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The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by dockside (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 17:08

This is a continuation of the thread started by Pidge.

Just coincidentally, this morning I read an article in the New York Times Business section by the co-author of the book, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much in which he writes that his co-author and he found that:

"Some people argue that the poor make terrible choices and do so because they are inherently less capable. But our analysis of scarcity suggests a different perspective: perhaps the poor are just as capable as everyone else. Perhaps the problem is not poor people but the mental strain that poverty imposes on anyone who must endure it." His studies show that IQ lowers when one is stressed, be it lack of sleep or lack of resources .

In the same NY Times, in the book review section, is a book, The American Way of Poverty by Sasha Abramsky, which is also thought-provoking. Mr. Abramsky states that poverty is less a "tragedy" than a "scandal" which is the result of decisions taken or not taken by political and economic leaders and accepted by voters. He states that whether poverty "is caused by dysfunction, of the dysfunction is itself a product of the poverty, or, as is likely, the dysfunction and the poverty interact in ever more complex feedback loops, for the larger community to wash its hands of the problem represents an extraordinary failure of the moral imagination."

I have linked this review to this post and urge people who would like to actually educate themselves about poverty to read both the Business section article and the book review.

And, IMO, if people could work at one job (where's that long promised jobs bill?) and make enough to support their family, which would mean raising the minimum wage, we'd probably wouldn't be having this discussion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Poor in the Land of Plenty


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"And, IMO, if people could work at one job (where's that long promised jobs bill?) and make enough to support their family, which would mean raising the minimum wage, we'd probably wouldn't be having this discussion. "

Truer words never spoken. I have seen the struggles first hand and know how many of those on the "take" actually work more hours than I ever did - and I was never "on the clock" and worked lots of overtime.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Dockside, thanks for those links and the information they impart. You've taken this issue to a higher philosophical and ethical level than the one with which I began.

A bit of a hijack here: I'd say more but I'm feeling beaten up by a film I saw today, Prisoners, that asked similarly deeply thoughtfut questions about moral and ethical issues that dock points us to.

Really off topic: Do not miss this film--has nothing directly to do with poverty or hunger but it has a lot to do with the meaning of "imprisonment." It suggests that all of us are trapped in one way or another. And that does point back to the imprisonment of poverty.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

It seems fairly easy to grasp that once caught into the vortex of poverty it could be impossible to escape it. Like a tar patch, and it can entangle many generations.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

In the very early years of our marriage, we made so little that the stress was unrelenting. An unexpected pregnancy was the real source of the stress as adults can choose to make unhealthy sacrifices for themselves in between pay periods that children can never make and should never be expected to make. Keeping those sacrifices at bay was a gnawing worry. I remember my concentration was shot at that time, it usually is during times of unusually great anxiety or stress.

His choice to join the military branch he was in was because his lottery number came up ( the last couple of years of lottery numbers) and the choice was to be drafted into the army as simple infantry or to join the branch of his choice which offered a great technical school for the career field he was interested in - a subject he liked and was already naturally good in.

However, he started at the bottom in his career field just like everyone else and after his tech school, we were stationed in the middle of nowhere, at a tiny installation where jobs for wives were non existent. Due to the isolated area we lived in, far, far away from extended family, very financially stressful conditions - Im not at all sure that if I had been able to find a job I would have been able to perform at my best standards, my ability to focus was poor.

Sometimes, choices a person has before them are choices between 'very bad' or 'even worse'.
Nobody can know the choices or options which people have before them and I believe we all should be careful to avoid looking down on the choices which are made by people we never met, dont know and never will know.
Nobody can know the life or road traveled by a poor stranger anymore than those same poor should make negative judgments about any one of us if they know nothing at all about any of us, the type of choices in life we had before us or had never heard a word anyone of us ever said or read a word anyone typed anywhere.
For a group of poor to judge any one of us negatively with no actual information on us would be considered by any of us to be a ridiculous presumption. Rightfully so.

We knew our standard of would get better and rise above the poverty level in a few years. A lot of the poor can see no way out and live in poverty with no real vision that it will get better. I dont see how they can have any real concentration at all, mine was not very good at all during those financially stressed years, even knowing those difficult years were limited.
†******************************************************************* ***

Pidge, we were all set to make the afternoon showing of that movie today and had some friends drop in. It was nice, but by the time they left, we would have missed all the previews of upcoming releases and maybe the first five minutes of the movie.

I love me my previews and if I cant see the whole movie - forget it!!
*LOL*

We have a date to go see it next Saturday, looking forward to it - the first movie we will have seen in maybe a year!
I see it got terrific ratings, too.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Saw Prisoners tonight. I began watching the Emmys and realized, since I don't have premium channels ,no show I watched would even be nominated. I checked the schedule and the movie was starting at 8:35, and we left the house at 8:29. It was a riveting well acted film, and Oscar nominations are sure for two of the actors, maybe three. It's a what if kinda movie. It's R rated for the squeamish, which I'm not unless it involves animals.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

mylab, we also started way on the bottom and had two babies in quick succession, so I know what you mean about the stress of too little money and a lot of responsibilities. It was also a time when women were simply expected to saty home with the kids, and there was little or no day care beyond families if a woman made the daring move to go out to work. My husband was self-employed but even if we didn't worry about insurance for ourselves, we had to have it for the kids (both of whom required surgery early on).

My point in saying this is that it was hard even for a stay-at-home mom like me to stay focused, patient, and helpful to my kids, let alone hold down a job.

The front page of this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer contains an article about our Governor Corbett (Republican, approval rating 17%) who will now require anyone collecting welfare ($314 a month) to have proof that they have been turned down for THREE jobs before they can collect any benefits. I truly don't know how I could have dealt with such pressure. No wonder folks become dysfunctional in one way or another.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I know dozens of able-bodied working age poor personally that have been poor for a long time - many for generations.

The reasons they remain poor? Here's my Short List:

Most are unmotivated, undisciplined and favor instant gratification vs long term gain/reward.

Most don't budget, spend, save or invest wisely. The more they make, or the more they're given doesn't make a bit of difference - they'll spend it all and have little or nothing to show.

Most are lifetime renters that spend all of their disposable income on depreciating assets, services, disposable goods and non necessities.

Most are smokers - very expensive in New York ($8 plus per pack)

Most are gamblers - mostly scratch-offs and lottery tickets and mostly the higher priced scratch-offs.

Most have a zero, or negative net worth. Most have a history of buying stuff, then losing it, or selling it for pennies on the dollar.

Most have moved frequently, so they've thrown much stuff away, left it behind, gave it way etc.

Most have kids they can't afford and many continue having more.

EMPLOYMENT: Most are unemployed, under-employed, unemployable or frequently laid off, quit, terminated, forced to quit etc. Most work low paying part-time, temporary, seasonal or underground economy jobs.

Most don't own reliable vehicles, don't have driver's licenses and/or can't afford vehicle payments, maintenance, repairs, insurance, gas etc - nearly a financial death sentence in many regions.

Most only have a high school education, a GED or they dropped out of high school.

Most can't pass all the necessary pre-employment qualifications - HS`diploma, drug tests, background checks, aptitude tests, physical fitness assessments, DMV checks etc.

Many can't pass post-employment probationary periods.

Many have other negative things that show up in web searches, or searches of newspaper archives.

Most don't present themselves well at job interviews.

Most are overweight, obese and/or out of shape.

Most don't want to work jobs that require heavy lifting, long hours of manual labor, continuous repetitive motion, bending, climbing, working outdoors in bad weather, driving, operating equipment, tools etc.

Most won't or can't work various hours, days, shifts, overtime, on-the-road, out-of-town, on-call etc, so they're not hired, not promoted, don't receive additional hours or they're terminated.

Most receive numerous benefits $X,000 tax credits, DSS housing, subsidized housing, food stamps, daycare, Medicaid, HEAP, Emergency HEAP and/or much local/private assistance, so they don't have to work many hours to survive.

Many have been regulated out of and priced out of many jobs. They don't have the skills, knowledge, experience and performance necessary to start @ $9 to $10 per hour - the starting rate of many low skilled jobs.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Thank you, Dockside...

"And, IMO, if people could work at one job (where's that long promised jobs bill?) and make enough to support their family, which would mean raising the minimum wage, we'd probably wouldn't be having this discussion."

Indeed.

"Whether poverty “is caused by dysfunction, or the dysfunction is itself a product of the poverty, or, as is likely, the dysfunction and the poverty interact in ever more complex feedback loops, for the larger community to wash its hands of the problem represents an extraordinary failure of the moral imagination.”"

Poverty is not as simple as "sloth and lack of personal responsibility" as some would have us all believe... but a complicated composite of mechanisms...

"Sometimes, choices a person has before them are choices between 'very bad' or 'even worse'.
Nobody can know the choices or options which people have before them and I believe we all should be careful to avoid looking down on the choices which are made by people we never met, dont know and never will know."

Precisely, Mylab... again, the complexities of poverty can't all be so easily described in one classification, that of the "lazy, lacking any personal responsibility or ambition", as we're constantly reminded by a political right that's hardly conservative.

"Drawing from his own and others’ ideas, Abramsky proposes a host of potential remedies, chiefly by government as the great mobilizer of financial resources for the “commons,” by which he means common good, common assets and common sense. Poverty is less a “tragedy” than a “scandal,” he declares, the result of “decisions taken, or not taken, by political and economic leaders” and accepted by voters. Different decisions can be made, he argues, if Americans have the will. He might have given more attention to the private sector, which creates most jobs, after all. But he believes there is plenty of room to tax upper incomes."

There's a distinct disconnect and an ever widening chasm between the moneyed and the common citizen, in which ethics and moral obligation are divorced from decisions that affect the common citizenry. What are laid out as social repairs lack common sense for the common good, and common assets aren't thought of as part of that whole.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"And, IMO, if people could work at one job (where's that long promised jobs bill?) and make enough to support their family, which would mean raising the minimum wage, we'd probably wouldn't be having this discussion. "

Not sure legislation would do as much to improve lives as promoting behaviors that help keep folks out of poverty: Finish high school, acquire job skills and a job, and get married before starting a family.

We already have too many students dropping out of high school. I think legislating a high minimum wage (or living wage) would tempt more students to do drop out, and we would end up with more of what we don't want.

A decent income, especially for young people, begins with a full time job. But legislation meant to "help" people get insurance has removed full time work as an option for many workers. Their full time jobs are gone, but they still don't have insurance. When legislation makes it cost more to hire people, employers will always find ways around that. So while a living wage might sound like a good idea, on a national scale I would expect it to have the same effects on the job market as obamacare is having. Bad for employment.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 12:28

Where, exactly, are these jobs? Will people, with no income, be expected to relocate to cities and towns with jobs? And what if there aren't any jobs when they get there? I'm reminded of the pictures of the "Okies" during the Dust Bowl, moving from one camp to another, hoping to make a few dollars harvesting grapes or tomatoes.

You've got to be kidding. We already have too many students dropping out of high school. I think legislating a high minimum wage (or living wage) would tempt more students to do drop out, and we would end up with more of what we don't want. Do you really think that the only people taking minimum wage jobs are high school students?

A decent income, especially for young people, begins with a full time job. But legislation meant to "help" people get insurance has removed full time work as an option for many workers. Their full time jobs are gone, but they still don't have insurance. When legislation makes it cost more to hire people, employers will always find ways around that. So while a living wage might sound like a good idea, on a national scale I would expect it to have the same effects on the job market as obamacare is having. Bad for employment

So you believe that offering health insurance unrelated to a job will INCREASE the number of people who decide that they don't need a job. The reality is that, historically, most employers have never offered health insurance, and very few have offered any benefits at all. It's only big companies, governments, and unionized businesses that have offered their employees benefits at all, especially health insurance. The ACA won't change that.

You've taken the GOP propaganda bait hook, line and sinker.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The mindset that all anyone needs is "personal responsibility" to have a booming, financially-stable, hunger-free life is its own kind of myth, one of the "prisons we choose to live inside" (Doris Lessing) that is almost blythely unaware of the limitiations of that point of view. Such a mindset is notoriously hard to change because it cannot see beyond the borders of its own entrenched beliefs.
I know that I often have a hart time questioning my own beliefs, so I can understand why the mindset persists. All any of can do is keep reading and listening. I've learned a lot just on this one thread, including the interesting info dockside presents in the op. And though I often find you, markjames, a bit smug, you also provide some interesting if anecdotal info.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

A decent income, especially for young people, begins with a full time job. But legislation meant to "help" people get insurance has removed full time work as an option for many workers. Their full time jobs are gone, but they still don't have insurance. When legislation makes it cost more to hire people, employers will always find ways around that. So while a living wage might sound like a good idea, on a national scale I would expect it to have the same effects on the job market as obamacare is having. Bad for employment.

*

Thanks nic for considering and articulating the reality of the big picture outside the knee jerk response for more gruel.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

When companies who make millions in profits will cut back workers hours so that they don't have to compromise some very small part of those profits made by those actual workers you have reached moral bankruptcy in your culture. That there are many here who defend those practices is a sure sign of this. Cultures reach this point over and over in history and the results aren't pretty.

I know some think that since there is a huge pool of people willing to do these jobs, it is a sign of that is what these peoples work is worth, well shame on you. Don't people ever learn anything?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

When companies who make millions in profits will cut back workers hours so that they don't have to compromise some very small part of those profits made by those actual workers you have reached moral bankruptcy in your culture.

Thanks patriciae for considering and articulating the reality of the big picture outside the knee jerk response for more criticism of the underlings.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Glad to oblige esh!


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"When companies who make millions in profits will cut back workers hours so that they don't have to compromise some very small part of those profits made by those actual workers you have reached moral bankruptcy in your culture."

You got that right, Patriciae! I've been saying that for years!


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Pidge, glad to see our dear governor is now at 17%. He's a dead duck floating.

I also had two children before I was 25. Back in the day, that was pretty normal. Today not so much. We were poor for sure having nothing to start with. But luckily we were thrifty Germans, and did without for our kids. We did not have any insurance for the first few years. Thankfully kids were healthy, but if something catastrophic would have happened , we would have been screwed.

Saving till we could afford to buy something, not living beyond our means , little vacations at the shore,wise investing in the stock market and we never had any assistance of any kind from relatives or the government.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 18:27

I'll ask again nik, where are the jobs?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Not very surprisingly, this thread is slipping down the page...

The jobs, Mom, are mostly overseas... where it's a little difficult to commute...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

In our poorest region of the state (and surrounding regions) we actually have a very good job market as much of the population is retired, disabled, not looking for work, not seriously looking for work, on numerous welfare benefits, on unemployment, under-employed, frequently unemployed, working in the underground economy, unemployable etc.

Turnover in many occupations is high as many quit, they're terminated or turn down hours, days, shifts, overtime, full time etc.

New hire washout in many occupations is measured in hours/days, not weeks/months. We see new faces on a weekly basis at many businesses.

Much of the population doesn't own a vehicle, doesn't have a driver's license and can't pass background checks, drug tests, aptitude tests, physical fitness assessments, DMV checks etc, so they can't find (or keep) well paying work.

Because of these issues, many jobs are performed by workers working overtime, 2 or 3 jobs, out of area commuters, or the businesses turn down or lose customers.

There's a great employment divide these days. Many have 2 or 3 jobs and more work than they can handle, while others can't find, or keep a single job


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Agree with Patriciae and Mom. Where, indeed, are the jobs that pay decent wages?

Markjames, I am curious -- where do you live?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

mark james, you've hit the nail on the head.

There are lots of farmers who cant get enuff labor to harvest their fruits & vegetables, apple pickers earn 12 bucks an hour. I pick other growers berries for 1$ per pint and make about 25$ before noon. I do it for something to do and it pays for bullets and other little things. There are jobs all around like these, the lazy freeloaders COULD do this work but its too easy to say there aint no jobs out there as they cash their govt handouts.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Markjames, I am curious -- where do you live?

I bounce between homes in the Saratoga, Lake George, Great Sacandaga and Adirondack regions.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 10:46

Well, it's fine that there are jobs, but someone in West Virginia or MIssouri or Florida or California isn't likely to relocate for a minimum wage, entry level job with no future and in an area that may not have opportunities for other, better jobs.

Especially if they don't have a job or the money needed to move.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I often hear people say they can't afford to do this, or can't afford to do that to make a better life for themselves and their families.

In reality the greater cost is the cost of doing little or nothing.

Many stuck in the cycle of poverty have defeatist attitudes, accentuate the negative, minimize the positive, argue for their limitations, quit after getting knocked down etc.

Many of these types surround themselves with like minded friends and family.

If you're one of the many that say "Their Ain't No Jobs", "All Our Jobs Were Shipped Overseas" etc, you're likely never getting ahead and/or dragging others down with you.

Misery loves company...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Exactly, Mom... it's extremely costly to move when you don't have an extra dollar in your pocket to spare...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Good grief people do it all the time.

Bus tickets are cheap and people stay at the Y, shelters or churches help most anyone or families trying to relocate.

If someone wants an excuse not to better their lives, there is always an easy excuse.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 11:31

Oh, good grief, I don't think so.

Would you get on a bus, head to upstate New York, stay in a homeless shelter on the off-chance you could, maybe, get a job at McDonalds?

If you wouldn't do it, do you really think you should recommend that others do it, and dismiss, as worthless, people who won't do it.

That's very elitist.

Some people on this forum live in a fantasy land.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Cheap" is subjective. It's dependent upon how much you have in your wallet or bank account.

I couldn't afford a bus ticket if my life depended on it.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Would you get on a bus, head to upstate New York, stay in a homeless shelter on the off-chance you could, maybe, get a job at McDonalds?

And if you have children, and/or are caring for an elderly parent . . .


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

snip -

In lieu of that, for the eleventh time in twelve years, poverty has worsened or stayed the same. It remains stuck at 15 percent, with 46 million people living on less than about $18,300 for a family of three. That includes nearly 22 percent of all children, 27 percent of African-Americans, 25 percent of Hispanics and more than 28 percent of people with disabilities (the next group conservatives will likely target after they are through with those who currently need food stamp assistance).

Significantly, 44 percent of those in poverty live below half the poverty line - in “deep poverty” - "on less than about $9,150 for a family of three. That adds up to 20.4 million people, and includes 15 million women and children - nearly 10 percent of all children in the United States. Deep poverty and its accompanying toxic stress are particularly harmful to children. We also have evidence that just a modest boost in income - $3000 in earnings or government benefits for a family living on less than $25,000 - makes a significant difference in the lives of young children when they reach adulthood, both in the hours they will work and the income they will earn.

Another number that remained stagnant last year is the number of people living below twice the poverty line - on less than $36,600 for a family of three. That describes 106 million Americans, more than one in three of us. These are people who are living a single hardship - such as a lost job or serious family illness - away from poverty.

While conservatives will use the 15 percent poverty rate as fodder to label as a failure the War on Poverty launched nearly fifty years ago - since the official poverty rate is about the same now as it was in the late-1960s - we know that one has to overlook critical information to reach this conclusion.

Some examples: the poverty rate would be twice as high now - nearly 30 percent - without the safety net. Food stamp benefits aren’t included in the official poverty rate, but they lifted a record 4 million people above the poverty line in 2012; nor are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), which in 2011 moved 9.4 million people above the poverty line. In fact, in 2011 the official poverty rate would have dropped from 15.0 percent to 10.9 percent if it included food stamps, EITC and CTC. (See, too, Martha Bailey and Sheldon Danziger’s new book, Legacies of the War on Poverty.)

“If you took the official poverty measure and accounted for the effect of the biggest benefits that it leaves out - SNAP, rent subsidies, and tax credits for working families - you’d find that poverty in the United States is significantly lower today than it was at any time in the 1960s,” said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “That’s true even despite today’s shaky economy.”

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Prior to their evictions last week I attempted to convince 2 households with 4 unemployed able bodied working age adults and 2 children each to move on their own terms.

They said "we can't afford to move", so I offered help with moving, sales of possessions, short term storage of possessions, job searches, apartment searches, transportation for these searches, applying for public assistance etc.

I figured it would be better for them to move on their own terms with time on their side and money in their pockets.

I even offered them $100 cash each to clean their apartments prior to moving, however they wanted the cash before services were rendered.

Neither household took me up on my offer. Both waited until the day of the evictions (On a very busy Friday). Because they waited, they ended up leaving most of their possessions behind, plus DSS had to put them up in a Motel as they didn't have time to search for apartments.

I informed them that they'd need at least a couple weeks to find an apartment as there are waiting lists for subsidized housing, some waiting lists are closed, background checks take time and few landlords will rent to DSS tenants, especially those without jobs, however they didn't seem to care - at least not enough to take action.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I checked the Greyhound website to see how much a bus ticket for one adult and two children would be from Lexington, KY (picked at random, I have no idea what the unemployment rate there is) to Saratoga Springs, NY, where markjames says there are so many jobs going begging. The cheapest "web fare is $418. The standard fare is over $450. Plus, it takes 27-1/2 hours and two transfers to get there.

Need I say more?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"When companies who make millions in profits will cut back workers hours so that they don't have to compromise some very small part of those profits made by those actual workers you have reached moral bankruptcy in your culture."

Wrong. The job of the employer is to keep his business profitable. Profits build jobs and growth that benefit our nation. Employers don't take an oath to represent the people.

We elect politicians to do that. The lack of morality rests with the Democrats, who passed obamacare against the will of the people.

I knew obamacare would kill jobs.

Why didn't you?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 11:31

Oh, good grief, I don't think so.

Would you get on a bus, head to upstate New York, stay in a homeless shelter on the off-chance you could, maybe, get a job at McDonalds?

If you wouldn't do it, do you really think you should recommend that others do it, and dismiss, as worthless, people who won't do it.

That's very elitist.

Some people on this forum live in a fantasy land.

*

Stop it, mom with the personal sling about living in "a fantasy land."

That personal disparaging remark is crude, mean, and false.
The fact that you made it shows a lack of class and a penchant for personal attacks when you don't have a retort.

I KNOW people who have left to go work in North Dakota.
They're making good money.
They do what they have to do to take care of their families.

Of course not everyone can do it because they have to care for certain people, but many, many can--many more that DO.

People can't afford a bus ticket because they don't want to.

Many bus tickets states away are under $50 or $60.
Most people can pawn something or sell something to get that kind of money.

Internet service discontinued could pay for a bus ticket.

Anyone with brains and time on their hands can earn money for a bus ticket and go to where there is employment.

So it's a matter of not wanting to, not being able to.

I know of two ladies--one in her forties and one in her fifties, that live in a rural area. Both ladies do "handyman/handywoman" jobs for older people, or anyone that needs it. They stop by and vacuum, make beds for old people, wash their cars, weedeat their yards, clean house,
run errands, wash windows--you name it.

None of those things requires an education and most don't require extraordinary physical exertion.

But they do what they can do and earn money to care for themselves.

Always always people have excuses for life not being easy so they can't take care of themselves.

If people spent half the time taking care of themselves that they do whining to the world about what other people do and have there wouldn't be anything to whine about.

And mom, for your information, I ABSOLUTELY would get on a bus, work washing dishes, babysitting, taking in ironing, and do whatever I needed to do to be independent on not on the dole of taxpayers.

THERE IS NOTHING ELITIST ABOUT THAT FACT, "MOM."


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Profits build jobs and growth that benefit our nation.

Meaningful jobs with liveable pay are the jobs that benefit our nation. Not jobs that pay so little that people have to take a second job to feed their family.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Mark, you will never convince some of the posters here that people like your former tenants exist in any appreciable numbers. Instead, you will be thought of as evil for putting them on the street.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I checked the Greyhound website to see how much a bus ticket for one adult and two children would be from Lexington, KY (picked at random, I have no idea what the unemployment rate there is) to Saratoga Springs, NY, where markjames says there are so many jobs going begging. The cheapest "web fare is $418. The standard fare is over $450. Plus, it takes 27-1/2 hours and two transfers to get there.

Need I say more?

Many of our local poor and low income households spend more than $450 monthly on cigarettes and other non necessities.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 12:37

I ABSOLUTELY would get on a bus

LOL. Have you been on an interstate bus lately? Probably not. I haven't.

It would take a very long time to earn the hundreds of dollars needed to take an interstate bus any distance at all, by babysitting, ironing, laundry, etc - and you'd have to support yourself in the meantime - food, housing, just to name a few needs.

Yes, it is elitist, we are all elitist. Most of us on this forum haven't had to struggle for basic needs, for years and years, and we have NO IDEA what it would be like, living life on the edge, for our entire life.

We are talking about, and talking down to people who live a life so different from ours, we can't begin to comprehend their situations.

So we are all elitist.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Who ARE all these poor people with tons of material possessions worthy of pawning??? Have you pawned anything recently?

So, the poor should take what little they do have and pawn it for pennies on the dollar, just to get a bus ticket to a maybe job in some other state, no mention of housing or food, or any other necessities...

Hmm... I wonder why people aren't jumping on THIS fantasy trip to easy wealth...

Wow...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 12:42

Who ARE all these poor people with tons of material possessions worthy of pawning??? Have you pawned anything recently?

So, the poor should take what little they do have and pawn it for pennies on the dollar, just to get a bus ticket to a maybe job in some other state, no mention of housing or food, or any other necessities...

Hmm... I wonder why people aren't jumping on THIS fantasy trip to easy wealth...

Wow...

*

Jodik, who mentioned "easy wealth?

Who mentioned "tons of material possessions worth pawning?

I did not.
Nothing of the sort.

But your smarmy sarcasm to intentionally mischaracterize and shoot down a reasonable action for people to take reveals an attitude.

It's just another excuse.

No I haven't pawned anything.
But I have lots of stuff to pawn if I need to and I absolutely would pawn anything I have before sitting back and letting someone else take care of my needs.

The attitude of people dictates that they have in life, or don't have.

It's clear from attitudes why people don't have what they want, and sometimes what they need.

Po Po pitiful me from more and more people.

Give me a break.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Mark, you will never convince some of the posters here that people like your former tenants exist in any appreciable numbers. Instead, you will be thought of as evil for putting them on the street.

Landlords and Real Estate Investors are always "The Bad Guys" when they evict tenants due to non payment of rent, damage, sale of property etc.

No matter how many thousands of dollars worth of free rent and services I offer I'm always the bad guy when the free ride ends.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I have no idea what the unemployment rate there is) to Saratoga Springs, NY, where markjames says there are so many jobs going begging.

The unemployment rate in Saratoga County is very low, however oddly enough some of our best job markets for low skilled workers are in regions with high unemployment as many in these regions aren't participating in the job market, or they're unemployable.

As I mentioned, many workers in these regions work overtime, work 2 or 3 jobs, or commute from other areas due to the shortage of qualified job seekers.

Cost of living is much lower in the surrounding regions as well.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Wrong. The job of the employer is to keep his business profitable. Profits build jobs and growth that benefit our nation. Employers don't take an oath to represent the people."

There you are, a statement of moral bankruptcy not to mention foolish and short sighted. There is this concept called Enlightened Self Interest. While conservatives who apparently skipped history class may think that all they are put on this earth for is to make the most money for themselves that they can based on the infrastructure that their society provides and their own input ESI tells you that if you keep scalping your employees the worm will eventually turn, kill and eat you-metaphorically speaking mostly. With the average underpaid worker so very well armed these days the profit oriented company owner really ought to rethink his position. Lets try to internalize the fact that once upon a time it was considered completely obvious and suitable that brown people were put on this earth to serve white people for free-totally moral and for their own good. That white people lived in luxury on the basis of the material goods earned by these colored people was the natural state of affairs. This was moral suitable and right and God wanted it that way. Nik, I suggest you compare your opinions on pay scales for workers to this now completely discredited point of view and hopefully conclude that perhaps they might have something in common.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I have one client who did actually got on a bus with his wife and baby with not much other than some clothes and very few dollars. A church gave him a place to stay when he first arrived in exchange for some painting and general repairs. He has a 10th grade education. He now owns a successful business and employs other family members.

I have a couple of other clients who one would consider self made. At one point in time, they had nothing and depended on others for everything. Now they are successful. The "Poor little me, I can't do it" attitude is a death trap. You have no idea what you can do until you take a risk.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by jlhug 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 13:25

I have one client who did actually got on a bus with his wife and baby with not much other than some clothes and very few dollars. A church gave him a place to stay when he first arrived in exchange for some painting and general repairs. He has a 10th grade education. He now owns a successful business and employs other family members.

I have a couple of other clients who one would consider self made. At one point in time, they had nothing and depended on others for everything. Now they are successful. The "Poor little me, I can't do it" attitude is a death trap. You have no idea what you can do until you take a risk.

*

See?

Told you it can be done.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The financially secure always seem to know a lot about the poor; what makes them tick, why they "do what they do". The mantra that the poor, through their own inherent weakness, are responsible for their lot in life. Just grab those bootstraps. Isn't it possible that one of the results of being poor makes it harder to put into play the basic skills that many of us who are not faced with being poor exercise as a matter of course?

In truth, I don't know what I would do - not being in the position of having to make these kinds of decisions. In truth, I hope I'm never put in the position of having to discover just exactly what I would do.

I learned early on to tune out the humble braggers - and don't we all know a few... the ones gut wrenchingly tortured by how much an expensive luxury cost them, the price of food, gas, drinking at the local watering hole... yadda yadda. The ones who, though far from it, cry poor. It's a far cry from actually being poor.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I do not purport to know what "makes people tick."

Frankly, I don't care.

I just know that there are some people who can't do better and we should take care of those, and some who can do better and don't.

If they don't know how, we show them.

If they do know how and still will not take care of themselves in every way reasonably possible, then they should experience the consequences of their decisions.

Being poor isn't the only bad thing to happen to people.

Many people suffer all sorts of tragedies and live with situations that others know nothing about. No one is more enlightened because they are rich or poor.

Certainly poor people aren't elevated to a particular stature by virtue of their being poor anymore than a rich person is, or anyone in the middle.

But it does not take a rocket scientist to see when people make decisions that influence their lives, and the lives of others, in a negative way.

Which should be their own business.
Entirely their own business.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Good to know, demi. Also good to know, I wasn't referring to you.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Meaningful jobs with liveable pay are the jobs that benefit our nation. Not jobs that pay so little that people have to take a second job to feed their family."

I disagree. I think if you spend more time thinking about your proposal, you might want to revise it.

I don't believe there is nothing to be gained from jobs that aren't "meaningful."

In what sense must a job be "meaningful" in order for it to provide societal and national benefit? Should we get rid of garbage collectors and plumbers?

Who makes the call about the "meaningfulness" of smelling other people's crap and garbage? I'm guessing you haven't thought through what would happen in the real world your criteria became the measure by which we determine a job's value.

I don't believe there is nothing to be gained from a job unless it pays enough to provide for an entire family.

How would society benefit if the only jobs available paid a living wage?

How would employers screen employees? How would people with no job skills compete for living wage jobs with skilled workers?

What do you think an unskilled worker has to offer an employer in place of skills? What would be the incentive for an employer to hire such a person instead of someone already trained? If a living wage is the floor, who is going to hire somebody with no skills? Why would the employer pay a living wage to someone not worth it? How is it good for the country to hire less productive workers?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 15:13

The current income disparity is bigger than the one that preceded the Great Depression during the 1920s.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The unskilled laborers who work for the fast food industry offer billions of dollars to the owners of said fast food industry. Without the workers there is no one to cook or wrap the burgers or hand them out the window. Without the food handed out the window in exchange for said Billions of dollars there are no Billions of dollars. This ought to be obvious to even the most clouded mind. The owner can cart in food by the ton but it has to be cooked and handed out. The exchange must be made. Until the day that machinery takes over those functions the Billions are the result of the labor of the laborers-so why not pay them a pittance more and avoid the apocalypse?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I did not mean that garbage collectors are not meaningfully employed. But hopefully a full time garbage collector makes enough money to stay above the poverty line so that when he gets off his shift then he does not have go work somewhere else just to get by.

How would society benefit if the only jobs available paid a living wage?

How about: I disagree. I think if you spend more time thinking about your "statement", you might want to revise it.

Other jobs, jobs that require more skills, would pay more, but when all day janitors don't make enough to feed their families and pay their rent then that says they don't make enough. Being a janitor is a meaningful job if the people that pay for it respect that the person doing the work should be able to live on what they pay him/her.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Work is honorable and performance of work in a diligent and effective way should be valued and rewarded - most of the meaning in our jobs and in our lives comes from what we bring to those endeavors - the problem in this country is that some think they have the right through their more superior understanding and ability, i.e. position of power secured by money, to set the reward for certain jobs in a way that makes it impossible for those doing them to live decently much less well.

Since we are all agreed that we need workers at these levels who are both dependable and diligent, it only remains for the light bulb moment to occur when we as a nation realize that the value of the job has more to it than a perceived skill level and that the value of human endeavor has to be factored into the return that people receive for the work that they do - that is not to say that some work is not more valuable and requiring of highly specialized knowledge and therefore remunerated at a higher level - just that to dismiss the jobs that are not and do not - and the people who fill them for our service - as unworthy of a living wage is both wrong and dangerous to the fabric of our society.

When the standard of living and the return for effort of some of us is out of line with the reasonable expectations of those who live and work in our very well to do nation it affects all of us in a negative way, whether we are willing to admit it or not. That is why I support a realistic minimum wage and I am not convinced that such will cause me undue hardship as a consumer or as a share holder in a business or even as a business owner.

I can't speak for anyone else here but in my days of hiring and training workers, I did not expect people to come to me with all the necessary skills in place - the desire and the ability to work at a level necessary for the job at hand, yes - but I was aware that I would have to train people just as I in my time had been trained. And I pushed hard for a decent starting wage and rewarded those who excelled to the extent that was possible as quickly as possible - without their having to ask. It is the best way to run a business and minimize turnover which leads to retraining which I do recognize as a cost - albeit a necessary one.

In my experience if you value people and let them know, they tend to be loyal and willing and a positive environment where people know that they will be treated fairly even if they make a mistake makes for a much more effective workforce. It is not rocket science. Treat people like dullards and cattle and that is exactly what you will get.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Since we are all agreed that we need workers at these levels who are both dependable and diligent, it only remains for the light bulb moment to occur when we as a nation realize that the value of the job has more to it than a perceived skill level and that the value of human endeavor has to be factored into the return that people receive for the work that they do - that is not to say that some work is not more valuable and requiring of highly specialized knowledge and therefore remunerated at a higher level - just that to dismiss the jobs that are not and do not - and the people who fill them for our service - as unworthy of a living wage is both wrong and dangerous to the fabric of our society.

Beautifully said! Thank you!

And as you say it's not rocket science. Just common sense.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

So, what should I pay my housekeeper?

He makes $25 an hour right now.

I wouldn't want him to feel badly about cleaning my toilets and mopping my floors.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

So you claim that cleaning one person's toilets is worth $25 an hour. Wonder where this claim will lead us.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I keep hearing how "we" devalue what people do in traditionally demeaning low paying jobs and how we don't appreciate them and how they need to earn a "living wage" no matter how menial the job.

So I'm asking you experts--what should I pay my housekeeper?

What would it take to pay a housekeeper where they do not feel demeaned and where they feel appreciated?

Thanks so much.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Demi- you know very well it is not about feeling badly-it is about making a living wage and you obviously pay your house keeper a living wage. Since I am pretty sure that you could get a cheaper house keeper may I ask why you pay so much?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Wonder where this claim will lead us.

Just baiting.

Fees vary greatly depending on location and what one pays in Louisiana is different than Florida, Mississippi, No. Dakota, Los Angeles, NYC,...and what the work entails, the number of hours, etc. Someone making $25 an hour who only has 2 hours to do the chores they are assigned isn't going to be able to support their families unless they have several jobs each day. Then there are the taxes which also vary so they aren't taking home $25 per hour.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

$25 an hour seems very valued to me. Of course that is compared to a janitor making $10 an hour at the high school but where the company paying him is also paying social security contributions, medicare contributions, perhaps also some retirement contribution, matching 401K, some health insurance contribution ... you really can't quite compare until you break it all down to how much is a corporation/company "paying" him in all benefits compared to a lady writing him a check for $50 for two hours of work and he may or may not even pay taxes on that ....


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by patriciae Z7PNW (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 17:07

Demi- you know very well it is not about feeling badly-it is about making a living wage and you obviously pay your house keeper a living wage. Since I am pretty sure that you could get a cheaper house keeper may I ask why you pay so much?

*

I pay so much because the person is worth it, I appreciate what he does, the professionalism, the thoroughness of the job, the consistency, and trustworthiness.

I want to encourage and reward hard work and self sufficiency and I want to retain him.

I'm a believer in encouraging self sufficiency and a willingness to do a good job and I do not take advantage of anyone. I give birthday gifts and Christmas gifts too to people who work for me.

That's what I do when I'm not out trashing the poor, as I have been accused.

I just wondered how much would be enough in the eyes of some.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"So, what should I pay my housekeeper?

He makes $25 an hour right now.

I wouldn't want him to feel badly about cleaning my toilets and mopping my floors."

It is not only what you pay a person that makes them feel demeaned and there is no one answer to what a "living wage" is. In some parts of the country $25 is generous and in others I am sure it is less than the standard rate for someone who does a thorough job.

However, if you actually see a housekeeper only as someone who cleans toilets and mops floors, then I suspect he or she already feels demeaned and I doubt if money has anything to do with it.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I would imagine that demi sees her housekeeper as more than a toilet cleaner. As I do with the man who cleans my house every other week, I expect that she sees him as a part of her life. They probably don't have lunch together or pal around, but I assume that she, like me, likes the guy and knows about his family and shares some mutual concerns.
This thread is not about the individual relationships some of us might have with the folks who work in our houses and more lawns, etc., however. It's about the reality of people who are trying to make a living in the indifferent world of big business.
Can we get back to that reality?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

However, if you actually see a housekeeper only as someone who cleans toilets and mops floors, then I suspect he or she already feels demeaned and I doubt if money has anything to do with it.

*

ROTF

Just can't help yourself, can you?
You suspect "he or she already feels demeaned?"

I "only" see my housekeeper as someone who does a thorough job?

What a prejudice you have against me!

I cook lunch for him when he comes, too and set the table and we eat lunch and we work together most days.

I can't wait to tell him that some person on the internet suspects that I make him feel demeaned, even though he is paid well (the going rate is around $10 an hour in these parts).

Now, I shall go back and get my whip and put on my best Leona Hemsley face, where is that red lipstick and my little dog?

ROTF.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Nice that you have lunch together, demi--my guy comes early in the day and won't even take coffee. But he likes to talk baseball with my husband and I like the stories about his kids.
Can we get back to the real world of folks who get treated like carp by big business?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Just can't help yourself, can you?
You suspect "he or she already feels demeaned?"

I suspect that many do - I should have made it clear that the "you" was the general you and not the personal you and for that I do apologize - but the words were yours and sadly they are all too representative of how some people feel toward those who work for them - and it is a problem and part of the issue of wages.

People need to be valued - obviously you realize that in regard to your housekeeper, but I suspect you can see why someone might suspect otherwise based on the tone of your original response.

One of the reasons I usually lurk and do not post is that people attach all kinds of connotations to our words that are not in our intention - and I am sadly, no exception.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Thanks for the explanation, lottirose.

I hope you continue to post.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 18:18


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Please! I read some of this stuff and I'm reminded of the Reverend Mr. Collins speaking of his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh... "all affability and condescension"... "the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference."

There's a dignity about doing work honestly and in a purposeful way. Some of the people my former uber boss wanted in the department weren't worth shucks; and that just showed me that there are as many people over compensated as those who are under valued.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Meaningful jobs with liveable pay are the jobs that benefit our nation. Not jobs that pay so little that people have to take a second job to feed their family."

"I did not mean that garbage collectors are not meaningfully employed."

Which employees DID you mean?

"Other jobs, jobs that require more skills, would pay more..."

Not if the employer acts rationally and figures out what is best for his bottom line.

He can simply stop hiring unskilled workers. They're not worth what they cost him. Why would he spend money on unnecessary expenses? Let me help you out here. He won't.

He can hire only skilled, experienced workers. They will be more productive than the unskilled ones. He can automate jobs. Robots don't get a living wage. They're always on time.They don't complain and they don't go on strike.

Or he might outsource some of the work. The end result will be fewer jobs for Americans, and less damage to his bottom line. You should have learned with obamacare that politicians know how to dictate rules, but they don't know how to fix a damned thing.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 20:30

$10 an hour qualifies a family of two for SNAP.

Interesting commentary.

'Artemis of the wildland' and the food stamp haters

Portland, Oregon has been plagued by a vigilante threatening to 'out' food stamp recipients. Because hunger needs stigmatising,

"There are 27 people in this neighborhood who vote and receive food stamps," one note read. "The names of these people are being posted where they can be seen by taxpayers and the neighborhood can decide who is truly in need of food."

Among those names was mine..........

The solution to Snap's expansion was to force its recipients to take jobs. "There are still jobs available in America," Sessions was quoted as saying in agricultural industry publication AgriPulse. "They may not be ones you want to stay in your whole life."

The problem is that even taking what jobs are available does not necessarily diminish the need for food assistance. It's easy to talk about Snap benefit recipients through the abstract lens of political ideology. It's seductive to diagnose the 46.6 million Americans who currently receive such benefits with "entitlement mindsets" and to prescribe treatment of hard work in a sub-optimal job. But when we talk about Snap, we are talking about survival - for a diverse array of individuals and families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads during the great recession whose effects we're still feeling. When we talk about Snap recipients, there is no single stereotype available.

If we are to unravel the stigma that affects those who receive food assistance and ensure that this critical program remains for the Americans who need it, we must break the silence around Snap. So, Artemis of the Wildland, I shall beat you to the punch: I am a voter, and I am a recipient of Snap food benefits. Congresspeople: I am a garbageman's son, a working-class journalist, a dreamer of the American dream, and in these hard times, quite hungry.

Finally, to my tax-paying neighbors: Artemis was right about one thing - I am truly in need of food.

$10/hour = $20,800 gross income, with an average 25% in withholding that's about $15,600 net, not much to support even a single person, much less a family.

As long as business can continue to pay poverty wages for hard work, the government must continue to provide for citizens who can't exist on those wages, or these days, can't even find a job.

This young man will probably soon have a better paying job and won't need SNAP any more.

And he won't become violent, he's probably getting all the nutrients he needs in a balanced diet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Mom, your 25% in withholding is too high.

Single person has wages $20,800 less standard deduction of $5,950 and a personal exemption of $3,800 means he has taxable income of $11,500. The taxes on $11,500 are $1,294. These figures are based on 2012 taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes equal 7.65% of $20,800 or $1,591. Total Federal taxes should equal around $2,885 or 13.8% of gross income.

State income taxes vary tremendously. If I choose to consider California state income taxes because it has one of the higher rates, this taxpayer's state tax comes to about $450.

So a 40 hour a week minimum wage taxpayer would pay $1,294 Federal income tax, $450 State income tax and $1,591 in Social Security and Medicare withholding for a total of $3,335 or 16% of income in withholding which leaves him $17,465. That's still not much but more than the incorrect 25%.

One of the things that keeps getting left out of the living wage discussion is that not just the minimum wage folks will get a raise but pretty much everyone will expect a pay raise even if they are already getting a living wage. If the minimum wage is doubled to $14.50 an hour, then the guy who was making $15 an hour because he has more experience and responsibility will expect a raise as well.

And don't forget that every increase in hourly pay also means an increase in what the employer pays in his portion of Social Security and Medicare. It also may have an impact on his state unemployment tax and worker comp insurance. So that extra $7.25 an hour actually costs the employer at least $7.80 an hour.

So lets look at it from the small independent business owner's perspective. Let's say that this is a lawn care business in Florida. This is the man who has 10 employees. His net profit is $100,000 a year. Minimum wage doubles to a "living wage". Mr. Employer knows that if he raises the wages of only the minimum wage people, he will lose his experienced employees so he is pretty much forced to raise everyone's pay by the same amount. The guy making $10 an hour expects that his wages will still be higher than the new guy with no experience who is making minimum wage. So lets assume to keep things simple that the average hourly increase is $5 an hour. The senior employees are going to be unhappy that the new guy got a $7.25 an hour raise while they only got a $4 an hour raise. That means that every hour the business has employees, the increase in wages due to the hike in minimum wage to a living wage costs the employer about $54 (remember you have to include the increase in the employer's portion of Medicare and Social Security). Over a 40 hour week, that is $2,160. Over a year that is $108,000 in increased wages and employer's share of Medicare and Social Security. In order to stay in business, Mr. employer is going to have to raise prices or let employees go.

If you were Mr. Employer, how would you handle this?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

the going rate is around $10 an hour in these parts

Around here the twice-monthly housecleaning visit costs about $60-65 and the person spends about 2 hours (or if there are two people then about an hour).

So what you're paying is not out of line, but this is the Atlanta suburbs (about 30 mins from Atlanta).


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 22:15

If you were Mr. Employer, how would you handle this?

If I were Mr. Employer I would support government programs that provided services and support to the employees who I was paying minimum wage so they can eat, have housing, and health care.

And I would be grateful for these programs, because it would allow me to pay lower wages, but would ensure that my employees had at least the basic needs of their lives met. That would mean my employees might be more reliable, sick less often, less distracted by problems that most of us never have to deal with.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 22:25

In my experience if you value people and let them know, they tend to be loyal and willing and a positive environment where people know that they will be treated fairly even if they make a mistake makes for a much more effective workforce. It is not rocket science. Treat people like dullards and cattle and that is exactly what you will get

Especially in retail it is quite apparent that the operations are not being run by rocket scientists. And you don't have to work inside such companies to pick up on it, starting with how the dullards and cattle behave towards you when you are attempting to favor their employers with your custom.

The last big retail operation I worked at - an independently owned and operated concern - the main boss thought nothing of bellowing at employees like a lunatic.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

So, Mom, you would not support a "living wage" but you would support continued dependence on government benefits?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by esh_ga z7 GA (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 21:44

the going rate is around $10 an hour in these parts

Around here the twice-monthly housecleaning visit costs about $60-65 and the person spends about 2 hours (or if there are two people then about an hour).

So what you're paying is not out of line, but this is the Atlanta suburbs (about 30 mins from Atlanta).

*

If I thought what I was paying was out of line I wouldn't pay it.

I don't know what kind of cleaning job anyone can do in an hour or two. I guess basic vacuum tidy bathrooms dust?

A lot of people try to work as housekeepers but take advantage by not showing up on time or skipping days to work, slacking, smoking on the job, and not picking items up to dust or polish the furniture underneath.

It's a shame because so many people could use the extra money but don't get what it takes to keep a job.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

That's not what I said, was it?

I firmly support a living wage. I think the minimum wage should be no less than $15 an hour.

In countries that have a higher minimum wage, like Australia, businesses seem to do all right and they have a good social safety net. No reason it wouldn't work here.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Actually, you said nothing about a living wage. You only said that you were in favor of the current subsidies for minimum wage workers. I was asking for clarification since your answer was incomplete.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

But that is not what you asked for, is it?

I am in favor of a living wage and continued government safety net programs . That should be obvious from my previous comments.

I don't see it as an either/or situation. We must always have both.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

You are correct. I didn't ask specifically about living wages.

If you were an employer and living wages were mandated which would have a negative impact on your net profit and knowing that raising prices to cover the extra expense would reduce your gross income, how would you handle the situation?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

It might be relevant to know how many hundred percent more that employer was taking as salary or profit, for himself.

We can't live with stagnated wages when the cost of living keeps rising and rising... it's a sad testament to business and ethics in this country that families in which two adults work still require SNAP to balance the budget and feed the family.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I posted this on the Chicago thread but it seems better placed here.

The answer is to move the responsibility for wages to the corporations that employee these people.

If the minimum wage was raised so as to virtually eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit and the eligibility for food stamps. the tax payer would be relieved of the burden of subsidizing corporate profits AND the employee would have no other choice but to find higher paying work or a second job if their the wages were too low to support them.

People argue that businesses will simply raise their prices....probably....but the cost would be spread over the entire consumer population not just those who pay federal taxes. At least this way the consumer is able to make a choice what they purchase whereas, when the payroll subsidy is based on federal income taxes ,you have no choice but to pay.

The added benefit is that it puts the burden for managing their money directly on the person...no Uncle Sam in the background to subsidize their wages.

I really don't understand the resistance to this alternative especially from the personal responsibility and the Golden Goose community.

Could it be that some , including law makers, would actually rather subsidize the profits of corporation in order to maximize their investments?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The problems many job seekers have aren't the wages, but pre-qualifying for jobs, getting hired and keeping jobs.

Many are already "disqualified from", or "priced out" of our current unskilled/low skilled job market @ starting rates of $9 to $10 per hour.

As employers have raised "starting wages" substantially higher than "minimum wage" they're much more selective, they expect much better performance from fewer employees, plus they're quicker to suspend and terminate lower performers.

Higher starting wages have attracted more, better qualified and better performing job seekers - many of which don't need a job, or already have a job or two.

In addition, hourly wages aren't as much of an issue as number of hours worked per day, week, month and year. Many work less than 20 hours per week and have many weeks/months per year when they don't work, or work very little due to suspension, termination, layoffs, quitting, refusal of hours/days/shifts etc.

For example, many of our relatives make $9 to $11 per hour, however they work 4 hour shifts and have many weeks with 0, 1 or 2 4-hour shifts.

The short shifts are very expensive to work as transportation costs, daycare and daycare transportation costs eat up much of their wages.

Another major issue is that much of our population consists of "voluntary" part-time workers. They're only willing to work part-time, flexible hours and unwilling to work full-time, overtime, early AM shifts, nights, weekends, holidays, second/third shift, out of town, on the road, on-call etc.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Jodi, I'm having trouble understanding exactly what you were asking for in your question. Hopefully I've answered your question here. I stated a net profit of $100,000. Most self employed people who have successful businesses work well over 40 hours a week - 50 to 60 is more typical. So, he is probably making around $35 an hour. Net profit is what he pays himself. Let's assume that he files a Schedule C as a sole proprietor. And while we are making assumptions, let's just figure that his net profit is about 15% of gross income. I'm having trouble understanding exactly what you were asking for in your question.

From his net profit he must pay self employment taxes and Federal and state income taxes for a total of $29,107 to the IRS and $5,266 to his state. That leaves an after tax income of $65,627 which is a very comfortable income. Since he is self employed, he needs to think about saving for retirement plus paying for disability insurance in case he is injured on the job.

I used an average increase in wages for each of his 10 employees of $4/hour. That increase plus the increase in the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare is greater than his net profit. And I assumed no overtime was paid.

This post was edited by jlhug on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 9:28


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

So, we're talking about a small business, then...

You'll just have to forgive me for doing a little scrolling past... I'm not in the habit of reading every post thoroughly... for various reasons.

Small businesses seem to operate at a very different level than most enormous ones... and not just in regard to dollar amounts...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Sorry but it seems to me that it is obvious that a business with 10 employees is a small business.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Demi, you are fond of saying that business owners should only have to pay what they can get away with. I don't actually find it strange that you have discovered that that sort of business practice does not in fact work very well. It may look like a savings in the short term, but you will always be stuck with mostly inferior workers who will bail on you for the least thing. You are yourself following the business practices of Costco where the CEO is adamant about paying higher wages because he gets a better employee who stays with the company. I have noticed myself that when people feel undervalued they will steal from their company-usually time.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by patriciae Z7PNW (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 18:28

Demi, you are fond of saying that business owners should only have to pay what they can get away with. I don't actually find it strange that you have discovered that that sort of business practice does not in fact work very well. It may look like a savings in the short term, but you will always be stuck with mostly inferior workers who will bail on you for the least thing. You are yourself following the business practices of Costco where the CEO is adamant about paying higher wages because he gets a better employee who stays with the company. I have noticed myself that when people feel undervalued they will steal from their company-usually time.

*

Au contraire, I do not think I have ever said that businesses should pay what they can get away with.

I have said that people should be paid what they are worth--and that it determined by the entity or person that is paying them.

While I understand the point you are trying to make, there is nothing incogruent with my stance on this.

I


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"I have said that people should be paid what they are worth--and that it determined by the entity or person that is paying them."

As I see it, that doesn't even make sense. If people should be paid what they're worth, why are so many people underpaid?

I determine my value... not some morally bankrupt corporate head.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The vale of many employees is determined by what numerous other job seekers and workers with similar pre-qualification requirements, work ethic, availability, education, knowledge, experience, skills, soft skills and performance are willing to work for.

Value is also determined by investment in automation vs workers.

Most employers we know (through years of trial and error) have determined the starting wages where they can attract and retain qualified, reliable workers.

Many are willing to work for minimum wage (or much less in the underground economy) as they're unemployable at the higher "starting wages" set by better qualified job seekers, workers and employers.

Many job seekers over-value their worth as an employee, so they're not hired.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 4:41

"I have said that people should be paid what they are worth--and that it determined by the entity or person that is paying them."

As I see it, that doesn't even make sense. If people should be paid what they're worth, why are so many people underpaid?

I determine my value... not some morally bankrupt corporate head.

*

Of course it makes sense.

If there are a lot of someone like you, your worth is less.
You're easily replaced--not so rare, and therefore not worth so much.

A plain rock isn't worth as much as gold.
It doesn't mean the rock can't be good, it's just not as rare and therefore not as valuable. You can buy a lot of rocks with gold.

If you determine your own worth, then pay yourself what you are worth.

Otherwise, an employer will pay you what he or she knows you are worth to them.

Talk about prejudice--"some morally bankrupt corporate head."

People should be grateful to corporate heads for providing jobs so people can care for themselves and their families, to provide goods and services, and for paying taxes.

If those corporate heads had the same attitude many of the people in this country have about criticizing the other guy for doing something they can't begin to do or even get motivated enough to try, we'd be going down the tubes even faster.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

lily: "But luckily we were thrifty Germans, and did without for our kids. "

Gee, sounds like your early life was fully of personal responsiblity lily. How on earth did you ever make such good decisions under such stress?? Good for you.

We can't expect any other poor people to make good decisions, now can we?


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Jodi, I appreciate that you have the backbone not to work for less than what you believe you are worth. However, what you think you are worth an hour may be different from what an employer thinks you are worth an hour. If the employer doesn't think you are worth as much as you think you are, then don't go to work for him. Just as Markjames says, that's the reason many are not hired.

Valuing yourself is not all that different from valuing a house or a car. Look to see what the local competition is selling themselves for and there is your value. Even though it is hard, people need to brutally honest with themselves about their skills and experience when setting their "value" as an employee.

If you can't find a job that pays you what you thing you are worth, you have three options - take a job just to put food on the table even though you think you should be paid more, stay unemployed or go to work for yourself.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The financially secure always seem to know a lot about the poor; what makes them tick, why they "do what they do".

I've already forgotten who posted this statement. But it could be that at least some of us know what it's like to be poor. We were poor. My dad packed us in our old car and moved us a thousand miles from home for a job. Things got better until he left for parts unknown. We were poor again. I started babysitting at 12, waiting tables after school at a friends café at 14, I've flipped burgers, worked in the oil field, went to college nights and Saturdays while working full time and raising two kids. We are not rich by any means. We pay our bills, and live reasonably well. But not once in my life did I ever think anyone owed me anything. If my neighbor is rich, he earned it, I didn't. He isn't greedy, he has just taken different opportunities than I have. I've always told my kids, if you work at a job making 1.00 an hour, or one that pays 100.00 an hour, you give the same 100%. It's your choice the job you take. If you don't like the pay, move on.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

But not once in my life did I ever think anyone owed me anything.

Despite what conservatives think, I honestly don't believe many people think this way. Sure there are some, and some of the people that think that way are actually wealthy people ....


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

All this armchair theory on the value of labor doesn't mean much these days when our gvt subsidizes - via tax breaks and other preferential treatment - companies that can just outsource your labor to China.

Or how about the CEO set who so distort the labor market by moving jobs over-seas, those whose breath-taking, record-breaking salaries are set by "compensation committees" made up by their fellow CEO set, or better still, by 'compensation consultants', who - surprisingly (!?!?!)- get more jobs the higher they value the labor.

The idea that these CEO salaries are subject to the whim of stock holders is a joke, what with most shares now held by mutual funds, hedge funds, retirement funds, etc, whose own CEO's are also up there on the exorbitant salary gravy train, and whose motivation to vote to keep the scam going is pretty self-evident.

If, as an employer, I can hire some guy named Juan from Guadalajara who wants to be paid cash and is willing to do the job for half of what you do, then isn't your labor now worth half of what it was? And if I can somehow hire some guy in Viet Nam to do if for even less, then the value of your labor, and Juan's, is now at the level of the Viet Namese? And so on.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

esh, I don't know if you have worked or not, but did you ever believe that your employer owed you more than what you agreed to work for? Did you ever believe that someone wealthier than you owed you something simply because he was wealthier? It is a mindset I will never understand. Another thing I always told my kids, if something is worth having, it's worth working for.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Like you I have worked since I was young: in a grocery store, worked part-time all through college, got a job right out of college, etc. Never took time off although my spouse took 3 years off to stay home with the kids.

No, I never thought that. And as I said, I don't really think many other people think that. But it is a repeated talking point for conservatives that they think more people in lower class situations feel "owed" these days.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

All this armchair theory on the value of labor doesn't mean much these days . . .

David, you will be ignored because your comments make too much sense.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

esh is right. It's just another one of those conservative talking points. Very few people think someone owes them something. Very few people think that a rich person owes them something.

That is very different from wanting a level playing field. A level playing field does not mean we all make the same amount of money. It means that the gap between the top 1% and the rest of us should not continue to widen at the rate it is at the expense of the rest of us.

mrsK - I hope you do not encourage your children to not ask for what they believe they deserve. Corporations will pay you as little as they can if they think they can get away with it. I know this from first hand experience. At one point in my career, I discovered what someone in a similar position to me was making. It was WAY more than I was making. I asked for a VERY significant raise. After much negotiating, and my direct boss going to bat for me with top management, I got that very significant raise. If I had not asked, I would never have gotten a raise like that. I didn't ask for more I was worth. I just asked to paid the same as other similar managers at my firm. If I hadn't asked, they would never have offered to bring me up to the same level as others. The moral of the story is you have to look out for yourself. You cannot count on your company doing the right thing.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Low level and menial job salaries are not based on employee worth and anyone who thinks so must have spent little or no time in the business world.

Low level jobs salaries are based on what the government says they have to pay.....it's based on the minimum wage. If employers could pay less they would.

California just raised it's minimum wage. Are we to take from that that Wall Mart et al just found new worth in their minimum wage employees?

Worth only plays in when one is in a potion to negotiate their salary based on their particular skills, knowledge and experience.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Supply and demand.

Many low level and low wage employees aren't even worth minimum wage.

If one has something to offer that the average bear doesn't he is automatically worth more.

Average bears don't deserve to be richly compensated for being average bears.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Many low level and low wage employees aren't even worth minimum wage.

Doesn't matter what anyone's opinion is on the matter - when hiring in a particular state, the employer must adhere to that state's labor laws.

If those hiring aren't savvy enough to choose the best among the candidates, maybe it's time that they found another line of work.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

If many low level workers are not worth minimum wage I guess that blows the whole theory of "worth" at low level and menial jobs out the window.

After all why are they being paid more than they are worth?

......cause worth at that level has nothing to do with salary.

Worth only plays in when one is in a potion to negotiate their salary based on their particular skills, knowledge and experience.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

If, as an employer, I can hire some guy named Juan from Guadalajara who wants to be paid cash and is willing to do the job for half of what you do, then isn't your labor now worth half of what it was?

We run into similar situations frequently - often on a weekly basis.

Many customers and potential customers hire handymen and other hacks working for much cheaper for cash without licenses, plans, permits, inspections, insurance, guarantees, receipts etc - often cutting corners and violating codes.

It doesn't mean our professional labor is worth less to the overall market, just less to the cheapskates. For every cheapskate there are dozens willing to pay more for a professional job.

Oddly enough much of the job seeking population can't find jobs, or they're unwilling to perform many jobs as they'll only work "off the books" for cash and barter.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Doesn't matter what anyone's opinion is on the matter - when hiring in a particular state, the employer must adhere to that state's labor laws."

But that's not the whole story. Applicants are individuals, so they will all have differing abilities, motivations and experience.

A government dictated minimum wage instantly makes some candidates less attractive to an employer. The more able, experienced and motivated the applicant, the bigger bang the employer gets for his buck. That, of course, complicates the job search for those at the bottom. If they can't get hired, they don't benefit from the minimum wage.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The more able, experienced and motivated the applicant, the bigger bang the employer gets for his buck.

That is true for any job candidate in any pay range.

You're also not mentioning the many other variables that enter into hiring decisions.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

And then there are unions, who strike, shutting down production unless they get a better wage, added into the calculation.

Or even mobs of angry, fed up, starving workers with pitchforks and torches, carrying bags of feathers and buckets of tar.

This too has to be considered when determining wages.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Lily Ledbetter was worth more than she was being paid, there is even a Supreme court decision named after her on that basis. I know that I was often worth more than I was paid. When my supervisors used my ideas and got all sorts of goodies based on them and I got squat-pat on the head. I left a job based on this and had my previous supervisor calling me on the phone trying to not get me to come back for more money but for me to give him information-for free-oh right! Still none of this has to do with basic human rights and that is what I have been talking about. If we 'hold these truths to be self evident' then we have to admit that the resources of our planet do not belong to a small entitled minority but to all of us-no one ever asks why an oil company can make massive profits off the resources of the earth just because they are in the position to extract them. Why should the water in the Skagit river make a small group of investors rich because they own the dams? Without our water the dams and turbines are useless. Why do we value our water so cheaply-just like the Burger Barons undervalue the burger makers. When labor realizes it's worth they stick together and force owners to pay a decent wage because without them the grills are useless and no one wants an uncooked burger with raw fries. If you have a decent enlightened culture you don't have to force billionaires to do the right thing. We are benighted.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

edited - wrong thread

This post was edited by october17 on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 21:36


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Nobody owes anyone a living... but the "we" in general, the labor force, are worth at least what it costs to live when we work a labor intensive job. All anyone wants is a fair playing field, as Jill said.

I entered the work force well before I became an adult, and continue to work in support of myself and my family. For the conservative mindset to act as though the general labor force isn't worth what it costs to live is just plain selfish... and hypocritical as they continue to collect subsidies, enjoy tax breaks, and receive preferential treatment from government.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 7:14

Nobody owes anyone a living... but the "we" in general, the labor force, are worth at least what it costs to live when we work a labor intensive job. All anyone wants is a fair playing field, as Jill said.

I entered the work force well before I became an adult, and continue to work in support of myself and my family. For the conservative mindset to act as though the general labor force isn't worth what it costs to live is just plain selfish... and hypocritical as they continue to collect subsidies, enjoy tax breaks, and receive preferential treatment from government.

*

For argument's sake, selfishness has nothing to do with what someone's efforts are worth monetarily.

Selfishness really has nothing to do with the market supply and demand and compensation.

It's an entirely different subject.

Perhaps there are instances where employers could and perhaps should pay more, but they should not be forced to pay a person MORE than what the job is worth and the market demands. (yes Nancy I know about minimum wage good grief)

If employers have to pay someone more than they are worth in a job they can go under or not hire more people.

The market should dictate wages, and yes, I agree there should be a minimum wage. I just don't think it should be raised at this time.

There are EMPLOYERS who work themselves and don't take home a "living wage" because they are building their business.
So should they be required to pay themselves a living wage?

There would be no incentive to do better.
Low paying jobs are generally such that people are constantly needing those jobs and people should be moving out of them--if they want more out of life.

It's the way it works.
To pay basic non skilled workers so much that they have everything they need in life and they won't do more and want more.

Then we'll have less or no innovation or upward mobility and stagnation.

And a lot of businesses going bust and more unemployment.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

A government dictated minimum wage instantly makes some candidates less attractive to an employer. The more able, experienced and motivated the applicant, the bigger bang the employer gets for his buck. That, of course, complicates the job search for those at the bottom. If they can't get hired, they don't benefit from the minimum wage.

The same concept applies to numerous local employers that have raised wages to attract and retain qualified workers.

Average low skilled "starting wages" start $9 plus per hour at many businesses, however the higher starting wages, tougher pre-employment screening and higher worker performance standards disqualify many applicants and many workers.

Job security is much worse due to higher performance demands. Many employers are much quicker to warn, write up, suspend, demote and terminate poor performers.

Many workers quit due to higher performance demands as well.

Much of our job seeking population isn't employable @ $7.25 per hour, so much higher average starting wages have really disqualified them out of and priced them out of the job market.

This is also why many work in the booming underground economy.

Just the other night I performed some work for a household with 3 working age adults - all working under-the-table jobs as they don't own vehicles, don't have driver's licenses, can't pass background checks and can't pass drug tests.

They live within sight of a sandwich board road sign of their region's largest employer that says - Now Hiring, Apply Within.

This large employer starts most new hires in the $9 per hour plus range, plus offers excellent benefits.

To qualify for jobs applicants need a HS diploma, a reliable vehicle, a driver's license, plus they have to pass health screenings, drug tests, background checks, physical fitness assessments, aptitude tests and two weeks of classroom training.

These requirements alone disqualify much of the job seeking population - especially in the poor urban regions where there are many HS dropouts and many without driver's licenses and vehicles.

Much of the population can't even get a job delivering pizzas since they don't own a vehicle and don't have a driver's license.

When we try to help many find well paying unskilled/low skilled jobs it's nearly impossible as they have 3 or more strikes against them.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

To pay basic non skilled workers so much that they have everything they need in life and they won't do more and want more.

What do you mean by "everything they need"?

If you mean enough money to eat and have a place to live (not a mansion, just a safe place to live) and clothe themselves, then yes, they should be paid that much.

If you mean enough so that they can eat out whenever they want, have a large home on a nice piece of property, shop at the best stores for their designer clothing, then no, they should not be paid that much.

What I am talking about is even the basic no skill required job (flipping burgers, cleaning hotel rooms, etc) should be paid enough to be have what I list in the first category without having to rely on government assistance.

That does not mean some of those people won't aspire to have more (nicer home, nicer clothes, nicer car) and will work their way up to a better job.

But somebody needs to do those jobs. And some people do not have the skills to do any more than those jobs. They should be able to do those jobs and support themselves without food stamps.

This notion that not paying them a living wage will encourage them to not do better is just nonsense.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I wasn't aware that basic food and shelter were such uppity things to want in life...

I would agree, Jill.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Many of our employees receive food stamps and numerous other welfare benefits as they only work low skilled jobs, only work part-time, they live in regions they can't afford, have kids they can't afford, live lifestyles they can't afford - plus they're undisciplined when it comes to budgeting, saving, spending and investing.

Other co-workers in the same jobs live well without welfare benefits.

Some of our most financially secure employees make much less than other employees, however they've made much better financial choices.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Nik: The more able, experienced and motivated the applicant, the bigger bang the employer gets for his buck.

Nancy: "That is true for any job candidate in any pay range."

Nik: Yep. But when you move to "any candidate in any pay range" you are no longer talking about the problems faced by unskilled folks trying to clear the minimum wage hurdle just to land on the bottom rung.

Nancy: "You're also not mentioning the many other variables that enter into hiring decisions."

Nik: Feel free to expound on the "variables" you think an employer forced to pay minimum wage will find more attractive than skills, experience and motivation.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Wages-the amount that laborers get paid has been a part of government control for a very long time. It is a cultural thing. Oddly enough in the past governments would pass edicts saying you could not pay workers MORE-strange yes? When workers were in short supply, say you just had 1/3 of the population die off due to the latest plague then people would want to pay more to attract their neighbor's laborers but the government of those days wasn't going to be having that. Labor would get uppity if they got paid too much not to mention the neighbor would be peeved.
In those good ole days when people were barred from paying more it was also socially unacceptable for the rich to not spend their money and give largely to the poor. You were not to end your year with a surplus since the money you had was made for you by those very poor. That the money was in the control of the upper classes instead of the lower ones was considered a natural state of things as they were the better steward. That all this is cultural norms just flies over the heads of most people. We don't live the same sort of static village existence that people did in the past. We have to spread resources around differently. This is a change in culture. Ours is presently morally bankrupt because we are not using our resources to take care of everyone.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"Ours is presently morally bankrupt because we are not using our resources to take care of everyone."

And if it's not there yet, it's getting there.

For a nation that prides itself on equality and liberty, we sure do tend to keep a foot on the necks of those we don't care about... or don't want to care about...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Okay Jodik, who is "we" and what is the foot on whose neck?

Seriously.

It's a tired mantra and I want to know specifics because I don't see them. It's just something people say when they can't cut the mustard in my opinion.

Who is preventing you from having the best life possible?

Life handed to you a silver platter so there won't be obstacles?

Compensation for obstacles or poor health or a bad childhood, physical limitations or low self esteem?

If you (meaning anyone) can't succeed in this country you don't deserve to succeed.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

And very few have the ability or the want to seriously scope out the bigger picture...


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"If you (meaning anyone) can't succeed in this country you don't deserve to succeed."

The meaning of the word "deserve" is bound to cause some grumbling. By definition "deserve" implies a consequence of an action: "she deserves to go to prison for embezzling all those funds," after 8 hours on his feet, he deserves a foot massage."

Not "he deserves _____(fill in the blank) because he needs it." "She deserves a break." Does she? Maybe. Because...?


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RE: The Mental

Jodi: "And very few have the ability or the want to seriously scope out the bigger picture..."

This doesn't seem to belong anywhere. Wrong thread, maybe.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Not even close. It belongs exactly where I posted it.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Not "he deserves _____(fill in the blank) because he needs it." "She deserves a break." Does she? Maybe. Because...?

Even "needs" are highly subjective. What many call needs are excesses, non necessities, nice-to-haves, luxuries etc.

Speaking of strain, many of the poor we know personally have little stress as they don't work, work very little, receive numerous welfare benefits, sleep as long as they want, play whenever they want and don't have many responsibilities as they don't own homes, businesses, investments, vehicles, equipment, tools etc.

When you own a lot of stuff it requires a lot of work, time, effort, money, maintenance, vehicles, fleets, equipment, tools, inventories, repairs, travel time, employees, subs etc which creates a lot of headaches, hassles, stress etc.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

One wants to talk about the bigger picture, then do just that.

Global is the bigger picture.

And as globalization increases, and people who have a he!! Of alot less than you become more and more able to improve their lot in life, you just go right ahead and talk about what US citizens deserve in the bigger picture.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I think in the bigger global picture we ALL will get what we "deserve" and we won't be happy.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

When I worked several regular jobs when I was younger I could never find a single employer willing to pay me remotely close to what I was worth.

Because of this I worked side jobs in construction, plumbing, heating, cooling, refrigeration, electrical, landscaping, outdoor advertising, the rental business, automotive and marine industries and eventually started several of my own full-time businesses.

I used to make more money on a single boiler installation (1 day of work) than several employers paid me for 2/3/4 weeks of work, so they were pocketing huge profits.

My reward for being a highly skilled, multi-skilled, top performing troubleshooter, service tech, designer and installer? They gave me all the difficult jobs, had me correcting the screw-ups of other workers, teaching other workers and gave me the problematic customers - however they didn't give me much more money.

The same happens in many other industries. Many above average performers are underpaid. They carry the below average workers that are overpaid.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Are you kidding me, Markjames? Do you have any idea how stressful and strained a family can be when trying hard to provide everything necessary for basic survival when income is lower than poverty level and cost is so prohibitive? Apparently not.

What, do you think the picture of poor folk includes perfectly healthy adults sitting around sipping apple martinis while waiting for take-out, or something... or just waiting for a few dollars to fall out of the sky so they can give their kids what they need? Or that somehow, the car magically fills itself with gas so people can obtain groceries, and that the utilities are paid automatically by a fairy godmother? Hardly.

Living at a very low income level is extremely stressful and problem-filled. Unless you've actually lived it, you have no idea... you may see a particular scene or two, but the devil is in the details, my friend... so don't assume.

I often can't believe the one-sided, stereotyped perspective brought to this forum.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Are you kidding me, Markjames? Do you have any idea how stressful and strained a family can be when trying hard to provide everything necessary for basic survival when income is lower than poverty level and cost is so prohibitive? Apparently not.

From my experience with dozens of low income relatives, hundreds of low income tenants, hundreds of low income employees and thousands of low income customers I'm very aware of the numerous financial issues they face, plus many of the causes.

Living at a very low income level is extremely stressful and problem-filled. Unless you've actually lived it, you have no idea... you may see a particular scene or two, but the devil is in the details, my friend... so don't assume.

I often see a scene or two on a daily basis.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I think there is a huge difference between the working poor and those who are content to stay on welfare.

Those content to stay on welfare, and they do exist, are only stressed about loosing their welfare and having to work.

For the working poor and those trying to get off welfare the stress must be awful. Trying to find extra work, work extra hours, trying to make ends meet...not a fun life and not one that many would choose.

I believe there are many more poor people in the second category than the first.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Most of the "working poor" we know personally only work part-time, temporary, seasonal jobs and/or underground economy jobs - hence some of many reasons they're poor, remain poor and need numerous welfare benefits and/or family, local and private support to live well.

Many are voluntary part-time workers. They can't or won't work 2 or 3 part-time jobs, full-time, overtime, early AM shifts, nights, weekends, holidays, on-call, out-of-town, on-the-road, second/third shifts, rotating shifts etc.

Many are also frequently terminated, seasonal/temp work ends, they're laid off or quit jobs as well.

When I look at the "work history" of many job applicants, rental applicants, credit applicants etc it's often terrible - lots of job jumping and large voids in employment.

These issues often prevent them from getting hired or qualifying for loans, apartments etc.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Those content to stay on welfare, and they do exist, are only stressed about loosing their welfare and having to work.

For the working poor and those trying to get off welfare the stress must be awful. Trying to find extra work, work extra hours, trying to make ends meet...not a fun life and not one that many would choose.

I believe there are many more poor people in the second category than the first.

Most of our able bodied working age relatives, customers, tenants and of course all current employees receiving welfare benefits work.

Many would qualify for TANF cash assistance, however the TANF benefits have work search, training and participation requirements, plus time limits, so many would rather work jobs and hours of their choosing.

Many work, but not on the books, so they'd be considered unemployed.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

or just waiting for a few dollars to fall out of the sky so they can give their kids what they need? Or that somehow, the car magically fills itself with gas so people can obtain groceries, and that the utilities are paid automatically by a fairy godmother?

*

And therein lies the problem.

Waiting for dollars to fall out of the sky, wondering if the car will magically fill itself with gas and wanting a fairy godmother to pay the utilities won't get you anywhere.

Time spent waiting, wondering and wishing should be spent working and earning.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Speaking of cars, many of the poor we know don't have a car, a driver's license, a clean driver's license, or even a place to park a car - yet more reasons they're poor and remain poor.

Many that have owned cars in the past, or had driver's licenses in the past no longer do as they can't afford down-payments, payments, insurance, registration, inspection, maintenance, repairs, gas, tickets, towing, impound fees etc.

When we run DMV checks many people are unaware that their driver's license has been suspended.

Many income/savings/credit challenged types can no longer get away with driving illegally (no insurance, registration, inspection and license) due to plate readers in squad cars and more roadblocks.

Many households depend on a single vehicle for all workers in the household to commute between multiple jobs, daycare etc, so when their vehicle breaks down they often lose multiple jobs and it snowballs into eviction, repossession, sales/loss of possessions and much worse in a relatively shorts period of time.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

The unasked / unanswered question is what happens if these 'welfare' payments and other forms of subsidies to the poor - food stamps, rent / electric / heat supplement, affordable housing, subsidized public transportation, etc. are greatly reduced.

And having lived decades in places where these subsidies don't exist, I doubt that many people reading the forum have any idea what life is like - where you have to be on constant alert for petty theft, pay people to watch your parked car at the store so that parts aren't pilfered, annual car insurance is roughly 1/3 the price of the car, what with the number of car thefts, have drivers and armed guards at the house and office - now surrounded by high fence, barbed wire goodness, constantly worried about kid-napping and so on.

Or, maybe all these new desperately poor, hungry, cold, and unemployable people will learn to subsist on expired tins of cat food, live in caves, and keep to themselves - leaving the rest of us alone to enjoy the money saved on paying these subsidies.

Because they'll have pawned their guns for peanut butter to feed the kids.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

As usual, Mark's "anecdotal" stories ring all too true. Maybe the answer is that only "qualified" parents should be allowed to breed children. Sounds awful, doesn't it. But from a practical point of view...

In this country we have pretty strict rules about breeding and keeping pets and farm animals, but with humans, the "if it feels good, do it" mentality seems to prevail. And the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces.

I'm not talking about giving a hand to the truly disabled (Down's syndrone, quadraplegics, etc.,) or the elderly (who have presumably earned the right to retire) I'm talking about perpetuating the culture of living with the financial assistance of one's fellow men. Frankly, it's unsustainable.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

chase: "I believe there are many more poor people in the second category than the first. "

Maybe where you live, in Canada.

Here in Chicago, there are more in the first than the second. I know this because I have lived here all my life and have been working in and around here for over 35 years.

david: "And having lived decades in places where these subsidies don't exist, I doubt that many people reading the forum have any idea what life is like - where you have to be on constant alert for petty theft, pay people to watch your parked car at the store so that parts aren't pilfered, annual car insurance is roughly 1/3 the price of the car, what with the number of car thefts, have drivers and armed guards at the house and office - now surrounded by high fence, barbed wire goodness, constantly worried about kid-napping and so on. "

Been living with this for decades already. Won't be anything new in Chicago. Of course, right now, many commit crimes just out of boredom, you know, something to do with all their free time.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

David would tell you that ignorance is bliss because Chicago isn't even going to register as afflicted compared to some of the hell holes on our earth. I have seen real poverty myself but nothing compared to what I am sure he has seen. That Chicago exists in a country with a 17 trillion dollar economy is just another example of cultural failure. Because Americans have their heads in the sand and apparently everyone skipped world history we have no idea how bad things can really get. Can you afford your own personal guards and a hardened home base? The money that goes to the feckless poor is tiny compared to what you are going to have to spend if our culture goes totally tits-up.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I've read a lot of posts here from folks who have told us what they witnessed about poor people and the under- or unemployed but little from folks who have actually experienced poverty and would be more familiar with the actual mental stress it causes to an individual caught in it.
It's like describing an elephant without ever seeing one.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Many people can attest to the mental stress and worry that is caused by not having enough money for food & to cover their basic bills. To think that none of the many posters here on this thread have never experienced being poor, at one time in their lives or another, is silly.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I don't think that, hostafrenzy. I have read several posts from folks who have experienced poverty for a time or even for a long time. But in general there are few here who are the subject of the OP: the underclass of chronically poor and un- or underemployed. Maybe they don't have computers or care what I think even if they did.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Maybe the answer is that only "qualified" parents should be allowed to breed children. Sounds awful, doesn't it. But from a practical point of view...

It just gets more vile. "Breed"? Practical?

How do you propose we "qualify" people? Who makes the qualifications? The Koch Brothers? The GOP? The TP'ers? Where does it stop? Do you propose only people of a certain IQ, color, culture, race, genetics,...be allowed to birth children? Like Lebensborn - do you want an American master race? It sure sounds like it. Do you monitor families to ensure they are living up to their qualifications and if they aren't, then what? How does that guarantee the next generation won't have problems and need assistance? I will stop now because what I really want to say about that post, suggestion and calling it "breeding" is not fit for this board.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

To think that none of the many posters here on this thread have never experienced being poor, at one time in their lives or another, is silly.

That is not what Pidge wrote.

btw I agree with Pidge's obervations -- few have commented on having lived in the conditions.

DH's family suffered through poverty -- as in avoiding the landlord because of nonpayment, forced evictions, utilities turned off in NYS winter, buying groceries on credit, living in the park and sleeping in the car, no money for winter clothing as a child, depending on religious chariities, living with relatives until being kicked out, cars repossessed -- that type of poverty. Althoug he was a child and in no way responsible, he carried the stigma and shame in his small town of being from a poor family.

The experience marked him for life. Even contributing all of his earnings from age 12, the family still struggled.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

"I've read a lot of posts here from folks who have told us what they witnessed about poor people and the under- or unemployed but little from folks who have actually experienced poverty and would be more familiar with the actual mental stress it causes to an individual caught in it."

Pidge, I come from a very poor background, and I have shared that here. I have no way of knowing who among our other posters is from a privileged background, and who is from an impoverished background. I do know that when I share my opinions, which I have formed over a lifetime, I often get judgmental replies using terms like "greedy" and "selfish," along with suggestions that I "don't care about the poor" because "I've got mine." Or they say I just don't like the president's policies because he's black. Those comments always come from liberals. If they discourage others from sharing what they know from their own experience with poverty, I can understand why.

Here's what I've noticed about the commentary from some of the most liberal Democrat politicians. They sound to me like they have "never seen an elephant" themselves.

Killing full time jobs by attaching the employer-sponsored insurance mandate to 30 hour week week only makes sense if you have no concept of what losing a full time job means to a poor family. It is devastating.

The same politicians who wrote that legislation have no idea what it is like for a poor family to get hit with expenses that take away even one $20 bill.

Only if you've "never seen an elephant" can you just expect poor families to give up an extra five $20s ($100 per month) or an extra 50 $20's ($1,000 per month which some will have to do, even with subsidies) for insurance they may or may not need. What I know for sure is that politicians who would divert money from what these folks were spending it on, and demand they buy insurance, are taking away money that was paying for other things those families needed.

Only if you've never seen an elephant can you expect covering millions more people will somehow lead to a cheaper product. That is mindless propaganda. As someone who remembers very well what it was like to be poor, I am disgusted that politicians started lying when they called obamacare the "affordable health care act," and they've been lying ever since. They are hurting people in ways they cannot possibly imagine. They promised something they cannot deliver, and are going to force Americans to live under legislation that takes disposable income away from people who need it the most.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

I can only say that I carry the kind of mindset that Nancy of Venice recounts of her father. One never fully recovers from the trauma of want and the sense of worthlessness our culture imposes on those in need who never had anything to do with that. Despite the fact that I have achieved a lot in my long life, there is always a sense of having to prove oneself again and again.

So when I read the posts of some who seem so eager to castigate the poor for creating their own problems, it makes me sick. I don't for a moment think I am alone in my history, but sometimes I think there are posters here who are clueless. They really never have seen elephant. Or if they have, they would prefer to pretend they never have.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

And when one points out the unethical, parasitic nature of the vastly wealthy folks who caused the loss of $13 trillion from the collective wealth of the country while further enriching themselves, well - thats just envy and jealousy and unqualified yahoos telling those people how to run their lives and spend their resources.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

Nancy of Venice recounts of her father.

My husband, not my father.

My grandparents settled in a newly developed, immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, and so most were in the same circumstances whether Italians, Mexicans, Russian Jews, or Asian.

My impression was that the shame came from being in a small town where everyone knew each others' business. Worse yet, employment depended on one major company, and your family was additionally characterized by the position the bread winner held within that company, Corning Glass Works.

Corning, NY -- the town most of my husband's extended family escaped.

I never really appreciated the looser class structure in Southern California until I spent some time in the Finger Lakes region of NY.


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RE: The Mental Strain of Having Less - Hunger Part Deux

nik, how dare you criticize obamacare.

Why, why, you racist you!


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