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Old 01-07-2011, 10:56 AM   #21
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... ask anyone of those at or below the poverty level getting EITC and other aid, if they would like to change places with someone making $60K. ...
It's not about whether they would 'like' to change places. It's about whether they are sufficiently motivated to work and do what it takes to make $60K (or $14,500 or $30,000 as in the examples).

I know some very wealthy people. I would like to make what they make. I realize I am not willing to do what they did to make that kind of money. I'm probably not capable, even if I tried. But I'm not asking anyone to support me so that I can live their lifestyle. If someone offered it, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #22
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Often these people are multi-generational recipients and learn to scam the system from their parents or from friend's parents. Those who were unable to learn from their parents, learn from their friends. There were some people who used the program for what it was intended and are not running scams but in my experience they are few.
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I understand that any large program to help people will have scammers that take advantage. It can't be avoided, we have to accept it as the 'price of doing business'. Make the requirements too tight, and too many more needy people won't get the help that we want to provide. But I would have thought it was a minority. Your experience says the opposite. Wow.-ERD50
IMO you left out the bigest reason these multi-tiered "programs on top of programs" are so lucrative and become multi-generational- a huge self-serving welfare bureaucracy that promotes work-discouraging programs in favor of handouts benefits for every conceivable situation. ("why you poor thing, we can't have you living here like this, with no education, no job, nine kids and a crack habit, here, hang up that cell phone and turn off that TV, have your boyfriend entertain the kids in the other room with the Wii and let me help you fill out these new forms, we'll get you more money from "the government"- you deserve a lot more than your daddy and grandma got...there are new programs we can qualify you for.)

I've said this before and I'll repeat it here - I do feel we need to provide for those unable to work. There are people who genuinely need our help.

Unfortunately, we've taught a lot of others how to loot, and turned them loose in the welfare benefits supermarket.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:30 PM   #23
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Dumb article, ask anyone of those at or below the poverty level getting EITC and other aid, if they would like to change places with someone making $60K. Many of those poor souls are only where they are at due to the birth lottery.
Wrong question frayne. You need to ask them if they want to start doing the things in life that require significant extra effort to qualify for the $60k job, even if those things don't pay until complete, such as education. I's sure some would be willing. But I'm also sure some are where they are due to a different level of personal ambition that the $60k job holder demonstrated.

Note: I'm not talking about the thousands of $60k jobs in the Chicago political patronage system where you get $60k but don't have to do anything or have any qualifications other than loyalty to the Party. Of course, any minimum wage person would jump at one of those. So would I.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:48 PM   #24
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I could argue either side of the equation. Some born into middle or upper class homes, get educated, make wise choices and lead good productive lives, while others born into the same environment fail because of poor choices. Children born to poor parents or especially poor single parents living on government subsistence usually repeat the cycle, while some can pull themselves out through hard work, education and good choices. All things being equal though, those born into the middle class have a much better chance to succeed than those born into economically poor environments.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:00 PM   #25
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I could argue either side of the equation. Some born into middle or upper class homes, get educated, make wise choices and lead good productive lives, while others born into the same environment fail because of poor choices. Children born to poor parents or especially poor single parents living on government subsistence usually repeat the cycle, while some can pull themselves out through hard work, education and good choices. All things being equal though, those born into the middle class have a much better chance to succeed than those born into economically poor environments.
I agree. But I remember a few years ago, an ongoing story on NPR about a high school (in Chicago?) where they got the parents and kids to buy into the whole education and go to college thing. It was in a very poor neighborhood. Anyhow, the experiment worked. I tried to find it via google but failed. I thought it was Washington Irving HS but apparently not...
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #26
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I don't know why I ever went to work. It sure pays to be poor.

Really, what is the point of this thread? The comparisons made in the referenced article are artificial. Two things that jump out:
- payroll taxed are quite unfair and punitive at lower income levels,
- access to healthcare is crippling this country.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:11 PM   #27
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I could argue either side of the equation. Some born into middle or upper class homes, get educated, make wise choices and lead good productive lives, while others born into the same environment fail because of poor choices. Children born to poor parents or especially poor single parents living on government subsistence usually repeat the cycle, while some can pull themselves out through hard work, education and good choices. All things being equal though, those born into the middle class have a much better chance to succeed than those born into economically poor environments.
I agree with you completely frayne, but for the very facts you state above, still feel that "if they would like to change places with someone making $60K" is the wrong question to ask. There's more to it than that.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:31 PM   #28
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I could argue either side of the equation. Some born into middle or upper class homes, get educated, make wise choices and lead good productive lives, while others born into the same environment fail because of poor choices. Children born to poor parents or especially poor single parents living on government subsistence usually repeat the cycle, while some can pull themselves out through hard work, education and good choices. All things being equal though, those born into the middle class have a much better chance to succeed than those born into economically poor environments.


Ah yes, the infamous birth lottery issue again. Maybe we can settle this after we all agree whether people should pay off their mortgages early or invest in beaver cheese futures.

Here's an example of why I don't believe the birth lottery argument:

Two children born out of wedlock, to two different teenage girls. Adopted less than a year apart by a loving middle age couple. Raised in a middle class suburb in a Midwestern city, both attended public schools, scouts, little league, etc. Both above-average intelligence, no health issues, parental abuse, etc. Sibling 1 ends up doing 20-to-life for armed robbery and has spent 80% of adult life incarcerated. Sibling 2 has a Masters Degree from a prestigious state university, and is doing well in the workforce. One chose to become a career druggie criminal, the other chose a career. Both made appropriate choices to get where they are today, it wasn't "the birth lottery"; they were raised the same. BTW, I know this family very well, this isn't a hypothetical situation.

I agree with your statement that "All things being equal though, those born into the middle class have a much better chance to succeed than those born into economically poor environments". That isn't going to change, nor should it. The folks who can offer their kids that middle class chance at success worked hard for it; we don't want to "deward" them in favor of those who made different choices that resulted in a different outcome. That's life; we don't all get a trophy just for showing up.

We need to give the poor the chance (via education and workforce opportunities) to make something better out of their situation, not make it easier to stay where they are (via failed multi-generational entitlement programs).


And I vote to pay off the mortgage early, BTW; beaver cheese futures are too risky if the government quits distributing it for free...
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #29
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There are so many opportunities for the multi-generational lower income classes to obtain education and receive the winning ticket in the "birth lottery" by government force, that I think the "birth lottery" is a myth. There are more than a good number of programs for the poor to obtain education, grants for starting businesses, stipends while they are waiting for their business to become profitable, etc.

The only assistance I received when I left the crap hole my life had become living in my father's house was, "good-bye." I applied for every form of assistance I could think of, but because I "won the birth lottery" and was a first generation poor white male, I didn't qualify for any of it. I have been ridiculed often on this site because I have stated over and over that I made it on my own. I have had it pointed out that no I didn't. I assure you, everything I have has been because I decided to improve my situation. I decided to do something other than whine that life isn't fair. I decided to change my situation. Had I done what many others in my position would have done, I'd still be barely making ends meet living in a small (<400 sq ft) apartment getting rides to work, because I couldn't afford to replace or fix the car I had when I left my father's house. I am no different than many on this site, who were supposed winners of the "birth lottery", and decided to better their life circumstance. For me the "birth lottery" had a grand prize of $1000 and was won by a million people. I couldn't even buy a thimble of water for what I "won" in the birth lottery.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #30
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facebook game company employee (not sure what she does)...
which Facebook game company? The game industry is small, she may work with friends of mine.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:27 PM   #31
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We need to give the poor the chance (via education and workforce opportunities) to make something better out of their situation, not make it easier to stay where they are (via failed multi-generational entitlement programs)....
This is the key in my opinion. It seems like people who are critical of entitlement programs are attacked on the basis that the critics are selfish and greedy because they don't want to share their money. However, some (hopefully most) are critical of entitlement programs mainly because history has shown that they don't really work in the aggregate at least not at any level of reasonable efficiency.
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:45 PM   #32
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One aspect no one pointed out is that the taxpayer is subsidizing businesses that pay minimum wage. One answer might be for the Fed & State governments to establish Living Wages which would pay people enough to take care of their of themselves and get rid of the government subsidies and lower taxes.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:02 PM   #33
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I do not care to wade into this highly political thread (hint, hint to the mods and the musical pig), but has anyone considered that a lot of induhviduals in the Merkin population simply aren't all that bright? Its pretty hard to get through college and get a good job when you really aren't all that smart. What about all the stupid people out there?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:05 PM   #34
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One aspect no one pointed out is that the taxpayer is subsidizing businesses that pay minimum wage. One answer might be for the Fed & State governments to establish Living Wages which would pay people enough to take care of their of themselves and get rid of the government subsidies and lower taxes.
Excellent idea. I doubt there is political will, but it still would be a major step forward. Add vocational schools as an option / alternative to our current secondary school system.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:10 PM   #35
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I do not care to wade into this highly political thread (hint, hint to the mods and the musical pig), but has anyone considered that a lot of induhviduals in the Merkin population simply aren't all that bright? Its pretty hard to get through college and get a good job when you really aren't all that smart. What about all the stupid people out there?
But you did, anyway.

And, this thread has been remarkably civil; good discussions, no name-calling....
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:12 PM   #36
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I do not care to wade into this highly political thread (hint, hint to the mods and the musical pig), but has anyone considered that a lot of induhviduals in the Merkin population simply aren't all that bright? Its pretty hard to get through college and get a good job when you really aren't all that smart. What about all the stupid people out there?

Everyone has a talent at something. Most can make a decent living at it. To answer your question about all of the stupid people, I think many go to Washington and get a job.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #37
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This is the key in my opinion. It seems like people who are critical of entitlement programs are attacked on the basis that the critics are selfish and greedy because they don't want to share their money. However, some (hopefully most) are critical of entitlement programs mainly because history has shown that they don't really work in the aggregate at least not at any level of reasonable efficiency.

That is more of what I would want... a handout when you are down... but not a lifetime of handouts...

You know that people can live with others... they do it 'over there'... why should we provide a separate place to live for everybody... all the time...
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:27 PM   #38
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One aspect no one pointed out is that the taxpayer is subsidizing businesses that pay minimum wage. One answer might be for the Fed & State governments to establish Living Wages which would pay people enough to take care of their of themselves and get rid of the government subsidies and lower taxes.
A potential problem is that minimum wages and living wages may be used as tools for others' benefit and hurt minimum wage earners. $12/hour each for two unskilled min wage earners vs. $20/hr for one skilled union worker. The min wage job may just be elminated instead of actually helping.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:33 PM   #39
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What about all the stupid people out there?
I'll admit that if there are too many stupid people out there most of my philosophy on the issue will fail in practice. I like to hope that it isn't the case and it is more a matter of ignorance than stupidity.

However if everyone has a graduate degree then we better start working on an army of robots to handle some of the more menial tasks. I can't imagine how Congress would corrupt passage of the 'three laws'.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #40
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After 20 years of renting to the "poor" the only answer I know is reduce the subsidies.

Case in point .... I just rented a HUD home I rehab'ed over the summer. The tenant is disabled. Receives: housing (1200/mo), SSDI (1100/mo) and heat subsities. Not sure about food stamps.

Here's the kicker: she drives a Lexus (from the boyfriend) and has between 15-20k worth or diamonds on her fingers. Questioned about the jewels, she said they were: "gifts" and "inhertitance". Questioned about the car, "it's registered in my boyfriends name". Did I mention the boyfriend is paying an extra 100/mo for her rent.

Yeah, these people know how to play people.

Street smarts might trump college smarts.
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