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Saturday, July 26. 2014
But who are they? Everybody wants to "help" the poor.
Well, so they claim.
But who are "the poor"? How can you "help the poor" unless you know who they are?
Some are probably mentally-disabled, some are college or grad students, some are young people starting out, some are Maine Guides, some are hippies, some are single moms in rural or urban areas, some are lazy or feckless bums or addicts, some are ambitious new immigrants (legal or otherwise), some are retirees, some have low income but have assets, many get paid off the books, some may be quite content, some are temporarily down on their luck, some are struggling artists, some are ill, etc., etc. "The poor" is not a unitary category. I used to be poor, and probably most Maggie's readers have been poor at some point in their lives.
That 92 year-old in Florida, now a WalMart greeter, had 10 million with Madoff. Poor, now.
How come nobody ever talks about who they are, and whether it's a temporary situation, or a life-style choice, or whatnot? And how come the value of government and charitable benefits are never included in figuring poverty in the USA?
From the article:
I doubt Ryan, a fine fellow I am sure, ever perused such data. He just wants to care but caring for others requires a discernment and art. Money is not everybody's life goal although perhaps only a noble few have the conscience to refuse free money from their neighbors.
Plain emotional "caring" doesn't deserve any moral credit, and when governments go parental they are the worst parents in the world.
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 14:29 | Comments (9) | Trackback (1)
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A good time to revisit Sumner's "The Rich are good Natured" essay.
The rich are harder to define. And use.
Yep. I've been poor. The have-to-sell-my-blood-plasma-so-I-can-buy-$20-worth-of-groceries poor. It was temporary (about a year). At that time, I didn't even think about applying for food stamps or aid of any kind. I just sucked it up and waited for things to get better. And they did.
That is why I feel I have the right to criticize those who are 'poor,' but never seem to get out of it. So many ways to move up in the world. Even without a degree. Just need to have a work ethic and show up every day on time. Not that hard.
One of the problems with defining the poor is an intentional misleading of the data by the federal and state governments. When a person or family is evaluated they do not take into account any of the income and aid from a couple thousand federal welfare programs. You can get $650 a month in food stamps for a family of four and be counted as "food insecure". Of course you aren't "food insecure" because you are getting enough food stamps to eat steak and lobster. Ditto for income or benefits. You can be getting a couple thousand dollars a month from the government and still legally have zero income. On top of this you can recieve food stamps, medical, housing, cell phone, college grants, and a seemingly endless list of benefits and still be counted as having no income. So who is poor? The working stiff paying taxes so that the "poor" can collect tens of thosuands in cash and benefits every year for the rest of their lives.
I can report that, in the hills of Appalachia, the poor don;t feel poor and just want to be left alone. They don;t need them but are happy for their government checks. They have their own old-time ways of life ( like the Amish), growing tobaccy, making moonshine, poaching, living and dying, etc. Resourceful.
Thomas Sowell has written about this several times. Always worth a read.
The other part of the problem is the definition of "poor", being the bottom 20% of the income range within a certain geographic area -- city, county or metro are, etc. This ensures that there is always 20% poverty no matter how well off everyone is. Thus fulfilling the Biblical statement, " the poor you have with you always."
The lefties like to help the poor with other people's money. There is an old saying, " It is no act of charity to be generous with someone else's money.”
Asking about the poor is not the question. Frankly, if you don't know, you have issues that cannot be corrected here. The real question is what that huge pile of money the government takes from some to redistribute to others is used for. What it is really used for.
Most people seem to fixate on the food stamp, general assistance or subsidized housing numbers. The cash or benefits that actually reach the government defined 'poor'. That $650 per month in food stamps, for example.
But, with the focus on the delivery point, everyone seems to forget where most of that money goes. The bulk of the money goes to millions of government 'workers' and vendors and contractors and so forth. Pick any government program, break down the numbers and you will see quite distinctly that both in terms of dollars and the number of people paid, it is the administration of the program that sucks up most of the resources. By far.
The crumbs that slip through the net are not the problem. The real problem is the real welfare program, the program that feeds millions of parasites. Parasites who gobble trillions of tax dollars every year.
When it comes to discussing the 'welfare' issue, you first must define the problem correctly.
Awesome! Its in fact awesome article, I have got much clear idea about from this article.
This edition of Thoughts On A Sunday may be abbreviated due to a line of thunderstorms making their way across New Hampshire this morning with more due later some time in the afternoon. I am loath to leave things...
Tracked: Jul 27, 10:58