Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kfbvoice

What About Poverty ?

Recommended Posts

In a country built on individualism and skepticism of government where lots of people accomplish great things its easy to attribute failure or deprivation to a lack individual effort or bad choices. This assumption is reasonable and justified to a large extent. Why should government interfere with markets or community to help anyone ? However injustice is real. Oftentimes our society works in ways to deprive people of liberty and opportunity. This is the reality we want to ignore. Racism, sexism, and income inequality all contribute to poverty. Structural changes in the economy have also made poverty level wages the norm for millions of workers. At the same time certain behaviors like substance abuse and out of wedlock births make it difficult to get out of poverty. A lack of initiative in school or work is something no poor person can afford. In fact individual actions and social forces work together to explain problems like poverty because social conditions foster negative behaviors while those behaviors make it difficult to rise above the conditions. Efforts to maintain the safety net and grow the economy must take behaviors among the poor into consideration because poverty is complex and reducing it takes time. If we do it the economic, social, and political benefits are enormous. Freedom and equality are the highest American values, and they should energize a renewed commitment to fight poverty. Its not only a moral issue it is in our individual and national self interest. If we are to be prosperous and secure we cannot abandon millions of Americans to poverty. Liberal politics and rhetoric are about the middle class but we have to do what it takes to get the poor into that middle class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wealth of the Nation is rapidly being sucked to the top. The middle class is rapidly shrinking; And the ranks of the poverty-stricken are growing exponentially. At the same time, the rich and privileged are spending obscene amounts of money lobbying in Congress, trying to undo the Social Safety Net. And gradually, through the passage of repressive "right to work" laws, they are eliminating Labor Unions from the U.S. landscape.

 

It's too easy to blame the poor for lack of initiative; Or escape into substance abuse....The rich can afford treatment. Out of wedlock births among the rich are no problem financially and can be fixed by abortion using the very best doctors.... legal or illegal, whatever.

 

Government interference with markets is one thing. But tax abatement for corporations have been purchased by bribery in Congress. Same for corporate subsidies.......Welfare for the rich. And tax loopholes have been created to encourage outsourcing, create wage slavery abroad and reduce good-paying jobs in the United States. The poor can't afford to legislate themselves privileges like this.

 

I am all for the concepts of freedom and equality but they seem to be abstractions when it comes to growing the middle class again and reducing poverty. To start doing that, we have to first level the playing field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are right but I am going go out on a limb. If we could mobilize mass movements around jobs, living wages, and single payer the way people come out for gay marriage or even Occupy Wall Street then we might be onto something great. People seem to get fired up for cultural issues because they do not cost anything but class issues are a different matter. Occupy Wall Street seemed to be a kind momentary rage against the system that had no real agenda or plans to do anything. If we are going to level the playing field like you say it has to start with the people and go from the bottom up.

 

Thanks bludog for your response

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks bludog for your response

I know it's sometimes hard to get an exchange going here in the "Liberals Only Room". But this is the only area of the LF where there can be at least a chance of a civil, political exchange. "No Holds Barred" lives up to its name with deception, bullying and zingers galore. Constant encounters with Beavis and Butthead. Most seem to prefer that area where one can talk like a savage and not pay the consequences. But highly disruptive exchanges often tend to minimize the significant and emphasize the superficial.

I think you are right but I am going go out on a limb. If we could mobilize mass movements around jobs, living wages, and single payer the way people come out for gay marriage or even Occupy Wall Street then we might be onto something great. People seem to get fired up for cultural issues because they do not cost anything but class issues are a different matter.

Got that right! As soon as the powerful feel threatened, heavy-handed repression comes into play. I think that's why the Occupy movement was put down so hard by police. It always seemed to me that the theme of Occupy Wall Street was very much about the divide between rich and poor and how it's becoming so much more pronounced.

 

Occupy Wall Street seemed to be a kind momentary rage against the system that had no real agenda or plans to do anything. If we are going to level the playing field like you say it has to start with the people and go from the bottom up.

You are right that it has to start massively from the bottom up. But I feel things are going to have to get much worse before people become willing to face the consequences of real protest. And for that protest to succeed, we at least are going to need both houses of Congress to be much more Liberal. We'll need not just a Democratic president, but one who will fight for ordinary people. Not necessarily another FDR, but one who's not interested in appeasing corporations and the ultra rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's sometimes hard to get an exchange going here in the "Liberals Only Room". But this is the only area of the LF where there can be at least a chance of a civil, political exchange. "No Holds Barred" lives up to its name with deception, bullying and zingers galore. Constant encounters with Beavis and Butthead. Most seem to prefer that area where one can talk like a savage and not pay the consequences. But highly disruptive exchanges often tend to minimize the significant and emphasize the superficial.

 

I read every post put in here....many of which you never see :)

this is the busy season for me and 68 hours a week of ironwork really sucks the life out of ya..but I do read everyones posts.

however lately have been just too braindead to respond with anything relavant.

 

winter is coming...debate is better when some good ol cabin fever sets in, not to mention weekends off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make some money and come on back. Thanks for all you do lostphoenix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a country built on individualism and skepticism of government where lots of people accomplish great things its easy to attribute failure or deprivation to a lack individual effort or bad choices. This assumption is reasonable and justified to a large extent. Why should government interfere with markets or community to help anyone ? However injustice is real. Oftentimes our society works in ways to deprive people of liberty and opportunity. This is the reality we want to ignore. Racism, sexism, and income inequality all contribute to poverty. Structural changes in the economy have also made poverty level wages the norm for millions of workers. At the same time certain behaviors like substance abuse and out of wedlock births make it difficult to get out of poverty. A lack of initiative in school or work is something no poor person can afford. In fact individual actions and social forces work together to explain problems like poverty because social conditions foster negative behaviors while those behaviors make it difficult to rise above the conditions. Efforts to maintain the safety net and grow the economy must take behaviors among the poor into consideration because poverty is complex and reducing it takes time. If we do it the economic, social, and political benefits are enormous. Freedom and equality are the highest American values, and they should energize a renewed commitment to fight poverty. Its not only a moral issue it is in our individual and national self interest. If we are to be prosperous and secure we cannot abandon millions of Americans to poverty. Liberal politics and rhetoric are about the middle class but we have to do what it takes to get the poor into that middle class.

 

I think I would have to first challenge the assumption you start out with that our country "was built on individualism and skepticism." I think it was built as much on collectivism and trust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I read every post put in here....many of which you never see :)

this is the busy season for me and 68 hours a week of ironwork really sucks the life out of ya..but I do read everyones posts.

however lately have been just too braindead to respond with anything relavant.

 

winter is coming...debate is better when some good ol cabin fever sets in, not to mention weekends off

Ironwork er, you mean, smelting ore, or constructional? Wow... talk about removed. All the talent, so few.

Really, I mean that. I've not had a friend I've actually known, who is an Iron worker. At least, not to date.

Long ago, in grade school I used to think, we have all this iron ore, all this steel, being from Detroit and all, everyone worked in a job connected to the automobile industry back then... It went haywire pretty, pretty, pretty quickly starting in the seventies too.

 

I feel stipulating or stipulation in general about the criminal removes me from thinking about the possibility. As if, poverty happens from the lazy or the stupid in a natural way.

 

We never went on Welfare or ADC, my mom the nurse would always proudly say after my dad left when I was seven.

Oh, I saw violence first hand. My older brother went to Vietnam. I saw his best come back lost. The day he got back, in his eyes,

the lost look. Like he was too afraid to be around people he knew in the neighborhood of his youth, of which he was, only 4 years removed.

Crack, scratching away at ones skin. No direction. Is this poverty?

Go to Mississippi, go across the street, go a few miles down, to where some of the richest people in the world live, some of their kids stupid as hell...

 

Iron. What does it mean.

The Iron Man. The suit of armor, the ethos of tin. Where only the truest shall rust?

Wait...Perhaps this is the beginning of alzheimer born in 1864, the beginning... I forget. Was it bacteria, was it steel, was it prions,

was it, T or The, Party, which sought to take back something they never had - like any wealth which was in a collaborative fashion stolen from the meek? I dunno, I forgot.

 

But Iron worker I like.

 

Peace!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a used-up liberal, my activist days behind me. What this country needs is to start fresh. The billionaires have all the power and they've ensured it cannot be challenged: by elected officials, or the public. I don't see how it's going to happen. Perhaps when things get bad enough that the truly poor revolt (an American "French" Revolution?) something will change. I count myself as lucky that I never brought children into this world because I only see it getting worse for each succeeding generation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a used-up liberal, my activist days behind me.

Welcome to the club.

 

What this country needs is to start fresh. The billionaires have all the power and they've ensured it cannot be challenged: by elected officials, or the public. I don't see how it's going to happen.

It happened before when FDR became president at the beginning of the great depression. Billionaires had all the power before then and it did not seem they could be challenged. But, and this is crucial.... FDR had big Democratic majorities in the Senate and House to back up his policies:

73rd Congress:

Senate: 59 Ds, 36 Rs

House: 311 Ds, 117 Rs

74th Congress:

Senate: 70 Ds, 23 Rs.

House: 322 Ds, 103 Rs.

75th Congress:

Senate: 75 Ds, 16 Rs.

House: 334 Ds, 88 Rs.

76th Congress:

Senate: 70 Ds, 22 Rs

House: 256 Ds, 173 Rs.

http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/2013/04/22/a-quick-note-on-one-reason-why-fdr-was-effective-in-ways-obama-is-not/

 

Perhaps when things get bad enough that the truly poor revolt (an American "French" Revolution?) something will change. I count myself as lucky that I never brought children into this world because I only see it getting worse for each succeeding generation.

Nowadays any forceful revolution would have to deal with tanks, fighter jets, highly trained snipers, etc, etc.

 

But IMO a drastic political change in our government is still possible. If it happened once it could happen again as long as votes continue to count. But the privileged and powerful have at their disposal potent tools for manipulating public opinion which did not exist in 1933 and which the political Left can't match today. In a battle for the hearts and minds of the American people, the political Right currenty seems to be winning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insightful post, bludog. But do you really think votes still count? Nothing seems to change significantly no matter which party is in power. When Obama started making his faraway wars, like the last handful of POTUSs had done, I lost all hope. Maybe this shutdown has got me depressed. Again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the insightful post, bludog. But do you really think votes still count?

Obama was elected twice, by respectable margins despite all the Republican governors' gerrymandered districts; Despite added ID required at polls; Despite reduced polling hours and days resulting in long lines in some places and; Despite other dirty tricks used to mislead people e.g. about when to vote.

 

That's the biggest example showing votes still count. But the power of the vote is waning as more repressive voting laws get enacted and the Nation continues its 30 year drift to the Right.

 

Nothing seems to change significantly no matter which party is in power.

Not too much of significance can change with both parties sharing power. Progressive change = receding poverty, needs a long period of Liberal rule. It's unknown what Obama might or might not have accomplished with large congressional majorities his whole time in office because in reality, the Republican majority in the house obstructed his agenda tooth and nail. We would definitely need a bold Liberal president to lead a Liberal congress and the Nation in order for for progressive change to happen.

 

In that case, the Nation might start drifting to the left again.

 

In the last 30 or so years, the far left has almost disappeared and become the middle left. The middle left have switched to more conservative political stances. What was the middle right has turned far right. And the formerly far right wingers are now Tea Partiers (or near fanatics). The "Silent Majority" of Nixon's time became the "Right Wing Noise Machine" of today. In a reversal of fortune, many Liberals nowadays have become timid. IMO it should be possible to reverse this trend.

 

When Obama started making his faraway wars, like the last handful of POTUSs had done, I lost all hope. Maybe this shutdown has got me depressed. Again.

It's hard to know what motivated him. One of his campaign promises was to continue the Afghanistan war and end the one in Iraq. For me, there's no good reason to go to war except in case invasion (like Pearl Harbor) or declaration of war (like Germany in WWII).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironwork er, you mean, smelting ore, or constructional? ...

 

 

Peace!

construction....smelting is done at the steel mills.

my new job consists mainly of constructing prototypes. it can be painful but I don't have to travel that much anymore.....soooo sick of pancakes!!! (dont ask)

 

lately I have been building these giant mobile vaccum systems.

they go for about 150k a pop are selling like hot cakes.

 

more proof of that "obamapocaplyse" I keep hearing about from the right

Make some money and come on back. Thanks for all you do lostphoenix.

 

I took the day off!

got a sixer of sam adams octoberfest and going to make a concerted effort to do absolutely NOTHING! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poverty, or a lack of collective conscience. Not ideology but some truth, simple truths. We collectively have a poverty in this. We meaning, the evident lack of good governance we seem stuck with.

The Taliban get a large measure of their revenue from Western aid. We send young men off to fend for their lives, knowing, or should be knowing, it doesn't help, but we do it anyway.

We have polls that drive our so called leaders, or politicians, who are anything but clear thinking leaders. The polls don't describe what is in the conscience of those who respond. They just say, people feel this way or that, but we don't know why they feel this way or that, or if they have been completely misled by falsehoods.

Meanwhile, poverty is there, and there is a real need to change a lot of things and more people become cynical and or apathetic.

Do the text books lie?

Tell me how to grow something. We all want to have equal rights, we need to reduce it. Back in the day, greed was thought to be a

bad character trait. Or greed for greed's sake was, at least.

Poverty is about having a lack of qualified equity. What is outright egalitarian? Shouldn't it be the dismantling of poverty?

I believe in the divine. The divine nature of true equity among all people. This is not easily had. As history has shown, it is fraught with misadventure as well as with hidden subterfuge laid down over time by powers that be.

No one ideology will work.

Unions, workers unions can be a good thing. Simple participation in a true democracy should be a good thing. Nothing can be solved over night. Not in one election or even in ten. But we need to promote transparency and commemorate those who point towards truth. MLK Jr, was right about poverty, and war. Competition is good when it brings out the best in the individual and the collective, and so is collaboration...

It's not capitalism, or socialism, it both. We need both as well as a thought about how to create a sustainable path towards prosperity for all. Or, is it the argument that such a thing impossible? I say it's not.

 

Peace!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...