The 2% Illusion

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:44 pm UTC

JPA wrote:I did not ignore the externalities. I stated that *all* externalities do not necessitate spending for the common good. I also stated that if a society spends tax revenue on all externalities that prevent the loss of life, that society will have a very low standard of living (lots of unhappy people vs. fewer happier people).

The decision for what is needed for the common good is not an all or nothing decision. There is a spectrum of decisions and therefor room for debate on whether volcano monitoring is a common good worth spending tax revenues on.

Do we spend every available resource preventing every possible loss of life for the common good? If not, (repeated) where do you draw the line?


I think you're oversimplifying things. There are, for the most part, at least some kind of disaster mitigation programs in effect in the United States, but after Hurricane Katrina I'm surprised to see the kind of point of view that considers these kinds of disasters to be localized and overutilized to refund the rich. There is no place in the United States, (which is all I can really speak to, as I'm not particularly familiar with other countries) that does not hold some risk of natural disaster. If we as a society do not implement these programs or funds, we screw ourselves over just about wherever we are. Disaster prone areas are also usually areas of growth for our societies- ports, for example, which are always in danger of storms from the sea. We do these things for the common good. We can, of course, restrict the funding for such programs to the affected areas, which is often the case, but it *does* make sense for a nation to do this on the federal level, so that the stability of the nation as a whole is preserved in times of localized disaster, yes?
This is about preservation of the whole, really. If you get down to 'every life' then you're going to have to get more specific. Volcano monitoring, for an example, well goddamn yes we care. Geologists over the world care about volcano monitoring everywhere, because damn those things get big! You can wipe out a small country with one.
For goodness sake.

The line is drawn, more often than not, farther away from the actual line of safety than it should be.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Habz » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:12 pm UTC

JPA wrote:American's don't think helping other people is a bad thing, we actually give more than any other country. The difference is (most of us) prefer free will in our choice of charity, instead of your system of giving money and the decisions to the power elite via taxes.

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/american ... ple-planet
http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... ation.html


The last two comments in the first article seem to disagree with you somewhat:

Americans Are Most Generous People on Planet wrote:
Joe Blow Jr wrote:Actually this statement is simple not true, you can actually look it up, European countries and even Saudi Arabia contributes more per GDP, i don't know where u got your fabricated diagrams...

P.S. This is my line of work so please go back and double check your figures, america is not even in top 10.

Dillon (referring to the previous) wrote:There is some truth to what you say. This study does not take into account a large portion of what Europeans count as charity. IE it does not take into account anything that is taxed for use as charity. I.E. Germany has a mandated tithe that citizens must pay if they admit to belonging to a certain church. So that (I think) 10% that you would get taxed isn't taken into account. Below is a link to the PDF of the actual study. It more or less accounts for individual, voluntary giving to charitable organizations. After all, can you call it charity if you are forced to do it?

http://www.cafonline.org/pdf/Internatio ... Giving.pdf

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby chaosspawn » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

JPA wrote:Your choices of river, volcano, or desert is incomplete and misleading. There are millions of sq km of plains to populate here.
Which have their own set of disasters associated with them (tornadoes, earthquakes, brushfires, etc). not to mention urbanizing what might have been useful farmland otherwise. Every place on earth has potential disasters (natural and otherwise), some might have more of a risk than others, but there is no nice safe location. Thus you're either going to have to do away with any and all disaster relief or set some arbitrary standard (mostly set by building codes already come to think of it).

An additional thought, for the disaster prone areas, well think of the volcano monitoring as the government insuring itself. After all, it does have a substantial amount invested in those communities, just in infrastructure alone. I mean certainly weather monitoring isn't something new to the government (NOAA).

American's don't think helping other people is a bad thing, we actually give more than any other country. The difference is (most of us) prefer free will in our choice of charity, instead of your system of giving money and the decisions to the power elite via taxes.
At least purportedly, the goal of a government is to better manage and spend such money. I feel that a no-tax all charity system would be akin to a completely free market (i.e. one without any regulations or laws), which I find to be a poor idea.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Malice » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:23 pm UTC

chaosspawn wrote:
American's don't think helping other people is a bad thing, we actually give more than any other country. The difference is (most of us) prefer free will in our choice of charity, instead of your system of giving money and the decisions to the power elite via taxes.
At least purportedly, the goal of a government is to better manage and spend such money. I feel that a no-tax all charity system would be akin to a completely free market (i.e. one without any regulations or laws), which I find to be a poor idea.


A no-tax, all charity system results in neither equitable nor sufficient distribution of funds. In theory, yes, everybody would love to have control over their own money. In practice society falls apart because nobody wants to help each other enough. Give everybody a tax cut, do you think they'd spend 100% of it on charity? They might spend some of it, but the rest would go to improving their own standard of living, even if somebody else was still far below them.

Where do you draw the line, JPA? In two directions.
One is, you keep spending until the spending is no longer cost-effective. People here have argued that the money you spend putting into monitoring volcanoes is worth the money you save by getting everybody out of the way before it erupts. In theory, as long as you're getting back a decent return, you should continue investing...
Until you run out of funds, which is the other direction. And I don't mean 100% taxation; I mean the level of taxes the population can bear without retarding the economy too badly or getting the public up in arms. Evidence from other countries says we are nowhere near that point.

From this, I conclude that both taxation and spending need to increase. What do you think of that reasoning?
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:53 pm UTC

Malice wrote:A no-tax, all charity system results in neither equitable nor sufficient distribution of funds. In theory, yes, everybody would love to have control over their own money. In practice society falls apart because nobody wants to help each other enough.

An interesting theory, but why would society "fall apart?" The United States had no income tax prior to 1913 and its society worked just fine.
Malice wrote:Give everybody a tax cut, do you think they'd spend 100% of it on charity? They might spend some of it, but the rest would go to improving their own standard of living, even if somebody else was still far below them.

Here you suggest that the money that would not go into a wasteful bureaucracy would go partially to fund charities to make up for inefficient government programs, and partially to stimulate the economy. Why would this result in a societal collapse?

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Comic JK » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Malice wrote:A no-tax, all charity system results in neither equitable nor sufficient distribution of funds. In theory, yes, everybody would love to have control over their own money. In practice society falls apart because nobody wants to help each other enough.

An interesting theory, but why would society "fall apart?" The United States had no income tax prior to 1913 and its society worked just fine.

You're egregiously fudging "no income tax" to mean "no taxes at all." Today the income tax is the main source of US government revenue, but that's because it replaced the regressive tax system in place before 1913. The foundation of this system was the tariff, which by raising the price of cheap foreign goods effectively taxed the poor at a higher rate than the wealthy. The amount of money taken in by this system was not as great as that gathered today, but was by no means insubstantial--it still had to finance the military, past and existing, and interest on the debt, which are still more than half of the modern budget.

We could get back down to that pre-1913 level, if we were willing to give up Social Security, Medicare, environmental protection, federal research and education subsidies, and other wasteful irrelevancies. But we would still need the income tax.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Malice » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Malice wrote:A no-tax, all charity system results in neither equitable nor sufficient distribution of funds. In theory, yes, everybody would love to have control over their own money. In practice society falls apart because nobody wants to help each other enough.

An interesting theory, but why would society "fall apart?" The United States had no income tax prior to 1913 and its society worked just fine.


You're going to make me go look up tax and welfare history, aren't you? Bastard.

Here's a government summary showing that taxation prior to 1913 had a number of sources, including excises taxes, occasionally direct taxes on property (land, slaves, etc.), tariffs, and in fact an income tax between 1861 and 1872. "The need for Federal revenue declined sharply after the [Civil] war and most taxes were repealed. By 1868, the main source of Government revenue derived from liquor and tobacco taxes. The income tax was abolished in 1872. From 1868 to 1913, almost 90 percent of all revenue was collected from the remaining excises." By the mid-1890s people were starting to realize that the current tax situation was unreliable and regressive, and eventually they cared enough about it to pass a Constitutional amendment, reinstating a federal income tax.

So that part of your statement isn't entirely true. They had plenty of other taxes back then and the tax system alone was pretty flawed.

Secondly, the US didn't have welfare programs until after it had an income tax. Obviously because it couldn't afford it.

So thirdly, what were the results of that? ... Fuck. I am utterly unable to find stats for 1800s US prosperity and standard of living. But considering the life expectancy was shit back then, I'm going to guess that a little welfare would have helped them out. You're welcome to actually cite any evidence for "their society worked fine". I'm disinclined to take your word, since most of the time statements like, "Well, they did fine before the invention of soap, why do we need it now?" are bullshit.

Malice wrote:Give everybody a tax cut, do you think they'd spend 100% of it on charity? They might spend some of it, but the rest would go to improving their own standard of living, even if somebody else was still far below them.

Here you suggest that the money that would not go into a wasteful bureaucracy would go partially to fund charities to make up for inefficient government programs, and partially to stimulate the economy. Why would this result in a societal collapse?


If the government stopped taxing and spending on public charity, private charity would not make up that difference.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:43 pm UTC

yes, i agree. Lets continue on this chain of thought.

If the govt stopped forcing the 'salvation of humanity', then people would suffer. And there would be a need for REAL charity. It might start opening up the minds of selfish pricks like myself. I might not be able to live with my selfish self, when I cant say the govt takes MY money, and places it in the good of society. Now i dont have to do shit to help out anyone. The govt does my charity.

You see, the taking away from volunteer, does nothing but enable those that have no need to be sympathetic.

Overall rates of living improve, and mankind has less of a hard time making the right choice. ITS ALREADY MADE FOR THEM!!!

I refuse to see the role of government to make our lifes cushy and nice. Even when there are things they CAN do, it does not mean they should do it. Trials and hardships define a people. The government should not be harming people, but it cant run around as mommy either. People should be helping People. Getting government involved is nothing more than THEFT. Especially when its already at a third of ones income, and suggested to increase.

HIgher taxes are not the solution for anything besides the govts pocketbook.

The best government would be completely invisible, almost non existant. A place where people cant moan and gripe about the 'horrid' things that government hasn't protected them from.

People are stupid, and dont always make the right choice. At least they can make the choice. Govt shouldn't take that from them.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:33 am UTC

dwalb wrote:yes, i agree. Lets continue on this chain of thought.

If the govt stopped forcing the 'salvation of humanity', then people would suffer. And there would be a need for REAL charity. It might start opening up the minds of selfish pricks like myself. I might not be able to live with my selfish self, when I cant say the govt takes MY money, and places it in the good of society. Now i dont have to do shit to help out anyone. The govt does my charity.

You see, the taking away from volunteer, does nothing but enable those that have no need to be sympathetic.

Overall rates of living improve, and mankind has less of a hard time making the right choice. ITS ALREADY MADE FOR THEM!!!


If it's the right choice, what's wrong with mandating it? What you're really saying is, "I should be given the freedom to make the wrong choice." Where's the value in that? Whether you give money willingly or not makes no difference to the people who actually need and receive that assistance.

I refuse to see the role of government to make our lifes cushy and nice. Even when there are things they CAN do, it does not mean they should do it. Trials and hardships define a people. The government should not be harming people, but it cant run around as mommy either. People should be helping People.


If trials and hardships are good things, why should people help each other, either? I'm doing the homeless man on the corner a favor by not giving him any money. He should appreciate the valuable character lessons he learns every night when he goes to sleep hungry and cold in a cardboard box.
For that matter, why are you posting on the internet over a computer? Sounds to me like your life doesn't have enough trial and hardship in it, yet. I recommend burning all your possessions and developing a mental illness. That will really define you.

Look, there's no difference here. The government isn't made up of aliens, it is made up of people. The citizens of this country have decided they want to appoint some people to spend their money in certain ways. That is people helping people just as much as me handing money to a guy on a street corner.

Getting government involved is nothing more than THEFT.


It's not theft. You agreed to it by living here, and were given the chance to vote, and plenty of chances to persuade other people to your point of view. Deal.

Especially when its already at a third of ones income, and suggested to increase.


Oh, I get it. Whether something is theft or not depends on how much the thief steals. I'll remember that the next time I go shoplifting.

HIgher taxes are not the solution for anything besides the govts pocketbook.


What exactly do you believe happens to tax money? It doesn't just sit in a big room full of gold coins for Senator McDuck to swim in. It gets spent on things. Specifically, the solutions to problems. Like the army. And police officers. And public education. And making sure that volcano down the street isn't about to blow up.

The best government would be completely invisible, almost non existant. A place where people cant moan and gripe about the 'horrid' things that government hasn't protected them from.


I agree with you! Unfortunately, human nature has proven that to be impossible.

People are stupid, and dont always make the right choice. At least they can make the choice. Govt shouldn't take that from them.


Is your freedom to be stupid worth more than some other person's life?
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby roc314 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:36 am UTC

dwalb wrote:Yes, i agree. Lets continue on this chain of thought.

If the government stopped forcing the 'salvation of humanity', then people would suffer. And there would be a need for REAL charity. It might start opening up the minds of selfish pricks like myself. I might not be able to live with my selfish self, when I can't say the govt takes MY money, and places it in the good of society. Now i don't have to do shit to help out anyone. The government does my charity.

You see, the taking away from volunteers does nothing but enable those that have no need to be sympathetic.

Overall rates of living improve, and humankind has less of a hard time making the right choice. IT'S ALREADY MADE FOR THEM!!!

I refuse to see the role of government to make our lives cushy and nice. Even when there are things they CAN do, it does not mean they should do it. Trials and hardships define a people. The government should not be harming people, but it can't run around as mommy either. People should be helping People. Getting government involved is nothing more than THEFT. Especially when it's already at a third of one's income, and suggested to increase.

Higher taxes are not the solution for anything besides the government's pocketbook.

The best government would be completely invisible, almost nonexistent. A place where people can't moan and gripe about the 'horrid' things that government hasn't protected them from.

People are stupid, and don't always make the right choice. At least they can make the choice. Government shouldn't take that from them.
Listen. I hate you.

If you think that the purpose and result of welfare is to make people's lives "cushy", then you obviously have no experience with it. That, or you are defining such things as having enough food to survive, having basic clothing, or shelter from the elements as living a "cushy" life. I admit, that is the government helping out some at the expense of others, but that's the fucking point. That's why we do stuff like that, because there are some people in our country who, because of circumstance and chance, cannot survive without that. It's the same idea behind moving towards a more socialized health care system. Hell, it's the idea behind most governmental program.

And no, I don't believe you when you say you'll stop being a selfish prick if the government quits doing its job. You (and every other selfish prick) will go on being a selfish prick, the difference being that while under the current system people are able to survive despite that, under your system, everyone's lives will be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

"People should be helping People" is absolutely right. The part where you go wrong is in assuming that the government being involved means that people are not involved. That's like saying that having a monetary system removes buying and selling, because "goods should be bartered for goods".

Before you say that trials and hardships define someone, you should look at what those trials and hardships are. Dying in poverty is generally not something I would say "defines" someone.

EDIT: Also, what Malice said.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:54 am UTC

roc314 wrote:Before you say that trials and hardships define someone, you should look at what those trials and hardships are. Dying in poverty is generally not something I would say "defines" someone.


Yeah, generally at the point where you die, you're not so much learning anymore, and your only "definition" is compost.

Not the most productive.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:19 am UTC

On the contrary, Belial, compost can be used to grow things. That can be very productive. Just think of the stimulus to the funeral industry when we let all the poor people die. Coffin-makers, undertakers, grave-diggers--why, we could turn the economy right around! Not that we'd need to, because if all the poor people are dead, everybody left must be better off, right?

(I think the off-button is broken on the sarcasm center of my brain.)
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:24 am UTC

You have a switch? I just have a length of wire

I believe that a lot of this argument can be tl;dr-ed to "Hey, remember those last eight years? Now what are you going to say the next time someone tries to tell you that people can be trusted to behave in the better interest of society when there's profit to be had otherwise?
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:29 am UTC

I am not advocating for the removal of all taxes. I am demanding that our current system is to high. takes too much, and sees too little result.

Personal story. spoilered for those that dont wanna get personal...
Spoiler:
As a kid growing up there wasn't a lot of money. Dad was sick and his employment had luckily kept him on disability. Three years of potatoes, homemade bread, and the cheapest fruits and vegtables you can find later, my father was healthy enough to work again. 20 years later, my parents look back on those years with smiles.

I got to go shopping with mom back in those days. I can still remember looking at others carts, the ones with the fruit roll ups and the tv dinners, the Coke and 7up.

My mom tells the story about my brother asking why those people could buy so much more, and her saying something about them having the money to do so. She didn't explain it to us then, but she still fumes to this day to find out that many of those carts infront of her were paid by govt food stamps.

I know what poor is like. Luckily my fathers job was generous enought to pay. Hopefully there are churches and charities that can help. More than anything, its a families (grandparents, cousins...) responsibiltiy first to help those in need. Still there will be some who need govt help. They should be present, and used only as a last resort.

Otherwise we are doing a blatant forced charity- something not right at the core of it.


The current welfare system is hugely abused. I have a problem with my tax money paying for carts of tv dinners and fruit roll ups. There's no oversight. People return year after year to welfare, doing all they can to stay unemployed, so that the govt will continue to foot the bill. The govt has no good way to handle that problem. Sure they've implemented controls, and paperwork. There is still a massive abuse of it going on.

"People should be helping People" is absolutely right. The govt getting involved is nothing but political cannon fodder. The govt is the last place people should go looking for welfare. The govt has never been efficient, and being the worst canidate it should be the last option in welfare.

There is a huge waste of tax payer dollars there. I dont think you could adequately look at a single govt program, and tell me that my tax dollars are getting spent wisely. I'm not saying that there is some room for improvement out there. I'm saying that there is a blatant misuse of the american tax dollar, and now we are suggesting they get more money.

Isn't it smarter to start looking for ways to trim the federal budget, that to ask for more money? Sure, its the harder way. You've got to work more. You've got to look at non essential programs, tell people that they arn't getting money anymore. Suspend funding for a few years, tick tons of people off. Loose political face. On the other hand increasing taxes is as easy as...getting the dems to want it. They'll pass the bill, obama will sign. TADA!

If it really is economic failure, and the govt needs to intervene, then i think it should be the govt figureing out what programs they can take funding from, than the people giving up more money. It forces them to be more honest with my dollar. And as a citizen who pays taxes, i have a right to that.

@wombat. Right its the last eight years. Bush has turned you into a person very concerned with the welfare of others. God bless his soul.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:49 am UTC

I have a problem with my tax money paying for carts of tv dinners and fruit roll ups.


You're right. The working-class poor *totally* have time to cook 3 meals a day for their families, they should be buying vegetables and broth and racks of lamb, and spending 4 hours out of their day cooking.

I mean, it's not like TV dinners and fruit roll-ups are *made* for the lower income brackets, because only those with money have spare time and only those with spare time can waste it cooking.

That would be crazy talk.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Garm » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:20 am UTC

If welfare is so cushy something like this should be living high on the hog. Give it a try.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:30 am UTC

What I enjoy about the food stamp challenge is how much time, knowledge, and skill he basically states are necessary to live healthily on that budget.

By "enjoy" I mean "hate". Because he doesn't draw enough attention to it: the working poor do not have the time to spend that much time shopping. They don't have time to cook that much or that long. They often don't have the time to learn those skills, and they probably don't have the knowledge to do so, or the leisure to acquire that knowledge.

Basically, what he did, very few people could conceive of doing. Especially not if you expect them to ever work again. (And if you expect them to cook and shop instead of working, they'll be on foodstamps forever)
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Garm » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:35 am UTC

Belial wrote:What I enjoy about the food stamp challenge is how much time, knowledge, and skill he basically states are necessary to live healthily on that budget.

By "enjoy" I mean "hate". Because he doesn't draw enough attention to it: the working poor do not have the time to spend that much time shopping. They don't have time to cook that much or that long. They often don't have the time to learn those skills, and they probably don't have the knowledge to do so, or the leisure to acquire that knowledge.

Basically, what he did, very few people could conceive of doing. Especially not if you expect them to ever work again. (And if you expect them to cook and shop instead of working, they'll be on foodstamps forever)


I agree with everything you say. It's rice and beans or ramen for most people who actually have to live that way. If you want to really get yourself into a tizzy go look at all the foodies who have done this challenge and who have tried to make gourmet meals out of their one dollar dinner. Someone on food stamps probably doesn't have a computer to go look up their recipes so essentially they're just perpetuating this elitist snobbery. It's really all kind of disgusting.

Still I think the exercise is valid. It's humbling. And really hard. Unless you like cheap shitty bread and peanut butter.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:43 am UTC

The poor dont have enough time to cook. They work too hard, not enough time in the day.

Ridiculous.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:46 am UTC

dwalb wrote:The poor dont have enough time to cook. They work too hard, not enough time in the day.

Ridiculous.


Oh, they can have the time.

They could just not work, and then they'd have all day to cook and do everything else.

But I was under the impression that you ever wanted them to not be on welfare. That requires working. And probably not pulling down very much money, so you'll be working a lot.

Which means TV Dinners and fruit roll ups.

Now, unless you have something more substantive to say than "ridiculous", sit down.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:51 am UTC

i fear for my life disagreeing with a mod, but whatever.

YES RIDICULOUS.

You definitly can buy much healthier, and much cheaper food. You have to work harder for it.

See, tv dinners and fruit roll ups proves a point. They arn't willing to cook their own food. Why would the be willing to work harder for it?

NOT DESERVING OF MY TAX MONEY.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby roc314 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:57 am UTC

dwalb wrote:i fear for my life disagreeing with a mod, but whatever.

YES RIDICULOUS.

You definitely can buy much healthier, and much cheaper food. You have to work harder for it.

See, tv dinners and fruit roll ups proves a point. They aren't willing to cook their own food. Why would the be willing to work harder for it?

NOT DESERVING OF MY TAX MONEY.

*will not sit when told*
Hey, you, fuck you.

I think you missed the part about how that's not possible, what with the not having the luxury of having sufficient time to both work jobs, and research how/what to buy, take the time to cook it. It's not that they aren't willing to cook their own food; it's that they aren't able.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Garm » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:58 am UTC

dwalb wrote:i fear for my life disagreeing with a mod, but whatever.

YES RIDICULOUS.

You definitly can buy much healthier, and much cheaper food. You have to work harder for it.

See, tv dinners and fruit roll ups proves a point. They arn't willing to cook their own food. Why would the be willing to work harder for it?

NOT DESERVING OF MY TAX MONEY.

*will not sit when told*


So lets fight anecdote with anecdote... I was working at a big box retail store. There was this guy there who moved from Asia to Colorado so his kids could get a good education. He worked two jobs, starting with the morning swing shift at 4:00 AM. He got home around 9:30 PM and did a lot of his shopping at the big box retail store cuz employees got a discount. He bought a lot of TV dinners and fruit roll up type food because rent and clothes are expensive. Move forward 16 months. I've got a different, better job working for a big electronics company. Went into the aforementioned retail store to get snacks to keep me awake through the day and same dude is still working there looking just as tired. Next time I see him I'll go smack him around a bit... you know... tell him to work harder. Stop sending his kids to tax supported schools, driving on tax money built roads to spend money. That whole, you know, putting money back into the economy stuff that these people do. I'll tell him to cut that shit out. Don't do nobody no good. Stupid tax leech.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby william » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:00 am UTC

dwalb wrote:i fear for my life disagreeing with a mod, but whatever.

Don't. When they aren't using red text they may as well be just like you or I. Especially Belial, who is clearly human, because he has a hat!
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:10 am UTC

roc314 wrote:
dwalb wrote:i fear for my life disagreeing with a mod, but whatever.

YES RIDICULOUS.

You definitely can buy much healthier, and much cheaper food. You have to work harder for it.

See, tv dinners and fruit roll ups proves a point. They aren't willing to cook their own food. Why would the be willing to work harder for it?

NOT DESERVING OF MY TAX MONEY.

*will not sit when told*
Hey, you, fuck you.

I think you missed the part about how that's not possible, what with the not having the luxury of having sufficient time to both work jobs, and research how/what to buy, take the time to cook it. It's not that they aren't willing to cook their own food; it's that they aren't able.


Exactly. You ridicule, dwalb, but there literally *are* only so many hours in the day, and a person only has but so much energy. To get enough money to get by on, say, minimum wage, you have to work yourself basically to the bone. That doesn't leave time or energy for playing chef. That's something people with free time do.

And I think I'm really missing the big point here: what the fuck do you care what someone else eats? It doesn't matter what people are eating, it matters that they're not starving. Why do you want them to starve, dwalb?
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:42 am UTC

i want people to starve because...

... i'm a bigot
... i'm a racist, who knows that the majority of welfare go to minorities. I dont want my white money in their hands
... i'm a homophobe, who knows that welfare also helps gays. this is unacceptable to me

Did i say i want people to starve? No. i want government out of the majority of charity work. Yes, one of the outcomes is people going hungry. They'll find ways to survive. People do that, its weird. Who'd a thunk that people can survive without govt intervention...

You make it sound like the majority of people on welfare are working their butts off, trying to make ends meet.

That is sadly far from the case.

There are plenty of places for people to go when in dire need. But they dont go to those places because the government gives them a free shot, doesn't seem to judge them, and doesn't really hold them accountable for how the spend their my money, (yours too!).

Welfare is one place where the govt could really shape up a bit to help out the economy. (its about the big businesses now, not the little people... :)

There are plenty others places that could get a wonderful reform on spending.

Like i said, this wont happen, because its too much work. Takes to much political damage to the law makers. (HE VOTED AGAINST WELFARE!!! HE CUT SCIENCE FUNDING!!! HE CUT FUNDING TO DEFENSE!!!)

Much easier for the big wigs in Washington to decide that they need my money more than i do, pass a bill to make it law, and legally steal from me.

fUCK tHAT sHIT

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Sharlos » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:52 am UTC

I think this just illustrates how you have no idea what life is like for poor people who barely survive on the money they get.

You can't work harder when your already working full time just to pay the rent, and survive. Do you suggest they stop wasting time sleeping? How exactly are they supposed to find the time to do all this?

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby nyeguy » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:01 am UTC

dwalb wrote: You make it sound like the majority of people on welfare are working their butts off, trying to make ends meet.

That is sadly far from the case.

[Citation needed]
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby roc314 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:07 am UTC

dwalb wrote:I want people to starve because...

... I'm a bigot
... I'm a racist, who knows that the majority of welfare go to minorities. I dont want my white money in their hands
... I'm a homophobe, who knows that welfare also helps gays. this is unacceptable to me
Personally, I was trying not to accuse you of any prejudice, but if you want me to: you have been acting in a classist manner.
Did i say i want people to starve? No. i want government out of the majority of charity work. Yes, one of the outcomes is people going hungry. They'll find ways to survive. People do that, its weird. Who'd a thunk that people can survive without govt intervention...
You're right, you did not say that you want people to starve. But, hey, when you support a policy that leads to people starving, even if you would prefer if they don't starve, you are still supporting a policy that leads to them starving. You are still responsible for that position and it's outcome. You can't say that you support something, but not support the bad that naturally comes from it.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Garm » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:10 am UTC

The vast majority of people on welfare get off of welfare within a year. It's something around 75%. No, I won't cite cuz I'm lazy and there are other threads where there are plenty of citations. Of course there are abuses but for a system so large it freakin' works.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:12 am UTC

see now, i get that, except its not true... You see what your doing there is called character assasination. You dont have to prove me wrong, as long as you can diminish my viewpoint by saying i'm uninformed.

For the record, I lived three years of my child hood in poverty, then moved to mexico, lived there for two years, never staying in the same place longer than 6 months. Working with the people, rebuilding houses, did this on my own dime. Recieved zero pay, felt good about myself.

Came home, got a job where i work 12 hour days for 18k a year.

Luckily i haven't got anyone to worry about but myself, so the money is sufficient and i'm surviving.

So, no i do think i have a decent idea. And the problem with poverty isnt that there isn't money. There will always be enough money. the problem is that people dont work hard enough. period.

If you think that means they need to give up sleep. then your stupid. If that means they are living beyond their means, then, your probably on the right track.

They probably have a house too big, a car too expensive, a tv they dont need, movies they shouldn't be watching, clothing that they cant afford. AND TV DINNERS THAT COST MORE THAN THEY SHOULD BE SPENDING.

Poverty doesn't exist in the united states because the white man is keeping you down. Poverty exists because people arnt willing to work hard enough, or have made dumb enough decisions to completly stunt their own life. (didn't graduate highschool, got into major trouble with the law.)

This last group of people need some help. and they also need some one who will motivate them to try to get ahead in life. They've got a tough battle in front of them, and the govt is the worse one to help them out of it. The govt just enables them to keep their sorry ass life in limbo.

@roc please accuse me. it helps when people do this. Name calling is the best way to win arguements, just ask any three year old.

@garm. Yup they leave for the year, cause the govt implemented that control. What if you were to look at rates of people who've been on govt welfare, and then returned with in a 5 year window. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fool the system.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby roc314 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:20 am UTC

@dwalb:

1, your personal situation is irrelevant. I don't care if you grew up poor, educated yourself, went to college, got a job in IT, and became successful, all while working 17 jobs and caring for 12 children and your poor, cancer-stricken mother-in-law, anecdotes are evidence of nothing.

2, Do you have any evidence for your claims? See, I'm not the type to believe outlandish claims that contradict everything I see without anything supporting them.
@roc please accuse me. it helps when people do this. Name calling is the best way to win arguements, just ask any three year old.
Strange, I always thought passive-aggression was the best way...
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby bratwurst » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:30 am UTC

dwalb wrote:@garm. Yup they leave for the year, cause the govt implemented that control. What if you were to look at rates of people who've been on govt welfare, and then returned with in a 5 year window. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fool the system.


For what it's worth, if "lazy poor people who leech off of welfare" aren't on welfare for four years out of five (which isn't quite what you said here, but is reasonably close), it seems to me that they probably aren't leeching all that much. After all, they're surviving the other few years without it. So we can take every number you've presented (which is...um...nothing, so far), and multiply it by 0.2, which leads to much nicer places, fiscally speaking.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:31 am UTC

roc314 wrote:anecdotes are evidence of nothing.


because if one man can do it, it means that the rest of you cant.

Obviously individual outcomes are different. I dont do research. I could care less what experts say. I know best what I see and do.

I have found every where i go if you are willing to work, and manage a conservative budget, you cant stay poor.

Hence my lack of sympathy to 'the poor.'

Especially with my tax dollar getting wasted in the process. FUCK TV DINNERS.

i shall refrain from comment now. Cant add much more to this thread if i'm not going to provide statistics. Some people cant believe things unless they have accreditation, research, and political voices backing it up.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby bratwurst » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:36 am UTC

dwalb wrote:I dont do research. I could care less what experts say.


i shall refrain from comment now. Cant add much more to this thread if i'm not going to provide statistics.


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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:37 am UTC

TV dinners and fruit roll-ups make a lot of sense on a tight budget period, so don't criticize people for it. I'm not even talking about the time to prepare.

What am I talking about? Try this. Don't look at how much fruit or raw meat you can buy. Look at how many Calories you can buy, and how the nutrition looks. You're going to find that Calories max out in fats and sugar, and a half-decent nutritional balance can be had in premade dinners, which usually wind up somewhere around 200-400Cal/$. And fruit roll-ups? They're cheap and they'll keep a kid busy for 10 minutes while they eat, which means they'll eat less. Try it - time-consuming snacks are a common technique taught by Weight Watchers and the like, but they usually talk about carrots or celery. Which tend to be more expensive (and require slightly more prep) per serving than fruit roll-ups.

There's an interesting and (mostly) relevant to my post article here: http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/200 ... esity.html
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby spent » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:45 am UTC

dwalb wrote:
i shall refrain from comment now. Cant add much more to this thread if i'm not going to provide statistics. Some people cant believe things unless they have accreditation, research, and political voices backing it up.

Oh dwalb, king of the universe, fear naught! I curse these blasphemous minions who dare value credibility; thy word is truth, your holiness.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby sje46 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:56 am UTC

Poverty doesn't exist in the united states because the white man is keeping you down. Poverty exists because people arnt willing to work hard enough, or have made dumb enough decisions to completly stunt their own life. (didn't graduate highschool, got into major trouble with the law.)
Yeah, my father was such an idiot for choosing to get that back injury. Those people with triplets who don't believe in abortion? They deserve to live in poverty by having to pay for two extra kids than they expected. IT was their fault for choosing to have three kids instead of one.
Those kids who dropped out of college in order that the money can be better spent on their siblings because their father made a mistake thirty years before by not going to college--boy, those kids are idiots for choosing not to go to college.

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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Malice » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:53 am UTC

dwalb wrote:"People should be helping People" is absolutely right. The govt getting involved is nothing but political cannon fodder. The govt is the last place people should go looking for welfare. The govt has never been efficient, and being the worst canidate it should be the last option in welfare.


Listen closely: I agree that the government is inefficient, and that it is the worst candidate for organizing welfare. But it is the only candidate. There is nobody else out there ensuring that charity dollars get where they need to go quickly and equitably. If there were no government charity, and then one year everybody decided they cared more about cute kittens than homeless people, and they gave all their charity dollars to the Save the Kittens Foundation, what would happen to those homeless people? Somebody has to run things from a central location or the system simply won't physically work. And there's no group that can do that besides the government. Even if you were to invent a private corporation to do it, it would be so large (and inefficient, and costly, and non-beholden to the public) that it would basically be government by another name. Governing needs to happen here. Advocate for the improvement of government all you want--I will stand right beside you and shout just as strongly. But to advocate that government leave is simply not a solution to this problem.

dwalb wrote:The poor dont have enough time to cook. They work too hard, not enough time in the day.

Ridiculous.


Let's try something.

The minimum wage in my home state (Texas) is $5.75 an hour. Let's round that up to $6 just for fun. And we'll even pretend you don't pay any taxes on that.
Okay. So you have a minimum wage job and you work 12 hours a day (legal limit) and you take home 6 * 12 = 72 bucks per day. That's 2160 dollars a month. I have two kids, which means I need at least two bedrooms--that's over half the money gone right there, especially when you add in utilities and all. Shit, I can't buy clothes and food for myself and two kids on that! Let alone my car payments, my gas--and savings? Forget about it. Alright, I'll get a second job. Now I'm working 2 jobs a day, 8 hours each, plus an hour commute over all (I'm low-balling that one), for a total of 17 hours. I get home, I hug my kids (if they're still awake), I shove a burrito in my mouth, I sleep for five hours, I get up and do it all over again. Day in. Day out. Motherfucker, you think I have time to find recipes and bargain shop and eat fucking health food? I'm not working hard enough for you? Shit.

--

dwalb wrote:Did i say i want people to starve? No. i want government out of the majority of charity work. Yes, one of the outcomes is people going hungry. They'll find ways to survive. People do that, its weird. Who'd a thunk that people can survive without govt intervention...


Actually, one of those outcomes is that people will go so hungry that they die. Of starvation. People do that, too. It sucks.

You make it sound like the majority of people on welfare are working their butts off, trying to make ends meet.

That is sadly far from the case.


I disagree.

Hey, look, the entire argument is stalled because neither of us has bothered to use any data beyond personal experience. Funny how that happens.

dwalb wrote:Luckily i haven't got anyone to worry about but myself, so the money is sufficient and i'm surviving.


I've bolded the operative word there.

Poverty doesn't exist in the united states because the white man is keeping you down. Poverty exists because people arnt willing to work hard enough, or have made dumb enough decisions to completly stunt their own life. (didn't graduate highschool, got into major trouble with the law.)


It doesn't really matter. It's stupid to use poverty as a punishment like that--to say, "You deserve to be poor because you made bad choices." Why? Because those people still affect you. They represent a drain on the economy. It's much smarter to give them enough money to get them back on their feet, back in school, back to work creating economic value that eventually makes your own life better.

@garm. Yup they leave for the year, cause the govt implemented that control. What if you were to look at rates of people who've been on govt welfare, and then returned with in a 5 year window. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fool the system.


I think a lot of your problems boil down to "the system is flawed", which I think everybody here agrees with. The problem is when you conclude "so we burn the system to the ground" where most people would say, "uh, why not just fix the system?" I don't think anybody here is opposed to efficiency, accountability, or ensuring that welfare recipients really are using the money to get back on their feet and not just subsist. I think they are opposed to cutting those people off completely, or telling those people to rely on private charity (which is unreliable), or telling those people that it's their own damn fault for not working 23 hours a day instead of 18. Or telling them that because a single adult can save up enough money to pull himself up by his bootstraps, obviously a family of six can do the same thing just as easily.
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Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby ameretrifle » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:55 am UTC

dwalb wrote:because if one man can do it, it means that the rest of you cant.
No, sweetheart. Because on these fora, we believe in a thing called "science". If you don't, I have no idea how you came to be here.

I have found every where i go if you are willing to work, and manage a conservative budget, you cant stay poor.

Hence my lack of sympathy to 'the poor.'
Holy crap, people, it's the Man in Black!! He's returned! Yahoo!!

Or, in case you're not familiar with the reference, you seem to be claiming that you've been everywhere. Also, you've been able to find a job everywhere you go? Please tell me how you do it. Also, have you done this with children? Or with an injury? Or with no education? Or in the current job climate? Or as an elderly person with nothing to live on but Social Security? Are you doing it now? Since you won't believe statistics, have you lived and/or witnessed every possible situation? Because you really are asserting your own godhood, here. I'm not even being sarcastic: If you won't believe anything but your own anecdotes, then to come to any true and proper generalized conclusion, you must be omniscient. Otherwise, you have to hedge with stuff like "in my experience" or "as far as I've seen" or "unless you have really bad luck".
Luckily i haven't got anyone to worry about but myself, so the money is sufficient and i'm surviving.
Oh, look. Turns out you're not experiencing every possible situation. And yet you feel entitled to condemn them all equally. Because obviously there's no possible way their lives could be harder than yours. You've been to Mexico.

@garm. Yup they leave for the year, cause the govt implemented that control. What if you were to look at rates of people who've been on govt welfare, and then returned with in a 5 year window. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fool the system.
Don't ask for statistics (which would, by the way, refute your assertions) and then say you won't believe in them anyway. It's not very nice. Or smart.

Also, you are obviously not Johnny Cash, because he was sympathetic to "the poor", even though he wound up doing pretty well himself. I apologize to the late musician for this truly obscene slur against his character.

Some people cant believe things unless they have accreditation, research, and political voices backing it up.
... Yes. I am indeed a person who can't believe things unless I have accreditation and research backing it up. Well... I do make a few exceptions. I have no research that says you are a moron, but I think I'm going to jump to that conclusion regardless.

Seriously, how did you even get here?


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