for the few years we lived in Utah unless she wanted to convert to Mormonism -- "What tabernacle do you go to?" was a question, delivered oh-so-casually, in every interview. Utah can fuck right off.), and she and my father sacrificed much to make sure my sister and I got what we needed to have a good childhood, and then some.

I was awarded an ROTC scholarship for my grades in high school, but had it negated because I couldn't pass the eye exam, and I excelled at every other aspect of the physical and fitness exams. So instead of going into an ROTC unit at a state college I enrolled at a smaller college and received minimal tuition assistance from the state of Virginia that I qualified for specifically because I was 'handicapped,' and I deeply resented what I felt was pity money. Between that and having lost my primary motivation to even be in college (I wanted to be the first in my family to be a commissioned officer), I left after three semesters, quite disgusted with the experience and more than a little in debt to boot. I worked as a minimum wage dishwasher for a few years until my father retired and we moved back home to NH, then I found an entry level position in a money-handling company and over time worked my way into as a regional manager despite not being able to drive at night. I'm not wealthy, but I own a condo and two vehicles, and can pay my bills while putting over 15% of my pay into my 401k and a savings account. I'm doing better than my parents did.

I don't consider myself to be all that special, so it's hard for me to think that my accomplishments are out of reach for most people.

I'm not trying to counter anything Dogen said, just tossing my own anecdotal evidence onto the pile.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have respect for anyone who is willing to work hard, so I've got nothing bad to say about your experience. What I am saying is that being poor is not necessarily the result of being lazy (you describe your family as poor... were they lazy?), and that in so describing the poor one is being intentionally ignorant of other factors. It assumes that all you need to know is someone's SES to know whether they're a hard worker. Demonizing people who scrape by because they scrape by is cruel.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1790
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
I have respect for anyone who is willing to work hard, so I've got nothing bad to say about your experience.


Thanks, but my point is that I don't know that I've worked exceptionally hard. It's a pretty subjective metric, don't you think? From my perspective I merely got a job and stuck with it, learned as I went, and eventually worked my way into a better position. Is that 'working hard'? The company for which I work has locations across the continental U.S., and I did do some traveling when the company needed it, which allowed me to be scrutinized by other members of company management all the way up to the company Vice President (now President and soon to be owner), and I think that was a key element of my advancement.

Quote:
What I am saying is that being poor is not necessarily the result of being lazy (you describe your family as poor... were they lazy?), and that in so describing the poor one is being intentionally ignorant of other factors. It assumes that all you need to know is someone's SES to know whether they're a hard worker. Demonizing people who scrape by because they scrape by is cruel.


Indisputably. I'm not necessarily agreeing with or defending Ember's posts: to my shame, I see in his posts more than a little of how I used to post here. Matters are not nearly so simple as he is trying to assert. Certainly there exists a group of people who genuinely need help, but I think we need better ways to target just those people so that as little wealth can be taken by force from others as possible.
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eureka00



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 1989
Location: Pretzel City

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and I deeply resented what I felt was pity money.


I loved what Dogen said about his personal experience, but this is another point to bring up. When I was on unemployment for a year because my teaching position was cut due to a lack of state funding, I felt just like that quote. I HATED it! I was ASHAMED! To be honest, I was depressed through a lot of that year. Even though I had no reason to feel ashamed because losing my job wasn't my fault.

Now that I'm back to teaching preschool again, I see a lot of what I felt on unemployment in the parents of my children who are on welfare, food stamps, and wic. They are thankful their children are being fed, but they are ashamed. Most of them don't even like to admit to me that they are on these programs. I would't like to admit that I don't make enough to feed my family.

Everyone getting govt assistance is NOT a welfare queen for god's sake. Yes, welfare queens exist, but they are not the norm. I know these people and work with them. These are not horrible people because they want to feed and clothe their children while they go to school to get a better job.

And also yes, I have a vested interest in govt programs because I run a Preschool for All program funded by the State of Illinois. It's a free preschool program for at-risk children. We provide experiences and field trips for these students that most would otherwise never get to experience. These programs WORK, preschool is VALUABLE. I chose teaching because I wanted to give back to the community and honor the teachers who taught me. /soapbox
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9456

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ember778 wrote:
Lets go back seven thousand years ago. What exactly did warriors fight for? They fought for glory and to be remembered. Kings were still materially selfish. Anyone who had any ability to gain something would pursue it. Maybe material selfishness has increased with material goods being higher in demand, but people have always been selfish.


1. Are you actually dumb enough to use kings' motivations as your treatise on what 'merican values are underpinned on

2. Warriors fought for scratch, or were conscripted and/or slaves most of the time. Extremely few fought for glory.

3. Seven thousand years ago is 5000 bc. I can already call you on your bullshit and know that you know not even the names of any supposed neolithic 'kings' or how things worked for leaders and warriors in, say, the badari or proto-austronesian cultures.

tell us more about human nature according to bullshit historical impressions embe
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9456

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also unemplyment benefits get more people back in the workforce faster than they would do without, and this has been corroborated by pretty much every comprehensive social study into this, hope that helps.

/edit well I think I am derailing from what is otherwise a good page here, I SHOULD NOT
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Michael



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 10648

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nonsense Sam! We've now gained some useful insights into the behaviour and motivations of 'merican forum kings Wink
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Ember778



Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Also, because people like anecdotal evidence, I was born poor. The reason I'm not poor now is because I was supported by a variety of social systems that enabled me to overcome barriers. I lived for several years in Canada, and having universal health care helped me stay healthy as I bounced from job to job before going back to school. I was able to attend college for essentially free (ended with $4,500 in debt), because my state is relatively generous when it comes to education spending. Had those resources not been available, I couldn't have afforded to get my education.

I feel strongly about giving back now because I know I didn't succeed on my own. No one does. I succeeded because I had a great family, dedicated teachers who pushed me, counselors who helped me find scholarships, administrators who rearranged budgets, and professors who fostered my potential. I'm able to whip your ass on issues of social policy now because the educational community in my state is phenomenally devoted to students. Yes, I worked hard, and it paid off, but my social mobility didn't spring from that. It came from a web of personal, professional, and social factors that combined to create opportunities, which only then was I able to work hard to achieve.


I never said anything about getting rid of programs that help people who need help I merely said being on unemployment for two years is bullshit. If it takes you two whole years to find a job then you aren't searching hard enough or you aren't putting in sufficient effort in things like cover letters and your resume and such.

I don't disagree with government aid programs, however when I see people using food stamp money on cigarettes it makes me a bit angry.

After leaving my parents household to go to college (for which I didn't pay for because I had a full scholarship) I didn't have any benefits that would come from a life of wealth. I had exactly the same amount of money as everyone else. That's diddly squat.

I made it through college with minimal debt and graduated with a degree was actually useful. I got hired and got paid. I then invested that money in a 401k and saved money which I put into dividend stocks which have been giving me compound interest for quite some time now.

There aren't too many significantly malnourished children. And blaming lack of funding is bullshit. Before computers were invented we didn't have children failing out all over the place.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12068
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ember778
Wat R U Doin
Ember778
Stahp
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1790
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ember778 wrote:
Before computers were invented we didn't have children failing out all over the place.




High School Graduation Rates over Time
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Ember778



Joined: 02 Aug 2012
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mindslicer wrote:
Ember778 wrote:
Before computers were invented we didn't have children failing out all over the place.




High School Graduation Rates over Time


Just because graduation rates have improved doesn't mean that the causation is computers.

Standards have gone down quite a bit.

You'll also note that there is no significant jump in the data as a variable change would denote.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10250
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No you dumb fuck, "failing out" means not graduating.
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