# Poverty in the United States

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I cannot comprehend the American bloodlust attacks on the poor to impoverished, when the obscenity of what your wealthy get away with seems to be given the big thumbs up. Your working poor and lower middle classes pay far more tax than your wealthy, speaking percentages. Give money to the working or pensioner poor, and it is all spent on necessities and basic comforts, locally. Tax the wealthy less, the money is spent overseas, on jewellery, on a 6th car, the 3rd home, on excessive and vulgar clothing... Those homes often stand empty, much of the year, the conspicuous waste, the sense of entitled excess, whilst often that money is made screwing hardworking, underpaid, working poor, not paid an income they can live on, and depending on a forced tipping system to pay for the most basic, desperate inescapable lives, that the rest of the world finds bizarre.

The trickle down effect is one of the most clearly untrue and pathetic claims, and that isn't challenged, at all. Most bizarre of all, is many of those most badly effected seem to believe it, cling to a fantasy that one day,they might somehow get to be wealthy and live lives of ourtrageous, undeserved wealth. I can't fathom how the poor can be so ignorant of the way they are being screwed. They could completely shake up the system, if they actually bothered to vote and spent some time having economic reality explained in words of one syllable.

Again, there is a large percentage of wealthy to comfortable middle class, in America, usually all voting for one party, that still seem to believe wealth and good fortune is in the hands of whether God cares for them, personally, so that, altho unsaid, the poor clearly deserve it, or God would have protected them. The same attitude comes from the bleated remark in major disasters, that God clearly has a special role for me, to spare me. The same attitude was rampant in primitive middle ages Europe. The ugly, crippled, the poor are there because God believes they deserve it.

The fact that the fortunate often come from already wealthy families, or have parents who are related to, or friends of someone wealthy, who gave them a foothold to a well paid, OVERPAID job, is conveniently forgotten. Or they walk into family businesses or come from a family that managed to get a free education from WW2 service and from that point, became a family that can pay forward a good tertiary education for each generation. Always the attitude that I DESERVE this, the guy next to me doesn't, rife through the supporters of one party.

What boggles my mind most, is so often that attitude comes with proud claims of religious belief, but EVERYTHING Jesus seemed to preach, is classic, textbook socialism. But hey, since when did the majority of christians live even remotely, the life of Jesus they memorise and claim as their ideal?

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Are the people south of the US border somehow more ingenious than the people living in NY City, Boston, or Philadelphia? Somehow 11 million current illegal immigrants to the US have figured out how to move.

All of the illegal immigrants moved to North Dakota?

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All of the illegal immigrants moved to North Dakota?

Obviously you are intelligent enough to understand that North Dakota was simply one example. Immigrants flood into this country every year to take advantage of the opportunity found in various locations in the US. These immigrants often arrive without the ability to speak English. 11 million of them have come understanding the difficulties of succeeding while being here illegally, and yet they come. Our domestic poor however stay where they are locked in government dependency. Why?

America is a country made from people that arrived on its shores with nothing but the clothes on their backs. People that started out on the bottom rung of the ladder and then move from there to the middle class. How did this get broken? Bleeding hearts like menageriemanor who strive to make poverty tolerable broke this. They created a welfare system that teaches the poor to work harder for government benefit checks than for pay checks.

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There is far, far more corporate welfare in this country than personal welfare.

I consider myself as poor. I have an education and have worked my ass off my entire life. What some people seems to leave out is just how difficult and tiring it is to be poor. I work a job that is physically demanding. Up early and home late. My only luxury is that I exercise regularly. I call it a luxury, but the reality is that it is necessary. I am in better physical shape than most people half my age. I have not seen a doctor in over 20 years. It wouldnt matter if a did need to see a doctor , because I can't afford the visit anyway. So I do whatever I can to avoid getting sick, but there are no guarantees.

Just how much physical and mental energy do you think I have left over at the end of the day?

I have dog. Sure it cost money to feed him, but the mental therapy and happiness he brings is better than any pharmaceutical or shrink can bring.

My thermostat is set to 58 degrees. Why? Because the place I can afford to rent is so poorly insulated and sealed that my electric bills would be impossible to pay if I turned it up. I like to say I do it to reduce my carbon footprint, but sometimes I can see my breath in the morning.

I have two cars. Wow, I must be making poor decisions and living beyond my means. But one car is 23 years old and I have owned it for 15 years. It looks like absolute hell, but it runs...mostly. The other car is 20 years old. Why two cars? Because if I had one and it broke down I would be out of a job. I had a wheel bearing go bad, was up the entire night trying to replace the bearing with make shift tools and a homemade press. Cant afford a new car, cant afford a mechanic, cant afford to miss work. I was sore as hell and tired to the bone, but I had to go to work the next day. So I bought a second car for $800 as backup. But the law requires that both cars are insured, with current emissions, and current registration. I cant pay insurance in total up front, so I pay monthly, which costs more. But I have no other option. If all else fails. I have a bicycle that I can ride 25 miles a day to get to and from work. If you are poor everything, and I mean everything, costs more and demands more time and effort. It does not matter how much you strip down your life, its still much more difficult to get by. But I am a progressive liberal, so it must mean I don't work hard enough and all I want is a handout. I am all for personal accountability, and self reliance. So much so that friends and family get upset with me for not asking for help when I truly need it (I once fell 20 feet down into a drainage ditch trying to walk home in the middle of the night after after my car ran out of gas on the highway).But when accusations of laziness are leveled at those who are less finiancially fortunate by those who obviously have never lived in poverty, I tend to get more than upset. This is especially the case when it is more than obvious that our entire financial system, health care system, and legal system is stacked against the poor and rigged to advantage those who already have more. How much is one person really worth anyway? There is only so much work one can do in a single day. There is only so much benefit a single person can bring to society. So how do the corporate welfare recipients justify their salaries? How do banksters destroy the economy, make illegal transactions, bet against their own flawed investments and then get seven figure salaries? How do big energy companies get subsidies, while polluting the environment, while fighting against curbing CO2 emissions (AGW will hurt the poorest of the poor), while pumping "mystery" fluids into the ground for fracking? How is it they are making record profits with record salaries? How is it that tax dollars get spent on military contractors, for war machines we dont need for wars we never should have fought? Yet they are making money hand over hammer. How is it that this country maintains nonsensical drug laws to support a booming private prison system which is making record profits? So much profit in fact that they can donate millions of dollars to build a stadium and send legions of lobbyists to Washington. Yeah, there's a welfare issue in this country. But it isnt the poor people sucking off the teet. You want to talk about getting screwed? You want to tell me I am not working hard enough? The system has my ass over a barrel, and those at the top are getting filthy rich off my hard work. Its not social welfare everbody should be worried about, its corporate welfare system that benefits NOBODY but the elite. That is what we all should be pissed over. Edited by akh ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Obviously you are intelligent enough to understand that North Dakota was simply one example. Immigrants flood into this country every year to take advantage of the opportunity found in various locations in the US. These immigrants often arrive without the ability to speak English. 11 million of them have come understanding the difficulties of succeeding while being here illegally, and yet they come. Our domestic poor however stay where they are locked in government dependency. Why? Maybe it's because you are setting up a false equivalence of the situations. Your argument basically requires that there only be 11 million poor people outside the US, all of whom emigrated to the US. Surely you are intelligent enough to know that this is not the case. If, however, you think it is, I'd like some evidence to back up the assertion. (good luck with that, BTW) Further, you assert that zero "domestic" poor move. I do want evidence for that, too. (again, good luck) Instead, if 11 million illegal immigrants represent just a subset of the world's poor, and those who are both willing and able to come to the US, it stands to reason that there are many more who can't, for varying reasons. It is a serious failure of logic to see that some people have the ability to move and conclude that all do. I don't think it takes much imagination to figure out why some people stay put. Some families, for example, may not want to move because it would mean leaving other family members behind, who are less able to care for themselves. Or maybe they have a job and don't have the training or skills to get a better one, so moving makes no sense. America is a country made from people that arrived on its shores with nothing but the clothes on their backs. People that started out on the bottom rung of the ladder and then move from there to the middle class. How did this get broken? Bleeding hearts like menageriemanor who strive to make poverty tolerable broke this. They created a welfare system that teaches the poor to work harder for government benefit checks than for pay checks. Evidence that all poor people are slackers and none of them work hard, please. It's pretty convenient to call them lazy and blame welfare so you don't have to think about it any further. But the "welfare queen" represents a minority of people on welfare. http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/ (AFDC = Aid to Families with Dependent Children) Time on AFDC Percent of Recipients Less than 7 months 19% 7 to 12 months 15.2% 1 to 2 years 19.3% 2 to 5 years 26.9% Over 5 years 19.6% (Interesting to note we spend more on corporate welfare than social welfare http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/ ) ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Somehow 11 million current illegal immigrants to the US have figured out how to move. The Irish in the middle of a famine figured it out. So you want to create that kind of disaster out of the US, just to get the surviving poor to move to North Dakota? There's what, a few thousand jobs there - that would just about cover the worst of the problem in one ward of Chicago. And then NoDak can set up the kind of quasi slavery abuse that greeted the Irish and wetbacks in the US, with the effect on wages and standards of living for all that such practices have always had - and we can have our very own Brazil, Honduras, Indonesia, Phillipine Islands, plantation era Mississippi, or maybe if very lucky Texas, right here where we used to have America. Congratulations. The whole point of a welfare system is to avoid those kinds of disasters, becuase no sane person wants to chance living through them - not even the rich, if they read their history into the later chapters. America is a country made from people that arrived on its shores with nothing but the clothes on their backs. People that started out on the bottom rung of the ladder and then move from there to the middle class. How did this get broken? Bullshit. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Akh, swansont, and overtone; I have reviewed my above posts (21, 25, and 28) to see if I ever claimed that the poor were lazy. I cannot find such a claim. What I said was that the poor in the US have been made dependent and those that have made them dependent know of the damage that they are doing and persist. Counter to such a claim of laziness, I have pointed out that America is a country where people have in the past, and continue to find to be a refuge from poverty. A country where immigrants arrive with nothing, don’t speak the common language, and succeed in moving up to the middle class. While overtone might think this to be "bullshit" it is a common American story. So common it applies to all of my great grandparents. People who succeeded during a time without welfare. swansont; Mobility has always been and will continue to be an important tool in elevating oneself out of poverty. My initial post was in part in response to your statement regarding a lack of trailer parks in big cities, and my response to that was two part. One, move it you can't succeed where you are. Two, government assistance makes staying put a more attractive alternative hence creating dependency. Why go into the unknown when your assistance check makes where you are tolerable? Also, most assistance it tied to where you live. Move and you lose it. Finally, since you all brought it up I guess we have to talk about "corporate welfare." While I would love to talk about subsidies for wind, solar, and biofuel, a total waste of money, I'm sure you would rather talk about Exxon-Mobile. Exxon-Mobile pays billions of dollars in taxes at local, state, and federal levels. Yes, the government feels the need to encourage them to conduct their business in ways they may not choose through the tax code. Also the government further incentivizes them to act in ways they may already choose to act for the benefit of the country through the tax code. Either way they still pay billions in taxes providing a product that is then further taxed when purchased by consumers. I know you feel that these tax based incentives are "corporate welfare" and a great injustice. But if they are abolished, who do you think will actually pay for the elimination of these tax incentives, or "corporate welfare" as you prefer? The shareholders of Exxon-Mobile? No. Exxon-Mobile will simply pass these costs onto consumers. That is how all business deal with taxes. If they didn't, they would go out of business. So go look in a mirror if you want to know who will pay for the elimination of "corporate welfare." Edited by waitforufo ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Akh, swansont, and overtone; I have reviewed my above posts (21, 25, and 28) to see if I ever claimed that the poor were lazy. I cannot find such a claim. What I said was that the poor in the US have been made dependent and those that have made them dependent know of the damage that they are doing and persist. Counter to such a claim of laziness, I have pointed out that America is a country where people have in the past, and continue to find to be a refuge from poverty. A country where immigrants arrive with nothing, don’t speak the common language, and succeed in moving up to the middle class. While overtone might think this to be "bullshit" it is a common American story. So common it applies to all of my great grandparents. People who succeeded during a time without welfare. Ah, yes, "addicted to dependency", "Perhaps they don’t move because they don’t trust that there assistance checks will be forwarded", "Our domestic poor however stay where they are locked in government dependency", "They created a welfare system that teaches the poor to work harder for government benefit checks than for pay checks. " (emphasis added) No implications of laziness there. Right. When your great grandparents were the example of the American story, what was the wealth distribution like? What was the tax rate on the highest earners? What was the atmosphere for outsourcing jobs like? swansont; Mobility has always been and will continue to be an important tool in elevating oneself out of poverty. My initial post was in part in response to your statement regarding a lack of trailer parks in big cities, and my response to that was two part. One, move it you can't succeed where you are. Two, government assistance makes staying put a more attractive alternative hence creating dependency. Why go into the unknown when your assistance check makes where you are tolerable? Also, most assistance it tied to where you live. Move and you lose it. I asked for evidence to support your claims, and you merely reiterated your hypothesis you rather than providing any. I shall now assume you have none, which is unsurprising to me, given the ludicrous nature of the claims. Finally, since you all brought it up I guess we have to talk about "corporate welfare." While I would love to talk about subsidies for wind, solar, and biofuel, a total waste of money, I'm sure you would rather talk about Exxon-Mobile. Exxon-Mobile pays billions of dollars in taxes at local, state, and federal levels. Yes, the government feels the need to encourage them to conduct their business in ways they may not choose through the tax code. Also the government further incentivizes them to act in ways they may already choose to act for the benefit of the country through the tax code. Either way they still pay billions in taxes providing a product that is then further taxed when purchased by consumers. I know you feel that these tax based incentives are "corporate welfare" and a great injustice. But if they are abolished, who do you think will actually pay for the elimination of these tax incentives, or "corporate welfare" as you prefer? The shareholders of Exxon-Mobile? No. Exxon-Mobile will simply pass these costs onto consumers. That is how all business deal with taxes. If they didn't, they would go out of business. So go look in a mirror if you want to know who will pay for the elimination of "corporate welfare." Exxon-Mobil pays a lot in taxes because they make a lot of money. Which raises the issue of why they need tax breaks. The incentives from the government may have made sense at one time, like alternative sources do now, but not when they make many billions of dollars in profit ($41 billion last year). Losing a billion or so in subsidies is not going to make them go bankrupt. (You don't have to pass corporate income taxes along to your customers, because only profits are taxed. If you make no money, you pay no taxes.)

At the same time companies get tax breaks, they don't want to spend money on training employees — they want that cost to be borne by the public, i.e. socialism is just fine when it comes to expenses (also see pollution) but not profits. Or they push for importing foreign workers on H-1B visas because they can pay them less and keep unemployment high. Less wage pressure. Anything and everything to perpetuate the inequality.

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Akh, swansont, and overtone;

I have reviewed my above posts (21, 25, and 28) to see if I ever claimed that the poor were lazy.

You may not have said it explicitly, but it is very much implicit to your argument. I dont see how it is not. You are essentially saying that the poor are not motivated enough to do better.

So go look in a mirror if you want to know who will pay for the elimination of "corporate welfare."

So you are ok with corporate welfare but have issues with social welfare? What you are basically saying is that we should all pay into a system that props up corporation which in turn benefits the elites that head these corporations and no one else. Yet at the same time we should eliminate social welfare for the poor? All the time the average citizen is working harder, for longer hours, for less pay. We are being told we are lazy, that we are not aspiring enough. Yet the income desparity grows, the super rich get richer and more and more people fall into poverty and low income. The corporations claim there are plenty of jobs yet no workers with the "right" skill set. Yet they refuse to train potential smart, educated, and motivate employees. As Swansont pointed out, this why there is pressure from lobbyists to increase foreign worker visas. There is no other reason!

Have you not figured out that this is debt bondage? Except what you suggest is actually worse, because in addition to little pay, you wish to deny food, clothing, and shelter. The corporations are already denying the training.

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Akh, swansont, and overtone;

I have reviewed my above posts (21, 25, and 28) to see if I ever claimed that the poor were lazy

Leave me out of that one. I never said anything about any claims of lazyness.

I have pointed out that America is a country where people have in the

past, and continue to find to be a refuge from poverty. A country where

immigrants arrive with nothing, don’t speak the common language, and

succeed in moving up to the middle class. While overtone might think

this to be "bullshit" it is a common American story.

America is a country made from people that arrived on its shores with nothing but the clothes on their backs. People that started out on the bottom rung of the ladder and then move from there to the middle class.

How did this get broken?

Stick to one story.

Most of the immigrants that "made" America, aside from the disaster refugees and slaves and such (which they treated as resources in their own right), came with substantial resources and the aim of using them to become even more prosperous by exploiting "free" land and the untapped wealth found here. That is still more or less the case - with various public resources and stores of wealth supplanting the land over the centuries.

The most effective means of improving the lot of those truly poor - nothing but the shirt on their backs, etc - has been government programs and infrastructure, coupled with massive redistribution of wealth - the Revolutionary War, The Louisiana Purchase, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Homestead Act, the Hoover Dam, the GI Bill after WWII, and so forth.

Edited by overtone
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The way I have read about poverty is America is like this: Wealth has increased, but monetary finances have decreased.

In other words, the quality of living has increased, but the financial status of individuals has decreased.

So, people in America are able to take planes, cars, and buses to places. But people in foreign countries with less wealth cannot.

People in America can talk to others on their computers and cell phones, so they can stay in touch with family and loved ones.

So, in a way, people in America are wealthy, but they do not have a lot of money.

When there are people in America without mental issues who are starving and looking for a place to sleep, then there are serious issues in America.

Edited by Genecks
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<p>If you go back to your fantasy of the European poor coming with nothing, and flourishing, such as the Irish, the eastern Europeans of early 20th century, you might like to look at the death rates of men, women and children, that conveniently AREN'T part of your fantasy rewriting of history.  Those who survived, in many cases, were hustlers, ready to do whatever it takes to become well off.  Others were helped by extended families, the young adult sons sent out to try to establish a foothold before the arrival of families.  They lived in tenements crawling with lice, fleas, disease, no lavatories, or bathrooms, kitchens fire hazards used by all, and infecting all. Families living in 1 room, little furniture, no heating.  Bring back the Good Old Days, eh?  (Ooh look, they're almost here...)    </p>

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<p> Disabled children left to fester in rooms, with no hope of a glimmer of the most basic happiness, usually until they died young. Small children caring for babies, disabled chldren, child molestation so unilportant, it was rarely bothered to report it. Yes, some families flourished, but the price was paid with appalling child mortality rates, many women dying very young, many men dying very young...  but hey, that's the realities of the Republican economics, eh? You celebrate and recommend a return to that?</p>

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<p> A number of families got ahead by pickpocketing, scams, screwing those other unfortunates living near them, selling their wives and daughters, to feed the younger children.  What fantasy of the Good Old Days are you volunteering for?  As an American, you have no problem with knowing that sort of life is being lived, by your own citizens?  That that is what you would walk by, with no sense of horror, no sense of compassion?  You would allow a 3 year old to starve in the street and die, as they did in the early 20th century, because there was no social security.</p>

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<p>If you move to a new state, you leave behind family/the only adults you know and hopefully can trust to mind your kids, if there is an emergency or while you work.  You may own a car, but you might be living in it.  Is there a guarantee of a job in this other state?  They won't be earning enough for a professional babysitter.  With your empathy, they leave kids  in the car while they work?  I feel really badly for the educated, compassionate, gentle Americans who understand Keynes, and know the unspoken horrors of Heyek economics, and live with the knowledge of how Americans and their social welfare systems work in reality, and how they are viewed, as a whole, by much of the world...</p>

<p> </p>

<p>If the comfortably off/wealthy rightwing actually studied  history, you'd know your economic theories led to the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution.  Much of the angry unrest and violent TAKING of your wealth, is due to the anger of seeing the vacuous, the trust babies, with IQs struggling to make 70, in jobs in which they are incapable - prime example, W, who really should have got a job feeding pigs. Look at the state of America thanks to him and the men who ran and manipulated him.  The thuggish, uneducated poor have access to tvs and see how thuggish, stupid wealthy live, They can see they are just as thick, just as thoughtlessly greedy, and are reacting as they would in the school yard, except with high powered guns bought at the local shops,, because of America's insane gun laws.</p>

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<p>The most stable AND HAPPY societies are those where equality within society, is well established, some where top wages can only be a maximum of 20 times the average wage. Usually, great education, health care for all, and care for the disabled and old.  No one fears that if they get cancer, need a hip replaced, etc, that they'll lose their home. Society values you, has got your back...  An idea that is incomprehensible to probably half of America, a fact taken for granted, in so many first world countries.  If that system of wage limit was  brought in to America,  America would have universal healthcare, free education, including tertiary, a mental and physical disability system  that would give everybody the chance to achieve at their highest level, allow their carers a personal life, an ability to work, even study, in order to work shorter hours to support their family member.</p>

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<p>I am always amazed at the boasting about America being the greatest.  It COULD be, but the reality for many in your country is the same as the worst conditions in Eastern Europe,   THAT is your America, just as the ethical horror of a Karcrapion  being valued as a star, paid obscene amounts of money, a values system that sinks like a stone, and an @rse that would look better on a horse, means if they get pregnant, it makes NEWS.   The vacuous greed, the value of vulgar trash, the ignorance, the lack of compassion of the majority of those supporting one of your parties just SHOCKS so much of the world. </p>

Edited by menageriemanor
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<h1>And that's why people don't talk about China... </h1> <--- insert HTML code reading sarcasm

Because obviously, China has something going for it with its communist paradigm. Then again, there could just be large amounts of misinformation, as I've talked to people in China in the past, and supposedly their unemployment rates are complete garbage... unless their 4% unemployment rate was the real unemployment rate, yet there were just so many more poor than in America that the Chinese gathered, had a social psychology, and felt like they were more worthless than the poor and jobless during a 4% unemployment time in America.

China has more people, thus there would be more people to complain about poverty than America. I really would like the news to talk more about foreign countries, their unemployment rates, and other things like that. I feel as though the U.S. Government has been specifically barring such things on U.S. television networks in an attempt to brainwash the U.S. republic.

Edited by Genecks
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excuse me, WHO is praising China? China and Russia are examples of why communism will always fail, unless the population is controlled.

This squealing reaction to criticism and the thrusting of a non democratic and extremist government as an answer to being confronted with fact, really does nothing to impress those with even a small comprehension of economics, politics OR world history, but I guess that passes for Republican debate. We are talking democratic, flourishing countries. The bulk of their citizens doing far better than MILLIONS of Americans, their healthcare guaranteed, their elderly living in dignity, whilst, in the Land of the Free To Be Greedy and Ignorant, the poor old, disabled, disturbed, are seen as as inconvenient trash, by the right wing.

With that attitude to fellow citizens, no wonder your native wildlife is in so much trouble. It so saddens me that so many truly caring, compassionate, decent average Americans volunteer, sacrifice so much, when their own country could so easily provide so much protection to it's disabled, elderly and sick, just from a FAIR tax system.

Many of these unthinkingly greedy ultra rich are screaming how a fair tax rate would gouge them. So they don't have 5, 10, 20 imported luxury cars - how obscene is that, when people are dying, waiting for or unable to afford a simple operation. So they don't have 3 houses in America, and an island or 3 houses overseas. Poor diddums. If you have billions. even millions, and cannot, in 10 generations, spend what you have, when your spending is obscene, then scream with outrage at being expected to pay as much tax, percentage wise, as a wage earner on \$40000... If you can't see that as obscene, as morally bankrupt, I can only suggest that if your health fails, your parents wealth is lost overnught with a carpet bagger investment scheme, and you need a heart operation, and you have a disabled child needing 24 hour care and many hospital visits, I hope you realise how different your life would be, how much more CIVILISED that life is... Most people don't need that help for decades, some never, but are happy, and would fight for those less fortunate to have that automatic protection. EXCEPT Republicans, apparently...

So why answer me with the irrational example of China? Is that the sum total of your knowledge of the politics and economics of the rest of the world? One thing we can thank China for, despite the uneducated horror of aborting female babies, is the one child policy. Would that that came in, worldwide, for the next 100 years.

Edited by menageriemanor
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I feel as though the U.S. Government has been specifically barring such things on U.S. television networks in an attempt to brainwash the U.S. republic.

It's very easily available if you choose to look. Even on TV it's available, like with BBC or PBS, but especially so online with quality blogs and true journalists.

The problem IMO is not the US government trying to brainwash people and preventing certain international viewpoints from being shown. If they had that level of control and authority, I suspect they'd also prevent us from seeing what a bunch of incompetent asshats they are.

The problem IMO is with the public itself... with people tuning out to any news program that doesn't talk about honey boo boo and paris hilton or who had a nip slip or which celeb is pregnant, and with people failing to tune into any program that says something not perfectly aligned with their preconceptions and biases. These programs are driven by advertisers. That's where the money comes from, and the money comes in when viewership is up.

This is not an issue of government censorship. It's an issue of major media outlets catering to the mean... even sometimes to the lowest common denominator.

To the OP: Many of the charts I shared in this other thread speak to the subject pretty directly - http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/71738-2012-us-economy-everything-you-need-to-know-in-34-charts/

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The problem IMO is not the US government trying to brainwash people
and preventing certain international viewpoints from being shown. If
they had that level of control and authority, I suspect they'd also
prevent us from seeing what a bunch of incompetent asshats they are.

The problem IMO is with the public itself.

The people who do have the necessary level of control and authority also benefit from presenting government as a bunch of incompetent asshats.

That would not be the public.

Much as a fairly large fraction of the American public deserves every disparagement of peabrained meanness and ignorance and bigotry directed at it and more;

and much as the American public in general is failing at its responsibility of ensuring its own good information, in particular at using its government, when necessary, to prevent the kind of disinformation campaigns we've been seeing recently from monopolizing the major public media as they have been allowed to do (the Fairness Doctrine was imposed for reason of public good, and repealed for reason.of corporate greed, by elected officials)

it doesn't seem fair to blame this public. The marketing and propaganda efforts directed at the American people are the finest and most effective the world has ever seen. It's like grandma getting conned by the nice young man with the clipboard who only wants to make sure her furnace is safe and reliable and her checking account is not being pilfered by the bank - sure it's her fault in a sense, but geez.

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ringer, I don't understand the odd access, but that link? is it called? was brilliant. (reply #41) I wish every poor right wing voter could just comprehend what they are doing to themselves, how they are manipulated to lose more and more. It shocked me, and I KNEW it was atrocious.

I was reading, "Actually Mr Brill, fixing health care is kinda simple," tho while he opts for med insurance through his state, it is just common sense to do it through the national government.

Edited by menageriemanor
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it doesn't seem fair to blame this public. The marketing and propaganda efforts directed at the American people are the finest and most effective the world has ever seen. It's like grandma getting conned by the nice young man with the clipboard who only wants to make sure her furnace is safe and reliable and her checking account is not being pilfered by the bank - sure it's her fault in a sense, but geez.

Interesting post. I cannot completely agree though. I interpret this as a question about who has the responsibility for the situation you're all in.

If the public cannot be blamed for the situation it is in...

If the politicians cannot be expected to bring any changes soon...

If the corporations are not expected to change their methods...

Then who will? You are describing a situation where the richest country in the world is stuck in a type of systematic lock-in, where you do not progress toward an optimal situation, simply because of the situation you find yourself in right now. And there is no way out.

I disagree...

People can be expected to make choices. Information is available (this thread is sufficient proof of that), and people are responsible for which information they receive. The USA is not a dictatorship, and information is not limited. Everything is available. Sure, certain (commercial) voices scream a lot louder than others, but that does not remove the responsibility of people to make a choice.

I would agree with you if people simply had no choice. But they do. And that places the responsibility with them. And with us. People who are well-informed have a responsibility to spread information. This thread seems to be doing a decent job at that.

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