I'm seeing lots of comments that seem to imply most recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the food stamp process, are lazy, lack "responsibility" and are content to live off the government.
As is often the case, available facts do not match a popular political narrative, which in this case seems outdated and inaccurate. Some facts about recipients of food stamps(1)(2)(3):
32% of SNAP households had jobs in 2016.
87% percent of working-age, able-bodied adults were employed in the year before or after SNAP receipt.
55% of SNAP households with children had earnings in 2016.
66% of SNAP participants were children, elderly, or had disabilities.
40% of SNAP households had an income on or below the poverty line.
53% of SNAP households contained one person (average size was 2 people).
The gross income of 10% of SNAP households was raised above the poverty line due to SNAP.
This data highlights that most working age recipients of SNAP who can work, do work, but are still below the poverty line, partly due to low paid jobs.
(1) https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/de … ummary.pdf
(2) https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/de … cs2016.pdf
(3) https://www.cbpp.org/snap-households-wi … rk-rates-6
"32% of SNAP households had jobs in 2016."
"66% of SNAP participants were children, elderly, or had disabilities."
Between the two that's 98% of the recipients. Sounds to me like there is a little more to this than the bare facts. Working for a single day in a year, for instance, results in having a job during the year. Similarly, when the poverty line increases every year, beyond inflation, well, it becomes obvious that "poverty" doesn't mean what we think it does. Also, children do not qualify for SNAP; their parent(s) do because they don't earn enough to feed their children.
"40% of SNAP households had an income on or below the poverty line."
This, too, isn't telling the whole story: why are 60% of SNAP recipients NOT living in poverty but STILL feeding off the rest of the nation?
And, of course, it says nothing about why people are working and still below the poverty line. Because they only work part time? Because they refuse to better themselves with improved skills? Because they choose to work a low paying job? Because they choose to live where jobs don't pay anything? Because they choose to have more kids than they can feed? At the end of the day I'm pretty sure that most (that means over half, not 99%) of SNAP recipients have chosen to put themselves in the position where they qualify for the program.
Damn bud! I'm going to take a seat for this one. I am anxious to see how you support that closing statement.
If you had said something like most SNAP recipients are such because the qualifying threshold is so low I could have seen that possibility, but it will be interesting to hear more about a realistic explanation of your perspective.
Oh, it is absolute, unadulterated opinion. "At the end of the day "I'm pretty sure...". Based on my personal knowledge and experience with a variety of people.
The gal that did drugs until she hurts all the time and is still a drunk much of the time. She doesn't like to work, so stays home and hurts from laying on the couch all day.
The 30 year old kid that works at the ski resort in winters and then draws unemployment and welfare the rest of the time so he can ski every day possible. He can't get a job in his small town because of poor work history.
The woman on disability who made plans and began the process of returning to her vocation...until she found out she would lose her benefits.
The divorced woman with three kids who does not pursue the father for child support because she wants nothing to do with him, and stays home so she can "be with her children".
The woman with 4 kids (and one on the way) whose husband works a menial job with no intention of doing anything else.
The female vet who gets $800 per month disability (but no SNAP) after going to school on her GI bill and getting a job in her field. She joined the active reserves...until they figured out they were paying her to do the same job she did as active military and stopped the disability. So she quit the active reserves, got her disability back and joined the inactive reserves.
Another vet who gets several hundred per month military disability (no SNAP)...while holding a G12 government job and running triathlons. To his credit he and his wife are also caring for and supporting a minor child that they could get help for but refuse to even apply for.
And then there is the man who suffered an accident and was brain damaged to the point that he can't hold a job - he will go to the bathroom and wander out the door, lost, until the police take him home. Multiple psych reports that he was incapable of working, but it took him two years to get the $100 per month he gets in SNAP...while his 80+ year old parents worked to support themselves and him. Of all the people I know on welfare of one sort or another he is the ONLY one that is there through no fault of his own, and truly deserves and needs the help. And he STILL gets nothing else (no housing, no disability, no nothing) because he DID find a job - a single job he shares with a physically disabled man delivering newspapers that can drive and keep it moving but cannot handle the bundles of papers. They split the salary, so no entitlements.
So yeah, my opinion is that over half the people on welfare programs (including SNAP) are there as a direct result of making poor decisions and continuing to make them.
A RESOUNDING AMEN. To endlessly reiterate, people are poor in America for the most part(there are EXCEPTIONS) because of unintelligent, even stupid decisions. I had witnessed this also from maternal extended family members, not my paternal extended family members who are mostly affluent w/the poorest member being solidly middle class.
I stand by my premise that most people are poor in America because of either sheer illogicality or laziness. There are myriad opportunities in America to improve oneself but it involves SACRIFICE which they won't do. When I was a supervisory clerk, clerks below me complained-I told them that in order to get promoted, they must take a test. They were aghast, telling me that they didn't want a promotion because it meant more responsibilities. Well, yes. Again, it is the fault of the poor that they are poor in America. NEXT
This is interesting. Of the posters here, the opinion on this issue seems to come down to those who are automatically suspicious of people who take food assistance and those who automatically give those who take food assistance the benefit of the doubt.
We have one side who think these people are leeches and the other side who think these people are just down on their luck and need temporary assistance to get themselves on their feet.
Undoubtedly, there are some who are gaming the system while there are some who intend to get off the assistance as soon as they can.
Why do some of us lean the way we do?
"Between the two that's 98% of the recipients. Sounds to me like there is a little more to this than the bare facts."
Perhaps this will clarify:
"Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work while receiving SNAP. . . The number of SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP has been rising for more than a decade, and has more than tripled — from about 2 million in 2000 to about 6.4 million in 2011."(1)
"Forty-four percent of [people in households receiving SNAP] were under age 18, 12 percent were age 60 or older, and 9 percent were disabled nonelderly adults".(2)
"Similarly, when the poverty line increases every year, beyond inflation, well, it becomes obvious that "poverty" doesn't mean what we think it does"
Being below the poverty threshold means being unable to support the cost of a food diet which would give someone "about 1 chance in 2 of getting a fair or better diet, but only 1 chance in 10 of getting a good diet"(3). So while I think the poverty threshold could do with an overhaul, the current poverty threshold is pretty close to what I think poverty means.
"This, too, isn't telling the whole story: why are 60% of SNAP recipients NOT living in poverty but STILL feeding off the rest of the nation?"
To clarify, you are expressing disappointment because you think 40% of workers receiving SNAP and staying at or below half the poverty, isn't enough? If so, what % of working SNAP recipients would need to be in or near poverty to make you feel happier?
"And, of course, it says nothing about why people are working and still below the poverty line. Because they only work part time? Because they refuse to better themselves with improved skills? . . ."
Or perhaps because . . .
". . . during the recovery, employment gains have been concentrated in lower wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations . . .
We find that three low wage industries (food services, retail, and employment services) added 1.7 million jobs over the past two years, fully 43 percent of net employment growth. At the same time, better-paying industries (like construction; manufacturing; finance, insurance and real estate; and information) did not grow, or did not grow enough to make up for recession losses."(4)
Again, I find a political discussion boiling down to facts vs opinions. I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, I'm saying it's unsupported by anything other than your personal experience. In contrast, there are available facts that indicate that more people might be doing low paid jobs because lower paid jobs have been replaced more quickly than medium paying jobs.
If I had a choice between making policy decisions about the welfare system based on someone's personal experiences, or based on a reasoned argument supported by facts, I'd choose the latter. Isn't that just common sense?
(1) https://www.cbpp.org/research/the-relat … households
(2) https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/de … ummary.pdf (General Characteristics)
(4) https://www.nelp.org/wp-content/uploads … ry2012.pdf
You missed the point about the 60% of SNAP not being poor. Why are we buying food for people that are not poor?
Likewise, you say that the poverty line is around $6 for a full time job - 60% of recipients can't make that? Why not if they are working? And if they are working fast food jobs, why haven't they improved their skill set for a better job?
"Reasoned" arguments are fine, but all I've seen yet amounts to "well, they don't make enough so we'll feed them". That isn't "reasoned", it's an excuse for people to get SNAP. For instance, you complain that construction jobs have not increased, but I know in my area they are begging for workers, and I hear the same (grapevine) that other areas are as well. Big article in my local paper about a couple of companies suing each other for running over the time limit for a construction job - the defense is that workers were simply not available. But that means gaining a skill, working in the cold and rain...something that is not particularly high on the list of desires.
"And if they are working fast food jobs, why haven't they improved their skill set for a better job?"
This is a poor and sad argument for not paying a living wage. It seems just a small skip from being in favor of slavery. Not everyone can or should be more than a fast food worker. But, they don't deserve to eat as they don't deserve a living wage or food stamps.
No, it is the primary point. One that you don't want to address, in favor of simply providing for those that don't want to learn a skill, move from a poverty stricken area, work a real job instead of fast food.
Huh...the primary point to me is that everyone deserves a living wage, and, yes govt subsidies may have to account for some of that, just as they do for your health insurance..how would an economy even function if everyone thought they had to get a "real job?" Wouldn't inflation go through the roof? It makes absolutely no sense. Don't work if you can't advance. That's what you are telling people. Seems like a recipe for welfare. Isn't the fact that some people have lower skilled jobs an inherent part of capitalism?
Besides, I was taught to respect the fast-food worker as much as the CEO. That means everyone deserves to eat and pay the bills. Screw em though huh. They are lesser individuals, every one of them. Did you deserve your wage you got before retirement?? Do you deserve your subsidized health insurance...glass houses.
Just adding one question. How do you move from a poverty stricken area when your in poverty? Also, poverty stricken areas are the only places people can afford to live on their low wages.
Economics is what rules wages. What if a company can't pay what you believe to be a "living" wage? Should they be forced to go out of business and not longer provide goods and services to their customers because they need to spend money growing their business? I'll say this again. When people have a company and have to pay wages, they then learn about wages. People need to know why someone doing menial work is payed a certain wage and someone who has invested significant amounts of money obtaining experience and knowledge to perform a job is paid differently. This is called competition.
Yeah. I agree. That's why we have social safety net systems.But, menial labor is not worthless labor...and, if everyone were to get "high skilled" jobs, those high-skilled jobs would no longer be high paying jobs. We can't have it both ways.... State that all people should get high paying jobs but some people deserve to get higher pay than others. It makes no sense as there would be no higher paying jobs left. People deserve living wages no matter how that has to happen, and societies collapse when people don't get living wages.
So, unless a company can pay what you believe to be a living wage, they should not be permitted to be in business? Do you have any idea how many small businesses this concept would wipe out? Yes, some people have more valuable skills than others. It's what the market will pay. That's why a person who plays professional football can get paid millions, but the person working the concession stand gets much less. Anybody can work a concession stand. Not everyone can play at the level of a professional athlete. The wages of a professional athlete are based on fans paying money to see them. Again, the market determines the wages.
Nope, never said that Mike.
We've had discussions here about minimum wage and government help, etc. It's not that simple and I don't want to get into it again today.
+100000000000000. What you are stating is simple inductive & deductive mathematics. Why can't some people understand this????
Some people prefer the low wage jobs. Some are just starting out and can't do better...yet. Some just want a few extra $$ in their pockets for spending money beyond their SS check.
None of which is a reason to simply give them charity.
Agreed. Many businesses understand this, and thus we have a lack of jobs for those that do need living wages. Working for a living is not charity...thinking otherwise seems akin to supporting some sort of feudal system or slavery.
Hardsun, people are paid by their skills & education levels. If one has low education & low skills, h/she deserves a comparative wage. It is beyond illogical to expect a person w/low skills & education to earn a high wage- that is unrealistic. Low skilled jobs don't require much & hence, don't pay much. If one wants a decent wage, h/she should obtain the necessary skills & education to earn that decent wage. If not, h/she should be content w/ the wages h/she earns...….
Then why are they now essential? I'm not saying a physician and a grocery store clerk should be paid the same. I'm stating that anyone who we rely upon in time of crisis should at least be paid a living wage. This is particularly true if you like living in a developed nation. It's insane to state otherwise IMO. Why can't people see this?
This is a very black and white matter. And I am correct. Filling up the forum with a bunch of +whatevers isn't going to change that.
First, "essential" means whatever the politicans of the specific state define it as. It certainly does not mean what the dictionary definition is, not in regards to the Covid19 problem.
Second, people can't see it because you don't define "living wage" as the "minimum it takes to survive". You define it in such a manner as to include luxuries you think people should be able to purchase.
And that makes it colorful indeed, not black and white, for when definitions vary depending on who is speaking, that "black and white" concept goes right out the window.
+1000000000000. if a low skilled person wants a living wage- h/she should acquire the necessary skills & education to do so. H/she shouldn't whine about his/her abject circumstances. People need to grow up here. A low skilled, low wage job ISN'T/SHOULDN'T be a LIFETIME career...….
Agreed. I never said that "living wage" or even "essential" were not up for debate. However, no one here has addressed the reality that many Americans are relying upon these same workers, right now, janitors etc., to stay alive. These same people which you say don't deserve a living wage, whatever that number is. That's the reality, and that's just wrong, I don't care what anyone says.
Besides, it would not be difficult to find that number in any given area if all sides were being honest about the idea. How about just a reasonable wage relative to other positions, which we don't even have now. I know people who sit on their buts supposedly designing software across the street here..they get 60 grand a year...they design squat.
You see, the janitor gets paid more if the wealth is spread more evenly within a company. Times like these show us the true worth of the obs that supposedly don't deserve to be paid much. That's convenient for those who think they do deserve a bigger piece of the pie huh? Where does it end? How much of that pie does the person who thinks they "bettered themselves" really deserve? It's convenient that those making those decisions within a company are also part of the "bettered themselves " club huh? How much more are we going to give them? They are sucking our companies dry as they think they are entitled!
You see, this is relative too, just as living wage can be.
And, this is coming from someone who "bettered himself" with a BS, an MS, and Army accountant certificate, THE top of the class in all of them...among many other career moves; so saying they all just need to grow up is nonsense! It just takes a perspective...that's all.
OK, let's discuss it.
Are you wanting to pay people based on their needs or on the value of their work? If on needs, are you wanting to legislate that the pay for this person is twice what that one gets because their needs are greater? Perhaps they chose to have more children, choose to live in a high dollar area, or are taking care of a parent?
Or if the value of the product is the determining factor, what will you use to determine what the value is? Market price or will you set an arbitrary figure without regard to actual, real value?
Will you set labor prices based on what an employer can pay and still make a profit in this competitive world, or will you ignore the employer and not consider their needs?
That should do for a starter discussion.
Maybe the better conversation would be to evaluate the value of the work. How would society function without any of that unskilled labor? Anyone can do it doesn't lessen the value of the services rendered.
We do have a dark side to capitalism. There is no doubt. We should be willing to look at downfalls. We have a very successful system that runs the risk of alienating enough people to jeopardize the continuation of it if we don't.
I hope you don't mind if I jump in. You are right, the value of the work is exactly the right way to price labor.
In your example of janitorial work, the skill level is low, so the available pool of available workers is deep. I agree that the janitorial services are important, and at this time it could even be said to be critical, but . . . there is an almost unlimited supply of capable workers that can fill that position, so if Joe doesn't show up, there are a dozen Daves that will.
Circumstances, in this case, don't dictate the value of the labor, the supply of that available labor does. And I don't see that as a "dark side of capitalism." It is just a fact of life.
You are right that the fact that "anyone can do it" doesn't lessen the value of that labor, but the need for that labor doesn't increase it either—when there is an almost unlimited supply of workers.
Hmm. Yeh, that's a dark side to capitalism. Just because anyone can do a specific job doesn't mean we shouldn't ensure those people who perform those tasks are able to make a living wage. Why don't they? Because we argue your point. Since there are a lot of people able to do it we'll offer a poverty level wage and someone will always be desperate enough to step in and do it.
We don't change it because, as a society, we grab the cheapest thing we can find. Without thought of how our choices eventually effect society.
I'm not saying I have the answers but the truth is whether anyone can do a job or not, the greater truth is some can only do such a job. So your argument ensures the least capable of advancement among us are victims to that philosophy. Living hand to mouth day to day, unable to pay rent on a decent place, foregoing the hope of home ownership, health insurance or basic necessities.
"Just because anyone can do a specific job doesn't mean we shouldn't ensure those people who perform those tasks are able to make a living wage. Why don't they?"
"Since there are a lot of people able to do it we'll offer a poverty level wage and someone will always be desperate enough to step in and do it."
This, is seems, is part of the problem. You argue both sides, claiming both are true. "Why don't they? <pay a living wage>", followed by "we'll offer a poverty level wage". Does a "living wage" mean one that precludes poverty?
Not to me; a "living wage" IS one at poverty level. It can be lived on, but not easily and not in comfort. To the liberals of the country, however, that living wage includes luxuries that I did not have until much later in my life; I grew up in "poverty" even though we were straight middle class. The bar has been raised, continually, to include a raft of what once were luxuries but are now considered necessities simply because we want them.
Your perspective demands that wages be paid for the person doing the labor, not the labor they provide. That doesn't work for me or a capitalistic market.
That perspective becomes even less defensible when you consider the variables that Widlerness frequently mentions; the living needs of the worker.
$15 p/hour might be a decent living wage for a single guy, but it surely won't be for a guy with a wife and four kids. So what would you do about that living wage then?
Labor is a product that fills a need just as much as a can of soup is. That may sound cold, but it's not really, it's reality, and I think it is a just reality because I think capitalism is the best system for human advancement that we have yet found.
You remind me of when my son and his friend had a summer job doing odd jobs outside. They grumbled they did more physical labor in a day than I did in a month and the didn't make a 10th of what I made. I had a good laugh and pointed out what a great lesson that was for their plans on moving forward out of high school. Explaining why education made the difference.
But, still. With every variable we can come up with the fact remains that it is becoming increasingly difficult for many to live in even the most meager form of security, due to low wages and always rising cost of living.
I said I don't have the answers but my ears are open to listen to suggestions. Ones other than the ones you are arguing with wilderness. Because with all the sense they make we are using that belief to remain stagnant while more and more people perceive themselves as suffering. I've seen the suffering. Most times it is caused by the fact that the people I know who are suffering honestly don't have the ability to function in higher paying jobs.
I find your comments on this thread to be very reasonable and agree with pretty much all of it.
It happens more than you might imagine but I don't always point it out.
"Because with all the sense they make we are using that belief to remain stagnant while mouths and more people perceive themselves as suffering."
This is a part of the problem, because we have convinced these people that living as I did as a young man is "suffering". The other part, of course, is as you say: "people I know who are suffering honestly don't have the ability to function in higher paying jobs." I, too, know people in that fix, and some of them are barred from govt. aid. One young man, brain damaged from trauma to the point that he doesn't remember what he is supposed to be doing for more than a few minutes, stood up in a court room and told the judge that "Sure I can work!" - in spite of multiple psych evaluations and testimony to the contrary he was denied help as a result of his own statement. I don't know what to do with these; they happen because of the incessant fraud of the lazy and greedy, to the point that excessive caution must be utilized to prevent it and the result is that young man. Perhaps some real teeth and punishment for proven fraud? But how do you "prove" mental incapacity?
"Most times it is caused by the fact that the people I know who are suffering honestly don't have the ability to function in higher paying jobs."
I think that is a fair statement. But, does the truth of that statement support the concept of the Living Wage argument? I don't think so.
The truth of your statement is going to become even more encompassing as AI and robotics replace more and more of our unskilled and semi-skilled labor force.
I see the Living Wage argument as short-sighted nonsense. It is nothing more than a mantra. Ask any proponent what to do about the disparity of 'living needs' between a single guy and a family man and watch them stutter as they can only utter, "yeah buts . . . "
You are correct that we need a solution to the problem we have now, and the larger one coming, but the Living Wage idea isn't it. It is just not a realistic idea in a capitalistic system. And so far, world history has shown capitalism to be the best system yet found to be workable.
Also, the familiar argument about the elevation of poverty—as in what poverty is, can't be ignored. Just think of the things that are now considered a necessity for a life of sustenance; it is no longer food and a roof over your head. It now includes cell phones and home internet access, among other things.
So, to be clear, I am not arguing there is not a need and that we don't need to seek a solution, I am arguing that the Living Wage argument should be an insult to thinking folks.
I could easily be proven wrong if someone would just offer a realistic idea of how a Living Wage mandate would work.
+10000000000. Salaries are based upon the skill & societal value, not to mention the level of appeal.
Janitors are...….low skilled. Why should they receive more???? It doesn't take any great intelligence to be a janitor...……. A janitor isn't an executive who makes high powered positions. A janitor just routinely does what is told. A rhesus monkey, if trained, can perform janitorial duties...…. In the future, many low skilled jobs will be performed by AIs because of the low skill levels...…...Low skilled jobs are becoming things of the past. Low skilled jobs are becoming increasingly automated...…..
THANK YOU, MIKE!!!!! Wage levels = skill+ education levels. Also wage levels are based upon demand. There are people who fail to realize this. They expect a less educated, menial worker to earn the same salary as an executive with an MBA...…….how ludicrous...……..how ludicrous...….
Then define "living wage". A single person can live without undue problems on minimum wage, so what are you calling a living wage, and who does it apply to? The man with a disabled wife, elderly mother and 5 kids in the house?
"How do you move from a poverty stricken area when your in poverty?"
My great-grandparents walked thousands of miles to homestead. If you can't figure out any way to get from one place to another you have more problems than not wanting to work.
"Don't work if you can't advance. That's what you are telling people."
No, that's what you're telling them. I'm telling them it takes work and training to advance and if they choose not to do that don't cry about it.
"Besides, I was taught to respect the fast-food worker as much as the CEO."
Good for your parents! But did they also teach you that the job behind the fast food counter should pay the same as the CEO? Not so good for them if they did.
Parents? WTH? Who said because I was raised that I had parents? Anyway, I knew you'd come back with paying the same thing...no I never stated CEOs should be paid the same as fast food counter workers, and you know that.
Things are much different nowadays than your grandpappies days, and I think you know that as well. If someone walks to another land today, without a home to live in when they arrive, they just may be arrested for vagrancy..or even illegal entry?!?!? Are you willing to buy a home for anyone who wants to walk somewhere for a job?
Apologies, but your assertions make no logical sense in today's world.
Defining the living wage again? We had this discussion before, and that's not my job either way.
Are you saying everyone should be forced to get an education and paid a wage that you determine is appropriate for their skills or risk being shamed into starvation? Your philosophy seems close to some warped communism. Re-hasing all the same talking points is not getting America anywhere.
Since wilderness likes to generalize from anecdotes, well, here ya go.
I was making $12/hour in an entry level secretarial position in 1994. That position was full-time, with health insurance, dental insurance, sick leave, vacation, retirement benefits, and more.
It's ow 2019, and I just looked at the want ads in our local paper. Not a single full-time office job available. One for 30 hours per week, no benefits, starts at $12.50/hour. This is typical. How are entry level workers, even the ones with some skills, supposed to get ahead with salaries and hours like that, and having to pay for every doctor or dental visits, and not being able to be sick or stay home with your sick kid without losing pay?
Sure, there is the occasional plum job opening that pays better and has benefits, and guess what, they usually get 100 or more applicants.
This is the situation facing young people today.
Yes. Good example. And, they have to work harder and harder all the time, get more education, etc. to get those higher paying skilled jobs that do exist, especially if they don't have a family to help them along with connections.
It's one step forward two steps back for too many nowadays.
That is indeed how the world works. The days of "tenure", working for the same employer in the same basic job for a lifetime, are gone.
In my working career I went from chemist to management to electrician, from Virginia to Idaho (plus various tasks pre-graduation). It required additional training, and then periodic "continuing education" to do so, and my job was not alone in that. Many careers require that sort of thing - teachers and the whole medical field come to mind. It's called "competition", for you are most definitely in competition with every other person, young or old, experienced or not, that would like your job.
Wilderness, people simply refuse to acknowledge that the postmodern workforce requires constant updating skill & educational levels. People who refuse to update their skill &/or educational levels will be underemployed or unemployed. Constant updating of skills & education levels are facts of live in the postmodern workforce. If one expects $40K per annum from a low skill job, h/she is totally delusional at best & insane at worst. Low skilled jobs are not lifetime jobs. One goes into a low skill job, learn the prerequisite skill & move up or move on to a better job. Why don't people get this?! People don't go into low skill jobs to make such jobs careers...…..
"How are entry level workers, even the ones with some skills, supposed to get ahead with salaries and hours like that, and having to pay for every doctor or dental visits, and not being able to be sick or stay home with your sick kid without losing pay?"
Find/create another skill that is more in demand. This is rather obvious, isn't it? Or maybe it isn't; we seem to be graduating thousands of college kids without a salable skill...
"no I never stated CEOs should be paid the same as fast food counter workers, and you know that."
I do know that. I inferred it from your inclusion of fast food worker and CEO in a discussion of wages. If not wages, what DID you intend to communicate?
"Things are much different nowadays than your grandpappies days, and I think you know that as well."
Yes I do. But I didn't say they should walk; I said they should find a way. It will be difficult, it will require sacrifice and hard work, but there is a way. There always is if one looks hard enough and is willing to do it.
"Defining the living wage again? We had this discussion before, and that's not my job either way."
But you keep using the term, without ever defining it. How can there be communication if you used unknown terminology and then refuse to indicate what it means? Seems to me that if you use the term it IS your job...if you intend to communicate your thoughts.
"Are you saying everyone should be forced to get an education and paid a wage that you determine is appropriate for their skills or risk being shamed into starvation?"
Nope! I've made it quite clear that it is their job to find something sell (skill in the world of labor) that will support themselves. And if the choose (no forcing at all) not to do that it is not my responsibility to provide that support for them. Are you saying that it IS my responsibility when they make that choice?
But continuing down the same road of entitlements and free support for those able but unwilling to support themselves IS getting America somewhere: straight into the ranks of modern day socialism and third world status.
Many people settle for crumbs rather than to exert themselves to improve their life situation educationally & skill-wise. They would rather complain about their abysmal lot in life, playing perpetual victims & whiners...…..C'mon now. If one wants something, h/she can get it if EFFORT IS MADE.........
A THOUSAND APPLAUSES, WILDERNESS...…...A THOUSAND APPLAUSES...….
I agree with Wilderness here. Low skilled/low wage jobs shouldn't be careers/lifestyle. People should advance their skill & educational levels if they want a better lifestyle. If one wants a decent lifestyle, acquire the prerequisite skills & education to obtain a commensurate job. It is beyond ridiculous to expect a living wage from low skilled/ low wage jobs. C'mon now...…..
"You missed the point about the 60% of SNAP not being poor. Why are we buying food for people that are not poor?"
The stated purpose of SNAP is to "permit low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet…by increasing their purchasing power"(1). A household can be above the poverty level and be low-income. In fact if a household is eligible for SNAP it is, by definition, low-income.
As for why we are helping eligible, low-income households obtain a nutritious diet, what benefits do you think there might be in doing that wilderness, outside of the benefit for the individuals in that household?
"Likewise, you say that the poverty line is around $6 for a full time job - 60% of recipients can't make that? Why not if they are working? And if they are working fast food jobs, why haven't they improved their skill set for a better job?"
There are two approaches to answering those questions. Generalize based on our own personal experiences and anecdotes, then pre-judge others based on our generalizations. Or see what available factual information suggests. Which do you think is the more sensible approach?
"For instance, you complain that construction jobs have not increased, but I know in my area they are begging for workers, and I hear the same (grapevine) that other areas are as well."
The report I cited didn't say construction jobs have not increased. It said:
". . . better-paying industries (like construction; manufacturing; finance, insurance and real estate; and information) did not grow, or did not grow enough to make up for recession losses." (my emphasis). It also said more low-paid jobs were created since the recession.
But the wider point is that your view of SNAP recipients seems based solely on personal experience and anecdotes, not factual information. Do you (and others with the same view) know, for a fact, that the majority of people in low-paid jobs "don't want to learn a skill"?
If so, how? What information do you have access to that the rest of us don't?
Again it comes down to this: should public policy decisions about something that could affect millions of people, be based solely on personal experience and anecdotes, or should it be based on factual information? I think it should be based on factual information.
(1) https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/de … isions.pdf (sec. 3)
" A household can be above the poverty level and be low-income. In fact if a household is eligible for SNAP it is, by definition, low-income."
And there is the rub, for that artificial definition of "low income" has nothing to do with actually being in poverty, but in how much money can be spread without causing an uproar from the people footing the bill.
"As for why we are helping eligible, low-income households obtain a nutritious diet, what benefits do you think there might be in doing that wilderness, outside of the benefit for the individuals in that household? "
Increased power for politicians. Building chains of poverty that are nearly impossible to break free of. Building dependency on the largess of politicians. Destroying incentive, if that is considered a benefit. Gaining control over more of the people's money. Increasing the size and power of the government.
The list is quite long, and none of it benefits the nation or the people paying the bill. And that's assuming that the recipients are going to purchase a "nutritious diet" rather than junk food, cocaine or booze. As the typical recipient has not been trained in what is nutritious that seems more than a little doubtful.
"Or see what available factual information suggests."
Factual information is always wonderful...if available. But when the only information available is slanted (at 90 degrees) and only half the story, when the negative half is ignored or we pretend it isn't there at all, that kind of falls apart and leaves only personal experience.
"better-paying industries (like construction; manufacturing; finance, insurance and real estate; and information) did not grow, or did not grow enough to make up for recession losses."
I can only repeat that when construction jobs are falling behind schedule to the tune of months or years because workers are not available it gives the lie to the idea that such jobs did not increase. It didn't happen before the recession, but it is happening now.
"Do you (and others with the same view) know, for a fact, that the majority of people in low-paid jobs "don't want to learn a skill"
Do you know, for a fact, that the majority DO want to learn a skill? Do the elderly, wishing a little spending money, want to learn a new skill? Do the fast food workers, working while going to school, want to learn a new skill outside of their schooling programs?
Don, I've worked for 50 years with a lot of people. And few of them are willing to put out the effort, and take the risk, of learning a new skill and changing jobs. Maybe they don't want the responsibility. Maybe they are simply comfortable where they are - too comfortable to want change badly enough to do it. There are a hundred reasons NOT to undertake the stress and effort of a new, more difficult job and most people (IMO from years of experience) do not like the idea. The psych experts list a job change as one of the most stressful events of life; when you couple it with a completely new field, with training you don't know if you can handle, with the inevitable risk involved, it's scary. Real scary. And a great many people won't do it.
Now, you can point to studies where people are asked if they want to do that - go back to school, learn something new and take on a totally different set of responsibilities - and you might get 90 "yes" responses from 100 people. But when it comes down to brass tacks, to actually doing it, well, I'd want to see an honest report of people that were asked and then see how many "yes" responses went on to do it. And THAT we never see - only the result of the poll.
"Again it comes down to this: should public policy decisions about something that could affect millions of people, be based solely on personal experience and anecdotes, or should it be based on factual information?"
What "factual information"? I'd certainly be interested in a study of the WHOLE story, but all I ever see are claims that everyone wants to do better and are willing to sacrifice, risk, and work very, very hard to do so. This is so at odds with 50 years of experience that I don't believe it.
"And there is the rub, for that artificial definition of "low income" has nothing to do with actually being in poverty . . ."
"Low income" is defined by SNAP eligibility requirements as 130% of the federal poverty level(1). The federal poverty level is a measure of how well someone can maintain a minimum food diet. So SNAP eligibility is directly related to an objective measure of poverty used by the federal government.
"Increased power for politicians. Building chains of poverty that are nearly impossible to break free of. Building dependency on the largess of politicians . . . none of it benefits the nation or the people paying the bill"
To be clear, are you suggesting that assisting low-income households to obtain a nutritious diet does not benefit the nation in any way whatsoever?
"Factual information is always wonderful...if available. But when the only information available is slanted (at 90 degrees) and only half the story . . . that kind of falls apart and leaves only personal experience."
Are generalizations based on personal experience the only way to address a lack of factual information? Is that really the best way to make policy decisions that can impact millions of people?
Your personal experience is likely not the same as mine, and not the same as the next person's. How can we solve a problem collectively, when our understanding of that problem is based solely on our personal experiences?
Surely when trying to agree solutions to complex problems, it makes sense to rely on objective measures. That allows different people to understand the problem, regardless of who they are, what they believe etc. Surely that's the most sensible approach.
(1) https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibili … or%20SNAP?
The federal poverty line for one individual works out to $5.83 per hour in a 40-hour job. Because of minimum wage, most of them actually work part time without benefits.
Ignorant extremists seem to think that SNAP recipients not living in poverty are feeding off the rest of the nation.
Maybe if they met enough of them, they would find out that many have disabilities, mental illness and other problems that prevent them from having stable jobs.
Then again, based on a few random examples, maybe the ignorant extremists are right. All of these people are just lazy drunks and drug addicts who could get high-paying jobs but would rather watch TV all day.
"Maybe if they met enough of them, they would find out that many have disabilities, mental illness and other problems that prevent them from having stable jobs."
And, maybe, if the other ignorant extremists met enough of they they would find that many simply don't want to do better enough to actually DO it.
As you point out, the federal poverty line is well under (well under) a full time job at minimum wage. Meaning that minimum wage is enough to raise them out of poverty.
Yet the assumption is, and remains, that the the 40 million people in this country that do not earn that, are simply incapable of doing so. 40 million people are incapable, in spite of their best efforts, of earning minimum wage. One out of every 10 people.
Maybe I'm dreaming, maybe I'm living in a faux utopia, but I refuse to think that badly of my neighbors. I won't believe that one of 20 (half those in abject poverty) are incapable of earning minimum wage.
Gee Dan, you must pay extremely high taxes to be so against programs which assist the poor. You always seem so bitter when these subjects are discussed here on the forums. Is there a particular instance when you suffered because your taxes was spent on their welfare?
No, Wilderness is sick & tired of his hard earned money going towards useless social & welfare programs to assist people who WANT to be poor due to their bad life choices. Wilderness can use the tax money to enrich his life & that of his family, children, & grandchildren. Wilderness is sick of supporting lazy grown a## people who REFUSE to work & be self-sufficient. Yes, Wilderness is against programs which assist the poor-so am I. Let the poor help themselves-they REFUSE TO DO SO! Wilderness is right in his premise. Time to TRIM THE FAT! Social & welfare programs are making it much easier on the poor- it also make them lose incentive to improve themselves. Remove the social & welfare programs- presto, there is NOW incentive. The only way that the poor will gain incentive & improve themselves is to remove inane social & welfare programs. My mother & father who came from impoverished families had no welfare- THEY MADE THEIR WAY!
Does someone with mental illness or developmental disabilities want to be poor?
The truth is that some people take advantage of the system and some people truly need help.
"The truth is that some people take advantage of the system and some people truly need help."
Very, very true. And we do a really shoddy job of helping those that truly need the help. Mostly a result of massive fraud by others, but it's something we refuse to address.
But same comment I've made before: I absolutely refuse to believe that half the people in this great country truly need help. They want it, they demand it, but they don't need it.
Oh boy......OH BOY...…...everyone knews that there are EXCEPTIONS, I didn't have to SPELL IT OUT. You know this, Promisem. But there are those who see poverty as a normative lifestyle. They want to be poor- they also want others to SUPPORT them into a better lifestyle!!!!!
Yes, there are poor people who see poverty as a normative lifestyle. There also are poor people who are poor because of mental illness, developmental disabilities and other problems outside of their control.
They are not exceptions. They are common.
The difference between you and me is that you see all poor people as choosing that way of life. I see some of them choosing it and others being forced into it.
What you mention are...……….EXCEPTIONS, it isn't COMMON among the poor. In America(oh gawddd, I say THIS YET AGAIN), people are poor because they CHOOSE to be poor. There are people who make unintelligent choices in life. They also have NEGATIVE beliefs. People are poor in America because they have developed & were inculcated w/a poverty consciousness, mentality, outlook, & philosophy. They act in ways in which poverty is the inevitable result.
Once again, does someone with mental illness or developmental disabilities want to be poor?
Can they go to college, earn an MBA and get a job at a vice president of a bank?
The agency where I volunteer works with thousands of them in one small county. They are not exceptions.
And, in my limited experience, those people seldom get the help they need and should have.
But of course they are not the ones being discussed, are they?
Of course they are being discussed. There are many comments on here about how poor people choose to be poor.
Some quotes from GM, that you replied to:
"people are poor because they CHOOSE to be poor"
"There are people who make unintelligent choices in life."
"They also have NEGATIVE beliefs"
" People are poor in America because they have developed & were inculcated w/a poverty consciousness, mentality, outlook, & philosophy"
Do those seem to fit the mentally/physically disabled? Maybe the one about negative beliefs, if they were taught to sit back and do nothing rather than stretch themselves to accomplish what they can - that they could never support themselves - but that would seem to be all.
At the same time, he states he has a Medicare Advantage policy. Funds for MA come from taxes, not the Medicare that comes out of all our checks, and the premiums are subsidized. That's all fine with me...just you know, people wanna talk about others.
Why is this silly claim still being made? I pay for my medicare advantage, not the federal govt.
My Medicare does not come from your check; it comes from me 40 years of paying into it as part of the retirement plan wherein I was required to give the govt. 15% of my earnings so I would have it later.
I've provided you with numerous links about this. Why are you still refuting it? I know guys who were also required to pay into for their retirements and get Advantage as you, they udnerstand that not all that Medicare money comes from what they put in. Head in sand..or would your head explode if you acknowledged the truth? Why do lower income seniors pay less for Medicare Advantage than their higher-paying counterparts? Is that theft?
https://q1medicare.com/q1group/Medicare … log_id=703
https://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/06 … unded.aspx
"Finally, Medicare has a source of funding that Social Security doesn't: the general fund of the U.S. federal budget. In 2014, fully 41% of Medicare's money needs came from general tax revenue, making it the most important source of funding on which retirees and other Medicare participants rely."
This is why we have the Coalition for Medicare Choices fighting for seniors to get more tax dollars from the general fund each year. I used to be a proud part of that effort.
" Unlike Social Security, a significant portion of Medicare already comes from general revenues.
"Payroll taxes and premiums only funded 50% of Medicare in 2015, with 42% coming from the federal budget. This means both of the meme’s claims are inaccurate. Medicare is not even remotely funded 100% by FICA, and it’s directly adding to the debt already.|"
All that evil socialism the elderly are voting against...and using at the same time!!! Today's generation only dreams of the pension plans, etc. that the folks of days gone by had.
Wilderness, totally agree w/you. People love to make excuses-they REFUSE to take responsibility for their lives.
Well, these are good statistics. There is a lot of real world abuse for this program. I've seen people get SNAP benefits, work under the table, get food from the food bank, and live quite well. The other problem is once people get on the program, they don't think they should ever have to pay for their food again. I have seen people with this attitude. I've worked at food banks and seen people, who obviously needed help. I've also seen others who view it as a way to not pay for their food. It a perfect situation, people would only do this temporarily and then no longer need it. Unfortunately, is doesn't work this way. When you volunteer to help at certain places, you'll see things that stats can't tell you. Some people need it but there are MANY people who take advantage of it.
+1000000000000000000000000000000000000000, Mike. When I was working, a co-worker informed me that while she went shopping, a person with SNAP brought non-essential food items. Yes, people abuse SNAP, EBT, & WELFARE...…….That is what I have trying to tell the Leftists here!!!
Yet, there are people who need it, use it and then get off of it. So, I ask myself, should those who use it as intended be punished because of those who abuse it? I sold my business to a woman who was a single mother of three who had a burning desire to get off of welfare. She worked with me from the beginning and was my best worker. Since she took it over she has taken the business to levels I could not have imagined. In her case, she just needed an opportunity to use her God-given intelligence. I learned from her how some families have a history of being teachers, some in the military and more. She said many families on welfare know the system, know what is necessary to get the maximum benefits and more. She made me realize how difficult it is to break away from that mindset and those around you who are angry if you succeed. It's a much bigger problem than I think we realize. It goes deeper than money.
The shame has gone from taking welfare to not getting as much welfare as the neighbor or friend. Yes, it has become almost a "job" in itself to figure out how to get more.
At the same time the system is designed and set up to keep people on charity. Not only in the mindset that becomes ingrained, but in the process of getting off of it. When increased work and effort results in less total income, well, why bother? It isn't worth it. And that's exactly what we've done with the design of the system.
EXACTLY, Mike. It is a culture. There is the culture of the wealthy. There is the culture of the middle class & there is the culture of poverty. Each culture has a vastly different perspective on life. Mike, you are succinct in your analysis. Glad that your friend got off welfare & is highly successful. Wish more people were like her.
Mike, I want to add that many extreme Liberals & Leftists need the poor to feel superior. That is why they advocate for useless, inane, & even detrimental social & welfare programs. They want to feel needed & even covertly superior to the people they are allegedly helping. In their minds, they maintain look at this poor person I am helping him/her-I feel so morally superior. They feel better than. Extreme Liberals & Leftists oppress the poor through social/welfare programs but they REFUSE to acknowledge THIS...………..
I really hope no one on this thread ever has to depend on the goodness of others.
These days a great deal of those jobs that some claim people don't deserve enough to make a living on are considered essential. Grocery store workers, fast food employees, etc. So, are some still going to tell them that they don't deserve to earn a living wage after relying on them to live through this crisis?
I have been wondering this same thing. A lot cal grocer in my town is giving all his workers an extra $2 per hour hazard pay. I hope he can continue that after the crisis subsides.
But, yeah, Bernie is looking pretty darn good right now.
That's good to hear of someone doing something to show real appreciation of workers. And then, we have so many Americans who are convinced that these workers should be fighting for the rights of corporations. I think the corporations can fight for their rights just fine without the help. Some of the right wing BS is clearly being shown for what it is right now.
Bernie certainly seems to understand just how much we really are reliant upon each other in modern society. At least Biden would listen to the experts who are part of what made America great. We have a long way to go now.
LOL In my state, the state liquor stores are "essential". What that means is that they earn money for the state and that alcoholics will go into withdrawal without them (must we now provide meth, crack and opioids for addicts as "essential"?).
My daughter in law owns a small T-shirt printing business, and it, too, is "essential" somehow. Gotta have those pretty T-shirts!
"Essential" does not mean what the word says, not in the Covid19 context.
One can always find exceptions, but the point remains that a considerable number of essential workers are risking illness and death to provide all of us with services we often take for granted.
True. But at the same time...is it more dangerous than being a cop? A lineman, in a driving snowstorm working on high voltage lines? A fireman? There are lots of jobs far more dangerous than a grocery clerk in these times of Covid19.
The only real difference is that the people in a grocery store did not sign up for such danger, while others did. Of course, they now have a choice; either continue working with the new, changed, dangerous environment or leave for greener pastures.
Let me toss a question into the fray: I see posts from a British friend taking price gougers to task - it seems rather common over there. Is this really any different? Demanding a higher price when the country is in trouble and their product (labor) is necessary? If that raise is given, does it not give the store an equal (ethical) right to raise prices to cover their losses? To me, anyway, it is a valid question and I'm not sure I have an answer. I am unaware of any bonuses or raises being given to police, fire, ambulance crews, nurses, doctors, etc; why should a grocery clerk get one? The plumber that comes to fix your broken pipe won't charge extra, and neither will your car mechanic. Why should a grocery clerk get a raise? Every worker out there is in more danger than if they stay at home, yet very few have demanded a raise (I heard workers did at one Amazon warehouse) - are we not in this all together, or is it appropriate for some to make profit off of it?
Finally, there are an awful lot of "essential" jobs. I can't speak for the nation, but in my area any kind of construction is "essential". From road construction to building a new house on speculation - it is all "essential". Nor is that all - most of the businesses I saw driving down a main city street today were open. Tobacco shops, vape stores, fast food, coffee sales, restaurants (take out only), home improvement stores, a tool store, gas stations not only had pumps running (we pump our own gas and pay at the pump) but the little convenience store as well. A "farm supply" store in the middle of the city, pet stores. Most of the strip malls had at least half the stores open. Nor was it just retail; parking lots of office buildings were full. All of these are "essential".
Bottom line: there are, and will be, far more people working than laid off over the virus. Do we really want to add to the burden of those that are laid off in an effort to slow the virus and protect us all by raising prices because we now choose to work a "dangerous" job? Or should we all dig in, do what is necessary, and work our way through this as a people rather than individuals trying to make hay off the problems of others?
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