Waste not....

demifloyd(8)November 22, 2013

I was just reading about fraud in government expenditures, which made me think about the allegations of not getting money to Hurricane Sandy victims through the Red Cross, which used to be a trusted agency, and general waste.

So instead of fraud this question is more about waste--waste of money meant to go to a cause that does not get there, waste of resources, waste of time, waste of energy, waste of health, waste of personal money--just waste in general.

Is it always a negative?

For instance if I had spent every hour exercising or reading or cleaning closets that I have spent on this forum I'd be rid of ten pounds, I'd be more well read and I would have clean closets.

But is the time truly wasted?
What if I have gained mental stimulation or learned something from "wasting" this time?

If we spend more at the grocery store on an item than we want or think is worth the value, is it necessarily a waste when perhaps it saved us time?

Is waste necessarily a negative if it is our own decision that only affects us?

Is waste a sin or some type or a moral failure?

Is someone else wasting our time any different?

Is someone else wasting our money any different?

Do you think we are a more wasteful society than we were twenty years ago?

Businesses count on us being wasteful and purchasing items instead of saving them or repairing them.

Are we now considered a culture of waste?

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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Good OP subject. As smart and as engaged in life as I think I have been, I admit to learning a lot from these exchanges, not just facts but also patience, some mental exercise, and an appreciation of how and sometimes why other posters differ so much on these boards. I don't believe that these exchanges are a waste of time...I could be watching hours of FOX or MNBC or cartoons and eating pickles and ice cream.

This is a small vocal community (so to speak) set amidst a much larger lurker population. We are a community, each member varying I suppose in the extent of commitment to the site and posters. I have imagined that this site is an alternative one for the geriatric set, a bunch of ex-paint-ball battlers and shuffle board enthusiasts, sprinkled with bingo players. And we should acknowledge the sprinkling of ex-cops, ex-cons, ex-spies, vets, mantie and tutu wearers, and numerous old and not so old gardeners.

No, we are not "wasting" time.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 3:07PM
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jodik_gw

I think Marshallz is right... time is only wasted if you think it is, yourself.

The only way we could be said to waste time here might be in the repetitive effort to push agendas, and the redundant debunking and presentation of facts that follow... and that would mostly have to do with political topics... otherwise, I think we do fairly well as a community of rather different persons with varied opinions on a variety of interesting topics.

I know I've learned many things reading and interacting here, and I've been introduced to some wonderful literature and ideas through this forum. I don't always agree with everyone here, but it's a very interesting group, to say the least, and I enjoy my time spent here.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 4:01PM
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adoptedbyhounds

"Is waste a sin or some type or a moral failure?"

I would answer that in two parts. There is the stewardship we exercise over our own lives and property. And there is stewardship the government exercises over what it takes from us in order to promote the general welfare/common good.

Having been raised with little, I appreciate what I have and try to take care of it. To do otherwise would not seem right. I see good stewardship as a responsibility, whether it is taking care of something I've earned for myself, or something another person has worked to provide for me.And that brings me to the second issue. I don't see our government exercising good stewardship on taxpayers' behalf.

I believe that if our current leaders had any respect for taxpayers, they would be ashamed of how they have misspent our hard earned money. From "shovel ready jobs" that didn't exist, to the NSA spying on Americans, to the IRS using resources to help "friends" and punish " enemies, to the Obamacare website that doesn't work, these people have us down. Not only have they been lousy stewards, they've been exceedingly arrogant. They've bragged about "spreading the wealth around."

The current administration calls the tax money is compels us to pay "investments." In the private sector, there would be government regulators and the DOJ all over any firm where employees were caught promising "investors" they'll pocket an easy $2,500 plus keep what they have, or will be able to replace it with something even BETTER, for the same or less money.

So yes, I think waste in government is especially egregious, immoral and sinful. There's a difference between suffering the consequences of your own lack of stewardship, and being defrauded.

In the real world, those fraudsters wind up in jail. In the Twilight Zone where we live today, the NSA and IRS and ACA honchos can lie to Congress (a felony) and not miss a wink of sleep.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:56AM
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jodik_gw

I don't believe in the concept of sin, as it is applied through religion.

But I do think it's a reprehensible thing to waste food... especially when there are so many people that go hungry... I find wasting resources to be quite different than doing with one's time that which one wishes.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:11PM
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adoptedbyhounds

"But I do think it's a reprehensible thing to waste food... especially when there are so many people that go hungry... "

Agreed, Jodi. We talked about kids not getting enough to eat in their school lunches a while back, but here's a piece of information I don't remember coming up. According to this article, when kids bring a lunch from home and want milk to go with it, government mandates they must take an entire meal in order to get the milk. Even if it gets thrown in the garbage. This is ridiculous.

FTA: "MANCHESTER " Students must take a meal at school even if they only want a carton of milk, according to federal regulations presented at the Board of School Committee meeting Monday.

Mayor Ted Gatsas and other school board members reacted with dismay to the rules, which they say have contributed to waste when students, some of whom bring lunches from home and only want milk, toss the school-provided fare in the trash.

âÂÂWeâÂÂre not able to offer the free milk-only option,â Superintendent Debra Livingston told the board. âÂÂIn order to have the free meal, the students are required to choose the required meal component.âÂÂ

But, Livingston added, âÂÂstudents are allowed to share directly with each other, and theyâÂÂre allowed to take items home with them, for example fruit.âÂÂ

The regulations are set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds much of the districtâÂÂs free and reduced-price meal program.

Gatsas was incredulous upon hearing about the rules."

âÂÂI think itâÂÂs paramount we understand when parents sending a child with a lunch, the federal government says we canâÂÂt give just milk ... It just doesnâÂÂt make a lot of common sense and itâÂÂs a waste.âÂÂ

Extremely wasteful. Immoral. Wrong.

This is the kind of nonsense I had in mind when I posted earlier about poor stewardship by government.

Here is a link that might be useful: government waste

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 5:01PM
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hostafrenzy

" I don't see our government exercising good stewardship on taxpayers' behalf."

Nik, I see it as a higher level of obligation. Our government has a fiduciary duty to use great care with the taxpayers' money. In other words, the government shouldn't have the option to exercise good stewardship or not - they have a legal obligation to do so...if that makes sense.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:05PM
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jodik_gw

Well, we already know our government is wasteful... that's not a big secret.

In our schools, however, milk can be obtained separate of the meal. One can buy it, or apply for vouchers based upon income, so I'm pretty sure the waste you're talking about doesn't happen everywhere.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:13PM
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elvis

Here's a link to the government lunch site. There's a special milk program, if your school participates and the family applies. Looks like if you take the lunch, you must take certain items in addition to milk.

Sounds like there are some variables between how schools participate. Local health codes come into play for sharing of unwanted items, for example.

Here is a link that might be useful: National School Lunch Program

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The purpose of dairy products being everywhere is to keep dairies in business. Otherwise they are not of much use, other than as entertainment foods that have certain specific deleterious characteristics such as high fat content, mucous content and carcinogenic proteins.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 10:00PM
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demifloyd(8)

NIk--certainly the waste that the federal government not only allows but encourages and uses for political and personal gain is indeed a moral outrage.

It's so easy to waste and spend someone else's money if you
have no morals or scruples.

Our elected officials are experts at it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 10:24PM
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markjames

Businesses count on us being wasteful and purchasing items instead of saving them or repairing them.

So True.

Much of my profits are due to laziness, waste, neglect, abuse and purchases of non necessities, excesses, services, disposable and depreciating assets etc.

The same applies to distressed/forced sale purchases of properties, vehicles, businesses, assets etc.

Had the former owners wasted less money and wasted less time making changes and smart decisions their stuff wouldn't be for sale, or wouldn't be seized, foreclosed, repossessed, junked, sold for pennies on the dollar.

Their waste creates many opportunities for investors, landlords, service providers, buyers, workers etc.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 8:55AM
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jodik_gw

How 'bout it, Bboy?!

I really don't understand the fascination with milk products... we now know they're not as "good for us" as once touted.

But the concept of profit above all is something we all know about...

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 12:50PM
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david52_gw

All around the southwest, you can find remnants of ancient grain storage vessels stuck high on the face of cliffs, the owners trying their best to stop the wastage from insects and mice.

Our whole consumer society is based on the premises of waste, planned obsolescence, and misallocation of resources for frivolous endeavors.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 12:54PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Waste is relative as in the inclusion of insect parts in your boxed brownie mix, a certain amount of waste is inherent in doing any sort of business what ever that may be. Governmentally you could do nothing and thereby waste nothing or you can accept that waste is going to happen and do your best to keep it to a minimum. But whose best are you going to do?

Purposeful waste on the other hand is a different matter and of course wasting time is the most luxurious sort of waste there is. We all get only a certain amount of it and you cant make more for yourself no matter how you try or how moral you are. You can spend your day cleaning the refrigerator and scrubbing the floors or you can squander it lolling in a chair in the sun reading trash-in the end you are out a day and the floor is going to get dirty all over again.

I don't think of the time here as wasted, I need things to think about having a Sherlockian turn of mind. It gives me something to mull on my moral days when I do clean the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 1:37PM
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adoptedbyhounds

"It's so easy to waste and spend someone else's money if you
have no morals or scruples."

That's where you're wrong! You need to let go of the idea it's your money. It belongs to the collective.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 4:41PM
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jodik_gw

You can have my share of money, Nik, if it makes you feel better. I have little use for more of it than I absolutely need to get along in today's society.

Time is only wasted if you, yourself feel you are wasting it... otherwise, it's spent in exactly the manner it needs to be.

Much like morality, it's another subjective thing.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 5:12PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Waste is very disturbing to me, although it has nothing to do with politics. Both major parties and the vast majority of Americans are very wasteful IMO!!

I have the nature of someone who lived during the depression although in actuality that was long before my time. It is inherent in my nature to conserve, ration, and save. I actually think constantly about how to conserve resources and spend a great deal of voluntary and grimy time and effort to figure out how to recover, re-use, sell, donate, put out free piles for a Craigslist "curb alert", recycle, and when all else fails, throw away Stuff.

I don't know if waste is immoral, bit I think it goes against the laws of nature. No species can survive long term being wasteful of its resources.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 5:15PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

There is in fact nothing more wasteful than nature-of every 5 fertilized egg in humans it is believed that 3- 4 are wasted. Some think the ratio can be much higher. The percentages in other animals must be more or less the same. The biggest waste is male embryos. More males are created but more of them never implant or if they do more are miscarried or sloughed off. More male babies are born but more of them die. It is an interesting fact of biology.

and money is a collective illusion..so go ahead and piss it away before everyone wakes up.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 8:24PM
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elvis

â¢Posted by terrene 5b MA (My Page) on Wed, Nov 27, 13 at 17:15

"Waste is very disturbing to me, although it has nothing to do with politics. Both major parties and the vast majority of Americans are very wasteful IMO!!"

i know what you mean, terrene. I wash and reuse baggies and buy virtually all my clothes, furniture, and do-dads at the charity shops. We don't "run to town," trips are combined. Some say I'm cheap, but I'm actually thrifty.

Bought one new car in 1984; I'll never do that again; what a waste. BTW, I still drive that car during the no-snow season (half the year).

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 8:38PM
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markjames

Over the years I've acquired hundreds of thousands of dollars in salvage others would have tossed in dumpsters, or that they would have paid to have hauled away.

I'm constantly buying/repairing/reselling many things others are giving away or selling for scrap, or below scrap value.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 8:51AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yes Markjames, I'm a small time landlord and property manager and do the same. And it's been profitable sometimes, I've sold lots of items on Craigslist and ebay, but also give away lots for free.

It's amazing what people will throw away because they are lazy or in a hurry. And the tenants are always leaving crap behind. I just hate to see serviceable or usable items go into the waste stream.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 9:13AM
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elvis

"It's amazing what people will throw away because they are lazy or in a hurry. And the tenants are always leaving crap behind. I just hate to see serviceable or usable items go into the waste stream."

Terrene, one of my sisters is also a property manager (large apartment complex in upscale metro area). People leave behind perfect appliances (including a Hover Chair once $$$), and very nice furniture. She's allowed to sell same and keep the money or donate the items. I've seen people opt to buy a new microwave when she offers a selection to them for free. It's not like buying a new one means that it's untouched by human hands. Clean is clean.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 9:40AM
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jodik_gw

Re-claiming and re-purposing things is actually kind of fun... a few basic skills and a good imagination can turn one person's trash into another's treasure!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 9:58AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Elvis, what 30 year old car of yours is still running? My 15 year old Subaru Outback just died - blew a head gasket and overheated the engine. I've car-shopped for the past 6 weeks (driving borrowed and rental vehicles), test-driving no less than a dozen new models of hybrids, cross-overs, and small SUVs, and don't like any of them as much as my old Outback!! Now I'm on the verge of buying a used Outback (2005). A bit older than I was looking for, but it has checked out. Saves big dollars on depreciation, sales tax, excise tax, and insurance to buy used!

Jodi, yes I agree recovering and restoring things can be fun and sometimes it is profitable, but being a property manager is hard and dirty work. I'm getting too old - and getting out of it.

The thing about a lot of the new crap out there - it's not nearly as well made as vintage items.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 10:04AM
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elvis

"Elvis, what 30 year old car of yours is still running?"

Yes; it's an '84 Mazda Rx7 GSL. Looks brand new; runs great. We did install a new engine 5 years ago for about $2K. One could buy a tiny house for the kind of money a new vehicle can cost. I cringe when I see these expensive behemoths (SUV's and pickups) and PC trendy hybrids running around. You know what the batteries cost on the hybrids and how short their lives are. Of course, lots of people dispose of their vehicle before the battery dies, to take on yet aother pricey vehicle. Yeesh.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 11:34AM
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frank_il

That seems like a practical car for rural areas.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 11:47AM
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terrene(5b MA)

I drove the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight and the VW Jetta Sportwagen deisel (all get 40+ mph on highway). They are all nice cars, although the Insight was jerky while shifting at low speeds and its acceleration is lame, whereas the Prius has a "power" button. But you pay a premium for the hybrid technology, just as the deisel, and you don't get that money back in gas savings until you drive a certain number of miles. I am a low mileage driver.

Not sure how durable the battery technology is with hybrid cars, but a friend's husband has owned 2 Prius's (plural?) over the past 11 years, the current one he has had for 9 years with no issue with the batteries, and he loves the Pruis.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 12:38PM
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elvis

â¢Posted by frank_il z5Illinois (My Page) on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 11:47

"That seems like a practical car for rural areas."

We got them new-fangled paved roads up here, frank. I'm not into 4-wheelin'.

Now, deer v. Rx7 is a bad deal unless one wants a lapful of deer. So far, so good.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 2:48PM
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jodik_gw

Well, that could depend on your reflexes and driving experience... you could actually walk away from a collision with a deer having minimal auto damage and somewhere around 3/4 of venison for the freezer. I would think that it depends on how well you know your car, how you handle the incident, and how you feel about salvaging that road kill. It could happen.

No, Terrene, they don't make things like they used to... that's for sure. Quality has taken a huge dip in our disposable, consumer driven economy.

But many items can be salvaged and re-purposed as something completely different from their original use. One of my favorite things to reclaim is wood... especially old picket fences, and used furniture that's made well. I also re-purpose old garden tools and other yard items. But pretty much anything can be disassembled and the parts used for anything, sometimes artsy-craftsy, and sometimes to fix something else... it all depends on one's imagination, or what one needs, one's skill at modifying or redesigning, etc.

There's an older Jeep on the property that runs using a fuel pump from a Dodge Neon, I think it was. It had to be modified a bit, but it works.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 4:02PM
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markjames

Yes Markjames, I'm a small time landlord and property manager and do the same. And it's been profitable sometimes, I've sold lots of items on Craigslist and ebay, but also give away lots for free.

It's amazing what people will throw away because they are lazy or in a hurry. And the tenants are always leaving crap behind. I just hate to see serviceable or usable items go into the waste stream.

When I clean out rentals, foreclosure and tax seizure properties post move-out/eviction, many occupants never made plans/attempts to sell, store or give away possessions, so they leave most possessions behind.

Many don't even bother to turn off the electric, cable, phone, gas or turn in leased equipment such as modems, access points, cable equipment, satellite equipment, propane tanks, regulators, rented appliances, furniture, electronics etc.

When we've repossessed propane tanks and regulators post move-out for non payment many have never notified us that they were moving even though they would have credits/refunds for unused fuel. Many occupants leave several hundred dollars worth of heating oil, or kerosene in their tank(s) when they move as well.

When I store boats, RVs, campers, vehicles, equipment etc, many owners no longer want the expenses of storage, winterization, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance etc, so they sell me their stored possessions for pennies on the dollar, or give them to me.

I'm constantly buying repairing and reselling vehicles, boats, equipment etc that I've acquired for free, scrap value, or pennies on the dollar since the owners don't want the hassles of repair or sales.

It's amazing how many people don't like to sell stuff via craigslist, classifieds, ebay etc, so they'll give it away or let it go cheaply to friends, neighbors, landlords, service providers, co-workers etc.

Many aren't willing to invest money or time in repairs in order to sell their stuff for substantially more money, so they'll let it go cheaply.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 8:41AM
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