Disclaimer: Not addressing the hard working poor who are trying to better lives for their families; the underemployed; the unemployed; the needy elderly; the physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically handicapped who CAN'T help themselves; and, those who fell temporarily upon hard times due to downsizing and lay offs. I am addressing those poor who WANT to be poor and simply DO NOT care. In other words, I am addressing those who view poverty is an acceptable and viable lifestyle yet want others to feel sorry for and take care of them.
To all CONSERVATIVES, out there, do YOU believe that many poor people are poor because of their innate sociocultural and psychosocial conditioning? Do YOU further believe that many poor people refuse to help themselves to live better? Do YOU also believe that many poor people live in the moment instead of considering the effects of their actions on their children and community? Do YOU further believe that many poor people want to be rescued, not believing in the concepts of being accountable and responsible for their actions? Let's hear the CONSERVATIVE viewpoint regarding this topic.
I wonder just how many people actually fall into this category!
I suspect that it is a totally insignificant number.
I suspect that it's a significant number.
Admittedly it was more than a few years ago but two guys, by the names of Coates and Silburn, did extensive research into this question and concluded that less than 1% of the unemployed actually wanted to be unemployed.
I'd call that insignificant.
I'd have to question that for a couple of reasons.
First, I don't think you would find many people admitting to not wanting to support themselves, to live off of charity, whether it was true or not.
Secondly, it is primarily the last couple of decades that have seen such a rise in the welfare state. It has become far more accepted to accept charity than it ever was in the past. Studies from years past won't mean much today, when one out of seven Americans use food stamps.
Admittedly if you asked somebody outright if they wanted to work or not you wouldn't always get a truthful answer but there are ways of questioning that will, for most of the time, uncover the truth. And that doesn't involve water-boarding!
The poor have always been with us, along with the condemnation of their "idleness" and desire not to work. In the last couple of decades we have also seen governments abandoning full employment as a goal and embracing mass unemployment instead.
I don't believe the character of the people has fundamentally changed in a couple of decades.
I do. Believe that it has changed, that is.
People used to try and "hide" their food stamps when in the grocery line; now they seem to be a badge of accomplishment. "See what I worked the system for!". People used to be ashamed not to work, to live off of welfare. Now it's all about how to get more from the system. Take a look at Webanswers dot com; post after post asking how to get more or how to cheat the system. Partially disabled people did what they could to support themselves - now they hire a lawyer to get them full disability SS payments each month while sitting at home.
Yes, there has been a change. It's as much about how to work the system as it is about how good a job one has. Both now carry their own brand of pride rather than the one carrying some shame with it.
But there has also been a change in the system. At one time work was available, often for life.
Now there is not enough work to go round, 77 people for every vacancy in an area near me.
Gone are the days when you worked a guaranteed forty hour week, now you are more likely to get a zero hour contract, which can pay you as little as zero per week but prevent you from looking elsewhere.
In the UK we had until recently a government run series of workshops guaranteeing employment for the disabled, unfortunately the government looked at cost of money rather than cost of dependence so the work shops went throwing the employed back on welfare, but you would have it that it is the disabled that have changed rather than the system.
When people have no other hope then they will seize on the only hope they have and if that is welfare payments, so be it.
Absolutely there has been a change in the system; we've decided that everyone needs lots of luxuries to survive and will provide those luxuries FOR them if they don't want to earn it themselves. The charity system called welfare has increased in size beyond any bounds ever contemplated as more and more people demand money from it.
In the great depression we saw people selling apples on street corners here. People mowed lawns or chopped wood for a meal. They fished a nearby river or lake. They did whatever it took to feed their family.
No longer - the system has changed and now you just fill out some papers to get meals paid for with someone else's labor. It is indeed a different system than it was and a different system that what was intended by well meaning people that started the whole welfare idea.
(Article in my local paper last week: a job fair featuring 1800 new jobs from a new call center going in had 400 people attend. No one wants to work in a nasty call center - better to stay on welfare)
No, the major change in the system is the decision to abandon the hope of full employment. The desire for more luxuries is a by-product of the capitalist drive to make more money, as is the drive to do it employing fewer people.
Now if you want to earn money chopping firewood or selling apples on a street corner you can be sure there is some corporate sponsored legislation preventing you from so doing.
As for your job featuring 1800 jobs I can't comment on that without knowing the full details. Were they demanding too high qualifications or uncommon ones? Were they offering zero hour contracts? Do they have a very bad rep as employers?
Outside of a few short periods (primarily the war effort years) there has NEVER been a hope of "full employment". There have ALWAYS been the unemployed.
The difference now is that we feed them instead of encouraging them to forage work for themselves. So where people didn't used to stay unemployed long, there is no big reason to work hard at finding work anymore. The government dole is always there, ready to "help out" by buying votes through charity.
And that can be seen in the job listing. I don't know much about it (been away for a week and the article just said a "call center") but it doesn't matter. There are thousands in my area on unemployment - why weren't they applying, qualified or not, whether they like the work or not and whether the employer has a bad rep or not? Because the government will support them, that's why! There is no need to take such demeaning work, no need to work for a bad boss, no need to learn another skill - Uncle Sam will keep those unemployment checks coming in and when they DO finally stop there is always welfare.
No, until the mid to late 1970s both our governments aspired to full employment, and actually achieved it for most of the time. Of course there have always been the unemployed, they've consisted of the sick, the old and those between jobs but generally there was enough employment for everybody who wanted it.
That is no longer the case.
Governments don't help out, they keep the unemployed oppressed, too fed on starchy rubbish to get up off their backsides and demand that the government do something about mass unemployment beyond papering over the cracks.
All your thoughts about the call centre jobs are purely your prejudice and bias showing through, you have no more idea about why they had so few job applications than I do, I I haven't the faintest.
Using one example to condemn all the unemployed is bad.
People don't apply for a job they don't have the skill for because they don't want to be fired in a week and have a black mark on their resume?! SHOCKING!!
So miners couldn't do anything else then John?
Or were they to good to work in shops, or as cleaners or security guards etc. etc.?
Yes sure some of the highest paid hardest workers should take to cleaning work- oh except their wives were already cleaning and there were already plenty of minimum wage security guards.
Don't forget that because everybody else in their community was unemployed the demand for shop workers was pretty low.
John a cant do attitude leads to a welfare dependency, and obviously the miners thought they were better than anyone else then.
I have changed my career 3 times in 40yrs I have been out of work a total of 6 weeks in that time, I know it can be done.
Only three times!
Just because you can do something does not mean that everybody else is in the same position, subject to the same circumstances and has all the same opportunities open to them.
To think that they do shows a distinct lack of imagination.
Well John they could if they didn't rely on the benefits system the way they do.
The lack of imagination is on the part of those who think their jobs/careers will last forever.
As I said, anybody who thinks everybody is in the same situation with all the same opportunities is sadly lacking in imagination.
So all miners lacked imagination then.
Would they have tried harder if there benefit stopped after a year? Would they try to change their career or outlook then?
Those who didn't see the opportunities elsewhere lacked imagination. Mind you non of them starved when they lost their jobs did they, so maybe they were better off unemployed then on strike.
Plenty of miners retrained, many moved out of the mining areas, only those who thought they were owed something did nothing to improve their lot.
Oh fount of all wisdom how can I argue with you when you have obviously met and spoken in depth to every unemployed person.
Of course I haven't spoken to every unemployed person John but then I will assume you haven't either.
Not all unemployed want to work, all for different reasons as well. But to blame anyone else except those who it involves is a total misnomer.
No, I haven't spoken to every unemployed worker which is why I am not prepared to lump them all together - as I've said many times the number who genuinely don't want to work is insignificant.
Don't include those who claim not to want to work to avoid having to admit that they can't find a job and face up to the humiliation of being unwanted.
How do you know it is insignificant? You have quoted a source that you have explained away as old. Please provide a source for your statement.
Some live to work, some work to live, some work to better themselves and some will never better themselves.
Work is not always about enjoyment its about feeding yourself or family, paying your way in life.
I do concede not everyone will find a job but that shouldn't stop people trying to get one whether you feel unwanted or not.
And how many have stopped trying to find a job? Real figures, not gut feeling.
I don't know John, do you? Maybe you should have a look at the long term unemployed figures, i'm sure you could find them on the ONS website.
If you believe there are no shirkers then so be it.
Don't forget some of those who receive welfare don't appear in the unemployment figures anyway, like single mums with no job, but I bet you don't believe there are any of them either.
I'm sure those who do work (e.g. me) would rather not do so, as well. But it's obviously a necessary thing, and so the discriminating factor is no longer the willingness to work, but the ability to procure work.
That is the thing isn't it? I've been blessed with work I enjoy doing - enjoy to the extent where a lot of the time I would do it without pay if I had to.
Compare that with somebody who has to spend their life doing some mind numbing job with no satisfaction and no financial reward..
To interject, totally in agreement with you, Silverspeeder. There are those who would rather make excuses and adopt a CAN'T attitude than to do what YOU'VE done. A resounding applause and accolades to those who DO and SUCCEED, especially in this precarious economy.
There are those who are GENERATIONALLY impoverished because they make excuses ad infinitum and have a victim philosophy, mentality, and consciousness that someone should rescue them and lift them out of poverty.
Again, it does not work that way at all! I know if I was poor, I would work. What ever happened to the concept of pulling oneself up and depending upon self? I WOULD NEVER depend upon any type of assistance, that is totally demeaning and would take away dignity from and ownership of my life! To me, handouts denotes laziness and utter lack of pride.
That was over thirty years ago John and attitudes have certainly changed in that time. Especially in a country that will suckle from cradle to the grave.
Suckle from cradle to grave! Another of your jokes I presume?
No John it's not.
There are people in the UK who have never had a job, never likely to have a job, never want a job and don't see why they should have a job. They don't ever starve to death.
It's not easy to live on benefits but its not hard either especially when it been a way of life for that person since they were born and until they die.
Not every benefit claimant wants to work John.
Try telling that to miners who were cast on the scrap heap by Thatcher but have been unable to find employment ever since.
Sorry John they had work, they are entitled to what benefits they get. We were talking about people who didn't want to work ever.
Now if you want to talk about the miners I have a few thoughts on that as well. Bet they won't be the same as yours.
But they are amongst the unemployed, as are their sons who might reasonably have expected to follow their fathers, but now can follow them no further than the dole queue.
Are you saying the only jobs the sons could do was down the pit? Why didn't they move to area's where there was work? People come from all over the world to work here but the sons of miners can't move from Derbyshire to Essex to get a job! Maybe their dependence on benefits has stopped them from becoming mobile.
Before the age of the nanny state people travelled the length and breadth of the country looking for work, I know my family did, so what's changed? Is the fact the safety net has become the cushion of comfort?
Or maybe that there is not too much mining in the Essex area, the cost of accommodation in the south is prohibitive and so is the cost of getting there.
There is always an excuse isn't there John.
I personally travelled from Birmingham to Oxford everyday for a year when I couldn't find suitable work in my city, it wasn't the first time I travelled and it won't be the last.
I was around when the miners were striking John and yes things were bad but people still found jobs afterwards, some moved, some didn't but not all of those who never worked again was because they couldn't find a job. Most of their poverty was caused by being on strike for so long. A couple of years without money does that to you. It's funny how the union leaders who pushed them hard didn't go without though wasn't it!
Yes, I wish every single miner had upped sticks and moved to Essex. Might have made a few southerners realise what the cost of their success really was.
Cost of southerners success! Says it all really doesn't it.
Miners were no different to anyone else, they were not a special case, their industry was dying and they still decided to take Thatcher on, they thought they could bring the country to a standstill. Of course it had nothing to do with the miners really it was all bout political posturing by the unions and the government. How many union leaders or politicians lost their jobs over the miners strikes?
But they were a special case - considered worthy of being cast aside to prove Thatchers "greatness". She would never have treated the bankers or the accountants in such a way.
Maybe we need another Thatcher to sort the bankers out then.
Were they a special case because they brought the country to a halt in the 1974 strike?
I think they underestimated the mood of the nation and tried once again to bring about a halt to the country.
Still I blame the union leaders and the government, both must share the responsibility as neither side wanted to give in.
I think after that strike there was a decline in union membership and because Thatcher was perceived the winner she won another election.
Thatcher has been done to death on many threads, I don't think another thread needs dedicating to her, especially as it will resort to "no she didn't" "yes she did" and how it was all the fault of the Unions, who incidentally had far more supporters than Thatcher did!
But the unions didn't win the election did they John!
Maybe we should do a thread about union leaders then John?
What has that got to do with anything?
Start a thread on Union leaders then if you like.
If you read my post properly John I didn't say it was all the fault of the unions and what's the miners got to do with unemployment now, they have had 30yrs to find a job.
Oh I see, what you are inferring is a miner is only good enough to be a miner. Are you saying no miners found jobs because that's all they were good for?
I am pretty sure some of them found jobs, in actual fact I have worked with a few ex miners and it wasn't down a mine.
The entire 1% must live where I live, because I see it every single day. I don't buy it one bit.
What is poor?
Here in the west we have a totally different concept of poor than day in the third world, tone poor in London or New York is totally different than to be poor in Lagos or Calcutta.
There are definitely some who are caught in the poverty trap because that's where they want to be, all things considered most people who are poor would like a way out of it, many dream of wining the lottery or getting fantastic jobs but there are still some and I have to agree with John Holden here that they are a small percentage, that will see the easy way as the right way.
Now if you are talking about poverty in the third world then I will disagree, there is no way for these people to get out of the situation they are in, the opportunity that is presented to them is non exsistant.
Western governments still don't understand this and will simply increase aid to third world hoping a little trickles through to those who need it, it doesn't work of course and will never work.
I still think the same applies in the west too, throwing money at poor people doesn't aliviate the problems of the poor it simply increases them.
"If you give a man a fish, he will have a single meal. If you teach him how to fish, he will eat all his life."
Silver, I very largely agree with what you say, except you seem to misunderstand the purpose of foreign aid which is to boost our economy rather than that of the recipient.
Likewise,here in the west we have no real desire to alleviate poverty, just stop them rioting.
I know John, the amount of foreign aid that comes back to use through weapons manufacturers and luxury item makers is massive.
I suppose this shows foreign aid doesn't work in its current form.
I read a report about the aid we used to give to India, it fascinated me to think that some was used to send the children of politicians to private schools in the UK and yet the UK government continued to tell the electorate that it was used to educate the masses in India. Madness really!
Excuses or not...this nation has spent over 15 Trillion dollars in the war on poverty since LBJ declared it and there is a larger percentage of people in it now that were then. Either money is not the answer or the money never got to the right place. The thing about it is that someone needs to ask before we continue to just blindly keep writing checks for the future with money that we do not have.
What's 15 trillion dollars among friends?
Compassion + Blind Spending = Waste
Welfare as we know it presently is killing America. This welfare system is the reason why many poor people do not want to better themselves, the decay and hellish conditions of the inner ciities and poorer communities, and the increasing pathologies among those it affects. Yes, it is totally aberrant to the American work ethic. There are many in the underclass who feel that work is for fools and suckers, they would rather live on the dole. Sad state of affairs indeed. I am THROUGH! Please continue with the discussion, it is NEEDED! God bless you Conservatives, really, you Conservatives have added a breath of fresh air and needed commonsense to this discussion. Again, God Bless!
There are people of different character types and limitations at all ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. So what?
Im a conservative. I feel that mankind in general makes excuses. Some are valid, some are not. Having a reason for being poor can simply be a cause and effect statement. (I am wondering why youre targeting conservatives with this question though.)
I'm probably a little late to be adding to this thread, but I just had to say that what matters isn't the common misguided belief that conservatives don't care about the poor. Conservatives believe in equal rights: equal low taxes for everyone, poor and rich. What matters is that the liberals, for political reasons, don't acknowledge the importance of the rich. That's the real problem. The wealthiest Americans make the jobs that stimulate the economy, so that everyone can have a fair shake. They also make up a minority of the population, and their votes count just as much as the votes by the far more abundant lower class. Why do you think the liberals are always trying to create this Robyn Hood image of themselves? Do you really think they're doing it because they care? It's for votes, plain and simple. They don't care if the wealthiest Americans don't vote for them, the wealthiest Americans are only a small minority. This practice is strictly political, and I can assure you it's not going to help the economy at all. Quite to the contrary, it could destroy this nation. A welfare recipient in this country today is allowed to bring in a small income while continuing to receive full government assistance. It's been figured that when corroborated with a part-time job, and food stamps, a welfare recipient can earn more income than a full-time employee earning $12/hr. This creates a genuine incentive for the poor to remain poor and let the government take care of them. What do you think these kind of incentives could do to our country? Conservatives are not for this. Even if it costs them votes, they stand against this kind of nation crippling political strategy. Can the poor make it in this nation without these incentives? I'm living proof that they can. I've been poor before. I've been so down in the dumps I wasn't sure if I'd see my next birthday. Guess what, I didn't blain the government for it, I blamed myself. I know I could be there again someday too if I don't take action. That's what conservatives are all about, giving people the freedom to do for themselves, to be in control of their own lives. And there's plenty of opportunities in the nation to take advantage of for anyone willing to do so, rich or poor.
Not that old myth again!
Consumers create jobs, the wealthy just profit off them.
- 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, totally disagree with the assessment. Wealthy people do create jobs. Everyone knows this.
I have to agree with gmwilliams. That's not to say there isn't some wealthy Americans who just lie back and enjoy their wealth, without doing anything else. There certainly are those types, but they're typically the ones who didn't earn their wealth. They're also the ones who aren't as deeply impacted when liberals propose unfair tax hikes on the rich. The workers are the ones that get hit the most by that. The ones who are out creating the all jobs in computers, automobiles, retail, restaurant, etc... These are not people we want to be driving out of our nation. They create piles of jobs, and we need them here. They also deserve to be treated fairly when it comes to taxes. Consumers, yes they keep jobs alive, but it's the wealthy that create most of them. What justice do we do this nation by overtaxing them? It's all political, and it will harm this nation severely if it continues.
If you open a restaurant the consumers are coming there to eat. They're not creating anything, they're simply providing the fuel for you to continue your business. If it's a good restaurant, and you get a lot of business, if you're a proactive business person you may decide to open more restaurants. If it's popularity continues, maybe you go nationwide. Guess what, you're now a wealthy person who's creating a lot of jobs. If it weren't for you this popular restaurant chain that consumers so adore, and that has opened the doors to so much new employment, wouldn't exist. I'm guessing you haven't done this, however, or you would probably get what I'm saying. It's funny too that you seem to be giving credit to the consumers. When do consumers spend the most? When they have jobs, like the ones your restaurant owner example would be creating, and when taxes are lower. This doesn't happen in a centralized government, this happens in a government that gives tax incentives to businesses, both big and small, and to consumers in general.
So consumer demand doesn't create anything!
If you say so!
You still haven't given me an example of anybody creating jobs with no demand for the product.
As for the rest, yes, that is why austerity is such a failure, just as implausible as trickle down.
Maybe that's because I have life outside of Hub Pages and didn't notice your other comment. My answer to that is pick up Forbes Magazine and read off pretty much any name on the list. Oh, Trickle Down was a failure, ah. I'm sure when Clinton broke the promise that got him elected in '92, and raised taxes on everyone earning $30,000 and above, screwing up the stock market and the sucking the wallets dry of every American consumer who had money in the 80's less intelligent people may have started thinking that, but when their wallets were thick during the Regan Administration they certainly weren't. Maybe Obamacare, raising health care premiums through the roof and making health insurance mandatory, lest you pay a stiff tax penalty to the government, will help consumers spend more. You think. And everyone's a consumer, rich and poor, so yes, if they're successful business owners they do create jobs. I believe I've already acknowledged that, but you're apparently too close-minded to have noticed.
Really? You said consumers were the one's that created jobs, and I said business owners are consumers. So tell me, John, how does that qualify as a disagreement? No John, I don't think trickle down was a failure. Nor do I think George W's tax cuts were a failure. Why are the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer? Well, Obama rolled back Bush's tax cuts on the upper 2% in 2012. Maybe you should ask him.
So how many jobs will one business owning consumer keep going?
The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer simply because trickle down does not work.
I'd like see you try to prove that. And as for your question, I have no idea what you're trying to ask.
I'd like to see you prove that trickle down does work!.
It was a simple question, sorry it was too complex for you to understand.
Sure, I'll give you evidence that it wasn't a failure. Since you obviously need to be reminded of everything I say, that's the only claim I made. You're the one who said it's responsible what you've alleged to be an increasing gap in wealth in this country. Oh, I'm sure your question was simple. It's the fact that you didn't write it properly that makes it impossible to answer. "How many jobs will one business owning consumer keep going?" You apparently want a number of jobs that keep going? I guess I didn't realize jobs went anywhere. Where do they go, (other than in the history books under the liberal platform)?
First off, we have a capitalist economy. Trickle down would be under a laissez-faire economy. Obviously then, since trickle down is not currently being exercised your claim that it's what's causing what you allege to be a increasing gap in wealth in this nation cannot be correct.
I'm sorry, I sometimes forget that we are two nations divided by a common language.
I didn't mean "keep going" as in disappearing but how many jobs will one business owning consumer support.
I'm still waiting to hear how trickle down is supposed to work.
You don't know how it works, but yet you credit it for what you allege to be a modern day wealth barrier? We're two nations? Disappearing? You don't need an explanation, you need a highly qualified therapist. You haven't listened or correctly quoted anything I've said. I've explained my side thoroughly. You want further evidence that the 80's were a successful decade watch Nat Geo's "the 80's: The Decade that made us." In case you need a history lesson, (as it sounds like you apparently do), that was the decade of the Reagan Administration, and the one decade when trickle down economics was attempted to put into action, at least by the executive branch. You'll find that Americans of all social classes had little to complain about financially under this administration. Taxes were lower, the economy was booming, and people were financially sound. I don't expect you to learn anything from it, however, If you're only goal is to get the government to take care of you with the hard earned tax dollars of other Americans. I'm through with you.
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