Re: Longer view...
Where is the panel that gets to decide who needs what.
Is it in the constitution somewhere, that this or that is a need but that other thing is a luxury?
Time have changed, things are always advancing. I remember several conversations on this board about how wonderful manicures and pedicures are. But seems to me in the not all that distant past manicures and pedicures where basically only had by the super rich. In my earliest memories of a beauty shop I do not remember anything like a manicurist. But maybe I don't because it wasn't something my mother would have been interested in. I remember cuticle oil and orange sticks and painting our own fingernails.
Now don't bite my head off about manicures. It is just an example about how standards have changed so drastically in the last 50 or 60 years. So to say that the poor in America should be the same as in say the 30's or even earlier is in my opinion an elitist statement.
By the way the article I read was taken from a "report" or "statement" or whatever you call what a think tank releases. A think tank called the Heritage Foundation which boasts such stellar members as Rush Limbaugh and Shaun Hannity. Good Americans who love and respect all Americans.
Also entitlements and the entitlement mentality in this country is another conversation I think.
Re: Longer view...
I did fly last winter, for the first time in 57 years of living,, and enjoyed four days in NYC, but none of that, except the museums and culture, is for me. I do get main/ pedi work done, usually once every four to six weeks, but have gotten color maybe three or four times on toenails in my whole life, fingernails once. I get them done for health reasons. I am diabetic, and foot care is crucial, so that does fall into necessary grooming to me.
Since I didn't ask or expect anyone else to pay for my care or travel, it is immaterial to me whether anyone else thinks I needed to do these things or not. When you are spending your own money, that you earned for yourself by your own efforts, then once bills are paid, the rest is a judgment call in my mind.
One of the most high- income earners I know will not have a microwave in his house...not that he is scard of radiation, he just hates the way they ruin good food. So, anyone is welcome to spend their income as they see fit.
I just do not favor hearing how poor a person is if they have an Xbox and cable TV, but are living on public assistance. It speaks to choices and making the choices that insure your health and safety v mindless entertainment. When you gave your kids lunch money, did you expect them to pitch pennies on the playground, and go hungry all day instead of eating a midday meal?
It doesn't matter who says it...and I am no fan of Rush, but just because he supports a position does not make it automatically false.
When I hear from a deputy that food stamps turned up at a crack house, that ticks me off. Forgive me, but I do not see me changing my mind too quickly on that and similar social problems.
Instant gratification v saving and spending wisely are two important hallmarks of fiscal responsibility. This whole concept is related to lottery ticket sales, and who buys most of them...the lottery commissions around here are bugged that people with disposable income aren't too keen on buying them.
We are worlds apart politically in your point of view, I think, but I truly do not stick to one party, one political perspective. I be
Ieve in helping children and the elderly, but not very many people in between. Rare exceptions to that in my mind...if you make it too easy for able people, they lose their ability.
Re: Longer view...
Somehow, even although I know he is in pain from imperfections in surgical techniques that attempted to fix all of that, he works full-time at very demanding job, runs/ helps run the two businesses he and daughter share, and is now learning to be a steer roper. Oh, and he keeps up feet, and shoes as needed, on about fifty horses at last count, and helps Mike with all of our equipment repair and maintenance, and many farm repairs.
If he is not disabled by his circumstances, very few people should be, by comparison.
Be glad the crowd at your place pays rent. That is getting to be fewer and further between, but they still think your owe them a roof and new carpet.
Re: Longer view...
Actually I don't think we are all that far apart. But I know several if not many families that would fit in the government definition of poor. But they are good hard working people. Maybe not the brightest light under the bush so therefore they don't have large incomes, but they aren't on the government hand out line either.
But to have a bunch of rich (and I realize I am making a huge assumption) yahoos say they are not poor and deserving of help if they decide to ask for it just because by good management they have something like a refrigerator and microwave and maybe even found a way to give their kids an Xbox makes me mad.
Re: Longer view...
There is a huge difference between "situational poverty" and "generational poverty". The current economic condition has forced many previously self supporting people into situational poverty. The kind that loss of jobs, loss of health care insurance and loss in value of their major investment, their home, creates.
Along with those folks, add in those who are working hard to support themselves and their own children and family members but find that their paychecks just don't go as far as they once did. They ARE working and don't want to be dependent but just find themselves falling further and further behind. Food and fuel are killing these people.
The block of voters (catch my cynicism here) that falls into the "generational poverty" category have never had a middle class life, they don't aspire to it, don't know any better and all the programs and entitlements in the world are not going to change their circumstances. In fact, the programs and entitlements simply reinforce their circumstances.
Unfortunately, the groups of folks falling into situational poverty make just enough to disqualify themselves for assistance (even if they chose to take it) so they fall further and further behind. The system is not set up to help them it is set up to take a portion of what little they have and give it to others who wont work.
Disability is the new welfare. I see able bodied people every day who are seeking disability for NO REASON. It is infuriating. Disability was intended to help those who lost their jobs or cannot work due to severe injury or illness. I am seeing people who have no long term stable employment history seeking disabiility for the dumbest things....bi-polar disorder is the most commonly used. What a joke. Why should you be eligible for disability from work if you never worked???
I agree that the wealthy are getting wealthier and the middle class is slipping. However, I am still opposed to any kind of redistribution of wealth. I am sick and tired of people who have worked and taken risks and provided jobs for others being penalized for their success.
I am sick and tired of people who have no investment in higher education and hold a job that does not involve any responsibility or risk or higher level skill believing that they are entitled to earn the same amount of money as someone who has a huge investment (college loans or business loans) and assets that they risk to create wealth and jobs.
For example, should the guy who has no investment in college or advanced training, who works 8-5 and leaves at the end of the day with no worries or responsibilities, who does a job that can be easily performed by most people be making any where near as much as the guy who worked hard, went to college, took a risk, started a company and created jobs? Sorry, I think not. But there are those who think everyone "deserves" to have what others have.
Those who make more have the oppotunity to give to the poor and needy if they choose. That is a personal choice for which they will be judged someday.
But no government should have the right to force 50% of its citizens to support the other 50% of the citizens. It all boils down to votes. If they take away the entitlments they will lose the votes. And if they take away the entitlements they risk revolt.
So they keep piling it on to the rest of us to pay and pay and pay.....it stinks.
Anyone who really doubts that people on public assistance (generationally) are going without consider this....they get cash assistance, food stamps, subsidized housing, subsidized transportation and child care, gas vouchers, about any kind of employment training they want and they still wont work. They have every excuse in the world.
However, they keep having children they cant afford, they manage to afford cigarettes, alcohol, tatoos, piercings, cell phones and all the prescription drugs you can imagine. It all boils down to they are living what they learned. I don't blame them or despise them for their lifestyle. But I dont want to subsidize it, either.
I will extend an open invitation to anyone who doubts this to stay at my "bed and breakfast" and go to work with me for a week. It will change the most liberal thinker's mind.
Recommended viewing relative to this thread
If you can watch this, please stay with it all the way to the end. I think my husband finally saw precisely why I am so adamant that women set the moral tone of a culture...but, you really have to see the very end to grasp that totally.
The two attorneys interviewed for this piece made some startling observations about entitlement, and I would say somewhat on self- fulfilling prophecies, too. One commented that the patriarch od this clan was " smart about Social Security than moat lawyers".
Even though he was an ill -educated coal miner, he figured out how to get his kids Social Security disability checks from very early ages, which they have come to feel entitled to forever. The only catch is, they had to be deemed " crazy". This is a role they have
fulfilled quite well.
There was also a good bit about the dynamic of an area being controlled by outside interests, for its natural wealth. This is what goes on with our county...and what happened to my home farm in VA, too.
Do not watch it with kids...lots of " bad" language...but with teenagers, it might be very instructive. You will understand what I am talking about being fed up with if you see this one.
Re: Longer view...
First of all, if you can, watch the TV documentary I wrote about in this thread above. Reinforces every word you have ever written on this subject of generational entitlement.
Second, I had just put Suze Orman on hold to step out onto theroch with iPad, to check the radar. Lightning and thunder near the river may be a storm here shortly, but it is always nice to check the actual path of a storm as it approaches. She had just started the program tonight with her concerns for 2012.
If fuel,and food prices are killng the working class now, her projections for next year will bury them deeper. Given oil price instability, which is reflected in food prices for both plastic packaging and transport, she says a 14 to 40 % increase in food prices may materialize, as early as the third or fourth month of next year.
Heaven help us if it does.....
Re: Longer view...
Soilbabe, I worked with people on SSI for long enough to agree with what you are saying.
Kay, what a frightening prospect for 2012. I had heard that food prices might go up 20% by late summer several months ago. But just look at what the weather conditions have left us with lately. I have never had the garden disasters that I have seen this summer and that is in IN. No floods here and no real droughts yet here, yet but first it was too wet and now it is too hot and dry. But think about all the flooded areas and areas damaged by storms that won't be producing their own garden produce or farm crops that won't be on the market. Add in the increases in fuel and insurance etc. I think insurance premiums with be much higher at renewal time when you consider all the tornado damage and flooding in this country this year. It is not a pretty prospect for 2012 when one considers the world situations and our own country's problems too.
Re: Longer view...
Given your work history, I think you would love the documentary I wrote about above.
We have enjoyed our garden as a form of recreation and exercise this spring for me, mostly eating sweet corn, and enjoyed squash, until the borers got my vines. As you say, many crops have been stressed out by the weather, even if they have been well-watered all along, as ours have been.
I have never really "noticed" food prices all that much. We raised much of what we ate back home, and I have been lucky enough not to have money worries on the household budget for the most part. This is predominantly due to Mike's work ethic, and now owes some thanks to no longer feeding three teenagers anymore.
Still, I do notice that prices have gone up, and package sizes have gone down, so consumers are getting far less for their money now than even a year ago. We have virtually quit eating out, so my grocery budget may include several more meals each week than it did a year or two ago.
Then again, we can eat well all day for one tab of two sandwich meals out. Have had a lunch to celebrate a friend's college graduation, and have taken daughter out for lunch at local diners a couple of times, to give her a break after her day's work is done.
I have also elected to stop buying stuff like chips and cookies. No soft drinks, although I do keep some bought lemonade and some Crystal Light that Mike enjoys. Gatorade and G2 are essential in this weather, but no canned drinks, period.
Almost everything I buy now is directly planned for meals, and one decent snack a day. If we have a sweet, it has to be homemade, or at least made from a whole grain mix. These may cost more, but we use less, so it's a wash.
I think that a lot of food costs could be held in line by preparing more from scratch or near scratch at home. Convenience costs a lot...but, a lot of households don't have a cook among them anymore.
Speaking of cooking, I need to get jiggy with it right now...have had a nice, quiet morning on the porch, catching Mike's alarm test calls, and just enjoying the cool and damp air. I have some mangos that need to be cans of chutney before dark, and I am eyeing a watermelon with a nice, thick rind, for pickle, perhaps????
Re: Longer view...
Drug addicts and computer hackers are not limited to those that are poor. There are plenty from all financial classes that end up behind bars. Take Bernie Madoff and Lindsey Lohan, for example.
There are many that have more wealth than you that believe they are entitled to much more from politicians and government than the average citizen. They don't have to work and instead, live like deadbeats from inheritance. The wealthiest 400 in this nation have more than the bottom 60%. That disparity is not from laziness. That is the result of the economic table tilted to the top few.