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Thread: Poverty: an incurable disease?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Craig James's Avatar
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    Poverty: an incurable disease?

    Time to break off from the "Americans" thread and give this subject one of its own.

    My stance is very simple. I believe that the opportunity exists for everyone in America to make something of themselves. I believe that if someone works intelligently and hard for something, it is possible for them to acheive it.

    Originally posted by Nights
    On second thought, you're right Craig. People like being poor. They think "what the hell, I like eating out of the garbage so I can survive. I like sleeping outside even in the winter. I like selling my body so I can survive/feed my children/whatever". How stupid of me to think otherwise. How stupid of me to not realize that all they have to do is try and they'll easily get out. It's not a struggle at all. Their just ******* morons, too damn lazy to go out and get a real job.
    First off, I never said that taking advantage of these opportunities was easy. Quite the opposite. I believe that the people that you mention, Nights, have made very poor decisions to put themselves into the poor situations that they are in. Are they stuck in those situations forever? I don't think so. A person's future is not determined by their past. Is it influenced by it? Hell yes, but not determined by it. It is possible for anyone to break the bonds of poverty if they set their mind and their muscle on it.

    Originally posted by Manveet
    Choice was one of the points for the "individualitic" thoery on poverty. I mean there is no way in hell that you can understand where I'm coming from. I used to think that poverty stricken people got like that cause it was their choice not to go to school, or pursue a job or whatever. But all I have to do is look at my family and the stuff my parents had and have to go through. Although I have mentioned points on how society plays a major role in poverty, that is not what I advocate. I'd like to think that structural and individualistic thoeries are inter connected, they relate with each other. They are a combination which define why people are poor. Craig if you think female/male minorities are getting special treatment in the job force you might be correct. Many jobs need people with a diverse background to communicate with an increased diversified society. In canada the local police may want to hire the asian/east indian or whatever minority group because they need the diversity because of the demand placed buy the public. I would like to get into this some more, and I will, but I best be goin to school now
    By the way, Manveet, I appreciate your input in this discussion. Somehow it has a little bit more thought behind it then some others that post on this site. To get to your point: in regards to your socialogy class and the theories that it brings up, I think that most of that is not valid. In fact, I think that 90% of what is taught at universities today is worthless, and adds nothing to today's job skills...

    Originally posted by hemants
    Poverty is not always a choice. You have to have the know-how to make better choices and that requires being exposed to the right ideas etc. etc.

    Aside from the mentally challenged, poverty exists largely due to circumstances.

    In America and Canada if you make the right choices, it is possible to get out of poverty BUT you have to at least have the good fortune of being exposed to some idea of what the right choices are. Often that is not under your control.
    I say that poverty is the absence of Choice. If you don't decide to do something with yourself, then you most likely will not get anywhere. As far as needing the know how to make better choices, I completely agree with you, hemants. This is one of the key places where our school systems need work. There needs to be classes on money - how to earn it, how to save it, how to invest it. This along with reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic should be the most important things taught in school today. With that being said, we live today in an Information Age. Never has information been more widely available to people. The last time I checked, public libraries were open to rich and poor alike, and what a great place that is to begin searching for ways to get out of the ghetto...
    Last edited by Craig James; 09-27-2002 at 02:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Party of "No." Tryska's Avatar
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    Poverty is sometimes a vicious cycle which is unbreakable, but most times is just a matter of choice.
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    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    Poverty is the cause of problems for some people.

    Poverty is the result of problems for some people.

    That's how I think of it.
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Craig is 100% correct in theory. His statement that it is very difficult for some is also correct. In practice, how we are raised, and those we are surrounded by, have a huge effect on our decisions and actions. In other words, I am quite sure that the ghetto kid who loves to spend his days in the library may not be the most liked kid in his neighborhood. This sort of societal pressure can make things very difficult. You know, the old saying, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. For example, I look at people's credit every single day. Bad credit usually runs in families. If the parents have it chances are the kids have it. Now, those kids started with a fresh slate credit-wise, but they learned bad habits and perpetuated them. It is hard to break free, but it certainly is possible .

    I think one difference between Craig and I on this issue is that I tend to have pity for those who don't have the personal ability to break the chain. In other words, I don't mind welfare and helping to support those people. In the past, we have had discussions about this. Do you still feel the same way Craig?

  6. #6
    Mystic Eric
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    Re: Poverty: an incurable disease?

    Originally posted by Craig James




    I think that 90% of what is taught at universities today is worthless, and adds nothing to today's job skills...


    Craig, I like you. I do. Don't take this in the wrong way:

    I don't really care about 'job skills' I'd rather learn more about our existance, and learn to think, and learn about the beauties of our existance and the universe than have job skills. But you're right though, some things are worthless, but knowledge is power, and that's what you get in university: knowledge. The better educated you are, the better you are to make decisions (usually)

    And as for poverty... do you mean like homelessness? Or just being poor? 'Cause I need to know what you mean in order for me to respond to this post.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Craig James's Avatar
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    Chris, I certainly want to help these people, but I don't think that what has been done in the past has been the best way to do it. I would rather teach people how to fish so that they can feed themselves for a lifetime vs. giving them a fish to cover just one meal. The former is in the best interest of everyone; the latter helps the hungry momentarily.

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    Simplistic
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    Another thing to consider is the economics of handouts. Every dollar that the government spends on "The War on Poverty" is a dollar taken out of the economy that could have been used to create a job, thus reducing poverty. It's a vicious cycle that some people refuse to recognize.

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    Bad Monkey! Nights's Avatar
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    I think a lot of my arguement with you, Craig, all started with the way something was stated at the very beginning of this. The way you worded it made it sound very much like you were saying that the poor were poor because they were too stupid/lazy/etc to get out of the position of poverty. And as such they deserved no help at all. I'm still not sure if I was misunderstanding your view point on that, or not. I hope I am.

    As to answer your question, no, poverty is not something that is incurable. Someone that is poor can get out of that situation, but it is a long, hard struggle. A lot fail in it. A lot more might make it if there was a hand to help them up. That was my point.

    Believe you mentioned before that your parents were poor (not to an extreme, guessing by the fact you said they had to eat cheap. I imagine they still had a place to live, and by the fact they moved, a car.. so I don't think they were to the extremes. We should really explain what we mean by poor sometimes. hell, as a student, i'm poor to a lot of peoples standards.. but ask a bum on the street corner, i'd probably be a sultan). Do you think anything would have been wrong with programs in place to help them find jobs, or programs that were designed to create jobs for them, or even a handout of food, or whatever? Do you think they would not have appreciated that?
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  10. #10
    Simplistic
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    Originally posted by Nights
    Do you think anything would have been wrong with programs in place to help them find jobs, or programs that were designed to create jobs for them, or even a handout of food, or whatever? Do you think they would not have appreciated that?
    Where exactly do you draw the line with these programs? How many of them do we need? Do you think we currently have enough programs, or should we expand our entitlements further?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Craig James's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Craig James

    A nation that is founded upon the notion that its citizens have the freedom to make of themselves what they please, using their brains and hard work, is already amongst the greatest nations on Earth. This concept of throwing money at the poor is bad. Unearned money does nothing for the long-term good of people, and in reality, it tends to handicap them. Most people are poor because they have not done those things necessary to get themselves out of their postion. Give them money, and they will have money - for a short time. They will spend it, and they will be poor again. I see no reason for America to cut a very important part of its budget in order to make a very 'poor' investment. It is not the job of America's government to make people rich, poor or middleclass - that is each individual citizen's decision to make for himself.
    Nights, this was my original post, and the whole point of it at the time was to state that I don't believe the answer to poverty is to throw money at these people, like Rock was suggesting we do instead of funding our military. And you are right - my family was not extremely poor when I was little, but I would classify it the same as the majority of the poor, living paycheck to paycheck with little to no money left over to spend upon anything else but food and shelter. It is true that there are those who are homeless and cannot afford to feed themselves, but I think this is a very small minority of people. By the way, have any of you really sat down and considered why these people are homeless?

    Originally posted by Mystic Eric

    I don't really care about 'job skills' I'd rather learn more about our existance, and learn to think, and learn about the beauties of our existance and the universe than have job skills. But you're right though, some things are worthless, but knowledge is power, and that's what you get in university: knowledge. The better educated you are, the better you are to make decisions (usually)

    And as for poverty... do you mean like homelessness? Or just being poor? 'Cause I need to know what you mean in order for me to respond to this post.
    Eric, first off, it is my opinion that the majority of people who attend university do so for the better job opportunities that they have after receiving their degree. I applaud you your desire to learn, it is one I hold in very high esteem. That still does not change the fact that most of the teachings at said universities is pretty worthless as far as relating to actual jobs. This is obviously different for lawyers, doctors, and high tech positions, but not so for the rest. (I just thought I would throw that little bit of opinion in there to see how many feathers I could ruffle.) I personally love to constantly learn, but there are many other avenues of learning besides the universities (you should see all of the books that I read). I think there is a definate bias to many of the professors in the universities, and I don't believe that they actually help people to think or reason better.

    As far as which type of poor - homelessness or 'just poor', it doesn't matter as far as I am concerned - they both still have avenues to escape it. So consider both.

  12. #12
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Craig I totally agree with you.

    I am reading a book at the moment called "Think and grow rich" by napoleon hill. Its a pretty awesome read and pretty much goes through every step you need to be aware of to become successfull and rich. It also details why people get held back and fail to make money.

    I like one part of the book that questions people that say its hard to make money or that lots of money cannot be made. It details the amount of money we spend on cosmetics, and a few other areas and it was amazing. It then suggests that if we market our services correctly there is no reason why an abundance of wealth cannot be made.

    However, you have to WANT to learn to become successfull. You have to be introduced to this type of information. This is where some people fail they never search for the tools to make the best of themselves. Also as Chris said the people around you can pull you down. You need to surround yourself around people that know more than you, are more successfull from you, people you can learn from.

    Henry Ford is mentioned a lot in the book. His story is amazing. How he built the ford empire from nothing, through persistance and belief. Most of the books I read suggest people give up at the point where they are likely to make money soon. Some people have tried to invent things 1000's of times and will succeed on like try 1001. Never give up. It also discusses the revolution of the steel industry in America and the guys that led it.

    I also disagree with Eric. Look at some of the most popular people. People like Henry Ford who had no formal education. They made it big. I see all these people in my area with 1st degree's and are working in McDonalds or restaurants. It takes a lot more than knowledge to become successfull. Most of the stuff taught in schools is not very applicable in the real world. Knowledge alone is not power.

    I like a part of the book I described above that went into how Henry Ford was described as being ignorant. He was asked a load of general knowledge questions and he failed miserably.He was then asked again, how can you call yourself not ignorant you have little knowledge in some important areas. He replied "why should I clutter up my mind with these usefull facts. If I need to know the answer to this I have buttons in my office that I press, which summons someone and they tell me the answer. I deal in specialized knowledge"

    Thats awesome!

    I also think that in lower education 11-16 yrs. people shoould be taught how to handle money better. Investing, saving, life plans etc. This was never taught to me in school and I am only learning now!
    Last edited by Joe Black; 09-28-2002 at 01:22 AM.
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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Also WWW.ebookdirectory.com/books/think.exe is the free ebook of it.

    Eric read my quote also by Huxley
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  14. #14
    Mystic Eric
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    Well I guess it's all about what we value more. Some people value working a job and trying to get as much money as one can. But me on the other hand, I value knowledge and I want to affect humanity on a global scale... whether it be positive or negative :evillaugh (joking about negative)
    Last edited by Mystic Eric; 09-28-2002 at 02:05 AM.

  15. #15
    Mystic Eric
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    Originally posted by Hulk
    Craig I totally agree with you.

    II also disagree with Eric. Look at some of the most popular people. People like Henry Ford who had no formal education. They made it big. I see all these people in my area with 1st degree's and are working in McDonalds or restaurants. It takes a lot more than knowledge to become successfull. Most of the stuff taught in schools is not very applicable in the real world. Knowledge alone is not power.

    The thing you guys don't understand about what I'm saying is that I don't want to be another person 'in the real world' I want to make an impact.

    And success can be a very subjective word. For example, I would feel more success finding a cure for cancer than I would being the man with the most money in the world. Although to be honest, I would want both.

    It's all about what our goals are I guess. And society needs people from all spectrums. So there are the few in university that comeout with different types of jobs than those in the regular work force. It's all cool though

  16. #16
    Climax of Intellect WillyTheGreat's Avatar
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    I think a lot of you are talking about poverty from the white, middle class point of view.

    Poverty CAN be solved but it needs cooperation from the public and the government.

    Not everyone can become rich or comfortable in today's society so don't trick yourself into believing that.

    If there is a poor neighborhood and a person has ambitions to become successful and is on the right track, ask yourself what this person has to do. They'll probably need a degree which will cost about 60 grand if they go to state school. That's 60 grand probably on a 20-30 grand salary if their parents are helping or 10-20 if they're paying for themselves (which they probably are) and minus some federal aid (which is COMPLETE bulIshit in the U.S. because kids have to pay their way through college and many other nations have free education). While in debt from the loans they would HAVE to take, they'd need to get a job which would suck about 500-1000$ each month then they'd have to pay for a place to live, probably taking care of their family which is most probably bigger than the average (2.4 kids). How much money is this leaving them?

    If they wanna start a business...which bank is going to loan them let's say 100,000$ to start a business with all that other loan debt?

    Maybe they didn't go to college and want to open up a business...they still need a loan but on the amount of income they probably make, would they be able to get one? If so, could they pay it off on time? You think a person from Compton is going to open up a store in Beverly Hills? No, they'd stay in Compton or surrounding areas but how much money are they going to make in a community which doesn't have much money to go around in the first place?

    Now, if this person turns out to be successful, multiply that one by 100 million and everything will be jolly!...but probably not.

    If the government had free education, paid more attention to the so-called ghettoes (cleaned them up, subsidized them more, etc.), fixed-up the SCHOOLS (K-12) in these areas so kids would think they have a chance, then, yes, poverty would go down. But the U.S. is not a humanistic country by any stretch of the imagination and bullshit free-enterprise with government intervention only when it looks like the rich aren't allowing other rich people to make as much money policy is how it goes. Socialism is demonized but I don't know about you but I think a lot of people would be a lot better off if they all had health care and all had education. Capitalism ain't always that great but implementing some ideas of socialism doesn't mean capitalism will die.

  17. #17
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I am speaking about poverty from a logical point of view, not a white middle class one.

    Your example of the college education is a poor one as nearly anyone can get student loans today, thus, as a grade and high school education is free to anyone, and anyone can choose to study indepently at those free libraries, and take advantage of the free education offered to them, nearly anyone can get a college degree.

  18. #18
    Bad Monkey! Nights's Avatar
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    Poor: Not scraping by from paycheck to paycheck, but unable to pay for rent, or homeless, not enough money for food, etc, etc. No money just floating around or wasted.

    That, I believe is the problem with this whole discussion. We've got a lot of different definitions going around. Craig, I'm guessing you mean poor as in going from paycheck to paycheck, barely any money in the bank, if any at all. In which case, yes, that can definitely be caused by their own stupidity. In a lot of cases it is. These case, no I don't think the government should be helping (though as someone suggested, teaching kids how to deal with money in school would be a good idea). Money should not be given to them, except in a few cases (look at each one individually). Also, classes or a mentor should be set up to look at how they spend their money each month, try to help them figure out what they have to do to get out of debt.

    Hell, I work with a lot of people that complain they are broke all the time, and rarely have money to speak of. Now, if I can get by each month paying about five hundred each month to school from my own pocket, in addition to food, rent, utilitizes, etc.. then I have to wonder what the hell these people are spending their money on. They don't go to school. They pay about the same rent as me, probably eat less then me, and get the same size paycheck.. why aren't they making money? They spend it foolish as can be in most cases. That, is I believe what most people are referring to. People that never learnt that if you spend it on something stupid today, you can't spend it on something you need tomorrow. People that are leasing a car, just bought a new tv, have stupid gadgets they don't need, and wonder why they are eating kd or paying rent late because they don't have it today.

    My case goes more to extreme cases of poverty. People that live on the streets. People that live out of garbage cans. People that can no get a job, maybe not from lack of education or anything like that, but because who the hell would hire someone that crawled out of the gutter? These are the cases that I think we need to help. And no, I don't have the answer to how. I don't know how much government help will get them out, and what would encourage them to stay at what they are. I don't know.
    LaLa

  19. #19
    Banned Reinier's Avatar
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    if this is all true i am set up for poverty. no my parents are not poor and im having a very good education, but i cant handle money for ****. I dont think 2 secs about spending. ive only had 1 job and I didn`t like it. Money means very little to me...

  20. #20
    Climax of Intellect WillyTheGreat's Avatar
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    chris, maybe you didn't read the whole post. Getting the loan is one thing, paying it off is another.

  21. #21
    Simplistic
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you start paying off student loans when you stop going to school?

  22. #22
    Climax of Intellect WillyTheGreat's Avatar
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    With most, yes.

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