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(Washington Post)   Dependency upon food stamps may be inimical to upward mobility, but it does at least prevent downward mobility to a depth of approximately minus six feet   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 91
    More: Interesting, social mobility, food stamps, income inequality, Richard Fisher, Real GDP, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, depth in a well, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas  
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862 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Mar 2014 at 12:53 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-17 11:18:16 AM
Well, columnists have to write about something every other day to stay off food stamps themselves.

Alas, this isn't one of his better ones.
 
2014-03-17 11:29:58 AM
America is inimical to upward mobility
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-fr om -lower-rungs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I don't think letting poor people starve is the solution to that particular problem, though. Let's see. Suppose we have 100 million people, and we let the bottom 20% starve. That sounds like a good start. But before, we had 20 million people in the upper quintile, and now we've only got 16 million. Instead of moving up, people are moving down. That's not good. The Europeans will sneer at us.
Here's a better idea- if we want to improve our rankings in the upward mobility tables, instead of starving the poor people, we should burn the rich ones. That way, everyone left moves up, not down. America will once again be the shining beacon at the top of the table.
 
2014-03-17 11:44:26 AM
I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.
 
2014-03-17 11:46:42 AM

rumpelstiltskin: America is inimical to upward mobility
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-fr om -lower-rungs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I don't think letting poor people starve is the solution to that particular problem, though. Let's see. Suppose we have 100 million people, and we let the bottom 20% starve. That sounds like a good start. But before, we had 20 million people in the upper quintile, and now we've only got 16 million. Instead of moving up, people are moving down. That's not good. The Europeans will sneer at us.
Here's a better idea- if we want to improve our rankings in the upward mobility tables, instead of starving the poor people, we should burn the rich ones. That way, everyone left moves up, not down. America will once again be the shining beacon at the top of the table.


collapseofindustrialcivilization.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-17 12:00:01 PM

vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.


That's the most "efficient" thing to do, in at least some sense of the word. But won't you feel like a sucker when someone buys a new flat screen TV with all his food money? And you know that's what they'll do, because if they were more responsible people they wouldn't be poor in the first place. The truth is, we can't even imagine what a poor person might do with actual money. I just threw the TV example up there. A yacht? A mansion on the hill, overlooking all of us chumps toiling for a living? Who knows? All I know is, you'll feel bad.
 
2014-03-17 12:05:42 PM
Not everyone is cut out for a life of pillaging and raping.
 
2014-03-17 12:27:49 PM

vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.


The problem is that we can't afford it without using the middle class to finance it.  It sounds well and good to soak the rich, but they are still too small in number to cover the cost.  A start would be to raise capital gains to a normal income tax level, but that still wouldn't be enough.  You need to draw off the substantial revenue from people who aren't rich to give to people who are poorer than they are.  Another problem is that the middle class earning power is drifting steadily downward, so a grab at their income is more likely to be disagreeable.

But I like the idea of a minimum income for US citizens.  It should be low, but it would be far simpler than sorting out food/heat/rent benefits on a state by state basis.  There would be less overhead to administer it and less variation for people trying to game the system.
 
2014-03-17 12:59:49 PM

rumpelstiltskin: vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.

That's the most "efficient" thing to do, in at least some sense of the word. But won't you feel like a sucker when someone buys a new flat screen TV with all his food money? And you know that's what they'll do, because if they were more responsible people they wouldn't be poor in the first place. The truth is, we can't even imagine what a poor person might do with actual money. I just threw the TV example up there. A yacht? A mansion on the hill, overlooking all of us chumps toiling for a living? Who knows? All I know is, you'll feel bad.


NotSureIfSerious.jpg
 
2014-03-17 01:00:53 PM

rumpelstiltskin: America is inimical to upward mobility
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-fr om -lower-rungs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


This.

Food stamps are not the thing causing people to stay poor. Being poor causes people to stay poor. If you add malnutrition to poverty, it does not result in upward mobility.
 
2014-03-17 01:03:40 PM
There is a third world charity that gives cash to poor people in Africa. Its more efficient than giving them goats or chickens or bowls full of gruel.
 
MFK
2014-03-17 01:07:15 PM

Lsherm: vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.

The problem is that we can't afford it without using the middle class to finance it.  It sounds well and good to soak the rich, but they are still too small in number to cover the cost.  A start would be to raise capital gains to a normal income tax level, but that still wouldn't be enough.  You need to draw off the substantial revenue from people who aren't rich to give to people who are poorer than they are.  Another problem is that the middle class earning power is drifting steadily downward, so a grab at their income is more likely to be disagreeable.

But I like the idea of a minimum income for US citizens.  It should be low, but it would be far simpler than sorting out food/heat/rent benefits on a state by state basis.  There would be less overhead to administer it and less variation for people trying to game the system.


The problem isn't that there are too few rich to "soak" as you put it, but that they are the ones with all of the money.

4.bp.blogspot.com

As you can see, even though they are small in number, the top 20% controls over 80% of the wealth in the US and if we're being honest, it's the 1% who has the lion's share of that as well. We've allowed ourselves to get caught up in the R's vs. D's game to the extent that we've forgotten that it's not the other political party that's stagnating our nation, it's the assholes who are hoarding all of the cash for themselves.

Notice how the billionaires are the ones financing the anti-unions, the anti-entitlement movement, the anti-social safety net, etc? It's not so much that they believe that these are actually the problem but it is a way for them to buy another decade or two of confusion before America wakes up and realize that the Oligarchs have taken over the show and by then it'll be too late.
 
2014-03-17 01:11:00 PM

A Cave Geek: NotSureIfSerious.jpg


vernonFL: There is a third world charity that gives cash to poor people in Africa. Its more efficient than giving them goats or chickens or bowls full of gruel.


He's serious.
 
2014-03-17 01:14:18 PM
If food stamps are anything like UI, there is no better motivator to "get off" them than being on them.
 
2014-03-17 01:16:54 PM
We could always just jail or kill the people hoarding wealth.
 
2014-03-17 01:20:46 PM

vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.


I think Moynehan's point was more attacking useless government bureaucracy than advocating just shelling out money to poor people. But the argument is silly, because if you have no bureaucracy to hand it out, how do you know who is poor? And how do you get the money to them?

Lsherm: But I like the idea of a minimum income for US citizens.


The problem with this idea is that it either disincentivizes work or is totally unaffordable. If you go with "everyone gets at least $12,000 a year" (roughly the poverty line for an individual) then someone who doesn't work at all only makes about $3000 less than someone who works full time at a minimum wage job. If you say "okay, everyone gets $12,000 a year, and you make whatever you make on top of it" then you find it costs over 3 trillion dollars a year. I just don't see how to make a basic minimum income really work.
 
2014-03-17 01:22:29 PM
Only in Republican bizarro world is taking away or making it more difficult for a person to get food is a hindrance to upward mobility. Because nothing inhibits upward mobility than not having your entire paycheck go to basic needs and subsistence.

The only thing that creates a dependence on food stamps are the extremely low wages paid by most domestic employers.
 
2014-03-17 01:26:16 PM
Is there anyone who actually cares what George Will has to say?  Republicans know he's a RINO, and everyone else knows he's a Republican and thus not worth listening to.
 
2014-03-17 01:27:32 PM

vernonFL: I do kinda like Daniel Patrick Moynihan's idea of just giving people cash. Just give people money. We can afford it.


It makes more sense. Sure, some people will use it to buy TVs and such...but why is that so bad? The money goes into the economy either way. Why should the government be making moral judgments like that?

I'm not suggesting that the government make everyone a millionaire or anything. Just give them enough money to afford, say, a crappy apartment and the bills associated with that. If people are satisfied with that, fine. If people would rather live with their parents and spend that money on 'luxuries', fine. But most people won't be satisfied with just that, and will look to improve themselves.

And, again, the money is still being spent either way, still circulating in the economy, and thus, doing more to improve the nation than any billionaire's hoard.
 
2014-03-17 01:29:43 PM
Republican social policy basically amounts to torture.
 
2014-03-17 01:29:52 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

What the stunted upward mobility of a food-stamp recipient might look like.
 
2014-03-17 01:31:22 PM
I appreciate subby's sardonic tone, but by my reckoning a depth of minus 6 feet would deposit the corpse 6 feet above ground, an awkward and arguably inefficient burial practice.
 
2014-03-17 01:31:43 PM
I'm not too sure what I just read here. George Will seems to be jumping all over the place with random assertions without backing anything up. Seriously, what the hell was that opinion piece about?
 
2014-03-17 01:32:53 PM
Oh.  George Will in the liberal media.
 
2014-03-17 01:34:53 PM
i am not sure when caring about your fellow American became a crime

but it's too bad that it has.
 
2014-03-17 01:36:13 PM
Nothing inhibits mobility of any kind like starving.
 
2014-03-17 01:36:24 PM

ivan: I appreciate subby's sardonic tone, but by my reckoning a depth of minus 6 feet would deposit the corpse 6 feet above ground, an awkward and arguably inefficient burial practice.


Not as inefficient as you'd think.
wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2014-03-17 01:37:25 PM

Lawnchair: [upload.wikimedia.org image 800x571]

What the stunted upward mobility of a food-stamp recipient might look like.


Yep. That one guy totally means those others millions of people don't really exist.
 
2014-03-17 01:39:32 PM

heavymetal: Only in Republican bizarro world is taking away or making it more difficult for a person to get food is a hindrance to upward mobility. Because nothing inhibits upward mobility than not having your entire paycheck go to basic needs and subsistence.

The only thing that creates a dependence on food stamps are the extremely low wages paid by most domestic employers.


Conservatives seem to believe that the social safety net programs are simply standing in the way of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.  They honestly believe that if you took the food stamps away, people would get jobs (neglecting that many people on food stamps HAVE jobs), and would quickly pull themselves out of being poor.  They simply cannot believe that people would be starving in the streets.  Their minds cannot process that crime would shoot through the roof as desperate people rob and kill to try to survive.  They honestly believe that if you remove the "government teat" the poors will clean themselves up and become productive members of society.

This comes from a few very wrongheaded ideas.  First, that being poor is just a choice.  They believe you're poor because you want to be, because you're lazy.  There is often a racial undercurrent here, but they honestly can't see it because in their mind, you choose to be born into a poor family, in a shiatty school district, in a crime ridden area.  They do not for one second believe that some people are dealt a better hand, or have existing infrastructure that supports their climb up.

Second, they honestly believe that all the horror stories about food stamp and government assistance are true.  They believe people are gaming the system, which comes about because if they could get away with it, THEY WOULD GAME THE SYSTEM.  In fact, they usually do, through tax loopholes and creative accounting.  They have no concept of people who don't cheat to get ahead.  That's just "being smart", after all, and "taking advantage of what's available".  Never mind that's exactly what food stamps and welfare are too, it's different when they do it.  Which is because..

Third, they do not for one second believe in equality of humanity.  They may not be racists, but they certainly believe some people are born better.  They claim that they want equality for all, but that's not actually true - their twisted version of equality is everyone being exactly like them.  Difference is bad to them, it's scary and unnatural.  It requires them to put themselves in someone else's shoes, and that's something most conservatives just cannot do very well.
 
2014-03-17 01:39:40 PM

Karac: ivan: I appreciate subby's sardonic tone, but by my reckoning a depth of minus 6 feet would deposit the corpse 6 feet above ground, an awkward and arguably inefficient burial practice.

Not as inefficient as you'd think.
[wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com image 609x405]


Dammit, I was going to make a sky burial reference.
 
2014-03-17 01:40:59 PM

Dr. Whoof: Conservatives seem to believe that the social safety net programs are simply standing in the way of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.


I wonder how many conservatives don't let their kids use training wheels when learning to ride a bike?
 
2014-03-17 01:42:05 PM

mediablitz: Yep. That one guy totally means those others millions of people don't really exist.


Whether they exist or not is besides the point, it is whether they are somehow poor because of food stamps like George Will is somehow claiming. In fact the White Stripes wrote a song about this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Z0H8CHPIU&feature=kp
 
2014-03-17 01:42:12 PM
Shut up, George Will, you Koch.
 
2014-03-17 01:45:10 PM

Karac: ivan: I appreciate subby's sardonic tone, but by my reckoning a depth of minus 6 feet would deposit the corpse 6 feet above ground, an awkward and arguably inefficient burial practice.

Not as inefficient as you'd think.
[wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com image 609x405]


Point taken, and something learned.
 
2014-03-17 01:47:13 PM
Whatever effect food stamps have on mobility for adults is more than offset by the effect on children. Malnutrition has a huge effect on the future earning potential of children, but Will completely and conveniently ignores that.
 
2014-03-17 01:50:09 PM
It looks like George Will got a new thesaurus that he badly wanted to try out.  Or is he like this in every article?  I usually ignore him.
 
2014-03-17 01:52:12 PM

heavymetal: The only thing that creates a dependence on food stamps are the extremely low wages paid by most domestic employers.


The same domestic employers, as George Will points out, who are generally sitting on mountains and mountains of stagnant cash.  But it would be bad if their profits decreased by 1%, so giving their workers more money is out of the question.
 
2014-03-17 01:57:06 PM
There truly is something wrong with people who think that (or just repeat the talking point) that if food stamps went away "those people" would get jobs when we live in an economy where there are 7 applicants for every open position. There are not enough jobs out there to employ everyone and cutting the food stamp spending will not facilitate enough job growth to fill the void (if it would create any growth is debatable)
 
2014-03-17 01:57:21 PM

Dr Dreidel: If food stamps are anything like UI, there is no better motivator to "get off" them than being on them.


Food stamps are if anything worse than UI.  UI is cash; food stamps require the store you shop at to carry a special terminal to process the transaction, so whenever you use food stamps, everybody in the line behind you can see you're using food stamps.  Also, not every store accepts food stamps.

So yeah, it sucks.
 
2014-03-17 02:01:57 PM
So we're back to the old "helping people are suffering will only make them enjoy their suffering" thing now?
 
2014-03-17 02:06:37 PM

DamnYankees: So we're back to the old "helping people are suffering will only make them enjoy their suffering" thing now?


With a dash of government sucks and scare quotes. Same George. Different Day.

...is assiduously cultivated by government through "outreach initiatives" to "increase awareness" and "streamline the application process."
 
2014-03-17 02:08:26 PM
In the same week where there are articles about us destroying millions of dollars in equipment as we leave a country we shouldn't have invaded in the first place, we have articles about the enormous drain public assistance has on our own people. The entire 1% of our budget.

I said "our own people" because I'd go into the obscene amount of aid we give to countries that hate us but the HR lady just came in with the margaritas so I have to go.
 
2014-03-17 02:12:41 PM

The Name: Is there anyone who actually cares what George Will has to say?  Republicans know he's a RINO, and everyone else knows he's a Republican and thus not worth listening to.


Maybe old people with dementia and/or senility who can't remember he's gone full retard within the last few years?
 
2014-03-17 02:13:56 PM
People with money buy stuff.  More or less the entire US economy is based on this idea.  1000 people with $1000 each will spend more than 1 person with $1M.  So, you can either start giving money to people that are broke, or you can watch the economy collapse.  Your choice, rich folks dependent on a strong economy.
 
2014-03-17 02:14:21 PM

TheSelphie: It looks like George Will got a new thesaurus that he badly wanted to try out.  Or is he like this in every article?  I usually ignore him.


He is. How he got the reputation of a thinker and a writer is beyond me.
 
2014-03-17 02:16:15 PM

Dr. Whoof: heavymetal: Only in Republican bizarro world is taking away or making it more difficult for a person to get food is a hindrance to upward mobility. Because nothing inhibits upward mobility than not having your entire paycheck go to basic needs and subsistence.

The only thing that creates a dependence on food stamps are the extremely low wages paid by most domestic employers.

Conservatives seem to believe that the social safety net programs are simply standing in the way of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.  They honestly believe that if you took the food stamps away, people would get jobs (neglecting that many people on food stamps HAVE jobs), and would quickly pull themselves out of being poor.  They simply cannot believe that people would be starving in the streets.  Their minds cannot process that crime would shoot through the roof as desperate people rob and kill to try to survive.  They honestly believe that if you remove the "government teat" the poors will clean themselves up and become productive members of society.

This comes from a few very wrongheaded ideas.  First, that being poor is just a choice.  They believe you're poor because you want to be, because you're lazy.  There is often a racial undercurrent here, but they honestly can't see it because in their mind, you choose to be born into a poor family, in a shiatty school district, in a crime ridden area.  They do not for one second believe that some people are dealt a better hand, or have existing infrastructure that supports their climb up.

Second, they honestly believe that all the horror stories about food stamp and government assistance are true.  They believe people are gaming the system, which comes about because if they could get away with it, THEY WOULD GAME THE SYSTEM.  In fact, they usually do, through tax loopholes and creative accounting.  They have no concept of people who don't cheat to get ahead.  That's just "being smart", after all, and "taking advantage of what's ...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/03/14/jon-st ew art-rips-fox-news-again-over-entitlement-obsession/ 

Yea, John Stewart nails Fox News about this issue.
 
Bf+
2014-03-17 02:16:46 PM
 
2014-03-17 02:22:44 PM

Dr. Whoof: Conservatives seem to believe that the social safety net programs are simply standing in the way of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.  They honestly believe that if you took the food stamps away, people would get jobs (neglecting that many people on food stamps HAVE jobs), and would quickly pull themselves out of being poor.  They simply cannot believe that people would be starving in the streets.  Their minds cannot process that crime would shoot through the roof as desperate people rob and kill to try to survive.  They honestly believe that if you remove the "government teat" the poors will clean themselves up and become productive members of society.

This comes from a few very wrongheaded ideas.  First, that being poor is just a choice.  They believe you're poor because you want to be, because you're lazy.  There is often a racial undercurrent here, but they honestly can't see it because in their mind, you choose to be born into a poor family, in a shiatty school district, in a crime ridden area.  They do not for one second believe that some people are dealt a better hand, or have existing infrastructure that supports their climb up.

Second, they honestly believe that all the horror stories about food stamp and government assistance are true.  They believe people are gaming the system, which comes about because if they could get away with it, THEY WOULD GAME THE SYSTEM.  In fact, they usually do, through tax loopholes and creative accounting.  They have no concept of people who don't cheat to get ahead.  That's just "being smart", after all, and "taking advantage of what's available".  Never mind that's exactly what food stamps and welfare are too, it's different when they do it.  Which is because..

Third, they do not for one second believe in equality of humanity.  They may not be racists, but they certainly believe some people are born better.  They claim that they want equality for all, but that's not actually true - their twisted version of equality is everyone being exactly like them.  Difference is bad to them, it's scary and unnatural.  It requires them to put themselves in someone else's shoes, and that's something most conservatives just cannot do very well.



You know, I see posts like this and I immediately come to the *Citation needed moments any time I post anything contrary to them. So let's start there, crime will shoot through the roof if you canceled welfare tomorrow huh? *Citation Needed

For many poor is a choice, rarely does this apply to those who are under age 18 so let's stop that madness right there. Example: person doesn't make enough money to "support themselves" at their job, they work 6 am - 2:30 pm. This is a good 2 hours a day for job searching (not fitting the job search is an 8 hour a day job mentality, but better than zero) or plenty of time to take the last class of the day at the local college as well as the first night class. Does this person (who qualifies for financial subsidy for college and living through the FAFSA) do either of these things? No. How do I know? I know this person. She's been doing the same things for 15 years. Example 2 (been on here a couple times before) Person B is on welfare and in college (hey bettering yourself! Yay!) ... for 7 years ... to get an associates degree ... (or maybe not). Does this person use their associates degree to get a job? No, they get a new major in college because welfare supports this activity. How long on welfare you ask? 10 years.

Which of these people is doing even the the minimum to better their own lives? One could argue that the one in college is trying, but that's a weak argument at best. Maybe neither one of these people are the norm, but as I've said before a system that supports this sort of thing needs reform at bare minimum.

To the "Second" so wait a minute, people on welfare aren't gaming the system, but they would be if they were rich because the rich game the system so obviously people game the system unless they are on welfare even though people on welfare are being smart as well because they are gaming the system too?

To the "Third", equal rights and opportunity is not what you seem to mean with equality of humanity. While arguing that the super rich do things to keep themselves super rich is a good argument, it does not equate to "ALL CONSERVATIVES HATES THE POORS!" which seems to regularly be the argument. Beyond that the demand that anyone is racist or a bigot as opposed to actually talking out a point is a cop out, which just obfuscates the issue by turning it into a "No really I swear I'm not racist" discussion; because that's the thing to accuse people of as it's not provable (most of the time) and makes people ignore you. Further more not being able to put one's self in someone else's shoes doesn't mean that an idea is invalid. For example I can not put myself in the shoes of someone who has been shot, but I can pretty readily suggest that stopping the bleeding is a good idea. While that example is a lot more cut and dry than how to fix financial inequality it, it does illustrate that a guy who hasn't done something can still have an opinion (even one differing from your own) and then a discussion can (and should) be had. For example, which happens first; plug the hole or call 911? Which would you be doing first under the circumstances? Is either one wrong? No, but how about if we only do one and ignore the other? In no circumstance could that go wrong.

I said this a few days ago on here so here we go again, how about we drop the elitism and blind hate and have actual discussions on these topic in which we are open minded to the ideals of others?
 
2014-03-17 02:23:23 PM
Even the most decadent Roman Emporer understood the importance of bread as well as circuses.
 
2014-03-17 02:28:00 PM
You know, if your second sentence is utter horseshiat then you're wasting your time posting a book after it because everyone is going to stop reading at the horseshiat just like I did.
 
2014-03-17 02:32:17 PM

CPennypacker: You know, if your second sentence is utter horseshiat then you're wasting your time posting a book after it because everyone is going to stop reading at the horseshiat just like I did.


Should try the last sentence then.
 
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