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Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 52
What is Owed?Page 3 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
it is the fine line that sets us apart.... compassion and decency to your fellow mankind.

you would not sit back and watch someone drown in a lake would you if you knew how to swim?

your instincts would kick in and even if you didn't know them you would dive in to save them from drowning.

well it is the same way.... the ones that are actully doing the contributing to keeping this country functioning decided long ago not to sit back and watch people drown. It is what sets this country apart from other countries that have all those horors going on right now.

we won't sit back and watch people deliberatly drown if they give up and ask for help there is help available. It is not easy. it is not just passed out as a hand out like some people think... but it is there regardless should someone NEED it and ask for it.

we are intellegant beings. it is what seperates us from the rest of the animals. we care so i guess empathy is the key that makes us human.
Joined: 3/17/2009
Msg: 53
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/24/2009 6:19:25 PM

when they see the debt they owe themselves, to get reward through altruistic works, abundance will finally deliver meaning to people's lives, and scarcity will become quaint.

You demonstrate a lack of understanding of economics. Scarcity will *always* be with us, because our desires are infinite. (At zero cost, we always want more.) Jesus told us that the poor would be with us *always*. So economic inequality will always exist. Nothing anybody can do will change this.

The important question is: how should we respond to this situation? How should we respond to the reality that economic inequality exists, and will always exist? Let me give two or three answers: the first two for everybody, and the last answer for Christians.

Principle 1

Government cannot do charity. This is an easily established fact. Charity must be voluntary. But the fundamental nature of government is that governments exist only through taxes and coercion. Taxes are not voluntary, no matter how many government lies you heard just 10 days or so ago. Just try and not volunteer and see what happens to you. But charity must be voluntary!! That is the very nature of charity, just like taxes and coercion are the very nature of government. Because government has the power of the sword and punishes those who do not pay the taxes which the government claims they are owed, governments cannot do charity. It is a fundamental impossibility, because of the nature of charity, and the nature of government. When governments try to do charity, what actually happens is theft and redistribution of stolen goods, much like if a mugger robbed you of your wallet and gave some of your money to a hungry homeless person. Charity requires that you voluntarily give your money to the hungry homeless person, but taxes, like muggings, are never voluntary. Recognizing this fact, we should all work diligently to get government out of the faux charity business.

Principle 2

Any "right" one person has must not impose any obligation on any other person, other than to leave that person alone. You have a right to life, and that means I have an obligation to not murder you. You have a right to free speech, and that means I have an obligation to not muzzle you. You have a right to your own property, and that means I have an obligation to not steal from you. You have a right to bear arms, and that means I have an obligation not to prevent you from doing so. These are all examples of true rights. But some people claim that there are other rights, such as a "right to health care". There can *never* be such a right, because if you have a right to health care, it must mean that somebody else has an *obligation* to provide it for you. But the very nature of true rights is that other people can only be obligated to leave you alone. No other obligations can be imposed upon other people to supply you with your "rights". Those are not rights at all, they are in fact *theft*. Recognizing this fact, we should all work diligently to get government out of the business of providing these false "rights", which are not rights at all, but examples of gross government corruption. They are examples of one group of people using the power of government for their own benefit, at the expense of the masses who must pay the taxes.

Principle 3 (for Christians only)

"Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me." Jesus said that. He meant it. But he said it to *individuals*, not governments. Jesus did not tell people to go and change the government so that the government would do good things for other people; Jesus told people to go and do those good things themselves! Jesus did not tell people to set up a socialistic, or communistic, or fascistic government. He said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and unto God what is God's." You *are* your brothers' keeper. You *do* have an obligation to care for them, to help them, and to love them. In fact, you have an obligation to care for, help, and love your *enemies*. You need to do this personally. But if you try to get the government to do this for you, on your behalf, you only turn yourself into a promoter of theft and redistribution of stolen goods.

Joined: 3/17/2009
Msg: 54
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/24/2009 6:37:12 PM
A Szibinyani Jank asked:

"If you don't work you don't eat."

I never read the Bible. Where in it says that?

% For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order:
% if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.
% 2 Thess 3:10

The Bible teaches free market capitalism; it is manifestly opposed to socialism.

Joined: 6/7/2008
Msg: 55
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/24/2009 7:33:40 PM

The Bible teaches free market capitalism; it is manifestly opposed to socialism.
No it it not.
People are told to work and share "They went from house to house" Paul made sure that people knew not to just pay for a person who was being what some call a "rice Christian" people who only hang out for a hand out never doing anything for any one. As I said before basic needs for every one and needs and wants to the ones who can afford them.
Joined: 3/17/2009
Msg: 56
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/24/2009 9:15:59 PM
I said:

The Bible teaches free market capitalism; it is manifestly opposed to socialism.

vvendy replied:

No it it not.

But I also cited a wealth of published material to support my position. Most of the published material I cited is freely available online. Only one book that I cited requires you go to a bookstore or a library. Here are the links to that printed material, once again:

Furthermore, the material I posted has been written by both Protestants and Catholics. I urge you to read it, and become thoroughly familiar with it.

In order to seriously criticize my position, you are going to have to address all of the logical, rational, and scriptural arguments give in that written material. It is not going to be an easy task. It will take you several weeks to read through it all. (But it will be worth it!)

The first link, to some of the writings of Gary North, is to the writings of a man who has made it his entire life's work to produce an economic commentary on the Bible. Since you cited verses from the book of Acts in order to support your (misguided and unBiblical) position, you should first read Gary's commentary on the book of Acts. As Dr. North states, the socialists cite the book of Acts quite often, because they do not understand it. Rather than the book of Acts teaching socialism, it teaches free market capitalism, just like all of the Bible does. Here is a link to Dr. North's commentary on the book of Acts:

Here is a very short proof that the Bible teaches capitalism: "Thou shall not steal." (Exod 20:15) Stealing would not be possible if property were truly held in common. The fact that stealing is possible indicates that private property exists, and the rights of the owner of that private property ought not be violated.

You have almost certainly had something stolen from you during your life. Your reaction to this theft was proper and correct. You were likely angry, and perhaps even righteously indignant. Theft is wrong. It is immoral. It is evil. Theft violates God's law. The just man will not steal. The man who loves God, and who loves his fellow man, will not steal. Theft is sin. When you suffered the theft of your property, you were hurt. You suffered evil. You know that you were wronged. This would only be possible in the case that private property does in fact exist, and ought to exist. In a truly socialistic or communistic universe, you would have no right to be angry about somebody else helping themselves to your stuff, because it would be theirs just as much as it was yours. But that is not the actual world we live in. The fact that you were hurt when you had something stolen from you is proof that private property does in fact exist, and ought to exist. The fact that the Bible teaches "Thou shalt not steal" proves that the Bible teaches capitalism, and is very much against socialism and communism.

Once again, I urge you (and everybody else) to cut and paste the links above into their browsers, and start reading. Read Dr. North's free books. Buy and read Dr. Woods' book. And just in case you are a socialist or communist, I also strongly recommend reading "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators" by David Chilton. Here is a link where you can download it free of charge:

Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 57
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/25/2009 5:15:29 AM

Furthermore, the material I posted has been written by both Protestants and Catholics. I urge you to read it, and become thoroughly familiar with it.

Whether or not the Bible supports capitalism or socialism there is a HUGE flaw in this reasoning: people who do not subscribe to the Judeo/Xtian teachings couldn't care less what the Bible exhorts us to do. I am pagan, and I am not going to do something because a book tells me I should.

Jesus also said to give away your belongings for the poor!

you would not sit back and watch someone drown in a lake would you if you knew how to swim?

There is a flaw with this, per your "if" you knew how to swim--I can't swim. I can barely keep myself afloat, and I stay out of deep water. Anyone who risks swimming in an undertow will drown while I stand on the shore watching because I am NOT going down with him/her.

In addition, if a parent is negligent enough to allow a small child near the water without supervision or with lax supervision and that child drowns, the parents will be charged with negligence.

EIC is quite simply welfare for working people that still don't earn enough to contribute to the finacial burdens of keeping this great country running smoothly.

The goal of any "welfare" program should be to make people self-sufficient. I claimed the EIC for several years when I was getting my MA, but once I graduated, I was and am able to make enough money to support myself. I don't make a lot of money, but I do better than many who make more. Recently, I applied for a loan to buy a house. The loan officer asked me how much I made per year then asked if I have a savings. I replied in the affirmative and told him how much. For a moment, there was silence at his end of the phone and then he asked, "Is that $oo, 000 or $0,000?) I told him it was the five digit number and said, "I am frugal."

I am frugal because of my years making poverty line wages.

The octomom is not a quick fix. In fact, she could earn (when is she going to return to work?) a heck of a lot of money and still qualify for "money back" because of her extensive family. I forecast that she will not work toward making a secure financial situation for herself and her brood. She will rely on the kindness of strangers, government handouts, the book she is going to have ghost written, and the movie that will be made.

How many times do we save drowning people who INSIST on swimming in dangerous waters? When a parent looks at his/her child enter the water and does nothing to stop the child, or even aids that child, do we pat that parent on the back and reward him/her?

I won't buy the book or see the movie--I am too frugal and don't waste my money on things other than red shoes.
Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 58
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/25/2009 7:49:02 AM

There is a flaw with this, per your "if" you knew how to swim--I can't swim. I can barely keep myself afloat, and I stay out of deep water. Anyone who risks swimming in an undertow will drown while I stand on the shore watching because I am NOT going down with him/her.

In addition, if a parent is negligent enough to allow a small child near the water without supervision or with lax supervision and that child drowns, the parents will be charged with negligence.

But you just said it yourself.... you can't swim so it isn't your money she would be receiving... I took what you said that you don't earn enough to be responsible for having any tax liability, so if it is not your money then again... why do you care.

The people that DO have a tax liability and DO pay to keep this countries social functions working understand that a society is only as advanced as the least member among us. So if we allow someone starve that does not have a choice then it is a reflection on the society as a whole.

personally I am one of the people that believes the simple way is the best way.

The tax code is so messed up and i feel it is partially responsable for many to NOT strive to earn more. when you look at facts and figures there seems to be a invisable barrier that many fail to push through because once you are past it you owe more.

I am one that thinks we should have a strait 10% flat tax all the way down the line. so if you make $10,000 a year or $10,000,000 a year you will still need to pay a flat 10% tax. on your income. Then have a flat 10% sales tax as well.

super simple... closes up all loopholes because they way it is now people think that the government steals your money but then scream that they want the people from government to protect their rights, freedoms, and defend them from attackers.

people hate taxes and don't want to pay them but they want the rewards that those taxes pay for. And as I said before... the sad part is most of the ones screaming the loudest don't even have a income high enough to really justify their whining and complaining.

take a step back .... How many times have you complained about sales tax while at the store? Then after leaving the store see a drunk driver swearving all over the road.... what would you do?.... maybe pick up your cell phone and call the cops to come and arrest that drunk to keep YOU protected from him/her right?????????

imagine the day you would call 911 and hear the tone "Im sorry the number you were dialing has been disconected at the owners request..... because people considered paying for those luxuries and protections was theft"

You would be pissed right? I mean shoot the cops are suppose to be there to protect YOU!!! even IF you are not willing to help pay for them.

So those in our society that DO understand how the system works and where that money really comes from vote in people that will represent us. So now we have all these groups of people forming up to make the choices now by voting in who they want yet the vast majority of them are puppets.

Their votes get manipulated when they don't even have a clue what the hell they are voting on....they don't know because they are not contributing to how it works.

Look at it this way..... Imagine this.... you worked hard and went and picked up your paycheck then I came in and started telling you what you need to spend your money on..... you would not take kindly for me to walk into YOUR house and start telling you that "$x" will be used to pay for "y" and too bad you don't get a say in how your own money is spent.

That is not any differance at all than someone with a zero tax liability trying to tell everyone else that does pay taxes what they should spend that on.....

seriously... think about it. it isn't your money that is being spent... so why should you care?

and if you do care then you are not any different than someone walking into YOUR house and trying to tell you how to divide up your income when they didn't have a hand in earning it. you just get to sit back and enjoy the safety and security and the social order that other peoples incomes paid for...... oh yeah and your right to voice out that people are spending someone elses money wrong.....

So i say since the latest trend is to have even people that don't help pay the bills to stand up and bytch and complain then fine... level out the playing field... make everyone equaly responsable...

everyone from the bum panhandling on the street corner all the way to the media mogal making billions from displaying suffering, injustices, and real life horrors

Freedom isn't free you know...... so if you have to pay the same ratio even if you only make 10,000 a year as you would if you made 100,000 a year which do you think people would rather earn?

We will always have poor among us.... but we don't need to have so damn many poor.

I asked a bunch of people in lower income area's why they don't make more money.... I was shocked at what the response was.... boiled down it was.. "Why should i bother making more money?... I i did make more money the government would just take it...the more i make the more they take"

I was shocked.... so if that is holding people back then simple.... make it the same for jane welfare mom as it is for bob factory worker, as it is for joe plumber and even mr CEO everyone taxed the same ratio and i would bet poverty would be greatly reduced

This kinda got a bit off topic but needed to to make my point which is again.... it isn't your damn money that would be used to take care of the children so why the hell do you or would you even think you have a right to even complain?

If it bothers you then fine work harder earn more money so that you can actully help keep this country working and then you will have a justified gripe... but then of course i would bet you would then take an ACTIVE role in making sure things are done right instead of whinning looking around saying "someone should do something" if not you then who?

just my opinions .....make sure you understand what it is your actully voting about... an un educated voter is just as bad as a thug with a gun.
Joined: 4/2/2009
Msg: 59
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/25/2009 8:05:30 AM
"The Bible teaches free market capitalism; it is manifestly opposed to socialism."

Two considerations spring to mind from this literally incredible belief.

The longer lived and less famous co-author of the Communist Manifesto noted that, "Marx wouldn't agree to be called a modern Marxist." And further underscoring the human animal's limitless capacity to paint it's best interests the colour of right -Heuy Long, who when asked if he thought fascism could ever overtake North America replied, "Yes, but we will call it anti-fascism."

If Jesus was a Capitalist, Ghengis Kahn was a pascifist.
Joined: 12/17/2008
Msg: 60
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/25/2009 6:49:57 PM
I'd say none! I'd also call your Prof an idiot and delusional. We are owed a healthy and happy life from our Parents and then we need to stand on our own 2 feet. If one works hard and makes something of themselves then they deserve the rewards that come with it. sit on your rear end and do nothing, then you should starve. As far as ethical responsibilites, you have a responsibility to society to pull your own weight.
If people need some help to get back on their feet fine, get a handout but get your butt moving again. Born disabled and can't work then okay help that person out because they truly need it otherwise no free rides on my back unless I chose to give it.
Joined: 6/7/2008
Msg: 61
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/26/2009 5:03:24 PM
I found a thread where we can post about our disagreement. Please do a search for Jesus was a socialist" to find it. This topic is really interesting and I would like to get back to it.

In class one of my students wondered why the octomom sent away her help. I said I do not know for sure but if I was her I would only send them away if I felt they only came to spy and report on my family. I think that if the older kids help her with the younger ones she can get them one schedule and raise them like a lot of people with big families do. Older siblings help the younger ones.
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 62
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/26/2009 8:36:36 PM

I'd say none! I'd also call your Prof an idiot and delusional.

C'mon, golfer! Tell us what you really think!

I think that if the older kids help her with the younger ones she can get them one schedule and raise them like a lot of people with big families do. Older siblings help the younger ones.

That might be an option when ALL the kids are older, but not with eight infants in the house with siblings who are much older.

Also, the question of what is "owed" extends to those older children. SHOULD they be responsible to play "Mommy"? I have seen children assume the role of parent for the younger siblings and I don't think it is healthy. Children should have responsibilities and chores, but they shouldn't be raising other children.
Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 63
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/28/2009 9:50:13 PM

Also, the question of what is "owed" extends to those older children. SHOULD they be responsible to play "Mommy"? I have seen children assume the role of parent for the younger siblings and I don't think it is healthy. Children should have responsibilities and chores, but they shouldn't be raising other children.

exactly... why should they have to give up their childhood just because their mother made a very bad choice..... I would think that exceeds chores and would be considered more in the terms of slavery or child labor where most of their days would be spent slaving away to care for their younger siblings.
 A szibinyani Jank
Joined: 4/7/2009
Msg: 64
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/29/2009 1:59:04 AM
Who is to decide which of the eight of the same age would act as mommy? Drawing matches? Voting? Taking turns?
Joined: 1/13/2007
Msg: 65
view profile
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/29/2009 3:49:40 AM
without a sense of history its easy to get lost in fairy tale stories involving a constantly mutating fantasy starring yourself.. a common carryover is a blurred sense of what is a right and what is an opportunity.. Medical care isnt a right..its a service that needs to be paid isnt a right..a safe place to live isnt a ,clean air , water...all of these things are part of a cooperative effort .. but none are rights..we have to earn them..all we can reasonably hope to sustain is an opportunity for any of us to gain what we need and are willing to work for. Improving your quality of life is the best reward for working harder and smarter. the surplus created by hard work is reasonably shared with those physically unable to competetively function

but lets all be the broadest division of members of our species..there are those willing to work for what they get and those wanting a free ride...
Thats why a good work ethic has to be both taught to our children and the example set by their parents.. nothing is free ..except starvation and a premature death.
Joined: 4/2/2009
Msg: 66
What is Owed?
Posted: 4/29/2009 8:57:32 PM
Re: food ,clean air , water...all of these things are part of a cooperative effort .. but none are rights..

Without these no human life transpires. If they don't quailfy right is without meaning.
Joined: 7/7/2011
Msg: 67
What is Owed?
Posted: 7/13/2011 8:05:07 AM
a tube tie-ing

can't feed'em don't breed'em

nobody pays my bills when a car pulls out in front of me & I break a leg riding.......and the immigrant/low life " 28" rims" owner has no insurance

Joined: 7/20/2012
Msg: 68
What is Owed?
Posted: 7/25/2012 7:19:25 PM
We owe her the experience of learning how to take care of her own responsibilities on her own. And we owe her thought process a prayer or five.
Joined: 5/19/2012
Msg: 69
What is Owed?
Posted: 8/2/2012 6:42:24 PM
Well considering we have the ability to give everyone on this planet the basics to live. Shelter food medicine education. The only reason why we don't is because most of the wealth is controlled my a small minority world wide and they manipulate the rest of us to being just like them.

Does every child deserve food in their stomach a roof over their head and quality education as well as medical help? if you answer yes then why does not an adult
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 70
view profile
What is Owed?
Posted: 8/3/2012 12:01:07 AM
“What is Owed?” To the mother: nothing To the children: ? The children are guiltless and blameless but so are the millions of other children who live in poverty – what do we do for them? The answer depends on what the legal guidelines of her state of residence require. Either ‘mom’ will find a way, like begging for assistance on the internet, to keep things together, or she won’t. If she doesn’t then the kids will fall into neglect and the state can legally foster them out until ‘mom’ can prove she can care for them. If her solution is illegal, then she can go to prison and her kids can legally be fostered out.

The state can’t do much more for the woman without being unfair to thousands of other people. And as some have suggested we must feel a sense of ought, in this case for the children, and indeed we do, which is why we agree to have some portion of tax revenue allotted for making sure children are cared for.

About the question: “What is Owed?” ; is that what you really wanted to ask or are you more interested in possible ‘generalized’ solutions for the future?
Joined: 5/19/2012
Msg: 71
What is Owed?
Posted: 8/3/2012 12:28:32 PM
If a guy leaves her and she is left to her devices for the betterment of society in general as well as her children she is owed help to get on her feet and to get into the work place with a decent paying job that will enable the children to be looked after when they are not in school.

You do realize that foster care is far worse for a child unless the kid is being abused. If the parent is not making enough and the economy is down where they used to have a decent job. Is it the parents fault then?
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 72
What is Owed?
Posted: 9/25/2012 7:17:55 AM
1. None of the posts I have read so far acknowledge that we ALREADY do this, to a certain extent.
2. Just look at the contemporary U.S. Virtually no one has starved to death or died of thirst in decades. Yes, there are rare exceptions, people who are illegally abducted, forcibly neglected children, hunger strikers and so on, but such situations are exceedingly rare.
3. A naysayer will certainly refer to homelessness, and with reason. But the overwhelmingly vast majority of the homeless, are homeless because of mental health issues and addictions. If someone is homeless because they willingly spend every cent they can get their hands on, on alcohol or some addictive drug, the reality is that they are homeless by choice, and it's harder for the rest of us to do much about that. If someone refuses to take advantage of available shelter because it is only made available if they are sober, again, that is homelessness by choice. The vast majority of deaths due to exposure to the elements are traceable to some choice made by the person doing the dying.
4. The number of people who are mauled or eaten by wild or domestic animals is very small. The number of people mauled or eaten by animals who did not willingly go out in the woods in the first place and expose themselves to those animals is even smaller.

The basic point is that our definition of "poverty" is pretty close to what counted as a very comfortable existence for the vast majority of human history. This whole debate is really about the free distribution of luxuries.
Joined: 7/2/2012
Msg: 73
What is Owed?
Posted: 9/25/2012 10:53:38 AM
Despite what we think is morally right or wrong - the fact is that we are just not set up as a society to support this type of culture (work only if you want to), nor are we wired that way mentally ( we don't look fondly on those who don't work in some capacity). We have evolved to seek reward for efforts and have advanced with this principle.

And, I think in all likelihood, even if a culture like this could be set up, the need for survival would only bring us back to requiring the able-bodied to work regardless of what they wanted. I doubt there would be an acceptable balance otherwise, and the culture would fail. Unless it could be set up with some sort of acceptable, choice 'leave of absence' that was for a set period. Currently, it's 2 weeks for most per year.
Joined: 7/2/2012
Msg: 74
What is Owed?
Posted: 9/25/2012 6:17:34 PM

Here's a bit of news..... nobody is giving you two weeks paid, you earned it. The two weeks off are factored into your pay level, as are all other benefits that you receive........ nobody is giving you anything, you are just getting that bit less in your salary that those "benefits" are costing the employer. I also do not think that "We have evolved to seek reward for efforts and have advanced with this principle." In order for that to happen, then it would be possible to pass on memories via DNA........ just doesn't happen. Mankind has always demanded pay, or rewards, for effort expended. That is nothing new, neither is the fact that those who don't work are looked upon with scorn. I see no reason to work while others sit on their asses and DEMAND what is OWED them...................

You just proved my point. There is no way to establish the sort of society the OP mentions with our current evolutionary thought processes. You are quite correct, sir.
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 75
view profile
What is Owed?
Posted: 9/25/2012 10:03:32 PM

What else could it be, because ALL of those situations that you listed are covered. While there are people who really need just a temporary hand up, the rest seemingly take advantage of the benefits. Now I know that there will be a plethora of bleeding hearts who will decry what I write, but you really need to start thinking your way through life, instead of feeling your way through life.

Thinking without knowledge and the skill or ability to think critically is the difference between maintaining false stereotypical biases and well thought out conclusions. For Example:

Hispanics and Blacks continued to be much more likely than Whites and Asians to be among the working poor. In 2010, 14.1 percent of Hispanics and 12.6 percent of Blacks were among the working poor, compared with 6.5 percent of Whites and 4.8 percent of Asians.

Reference: A Profile of the Working Poor, 2010 - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Some people could read the whole report and walk away from it, convinced that the problem rests in the quote above.

For many people, the answer to better thinking is better education. So here it is. To assist in making some points, I have accessed the PDF (referenced above) for my quotes.

How do we define poverty?

The actual poverty thresholds vary with the makeup of the family. In 2010, the average poverty threshold for a family of four was $22,314; for a family of nine or more persons, the threshold was $45,220; and for an unrelated individual aged 65 years or older, it was $10,458. Poverty thresholds are updated each year, to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The thresholds do not vary geographically.

Income. Data on income are limited to money income—before personal income taxes and payroll deductions—received in the calendar year preceding the CPS supplement. Data on income do not include the value of noncash benefits, such as food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, and employer-provided benefits.

Someone had mentioned luxuries – well let’s differentiate between necessity and luxuries.
A place to live, that has windows & doors protecting against the elements, (in my neighborhood, boards often make due) and electricity, a working furnace, a full working bathroom, hot & cold running water. Appliances – are they necessary? Well, preparing your food and being able to safely store it is a lot cheaper than going out to eat, so we should consider stove & refrigerator/freezer to be necessities. It doesn’t sound like too much does it? Don’t be surprised however, to learn that many people who work, do have all those things and they are just the barest of necessity.

Other necessities: food, healthcare products, detergents, paper products, clothes

If you live inner-city buses are usually available and some cities (like Chicago) have a pretty far reaching train system, but the train station are often miles away from the only place you can afford to live. And busses are not especially useful for people with children nor are they very useful for taking the families laundry to a pay per load laundry. So for most people, some form of independent transportation is necessary, and gas, oil changes, tire maintenance, car repairs and fuel.

Add to necessities, a vehicle AND car insurance. And when was the last time you saw a coin operated telephone and how miles apart did they appear? Add a phone to the necessities and while we’re at it – health insurance, dental & eye care insurance – they are necessary if a person wants to continue to be an able bodied employee, are they not? The last time I had a tooth extracted, it cost $300 and before I opted for corrective surgery (12 years ago) the estimate for an eye exam & glasses was about $600. Those are fees that are not possible on poverty level wages – unfortunately most of the working poor can’t even afford healthcare insurance.

Young workers are more vulnerable to poverty than are older age groups, in part because earnings are lower for young workers, and their unemployment rate is higher. In 2010, among youths who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more, 14.4 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds and 15.5 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds were in poverty, about double the rate for workers age 35 to 44 (7.3 percent). Workers age 45 to 54 (4.9 percent), 55 to 64 (3.4 percent), and 65 and older (2.0 percent) had lower working-poor rates than did other age groups in 2010.

The young, between 16 and 24 often have children and may even be a married couple with children.

In 2010, 5.3 million families were living below the poverty level, despite having at least one member in the labor force for half the year or more, little different than the 2009 figure.

The proportion of families with children age 18 years and younger that lived in poverty was 12.7 percent, in contrast to 2.8 percent for families without children. About 28.2 percent of families maintained by a woman with children under the age of 18 were in poverty.

Consider the cost of raising children. Of course if you’ve never had children you will need to do some deep thinking.

There are three major labor market problems that can hinder a worker’s ability to earn an income above the poverty threshold: low earnings, periods of unemployment, and involuntary part-time employment. (See the technical note for detailed definitions.)
In 2010, 84 percent of the working poor who usually worked full time experienced at least one of the major labor market problems. Low earnings continued to be the most common problem, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent) subject to low earnings, either alone or in combination with other labor market problems. About 42 percent experienced unemployment alone or in conjunction with other problems.

A more accurate view of people who use the safety nets, that so many call welfare, are people that want to work and are willing to work but their livelihoods are not stable, and low pay amounts to NO savings to pad for medical bills, major car repairs, or just forced part-time work (because of weather, or sales being down). One incident and the person or family STEP into the revolving welfare system.

But poverty is not always the result of living at its edge – natural disasters (we’ve had a number of them in the last several years) can leave people homeless, desolate, and without a job. How many people who survived Katrina ended up hitching their way out of the city, even the state, just to find work. Some of those people were in the welfare system for years, and even for those who are still in the system, they are not always at fault, many work part-time but they are unskilled workers, who had to start with NOTHING.

I hope some people have gained a slightly different perspective from this information. Anyone can find themselves homeless, jobless, living in poverty.

xane_111 Msg. 89 put into proper perspective:

So the question isn't really about 'whats owed' and alot more about whats better:

-Help those who need it with a few people taking advantage of the situation
-Help no one including those who need it to stop the minority that could take advantage.
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 76
What is Owed?
Posted: 9/26/2012 11:57:45 AM

1. "Because of the stigma, lack of rehabilitation, lack of change [in the] environment that generates this behaviou[r], said person will also spend much of his time out of prison on state benefits and housing assistance."

You are omitting the voluntary choices a person makes to engage in criminal behavior, as a cause of that behavior.

Re-labeling a series of conscious decisions to engage in criminal behavior as "lack of rehabilitation" is excuse-making, especially if one considers the fact that the number of crimes people are actually apprehended and punished for, is generally a tip-of-the-iceberg fraction of the number of crimes they commit, for which they are never punished.

None of these "environmental" excuses for criminal behavior are remotely convincing-- for every person that re-offends, one can easily point to others in nearly identical circumstances who do not. For every person that offends, one can easily to point to others in nearly identical circumstances who do not offend at all.

2. "Are you just going to stop all help of all situations because some people behave in this fashion?" That is a textbook example of the rhetorical technique of false dichotomy. The situation is presented as if we only had two public-policy choices, to help no one in need, or to help everyone in need, regardless of the role of their own choices in creating their own problems. There is no particular reason why assessment of personal responsibility should not factor into eligibility for assistance. If anything, such an element would remove much of the basis for attack against benefit programs on the basis that they are abused by the undeserving.

3. As for the causes of homelessness, I could easily be convinced that your estimate of 1/3 is conservative.

That being said: (1) persistence in drug "addiction" is very much a matter of personal choice, contrary to prevalent mythology, (2) previous criminality is, again, a product of choice far more than environmental factors, (3) "significant issues in life" is so broad as to be meaningless-- homelessness itself is a "significant issue". Just because someone who is homeless does not want to be homeless, does not mean that homelessness is not an overwhelmingly predictable consequence of choices they made. If you spend the rent money on drugs, you will wind up homeless, it's predictable. There's a big difference between that, and not having the rent money because you lost your job.

Probably the majority of people who go on "social assistance" get off social assistance and become pr0ductive. But there is a big difference between looking at the total population who ever receive social assistance, and the total population who are on social assistance at any given time. You can easily have a majority of "temporary" recipients among all recipients, while the majority of recipients at any given time are in fact permanent or semi-permanent recipients, that is just basic statistics.

It's a false dichotomy, once more, to assume that we have to have the same policies in dealing with "temporary" recipients of social assistance as chronic recipients.

4. As for your own situation, xane_111, you are probably an example of both the causes of much of the problem and the solution. You have certainly learned from experience that sending out applications for advertised jobs has a low success rate, and that education and credentials are no guarantee of a job.

First off, no one should be looking for a job in that fashion unless they have no other choice, it just does not work well as a technique. Second, if what you really wanted to do was start your own business, sending out applications was a waste of time, really misguided effort. Third, and more importantly, entrepreneurship ought to be the *first* choice, not the last option.
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