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Author: Subject: Poverty is our worst enemy

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  posted on 9/9/2005 at 03:27 PM
What the waters have revealed
by Jim Wallis


In what may be the most catastrophic natural disaster in American history, the waters of Hurricane Katrina are washing away our national denial of just how many Americans are living in poverty, our reluctance to admit the still persistent connection of race and poverty in America, and even the political power of a conservative ideology that, for decades now, has seriously eroded the idea of the common good.


The pictures from New Orleans have stunned the nation. They have exposed the stark realities of who is suffering the most, who was left behind, who was waiting in vain for help to arrive, and who is facing the most difficult challenges of recovery. The face of those stranded in New Orleans was overwhelmingly poor and black, the very old and the very young. They were the ones who could not evacuate; had no cars or money for gas; no money for bus, train, or airfare; no budget for hotels or no friends or family with room to share or spare. They were already vulnerable before this calamity, now they were totally exposed and on their own. For days, nobody came for them. And the conditions of the places they were finally herded to ("like animals," many testified) sickened the nation.


From the reporters covering the unprecedented disaster to ordinary Americans glued to their televisions watching their reports, a shocked and even outraged response was repeated, "I didn't realize how many Americans were poor." Powerful images have emerged along with the pictures. "We have now seen what is under the rock in America," said a carpenter in Washington DC. The vulnerability of the poorest children in New Orleans has been especially riveting to many Americans, especially other parents. Many say they had trouble holding back their tears when they saw mothers with their babies stranded on rooftops crying for help or jammed into dangerous and dirty places waiting for help to arrive. And the pictures may get worse as countless bodies are brought out of New Orleans. Even Homeland Security Director, Michael Chertoff, is warning that it will be horrible and gruesome. Clearly, a very high percentage of those bodies will be poor, black, elderly, and even children. The public anger may grow.



As a direct result of Katrina and its aftermath, and for the first time in many years, the media are reporting on poverty, telling Americans that New Orleans had an overall poverty rate of 28% (84% of them African-American), and a child poverty rate of almost 50% - half of all the city's children (rates only a little higher than other major cities and actually a little lower than some others). Ironically (and some might say providentially) the annual U. S. Census poverty report came out during the Hurricane's deadly assault showing that poverty had risen for the fourth straight year with 37 million Americans stuck below the poverty line - and they were the ones most stuck in New Orleans.


Katrina has revealed what was already there in America; an invisible and mostly silent poverty that we have chosen not to talk about, let alone to take responsibility for in the richest nation on earth. This week, we all saw it; and so did the rest of the world. And it made Americans feel both compassionate and ashamed. Many political leaders and commentators, across the ideological spectrum, have acknowledged the national tragedy, not just of the horrendous storm, but of the realities the flood waters have exposed. And some have suggested that if the aftermath of Katrina finally leads the nation to demand solutions to the poverty of upwards of a third of its citizens then something good might come from this terrible disaster.


That is what we must all work toward. Rescuing those still in danger, assisting those in dire need, relocating and caring for the homeless, and beginning the process of recovery and re-building are all top priorities. But dealing with the stark and shameful social and racial realities Katrina has revealed must become our longer term but clear goal. That will require a combination of public and private initiatives, the merger of personal and social responsibility, the rebuilding of both families and communities, but also the confronting of hard questions about national priorities. Most of all it will require us to make different choices.


The critical needs of poor and low-income families must become the first priority of federal and state legislatures, not the last. And, the blatant inequalities of race in America, especially in critical areas of education, jobs, health care, and housing which have come to the surface must now be addressed. Congressional pork barrel spending which aligns with political power more than human needs must be challenged as never before.That requires a complete reversal of the political logic now operating in Washington and state capitols around the country - a new moral logic must re-shape our political habits. In the face of this natural disaster, during a time of war, with already rising deficits; new budgets cuts to vital programs like food stamps and Medicaid, and more tax cuts for the wealthy in the form of estate tax repeal and capital gains and stock dividend reductions, would now be both irresponsible and shameless.


Restoring the hope of America's poorest families, renewing our national infrastructures, protecting our environmental stability, and rethinking our most basic priorities will require nothing less than a national change of heart and direction. It calls for a transformation of political ethics and governance; moving from serving private interests to ensuring the public good. If Katrina changes our political conscience and re-invigorates among us a commitment to the common good, then even this terrible tragedy might be redeemed.

 

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  posted on 9/9/2005 at 03:47 PM
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.
 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 10:38 AM
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------
I think this is generally correct (dropping all entitlements is not the answer-I think a work fare with education might help),but what I differ from is whether the Bush policies were building a strong economic base or a rich vs poor situation. I beleive the latter.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 11:06 AM
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.


Haven't we had a strong, broad-based economy for about 200 years now? Why hasn't it eliminated poverty yet, if that's all it takes? That's a very simplistic statement, and is exactly the attitude he's talking about here.

Americans are opening up their wallets, and money is flowing into the affected areas. Are any of those same Americans willing to help a poor family pay their bills each month? They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. There is no reason for even one family to be living below the poverty level. We need a shift in consciousness in this country, away from the abject materialism that is the prevalent attitude, and maybe this hurricane will take us a step in that direction.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 12:11 PM
quote:
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.


Haven't we had a strong, broad-based economy for about 200 years now? Why hasn't it eliminated poverty yet, if that's all it takes? That's a very simplistic statement, and is exactly the attitude he's talking about here.

Americans are opening up their wallets, and money is flowing into the affected areas. Are any of those same Americans willing to help a poor family pay their bills each month? They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. There is no reason for even one family to be living below the poverty level. We need a shift in consciousness in this country, away from the abject materialism that is the prevalent attitude, and maybe this hurricane will take us a step in that direction.




No, I am NOT willing to open up my wallet and pay someone else's bills month after month. I grew up below the poverty level, and spent many a year there after living on my own. Gradually, i learned to watch where the money I was earning went in order to spend more wisely. I learned what my strengths were and how to better utilize them in order to increase my weekly earnings. I learned not to gratify each and every desire as they came along. I learned to look beyond the moment, the day, even the week so that I might have a plan for me and my money. I did this with a basic education, no help from my parents, some help from the state, and no help from the federal government. Anyone but the more physically handicapped and the more mentally handicapped can do the same. But they must be willing. They must be willing to work hard. They must be willing to sacrifice the moment for the day, the day for the week, and so on. They must be willing to learn who they themselves are, what strengths they have and how to best utilize them They must be willing to be absolutely honest with themselves. They must be willing to apply themselves. Simply handing people money, housing, even food does nothing to motivate them except to go back to the place that they got the last installment from. Education IS the key, but our education system has long ignored one vital set of lessons: HOW to live in this country, HOW to get ahead, HOW to spend money wisely. LIFE instruction would be far more valuable to so many as opposed conjugation instruction or the algebraic equivalent of the mating ritual of the whooping crane.
Teaching people to how to improve their living skills is of far more importance than teaching them how to fill out another form so that they might merely exist for another day.

 
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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 12:21 PM
Hey Sue! I just noticed it was you that posted this. I saw it was a Jim Wallis article, and I think I just assumed cleaneduphippy had posted it. Are you taking over his job? If so, good call. Jim Wallis is a prophet in our times.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 12:25 PM
quote:
They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?



These folks were busy making sure their kids were showing up at school. And, they are not murdering each other on a daily basis either.There have been times and days when the attendance rate at New Orleans schools was 20%, as in 80% not showing up. The Welfare state as it is, is a self-fullfilling prophecy. It takes both, a safety net on the one side, and folks showing up at school, making sure their kids show up at school, and wanting to get educated on the other side.

Also, during the Great Depression when the unemployment rate was over 25%, the murder rate did not go through the roof. When it is to the point that you shoot at folks who are coming to help you, it is way out of wack.


In 1920's in Harlem, New York, during the Harlem Renaissance, just 50 years after slavery and during a time of Jim Crow and lynchings, kids were born there into two parent homes at the rate of over 80%. Louisiana has the second highest rate of out of wedlock births in the nation right now at about 40%, and in the city of New orleans it is 60%, and for teenagers almost 90%. There is a story right now on CNN about a lost 18 month old baby whose mother is a lost kid herself at 13.

Jim Crow laws and mentality was pathetic and disgusting, but during that time African Americans had to run their own businesses, and be educated to do so, and so on. As for now,

quote:
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation puts Louisiana in the bottom half of its rankings for state business tax climate. The Public Policy Institute of the Business Council of New York rates Louisiana 40th of the fifty states in terms of economic freedom. The state's tort-prone legal system is rated 47th.



What is conveniently not mentioned is that the City Of New Orleans is democratically run. The state of Louisiana is democratically run.
Funny no mention of that.


What we need now is another WPA type of program where the folks that get benefits help to rebuild the city.

Past that, what Bill Cosby said........

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/billcosbypoundcakespeech.htm

DH

[Edited on 9/10/2005 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 01:24 PM
there are a number of Biblical passages related to this but why open up THAT can of worms?

(and many of them are not what you'd think)

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 03:23 PM
quote:
Hey Sue! I just noticed it was you that posted this. I saw it was a Jim Wallis article, and I think I just assumed cleaneduphippy had posted it. Are you taking over his job? If so, good call. Jim Wallis is a prophet in our times.




Yea, I get Sojourners updates sent to my email and really enjoy the articles. I like this guy, he's smart and compassionate without being judgemental.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 03:53 PM
quote:

What we need now is another WPA type of program where the folks that get benefits help to rebuild the city.




With Bush's roads bill, a WPA type of program could help a lot of people in a lot of places and help with the economy as well.

 
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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 03:53 PM
I get them, too, Sue. I must admit I don't always read the whole email, tho, and must have missed this one.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 04:54 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.


Haven't we had a strong, broad-based economy for about 200 years now? Why hasn't it eliminated poverty yet, if that's all it takes? That's a very simplistic statement, and is exactly the attitude he's talking about here.

Americans are opening up their wallets, and money is flowing into the affected areas. Are any of those same Americans willing to help a poor family pay their bills each month? They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. There is no reason for even one family to be living below the poverty level. We need a shift in consciousness in this country, away from the abject materialism that is the prevalent attitude, and maybe this hurricane will take us a step in that direction.




No, I am NOT willing to open up my wallet and pay someone else's bills month after month. I grew up below the poverty level, and spent many a year there after living on my own. Gradually, i learned to watch where the money I was earning went in order to spend more wisely. I learned what my strengths were and how to better utilize them in order to increase my weekly earnings. I learned not to gratify each and every desire as they came along. I learned to look beyond the moment, the day, even the week so that I might have a plan for me and my money. I did this with a basic education, no help from my parents, some help from the state, and no help from the federal government. Anyone but the more physically handicapped and the more mentally handicapped can do the same. But they must be willing. They must be willing to work hard. They must be willing to sacrifice the moment for the day, the day for the week, and so on. They must be willing to learn who they themselves are, what strengths they have and how to best utilize them They must be willing to be absolutely honest with themselves. They must be willing to apply themselves. Simply handing people money, housing, even food does nothing to motivate them except to go back to the place that they got the last installment from. Education IS the key, but our education system has long ignored one vital set of lessons: HOW to live in this country, HOW to get ahead, HOW to spend money wisely. LIFE instruction would be far more valuable to so many as opposed conjugation instruction or the algebraic equivalent of the mating ritual of the whooping crane.
Teaching people to how to improve their living skills is of far more importance than teaching them how to fill out another form so that they might merely exist for another day.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
Sounds good- very, American to me on how we should strive to improve ourselves. However, there are many reasons some people don't and can't. Then it amazes me how the upper class rich folks get people who have pulled themselves from the lowest socio-economic levels, to do their dirty work for them, and beat down the people below them.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 05:05 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.


Haven't we had a strong, broad-based economy for about 200 years now? Why hasn't it eliminated poverty yet, if that's all it takes? That's a very simplistic statement, and is exactly the attitude he's talking about here.

Americans are opening up their wallets, and money is flowing into the affected areas. Are any of those same Americans willing to help a poor family pay their bills each month? They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. There is no reason for even one family to be living below the poverty level. We need a shift in consciousness in this country, away from the abject materialism that is the prevalent attitude, and maybe this hurricane will take us a step in that direction.




No, I am NOT willing to open up my wallet and pay someone else's bills month after month. I grew up below the poverty level, and spent many a year there after living on my own. Gradually, i learned to watch where the money I was earning went in order to spend more wisely. I learned what my strengths were and how to better utilize them in order to increase my weekly earnings. I learned not to gratify each and every desire as they came along. I learned to look beyond the moment, the day, even the week so that I might have a plan for me and my money. I did this with a basic education, no help from my parents, some help from the state, and no help from the federal government. Anyone but the more physically handicapped and the more mentally handicapped can do the same. But they must be willing. They must be willing to work hard. They must be willing to sacrifice the moment for the day, the day for the week, and so on. They must be willing to learn who they themselves are, what strengths they have and how to best utilize them They must be willing to be absolutely honest with themselves. They must be willing to apply themselves. Simply handing people money, housing, even food does nothing to motivate them except to go back to the place that they got the last installment from. Education IS the key, but our education system has long ignored one vital set of lessons: HOW to live in this country, HOW to get ahead, HOW to spend money wisely. LIFE instruction would be far more valuable to so many as opposed conjugation instruction or the algebraic equivalent of the mating ritual of the whooping crane.
Teaching people to how to improve their living skills is of far more importance than teaching them how to fill out another form so that they might merely exist for another day.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
Sounds good- very, American to me on how we should strive to improve ourselves. However, there are many reasons some people don't and can't. Then it amazes me how the upper class rich folks get people who have pulled themselves from the lowest socio-economic levels, to do their dirty work for them, and beat down the people below them.


Yes. By not giving them any money, I am taking it away from them. Then, I hit them with my car. I told you I WAS one of them. They, in turn can be one like me. All they have to do is try. Perhaps you didn't read the part where I said that there are those that cannot. It's there. So, I must not be talking about the incapable. right? Try being blindly loyal to a failing system, why doncha?

 
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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 06:58 PM
I'm sorry, I'm probably being unfair in my last reply. Let me ask you, SJ, are you on welfare or some other kind of government assistance? Perhaps, like me you had been in the past?
 
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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 07:22 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I disagree that entitlements are the way to make a difference, that's what got us in this mess to begin with. Welfare is genteel slavery, it's the most racist option there is. Collective white guilt isn't going to solve anything. Creating a strong broadbased economy will.


Haven't we had a strong, broad-based economy for about 200 years now? Why hasn't it eliminated poverty yet, if that's all it takes? That's a very simplistic statement, and is exactly the attitude he's talking about here.

Americans are opening up their wallets, and money is flowing into the affected areas. Are any of those same Americans willing to help a poor family pay their bills each month? They'll welcome families into their homes, now that they've been flooded out of their shacks, but where were they when the same folks were living in those shacks, barely getting by each month?

We are the wealthiest nation in the world. There is no reason for even one family to be living below the poverty level. We need a shift in consciousness in this country, away from the abject materialism that is the prevalent attitude, and maybe this hurricane will take us a step in that direction.




No, I am NOT willing to open up my wallet and pay someone else's bills month after month. I grew up below the poverty level, and spent many a year there after living on my own. Gradually, i learned to watch where the money I was earning went in order to spend more wisely. I learned what my strengths were and how to better utilize them in order to increase my weekly earnings. I learned not to gratify each and every desire as they came along. I learned to look beyond the moment, the day, even the week so that I might have a plan for me and my money. I did this with a basic education, no help from my parents, some help from the state, and no help from the federal government. Anyone but the more physically handicapped and the more mentally handicapped can do the same. But they must be willing. They must be willing to work hard. They must be willing to sacrifice the moment for the day, the day for the week, and so on. They must be willing to learn who they themselves are, what strengths they have and how to best utilize them They must be willing to be absolutely honest with themselves. They must be willing to apply themselves. Simply handing people money, housing, even food does nothing to motivate them except to go back to the place that they got the last installment from. Education IS the key, but our education system has long ignored one vital set of lessons: HOW to live in this country, HOW to get ahead, HOW to spend money wisely. LIFE instruction would be far more valuable to so many as opposed conjugation instruction or the algebraic equivalent of the mating ritual of the whooping crane.
Teaching people to how to improve their living skills is of far more importance than teaching them how to fill out another form so that they might merely exist for another day.


An American success, it's hard work, but you are where you are today because you looked out for yourself, and did not rely on a lifetime of handouts and excuses.
Bottom line is that the INDIVIDUAL must want to better themselves and in most cases you can.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 09:11 PM
Mr. O'Neil has been good enough not to misread my post. Thank you.
 
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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 10:54 PM
On the other hand, imagine a world, say three hundred years from now, when we have a system much different than this one. Suppose we, as a people decide that the value of each individual in this country is equal, no matter who their family was, ingoring any and all "factors." Suppose we decided it would be much cheaper, in the long run, to put a system in place that would allow anyone that wanted to work to do any job they wanted to do. We, as a people, would train them to do whatever they wanted to do. And everyone, no matter what you did, would make exactly the same amount of money. It would be enough to have a nice lifestyle, and we would make sure that every single family in the country had the opportunity and means to go to Disneyland every year, or to the Grand Canyone, or whatever they wanted to do. Baseball games would be very affordable, because baseball players, and owners, would all make the same thing as the fans. Every single family would have the means to life like the debt-to-the-eyeballs upper-middle-class in America now. We would all be living a good lifestyle, and there would be no reason to want to make more, more, more.

This sounds like a pipedream, and it won't happen for generations, but someday I believe we will truly value human life, every single one, not just the beautiful, the white, the priveleged. All of the previous posts that are all about "me" tell you why we're still a long way away. Christians like Jim Wallis are already leading the way, reminding us that Jesus said that whatever we do to the least among us, we do to Him.

Damn that's some good bud.

Derek.. you may count my words now, Grasshopper.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 11:35 PM
Sign me up. So long as we agree that anyone who thinks that those of us who go to work everyday are "suckers," or "sheep," or whatever, and that they're going to get their bread by conning, stealing or begging won't be getting said bread.



Did I read correctly? Did Derek say we need something like the WPA? That's the last time I pigeonhole anybody's ideas. .

Peace.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 11:42 PM
quote:
Sign me up. So long as we agree that anyone who thinks that those of us who go to work everyday are "suckers," or "sheep," or whatever, and that they're going to get their bread by conning, stealing or begging won't be getting said bread.


Why not? The value of those people is the same as anyone else. If everyone could do whatever kind of work they wanted, there would be very few who really just didn't want to work at all, or for whatever reason couldn't work. Those should just be given the same salary as everyone else. Rather than have them steal their bread, just give it to them. Who cares? It doesn't take away from you.

 

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  posted on 9/10/2005 at 11:48 PM


From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

 

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  posted on 9/11/2005 at 12:00 AM
quote:


From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.



Lol,sounds like communism to me as well,smoke another 1 SCB

 

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  posted on 9/11/2005 at 12:28 AM
quote:
quote:
Sign me up. So long as we agree that anyone who thinks that those of us who go to work everyday are "suckers," or "sheep," or whatever, and that they're going to get their bread by conning, stealing or begging won't be getting said bread.


Why not? The value of those people is the same as anyone else. If everyone could do whatever kind of work they wanted, there would be very few who really just didn't want to work at all, or for whatever reason couldn't work. Those should just be given the same salary as everyone else. Rather than have them steal their bread, just give it to them. Who cares? It doesn't take away from you.


I would not willingly be part of a system that treated those willing to work for their bread the same as those intent on conning it or stealing it from those doing the work. I do believe that there should not be such a very large gap between the richest segment of society and the poorest (but I do believe there should be some gap - why shouldn't the Dr. who goes to school for 20 years make more than the tradesman who went to school for 12?), but if you are given an opportunity to work at the profession of your choice, but instead of embracing the opportunity you turn it down, and look for an easier way to earn your keep - hustling, stealing, living off your girlfriend's monthly check, etc., then I say that person should not be entitled to a portion of society's fruit. Their value is less.

After a generation or two of such opportunities, I agree that your belief:

quote:
If everyone could do whatever kind of work they wanted, there would be very few who really just didn't want to work at all . . .


would come to pass, but it would take a little time.

I've been in the ghetto, man. And I'm not talking about driving through or visiting for a week. Living and working there for years. Cops pulling up to the street-corner dealers, chatting while a dealer pops off a hub cap to get to the delivery hidden there. Shoot-outs on my block right at the time the schools were letting out. Mothers telling their teenage daughters to go out and get pregnant for the extra income it would bring in. Foreign store owners in German luxury cars driving to suburban supermarkets and buying cartloads of sale items with government food stamps to take back to their ghetto stores to sell at huge mark-ups. Taking foodstamps for liquor, cigarettes, or buying them outright for cash at 50 cents on the dollar. Mothers training their kids how to act "crazy" so they can be evaluated by social workers and approved for "SSI," which while I don't know the details, is apparently a nicer payout than a standard welfare check. Unemployed men fathering children on teenage girls and leaving them to the welfare system, then showing up with brand new Jordan's the day after the girls get their checks.

This is not stuff I've heard about. This is stuff I've seen over and over again. I was working in a city-college program where any resident of Chicago could literally get every single thing they needed to turn their life around - free. Basic Education, H.S. Equivalency, College, Vocational Training, Job Placement, vouchers for food, clothes, rent assistance. Many took advantage of what we had to offer. It was a beautiful thing. However, there were also a good many of all ages, male and female, of various races, who were just showing up because a judge or social worker said they had to in order to stay out of jail or get that next check.

There is a ghetto mentality out there, and it runs deep. The idea that you can beat the system, or work the system, or play the system, whatever you want to call it. I'm all for the equal opportunity of everyone in our society, but if somebody deliberately removes him or herself from that society, then I sure as hell am not going to foot their bill.

Besides, I believe your idea that "it doesn't take away from you" is flawed. If ten percent of the potential work force decides not to work, but is to reap the same benefits of society, then the remaining 90 percent who do work must work an extra 10 percent to provide for those who are not working. As the percentage of those who do not work increases, the burden on those who do work also increases.

Some may say your vision is Utopian, some might say it's Marxist, some may say it's beautiful. I say if it is to ever have a prayer of succeeding, there will be no room for slackers.

Peace.

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2005 at 12:30 AM
quote:



So explain why somebody would got to medical school for 7 years or whatever rather than work at Burger King or something similar.


Because they loved practicing medicine and they knew that they were doing their part to create the tranquil society we all enjoyed. We would send them to school for free, and pay them while they went.

quote:
I think what would happen is we would develop a very lazy society. Ambition would be a thing of the past.


What do you work for now? To achieve the kind of lifestyle we're talking about. We work at jobs we hate to keep up the lifestyle. We're in debt up to our eyes, and go to work every day hoping to someday have some finacial independence. What if you didn't have to worry about getting ahead, etc, and could just do the work you love? As part of a national group effort to create the world we all say we really want? You say we'd get lazy, I say we'd get innovative, creative, and ambitious. But I did say in 300 years. We are a primitive, materialistic society now, where we absolutely value "things" more than we do human lives.

 

____________________


 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2005 at 01:46 AM
I love the idea of everybody doing the thing they love to do to make thier living and each helping others who are in need out of what they have to give. However, just being given something cheapens it, in my experience, and dulls the competitive fire that fuels the engine of innovation and discovery. We've seen in the past that socialism has not really worked to bring about that utopian ideal that we would all love to see. All it takes is one individual wanting more than his neighbor and the whole scheme is in trouble. Poverty has been with us as long as we have been human, and I don't see it goin' away as long as we are human. I think the best we can do is become much better at identifying and helping individuals like those posting here that have worked their way up to a better standard of living. We can't count on the 'government' to do it; one of the truest things I've heard is that you can not legislate morality. I mean you can, but it doesn't work, and always becomes the letter of the law rather than the spirit. While Jesus said all these wonderful things about how we should treat one another and help each other out, he also said "The poor will always be with you". I think we have to take it upon ourselves to be more connected and involved individually with those in our immediate community and sphere of influence to really know and assist those we actually live in a community with who are wanting and willing to do what it takes to live better and more productive lives. As always, this .02 and an additional $4.50 will get you a latte.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/11/2005 at 08:09 AM
quote:
quote:



So explain why somebody would got to medical school for 7 years or whatever rather than work at Burger King or something similar.


Because they loved practicing medicine and they knew that they were doing their part to create the tranquil society we all enjoyed. We would send them to school for free, and pay them while they went.

quote:
I think what would happen is we would develop a very lazy society. Ambition would be a thing of the past.


What do you work for now? To achieve the kind of lifestyle we're talking about. We work at jobs we hate to keep up the lifestyle. We're in debt up to our eyes, and go to work every day hoping to someday have some finacial independence. What if you didn't have to worry about getting ahead, etc, and could just do the work you love? As part of a national group effort to create the world we all say we really want? You say we'd get lazy, I say we'd get innovative, creative, and ambitious. But I did say in 300 years. We are a primitive, materialistic society now, where we absolutely value "things" more than we do human lives.


Sure a lot of people work in trades or careers they don't like to acheive what they think is what they want. But not everyone. Actually I think a lot of people subject themselves to their jobs and whatever hardships or rewards come with them for their families and the ones they love.
I will not accept that we value material things over human life. That to me is a very narrow minded view of the world and the people in it. I believe that people are inherently good and giving.
No one ever told me that life would be easy, no one said I could work in the job that i really wanted, but what i found out was that if you apply yourself you can usually acheive more than you ever thought you could.
Negativity be damned I say.

 

____________________


R.I.P. Hugh Duty


 
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