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Sleeper
I was taking a political quiz to show ones political leanings and came across this statement:

QUOTE
Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.


To this question I answered with Strongly Agree.

So for questions for debate:

For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support?

Please state why or why not.

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aevans176
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 10:25 AM)
I was taking a political quiz to show ones political leanings and came across this statement:

QUOTE
Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.


To this question I answered with Strongly Agree.

So for questions for debate:

For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support?

Please state why or why not.
*



I believe absolutely, postively not. I hate to break it to America, but there are plenty of people whom take jobs that aren't in their "areas of expertise, aren't what they want to do, may feel beneath their skill set, or are just plain no fun at all".

When I look back on the jobs that I took to get to where I am, and the hours I had to put in and the experiences that I've had, I realize that many people in the US would've quit long ago. There were 60-70 hour work weeks, taking work home, traveling to absurd places, etc. (not that some of that still doesn't happen)

What I hear all the time is that if the job is hot or dirty, or doesn't provide breaks, or doesn't pay ___ amount; then it's not worthwhile. Whatever happened to PRIDE???

I've slept in a cot in the sand (basically), worked in a UPS warehouse (in college) in the steamy Louisiana summer heat, worked nights-weekends-holidays and 14 hour days in order to get to a level of comfort and hopefully job stability. It's an investment.

Maybe there are displaced professionals in America, but there are also plenty of alternative opportunities. For instance, my father is a retired Army Lt. Colonel living in Northern Louisiana. He spent five years working for Raytheon in Human Resources and got laid off a couple of years ago. Did he sit at home and watch the grass grow? ? Did he rely on unemployment??? OF COURSE NOT. He actually ended up teaching school and beginning a new career. They have a retirement check and money wasn't that important... but even if it was he's still working and paying taxes.

When I first moved to Dallas, I had to work a full 9 hour day and tend bar for a couple of hours at night a few days/week to make ends meet. Thank God I had the Marine reserve money coming in as well, as things were tight. The Dallas economy hit a slump in mid-2001, and bonus checks at the company I was working for hit the dirt... so what did I do??? I made it work.

POINT? You might have to be a bar tender, or take a PT sales job, or work a saturday here and there... but it's still better than the alternative.

I think that people will learn pretty quickly that there are jobs out there... maybe not what you want to do, but heck- that's why they call it work.
English Horn
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 10:25 AM)
 
I was taking a political quiz to show ones political leanings and came across this statement: 
 
QUOTE
Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.


To this question I answered with Strongly Agree.

So for questions for debate:

For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support?

Please state why or why not.
*



I was taking the same quiz and my initial reaction was to answer "Agree"... until I realized that the question implies that the society provides the individual with an opportunity to work, and the individual refuses the opportunity. In this light, my final answer to the question was "Disagree".

I will never forget how I visited my grandparents, who live in Dortmund, Germany, few years ago. They live in an apartment complex where both native Germans (mostly working class) and immigrants (ethnic Germans from former Soviet Union, so-called "Kazakhstan Germans") live side by side.
Every morning I saw native Germans going to work, one by one, walking through the apartment complex to a nearest subway station. As they walk through the courtyard, they go by dozens of young, able-bodied immigrants, sitting on the bench, drinking beer and playing poker.
In the evening the picture is the same - Germans walk from subway back home, going by the same group of immigrants, sitting on the same bench, playing poker.

Bear in mind, there're plenty of opportunities to work in Germany - if you're willing to look for them. There's no incentive for these young men to look for them since (back then) the welfare package was so generous.

There're situations, however, in which the individual is unable to work, or there're no opportunities - in which case the society should provide proper support, IMHO.

Edited for typos and misspellings.
Vibiana
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 10:25 AM)
 
 
So for questions for debate: 
 
For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support? 
 
Please state why or why not. 
*
 


No, they should not. People need to learn to take responsibility for themselves and whatever children they bring into the world.

I have a brother who refuses to advance himself in the world and consequently earns about ten bucks an hour, on which he is supposed to support a wife and a teenage son. He only works about half the year as he lives in a tourist area that shuts down for the winter. He goes on unemployment during the slow season.

I can't imagine consciously choosing to live in that kind of poverty, but some people make that choice, for whatever reason.

Should those of us who get up and work every day -- at, as another poster has noted, jobs that aren't always the thrill of our existence -- be expected to support someone else who wants to lay up at home and do nothing?

Hell, no!
Sleeper
Since people always like to add something to every debate question. *sigh*

For this thread there are job opportunities available, this person has no disabilities, they are in good health and sound mind, live within walking distance of work that is available. Anything else... rolleyes.gif

Vibiana
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 04:23 PM)
For this thread there are job opportunities available ... live within walking distance of work that is available.
*



Even walking distance is awfully cushy to me. There were plenty of years in my early twenties when I didn't have a car, and I took buses everywhere. Sometimes I had to walk a mile to the bus stop if it didn't come by close, or I'd take the close bus all the way downtown to get a different one coming back out.

I wore out my shoe leather and would do it again. I can't understand, empathize with, or ever agree with someone just not working for no reason.
Sleeper
QUOTE(Vibiana @ Jul 18 2005, 11:27 AM)
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 04:23 PM)
For this thread there are job opportunities available ... live within walking distance of work that is available.
*



Even walking distance is awfully cushy to me. There were plenty of years in my early twenties when I didn't have a car, and I took buses everywhere. Sometimes I had to walk a mile to the bus stop if it didn't come by close, or I'd take the close bus all the way downtown to get a different one coming back out.

I wore out my shoe leather and would do it again. I can't understand, empathize with, or ever agree with someone just not working for no reason.
*



I agree with you about walking distance being cushy. I am just trying to placate those who constantly like to re-word debate questions so it fits with their answer.
panjandrum
I can't really see ANYBODY, no matter how die-hard liberal or pro-welfare/social programs they may be, agreeing with this question. I think a better question for debate would be whether society should provide support for people who can't work because of physical disablities or the like.
Sleeper
QUOTE(panjandrum @ Jul 18 2005, 11:51 AM)
I can't really see ANYBODY, no matter how die-hard liberal or pro-welfare/social programs they may be, agreeing with this question.  I think a better question for debate would be whether society should provide support for people who can't work because of physical disablities or the like.
*



You would be surprised. My cousin thinks people should be able to chose not to work and have the bare essentials provided so that they can live. And by bare essentials he defines as, place to live, 3 meals a day, power and AC. He even believes basic furniture should be provided.
La Herring Rouge
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 01:15 PM)
You would be surprised. My cousin thinks people should be able to chose not to work and have the bare essentials provided so that they can live. And by bare essentials he defines as, place to live, 3 meals a day, power and AC. He even believes basic furniture should be provided.


Your cousin is the reason why it is so easy to pick on liberals blink.gif


In seriousness, I tend to refer to the social contract for subjects such as this.
We agree to subject ourselves to society in order to obtain a benefit in terms of survival.
When we fail to add to the net gain we are supposed to suffer some sort of social reprisal: criminals get jailed, etc...

I consider the complete failure to provide a net benefit for society as a breach of the social contract and insist such people should be punished in some way!

I make room, however, for people who work diligently toward some passion that might not enable them to support themselves. I know it can become a quagmire of subtleties but I make exceptions for arts, sciences and athletics. If the individual is putting in 8-12 hour days working toward a passion then there must be a way for our society to allow for their work and support them....

The Greeks did this with the "Gymnasium" that supported people of merit in each city....
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Eeyore
For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support?

I guess I'll play the part of the liberal pinata here. I think a world that society that tries to be zealously agressive in testing those who are deserving and undeserving or welfare support hurts the overall society.

We need to help foster a level to step back in the workplace that does not force individuals to take jobs that are too low paying. Employers will know if there are people out there that have to accept any available work and may try to exploit that. So, minimum wage levels should be kept at a certain floor level.

That said, I think that workfare is a much better opportunity than welfare. We should be constantly reviewing our welfare network to make sure that there are not disincentives to entering the job market. Some people out there are simply better off if they are not working than when they are.

A system that pushes and pulls workers back into the workplace is helpful.

I agree that someone should not receive society's support if they refuse to work. Yet I cringe at the mistakes that could be made in trying to craft a real system that applied this ideal.

As with an above post, I see people who live a cyclical work life like a high school cafeteria, and apply for unemployment every year. Doesn't seem right to me. As I teacher on a ten month contract it seems that I could do the same thing. I believe personally in independence and self reliance.

Get your sticks out and whack at my wishy washy here and there post.

Hobbes
QUOTE(La Herring Rouge @ Jul 18 2005, 01:08 PM)
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 01:15 PM)
You would be surprised. My cousin thinks people should be able to chose not to work and have the bare essentials provided so that they can live. And by bare essentials he defines as, place to live, 3 meals a day, power and AC. He even believes basic furniture should be provided.


Your cousin is the reason why it is so easy to pick on liberals blink.gif


In seriousness, I tend to refer to the social contract for subjects such as this.
We agree to subject ourselves to society in order to obtain a benefit in terms of survival.
When we fail to add to the net gain we are supposed to suffer some sort of social reprisal: criminals get jailed, etc...

I consider the complete failure to provide a net benefit for society as a breach of the social contract and insist such people should be punished in some way!

I make room, however, for people who work diligently toward some passion that might not enable them to support themselves. I know it can become a quagmire of subtleties but I make exceptions for arts, sciences and athletics. If the individual is putting in 8-12 hour days working toward a passion then there must be a way for our society to allow for their work and support them....

The Greeks did this with the "Gymnasium" that supported people of merit in each city....
*



LHR, you have very eloquently stated what I think is a core 'liberal' belief, and one which I fully understand. I think it provides a very good means for discussing what I think is the 'conservative or market' answer to the same problem. First, I agree that such work is beneficial, and should be supported. The question is not whether or not it should be...but by whom. It isn't that conservatives don't value such work, it is a question a whether or not it should be government funded. If such work is truly beneficial...shouldn't it be possible for those partaking in it to raise funding to support themselves? Those that feel it is valuable can contribute to it, and those that don't don't have to. When the government provides the funding, a value judgement is being made, in that even those who don't think it is valuable are forced to fund it. Why should that be the case, when opportunities exist for funding it without creating that issue? If such work cannot gain sufficient funding...isn't it then likely that it doesn't provide sufficient value, and shouldn't be funded? Now, I think there can and should be exceptions to this...the sciences probably being the best example. However, even science should have to justify itself....if science doesn't lead to knowledge which leads to marketable products which then leads to increased tax revenue...why should hard-working Americans have to fund it?

Generally, the response to this argument discusses funding the military. I would be glad to take up that discussion, but I think it goes beyond the scope of this thread...whereas your examples here do not, IMHO.

Panjandrum....if that were such a common belief, then I don't think we'd have the various welfare programs we have (there would be workfare, instead). Welfare reform did much to resolve this issue...but the fact that it was set up the way it was before shows, I think, that the mindset you question does indeed exist.
Cephus
Absolutely not.

While I think there needs to be some form of welfare that gets people back on their feet and provides short-term support, having a nation where welfare is the sole support throughout life is ridiculous.

People should be permitted to remain on welfare, assuming no permanent medical disabilities, only for 1-2 years. During that time, they must be looking for work constantly, or attending school and bringing in acceptable grades or their benefits cease. At the end of that time, they either need to be self-sufficient or they need to figure out something else to do with their lives.

Sorry, welfare is there to help those who want to help themselves, not to support the lazy.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Hobbes)
It isn't that conservatives don't value such work, it is a question a whether or not it should be government funded. If such work is truly beneficial...shouldn't it be possible for those partaking in it to raise funding to support themselves? Those that feel it is valuable can contribute to it, and those that don't don't have to. When the government provides the funding, a value judgement is being made, in that even those who don't think it is valuable are forced to fund it. Why should that be the case, when opportunities exist for funding it without creating that issue? If such work cannot gain sufficient funding...isn't it then likely that it doesn't provide sufficient value, and shouldn't be funded? Now, I think there can and should be exceptions to this...the sciences probably being the best example. However, even science should have to justify itself....if science doesn't lead to knowledge which leads to marketable products which then leads to increased tax revenue...why should hard-working Americans have to fund it?


In regards to the arts at least, I disagree. I think most of us would agree generally that the best art (or music) is not usually the art which is commercially successful. To leave art to the market turns art into something else - all art becomes pop art. Now, one of the unique and wonderful things about art is inner vision. The artist who creates her works based on hoped-for market-share isn't following her muse, she's following the money. Is the best art really that which appeals to the lowest common denominator? I am not being an art snob, either - I'm not talking about the best art being something only the knowledgeable few can understand. I'm saying that subjecting one's creativity to such ideas as marketability is a change for the worse.

Now to the question. I am not opposed to people who can work but choose not to, not receiving welfare. BUT. I think that people who are born into rich families - if we are going to do this - must face the same consequences. An able bodied child of a CEO, who decides to laze around, not work, and spend mommy's money, should be disinherited. Sure, I understand that "life isn't fair..." but that's a cop-out. It's pure chance that one child is born rich, and another poor. Why should the poor kid be punished for laziness, but not the rich kid, when it's total chance that got them there?

In my experience, I have seen a LOT more lazy wealthy people than lazy poor people. Shoot, inheriting a fortune encourages laziness. Welfare on the other hand has never encouraged laziness, because it was never enough to even lift your family over the poverty line. Of course, you'd never know that from swallowing the red pills! laugh.gif
Sleeper
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Jul 18 2005, 03:05 PM)
QUOTE(Hobbes)
It isn't that conservatives don't value such work, it is a question a whether or not it should be government funded. If such work is truly beneficial...shouldn't it be possible for those partaking in it to raise funding to support themselves? Those that feel it is valuable can contribute to it, and those that don't don't have to. When the government provides the funding, a value judgement is being made, in that even those who don't think it is valuable are forced to fund it. Why should that be the case, when opportunities exist for funding it without creating that issue? If such work cannot gain sufficient funding...isn't it then likely that it doesn't provide sufficient value, and shouldn't be funded? Now, I think there can and should be exceptions to this...the sciences probably being the best example. However, even science should have to justify itself....if science doesn't lead to knowledge which leads to marketable products which then leads to increased tax revenue...why should hard-working Americans have to fund it?


In regards to the arts at least, I disagree. I think most of us would agree generally that the best art (or music) is not usually the art which is commercially successful. To leave art to the market turns art into something else - all art becomes pop art. Now, one of the unique and wonderful things about art is inner vision. The artist who creates her works based on hoped-for market-share isn't following her muse, she's following the money. Is the best art really that which appeals to the lowest common denominator? I am not being an art snob, either - I'm not talking about the best art being something only the knowledgeable few can understand. I'm saying that subjecting one's creativity to such ideas as marketability is a change for the worse.

Now to the question. I am not opposed to people who can work but choose not to, not receiving welfare. BUT. I think that people who are born into rich families - if we are going to do this - must face the same consequences. An able bodied child of a CEO, who decides to laze around, not work, and spend mommy's money, should be disinherited. Sure, I understand that "life isn't fair..." but that's a cop-out. It's pure chance that one child is born rich, and another poor. Why should the poor kid be punished for laziness, but not the rich kid, when it's total chance that got them there?

In my experience, I have seen a LOT more lazy wealthy people than lazy poor people. Shoot, inheriting a fortune encourages laziness. Welfare on the other hand has never encouraged laziness, because it was never enough to even lift your family over the poverty line. Of course, you'd never know that from swallowing the red pills! laugh.gif
*



I would ask that people quit adding caveats to my debate question. If you want to start a thread on rich people being lazy then do so. The question does not have anything to do with where the person came from. Infact the way welfare is set up now they do not check savings balances so in theory a trustfund lazy brat could apply for welfare, which is abhorrent.

But I would please ask that people quit rewording my debate question so that it fits your answer.
Hobbes
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Jul 18 2005, 02:05 PM)
In regards to the arts at least, I disagree. I think most of us would agree generally that the best art (or music) is not usually the art which is commercially successful. To leave art to the market turns art into something else - all art becomes pop art. Now, one of the unique and wonderful things about art is inner vision. The artist who creates her works based on hoped-for market-share isn't following her muse, she's following the money. Is the best art really that which appeals to the lowest common denominator? I am not being an art snob, either - I'm not talking about the best art being something only the knowledgeable few can understand. I'm saying that subjecting one's creativity to such ideas as marketability is a change for the worse.


Quark, perhaps we might agree if I explain myself better. I fully understand the issue you discuss here...the marketplace isn't always the proper funding medium (although even 'off-beat' art should find some support in the marketplace), and those with the most profound art might be the very ones least likely to succeed there. It's just that I disagree with government funding of such work. Rather, I think that funding could be provided from non-profit groups set up to do exactly that...fund those who are challenged finding support in the marketplace. Those that think such work is worthwhile could fund these groups, who in turn could fund the artists. The main difference between this and government funding is, as I mentioned, that only those who want to support such work would do so....others would not be required to. That said, I am not against some government funding...I just think the majority of it should be left to discretionary sources, unless some public benefit can be shown. For example, if a city puts such funding to a vote, and it is approved...then, by all means, it should be done. I think taking such funding to a local level would probably enhance the benefits to both the artists and those who might view their art (since, as is no secret, I think big government involvement addes bureacracy and decreases effectiveness). So, as I stated with LHR...its not that I disagree that such things such be funded, it is a question of how to do so. What do you think?
kimpossible
Sleeper, et al.

This sort of reminds me of the thread about Germany, where a job was offered to a women on welfare, but the job was prostitution. She refused the job, even though she was able-bodied. OK, so the story turned out to be a hoax, but the debate there and here is essentially the same.

This is pretty much why I agree with the question. Nothing is 100% black and white, and I wouldnt want to force someone to do a job they find morally reprehensible. And no matter what you think, ain't no one getting rich because they're on welfare.

Additionally, I am with Eeyore. We need to create a society where people arent living to work. I can't believe people are actually advocating other people working 70+ hour work weeks, simply because they had to do it. You know it sucked, why would you want someone else to go through the same thing?

And I also agree with Quark. Why is it always poor people who are seen as lazy, but the rich deserve the wealth they've inherited?
Sleeper
Can somebody please point out where I said poor people were lazy in my posts.

Edit to add: I am one of those people who worked 70+ hours a week for a few years of my life.
La Herring Rouge
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Jul 18 2005, 04:24 PM)
.  It's just that I disagree with government funding of such work.  Rather, I think that funding could be provided from non-profit groups set up to do exactly that...fund those who are challenged finding support in the marketplace.



We are in agreement Hobbes. The money of the people should be in miserly hands.
The way I saw this issue was with the worst case scenario, down and out, lazy bum.
(I happen to teach in the city and am surrounded by such disenfranchised souls)
When people aspire to get old enough to "collect their check" we have a problem on our hands.

I just find it annoying that there are hard-working people who simply work out of the mainstream and find it difficult to get by. I do NOT like the idea of the government sending checks to hard working (no matter how hard working) artists and scientists.

Rather, I think it should be the government's responsibility to create an environment where aesthetics has its place in our society. Establishing a system similar to the Medieval guild system and supporting the arts and sciences through non-profit organizations would work wonderfully. In ancient Greece the occupants of the Gymnasium were occassionally expected to prove that they deserved the graces of their host city and so, too, should artists and scientists.


This has the potential for an entire other (and rather intriguing) thread...
Yet I hope I am simply refining the message relative to this thread: There MUST be a net positive input toward the well-being of the society by an individual. This can mean; providing a service, teaching others, supplying brute labor, inspiring, etc...
If a person just sits on their porch and collects checks they should be made to account for themselves.
hayleyanne
QUOTE
I make room, however, for people who work diligently toward some passion that might not enable them to support themselves. I know it can become a quagmire of subtleties but I make exceptions for arts, sciences and athletics. If the individual is putting in 8-12 hour days working toward a passion then there must be a way for our society to allow for their work and support them....


The problem with this view, La Herring Rouge, is that many people have "passions". In fact, I would say most of us have them, but do not have the luxury of working at them full time. Let's face it, it's called "work" for a reason. I have always been wary of anyone who believes that society should provide for their basic necessities of life while they pursue their own interests or passions.

However, I do believe that the government ought to fund many things that the market may not necessarily support. The market, unfortunately, often times panders to the lowest common denominator. If we want many culturally valuable things available, like the arts, opera, dance, music, public radio, public television, etc, we can't rely on the free market. But funding these types of endeavors does not mean we allow everyone to follow his or her "passion" at the expense of the rest of us left to do the grunt work. I mean who the heck wants to be a garbage collector? But we need someone to do it.
Cube Jockey
Like most of the political quizzes out there this question tries to put something in black and white that can in no way be put into black and white. So I didn't vote because my choice isn't listed.

Also, it is interesting to note that the question says should "society" support these people, yet most people that have responded thus far have equated that with "the government". Society would include charity, non-profit groups and the government.
Paladin Elspeth
I nullified my vote, because "a job" doesn't necessarily equate to "a job that pays a living wage." We all know that there are small business owners and large corporations alike that pay substandard wages with little or no benefits to the workers in their employ.

It seems some of us are more concerned about the lazy bums in our society than the greedy ones whose annual bonuses could pay for several lower or middle class homes outright.

A job that one loves is something to which we all aspire. In its absence, a job that keeps food on our table and the bills paid (and possibly a little left for insurance) is a worthwhile consolation prize.
nighttimer
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 18 2005, 11:25 AM)
For those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should they receive society's support?


I also nulled my vote as there wasn't an option that I wanted to select. The question as stated seems to be a no-brainer. Most of us have little interest in supporting others who refuse to work.

But with most questions that are stated in such black and white starkness, there are shades of gray.

What if the person that doesn't wish to work has children? Should they suffer because their parent is a lazy slob? I don't think most people believe kids should go without because their parents don't live up to their obligations.

The slothful and lazy have always been with us and always will. I find them distasteful, but no more so than the idle rich whom have never worked a day in their life either.

One group we are supposed to hold in contempt. The other we are supposed to aspire to. They're both bums and add nothing to society except sucking up air and space. A pox on both of them.

dry.gif
Bill55AZ
My younger brother is one who refuses to work, unless the work is brought to him. The Navy taught him to weld, but there isn't much of that kind of work where he lives, which is out in the sticks of east Texas. He was offered a job (two, actually) that required him to move out of the sticks, but turned it down. If he hadn't inherited the family "home" when our parents died, he would be a street person by now. He gets a small amount each month from the Navy for a slight hearing disability. That seems to be enough to pay his utilities and groceries.
It is our mom's fault, she raised him to be dependent.
I suspect that those who are able but will not have the same kind of parents, the kind who raise their children to be lazy, worthless, etc.

Society owes nothing to those who are able to contribute and refuse to do so.
bucket
If you have read Down and Out in Paris and London you know asking someone or expecting them to work 70 hrs a week is actually quite progressive. smile.gif

I won't be timid on this one. I think you can distinguish it and approach this starkly. I voted yes. I don't think we are a bad society if we choose to help elevate our standards of what we find to be acceptable destitution.

I also think since we have discouraged child labour and we have all agreed that children and their educations are of value to us as a whole then we should as a whole be willing to follow through with such ideology.

I know I am a softy *squish* but I always reach into my pockets and give the panhandler my spare dollars. How can I be judgemental about someone being hungry?
Hobbes
QUOTE(bucket @ Jul 19 2005, 07:39 AM)
I know I am a softy *squish* but I always reach into my pockets and give the panhandler my spare dollars.  How can I be judgemental about someone being hungry?
*



Bucket, I used to do the same (What! A conservative?). I don't as much anymore, though, simply because it has become clear that the majority of such people aren't there because they have no other option...they're there because it pays well. My ephiphany came when I saw a man who had been on this corner I drive by for a while (clue #1...clearly he wasn't working on going anywhere else)...except this time he had some puppies there. Poor homeless person with cute little puppies....he was bringin' 'em in, all right. Except it was clearly a ruse...the dogs were there for exactly that reason. Since then I've observed people with fake war injuries (two gentlemen who folded their leg up every morning to appear to be missing it), etc. etc. I bring this up because this, to me, is the problem with supporting those who won't work...it creates an incentive to fall into that class, especially when the generousity of the American people makes it such that not working pays better than working. Think about it...how much do you think these 'street corner' bums get? You think 20 people an hour give them a buck? I find that quite plausible...that's about 1 every 4 or 5 lights. Where else are they going to earn $20+/hr? How many of these people probably do have a home to go to...paid for by our misplaced generousity? Such charity should be reserved for those who truly need it, not those who find it lucrative. But, how do you tell the difference? I don't know...it's just a flaw in the system. I've been 'conned' out of meals and gas money several times...but this doesn't really bother me. Even when it became apparent it was a ruse, I had to admire the skill with which it was applied. It's just too bad this is the avenure through which that ability is being utilized, and the fact that their doing it only reduces funding for those who truly are destitute.

Nighttimer and Paladin Elspeth,

You both seem to share a common concern, which I think I can address:

QUOTE
The slothful and lazy have always been with us and always will. I find them distasteful, but no more so than the idle rich whom have never worked a day in their life either.


QUOTE
It seems some of us are more concerned about the lazy bums in our society than the greedy ones whose annual bonuses could pay for several lower or middle class homes outright.


I share the disdain for the idle rich. The difference is that they are not receiving societal support. So, nothing is being done by society to support their sloth...therefore there isn't really any mechanism through which we can change their behaviour, either. So, the adage about not worrying about those things which we cannot change applies...

PE, as to the greedy rich, that is a bit trickier. While I'm with you on the fact that I think CEO's, etc. in our society are grossly overpaid, greed is in fact the very motivator our society runs on (which is precisely why the slothful are viewed with the disdain they are). Factor greed out of our society, and we'd all be much worse off than we are. Surely, there are those who take this to excess, and society should (and has) punished them for it. But the general work ethic of the American marketplace will always value greed over sloth....it is that valuation on which it thrives. I would add, in the CEO's defense, if they get millions in bonuses, but do positively impact the company, thereby creating a stable source of income for tens of thousands...isn't it worth it? (The problem comes, I think, from falsely assuming they have such an impact, when often they don't...Americans are alway infatuated with potential).




Sleeper
I used to give money to people who seemed to be in need but that all stopped the day I gave what I thought was a deaf person in walmart $10(she used a notepad and everything to ask me for money). As I had left the store 15 minutes later I saw her and 3 of her friends outside the store after they had been kicked out. laughing and cutting up on how much money they had gotten and how they had to goto the next walmart and do it again till they got caught.

Let's say for example you were a student in a classroom and you worked very hard to get your 95 average. Most of the class did all their work, some not as hard as others but still did what was necessary. But there were a few who did no work at all, just came to class and slept the whole time. The passing grade for the class is a grade average of 72 or higher. The teacher announces that even though those students won't do the work he is going to take points from your grade average(and other students as well) and give them to those who don't work or participate in class so that they can pass. Would this be acceptable to you?
CruisingRam
Of course- no, in the black and white sense- but as others have pointed out- it is not so easy-

in this country, we pick on the poor and love to kick them when they are down, and, knowing there are lot's of cases like BillAZ55 - I know a few myself- thumbsup.gif - that being said- we have much bigger leaches on society that should be dealt with first- Ken Lay, Ross Perot (he made every cent he has off goverment medicaid billing) Dick Cheney (once again, making every cent he has off of securing lucrative and shadey goverment contracts) Micheal Milken ( made billions by fraud, got to keep his ill gotten gains after only five years in Club Fed- I wage I would not mind myself)- all of these cases are far more egregious than the deaf con man, the 20 buck an hour panhandler -

why do we always concentrate our ire as a culture toward the little guy and give the big guy a pass? hmmm.gif

This is one part of our society I have never understood-

So many poeple on this board are RABIDLY anti-union, but have no problem with our CEO robber barons- one of them does more damage on an economic rampage than all the mafia retirement pension scams combined.

We just can't seem to go after the big fish in our culture- we just keep kicking the little guy.

And Sleeper- how about all that hard work you did- but the rich guy not only buys his grades without working- but takes the good professor from your class as his own personal flunky ,- leaving no one else with a professor, including those with just a 72 and under?
nemov
This is somewhat off topic, but it does deal with poverty. The economist online has an excellent series (Survey America) on American poverty, immigration, mobility, education, social classes. There is a wealth of information both ideological sides will find useful. For economic eggheads like myself the article is a goldmine, but be forewarned it is a lot of reading.

QUOTE
A far smaller share of the population lives in poverty now than in the supposedly golden age of equality in the 1950s (12% compared with 22%). Moreover, a surge of immigrants on minimum wages tends to bring down the average: home-grown Americans are probably better off than the figures suggest. The rich have not got richer at the expense of the poor. The rising tide has lifted dinghies as well as yachts.


While I believe society should do what it can to help all those in poverty, the idea that the rich are making money at the expense of the poor is absurd.
Sleeper
The thing is, I used to be the little guy. Now by no means am I a big fish(as in millions) but I see this petty bashing of those who are successful and it makes me laugh.

Could you please cite examples of "people on this board being anti-union".
Oh and by the way, one or two examples does not constitute "RABIDLY" anti-union. Once again you only argue extremes because you cannot make a valid argument otherwise.

It's funny, I never brought partisan politics into this thread with the intro question ,but here they are.
wacko.gif
Doclotus
I voted no. (Bad liberal! I know) If you have the ability to work, are provided an opportunity, and refuse to do so, your teet to the government should be withdrawn. There are exceptions, and plenty of gray areas (liveable wage being a good example) to discuss, but conceptually freeloaders of any kind are the dregs of society. This is true whether they are freeloading from the government or their rich relatives.

Doc
Sleeper
QUOTE(Doclotus @ Jul 19 2005, 11:14 AM)
I voted no. (Bad liberal! I know) If you have the ability to work, are provided an opportunity, and refuse to do so, your teet to the government should be withdrawn. There are exceptions, and plenty of gray areas (liveable wage being a good example) to discuss, but conceptually freeloaders of any kind are the dregs of society. This is true whether they are freeloading from the government or their rich relatives.

Doc
*



Thanks Doc... It's refreshing to see an answer like this without interjecting class envy or caveats to the actual question. There are grey areas to any question asked.
CruisingRam
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 19 2005, 06:48 AM)
The thing is, I used to be the little guy. Now by no means am I a big fish(as in millions) but I see this petty bashing of those who are successful and it makes me laugh.

Could you please cite examples of "people on this board being anti-union".
Oh and by the way, one or two examples does not constitute "RABIDLY" anti-union. Once again you only argue extremes because you cannot make a valid argument otherwise.

It's funny, I never brought partisan politics into this thread with the intro question ,but here they are.
wacko.gif
*



I am making a point here- we do bash the little guy- all the examples you guys give of freeloading scamming poor poeple- poor poeple do desperate things- and criminals are criminals, no matter how much they earn- the difference is- we give the rich far less responsibility for thier behavior, far less punishment for bad behavior, than we do the poor- or do you disagree with that as well> hmmm.gif

At my work, the CEO is waging a war against bad dressers- you know, bald guys wearing ball caps and such. We have major problems with funding, mandatory OT, violence in the workplace, and this genius is worried about if we look GQ enough- and the analogy fits this issue as well- we are so very, very worried about some poor poeple living off the guv'ment while we pretty much ignore the rich, taking far, far more resourses, doing far far more damage and harming our economy in near permanent ways (the S&L bailout we are still paying for- including "succesful" folks like you and I- thanks Reagan!)

Like in a thread I started many months ago, probably archived by now- one of the big sticking points is what "rich" is- a very hard thing to nail down- I know I am not rich but he is w00t.gif - to me, the rich are those folks that have a net increase per year of 10 million dollars or more- and many of them are total wastes of air and skin- Ken Lay and others in my example- they litteraly have leached off the entire nation instead of one panhandling at a time

my point is this- sure, those that can work, should, and we shouldn't feed them if they can feed themselves- I agree with this

BUT- as a nationwide issue- there are a lot bigger fish to fry, and a lot of priorties ahead of these guys piddling 1% or less of the budget- while Haliburton sucks us all dry.
Sleeper
I understand what you are saying about those cretins, The Ken Lays of the world are scumbags. But you need to step back from your posts and look at what you are saying and stop painting the successful with such a broad brush. I know you dabble in real estate. If in your endeavors you become wealthy will you hate what you have become?
CruisingRam
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 19 2005, 07:44 AM)
I understand what you are saying about those cretins, The Ken Lays of the world are scumbags. But you need to step back from your posts and look at what you are saying and stop painting the successful with such a broad brush. I know dabble in real estate. If in your endeavors you become wealthy will you hate what you have become?
*



Yes- I would hate what I have become IF I became hateful and stingy towards those that have not had the luck that I have had- and success has a great deal of luck attached to it- ESPECIALLY if you were poor to begin with- you know as well as I that the odds are heavily stacked against the poor in this country for becoming succesful- if you parents went to college, you have a better chance of going to college, if your parents are wealthy, you have a very good chance of being wealthy- if you parents are barely getting by, or if you are a child of a single parent, you are likely to barely get by and be a single parent- so, only if I become a person that wants to kick the ladder behind me after I have climbed up, or, if I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, never had to deal with the possibility of losing everything, and then was a anti-poor type, yea, I would hate myself LOL

By my own definition of wealth, I have already made it (60 thou a year in unearned income) . But I have no problem giving a rent break to the single mom struggling, but paying pretty close to on-time, as long as she is really trying and not trying to con me- I have given a free month's rent here and there to families going through hard luck, and in one case of juvenile luekemia striking a poor family, gave them rent free for over a year while they got back on thier feet- hey, I can afford it, the lord has blessed me, my chi is good in the feng shui spirit- they weren't con artists, didn't ask for my charity, probably wouldn't have taken it had I gave them a choice ( I simply did not cash thier checks and told them I wouldn't until I saw them back on thier feet) - but I have tossed welfare and disability earners right out on thier ears for violating the terms of thier lease agreement one day after it was violated- because they were obviously trying to milk me- to bad, so sad, don't try to screw me over. ph34r.gif


I totally respect the self made person- you notice I did not include Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet in my example- these are all succesful guys that changed the world for the better while making huge sums of money- I respect that, and believe that is the good side of capitalism, or even greed if you will, but I prefer "enlightened self interest" LOL

I do not begrugde success to those that have EARNED success, rather than found a new, but legal, way to steal success.

I do not begrudge the pan-handler that could work, won't give him a dime of my money, but don't have any real ire for him, because he is not really taking anything away from me or my family, as are any of the poor as freeloader examples given here (though Bill probably would say about his brother- hey, he takes out of MY pocket LOL) - as much as I do the rich as free loader examples I gave


In the end, this debate, to me, is all about priorities and level of um, "badness?" for this behavior- we have a very, very parasitic upper income bracket right now, though not in the majority of the succesful (a' la - "the millionare beside me" type) - they do far more harm than the petty street panhandler or freeloader- and therefore, I direct my ire toward the bigger priority- and save my energy for the petty freeloader for when all the other problems in the world are fixed thumbsup.gif
moif
I vote yes, because for a few years in my early adult years I have no idea what I was going to do with my life. Once I'd put the military behind me I was at a loose end for several years. In that time I lived on state benefits and did the work the council set me to (which was in Libraries much to my pleasure)

The law in those days was for each 6 month period of unemployment, one was obliged to work the next six months in mandatory labour for the state (unless a real job came along)

I did that for just over two years, until I decided to study in England and I feel no guilt for it. What would be the point of working without any clear idea of what I was working towards? Thats like cooking a meal one never intends to eat.

There was no way I was going to slave my guts out in bar just for the sake of having a job when I had the alternative of living for the moment and just watching the world go by until I figured my life out.

I know this isn't quite in the spirit of the question since I was twice sent out to work by the council, and actually quite enjoyed having the best libraries in Århus at my disposal, but I think the point I'm trying to make is that some times, work is just a pointless endeavour that can trap a person and tie them down and which many people only undertake because they feel they have no choice.

Money isn't everything so I don't mind if some people feel the need to sponge from the system for a while. Its just a question of for how long and under which circumstances...

If a person simply refused and refused though, then even in this country, their benefit would be terminated so I don't really see that the question asks anything worth while. Its more like asking do you like paying taxes?


nemov
QUOTE(moif @ Jul 19 2005, 01:14 PM)
I did that for just over two years, until I decided to study in England and I feel no guilt for it. What would be the point of working without any clear idea of what I was working towards? Thats like cooking a meal one never intends to eat.
*



It is obvious that the cultural attitudes towards work are very different in the US than they are in Europe. If I got out of college and did what you did. Many of friends, my family, and my peers would think I was an unmotivated bum wasting my twenties away. It is that very reason that motivated me to get a entry level job I didn't like. After a couple of years and "experience" I was able to get a job I love.

While finding a job that you love is important I do not believe it is the government's responsibility to pay my way until I find something that suits me. Moif, I do not mean offense by that statement. Like I said before there are certain cultural differences at work here.

Just for the record I am the first person in my family to graduate from college. Although my mom is the smartest person I have ever met. No one made it a priority for her to go to college in 1968.
CruisingRam
I totally understand the POV of moif- though I have never had the opportunity to do so LOL

I think Moif shows a very,very, very distinct cultural differnce between much of the world and the US-

for instance, my wife, she is Russian, but they have mostly European attitudes about, well, darn near everything except for the near buhdist all life is sacred European view of folks (favoring capital punishment and such)-

and, when we had it very rough financially at the begining of our marriage as I tried to get us out of the trailer park and into a house (true story there w00t.gif ) my wife used to lament how poeple on welfare didn't have to work and shopped at baby gap for clothes (another true story)- but I pointed out that those folks lived check to check, were always complaining about not being able to afford to fix thier beater car, if they had a car, otherwise, they were bugging us for a ride (another true story LOL) - and, how because they were Alaskan Native they got free health care and college (I told her a deal is a deal- they negotiated this with the feds over land claims in ANCILA) - while I worked two jobs and she didn't have any customers in the day care.

I told her this- in the end, those that don't LOOK for public assistance as a career and look at lottery tickets as a retirement are probably not going to have kids that finish college and have nice lives of thier own- rather the same dreary, wishing for rescue life.

But in Moif's case- I wish our kids, after compulsory service, did have the option of not working for six months then spend the next six months in public service-

man, don't any americans see the value in this?

Some kind of de-focus (is that a word?) on all the materialism in our society, with some kind of focus on happiness through self fulfilment might be a good thing for our country- and the six on six off plan sounds good to me!
nighttimer
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 19 2005, 12:19 PM)
Thanks Doc... It's refreshing to see an answer like this without interjecting class envy or caveats to the actual question. There are grey areas to any question asked.


It isn't "class envy" to point out that there is welfare that benefits the wealthy whom may be just as lazy and shiftless as the guy hustling quarters outside of the 7-11. Also, Sleeper, though you seem to be irked that some of the answers to your questions are far more expansive than you like, if you don't like the effect, don't produce the cause.

You have the choice to phrase your questions as broadly or as limited as you wish, but you don't get to limit the parameters of the response as long as they remain essentially on-topic. The board Moderators typically do a fine job of herding straying posters back to the central point.

The funny thing about "class envy" is that it always tacks upward and never down. We're supposed to ooh and ahh every time Donald Trump opens another hotel or Bill Gates crushes another competitor. Hey, great for them. But I don't want to be Bill Gates or Donald Trump. I don't even want to hold their wallet for a minute or two.

Trust fund babies mindlessly burning through their inherited wealth like Paris Hilton nauseate me. I'm not hatin' on people who become wealthy or even those who inherit wealth and go on to do something worthwhile. I'm hatin' on the pigs at the trough who act like the world owes them something because they've got money and they showed up.

I admire someone like a J.K. Rowling who went from being on the dole in England to raking in $36 million bucks in one day based on the sales of the new Harry Potter blockbuster. Do I want to make $36 million in a day? Sure, why not? I never will, but it's a nice dream all the same. But if I do, I want to do it because I earned it and I produced a book that was a quality piece of work that may eventually be considered art as well.

It's rational in a society where what we DO is one method of validating ourselves to look down our noses at slobs who expect someone to bring them their daily bread. But I'm not going to fall to my knees and bow down before every clown who happened to be born into a life of wealth and ease.

dry.gif
moif
QUOTE(nemov)
It is obvious that the cultural attitudes towards work are very different in the US than they are in Europe. If I got out of college and did what you did. Many of friends, my family, and my peers would think I was an unmotivated bum wasting my twenties away. It is that very reason that motivated me to get a entry level job I didn't like. After a couple of years and "experience" I was able to get a job I love.
Well, a good many people (my Dad especially) did regard me as an unmotivated bum in those days (some people still do) whistling.gif

It never really bothered me though, I had no idea as to where I was going to go. I had originally planned to stay in the military, but I left when it dawned on me that there was no future for me there. I was at a loss as to where and even who I was (child of two nations) and it took me those two and half years to eventually find out.. which I did. I met the love of my life, went to university and gradually realised my identity.

If I'd been forced to work in some dead beat job, either for necessity or just for conventions sake, then like some of my friends, I might still be just as lost now as I was then.

An example of what I mean is my old best friend. She came from a family that regarded not working as a serious blot on one's character, and though a rebel against her parents, she was unable to bring herself to do as I did. She took a job as a cleaner on the ferry between Denmark and Norway and worked long hard and uncomfortable hours in order to just 'have a job'. One day she woke up and realised she spent eight years doing a job she hated. She quit but within two years she was dead.

QUOTE(nemov)
While finding a job that you love is important I do not believe it is the government's responsibility to pay my way until I find something that suits me. Moif, I do not mean office by that statement. Like I said before there are certain cultural differences at work here.
I understand what you mean. In Denmark however we pay far more in tax than you Americans do, and few people have any compunction in getting some of that money back. biggrin.gif

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QUOTE(Cruising Ram)
I totally understand the POV of moif- though I have never had the opportunity to do so LOL

I think Moif shows a very,very, very distinct cultural differnce between much of the world and the US-
Another of my friends is American. On many occasions we had debates and discussions about just this topic. She contended that Denmark was a far too lazy and lax place where people had no back bone. "You wouldn't last five minutes in New York" she tell me. I would shrug and smile. I have no desire to visit New York...

When she gave birth last year, she was all too happy to accept every advantage Denmarks liberal laws give new mothers... laugh.gif I haven't teased her too much about it.


QUOTE
man, don't any americans see the value in this?

Some kind of de-focus (is that a word?) on all the materialism in our society, with some kind of focus on happiness through self fulfilment might be a good thing for our country- and the six on six off plan sounds good to me!
In Denmark the national motto for a very long time has been 'More with less'.

Denmark usually beats the USA in standard of living tests (though some times we are neck and neck) and yet if you go to the CIA fact book and compare GDP per capita you can see that the average Danes scores $32,200 whilst the average American makes $40,100.

With your lower prices and higher average income, you ought to have it better than us. Its a mystery to me how Denmark and the other Scandinavian nations do so well when compared to the USA. I can only assume the political and social factors tip the scale in our favour.

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Nighttimer....

Hell yeah! thumbsup.gif
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