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Old 08-04-2009, 07:39 PM   #41
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I perhaps apply a similar rule as you if I am asked to help. But compassion is free. It's limitless like love, why not give it freely?

Ha
The milk of human kindness does not exatly flow freely around here, in case you have not noticed.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:08 PM   #42
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The milk of human kindness does not exatly flow freely around here, in case you have not noticed.
I've learned the hard way when to be kind and when not to. During the recession of the early 90's, I had 2 young men knock on my door looking for any kind of odd job, saying they were down on their luck bricklayers. I felt compassion for them and gave them several jobs, and even pulled a tooth on one of the pro bono to relieve a toothache (yes I'm a dentist). My act of kindness was repaid with grand larceny, contact with shady characters, possible endangerment of the lives of my wife, my kids, and my baby sitter, and many hours lost sitting in court.

It is an amazing and somewhat humourous story. Those interested in the whole story can PM me.

During all of this the police gave me a bit of advice and told me it was nice to have a good charitable heart but give your charity to organizations that will properly screen for those who are truly in need.

As a result I scrutinize things a bit differently now.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:15 PM   #43
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My nephew, a young pharmacist, told us this story. An older woman came to him asking for help in filling her prescription. She asked for an "advance" on her medication, to which he obliged by giving her some pills to tide her over.

The week after, when she had money to get her prescription filled, my nephew was going to give her the remaining of her prescription. She protested, demanding the whole thing, and totally denying ever asking for help.

My nephew bent the rule to help this woman, and was determined never to do it again.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #44
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My nephew, a young pharmacist, told us this story. An older woman came to him asking for help in filling her prescription. She asked for an "advance" on her medication, to which he obliged by giving her some pills to tide her over.

The week after, when she had money to get her prescription filled, my nephew was going to give her the remaining of her prescription. She protested, demanding the whole thing, and totally denying ever asking for help.


My nephew bent the rule to help this woman, and was determined never to do it again.
Maybe it was medication for senility?
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:41 PM   #45
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These lower end consumers/workers are almost as different from the average person on this board as some guy in a loin cloth in the Amazon.

Ha
I think you underestimate the potential of the "lower end consumer". I know plenty of of "working stiffs", and quite a few of them have good money sense. And I've known corporate executives who had to manage a budget of many, many millions who ran their personal finances idiotically.



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I perhaps apply a similar rule as you if I am asked to help. But compassion is free. It's limitless like love, why not give it freely?

Ha
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
The milk of human kindness does not exactly flow freely around here, in case you have not noticed.
Here's my flavor of "compassion" - if someone like this came to me and asked me about personal finance, I would *very* generous with my time and effort. I'd go far out of my way to help them learn the basics and avoid the pitfalls. I see that as compassion with some meat behind it, and a good shot at a better outcome. The other compassion may be "nice", but is anyone really served by it in a case like this? I don't see it.

I'll save your kind of compassion for people who get into trouble through no fault of their own, and where my actions could do no good. What else can you do at that point?

Like W2R, I also wonder if the reporter didn't purposely pick a lame case, just to stir up the kind of interest that this thread has got. That is a cheap shot at the deserving people.

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Old 08-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #46
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There's a guy in my neighborhood who spent a couple months walking down the street with a rake or a lawn mower and asking for work. He brought his resume, explained this was only temporary while he looked for a job in his real field, but until then he needed bus fare to get to an interview, or a couple bucks to tide him over or whatever. I was skeptical but gave him a small yard job. He was the hardest worker I ever saw. Did the job and as much more as he could - asked for less than half what I should have paid him - and was grateful and happy to get the work. He came back a half dozen times over the few months, and I gave him work to do (and paid way over what he asked) every time. No regrets and I'm sure life worked out well for him. With that kind of attitude, how could it not?

Or he could have stayed in a basement somewhere and watched TV.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:05 PM   #47
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Because these people need a kick in the ass more than compassion. And while compassion may be free, our tax dollars supporting this family are not.
Well have at 'em tiger.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:30 PM   #48
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As they say " There but for the grace of God goes I ".
That thought kept echoing in my mind as I read the article.

We were so poor when I was a kid, that this family would have seemed rich to us. They have someplace to live and food to eat every day. There was a year when I had neither, and I was happy as hell about eating the government cheese. Partly because it was pretty good stuff, but mostly because it meant I got to eat that day. And being able to call a smelly basement home would have been a luxury.

When the migrant farm workers' kids at school nickname you "pobrecito" (the little poor one), you know there really isn't much farther for you to fall - you're already sitting on the absolute bottom. The good side is that any change is an improvement.

If they passed out merit badges for being poor white trash, I would have been a freaking Eagle Scout.

I never blamed anybody for how life was back then. That is just the way things are; sometimes life gives you a sh*t sandwich and holds the bread. I don't blame my parents, even though they bear the responsibility because things happened the way they did because of their poor decisions. It never made sense to blame society either and so I never have.

In fact, I don't think I ever blamed anyone.

When I look at the Nichols' family I don't feel superior. I just feel grateful as hell that it's not me. Maybe God made me a little smarter than them, or maybe not. Maybe life just taught me the right lessons at the right time. I can't say one way or the other. But I know that I am better at assessing risks and seizing opportunities than they are.

There was one opportunity that was open to me, the same one that my ancestors had when they came to this country, pick up a weapon and stand between scary dangerous people and the folks willing to pay me to do that. Sounded like a great deal to me back then, and it turned out even better than I hoped. I hope my kids get better opportunities, but I tell them both that the family business will always be there if they need it.

As best as I know, opportunity never forces itself on anyone. Opportunities always exist, are sometimes hard to find, and always involves some degree of risk. Crappy situations, however, do force themselves on us at their whim. To me, the difference between any of us is how we deal with the opportunities and crappy situations that find their way into our lives.

It's easy to feel compassion for the Nichols' as they struggle with their crappy situation. I have no feelings of schadenfreude or superiority toward them, but on the other hand, I really don't have much empathy for them. They have not handled the situation well, and the final act, moving to the number one worst small city for jobs, is admitting defeat.

I would die before going to live in my mother-in-law's stinky basement in not-a-chance-in-hell Michigan.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:33 PM   #49
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There's a guy in my neighborhood who spent a couple months walking down the street with a rake or a lawn mower and asking for work. He brought his resume, explained this was only temporary while he looked for a job in his real field, but until then he needed bus fare to get to an interview, or a couple bucks to tide him over or whatever. I was skeptical but gave him a small yard job. He was the hardest worker I ever saw. Did the job and as much more as he could - asked for less than half what I should have paid him - and was grateful and happy to get the work. He came back a half dozen times over the few months, and I gave him work to do (and paid way over what he asked) every time. No regrets and I'm sure life worked out well for him. With that kind of attitude, how could it not?

Or he could have stayed in a basement somewhere and watched TV.
Here's the best response I could find for this question- courtesy of bbbamI, in the 70's thread.

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... At a young age I was filled with grit and determination. I was able not only to survive, but flourish.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:43 PM   #50
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To me the main aspect of this story was the refusal of the husband to take his antidepression meds. I know and have known a large number of depressed individuals. You tend to run into them in therapy and rehab. If you are clinically depressed, normal standards are out the window. My question is are the wife and kids similarly afflicted? If so, odds are these folks will never be happy, whether on UI or making $120K/year. Sad.

My first thought when I read the article was "get off your ass and do something", followed by "there but for the grace of God...", but after thinking on it for a bit I'm going with "the poor will be with us always, and most reporters are scumbags". That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:11 PM   #51
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A friend told me a sob story over the weekend about an acquaintance whose lucrative executive search firm is struggling and the acquaintance is feeling the pain financially now after flourishing until a year ago. I asked why the acquaintance hadn't planned for cyclical business downturns and my friend (also in business for himself, and also hurting a little financially, I believe) looked at me like I was nuts--nobody does that, he said, you spend it when you get it.

So if my friend and the acquaintance with their education, experience, and other advantages, can't plan for downturns, I don't know why the people in this story would be able to even begin to figure it out.

The people in the story have at least a little sympathy from me. Even if they had saved for a rainy day, I wonder how long the savings would have lasted. I too noticed the father is not taking his antidepressants--that is sad. I hope they get it together soon.

I share Moe's "grace of God" feeling and was reminded of this little piece from the Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:59 PM   #52
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A friend told me a sob story over the weekend about an acquaintance whose lucrative executive search firm is struggling and the acquaintance is feeling the pain financially now after flourishing until a year ago. I asked why the acquaintance hadn't planned for cyclical business downturns and my friend (also in business for himself, and also hurting a little financially, I believe) looked at me like I was nuts--nobody does that, he said, you spend it when you get it.
Funny, one of my submariner shipmates left the Navy about 10 years ago to join a headhunter. First thing he did was create an entirely new line of business for them by recruiting not just the military's junior officers but by also tapping into the senior enlisted technicians.

His income was largely commission and somewhat "lumpy". He said that there was typically a 90-day lag between his protegés getting hired by their happy new MegaCorps and the actual payoff making its way to his checking account. So he knew to have a 90-day stash of rice & beans on hand, and to bank as much of those payoffs as he could.

I spent nearly 17 years keeping my info on file with those headhunters just in case. Every few months they'd e-mail or call and I'd end up steering another shipmate their way. They must've hired over a dozen but in the end I asked them to trash my file...
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:14 AM   #53
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Maybe these folks moved away from Indiana too soon. $2 Billion worth of stimulus is coming to create jobs there. Doesn't help with the life choices they made, but might help with finding work in trades they are comfortable with.

Obama ventures back to hurting region — with money - Yahoo! News
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:28 AM   #54
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To me the main aspect of this story was the refusal of the husband to take his antidepression meds. I know and have known a large number of depressed individuals. You tend to run into them in therapy and rehab. If you are clinically depressed, normal standards are out the window. My question is are the wife and kids similarly afflicted? If so, odds are these folks will never be happy, whether on UI or making $120K/year. Sad.
Yes. Now I'm glad I didn't waste my time reading past the part where he blew all his money when he had a good paying job.

This story isn't about the recession, it's about a guy with some mental health issues. As you say, if he doesn't address that he would have problems regardless of the economy. It is unrealistic to think we are assured that we could go through our entire working lives and not hit a poor economy along the way. If you don't prepare for it, you may get hurt by it.

It is a sad story, but it is sad because the guy has personal problems, not sad because of the economy.

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #55
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I am struck by how confidently people put forth opinions with no real basis. I guess it shouldn't suprise me. We may not know much, but by golly that never should stop a pronouncement!!

Many people working in the mental health fields find a strong correlation between depression and other aspects of poor mental health with poor economic times.

Ha
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:14 PM   #56
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Many people working in the mental health fields find a strong correlation between depression and other aspects of poor mental health with poor economic times.

Ha
Of course there is a strong correlation. No question.

There is also a strong correlation between rain and water damage from a leaky roof. Yet, we don't wait for a rainy day to fix our roof.

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Old 08-05-2009, 12:15 PM   #57
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To me the main aspect of this story was the refusal of the husband to take his antidepression meds..
He is not refusing to take his meds . He has no insurance so he is looking at a Doctor's visit and a prescription . Most anti depressants are $3.00 a pill so we are looking at $6 a day or $180 a month that they do not have .
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:19 PM   #58
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It struck me as foolish and selfish when the man spent money on himself (booze, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and gambling), leaving only $70 for the wife to buy food for the family until the next check. I feel for the children a lot more than the adults.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:45 PM   #59
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He is not refusing to take his meds . He has no insurance so he is looking at a Doctor's visit and a prescription . Most anti depressants are $3.00 a pill so we are looking at $6 a day or $180 a month that they do not have .
Maybe you missed this quote from an earlier post?


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... The bartender, gray-haired, gravelly-voiced Valerie, delivers his winnings and a $2 draft...He downs a seventh beer, then an eighth at 3:04...
Hmmmm, $2 * 8 = $16. $16>$6.

And that was just one of many examples of misplaced priorities. He has the money, he chooses to spend it on other things.

OK, I feel sorry that the guy has problems, but an unemployment check isn't going to solve his problems. Employment didn't solve his problems either.

-ERD50
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:05 PM   #60
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Maybe you missed this quote from an earlier post?




Hmmmm, $2 * 8 = $16. $16>$6.

And that was just one of many examples of misplaced priorities. He has the money, he chooses to spend it on other things.

OK, I feel sorry that the guy has problems, but an unemployment check isn't going to solve his problems. Employment didn't solve his problems either.

-ERD50
Yes- he actually has the money for the meds. He chose to spend it on beer and smokes.
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