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Old 11-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
TonyR
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Default Poverty in America Is Mainstream

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Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty, misconceptions that distort both our politics and our domestic policy making.

They include the notion that poverty affects a relatively small number of Americans, that the poor are impoverished for years at a time, that most of those in poverty live in inner cities, that too much welfare assistance is provided and that poverty is ultimately a result of not working hard enough. Although pervasive, each assumption is flat-out wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, the percentage of the population that directly encounters poverty is exceedingly high. My research indicates that nearly 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period ($23,492 for a family of four), and 54 percent will spend a year in poverty or near poverty (below 150 percent of the poverty line).

Even more astounding, if we add in related conditions like welfare use, near-poverty and unemployment, four out of five Americans will encounter one or more of these events.

In addition, half of all American children will at some point during their childhood reside in a household that uses food stamps for a period of time.

Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans. For most of us, the question is not whether we will experience poverty, but when.
Read the rest here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...instream/?_r=0
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Thank you Walmart for employing 1% of the US population.

But not for long, I did notice that Walmart in investing in automated check-out systems so it can radically reduce its need for cashiers. Yes, we really need to eliminate these poverty level jobs and get the poor souls off food stamps and on unemployment and welfare where they belong.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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Interested to hear whether or not you read the article, Pony. Because it shoots holes in a lot of the myths you and several other "right leaning" people perpetuate here. I'm surprised by the lack of reaction and commentary.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Income is a dumb way to try to quantify poverty. As was alluded to in another thread, are retired NFL players 'unemployed' or in 'poverty' just because they're not working?

But the food stamp trend is troubling. Part of it is economic, but a big untalked about part is cultural.

Stigma was part and parcel of the food stamp program only a decade or two ago. Growing up, had my family ever been eligible (quite possible) we would've probably starved before applying. Maybe exaggerating. Slightly.

Anyway, accepting public welfare is much less frowned upon than it used to be. Plus the electronic food stamp cards make it a lot less tell-tale and intrusive.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Income is a dumb way to try to quantify poverty. As was alluded to in another thread, are retired NFL players 'unemployed' or in 'poverty' just because they're not working?
Fair point, understood. But, I'd bet that a vast majority of people are pushed into something at least approximating "poverty" when they lose their employment since a vast majority of people need regular income to pay their bills. In other words, most people live paycheck to paycheck, or close to it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #7
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Hopefully, another state will legalize gay marriage.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thank you Walmart for employing 1% of the US population.

But not for long, I did notice that Walmart in investing in automated check-out systems so it can radically reduce its need for cashiers. Yes, we really need to eliminate these poverty level jobs and get the poor souls off food stamps and on unemployment and welfare where they belong.
You do realize that a chunk of walmart's workforce is put on public assistance due to walmarts benefits policies, right?

Not to mention the subsidies that walmart receives FOR business. I don't know if the ROI is worth shopping at walmart.

Last edited by alkemical; 11-06-2013 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
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Forbes Richest Top Ten in America
Rank Name Net Worth Age Residence Source
1 Bill Gates
$72 B 58 Medina, Washington Microsoft
2 Warren Buffett
$58.5 B 83 Omaha, Nebraska Berkshire Hathaway
3 Larry Ellison
$41 B 69 Woodside, California Oracle
4 Charles Koch
$36 B 78 Wichita, Kansas diversified
4 David Koch
$36 B 73 New York, New York diversified
6 Christy Walton & family
$35.4 B 58 Jackson, Wyoming Wal-Mart
7 Jim Walton
$33.8 B 65 Bentonville, Arkansas Wal-Mart
8 Alice Walton
$33.5 B 64 Fort Worth, Texas Wal-Mart
9 S. Robson Walton
$33.3 B 69 Bentonville, Arkansas Wal-Mart
10 Michael Bloomberg
$31 B 71 New York, New York Bloomberg LP
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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You do realize that a chunk of walmart's workforce is put on public assistance due to walmarts benefits policies, right?

Not to mention the subsidies that walmart receives FOR business. I don't know if the ROI is worth shopping at walmart.
How about vending machines? Are they worth the ROI?

The quest for artificially high wages is ultimately counterproductive.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #11
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How about vending machines? Are they worth the ROI?

The quest for artificially high wages is ultimately counterproductive.
The problem is your definition of "artifically high" seems to be "enough to make a decent living for an honest day's work".

Wal-Mart abuses the social safety net to boost profits. The only way they can continue to operate the way they do is because the public picks up their slack. Without that, they'd have to actually pay a decent wage.

Of course, at this point you'll probably responds "SEE, public assistance is a horrible thing!" or some such nonsense, which misses the point entirely.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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The problem is your definition of "artifically high" seems to be "enough to make a decent living for an honest day's work".

Wal-Mart abuses the social safety net to boost profits. The only way they can continue to operate the way they do is because the public picks up their slack. Without that, they'd have to actually pay a decent wage.

Of course, at this point you'll probably responds "SEE, public assistance is a horrible thing!" or some such nonsense, which misses the point entirely.
No, the point is either the glass is half empty or it's half full.

What's better... an employed checker making enough to cover at least some of their needs.

Or an unemployed checker replaced by a machine and who has no real marketable non-automatible skills while sitting at home and relying completely on public assistance?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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Wal-Mart: where you go to buy a $3 widget for $2.75 because you're to dimwitted to understand you're paying an additional $.50 to in taxes on "discounted" that item to support the workers on the public dole.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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No, the point is either the glass is half empty or it's half full.

What's better... an employed checker making enough to cover at least some of their needs.

Or an unemployed checker replaced by a machine and who has no real marketable non-automatible skills while sitting at home and relying completely on public assistance?
You're attempting to conflate technological progress with abuse of the social safety net. They are not the same thing.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Wal-Mart: where you go to buy a $3 widget for $2.75 because you're to dimwitted to understand you're paying an additional $.50 to in taxes on "discounted" that item to support the workers on the public dole.
So if I underpay them, I owe extra. If I fire them and put in a robot, I'm a hero.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #16
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So if I underpay them, I owe extra. If I fire them and put in a robot, I'm a hero.
Ahh, being obtuse as usual I see.

Wal-Mart has employees that they currently actually need, but don't pay them what it would take for them to stay with Wal-Mart. Instead they rely on public subsidy to provide the difference in compensation.

This is nothing like the situation where an entire job description is simply no longer needed.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #17
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How about vending machines? Are they worth the ROI?

The quest for artificially high wages is ultimately counterproductive.
Which has what to do with subsiding walmart and putting people on tax payers dimes?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #18
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Which has what to do with subsiding walmart and putting people on tax payers dimes?
Nothing, and BB knows it. He just likes to be obtuse. Or he really is that vapid. Not really sure TBH.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:48 PM   #19
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Nothing, and BB knows it. He just likes to be obtuse. Or he really is that vapid. Not really sure TBH.
I wish my business would get subsidies and then i could put my employees on welfare due to the fact they don't make enough. It would keep my bottom line FAT!
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:51 PM   #20
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Alice Walton’s primary philanthropic activity is as a board member of the Walton Family Foundation. She has been active on the Board of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock and the Board of Advisors for the University of Arkansas Graduate Business School at Fayetteville.
In 1996, the University of Arkansas established the Alice L. Walton Chair in Finance, allowing the university, through its College of Business Administration, to pursue educational excellence on a national and international level. Walton's vision led to the creation of Camp War Eagle, a Christian summer camp in Northwest Arkansas that brings together children of differing socio-economic backgrounds.

I would rather people like Alice pay for our art museums instead of taxpayers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1081448.html
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The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is regarded as the nation's most important new art museum in a generation, offering the type of exhibits more commonly found in New York or Los Angeles.

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Old 11-06-2013, 03:53 PM   #21
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Ahh, being obtuse as usual I see.

Wal-Mart has employees that they currently actually need, but don't pay them what it would take for them to stay with Wal-Mart. Instead they rely on public subsidy to provide the difference in compensation.

This is nothing like the situation where an entire job description is simply no longer needed.
What you don't realize is that it's often a sliding scale and involves a cost/benefit analysis.

If you passed a law tomorrow saying checkers had to make $25 an hour, Walmart would suddenly "not need" virtually all of them. And that's obviously not because the technology didn't already exist to replace them.

Automation isn't free. It has its own headaches. But the more artificially expensive you make the human alternative, the more attractive automation becomes.

And you'd look at the 2 or 3 checkers left behind making $25 an hour and say "Hey that's great!" Meanwhile, you don't sweat the 50 that got sent home permanently to effectively become wards of the state.

Last edited by BroncoBeavis; 11-06-2013 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #22
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Nothing, and BB knows it. He just likes to be obtuse. Or he really is that vapid. Not really sure TBH.
Why do you think I've stopped arguing with him? He brings absolutely nothing to the table except what you just described. He hasn't engaged in a single honest argument, nor has he answered a single direct question since he started posting here.

Example:

"Beavis, boxers or briefs?"

"Well, if you want to talk about underwear, you should consider how much crotch sweat the average American excretes in a day. Of course you wouldn't know because liberals are a bunch of bra-burners."

"WTF?"
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:58 PM   #23
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Alice Walton’s primary philanthropic activity is as a board member of the Walton Family Foundation. She has been active on the Board of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock and the Board of Advisors for the University of Arkansas Graduate Business School at Fayetteville.
In 1996, the University of Arkansas established the Alice L. Walton Chair in Finance, allowing the university, through its College of Business Administration, to pursue educational excellence on a national and international level. Walton's vision led to the creation of Camp War Eagle, a Christian summer camp in Northwest Arkansas that brings together children of differing socio-economic backgrounds.

I would rather people like Alice pay for our art museums instead of taxpayers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1081448.html



A lot more good could be done if she got her family company to pay its employees fairly. Less taxes, fewer people on public assistance. The only party "hurt" would be her.

I would rather people like Alice first make their money honestly rather than try to assuage their guilt with pet projects.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #24
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A lot more good could be done if she got her family company to pay its employees fairly. Less taxes, fewer people on public assistance. The only party "hurt" would be her.

I would rather people like Alice first make their money honestly rather than try to assuage their guilt with pet projects.
Yeah, and for every dollar she and her family drop into "pet projects" like these, they drop $10 into projects like trying to destroy the public education system and prop up hate groups like the Family Research Council.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #25
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A lot more good could be done if she got her family company to pay its employees fairly. Less taxes, fewer people on public assistance. The only party "hurt" would be her.

I would rather people like Alice first make their money honestly rather than try to assuage their guilt with pet projects.
Pet projects they put their name on and get tax write-offs for.
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