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(NPR)   What happens when you give money with no strings attached to the poor? Do they: A) spend it on hookers and blow; B) burn it to keep warm; or C) start up businesses and buy food for their children?   (npr.org) divider line 276
    More: Obvious, developing world, poor people, return on investments  
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10504 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Oct 2013 at 9:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-25 11:45:06 AM  

Wise_Guy: Tyrone Slothrop: odinsposse: HindiDiscoMonster: When the GOP hears this their heads will explode... I think we should get right on that.

Nope. What will happen is they will find one guy who spends it on something stupid like a gold rocket car and, out of the thousands who use their money to do good, that one guy will be held up as proof that this plan is absolutely broken and these poor people are useless drains on society.

And yet when rich people do stupid things with their money they think it's fine.

When rich people blow money it's generally not on someone else to pay for their mistake.


Except when they blow a LOT of money, and then they need multibillion dollar bailouts.
 
2013-10-25 11:47:44 AM  

BMFPitt: Pretending such things is your coping mechanism to justify not helping poor people and feeling like you do.  By assuming others don't, either.


It's cute that you automatically assume that I've never donated or volunteered. Someone's projecting.

\now's the part where you tell me that donating and volunteering isn't  really helping anybody.
 
2013-10-25 11:52:27 AM  

Carn: Fark_Guy_Rob: I'm afraid I'm going to stop responding to you.  You aren't replying to my comments, you are replying to a fictional adversary with unreasonable beliefs that you want to prove wrong.  This is my last attempt.....

Increasing the minimum wage would encourage people to choose work over welfare because people want to maximize their income.
Decreasing welfare benefits would encourage people to choose work over welfare because people want to maximize their income.

In that context, either option produces the same result.   IN THAT CONTEXT.

I'm not for or against either of them.  I'm just saying that either approach accomplishes the same thing.   Your suggestion is not the only reasonable response to the situation.

You're saying, as above, and as you did before, that these two things are equivalent, while ignoring all other factors, which is an intellectually worthless statement.  Sure, we could decrease welfare benefits, and it will be really bad for a lot of people, possibly resulting them into choosing to become members of the working poor instead of plain old poor, but nothing is gained.  Society still has to subsidize these people's lives, however we would have created a situation where it would then be impossible to make ends meet even through combined low-wage earnings and federal assistance.  We have people right now who work at Walmart, get federal assistance, and still are barely able to make ends meet.  If we decrease welfare, how exactly does that help those people?  Ignoring this is what makes your statement worthless.

Please enlighten me then, what else is a reasonable response.  Are you arguing, as it has seemed and I've been responding to, that a "reasonable response" is to decrease welfare?  That's what it sounds like you've been saying, and as I've been responding, that is at best a sociopathic response, not a reasonable one.


You can scroll up and verify; but this was our exchange....

Me:  "Perhaps most unsettling is the fact that in 33 states, welfare recipients make more than they would at an $8 per hour job. In fact, in 12 of those states, welfare recipients make more than they would at a $12 per hour job."
You: 'What an excellent argument for raising the minimum wage, doubling it in fact.'
Me:  'Or halving welfare.  The argument goes both ways.
 '

The 'excellent argument' you are talking about is directly in response to what I wrote.  '...welfare recipients make more than they would at an $8 per hour job'

You are claiming that this is an excellent argument for doubling the minimum wage.  That is the ONLY justification you gave.  That's it.  'Because welfare recipients make more than an $8 per hour job, we should double minimum wage'.

YOU:  IF X IS GREATER THAN Y - WE SHOULD DOUBLE Y SO THAT Y IS GREATER THAN X
ME:  Umm - or.....WE SHOULD HALVE X SO THAT Y IS GREATER THAN X

By your own words, 'excellent argument' supports cutting benefits exactly as much as increasing the minimum wage....but you only mentioned the part you wanted.  That's exactly the same as saying, 'I think we should double minimum wage' - which is fine.  But it's just an opinion without any supporting argument.  You can't say, 'If I flip a coin, it will be either heads or tails, therefore it will be tails'.  That doesn't make sense, and neither did your statement.
 
2013-10-25 11:55:30 AM  
i.qkme.me
 
2013-10-25 11:57:31 AM  

xalres: It's cute that you automatically assume that I've never donated or volunteered. Someone's projecting.


Yes, that is what I said to you.  Congrats on being able to read and understand.

\now's the part where you tell me that donating and volunteering isn't  really helping anybody.

So do you expect me to play along with your fantasy, or is your brain already autocorrecting this text right now to make that be what it says?
 
2013-10-25 12:07:13 PM  

BMFPitt: xalres: It's cute that you automatically assume that I've never donated or volunteered. Someone's projecting.

Yes, that is what I said to you.  Congrats on being able to read and understand.

\now's the part where you tell me that donating and volunteering isn't  really helping anybody.

So do you expect me to play along with your fantasy, or is your brain already autocorrecting this text right now to make that be what it says?


So what  did you mean by "Pretending such things is your coping mechanism to justify not helping poor people and feeling like you do.  By assuming others don't, either."?

Because to me it implies you think I pretend others using the coping mechanism I described is, in fact, my own coping mechanism to help me cope with my not helping. Maybe if you could be less obtuse people wouldn't misinterpret what you're trying to say.
 
2013-10-25 12:08:32 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: The 'excellent argument' you are talking about is directly in response to what I wrote.  '...welfare recipients make more than they would at an $8 per hour job'

You are claiming that this is an excellent argument for doubling the minimum wage.  That is the ONLY justification you gave.  That's it.  'Because welfare recipients make more than an $8 per hour job, we should double minimum wage'.

YOU:  IF X IS GREATER THAN Y - WE SHOULD DOUBLE Y SO THAT Y IS GREATER THAN X
ME:  Umm - or.....WE SHOULD HALVE X SO THAT Y IS GREATER THAN X

By your own words, 'excellent argument' supports cutting benefits exactly as much as increasing the minimum wage....but you only mentioned the part you wanted.  That's exactly the same as saying, 'I think we should double minimum wage' - which is fine.  But it's just an opinion without any supporting argument.  You can't say, 'If I flip a coin, it will be either heads or tails, therefore it will be tails'.  That doesn't make sense, and neither did your statement.


Yes, absolutely, ignoring anything else, they are two ways to solve the equation presented.  As I have been trying to argue and you repeatedly fail to acknowledge, they are far from equivalent on the effects that they would have on those concerned and society as a whole.
 
2013-10-25 12:11:06 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: trappedspirit: Fark_Guy_Rob: I've claimed that in many places, many people, can earn more by not working than they can from working.

[many citations needed]

/many

I've provided a link to a recent study.  By Fark standards that is pretty good.  Thus far, only one person (chimp_nina) has acknowledged it at all.  He raises good points, and many of them are addressed by the author's here:   http://www.cato.org/blog/work-vs-welfare-trade-response-critics

I haven't had time to actually read/process all of what chimp_ninja has written, and read the responses in the above link, and decide how exactly I feel about the issue.  Really though, it's not unreasonable to say that FOR AT LEAST SOME PEOPLE, not working pays as much as a minimum wage job, in the United States.  The question is really just a mater of what percentage.  Given that almost all of the needs-tested benefits consider income and dependents, while minimum wage does not scale up for dependents....

I also understand/acknowledge that working doesn't preclude benefits.  It's not an either or.

Still, it's hard to argue that a full-time job at minimum wage is in the best interest of a single mother with six children.


From the study: In 11 states, welfare pays more than the average pre-tax first year wage for a teacher.  In 39 states it pays more than the starting salary for a secretary.  And, in the 3 most generous states a person on welfare can take home more money than an entry-level computer programmer.

I checked on this in my state last year out of curiosity.  Just wondering what was available, not to enroll.  And it was sub-minimum wage.  I didn't consider that we were so far down the list as to be in the minority.  Early retirement in Massachusetts here I come!
 
2013-10-25 12:12:40 PM  
THE GREAT NAME:

Cultures have to lift themselves out of poverty. The only thing "we" can do to help is to protect them from tyranny (which necessarily includes not being a typrant yourself, something western libs, with their legendary lack of self-awareness, are rather bad at).

Yes, because it was certainly American liberals who have traditionally clamored to support dictators who promised to fight Communism.

Moron.
 
2013-10-25 12:15:31 PM  

Carn: Fark_Guy_Rob: I'm afraid I'm going to stop responding to you. You aren't replying to my comments, you are replying to a fictional adversary with unreasonable beliefs that you want to prove wrong. This is my last attempt.....

Increasing the minimum wage would encourage people to choose work over welfare because people want to maximize their income.
Decreasing welfare benefits would encourage people to choose work over welfare because people want to maximize their income.

In that context, either option produces the same result. IN THAT CONTEXT.

I'm not for or against either of them. I'm just saying that either approach accomplishes the same thing. Your suggestion is not the only reasonable response to the situation.

You're saying, as above, and as you did before, that these two things are equivalent, while ignoring all other factors, which is an intellectually worthless statement. Sure, we could decrease welfare benefits, and it will be really bad for a lot of people, possibly resulting them into choosing to become members of the working poor instead of plain old poor, but nothing is gained. Society still has to subsidize these people's lives, however we would have created a situation where it would then be impossible to make ends meet even through combined low-wage earnings and federal assistance. We have people right now who work at Walmart, get federal assistance, and still are barely able to make ends meet. If we decrease welfare, how exactly does that help those people? Ignoring this is what makes your statement worthless.

Please enlighten me then, what else is a reasonable response. Are you arguing, as it has seemed and I've been responding to, that a "reasonable response" is to decrease welfare? That's what it sounds like you've been saying, and as I've been responding, that is at best a sociopathic response, not a reasonable one.


How about this - three strikes and your out.  This is a harsh proposal and I understand that, however we are killing a lot of other people in the world and giving those doing the killing a 10% discount at retail stores, having special license plates made, and supporting our troops. Most of the people we eliminate have done nothing to the United States and we need to try out our new toys.   On to the proposal.

If your family has 3 generations and has chosen welfare as the primary income, your family will be considered an enemy of the state and be given the choice to leave or be eliminated.

Well said regarding the subsidizing of those making minimum wage.  It is a point that very few understand or bother to think about.  By shopping at WallMart and other retailers known for paying as little as possible when purchasing an item for 30 cents less a person is actually choosing higher taxes and less income.  That item will end up costing them more than if they went to a respectable retailer.
 
2013-10-25 12:15:34 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2013-10-25 12:16:28 PM  
I only spend money on hookers because I support small business women.
 
2013-10-25 12:16:48 PM  

xalres: Because to me it implies you think I pretend others using the coping mechanism I described is, in fact, my own coping mechanism to help me cope with my not helping.


Yes, the second line quote is a subset of that.
 
2013-10-25 12:22:06 PM  

BMFPitt: xalres: Because to me it implies you think I pretend others using the coping mechanism I described is, in fact, my own coping mechanism to help me cope with my not helping.

Yes, the second line quote is a subset of that.


You: "You're just pretending that to cope with your own guilt over not helping poor people."
Me: "You're wrong in your assumption. Here's how I've helped in the past."
You: "That's not what I was saying. Keep living in your fantasy world!"

Dafuq?
 
2013-10-25 12:26:09 PM  
Let's say a perfect social program takes $1.00 of cost and yields $1.00 of benefit.

And let's say that the typical traditional state-run social program yields $0.80 of benefit per $1.00 of cost.

And let's say that traditional private charities, like the ones shipping pallets of food around, yield $0.70 per dollar.

And let's say that this approach yields $0.65 in benefits for every dollar put into it. Obviously, I'm pulling all these numbers out of my ass. But let's assume that this approach turns out to be not  quite as effective as traditional charities and strings-attached welfare programs.

It'd still be worth it just to watch people explosively shiatting their pants at the idea of some poor person getting a cash handout.
 
2013-10-25 12:26:42 PM  

xalres: BMFPitt: xalres: Because to me it implies you think I pretend others using the coping mechanism I described is, in fact, my own coping mechanism to help me cope with my not helping.

Yes, the second line quote is a subset of that.

You: "You're just pretending that to cope with your own guilt over not helping poor people."
Me: "You're wrong in your assumption. Here's how I've helped in the past."
You: "That's not what I was saying. Keep living in your fantasy world!"

Dafuq?


img01.beijing2008.cn
 
2013-10-25 12:34:28 PM  

Visionmn2: How about this - three strikes and your out.  This is a harsh proposal and I understand that, however we are killing a lot of other people in the world and giving those doing the killing a 10% discount at retail stores, having special license plates made, and supporting our troops. Most of the people we eliminate have done nothing to the United States and we need to try out our new toys.   On to the proposal.

If your family has 3 generations and has chosen welfare as the primary income, your family will be considered an enemy of the state and be given the choice to leave or be eliminated.

Well said regarding the subsidizing of those making minimum wage.  It is a point that very few understand or bother to think about.  By shopping at WallMart and other retailers known for paying as little as possible when purchasing an item for 30 cents less a person is actually choosing higher taxes and less income.  That item will end up costing them more than if they went to a respectable retailer.


No, too harsh,  Born into poverty, the cards are all stacked against you.  As per the Henry Ford example that was mentioned earlier, I think the solution is rather simple: ensure that all jobs pay a decent, living wage.  Henry Ford did it by his own will, but the only way to mandate it is through minimum wage law.  It should be more beneficial to work than to live off welfare, but it does not have to be insanely so.  If we have more workers earning more money we will have less people in need of assistance and more money moving in the economy.  We are all paying to make up for low wages whether we like it or not.
 
2013-10-25 12:35:35 PM  

zeroman987: jshine: teenytinycornteeth: tlenon: Its a wonder Cabrini Greens isn't a sprawling zone of commerce and industrial business startups. Mind you Crack production does not count....

You know how I know you're not from Chicago?  It's not just the s you added to Cabrini Green.

Another good hint that he's not from Chicago is where it says "Omaha, NE" in his profile.  It's subtle, but telling.

Then he should shut his mouth about Chicago. Omaha is a freaking pit and I wouldn't move there even if you gave me a 20% raise.

Oh btw, for the price of a two bedroom condo in the area where cabrini green used to be, you could get a nice house in Omaha.


I had a good giggle at the OP as well.  I mean, if you're going to attempt an insult using a specific example, you really should use an existing example.
 
2013-10-25 12:45:26 PM  

Carn: I think the solution is rather simple: ensure that all jobs pay a decent, living wage.


So why don't you start a business, and pay your employees $100/hour, or whatever you think is "decent".
 
2013-10-25 12:53:20 PM  

knobmaker: THE GREAT NAME:

Cultures have to lift themselves out of poverty. The only thing "we" can do to help is to protect them from tyranny (which necessarily includes not being a typrant yourself, something western libs, with their legendary lack of self-awareness, are rather bad at).

Yes, because it was certainly American liberals who have traditionally clamored to support dictators who promised to fight Communism.

Moron.


Oddly, that's how I have it farkied!  It just makes sense...
 
2013-10-25 12:54:34 PM  

fredklein: Carn: I think the solution is rather simple: ensure that all jobs pay a decent, living wage.

So why don't you start a business, and pay your employees $100/hour, or whatever you think is "decent".


The concept of a living wage generally pays people enough to afford a minimum standard of living, a bit over the poverty line.  The average estimate currently is right around double the minimum wage or somewhere between $14-15.  That is good enough that people who work will not be in poverty and that is all that's needed.  The argument isn't "everyone should be rich!" (eg your $100/hour) it's "people who work should earn a living wage, not be in poverty, and be able to support themselves."
 
2013-10-25 01:00:53 PM  

fredklein: Carn: I think the solution is rather simple: ensure that all jobs pay a decent, living wage.

So why don't you start a business, and pay your employees $100/hour, or whatever you think is "decent".


Yes, hyperbole. Excellent.

Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.

Once a year or so just crunch the numbers and there's your min wage. Hell, it could be done by region. The min wage could go DOWN if cost of living decreases.

NOBODY benefits from an absurdly low min wage. When THAT many people have ZERO extra funds to toss around the economy flounders. This is why I don't trust these supposed economic experts who run the companies. They don't seem to understand that more money floating around the bottom means more money floating to the top. They can't even see their own asses. It's a game of hoarders in that world and they aren't only hurting us peons they are hurting their OWN BOTTOM LINE!!!
 
2013-10-25 01:04:43 PM  
Oh, in the developing world.  Now the headline makes sense.
 
2013-10-25 01:08:04 PM  

Carn: The concept of a living wage generally pays people enough to afford a minimum standard of living, a bit over the poverty line. The average estimate currently is right around double the minimum wage or somewhere between $14-15. That is good enough that people who work will not be in poverty and that is all that's needed. The argument isn't "everyone should be rich!" (eg your $100/hour) it's "people who work should earn a living wage, not be in poverty, and be able to support themselves."


$14-15 an hour is where the minimum wage would be right now if it had been tied to inflation since the 70s.

People who act as if the current min wage is somehow fair and adequate can be dismissed as complete morons. Even if they are "super smart" business clowns running the top companies. In fact it is even worse when guys like that rail on about this because they are HURTING their business and investors in not even the long term. A quarterly profit margin may go up but if you look at the potential gain/loss over even a year or two there will be lost profits.

Like I said... these people are trained to be hoarders. It's mental illness that has been somehow deemed a laudable business practice. How many investors lost their shirts over the economic meltdown? Yet they STILL insist that this is the best way to do things. They are sick and need help.
 
2013-10-25 01:19:36 PM  

TNel: Fark_Guy_Rob: TNel: Fark_Guy_Rob: And given the choice, I'd take welfare over a job - even if the job pay 15-20% more.

You say that when you don't have to do it and would never do it.  We were on Wic for a few years and the looks you get from people was pathetic.  I tried to go at odd times because of it.  Then god forbid it took the cashier an extra minute to run the checks because the foot tapping and huffing was just icing on the cake.

I'm ugly.  The looks I get from people all the time is pathetic.  In all seriousness, I would feel no shame.  These programs exist for a reason, collectively our society wants them.  If you qualify, you shouldn't feel bad about it.

Sure, but the stigma that people put on it is crazy.  Look at this forum and any other forum/facebook that starts talking about welfare.  Everyone assumes you are scamming the system because of the "Welfare queens" that was hyped so much but was such a small fraction but when you live in a complete red county they all asume the worst without knowing.


There are 2 main issues w/ SNAPs

1) It varies per year but fraud is around 5-10%; the solution is to find those individuals and brand them as scum that will only receive government issued gruel instead of normal food stamps for X number of years.  The stuff should intentionally be made to taste bad

2) SNAP has no nutritional requirements, force nutritional standards on it
 
2013-10-25 01:22:58 PM  
As for food stamps and other food related assistance...government run big box stores that sell the basic necessities...milk, bread, meat, rice, etc. cut out the ability to spend public assistance on crap food.

Ask any retail clerk how many food stamp users buy crap with their government dollars...chips, twinkles, soda...and then use cash to buy booze and smokes.

Also, I think people receiving benefits should be on mandatory birth control for a year....I love the stories about the single mother of 6 and how she can't make ends meet...here is an idea, don't have 6 kids.

Neither party want to see people suffer and starve...but conservatives are willing to hold people accountable for their actions...have multiple kids while a teenager?...yup, life is going to be hard. Life will be hard for you and your kids...your kids will suffer, but that is your fault, not societies.
 
2013-10-25 01:23:30 PM  

here to help: Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.


The funny part is every time that minimum wage has increased was at the same time Democrats controlled the House.  R's can give a rats ass about poor people.
 
2013-10-25 01:42:18 PM  

WhyKnot: As for food stamps and other food related assistance...government run big box stores that sell the basic necessities...milk, bread, meat, rice, etc. cut out the ability to spend public assistance on crap food.

Ask any retail clerk how many food stamp users buy crap with their government dollars...chips, twinkles, soda...and then use cash to buy booze and smokes.

Also, I think people receiving benefits should be on mandatory birth control for a year....I love the stories about the single mother of 6 and how she can't make ends meet...here is an idea, don't have 6 kids.

Neither party want to see people suffer and starve...but conservatives are willing to hold people accountable for their actions...have multiple kids while a teenager?...yup, life is going to be hard. Life will be hard for you and your kids...your kids will suffer, but that is your fault, not societies.


I know that based upon the geography of the country that government run stores wouldn't work, but the ability to use food stamps needs to be similar to WIC, they need to be restricted I certain categories of food.
 
2013-10-25 01:57:17 PM  

xalres: You: "You're just pretending that to cope with your own guilt over not helping poor people."
Me: "You're wrong in your assumption. Here's how I've helped in the past."
You: "That's not what I was saying. Keep living in your fantasy world!"


You seem to be confused by the concept of quotes.  They are meant to be actual things that someone has said, without your own mental filtering added.  Here, check it out using the button provided by Fark.

xalres: It's a coping mechanism to help with the guilt they feel for not caring about or helping the impoverished in their own neighborhoods.

 --  This is you projecting.
BMFPitt:
Pretending such things is your coping mechanism to justify not helping poor people and feeling like you do.  By assuming others don't, either.  --  This is me pointing out that you're projecting.
xalres:
It's cute that you automatically assume that I've never donated or volunteered. Someone's projecting.  --  This is you saying "I know you are but what am I?"
BMFPitt:
Yes, that is what I said to you.  Congrats on being able to read and understand.  --  This is me calling you on your asshattery.
xalres:
Maybe if you could be less obtuse people wouldn't misinterpret what you're trying to say.  --  This is you deflecting.
 
2013-10-25 01:57:35 PM  

TNel: here to help: Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.

The funny part is every time that minimum wage has increased was at the same time Democrats controlled the House.  R's can give a rats ass about poor people.


It just drives me so crazy because they SHOULD care about poor people. They may not have as much money individually as the people they represent but there are a F*CKLOAD of them. It doesn't take a damned rocket surgeon to figure out that giving a few million people a dollar that they WILL spend is better than giving one or two guys a couple million dollars that WON'T spend it and will likely take it out of the country.

They are not the financial geniuses they claim to be. Nor are they anywhere close to being theology scholars or experts on crime reduction.

Basically aside from knowing how to run an effective propaganda machine and be a lesson on what a world class asshole looks like they are useless.

Democrats are idiots too but at least they occasionally do stuff that isn't completely evil and counterproductive.
 
2013-10-25 02:06:36 PM  
So are they saying that entitlement recipients in other parts of the world, like the U.S., get their welfare checks with strings attached? Are these millions of people told how they should spend their government handouts?
 
2013-10-25 02:07:32 PM  

BMFPitt: xalres: You: "You're just pretending that to cope with your own guilt over not helping poor people."
Me: "You're wrong in your assumption. Here's how I've helped in the past."
You: "That's not what I was saying. Keep living in your fantasy world!"

You seem to be confused by the concept of quotes.  They are meant to be actual things that someone has said, without your own mental filtering added.  Here, check it out using the button provided by Fark.

xalres: It's a coping mechanism to help with the guilt they feel for not caring about or helping the impoverished in their own neighborhoods.  --  This is you projecting.
BMFPitt: Pretending such things is your coping mechanism to justify not helping poor people and feeling like you do.  By assuming others don't, either.  --  This is me pointing out that you're projecting.
xalres: It's cute that you automatically assume that I've never donated or volunteered. Someone's projecting.  --  This is you saying "I know you are but what am I?"
BMFPitt: Yes, that is what I said to you.  Congrats on being able to read and understand.  --  This is me calling you on your asshattery.
xalres: Maybe if you could be less obtuse people wouldn't misinterpret what you're trying to say.  --  This is you deflecting.


How was I projecting in my initial comment? I was making a statement based on what I've observed from other people. And you think I'm seeing statements that aren't there.
 
2013-10-25 02:09:35 PM  

here to help: Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.


Yup.  What's sad is that we already have these sorts of adjustments mapped out nationwide for research purposes.  We know at a time resolution of weeks to a month what the purchasing power of a dollar is at the zip code level, further broken down by the type of purchase.  It would be a button push to say "OK.  Minimum wage was $7.50/hr in rural Kansas in 2009, so a fair equivalent is $______ in NYC in 2013."

WhyKnot: I know that based upon the geography of the country that government run stores wouldn't work, but the ability to use food stamps needs to be similar to WIC, they need to be restricted I certain categories of food.


We already require a pile of symbols and labels on packaged food.  Create a voluntary "SNAP Healthy" logo and restrict its use to foods that meet certain nutritional standards.  Fruit?  Yes.  Vegetables?  Yes.  Nuts?  Yes.  Whole grains?  Yes.  Chicken parts?  Yes.  Fast-food style chicken nuggets?  No.  Soda?  No.  Maybe you also employ a cost threshold.

Start with the basics, and within months, every major food manufacturer would be lining up to get that stamp on their healthy items.
 
2013-10-25 02:51:06 PM  

Loadmaster: So are they saying that entitlement recipients in other parts of the world, like the U.S., get their welfare checks with strings attached? Are these millions of people told how they should spend their government handouts?


Yes. That's how much of welfare is. There are programs for heating costs, food costs, etc. Charity is most often worse. Undesignated welfare money is often so little help that the poor schmuck might just as well go get a pack of cigarettes and a jar of whiskey for the night.
 
2013-10-25 03:01:23 PM  

chimp_ninja: here to help: Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.

Yup.  What's sad is that we already have these sorts of adjustments mapped out nationwide for research purposes.  We know at a time resolution of weeks to a month what the purchasing power of a dollar is at the zip code level, further broken down by the type of purchase.  It would be a button push to say "OK.  Minimum wage was $7.50/hr in rural Kansas in 2009, so a fair equivalent is $______ in NYC in 2013."

WhyKnot: I know that based upon the geography of the country that government run stores wouldn't work, but the ability to use food stamps needs to be similar to WIC, they need to be restricted I certain categories of food.

We already require a pile of symbols and labels on packaged food.  Create a voluntary "SNAP Healthy" logo and restrict its use to foods that meet certain nutritional standards.  Fruit?  Yes.  Vegetables?  Yes.  Nuts?  Yes.  Whole grains?  Yes.  Chicken parts?  Yes.  Fast-food style chicken nuggets?  No.  Soda?  No.  Maybe you also employ a cost threshold.

Start with the basics, and within months, every major food manufacturer would be lining up to get that stamp on their healthy items.


But to what end? To further denigrate the dignity of our neighbors? We should do as much as possible to make the SNAP inconspicuous. If anything, there should be no option to opt out of food stamps if you are selling foods. One of the local urban farms here will not accept food stamps "on principle" at their stand. Fresh farmed produce is unavailable to these people out of spite. It is made more unconscionable that they gladly accept subsidies themselves.
 
2013-10-25 03:17:15 PM  

Uranus Is Huge!: HindiDiscoMonster: Uranus Is Huge!: Truly poor

Not iPhone 4 and Applebees poor.

Apple and Applebees are not poor... they are huge multimillion dollar businesses....

No shiat.

I was referring to people considered poor because they still carry an iPhone 4 and go to Applebees for special occasions.


Hey, I'm carrying a broken Droid 2 (about half the screen hasn't worked for the last year since it started pouring rain on 4th of July), have a roommate, and wish that I could afford to go out to sit down restaurants with actual waiters for special occasions.

Mind you, I've also paid off about $14K in debt in the last 9 months ($28K to go, and 95% of that is student loans, car, and "Can I have some help making my security deposit?") because I am a boring person who is terrible with money (Note: I live in shiatty rat-infested apartments with roommates so that I don't have to have a budget), but still.

/And the Nexus 5 is my next phone whenever it comes out.  This is just getting old.
 
2013-10-25 03:40:06 PM  

here to help: fredklein: Carn: I think the solution is rather simple: ensure that all jobs pay a decent, living wage.

So why don't you start a business, and pay your employees $100/hour, or whatever you think is "decent".

Yes, hyperbole. Excellent.


Well, if it's 'good' to pay them a little more,then it'll be 'great' to pay them a Lot more. No?? Just think of all that extra money floating around in the economy. And, of course, ignore the fact that companies will go out of business if they need to pay that much for floor-sweepers and burger-makers. Or at least raise their prices by an equivalent amount, thus causing the exact same problem we have now.

Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes.

No, wages "need" to be tied to the workers value as an employee. Do a specialized job that only you can do? Earn a lot. Do a dead-simple task that anyone can do with no training? Earn only a little.

NOBODY benefits from an absurdly low min wage. When THAT many people have ZERO extra funds to toss around the economy flounders.

And when people have a lot of money to 'throw around', prices go up, and the corporations make more money.
 
2013-10-25 03:41:48 PM  

here to help: People who act as if the current min wage is somehow fair and adequate can be dismissed as complete morons.


"Fair and adequate" ... for what, exactly?? Living a life of luxury? Barely being able to buy enough food to survive? For what, exactly??
 
2013-10-25 03:55:02 PM  

Ablejack: chimp_ninja: here to help: Minimum wage NEEDS to be tied to the inflation rate and cost of living indexes. That way we don't end up in situations where people are either losing buying power for their hard earned cash or harming employers with drastic wage increases once the minimum absolutely NEEDS to go up.

Yup.  What's sad is that we already have these sorts of adjustments mapped out nationwide for research purposes.  We know at a time resolution of weeks to a month what the purchasing power of a dollar is at the zip code level, further broken down by the type of purchase.  It would be a button push to say "OK.  Minimum wage was $7.50/hr in rural Kansas in 2009, so a fair equivalent is $______ in NYC in 2013."

WhyKnot: I know that based upon the geography of the country that government run stores wouldn't work, but the ability to use food stamps needs to be similar to WIC, they need to be restricted I certain categories of food.

We already require a pile of symbols and labels on packaged food.  Create a voluntary "SNAP Healthy" logo and restrict its use to foods that meet certain nutritional standards.  Fruit?  Yes.  Vegetables?  Yes.  Nuts?  Yes.  Whole grains?  Yes.  Chicken parts?  Yes.  Fast-food style chicken nuggets?  No.  Soda?  No.  Maybe you also employ a cost threshold.

Start with the basics, and within months, every major food manufacturer would be lining up to get that stamp on their healthy items.

But to what end? To further denigrate the dignity of our neighbors? We should do as much as possible to make the SNAP inconspicuous. If anything, there should be no option to opt out of food stamps if you are selling foods. One of the local urban farms here will not accept food stamps "on principle" at their stand. Fresh farmed produce is unavailable to these people out of spite. It is made more unconscionable that they gladly accept subsidies themselves.


The end is to stop having people on food stamps end up w/ type-2 diabetes.  Qualified food already has WIC stamps on it (or on the shelf next to it), the same thing needs to be done w/ SNAP
 
2013-10-25 03:56:17 PM  

Ablejack: We already require a pile of symbols and labels on packaged food. Create a voluntary "SNAP Healthy" logo and restrict its use to foods that meet certain nutritional standards. Fruit? Yes. Vegetables? Yes. Nuts? Yes. Whole grains? Yes. Chicken parts? Yes. Fast-food style chicken nuggets? No. Soda? No. Maybe you also employ a cost threshold.

Start with the basics, and within months, every major food manufacturer would be lining up to get that stamp on their healthy items.

But to what end? To further denigrate the dignity of our neighbors? We should do as much as possible to make the SNAP inconspicuous. If anything, there should be no option to opt out of food stamps if you are selling foods. One of the local urban farms here will not accept food stamps "on principle" at their stand. Fresh farmed produce is unavailable to these people out of spite. It is made more unconscionable that they gladly accept subsidies themselves.


1) Completely agree that SNAP coupons should be declared legal tender for any food purchase that would qualify.  It's essentially earmarked cash and should be treated as such.

2) I figured "SNAP Healthy" somewhere on the nutrition label wouldn't be a stigma, especially when it would be present on nearly all fruit, vegetables, lean meat, etc.  Everyone would be buying foods with this logo on it, except maybe obese wealthy people.  But you're correct that you needn't invoke SNAP at all-- just a label that communicates "Healthy" might suffice.

3) The reason I think it's important to discourage SNAP funds away from the chicken-nuggets-and-soda section of the store is twofold:
- Poverty is strongly correlated with poor education on nutritional issues.  There are a lot of people who think "Chicken nugget = Chicken thigh", or "Diet Soda = Healthy".  A simple, binary "Healthy/Not" distinction is far from perfect, but you could at least eliminate the worst of the available food options.
- Proper nutrition has a transformative effect on not just physical health, but work/school-related performance.

The goal of SNAP is to get people to a point where they don't need SNAP.  If you're feeding your family Doritos and Mountain Dew for dinner, you're not upholding your half of the social contract, and you're destroying the ROI of the food aid by condemning your family to fatigue, dental problems, diabetes, obesity-related illnesses, etc.

Generally, this replicates the soup kitchen experience.  Someone's happy to give you a warm, healthy meal to help you get back on your feet.  They're not going to hand you a fist full of Snickers bars.
 
2013-10-25 04:00:32 PM  

fredklein: Do a dead-simple task that anyone can do with no training? Earn only a little.


We've tried this experiment.  It ends in virtual serfdom.

You're arguing for going below the existing minimum wage, which is a prescription for having to work 12+ hour days just for basic needs, and no chance to save enough to ever do better.  That isn't the country I want to live in.

As is, if you work full-time for the minimum wage, you probably don't break the poverty line.  Then we all end up paying for you anyway.
 
2013-10-25 04:01:00 PM  

brobdiggy: Bellamy says those findings suggest that, while cash seems to help in the short run, it's still unclear whether it helps in the long run.

Kind of like supply side vs. demand side.

Liberals say we should keep throwing money at poor people, and look at short run benefits.  They completely ignore the culture of dependency it creates.

Economists know that spending is better focused on policies in which the poor can lift themselves.  Better/subsidized education, training, or vocation programs.

You know, the whole "give a man a fish" vs. "teach a man to fish" idea.


I'm all for the "teach a man to fish" thing, but it seems to be stymied by inflated cost of education. Not the "womens' studies at a prestigious private college" kind of education, but things like teaching, science, etc.

I wanted to teach, but even the tuition at the local public university is entirely too high for a teaching degree. Additionally, the student loan payments would be about $500/mo. That's not even taking into account finding a teaching post in a reasonable amount of time.

So, it's back into IT and a local tech school to get the rest of my training and certs.

/not sure where I was going with that
//undercaffeinated slashies
///friday slashies
 
2013-10-25 04:08:11 PM  

ShadowKamui: Ablejack: But to what end? To further denigrate the dignity of our neighbors? We should do as much as possible to make the SNAP inconspicuous. If anything, there should be no option to opt out of food stamps if you are selling foods. One of the local urban farms here will not accept food stamps "on principle" at their stand. Fresh farmed produce is unavailable to these people out of spite. It is made more unconscionable that they gladly accept subsidies themselves.

The end is to stop having people on food stamps end up w/ type-2 diabetes.  Qualified fo ...


Why is it more important to prevent the poor from type-2 diabetes than the rich? With your reasoning we should allow no treats or sugars etc. for anyone. This is only about having control vs. human dignity, plus a dose of punishment for the poor.
 
2013-10-25 04:13:40 PM  

fredklein: here to help: NOBODY benefits from an absurdly low min wage. When THAT many people have ZERO extra funds to toss around the economy flounders.

And when people have a lot of money to 'throw around', prices go up, and the corporations make more money.


Yes, that's what's known as a healthy economy. And it works so long as we can regulate and tax appropriately to keep from a winner take all scenario.
 
2013-10-25 04:13:58 PM  
If you're referring to African 'poor' than answer C. If you're talking about American 'poor' then A.

I'm old enough to realized that my $$ goes a LOT further giving to a destitute family in Mongolia than to a family who lost their house from Katrina.
 
2013-10-25 04:16:21 PM  

pxlboy: I wanted to teach, but even the tuition at the local public university is entirely too high for a teaching degree. Additionally, the student loan payments would be about $500/mo.


That loan payment sounds extremely high to me.  You also wouldn't need to start paying until after you finish with college for most federal loans.

Right now, the interest rate on most federal loans is 3.86%, and the repayment period can be 20-30 years.  You'd need a massive balance for a public university (more than $100K) to get up to $500/month.  It also sounds like you have a little previous credit to bring over, which should reduce your borrowing.

Plus, consider that even in teaching, the after-tax income added by a four-year degree will be more than $500/month.
 
2013-10-25 04:16:32 PM  

SuperNinjaToad: If you're referring to African 'poor' than answer C. If you're talking about American 'poor' then A.

I'm old enough to realized that my $$ goes a LOT further giving to a destitute family in Mongolia than to a family who lost their house from Katrina.


True. It will cost more to care for the US poor than the African poor. This is a good thing.
 
2013-10-25 04:21:08 PM  

chimp_ninja: pxlboy: I wanted to teach, but even the tuition at the local public university is entirely too high for a teaching degree. Additionally, the student loan payments would be about $500/mo.

That loan payment sounds extremely high to me.  You also wouldn't need to start paying until after you finish with college for most federal loans.

Right now, the interest rate on most federal loans is 3.86%, and the repayment period can be 20-30 years.  You'd need a massive balance for a public university (more than $100K) to get up to $500/month.  It also sounds like you have a little previous credit to bring over, which should reduce your borrowing.

Plus, consider that even in teaching, the after-tax income added by a four-year degree will be more than $500/month.


pxlboy, Your local school board may have programs in place to help you acquire the necessary degree. It could mean working for crappy "substitute teaching" or something in the meantime. I understand that's not always a real option.
 
2013-10-25 04:25:40 PM  

Ablejack: chimp_ninja: pxlboy: I wanted to teach, but even the tuition at the local public university is entirely too high for a teaching degree. Additionally, the student loan payments would be about $500/mo.

That loan payment sounds extremely high to me.  You also wouldn't need to start paying until after you finish with college for most federal loans.

Right now, the interest rate on most federal loans is 3.86%, and the repayment period can be 20-30 years.  You'd need a massive balance for a public university (more than $100K) to get up to $500/month.  It also sounds like you have a little previous credit to bring over, which should reduce your borrowing.

Plus, consider that even in teaching, the after-tax income added by a four-year degree will be more than $500/month.

pxlboy, Your local school board may have programs in place to help you acquire the necessary degree. It could mean working for crappy "substitute teaching" or something in the meantime. I understand that's not always a real option.


Indeed. There's also the time involved. I haven't been back to school in about 8 years, so some of my credits may no longer be good. Being in my late 30s makes it impractical as well.

Also, teachers get no respect in this country and can't trust the administrators to back them up when it really matters.

So, as much as I like the idea of teaching, I'm just going to continue in IT while working on the education I should have gotten in my early 20s.
 
2013-10-25 04:45:54 PM  

pxlboy: Ablejack: chimp_ninja: pxlboy: I wanted to teach, but even the tuition at the local public university is entirely too high for a teaching degree. Additionally, the student loan payments would be about $500/mo.

That loan payment sounds extremely high to me.  You also wouldn't need to start paying until after you finish with college for most federal loans.

Right now, the interest rate on most federal loans is 3.86%, and the repayment period can be 20-30 years.  You'd need a massive balance for a public university (more than $100K) to get up to $500/month.  It also sounds like you have a little previous credit to bring over, which should reduce your borrowing.

Plus, consider that even in teaching, the after-tax income added by a four-year degree will be more than $500/month.

pxlboy, Your local school board may have programs in place to help you acquire the necessary degree. It could mean working for crappy "substitute teaching" or something in the meantime. I understand that's not always a real option.

Indeed. There's also the time involved. I haven't been back to school in about 8 years, so some of my credits may no longer be good. Being in my late 30s makes it impractical as well.

Also, teachers get no respect in this country and can't trust the administrators to back them up when it really matters.

So, as much as I like the idea of teaching, I'm just going to continue in IT while working on the education I should have gotten in my early 20s.


Meh, lot's of people get into teaching later in life. But you are right about the lack of respect and often feasible paychecks as well. As you mention there's a real possibility of getting thrown under the bus. There is a faction of politics that think teachers are somehow getting over on everyone. But July and August is tempting... who knows? Maybe someday you'll find a way to if you ever really want to teach. I ( much older) think about it too.
 
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