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Old August 17th, 2016, 01:13 PM   #1
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Poll on poverty

Here is a fascinating poll done by the LA Times. They asked these questions in 1985 and again recently. There is a lot of data there so I'm not going to C&P it, but one stat from the current poll really hit me.

Q. Which statement comes closest to your position: ('The government is responsible for the well-being of all its citizens and it has an obligation to take care of them'), or ('People are responsible for their own well-being and they have an obligation to take care of themselves')?

Government
Below poverty level - 38%
Above poverty level - 26%
All respondents - 29%

People
Below poverty level - 57%
Above poverty level - 70%
All respondents - 66%

So a majority of people below the poverty level realize they have a responsibility for themselves. This may give me a little bit of hope for the world, after all.

Views on poverty: 1985 and today - Los Angeles Times

Last edited by RNG; August 17th, 2016 at 01:15 PM.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 03:47 PM   #2
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Here is a fascinating poll done by the LA Times. They asked these questions in 1985 and again recently. There is a lot of data there so I'm not going to C&P it, but one stat from the current poll really hit me.

Q. Which statement comes closest to your position: ('The government is responsible for the well-being of all its citizens and it has an obligation to take care of them'), or ('People are responsible for their own well-being and they have an obligation to take care of themselves')?

Government
Below poverty level - 38%
Above poverty level - 26%
All respondents - 29%

People
Below poverty level - 57%
Above poverty level - 70%
All respondents - 66%

So a majority of people below the poverty level realize they have a responsibility for themselves. This may give me a little bit of hope for the world, after all.

Views on poverty: 1985 and today - Los Angeles Times


This is a tough issue and I am torn. Obviously people should take responsibility for themselves. People should have family who help when they are in trouble. People should have friends/church who offer to help when they are down and out. People should work hard, budget wisely and make sacrifices when needed, but most of us who have lived to retirement age KNOW that LIFE is never that predictable. Shtuff happens--bad bad shtuff. Then what?
As a teacher I have seen families in the very worst of circumstances: 10 year olds diagnosed with brain cancer, bitter divorce leading to financial ruin, car accidents, lay offs, grandparents raising grandkids, fire/flood/tornados.....the list goes on. These types of tragic events can send any family into financial crisis, through no fault of their own. If they do not have family or community members to support them, they simply can't make it. This is where temporary government assistance is necessary.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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This is a tough issue and I am torn. Obviously people should take responsibility for themselves. People should have family who help when they are in trouble. People should have friends/church who offer to help when they are down and out. People should work hard, budget wisely and make sacrifices when needed, but most of us who have lived to retirement age KNOW that LIFE is never that predictable. Shtuff happens--bad bad shtuff. Then what?
As a teacher I have seen families in the very worst of circumstances: 10 year olds diagnosed with brain cancer, bitter divorce leading to financial ruin, car accidents, lay offs, grandparents raising grandkids, fire/flood/tornados.....the list goes on. These types of tragic events can send any family into financial crisis, through no fault of their own. If they do not have family or community members to support them, they simply can't make it. This is where temporary government assistance is necessary.
Few of us begrudge those who have honestly suffered misfortune a helping hand. But those who are just too lazy to even try, those who didn't like school so feel the world owes them a living, and others like that disgust me.

I saw a documentary that was following up on some of the displaced from New Orleans after Katrina. One in particular stuck in my head. This was three years later. A late 20s, or early 30s woman had been put up in a motel in Houston since Katrina. She got her food money supplied, and clothing money and motel all given to her. After whining a while about missing her friends and so on, the interviewer asked her if she had looked for a job at all. Her reply was "Well, I suppose I should think about doing that one of these days."

That is hard to take.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 04:40 PM   #4
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Few of us begrudge those who have honestly suffered misfortune a helping hand. But those who are just too lazy to even try, those who didn't like school so feel the world owes them a living, and others like that disgust me.

I saw a documentary that was following up on some of the displaced from New Orleans after Katrina. One in particular stuck in my head. This was three years later. A late 20s, or early 30s woman had been put up in a motel in Houston since Katrina. She got her food money supplied, and clothing money and motel all given to her. After whining a while about missing her friends and so on, the interviewer asked her if she had looked for a job at all. Her reply was "Well, I suppose I should think about doing that one of these days."

That is hard to take.

And THAT is exactly the problem. We hear about people like the Katrina woman or visualize the welfare queen driving the pink Caddy and we are disgusted. WE feel we have been 'scammed'--cheated....and then we are reluctant to support others. But we have to remember those who really need help. They are working two jobs. They are deeply in debt. Something catastrophic comes along and they are simply not equipped to handle it. It's hard to believe but there ARE people who have NO ONE to help them--no family--no church--no friends--no resources--no education.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 04:52 PM   #5
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And THAT is exactly the problem. We hear about people like the Katrina woman or visualize the welfare queen driving the pink Caddy and we are disgusted. WE feel we have been 'scammed'--cheated....and then we are reluctant to support others. But we have to remember those who really need help. They are working two jobs. They are deeply in debt. Something catastrophic comes along and they are simply not equipped to handle it. It's hard to believe but there ARE people who have NO ONE to help them--no family--no church--no friends--no resources--no education.
Yes, but why can't a system be devised that could differentiate between the two cases?

IMO, the overproduction of sociology grads who are taught that we all deserve participation badges have gained too much power in government social services administrations.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 05:17 PM   #6
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Yes, but why can't a system be devised that could differentiate between the two cases?

IMO, the overproduction of sociology grads who are taught that we all deserve participation badges have gained too much power in government social services administrations.
i work with a lot of people who are severely disadvangated and the unemployment rate among my patients is huge. many of them are long term unemployed, havent worked for years, and have no wish to. some of them whine about how hard it is to get a job, there just aren't enough opportunities, too many applicants for one position, etc. but those who actually want to find work find it. those people who actually want a job are never unemployed for long.

this is not the case in some aboriginal communities, where there is essentially no social structure, no work, 100% unemployment and close to 100% alcohol dependency. it is not the case during a severe recession, where work really does dry up. but in the normal course of events, being long term unemployed is usually a lifestyle choice.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 05:29 PM   #7
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This is a tough issue and I am torn. Obviously people should take responsibility for themselves. People should have family who help when they are in trouble. People should have friends/church who offer to help when they are down and out. People should work hard, budget wisely and make sacrifices when needed, but most of us who have lived to retirement age KNOW that LIFE is never that predictable. Shtuff happens--bad bad shtuff. Then what?
As a teacher I have seen families in the very worst of circumstances: 10 year olds diagnosed with brain cancer, bitter divorce leading to financial ruin, car accidents, lay offs, grandparents raising grandkids, fire/flood/tornados.....the list goes on. These types of tragic events can send any family into financial crisis, through no fault of their own. If they do not have family or community members to support them, they simply can't make it. This is where temporary government assistance is necessary.
Exactly. It's the either, or, scenario. Questions like that are not looking for honest answers. They are looking for nod in unison agreement, that anyone on hard times, or is receiving any assistance at all is a bum. The question itself is an attempt to justify not providing any assistance at all, or create a general feeling of antipathy towards anyone on hard times, so it's ok to just ignore them. Life isn't black and white. It's one giant gray area. If a system of welfare is in place that feeds a million children, but is abused by a few thousand bums. I'm not going to end the system because the few thousand bums are abusing it. My focus a million children went to bed last night with a full stomach. Knowing there will probably be some abuse with the system, doesn't justify ending it for those children.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 05:41 PM   #8
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Exactly. It's the either, or, scenario. Questions like that are not looking for honest answers. They are looking for nod in unison agreement, that anyone on hard times, or is receiving any assistance at all is a bum. The question itself is an attempt to justify not providing any assistance at all, or create a general feeling of antipathy towards anyone on hard times, so it's ok to just ignore them. Life isn't black and white. It's one giant gray area. If a system of welfare is in place that feeds a million children, but is abused by a few thousand bums. I'm not going to end the system because the few thousand bums are abusing it. My focus a million children went to bed last night with a full stomach. Knowing there will probably be some abuse with the system, doesn't justify ending it for those children.
That sounds great but I have never seen a survey I trust that took an objective look at the ratio of users to abusers.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 05:51 PM   #9
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That sounds great but I have never seen a survey I trust that took an objective look at the ratio of users to abusers.
Let me help you out.

Meet the lazy welfare recipients who have spent millions in food stamps: Military service members
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Old August 17th, 2016, 06:01 PM   #10
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Interesting but that would make me further question the criteria used. and/or the definition of poverty being used.
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