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Old 09-18-2007, 09:46 AM   #101
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Agree, it is not that simple. But I do think that to the extent that we move towards 'bail outs' and alleviating people from the consequences of their poor decisions, we do tend to encourage that behavior.
And it's tempting to think that all their problems will be solved with a hand-out, but that is almost never the case.
I hate to get down to specific cases, as one can always provide a counter anecdote, but in Brewer's example, I can't help but wonder if that joint-rollin' mom's life style was not 'enabled' by some government handouts?
I think that in the spectrum of factors contributing to bad behaviors in both bankers and pot-smokers, govt handouts are the least contribution.

We'd all like to believe that philanthropy and activism can replace govt-mandated bailouts, but not enough people and not enough money step up to the plate.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:01 AM   #102
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We'd all like to believe that philanthropy and activism can replace govt-mandated bailouts, but not enough people and not enough money step up to the plate.
Isn't that saying something though. Collectively, aren't WE the gov't? If not enough individual people have the desire to step up to the plate and give money, what does that say about how people feel about the issues?

We are, after all, a democratic society. So, if I have a group of 10 and 7 of us don't want to do something. Should the other 3 get to force the group to do it because those 3 people feel it's the right thing to do?
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:14 AM   #103
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Isn't that saying something though. Collectively, aren't WE the gov't? If not enough individual people have the desire to step up to the plate and give money, what does that say about how people feel about the issues?

We are, after all, a democratic society. So, if I have a group of 10 and 7 of us don't want to do something. Should the other 3 get to force the group to do it because those 3 people feel it's the right thing to do?
Democratic republic, last time I checked, which is why the current administration hasn't been defenestrated by now.

Since all you libertariarns and fellow travelers can't stand the thought of helping out your fellow man, how do you feel about a far greater consumer of tax dollars: the military?
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:20 AM   #104
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I already do, and so do you.
Actually no, I am not WILLING even though I am DOING...
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:22 AM   #105
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Actually no, I am not WILLING even though I am DOING...
And I am not willing to fund a penny of military expenditures with my tax dollars, but I do.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:27 AM   #106
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Isn't that saying something though. Collectively, aren't WE the gov't? If not enough individual people have the desire to step up to the plate and give money, what does that say about how people feel about the issues?
Yeah, it tells me that people either don't understand, don't care, or aren't doing the right thing by whatever moral code the society is imposing for their membership.

Or else you're claiming that they're voting with their pocketbooks. I guess that's one way to do it, but I'd hate to have to fund a police force, firefighters, and rescue workers out of that approach... let alone figure out how to make Mokuleia Beach a place where the homeless won't drive away the beachgoers.

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We are, after all, a democratic society. So, if I have a group of 10 and 7 of us don't want to do something. Should the other 3 get to force the group to do it because those 3 people feel it's the right thing to do?
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Democratic republic, last time I checked, which is why the current administration hasn't been defenestrated by now.
Sure, every dollar vote counts. States don't have to do a lot of what the federal govt asks them to do, but then they wouldn't get those federal dollars to support their state programs.

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Since all you libertariarns and fellow travelers can't stand the thought of helping out your fellow man, how do you feel about a far greater consumer of tax dollars: the military?
Well, as a govt-subsidized bailout it sure kept me off the streets. All your tax dollars actually worked.

I don't know whether the federal/state military payroll is bigger than all the federal & state welfare programs, but I know that the defense budget is a lot smaller than Social Security & Medicare. Admittedly that's not much of an achievement.

But if someone comes up with a better alternative to the armed forces then I'm ready to disarm. You go first.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:28 AM   #107
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Democratic republic, last time I checked, which is why the current administration hasn't been defenestrated by now.

Since all you libertariarns and fellow travelers can't stand the thought of helping out your fellow man, how do you feel about a far greater consumer of tax dollars: the military?
Yes, yes, I know the U.S. is not a true democracy, it's a republic. Still, we elect the law makers who make the decisions and who should listen to the views and thoughts of those who elected them. If you noticed, I said we're a democratic society not a democracy.

I never said I can't stand the thought of helping out my fellow man. Quite the contrary, my wife and I donate money to a number of charities. I simply don't believe it's the gov'ts job.

Lastly, I believe the one of the true functions of gov't is to protect the safety of it's citizens from outside attack. So, I support our military. Notice I said I support our military, not what it's being forced to do by poor leadership.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:32 AM   #108
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It is rarely as simple as someone waking up one day and saying "Ya know, I just don't feel like working; I'll let the government support me instead". The pathologies that lead to permanent underclass status are many and varied, and they start at an early age. The young wife is a teacher at an "alternative high school", which is where they send the kids who just can't cope with regular high school. The stories she could tell you about the home lives of some of her students would curl your hair. It is a miracle if they can graduate from high school and stay out of jail. It is tempting to think that all their problems will be solved with a swift kick in the @ss, but that is almost never the case.
I agree it is not simple... but I gave an example of someone in my family who had a upper middle class upbringing, went to good schools, had a loving family, is VERY intellegent and STILL sits on his butt...

And my mother taught kindergarten way back when in a lower class neighborhood... many sad stories. Some were already being arrested by the law as it was easy for a gang to break a window and throw a small kid inside to steal or open up the door...

Now, for a very general statement... my sister was a case worker for welfare when she was young... and a LOT of the people knew the laws better then most of the employees... they 'networked' and taught each other how to get more from the system. Trading kids when the case worker was coming... hiding the cars, etc etc.... they put a lot of work into screwing the system. They could have easily used this skill for a real job...

I know welfare was changed back in Clintons years... and from what I remember, many people left the rolls of welfare... I think that some more changes would get even more off...

You are right... it is hard to say who is ''needy" and who is not.. but to tell the truth there are many services available to prevent anyone from starving. But, when I spent a couple of years in NY, I was shocked to read an article that the 'average' person on welfare had a cell phone and cable TV... heck, I didn't have a cell phone and cable TV!!
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:39 AM   #109
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Lastly, I believe the one of the true functions of gov't is to protect the safety of it's citizens from outside attack.
Very convenient. We hate the gummint except for the parts that kill and opress people. Fabulous. Nice belief system you have there.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:50 AM   #110
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Democratic republic, last time I checked, which is why the current administration hasn't been defenestrated by now.

Since all you libertariarns and fellow travelers can't stand the thought of helping out your fellow man, how do you feel about a far greater consumer of tax dollars: the military?
The military is a very small percent of the gvmt spending... but I do think we spend WAY to much on it... but would rather spend to much than to little.

BTW, this IS one of the responsibilities of the federal gvmt in the constitution.... welfare is not...

Also, don't get me wrong... I am not against helping people which seems to be the view of what I say by some here... but I think that we help to many that really do not need help.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:50 AM   #111
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Very convenient. We hate the gummint except for the parts that kill and opress people. Fabulous. Nice belief system you have there.
Without the military I'd be writing my response to your comment in German. Or, maybe you forgot that little squirmish called WWII where the US military saved the world from an oppressive, psychotic dictator.

Maybe we should have let Hitler kill as many people as he wanted. Nice belief system you have there.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:01 AM   #112
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Without the military I'd be writing my response to your comment in German. Or, maybe you forgot that little squirmish called WWII where the US military saved the world from an oppressive, psychotic dictator.

Maybe we should have let Hitler kill as many people as he wanted. Nice belief system you have there.

heheh, I believe this discussion is officially over now.

Thank you.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:05 AM   #113
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heheh, I believe this discussion is officially over now.
Thank you.
Eyerish, do you need to re-acquaint yourself with Godwin's Law?
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:12 AM   #114
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Undoubtedly. But this is all about trying to do the grestest good. So should we let 100 people starve because preventing them from starving will keep 20 people from becoming more productive adults? I think not. I wish we could prevent the hundred from starving and not impair the 20, but life doesn't give us those options most of the time.
Brewer, I agree in spirit, but I think this is exactly why this issue gets so contentious.

I suspect that even a cross section of the 'middle of America' would have a hard time agreeing on just what ratio of scammers to needy-but-neglected would be acceptable.

You mention 100 starving because we might want to keep benefits from 20 scammers. I imagine some would go as far (or further) as saying give benefits to 1000 scammers just to keep ONE needy person off the street. Others would flip the numbers.

I'm not sure I could pick a number, and it would probably change day-to-day. People have trouble assignng numbers to emotional issues like this, it is tough. Journalists will always find the one person denied benefits and make a story of it. And it *is* a story, it just may not reflect the larger view.

Adding to the obfuscation, it's near impossible to collect the numbers to even know where we are or where we are going.

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Since all you libertariarns and fellow travelers can't stand the thought of helping out your fellow man,
Who ARE you referring to here? I don't have time right now to re-read all the posts, but IIRC no one here is talking about not helping anyone. I don't think those comments are adding to the discussion.

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Old 09-18-2007, 11:13 AM   #115
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Eyerish, do you need to re-acquaint yourself with Godwin's Law?
Wow.... you learn something every day.... I did not know this 'law'...

What if we use those Japenese Do we still 'lose'?
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:19 AM   #116
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Eyerish, do you need to re-acquaint yourself with Godwin's Law?
Ha!

I knew I was being bated but I didn't know what for. Thanks for the education on Goodwin's Law. I wasn't familiar with it.

Good work brewer.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:23 AM   #117
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I've ignored this thread because I thought it was about various mortgage bailout proposals.

Nice job Gumby.

The only thing I would like to throw into the mix is that currently there is no safety net for people who are not completely disabled or do not have young children. A big problem is kids in foster care. They are more or less taken care of until they are 18. Then it ends. Nothing. No health insurance. No cash assistance. The kick in the ass sure hasn't helped.
A number have many many problems but don't fall within the restrictive disability provisions. This contributes to the underclass problem we have.

(sorry for violating Godwin's law)
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:40 AM   #118
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Armor.... good points...

And I will give an example... I have a nephew who is very intellegent, scores in the 95 percentile on the test...

could not make it in college for whatever reason... was a drop out... lived off family memebers for awhile... etc. etc. etc...

As you can see, his born abilities are more than most, but he has wasted them in his pursuit of his life. I will not help him out financially for anything and I do not think the gvmt should help him out either. However, from what I read from Gumby, he should be helped as he is in the 'poor' class...
I didn't read Gumby's/Rawls thought experiment that way at all. I suspect most people not knowing what they would be endowed with would be glad to design a world where this looser lived in a shack - his choice. On the other hand, this looser's kids would be given the benefit of schooling and health insurance (ha ha) to insure that they have an opportunity for success.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:34 PM   #119
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I've ignored this thread because I thought it was about various mortgage bailout proposals.

The only thing I would like to throw into the mix is that currently there is no safety net for people who are not completely disabled or do not have young children.
So... what is this thread about?

I thought it was about 'should people who made risky financial decisions be bailed-out?'. If their risky bet paid off, would those same people be likely to offer to share any more of their rewards with you than obligated by law? I have yet to hear anyone say 'Wow, I made a fortune on my house appreciation and this highly leveraged mortgage. I think I'll give the bank some of my profits!'.

When it goes right, they are 'smart', and just 'working the system'. When it goes wrong, it's 'Oh, those poor people, they didn't understand the contract they signed'.

Some keep turning this thread into the whole spectrum of social issues. It makes me think they really don't want to address the issue at hand.

BTW, not 'picking' on you Martha, just a general observation.

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Old 09-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #120
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Some keep turning this thread into the whole spectrum of social issues. It makes me think they really don't want to address the issue at hand.

-ERD50
Yup. Why? Because it seems to me like debating t he tax code. You cannot do anything about it so why bother? Its like a fly floating down the stream on his back with an erection shouting, "Raise the drawbridge!"
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