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post #61 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cmitchprint
My wife was making a hot chocolate recipe that called for a small box of powdered milk. I paid 3.89 for a box that made 6 quarts. Now my math tells me that's 65¢ a quart or $2.60 a gallon. Real milk at the supermarket here is $2.39 gallon for store brand. Looks like the powdered milk cost more to me. Maybe you forget there used to be government programs that GAVE powdered milk and cheese away to the poor. That could be why many have the impression that powdered milk is cheaper. The only advantage to powdered milk (besides tasting like shit and your kids drink less of it) is that it stores longer.
You bought the small box. The big assed box is cheaper and reduces the cost to about $1.40 gal. And yes, it does taste like shit.

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post #62 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by felkhound
I'd rather spend my $1.00 on the lottery with a chance (however slim) of getting something in return, than the politicians taking many times more than that to give to some one else. I'm tired of standing in the line at the grocery store and watching some fat ass able-bodied person buy colas and potato chips with a food stamp debit card, then waddle out to their Cadillac.

If you live somewhere and you can't find work.....move. If millions of illegals can come to this country and find work, then there is no excuse to continue to pay for anyone who is physically able to work to remain idle.
How much does it cost to up and move your family, just ballpark figures?

And, as far as debit cards and "able bodied", some companies have been laying off for 8-16 weeks at a time and then rehiring the employees. This allows companies to shut plants down due to lack of demand, put the employees on welfare up to state limits then reopen [with state incentives] and hire back the employees. There was just a big investigation in both Arkansas and Texas on that very practice in the spring. It is also happening in Kentucky and Tennessee. It screws the employees to the wall and the taxpayers.

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post #63 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith
Hey, it is simple math. There have to be a minimum number of "poor" people to support every "rich" person, and without poor people there can be no rich people. So, really rich people don't want anyone helping the poor too much, like any more than sustaining them as consumers, because they know the ratios. If everyone starts to be better off, the really rich have to become, well, poorer and they won't do that willingly. Simple math. Simple, basic human instincts, maybe ugly but that is what it is. And a lot of bullshit to try to keep the poor from noticing, or exercising their real power to interrupt the gift giving they are subscribed to for the rich. Jim
Well, that is Western Civilization’s dirty little secret all bundled up, is it not?

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post #64 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Well, that is Western Civilization’s dirty little secret all bundled up, is it not?
Don't credit that type of nonsense...neither the nation's economy nor the economy of the world are simple "sum-zero" entities.
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post #65 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
Mac - I know we've discussed this before, but in your opinion, do government-run programs like welfare, etc. do anything but prolong this condition? Why is it unfair to take the stance that not every American is entitled to a middle-class way of life if they're unable to obtain it on their own? Don't you think that providing a higher standard of living for those who aren't physically or mentally challenged is a disincentive for people who are honestly trying to make a living, improve their condition, and exhibiting positive traits (like a work ethic for example)?

I've talked to employers who simply cannot keep their positions filled. These aren't careers as such, but they're jobs that provide someone an honest living. You just cannot convince me that sitting at home on welfare is a better alternative to working at a job, nor can you convince me that someone who is qualified as a skilled laborer for example shouldn't accept any other form of employment - consequences be damned.

I'm in the camp who believes there is a job in America for anyone who wants one. It may not be the job they want forever, it may not be the job for which they've been trained or educated, but there's a job for them, and there's a lot to to be said for putting in an honest day's work - no matter what the pay. Most of us know these things to be true because our life experience teaches it. I understand that you may disagree, but I don't think it unfair to assume that those who claim to be helplessly impoverished are making a concerted effort to improve their situation on their own. America is a land of opportunity - the opportunity, however, may not be where you are at present. A hurricane forced people who had virtually nothing to pack up and leave town - proof that it can be done if necessary. The "responsible adult" would see the necessity of such a move long before nature intervened - they would realize the necessity as soon as the prospect of poverty became real. Hope doesn't put food on the table.
I DO NOT think it is unfair to take a stance that not everyone is ENTITLED to a middle class way of life. The government cannot DEMAND that everyone shall be middleclass or above [that would really hose the ol bell curve] and obviously logic would dictate that it is impossible.

I DO believe that everyone is ENTITLED to the opportunity to give it their best shot and if there are balanced programs that can help a wide range of people [and not be a tax burden – loans, not welfare] then the government can step in and assist. Loans can be for school, SBA, leg up, etc. but must be fair and credible, not a backdoor welfare program.

As for providing a higher standard of living for those who aren’t physically or mentally challenged provides a disincentive for those who are hard working, I would think, yes for some but I see the biggest anger triggers from those who are making many X more than the welfare recipients as opposed to those whom you would expect [closer peers].

As for employers who can’t keep positions filled, I have this discussion almost daily. We think that this current generation just shuffles between jobs on a regular basis and has no problem working 4-8 weeks at one place, quitting and then going somewhere else. Everyone has advertisements in the papers but the actual number of workers does not seem to change over 1% in the service fields.

The thing with welfare that I truly don’t think most people understand is that there is only a finite number of weeks that a person can get types of welfare. Unemployment Insurance is only available for up to 26 weeks in most states. Food programs do last longer [apparently forever] and SSI benefits start if there is a “proven” disability. Proven is the key word as “lower back pain” appears to be the big winner in the disability Olympics. Hard to prove either way. Some days I think I can prove it to the nth degree.

A job for everyone and a chicken in every pot. I KNOW in the abstract that you are correct in that statement. I reality there is a big disconnect that is rife with problems that range from cultural to regional to criminal to family. Sometimes all at the same time. Add whipped cream and you have one hell of a party.

I want to continue this but I have driven 450 miles today with a 500E towed on the back of my truck and my brain had just about shut down. More tomorrow.

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post #66 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
Don't credit that type of nonsense...neither the nation's economy nor the economy of the world are simple "sum-zero" entities.
My point was that there is a certain element of society that requires "the working poor" to staff their endeavors and to be their gardeners and handmaidens [I believe that job may have changed roles in the past 100 years or so] and pool boys and maids and butlers.

These societies have existed for hundreds of years and while always wanting to help the plight of the poor have always had staff handle the details of life while they went to these benefits.

So, it was an observation on a way of life that, while still in existence, has gone by the wayside, or at least is paying better.

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post #67 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 11:35 PM
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McBear, I'm enjoying this discussion and I have found so many statements in several posts I'd like to qoute and reply to, that I just don't have enough time but I'll hit the high points.
You maintain there is no FACTUAL evidence that MOST are poor because they are lazy. One thing that we, in our industrial park, met with our mayor about this morning, was the lack of work ethic in today's youth which seems to be attributed to home values, those values NOT instilled by the parent or parents of the youth. Poverty being the #1 underlying reason this value isn't present.While we may disagree WHY poverty exists and the ethics of those who are poor, you must acknowledge that children of poor parents end up being poor for the same reasons their parent(s) are/is poor. From my local observation, laziness begats laziness and irresponsibility begats irresponsibility. Rarely do you see the seed of the lazy become successful in life. They learn ways to play the system just like their fathers/mothers did.
Back to the ethics thing. You know, the #1 complaint by business owners/factory employers was 'half the kids that comes to our place for employment when hired, expect to start at the top and do the least amount of work for the most pay'. This is the root cause of poverty, IMHO, because they have no ETHICS. They do not arrive at work on time, they lay out because of a rough weekend or they fail a mandatory drug test. When these people become unemployable, they become leeches on society that rob, pillage, steal or sell drugs. That is one class of the 'poor'.
Back to the lottery thing. Why is it hard to understand that playing the lottery when you can't even afford to feed your family is an ethical problem? It is this ethic that will keep most of this class of poor right where they're at. The something for nothing mentality that causes them to idle in their mediocrity- mediocre job, mediocre pay and less than desirable transportation.
And finally, back to welfare. Yes , there is a time limit that you can be on welfare and as pointed out, you can draw food coupons (or debit card now) or disability for a lifetime. It is unbelievable how many in our community that draw disability that are capable of work. But yet they choose to draw a less than sustainable income from disability, which translates into LAZINESS that keeps them poor.
Are there poor because of catastrophic events? Yes. Because of economic downturns? Yes. Once we define 'poor' with certainty, only can we realize what actually attributes to this problem. From my experience as a plant manager and business owner, I have to say it still is laziness that attributes to the poverty of most 'poor'.

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post #68 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cmitchprint
McBear, I'm enjoying this discussion and I have found so many statements in several posts I'd like to qoute and reply to, that I just don't have enough time but I'll hit the high points.
You maintain there is no FACTUAL evidence that MOST are poor because they are lazy. One thing that we, in our industrial park, met with our mayor about this morning, was the lack of work ethic in today's youth which seems to be attributed to home values, those values NOT instilled by the parent or parents of the youth. Poverty being the #1 underlying reason this value isn't present.While we may disagree WHY poverty exists and the ethics of those who are poor, you must acknowledge that children of poor parents end up being poor for the same reasons their parent(s) are/is poor. From my local observation, laziness begats laziness and irresponsibility begats irresponsibility. Rarely do you see the seed of the lazy become successful in life. They learn ways to play the system just like their fathers/mothers did.
Back to the ethics thing. You know, the #1 complaint by business owners/factory employers was 'half the kids that comes to our place for employment when hired, expect to start at the top and do the least amount of work for the most pay'. This is the root cause of poverty, IMHO, because they have no ETHICS. They do not arrive at work on time, they lay out because of a rough weekend or they fail a mandatory drug test. When these people become unemployable, they become leeches on society that rob, pillage, steal or sell drugs. That is one class of the 'poor'.
Back to the lottery thing. Why is it hard to understand that playing the lottery when you can't even afford to feed your family is an ethical problem? It is this ethic that will keep most of this class of poor right where they're at. The something for nothing mentality that causes them to idle in their mediocrity- mediocre job, mediocre pay and less than desirable transportation.
And finally, back to welfare. Yes , there is a time limit that you can be on welfare and as pointed out, you can draw food coupons (or debit card now) or disability for a lifetime. It is unbelievable how many in our community that draw disability that are capable of work. But yet they choose to draw a less than sustainable income from disability, which translates into LAZINESS that keeps them poor.
Are there poor because of catastrophic events? Yes. Because of economic downturns? Yes. Once we define 'poor' with certainty, only can we realize what actually attributes to this problem. From my experience as a plant manager and business owner, I have to say it still is laziness that attributes to the poverty of most 'poor'.
I know what you mean regarding the work ethic among "those kids today". That statement has been around for the past hundred years. Every generation looks at the generation after it [or more likely the second one after] and sees a completely different work ethic. We [the kids born in the 50's] terrified the adults who were in their 30's - 50's during the 1960's. They knew we were going to run things into the ground -- and sometimes I think we proved them right. We have both the smartest generation and dumbest generation, all wrapped up in one.

We had the weekly roundtable today, and one of the members had just come back from a Promisekeepers meeting and we were going to hear about that AND discuss what we have been talking about here. The group is pretty split in that there are two former Republican state Senators a former state Supreme Court Judge now running for state Senate as a Democrat, six businessmen, two retired military and today we grabbed two of the waitresses who work 50 hour weeks and have kids to join in.

I could write a 20 page paper [and you know I have been known to do that] on the meeting but there were some interesting observations. As an example, lawyers of both parties who see ‘the worst’ society has to offer tend to view laziness as a more prevalent trait among the working poor than the group in general but backpedaled like hell when challenged by one of the waitresses to attempt to keep up for just 12 hours. One of the waitresses blew the group away when she laid out her budget, time constraints, child care issues and living conditions based on an average of 13.24 per hour after tips. She is going to school getting an MBA at night and very articulate in expressing both her plight and that of all the staff she deals with on a daily basis.

The biggest surprise I had was how the system feeds the laziness factor. It does so in a very backhanded way in that the “Social Services Infrastructure” has a budget that services X number of clients who are disabled and X number who are on long term Food Credit. There is no incentive from the infrastructure to move people off of the system. In fact, if n/X are moved off the system, a number of people employed by the infrastructure would no longer have a job. It is easier [and provides more job security] to keep the status quo for SOME levels of welfare.

My head started hurting sometime after this since I was beating it against the table top so I may have missed some detail but suffice to say, that is an element that I was not expecting. Now before anyone blames this on any party, Kentucky has been Democrat for a bunch of years and Republican for the last eight so there is blame to go around for everyone.

The only program that we all agreed should NOT be touched was the WIC program. That is the program that puts food directly to children and expectant mothers. WIC cards are much harder to cheat and cannot be traded for cigs and beer. Even if the parent is lazy or not trying, WIC at least insures that the kids will get basic wholesome food. It’s cost is so little in the scheme of things that it does not ping the radar.

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post #69 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 07:34 PM
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McBear, I'm enjoying this discussion and I have found so many statements in several posts I'd like to qoute and reply to, that I just don't have enough time but I'll hit the high points.

Back to the ethics thing. You know, the #1 complaint by business owners/factory employers was 'half the kids that comes to our place for employment when hired, expect to start at the top and do the least amount of work for the most pay'. This is the root cause of poverty, IMHO, because they have no ETHICS. They do not arrive at work on time, they lay out because of a rough weekend or they fail a mandatory drug test. When these people become unemployable, they become leeches on society that rob, pillage, steal or sell drugs. That is one class of the 'poor'.
I wanted to post this part separately. When new hires would come into IBM or other companies where I worked or for whom I consulted, we [the gray beards] would always be amazed at the assumptions by the freshly minted MBA’s and BSCS grads as to their place and how quickly they assumed they would be in management and climbing the ladder. We would see that they would try and set their own hours, come in late, be buzzed, and these were the “best and brightest”, not ANY class of poor.

Poor work ethics have been lacking for a few decades in this country. It is one of the reasons we have lost our competitive edge. My father was a union representative for nearly 40 years in the Butchers Workman’s Union and dealt with this over the last 10 years of his time as a rep. Again, not just from poor families, but across the board.

I am sure that we could survey and find many examples of very diligent working poor people who are always on time, never drink, take drugs or leech on society. I know I can. I can also list a bunch who are 180 from that, both rich and poor. One of the most affluent and smartest people I know, at age 38 cannot hold a job due to drug tests. He has spent time in jail for drugs and assault, he as become completely unemployable. He tested 1600 on his SAT’s [4 separate times]. His IQ tests were off the charts, his parents were hard working white collar professionals, Christian, reasonable, and his siblings are as normal as rain [one is Rhodes scholar, but normal].

My point [and I did have one] is that work ethic is not a trait of the poor, it is just a trait of people and we tend to see the trait more in the poor as it is harder to hide. The good part about work ethic is that it CAN BE TAUGHT in school. That is where business volunteers would/should help, and they need to start VERY early.

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post #70 of 73 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 07:56 PM
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I DO believe that everyone is ENTITLED to the opportunity to give it their best shot and if there are balanced programs that can help a wide range of people [and not be a tax burden – loans, not welfare] then the government can step in and assist. Loans can be for school, SBA, leg up, etc. but must be fair and credible, not a backdoor welfare program....
I beg your (everybody's) pardon for my late arrival and if I am repeating previous discussion it is because I am too lazy to read the thread. Just tell me, "Been there, done that" and I'll move along.

I do not agree with you (above) Bear. The only things that each of us is entitled to are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What we do with that entitlement is our own (individual) concern and responsibility. We (as a society) do a disservice to our brothers and sisters when we burden them with obligations to other people. In it's most arbitrary, it is involuntary servitude. I'll grant that there is a gradation between absolute freedom and involuntary servitude. I will also grant that the boundary shifts with time and circumstance.

In other words, there is no natural line between the obligations to community and its' imposition on liberty. The duty of each citizen in a free society is to push on that line. Thus to me, it is a line crossed to tell my I MUST be my brother's keeper. I don't mind being asked to volunteer (which I do), but I deeply resent being forced to by some outside agency.

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