We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, December 20. 2017
Portland’s Disgraceful Anarchy - A city’s besieged businesses close rather than deal with unchecked urban degradation.
With count complete, feds can start eliminating billions of dollars in wasted property
The UN report on US poverty makes a very dumb mistake
Yes, the UN report ignores all government charity and benefits for the poor - but only for the US statistics
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King Herod's grand Third Palace is being systematically destroyed by the Palestinians, who are stripping its stone and building homes around it. The site is in Area A, meters from Israeli-controlled territory, but the Israeli government can do nothing.
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The UN report on U.S. poverty
It is interesting that the report intentionally left out the various welfare programs and other forms of aid. But in fact our own reports do the same exactly so they can hype poverty to allow the liberal legislators to give away more free stuff. There are over 3 billion people in the world who would give their first born to live like the "poor" in the U.S.
My problem with the welfare system is that 1. It is not sustainable and will crash our economy. 2. it is self generating in that it is such a good deal that people would rather be on welfare than work for a living. 3. No one (no normal person) would ever want something like this for their own child. Where is the satisfaction in working hard and succeeding, knowing you can take care of your family. Also it is the reason for so many single parent families. It is not the solution to poverty it is for most poor the cause of poverty.
Replace it with workfare where jobs are made available at minimum wage for anyone who is willing to work and welfare is almost unheard of.
"2. it is self generating in that it is such a good deal that people would rather be on welfare than work for a living."
The argument is that people won't - but it's pretty clear there's a good number who find that 'enough to get by on' is sufficient to subsist upon, and don't see any need to change their lives to get more.
At one point I was working a minimum-wage job, had a crappy (but well-running) car, and I had 'enough'. I got tired of having 'enough to get by on' and got off my ass.
But I don't know how to incentivize folks who've spent generations on government handouts to go "Okay, this isn't good enough. Because it has been, for decades for them...
I pretty much agree with all your points about the welfare state, but I also kind of agree with the UN's position on poverty (but I'm skeptical that they treat European countries similarly).
Is someone REALLY not in poverty because the government subsidizes him? It seems to me that the government is just papering over it's failure to provide adequate education, access to entry level jobs, and proper incentives to become a productive, contributing member of society.
People vary in their ambition, functionality, socialization, flaws, etc. Can't let them die in the streets, regardless.
Are welfare benefits, food stamps, housing benefits, disability, etc heavily abused? Of course. I feel very sorry for those who do that.
Portland’s Disgraceful Anarchy - A city’s besieged businesses close rather than deal with unchecked urban degradation.
Bad link. Corrected:Portland’s Disgraceful Anarchy.
I would never suggest letting people die in the streets. Lifting people so they can achieve self-supporting, productive lives, and supporting those for whom a self-supporting life is impossible is the job of families, charities and mutual aid clubs, not the government. Government subsidies has damaged all of those.
With the tax bill firmly on a course to be signed into law by President Trump this week, I think we will see plenty of people getting off welfare when they find out they can get jobs that pay very very well for a low-skill, low-responsibility work. If you dry up the cheap labor from illegals and uneducated immigrants, even jobs at McDonald's and Walmart will have to start paying more to attract workers.
That is my expectation, and I already see it in my town. We are a small town, sort of off in a forgotten part of the West. Very few immigrants where I am. We still have the basic federal minimum wage as our minimum wage. Burger King, Taco Bell, et al. are advertising starting wages at $10/$11 per hour.
And we have many teenagers working at these places, unlike many other parts of the country who, I will bet, have immigrants with very little English skills working in these jobs.
So, if you were taking in welfare and sitting on your butt...and then saw your neighbor, relative, friend doing a relatively simple job making $11 or $12/hour...and maybe not even working full-time hours...what would you do?
Higher wages will attract able bodied people to take these jobs.
Reminder: food stamps were supposed to help out women with small children who had no husband - as in, young widows and such. NOT able bodied people who can work.
So we will still have some women with babies/young children who would have a tough time finding a way to support a family w/o help. I'm okay with helping THOSE people. As that is a short-lived period. Babies and young children grow up and go to school giving the mother a chance to work while they are in school.
Anyway, long diatribe, but this is how I see the welfare/food stamp issue.
I live across the river from Portland and was there last week. I lived in Portland back in the 70s, so I have a long history in this area.
You cannot believe how bad this is. When I was in California in the 90s, I saw homeless camps. It was nothing like this. They are everywhere. I saw three tarp tents on the sidewalk, in front of a business. It was a furniture store that has been there for many years. Every public trail is lined with tents. They are on the freeway entrances. And they are all surrounded by piles of stuff. It's not usually to look up along the freeway and see three or four of these tents, complete with armchairs. It's just stunning. And there is no way I would ever go into a business where I had to walk past one of these encampments.
It's unfortunate that no one has the balls to do a documentary of this. And yes, the housing market is expensive. They have restricted the amount of housing after all. They allow tiny houses on lots, but you are not going to see people willing to have these encampments on their property. The local news doesn't report it. Last report was when they cleared out a public trail where people had congregated for two years. There is no will at any level to resolve this.
Another blog I regularly read talked about the same things.
Recently, Columbia Sportswear - an old-line, well-established employer in Portland - is planning to exit downtown Portland "after a series of frightening encounters with the city's homeless population, including car break-ins, human waste dumped by the office's front door and threats to its employees.
Judith Arnell closed her business, Judith Arnell Jewelers, last month after 20 years in Portland. Her decision "came from a mix of panhandling and concerns over the safety of her employees and clients. A few months ago, the store's surveillance cameras caught a man defecating right in front of their doors."
The group I saw was on either MLK or Grand. We drove past one area, where there was a trail next to the freeway. I saw tents literally as far as I could see. it's not uncommon to drive to a cul-de-sac and see the area full of tents. And they all have piles of stuff around them.
The bureaucrats on the West Coast prefer tenant's rights to landlord rights. I would not be a landlord in any of these states. That is also causing fewer places to be available. We knew people that were paying $600 a month for a room in a house. They wound up living in the back of a friend's pickup for awhile. But like these people in Portland, they don't have jobs or family here, so they really don't have to be here. There are places with more affordable housing elsewhere. We have bureaucrats that prefer rabble to taxpayers.
"I don't know how to incentivize folks who've spent generations on government handouts to go "Okay, this isn't good enough."
Perhaps a transition to what I called "workfare". That is require anyone on welfare to work 40 hours a week and their pay would be their current "welfare" benefits. That would include everything, EITC, child tax credits, state and federal welfare, housing, food stamps, etc. After one year it would be reduced by 10% and then again by 10% each year until the 40 hour work only paid the minimum wage. The incentive would vary but would include choosing to get married since that would no longer interfere with payments. Finding a better job as the decreasing pay towards minimum wage would be their new normal if they didn't choose to do better. Perhaps seeking help from family (which is how a lot of people got by before our generous welfare system.
What I fear and expect is that the U.S. will inevitably face another great crash followed by another great depression caused by our unmanageable national debt and our out of control federal and state spending. This will end or reduce welfare as we know it today back to something like the subsistence aid given to households in the 1930's. With a dependency class in excess of 50 million this would be a disaster. We need to help/push them to pull themselves up out of this dependency trap.
Also who would want this lifestyle for their children or neighbors. It is a sad and dependent way to live and a waste of a life. I cannot imagine getting to old age and looking back on a life with no work, no future, no effort made to support my family, no education and an absolute inability to take care of themselves. We owe it to them to push them to become self sufficient to the extent possible.
This is the city's (and to some extent the state's) fault. They literally encourage it. There is three Portland's: The main part of town which has homeless, drug, youth, and activists/agitator problems. There is the "bad" side of town where the murders happen and you don't want to be there after dark. And we all know where this is. Then there is the quaint part of town with nice homes and nice neighborhoods. The problem is that the city has failed in their responsibility and all of the bad things are flowing to all parts of the city. Even a $400,000 bungalow on a tiny city lot in a nice part of town is too dangerous to leave your car on the street or your home unguarded. In the last 30 years Portland's problems have increased dramatically and most people who can are moving to the suburbs.
In 67,68 a high school friend and I used to walk across the bridges and wander all over downtown Portland with no problems. I'm in N. California now, in the foothills. So nice here, except for the crazy politicians.
"had to close its flagship store downtown for a day after protestors blocked shoppers from entering. The protestors were reacting to an op-ed by Tim Boyle, Columbia’s CEO, in which he confessed that relocating his company to downtown Portland may have been a mistake, citing the crimes and indecencies his employees have endured, including “daily defecation” by transients in the store’s lobby"
Thanks for making his point, leftists.
being in favor of both higher minimum wages and unlimited immigration takes a special kind of ignorance of how the world works. Unfortunately, it seems to be rather common among the same people who can profess a belief in the rights of children and abortion on demand, and in the equality of minorities and their need for special protection.
And the other part is that they will start to lose jobs. It's one thing to keep Portland weird. It's another thing when it gets creepy.
Let's not forget how they covered up for Kitzhaber until he was elected, then forced him to resign, so that the state gets Kate Brown.
Fine. Can't let them starve in the streets.
But it has to just one level above. It has to really, really suck to be on the dole. To make everybody on it want to get off it.
BD says people vary, so there will be some people who will be unable/unwilling to get off. Fine. They're declared dependent wards of the state. No voting for them.
The other side would freak! Judges heads would explode! They want UBI, clothes, public transport, a roof and 3 hots for everyone. Except for the UBI, that sounds like ... prison. And might I remind you, the prison nation of Cuba already has this, $20/month. Doctors get $30. And it's weird, high govmt officials live like grandees.
Demonstrating your compassion with other people's money is an evil evil fraud. And bad governance.
We have to let tragedy happen. The purpose of some people is to remind the rest of us to strive mightily, live morally, and never give up, lest we too become ensnared.
One might think that Ptld. gummint would LIKE to have tax-paying firms in the city. One would be wrong, for Progressives are non compos mentos. (Or something like that.)
Paraphrasing Mencken, "Democracy is the theory that [Portland voters] know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
Schadenfreude. You have to let tragedy happen. It's the only way we will learn If Portlandians desire a proggro paradise, leave them try, but succor them not. I recommend watching from afar.
Kipling cribbed from the Bible:
"As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;"