Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Working Society

Republicans have given us the ownership society, a society of owners, by owners and for owners. Owners do very well, but unfortunately, most of the people are not owners. Maybe some have a little stock here and there, but not enough to be part of the ownership society. The vast majority of Americans are workers. So it makes me feel good when John Edwards announced that he would like to work for what he calls a “Working Society.”

From Daily KOS I learn:

"Ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), evolving his pitch ahead of an anticipated presidential run in 2008, will propose to cut poverty by a third in 10 years, eliminate it in 30, and put in its place a "Working Society," where Americans are rewarded for hard work with a livable safety net of health and welfare incentives."

Terrific! During the life of this administration we have been hearing only about what to do about business. It started with tax cuts for the rich. Republicans keep saying there were tax cuts for others as well. Maybe tiny cuts for those with some money. But absolutely nothing to help the poor.

The Republican legislature has been busy with business affairs. It passed bankruptcy legislation to help bankers collect from consumers socked by economic blows; energy legislation to dispense subsidies and other tax goodies to oil and other energy companies; a Medicare drug bill that prevents the government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to make drugs cheaper for senior citizens; plenty of "earmarks" for special dispensations ....

When Senator Edward Kennedy offered an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25, the ownership society legislators turned it down. Brilliant Senator Frist offered a so-called poison-pill: an anti-abortion amendment to Kennedy's amendment. Anything to avoid helping the poor amongs us.

By the way, Frist followed this bit of chicanery by starting discussion of repeal of the estate tax for billionaires. After all, who pays the bills?

Do we really want to maintain a dog-eat-dog society, a society where everybody is on his own, where nobody gives a damn about his neighbors, where only owners of wealth partake in the political process, and where poor workers are treated like second-class citizens?

NO! Let's work towards achieving a "Working Society," where work is rewarded. If you work you should earn enough to rise above the poverty level. We should not allow greedy businesspeople to exploit those without bargaining ability by paying them less than a decent minimum wage. Let's eliminate poverty in 30 years. I'm sure this can be done.

Edwards is running for president. Whether he is the Democratic nominee or not, Democrats should advertise to the world that they are for the "Working Society."

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 22, 2006 5:15 PM
Comments
Comment #160598

As an outsider to the US electoral process, it is probably not my place to interfere, but I have to say that I found Edwards the more impressive of the candidates last time out. And isn’t it heartening to see someone posit inspirational ideals to motivate and lead a nation with a sense of brotherhood and community? Doesn’t it bring to mind those great inspirers Roosevelt and Kennedy, who said ” we have nothing to fear but fear itself” and “Ask not what your country can do for you……..” respectively?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 22, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #160600

A lovely example of Republican trickle down economics at work is the recent study that shows the average CEO earns more in a day than the average American does in a year.

Posted by: David S at June 22, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #160608

“we have nothing to fear but fear itself”

Which includes not fearing that your neighbor has more than you.

“and “Ask not what your country can do for you……..””

But what YOU can do for YOUR country!
Why omit the most important part?
Sitting around and complaining about how much money others make and wanting govt to give you the money others make, IS asking your country to do for you.
Not being envious, going out and working for your fair share IS what you can do for your country.

Nice utopian dream Paul. To bad the only way it could work is if govt ran all business. And even then, it would have to be a nice, liberal govt to appease you wouldn’t it.

Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #160611

Ownership allows a person more freedom and give him the ability to stand up to the government or his employer. Most people will not be able to own very much by definition, since we compare against the total. But most Americans own their own homes (at least part of them) and they are about 1/5 bigger than they were in 1970. They own cars (most families own more than one) and more than half of all households own stock, directly or through a mutual fund. In a very real sense we already HAVE become an ownership society. This is a big change from around 50 years ago. I remember my father telling me that bank accounts were for rich people when he was young and nobody even considered investing in stocks or funds.

The problem with creating a “working society” is that it is not easy to do. If you raise minimum wages, you price some people out of work entirely. The competition might not be other workers, but whether or not you will do a job at all or get a machine to do it. At $5 I might hire someone to mow my lawn. At $7.50 maybe I will let the grass grow or get ground cover. Also very few experienced workers make minimum wage anyway. It it for training purposes. Most minimum wage workers are young and in their first jobs.

Large European economies that regulate their labor markets regularly tolerate unemployment levels nearly twice as high as the U.S. We can point to local success and probably strike some balance, but the U.S. is a much bigger economy economy than Ireland, Finland or the Netherlands.

BTW - we will never eliminate poverty because it is a matter of definition. By world or historical standards, we have eliminated poverty, but the target moves. Poverty in the U.S. today means owning a color TV, often a car, usually having air conditioning etc. These were available only to the rich in 1950. Even if we double the real incomes of the poor (in terms of what they can buy) there will still be poverty if they are at the bottom.

So I agree that we should reward work. How, is the question. But the poverty thing is a different problem. Most people in poverty don’t work or don’t work very much. And in some ways making work pay more will increase those w/o steady work. All life is a trade off.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #160618

I couldn’t agree more with the topic and opinion of the writer. Unfortunately, as long as big business finances campaigns, they will have a strong arm with our legislators (even the good ones have to raise grotesque amounts of $$$). Until we cah do something about campaign reform, I’m afraid that “we, the people” will take a back seat to business when votes are cast.

And i’m sick to death of people sitting in their nice houses, driving their nice cars, and telling me that all poor people have Color TVs, cars, etc. That is simply not true. Maybe for some, but there are plenty, usually single mothers, who struggle to pay the light bill, keep an old junker car running, not to mention affording gas to make it back and forth to some dead-end job. If they’re lucky enough to have a relative to watch their young children, that’s wonderful, but have any of you checked into day care lately? Do you know how much it costs for one child, or two??? Oh, yeah, I guess it’s the mother’s fault that she trusted some jerk who left her high and dry, or trusted some birth control device that failed to work, or simply used poor judgment. But No, lets be sure to take away her choice to have an unwanted abortion (certainly not “on demand” if she finds herself pregnant again.

When will all you educated, white men get off your high horse and begin to acknowledge that just maybe you don’t have all the facts.

I’m all for government for the people, and I’m all for ending poverty as we know it — because as i know it it is mostly working mothers who’d love to have a couple of dollars left at the end of the week to treat their kids to something speical.

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 22, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #160619

Anytime Democrats bring up the huge disparities in wealth that exist in our country, Republicans love to respond that we are trying to promote class warfare. Look at yourselves, Republicans. Who, exactly, created this growing chasm between the rich and poor? Republican legislators have a problem giving a living wage to people who “just aren’t that productive” - and yet, during the last nine years, while there have been NO increases in the minimum wage, productive Congress has given itself $31,000 in raises! Nice job.

Posted by: Mike from Montana at June 22, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #160620

Paul,

Ownership is a necessary condition not only for the rule of law but civilization itself.

A fellow employee once related to me this story about his neighborhood. I forget how the conversation got started but he told me that when he went home after work he had to get out of his car and into his house quickly.

“Why?” I asked.

“Oh, because I don’t want to get messed with.” He said.

“What do you mean, ‘Messed with’?” I asked, “Why would you get messed with getting out of your car? Where the hell do you live?”

My coworker went on to tell me that the neighborhood he had lived in the past fifteen years was in the less than desirable part of town and that he had not moved because his aging and ailing mother had refused to move. His mother was on disability and with that and his salary they paid the rent for himself, his mother, and an indistict number of ‘cousins’, all unemployed or on assistance themselves.

No one he knew of owned any of the homes in his neighborhood. In fact many were on assistance of some kind. But what made his life miserable was the amount of young men on parole or in a gang who would threaten him, steal from him, and generally make his home a place of fear.

He told me that once he had come home to a group of men who told him he was going to join their gang or they were going to beat the hell of him. Many times he would come home and sitting across the street would be young men drinking beer, staring him down, and taunting or threatening him as he got out of the car.

I recall telling him that I couldn’t live like that. I wouldn’t stand for it. Not for a minute. In fact, if that happened to me in my neighborhood I would make it quite clear who actually ‘owned’ the neighborhood. This is the essence of the ‘ownership’ society. There is a difference between those who choose to live on the safety net, who take no responsibility, and those who choose to take ownership of their responsibility as citizens.

Ownership means responsibility. Expecting ‘society’ to provide for you creates crime and poverty.

The sad fact is, Paul, that the liberal doctrine is merely a rearrangment of the old system of serfdom. Where the government owns you, and not the other way around.

We the people are the government. The liberal version makes the individual a vassal of the group. The individual is the government. That’s where it starts.

Posted by: esimonson at June 22, 2006 6:15 PM
Comment #160623

“Sitting around and complaining about how much money others make and wanting govt to give you the money others make, IS asking your country to do for you.
Not being envious, going out and working for your fair share IS what you can do for your country.”

KC, this is not at all what the previous poster said. His point was that considering the advantage the ultra rich already have, giving them MORE breaks, perks, favorable legislation is counterproductive to the average american that’s seen their effective income drop for the last 5 years.
But then you knew that already, didn’t you?
The greatest coup the republicans ever pulled off was convincing so many average working stiffs that what benefits billionaires is somehow good for them. And what benefits the working class is somehow bad for America.

“Nice utopian dream Paul. “

Why is improving the lot of hard working Americans a utopian dream?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #160624

There are many studies that show the minimum wage increases of 1996/97 did not have a negative effect on the number of jobs. All us Democrats want is for the current minimum wage to be equivalent in purchasing power to the wage nine years ago. And for those who say only a small group making the minimum will benefit from the increase, don’t you realize it will also postively affect people with experience earning wages within a few dollars of the minimum as well?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 22, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #160625

“Most minimum wage workers are young and in their first jobs.”

Or, they’re women and doing jobs that have been undervalued by our culture because they’re usually done by women. Many women of all ages do work that is paid at minimum wage or close to it simply because that’s the going rate for the job — not because the job isn’t important or doesn’t require certain skills, but simply because the job has traditionally been done by a woman. Why do you think teachers make so much less than coaches??? RN’s have gotten a big boost over the last couple of decades because men are going into the profession, and it’s finally being seen as a profession. Skilled workers in day cares and nursing homes usually only earn minimum wage, and they are rarely teenagers in a training position.

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 22, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #160632

Nice Work, I think that the, “get out and work for yours” attitude discounts all the people that do get out and work for theirs and in turn still can’t earn enough money to eek out some sort of existence. It is sad that the ruling party in this country is so concerned with what goes on behind our closed doors until it concerns food, a living wage, sexual preference or health care. I think that we all know that there is no such thing as Utopia but how can it possibly be right to live in a country so rich, work everyday and not be able to get medical care or be able to pay for both food and housing. The Senate voted against a raise in minimum wage but accepted their own pay raises. The, “Let them eat cake”, mentality will lead to a Revolution. I wonder what it will take for The People, the Real People, to finally stand up.

Posted by: Connie at June 22, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #160635

“and yet, during the last nine years, while there have been NO increases in the minimum wage, productive Congress has given itself $31,000 in raises! Nice job.”

If their pay was tied to productivity, they’d have taken a 50% cut.

“Ownership means responsibility. Expecting ‘society’ to provide for you creates crime and poverty. “

THis is typical. NOTHING that has been proposed is “giving” undeserving lazy people a free ride. All were talking about is making sure that a hard working, 40hr/wk, follow the rules worker can actually live and raise a family on what he earns.
It’s the math that’s gotten screwed up.
10 bucks an hour is now considered good wages for an average low to medium skilled employee.
That’s 1600/mo. After taxes, that’s 1400 take home (best case). Entry level rent (around here) is 700/mo. Now we have 700 left. Heat,power,phone, gas to commute, 300/mo. Now we have 400 left. Groceries? Now were down to 100 bucks, assuming the car is paid for. Now, I’ve got to somehow get Health insurance? Buy clothes? And that’s if I’m SINGLE? What if my asshole husband took off and refuses to pay child support?
But I guess republican concern for children only extends to fetus’s, what they watch on TV, and Iraqi’s. The average american is out of luck.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #160637

“most Americans own their own homes (at least part of them)”

“The problem with creating a “working society” is that it is not easy to do”

Jack,

You’re capable of better than these two quotes. Sleep on it please and tell me how it’s good to drive an ever larger number of members of any society into true poverty!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #160638

Paul, the new Medicare Part D (prescription drug program) has been very beneficial for millions of seniors like myself. While I do not take many prescriptions, I am still saving over $100 per month. For many seniors that extra money comes in very handy.
Can you not give credit for anything Congress passes and the President signs? This program has added to our national debt, but then…what new social program doesn’t? Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at June 22, 2006 6:38 PM
Comment #160639

“Skilled workers in day cares and nursing homes usually only earn minimum wage, and they are rarely teenagers in a training position.”

What we pay day care workers show’s how little we really value “the children”.
One CEO I knew would take his best management candidates out to dinner, and observe how they treated the wait staff. Candidates that were rude or dismissive weren’t hired.
I suspect the way waiters are treated also falls along party lines.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #160641

You’re damn right I’m trying to promote class warfare! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

Posted by: David S at June 22, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #160644

“Can you not give credit for anything Congress passes and the President signs? This program has added to our national debt, but then…what new social program doesn’t? Jim”

Greater savings could have been realized, at lower cost, with legislation written without the pharmo companies getting a huge windfall.
Why would you make collective bargaining on pharmaceutical prices illegal if you really had the consumers interests in mind?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #160647

To Observer. The $200 in taxes you reference are not income taxes. They are the taxes levied on you for all the social programs already in place. Do your community a service and volunteer to speak to students in schools in your area about making better life choices so they don’t end up with your problems.

Posted by: Jim Martin at June 22, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #160648

connie- I’m down… any ideas as to how to get started? I’m ready to lead the protest and the rise up…

Posted by: derek at June 22, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #160649

Paul,

We really are far beyond just division by financial class. We’re quickly approaching a division based on a “caste” society where we will have, not only different rights based on financial ability, but truly one set of rules and laws for one level and another for each other level of our society.

And this happened largely under republican rule. I honestly don’t “get it”. What is the desired outcome of the GOP?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #160651

re: poverty — i’ve been accused of wearing my profession on my sleeve — i’m an anthropologist, and we make our living thinking and studying what cultures believe and why they behave the way they do. E. Wallerstein has a theory 35 or so years ago, called Modern World-Systems Theory. MWS has near-total acceptance in my field, and sees large-scale human systems, from cities to the globe itself, as having core, periphery, and semiperiphery elements. These elements act together like an engine of wealth production that is inherently lopsided (in favor of the core) — poverty is purposely maintained, both in the periphery and in pockets of the cores, to provide cheap labor that can be played against the middle class. it’s automatic and insidious.

The point is that the entire system is based on this paradigm, so to solve poverty, you must change the entire paradigm. but to what? communism? doesn’t work. although marxist theories (but not his solutions) are well studied in anthropology, nobody thinks that’s the way to go. Marx was just very good at pointing out the failures of the system (the MWS has its origins in early portuguese and spanish exploration of Africa and the New World — it’s all about exploitation). Wallerstein has noted that the only time the system hiccups is by revolution, but even massive revolutions such as that of the Russians and the rise of the Soviet state, are just brief intervals before the region is brought back into the global fold, if in fact it ever really left it. there is an implication that a pan-revolution is the ultimate end of the MWS; things will have to get a lot worse (the disappearance of the middle class?) and you can bet it will be bloody.

Quite fascinating stuff, really…. especially fun aspect: is the U.S. still in the core, or are we in the periphery? or are we in the transitional semi-periphery?

Jim C.

Posted by: Jim C. at June 22, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #160655

MaggieRose: You right to a degree but sexism is only part of the story.Wages are also low for jobs that were and are traditionally done by people of color also for example.


Nothing scares the wealthy more than workers uniting for better wages.Nothing,not even inflation or taxes. I should not say that. Putting in an honest days work scares them more. Most would rather chew off a foot. You will not hear them say that though. Some actually think they work hard. Theres a laugh.
The minimum wage debate was apalling. It does not matter how much evidence you can produce that disproves that a raise would not cause signicicantjob loss (except for Jacks lawn,good he can use the exercise)they still parrot it,backed up by a few bought economist. Truth is when people have money to spend they do and the economy prospers.
Edwards plan is better than most but why 30 years? It is also a government plan with all the draw backs that carries includeing a poor track record. Another approach is to let the market take care of itself. Sounds shocking maybe comming from me but I mean ALL the market, including labor. Repeal the taft hartly amendments to the wagner act. put in place striker replacement protections and lobor will do the job. Economic justice is not something government or anyone else will give us. It has to be taken. Look at history.

ps; now stand by for the shrieking

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #160664

“poverty is purposely maintained, both in the periphery and in pockets of the cores, to provide cheap labor that can be played against the middle class. it’s automatic and insidious.”

Jim C.

You get 10,000 gold stars!

I have a bit of personal experience dealing with poverty and the majority of those I’ve dealt with do work and they simply want to be able to provide for their families.

Then comes the myth of everyone being able to educate themselves out of poverty. Duh! We each have different abilities. For instance I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. No amount of art school is going to create something that is just not there.

And you’re not going to make a brain surgeon out of someone with an IQ of 83, although I think it’s been proven that anyone can be a politician.

Regardless, I appreciate your comments.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #160666

Ex-Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), evolving his pitch ahead of an anticipated presidential run in 2008, will propose to cut poverty by a third in 10 years, eliminate it in 30, and put in its place a “Working Society,” where Americans are rewarded for hard work with a livable safety net of health and welfare incentives.

Sounds interesting. In fact, sounds like something I could support.

BUT, does Edwards actually have ideas on how to achieve this, or does his plan (like your article) consist mainly of complaining about the current administration?

My guess would be the later, considering he’s a Democrat.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 22, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #160667
There are many studies that show the minimum wage increases of 1996/97 did not have a negative effect on the number of jobs.

You mean like the economy taking in 98 and our entering a recession in 2000?

Yeah, I can see how some people might not think that was a negative effect on the number of jobs, a recession coming into play like that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #160670

TheTraveler,

Actually, I think I’ve heard the exact same insistence that poverty would be ‘eliminated’ in XXX years many times by many different presidents who were elected, many of them democrats, and it not happening yet.

First of all, they are only in office for 8 years, why does he think he can affect anything that happens 2 to 22 years after he leaves office?

Second of all, again, how does the government plan to do this short of more wealth redistribution progams which now make up over 60% of the federal budget, up from 3% in the 1930s? I would say that the ‘war’ is lost through this method, new way should be looked into like a mentoring program and evaluating each and every assistance request for merit.

Unfortunately, Edwards knows these things, he is not looking to help anyone. If the democrats actually DID eliminate poverty, what would they use for their next wedge issue to maintain power? OH, they *say* that’s their goal but decades of history have shown the emperor’s clothes to be quite thin indeed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #160672
It started with tax cuts for the rich.

Actually, it was tax cuts for everyone (I know *I’m* not rich and I received one) but that idea just galls democrats for some reason. They only want tax cuts for the poor because they know that even though it won’t help them since many of them aren’t paying much in taxes anyway (if at all) but it LOOKS like they are ‘fighting the man’ and can use it as wedge issues in upcoming elections.

Like they are apparently gearing up to do again.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #160675

Nice utopian dream Paul. To bad the only way it could work is if govt ran all business. And even then, it would have to be a nice, liberal govt to appease you wouldn’t it.
Posted by: kctim at June 22, 2006 05:43 PM

Well, for the Christians out there, did Christ not say that the labourer was worthy of his hire? And I don’t see how those who are working for starvation wages are the ones who are sponging on the work of others. Jesus Christ, even in my country, the minimum wage is about $9.50, and nobody is getting ahead on that except the employer who benefits from such cheap labour. As for liberal or conservative Govts kc, gimme one that does not squander the taxpayers money and shore up debts for many generations to come. You talk about working for your fair share - are you serious? What’s your minimum wage? $5 and cents? Is that what you call a fair share?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 22, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #160677

“Do your community a service and volunteer to speak to students in schools in your area about making better life choices so they don’t end up with your problems. “

I realize that as a republican, its a completely alien concept to care about people less fortunate, but I wasn’t talking about MY situation. I’m upper middle class and won’t ever have to rely on S.S. or medicare to survive. You see, I actually CARE about lower class hard working stiffs getting a fair shake. I DON’T NEED another tax break. I DON’T WANT more legislation protecting my class while stomping on those below. I SUPPORT unions. I WANT people to make more even if I have to pay a little more for products. I REFUSE to shop at “red” stores like Walmart that suppres unions and encourage offshoring jobs. I DON’T believe that everyone living paycheck to paycheck and sinking deeper got there from “bad choices” or cause they’re lazy. If I have over 2.5 million to leave my kid, I won’t bitch about paying the Estate Tax.
My views are NOT Socialist, or naive, or class dividing. The greatest Capitalist ever, Henry Ford, understood that not only do you have to produce the goods, you have to create the people able to buy those goods. He paid WAY OVER the prevailing wage of the day, and his workers were able to purchase the products he made. (yes, I know he was an antisemite, noones perfect)
The spiral were in were fewer and fewer people can afford durable goods and EVERYTHING is being outsourced WILL eventually cause our collapse. Extending credit to those unable to pay it back will only prop us up for a short while longer.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #160682
Henry Ford, understood that not only do you have to produce the goods, you have to create the people able to buy those goods.

Didn’t he also believe that Jews were the problem and should be destroyed as a race at all costs?

The fact is that we should all be worried about our fellow man. But *we* should do it, not leave that responsibility up to the government by forcing others at gunpoint to take care of them. We should be convincing others to take care of them, through charity and community involvement, not institutionalizing poverty as we do now.

I understand it is a hard concept for someone who thinks that the government is the arbitor of all that is good an holy and anyone who doesn’t think it’s ok to force others to help someone else at THEIR OWN discresion is morally corrupt and selfish, but it might help to actually try and understand your opponent’s views before labelling as selfish bastards.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #160689

We do have a society where hard work is rewarded. The American Dream is alive and well more so today than it ever has been. Top schools like Harvard or Princeton will pay your way if you come from a household that makes under 50k. Anyone in this country that wants to make it will. It just takes talent, smarts, ambition, and perseverance.

Posted by: Mike Tate at June 22, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #160690

Kansas:
You are correct. Education can help but it is no clear path to getting out of poverty. Look at Russia. Highly educated and dirt poor. Look at all the highly educated programmers here that have been out of work for years from outsourceing. It is a myth. A feel good red herring the right likes to use to assuage their fleeting guilt.

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #160691

BillS,

You are right, there is no guarantee in life. The sooner you realize that the better.

And who is feeling guilty? The ones who want to urge and help the poor take care of themselves or the ones who support using a gun to take the hard earned income of those that do work to give it to those that don’t? I would think that the left is starting to feel pretty guilty for supporting that type of behavior just to keep themselves in power now that ‘keeping the black man down’ that they did for decades in the south stopped working.

It’s like a religion to many on the left, with the usual mantras and platitudes… *sigh*

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #160692
Extending credit to those unable to pay it back will only prop us up for a short while longer.

I guess Japan and China are going to be up the creek then when the US can’t pay back what we’ve borrowed.


The fact is that we should all be worried about our fellow man. But *we* should do it, not leave that responsibility up to the government by forcing others at gunpoint to take care of them.

We’ve been there before, and we (the haves) won’t do it. That’s why the government stepped in.

Maybe if those folks who claim Christian values actually practiced them that wouldn’t be the case. But it’s not.

Go ahead folks, support and help your fellow man so that no one has to rely on the government. Make it happen.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #160693

I have a quick question…

If you guarantee that no one will ever go without a living wage, no matter what, why would anyone show up for work?

I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense to stay home and collect your living wage that way? Let the saps who want to work pay your way…

Because, unless you are willing to guarantee that there will always be someone who is ‘poor’. And if you do guarantee that, there will be no workers in the ‘workers society’.

So please, explain to me this conundrum?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #160695

You all are confusing methods with goals. Liberals love to demand the government use other people’s money to help the poor. But the economy is a dynamic system. You cannot just dictate value. Saying that a certain type of labor is worth $10 when nobody really wants to pay that much is like lighting matches under a thermometer to raise the temperature of a room.

If you are a Christian, your religion tells you to help the poor. Others have developed similar ethical systems. These are worthy goals, but the method of trying to artificially raise wages (or prices, or anything else) is not a way to accomplish this goal.

Let’s talk about jobs and skills, not the people who hold them. Some skills are not worth employing at $7 an hour. Some jobs are not worth having done at all above a certain price. If you want to help the poor, you have to upgrade their skills and attitudes. This is a worthy goal. Some European countries manage this better than the U.S. and some U.S. states manage to do it better than others. Some families are good at it; others are not. But before we can solve this problem, we have to recognize that we have one and what kind of problem it is. It is a cultural, not an economic dilemma. And it is not fundamentally a problem of exploitation.

The paradigm of the poor doing the work and the rich playing is not longer applicable. In the modern United States the number of hours a person works increases with income. The poor work little.

We all have the examples of the poor working two jobs and not making it. That is less and less common, but when it does happen it results from skills deficits. And some jobs just cannot be well paid.

I make decent money, but only when I am doing those things I am skilled at doing. If you employ me as window help at McDonald’s I am worth minimum wage. If you employ me at a skilled craft such as steamfitting, I actually have a negative value, since I will damage more than I make. If I had to rely on those skills, I would be SOL. You have to develops talents you have AND you have to develop talents you can make a living using.

We need to change the culture of poverty. It is not money. The places that produce the best work cultures tend not to be the richest and tend not to spend the most education. There is an interesting case study if you look at a steel firm called Nucor. Back in the 1960s it was a failing energy firm. New management moved it into a tangential field and hired employees right off the farms. These guys did not have the right training, but they had wonderful work ethics. The rest is history. Read about it. A similar (non U.S.) example is Nokia. If you get the worker habits and attitudes right, skills can be developed. It doesn’t go the other direction.

Personally, I would be willing to spend the money IF I could get at the culture. But (I will blame liberals here) the liberal elite resists most attempts to really change the culture of poverty. They just want to throw more money at the problem.

This is not necessarily a partisan issue. One of the most effective anti-poverty programs in recent times was the bipartisan welfare reform that resulted from the cooperation of a Republican congress and a Democratic president.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #160696
We do have a society where hard work is rewarded. The American Dream is alive and well more so today than it ever has been. Top schools like Harvard or Princeton will pay your way if you come from a household that makes under 50k.

There’s a little more to it than that. Such a rosy and totally wrong picture.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #160697
If you guarantee that no one will ever go without a living wage, no matter what, why would anyone show up for work?

You do understand what wage means? Payment for work performed. What a bogus argument.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #160698
We’ve been there before, and we (the haves) won’t do it. That’s why the government stepped in.

I disagree. It was after a horrible economic situation that I believe we learned from long ago that brought about the income tax. One that at the time no one thought would ever be over 1%.

It was the politicians selling us on this though of ‘eliminating poverty completely’ that has led us to the state we are in now.

When people feel that others need their help they show up in droves, even despite the current oppressive taxation, to help out. Look at how private charity came to the aid of Tsunami relief, at 9/11 victims, at Katrina and Melissa survivors.

Unfortunately, government aid will never examine closely who is asking for and getting support. Recent evidence about the MILLIONS of dollars that were basically stolen from the Katrina relief from the government is an example. If you INSTITUTIONALIZE something, those that understand how to work within the isntitution will take advantage of it. You set the rules, they follow it. It’s just like how we INSTITUTIONALIZE the income tax and the rich and businesses find loopholes to avoid paying.

Without discresion we can be sure that we’ll be taken advantage of.

But I do agree, everyone should help out your fellow man because the governemnt WON’T, CAN’T and has no INTENTION of ever doing so. It doesn’t help their political campaigns to do that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #160700

So Jack, how do we help people increase their skills? By increasing the cost of education? By lowering the amount of student loans available?

What about the people who would require a concerted effort (as in your example) to teach them a marketable skill? Any companies willing to do that? I haven’t heard of any lately.

I totally agree about the welfare reform. What happened to it?

I would really like to hear your ideas in this area.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #160701
You do understand what wage means? Payment for work performed. What a bogus argument

Ok, let me rephrase so you won’t avoid the question that you KNOW I was asking.

John Edwards wants to eliminate poverty in 30 years. How is he going to ELMINIATE it if he does not institute programs to ensure that no one is ever poor. How is he going to do that without ensuring that everyone recieves everything they need to live on.

If you have everything you need to live on without the requirement that you are working then why would anyone work?

Do you see what I’m asking now? Are you ready to actually address the question at hand instead of trying to use wordplay to deflect it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:39 PM
Comment #160702
I would really like to hear your ideas in this area.

I would too, womanmarine. The Republicans are woefully failing in doing anything to actually help anyone, almost as bad as the Democrats.

What people need are mentoring programs, the knowledge that they CAN have better and being shown how to achieve it, not being lectured to by the respective parties just using them as a political football.

Oh what I would give to have someone step up and lead that way, much like what Kennedy was calling for and speaking out for, instead of the swill we are forced to swollow now. :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #160703
When people feel that others need their help they show up in droves, even despite the current oppressive taxation, to help out. Look at how private charity came to the aid of Tsunami relief, at 9/11 victims, at Katrina and Melissa survivors.

That’s great for the major publicized disasters. Although it wasn’t enough was it?

What about those places that are occurring every day everywhere? The families that are living on the street or in limited time shelters because they lost their jobs?

If you know of a way to get more people to address this, I would be very much for this. It just isn’t happening. Not enough of us do enough.

Someone said those who have more owe more. Or something like that. Sorry, it just isn’t happening.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #160705

“Paul, the new Medicare Part D (prescription drug program) has been very beneficial for millions of seniors like myself”

I actually bragged this up in the past as one of the few things Bush had done right, but just recently the drug company I signed up with has been changing formularies faster than I can change my Depends.

For me the plan started out good and has continued to get worse.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #160706

Rhinehold:

I listened to him. He wants a living wage. With a living wage then we can address those other problems the preclude some people from being able to earn a wage. They will always be around, those mentally or physically incapable, and those old and infirm who have worked their whole lives.

It is the responsibility of society to care for those unable to care for themselves. If more people are earning a living wage, it makes it easier to care for those people.

He also plans to encourage community service in high school, so more people understand the need to serve the community without being monitarily compensated. We have had some great programs in the past, and we can again.

Of course it will take time, it will be a cultural change.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #160707

Rhinehold,

Where did you get the idea that the economy tanked in 98? And to say the recession that began in 2000 was due to the minimum wage increase three years earlier, and not the over inflation of tech stocks and dodgy accounting practices of a few large corps and then the impact of 9/11, is downright laughable.

Also, I don’t know of any Democrat that wants to go back to the welfare-for-life system we had in place up until the 90’s. So to say that we are talking about some huge wealth redistribution program is wrong. Then I see some people claiming that us Dems are calling for complete government control of all businesses, what are you guys smoking?

The fact is that there are many people that work at or just above minimum wage. There are many people that have no health insurance and so they have no coverage for regular checkups, and only go to a doctor when they are seriously ill, which makes their illness more expensive to treat. Why can’t we agree that a person working 40hr/week for a full year should make enough to be able to afford the basic necessities, and call that amount the minimum wage? Why can’t we agree that everyone deserves the basic medical coverage, and that ensuring everyone has access to it benefits us all by reducing the likelihood of infectious disease, and cutting down on future more expensive health problems?

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 22, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #160708

Rhinehold:

Oh what I would give to have someone step up and lead that way, much like what Kennedy was calling for and speaking out for, instead of the swill we are forced to swollow now. :(

Now we totally agree!!

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #160712

“But *we* should do it, not leave that responsibility up to the government by forcing others at gunpoint to take care of them. We should be convincing others to take care of them, through charity and community involvement, not institutionalizing poverty as we do now.”

Rhine,
Were NOT talking about government giveaways. Did you even read my post? Do you have more than one party line response to everything???

“Top schools like Harvard or Princeton will pay your way if you come from a household that makes under 50k.”


AND are in the top .1% of your class. You really think that it’s a solution to poverty that a few scholarships are handed out each year?
The fact is that no matter what, a large percentage of the population will have to take lower level jobs. The question is, do we crap on them cause they’re not as lucky as us, or do we allow them dignity and a decent living doing the jobs that support the country?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #160713

“Anyone in this country that wants to make it will. It just takes talent, smarts, ambition, and perseverance.

Posted by: Mike Tate at June 22, 2006 08:19 PM”

And those who lack talent, smarts, ambition, and perseverance deserve to live in filth or starve? I would think if those you describe possess any compassion they would be reviled by the suffering of those less fortunate than themselves.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #160714

“My guess would be the later, considering he’s a Democrat.”

Traveller,
Have you gone to his website and read his proposal before spouting?
Here, I’ve done half the work for you:
http://oneamericacommittee.com/

At least that way, you can belittle and ridicule with SOME credibility.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #160715

“If you guarantee that no one will ever go without a living wage, no matter what, why would anyone show up for work?”

Where in ANY post or comment did ANYONE mention handouts?? No, dear misguided Rhiney, if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. I NEVER advocated welfare, handouts, freebies, or anything of the like. I’m talking about WORKING FULL TIME americans, with the best job available to them, living in poverty.
You REALLY need to progress beyond your stock answers, READ the posts, formulate a NEW opinion, and get back to us.
Geez! Where has reading comprehension gone?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #160716

Mike Tate: “It just takes talent,smarts,ambition,and perserverence.”

So what you are saying is the millions living in poverty have no talent,are stupid,lazy and shiftless. Correct?

Rhinehold: I do not think government should do it either. Labor would do a faster more sustainable job if the government would step out of the fray and take the handcuffs off. There will be a reckoning though,sooner rather than later. Having the government involved would be alot easier on the wealthy than some other ways that have occured in the past.

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #160717

“Some skills are not worth employing at $7 an hour.”

Jack,

Is this why you’re willing to let illegal immigrants do the job “under the table”?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #160718

“A feel good red herring the right likes to use to assuage their fleeting guilt.

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 08:20 PM”

The true right doesn’t possess the ability to feel guilt. The whole “compassionate conservative” thing is in itself a myth. Well myth is going easy on ‘em. I actually think it’s a lie.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #160719
Where in ANY post or comment did ANYONE mention handouts??No, dear misguided Rhiney, if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. I NEVER advocated welfare, handouts, freebies, or anything of the like. I’m talking about WORKING FULL TIME americans, with the best job available to them, living in poverty.

Then Poverty will not be eliminated. That was the whole point of the that I was responding to, the ‘ELMINATION OF POVERTY’. Unless he is speaking of forcing everyone to work whether they want to or not?

Seriously, Observer, actually read what I’m writing for a change? Instead of taking my one line out of context and using it to try to slander me? Thanks.

If we agree that it’s not the government’s job or place to ‘ELIMINATE POVERTY’ (Again, using John Edward’s words) then we just have to determine when we let people sink. We have to agree when we cast those aside.

It’s like the old joke about if you sleep with someone for 1 dollar or 50 million dollars. We establish the truth, after that we are just haggling over price…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #160720

Woman

First, we need competition in the public schools. This probably means vouchers. But it also means changes in attitudes and I am not sure how to do this.

My wife and I were among the founders of a little American school in Poland and I served on the school board for four years (no pay BTW). I learned a lot from that. The key to success if personnel and attitude. Our best teacher was a Polish math teacher. He worked w/o much equipment, only chalk. But he taught my daughter math by making her want to get it right. The next year we hired an American teacher. I was talking to her about my daughter. She told me that my daughter was good at math, but there was a problem. What problem? When my daughter got it wrong, she got upset. GOOD, I said. No, the teacher explained. He self concept was important and there was more than one right answers. I told my daughter that she should feel bad when she got a wrong answer and good when she got it right and not to let the teacher corrupt her. She is now doing very well at the University of Virginia and still feels bad when she screws up.

Wasn’t that a stupid attitude? I have found it is all too common in American education. We try to make everyone feel good. I will tell you plain (and I bet you agree) if you are screwing up, you should NOT feel good about yourself. You should change and adapt until you do it right OR you should find a skill you can develop. Do it right or change.

On a larger scale, I would study the places that do well and try to copy them. Finland has a good educational system. What do they do right? In the U.S. Iowa has a good system. How can we copy that and improve on it? We tend to do things backward. We study failure and try to figure out what causes it. The better strategy is to study success and figure out how to duplicate it. Any fool can fail.

I also do not think it is necessary to have a degree in education to teach. My daughter’s Polish math teacher was a mathematician. He would not have been qualified to teach in the U.S. w/o a teaching certificate.

Beyond training, I do believe in ownership. Ownership doesn’t always mean you own it in the economic sense. But it is something that is yours to make decisions about. People have found that in bad neighborhood if the locals can “defend” public spaces, they improve. That means not allowing bad behavior. The boozer does not get to pee on the playground. We establish some discipline. Give the poor some of the things we non poor enjoy. If a drunk sleeps on my sidewalk, I spray him with the hose and call the cops. They come and take him away. He suffers, but our community is protected. In fact, the drunk is probably better off if we do not tolerate his destructive lifestyle.

We should tolerate people, but not behaviors.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #160721

“If you guarantee that no one will ever go without a living wage, no matter what, why would anyone show up for work?”

Rhinehold,

Who suggested this? This would be true Communism. Again, who suggested it? IMO, it looks like you’re changing the discussion to fit your argument.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #160722

Kansas

There are lots of jobs we should just not do at all. My personal hatred is for leaf blowers. Fire the lot of them and crush the leaf blower machines under the tires of a truck.

I don’t employ any illegal aliens. I believe in doing my own work (or usually just not doing it at all).

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #160723

Womanmarine,

I think that we could have take care of the Katrina and Melissa diasters ourselves *IF* we weren’t taxed nearly half of our paychecks to begin with.

You want to know why we aren’t able to take care of our poor without the government now? Take a look at your paycheck and calculate how much of the national budget goes to redistribution programs.

Then understand who the nation’s largest employer is. It’s not Walmart, it’s not Coke, it’s not McDonald’s.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #160724

Kansas

Or making my sons do it. I give them free room and board and they can harvest the trees after I have taken the glory road.

And nobody needs to blow leaves. If you need a blower, your lawn is too big. God put them there and he will remove them or use a rake and broom.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #160726
Who suggested this? This would be true Communism. Again, who suggested it? IMO, it looks like you’re changing the discussion to fit your argument.

John Kerry. He did say he was going to eliminate poverty. How does he expect to do that without ensuring that everyone has everything they need no matter what happens or even if they are employed or not?

It’s a pretty basic question, don’t you think?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #160727

“The whole “compassionate conservative” thing is in itself a myth. Well myth is going easy on ‘em. I actually think it’s a lie.”

Actually, its a campaign slogan invented by an advertising firm and has as much truth as “LOSE 50 POUNDS IN 5 DAYS WHILE EATING WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!”

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #160728

Or,

“We’re the government and we’re here to help you.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #160730

“That was the whole point of the that I was responding to, the ‘ELMINATION OF POVERTY’. Unless he is speaking of forcing everyone to work whether they want to or not?”

So by obsessing on the word “elimination”, your throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
As for reading posts and responding logically, I posted first, you accused me of wanting to give away money at gunpoint. Who threw the first stone?
If you read all the posts, the majority of the discussion was how to raise working poor out of the gutter. VERY FEW people are not willing to work at all. I’m not sympathizing with them. I don’t think Edwards ideas were aimed at those that CHOSE not to work. They are not in poverty, they are morons.
Now, if you CAN’T work, because of disability, or whatever, you also deserve to live with dignity. Were not advocating free money for lazy people. Just a decent living for decent Americans.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #160732

“Who suggested this? This would be true Communism. Again, who suggested it? IMO, it looks like you’re changing the discussion to fit your argument.”

He made about three leaps in logic from Edwards using the word “eliminate”, to advocating handing out checks to people watching TV in their underwear, unwilling to work but able. That’s where I lost him. NONE of us were thinking along those lines. . It’s the knee jerk hatred of ANY government intervention that made him leap to that conclusion.
I would LOVE if business would see this problem and suggest a solution. But they’re too busy outsourcing jobs, reducing benefits, BKing on pensions, figuring out schemes to keep workers ‘part time’, and worrying about shareholders and dividends over their employees.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #160733

Jack: Right as rain. There are jobs that should not be done. Leaf blowing is one of them. I would add currency speculator and options trader to the list. Hell,currency speculators should be hunted down and killed by Inter-pol for all the havoc and hurt they cause and they create absolutly nothing.

Posted by: williamscanlan@sbcglobal.net at June 22, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #160734

“He did say he was going to eliminate poverty. How does he expect to do that without ensuring that everyone has everything they need no matter what happens or even if they are employed or not? “

And bush claimed he was going to eliminate terrorism and oppression in the world.
Which claim is more feasible?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #160740

Jack:

Thanks. Much as I hate to admit it to you :) I agree with 99% of your ideas posted above. Perhaps our biggest divide is how we accomplish this cultural change. I have very mixed feelings about the proposals I am aware of, and bad feelings about the ways our government is proposing.

I don’t agree with the vouchers, I think an overhaul of the entire educational system, based on those that work is required. Even with vouchers not everyone can go to the good schools or even have them available.

I do have to say I think Bush wanted to accomplish some education reform but failed miserably. There has to be another way.

I think much of what needs to happen is a huge cultural shakeup, which will never happen.

Lots to think about.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #160742

Williams

Options traders allow primary producers to mitigate risk and diversify their income sources. It can be abused, but basically it is a way of allowing others to take a risk particular individuals may be unable or unwilling to shoulder.

Currency trading keeps the supply and demand for currencies consistent. Again, it can be abused and I agree re the odious nature of guys like George Soros, but if we didn’t have them, we would have to invent them.

Leaf blower are just my personal nemisis. I don’t like the noise and I observe that they just push the grass or leaves into the road where they remain only until the next gust of wind blows it back. It is as close as you can come to a machine that just makes noise and pollution with no useful result.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #160743

Observer
Edwards claim. At least he believes it.

You jumped from eliminating poverty to “everything they need”.

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #160745

Thank you, Observer and thank you, womanmarine. A minimum wage should NOT be predicated by someone’s skills, talents, or productivity. The only requirement needed is that they are a human being in America. And by the way, Rhinehold, at least in THEORY and PRINCIPLE, the government you seem to scorn so much IS the people. I seem to recall something about “by the people, of the people and for the people.” That’s one of the many aspects that made this country such a noble experiment - and why it’s becoming such a tragedy under the corporate a-holes who are running this country now.

This shouldn’t even be a political issue. It’s more of a religious or moral one. That’s what makes it so stunning that the Republicans in Congress - their hypocritical pay raises aside - can be SO lacking in compassion for anyone outside their righteous inner economic and social circle. Even animals take care of one another. Is it too much to set a minimum for people in this country - to have our government show some real compassion for those who are struggling - even if there’s a risk that some might take advantage of that compassion?

Do you realize, Rhinehold, that at $5.15 an hour it would take you a really long day just to fill your gas tank? That it would take you an hour to earn a loaf of bread and a carton of milk? What kind of PEOPLE are we when we start setting productivity guidelines for basic survival?

And no, I don’t believe John Edwards or anyone can eliminate poverty. But it’s a worthy goal. And John Edwards is one of the few people who has made it a central focus in his life. If you’re going to have a never-ending war, then a war on poverty is more noble to me than a never-ending war on terrorism with real bombs and real killing.

Posted by: Mike from Montana at June 22, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #160748

Jack,

Believe it or not I actually do respect your opinion, but I think you don’t get what I’m saying.

Some people are just not able to do much better than “leaf blowing” or “video store clerk” or “housekeeping”. They just don’t possess the qualities to do better than that, but I believe they still deserve to earn a wage that allows them to “live” without being treated like second class citizens.

I believe that the home health aides that come and help me change my bedding are not only equal to me but greater than me because each and every one of them works their ass off.

Some of these aides are young and still going to school but most are women and men that have families at home and they’re paid about $9.00 per hour. It’s not easy to care for someone that’s incontinent but they do it without complaint.

How the hell do you compare that to the COO (yes Central Op Officer) getting over $200.000.00 a year? For shit sake they asked if an efficiency expert could come in with one of my aides and I’ll bet you already know I told them to kiss me where the sun don’t shine.

There’s a major imbalance and sooner or later we will either face depression or out-n-out revolution.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #160749

“I think that we could have take care of the Katrina and Melissa diasters ourselves *IF* we weren’t taxed nearly half of our paychecks to begin with.”

You really think that if we paid no taxes that the public would have coffed up 100 billion+?
That’s several grand per wage earner. A little unrealistic, I think.

“Then understand who the nation’s largest employer is. It’s not Walmart, it’s not Coke, it’s not McDonald’s.”

I can live just fine without any of those companies. I don’t think we could live without our government. Ever seen “lord of the flies’?
And your kind misdirecting statistics. The government isn’t one entity. Each subset department is basically a different company. What does the V.A. have to do with OSHA? If you combined ALL retail outlets, their employment numbers would beat the government.
My wife works for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, processing claims for disabled vets. They are a growth industry. Do you suggest we abolish her job and let those vets ‘make it on their own’?
If you abolished all actual “welfare” outlays, real handouts, you’d only reduce government spending less than a third. Since were in defecit near 20%, your net tax savings would only be 10-15%.
Unless your also advocating abolishing defense, infrastructure, research, veterans, Social Security, etc, where’s all the money your so upset about going to come from?

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #160752

“You jumped from eliminating poverty to “everything they need”. “

Bill,
I don’t follow this sentence.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #160754

Thanks for the link, Observer. All it did was prove me right, of course. But thanks for trying.

Tell you what…

I propose to eliminate poverty in 10 years: 20 years sooner than Edwards can! Vote for me instead!

Seriously, his heart is in the right place, but he really doesn’t have such a plan. Like Mike from Montana said, it’s really not something that can be done politically.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 22, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #160758

For all those worrying about what Edwards is actually proposing please check out the actual speech he gave to the National Press Club:

http://oneamericacommittee.com/news/speeches/20060622/

As Herbert of NYTimes reported, Edwards wrote the speech himself. Remarkable I say.

Posted by: Josh at June 22, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #160759

“And no, I don’t believe John Edwards or anyone can eliminate poverty. But it’s a worthy goal. And John Edwards is one of the few people who has made it a central focus in his life. If you’re going to have a never-ending war, then a war on poverty is more noble to me than a never-ending war on terrorism with real bombs and real killing. “


Eisenhowers speach in the 50’s is starting to sound like a prophecy.
“Every bomb dropped, every missile fired”.
I don’t know why we have to have such extremes in this debate. I think all of us on the pro side have made it clear were not advocating more handouts. Yet all we get in response is the usual “government is evil, your all socialists” mantra.
Really, I wish sometimes I didn’t care about anyone but myself. It would make life much easier. If I looked down on everyone below me economically as losers that just don’t try hard enough, I’d free up 10-15% of my brain. If I didn’t give a crap that my country is using my tax dollars to blow up Iraqi children, I’d sleep better. If I thought corporations really had my best interests at heart and just needed total free reign, then I wouldn’t get so angry when I hear that AssH*le butcher his preprepared speeches that just repeat the same lies over and over.
Oh Well………………..

Posted by: Norby at June 22, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #160761

Mike from Montana,

Damn, you got it.

It’s good to know we’re not alone.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #160763

“Seriously, his heart is in the right place, but he really doesn’t have such a plan. Like Mike from Montana said, it’s really not something that can be done politically.”

Then your saying it can’t be done, screw em?
Or do you think some benevolent corporation is going to step up?
Or do you just not care cause you don’t know them?
Not flaming, just trying to clarify your position.

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #160765

Thanks for the link, Josh! I love Johnn Edwards and heard about this speech.

Posted by: Mike from Montana at June 22, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #160766
it’s really not something that can be done politically.

That’s the problem in a nutshell. It shouldn’t be done politically. It should be done because it’s the right thing to do. Now if it has to be done by politicians, that’s not the same thing. It’s not something that there should be political posturing for gain over.

I think Edwards really believes these ideas. Of course anyone who is a politician is going to be abused of political posturing. I would like to think there are degrees.

I wish there were a way to call them on it directly.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 22, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #160770

Dear KansasDem,

We are absolutely not alone.

We just need better voting machine and maybe just a few journalists who cared more about issues like minimum wage or no-knock entry by the police, instead of where Britney’s forgetting her baby, where Angelina’s having her baby, and how Kate is programming her baby.

Posted by: Mike from Montana at June 22, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #160778

Hat’s off to Norby.

Eisenhower was the last Republican to really get the whole “society as a whole” thing.

It’s pretty damn simple: If you fail the people you fail society, and if you fail society then you fail the people.

Moderation is the key.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #160780

Jack

Regarding competition in public schools. In Michigan we have “School of Choice” where you can send your children to any public school you want and this has created a tremendous amount of competition. I’m against vouchers, there’s not enough money available for it and I don’t want tax dollars going to parochial schools. I’m a Christian and I don’t want the government telling be how to worship or what my beliefs should be and the more they get involved in religion the more this will happen.
By the way, in regard to your comment that most people who live in poverty do not work, I have to agree with because most people who live in poverty are children. If one believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ one must try to do something about this besides giving it lip service. Eliminating the estate tax isn’t fighting poverty.

Posted by: mark at June 22, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #160783

Observer,

Maybe I’m a professional skeptic, but when I read an article with the words “eliminate Poverty” my brain says “off the wall.” Especially when the only link is to Daily KOS. ;-) Hell, that’s like a conservative linking to Ann Colter!

As for the stuff in your link, it really gave me the impression that Edwards was all talk and no ideas.

It’s not my intention to bash Edwards or his proposals. I liked the speech in Josh’s link and agreed with most of it. He has a few good ideas, but he won’t come close to eliminating poverty.
Edwards may be able to do some good, but he’s extremely over exaggerating his abilities.

But what else do you expect from a politician?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 22, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #160787

Why dont we give newborns a savings account and start them out with say 50k. let it grow and then then can work for a minimum wage and still do OK. Thats cheaper than some other alternatives, and Im sure Paris Hilton wouldnt mind upping some estate tax for the new babies.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 22, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #160788

Observer,

Wow, you accuse me of making leaps in logic and then suggest I’m saying something that I’m not even suggesting… Nice.

Starting off, it’s obvious you have a personal grudge against me, that’s ok. I have had such in the past and I daresay I will again in the future. Being a former democrat who has ‘seen the light’ and doing what I can to shine the spotlight on what democrats are about tends to get under most liberal’s skin.

But, let’s take a stroll back at your comments, shall we?

Entry level rent (around here) is 700/mo.

AH! See, there’s problem one with a ‘national minimum wage’. Around here, in one of the largest cities in the US, you can get rent for about half of that. In other places it’s double. Why are we trying to create a ‘ntional minimum wage’ when we can’t agree on what a living wage is from state to state, city to city?

And many people take roomates to help pay the costs. Are we saying now that a living wage must mean that you can live alone? What about families helping each other out, etc…?

Now we have 700 left. Heat,power,phone, gas to commute, 300/mo. Now we have 400 left.

Heat, power I can see, that’s not 300/month. Phone? A phone is a necessity now? What about gas to communte and a car? Everyone is entitled to an automobile? Hmmmm…

Now, I’ve got to somehow get Health insurance?

Seriously, why take a job that doesn’t provide health care benefits of some kind? I mean, McDONALDS is offering health care now, who would subject themselves to not having any healthcare?

We talk about how all of these people in the US don’t have healthcare but the honest truth is that most of them are not willing to change jobs in order to get it because they don’t want it that bad enough. I didn’t have healthcare for years even though my job offered it because I didn’t want it. Now I do so I found a job that does. I don’t see why it’s a problem to expect a worker to look out for their own needs? When did that become a problem in the US?

You see, I actually CARE about lower class hard working stiffs getting a fair shake

I agree and so do I. But, what is a fair shake? That’s where the disagreement comes into play…

I REFUSE to shop at “red” stores like Walmart that suppres unions and encourage offshoring jobs.

*gasp* You’re excercising your rights to effect change and the GOVERNMENT isn’t involved? I didn’t think that was a viable solution… :(

I DON’T believe that everyone living paycheck to paycheck and sinking deeper got there from “bad choices” or cause they’re lazy

And how do you suppose they got there then? Please provide a list of reasonable reasons why someone would be living paycheck to paycheck without it being because of the choices that they made for themselves? Did someone come in and steal their money from them? Oh wait, the government did…

Were NOT talking about government giveaways. Did you even read my post? Do you have more than one party line response to everything???
You realize I wasn’t responding to you, right, but bringing up something that PAUL quoted from John Edwards speech? Or does everything here revolve around you?

As for ‘party line’, you’re accusing ME of using party lines? That’s very funny… Please name one thing that the Republicans get right. I’m not a republican but I am guessing that you might not be able to. I’m willing to admit it if I’m wrong.

So by obsessing on the word “elimination”, your throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

No, I’m throwing John Kerry’s Political Talking Points out with the bathwater. Because they’re stupid and futile.

I’m also trying to run an end around against the continued and ineffective attempt to force people to be charitable. To borrow from the democrats as of late ‘It only serves to make them hate us more’. Instead of trying to bring the US together, all of us, the democrats and republicans continue to set us at each other’s throats while doing nothing to actually address the problems at hand.

It’s the knee jerk hatred of ANY government intervention that made him leap to that conclusion.

Except that’s not my stance. I know you *THINK* it is, but it’s not. Not that you’ve shown much in the way of actually doing that, but what the heck, right?

There is a constitution, we should try to follow it sometime. There is a way to do the things we need to do, we should try doing them sometime. Forcing people to be charitable at gunpoint for any length of time will just create animosity and hatred for those you are trying to help. There are ways to help those without doing so. Work the problems out, don’t rely on hatred or guilt to be your guide.

I can live just fine without any of those companies. I don’t think we could live without our government. Ever seen “lord of the flies’?

Again, you accuse *ME* of taking a leap in logic?

I never once said there should be no government. I never once said that we should try to get by without one. Again, you confuse me for someone else, I fear.

My wife works for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, processing claims for disabled vets. They are a growth industry. Do you suggest we abolish her job and let those vets ‘make it on their own’?

Again, I never said we should. I’m not sure why you are going down that path but hey, I hope it’s a good trip.

If you abolished all actual “welfare” outlays, real handouts, you’d only reduce government spending less than a third.

60%, but who’s counting. Unless you don’t think that the ponzi scheme called Social Security is wealth redistribution?

Unless your also advocating abolishing defense, infrastructure, research, veterans, Social Security, etc, where’s all the money your so upset about going to come from?

Somewhere BESIDES income tax. Do you think that is the only way for a government to obtain funds for performing it’s services?

Btw, I just want to make a point that I think gets missed…

You do realize that no one in this country is FORCED to work for anyone else, right? They are FORCED to pay income tax, that is true, but not to work for someone that doesn’t provide them what they need in return.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #160791
If one believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ one must try to do something about this besides giving it lip service.

Just curious, did Jesus advocate knocking a rich man on the head and taking his money to give to the poor?

I don’t remember coming across that passage in my reading of the New Testament…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #160793

Rhinehold

Jesus told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor. Of course you already know this because you read your New Testament(Matthew 19:16-24). This is when Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Posted by: mark at June 22, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #160794

Yes, but he did not MAKE him do so, he had to come to that on his own. He also did not suggest that anyone make him sell his possessions against his will. In fact, that might be listed somewhere as a commandment of sorts, hmmm?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #160795
Being a former democrat who has ‘seen the light’ and doing what I can to shine the spotlight on what democrats are about tends to get under most liberal’s skin.

Gee, Rhinehold. Until now, I wasn’t aware that cynicism and futility gave off that much light.

Just what did cause you to move to the Dark Side? Did someone knock you on the head and take your money to give to the poor? Or were you a Republican all along and just waiting for the opportunity to feel good about yourself in a more appropriate American Idol political climate?

Posted by: Mike from Montana at June 22, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #160797

Rhinehold,

You said, ” I didn’t have healthcare for years even though my job offered it because I didn’t want it.”

Now, step back and think about that. If you own and drive a car and choose not to have insurance you could be fined out the yazooooo and maybe even find your butt in jail next to your new best, good friend!

I just find that freakin’ amazing. Obviously you got lucky, but if you’d been hospitalized for a long period of time who the hell do you think would have paid the bill?

Do you not see the double standard in this statement? Or are you really saying, “hey if you ever find me layin’ along the road, just leave me there”?

Please, enlighten me.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 22, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #160799

If your saying that taxing is stealing then you and every person in this country reap the benefits of that theft. The taxes we pay are a small price to pay for the life we get to live in this country. I thank God I live such a good life and it is my duty to help others try to do so also.

Posted by: mark at June 22, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #160801

Rhinehold

Nice job on this thread.

Mark

Jesus didn’t ask everyone to give up their money. Only the rich young ruler since he loved his money. The love of money is what is bad. I would guess it would be twice as bad to love other peoples money like the Democrats.

Posted by: JimmyRay at June 22, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #160802

Mike from Montana,

I’m not a republican.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #160803

An all out effort to end poverty (or at least decrease the rising level of poverty) will cause a lot of jobs to be created, which in turn would raise the whole boat, and therefore we all could pay less taxes. It is also in keeping with the lessons of the bible. Sounds conservative to me yet all we hear is grumbling against the idea. Why?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 22, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #160804
I just find that freakin’ amazing. Obviously you got lucky, but if you’d been hospitalized for a long period of time who the hell do you think would have paid the bill?

I would have. I don’t expect or want anyone else to be forced to pay for any decision I make. I don’t expect to be forced to pay for bad decisions of anyone else.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #160806
If your saying that taxing is stealing then you and every person in this country reap the benefits of that theft.

That doesn’t make it right. If I sneak into my neighbor’s house and take his food in order to give it to a homeless person, it’s still stealing, isn’t it? Does it make it right just because my motives were good? Should I still go to jail? What about his family that couldn’t eat that night because I had done a good deed at his expense?

And we CAN fund the things that the government needs to be doing without stealing it. It would just mean we think about it a bit more instead of using class warfare to further agendas.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #160808
I thank God I live such a good life and it is my duty to help others try to do so also.

I agree and so do I. But I don’t pretend to be omnipotent enough to think I can take from one to give to another. I fight hours and spend a lot of money to help those that need it, but I would never once force anyone else to do the same, it’s abhorrant to me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #160809

JimmyRay, thanks for your kind words. I agree, I once asked on this forum who was really more selfish, those that want to keep the money that they earn or those that presume to tell that person how to spend the money that they earned.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #160810

j2t2,

“An all out effort to end poverty (or at least decrease the rising level of poverty) will cause a lot of jobs to be created, which in turn would raise the whole boat, and therefore we all could pay less taxes.”

Isn’t unemployment at 4.7 or something like that? Isn’t that about full employment?

Posted by: JimmyRay at June 22, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #160816

JimmyRay, Isnt 4.7 only when you dont count all those off the rolls? Besides what do you have against more and better paying jobs? A little competition amongst companies to hire the better worker might even lift wages which as we all know lifts the whole boat.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #160817

When I first read this topic and a few early responses, I really had my dander up. I do know that most of the people living in poverty are women and children. Not all, but a good majority.

After reading this whole thread, it seems most people who are against raising the min wage or eliminating poverty, are worried about someone taking advantage of the situation if the proper social network was put into place. i wonder where their ire is in regards to the freebies our legislators get, or the crooked big business owners who steal from their shareholders and employees. They take much more out of the system than some lazy freeloaders wanting to live off the government.

And where is your ire regarding the doctors who overbill Medicare, lawyers who get enormous fees, and other highly educated professionals who have turned their brain to how to fleece the taxpayer or clients instead of to some other lawful and proper aim.

It is appalling that so much anger and negative judgment can be aimed at “the poor”, instead of looking at all the complicated social issues that create the underclass.

I agree with the anthropologist that an underclass will probably always be with us, but do we have to blame the victim, do we have to assume that everyone that is poor is lazy or stupid. I hope not.

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 23, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #160820

MaggieRose, Its much easier to blame the victim. After all they make us pay so much more in taxes that we could be spending on ourselves. Why they even want our money, which as we have learned from some of the posters on this site is most selfish.

“The modern Conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a moral justification for selfishness.”-John Kenneth Galbraith

Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #160823

MaggieRose,

I don’t think that anyone assumes that all poor are lazy or stupid. Some people also make choices that seemed right at the time but didn’t work out. And others are just not physically or mentally able to work. I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that we discard the ones that just can’t take care of themselves and have no one else to do so.

But I would like to see people get together to help those that need it when the need it before having to have a governmental agency step in and take over. Why aren’t we really taking care of our own first? Why do we think it’s ok to lay it onto the government?

If I know someone that is really down on hard times, I do everything I can to help. I’ve had strangers staying in my house, given money to people who needed it for new clothes for a job interview, helped feed them for a while, taken care of those that need it. But I also gave them ‘personal attention’ that I think helps them much more than a check or some spare change ever could.

But I usually turn my back on those that demand that I help them or give them money or food. I refuse to help them if they are making a habit of it. I had one women I knew at the time tell me that she gets enough money from the government to pay her bills so why should she work? And then couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t help her…

The problem with the government helping in these cases as a first line of defense are twofold. One, they don’t get any kind of personal attention. No one is saying it’s ok, they understand, it can get better. When I was without a home and had no money to eat on, I was glad to be helped out but the people that helped me at the time did more than just give me some food, they comforted me and helped me get back on my feet emotionally. Where is the government doing that now for people? Where are the mentoring programs? I never for once expected anyone, even the government, to take care of me because I was in that position on my own (I lost a job, the last one I ever lost without having another one, because of my own inability to work hard enough to do the job correctly. Yes, I was a teenager still) and I knew that if it got too bad I could count on my parents if I really needed too. But I was determined to make it on my own and I eventually did.

The second problem is that people will learn how to manipulate a system like that, as often people are doing now. The stories about the abuse of the Katrina relief funds are astounding, people getting trips to Cancun, facelifts, season tickets to Saints games, etc. All on OUR dimes.

This doesn’t even include the waste of our government with everything they come into contact with.

The goverment was designed to a small number of things and do them very well. Now, however, it is charged with doing so much that there is just no way that it can effectively do any of it well. Where is the government in protecting our rights guaranteed by the constitution?

We’ve gone too far, it’s time to re-understand what the federal government is suppose to be doing and what the communities are suppose to be doing and not taking away the ability of our communities to take care of it’s neighbors. The more you suck out of a community through taxation, sift it around in Washington for a while with a bit of it all landing in a thousand different pockets, and then handing it back to the community to help the people that the feds say must be helped because of ‘the code’, the less that the community can do to actually help those that need help when they need it and give tough love to those that need that as well.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #160824


These posts are a perfect example of how the rich play the middle class against the poor working class. The wealthy just love it, They are really good at it aren’t they.

You hear the same old crap. The poor get what they deserve. If they want a better life, let them find a way to get it on their own. I wonder how the Christian republicans feel about being allies of the Darwinists.

Another argument is that the minimum wage will cost a lot of poor workers their jobs and will run a lot of mom and pop stores out of business. Wallmart, McDonalds and Taco Bell have run more mom’s and pop’s out of business than any minimum wage law ever has.

Here is one that was always used against the unions. Everytime a union gets a raise for their members, all the prices go up and it hurts all the non union workers.

I think that Edwards could possibly burn Hillary with his approach. After what the republicans have done for the last six and a half years and will continue to do for the next one and a half years, Edwards will burn them to. Just remember, gas will be $4 per gallon in 2008.

Posted by: jlw at June 23, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #160826
gas will be $4 per gallon in 2008

Why do you figure?

As for the rest of your post, it’s the same old tired ‘if you don’t like forcing others to provide charity you’re selfish’ liberal crap that really adds nothing at all to rational discussion of the issues. Playing people against each other, nevermind that some people actually think that there are better ways to help people that need it since the politics of forced charity have done little to help the situation in 50 years. Every election I hear the same crap, ‘the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer’ and the percentage of the budget going to wealth redistribution programs has gone from 3% to >60% with it apparently still getting worse each year.

At some point SOMEONE has to stop and look around and say ‘it isn’t working, we need a better way’. And retreading the same old crap as Edwards is doing, packaging it in a new bow, isn’t it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #160827

Rheinehold, I agree the federal government should do only a few things along these lines. They neeed to enact policies that allow the whole boat to rise. This growing income equality is due to bad policies of the last 20 years. Let the states and local governments deal with the medical help, education, mentoring and law enforcement help that the poor need.
Mental health issues, drugs, lack of education, all contribute to the problem. More focus on teaching the man to fish in lieu of feeding hom the fish will also help.
Yep the Feds should just make the right choices in policy and leave the rest to the local level.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #160829

The Working Society is what made this country great. Yet the Neo-Con anong you cry socialism if we do reward our working class?

So using that same skewed view of our democracy, do you consider it to be facist corporatocracy for the current regime to reward with tax credits these mega-corporations to close American manufacturing plants and outsource these jobs to China?????

Try to look ar it this way then. If these idiots have all of the middle class laid-off and unemployed, you remove the tax base that pays for everything; infrastructure like roads and police services, fire services. So without We The People, You Neo-Con owners would have to pay for all of it yourselves!!!

TAKE BACK OUR AMERICA
WE THE PEOPLE, NOT THEY THE CORPORTOCRACY FACIST

Posted by: NorCal Dave at June 23, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #160831

“…Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Eye of the needle is a term for an entrance or exit through a walled city that forced mounted individuals to dismount and to walk single-file through the narrow passage way. It was done for defensive purposes. Jesus wasn’t saying that it was impossible for a rich man to get into heaven, He was metaphorically stating that a rich man would have to dismount, and walk in alone, without his possessions and his wealth.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 23, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #160839

—How do we reach out to those who do not vote. Turn out for the last voting cycle was dismal at best, seems a great many people do not even have the foggiest idea on who is running for office an plane just don’t give a dam. If you can’t help your self how is it any one else can help them. I guess there are more followers than leaders. There is just no rhyme or reason for this serious problem.

Posted by: DAVID at June 23, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #160841

David,

Most people don’t vote because they don’t think their vote matters. They feel that both parties are full of lying scum and everyone is scared away from voting 3rd party because they are told they will be throwing their votes away.

They also don’t see much of a difference between the candidates and very little changes from year to year so why bother…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 2:26 AM
Comment #160844


Most of the people who don’t vote are poor and they are still going to be poor even if they do vote so why bother. If you promise them a working society and assure them that if they are willing to work they won’t have to live in poverty they won’t believe you because they have been hearing that for years. They know the wealthy have a lock on this country so Edwards will have to get himself and a democratic majority and start producing results before he can some of them to come around. The democrats forgot who their base was and that is why we have to suffer through the age of incompetence.

Posted by: jlw at June 23, 2006 3:21 AM
Comment #160845

Jack,

You mentioned early in this thread:

“Even if we double the real incomes of the poor (in terms of what they can buy) there will still be poverty if they are at the bottom.”

You seem to be saying that there is a threshold percent of the lower income who will always be the “poverty” population? If so, that is not the case.

Poverty was originally established by the percent of your income you had to spend on food. The sustenance threshold was established from surveys by the Department of Agriculture (back in 1955) as one-third of your income on food (for a family of three), so anyone spending a greater percent for food would be classified as poverty level. The dollar amount for this level was originally raised as the cost of food rose, but was later it was indexed to the CPI. Poverty levels for families of other sizes and for individuals have their own multipliers.

So, that being the case, it IS possible to eliminate (theoretically) the poverty levels. There won’t always be a poverty level dictated by the certain percent on the bottom rung(s) of the earnings ladder.

Posted by: myles at June 23, 2006 3:21 AM
Comment #160847
They know the wealthy have a lock on this country so Edwards will have to get himself and a democratic majority and start producing results before he can some of them to come around. The democrats forgot who their base was and that is why we have to suffer through the age of incompetence.

Hmmm, why didn’t the democratic majority do something about this problem when they were in charge of both the house and senate for, what, 30 years?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #160854

Taxes,stealing,whatever. The money is already being taken from us.Re-allocting more to fight poverty is a better use for it than,for example, that stupid star wars anti-missile system. Another 9 billion this yearFYI. It is unlikely to ever work,if it did it would be too expensive to deploy and our foes would just develope conter-measures, our current foes are more likely to bring a nuke in a rowboat than an ICBM.Thats just one example. Theres plenty more.

Posted by: BillS at June 23, 2006 4:21 AM
Comment #160858

Jim Martin says:

While I do not take many prescriptions, I am still saving over $100 per month. For many seniors that extra money comes in very handy. Can you not give credit for anything Congress passes and the President signs? This program has added to our national debt, but then…what new social program doesn’t?

He demonstrates quite clearly a lack of real knowledge of others..everything with him is “I am saving”…then extrapolates that to most other people. He doesn’t take into account that a lot of elderly on Medicare take a LOT of medications and they’re going to reach the “donut hole” within a month or two and be paying thousands out of their own pocket…and since Medicare’s drug plan isn’t able to negotiate the price of drugs (like insurance companies and even the VA), those seniors will be paying top dollar for their drugs…on their own…while still paying for their drug plan every month while it’s not paying out a thin dime!!

“I’m saving $100” does not apply to most elderly…where’s the intellect that doesn’t automatically extrapolate one’s own situation to everyone? Where’s the compassion????

And if he wants something to blame for the humongous deficit, please show how the Iraq War, the exhorbitant military spending (more profits for defense contractors), and the trade deficit do NOT contribute to this deficit??? Don’t blame the social programs…the current regime’s economic policies and war policies cause the need for such social programs to be even greater!

Posted by: Lynne at June 23, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #160873

Observer
“Why is improving the lot of hard working Americans a utopian dream?

Because doing so in the way this post says would do nothing more than help govt take over and run ALL business. An utopian dream of Pauls.

Paul in Euro
Sorry sir, I was referring to it being a utopian dream of Paul S.

“As for liberal or conservative Govts kc, gimme one that does not squander the taxpayers money and shore up debts for many generations to come.”

I agree. But Paul S. would only support a liberal govt running his utopia.

“You talk about working for your fair share - are you serious? What’s your minimum wage? $5 and cents? Is that what you call a fair share?”

If that is all that the work you do is worth, then yes, that is your fair share of the pie.

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #160876

Observer
“I’m upper middle class and won’t ever have to rely on S.S. or medicare to survive”

Upper middle class? Why is that?
IF you really care about all the poor people, why don’t you support your beliefs and actually do something about it?
By dropping your standard of living to lower middle class, you alone could help 2, maybe even 3, of the working poor you SAY you care about, rise up and become lower middle class themselves.
Why expect govt to help others for you?

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #160887

Myles

If we took the poverty level of 1950 and did the calculations based on today’s food prices, what would it be? The CPI overstates inflation because it does not properly account for quality improvements and substitutions.

As we have technological progress the prices of many goods come down and/or their quality rises. Electronics are an obvious example. No television made in 1960 was as good as a moderately priced TV of today and the most expensive computer back then had the raw power of your pocket calculator.

It is obvious that the poor can buy more and a greater quality of goods now than they could in 1950. In fact, if we imposed the 1950 middle class standard of living (in terms of technology, sq feet of housing per person, plumbing, lack of air conditioning etc) on the poor today, there would be an outcry.

The reason we do not notice it is that progress comes to be accepted as normal. I think they call that hedonistic adaptation.

So I do believe there will always be poverty. Besides, some people live in squalor any way because of their life choices.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #160900

Raising the income of those below the poverty level is only one aspect of a much larger issue.
Poverty is rarely ever just about income. Jacks comments are true in the fact that we’ve come a long way, yet the issues related to poverty haven’t subsided. It’s the areas that don’t relate to income, such as eductaion, community, and family, that will be key factors in the elimination of poverty. Not income.

Posted by: DOC at June 23, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #160902


Jack: For every George Soros in the democratic party there are 1000 like him in the republican party. I’ll say it again, this thread is a perfect example of how the wealthy turn the working classes against each other. If you don’t have poor people, how do you coerce the workers into working for slave labor wages?

I live in a not so unique place called povertyville, Ohio. My little town ( less than 5’000) is surounded by a somewhat bigger town (less than 25,000 ) that has been trying to swallow us up for nearly a century. Until the 1970’s my little town had the largest income percapita of any town in Ohio. Then the steel mill was shut down by a conglomerate that bought it out. We were about to go under when we attracted Kmart to come in. The chamber of commerce of the bigger town got an injunction in the local courts against the deal. They claimed that they had the say so about any new business that comes into the entire county. We had to go to federal court to defeat the injunction. When Volkswagon of America wanted to build an assembly plant in the county, that chamber of commerce said we don’t want a foreign car company. When Miller Brewing Co. wanted to come in the same. A few wealthy families own and control things and they want to keep it that way. Therefor the largest payroll in the county comes from the federal government in the form of welfare. Half the workers in the county are eligible for some form of assistance. Our unemployment rate is double the national average. Many of our young people have to leave as soon as they get out of school to even have a possibility of finding employment. Nepotism and cronyism are the game and if you are not connected then you work for 6 dollars an hour or less and you work very hard for the money or you are replaced. It is the perfect setup for you know who. By the way, the starting salery for a nurse here is 12’000 per year. It’s a good thing we have a large nursing school here. Our doctors are the c students or foreign.

Posted by: jlw at June 23, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #160903

I have almost given up. I’m beginning to believe we should support the monied oligarchy until they begin to piss off the working poor so much that a revolution is upon us. “Let them eat cake” is what I expect to hear, or perhaps

“Scrooge: I wish to be left alone, sir, that is what I wish! I don’t make myself merry at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idol people merry. I have been forced to support the establishments I mentioned through taxation, and God knows they cost more than they’re worth. Those who are badly off must go there.
2nd Portly Gentleman: Many would rather die than go there.
Scrooge: If they’d rather die, they had better do it and decrease the surplus population. Good night, gentlemen.
[Walks away, then turns back]
Scrooge: Humbug!”

I recently listened to the conservative Ben Stein(of Ferris Beullar and Nixon speechwriter) talk about the reasonableness of increasing tax on the wealthy. He was arguing with conservative (of MASH and now financial talking head) Wayne Rogers. He offered that it was cheap for the service of preventing the masses from climbing the walls, killing the wealthy and taking their money.

The ironies of this spectacle were inumerable, but a potent portent of the coming revolt.

Viva la Revolution!!!

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #160911

Gergle - After the revolution, when all of the country’s riches are divided equally among those who survived, what entities will have the greatest economic power. Church? State? With that economic revolution you will need to throw in a polical revolution as well, just to be safe.

Posted by: DOC at June 23, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #160922


In most revolutions, the middle class talks the lower class into overthrowing the upper class. After the revolution, part of the middle class becomes the upper class and the lower class stays the lower class.

We don’t need a revolution to turn things around. You need to convince the workers to engage in civil disobedience in mass. If you can convince the workers to go out into the streets and refuse to go to work, the situation can be remedied. How do you get the message out in a nation where the media is controlled be the wealthy? This ain’t 1776. How do you have leaders in a nation where the government and the corporations have a dossier on every citizen? They are not data mining just for the fun of it or just to hunt down terrorists.

Posted by: jlw at June 23, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #160927

ummm,DOC, this was mostly tongue-in-cheek.

Our government was designed to assuage the rumblings of the masses. Pay attention. They are rumbling.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #160939

“JimmyRay, Isnt 4.7 only when you dont count all those off the rolls?”

j2t2,

The Economic Policy Institute has the facts:

“Critiquing misleading White House statements about the economy, part 4
The unemployment rate”

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_20060511

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 23, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #160941

I’m very pleased that we are having a pretty rational debate. I’m also happy that almost all of you are concerned about the lot of the poor.

Mostly we are told that getting rid of poverty is not possible. Being mortal, I don’t know if this is so. The question, though, is it a worthwhile goal? I can’t see many disagreeing with this.

Conservatives keep advancing arguments about how it will hurt business, which will then hurt workers. Just for once, I hope they take the viewpoint of the poor workers who live below the poverty line.

Conservatives say I seek utopia. How about the utopia they seek where everyone will be an owner? If we can’t get people out of poverty how on earth will we ever make everyone an owner?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 23, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #160943

Jack,

I only mentioned 1955 because that is when this record-keeping and income “classification” apparently started. Things have been indexed based on that starting point since then. I would therefore think the poverty level based on today’s food prices would be fairly close to what it currently is, on the govt’s scale, at least.

As we have technological progress the prices of many goods come down and/or their quality rises.
I agree - this is a reasonable effect of market and competitive pressures. The couple of areas I do not think behave this way are in today’s medical and pharmaceutical markets (in the US), and I have my suspicions and distrust of those - but that is for another time and place ;)

No one is talking about “imposing” 1950’s conditions on anyone - that is merely a reference point.

I am a fan of hedonism.

So I do believe there will always be poverty. Besides, some people live in squalor any way because of their life choices.
I agree. I am not debating social tendencies, only what I thought was your assumption that a certain percent of the income scale would always be labelled as poverty level, when it is actually based on buying power.

I DO feel like a mature, progressive society should eventually reach a point where it is able to care for its poor, its uneducated, its “lesser-haves,” and should be looking for ways to reach this level as it grows. I see steps taken in that direction on occassion, but each one is very small and opposition is very severe.

Posted by: myles at June 23, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #160947

To Womanmarine: A good example of American sharing and caring without government prodding is the recent hurrican devastation of Louisianna and other states. Millions of dollars were volunteered by Americans along with countless hours of volunteer labor among other things such as clothing and food. The leading givers were Christian organizations. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at June 23, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #160960

Gergle - I hear the rumbling, I just can’t tell if it is the stomaches of hungry kids, or a herd of food stamp recipients who want me to cash theirs out so they can buy booze.

Posted by: DOC at June 23, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #160965

“How about the utopia they seek where everyone will be an owner?”

Not “will be” an owner Paul, “opportunity” to be an owner.
Without all this govt control over our lives and the blatant over taxation we have right now, more people would have that opportunity.

“If we can’t get people out of poverty how on earth will we ever make everyone an owner?”

You can’t make everyone an owner, being an owner is up to each individual and how they live their lives. Or how they SHOULD be allowed to live their own lives.

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #160966

Hey Paul,

You can always move to Canada?

Seriously, what makes this country great is that everyone is afforded the OPPORTUNITY to make it. There are no guarantees in life, and for those looking for one need a huge dose of reality.

Posted by: b0mbay at June 23, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #160970
I hear the rumbling, I just can’t tell [what] it is
And therein lies one of our biggest obstacles - sorting out the users from abusers. Good intentions fall flat, frustrations with “the system” (and with the abusers) grow, and in the end, the real help, the intended help, is just not there.

(Sorry DOC, if I paraphrased your reply a bit too harshly - not pointing fingers, just using your wording and your point.)

Posted by: myles at June 23, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #160971

kctim,
opportunity? like the opportunity to win the lottery?

I often give my cat the opportunity to catch a lengh of wiggling yarn, as I snatch it away. But then we both know it’s a game.

Doc,

ahhh, so THAT’S why all the liquor billboards are in the poor side of town.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #160980

“I often give my cat the opportunity to catch a lengh of wiggling yarn, as I snatch it away.”

Does he still take that opportunity and work to get it? Or does he lie down and wait for someone else to give him a “length of wiggling yarn” so he doesn’t have to work for it?
Or even worse, does he expect someone else to take a “length of wiggling yarn” from another cat and give it to him?

Posted by: kctim at June 23, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #160982

myles - No apology needed. You nailed it.

Posted by: DOC at June 23, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #160985

“IF you really care about all the poor people, why don’t you support your beliefs and actually do something about it?
By dropping your standard of living to lower middle class, you alone could help 2, maybe even 3, of the working poor you SAY you care about, rise up and become lower middle class themselves”

That would be charity. We’ve made it ABUNDANTLY clear that we are NOT talking about giving away anything. Why you guys keep beating your head against that wall is beyond me.
Once again for the slow. All were talking about is allowing 40hr/week, hard working americans to be able to live above poverty level and perhaps even raise a family. What a concept.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #160987

A proposal:

After WW2 a grateful nation rewarded returning veterans with the GI bill. One of the biggest benefits was loan guarantees for the purchase of a home on favorable terms. Most veterans took advantage of this,setting the stage for the post war boom that produced an economy strong enough to rebuid Europe. The effects GI profoundly effect us today. Before that there were no 30 year morgages for example. The equity and stability in home ownership sent thousands of us to college,started thousands of small businesses etc. Most likely you and your family are still benefitting from the program in some way.
There is one group of veterans that was officially excluded from taking advantage of this program. The federal government “redlined”. They would not lend money in Black nieghborhoods. At the time there were no fair housing laws. A Black veteran was barred from moving into a white nieghborhood. This was an historic wrong and we see the results of this wrong today in the seemingly intractable level of Black poverty. Certainly there are other causes. The loss of manufactueing jobs etc. There is a tremendous cost to society for denying the same opportunity white veterans had to black veterans,many of them highly decorated.
I would propose we do something about it,not just to atone for an injustice but to help eliminate poverty. We should extend the terms of the WW2 GI bill to the decendants of black veterans of WW2. The right talks of an ownership society. Here is a chance to furthur that. The right objects to hand outs. This is not a handout. It is a loan guarntee. You do not pay you lose you home. The right objects racial preferences . In this case it is historic fact that this group was selected for exclusion. Also this is not a 20o year old claim like slave reparations. Many of these veterans are still alive. Most of us are still benefitting in some way from benefits they and their decendants were denied. We can fight poverty by doing the right thing.

Comments please. I am trying to sell this approach to my reps.

Posted by: BillS at June 23, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #160989

“Why are we trying to create a ‘ntional minimum wage’ when we can’t agree on what a living wage is from state to state, city to city?”

No matter how cheap your state is, 5.15 is too low. A national minimum is just that, a MINIMUM. States are still free to make theirs higher. No ones restricting that.

“Why expect govt to help others for you?”

That’s pretty much the definition of government.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #161004
“Why expect govt to help others for you?”

That’s pretty much the definition of government.

According to who?

The federal government is in place to protect our basic civil rights as spelled out in the constitution, regulate trade between the states and protect the borders of the country from outside forces. By doing these things they promote the general welfare of the country to grow and take care of itself as it sees fit… through the local governments.

Expecting the government to help other people for you? No, that’s not anywhere near the definition of any government I think is in place in the US…

In fact, what makes government different from any other organization is the power to use force against citizens. No other entity has that power.

We could all give money, voluntarily, to the Red Cross (or any other organization we see fit) and they could manage it to those that need it as well as, if not better than, the federal government. But they can’t FORCE anyone to do it. So any use of the government comes with the knowledge that you are giving that body the power to use force against other citizens.

This is why I dislike government. We have given them power over our lives and freedoms, we need to ensure that they do not use it excessively or unnecessarily. If there is any way to achieve a goal that doesn’t use the governmen’ts ability to use force against us we should use that other means.

The problem is that some people are upset that others might not help take care of the poor like they are doing, so they want the government to use that force to ensure that they do. It’s all selfishness on their side, jealousy taken to a dangerous level by saying if you don’t do as I do then we can kill you for not doing so.

Think I’m being over-dramatic? Try not paying your taxes for a while and see what the result is. They will take all of your money (unlike the laws that allow civil compaintants against you to garnish your wages up to 10% of your income, the government can take nearly all of it, leaving you about 10% to live on until they get paid). If you try to avoid this they will come to put you in jail. If you attempt to avoid being locked up, they will use force to make you go, up to and including taking your life if necessary.

Just ask Irwin Schiff.

I guess that’s the problem between you and me, I find supporting the use of force against another of my citizens simply because they are selfish and don’t want to help someone else out to be worse than the person who is being selfish.

You apparently don’t.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #161005

jlw,

I think the trick is to effectively expose the game. Unfortunately, the game is constantly changing, so it depends on an opportunity that captures pathos and engenders an interest in looking beyond the surface.

They didn’t get rich by being dumb. But wealth eventually grows into laziness and callousness.

BillS,

I think you’d have a better chance at selling Mexican flags to Texans.

Kctim,
I don’t know, but I’m willing to let you wiggle it for me. I should warn you, he’s already eaten Roy Horn, though. :)

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #161009

Reinhold, so you think Mr. Schiff has the right to not file taxes?

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #161014

Gergle,

I don’t think I said anything like that, did I?

I believe I was explaining what power we give our government. By allowing the government to use force on Mr Schiff, they have basically sentenced him to death. He’s in his late 70s with a 13 year jail term and the cell conditions they have him in now have already presented severe health problems, he will most likely now die in jail.

We allow our government to do all kinds of things like this just because we think we should have a say on what other people do. From seatbelt and helmet laws to laws against personal freedom to laws that give the government the right to use force to take someone else’s money via the income tax we do these things to our citizens all of the time and we turn a blind eye. Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc. All situations that needn’t have happened if we had just been willing to let people live their lives as they wish as long as they didn’t interfere with anyone else.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #161023

Gergle: Dispite the fact that there are many Texans of Mexican decent that might buy a flag could you please give me a more detailed response than you think it would be difficult. I am looking for input on this . I have read “opportunity” used alot on this thread. Here is an example of opportunity denied because of racism that is well documented. Also statement about there being no garintees. There are loan garuntees and most white baby boomres benefited from them. My own example: My ageing mother is self supporting because of the equity her and my father built up useing a GI loan. This frees myself and my sisters from a financial burden,allowing us to provide better opportunities to our children. Prosperity like poverty appears self-perpetuating.

apoligies: spelling is not a strong point for me

Posted by: BillS at June 23, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #161040

—Can any of you on this web site REMEMBER the GREAT AMERICAN TAX BREAK for the middle class.$300.00 REMEMBER NOW. This was one of the greatest scam jobs of our time. A letter was sent to all tax payers who received three hundred dollar the previous year or more would receive a check for that amount stating this was a tax cut. They did not say it was a loan until the following year when in fact take the three hundred dollars hopefully every one will aware of the spin and lies some people so cleverly pull over on every one. Please be watchful what you see

Posted by: DAVID at June 23, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #161050

David,

Are you seriously suggesting that nearly all Americans received a tax break in 2001?

Would you like to cite a single reference or something to back up this statement or should we just dismiss it out of hand?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 6:17 PM
Comment #161053

That should be ‘are you seriously suggesting that nearly all Americans did NOT recieve a tax break in 2001’. I should really use that Preview button more often…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #161070

“I find supporting the use of force against another of my citizens simply because they are selfish and don’t want to help someone else out to be worse than the person who is being selfish.”

If, by “use of force”, you mean setting minimum pay standards, safety standards, behavior standards, while requiring set contributions to the common good, then I guess I support the use of force. Although your terminology is a bit dramatic.
Let me ask, your obviously against ANY minimum wage, are you also against OSHA standards? 40hour workweeks? Child labor laws? Import/export restrictions?
Just wondering where your hatred of government ends.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #161071

“They did not say it was a loan until the following year when in fact take the three hundred dollars”

My right wing brother in law was pretty pissed at bush when he figured that one out.
Then he quickly got back in lockstep formation like a good little nazi.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #161072

“They didn’t get rich by being dumb.”

bush managed it.
But then, he had a social safety net (daddy).

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #161075

Again, Observer, I believe that the federal government is a necessary evil, that it should be there to protect the rights of all citizens, protect the country from outsite influences and regulate commerce between the states.

your obviously against ANY minimum wage

Amend that to say any federally mandated minimum wage and you would be correct.

are you also against OSHA standards

No

40hour workweeks

I think the work week should be determined between boss and employee. I’m not aware of any federally mandated 40 hour work week at the present, are you? I know that if that were the case I’ve been going way over my alloted time for years… :(

Child labor laws

No

Import/export restrictions

We would have to discuss this one to determine what kind you are thinking about… I think that anything entering or leaving the US should be inspected for safety, especially things like food. However I’m not too keen on trade tarrifs and the like.

Again, these are things spelled out in the constitution for the federal government to provide. Unfortunately a weak Supreme Court during the Roosevelt years pretty much overturned the 9th amendment without anyone casting a vote simply because they feared the president’s attempt to pack the court (I hear about packing the court these days and wonder if people really know what has been attempted in the past…). It was many of these ‘experiments’ that not only extended the length of the depression but also have given us some of the most outrageous violations of the Constitution we have to live with today on a daily basis.

By the by, it is also the point when democrats became what they are today and stopped being ‘classic liberals’ and conservatives because what they are today as well. It’s funny how history does things like this looking back on it and seeing from that how the future may diverge and reconnect…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #161077
Although your terminology is a bit dramatic

Really? Let’s go take a look in our jails and see what kind of people are sitting there for years simply because they went against the will of the people, shall we?

How long after we implement a national health care program (we’re already halfway there btw) will eating fatty foods be illegal and get you thrown in jail?

The government should be enforcing our rights, not diminishing them. Take Tamara Hoover for example, fired from her job as a public school teacher because there were semi-nude pictures taken of her on a flickr.com site. Free speech much?

Ask the people who survived Waco if I’m being to ‘dramatic’. Or Ruby Ridge. Oh, wait…

How many things like this happen on a daily basis but we just don’t know about it. Dramatic? I don’t think so…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #161088

Rhinehold,

The Government won’t outlaw fatty foods, they’ll simply introduce a fat tax. By adding taxes to fatty foods they’ll get some people to reduce consumption due to an increased price, and at the same time be able to pay for treatment of people suffering illnesses related to the constant consumption of said foods. I think the same approach should be used for what are currently illegal drugs, as well as alcohol and tobacco.

Posted by: bushflipflops at June 23, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #161089

There is a federally mandated 40 hour work week for hourly employees. If you go over that you are to be paid at time and a half. You can recieve back pay up to 3 years. Many states have 8 hr. a day standards that supercede the federal standards. Contact your state or federal labor division. Do not be ripped off.

Posted by: BillS at June 23, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #161090

BillS, I am a salaried employee. That was the agreement I made with my employer and I am glad to have made it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #161091

“I believe that the federal government is a necessary evil, that it should be there to protect the rights of all citizens”

And I believe that someone willing and able to work a full time job has the RIGHT to be paid a wage that will at least allow him to survive in todays society. Not a handout, just a minimum standard set at a reasonable level consistent with the costs of putting a roof over your head, and food on your table, along with reasonable health care.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #161092

“How long after we implement a national health care program (we’re already halfway there btw) will eating fatty foods be illegal and get you thrown in jail?”

THe fast food lobby would never allow it. Get real.
And having a national health care system would not exclude private health care plans. It wouldn’t be mandatory, wouldn’t render private insurance invalid. As someone pointed out, anyone going to an emergency room will get treated. One thing driving up costs is the uninsured not seeing a doctor till it IS an emergency, then costs 10 times more to treat.

“fired from her job as a public school teacher because there were semi-nude pictures taken of her on a flickr.com site.”

Huh? That’s a decision by a local school board or principle, not the feds. Don’t see the relationship. And no, I don’t think she should be fired.

“Ask the people who survived Waco if I’m being to ‘dramatic’.”

Ask the families of the agents shot down by the Waco nuts how they feel. As for what happened, I’m inclined to believe they lit themselves of fire, or at least a couple of their leaders did. They were nuts accumulating guns illegally. If they were arab, none of the right wingers would be idolizing them.

Posted by: Observer at June 23, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #161118

Btw, I’m not a right winger and I don’t idolize Khoresh (He was a religious nutjob). But he had a right to be a nutjob and he had a right to have weapons. If they were illegal he had the right to pay the fine. Not be murdered.

You say they killed agents. Yet there is no evidence that they killed a single agent. One did die, but again, no evidence how he died (friendly fire perhaps). All of the evidence that could have been used to determine one way or another has ‘disappeared’ somehow.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #161120
THe fast food lobby would never allow it. Get real.

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:XDKuNYnudd8J:adage.com/print%3Farticle_id%3D109889+article_id%3D109889&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=390171&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=

It’s starting to happen already. It’s just a matter of time, when you allow the government to control parts of your life they will eventually control it all. :(

And having a national health care system would not exclude private health care plans. It wouldn’t be mandatory, wouldn’t render private insurance invalid.

Really? Because that was what Hillary’s plan called for. It would have been illegal to have gone outside of the health care system.

So, how would it work then? Sort of like the current education system where the education sucks in those schools and those who have the money will be the ones who’s children will be educated well while those without the ability to pay both the taxes required to support the bad schools and the tuition for the good schools would continue to be undereducated?

Nice system that… In your idea of a national health care then the good doctors would work in private industry and the rich would go to them, the poor would have to settle for the doctors that can’t charge enough for their services then? And suffer long lines and government beauracracy? Ask permission to get medical procedures done making dealing with HMO’s look like a trip to the candy store?

As someone pointed out, anyone going to an emergency room will get treated.

They already do…

One thing driving up costs is the uninsured not seeing a doctor till it IS an emergency, then costs 10 times more to treat.

Oh, I agree, but how is the best way to remedy this really?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #161127

Myles

It is a definitional problem, although we probably won’t agree.

By a reasonable definition of poverty of 1900 or even 1950, we already HAVE eliminated most poverty in the U.S. As we all got richer, we justifiably raised the standard and we will do so again. Poverty used to mean actual starvation. Today one of the biggest problems for the very poor is obesity.

The only place I have seen actual poverty in America is among some immigrant communities and they don’t stay in poverty if/when they integrate into U.S. society. Some individuals live very chaotic lives, but it results from their own poor decisions or pathologies.

The other part of the question is what to do about poor people. I do not believe that merely mandating higher wages is the solution. One big reason is most people in poverty do not work or do not work much.

If you want to help people escape poverty, create infrastructure improvements. Lower the price of housing. Create security in poor areas. Reward initiative.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #161132

—Rhinehold You say you are not R.Winged,What do you call that ???? by clicking on your Red post name!

Posted by: DAVID at June 23, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #161135

David,

What do I call what? The Truth? I would call it just that I imagine…

As for my political leanings, if you look at my BIO you will see that I’m a staunch libertarian who use to be democrat. Perhaps you should actually do a little bit of research on, oh, any subject at all?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #161137

—I need not explain anything to you for any reason and I am sure the millions of people who received any where three to five hundred dollars and had to pay it all back the following year, know exactly what I mean!

Posted by: DAVID at June 23, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #161139

I received 600 and didn’t have to pay anything back… *shrug* You don’t want to explain, you don’t have to. Have a nice life.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #161140

Bill S,

I was being sarcastic, as I’m sure you know. All I can say is life isn’t fair. You currently have congress rolling back the voting rights act, do you honestly think that they are going to pay reparations for past discrimination?

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #161142

Rhinehold, nice to hear from you again. Haven’t seen you around very frequently, lately.

How do you expect the government to enforce law? Ask really, really nicely?

I’ll agree many situations are unreasonably and even sadisticly enforced. But hey, we live in a warrior culture.

I dispute that Ruby ridge and Waco residents didn’t bother anyone. They bothered me. I think the ATF is a bunch of undertrained and overzealous morons, looking for an excuse to be lawmen, but I don’t think either situation was entirely their fault.

Posted by: gergle at June 23, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #161168
How do you expect the government to enforce law? Ask really, really nicely?

Of course not, that is why they have been given the power to use force against the citizens, the only organization that can do that. That is ALSO why it should not be used for personal disputes, religious dogma or just because ‘it sounds good’. If the effect of a law can be achieved through other means, then we should not have that law and we should use those other means, etc. The use of force should be only used when really necessary.

I dispute that Ruby ridge and Waco residents didn’t bother anyone. They bothered me.

How so? Did they steal from you or attack your family? The democratic and republican parties both bother me, but I don’t expect them to be harassed and killed because of it.

Did you read the laws that they are accused of breaking (with no evidence that would stand up in court)? Did you see the resulting penalty that they would have been forced to pay had they been found guilty? Did you see that Khoresh had offered to allow them in without any conflict at all weeks earlier?

Seriously, you don’t think that these incidents, whether you agree with them or not, back up my point exactly that the collection of taxes from US Citizens is done at gunpoint and could end up in the death of those citizens if taken to extremes.
And then to suggest that is an ok method of forcing people to provide charity for others…?

I will fight that use of the power of the government to use force against it’s citizens until I die, thanks.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #161170

Here’s another example.

It was reported in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on Friday of the existence of a secret government program run by the Treasury Department that accesses a vast database of international bank transfers involving thousands of Americans in the United States.

The Bush administration provided the same response to the existence of the secret program to monitor international bank transfers as the secret warrantless wiretapping program.

They tell the American public not to worry because they have safeguards in place and besides, the program is vital in the war against terrorism. The American people are supposed to trust that the so-called safeguards are sufficient enough to prevent abuse.

And you really really believe the government is nice and friendly and can be trusted?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 11:13 PM
Comment #161173

—Rhinehold- Every person on this web site has made a contribution including yourself. A few, could even be considered master pieces of great importunates, towards our future. Neither you or I can add to to this gathering of the minds if we continue nit picking at each other. I personally will try my best to engage Brain before putting mouth in gear. We might even learn something in the process, an make the Blog. MGMT. happy with all the work they have done providing a space for every one to communicate and share ideas!

Posted by: DAVID at June 23, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #161174

David,

Sounds great to me. :)

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 23, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #161179

Gergle: I would never suggest this congress or administration would do anything to help out anyone unless the corporations got a big cut. I pray they will not be there forever. My suggestion is a big plan to help with a big problem. That it corrects a modern injustice is just iceing on the cake. It is not reparations. We just forced black veterans and their families to the back of the line.Its their turn now.
Politically we could count on the support of veterans groups,fair minded whites and the black community of course as well as others. It also has should have appeal to some rightish moderates. It is not a handout,would be an economic stymulus and furthur “ownership.”Many would prefer it some traditional anti-poverty program for those reasons.Thoughts? Anybody?

Posted by: BillS at June 23, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #161239

This comment does not to subject matter, but just what is the main stream media. When I watch the night news I dont here oppions they just report on what happened in the world that day. So where is the bias in the reporting of the news. Sure there is editorizing,but you know that going inand both sides get to voice their oppion.

Posted by: Earl at June 24, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #161265

“I’m very pleased that we are having a pretty rational debate.”

“Rationalism in service of partisan distortion is no virtue. Irrationalsim in the search of Truth is no vice. “

Barry Crow

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 24, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #161305

Tim Crow,

Good quote. I’ll admit that I basically “throw in the towel” when it becomes obvious that there can be no compromise. To understand the Libertarian point of view, I suggest everyone read the National Platform of the Libertarian Party:

http://www.lp.org/issues/platform_all.shtml#poveunem

I quote from their platform:

“Solutions: We seek the elimination of occupational licensure, which prevents human beings from working in whatever trade they wish. We call for the abolition of all federal, state and local government agencies that restrict entry into any profession, such as education and law, or regulate its practice. We oppose all government welfare, relief projects and “aid to the poor” programs.

Transitional Action: We call for the immediate cessation of such fiscal and monetary policies, as well as any governmental attempts to affect employment levels. We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called “protective” labor legislation for women and children, governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day-care centers, and the National Labor Relations Act. We deplore government-fostered forced retirement, which robs the elderly of the right to work. To speed the time when governmental programs are replaced by effective private institutions we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions.”

This bares repeating, “We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws, so-called “protective” labor legislation for women and children”.

Sorry, I can’t muster the will or find the energy to argue with their platform. I would ask that everyone read the entire platform and make their own decision.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 24, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #161311
To speed the time when governmental programs are replaced by effective private institutions we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions.

Now this one I particularly like… I would much rather see people use chairty instead of governmental welfare progams, this might be a decent compromise incentive until it can be proven that we can do it without the government controlling the charitable pursestrings.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #161313

BTW, you will find that the Libertarians are willing to put their plan down on paper.

Here’s an example from the DNC.ORG.

Democrats are committed to making sure every single American has access to affordable, effective health care coverage.

We can make sure every American has that access while preserving the high quality of our health care and keeping the choices that we enjoy. We can leave decisions about health care to patients and doctors, keeping the government and insurance companies out.

Democrats will not stop fighting this battle until every single American has access to affordable health care.

Great! Now, how are you planning on doing this? Hmmm?

If you can find me the link to the actual policy changes that they are willing to enact to make this occur, I would be very willing to read it. Because I sure haven’t seen it yet.

The rest of the website reads the same, pablum with no meat.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2006 4:08 PM
Comment #161335

Rhinehold,

Before FDR and Ike began to address the problems of poverty and financial inequality in this nation the need was left up to charity. It wasn’t met then, why would it be different now?

Some of this nations greatest fortunes were built through the exploitation of the “working class”. One in particular that comes to mind is the railroads. An area where inequality is still obvious is mining. Without government oversight the owners could care less if workers die or are injured.

Throughout this nations history poverty has been addressed in a variety of ways by “god fearing” individuals including endentured servitude and the advent of poorhouses in the cities or poorfarms in the rural areas. Certainly not something I’d be proud to look forward to in the future.

Certainly there are those who abuse any system. Undoubtedly some people are just lazy. I still believe that this is the exception rather the rule. I guess even if nine out of ten recipients are truly unworhty of, let’s say recieving food stamps, I’d rather feed those nine than I would see the tenth person starve.

At any rate, I respect your opinion and your beliefs, but I’m totally in disagreement. That is OK isn’t it? I mean that’s what makes America truly unique.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 24, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #161453

Rhinehold,
You lost me here. Khouresh bothered lots of families by a misguided religious farce. He disrupted families. He was accussed of child molestation, happily he burnt to a crisp before it went to court. If it had been my family, I would have shot the S.O.B., personally.

I’m really not familiar with Ruby Ridge, but understand it to be another barricade situation. If Kouresh and the others had simply allowed themselves to be arrested and hired lawyers, they’d be alive. Perhaps they’d be in jail. perhaps they’d deserve to be. I know there was misbehavior on the part of law enforcement. But to put it bluntly ,if I shoot a cop, I don’t expect them to nicely arrest me and we’ll have a chat about it. I know they’ll kill me if they have the slightest chance.

Frankly, this sounds a little nutso to me. I know you have some legal basis for your rationale, but it seems to lack a little common sense.

Posted by: gergle at June 24, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #161457

where Americans are rewarded for hard work with a livable safety net of health and welfare incentives.—-$$$—-The very first lies, of the solicitation and renewed quest for power of the socialist liberal left.

Posted by: Angry White Capitalist Pig at June 24, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #161470

Democrats should advertise to the world that they are for the “Working Society.—-$$$—- ya I almost forgot. SIG-HIAL SIG-HIAL SIG-HIAL SIG-HIAL MINE FUHRER.

Posted by: Angry White Capitalist Pig at June 24, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #161493

speaking of nutso :)

Posted by: gergle at June 24, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #161626

critique the message not the messenger,commrad.

Posted by: Angry White Capitalist Pig at June 25, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #161742

I did, it is nutso. You didn’t I’m not a communist.

Posted by: gergle at June 25, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #161989

There are many societies that are already worker based societies. They are called communist. They have each failed. China needed to start to allow free enterprise zones just to make some money so that the government could stay afloat. USSR is gone now and the only other ones are small and third world.

It is the free market that made this nation great and if we take away the free market this nation will cease being great.

The real problem here is greed. People on both sides of the debate are greedy for themselves. The workers are not happy with how much they make and the business owners think think they should make more at others expense (since they are taking the risk). This statement obviously does not apply to everyone.

If someone agrees to do a job for a certain wage then why are they complaining about getting paid what they agreed to. If they do not want to do the job then don’t take it. If companies have a hard time finding employees then they will increase the wage and make it more desireable to have the job.

Supply and demand is what is taking place here.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 26, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #295333


Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

www.onlineuniversalwork.com

Posted by: charlesbrooks at February 9, 2010 2:19 AM
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