Author Topic: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?  (Read 14621 times)

FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #100 on: April 03, 2014, 09:44:48 AM »
They're not opposites. In fact they're very compatible.


Obviously, Wikipedia says so. ;)
My question is what policies/incentives are in place that allows them to "maximize labor force participation" when it is not required for them to provide for themselves and their families.

Politically incorrect statement incoming: If you lower/cuttoff government aide for mentally stable, able-bodied adults, they will find a way to earn money to provide for their self/family/drug habit.  I don't see how giving people more government aide encourages them to participate/increase their participation in the labor force.  I'm curious what in the Nordic model "maximize(s) labor force participation".
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Patuk

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #101 on: April 03, 2014, 09:47:34 AM »
Anyway, back to taxes. Taxes suck, but we have to pay them. It will never change. Just be glad you don't live in like, Denmark or Sweden or Norway, guys!

The poverty rate is mostly the same between Scandinavia and the United States; however Scandinavians have universal health care and other benefits Americans don't.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/09/we-can-reduce-poverty-if-we-want-we-just-have-want

"There's no Scandinavian miracle that provides high-paying jobs for everyone. However, once you account for government benefits, the poverty rate in the Nordic countries is about half the rate in America. Universal health care accounts for some of this..."

So yeah! You should be SO GLAD you're not living there! You might actually have real health care and other benefits.

EDIT:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

"Although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits. These include support for a "universalist" welfare state (relative to other developed countries) which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy; alongside a commitment to free trade. The Nordic model is distinguished from other types of welfare states by its emphasis on maximizing labor force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian and extensive benefit levels, the large magnitude of income redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy.[5]"

Sure glad! Damn, those people living in Skyrim sure have it bad!


Please. Please. She was being sarcastic in a really obvious way. Now you're just making yourself look dumb.
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boog

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #102 on: April 03, 2014, 09:49:28 AM »
I know that I couldn't find anything other than what I have now, though I think it's just the region/state I live in. NC is fairly depressed. Thank god for the Pell, or else there'd be no way for me to 'better' myself. Talk about a lack of upward mobility.

I guess I could go hook to get a little bit more money, but that's not super likely!

It's certainly a lifeline for me and the boys right now... so yes, the statement is a little incorrect, heh.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #103 on: April 03, 2014, 10:13:59 AM »
College is not the only, or even always the best way to add/bump skills.  I had been working in tool & die for about a year and a half when I decided to go for my associates in the field.
Every class that I took was a serious waste of time after my short time working an entry-level position in the field, so after the first two semesters, I switched to English (ed at the time) and realized in a few years I would be making more money than I could teaching, so I started leaning more toward creative writing, something I WANTED to do. There are probably more NY Times best sellers out there without English degrees than with, but that is just an assumption.

Personal antidote: There was a couple who use to play Armageddon, one of whom I talked to on a regular basis.  They were having and had been having a hard time financially for a couple years and were both unemployed.  I had one of them a job lined up making over $10/hr where I work and offered to help them with moving expenses and pay their first month's rent (utilities are included here) and the guy would be able to ride to work with me.  After a couple days, I was told they "didn't want to do that right now."  All the while still complaining about how hard things were on them.

I'm not saying that everyone in a bad spot is there because they choose to be, but many of them are.

What do you -want- to do that would lead to a healthy income?
You seem to be creative/confident enough to do something on your own and be successful as opposed to a corporate job.
If I bought you this book, would you read it and be willing to follow through with it?

http://www.48days.com/store/48daysbook/
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Desertman

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #104 on: April 03, 2014, 10:35:23 AM »
Wait, you're being sarcastic and that's OK, but when I do it I'm a bitch?


No, you aren't.

The problem is you are bad at presenting yourself in a way that others do not perceive you as a bitch. Most people do. You are the common denominator in the equation. It isn't them. With that being said....

I think you are generally a good person and you want people to think you are a good person (which is really the first mark of a good person, a bad person wouldn't care at all). You are just kind of bad at presenting yourself that way so that others see it. I think you are just a realist and a hardline practical individual, like myself. People often see us a callous.
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janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #105 on: April 03, 2014, 10:39:42 AM »
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.
And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #106 on: April 03, 2014, 10:43:54 AM »
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

I agree with this statement.
Anyone with the right skills/knowledge can grow a comfortable pile of wealth with patience and discipline.
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manonfire

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #107 on: April 03, 2014, 10:45:35 AM »
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.




FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #108 on: April 03, 2014, 10:47:54 AM »
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.

Damn right. (speaks from experience)
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Desertman

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #109 on: April 03, 2014, 10:50:52 AM »
I give nothing to charity. I worked for a non-profit charity organization and it really ruined me on the concept of donating to corporate charities in general. I find them to generally be "non-profit" so long as they are still pulling enough profit to increase staff salaries (primarily the individuals on top) while promoting their own corporate expansion while getting the tax cut for their non-profit designation.

I help those people in my life that I care about directly. If that isn't enough, then I guess it just isn't enough, and I'm ok with being that person.

If I did donate to charity, I would never bring it up anyways. When you bring it up it never looks "good". It will always appear that you are just throwing it out there to say, "Look, I'm not a bad person, really, here is my merit badge I earned for donating to say I'm actually good, look at it....here it is...look closer....do you see it.....good...that is the validation I wanted."

Fundamentally unless you are donating everything you earn outside the basic living expenses of basic survival, you are still greedy. If you are buying computers, you are choosing to buy computers when that money could have otherwise gone to feeding starving children. If you are buying a car, you are choosing to buy a car when that money could have otherwise gone to feeding starving children. Do you have cable? Do you have a cell phone? Do you have anything outside of the basic living necessities in the most basic sense that would allow you to continue to do your job and donate to the starving children of the world? Well, that means you chose those specific items or luxuries over feeding starving children. You are making the conscious decision to have those luxuries and let children starve.

My point is, if you aren't a saint, you are a little bit satan. Almost everyone is.

You ain't better'n me.

(Really just sort of a random rant. Not directed at anyone. The point is, everyone has to be/chooses to be a bit greedy and selfish. Don't judge.)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 10:53:36 AM by Desertman »
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boog

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #110 on: April 03, 2014, 10:54:09 AM »
I feel like the quickest and most efficient way into poverty is having kids before you're financially ready.



In my case it wasn't so much that. We were pretty set. Then unemployment came right after I gave birth to my second child. Where we were comfortable and fine, all of our savings were then used to support the family while the SO applied to hundreds of jobs a week of all sorts. Neither he nor I could even get a job at McDonald's.

So.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Lizzie

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #111 on: April 03, 2014, 11:13:20 AM »
It's really a rebuttal to what Mood is saying. He's latched onto a group of studies that are implying having wealth and social status makes you less likely to help others, and more likely to keep a bigger piece of your pie.

I do not think that is true in practice.



It'd be interesting to see how much "help" all those rich people would give to the less fortunate, if they could no longer use those donations as tax write-offs.

And to FW: you still can write off more, you just have to prove that you gave it away once it hits a certain amount. You don't have to prove your contributions under a certain value.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #112 on: April 03, 2014, 11:16:40 AM »
Ah cool, Lizzie, I didn't know that.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #113 on: April 03, 2014, 11:21:05 AM »
I find them to generally be "non-profit" so long as they are still pulling enough profit to increase staff salaries (primarily the individuals on top) while promoting their own corporate expansion while getting the tax cut for their non-profit designation.

This is why 90% of my contributions is in the form of food given to food pantries. I see or hear of a charitable org's people smuggling food into their own homes, someone is getting their tires slashed.
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janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #114 on: April 03, 2014, 11:24:07 AM »
It'd be interesting to see how much "help" all those rich people would give to the less fortunate, if they could no longer use those donations as tax write-offs.

And to FW: you still can write off more, you just have to prove that you gave it away once it hits a certain amount. You don't have to prove your contributions under a certain value.


I don't know how it works in the US. Here in Canada if I donate I get a percentage of that donation taken off my taxable income. I don't get the entire amount. That's between 5% and 15%.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/dnrs/svngs/clmng1b3-eng.html

It's a complete myth that the 'wealthy' donate to charity due to the tax benefits. They are insignificant.

And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


Lizzie

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #115 on: April 03, 2014, 11:27:17 AM »
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

Wow. That's such a - wow. You really believe those absolutes? Do you truly think it's that simple? I hope not. I hope you're just slinging your own version of hyperbole around. I really hope so, for your own sake.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #116 on: April 03, 2014, 11:30:36 AM »
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."
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janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #117 on: April 03, 2014, 11:32:24 AM »
People get touchy when you tell them the reason they're not ending up with a lot of wealth is because they keep mismanaging it. It's true.

BTW, Lizzie, donating to charity is a net loss in the end, even with the tax benefits.
And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #118 on: April 03, 2014, 11:35:10 AM »
donating to charity is a net loss in the end, even with the tax benefits.

This is why I roll my eyes and don't even dignify it with a response when someone says "they only give to charity for the tax right-off."
It's one of the dumbest things you can say in a financial or tax discussion.

Edit to add: "Saying people only give to charity to avoid paying taxes on the money" is like saying "people only gamble and loose to avoid paying taxes on the money," or "people only light money on fire to avoid paying taxes on the money."
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 11:40:15 AM by FantasyWriter »
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Lizzie

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #119 on: April 03, 2014, 11:38:07 AM »
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."

It -can- be true. But as an absolute, it is definitely not true. It isn't even "true most of the time, with a few exceptions."

The recession does things to everyone's budget, not just the wealthy, and not just the middle class. During a recession - which can BE the long-term - poor people stay poor, because there's no rope to grab onto to get a haul up. There is no money to manage, therefore, they lack the resources to manage money. The primary resource being - money. You can't manage something you don't have. If you're on welfare, you're not allowed to save money. If you are able to save it, you're proving you don't need it, and you are taken off welfare. If you dare to get a part-time job while you're on government-funded housing and food stamps, they remove your housing and foodstamps, and you end up having to use your part-time income to pay for them. Or - starve and be homeless - because you're only working part-time and can't afford it. Or, just don't try to get a job, in order to maintain the government-funded housing and food stamps. There are millions of people in this country who are living in government-funded housing, eating thanks to government-funded food credits. If they work - they lose it. And risk not being able to afford it, and end up right back to where they were.

Saving is not an option for people who don't have "extra" money at the end of their paycheck, after paying the necessary bills (food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, transportation, and *basic* communication with the outside world now that pay-phones no longer exist).
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Zoltan

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #120 on: April 03, 2014, 11:42:40 AM »
Wealthy people know how to manage their money. Poor people lack that skill. That's mostly all there is to it in the long term.

I agree with this statement.
Anyone with the right skills/knowledge can grow a comfortable pile of wealth with patience and discipline.

While there may be some validity to the idea of smart or capable people becoming wealthy, intellect or skill are certainly not necessary conditions for wealth and "success." The idea that poor people are poor because they lack financial management or other skills only plays into the narrative that poor people deserve their poverty. It is victim blaming. Poverty is a desired outcome of the present system, and on top of that, poverty intersects with other axes of oppression depending on the individual involved. Some people literally cannot catch a break.

The feel-good ideal of the present system--the idea that I'm getting wafts of in this thread--is that theoretically everyone has access to equal opportunities to find wealth and comfort in life. This is simply false. No one comes into the world in an isolated, equal-footing bubble. The quality of a child's education in America can be enormously affected by the wealth of the area they live in, for example. At least in Michigan, schools get a lot of their funding from local property taxes. It was quite the culture shock for me to go to university and make friends with people who had grown up in extremely robust school systems because of where they were born.

Also, I just want to touch upon something that jane (and possibly others) mentioned earlier in this thread, about the theorized pumped-up sales tax not applying to "necessities." Does it say anywhere who decides what is "necessary" for life? I'm going to bet that it will be the wealthy, "I got mine" people that will get to decide that. It just makes me think of some recent Daily Show episodes where they highlighted Fox News having this strange fixation on people using food stamps for seafood. Fox basically said that seafood is too good for poor people. My concern would be the strengthening of societal controls on how people can live their lives. "You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]." Effectively denying access to goods by some arbitrary ruling does not strike me as being helpful to social mobility.

Finally, on the subject of charity, I would rather that the responsibility to help the downtrodden wasn't left to the whims of those who have money to spare. I don't doubt that many or even most people donate to charity simply because it's a good thing to do. It's not enough, though. I think it is in the country's and the majority's interest to have a healthy population with easy access to education and leisure. This would require changes to the system. No amount of cash dumped into a charity will create the necessary changes. Instead of putting bandaids on axe wounds, we should be preventing axe attacks from happening in the first place. Kind of a weird metaphor, but yeah.
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #121 on: April 03, 2014, 11:45:58 AM »
Long term (over the course of a lifetime or at least a decade), how you managed what you have will probably be the biggest contributing factor to where you end up relative to where you started, so I'm pretty sure she right on, Lizzie, as long as you don't ignore the fact that she said "in the long term."

It -can- be true. But as an absolute, it is definitely not true. It isn't even "true most of the time, with a few exceptions."

The recession does things to everyone's budget, not just the wealthy, and not just the middle class. During a recession - which can BE the long-term - poor people stay poor, because there's no rope to grab onto to get a haul up. There is no money to manage, therefore, they lack the resources to manage money. The primary resource being - money. You can't manage something you don't have. If you're on welfare, you're not allowed to save money. If you are able to save it, you're proving you don't need it, and you are taken off welfare. If you dare to get a part-time job while you're on government-funded housing and food stamps, they remove your housing and foodstamps, and you end up having to use your part-time income to pay for them. Or - starve and be homeless - because you're only working part-time and can't afford it. Or, just don't try to get a job, in order to maintain the government-funded housing and food stamps. There are millions of people in this country who are living in government-funded housing, eating thanks to government-funded food credits. If they work - they lose it. And risk not being able to afford it, and end up right back to where they were.

Saving is not an option for people who don't have "extra" money at the end of their paycheck, after paying the necessary bills (food, clothing, shelter, heat, water, transportation, and *basic* communication with the outside world now that pay-phones no longer exist).


During even a recession, people who manage their wealth better will come out better than people who do not.

A better absolute would have been: All other things equal, one who manages their money well will end wealthy and one who manages their money poorly will end poorly.
You give a large group of people $1000 dollars, some will go buy a computer, some will go buy blow, some will put it in a laughable interested bearing savings account, some will invest it in something more risky, some will pay off debt, saving themselves interest payments and increasing their weekly income.
In the end, those who manage money poorly will have little or nothing to show for it, those who manage it wisely will either still have it or have caused it to grow.
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janeshephard

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #122 on: April 03, 2014, 11:47:15 AM »
You're right about one thing Lizzie, which I can agree with you on. Being on welfare should not discourage you from digging yourself out of that hole.

You should be taught money management skills, and have real encouragement to get back out there and earn a living again to support yourself completely.

One of the mistakes you're making in your narrative is describing wealth as savings, or liquid assets. Wealth is much more than that. Wealth is what remains in your family for generations, is preserved, and grows over time. It's also something you don't leverage every time you want to go on vacation, etc.

Some generations ago businesses did this for people. You went to work, were almost guaranteed that job for life, and had a pension in the end. Other than paying for a home your wealth as managed for you in many ways. Now businesses do not do that anymore because a rising group of people learned how to manage their own wealth. The group that did not runs into problems.

And there was some dwarf smoking spice, and I thought that was so scandalous because I'd only been playing in 'nak.


Desertman

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #123 on: April 03, 2014, 12:01:35 PM »
I manage my financial assets well. I left home with $50 in my pocket and a promise I could sleep on a mattress on the floor in an apartment shared by four dudes. I never borrowed a cent from anyone since the day I left home. I was never given a single handout. I never once asked for help, no matter how hard it got.

It was not a good start, but it was better than some people get.

I had influential people in my life that allotted me their wisdom that allowed me to become the person I am today. I had an environment that supported a lifestyle of betterment, even if the individuals themselves were not wealthy. I had an environment that supported furthering education, even if the individuals themselves were not highly educated. My grandfather raised me. He had a sixth grade education and worked hard every day of his life until he couldn't anymore. However it was stressed to me beyond all measure that education was important. The man could hardly read or do math, but it was extremely important that I could, even if he couldn't help me.

I did not have the best start in life, but I had teachers, and grandparents, and friends that motivated me to succeed and even they weren't successful themselves and never will be, they gave me opportunities a lot of other people didn't get and will never get just by existing as motivation.

I had an unfair advantage over a lot of people in life starting out, and I started out with nothing and never got a cent.

Keep in mind that "Having an advantage" over other people doesn't always have to do with money and/or wealth or access to education. I had a teacher in high school that treated me like a mother I never had. She was influential to me in ways I can only appreciate now later in life.

Sometimes you have an advantage just by the environment you find yourself in. A lot of people didn't have the sort of environment I had. It wasn't ideal, but it was enough.

I would surmise most people who have wealth and do well for themselves, even if mommy and daddy didn't hand them everything, at least got handed something, even if it wasn't material. I know I sure did. I was lucky, and I had an unfair advantage over a lot of people, and I never got anything material given to me.

Basically, just because you weren't handed money or a free education doesn't mean you didn't have an unfair advantage over other people. Saying people are only poor because they are too stupid or lazy to manage their finances isn't really fair. If you think hard enough I'm sure you can come up with a few lucky breaks you got in life that let you climb the ladder to where you are today. (This is a general "you", nobody specific.)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 12:12:31 PM by Desertman »
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FantasyWriter

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Re: Thoughts on Fairtax.org?
« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2014, 12:07:32 PM »
While there may be some validity to the idea of smart or capable people becoming wealthy, intellect or skill are certainly not necessary conditions for wealth and "success." The idea that poor people are poor because they lack financial management or other skills only plays into the narrative that poor people deserve their poverty. It is victim blaming.

People -deserve- out of life exactly what they put into it.  Victim blaming is saying it's an a woman's fault for getting raped because she was wearing a sexy dress.  Victim blaming is not judging someone based on the choices they have made in life.  EVERYONE has the opportunity to better themselves, that is what the American dream is: for you and your next generation to have it better than the last.  I'm not saying everyone will become a millionaire, but everyone -can- better themselves.

Some people literally cannot catch a break.

Anyone can put dirt and seeds into a bucket and pour water on it for food.  Anyone can pick up a piece of discarded junk on the side of the road and clean it up and sell it.  Anyone can pick up cans/bottles on the side of the road for recycling, same for going around offering to haul other people junk off for free or even get paid to do it!  Anyone who is a mentally competent adult can better themselves, some will, some want, some will wait for someone else to to it for them.  It's not a "nice" thing to say, but there it is.


"You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]."
This sounds a lot like, "You're rich, and rich people should give away more money instead of throwing extravagant parties" only it comes from the opposite side of the political spectrum.  Both are people believing they have the right to decide what is right and wrong for other people to do with what is theirs. (you do the same thing in the next snippet I am quoting).
Again, both these statements come down to HOW PEOPLE CHOOSE TO USE WHAT THEY HAVE affects the future of their lives.

Finally, on the subject of charity, I would rather that the responsibility to help the downtrodden wasn't left to the whims of those who have money to spare. I don't doubt that many or even most people donate to charity simply because it's a good thing to do. It's not enough, though. I think it is in the country's and the majority's interest to have a healthy population with easy access to education and leisure. This would require changes to the system. No amount of cash dumped into a charity will create the necessary changes. Instead of putting bandaids on axe wounds, we should be preventing axe attacks from happening in the first place. Kind of a weird metaphor, but yeah.

So you thing rich politicians do a better job/have more right of deciding what to do with other peoples money than they do? Wait, I thought you didn't like people saying what you should do with what you have...

I'm going to bet that it will be the wealthy, "I got mine" people that will get to decide that. It just makes me think of some recent Daily Show episodes where they highlighted Fox News having this strange fixation on people using food stamps for seafood. Fox basically said that seafood is too good for poor people. My concern would be the strengthening of societal controls on how people can live their lives. "You're poor, and poor people don't get to eat [whatever] or have [whatever]." Effectively denying access to goods by some arbitrary ruling does not strike me as being helpful to social mobility.
Greb - To scavenge, forage, and if Whira is with you, loot the dead.
Grebber - One who grebs.