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Poverty

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
trumptman said:

As I stated at the beginning this could be a thread unto itself. Why don't you start a thread on the causes of poverty and what people believe them to be caused by.

Nick

And so it was.

First, I need people to define what they believe poverty to be.

Second, I need people to identify the root cause(s) that they believe allows people to be and stay impoverished.

Third, I want people to propose solutions based upon the answers they gave for my needs.

I will go first, as is expected.

Poverty is the state or condition of people living with income less than their local cost of living. Cost of living is the expected amount of money that a household of a certain size will need to supply food, water, clothing, shelter, educational needs, travel expenses, etc for the maintenance of the well-being and ensuring the well-being of the members of the household for the foreseable future.

My definition of cost of living may not be standard, in that I realize people should not be expected to live day by day, and should have the ability to make well thought out choices that will affect the rest of their lives. This is a luxury, that I believe should be a necessity of life.

Poverty begets poverty. The number one determining factor of whether you are going to end up poor is whether you were born poor. This is coupled to the never separable factors of parental education quality, your education quality, mental illness, drug abuse, medical conditions, change in local economic conditions, change in global economic conditions. (Lastly, there is graduate school, but that is often a temporary impoverished existance). Of course, I could also add race, and religious affiliation, but these are factors of history and are necessarily included in my first statement in this paragraph.

What causes poverty? Well, each individual has their own particular paths to or in an impoverished state. Most impoverished people probably never experience the factors which caused them to be poor in the first place (see Poverty begets poverty). They do experience factors that keep them poor, and if this thread heads that way, I will certainly try to tackle that question; yet, really they may be the same. The riches to rags stories that I can most easily cite almost invariably have to do with unusually stupid monetary expenditures (see educational quality above) or mental illness and disease. Thus, I think you can see that I feel that poverty is by and large something you are born into, like royalty, but on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. And in point of fact, history has given me plenty of basis for this assertion, think serfdoms.

How to fix poverty? (Think Poverty begets poverty). The best and simplest way to fix poverty is to create a system that empowers people to self-improve and become upwardly mobile. This requires primarily a devotion to providing educational programs, but also to generating interest within the communities, be it in rural appalachia or south west philly. I don't know how to do either of these, but I know that programs like this on a small scale have help individual by individual find jobs they weren't trained for and make up for deficits in their education.

The solution to poverty is to realize that no particular behavior causes all or most people to become poor.
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #2 of 18
I think if you figure the 'roots of poverty', you'll be off to Sweden to become a millionaire.

But in the meantime, as the Man said: 'you'll always have the poor with you'. The best you can do it take care of them, hopefully without becoming an sociological vending machine that actually ends up begetting more poverty than it prevents.

'Wars on poverty', etc., reduce the question of poverty to a political problem. In reality it is always a varied moral/personal/disability/tough break situation that will always have to be solved one person at a time; and in the end we can only mitigate it.


This might sound stupid, but I watched Crash the other night; and I think the movie's thrust is along the same lines -- we are all in this together and the sooner we figure out Christ's command to 'do unto others', and 'love one another as I have loved you' -- the better off we will all be.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
The solution to poverty is to realize that no particular behavior causes all or most people to become poor.

Most people whose behavior is "inaction" will become poor.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
Most people whose behavior is "inaction" will become poor.

In my experience, poor people work much harder than rich people.

I was born into poverty, and my ticket out was public education, public healthcare, and a good job market.

For some reason, the US begets horrible beaurocracies, so public education is bad here and public healthcare would be worse. Things that work in Canada would not work in the US.
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post #5 of 18
The simple fact is that most people who stay poor are poor because they are ignorant trash. They don't have the attitude and the direction to make themselves better. This is what I have seen with my own two eyes.

Now, first of all, I am a far left liberal. I am just describing what I see. People are poor because they have ignorant attitudes. But the thing is that "attitudes" are pretty much learned from a very young age. I'm not saying that they are poor because they are crappy people, but they just don't have the vision and the principles to keep going and to drive to a better way of life no matter what it takes.

So people are poor because they have mediocre ways of looking at things, but this is mainly because people are a function of mostly how their parents looked at things.

For example, I lived in Atlanta for six years and I worked with middle class blacks, and they were just horrendous. Now what I am going to say is not politically correct here, but it is just fact. Let me contrast them, and other people, to me, a person who was raised with the highest principles and ways of looking at things.

When I was growing up, I was great at school and I went to an Ivy League school, but my mother never taught me anything practical and I wasn't naturally good at organizing. I was a complete clutz. When I started working, I was pathetic in the real world. I didn't know how to use my hands, to schedule things, or anything practical involving controlling a situation. I was good at calculus, but I would be working at a gas station right now if I hadn't scrambled to figure out to be smarter. I literally didn't know how to fold a paper in triplicate without spending a few minutes practicing to get it correct.

I had a job in medical records and also as an office assistant. When I got there, my head just spun at how people could handle situations and absorb details and sift through things. It just different from memorizing history in high school. Even though those weren't jobs I liked, I immediately wanted to be as good as the managers there and figure out how they could do what I couldn't do.

Contrast this to a couple of friends of mine with poor attitudes who did go to college. If they got a job at the office, their attitude was that "This isn't what I want to do with my life so I'll just do my job." With me, if the person working next to me was really good at giving directions just from his head, and I couldn't do that gracefully and was awkard, I was pissed off. I wondered how I could be so good at calculus but yet have someone else wizzing in front of me. I realized quickly that I was ten years behind. I quickly realized why other parents sent their kids to summer camp and to karate class, etc.

Here's the difference between people who make it and those who don't: If I work at Walmart and the manager is the best at taking boxes off the conveyor belt and stacking them neatly and never having to put a bigger box on a smaller box, I want to do it as good and as precisely as him. People who don't make it just don't care.

So let me tell you about the blacks that I worked with in Atlanta. Of course, whites have segment of white trash but it is a good deal smaller than blacks. Now these people all graduated high school, and there is a good percentage of blacks that don't, so these people were approximately middle class.

I was just bewildered by the complete lack of principle in anything. They were willing to work overtime hours when available, so it's not a lack of effort, but just the way they looked at things. And before I say this, let me point out that non-American blacks, like Haitians and Jamaicans, were nothing like them, and not at all ghetto, so it is the whole slavery thing that caused this, not that blacks are missing anything genetically that others have.

You could spend a whole Saturday working overtime with these people and not here one interesting thing. All they talked about the drivel on TV, J. Lo or Puffy, or something on the news about a murder. They might mention that Bill Gates was the richest guy again this year. There was no curiosity what soever. The Jamaicans might talk about something slightly philosophical or interesting, like how different regions have different clothing or whether you could really say that clothes matched in color or it was just a matter of opinion. You could have an interesting conversation with the Jamaicans. But if you tried to talk about anything in detail with the blacks they just were not interested. You could tell them about going to NYC and taking a trip on the Circle line or something and just their minds would just shut off.

And they simply had no principles whatsoever. They would just casually talk about fighting with their boyfriends, or what they saw on Springer, or whatever. There were a couple of intelligent , well organized black women, but all they would talk about was fighting with their boyfriends, fighting with their coworkers, fighting with their family. You get on the bus in Atlanta and the whites just sit there but blacks are always complaing about how their supervisors are stupid or they just have a simple answer for a complex problem but their boss won't listen to them. I'm not saying that whites don't have trashy attitudes too, but not so completely and thoroughly out in the open and not even knowing there is a better way.

I worked one Saturday filing medical records, just manual stuff. Since their were four of us to do the job of two people, in handing out the records to others, I felt guilty about not working all the time. So the supervisor asked us to do one extra thing that could have easily been done with all the extra free time we ahd, and we just did half of it. It was pathetic.

Now, the blacks I worked with were surprisingly good natured and down to earth. They didn't have bad intentions and I was surprised after growing up in New York where there is mistrust between blacks and whites. But in terms of getting somewhere they jsut had no curiosity, no interest in precision, no respect or admiration for people who can do things better, no interest in following the rules you have to follow to do things well. There were a couple going to college, but it was always some lame thing, like medical transcription or something, rather than something that would lead to something bigger. Whereas I always do things the hardest way possible in principle, they always looked for the cheapest way to say they had done something. You have to be around it but it is horrendous.

Now how do you change that? The only way to get people to be better is to, at a young age, work them into learning a skill, and also pay them to improve themselves. I really think they should have like carpentry jobs for 6th graders. The more you learn and the better you can do things the more your pay goes up. Kids used to get paid piece meal, like 5 cents for every counter they cleaned, and money is a good motivator.

But what's for sure is that memorizing a bunch of history does not expand poor people's mind. Memorizing that Magellan went around the Cape of Good Hope in 1405 because the king of Portugal sent him is just boring trivia. I think a better thing would be to teach kids a bunch of skills and then go with them to the woods and have them cook their food and wash their own clothes etc. They need a living breathing thing to awaken them, and proving that this angle is congruent to that angle doesn't seem to do it.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
The simple fact is that most people who stay poor are poor because they are ignorant trash. They don't have the attitude and the direction to make themselves better. This is what I have seen with my own two eyes.

I find it compassionless to deem the poor "ignorant trash." And while it's true that poverty closes doors to education and often crushes the spirit, being "ignorant" isn't necessarily a personal failure. As I'll try to explain over the new few responses, poverty is systemic.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Now, first of all, I am a far left liberal. I am just describing what I see. People are poor because they have ignorant attitudes. But the thing is that "attitudes" are pretty much learned from a very young age. I'm not saying that they are poor because they are crappy people, but they just don't have the vision and the principles to keep going and to drive to a better way of life no matter what it takes.

Personal experiences do matter. But you're making false generalizations here from those experiences. What the poor actually must do to survive, which involves working even harder than other classes, including several jobs at once, without the proper education or job-skills needed for advancement, health insurance for preventive care, safe neighborhoods, and so on-- is observable, scientific fact. That's an extremely tough life. To survive in that much adversity takes a certain will which you neglect.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
So people are poor because they have mediocre ways of looking at things, but this is mainly because people are a function of mostly how their parents looked at things.

People are poor because those in power refuse to provide the systemic changes needed to combat poverty, such as universal health care, an education equal to suburban schools, and so on.

While it's true that parents play an important part in socializing their children to accept certain values, what good has simply really wanting to escape poverty done? Do you think the poor want to stay poor, that they don't feel strongly about missing out on any chance of living well? That's it's merely a matter of individual choice how successful one becomes?

Let me tell you, children of the poor don't get to choose their early lot in life. They don't get to choose whether or not they see their overworked, essentially cogs-in-the-vast-capitalist-machine parents. They don't get to choose whether or not they regularly see the doctor or the dentist. They don't get to choose what dangerous neighborhood they live in or what underperforming school they attend.

And to say it's their fault for failing to overcome such adversity, such deeply structural problems, means you hold the poor to an impossibly high standard that you yourself never had to face.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
For example, I lived in Atlanta for six years and I worked with middle class blacks, and they were just horrendous. Now what I am going to say is not politically correct here, but it is just fact. Let me contrast them, and other people, to me, a person who was raised with the highest principles and ways of looking at things.

When I was growing up, I was great at school and I went to an Ivy League school, but my mother never taught me anything practical and I wasn't naturally good at organizing. I was a complete clutz. When I started working, I was pathetic in the real world. I didn't know how to use my hands, to schedule things, or anything practical involving controlling a situation. I was good at calculus, but I would be working at a gas station right now if I hadn't scrambled to figure out to be smarter. I literally didn't know how to fold a paper in triplicate without spending a few minutes practicing to get it correct.

I had a job in medical records and also as an office assistant. When I got there, my head just spun at how people could handle situations and absorb details and sift through things. It just different from memorizing history in high school. Even though those weren't jobs I liked, I immediately wanted to be as good as the managers there and figure out how they could do what I couldn't do.

Contrast this to a couple of friends of mine with poor attitudes who did go to college. If they got a job at the office, their attitude was that "This isn't what I want to do with my life so I'll just do my job." With me, if the person working next to me was really good at giving directions just from his head, and I couldn't do that gracefully and was awkard, I was pissed off. I wondered how I could be so good at calculus but yet have someone else wizzing in front of me. I realized quickly that I was ten years behind. I quickly realized why other parents sent their kids to summer camp and to karate class, etc.

Here's the difference between people who make it and those who don't: If I work at Walmart and the manager is the best at taking boxes off the conveyor belt and stacking them neatly and never having to put a bigger box on a smaller box, I want to do it as good and as precisely as him. People who don't make it just don't care.

The poor often work mind-numbing hours performing the menial tasks you, quite weirdly I might add, look upon with strange pride. Stacking boxes for a living is hardly satisfying work, especially considering Wal-Mart labor practices. Did you ever consider that you take for granted many things that the poor must do without on a constant basis? The problem is that the poor don't have the education for much better work than box-stacking. They don't have the job-skills. And they're stuck in several jobs without much opportunity for advancement. They're in a rut-- a basically inescapable cycle of poverty.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
So let me tell you about the blacks that I worked with in Atlanta. Of course, whites have segment of white trash but it is a good deal smaller than blacks. Now these people all graduated high school, and there is a good percentage of blacks that don't, so these people were approximately middle class.

I was just bewildered by the complete lack of principle in anything. They were willing to work overtime hours when available, so it's not a lack of effort, but just the way they looked at things. And before I say this, let me point out that non-American blacks, like Haitians and Jamaicans, were nothing like them, and not at all ghetto, so it is the whole slavery thing that caused this, not that blacks are missing anything genetically that others have.

You could spend a whole Saturday working overtime with these people and not here one interesting thing. All they talked about the drivel on TV, J. Lo or Puffy, or something on the news about a murder. They might mention that Bill Gates was the richest guy again this year. There was no curiosity what soever. The Jamaicans might talk about something slightly philosophical or interesting, like how different regions have different clothing or whether you could really say that clothes matched in color or it was just a matter of opinion. You could have an interesting conversation with the Jamaicans. But if you tried to talk about anything in detail with the blacks they just were not interested. You could tell them about going to NYC and taking a trip on the Circle line or something and just their minds would just shut off.

And they simply had no principles whatsoever. They would just casually talk about fighting with their boyfriends, or what they saw on Springer, or whatever. There were a couple of intelligent , well organized black women, but all they would talk about was fighting with their boyfriends, fighting with their coworkers, fighting with their family. You get on the bus in Atlanta and the whites just sit there but blacks are always complaing about how their supervisors are stupid or they just have a simple answer for a complex problem but their boss won't listen to them. I'm not saying that whites don't have trashy attitudes too, but not so completely and thoroughly out in the open and not even knowing there is a better way.

I worked one Saturday filing medical records, just manual stuff. Since their were four of us to do the job of two people, in handing out the records to others, I felt guilty about not working all the time. So the supervisor asked us to do one extra thing that could have easily been done with all the extra free time we ahd, and we just did half of it. It was pathetic.

Now, the blacks I worked with were surprisingly good natured and down to earth. They didn't have bad intentions and I was surprised after growing up in New York where there is mistrust between blacks and whites. But in terms of getting somewhere they jsut had no curiosity, no interest in precision, no respect or admiration for people who can do things better, no interest in following the rules you have to follow to do things well. There were a couple going to college, but it was always some lame thing, like medical transcription or something, rather than something that would lead to something bigger. Whereas I always do things the hardest way possible in principle, they always looked for the cheapest way to say they had done something. You have to be around it but it is horrendous.

Now how do you change that? The only way to get people to be better is to, at a young age, work them into learning a skill, and also pay them to improve themselves. I really think they should have like carpentry jobs for 6th graders. The more you learn and the better you can do things the more your pay goes up. Kids used to get paid piece meal, like 5 cents for every counter they cleaned, and money is a good motivator.

But what's for sure is that memorizing a bunch of history does not expand poor people's mind. Memorizing that Magellan went around the Cape of Good Hope in 1405 because the king of Portugal sent him is just boring trivia. I think a better thing would be to teach kids a bunch of skills and then go with them to the woods and have them cook their food and wash their own clothes etc. They need a living breathing thing to awaken them, and proving that this angle is congruent to that angle doesn't seem to do it.

Oh, believe me, the white people I work with in my server job in a restaurant spew the same meaningless crap every week, too. This is a restaurant with at least 30-40 servers on the schedule, and even then it's exceedingly rare to find someone who shares my interest in intelligent conversation. (Yeah I waste a lot of time standing at the host desk or sitting on the ice cream cooler, listening to those idiots!). But that's more of a cultural problem, I would think.
post #7 of 18
ShawnJ said

"I find it compassionless to deem the poor "ignorant trash.""

You are not getting the full picture of what I am saying. I do agree that *some* poor people do work long hours and it is not a lack of effort that holds them back, but a lack of any attempt to think in more precise terms. But you are not going to get anywhere standing a million miles away from people and talking in generalizations. Are you too afraid to actually look at the people you claim to want to help?

Please answer this for me because I am going to put right before your eyes some poor people that I would like to see doing better, and I am going to show you exactly why they are not doing better. These people are white and fairly intelligent and not from a bad economic background. Tell me why they can't move forward.

I worked at a local retail store where 5 people at a time stocked merchandise and they made $8-$10 dollars an hour. Now I wouldn't want to be there for the rest of my life. However, there WERE tremendous opportunities there to learn how to be skillful that you could use to get a better job.

It was a store owned by the same family for 40 years, and the owner was a complete wiz at everything there. ALL YOU HAD TO DO MOVE UP TO A BETTER PAYING JOB WAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE AS GOOD AND AS QUICK AS THE OWNER. For example, there were 75 board games, like Monopoly and Life, and the stock was there too, but in a different order so it was hard to match up. The owner could check it quickly, and everyone else took like 4 times as long. Now searching and classifying information is extremely important on the job, so even though I grew up clueless and not good at that, I went home, thought about strategies for using the different colors to match things up, and got almost as good as the owner, at that SKILL THAT WAS AVAILABLE TO LEARN.

Here's a better example. Me and this woman were putting out Christmas greeting cards, and trying to match all the cards with the ones on the display, which is hard because it's like 100 complex pictures. It took me and her like an hour to put them out. Then the owner did it the next time, AND HE LITERALLY DID IT IN TEN MINUTES. So then any person who wants to make it in life should immediately look at they and say "Wow, how could he do that?" And if you have the attitude and you go home and think about all the possible ways he could have done it, you WILL get smarter and more valuable.

Their ticket to being capable of holding a $35,000 a year job was right in front of them. The owner could do anything twice as fast as them and fluidly. When I was talking about pulling boxes off the conveyor belt before, my point was that my employer could do something quickly and accurately and neatly while the rest of us were stumbling to try and get it correct. The only way to make your life better is to go home, think it through in your head, take every possible way of doing things better, and do it.

The owner could communicate precisely in any situation, think through situations involving unknowns quickly, and give directions to anywhere in the store instantly. YET I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS IN ADMIRATION OF THIS. THE OTHER PEOPLE JUST LOOKED AT IT AS A CRAPPY $8/HR. JOB. The ticket to improve themselves was right in front of them and I was the only one who took it. Organizing boxes or products on a shelf uses the same concepts that the CEO uses to organize all the data coming at him.

As long as you are able to read and spell competently, there is not much reason why you can't move up to a better job. Yes, there are certain specific excuses, like mental illness or being stuck in a very rural community, and there are a few people that I've met that are just not intelligent no matter how hard they try. But you can learn a lot at almost any job.

Now why didn't those people learn to do everything as quickly as the owner? Because if they had, they would have had the skills to be more productive at a better paying job, like I was. That knowledge transferred over to my next job.
post #8 of 18
"The problem is that the poor don't have the education for much better work than box-stacking. They don't have the job-skills."

What are you talking about when you say "job skills"? Most jobs don't involve much knowledge, but rather organization. If you are an engineer, you need a specific body of knowledge. But what are the "job skills" that a director of human resources needs? Or when I was running around answering phones at a medical records department and faxing things out? You need to be able to read and spell, you need to know the basics of computers, which most young people do, and after that it is just information coming in, being organized, and responded to. It took a couple of days for me to learn how to answer phones and give people their medical records. The hard part was not the knowledge, but layering it in a way to quickly respond to all different situations.

Most of what you learn on a job is about organization, and you learn it by watching the people above you. I don't know what you mean by "job skills". If you want to have a career in sales, what are the "job skills". You start at the bottom, and you learn techniques for talking to people. I will agree that sales jobs might be harder for poor and especially black people to get because of cultural bias, but I am using it to point out that most of the stuff that makes you a good worker you learn on the job, and everyone starts off equal at the bottom.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
In my experience, poor people work much harder than rich people.

I was replying to hardeeharhar who said, "there is no particular behavior that causes all or most people to become poor".

Whether you are poor or not, if your behavior is inaction, you are likely to end up poor. The only way that would not happen is if you get income (interest of savings, handouts from your family or the state) that is enough to cover your living expenses, or you die or change behavior before running out. That's just common sense. Q.E.D.
post #10 of 18
1. There are people who are physically or more often intellectually unable to support themselves. Our economy has increasingly fewer jobs where these people can work and make enough money to support themselves and their families.

2. There is a much larger group of able-bodied people who could work, but have had their initiative drained by generations of welfare entitlements. No increase in spending or education will help these people. They have been made completely dependant on the government. If the government does not provide, their only action is to protest.

As a people, we need to take care of the folks in group-1 because they can not take care of themselves. We also need to force the people in group 2 to accept responsibility for themselves. I know that this is a very hard task and I dont know the best way to go about it. These people have to help themselves. The nation provides opportunity, but if folks choose to sit on their butts and collect welfare, not much will change
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post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
Most people whose behavior is "inaction" will become poor.

That isn't what I said. I was talking about behaviors that actually have caused people to become poor. Inaction, I suspect, isn't even near the top of the list.

Not that it couldn't be a reason, it just isn't a reason.

Try again?
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post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
ShawnJ said

"I find it compassionless to deem the poor "ignorant trash.""

You are not getting the full picture of what I am saying.

I was referring to your rather compassionless characterization of the poor. And indeed, you continue to hold the poor personally responsible for overcoming systemic problems-- that is, problems beyond their control. Again, that's an impossible standard that you yourself never had to overcome.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
I do agree that *some* poor people do work long hours and it is not a lack of effort that holds them back, but a lack of any attempt to think in more precise terms.

You do not agree with me *at all.* You consider systemic problems the poor must face on a daily basis as exceptions to the rule.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
But you are not going to get anywhere standing a million miles away from people and talking in generalizations. Are you too afraid to actually look at the people you claim to want to help?

That's a not-so-clever inversion of what I said about you: you're making false generalizations from your personal experiences. The difference is that I see the majority of those people as not responsible for their condition. I can identify systemic problems that cause poverty and suggest solutions that would drastically reduce poverty. You're nowhere near there.

According to your theories, it's their fault and only they can change it.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Please answer this for me because I am going to put right before your eyes some poor people that I would like to see doing better, and I am going to show you exactly why they are not doing better. These people are white and fairly intelligent and not from a bad economic background. Tell me why they can't move forward.?

Since you haven't responded at all to my previous post, which explains that poverty is the result of structural problems, it doesn't surprise me that you ask me why people are poor.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
I worked at a local retail store where 5 people at a time stocked merchandise and they made $8-$10 dollars an hour. Now I wouldn't want to be there for the rest of my life. However, there WERE tremendous opportunities there to learn how to be skillful that you could use to get a better job.

Do the math on that and you'll find that $8-$10/ hr is barely livable. Please tell me what "wonderful opportunities" there are for dead-end sales jobs on which the employees may barely live.

Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
It was a store owned by the same family for 40 years, and the owner was a complete wiz at everything there. ALL YOU HAD TO DO MOVE UP TO A BETTER PAYING JOB WAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE AS GOOD AND AS QUICK AS THE OWNER. For example, there were 75 board games, like Monopoly and Life, and the stock was there too, but in a different order so it was hard to match up. The owner could check it quickly, and everyone else took like 4 times as long. Now searching and classifying information is extremely important on the job, so even though I grew up clueless and not good at that, I went home, thought about strategies for using the different colors to match things up, and got almost as good as the owner, at that SKILL THAT WAS AVAILABLE TO LEARN.

Here's a better example. Me and this woman were putting out Christmas greeting cards, and trying to match all the cards with the ones on the display, which is hard because it's like 100 complex pictures. It took me and her like an hour to put them out. Then the owner did it the next time, AND HE LITERALLY DID IT IN TEN MINUTES. So then any person who wants to make it in life should immediately look at they and say "Wow, how could he do that?" And if you have the attitude and you go home and think about all the possible ways he could have done it, you WILL get smarter and more valuable.

Their ticket to being capable of holding a $35,000 a year job was right in front of them. The owner could do anything twice as fast as them and fluidly. When I was talking about pulling boxes off the conveyor belt before, my point was that my employer could do something quickly and accurately and neatly while the rest of us were stumbling to try and get it correct. The only way to make your life better is to go home, think it through in your head, take every possible way of doing things better, and do it.

The owner could communicate precisely in any situation, think through situations involving unknowns quickly, and give directions to anywhere in the store instantly. YET I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS IN ADMIRATION OF THIS. THE OTHER PEOPLE JUST LOOKED AT IT AS A CRAPPY $8/HR. JOB. The ticket to improve themselves was right in front of them and I was the only one who took it. Organizing boxes or products on a shelf uses the same concepts that the CEO uses to organize all the data coming at him.

Yes, initiative counts for something, but if that's your solution to meaningfully reduce poverty, you're going to be staring at a static set of numbers for quite a while. Hopefully you'll realize that there are more serious STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS that affect the poor, and that we need to eliminate or greatly reduce them to stamp out poverty.


Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
As long as you are able to read and spell competently, there is not much reason why you can't move up to a better job. Yes, there are certain specific excuses, like mental illness or being stuck in a very rural community, and there are a few people that I've met that are just not intelligent no matter how hard they try. But you can learn a lot at almost any job.

Now why didn't those people learn to do everything as quickly as the owner? Because if they had, they would have had the skills to be more productive at a better paying job, like I was. That knowledge transferred over to my next job.

That's a pretty big "if".

Once again, you're assuming that the poor don't face tremendous educational barriers among all the other systemic problems I've repeated and repeated.

Oh.

Did I mention transportation yet? How do the poor get to all these wonderful minimum wage or slightly better jobs without a car, or without well-developed mass-transit system in most parts of the country? Your naive "attitude is all it takes" argument woefully, totally, and willfully neglects any of the hard realities the poor must face.
post #13 of 18
I think that many of the "American Poor" should take a lesson from the Latin American immigrants. They find work. They find a way to get to work. They improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Perhaps it is to their advantage that they don't come from places where sitting on ones butt and whining gets you a handout. If the flooded areas of New Orleans were filled with first generation Mexicans, the results would have been very different.
Moe has left the building
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Moe has left the building
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post #14 of 18
(I'm responding to this post from the White House thread because I think it's more relevant here.)

Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
Then the government is already stealing from the rich. They pay a drastically higher percentage of their income in taxes.

While that's true, let me add some other facts that I think refutes the point you're trying to make.

1. While the rich pay a higher % of taxes on their income than the poor, I doubt they pay a higher % of their disposable income. If you make 2000 a month, and half of that goes to housing, and another 1/3 or so goes to transportation and food and bills and other necessities, you don't have much left, while the wealthy would have a whole lot left after those necessities are taken out. It would be interesting to see the tax rate on disposable income, using some amount of basic "necessities" taken out first, and then make the tax calculation.

2. Even taking the above into account, the wealthy probably pay a higher % of their income in taxes. But income taxes aren't the only type of taxes there are, and the federal income tax is the most progressive of the taxes we have. The poor pay the same sales tax, a higher FICA tax, the same cost in premiums for health care and other insurance, and the same for a host of other fees and things like that. Here's a report that shows how the poor pay more than the wealthy for a whole bunch of things.

3. Income is probably the only source of money for most lower- and middle-class people, but wealth - the assets you own - is a huge factor for upper-class people. I believe that when you look at the ratio between taxes paid and wealth, the rich pay a smaller proportion than the poor, because the poor pretty much have no wealth, and in fact are mostly in debt, while the wealthy have amassed huge amounts over the past 25 years.
post #15 of 18
This thread has dealt only with poverty here in the US. I think that poverty across the World is a far greater problem and one that eventually leads to more poverty here in the US. Much of Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe suffer greatly. Africa is beyond poverty. Many of these places have no economies and few resources with which to develop economies. Those of us in the US and Western Europe will pay the price for this poverty. I have no solution, but I worry about this.
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Moe has left the building
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post #16 of 18
Sad this thread is.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Moe_in_Texas
This thread has dealt only with poverty here in the US. I think that poverty across the World is a far greater problem and one that eventually leads to more poverty here in the US. Much of Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe suffer greatly. Africa is beyond poverty. Many of these places have no economies and few resources with which to develop economies. Those of us in the US and Western Europe will pay the price for this poverty. I have no solution, but I worry about this.

I agree, and it's the one thing that makes me not mind our trade deficit so much.
post #18 of 18
In case you all missed it yesterday, go listen to Seeing Oneself in New Orleans' Poor from All Things Considered
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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