John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

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John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Spambot5546 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-po ... or-people/

Personally, I think he's being too generous. Politicians understand this stuff just fine, they're engaging in pure demagoguery.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Fire Brns » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:56 pm UTC

I like how the link on the second page is horribly broken.

I don't think politicians can relate, even if a politician had lived in poverty at one point once you grow out of it is harder to relate.
between 10 and 17 I made do on about 800 a year with a part time job. I now make about 6K a year and a whole third of that is under the table and why did I just confess to a federal crime online? Anyway I can't imagine going back into that 800 because I have grown out of it. I'm not saying that politicians can't understand but as malleable as society is the conditions of living in poverty 20 or even just 10 years ago is drastically different than poverty today.

And the legal definition of poverty vs the social definition of poverty is drastically different as well. Politicians like to refer to the social definition.
Legally defined, poverty is just anyone in the bottom 10% of income or something like that.
Poverty in the social definition is homeless people begging for money to buy booze, by the hour street walkers with meth addictions, and street hoodlums ripping copper out of buildings to but overly large gold chains. Oh and any and all white trash.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Spambot5546 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:I like how the link on the second page is horribly broken.

Works for me, unless there's something I'm not getting. Just takes a bit to load.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Fire Brns » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:12 pm UTC

No yea, it works now. The first 5 times I tried it was just 3 pages of broken unicode symbols. Mostly black triangles.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:53 am UTC

That's not THE John Cleese, is it? His profile says very little about him, I'd imagine if he were the real John Cleese they'd advertise that (I'm not saying the author isn't a John Cleese. I imagine it's a pretty common name).

Interesting piece nonetheless. But I was kind of disappointed after this thread's title.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:05 am UTC

Diadem wrote:That's not THE John Cleese, is it? His profile says very little about him, I'd imagine if he were the real John Cleese they'd advertise that (I'm not saying the author isn't a John Cleese. I imagine it's a pretty common name).

Interesting piece nonetheless. But I was kind of disappointed after this thread's title.

I thought the name was John Cheese.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Derek » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:06 am UTC

Diadem wrote:That's not THE John Cleese, is it? His profile says very little about him, I'd imagine if he were the real John Cleese they'd advertise that (I'm not saying the author isn't a John Cleese. I imagine it's a pretty common name).

Interesting piece nonetheless. But I was kind of disappointed after this thread's title.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:07 am UTC

Diadem wrote:That's not THE John Cleese, is it? His profile says very little about him, I'd imagine if he were the real John Cleese they'd advertise that (I'm not saying the author isn't a John Cleese. I imagine it's a pretty common name).

Interesting piece nonetheless. But I was kind of disappointed after this thread's title.


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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Spambot5546 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:09 am UTC

It is. John Cheese is a writer for Cracked.com, and is the inspiration for the titular character in David Wong's (Editor for Cracked) "John Dies at the End". Absolutely no connection to the British comedian.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby poxic » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:13 am UTC

Y'know, I read "John Cleese", looked at the article to see "John Cheese", then looked back here and lo: the thread title is "John Cheese".

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:02 am UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-politicians-will-never-understand-about-poor-people/

Personally, I think he's being too generous. Politicians understand this stuff just fine, they're engaging in pure demagoguery.


I think he's engaging in hyperbole. I've been poor. I've known poor people. He's doing things like citing the wall street journal's article as if it was ever intended as a discussion of the poor. It ain't. It's geared towards the wall street journal's readership, and it actually matches that quite well(this has come up in other threads). I, for one, am completely unsurprised that people who read the wsj are not poor.

Why don't politicians want to give up their pay? Well, it has nothing to do with rich or poor. It has to do with it being theirs. Poor people don't wanna give up pay, rich people don't wanna give up pay. This isn't a wealth thing, this is a human thing.

And his "poor does not equal unemployed" bit, where he admits that two thirds of poor people are unemployed....wow. Yeah, plenty of people are poor because of unemployment. Unemployment has a way of doing that. Doesn't mean the person is bad, but that's an entirely other issue. Unemployment goes hand in hand with poverty, and treating them as if they are linked is only sane.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:54 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:And his "poor does not equal unemployed" bit, where he admits that two thirds of poor people are unemployed....wow. Yeah, plenty of people are poor because of unemployment. Unemployment has a way of doing that. Doesn't mean the person is bad, but that's an entirely other issue. Unemployment goes hand in hand with poverty, and treating them as if they are linked is only sane.

I think that two-thirds is meant to also include children, the elderly, the disabled, etc., i.e., those who are unable to work, either by law or by inability. More telling, I thought, was the statistic that 84% of households under the poverty line include at least one working contributor.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby fifiste » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:01 am UTC

Oh my god the infograph. I laughed so hard and then cried some.
The poor down-drodden people who only have 35K $ of investment income a year :( How ever will they survive! :roll:

It kind of reminded me those fellows who say that hundreds of thousands of dollars per year is not being rich. Because after paying all the payments for luxurious apartment in the middle of the city/bigass Mcmansion,several brand new cars, several hobbies, fancy meals and fancy clothes, a few vacations etc. The money is almost all gone!

It's like you eat your plate clean at the fancy restaurant, then look as a hobo is scrounging up a last piece of rotten cat-food from a tin in a dumpster and say " Ahh but I'm not in a much better situation myself! See my plate is empty too!" (AFTER I'M FINISHED EATING)

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:17 am UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:
Diadem wrote:That's not THE John Cleese, is it? His profile says very little about him, I'd imagine if he were the real John Cleese they'd advertise that (I'm not saying the author isn't a John Cleese. I imagine it's a pretty common name).

Interesting piece nonetheless. But I was kind of disappointed after this thread's title.

I thought the name was John Cheese.

Ok. I'll be sitting over there now, quietly, in a corner, minding my own business....
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:19 pm UTC

fifiste wrote:Oh my god the infograph. I laughed so hard and then cried some.
The poor down-drodden people who only have 35K $ of investment income a year :( How ever will they survive! :roll:

It kind of reminded me those fellows who say that hundreds of thousands of dollars per year is not being rich. Because after paying all the payments for luxurious apartment in the middle of the city/bigass Mcmansion,several brand new cars, several hobbies, fancy meals and fancy clothes, a few vacations etc. The money is almost all gone!

It's like you eat your plate clean at the fancy restaurant, then look as a hobo is scrounging up a last piece of rotten cat-food from a tin in a dumpster and say " Ahh but I'm not in a much better situation myself! See my plate is empty too!" (AFTER I'M FINISHED EATING)


The article in which this infographic appears does not reference it in any way as poor, or even average. It was an article showing the effects of the end of year tax increase. The example people are a good fit for the sort of people who read wall street journal. It ain't "poor people quarterly".

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Iceman » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:08 pm UTC

fifiste wrote:Oh my god the infograph. I laughed so hard and then cried some.
The poor down-drodden people who only have 35K $ of investment income a year :( How ever will they survive! :roll:


It was in the Wall Street Journal, they were demonstrating tax changes applicable to their readers, don't think they were claiming that they were downtrodden.

Also since the tax changes only affected high income individuals...even the $180k family was unaffected...there's no gain in displaying a 40k/year family, which is also unaffected. The entire article he links repeatedly refers to these people as affluent and high income, and its primary focus is displaying the discrepancies between taxing working income and taxing things like Investment income from dividends.

The article is pointing to the differences in classifications. The family earnings $650k has 2.8 times the income of the Single Woman, but their tax increase will be over 7 times higher than hers. Both are affleunt families or individuals, but the taxation treatment is harsher on one not because of how much they're making, but because of how they make it.

So yes, the Cracked article is nice and its funny, its a comedy website afterall, but that part in particular completely mischaracterizes the quoted article.

I thought the first two points were much stronger, because they address more common misperceptions. But the last two points got a bit more cartoonish.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby omgryebread » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The article in which this infographic appears does not reference it in any way as poor, or even average. It was an article showing the effects of the end of year tax increase. The example people are a good fit for the sort of people who read wall street journal. It ain't "poor people quarterly".
Which is kind of the point: the WSJ, and it seems its readers, don't really care about anyone who isn't rich.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Iceman » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:31 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The article in which this infographic appears does not reference it in any way as poor, or even average. It was an article showing the effects of the end of year tax increase. The example people are a good fit for the sort of people who read wall street journal. It ain't "poor people quarterly".
Which is kind of the point: the WSJ, and it seems its readers, don't really care about anyone who isn't rich.


'The Hockey Times' doesn't contain many articles for people who just aren't that into Hockey.

How does it mean that they don't care about them? Should they have put 6 graphics of families with no income tax change? 20k/year - no change...35/k a year...no change....75k/year...no change... ?

They showed that at 180k there'd be no change, the article also mentioned that basically anything under 200k would have no change. Why would they subsequently display multiple datapoints showing that same information?

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:11 pm UTC

The conclusion that must be drawn is that its readers think, its editors think, or its editors think its readers think: the amount of money poor people make and the effect the tax law will have on them is not relevant to how I feel about the tax law - all that's relevant is to me is how this will affect couples or individuals with six-figure incomes.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Prefanity » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:55 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The article in which this infographic appears does not reference it in any way as poor, or even average. It was an article showing the effects of the end of year tax increase. The example people are a good fit for the sort of people who read wall street journal. It ain't "poor people quarterly".
Which is kind of the point: the WSJ, and it seems its readers, don't really care about anyone who isn't rich.


Which makes complete sense. The Wall Street Journal has an audience they want to sell to that they define very narrowly. This is how all media works.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:53 pm UTC

Prefanity wrote:
omgryebread wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The article in which this infographic appears does not reference it in any way as poor, or even average. It was an article showing the effects of the end of year tax increase. The example people are a good fit for the sort of people who read wall street journal. It ain't "poor people quarterly".
Which is kind of the point: the WSJ, and it seems its readers, don't really care about anyone who isn't rich.


Which makes complete sense. The Wall Street Journal has an audience they want to sell to that they define very narrowly. This is how all media works.

So the target audience of the WSJ is people who don't care about anybody but themselves?

I guess that makes perfect sense.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:15 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:The conclusion that must be drawn is that its readers think, its editors think, or its editors think its readers think: the amount of money poor people make and the effect the tax law will have on them is not relevant to how I feel about the tax law - all that's relevant is to me is how this will affect couples or individuals with six-figure incomes.

Or maybe the article they wrote clearly explained how the tax hikes ONLY affected people with six figure incomes, so in explaining HOW six-figure income earners were affected, they left out the guy who doesn't pay taxes, since not only is it clear that his no-taxes won't go up, they also clearly stated in the article that the bill doesn't affect him at all.

Cheese stretches the WSJ graphic to fit his point, but his debunking of the myth that the poor are all drug-addled welfare queens is very well done.

Edit: Personally, I find it far more funny to make fun of the facial expressions of the people in the graphic. They all look dejected at their meager quarter million dollars a year.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:56 pm UTC

I shall do my best to remember that the Wall Street Journal is not for poor people like me.
It's just for rich people who make the laws that affect poor people like me. To help them understand what's important.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:18 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:The conclusion that must be drawn is that its readers think, its editors think, or its editors think its readers think: the amount of money poor people make and the effect the tax law will have on them is not relevant to how I feel about the tax law - all that's relevant is to me is how this will affect couples or individuals with six-figure incomes.

Or maybe the article they wrote clearly explained how the tax hikes ONLY affected people with six figure incomes, so in explaining HOW six-figure income earners were affected, they left out the guy who doesn't pay taxes, since not only is it clear that his no-taxes won't go up, they also clearly stated in the article that the bill doesn't affect him at all.

Cheese stretches the WSJ graphic to fit his point, but his debunking of the myth that the poor are all drug-addled welfare queens is very well done.

Edit: Personally, I find it far more funny to make fun of the facial expressions of the people in the graphic. They all look dejected at their meager quarter million dollars a year.


Taxes went up for everyone, including people who supposedly pay no taxes. Most people who supposedly pay no taxes, do pay payroll tax. You have to have kids and be making very low wages to actually pay no taxes, and even then you really have a negative effective tax rate, and that rate went from negative to positive or negative to a smaller negative this year.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:30 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:The conclusion that must be drawn is that its readers think, its editors think, or its editors think its readers think: the amount of money poor people make and the effect the tax law will have on them is not relevant to how I feel about the tax law - all that's relevant is to me is how this will affect couples or individuals with six-figure incomes.

Or maybe the article they wrote clearly explained how the tax hikes ONLY affected people with six figure incomes, so in explaining HOW six-figure income earners were affected, they left out the guy who doesn't pay taxes, since not only is it clear that his no-taxes won't go up, they also clearly stated in the article that the bill doesn't affect him at all.

Cheese stretches the WSJ graphic to fit his point, but his debunking of the myth that the poor are all drug-addled welfare queens is very well done.

Edit: Personally, I find it far more funny to make fun of the facial expressions of the people in the graphic. They all look dejected at their meager quarter million dollars a year.


Actually, the article contained another dataset containing more modest incomes as well, to also demonstrate the effect on others. Halfway down, under "how the tax law might affect you".

So, yes, they had one graphic that catered to their readers, while another graphic described a wide variety of the nation, with categories like "unemployed, income under $10,000".

The most reasonable conclusion is that people just keep cherry picking this graphic to fit their preconceived conclusions without actually, yknow, reading the article.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby wumpus » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:51 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-politicians-will-never-understand-about-poor-people/

Personally, I think he's being too generous. Politicians understand this stuff just fine, they're engaging in pure demagoguery.


I wouldn't be so sure (actually I am sure. Almost none of them understand). I remember hearing about a "live on foodstamps challenge", where the challenger then when off on his usual route to whole foods (or equivilant) and went shopping. This may or may not have been Cory Booker (who is the only showing up on "foodstamp challenge") or possibly a reporter working an angle for publication.

Ask yourself how a politician parses "middle class" as upto $200k-250k.

Doesn't matter if John Cheese is cracked or a python. He is just saying water is wet.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:41 am UTC

wumpus wrote:Ask yourself how a politician parses "middle class" as upto $200k-250k.


Easy. Most people parse "middle class" as where they are, in the same way that most people consider themselves to be above average drivers. Being middle class is desirable in the US.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:35 pm UTC

I dunno, it's pretty hard to not be aware that you're kind of poor.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Yoshisummons » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:47 pm UTC

Isn't the purpose of reading a newspaper is to become more aware of your surroundings and the world around you? I mean if it turned into a media where people want to isolate themselves to not question anything then it's no wonder they're going out of business! They're competing with internet forums :wink: .
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Chen » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:06 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:I dunno, it's pretty hard to not be aware that you're kind of poor.


From 2010 we have http://abcnews.go.com/WN/abc-world-news ... d=10088470

It still mentions about 45% of people considered themselves middle class. But Tyndmyr may have a point considering a line that mentions:

Even among people with incomes under $25,000 a year, 41 percent describe themselves as middle class. So do 38 percent of those with household incomes over $100,000.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Iceman » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

Yoshisummons wrote:Isn't the purpose of reading a newspaper is to become more aware of your surroundings and the world around you? I mean if it turned into a media where people want to isolate themselves to not question anything then it's no wonder they're going out of business! They're competing with internet forums :wink: .


What would they put in the infographic to make you more aware? It'd just be pictures of 12 people making 15k to 150k with the words 'No Impact' written under them.

What is the point of that?

The WSJ reports on specific stuff about economic, business and the markets. If doesn't contain pictures of Birds, Doesn't review models of refridgerators, Doesn't tell us gossip about Lindsay Lohan.

As for the middle class thing...

If you've got $100 Million, someone making $250k looks pretty damn middle class to you.

Middle Class is very broadly 'Not Starving, but requires additional income to stay that way' To a lot of people making a household income of 50k, they're like 'Oh me yarm he's got like 5 times more money!' But position yourself as a large business owner or oil tycoon or something...and those people appear pretty much the same to you. They must go to work each day, and they mostly spend the money they make, if you gave them more, they'd likely spend more.

Lower class lives would change with more money... but middle class, it's mostly just a nicer house, nicer car, private school instead of public...the money is still consumable. More gives more flexability, but its in essentially the same range...you can live fine.

In real upper class, if you gave them $1million more, they likely wouldn't spend it at all, it'd be invested only.

Shitting on a doctor, lawyer, financier who got an education, worked for money, started a business, whatever and does well is extremely counter productive. Those people are the bridge between the middle class and the truly upper class.
Those people are the exact way income disparity gets lowered, because those people can easily come from the middle class.

And ya, it's kind of just circlejerking to go after an infographic that's fully explained in the article and had no relevance to lower incomes. That's not a matter of not caring, its just not applicable.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Yoshisummons » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:44 pm UTC

Iceman wrote:*snip*

So people not displayed in the info-graphic have no influence on the market worth considering for a paper. I wasn't suggesting (at least I hope not) saying they need to put information on birdwatching (unless somehow binoculars becomes a large market). Having a article based on the effects on a new tax in red letters not mentioning a large portion of the participants in that economy gives a vibe of misinformation at least to my $.02. Now I'm curious on just how much the lower half partake in the consumables part of GDP(I'll look for it when I get back home because for some reason I think it's relevant).

Politicians hide behind the word middle-class yet nearly every time I look the definition changes.
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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Xeio » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:47 pm UTC

Iceman wrote:
Yoshisummons wrote:Isn't the purpose of reading a newspaper is to become more aware of your surroundings and the world around you? I mean if it turned into a media where people want to isolate themselves to not question anything then it's no wonder they're going out of business! They're competing with internet forums :wink: .
What would they put in the infographic to make you more aware? It'd just be pictures of 12 people making 15k to 150k with the words 'No Impact' written under them.
They did create an infographic, except it wasn't a simple image, it was on a seperate page directly linked from the article. Also, it wasn't "No Impact", mostly due to payroll tax changes (though most people don't see those directly).

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

There's something called upper-middle class; not rich enough to not need to work, but large enough income/wealth that financial issues are a headache rather than a barrier. So they can pay for their kids' college tuition and maybe a vacation house, but they can't exactly hire a bunch of personal staff.

Many upper middle class people are technically proletariat; a well paid surgeon is still an employee of the hospital, while a cab driver might work for himself.

Rich is kind of the point where you could live comfortably without working. Super rich is where the laws start to no longer apply to you.

Want a horror story? The NYT building was built on land seized through eminent domain, after a decade of legal hurdles, allowing the NYT to purchase the ultimate in prime real estate for relatively cheap. Now, the people that owned the properties before were far from poor, as they owned buildings in NYC. Why is this horrifying? Because if multimillionaires can be screwed over by billionaires, what chance do you have?

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby dii » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:21 am UTC

I think if I ever got really rich, the Delegation Of Rich People would show up at my door, they'd take one look at me and say "you're not qualified to have that much money, we're taking it all back".

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Iceman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:17 pm UTC

Yoshisummons wrote:
Iceman wrote:*snip*

So people not displayed in the info-graphic have no influence on the market worth considering for a paper. I wasn't suggesting (at least I hope not) saying they need to put information on birdwatching (unless somehow binoculars becomes a large market). Having a article based on the effects on a new tax in red letters not mentioning a large portion of the participants in that economy gives a vibe of misinformation at least to my $.02. Now I'm curious on just how much the lower half partake in the consumables part of GDP(I'll look for it when I get back home because for some reason I think it's relevant).

Politicians hide behind the word middle-class yet nearly every time I look the definition changes.


But it did mention them. It mentioned them to say 'this portion of the tax law has no affect on these people' it actually has nothing to do with if those people would buy the paper or not...many of them do...it had to do with if that story had anything to do with them, and it doesn't. Something about their part consuming and the GDP would be a different unrelated article. This one has a limited point to make, and it's a valid point. It's talking about a specific tax.

If they taxed changes in income from Pensions...there's be no reason to discuss people who don't get income from Pensions. They wouldn't show a 23y/o couple
who owns their own business and represent that segment..because it doesn't apply to them.

I think if I ever got really rich, the Delegation Of Rich People would show up at my door, they'd take one look at me and say "you're not qualified to have that much money, we're taking it all back".


When 'unqualified' people get rich, they tend to give it back, no one really needs to take it.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

No, they don't give it back; it just disappears because they don't understand what that money means. There's the weird weak form of Karma in the world, where people tend to get what they deserve (tend being the key word). A hardworking rich person can lose hir fortune but could start again, while a person could win the lotto and within the year be in worse debt than before. Rich heirs that don't know the value of money and never produce anything themselves tend to have much less of it as time goes on. Poor immigrants willing to work the shittiest jobs for long hours can start their own businesses and end up with a respectable fortune.

Obviously this is not true in all cases, as there is some chance involved. But the thing about luck is that it tends to happen more the harder and smarter people work. Sure, it might have been chance that Rowling's book turned into the behemoth industry it is today, or Gygax's game caught on, but the fact is they had to create something before luck could be involved.

Society itself has it's own weird form of Karma; all people combined get almost exactly the society they helped create. Jury lets a probably guilty person go free due to suspect evidence, they have to live in a society that lets probably guilty people run free. Jury convicts a possibly guilty person to protect themselves, again they have to live a society where they can be convicted on possible guilt.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby leady » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:12 pm UTC

in other words "you can't make your own luck, but you can set your own odds"

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

Pretty much.

Though as an applied probability mathematician (Actuary), I don't believe in luck/chance. That randomness is just a vague catchall term for all the factors your model wasn't able to account for. Assuming that the laws of physics don't change, if you know the exact state of everything in the universe at any particular point in time, you know exactly the state of everything at any point in time. At least until get into particle physics, and even then I believe that's more the problem that we have barely a clue on what we are doing and most of research comes in the form of doing different things until you get back something... unexpected.

No, I'm definitely not saying particle physicists are idiots, just that they don't know what they are doing. Which is what real science is about.

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Re: John Cheese: Politicians don't understand poverty

Postby Iceman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:04 pm UTC

People can be kind of trained into things too in a way that doesn't actually sit right with people.

There's certainly cases where Generation #1 makes a fortune, and because they now know the line of business it's in and have the means to do so, their child can then be trained and educated in a way conducive to continued success provided they are at all equipped to be.

I think the public generally hates this, because while the 2nd generation person now is in fact very good at what he or she is doing, it's mostly because of the starting advantages.

There's also resistance to that idea as a mechanism for change over time. Poor person makes enough to educate and help child who makes a fortune and is no longer 'one of us'. Instead of viewing this as the mechanism by which the poor class and rich classes change places on occassion, there's a tendancy to just hate the person as soon as they become rich.

I think its comforting somehow to just think everyone rich doesn't understand poor people and doesn't care, and they're all cruel and evil etc...
But it's telling to me about how many of the richest people in the world were not born rich, and actually grinded this stuff out themselves.


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