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Old 06-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #61
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I don't recall anyone who empathizes (in a positive manner) with people who don't apply themselves, even putting aside the question as to whether that set of people is a significant or insignificant portion of those who are beneficiaries of assistance.

The point I am making is that if you're going to accuse anyone of entitlement mentality, you have to put at the top of the list the people who place their own comfort and luxury over the basic needs of others. The reality is that you're better off leaving aside all such nefarious characterizations, of people on both sides, and stop trying to accuse those who are less fortunate of scurrilous things. But again - if you are going to cast aspersions, then be prepared to have those aspersions cast even more directly at the people you're trying to defend, because their position is less defensible due to what it is (a third HDTV, the trip to Aruba, the car for the college student) that they do with their added financial capacity.

At some point there needs to be justice, too. But let's dig into what you mean by personal responsibility. The reason why I want to dig into it deeper is that because every time I do so those advocating it refuse to say specifically what it means - what specific sanctions and consequences they would inflict on those who are less fortunate. They won't detail just how they're going to differentiate between those who are unsuccessful due to circumstance versus "lack of discipline". When the rubber meets the road, every time I've asked people to be specific about what they mean, I get non-answers, and so I've had to conclude that its just platitude rather than a well-considered, morally-founded, socially conscious policy perspective. If there really is substance to such advocacy, I really would like to learn the full parameters thereof. I especially want to know how those parameters will affect those who retire, not early but rather at retirement age, but without financial independence.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #62
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We all have examples, on both sides. I'm not sure why people are reacting the way they are to the assertion that examples don't prove anything.

Entitlement mentality is a big problem, but it exists on both sides. Many people feel entitled to personal comfort and luxury at the expense of the basic needs of others, and that's a significant source of real problems.

The unshakable reality is that we're all in this together. Some choose to hold themselves apart from the concerns of their neighbors while others empathize. Both are "legal".
I never stepped on anyone to achieve what I have achieved and I resent the implication that I have. I add that I have no empathy, nor sympathy for this who make choices that make them unemployable or underemployed, or otherwise unable to meet their basic needs. It was their choice. This is a free country. I DO have empathy and sympathy for those who are unemployable due to no fault of their own, such as devastating illness, mental or physical issues that prevent work, etc. But, this does not extend to those who game the system to get on disability (I have a neighbor who had done just that...he is on SS disability at age 50 because he can no longer be a roofer...but he works on his 2 acre property every day, harder than I am working on mine).

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Old 06-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #63
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I don't think anyone needs to worry about being the one person specifically responsible for one other person's quandary. This is a reflection of a system that people participate in, generally without any better choice available to themselves personally. Institutionalized injustice is far more difficult to remedy than the kind of injustice where one person is committing a harm onto another person. This system we have has even evolved to promote the callous disregard of its recklessly unjust impact on some - those who sidestep the pitfalls are taught to disparage and disrespect those less fortunate. I've met far too many good people doing the very best they can given the options available to them, and seen too much hardcore evidence that that's the general case for folks in that predicament rather than indolence, to abide by such aspersions.

Even prominent leaders of our economy recognize this shared responsibility. Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen made clear that reducing unemployment should take center stage in our economic efforts. In 2004, Yellen, along with her Nobel Prize-winning husband George Akerlof recognized, “Policy makers should be compelled to take action given the serious costs of long-term unemployment when overall unemployment is already high.” Her focus on pouring society's resources into getting everyone jobs that they can do and keep underscored by her comment, “A week of unemployment is worse when it is experienced as part of a longer spell.”

And that's what we're talking about. We're not talking about hand-outs for hand-outs' sake, but rather making the economy and everyone who benefits from it responsible - "personally responsible" if you'd prefer - for providing the resources that ensure that everyone else is also working.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #64
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:59 PM   #65
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[QUOTE="bUU"]I don't recall anyone who empathizes (in a positive manner) with people who don't apply themselves, even putting aside the question as to whether that set of people is a significant or insignificant portion of those who are beneficiaries of assistance.

The point I am making is that if you're going to accuse anyone of entitlement mentality, you have to put at the top of the list the people who place their own comfort and luxury over the basic needs of others. The reality is that you're better off leaving aside all such nefarious characterizations, of people on both sides, and stop trying to accuse those who are less fortunate of scurrilous things. But again - if you are going to cast aspersions, then be prepared to have those aspersions cast even more directly at the people you're trying to defend, because their position is less defensible due to what it is (a third HDTV, the trip to Aruba, the car for the college student) that they do with their added financial capacity.

At some point there needs to be justice, too. But let's dig into what you mean by personal responsibility. The reason why I want to dig into it deeper is that because every time I do so those advocating it refuse to say specifically what it means - what specific sanctions and consequences they would inflict on those who are less fortunate. They won't detail just how they're going to differentiate between those who are unsuccessful due to circumstance versus "lack of discipline". When the rubber meets the road, every time I've asked people to be specific about what they mean, I get non-answers, and so I've had to conclude that its just platitude rather than a well-considered, morally-founded, socially conscious policy perspective. If there really is substance to such advocacy, I really would like to learn the full parameters thereof. I especially want to know how those parameters will affect those who retire, not early but rather at retirement age, but without financial independence.[/QUOTE

One specific would be high school graduation rates. Only 75% and even as low as 60% for some groups. We're paying 8 grand a kid! Not only a waste of present resources but future ones as they are destined to under achieve. Or is that setting the bar too high?
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:05 PM   #66
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