When there was very little or no welfare programs in America, people learned to be self-sufficient. They believed that if they wanted better, they worked & sacrificed. In essence, they depended upon themselves. They didn't expect handouts from the government. Then in the 1960s, there was the creation of the Great Society when welfare was created. As a result of the welfare system, there were people who viewed welfare as a lifestyle. They expected, even demanded that the government take care of their needs. What happened to the concept of pulling one's weight & paying one's way?
Yeah, the good ol' days. When kids went to work instead of school and senior citizens ate dog and to survive.
The good old days. When our SS was solvent, and not borrowed from to give out a handout to those that won't pull their weight. The good old days, when many had pride in making it on their own. The good old days when people realized if we don't have citizens and the 1% f the wealthy paying into support our government we can't pay anything... We have a diverse society, that's why we function so well.
I know what you're saying. When I was growing up, being on welfare was a huge badge of shame. People would take any job to avoid it. Being able to fix your own car, repair you own house and pay your way was an essential part of social acceptance. It seems yesterday's independence is being replaced by today's dependence. Too many times I hear people wanting the government to take care of them, pay their way. If things in their life isn't taken care of by someone else, they're victims. Too many victims today who can justify their bad behavior. I believe the days of being independent and free of the government are over. The government won't permit it. There have been many stories of people being fined and jailed because they were self-sufficient with technology and don't need the government's utilities. People have been put in jail for collecting rain water on THEIR property. I know hear the struggles of people who want to home-school their children and not send them to government schools.
So, dependence on the government that breeds control of of people by the government is increasing at an alarming rate.
Thank you, Mike. People through these socialistic social programs feel that the government OUGHT to give them a middle class lifestyle w/no effort on their part. You are right that welfare & assistance used to be shameful; now, people feel that they are ENTITLED. Yes, being independent & free of the government is becoming more difficult. The government is intruding in almost everything. We have to cut this, don't you agree?
Until our economic capitalist system started caring a LOT more about profits over people - healthcare in America used to be much more affordable.
For instance, in the 1920's you could go to a dentist and get your tooth pulled for a nickle. If your wife needed to give birth and you were poor; you could pay the doctor in trade - such as in something you craft, like shoes; or manual labor, etc.
Plus, the fees for such things weren't so outrageous like they are now. If you couldn't afford it - you could usually still manage to make your way.
Continuing to accuse people who cannot afford healthcare of being delinquent or irresponsible reveals an obvious ignorance and disconnect from the actual problem.
And really... hasn't this issue been discussed into the ground? Have you convinced anyone who doesn't agree with you? How can so many people be so tone deaf? Just insisting that you're erroneous perspective is right - doesn't make it so.
Went to a dentist last year because of a tooth I suspected needed pulled. Paid the dentist $100 to be sent to a specialist to see if a crown was possible.
Paid the specialist $100 to find out it wasn't, and be sent back to the dentist for an extraction.
Paid the dentist another $100 to be sent to a specialist in extractions as the dentist doesn't do them. Keep in mind that these dentists all know each other and work together with referrals.
On to the second specialist, who I paid $100 to pull the tooth.
So I paid $400 to have a tooth pulled...something that any dentist worth their shingle could have done in the first place for the $100 I paid the very first visit. And we wonder why health care is so expensive.
Needed an x-ray to check for lung cancer (no indications, just routine check). Ended up getting a CAT scan instead.
Needed a sonogram for the second year check on an abdominal aneurysm - just another check. Got another CAT scan instead, although the sonogram the first year was quite adequate.
And we wonder why health care is so expensive.
That's a good example of why medical tourism is booming. It's good to see other countries getting a needed boost to their economy but this isn't quite the way I'd prefer to see it happen.
I wonder if it has something to do with government becoming overly pervasive in people's lives? If they aren't given the latitude to make their own decisions and be independent, I imagine it will only cause motivations to decay more rapidly. Oligarchies have such a hold on the system that pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, while still possible, isn't likely to happen for most. That's not to mention the lack of transparency, spying, and all around hypocritical abuses of power threatening the very principles the country is meant to stand for. Trillions of tax dollars disappearing without so much as a poor explanation doesn't exactly rally the peasants to contribute. It's just my humble opinion, but I think we need to meet dystopian levels of authoritarianism with greater moves towards freedom, privacy, and reduction of government intrusions into American's daily lives. The real question is, who can lead the country away from the path of duplicating and ratcheting up the trespasses of our rivals and back towards the American dream (which I think there are strong arguments for being at it's peak prior to the turning point of the 60s)? I'll be cautiously optimistic for what 2020 has to offer.
Everything was great until the implementation of the Great Society in the mid-1960s where social programs & entitlements ESCALATED......
That was a little before my time and the country obviously had series problems with race and equality at the time (still has a long way to go), but I think you are right that the country had a compass set in the right direction. Now, it hardly seems to have direction other than draining the coffers while the getting is good. The big turning point in my lifetime was 9-11. People were understandably afraid and turned to government which exploited their fear as a means to increasing power and scope. It seems as a nation, there is still PTSD that needs to be treated. It will take an immense amount of work to regain the freedoms that have been lost and for people to begin to become more independent again.
" ...pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, while still possible, isn't likely to happen for most."
That may well be true. The question is why is it true? Because entitlements are so easy to get, and much easier than actually learning a skill and then finding a job and then working that job? Or because there are no jobs?
BINGO.....RIGHT ON TARGET...…….Since the entitlement, it is VERY EASY to be poor & have a comfortable lifestyle, I totally agree. To reiterate, when there were very little or no entitlements, people who were poor learned to make their way as they didn't want to be continuously poor. Or they did without which was a GOOD INCENTIVE for next generations to do BETTER. The entitlements KILLED what incentives there are to SOCIOECONOMIC improvement.
This article "America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People' summarizes (and book expands upon) what is happening much better than I could. However, in my experience traveling between the western world and the third world. I will say it looks an awful lot like we are moving towards, if not already arriving at, a world with a small percentage of elites ruling over a global low-wage workforce.
This article "America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People' https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspecti … ost-people summarizes (and book expands upon) what is happening much better than I could. However, in my experience traveling between the western world and the third world. I will say it looks an awful lot like we are moving towards, if not already arriving at, a world with a small percentage of elites ruling over a global low-wage workforce.
You can say that again. Oh wait.....you just did!
From your link: "The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector."
Median household income in the US is $61,000 per year. This is more than enough to provide what is needed to live one, and we see that. Few people don't have a comfortable home (homes have doubled in size in the past 50 years). Those that want it can own a car, and a much nicer car than 50 years ago. They enjoy luxuries from computers to smart phones to giant flat screen TV's.
So to complain that we are regressing to third world status just does not match the reality of our lives. To say that 80% of Americans are "low income" can only be true if that "low income" means comfort and luxury far beyond what we saw not long ago.
Your link complains of falling life expectancy, but never addresses the reasons for that - reasons such as drug and alcohol addiction which is a personal choice and growing. For those that do NOT participate in such activities life expectancy is rising, not falling.
Bottom line is that your link is extreme in giving only half the story and in it's definitions of what constitutes poverty.
"that - reasons such as drug and alcohol addiction which is a personal choice and growing. For those that do NOT participate in such activities life expectancy is rising, not falling."
But the question remains, why is that increase occurring in this society at this time to the point of affecting overall life expectancy?
Is this not a new phenomenon when everything is supposed to be getting better?
To say that 80% of Americans are "low income" can only be true if that "low income" means comfort and luxury far beyond what we saw not long ago.
The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.
Poverty Level for a family of 4 is $25,750 (2019). It was $25,100 (2018).
Low income for a family of 4 is $37,650 (2018).
https://aspe.hhs.gov/prior-hhs-poverty- … references
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ … evels.html
"The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount."
I understand that. With the "poverty level amount" rising faster than inflation, which in turn means that "poverty", or "low income" actually means having far more than even the middle class did in the past. Better homes, better transportation, better health care, better food, better and more toys - the whole gambit.
So it is a defined amount, disconnected from reality or the rest of the world. Saying that we are declining to the status of another third world country, while our standard of living continues to rise, doesn't make sense and can only be simple rhetoric, disconnected from reality.
It is clear that you find the article conflicts with your world view and personal experience. I hardly find it extreme though. I don't think it's any secret that many Americans don't feel included in the direction of the country. Having situations where people dedicate their lives to companies that outsource at the first opportunity, dodge taxes, and lobby for favorable legislation isn't going to help the country in terms of sustainability.
In many areas of the USA, a small family can live comfortably with $61,000 per year in income. In expensive areas, they could be living paycheck to paycheck. Of course where conditions are third-world and where they aren't depends on location too. Flint, Michigan and communities like it are facing what we'd usually view as third-world problems. Other communities are wealthy and those problems wouldn't last in them.
So, I guess there could be a disconnect if one is viewing American life from a place of privilege. If you are working for $9.45 an hour in Flint, third-world reality is in your face every day. I've also been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in third-world locations in Asia and it's been amazing to see how much things have developed in just one decade. There are certainly plenty of communities in the third-world that are better off than many communities in the USA.
"I will say it looks an awful lot like we are moving towards, if not already arriving at, a world with a small percentage of elites ruling over a global low-wage workforce"
Funny, that is the direction I see things moving in as well, the Capitalist class scouring the globe for ever cheaper labor cost combined with technological innovation. As a result, the future you speak of is not so hard to envision.
Has it ever been otherwise? Even those short term communist/socialist successes, always for the "good of the people" always quickly turned into that small percentage of elites ruling everyone else.
Capitalism has been by far the most successful system in the history of the world. Yes, there are always a few left behind, but far fewer than in any other system.
I find it really interesting that in our reckless form of capitalism, we outsourced and failed to protect the intellectual property of US businesses. Now that the country has finally realized that our brand of capitalism with few limitations has given rise to the most powerful communist regime in history, politicians are scrambling to deal with the fallout. I just hope that the globalized world can find a way to navigate through this minefield and end up more positive and free in the long run (hopefully not that long).
The people who advocate the free wheeling Capitalism will continue in their desire to consolidate as much wealth as possible and limit any possibility of being held accountable by anyone. That is frightening.
The people who advocate socialistic programs such as government supported healthcare, welfare programs, free college education, & other social amenities will continue to institute more socialistic programs which will decimate the middle class via taxation & increase poverty/dependency. THAT is frightening. Nothing is wrong w/freewheeling capitalism-it is the SURVIVAL of the FITTEST, Credence2!
To each, his or her own, so we can throw grandmother under the bus because she is not "the fittest"?
I don't trust Capitalism without adequate safeguards and controls far more than I fear encroaching Socialism. Does that make me Communist?
Politicians that share that sentiment will get my vote each and every time. And a time will come very soon when there will be more us than there are of "them".
"I don't trust Capitalism without adequate safeguards and controls far more than I fear encroaching Socialism. Does that make me Communist?"
No. But it does indicate that you are unable or unwilling to consider long term effects on a society or culture from ever increasing socialism. The tug on heart strings right now takes priority over future harm, no matter how bad it is. The "Venzuela's" (or Greece or any of half a dozen European countries) of socialism, with the entire population suffering greatly, are set aside and ignored in favor of helping granny in the moment.
Wilderness, outside of Obamacare, what has really changed to make you think that we are heading for Socialism? I know the effects if capitalists continue to consolidate wealth for themselves and manipulate elected government officials. We have been hearing the cries of creeping socialism, which is the sky falling like "if we raise the minimum wage businessmen would have to close their doors".
I don't have your world view and see other aspects of this economy as more problematic.
There are no aspects of capitalism that are so-called problematic. Capitalism is a free for all, either you have the ability & guts to make it or you......DON'T. Capitalism is a FAIR system if people APPLIED themselves. The problem is that people want others to rescue them & give them a socioeconomic cushion. It doesn't work that way. Each one succeeds by the sweat of his/her brow. No one owes anyone....anything. Each must be RESPONSIBLE for himself/herself. I was taught this as a child. I am of the school that freeloaders should either do without or starve...…..that way they will learn that if they want something, they SHOULD EARN & PROVIDE IT for themselves! There are too many goshdarned social programs! Time to trim THE FAT......TRIM!
Purely and simply, the continued growth of our "entitlement" society, where wealth is taken from one to give to another. I recognize that it is not the textbook definition of socialism, but it is the modern socialism that is discussed at length.
Today's socialism is just as destructive, to individuals and to society, as the older definition was for it removes the incentive to produce, to work, to support ones self. That then leads to the downfall of the economy, and that is exactly what we see in (modern) socialistic nations on earth. They require a constant influx of wealth from somewhere else (I include the US in this) in order to have the wealth to give away, right up to the point that that wealth is no longer available and that society/economy then fails.
When a comfortable life is available without effort, the human animal will no longer expend effort and time in producing what they need. Not even to gain an even better life, for that effort becomes far out of proportion to the reward gained; not only the gains in lifestyle must be earned but so does the lifestyle currently enjoyed without effort.
Wilderness, reasonable people know this. Socialism is the doorway to communism. We all know that Communism doesn't work. Hell, Socialism doesn't work. I believe in Capitalism as all thinking people do. Capitalism is like school- there are the A students(upper classes), B students(middle & upper middle classes), C students(working class), D students(lower classes) & the F students( underclass). Capitalism rewards those according to their intellect, education, & effort. Capitalism is the survival of the fittest.
Not necessarily...…………...studies show that the generation after the Millennials lean towards...…….conservatism...……..While I am a Liberal, I am not Leftist nor Socialist. I don't want anymore inane socialist programs such as Obama"care", more social welfare, free college education, & other amenities. What's wrong w/you man? I pay ENOUGH TAXES already. I WORK for my money-it should be MINE to enjoy & improve my life. I am not here to support rusty grown ass folks who SHOULD support themselves. My motto is WORK or STARVE & DO WITHOUT! America has become a nation of moochers because of EXTREME LIBERAL policies. We need to return to TRADITIONAL LIBERAL policies- equal rights & opportunities for all regardless of race, gender, & other protected status but included in the equal rights & opportunities- EACH IS TO EARN HIS/HER WAY, NOT DEPENDING UPON THE GOVERNMENT. We need to stop the parasitism of the LEFT!
If things continue as they have been, we'll get to see a new kind of capitalism with communist characteristics take the helm. If that meant a more free and equal society, I'd say so be it (survival of the fittest government system), but that hardly seems to be the case. Now that somewhere between gen X and the millennials, the tides turned and people aren't doing as well financially as their parents, it seems clear that the US needs to make some big changes in order to sustain itself and create a path where western values continue to prosper.
There is no question of that - there is has always been, and always will be, a group of "elites" and a much larger group that don't have what the elites do.
But when we look at what the "have-nots" have, compared to the third world, there is an enormous difference. Even compared to just 50 or a hundred years ago the same group has advanced enormously.
I do have my concerns about some social programs as well. There is a very questionable range where someone working a full-time job can get a raise that causes them to lose benefits and lower their standard of living below someone staying on welfare (as described in this article https://nypost.com/2013/08/19/when-welf … than-work/ It seems to me a more structured regressive benefit system would make more sense and serve to keep workers more motivated. Nobody should be afraid that working hard and getting a raise will actually hurt their family.
That being said, as more jobs are replaced by automation and AI, it's time to rethink of ways people can contribute to society and how they will be compensated (universal basic income being one leading concept). Many of the low-paying jobs are probably much better off done by machines than people anyway and having people burn hours flipping-burgers or what have you doesn't contribute much to the betterment of society. It will take some strong leadership to make this transition effectively.
EXACTLY…….I said reduce welfare by at least 85%. Also reduce needless, inane social programs by the same percentage. Americans must learn that the government isn't their parent. Americans need to grow up, learn responsibility & accountability. To reiterate, everything was fine in America until the institution of the Great Society in the 1960s under LBJ which created THE WELFARE STATE. Make people earn their way or...……….STARVE & DO WITHOUT.
I would agree that welfare could be reduced or at least better balanced to help the working poor. I would also agree that Americans need to learn that it's rare that the government has the average citizen's best interests in mind and we need to drastically reduce the number of people employed by the government. With so many people having Uncle Sam sign their checks, we're losing the ability to look at the government subjectively. There's simply far too much bias. I'm hoping the recent shutdown has brought to light some areas where the fat can be trimmed, but I'm not holding my breath that the powers that be are responsible enough to do so (with the fear of losing votes in mind). If anyone needs convincing that the government operates in isolation from their wants and needs, Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) did an interesting study (though this one is slightly dated, I don't think anything has changed significantly enough to take us out of the same ballpark) https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem
Being on welfare IS a huge shame. No man wants to admit that he cannot take care of his family. It destroys self. I know this because I am disabled and on the dole. It is a depressing thing to admit, but it is the truth and I am grateful for this blessing the American people have allowed.
Worse than the dole is being a helpless pauper and my kids being urchins on the street. It is my view that America's government owes no financial support to any citizen save what it's citizens authorizes it to give. In my case, it is not a hand up. It is a handout. If it gets taken away, I cannot be upset since it is a gift in the first place. I agree that welfare can diminish a society, but it also helps to keep society from having higher rates of poverty types.
People like me are not homeless because of housing programs. We are not penniless because of Social Security benefits. We are not hungry because of food stamps. These things provide a shred of dignity to the recipients that would normally have to beg for help.
As a conservative who votes Republican and occasionally Independent, the hardest thing for me to do was accept welfare of any type. Humility in the face of necessity was a great teacher for me.
Thank you all for your willingness to allow these programs as bad as they are abused by many people. Some of us have the freedom to act and contribute because of it. I do believe that God would provide a way for me to take care of my family if government benefits go away. I hope they do not, but I would not be bitter if they did. I am being frank. It lasts longer that way.
People REFUSE to realize that when they are ASSISTED by government social/welfare programs, they are OWNED...……………….BIG TIME! The government is PRIVY to their business...…….WHO WANTS THAT?!
Didn't you say you went to private schools? Did you work your way through college? Or did your parents pay your tuition and board?
My parents paid for my tuition. I am of the school that the only people should support people are parents of children until the children are self-sufficient. The government shouldn't support anyone, it is the job of parents to support their children until the children are fully self-sufficient. It isn't the job of the government to support anyone. If parents can't support their children, usually children work part-time, weekends, & during the summers to supplement family income. I knew a girl in my high school who worked weekends & summers to supplement her family income. Family never depended upon government assistance. The government shouldn't provide free services-that is up to the individual. People should EARN their way...…...If they can't, they DO WITHOUT. Nothing is wrong w/doing without!
So at what age did you become independent of your parents? 22, 23?
22. Worked until retirement. Why do you believe in government assistance programs? Shouldn't people EARN/PAY their way if they want something? Housing & other amenities aren't rights-they are to be earned. Americans used to believe in working for what they want; now many Americans maintain that there should be government assistance & social/welfare programs-REALLY???? It is TIME for people to be responsible & accountable for their lives instead of wanting the gub'mint to rescue them...…….I as other middle class people have been paying taxes to support able-bodied loafers who CAN WORK & TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. It is time for the government to APPLY TOUGH LOVE...……...
People are poor in America(there are EXCEPTIONS) for the most part because of careless & irresponsible actions. THINK ON THAT! People must realize that the government isn't their parents. They have to be mature enough to ascertain that there is such a thing as earning one's way. What happened to the concept of American independence? That is one of the principles our great country was built on! Jeez.....people!
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