No. of Recommendations: 58
My local newspaper(www.newsgazette.com) carried a column this Sunday by Edward N. Wolff, a professor of economics at NYU and senior scholar at the Jerome Levy Economics Institute. He claims that most American families have seen their level of well-being stagnate over the last 25 years. His prescription to remove poverty from our fair shores follows:

1. Restore minimum wage to 1968 level on inflation adjusted basis.
2. Extend earned income tax credit to more deserving non taxpayers,
3. Make tax and transfer policies more redistributional - supposedly to reduce inequality and increase after-tax income (of whom?),
4. Re-empower Labor - The greater level of inequality (presumptive?) in the US relative to other advanced economies (France? Canada?) is attributable to our low level of unionization. Solution: Labor law reform
5. Curtail the Fed - The Fed should refrain from cracking down whenever "wage inflation" appears,
6. Tax wealth directly - Just a teensy, tiny, very modest tax (at first)on households with assets greater than $500,000 of .05% to .3%. This should have MINIMAL impact, yet would raise $50 billion annually. This tax would be transferred to the "poor and lower middle class". Hmmm!

Funny thing, 30 years ago DH and I started out buying the broken down farm of a bankrupt farmer. We had $6000 (SAVED from military pay during Nam) and used $2600 of that to put in a telephone line and the rest went to machinery. Today that farmer and his kids are still broke and we have assets exceeding $500,000. Seems to me both parties had equal opportunity. One party had a plan, worked 24/7, scrimped, saved and generally busted butt, while the other party stood by and whined about how tough life was. Guess who won the monopoly game? Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

Comments?
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No. of Recommendations: 22
carylanne wrote:

One party had a plan, worked 24/7, scrimped, saved and generally busted butt, while the other party stood by and whined about how tough life was. Guess who won the monopoly game? Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

Comments?

_______________________________________________________



I think we are going to see a lot more of these kinds of stories and other propaganda in the newspaper and on news programs over the next few months.

Remember that these articles and news stories are only messages from the Wise.

The liberals are shaking in their boots at the prospect of a tax cut. Their plan to create a socialist society is in jeopardy.

The only way they can succeed is to create a continually progressive tax system. It is part of the plan outlined in Karl Marx Communist Manifesto. Marx clearly includes in a list of necessary steps for implementing a communist government "A heavy progressive or graduated income tax."

This is why Democrats (liberals, socialists, communists) are only willing to talk about "targeted tax cuts" which will only benefit a small percentage of the lower classes. Those who qualify will have to do what the government tells them to in order to qualify. After all, Big Brother knows what is best for all of his children.

Matt


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. His prescription to remove poverty from our fair shores follows:

1. Restore minimum wage to 1968 level on inflation adjusted basis.
2. Extend earned income tax credit to more deserving non taxpayers,
3. Make tax and transfer policies more redistributional - supposedly to reduce inequality and increase after-tax income (of whom?),
4. Re-empower Labor - The greater level of inequality (presumptive?) in the US relative to other advanced economies (France? Canada?) is attributable to our low level of unionization. Solution: Labor law reform
5. Curtail the Fed - The Fed should refrain from cracking down whenever "wage inflation" appears,
6. Tax wealth directly - Just a teensy, tiny, very modest tax (at first)on households with assets greater than $500,000 of .05% to .3%. This should have MINIMAL impact, yet would raise $50 billion annually. This tax would be transferred to the "poor and lower middle class". Hmmm!
____________________________________________________

Dang right hmmmmm!

1) People get paid minimal wages because they take minimal skills.....(or essentially none at all other than to show up for work, and do exactly what is told).... No one 'has' to make minimum wage...there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......

2).....yeah,yeah....give away more money to more people for 'not' doing something.....

3) liberal democrats at work.......(essentially communisits is nice suits)......everyone gets paid according to need.....(ie, you get to keep nothing...the gov't takes all, then THEY decide how much you really need)...

4) Yeah yeah....more liberal blubber......less work, more workers, more rules, more people in union mgt to collect from union contributions, less productivity, and fewer and fewer profitable companies....when companies are changing at warp speed, unions want to keep things the way they were 80 years ago.....cradle to grave security in exchange for your soul....

5) Yeah...right.....with the 'minimum wage' indexed to inflation, all this does is make 'debt' look less onerous....workers keep getting 'big' raises to keep up with inflation.....those mortgage payments seem smaller...of course, those retirement accounts and union pensions also look a lot smaller, but they don't tell you about that......
6) And his true colors are really exposed in the 'wealth tax'....Florida tried that, (intagible property tax) and now is scrambling to get rid of it....seems a few people with 'wealth' have a few connections here and there.....and a few companies would't move there because of it.....and on and on....

WE gotta keep watching out for these guys who reward the lazy and incompetent, and steal that reward money form those that have it.


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No. of Recommendations: 31
What really astonished me about this "economist" was his assertion that "most American families have seen their level of well-being stagnate over the last quarter-century_ and that's even before the current economic slowdown".

My husband and I were musing over Christmas holidays with our grown sons about the gifts we had received and were thrilled with back in 1974 - get this: A BLENDER! and a used black and white TV (13 inch screen)from my folks and a battery operated hand calculator capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing which cost my in-laws $100 at the time (we had an old fashioned adding machine - you know, the kind with the big keys and the handle you cranked to get a total). We had to pay the telephone company $2600 to lay a phone line 1 mile to our farm from the main road and the main trunkline (the alternative was a radio phone like the Australian Outback). Cellular phones? - maybe in the research labs of Motorola or the Pentagon but not on the radar screen so to speak for everyday consumers. The public was still reeling from the effects of the lies and deceptions of our military and political leaders during the Viet Nam "engagement". (Fast forward to Friday, Feb. 16, 2001 as we tuned into CNN and got the latest briefings (more lies?) on air strikes within Iraq.)

By contrast, Our sons are a recent and a soon to be grad of university. They qualify officially as poor. Their current income is low (hey, the resumes are in the mail), their collective net worths are a little better than zero (thanks to their folks paying all college there is no student debt), they have modest used vehicles, some used student type furniture, and expectations of decent jobs with opportunities to live below their means and save via IRAs and 401k type plans. Stagnant? What planet is this guy living on?

God Bless America.

For those of you who can remember back 25 years, where economically are your family, friends and neighbors from that time today? Did their incomes stagnate, their lives petrify? I can't think of anyone I grew up with who is poor today (although in retrospect we were all low income back then, we just didn't know it!)
Mind you, most of my friends and family were frugal, stayed married, sober, and committed to their families and their careers. Isn't that how its supposed to work?

Sorry for the rant. I shouldn't read those columns before breakfast. Grrrr!
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No. of Recommendations: 4
1. Restore minimum wage to 1968 level on inflation adjusted basis.

Telegraph said: No one 'has' to make minimum wage...there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......

I honestly dont know of many jobs that still pay minimum wage these days, though I'm sure some exist.

In my labor market, which may be an anomoly, we compete with convenient store, fast food, etc... jobs that start in the $8.50 pr hour range, some of those jobs with benefits, and most dont even require specific skills.

Of coure, we've had a very tight labor market (I presume nationwide), and this has likely been the driving factor.



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For those of you who can remember back 25 years, where economically are your family, friends and neighbors from that time today? Did their incomes stagnate, their lives petrify?

This reminds me of a study done (cited in the book "Overspent American"). Although the amount of income on average may have gone down, the big reason for this percieved lack of money is, quite simply, because people want more (read want as "think they're entitled to").


--------------

I do have a couple objections to another post on this thread.

"there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......"

And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty? Go further in debt? Personally, I like Iowa's system. Workforce of Iowa will help pay for community college training, or they'll help you write a resume etc. Those are your only two options: work or learn. No excuses because they know they're providing what's needed. If a person doesn't take the opportunity, no welfare check for them.

"give away more money to more people for 'not' doing something....."

Tell ya what. How 'bout you go bust your ass throwing bails of hay for chump change then come in here saying that's not doing something. Or how bout you tell your garbage collector or the grocery store workers that their not doing anything for you. All work is honest work, even if it's "unskilled".

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Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

Comments?


I would change "think" to "hope" in the above quote. It's been discussed many times how the upper small percentage of income earners pays the large majority of taxes. Given the chance, the Democrats will provide more and more tax breaks to the "poor" and the middle class until only about 1/3 of all income earners pay all the taxes. Then we're doomed--they won't need the 1/3 of the votes to stay in power forever as long as they continue to make the "rich pay their fair share" and buy the votes of the other 2/3 with ever-increasing entitlements.
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"I honestly dont know of many jobs that still pay minimum wage these days, though I'm sure some exist. "

You won't find any/many in NYC or Dallas suburbs or Calif, but go to Mississippi or Alabama or anywhere outside a big city of 50,000 or more, and pay scales are way way down..... TAco Bell in Dallas pays minimum wage to folks starting out......or maybe a quarter or half more. FAst food in this area pays $7-8/hr after a year or two on the job. apartments start at $ 800/mo.

When the average income of an area is low low low, the pay scales are also low low low.



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""give away more money to more people for 'not' doing something....."

Tell ya what. How 'bout you go bust your ass throwing bails of hay for chump change then come in here saying that's not doing something. Or how bout you tell your garbage collector or the grocery store workers that their not doing anything for you. All work is honest work, even if it's "unskilled".
_________________________________________________

There are dozens of idiotic gov't programs that give away money. Half the people in upstate NY work at seaonal work......and they have been doing that for generations (you can't farm in the winter, or work in ski areas in the summer!).....but the gov't says, oh, these poor folks are 'unemployed' half the year, and so there are dozens of gov't people signing them up for this and that 'free give away' program. There is more give away cheese that the people can eat, and more this food program, that food program......so now, rather than work year round, half the people 'take off' for half a year and collect your and mine money.....through gov't programs the gov't tries desperately to EXPAND year after year. It worked fine for five generations without it, but now we have all these 'poor' people suddenly. The people are paid NOT to work.

The farmers are PAID not to plant crops......idiotic....what should happen is market forces...there are too many farmers...sooner or later that has to change. Paying farmers NOT to grow simply moves out the date where half the farmers go bankrupt.

And on and on with gov't programs that pay people NOT to do things.

And unions agitate for stupid rules so this person can't do that job....can't change a light bulb in a desk lamp....that takes a $50/hr electrician to do, a $30 material handler to order, fetch, and place the bulb on the desk so the electrician can 'install it', then ten pieces of paperwork so everyone gets paid....so changing your lightbulb, which you do at home, you can't do at work...because the union says you can't....and the gov't only hires union work on federal projects...... more gov't paying for poeple NOT to do things....

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No. of Recommendations: 52
"there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......"

And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty? "
_________________________________________________
1) Read a dang book or magazine. You can learn one heck of a lot from books. They should have learned about books in 12 years of public school education.
2) Pay attention in public school, for which in my town we are paying $4000/student per year.
3) TAke advantage of community college (cheap at $35/credit) with available scholarships for truly needy, or get full scholarships to major universities
4) Become an apprentice, or work with someone for free to learn how to do a job (from auto mechanic to tire changer to grass cutter to tree trimmer)...the small business around here all need eager people willing to learn.......
5) Go to night school
6) Go to the library and read...and use the free computers to learn on the internet...
7) Go into the armed forces and learn a decent trade (not artillery). Qualify for GI educational benefits, then use them!
8) Join the Peace Corp (they need farmers too), and widen your horizons....

I really get torqued when 40 to 50% of 'poor' people can afford $1000/yr in tobacco products and $1000 a year in beer, and then claim they can't afford $250/semester in community college costs...... and they probably have a color TV, a CD player, and a bunch of other 'stuff'.

Yeah,yeah, yeah, they are 'poor' so they deserve a handout forever - NOT!
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I think you said it all in your first line:

"Edward N. Wolff, a professor of economics at NYU and senior scholar at the Jerome Levy Economics Institute"

Has this guy actually earned a real paycheck in his adult life....or tried to meet a payroll? He's got to be a friggin' "limo liberal"....making $100,000 a year to rant about how poor everyone is.

This whole idea of equalizing the "effects" of asset accumulation during a working career is insane. This guy obviously has no clue about how folks accumulate wealth in the first place. Absolutely none.

I will allow ONE tiny qualification to what I'm about to say - and that is with regards to inherited wealth. I believe that inheritances & inter-generational gifts should be capped at the value of a college education ($100,000) and about $250,000 in other assets - for each child. This would be an extremely generous level of support for a child - but not enough to spoil them. Past this point - I think there is a risk of creating a spoiled brat as a burden on the next generation of society. Or who might decide to go and become some kind of socialist economics professor.

But beyond that....this guy is a friggin' flake.

The accumulation of assets - and their protection from the slings & arrows of fate - is a reward for showing good stewardship over the time & resources entrusted to you by society. Work hard, make good choices, and get a little lucky....and you will be rewarded.

It's very similar to the parable of the talents in the Bible - three servants were entrusted with a sack of silver while their master was in a foreign land. Quotes are from Matthew 25:14, NSRV.

Two of them received five & two talents, respectively, and proceeded to go forth and trade with the markets of their time. Over the course of their master's time abroad, they both doubled their capital.

(Capitalist Note: assuming they were in a fair market economy at the time, they would have wound up helping others in the process. At the very least, they would have added liquidity to their markets - more probably, they found a way to add value to their products, which would created jobs, additional profits, and heightened consumer satisfaction for those with whom they traded).

On a more practical note, they were rewarded by the returning master with the quote: "Well done, good and trustworthy slave, you have been trustworthy in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master".

It sounds like those 2 - 5 talents worth of earnings were puny in relation to their future rewards from having demonstrated their abilities as managers. In the same way an experienced management team can raise capital & gain the confidence of investors, these two servants proved they were capable of being trusted. Their success in taking a small risk opened up a whole new world of opportunities for them in the long run - and access to "other people's money" to leverage the skills they learned in their own businesses.

The third servant hid his one talent in his basement for fear of losing it...then whined to his master that because his master was harsh: "Master, I knew you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seeds" that he was "afraid and hid his talent in the ground".

The returning master's comment: "You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter. Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest".

Apparently God is a Republican:

Master: "So take the talent from him and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

I think the message here is obvious. Life is a harsh master...there is always risks, always things that may go wrong. Society has entrusted each of us with a set of talents - education, experience, cash, and various relationships developed over the course of our lives.

But what we make of them is our business. And there is a limit to the endurance of these assets - inflation, the progress of technology, and other factors make these assets less valuable over time. So we must use them - while we can - or society will take them back and distribute them to more deserving participants.

This parable teaches us that the greatest sin is not losing...it's not trying at all. Personally, getting chucked into the "outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" doesn't sound like a particularly nice fate. But I suspect that's a pretty good summary of the helplessness of being dependant on government handouts.

But that's exactly what the liberal agenda tries to reverse....tax those who take risks, make sacrifices, and bust their butt to move things forward. And reward those who sit on their butts.

The reality it....this system is self-defeating. It can only breed a corrupt welfare state...which will eventually fail. As a patriot, I hope it falls to an internal reform movement rather than America's enemies.

As an individual, I have been blessed with a share of society's resources - ranging from a sought-after slot at a top university, to similarly competitive jobs as an intern with large companies and some "seed money" from my parents. I think I've shown good stewardship of these resources - I am one of the youngest people at my level in my company, my resume cites numerous situations where I made my employers a lot of money, and my personal net-worth just crossed $100,000.

But this came as a result of:

A) Hard work - including a lot of 80 hour weeks.

B) Risk Taking - I went out on a limb a few times, in hopes of getting an above average return on my effort.

C) Effort - I worked with our hardest high-profile clients, which involved significant stress & effort.

D) Sacrifice - I live a relatively frugal life-style and have a 30% savings rate - which is a product of once having made an extremely small salary, learning to live comfortably at that level, and deciding that there was little point in spending more to "flash".

Am I willing to give to charity? Yes. Especially when that charity seeks to empower folks to earn their own way in the world & improve their circumstances. This is the only kind of viable charity work, in my opinion.

Am I willing to support folks who either didn't try to manage their talents....or frittered away their salary on expensive cars & entertainment - refusing to save for their future? Hell no. Let'em enjoy a little time in the "Outer darkness"....
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Telegraph wrote:

....and so there are dozens of gov't people signing them up for this and that 'free give away' program......through gov't programs the gov't tries desperately to EXPAND year after year.

_______________________________________________________


This is why we are still spending the same amount and more on our welfare programs even though we have supposedly "moved millions of welfare recipients into the work force."


This reminds me of a story I saw on Dateline or one of those news magazine shows last November. They went to a food bank that was handing out boxes of holiday food so that "poor" people could have a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and the like.

They went up and down the line (which stretched around the block) and asked people questions like "do you have a microwave?" and "do you have a VCR?" and "do you have cable TV?"

Of course they all answered yes, and they were all nicely dressed. Now I ask you, should we be subsidizing cable TV and microwave ovens for the "poor" by providing them with free food? If someone is so irresponsible as to purchase a VCR before feeding their children, is there anything we can do to help them?

These people are not "poor" by any means. Yet they continue to visit the food bank out of some feeling of entitlement. Or hell, I don't know, they could be thinking "if they are stupid enough to give it to me, why should I pay for my own food?"

It used to be that people were too proud to accept these kinds of welfare, and would only do so as a last resort, and only when they truly needed it. There was a stigma attatched to welfare. There is no stigma anymore. We call it Temporary Aid for Needy Families, and other politically correct names so that people do not feel ashamed that they are unproductive leeches on our society. We have now created a large group of people that feel entitlement and will continue to get as many handouts as they are allowed until somebody finally tells them no.

I have personal knowledge of a woman who got between 6 and 8 free turkeys from different churches and food banks every holiday, and this was a woman who never cooks. She sold them to friends.

She took her friends to the grocery store and bought them groceries with her food stamps, and then charged her friends 75 cents on the dollar for the groceries. You see, she got almost $300 a month more in food stamps than she could use. She took it anyway.

And we've all heard the story of that tiny convenience store in Florida that was redeeming 18 million dollars a year in food stamps, even though it spent less than a hundred thousand a year on inventory. They were buying food stamps at 50 cents on the dollar and then redeeming them at face value.

Welfare is a really bad investment. I would never donate to any of these charity programs. Most people justify the waste saying that the children are not at fault, and they shouldn't be punished for their parent's lack of responsibility. I agree. But how much sense does it make to take that same irresponsible parent and give them the resources to take care of the child? None. They will squander it the same way they have squandered their own lives. The child gets very little, if any, benefit from welfare.

The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that.

Matt
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that was very good i am on the same place with you not on the making money but on men my age are not making what i make i thing i am doing very good
considering that i come from a diferent country


i like this country becouse if you work hard
you make somthing out you life
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And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty?

Well, they could do some of the things I did:

1. I graduated from high school.
2. I joined the Marine Corps.
3. While in the Marine Corps I went to college at night for several years.
4. After leaving active duty I went to university full-time, had a part-time job, and also was in the Marine Corps Reserve. The part-time job, Marine Corps Reserve pay (1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer), and the GI Bill were enough to get me a degree.

The Army right now is offering particularly generous bonuses, in addition, to the GI Bill. Even better than what I earned.
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Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

I hope you're braced for it. I definitely see your two principal concerns: First, Congress can legislate "equal opportunity" but they cannot legislate equal ability nor willingness to work hard. Second, I fear that, as you said, we who are diligent in saving and investing will find ourselves heavily taxed to support the retirement of those who have planned and saved nothing. However you feel about redistribution of "wealth" don't think it can't happen.

KennyO
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<<There are dozens of idiotic gov't programs that give away money. Half the people in upstate NY work at seaonal work......and they have been doing that for generations (you can't farm in the winter, or work in ski areas in the summer!).....>>


In Washington State, construction crews know they will be laid off over the winter and collect unemployment. The contractors who hire people with this expectation don't pay unemployment taxes based on this experience with claims. Instead, these benefits are subsidized by employers with low rates of unemployment ---they get hit for significantly higher taxes to pay for seasonal workers who get laid off.

This has been going on for decades.


Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 9
"And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty?"

With all due respect to the ex-military folks on the board (and that is a good solution here, IMHO), there is another path available to these folks:

- Get an entry level job (even customer service) with a large Fortune 500 company. They are also begging for entry level folks - the pay isn't too bad (~25K/year).

- Bust your ass for a year or two. Become a top member of your team (even if it's call center or assembly). That will help you down the line. Find a way to make your boss look good...that helps even more :)

- Take courses. Most companies offer free tuition for college & remedial high school classes. Take advantage of it. Similarly - most of these companies are willing to send you to classes on computers, management, sales and influencing skills, etc. Take advantage of this.

- Get to know people outside your department. Look for stuff you could do - particularly computer tasks (for some reasons, there's always something available here) or project work. Try to get involved in a teams that include folks from other departments.

- At some point....post for a job in marketing or the business side (sales, finance, etc.). Or apply for a promotion within your work group to junior management. If at first you don't succeed....polish your resume and apply again. Or try for a systems job (other area where we never seem to have enough folks for testing). If all else fails...look externally.

I have seen...and personally promoted...enough line associates into specialist & junior mangement roles that I've got a fair degree of faith in the system. Given time & a little effort...it will work.
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"The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that."

There are quite a few fat poor people in Canada, too.


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<<Of course they all answered yes, and they were all nicely dressed. Now I ask you, should we be subsidizing cable TV and microwave ovens for the "poor" by providing them with free food? If someone is so irresponsible as to purchase a VCR before feeding their children, is there anything we can do to help them?

These people are not "poor" by any means. Yet they continue to visit the food bank out of some feeling of entitlement. Or hell, I don't know, they could be thinking "if they are stupid enough to give it to me, why should I pay for my own food?"
>>


Personally, I've decided that if the government is dumb enough to give me a subsidy, I'll take it. This is a matter of self defense --- we have an enormous number of government programs funded by my tax dollars, and I'd feel rather foolish if I wasn't getting some of what was being spent in return.

So, when a nearby community center was handing out free lunches last summer, I went out and chowed down. If they were handing out free turkeys, I'd pick one up if the lines were short. I collect rent from the government for low income tenants, and I'd collect Social Security benefits if they aren't means tested.

I'm also delighted to come back and report these stupid actions whenever they occur.

Seattle Pioneer
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Here's a very good reason not to take these "subsidies."

It's a nice little story:


Are YOU a Pig?

The Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp

by Steve Washam

based on a telling by George Gordon


Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions--especially his traps--and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. It was a Saturday morning--a lazy day--when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town's local citizens. The traveler spoke, "Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?"Some of the oldtimers looked at him like he was crazy.

"You must be a stranger in these parts," they said.

"I am. I'm from North Dakota," said the stranger.

"In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs," one old man explained."A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!"

He lifted up his leg. "I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp."

Another old fellow said, "Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!" "Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They're wild and they're dangerous. You can't trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself."

Every man nodded his head in agreement.

The old trapper said, "Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?"

They said, "Well, yeah, it's due south--straight down the road." But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he'd meet a terrible fate.

He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load them into the wagon."

And they did.

Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they'd never see him again.

Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.

Two weeks later he returned and, again, bought ten sacks of corn.

This went on for a month. And then two months, and three. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn and drive off south into the swamp. The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn.

He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves. "Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they're all hungry. I've got to get them to market right away." "You've WHAT in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously. "I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven't eaten for two or three days, and they'll starve if I don't get back there to feed and take care of them."

One of the oldtimers said, "You mean you've captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?"

"That's right."

"How did you do that? What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly. One of them exclaimed, "But I lost my arm!"

"I lost my brother!" cried another.

"I lost my leg to those wild boars!" chimed a third. The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn't come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I'd spread a sack of corn.

"The old pigs would have nothing to do with it. But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. "I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn, after all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time. "The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So, I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing.

"At first they wouldn't come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them.

"But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day.

"And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them. "The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn't get suspicious or upset, after all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out.

"This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts.

"The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail, after all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence--they could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time.

"Now I decided that I wouldn't feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn't feed them, the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them-- but I only fed them every other day. Then I put a second rail around the posts.

"Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food, they now needed me. They needed my corn every other day." "So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate and I put up a third rail around the fence.

"But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will. "Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well."

"Yesterday I closed the last gate and today I need you to help me take these pigs to market."

The price of free corn is your own slaughter.

The parable of the pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people.

Federal welfare, in its myriad forms, has reduced not only individuals to a state of dependency; state and local governments are also on the fast track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal "revenue sharing" programs. Please copy this parable and send it to all of your state and local elected leaders and other concerned citizens. Tell them: "Just say NO to federal corn." The bacon you save may be your own.

(c) 1997, The Idaho Observer. All rights reserved.

Permission granted to reproduce for non commercial purposes in entirety including this notice.

ARE YOU A PIG ?




The reason that our entitlement programs keep getting bigger and the reason wasteful programs will never be abolished is that nobody will vote to eliminate a program they get government corn from, whether it is a wasteful program or not. This is exactly the kind of thing the socialists want.

Matt
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<<"The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that."

There are quite a few fat poor people in Canada, too.

>>


Heh, heh! Canadians have a good deal more in common with 'Mericans than they want to admit.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<Federal welfare, in its myriad forms, has reduced not only individuals to a state of dependency; state and local governments are also on the fast track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal "revenue sharing" programs. Please copy this parable and send it to all of your state and local elected leaders and other concerned citizens. Tell them: "Just say NO to federal corn." The bacon you save may be your own.

(c) 1997, The Idaho Observer. All rights reserved.

Permission granted to reproduce for non commercial purposes in entirety including this notice.

ARE YOU A PIG ?
>>


Oink, oink!

Heh, heh! It's no secret to readers around here!


<<The reason that our entitlement programs keep getting bigger and the reason wasteful programs will never be abolished is that nobody will vote to eliminate a program they get government corn from, whether it is a wasteful program or not. This is exactly the kind of thing the socialists want.
>>


Heck, I figure I'm doing a public service by taking the handouts and coming back to report how dumb it is for the government to give handouts to a millionaire. I figure it is one of the most subversive things I do.

The MOST subversive thing I do is to point out that because of high tax rates I have chosen to sharply reduce the amount of work I do, since the government taxes income from my busines at 43% but leisure time from sitting around posting on the internet at 0%.

I might add that I would never engage in any kind of fraud to get a handout.


Seattle Pioneer


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Funny thing, 30 years ago DH and I started out buying the broken down farm of a bankrupt farmer. We had $6000 (SAVED from military pay during Nam) and used $2600 of that to put in a telephone line and the rest went to machinery. Today that farmer and his kids are still broke and we have assets exceeding $500,000. Seems to me both parties had equal opportunity. One party had a plan, worked 24/7, scrimped, saved and generally busted butt, while the other party stood by and whined about how tough life was. Guess who won the monopoly game? Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

Good for you.

Do you know about any illness in that family?
You didn't say if you had kids. Kids cost a lot, that's a fact, not whining.
Are you really so intimate with their family situation that you KNOW they stood by an whined.

Contrary to popular myth, hard work does not always equal success.

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I should have read the whole thread before responding.

I see that you did have children.

My apologies.
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The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that.

I've seen it many times. Along with being fat, some like their alcohol and tobacco products. I routinely go into low income housing and usually I find that in the winter it is unbearabley hot and in the summer it is chilly. Why? They don't pay their utility bills. I pay my bills. What do you find in my house? It's a bit cool in the winter and warm in the summmer.

I'm all for helping people when they are down on their luck or have had some type of misfortune. However, it has gotten carried away.

Mark :-)


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Golfwaymore: I honestly dont know of many jobs that still pay minimum wage these days, though I'm sure some exist.

Heck, we even pay our babysitters $5/hour tax free. Is that even less than minimum?

InParadise
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Heck, we even pay our babysitters $5/hour tax free. Is that even less than minimum? InParadise

And we assume you pay all payroll taxes or, at very least, issue FORM 1099s to your babysitters. In case you ever get nominated for a cabinet post.

Daryll40
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And we assume you pay all payroll taxes or, at very least, issue FORM 1099s to your babysitters. In
case you ever get nominated for a cabinet post.

Daryll40


Daryll,

I'm much too intelligent to subject myself to the type scrutiny that comes with those types of jobs! <grin>

Actually, we don't use the same babysitter enought to go over the $1,000/year mark that is required before all the legalities kick in. I believe you can pay up to that much in one year before you need to do SS and taxes.

Not a tax pro though.

InParadise

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The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that.

actually this is a growing problem in the developing world

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9612782&dopt=Abstract
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Gee. I'm really enlightend after reading this. I'll bet you've decided that God meant for them to suffer and you to prosper. Congratulations.
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He claims that most American families have seen their level of well-being stagnate over the last 25 years.

Well Mr. Wolff,

In 1976, I was 11 years old. Let me see if I can paint this for you. My father worked, my mother took care of my sister and I. We had a book shelf in our living room that was made of brick and ply wood, painted black with spray cans (I helped paint it). We had a color TV that my Grandparents had given us. Our furniture was all second-hand. We had a Dinner table, a stove and a refridgerator. My sister and I had some toys. Other than that, that was really it. Oh, and the house we rented, was a small two bedroom house in a modest old part of town. My dad had one used car, a Volkswagon.

<snip>

Lets turn forward 25 years. Now I own my own house on the beach. I have three color TV's that all have cable. I buy anything I want (almost) whenever I want it. I have 3 cars. Nice furniture. I drink nice wine and have lots of parties. Our dog eats nothing but expensive designer dog food, Science Diet (supposed to be better than Purina. I don't know if it is, but why take the chance?). We travel 2 or 3 times a year. Last year we visited Thailand. This year, my 5th time to New Orleans, and a trip to Spain. Never traveled with my parents, don't think they could afford it. I have a microwave, hairdryer, much nicer fridge. I have a computer. I have two cell phones, and two regular phones, both wireless. We eat out all the time (used to be a big treat to eat out with my parents. I guess eating out used to be relatively expensive).

I could go on and on, but why? Mr. Wolff, things have gotten much better. I am not way above most people. In fact, I am just slightly above the national average in income and we have very little debt (just some student loans).

I think to assume that the well-being of most Americans has been stagnate is to walk through the past 25 years with a blind-fold over your eyes.

-frazdog
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frazdog writes,

Lets turn forward 25 years. Now I own my own house on the beach. I have three color TV's that all have cable. I buy anything I want (almost) whenever I want it. I have 3 cars. Nice furniture. I drink nice wine and have lots of parties. Our dog eats nothing but expensive designer dog food, Science Diet (supposed to be better than Purina. I don't know if it is, but why take the chance?). We travel 2 or 3 times a year. Last year we visited Thailand. This year, my 5th time to New Orleans, and a trip to Spain. Never traveled with my parents, don't think they could afford it. I have a microwave, hairdryer, much nicer fridge. I have a computer. I have two cell phones, and two regular phones, both wireless. We eat out all the time (used to be a big treat to eat out with my parents. I guess eating out used to be relatively expensive).

I could go on and on, but why? Mr. Wolff, things have gotten much better. I am not way above most people. In fact, I am just slightly above the national average in income and we have very little debt (just some student loans).


The median family income in the US is about $40,000 per year. If you're doing all that in Southern California on slightly more than $40,000 per year, it's astonishing.

Of course, I imagine your home is paid for, as well as the 3 automobiles. If you added in the "rental value" of those items into your budget, I'm sure it would be good for an additional few thousand dollars per month.

intercst
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The median family income in the US is about $40,000 per year.

I do believe it's a little higher than that, however, I should publicly correct my statement and say that I am slightly above our county individual (not family) average (Los Angeles), not the national average. The National average is really bull, because you have L.A., New York, Etc., lumped in with Wisconsin and Montana. Not that there is anything wrong with the latter two states. They look like beautiful places. Just that you can't really compare the opportunities that exist.

You sound though, like you work for the IRS. "rental value" is not rental value if you are not collecting rent. Additionally, my point was not how much money I make or lack, but to show how a modest income buys much more today than a modest income in 1976. It really does.

-frazdog
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<< He claims that most American families have seen their level of well-being stagnate over the last 25 years. >>

Well, even the government thinks that comment's a pile of cr*p:

"The empirical (tax) data support the view of the market economy as a dynamic and open society which provides opportunity to those who participate. There is no evidence of stagnation, with the turnover rate in the most stable quintile -- the top fifth -- exceeding 35 percent. The turnover rates in the bottom four quintiles were at least 60 percent over the period, with most of this reflecting upward progress. Analysis which assumes or suggests stable composition of family or household income quintiles rests on invalid assumptions."

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14337923


Washu! ^O^
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""The United States is the *only* country in the world where poor people are *FAT*. Think about that."

There are quite a few fat poor people in Canada, too."

I spoke with some feeling, I was nearly 60 pounds overweight myself...currently lost 30lbs of it! As for Canada, yeah you'd expect the same problem. Its so cold up there though, you really need to chew some whale blubber anyway<g>.
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<<Contrary to popular myth, hard work does not always equal success.
>>


That's certainly true. A moderate amount of smarts and shredness helps a lot.

A lot of my fellow blue collars at a utility company had twenty years or more experience with the company. They all had more or less the same opportunities. Some were bankrupt, or alcoholics or dead from cigarette disease. Others had been promoted to be managers, ran their own businesses, had net worths of a million dollars or more and had succesful families and children.

Is success just coincidence? The biggest variable I saw were differences in character.



Seattle Pioneer
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Impose a wealth tax on me because my work ethic was not equal to, but exceeded, someone else's? I think not!

Some people think that wealth should go only to those with the strong work ethic shown in the above post. Others think that people ought to be able to leave their wealth to their children (regardless of whether or not the children show a strong work ethic). It's hard to figure out.... Perhaps we'd have a stronger society if only those with strong work ethics commanded wealth. On the other hand, perhaps it is more desireable to have individuals with wealth (and strong work ethics) giving the wealth to their children (who may or may not have a strong work ethic).
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"Gee. I'm really enlightend after reading this. I'll bet you've decided that God meant for them to suffer and you to prosper. Congratulations."

Now, now... Lets leave our invisible "best friend" out of this. Every time He gets involved something bad happens and we're told he knows best. I can get a broker for that.
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"You didn't say if you had kids. Kids cost a lot, that's a fact, not whining."

And we all know that having kids is not under our control. Poor people don't have too many kids, people who have too many kids are poor.

Mike D.
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The only illness I know of in the bankrupt family was alcoholism on the part of the father. As for me, I had a severely disabled child who died several years later. I did benefit from government health care for which I am grateful and I have willingly paid taxes since so that others might also have health care for their children.
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"Gee. I'm really enlightend after reading this. I'll bet you've decided that God meant for them to suffer and you to prosper. Congratulations."
__________________________________________________

Sounds like a strong statement that belief in invisible 'best friend'(s) is not conducive to acquiring wealth..... let's you blame everything on something else, not your own personal faults and habits.

No able body person in American 'has to suffer'. It is only personal demons (and habits like drugs, alcohol, laziness, failure to get an education, gangs, etc. ). There are tens of millions of success stories.

What has hurt is all the blabbering liberals giving away things to those 'poor suffering masses' rather than giving them the tools and incentives and REQUIREMENTS to take personal responsibility for their own well being. Of course, if you feed the 'pigs' they will keep coming back for more, and after a while forget to to find food at all. Same with cows and horses and buffalo and carrier pigeons...they did fine until mankind came along.

I truly believe this is 'the land of opportunity'. Millions of others do, since they will try anything to gain entry into our country year after year.

The "welfare empire builders" have done nothing but turn tens of millions into 'sheep' which they can lead, in whatever direction they chose, and whatever time they chose.....
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This NYU professor should spend some time in the real world and do a study as to why in the 50's middle class families could afford to send kids to NYU without taking out loans. Now only the very wealthy can go to the school without taking a second mortgage on the family home.
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<<Contrary to popular myth, hard work does not always equal success.
>>
That's certainly true. A moderate amount of smarts and shredness helps a lot.


I was just thinking about this last night when our inlaws (who probably make 20% of what my DH and I do) were saying it was unfair that we pay so much more in taxes when we "went to school and work so much harder" than other people.

I know plenty of people who work far harder than I do, and who make far less. My mother in law tutors Russian immigrants for the public school system and makes a tiny salary, for example. She is helping humanity, I'm not. She works 65 hour weeks, I work 40 hour weeks. How is that for working hard?

I think financial success has a lot more to do with the choices one makes, and the educational options available, than to how hard one works.

I chose to go into a higher paying profession, but by the same token my husband and I would not be where we are now if our parents had not encouraged us to go to higher education and make those choices.

I don't think financial success has one whit to do with working hard. Personal and family success definitely does.

- SR

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Credit Ferret:

I'm not sure that I agree with your statement that God is a Republican. However, you do make a very good case that He is NOT A DEMOCRAT.
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Lindburg Baby
<"there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......"

And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty? Go further in debt? >

One guy's solution - I used the GI Bill to help pay for night school while I worked full time. Took over seven years and i was 30 years old with a family when I got my degree. When i was young I couldn't understand how the system could overlook someone with my potential. I look back from here and realize that we are truly living in the land of opportunity. It may not be easy or quick, but it is there.

Well, back to lurk mode ...

lou


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Add my name to the list of those who believe that hard work is usually necessary, but never sufficient, for financial success.

My guess is that if you could meet 100 9 year-olds, you could predict their eventual incomes with 70% accuracy. The differences between people at that age are not the result of "hard work", it's "luck".

Some people get lucky with the right genes, the right parents, and the right community. Others don't.

I've earned far more than my father or my father-in-law. Looking at our lives, I had more good luck. I worked hard, too, but not harder than they did.

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I have to confess I'm something of a lapsed Christian; I'm not really sure what God's political beliefs are, although I'd guess they are definitely not socialist nor really too liberal (read the old testament).

I posted that particular passage because it's one of the few passages that really stuck with me and I've found it to be somewhat inspirational & helpful in putting things in perspective.

There are so many people in this world that are hiding their talent in one way or another...to the detriment of both themselves and society in general.

Personally, I think government assistance programs and welfare are a civilized form of slavery - lashing an entire social class down using the chains of economic dependancy rather than the more physical means used in earlier times. The net effect is the same and - in my personal opinion - equally immoral.

Even more sickening is the use of these tactics by Democrat politicians in the name of "protecting" the folks they are tacitly oppressing.

If we were to brutally enslave 20% of the American population, there would be sustained moral outrage both in the international community and at home. The group promoting this treatment would be condemmed as Nazi's and cast out of our society immediately.

Instead....we enslave an entire people with the chains of economic dependancy....and it's called progress.
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Lindburg Baby said
<"there are tens of thousands of better paying jobs for anyone willing to learn a trade, educate themselves, etc......"

And how do they pay for that training if they're already in poverty? Go further in debt? >


First, I would point out that debt may lead to poverty, but only if you you start out of poverty and then borrow yourself into it. If you start in poverty as I did, there is no way to get enough credit for that to be a real issue.

Once you begin to work, however, you have choices. You can invest time and money in your education or you can spend your wages and even go deeply into debt. Most of my friends from my teenage years (and sad to say, relatives near my age) took jobs on the lower rungs of the ladder and never climbed very high. Why? They never aspired to anything more. They never invested the effort in making more money.

lou said, One guy's solution - I used the GI Bill to help pay for night school while I worked full time. Took over seven years and i was 30 years old with a family when I got my degree. When i was young I couldn't understand how the system could overlook someone with my potential. I look back from here and realize that we are truly living in the land of opportunity. It may not be easy or quick, but it is there.

I agree with you totally, lou. We live in a land of opportunity. I did something similar to you. In my case I joined the Army, worked hard, went to school at night and educated myself while on active duty. Not many soldiers do this, because it is not easy. Many do not have an opportunity while on active duty, but many do. Most do not take advanatge of their GI Bill benefits as you have.

Going to school at night was the hardest work that I ever did because I could always opt out of it if I wanted. It was not convenient to get an education and the benefits of doing so looked awful uncertain to me at the time. I gave up evenings with my young family. I got up early to study and do homework. I stayed up late. I did school work during lunch. I volunteered for duty on Friday nights and Saturday so that I would not miss classes on Monday through Thursday. Later (after going to OCS) I took correspondece courses and carried my books with me to the field. I did geometry homework while pulling radio watch. I worked calculus problems on the mess hall table in Korea and Japan while deployed. I need to finish my BA so that I could keep my commission, so the benefit was obvious to me by then.

The great thing about the USA is that most young people do not remain in poverty. Most work themselves into at least the lower middle class like most of my family and friends. Some reach a little higher and the means to get there is available in this country.

Prometheuss

Attitude by Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of Attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company - a church - a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the Attitude we will embrace. We cannot change our past - we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our Attitude - I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you - we are in charge of our Attitudes.

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Now only the very wealthy can go to the school without taking a second mortgage on the family home.

Or they could earn a scholarship, but then takes effort.

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What utter garbage. You didn't have luck at all. People born to hard working parents who enable them to have better opportunities are not lucky. They are the product of hard work.

My Grandfather worked hard. He put himself through college to become a public school teacher. Through the Depression, he worked for scrip issued by the city because there was no money to be paid. He did whatever other work he could find at night and on weekends. During WWII, he worked nights in a factory making crystals for military radios. He did all this while continuing as a teacher. He continued his own education at night.

He retired after 25 years of teaching. My Grandfather knew the value of saving money, so he started a Credit Union for teachers to help others understand it's value as well. He worked at that for 30 years, many of them with little or no pay. My Grandmother worked for years as a Credit Union volunteer for no pay, often paying out-of-pocket to attend conferences and training.

They worked hard so that their children, and their children's children, wouldn't have to. That was the point. There was no luck involved. Any opportunities those future generations may have received were the direct result of hard work. To imply otherwise, or give credit to luck, demeans the work done by our elders for the sole purpose of providing such opportunity.

Sure, some people may suffer because of bad parenting. But those whose parents have merely done it right are not any more "lucky" because someone worked hard somewhere along the line. The biggest failure of a parent would be in not giving themselves credit for the hard work that they did, not instilling the value of that hard work and sacrifice to the beneficiaries of that time and effort, and in not telling their children what my grandparents told me - "We worked hard in the hope that you wouldn't have to."

Hard work is essential to success, it's just not necessary that one actually does the hard work themselves.

Jim
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This NYU professor should spend some time in the real world ...

Amen, brother!

... and do a study as to why in the 50's middle class families could afford to send kids to NYU without taking out loans.

The landscape of college education was very different in the 50's. Middle class kids who went to college usually got academic or athletic scholarships. Most middle class kids did not go to college and most colleges did not charge anything near the full cost of college in tuition. Think of tuition as the sticker price. In public colleges and universities, the sticker price was low and the taxpayer, endowments, etc. picked up the difference.

Today many private and public colleges and universities in many states have an incentive to charge tuition that nearly covers the cost of education; however, not many people pay the sticker price. The taxpayer, endowments, etc. still pick up a good portion of the true cost to go to college.

Now only the very wealthy can go to the school without taking a second mortgage on the family home.

This is untrue. I have recent experience with this issue at both ends of the spectrum and experience in the not so distant past in the middle. One of my daughters graduates from an exclusive liberal arts college this spring and my other daughter went to community college. Not so long ago (in the early 90's) I put myself and my ex-wife through college at a medium sized state school.

There are a lot of myths about college costs. If you believe the hype then you would think that I must pay $28K+ per year for my daughter to go to her private, liberal arts college. The real price tag is a lot lower and what you pay depends on what you can afford. Wealthy parents might pay the full cost, but the poorest students do not pay much at all (and this comes primarily from federal and state grants and work-study programs). In fact, I would pay the same amount to send my daughter to a University of California or California State school as I have paid to send her to a private school because they both calculate financial need the same way.

[This college]offers a generous student aid program. As a result, over 70% of the students enrolled at [this college]receive some form of financial assistance. A large portion of [our]'s student aid program is need-based. However, there are also merit scholarship programs. In 1999-2000, over $14 million was spent on student aid and over half of that amount (61%) came from institutional resources. [Our] substantial endowment allows the College to be need-blind, to meet the full need of all students, and to be relatively generous in the ways that need is met.

Ability to pay is not a major factor in admissions and you begin to work the finances only after you are accepted to the school. My daughter's college collects and seals financial aid information from prospective freshmen and only opens the envelope after the student is accepted. The odd thing about merit scholarships is that they reduce the money paid by the school a lot more than they reduce the moeny paid by the student and parents.

Many high school seniors and their parents are frightened by apparently prohibitive expenses of some private colleges. They understand why first-rate education must be costly, but they still do not see how they can afford it.

[This college]is committed to meeting the full need of all admitted students. This information is designed to assist you in learning how you can meet the expense at [this college].

[This college] coordinates a comprehensive financial aid program consisting of scholarships, grants, loans, and term-time employment through funding from state and federal programs, from its own resources, and from other sources.

All candidates admitted to [this college] (freshmen and transfers) who have financial need are awarded 100% of the financial aid they need. Approximately 65% of our current freshman class received aid.

Any student who has a strong scholastic record and needs financial assistance is encouraged to apply to [this college]. Your need for financial assistance has no bearing on your admission decision.


Need is the key factor. The college expects parents to pay what they can afford. The college also expects students to work up to 20 hours per week and during the summer. With my situation, my daughter will pay less than 1/3 of her college costs through work-study and student loans, I will pay a little more than 1/3 of her college costs (without taking out any loans), and the colloge will pay a little more than 1/3 of her college costs.

The cost for my second daughter to go to community college was minimal. We paid more for books than we did for the classes. Students with financial need can get student aid in the form of grants and loans.

Even students without financial need can get federal student loans! Another odd fact, the medium income of parents of students at UCLA is higher than the medium income of parents of students at USC. (UCLA is public; USC is private.) Why? If your family has an income in six figures (e.g., $125K+ with one child in college) and is otherwise financially sound then you pay the full tuition at either school and tuition at UCLA is less than half tuition at USC. USC has a higher average income for parents of students (and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out why).

Do you need to take out a second mortgage? Yes, if you have no savings for college and you are living at or above your means. Otherwise, get the facts and and by all means budget this a major expense; however, never think that going to college is beyond your means.

Prometheuss
{I substituted the words in [] for the name of my daughter's college in case anyone wonders.}
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No. of Recommendations: 6
"... and do a study as to why in the 50's middle class families could afford to send kids to NYU without taking out loans."

Having just had a niece graduate from NYU, I can say that 'middle class' families can send their children to NYU or other schools. No, it wasn't fully subsidized, and yes, her parents had to do without a few 'frills' for those four years....and spent up some money they had set aside for just that reason. (smart parents forsee these things, dear Prof!).

In NY state, there is an excellent state school system and scholarships all over the place for qualified students. Sure, not everyone is going to a) get into NYU and b) be able to 'afford' it without some effort.

That includes for the student maybe working part time, work/study program, or some student loans. Working summers to contribute some toward expenses, too.

For the parents, in most cases for 'middle income' families, without other kiddies in college, are likely to spend a significant sum of money ($10-15K per year) toward the tuition/room and board/books/fees. So what? You are buying an education, and a 'prestigious one' at that. Your kid didn't have to go to NYU (or substitute your top ranked college here)... There were hundreds of almost as good alternatives.

This sounds like the professor has been reading too many liberal books where they want 'everything for free'. Tuiton to the best schools for free.....free ride in life......the only problem there is when everything is 'free', then first, there is a major problem with supply/demand (just think of free Lexi and free Rolexes), and secondly, with the increased demand, who decides who goes and who doesn't, since capacity is limited?

Kids don't have to go to MIT, Harvard, Yale, or Ivy League school to get an education. There are 1000 colleges out there, and hundreds of them are excellent in their own areas. If the are truly gifted, then they have excellent chance of full scholarship if needy even to those top ten or twenty colleges. Gosh, not everyone is in the 'top 10%" academically.....

There are hundreds of excellent state schools, and for children 'in state' the tuition is usually quite reasonable. Getting an education is 90% up to the student.

This professor sounds like another liberal asking for all sorts of subsidies, grants, give aways, for everybody and anybody. (or more likely, free for students with talent in 'his speciality' and the heck with the rest of the university - so there is a big program in his specialty for which he gets credit).

I'd bet he wouldn't accept 'average middle class' income for his pay, though......he probably wants top dollar as a 'professor' at a prestigious university....more so because it is "NYU". He wants high pay, wants a presitigious university, but gets upset when it isn't 'Volkswagen' pricing.

Folks, that's why people pay $40,000-$55,000 for a Lexus....not because it provides better transportation than a $15,000 Honda, but because it provides incrementally better (and double/triple the price) performance. Not everyone drives a Lexi...not everyone 'has' to go to NYU or Harvard.

Going to college in the 50s was not common, and WAS expensive for middle class America. Now, 80% of many high school classes go on to college. The prof better try another subject, as he flunks this one.



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Tax wealth and I'll bury gold in my backyard. Also escapes the estate tax.

-antennaguy
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No. of Recommendations: 5
The number one predictor of college success was not SAT scores, GPA or anything else that is usually examined. At the age of 5 a test is given where a child can have one marshmellow now, or if they wait until the researcher returned, they could have two. Those that could wait did quite well in life, those that couldn't, did not fair so well. Apparently the ability to delay gratification is important to success. Else why go to school, why save for retirement, why not spend every penny you make that week? Scary part is that it happens so early in life, but I guess you can change that attitude if you try hard enough.

From a study listed in "Emotional Intelligence" book, not sure of author as it is at home.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Contrary to popular myth, hard work does not always equal success.

Nobody said anything of the sort.

Hard work greatly increases the chances of success, while the lack of hard work greatly increases the chances of failure.
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And we assume you pay all payroll taxes or, at very least, issue FORM 1099s to your babysitters. In case you ever get nominated for a cabinet post.

Heck, all you have to do is switch babysitters every $400. They grow u[ so fast anyway that they don't want to babysit anymore :-)
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No. of Recommendations: 18
**Now only the very wealthy can go to the school without taking a second mortgage on the family home.**

>>Or they could earn a scholarship, but then takes effort.<<

_______________________________________________________



Earn? A scholarship? You must be joking. There are now scholarships out there for every excuse the liberals have come up with for why the poor and "disadvantaged" haven't been able to get an education. And most of them you don't have to earn. Black, Native American, Hispanic, wheel chair, learning disabled, left handed, you name it and there is a scholarship. The list gets weirder and weirder the more you dig into it.

The bottom line is that there are no more excuses. Even if you are too lazy to pursue a scholarship, the government will guarantee your loans for as long as you want to go to school--even if you fail every class you take. The most you will lose is the government subsidy on the interest of the loan.

Too lazy to apply for a loan? Get a LIBRARY CARD. A good public library has more information than one person could possibly absorb.

The bottom line is that the poor and "disadvantaged" are poor and "disadvantaged" because they are lazy and irresponsible.

People complain inner city schools are bad? People say we aren't spending enough money? That is BULL.

Homeschoolers spend far less per student than our public schools do, and they are kicking the public school's asses in academic tests and competitions.

As a matter of fact, I personally spoke to a woman today in Virginia who was arrested for homeschooling her child. Her and her husband were actually thrown in jail for taking the responsibility for teaching their child. Her son has a learning disability and they had "warehoused" him in a special ed class where he played with coloring books all day. When she found out what he was doing she pulled him out of school. Within a few months her son (a 3rd grader) had learned to read (something the school had been unable or unwilling to do). He was also doing math at a 5th grade level.

As for inner city schools, I don't buy the argument. You show me one child whose parent is involved and active in their child's school who is not learning and I will shut up. Period. End of story.

Without a parent who cares, it doesn't matter how much money you spend. The only solution to the problem is responsibility.

In the absence of that, we will continue to throw away BILLIONS of dollars on education.

Matt

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Matt: As for inner city schools, I don't buy the argument. You show me one child whose parent is involved and active in their child's school who is not learning and I will shut up. Period. End of story.

Without a parent who cares, it doesn't matter how much money you spend. The only solution to the problem is responsibility.


Matt, I understand your frustration but you seem to give the examples of schooling without money but with strong parental interest, and schooling with money but without parental interest. I don't argue with those points, beyond the fact that even a parent who is interested in their child's education needs a bare minimum to work with.

Unfortunately, our public schools here are without money or strong parental involvement. I am talking few to no text books, teachers working on 1995 contracts without the annual increases, already owed in the millions of dollars in back pay. Buildings that are litterally falling apart. After so many generations of these conditions, the parents don't really expect that there is any hope of breaking the cycle for their child, and don't know how to teach the child what the parent has never learned. There is an organisation here called "Adopt A Class" who raises money for the supplies for a few of the classes. This organisation is put together by people whose children go to private school, because if you have two nickels to rub together and understand the importance of education, that is where you send your children.

Unfortunately, the territorial government is so broke that they are unable to meet the needs of these public school children. Apart from a Federal takeover for better local government management, (which is hoped for by many,) how does one resolve this problem? These kids are absolutely falling through the cracks, even those who want to learn. And please don't give me the library thing either. It doesn't apply here due to past hurricane dammage. And as far as the armed forces, you need a high school diploma AND to pass a basic skills test that any high school graduate should be able to pass. The rate of public high school graduates failing this test is so high, that the Army is setting up special classes to get the skill levels high enough to pass it.

Meanwhile, crime gets worse and there is no hope for reversal of the trend in sight. While I don't think there is just one answer for this problem, I can't help but think that properly managed cash increase would help. We may just be a territory, but it bothers me to see so many US citizen children swept to the side like this. It is not an easy problem.

InParadise
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No. of Recommendations: 43
inparadise,

Please do not be offended by what I am about to say. My aim is not to attack you, but I do have a serious difference of opinion.

There are people in this world who spend their time making excuses for themselves and others, and there are people who spend their time acting to better themselves and others.

Perhaps some background will put things in perspective. I can tell already this is going to be a long post, so those of you who may not be interested might want to click "next" now.

I can fully appreciate the terrible conditions in those schools. I believe it would be very difficult to learn under those conditions.

But I don't believe we will ever solve the problem by making excuses for it and them.

My father was the middle child of six. His father was an alcoholic and never around, he died alone in prison. His mother sat on welfare until she died. None of their children graduated high school.

To this day, only one of my father's siblings has ever held a job. My dad has worked 60-80 hours a week for the past 27 years.

When my older brother turned 5, my parents moved out of the city and into a small trailer in the suburbs with 4 kids, because my dad didn't want us to go to the same school he went to. Four years later he had saved a small down payment and moved the family into a house.

When I was in 9th grade my dad started studying to get his GED. He would go to work 2 hours early to study with a tutor the company paid for and then work a 12 hour shift welding in 120 degree heat. He came home and looked over my shoulder as I did my algebra homework because he knew he would need it to pass the test. You see, my dad wanted his high school diploma before any of his children graduated. He wanted to set a good example. He did.

Three of his four children went to college. One is in the Air Force.

I'm tearing up just thinking about all the sacrifices my parents made for their children.

My parents recently adopted two of my cousins who were born crack babies. The youngest of the two started kindergarten the year my youngest brother graduated high school. They haven't seen my aunt since she abandoned her children over 6 years ago. Both have been diagnosed with ADHD, and one with OCD and an attatchment disorder. They are both earning mostly A's and B's in school.

Two years ago I moved out of my home town. There weren't any good jobs there. I packed everything I could fit into my car and gave away the rest. I moved 1200 miles to find a decent job, with no financial support from anyone, and less than $1000 in my pocket.

10 years ago my aunt (on my mom's side) did the same exact thing. The difference being she was a single parent of two kids. Both of her children now work for the local police department.


The conditions of the school you describe are bad. But if you are in the U.S. (or even the Virgin Islands), there are choices. I will acknowledge that many of them are tough choices, but the choices are there. And if not there, then elsewhere.

Nearly 100% of Hispanic immigrants here in Florida start out on public assistance. 80% of them receive no form of government assistance within 9 months of arrival. That's the way the system is supposed to work.

But the bottom line is that if the parents don't take responsibility, there is nothing we can do for the children short of taking them away from their parents, and we could debate the merits of doing that for the rest of the year.

Anything you do for a child of irresponsible parents will be undone as soon as they get home from school. No amount of dollars will fix that.

And I don't buy the argument that people without parenting skills or education just can't do it. Where there's a will, there's a way. Perhaps you could offer to teach a class of parents 2 nights a week in your ER?

150 years ago, the Mormon church ran out of money to continue the wagon trains out west to Salt Lake City. Thousands of people walked 1500 miles pulling handcarts, at times through the snow. We're talking pregnant women and children too.

Maybe things just haven't got bad enough here yet.

A rainy day in the U.S. is still better than a sunny day in many other parts of the world.

Matt
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Well said!
And the 'middle class' can do the same thing. The principles as you point out are the same. Taking nothing from your story I know of individuals who have accomplished the same thing.
Their start was the right neighborhoods, schools, and parental interest. From that beginning they became the best they could by being responsible for the operation of Large companies as the President or CEO.

It is the individual and the interest their parents take in their childrens development that counts far more than an "Institutionalized" system.
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Matt, I understand what you are saying, and am a big believer in self-reliance. I too can offer you a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps"-type story of my parents, though admittedly not quite as radical as yours. Close though.

Matt: There are people in this world who spend their time making excuses for themselves and others, and there are people who spend their time acting to better themselves and others.

I won't argue with this, but I will add that there are also those who try to figure out the root cause of problems and to then solve them. I think in many regards, the reason for the perception most of these people share that they cannot better themselves is similar to the reason why many people cannot envision an ER. It is culturally foreign to them. They know of no success stories to mimick. Occasionally, there is the highly unusual child who understands that hard work can advance him in life, but these are few and far between. I would like to find a way to increase those odds.

I can fully appreciate the terrible conditions in those schools. I believe it would be very difficult to
learn under those conditions.

But I don't believe we will ever solve the problem by making excuses for it and them.


Nor do I. Again I am trying to understand the root cause of the problem so that I might perhaps be able to help in some way. One thing that I am doing is to tutor some of the local children twice a week so that they can receive some guidence from an interested adult. Unfortunately, there has to have been some measure of realization that education is important to them before they even will come for tutoring.

I was talking pretty extensively about this with my cleaning lady the other day. I have the utmost respect for what she has been able to do for herself and her children. Somehow, out of thin air, she realized that eduction and saving were important. It was never demonstrated to her by example nor in any other way, yet she has an excellent saving ethic and is very tough on her children to make sure they are learning what they need to in the public schools. She managed to keep her son out of the gangs, and recently moved out of the projects into a house that is fully paid for, though only partially built. I would love to understand how she developed this wisdom, when none of her family did.

I would also love to know if there is some way in which we can increase this understanding of hard work, education and thrift leading to a better life. That would be worth more than throwing money on the situation. But there exists a base level of funding that is necessary to provide the tools needed for these children to learn. You have to minimally have boot straps before you can pull yourself up with them.

Thanks for your post.

InParadise
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Some professor he is, and in economics?! What a joke this guy!
I believe we already give too much to the poor. The poor are poor because they refuse to educate themselves.
My husband and I started out with nothing, have worked very hard over the last 10 years to get where we are today. What the heck is the problem here, why must we reward ignorance?
Everyone that starts with nothing has the same opportunity as the other. We need to stop trying to help everyone by hurting them. A person will never help themselves if we enable them to "help themselves" into our pockets! M. A. Lindeen, Washington State
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My husband and I started out with nothing, have worked very hard over the last 10 years to get where we are today. What the heck is the problem here, why must we reward ignorance?

But what if you got injured and couldn't work hard - then you wouldn't have gotten so rich. Would you deserve to be punished then?

What if someone can't read - how can you blame them for being ignorant.

I think its clear that you are heartless and should pay more taxes to help those who haven't done as well as you - after all - aren't we all equals?


Helter
...adding pointless drivel to OT threads since 2/23/2001
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No. of Recommendations: 2
"
But what if you got injured and couldn't work hard - then you wouldn't have gotten so rich. Would you deserve to be punished then?

What if someone can't read - how can you blame them for being ignorant.

I think its clear that you are heartless and should pay more taxes to help those who haven't done as well as you - after all - aren't we all equals?"
____________________________________________________

If you get injured, then you are thankful you have been paying all along for disability insurance.....or in most cases, you might not get rich, but there is some disability safety net......and even if you break a leg or worse, that still means you could work doing hundreds of other jobs....

If they can't read after I spent $4000/yr for 12 years, in real estate taxes to pay for schools, then maybe they shouldn't survive???? EVery kid in America gets to go to public school at tax payer expense for 12 years...... Just how much welfare am I supposed to give this person? Income for life?

All men might be 'created' equal, (which really isn't true), but more important , people have OPPORTUNITY to make the most of themselves, whether it is to become a carpenter or a doctor. We give kids an education so they can partake of these opportunities. If some American families can't function or get that message across, I'm still NOT going to subsidize that portion of the population, for life, who are UNWILLING to get an education.

I don't recall anything saying all will have 'equal wealth' anywhere. Or equal health. Or equal success.




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