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PUBLIC VIEWPOINT: Lowell Grisham Tripping Over Deadly Sin

Posted: November 27, 2012 at 3:58 p.m.

Lowell Grisham — priest, economist, fi nancier, political strategist, student of marine biology — has a problem. A holy pledge to promote characterbuilding ethics of our Lord, Jesus Christ, is interrupted by his tripping over a deadly sin, which is “envy.”

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I wonder if people like W. Page Hill ever try to think through what they are saying.
Start with Hill's list of "amenities." He says 98.5% of us self-indulgent Americans have a stove-oven. However, human beings have been cooking their food for over a million years. Poor people on all the continents usually have some kind of stove-oven, which may be a clay stove that burns cow-patties.
The mere possession of a stove-oven is more a mark of humanness than of materialism.

Posted by: Coralie

November 27, 2012 at 4:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I'd like the source of Hill's census figures, which don't accord with my own observations. They show the great majority of Americans own micro-waves and washing-machines. I have neither.
People without washing machines support several coin laundries in F'ville.
Also I have lived without television for years at a time, and without AC in Fayetteville, Florida, and San Diego (thankfully, not here last summer).
However, I don't consider myself to be the poorest of the poor.
And what about the homeless, who have none of these things? According to Wikipedia
"As many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year (1% of the entire U.S. population or 10% of its poor)."
Certainly you can include them in the "millions of poor" category.

Posted by: Coralie

November 27, 2012 at 4:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hill says "The real poor are the disabled and the elderly who have little or no voice."
I'm certainly elderly at 82, but he isn't describing me.
The real poor are CHILDREN who have no voice. And a large proportion of the poor are children. And we must be their voice.

Posted by: Coralie

November 27, 2012 at 4:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

If Hill thinks the Bible is about supporting the rights of the rich, he needs to peruse it more carefully.
"The Bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God's deep concern for both. This page contains a wide sample of them, and some reflections. It's aimed at anyone who takes the Bible seriously."
http://www.zompist.com/meetthepoor.html

Posted by: Coralie

November 27, 2012 at 4:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Free Thinker came out with the perfect discription of mighty mouth Grisham although Free didn't realize it. "Grisham is a two-bit religious troll". Thanks Free.

Posted by: JailBird

November 27, 2012 at 5:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lowell Grisham is well-known; his columns (and occasional comments in threads appended thereto) are published under his own name. He therefore is not a troll, however you might disagree with him. Nor is he two-bit.

He is, apparently, religious.

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 27, 2012 at 5:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "A 2005 census shows the percentage of all households that have various amenities: Refrigerators 99.9 percent; television, 98.7 percent; stove-oven, 98.5 percent; microwave, 87.9 percent; air conditioning, 84 percent; clothes washer, 82.6 percent."

That information comes from a Heritage Foundation "backgrounder" on poverty and inequality:
http://www.heritage.org/research/repo... which was given a characteristically misinformative summation by Faux News: http://tinyurl.com/4yue73u

This issue came up here
http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/ju...
last year. While the entire thread is fun to read (among other things, it reminds us that if IrishMensa has any business directing news anywhere, it would be AM talk radio) here a couple of comments that address this particular topic:
>>>>>>>

"This Heritage material says:

“'The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.'

"Except for the sloppy equivocation between 'better life' and 'rich,' there is some truth to this regarding wealth. We are far more wealthy than a *century* ago.

But "Irish's" claim absurdly knocks about 80 years off of that with his variation:

"...the standard of living of those considered poor would be the envy of those who lived at least twenty years ago."

"Which of course is ridiculous. This argument from 'the poor have TV's and microwaves now' is so ludicrous I didn't bother to kick it, but let's give it a poke now.

"I remember when my dad bought our first microwave, I think it was 1977 (early adopter). As I remember it was an astonishing $800. When we adjust for inflation:
http://www.dollartimes.com/calculator...
we find that he paid about $3,012 in today's dollars. So we can see how this trick works. It plays on the fact that a microwave used to be a rather pricey appliance. Not anymore. I see a nice one on Amazon for $55. So we see this product has dropped in price, in this rough comparison, by 54x. Quite a difference. The poor haven't been raised up, the shiny electronic toys we like, have come down.

"Owning a microwave is no longer in anyway associated with wealth or doing well, but rather just a really cheap way to heat food. Same with TV's, etc.,.
....

"Posted by: fayfreethinker
August 1, 2011 at 10:36 a.m."

(continued...)

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 27, 2012 at 8:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

(...continued)
>>>>>>>

"Here are a few other flaws in the Heritage Foundation study:

"Using the term 'amenity' to refer to the consumer items considered shows an immediate bias. 'Amenity' is sales hype.

"The study refers to some necessities as 'amenities'. Refrigerators, stove/ovens and microwaves are necessities if you eat at home, as one would expect the poor to do. In most areas, health codes require that these 'amenities' be present. In much of the country, air conditioning is a necessity. Separate freezer? Shouldn't the poor save money by buying in bulk or preserving stuff from a garden?

"Owning and having available aren't the same thing. The study doesn't ask whether the poor occupant actually USES the air conditioner. Nor do the bar graphs differentiate between central and window AC. Ceiling fans might be an amenity, but they make it possible to spend less on air conditioning and heating.

"The study doesn't differentiate between new and used or old 'amenities'. It is possible to get a refrigerator or other appliance for less than $100. (My first washing machine cost me $25, and paid for itself in 50 loads-- not counting the convenience. Of course, that was 1981 dollars.)

"The study doesn't account for the fact that most poor people rent their homes and have no control over what "amenities" come with them. Air conditioning, washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, ceiling fans-- all are typical rental furnishings. The rent might include cable/satellite. The poor are caught up in the same housing market that everybody else is, and the market has standards.

"The study has to resort to a comparison to European homes to 'prove' that the American poor have large homes. Of course, it doesn't go into the size of American homes now considered to be middle- and upper-class. Most of our outmoded (known in the market as 'functionally obsolete'-- too small, too few bathrooms, can't be brought up to date) housing stock is occupied by poor people. As a result of centuries of relatively crowded conditions, reuse of small centuries-old buildings, and repeated subdivisions of larger old buildings, urban Europeans are accustomed to living in smaller spaces (and old European farm houses aren't very big, either). Americans, living in a country rich in land and resources, have lived in larger and larger homes as materials and technology have accommodated the trend. (Some American cities have real estate values that cause living spaces to resemble the European model.)

"The study doesn't indicate which 'amenities' might actually be parts of other 'amenities'. For example, the first or second DVD player might be in the computer; the second TV might be a computer monitor.

"Posted by: AlphaCat
August 1, 2011 at 10:50 a.m."

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 27, 2012 at 8:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"The poor will allways be with us." Some great man said that. So let's attend to the spiritial need of human beings, "Rev" Grissim and leave the poor to social workers, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Catholic Relief Fund. I don't think any of these have asked for your help and certainly don't need your big mouth.

Posted by: JailBird

November 28, 2012 at 6:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

While walking in a medium sized southern town this weekend I noted a gentleman that appeared to be homeless. He was holding his "Need Help, God Bless" sign in one hand and a cell phone to his ear with the other. I think it is a matter of priorities, and we, as Americans, have become pretty poor at setting what our priorities should be.

Posted by: superdave10

November 28, 2012 at 12:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Father Grisham is not driven by envy but rather fairness and justice. I seriously doubt that Mr. Hill has ever met or had a conversation with Father Grisham - shame on Mr. Hill.

Posted by: hawgfan25

November 28, 2012 at 12:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>With all the rhetoric promoting division among us,
--Hill

That would include your letter attacking Rev Grisham while making absolutely zero sense.

Posted by: cdawg

November 28, 2012 at 12:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>This, the most aftuent country on earth, offering a commodity that is so rare in the rest of the world — freedom, opportunity, and with every race in the world here who can worship freely.<<

Hill is wrong again.

Countries ranked by economic freedom:

1 Hong Kong 8.90
2 Singapore 8.69
3 New Zealand 8.36
4 Switzerland 8.24
5 Australia 7.97
5 Canada 7.97
7 Bahrain 7.94
8 Mauritius 7.90
9 Finland 7.88
10 Chile 7.84
11 United Arab Emirates 7.83
12 Ireland 7.75
12 United Kingdom 7.75
14 Estonia 7.74
15 Taiwan 7.72
16 Denmark 7.71
17 Qatar 7.70
18 United States

http://www.cato.org/pubs/efw/efw2012/...

People can also "worship freely" in any of the nations listed above.

.

Posted by: cdawg

November 28, 2012 at 1:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Moneymyst says "leave the poor to social workers, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Catholic Relief Fund.."
That includes over 3 million homeless, 31 million unemployed, and 127.5 "working poor" who don't have enough cash to last them through a crisis.
Do you think those agencies have the resources to handle that?

Posted by: Coralie

November 28, 2012 at 1:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hill, wrong again, "the most affluent country on earth"

In purchasing power parity the U.S. is not the most affluent:

World Bank lists US at #8.
CIA at #8
International Monetary Fund at #6

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

Posted by: cdawg

November 28, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Superdave observed a man apparently homeless who was using a cellphone.
It costs a lot less to maintain a cellphone than an apartment in most cities. A person might have lost his job and be unable to pay rent but still have enough to pay for his cellphone.
A cellphone is necessary if you are looking for a job and have no home for a landline.
There is a government-funded program that gives free cellphones with very limited minutes to people who meet the poverty guidelines.

Posted by: Coralie

November 28, 2012 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Half of all people covered by Medciaid are children.
Those parasites!

Posted by: Coralie

November 28, 2012 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and the Catholic Relief Fund plus the taxpaying American worker certainly has enough money provide for the urban outdoor peoples. The government is run by way too many who have listened to false prophets such as Lowell "the mouth" Grisham on how to spend my taxes. By the way, all children are parasites till they leave the nest.

Posted by: JailBird

November 28, 2012 at 2:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Glad I wasn't born to you.
My folks never treated me like a parasite.

Posted by: Coralie

November 28, 2012 at 5:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

They probably, with a great big bunch of love, prepared you for the great big nasty world you would have to step into when you left the warm loving nest that the host was providing you until you got mature enough to get parasites of your own. The government is the parents to many parasites, but does not love them or prepare them for life after parasitetism. The government lets them suck till they die and then still allows them to vote. Many souls in Puragory vote Democrat.

Posted by: JailBird

November 28, 2012 at 6:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Many souls in Puragory vote Democrat. "
It's the ones who vote Republican that make it Purgatory. If not for the Democrats, it would be out-and-out Hell.

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 28, 2012 at 7:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha you could be right about thatl

Posted by: JailBird

November 28, 2012 at 8:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cdawg,

You been to Bahrain or Qatar? Come on, tell me about the "economic freedom" of the laborers in those countries. I've been there, have you? Oh yeah, try worshipping freely there as well. Please.

Posted by: Tankersley101

November 28, 2012 at 9:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Despite the cherry-picked studies from Free Loader and his minions, they ignore the fact that the poor in this nation are much better off than their counterparts in most other nations. They don't bother with the fact that our income tax system is the most progressive among industrialized nations (according to the OECD) and has the highest corporate tax burden. They use facts the way that the Pharisee (or Sadducee...one is not certain which) cherry-picks the Constitution and Scripture to make his point. Deep down, he is liitle more than a Church of England counterpart to Ronnie Floyd and his worship of the Almighty Self.

Posted by: IrishMensa

November 28, 2012 at 10:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Good old IrishDensa fancies himself a news director, but he is a misdirector. Fortunately, his employer has no interest in actual news. He can't even remember that we've been through this before, and he apparently hasn't bothered to read Mr. Hill's letter, either.

RE "cherry-picked studies"
The study cited in the quoted comments above is the very one that the letter writer cited. Why castigate some of us for "cherry-picking" without castigating Mr. Hill as well? If you had read the letter and the references instead of letting your bowels fire off so quickly, you might not have soiled yourself in public again.

Oh, who am I kidding? You would have soiled yourself anyway.

RE "our income tax system is the most progressive among industrialized nations..."
That would be great, if our loopholes didn't favor the wealthy and reduce the progressiveness of our taxes. If federal individual income taxes were as progressive as the statutory rates indicate, Mitt Romney would not have paid an effective rate of 14.1% in 2011. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09..., and Warren Buffett would not have paid a lower effective rate than his secretaries did.

RE "...and has the highest corporate tax burden"
In 2011, the United States had the third-highest marginal rate (40%) after the United Arab Emirates (55%) and Japan (40.69%), and the second-highest in 2012, after the UAE. http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-dat... But the tax rate is not the tax burden. Our effective corporate tax rate is the sixth highest in the world: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04... I suggest you learn the difference between statutory or marginal tax rates and effective tax rates.

RE "the way that the Pharisee (or Sadducee...one is not certain which) cherry-picks the Constitution and Scripture to make his point."
Oooh-- do regale us with examples.

RE "Deep down, he is liitle more than a Church of England counterpart to Ronnie Floyd and his worship of the Almighty Self."
Your sterling qualities are so much easier to discern. They're not deep down-- they're deep brown.

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 29, 2012 at 12:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Can't IrishM get anything right?

IR: "the cherry-picked studies from Free...">>

a) I haven't posted anything in this thread
b) the quote Alphacat provided didn't refer to a study

Are you thick, or are you dishonest?

IR: "the poor in this nation are much better off than their counterparts in most other nations.">>

That's nice. Relevance?

IR: "our income tax system is the most progressive...">>

It's actually quite progressive but it's also much more complicated than your simplistic up/down, most/least dichotomy. Nicely explained in this article:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/a...

IR: "[US] has the highest corporate tax burden.">>

Complete rubbish you've been corrected on before. Again:

"...[the US] has the fourth *lowest* corporate tax revenues among those [OECD] nations, because of all the special tax favors we currently dole out to corporations and because many corporations shirk their patriotic tax responsibilities and park profits overseas.

...a new U.S. General Accountability Office study finds 68 percent of U.S. corporations do not pay any taxes at all." http://tinyurl.com/3tvfook

And another example:

"Not only have these twelve companies paid zero in taxes for the years 2008-2010, they actually received tax subsidies that added $62.4 billion to their bottom lines.The companies were chosen by the CTJ to represent a range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, services, transportation and high tech and include – in alphabetical order – American Electric Power, Boeing, Dupont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, General Electric, Honeywell International, IBM, United Technologies, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo and Yahoo." http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar...

IR: "They use facts the way that the Pharisee [blah blah blah]">>

Actually, you just provided an excellent example of passing along misleading and completely dishonest information. You said:

"[US] has the highest corporate tax burden."

Perhaps you ignorantly meant to refer to a high tax rate, but that would be to imply something just as misleading. What matters is not some hypothetical rate of collection, but what is actually collected. And that puts us very much at the bottom with the exact opposite of what you said: a low tax burden.

Try visiting the reality based community some time.

D.
------------
Recommended reading:

"Revenge of the Reality-Based Community
My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong."

BRUCE BARTLETT
http://www.theamericanconservative.co...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

November 29, 2012 at 12:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

AlphaC: "If federal individual income taxes were as progressive as the statutory rates indicate, Mitt Romney would not have paid an effective rate of 14.1% in 2011.">>

Hey Alpha, even that claimed 14.1% may be wildly optimistic. Consider the following:

***
"Romney's claimed rate is misleading in another way. Boston College tax law professor Brian Galle noted that Romney's IRA has grown since 1999 at a rate of roughly $9 million to $10 million per year. Yet he pays no taxes on those gains. Adding $10 million to his 2011 income of $13.8 million, for instance, nearly doubles it, meaning his tax rate is roughly half of what his real gain was.

"Mitt Romney was paid an immense amount for services rendered and is not putting it in his income. ...To say he has a 14 percent rate doesn't capture the economic reality of what's happening," Galle said. "It's more like Romney has a salary of $10 million and he's paying 14 percent on $1 million and the rest just isn't included."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

November 29, 2012 at 12:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>You been to Bahrain or Qatar? Come on, tell me about the "economic freedom" of the laborers in those countries. I've been there, have you?<<

Forget it tank. I'll rely on the Cato Institute, not your
"observations." After all, you don't need no facts or data, nor information of any kind. How many businesses did you start there? How many locals did you hire?

Posted by: cdawg

November 29, 2012 at 1:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Everthing Free said was a quote from someone else. Kinda like a Bible thumper quoteing scripture to prove a point to a non-Bible believer. Only difference Free Quoter is a Liberial trash web thumper.

Posted by: JailBird

November 29, 2012 at 3:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

cdawg,

I'm sure the Cato institute is doing a whole bunch for those workers in the Persian Gulf states. I'll trust my real world observations as facts enough for me. I looked at the same stats from some places I trust as well and they don't convince me of anything but the fact that the Shieks and other members of the aristocracy over there live off energy revenues and the virtual slave labor migrant workers. When oil is made obsolete their money will dry up as well unless they continue to invest in other things.

As far as businesses and employees go, I have none yet. I was 17 when I left home. I'll take care of doing the entrepeneur thing when I retire in the next 7-17 years, but sure as fire not in the Middle East. Not that any of that matters to the issue at hand, but way to cloud the issue. MSNBC would be proud.

Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Tankersley101

November 29, 2012 at 6:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie said "Superdave observed a man apparently homeless who was using a cellphone.
It costs a lot less to maintain a cellphone than an apartment in most cities. A person might have lost his job and be unable to pay rent but still have enough to pay for his cellphone.
A cellphone is necessary if you are looking for a job and have no home for a landline.
There is a government-funded program that gives free cellphones with very limited minutes to people who meet the poverty guidelines."

You're missing the point. It's about priorities. If this man was paying for a cell phone and begging for food money, that's a lack of good priorities. If our government is spending money on cell phones, that also is a lack of priorities.

We, as Americans, have a hard time discerning between our wants and our needs. We frequently satisfy our wants and then expect someone else to meet our needs. That is the problem with our society today.

Posted by: superdave10

November 29, 2012 at 12:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "You're missing the point. It's about priorities."
You're missing the point. It's about knowing the circumstances under which that man had a cell phone.

RE " If this man was paying for a cell phone..."
If that man already had a prepaid cell phone, then it would have been foolish to not keep using the minutes he had paid for. If it was a cell phone provided through the Lifeline Assistance Program, then all was as it should be. He might have been mentally ill, and talking on a dead cell phone.

RE "... and begging for food money..."
Yes, he should have gone to a soup kitchen. Maybe he couldn't get a good signal in a church basement..

RE "..., that's a lack of good priorities."
Even if he is paying for a cell phone, the fact that he can use it to facilitate a job search seems to indicate a good prioritization of resources. Maybe he gave up cigarettes so he could afford a cell phone so he could find a job. Of course, I don't know that he uses his cell phone to look for a job, but then you don't know that he doesn't. Did you eavesdrop on his conversation?

Of course, the man might not have been homeless. Scamming the tenderhearted can be quite lucrative. Your concern about the man's cell phone might be even more completely unfounded than we thought.

RE "We, as Americans, have a hard time discerning between our wants and our needs."
No argument here. Does every woman want to be a Size 2? Does every man want a full head of hair?

RE "We frequently satisfy our wants and then expect someone else to meet our needs."
More frequently, we don't. Most of us come to our senses.

RE "That is the problem with our society today."
Wow-- one mendicant with a cell phone. The system is broken, and society crumbles before our eyes.

Posted by: AlphaCat

November 29, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I like that AlphaCat, better signal in a soup kitchen. Brilliant. I laughed all the way to my favorite soup kitchen.

Posted by: JailBird

November 29, 2012 at 4:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Allpha - I wish I could say this was the only example of this type of behavior I have seen, but it isn't. As an example, I have a cousin who has some sort of back injury and has been trying to apply for disability. He doesn't, however, seem to have any trouble mowing his own grass or helping someone with car repairs. He also doesn't seem to have trouble sitting in a chair the vast part of the day. Since I work in an office and sit most of the day and still manage to make a living (along with several hundred other people in this building), I fail to see why my tax dollars should pay for his existence.

Prior to my "office" job I worked as a paramedic for 15 years. I went into many (and when I say many I mean hundreds) homes where people were able to afford the latest electronic gadgets but were on the medicaid rolls. That's a lack of priorities.

I'm all about spirited debate. I'm all about trying to look at things from several angles (i.e. your example that perhaps this man had a prepaid cell phone, etc.). I know that there are a lot of people out there doing the right thingst that, nevertheless, are still hurting and I believe wholeheartedly these people deserve the support of our society. I also, however, have my eyes wide open to the fact that there are many, many people out there that are gaming the systems we have created or are just plain making bad choices (and I don't mean one bad choice, I mean bad choices over and over again). I would encourange you to open your eyes to that as broadly as you have your eyes opened to the fact (yes I said fact) that there are some enourmosly wealthy people in this world that have gotten that way through abusing others. Both sides of the discussion have merit.

Posted by: superdave10

November 30, 2012 at 12:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"As an example, I have a cousin who has some sort of back injury and has been trying to apply for disability. He doesn't, however, seem to have any trouble mowing his own grass or helping someone with car repairs. He also doesn't seem to have trouble sitting in a chair the vast part of the day."
NOTE: He is trying to get disability but hasn't got it yet. Many if not most applicants are turned down.
Also, what sort of work has he done in the past? Is he qualified for office work?
Do you know the nature of his back injury? I knew a man who had been a house painter, who carried heavy cans of paint, and periodically has had incapacitating back pain (can't get up and can't control bowels). But then it goes away for a time.
My point, superdave, is that you tend to jump to conclusions on the basis of insufficient evidence.
Re your experience as a paramedic: what do you consider "the latest electronic gadgets"?

Posted by: Coralie

November 30, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie, I fear that I am agreeing with you more and more, but that can't control bowels comment I'm having trouble visualizing.

Posted by: JailBird

November 30, 2012 at 5:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sorry, Moneymyst, I can't help you with the details.
Why do you need to visualize medical problems?

Posted by: Coralie

December 1, 2012 at 12:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Well, I hate to confess this, but I had a problem once mistaking exlax for chocolate and if his problem is anything like what I had; well God help him and it is a disability.

Posted by: JailBird

December 1, 2012 at 4:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "I had a problem once mistaking exlax for chocolate"
If your posts are any indication, you haven't entirely recovered from the dose.

Posted by: AlphaCat

December 1, 2012 at 9:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Could we get back to an adult discussion?.

Posted by: Coralie

December 2, 2012 at 3:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Thats asking an lot, the only adult disussion I was ever in was in eighth grade when we streached baloons around clothespins.

Posted by: JailBird

December 2, 2012 at 8:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie - I'm not entirely sure the exact type of work he did before. It really doesn't matter, does it? Is he qualified for office work? I don't know, but if he's not "qualified" I would think that he could qualify for grants to go back to school considering he is unemployed.

The latest electronic gadgets would include iPhones, Playstations, X-Boxes, Wi's, flat panel TVs (this was 10 years ago), the latest PC's.

Just because you don't agree with me doesn't mean I am "jumping to conclusions" and just because I haven't written 30 pages doesn't mean I have "insufficient evidence". I fail to see why some of the contributors in this space are so unwillingly to acknowledge that there are people out there gaming the systems that are meant to help those who really need it.

Posted by: superdave10

December 3, 2012 at 11:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Oh, I am sure there are people gaming the system at the lowest levels just as they are at the highest levels of Enron, Wall Street, etc. and everywhere in between.
What I object to is the generalizing that goes on which gives the impression that almost everybody who is receiving any kind of assistance is undeserving of it.
The biggest group that are beneficiaries of Medicaid are children.
"Medicaid covers 60 million low-income people, including 29.5 million children, 15.2 million adults, 8.2 million people with disabilities, and 6.1 million seniors."
http://www.results.org/issues/us_pove...
Now I don't have any of the gadgets you mention, and not in the market for them either, but I gather that Playstations and X-boxes cost about $200-250. That doesn't seem too out of line for a family with several children.
iphones are a different story. They seem to be quite a bit pricier. I was recently visiting in a doctor's home where a two-year-old child was allowed to play with an iphone as a toy. Kind of shocked me.

Posted by: Coralie

December 3, 2012 at 4:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie said: [The biggest group that are beneficiaries of Medicaid are children.
"Medicaid covers 60 million low-income people, including 29.5 million children, 15.2 million adults, 8.2 million people with disabilities, and 6.1 million seniors."
http://www.results.org/issues/us_pove...
Now I don't have any of the gadgets you mention, and not in the market for them either, but I gather that Playstations and X-boxes cost about $200-250. That doesn't seem too out of line for a family with several children.]

Thank you for making my point about priorities. When buying a "gadget" for you kids is more important than providing them with healthcare (or food or other "less expensive than healthcare" items), that's a lack of priorities.

Posted by: superdave10

December 4, 2012 at 9:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

One visit to the Dr. can cost $200 or more. One medical test can easily cost far more.
I'm assuming that most kids have those playstations or X-boxes. (My grandsons are grown men but not yet married so I don't have grreat-grandchildren to do research on.)
I don't particularly care for kids playing videogames but my general impression is that a great many kids do it, especially boys.
Are you saying that poor kids should not have them?

Posted by: Coralie

December 4, 2012 at 2:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is it just me or does owning a cell phone or not seem like a pretty weak argument for whether or not someone may be "gaming the system" so to speak? Modern cellular phones, even the smartphones with big touchscreens and games and widgets out the wazoo, are practically a dime a dozen these days. If you go to pretty much any wireless provider and agree to pay your bill every month for two years (sometimes less) they'll let you have your pick of pretty much anything over a year or so old for free or very very cheap.
Owning a cell phone for some is the only way for them to communicate with the rest of the world, considering many use them in lieu of a land-line, as well as being a lifeline for those in need of emergency services (which, by the way, always ring through, regardless of the phone being in service or not). Many homeless people may use one obtained with (an extremely tiny amount of) goverment assistance solely for that purpose. Ever wonder where your old cell phone ends up when you drop it in the recycling boxes you used to see around? Those are the phones that end up being provided with the assistance program, not exactly bleeding edge technology folks. Being connected is hardly a sole indicator of affluence these days.

Posted by: Rwiseman

December 4, 2012 at 5:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What is the maximum amount that a poor family should pay for playthings for their kids?
Would that include a bicycle?
When I was a kid in the Depression, only one kid in the neighborhood had a bike, and that was a 13-year-old boy who had a paper route.
A relative of my parent's generation (born before WWI) told this story about when he was 5 or 6 years old, living in rural Arkansas.
On Christmas Day, his mother threw him an orange, saying, "Merry Christmas, Son. There ain't no Santa Claus."

Posted by: Coralie

December 4, 2012 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The women got together and made dolls out of scrap fabric. The men made doll beds, cars, trains out of wood. Then they went out in the winter, cut down a small ceder and used paper, popcorn, and thread to decorate it. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Posted by: JailBird

December 10, 2012 at 7:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Well this is all very nice. ,I grew up in the Depression, myself.
Were the people who made their own toys working full-time at minimum wage jobs, or maybe working two jobs?
Of course if you live in the city you may not be able to find a cedar to cut down without a long drive--if you own a car.
I also remember that when I was 10 or 12, this dying woman who lived in a neighboring apartment gave a bunch of her clothes to my mother who used them to make dresses for me.
My mother was an excellent seamstress, but the new dresses didn't look quite like what the other girls were wearing those days, and a few girls made fun of me.
I ask again, SuperDave and others, what's the maximum that a poor family should pay for their kids' Christmas toys?
What exactly were all those expensive gadgets that he saw in the homes he visited as an EMT?

Posted by: Coralie

December 10, 2012 at 1:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie, because of Obama, you may be one of the few who get to live through two Great Depressions. City of Fayetteville has all these little trees planted in the middle of highways, could just cut one of those down and call it a cedar. Kids wouldn't know the difference. My parents were poor, too, one Christmas all I got a part of a garden hose and a rusty gas can. I went into the oil business. Learned a lot about life.

Posted by: JailBird

December 10, 2012 at 2:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"because of Obama"
Are you seriously trying to say that this Recession began under Obama?
That GW/Cheney started two unfunded wars and the Republicans pushed through an unfunded Medicare Drug Benefit, and yet there was no effect on the economy?
**
I think there is a lot about life--and logic--that you haven't learned yet.

Posted by: Coralie

December 11, 2012 at 1:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Here's a thought....stop having children if you are too poor to provide for them!

There is no maximun amount. The question is, are you going to buy a toy for your kids (or yourself) and rely on the taxpayers to provide your meals for you? As long as we are willing to accept this behavior, there will never be any desire to rise out of poverty.

Posted by: superdave10

December 11, 2012 at 1:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

People on food stamps should not buy ANY toys for their kids?
What exactly are you saying, superdave?
Have you considered this scenario:
Somebody wasn't too poor to provide for their kids when they had them but somebody lost his/her job later in a recession with high unemployment rates?
Maybe that applies to at least some of the people you scorn.

Posted by: Coralie

December 11, 2012 at 1:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Poor people should be neutered or gassed".....A. Hitler

Posted by: JailBird

December 11, 2012 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Assuming Hitler said those words, what's your point in quoting him, Moneymyst?

Posted by: Coralie

December 11, 2012 at 4:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I get aggravated when I see young couples with more children than they can support without a large amount of outside assistance. You see it a lot in the military. In America today, folks know where babies come from. I'm not saying the poor shouldn't have kids, but a certain amount of personal responsibility goes a long way in most cases.

Posted by: Tankersley101

December 11, 2012 at 5:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Well, I could have quoted Gen. George Armstrong Custer who said that Indian villages should be wiped out, women, children, horsed, dogs, fleas, and all. At least Hitler was more humane.

Posted by: JailBird

December 11, 2012 at 8:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank you speak of "young couples with more children than they can support without a large amount of outside assistance. You see it a lot in the military."
Do you mean military families?

Posted by: Coralie

December 12, 2012 at 12:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lack of condems or pills.

Posted by: JailBird

December 12, 2012 at 8:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie,

Yes, I see a lot folks that have more kids than they can afford. I know people don't always have a choice and everyone is subject to circumstances, but we live in a modern world where we know where babies come from as well.

Posted by: Tankersley101

December 13, 2012 at 6:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )