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Old 03-12-2013, 04:37 PM   #21
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Also, when someone uses the phrase "societal failure" in regards to why some achieve more than others, that excludes the group in question (the less well off) and essentially says those that have achieved have failed those that have not achieved. Really? I would argue we have a library problem;public libraries are everywhere but I don't see many of the "marginalized" in the library. Others outside this nation laugh at what we define as the "poverty" level. Just my thoughts.
It's all a game. Very few writing or politicking about inequality really give a crap, it is just a convenient and effective way to get what they really want, which is more power, more money flowing through their hands, more taken away from other centers of power like business and private wealth.

Politics and values and "research" into these social questions is about gathering power and influence, and decreasing the funds and hence power available to opposing groups, not about making the socioeconomic system work better.

It is similar to hunting for excuses to start a war; these excuses have little or nothing to do with the real motivations of the war proponents.

Ha
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:21 PM   #22
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It's all a game. Very few writing or politicking about inequality really give a crap, it is just a convenient and effective way to get what they really want, which is more power, more money flowing through their hands, more taken away from other centers of power like business and private wealth.

Politics and values and "research" into these social questions is about gathering power and influence, and decreasing the funds and hence power available to opposing groups, not about making the socioeconomic system work better.

It is similar to hunting for excuses to start a war; these excuses have little or nothing to do with the real motivations of the war proponents.

Ha
I basically agree with this view, but I think I can smell bacon.

If the approaches that have been taken to "cure" poverty had been even slightly effective over the years, we wouldn't still be at roughly (or worse) the same "poverty" level as we were when we started the great society in '65. I don't consider this a political view since both sides "buy" votes (by giving away stuff) when they get a chance to. The real problem is that, while we haven't "cured" poverty, we have gotten ourselves into $16 Tril. debt. I've seen an analysis which indicates that the debt can be equated with the cost of the "war on poverty". Obviously, someone else will say it's the "war on drugs" or still someone else will say it's the "war on foreign soil". So, as always, YMMV. BUT, clearly, we have spent a ginormous amount of money to fix something that either can not be fixed or else the approach was totally as Ha describes it - a power/money grab. Again, YMMV and wake up and smell the bacon.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #23
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There was a lot of collateral damage during that "War on Poverty"--The role of the family and especially of fathers was extensively diminished, replaced by a government check. Now we find that didn't work. Kids generally learn about traditional family roles by growing up in a family, so I'm wondering how we pick up the pieces when two generations of kids grew up without a dad. I'll bet there will be a helpful government program to fix the new problem.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:49 PM   #24
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If the approaches that have been taken to "cure" poverty had been even slightly effective over the years, we wouldn't still be at roughly (or worse) the same "poverty" level as we were when we started the great society in '65.
The definition of poverty had to change - to become more compassionate and therefore more inclusive - in order for that claim to hold water. The reality is that poverty had been greatly relieved during the period from the Great Society well into the 1970s, and it was only the 1980s that slowed the progress, and then reversed it, as the effect of skyrocketing economic inequity started taking its toll on the constructive efforts in that regard.

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There was a lot of collateral damage during that "War on Poverty"--The role of the family and especially of fathers was extensively diminished
What do you suggest? How would you remedy the damage before pulling the rug out under the safety net in place, allegedly to guard against the negative impact of the damage you highlight?
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #25
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The definition of poverty had to change - to become more compassionate and therefore more inclusive - in order for that claim to hold water.
The definition of poverty had to change to keep the "need" for the poverty "programs" and to provide government workers a job - especially high-paid administrators. Government always needs a "war on (fill in the blank) to justify its ever increasing size. Funny. I didn't know I was "poor" in the 50s, but by any current definition, I was. So were virtually all the kids I went to school with. But, my parents stuck together, LBYM, gave us hand-me-downs, didn't have a TV until 1960, worked 12 hours a day (small business), didn't take vacations, didn't eat out, didn't use alcohol or drugs, and they didn't take gummint hand outs (what there were at the time).

I don't claim to have the answer, but doing MORE of what doesn't work (as we are now doing) seems the definition of insanity. But, as always, JMHO, so YMMV. (Can you hear the sizzle - mmmmm bacon, bacon, bacon.)
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:56 AM   #26
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The definition of poverty had to change to keep the "need" for the poverty "programs" and to provide government workers a job - especially high-paid administrators.
You can choose to try to deflect responsibility for the compassionate changes wherever you wish, but you cannot legitimately deny that living in America as a member of the hard working poor hadn't been been improving steadily over the middle of last century, and that there were people who supported those changes on moral grounds.

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Government always needs a "war on (fill in the blank) to justify its ever increasing size.
Assuming that that's even remotely relevant (and of course, I don't believe it is), better that government be working to make the lives of those less fortunate better rather than working to pad the pockets of rich executives of companies that supply the tools of war against other nations.

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I don't claim to have the answer, but doing MORE of what doesn't work (as we are now doing) seems the definition of insanity.
The problem with that logic is that many people - right now, most people - disagree with your sentiment that stopping doing what we're doing now is better than continuing to do what we're doing now with regard to the less fortunate. The medicine may not be curing the disease, but it is relieving some of the suffering, and that's better than just letting the patient writhe in misery.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:38 AM   #27
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The problem with that logic is that many people - right now, most people - disagree with your sentiment that stopping doing what we're doing now is better than continuing to do what we're doing now with regard to the less fortunate.
Well, I guess if you and I ever agree upon anything - it will be to disagree. One thing I believe you are correct about. The current "wind" is blowing toward doing even more of what we've been doing for the past almost 50 years. YMMV
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:05 AM   #28
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And on that note:


Thanks to all who contributed.
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