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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   901. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4228140)
Why? Everyone freaking knows that's a potential consequence of sex. It's not "punishment"; that's sex working as designed.
The abortion debate is not about whether people can get pregnant. It's about the right of women to exercise bodily autonomy in determining which medical technologies they can use afterward.
   902. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4228141)
In many cases, the effects of criminalizing something would be worse than the effects of the immorality itself.

But apparently enlisting the government's guns to force a woman to bear a rapist's child doesn't quite make it into that category.
   903. booond Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4228142)
To be fair to snapper, I believe that sort of market solution would fall into Mr. Nieporent's department.


Why should we be fair to snapper?
   904. Ron J2 Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4228144)
#898 That strikes me as a remarkably stupid talking point.

Yeah, many (most?) of the overall concepts aren't new. So what? They've generally never been public policy.
   905. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4228146)
The issue is that liberals claim to be "progressives." And yet they are trumpeting centuries-old ideas.
Despite the presence of "yet", these two sentences do not contradict each other in the slightest.

Progress is about change in the real world from the worse to the better. It has nothing to do with the vintage of the underlying vision of the "better".
   906. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4228147)

Yes, the whole purpose is to provide for everyone. Even people who make bad decisions. The idea is that a higher floor provides people with the ability to recover from bad decisions. This is good for society, as it encourages dynamic risk taking and innovation.


It also encourages laziness, immorality and stupid decisions.

Right. I mean, I don't believe that poor people should be sold into debt slavery. Neither does snapper. So I guess, extending his logic, that snapper also doesn't believe anyone should ever be made to suffer for their bad choices, because he believes there should be legal limits on how much suffering debt causes.

The issue is not that there shouldn't be a floor, I don't favor letting people starve to death.

The issue is that by setting the floor so high, you create hugely perverse incentives. You create a situation for a large % of the population where taking responsible actions (working, marrying before having children, saving on your own, etc.) make you economically worse off, b/c the dole is so generous.

Obamacare is the classic example. You want everyone to buy insurance, but you let them buy it at any point in time (even on the way to the hospital), making it economically irrational for any healthy person to buy insurance.

The way the left designs the safety net, it seems like their objective is to maximize usage rather than alleviate sufferin g and get people back to self-sufficiency.

   907. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4228148)
Why? Everyone freaking knows that's a potential consequence of sex. It's not "punishment"; that's sex working as designed.


Every action has potential consequences, so what. Just because a potential consequence is known it does not mean we should force people to suffer the consequence.

"You knew reading and extensive computer usage could lead to eye issues, but you choose to do it anyway. Sorry no glasses for you."

"Everyone knows STDs are possible and you choose to have sex anyway. No treatment for you."

And yes that is taking it to an absurd place, but not much more absurd than your example. People have sex. Billions* of years of evolution has built in a very strong sex drive. People having sex is working as designed, suffering undesired and unneeded consequences of that is silly. But it does have to be balanced with the "rest of the story", including the timing, halth consequences and the unborn. But the fact of a known possible consequence is no reason to deny help.
   908. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4228149)
It's really sad to me that people find consent to be this onerous imposition on their sexual lives. There are innumerable stories out there of people who were deeply hurt by sexual activity they did not feel was fully consensual. Slowing down for a moment to ask, when you're not sure, is the tiniest little imposition on your sex life, and it can have the effect of saving someone else a ton of pain. And, of course, everyone is enjoined to slow down for a moment to ask, when you're not sure, regardless of your or your partner's gender.

Tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people don't want to have sex in the assembly-line, state-proscribed way, with the state's Form-SEX hanging over the proceedings in order to solve other peoples' hangups and problems. It's a radically silly and invasive idea, and entirely indicative of the collectivist mentality.
   909. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4228150)

This is nonsense. It removes the salutory effects of fear from the equation. People need fear. It shapes us, drives us, forces us to do things we otherwise couldn't or wouldn't do, allows us to achieve things we otherwise couldn't achieve. Removing the fear of suffering the consequences of failure breeds weakness and complacency, not risk taking or innovation.

Necessity is the mother of invention, not welfare checks.


100%
   910. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4228151)
Well then, what would be progress?


Progressives calling themselves regressives. The name would at least have the element of truth behind it.
   911. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4228152)
I mean, I don't believe that poor people should be sold into debt slavery. Neither does snapper.


How do you know?

To be fair to snapper, I believe that sort of market solution would fall into Mr. Nieporent's department.

Why should we be fair to snapper?


Well, in this case I was wanting to give credit to the original copyright holder. But you're right, I should have instead said that I was trying to be fair to Mr. Nieporent.
   912. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4228153)
Every action has potential consequences, so what. Just because a potential consequence is known it does not mean we should force people to suffer the consequence.

"You knew reading and extensive computer usage could lead to eye issues, but you choose to do it anyway. Sorry no glasses for you."

"Everyone knows STDs are possible and you choose to have sex anyway. No treatment for you."

And yes that is taking it to an absurd place, but not much more absurd than your example. People have sex. Billions* of years of evolution has built in a very strong sex drive. People having sex is working as designed, suffering undesired and unneeded consequences of that is silly. But it does have to be balanced with the "rest of the story", including the timing, halth consequences and the unborn. But the fact of a known possible consequence is no reason to deny help.


Except abortion, unlike those other things, involves another individual.
   913. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4228156)
The issue is that by setting the floor so high, you create hugely perverse incentives. You create a situation for a large % of the population where taking responsible actions (working, marrying before having children, saving on your own, etc.) make you economically worse off, b/c the dole is so generous.
This is a reasonable argument, it is certainly a theoretically reasonable claim that there can be negative consequences to setting the floor "too high".

It would be nice if you started here, rather than with the ridiculous claim that liberals don't think anyone should ever suffer for bad decisions. We both do not believe that people should die of hunger or be sold into slavery. We both do not believe in communism or total equality of outcome. You started out by claiming that people on the left were communists, now we're into a more reasonable place. We could have started here.
   914. formerly dp Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4228158)
This is nonsense. It removes the salutory effects of fear from the equation. People need fear. It shapes us, drives us, forces us to do things we otherwise couldn't or wouldn't do, allows us to achieve things we otherwise couldn't achieve. Removing the fear of suffering the consequences of failure breeds weakness and complacency, not risk taking or innovation.

Necessity is the mother of invention, not welfare checks.


Wow, GF can mindlessly regurgitate capitalist political anthropology. I'm shocked.
   915. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4228161)
Why should we be fair to snapper?

This seems uncalled for. I disagree with snapper more often than I agree with him, but I find he's open, and honest about his world-view in a way I wish more posters were. He's one of the posters I always read in these threads because he seems to approach the discussion with the goal of getting people to understand where he's coming from. I usually find him informative, if not necessarily always convincing to me personally. I don't see any reason not to treat him or his views fairly.
   916. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4228162)
The issue is that by setting the floor so high, you create hugely perverse incentives. You create a situation for a large % of the population where taking responsible actions (working, marrying before having children, saving on your own, etc.) make you economically worse off, b/c the dole is so generous.


This is an opinion. In theory the floor could be so high that this happens. The current state of the safety net in the US is no where near that level. At the current level of support life is OK, but is by no means great, and in fact I think the level should be higher.

You think it should be lower, which is fine, but stating it is bad at the current level without any sort of proof other than angry rhetoric is fine theater but not much else.

Also I find it interesting that this started as a defense of the ideas of Liberalism and here we are arguing about the right level and not any more about the fundemental ideology. Are we all Liberals with different thresholds?

EDIT: Coke to MCOA for saying much of what I wanted to, but better and faster.
   917. tshipman Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4228163)
snapper's version of public policy is really silly. The fact of the matter is that people respond better to incentives than punishments. This is sort of a big deal for policy.

Harshly punishing crime is less effective than providing an easier path to the middle class. It just is. People respond better to incentives than punishments.

This has been shown by societies throughout history and the rest of the world. A punishment society increases crime.
   918. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4228165)
Progressives calling themselves regressives. The name would at least have the element of truth behind it.
This is just abominably stupid.

Progress is about progress in the real world. In actually existing practice, in actually existing lives, societies, and laws. The vision of a better world which people hold, in order to judge what is progress, must be formulated in the present built off the ideas of the past.

The identification as "progressive" implies a belief that improving the actually existing world does not primarily consist in returning us to the way things used to be. Rather, we should be working to make the future better, to create real-world progress, by changing the world into something new and better.

It is impossible to build a vision of the "better" from thoughts that have not yet been thought. It is a necessity of ####### physics that we develop our ideas from past ideas.
   919. tshipman Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4228169)
Yeah, this whole meme about progressive ideas being old disproving the idea of progress is quite possibly the strangest and least logical tangent we've been down.

David, Ray, you're better than this.
   920. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4228171)
This is an opinion. In theory the floor could be so high that this happens. The current state of the safety net in the US is no where near that level. At the current level of support life is OK, but is by no means great, and in fact I think the level should be higher.


Sure it is. Look at what's happened to employment and marriage among the bottom third of the income distribution (starting with blacks in the '70's, but rapidly expanding to hispanics and whites).

   921. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4228173)
Except abortion, unlike those other things, involves another individual.


Other than the typos, what part of - "But it does have to be balanced with the "rest of the story", including the timing, halth consequences and the unborn" - was unclear? I did mention the other individual, the unborn, and said they needed to be considered.

However in all the examples causing unneeded suffering as a consequence of you actions is a really petty and poor way to run a nation. Taking into account considerations like the unborn and the health (mental and physical) and desires of the mother is not, it is the right way of doing it.
   922. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4228179)
snapper's version of public policy is really silly. The fact of the matter is that people respond better to incentives than punishments. This is sort of a big deal for policy.

Harshly punishing crime is less effective than providing an easier path to the middle class. It just is. People respond better to incentives than punishments.

This has been shown by societies throughout history and the rest of the world. A punishment society increases crime.


Obviously, you need both.

But, everyone can't be middle class. It's definitional. There will always be people who are (relatively) poor. There are no actual poor people in the U.S., by global or historical standards.

The issue is, when you offer a package of gov't benefits worth $20-30K to people for doing nothing (and take it away for working or marrying), you eliminate a huge % of the incentive to do the things that might actually lead to reaching the middle class.

The statistics are clear. If you do three things (finish HS, marry before having children, and have at least one member of the household work full-time) the odds of being poor are tiny.

Yet, many of our welfare programs provide the incentive to do the opposite.
   923. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4228180)
I hate to feed the trollish behavior, but additionally Progressives call themselves that because we believe in progress. We believe change can be a positive force and that change is inevitable. Since it is goign to happen change should be used, harnessed for the betterment of everyone.

Of course we do not always live up to the ideals, but the term is an important reminder. Just as the term Conservative speaks to the aspirations of that group and the Libertarian to those that follow that ideaology.

All of these terms are both descriptive and aspirational.
   924. The Good Face Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4228183)
snapper's version of public policy is really silly. The fact of the matter is that people respond better to incentives than punishments. This is sort of a big deal for policy.

Harshly punishing crime is less effective than providing an easier path to the middle class. It just is. People respond better to incentives than punishments.

This has been shown by societies throughout history and the rest of the world. A punishment society increases crime.


Nobody here is talking about punishment. There is a difference between punishing a certain behavior and letting a person deal with the consequences of engaging in that behavior. Removing accountability by insulating people from the consequences of their behavior inevitably leads to negative results. Look at the Wall Street bailouts if you want an example that might matter to lefties.
   925. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4228185)
However in all the examples causing unneeded suffering as a consequence of you actions is a really petty and poor way to run a nation.

There is nothing petty about saying that if you refuse to work, or if you refuse to support your children, your life will be materially worse off than if you do the right things. It's just freaking common sense.

I might actually support a high safety net, if receiving the high benefits was tied to good behaviors.
   926. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4228189)
Yet, many of our welfare programs provide the incentive to do the opposite.


This speaks to the structure of the programs, which most people agree could be improved. However the goal of the programs, provide a safety net, that is not being challenged is it?

the other part, that you seem to not mention, is what about that child? If the parents made poor choices we (Liberals) want to make sure the child is not disadvantaged. It did not make those choices and it should have access to the advancement you are thinking of.

You seem to think we are "spoiling" the poor. I don't agree, but even if we are, an argument could be made it is worth it in order to help the children and other innocents.
   927. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4228191)
This seems uncalled for. I disagree with snapper more often than I agree with him, but I find he's open, and honest about his world-view in a way I wish more posters were. He's one of the posters I always read in these threads because he seems to approach the discussion with the goal of getting people to understand where he's coming from. I usually find him informative, if not necessarily always convincing to me personally. I don't see any reason not to treat him or his views fairly.

Thank you.
   928. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4228193)
I might actually support a high safety net, if receiving the high benefits was tied to good behaviors.


I don't want the state (OMG Nanny State!) being so prescriptive as that. As much as possible (within the constraints of having a saftey net and seeing to the wellfare of those unable to see for themselves) people should be allowed to make their own choices.

On one hand some want no safety net and everything to be law of the jungle.
On the other some want the state dictating morals and good behavior.

I think the right course if between these two extremes, but it is a difficult path with plenty of "moral hazards". The world is complex, it is not always amenable to slogan solutions.
   929. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4228195)
I don't want the state (OMG Nanny State!) being so prescriptive as that.

Of course not. You want it to be prescriptive only as to the productive who can manage their own lives.

That's not a surprise.
   930. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4228196)
This speaks to the structure of the programs, which most people agree could be improved. However the goal of the programs, provide a safety net, that is not being challenged is it?

the other part, that you seem to not mention, is what about that child? If the parents made poor choices we (Liberals) want to make sure the child is not disadvantaged. It did not make those choices and it should have access to the advancement you are thinking of.

You seem to think we are "spoiling" the poor. I don't agree, but even if we are, an argument could be made it is worth it in order to help the children and other innocents.


I'm not challenging a safety net. What I'm saying is that it should not be close in comfort level to a working class lifestyle, as it is today, when you consider the extra 50 hours a week of leisure.

People on welfare should envy the lifestyle of a two parent family working three jobs to support themselves and their kids. This requires a combination of more support for the working class (you all know where I stand on free trade, etc.), and less support for those who won't work.

If the parents are irresponsible asses, the kids are effed anyway. You don't help the children by maintaining their parents is a comfortable state of dependence. You help them by encouraging their parents to get their #### together and act like adults.

If the parents are actually neglectful, you take the kids away.
   931. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4228201)

I don't want the state (OMG Nanny State!) being so prescriptive as that. As much as possible (within the constraints of having a saftey net and seeing to the wellfare of those unable to see for themselves) people should be allowed to make their own choices.

On one hand some want no safety net and everything to be law of the jungle.
On the other some want the state dictating morals and good behavior.

I think the right course if between these two extremes, but it is a difficult path with plenty of "moral hazards". The world is complex, it is not always amenable to slogan solutions.


Why not?

Is the goal of the safety net to actually help people, or just assuage our consequences that the underclass has their bread and circuses?

If you really want to help the poor, you need to get them to embrace "middle class values".
   932. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4228202)
The guy that drops out of high school, gets addicted to drugs, refuses to work, engages in criminality, and fathers a bunch of children who he doesn't support, still gets benefits under your system.


a) I am philosophically against that, but
b) tracking that and enforcing it has been proven to be a much greater money waster than just giving him the meager benefits he qualifies for.
   933. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4228206)
I'm not challenging a safety net. What I'm saying is that it should not be close in comfort level to a working class lifestyle, as it is today, when you consider the extra 50 hours a week of leisure.


I don't think the poor have it as good as you seem to think they do. Also part of the problem (I would argue) is the stagnation of the income of the middle class. If the poor are catching up we need to not blame the poor, but see what we can do to help the middle class.

Of course not. You want it to be prescriptive only as to the productive who can manage their own lives.


I am not 100% sure what you mean here. I think there is a societal cost on everyone to help maintain the safety net. Obviously those with more will bear more of the cost. But I think I am missing what you are trying to say.
   934. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4228207)
Obamacare is the classic example. You want everyone to buy insurance, but you let them buy it at any point in time (even on the way to the hospital), making it economically irrational for any healthy person to buy insurance.


Except Obamacare explicitly addresses this issue by taxing people who fail to buy insurance. If you want to argue that the penalties under Obamacare are too low to create the proper incentives, that's fine (I'd probably agree with you), but Obamacare really isn't the best example here.
   935. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4228208)
Sure it is. Look at what's happened to employment and marriage among the bottom third of the income distribution (starting with blacks in the '70's, but rapidly expanding to hispanics and whites).

This, 1,000 times this. I don't know the backgrounds of the liberal posters on this site, but my friends in yuppie urban NYC simply have no concept of the deep societal corruption that's already been caused by government benefits. I didn't either until I met my fiance, who is from a poor appalachian city, a majority white democrat-but-hell-no-obama place.

Benefit abuse is ubiquitous. This simply cannot be overstated. My fiance's HS friends openly talked about having a kid so they wouldn't have to work. They then got themselves knocked up and had the kid. They no longer work. Men purposefully delay getting new jobs to maximize time on benefits. Everyone games the system. The funny part is that the culture of exploiting the bureaucracy is so established that it's transported over to interactions with the private sector. You go to the supermarket and you have to stand behind people trying to use expired coupons, screaming at the manager until they get paid something to go away.

I'm deeply sympathetic with the problems of a place like that, which I think are a reasonable microcosm of broader issues. The mill jobs that sustained the place are gone. Nothing replaced them. There's been brain drain for decades, terrible local education and the long and short of it there is that most people there are completely incapable of working in the jobs available the current economy and whatever is to come. It's not their fault and there's nothing that they can do about it. Everyone I've met there is good people, they're just . . . well, they're not that smart and they come from a culture of mill work, which preaches that you work your shift and nothing more and god help you if you're studying late. The town subsists on 90% benefits and 10% the work of a few families who, for whatever reason, broke out of it (this includes my fiance's family). Everyone else is dead weight and the women have kids by 20 and the men have these aimless jobs and half the guys over 40 are on disability and there's just nothing but nothing all propped up by government money.

Obviously I think that zombie city and zombie people is a horrible outcome and we must do something different. Nasty, brutish and short is awful, but it is short, and then there is rebirth. Or maybe the solution is tariffs or the like, so that you sustain the ability of those people to contribute to society. The stuff that James Goldsmith was trying to tell people in the 90's.

But safety nets, benefits, welfare, whatever, have horrible side effects and should be used as minimally as possible. To prevent starvation, etc. Frankly, I see the argument for government supported health care. But not much more.
   936. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4228209)
a) I am philosophically against that, but
b) tracking that and enforcing it has been proven to be a much greater money waster than just giving him the meager benefits he qualifies for.


I'd rather spend more, and provide good incentives.

For example, any able bodied person who claims welfare should have to reports 3 days (leaving 2 for job search) a week for a gov't works program. They can put in 12 hour days cleaning parks, streets, fixing up playgrounds, whatever, in exchange for minimum wage. The supervisory costs would be well worth the incentive effect, and the work habits instilled.

In the long run, if you pay people for being "unable" to support themselves, you'll get more of them, and end up spending more.\ in total, even if you spend less per person.
   937. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4228210)
Is the goal of the safety net to actually help people, or just assuage our consequences that the underclass has their bread and circuses?

If you really want to help the poor, you need to get them to embrace "middle class values".


Help them. And "middle class values" are nice and all, but they don't put food on the table, buy little Juan the backpack he needs for school or a replacement for the shoes he has outgrown.

Pretty much everyone wants to succeed, to better themselves. The few that don't, that are happy as leeches, I feel sorry for them. They still deserve to have a safety net, but I have pity for them because they are missing out on many of the things, the struggles and achievments that make life great. They are still human though and they and their children deserve to be treated as human and deserve to be provided enough to get by.

EDIT: And I understand what zop is saying in 935, but I think the case is overstated, and besides my paragraph above still summarizes my feelings. I support ways to help them out of the trap, but even those in the trap are human and should be treated as such.
   938. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4228211)
Except Obamacare explicitly addresses this issue by taxing people who fail to buy insurance. If you want to argue that the penalties under Obamacare are too low to create the proper incentives, that's fine (I'd probably agree with you), but Obamacare really isn't the best example here.

The penalties are laughable, 2.5% of income, IIRC?

It wouldn't have passed with higher penalties. The whole thing is designed to be non-self supporting, and require massive federal subsidies.
   939. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4228214)
Obviously I think that zombie city and zombie people is a horrible outcome and we must do something different. Nasty, brutish and short is awful, but it is short, and then there is rebirth. Or maybe the solution is tariffs or the like, so that you sustain the ability of those people to contribute to society. The stuff that James Goldsmith was trying to tell people in the 90's.


Exactly. You'd think a sane society would say "Oh ####, we need to bring back those mills". But instead we throw increasing streams corrupting welfare money at the issue, rather than trying to fix it.
   940. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4228219)
Folks, you should listen to 'zop, voice of the working poor. I think he asked his childhood maid once how her day was going.
   941. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4228220)
Help them. And "middle class values" are nice and all, but they don't put food on the table, buy little Juan the backpack he needs for school or a replacement for the shoes he has outgrown.

Actually, yes they do.

Here's a report of the Brookings study I alluded to above. Emphasis added.

Brookings whittled down a lot of analysis into three simple rules. You can avoid poverty by:

1. Graduating from high school.

2. Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.

3. Having a full-time job.

If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.


http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2012-01-27/story/three-rules-staying-out-poverty

   942. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4228221)
Exactly. You'd think a sane society would say "Oh ####, we need to bring back those mills". But instead we throw increasing streams corrupting welfare money at the issue, rather than trying to fix it.


I think we should make sure everyone there has enough to get by AND try to solve the long term issues. I am not sure "bring the mills back" is the right solution, but I think helping ensure jobs are present is very important.

I do want to point out that if everything is as corrupt as portrayed then the availability of jobs (Mill or otherwise) won't really help. But I think it would help, and it sounds like you do to.

The current cyclical economic issue is insufficient demand. This can be addressed by the government. There are also structural issues, but when it comes to those I think the government needs to tread a bit softer.
   943. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4228222)
The penalties are laughable, 2.5% of income, IIRC?


I agree that the penalties are too low, but now, as MCoA said up in #913, we're down to arguing the appropriate level of the safety net, not the need for one at all.
   944. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4228223)
I am not 100% sure what you mean here. I think there is a societal cost on everyone to help maintain the safety net. Obviously those with more will bear more of the cost. But I think I am missing what you are trying to say.

You place all kinds of prescrptions on productive people -- regulations and taxes -- while refusing to place any on unproductive people. It should be the opposite -- you should care far more what the unproductive do with their money, as opposed to the productive.
   945. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4228224)

Exactly. You'd think a sane society would say "Oh ####, we need to bring back those mills". But instead we throw increasing streams corrupting welfare money at the issue, rather than trying to fix it.


It is immutable truth that some enormous number of people are congentially incapable of being anything but blue-collar workers, fungible with people in developing countries that work for nothing. As an upper class, we have profoundly failed those people by allowing tariffs and the like to fall away, marginally enriching ourselves at the expense of basically ripping out those people's ability to participate in society. We'll pay the price eventually, though. What we have now is not sustainable, and cannot be fixed by expanding the state.
   946. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4228226)
[940] Awesome.
   947. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4228227)
You place all kinds of prescrptions on productive people -- regulations and taxes -- while refusing to place any on unproductive people. It should be the opposite -- you should care far more what the unproductive do with their money, as opposed to the productive.

The very essence of "liberalism" is to force productive people to subsidize unproductive people. To end that cycle is to end the "progressive movement" and modern Democrat party as they're now known.
   948. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4228228)
Snapper, I am not trying to make fun of you, but really these rules are nice and all but many people would love to have a full time job. Having "middle class values" (whatever the heck those are) does not get one a job when the mills have closed. So number 3 does not help, because people do want full time jobs, if only it were that easy.

And not to drag abortion back into it, but when people have sex (which they do) and contrception fails (which it does) sometimes your point #2 is aided by the availability of abortion.

As to #1, yes education is important. Liberals have always said this. Have you seen the studies showing how effective programs like head start are? I think graduating highschool is important. But I am not willing to punish folks by not providing the safety net for them if they don't (and I realize you did not say we should).
   949. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4228230)
If you really want to help the poor, you need to get them to embrace "middle class values".

As if that contradicts a single point that's been made over and over by every DNC speaker for the past two days. This entire idea that the Democrats are somehow hostile to "middle class values" is so completely at odds with reality that it's hard to know where to begin,** but what it mainly shows is the power of the Big Lie to grab onto our local wingnuts' fervent imaginations.

**As if (for instance) the Dream Act encourages undocumented students to go on welfare, rather than go to college in order to rise in the world. As if forcing them to return to a country where many of them have never even set foot is some sort of blow in favor of "middle class values".
   950. formerly dp Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4228231)
The very essence of "liberalism" is to force productive people to subsidize unproductive people.


Makers and takers. We get it. Entertaining a view more nuanced would strain that muscle inside your head, eh?

   951. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4228233)
I'm not challenging a safety net. What I'm saying is that it should not be close in comfort level to a working class lifestyle, as it is today, when you consider the extra 50 hours a week of leisure.

People on welfare should envy the lifestyle of a two parent family working three jobs to support themselves and their kids. This requires a combination of more support for the working class (you all know where I stand on free trade, etc.), and less support for those who won't work.

If the parents are irresponsible asses, the kids are effed anyway. You don't help the children by maintaining their parents is a comfortable state of dependence. You help them by encouraging their parents to get their #### together and act like adults.


Whoah, whoah, whoah -- I don't care if someone is on TANF, Medicaid, and every other form welfare available -- they're almost certainly NOT living "close in comfort level to a working class lifestyle". The specifics of the programs are such that there really is no conceivable way you'd be bringing in income/benefits that put you above the poverty line.

I'm quite certain that yes, there DO exist people who are 'comfortable' scraping by on subsistence level provided they can spend the day doing -- whatever, besides working -- but I absolutely challenge the implied idea that 'these people' make up any large chunk of TANF/Medicaid/etc recipients.

It's an impossible bet to settle -- but I WOULD be willing to bet that the percentages of defense contractors skimming the system rather than 'honestly working' or the percentage of hospital administrators or even physicians who skim Medicare through hazy upcoding, if not outright fraud -- are just as high.

Just because I accept the fact that we DO need a national defense budget (albeit a much smaller one than we have) or that I do believe in Medicare doesn't mean I accept the skims of 'lazy people who can't get their #### together' any more than I do from programs like TANF or Medicaid.

We really ought to have an OTP day where we could all agree that we'll go one day without strawmen... yes, yes - both sides have foisted them - but that doesn't make this general thrust any less of a strawman.

I mean, good christ... I've been toiling in the 'private sector' since my first job at 14. Andy's a small business owner. I'm assuming Bitter Mouse, MCoA, tshipman, and the rest of the crew are likewise gainfully employed.... Do you really think we're all so damn stupid or magnanimous that we believe OUR taxes (as well as yours) should be financing someone spending all day sucking on the meth pipe, watching daytime TV?
   952. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4228235)

I do want to point out that if everything is as corrupt as portrayed then the availability of jobs (Mill or otherwise) won't really help. But I think it would help, and it sounds like you do to.


Sure it will. You brings back the mills, but cut back the dole, so working is strongly preferable.
   953. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4228236)
You place all kinds of prescrptions on productive people -- regulations and taxes -- while refusing to place any on unproductive people. It should be the opposite -- you should care far more what the unproductive do with their money, as opposed to the productive.


Well with regards to taxes, yes we are guilty of wanting to tax where the money is. If poor people had all the money then we could tax them to pay for the safety net, but then they wouldn't be poor would they.

As to the regulations, what are these regulations we put on the middle class that the poor are exempt from?

Finally after the societal needs (defense, safety net, and so on) are paid for I think people should (within reason) be able to spend their money as they want. Again they do have to help pay for the society they live in, and you have to go where the money actually is if you plan on raising any money.

   954. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4228237)
Folks, you should listen to 'zop, voice of the working poor. I think he asked his childhood maid once how her day was going.


Meanwhile, you asked your childhood maid why she was bothering to work when she could just go on welfare and have everyone else foot the bill for her.
   955. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4228239)
Folks, you should listen to 'zop, voice of the working poor. I think he asked his childhood maid once how her day was going.


The whole point is that the left-behind poor have failed to protect themsleves and generally will continue to fail to protect themselves. Nationally, they vote Republican, for gods sake. They can be manipulated and demagoged and whathaveyou. And you no more NEED to be working poor to speak for the working poor or observe the working poor than you need to be Chinese to be a professor of Chinese Studies. It's a ridiculous concept. And arguably, the opposite is true - the person outside can speak better. As long as the issue is framed as poor VERSUS rich (is that a Marxist thing? I don't know, I wasn't much for poli sci in college) then you get the awfulness we have now. The key point is that the left-behind poor are the problem of the upper class just as much as anyone else, because society isn't sustainable when 40% of the people have no means to contribute to it. People can't feel like their lives have no value and that they're on the dole, like children, for their adult lives. And frankly, you need the smart, rich and powerful people to help solve things, or you end up with populism. Buy-in from everyone is essential. Confrontational framing just encourages the Republicans to be antagonistic toward the poor.

Actually, if my fiance was typing, she'd be much less sympathetic. She views the people from her hometown as worthy of nothing but contempt. Where I see a culture that was created by the mills, she sees laziness. She will tell you - these are her words - that she finds the people from her hometown "disgusting" and "worthless".
   956. tshipman Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4228241)
That Brookings report was silly. Correlation does not imply causation.

In addition, birth control actually helps hugely with #2, but snapper wants to do away with it.
   957. The Good Face Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4228242)
It is immutable truth that some enormous number of people are congentially incapable of being anything but blue-collar workers, fungible with people in developing countries that work for nothing. As an upper class, we have profoundly failed those people by allowing tariffs and the like to fall away, marginally enriching ourselves at the expense of basically ripping out those people's ability to participate in society. We'll pay the price eventually, though. What we have now is not sustainable, and cannot be fixed by expanding the state.


We just need to spend more on education, and all those former blue-collar workers will become software entrepreneurs!

/Thomas Friedman
   958. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4228243)

Whoah, whoah, whoah -- I don't care if someone is on TANF, Medicaid, and every other form welfare available -- they're almost certainly NOT living "close in comfort level to a working class lifestyle". The specifics of the programs are such that there really is no conceivable way you'd be bringing in income/benefits that put you above the poverty line.


The average amount of welfare benefits per recipient have been estimated in the $25-30K range, when you include Medicaid, housing subsidies, food stamps, and cash benefits.

That's really close to what someone making $10/hr (even with benefits gets), and far superior when you don't have to work for it.
   959. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4228244)
I'm deeply sympathetic with the problems of a place like that, which I think are a reasonable microcosm of broader issues. The mill jobs that sustained the place are gone. Nothing replaced them.

This is the fundamental problem, and no safety net/dole, no matter how diligently composed, can replace the things those jobs brought to the communities of the people holding them.

   960. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228245)
In addition, birth control actually helps hugely with #2, but snapper wants to do away with it.

Never said that.
   961. tshipman Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228247)
Sure it will. You brings back the mills, but cut back the dole, so working is strongly preferable.


Again, we tried this. It didn't work. This lack of engagement with reality is weird.


[940] was brutal but funny.
   962. The Good Face Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228248)
Do you really think we're all so damn stupid or magnanimous that we believe OUR taxes (as well as yours) should be financing someone spending all day sucking on the meth pipe, watching daytime TV?


Yes.

It's what you guys constantly argue in favor of, so I'm going to be charitable and assume you're telling the truth.
   963. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228250)

We just need to spend more on education, and all those former blue-collar workers will become software entrepreneurs!


Didn't you hear? They're moving all the software jobs to China and India too.
   964. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4228251)
The average amount of welfare benefits per recipient have been estimated in the $25-30K range, when you include Medicaid, housing subsidies, food stamps, and cash benefits.


Care to provide a cite or evidence for that? Because I believe your number to be wildly inaccurate.
   965. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4228252)
Actually, if my fiance was typing, she'd be much less sympathetic. She views the people from her hometown as worthy of nothing but contempt. Where I see a culture that was created by the mills, she sees laziness. She will tell you - these are her words - that she finds the people from her hometown "disgusting" and "worthless".

And yet if she got raped, she'd still vote for the party that would force her to make you a followup poppa. But then I'm starting to suspect that your whole schtick is little more than a reducto ad absurdum parody.
   966. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4228255)

Yes.

It's what you guys constantly argue in favor of, so I'm going to be charitable and assume you're telling the truth.


Yes, it's true -- I do regret my former support for the Free Meth Pipes and Springer for Lazy Americans Act -- but I renounced that support in favor of things like Medicaid, TANF, etc years ago.
   967. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4228256)
The average amount of welfare benefits per recipient have been estimated in the $25-30K range, when you include Medicaid, housing subsidies, food stamps, and cash benefits.

That's really close to what someone making $10/hr (even with benefits gets), and far superior when you don't have to work for it.


(1) Do you have a source for this? Because now we're getting to the core of the debate here. You're making an empirical argument that the current safety net is too generous. Which maybe it is, but the evidence of this is in hard numbers, not vague allusions to "middle-class values".

(2) Not all benefits dry up immediately upon somebody working, and, in fact, the Earned Income Tax Credit, for example, explicitly benefits "earned income".
   968. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4228257)

Again, we tried this. It didn't work. This lack of engagement with reality is weird.


Welfare reform dramatically reduced the number of recipients, but of course the Obama administration is in the midst of undoing it.

We have done absolutely nothing to try and subsidize blue collar jobs, except by fueling a unsustainable construction boom.

The blue collar worker is being sacrificed on the altar of free-trade and free-immigration so the upper- and upper-middle classes can have cheap big screen TVs, iPads/Phones, nannies and gardeners.
   969. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4228260)
Exactly. You'd think a sane society would say "Oh ####, we need to bring back those mills". But instead we throw increasing streams corrupting welfare money at the issue, rather than trying to fix it.


The state's money would be better spent running the mills.
   970. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4228261)
Do you really think we're all so damn stupid or magnanimous that we believe OUR taxes (as well as yours) should be financing someone spending all day sucking on the meth pipe, watching daytime TV?

Yes.

It's what you guys constantly argue in favor of, so I'm going to be charitable and assume you're telling the truth.


It's comical, really. They advocate all day for policies that result in X, and then when someone points out that their policies result in X, they act all shocked, shocked that someone could believe they want X.
   971. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4228262)

Welfare reform dramatically reduced the number of recipients, but of course the Obama administration is in the midst of undoing it.


Heh.

Well, then eliminating poverty in America is only a bill away -- just make the federal poverty line zero by legislative fiat and voila - poverty has been solved!
   972. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4228263)
1. Graduating from high school.

2. Waiting to get married until after 21 and do not have children till after being married.

3. Having a full-time job.

If you do all those three things, your chance of falling into poverty is just 2 percent. Meanwhile, you’ll have a 74 percent chance of being in the middle class.


If you work full time, you have a low probability of being poor? That's got to be the biggest 'well, duh' ever. And hey, I wonder if people who graduate HS have a better chance at finding full time employment.
   973. Greg K Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4228264)
Where I see a culture that was created by the mills, she sees laziness. She will tell you - these are her words - that she finds the people from her hometown "disgusting" and "worthless".


I have nothing to add to the discussion, this just reminded me of the ending to this wonderful movie.

EDIT: Also, I should add, not to suggest your wife is like Charlize Theron's character in that movie, which would probably be grounds for you challenging me to a duel.
   974. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4228266)

It's comical, really. They advocate all day for policies that result in X, and then when someone points out that their policies result in X, they act all shocked, shocked that someone could believe they wanted X.


What's comical is how you're either too obtuse or too disinterested in actual debate to even acknowledge that the outcomes of those programs is not a single, monolithic 'X'.

Or is your argument really that everyone on TANF or Medicaid ends up on the pipe, sitting around watching Springer all day? If so, I assume you have evidence to support this.
   975. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4228268)
Folks, you should listen to 'zop, voice of the working poor.

Or you could listen to Martin Amis, who said essentially the same thing in his latest novel. Whitey on the dole has been a fact of English life for decades.
   976. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4228271)
The blue collar worker is being sacrificed on the altar of free-trade and free-immigration so the upper- and upper-middle classes can have cheap big screen TVs, iPads/Phones, nannies and gardeners.



Exactly. Blue collar skills SHOULD have value. I used to be geologist. I spent some time at active mines. I could never work in a mine. Being able to survive working in a mine is an incredible feat of human endurance, and one that has enormous value. But we allow all our mines to get eviscerated by commodities from lowest-cost providers in countries with no environmental protections (and governments bribed to ignore violations of what protections are in place) and workers paid in nothing but a sack of ore (literally - this happens in parts of South America). Why do people think this is acceptable? Tariffs don't make us necessarily less "competitive", since our mines and mills could never be competitive - they simply sustain something which otherwise disappeared.
   977. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4228273)
The blue collar worker is being sacrificed on the altar of free-trade and free-immigration so the upper- and upper-middle classes can have cheap big screen TVs, iPads/Phones, nannies and gardeners.

This should be the unrivaled top concern of the "liberals" on the board, yet they barely care. Strange.
   978. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4228275)

Care to provide a cite or evidence for that? Because I believe your number to be wildly inaccurate.


Here's a CATO study. $20K per poor person (incl. children) in welfare spending. So, way north of $30K for a family with children.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA694.pdf
   979. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4228276)
Except abortion, unlike those other things, involves another individual.


If that were indeed a fact and not just an opinion, I'd be with you 100%.
   980. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4228277)
Exactly. Blue collar skills SHOULD have value. I used to be geologist. I spent some time at active mines. I could never work in a mine. Being able to survive working in a mine is an incredible feat of human endurance, and one that has enormous value. But we allow all our mines to get eviscerated by commodities from lowest-cost providers in countries with no environmental protections (and governments bribed to ignore violations of what protections are in place) and workers paid in nothing but a sack of ore (literally - this happens in parts of South America). Why do people think this is acceptable? Tariffs don't make us necessarily less "competitive", since our mines and mills could never be competitive - they simply sustain something which otherwise disappeared.


Ask the mine owners --

A few pages back, the infamous silver spooned Australian mining magnate said directly that she needs to be able to compete wasn't 'tariffs' - it was the ability to pay Australian miners what she can pay African miners. Of course, she was a bit sparse on how she'd then get the price of everything from housing to food to be commensurate with her desired wage and benefit levels.
   981. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4228279)
This should be the unrivaled top concern of the "liberals" on the board, yet they barely care. Strange.

Not to ascribe this to anyone posting here, but lots of liberals want a large dependent class. Self-supporting working class people have a nasty habit of voting Republican, and especially of opposing the liberal social agenda.

The liberal power structure (politicians, gov't unions, lobbying groups, etc.) benefits from having a docile dependent class that provides unquestionable support, in order to keep the gov't money flowing.
   982. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4228280)

A few pages back, the infamous silver spooned Australian mining magnate said directly that she needs to be able to compete wasn't 'tariffs' - it was the ability to pay Australian miners what she can pay African miners. Of course, she was a bit sparse on how she'd then get the price of everything from housing to food to be commensurate with her desired wage and benefit levels.


Well, duh. The whole point of tariffs is to sustain wages and other regulatory costs higher than in other jurisdictions.
   983. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4228282)
Ask the mine owners --

A few pages back, the infamous silver spooned Australian mining magnate said directly that she needs to be able to compete wasn't 'tariffs' - it was the ability to pay Australian miners what she can pay African miners. Of course, she was a bit sparse on how she'd then get the price of everything from housing to food to be commensurate with her desired wage and benefit levels.


Well #### her.
   984. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4228285)
Do you really think we're all so damn stupid or magnanimous that we believe OUR taxes (as well as yours) should be financing someone spending all day sucking on the meth pipe, watching daytime TV?


To be fair what I have said (and continue to say) is there is a safety net, a floor, below which no one should fall. I don't think giving people food stamps makes them day time show watching meth addicts.

But I am OK with day time watching meth addicts not starving to death, since they are in fact people. And some of them have children. And while they probably are not the best parents, I think making sure there is food in the house and warmth during the winter will result in children with a better chance of success than when the house does not have food or warmth.

Call me crazy, but those are my beliefs.
   985. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4228286)
I liked 'zop's whole post.

Folks, you should listen to 'zop, voice of the working poor. I think he asked his childhood maid once how her day was going.


I also liked this rejoinder.

Meanwhile, you asked your childhood maid why she was bothering to work when she could just go on welfare and have everyone else foot the bill for her.


But sorry Ray, this one fell flat.
   986. booond Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4228287)
Welfare reform dramatically reduced the number of recipients, but of course the Obama administration is in the midst of undoing it.


This is a lie.
   987. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4228288)
But we allow all our mines to get eviscerated by commodities from lowest-cost providers in countries with no environmental protections (and governments bribed to ignore violations of what protections are in place) and workers paid in nothing but a sack of ore (literally - this happens in parts of South America). Why do people think this is acceptable? Tariffs don't make us necessarily less "competitive", since our mines and mills could never be competitive - they simply sustain something which otherwise disappeared.


Hey I mentioned the free trade versus fair trade discussion a while back. I think it a worthwhile topic. However if you want to have that discussion in the halls of power you are going to have to have it with Liberals, because Conservatives really don't care about it and are scornful when you bring it up.
   988. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4228289)
Not to ascribe this to anyone posting here, but lots of liberals want a large dependent class. Self-supporting working class people have a nasty habit of voting Republican, and especially of opposing the liberal social agenda.

The liberal power structure (politicians, gov't unions, lobbying groups, etc.) benefits from having a docile dependent class that provides unquestionable support, in order to keep the gov't money flowing.


I vigorously disagree with this. To the extent its true, it is limited to people in power, the nasty cynical politician types, the liberal equivalents of the conservatives who race-signal to maintain themselves in power.

I think that liberals want to make the lives of others better. I just think they're going about it the wrong way, and they're like a doctor overmedicating. I think those silly studies you see that show that liberals are more empathetic and think more deeply than the average conservative are probably correct. But I think there's a place beyond liberalism, where you realize that oh my god, we cant try to fix every problem and a lot of our fixes have side effects that are as bad or worse than the problem they're intended to remedy. This was a core belief of modern conservativism before it got highjacked by the libertarians and the bigots and the demagogues. To quote Reagan - from 1964, no less - "Anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we're always "against" things -- we're never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
   989. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4228290)
Not to ascribe this to anyone posting here, but lots of liberals want a large dependent class. Self-supporting working class people have a nasty habit of voting Republican, and especially of opposing the liberal social agenda.


This is just untrue. On many levels.

   990. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4228291)
Hey I mentioned the free trade versus fair trade discussion a while back. I think it a worthwhile topic. However if you want to have that discussion in the halls of power you are going to have to have it with Liberals, because Conservatives really don't care about it and are scornful when you bring it up.

Which Conservatives? I think the rank-and-file would support tariffs. If you mean the WSJ and the Corporate shills, well, yeah, they're the problem in both parties.
   991. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4228293)

This is a lie.


They're not granting waivers left and right to eliminate the work requirements?
   992. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4228294)

Hey I mentioned the free trade versus fair trade discussion a while back. I think it a worthwhile topic. However if you want to have that discussion in the halls of power you are going to have to have it with Liberals, because Conservatives really don't care about it and are scornful when you bring it up.


In the "halls of power"? Maybe. But I think that serious conservative thinkers - and by that, I mean not ####### Congressmen, and not some ####### at the National Review, care a great deal about free trade and its unintended consequences.
   993. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4228295)
I vigorously disagree with this. To the extent its true, it is limited to people in power, the nasty cynical politician types, the liberal equivalents of the conservatives who race-signal to maintain themselves in power.


That's what I said. The power structure.

But the power structure goes way beyond just actual politicians. It's probably only a few percent of the left, but it's a very influential few %.
   994. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4228296)
I just think they're going about it the wrong way, and they're like a doctor overmedicating.


This may be true in some cases, in fact if you are always undershooting you are not trying hard enough. You want your mistakes to cluster around the target, sometimes under and sometimes over.

However, right now it feels like one side is talking about medicating the patient and the other wants the patient kicked out of the hospital all together because it is being paid for on the backs of the righteous healthy.

It is hard to have a healthy disagreement when that is the case.
   995. zonk Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4228297)

Here's a CATO study. $20K per poor person (incl. children) in welfare spending. So, way north of $30K for a family with children.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA694.pdf


Good lord... did you actually read the thing? This is nothing more than the same precise error in simple logic and math that Joe likes to quote from Medicare opponents.

To wit - Medicare technically "pays" X on a per beneficiary basis. However, there are an absolute tons of things that Medicare subsidizes that have nothing to do with the individual beneficiary - Medicare funds virtually the entire US Medical Residency program (to the tune of about $10 billion a year). Medicare likewise keeps plenty of rural hospitals in business through CAH subsidies. However, these 10s of billions that Medicare stealthily pays to the medical industry are NOT line-item'ed out individually. They exist as multipliers and factors applied to the base reimbursement submitted -- hence, out in the wash, people say "OMFG! Medicare costs $X per beneficiary"... when really, that's NOT what gets paid out in benefits.

CATO is essentially doing the same thing - they're not bothering to do anything more than tally all the 'programs' total costs, then simply divide by beneficiaries.

There's ZERO acknowledgement -- except in a few footnotes -- that it would be impossible to qualify for ALL of these programs. Some of them directly mutually exclusive, many of them are by proxy mutually exclusive.

Come on, you're smarter than that, Snapper...
   996. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4228298)
Which Conservatives? I think the rank-and-file would support tariffs.


I don't know, the core economic belief of the Republican base seems to be "no new taxes". Have the "WSJ and the Corporate shills" point out that tariffs are taxes and that Americans end up paying them in the form of higher prices on retail goods, and I think Republican voters fall in line in support of free trade. Note this isn't so much an argument against tariffs (although I generally oppose them) as an argument that I think Republicans can get their rank-and-file to oppose them.
   997. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4228299)
Here's a CATO study. $20K per poor person (incl. children) in welfare spending. So, way north of $30K for a family with children.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA694.pdf
Alright, I read the paper. These are the programs listed that make up the vast majority of this spending:

$228B - Medicaid
$75B - SNAP
$44B - Supplemental Security Income
$41B - Pell Grants(!)
$21B - TANF
$18B - Section 8 Housing Vouchers (!)
$17B - Low Income Housing Loans
$13B - Children's Health Insurance
$11B - School Lunch Programs(!!)
$10B - Adjustable Rate Mortgages

These programs account for over 90% of the spending characterized as "welfare" by CATO. Of this, almost all of it is both for the working and the unemployed poor. It is not distributed on anything like a per-person equal basis. (Medicaid's spending is heavily weighted for elder care and for disabled folks, for instance.) The CATO study simply does not support snapper's claim.

EDIT: coke to zonk
   998. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4228301)
The blue collar worker is being sacrificed on the altar of free-trade and free-immigration so the upper- and upper-middle classes can have cheap big screen TVs, iPads/Phones, nannies and gardeners.

This should be the unrivaled top concern of the "liberals" on the board, yet they barely care. Strange.


I almost agree with Dan Zipsborki's commentary on issues like this. Not sure what political label you apply to that though.
   999. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4228302)
(2) Not all benefits dry up immediately upon somebody working, and, in fact, the Earned Income Tax Credit, for example, explicitly benefits "earned income".


I brought that up pages and pages ago and all I got was crickets
   1000. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4228304)
It's comical, really. They advocate all day for policies that result in X, and then when someone points out that their policies result in X, they act all shocked, shocked that someone could believe they want X.


Ray, why are you in favor of rape and murder?
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