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Should Poverty Be Comfortable?

by WhoWee
Tags: comfortable, poverty
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thephysicsman
#37
Jan26-11, 01:59 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by WhoWee View Post
Social security is funded through payroll deductions and matching tax.
That is, through initiation of force.

Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
That's like saying that we should rely on a person's self discipline and morality instead of enforcing laws(on criminals, theives and the like).
No, it's nothing even close to it. The funciton of the law is to protect us against criminals who want to steal our money - not to help the criminals to do so.

There will always be people who can't help themselves
And there will always be people who want to help. Because, as you put it:

we are humans and we have compassion.
Problem is you can't rely on everyone to have compassion.
You don't have to rely on everyone to have it.
Evo
#38
Jan26-11, 02:15 PM
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Quote Quote by thephysicsman View Post
That is, through initiation of force.
What force, or were you attempting to make a joke?
thephysicsman
#39
Jan26-11, 02:19 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
What force
Try to keep your own money, and you'll find out.
arildno
#40
Jan26-11, 02:20 PM
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Money has some extra values beyond the item you can buy with it:
You can buy something else for it instead, and you also have a freedom on the spending rate of your money.

It might be justified that those added values are precisely what people on welfare should be debarred from:
1. Money is not given out, but food articles, clothes etc.
2, Furthermore, the spending rate of their valuables can be controlled by limiting the amount they are given each time (possibly increasing the frequency of hand-outs).
Rather than giving the equivalent of a month's allowance (which could easily be frittered away in a day by bartering or re-selling), a daily allowance will probably reduce the percentage of abuse of welfare.

That such a situation might feel humiliating to the recipient is a rather irrelevant point. Because being in need is not the same as suffering an injustice.
russ_watters
#41
Jan26-11, 02:21 PM
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Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
The problem with solving welfare problems is that under our current system the value of money is diminishing without working any less.
No. Inflation has no bearing whatsoever on this issue. I think you are attributing more effects to inflation than it really has.
The gap between rich and poor will continue to grow. And that is equal to the welfare problem.
While it is popular these days to equate the two, they aren't really equal. In fact, I'd say equating the two contributes to the problem of reliance on government aid: when you base the definition of "poverty" on income inequality instead of standard of living, you create a situation where people receive handouts they don't need which decreases the incentive to work.
thephysicsman
#42
Jan26-11, 02:33 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
1. Money is not given out, but food articles, clothes etc.
2, Furthermore, the spending rate of their valuables can be controlled by limiting the amount they are given each time (possibly increasing the frequency of hand-outs).
Rather than giving the equivalent of a month's allowance (which could easily be frittered away in a day by bartering or re-selling), a daily allowance will probably reduce the percentage of abuse of welfare.
I agree, this kind of help is certainly more effective, and this is how I imagine it would be if social security was replaced by private charity.

That such a situation might feel humiliating to the recipient is a rather irrelevant point. Because being in need is not the same as suffering an injustice.
Good point.

Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
when you base the definition of "poverty" on income inequality instead of standard of living, you create a situation where people receive handouts they don't need which decreases the incentive to work.
Exactly! I see no problems with income inequality, but I do see a lot of problems with inequalities of justice.
brainstorm
#43
Jan26-11, 02:46 PM
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Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
So you have to take their money by force through taxes or else the burden would fall on the shoulders of only the compassionate, giving people without compassion a financial advantage.
The problem with this is that not everyone's money is worth the same thing. What I mean by this is that when a well-earning attorney or other professional is taxed for compassion, their labor does not contribute anything to the poor. Instead, their money gets paid to someone who works in a grocery store to give food to the poor. The forced exchange that took place through taxation and governed spending is that the grocery store workers feed the poor and in exchange they get free attorney service, or whatever the person does who paid the taxes. But who says that the grocery store worker WANTS to work harder just because the attorney paid more taxes? See, the problem is not just distributing money and resources, it's distributing preferred and less-preferred forms of labor.

The problem is getting the money to the right people and leaving able minds and bodies to fend for themselves like everyone else. It needs to be case by case rather than just giving money to anyone below a certain income. Hiring social workers to weed out the people that don't really need the money would certainly be more efficient than just handing out money to anyone that says they need it.
Again, from the grocery store worker's perspective, or food-server, etc. paying the social worker just creates one more person they have to cook and clean for, along with the "truly needy person" who gets money to buy groceries and buy fast food because the social worker felt really bad for them. The question is why both the social worker AND needy person can't work in the food service industry that they need money to patronize? If they need money to pay for a house or apartment, why can't they work in the construction industry, etc.? There are obviously reasons why not everyone can and does work in these industries but the issue is why can't the people in need be trained or otherwise work in some way that reduces the burden of the service class who don't like their work?


Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
Anyone would have to agree with this on the basis that anybody given a choice between working for a paycheck or recieving an equal paycheck without working would take the free money. I know I would! The problem with solving welfare problems is that under our current system the value of money is diminishing without working any less. That has to be changed just the same. The gap between rich and poor will continue to grow. And that is equal to the welfare problem. Or rather that is equal to unemployment and other subsidies given to people that want to work but can't find any or can't make enough to pay their bills due to economic circumstances that are out of their control. Bottom line is you can't give money to able minds and bodies for nothing. It is obviously not fair to those that work.
Yes, but the problem is that those that work don't want to cut their hours to create more jobs for the unemployed. It's a catch 22. They want maximum hours for maximum pay and job security, but they don't want to do anything to help those that are structurally unemployed as a result of there being too few jobs. How can you horde jobs and work-hours and then complain that other people need to work instead of getting a handout?
BilPrestonEsq
#44
Jan26-11, 03:11 PM
P: 220
Originally Posted by BilPrestonEsq
That's like saying that we should rely on a person's self discipline and morality instead of enforcing laws(on criminals, theives and the like).
THEPHYSICSMAN:No, it's nothing even close to it. The funciton of the law is to protect us against criminals who want to steal our money - not to help the criminals to do so.
Actually it is exactly the same. Laws are in place because we cannot depend on people to discipline themselves just as we cannot depend on people to have compassion for others.

THEPHYSICSMAN: There will always be people who can't help themselves
And there will always be people who want to help. Because, as you put it:we are humans and we have compassion.
THEPHYSICSMAN:You don't have to rely on everyone to have it.
That is exactly what will create a financial incentive to be without compassion. That is why the burden will fall on those that do have compassion. How is that fair?
How will that not create the same inequality with corporations for example that don't care about the ecological consequences of their actions and those that do. The ones that don't care end up making more profit than the ones that do care. Same as the people that don't care about those without the means to suppert themselves end up with more money as they are not burdened with those feelings of compassion.
thephysicsman
#45
Jan26-11, 03:23 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
Laws are in place because we cannot depend on people to discipline
Laws are in place because we need protection against criminals. If you admit the principle that it is the duty of the government to discipline people, why not prevent people from eating junk food?

we cannot depend on people to have compassion for others.
Yes, we can. There have always been compassionate people. Compassion is part of human nature.

why the burden will fall on those that do have compassion. How is that fair?
It's not a burden! People with real compassion help because they want to help. They enjoy it! It's a win-win situation.
BilPrestonEsq
#46
Jan26-11, 03:29 PM
P: 220
[QUOTE]
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
No. Inflation has no bearing whatsoever on this issue. I think you are attributing more effects to inflation than it really has.
I would like to keep this on topic but the proof of inflation(money supply vs. purchasing power) is clearly laid out in the graphs in my last post on the 'Is Modern Banking Fraudulent?' thread. This does have an effect on all spending including entitlement spending
The sooner people realize the obvious mathematically impossiblity of a sustained economy through fractional reserve banking the better. If you would like to argue that we can in that thread. I felt it was necessary to make that point in my post on this thread seeing as I it was important to clarify different points in my argument.

While it is popular these days to equate the two, they aren't really equal. In fact, I'd say equating the two contributes to the problem of reliance on government aid: when you base the definition of "poverty" on income inequality instead of standard of living, you create a situation where people receive handouts they don't need which decreases the incentive to work.
Again same answer. Except for the part in bold which I couldn't agree with more. How is someone recieving the same amount of money through a handout going to have any incentive at all to work for the same money? There is no incentive.
arildno
#47
Jan26-11, 03:30 PM
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That is exactly what will create a financial incentive to be without compassion. That is why the burden will fall on those that do have compassion. How is that fair?
And why cannot this be counter-acted by demonizing, non-violent boycott campaigns?

For example:
"Do you want to trade with that OGRE?? Are you equally disgusting yourself?"

Nobody has a law-protected privilege to make money. Not even uncompassionate ogres.

The crucial point here is what are the morally justifiable actions to take against ogres.
Social ostracization and financial boycotting campaigns are no infringements on the ogre's rights.

If an ogre goes broke because people are disgusted by his lack of compassion, I fell no tears for him.
thephysicsman
#48
Jan26-11, 03:38 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
And why cannot this be counter-acted by demonizing, non-violent boycott campaigns?
Good point. But keep in mind that businesses are far more effective in helping people by doing business than by handing out their money. People tend to forget this. They seem to believe that the economy is a zero sum game, where one person's profit is another person's loss.
russ_watters
#49
Jan26-11, 03:48 PM
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Quote Quote by BilPrestonEsq View Post
This does have an effect on all spending including entitlement spending...
Not really, no - typically the spending is adjusted from year-to-year to eliminate the impact of inflation. It is for social security: http://www.boston.com/business/perso...ecurity_2.html

In other words, inflation has essentially no impact on Social Security spending/benefits.
arildno
#50
Jan26-11, 03:55 PM
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Quote Quote by thephysicsman View Post
Good point. But keep in mind that businesses are far more effective in helping people by doing business than by handing out their money
So?
I, and a zillion people are in our full right to boycott any one merchant, and advise others to do the same.
As long as we do not inspire people to this by lying and misrepresentation.

There is nothing more inherently admirable in doing business than walking your dog.

Making money is not some form of morally heroic act. (not that it is despicable, either)
brainstorm
#51
Jan26-11, 03:59 PM
P: 1,117
Quote Quote by thephysicsman View Post
Good point. But keep in mind that businesses are far more effective in helping people by doing business than by handing out their money. People tend to forget this. They seem to believe that the economy is a zero sum game, where one person's profit is another person's loss.
Well, actually higher profits raise profit expectations generally, which leads to competition for who can set prices the highest and lower costs the most. Higher prices reduce everyone's purchasing power, including the poor - but especially the poor because a greater proportion of their income goes to purchases instead of things like saving, insurance, investment, etc.

As for the effect of paying people to do compassionate work, I think it has the effect of creating a class of people who feign compassion because they know there's money in it. Also, once people are getting paid for something, they're more likely to refuse to do it when the money isn't there; I've read a little about this about when modern welfare state governments are responding to recession by making cuts in social services.

I think sometimes people help each other out for various reasons and that's wonderful but you can't rely on that. The best thing to help poverty, imo, is to make it possible to live better with less spending, both by supporting economic policies that lower prices and by promoting education and goods that make it possible for people to live more independently with less financial means. When people can save money by fixing their own roof leak or drain because they are intelligent enough to use the internet and/or innovate low-cost solutions, that is handy. Of course they still should have access to achieving the same standards of consumption as the middle-class, but maybe those standards need to come down some so there's enough to go around for the poor as well.
thephysicsman
#52
Jan26-11, 04:00 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
I, and a zillion people are in our full right to boycott any one merchant, and advise others to do the same.
Sure. You would be fools to do so, but that would be your right.

Making money is not some form of morally heroic act.
Making money involves productive work. If this is not heroic, what is?
BilPrestonEsq
#53
Jan26-11, 04:02 PM
P: 220
QUOTE=russ_watters;3104684]Not really, no - typically the spending is adjusted from year-to-year to eliminate the impact of inflation. It is for social security: http://www.boston.com/business/perso...ecurity_2.html

In other words, inflation has essentially no impact on Social Security spending/benefits.[/QUOTE]

The money needed to subsidize social security to adjust for inflation has to come from somewhere else. Where do suppose the money comes from?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GAO_Slide.png
thephysicsman
#54
Jan26-11, 04:16 PM
P: 89
Quote Quote by brainstorm View Post
Well, actually higher profits raise profit expectations generally, which leads to competition for who can set prices the highest and lower costs the most. Higher prices reduce everyone's purchasing power, including the poor - but especially the poor because a greater proportion of their income goes to purchases instead of things like saving, insurance, investment, etc.
In a free market you can only make money by providing consumers with something for which they willingly pay. How on Earth can this lower their purchasing power?

I think sometimes people help each other out for various reasons and that's wonderful but you can't rely on that.
You can. It doesn't take many compassionate people to help the very few who will need help in a free society.

The best thing to help poverty, imo, is to make it possible to live better with less spending, both by supporting economic policies that lower prices
This is impossible. A free market is the only way to lower prices.


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