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Something new and horrible

Discussion in 'Random Nonsense' started by cloasters, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    The Tories and accomplices in "New Labor" are certainly adept at cruelty. Ouch! I'm not sure how our sweet government handles similar situations. I'm sure they are cruel but I hope that they are not as inhuman as the UK's "tax upon the poor" program. Sheesh, don't I miss Margaret Thatcher? Not one iota, she and Reagan were made for each other. Ugh, history hurts.
  2. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    This is effectively part 2 - I was running out of space for asterisks.

    The punitive aspect of the benefits system is unnecessary. It plays well in the press to go after "benefit cheats" but actually, benefit fraud adds up to only a percent or so of the total benefits spend per year. The punitive aspect, however, plays well against those sitting in the comfortable end of the income scale as it's an easy scapegoat for the size of their tax bill. This is because "welfare" accounts for roughly a third of government spending from tax. But this is also misleading.

    When you drill into welfare, pensions make up nearly half of it. (Sorry, Boomers - the pension system was predicated upon a rising population. You didn't make enough babies and so we can't afford you. At some point we'll either have to cut this.) Of the rest, it's a fairly easy split between sickness/incapacity, housing, children and miscellaneous social care, although these also include the salaries of care workers, where necessary. Unemployment, the focus of our ire, accounts for 1% of the welfare spend, or 0.34% of total taxation.

    All this misery, to shave fractions of a percent.

    We could effectively end the poverty trap in the UK by three simple changes:
    1) Pay claimants on the day of their claim, not 6 weeks later
    2) Delay suspension of benefits until 12 weeks after securing a job
    3) Write off over-payments instead of pursuing repayments through the courts.

    Even if Brexit beggars us, we're still wealthy enough to afford that. It is, after all, less than a percent of tax. We could, if we had to fund it, shave a little off government vanity projects.

    Tories, definitely!
    New Labour, insidiously.

    Gordon Brown created a vast network of overlapping benefits and entitlements. Not because he particularly cared about the poor, although I gather he's actually not a bad person, but because in doing so he locked in an enormous client population who would become dependent upon government money (as in work benefits erode pay, and government cash becomes a significant fraction of one's income stream). The idea was to scare enough of the client population into never voting Tory for fear of losing their benefits, as the system was the first thing those humourless bastards would chop.

    Oops, when they got fed up with Labour, they voted Lib Dem and split the left. The coalition government happened and that led to universal credit.

    On paper, UC wasn't a bad idea either - take this vast network of overlapping benefits, each of which has its own separate bureaucracy to administer it, and merge them into a single payment. In theory, by getting rid of the bureaucrats, you could pay the people more, while saving money. Great! It's not "right" enough - there has to be a punitive aspect. So... enter delays and sanctions.

    I'm pretty sure your government chooses attrition - let them work 3 jobs, be unable to afford healthcare, and they'll die before they become too burdensome...
  3. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    The American Middle class is basically dead. People, Many many people here must work two or three low paying jobs. Then they must use food banks (Charity) or social programs.to pay rent and meet their bills.

    Full time Walmart employees receive Walmart instructions on how to apply for welfare to make ends meet.
    So the Tax payer ends up supporting the massively under paid wally world worker.

    If you don't have a profession, your screwed for life. Patti was making 20 bucks and hour and trying to find a place for us to live. CHEAPEST place in 50 miles a single wide trailer that was a wreak...$2700 a month rent.

    We has no choice but buy a travel trailer to live full time in or go homeless, We were within 10 days of homeless.So we are living in a 33 year old trailer.

    With trailers it where you park that matters most. We had incredible luck in find our camp ground, we didn't even look. we just drove by and Patti stopped to inquire. At $450 a month (Now $525) We rented a space before we had a trailer!!

    Borrowed and spent our savings to buy our current home. The only thing unusual about us is that we are not homeless now. There are people here living full time in 14 foot long 30 year old shit box of a camper.

    Most of us don't have a tow vehicle. Many of us depend on others to get them into town to shop for food. Patti almost never goes alone any more to many need help to manage the basics of our lives here.

    But we do willingly and happily help one another all we can and so we get by.

    We all pitch in to help a raging schizophrenic the state parked in a shit box trailer
    50 miles from his "social worker". The poor man can barely feed himself!!

    And pretty much lives on what we as a group can give him.

    Once homeless, you almost always stay homeless. The pay is way to low the rent all but impossible. Get this Trevor is one of the lucky ones. Most of our seriously mentally ill live in the ally ways and back streets of poverty.

    Trevor is approximately 55 years old, dirty and rather unattractive man. He's here because he was being raped and beaten every night in Seattle. The predators had his number.He completely lacks coherent speech. I cannot imagine how one manages when one cannot trust what one sees or hears to be real.

    This IS the new America. The Tumor generation. And it is dirty and a sorrowful mess of lost children and misplaced grievances.

    Alcohol is a bright across America. Our drunks hide behind our Junkies, so we hear much less about the far bigger problem of alcohol.

    We are a country in despair. How far off can revolution be?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 8:55 PM
  4. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    I like your suggestions about making unemployed people suffer far less from changing the whip hand to a gently slapping one.
  5. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Despair looms large in my life. And I'm a very, very lucky camper concerning money. Were my situation appreciably worse I wouldn't at all care if I made to 70 YOA. Seventy years of taking up space and accomplishing very little is more than enough.

    Occupying real estate after death seems to me to be perhaps the most selfish and self centered thing an ego can do. Pre-paid for my incineration. Let's hope that this wasn't a lie from yet another business...

    I see any real take it to the streets revolution as a flat out impossibility. Since 9/11 we've been stripped of almost all civil liberties. We are surveilled far more than we know. The people in charge will be happy to murder every last one of us. Leaving just enough slaves to make the lives of the powerful luxurious.
  6. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    There's a certain amount of soul searching going on amongst the European social democracies for the right way to manage unemployment and social support. There have been trials of a "universal basic income," which would be payable to every citizen, and ensure that nobody was ever left without money. Unfortunately, without some level of price control, inflation will have at that and render it useless - and then we start down the over-centralised path the USSR's economy so brittle.

    If you don't go that route and keep social security as a safety net... well, you have to encourage people to get back off the net. It's not supposed to be comfortable, just survivable.

    That is absolutely horrific! Who votes for this? Why isn't there rolling strike action?

    Is that net or gross of tax? I'm trying to compare against UK incomes... but again, $2700 for a trailer? That's enough to rent a 6 bedroom mansion on one of our better estates!

    Who has the energy, if you're working three jobs?
  7. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    George has a completely wrong idea about our social services.
    Bear with me George

    We didn't and don't want people ti use them. We set up unbelievable hurtles for anyone in need.

    Food stamps, you have to be below the poverty line. If one is below the poverty line one cannot afford a home of any kind.
    If you don't have a home then you can't qualify for food stamps.

    We don't pass social programs to help people. But rather to pretend we do, so better aid can't be passed.

    When I was a boy my middle class parents bought a house with a 1/2 acre, It was 50 years old. As it was the original farm house of a lemon grower., it now stands as a heritage site so nobody can erase our names from the concrete side walk I helped install. I have been immortalized!! LOL

    My step[ dad a diesel mechanic was good at his work and his pay reflected that. knocking down $20 a hour, same as Patti makes today. This was 60 years ago.

    They bought the house for 13,000 at 3 orb4 % interest. The average house now is at lest 350,000 and that's hard to find.

    This will aid your understanding of this Kaitain. We started off paying 750.00 a month for a single wide 20 yer old trailer that was installed on the property as a business office for a dynamite contractor. years later remodeled into a house.We were in the sticks, several hundred yards from our nearest neighbor.

    over our 5 year stay our rent went up to $950 a month. We had very good and reasonable land lords.

    The owner came to need our rental for a sick child in their family, they were trying to create a isolated home for his survival. They gave us a rather generous 6 months notice. Patti and I both felt the weight of a sick child's need.

    We looked every where for OVER a year and a 2700 a month pile of shit in the country side, miles from any sort of work.

    We reached a point where we simply had to move in
    the next ten days, This kid was really sick. Patti was a wreak and no words from me could soothe her. five day go by and we find nothing.

    Patti is in a daze driving around the countryside because she had no place to go, and nothing that would receive us. She has a headache and pulls over. Then she saw the easy to miss sign . Row walks over to her car asks is she needs help.

    a half hour after Patti writes a check for our spot, third or fourth best spot in the park, a year later a neighbor moves out of number two best spot, so we move spots and now live approximately 100 feet from the river.

    Only two spots can see the river with out going out side. Ours is one of them":O}

    If our landlords had not been real saints, giving us extension after extension,never complaining, never pressuring us. They simply explained their situation and trusted they we were doing our best.

    Without their understanding we would be homeless today. And As I said earlier, there is no coming back from homeless in America.
    Patti and I have seen a lot of tight spots in our time together, forty two years brings many changes.
    But this was long hard and debilitating. Our closest shave ever with disaster.
  8. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for pointing out that I was completely wrong about our social services, Daniel.
    Gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that It looks like I'll always be wrong about something!

    Are you ever wrong about anything? Seriously, inquiring minds would like to know.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:35 AM
  9. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    在中秋节里, 祝愿你们全家节日开心快乐

    Attached Files:

  10. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    OK, I'm pretty sure none of us will be completely correct on this one, so let's shelve that particular discussion ;)

    As far as I can tell, your system is complicated by the fact that you're a federation of 50 states. In case anyone needed reminding, that's 50 separate, sovereign nations with their own governments, laws and systems, which have agreed to devolve aspects of their sovereignty to a federal government, and to advertise themselves externally as "The United States of America." In fact, this is the same situation as the three-kingdoms-and-a-principality that make the UK, or the approx. 15 separate nations that we refer to as Germany.

    As a result, on just about every subject, the Federal Government is only capable of delivering the minimum... on anything.

    My limited reading shows that the Federal Govt. mandates 6 categories of welfare, being SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP, Housing (inc. LIHEAP), TANF and SSI. Because you're a federated union with freedoms of movement and residence, if any State offers more than the minimum, it may be inundated with benefit tourists. This is a problem within the EU, where the systems are not harmonised. Thus there is no incentive to offer more than the minimum to those in need.

    Taxpayers don't see how these benefits are financed, as they only see the direct fiscal transfers from the Federal Budget to the welfare system, and don't see the politicking that goes on - tax breaks and employment-boosting Federal projects in individual States which act as a kind of shadow benefit system.

    The systems all have income limits - quite low ones, and time limits - quite strict ones. I don't know how long it takes between claim and payment, so cannot compare with the UK.

    Taxpayers have also been pursuaded for a very long time (since Nixon onwards) that the only people to blame for poverty are the poor themselves. Systems like food stamps have been shown over and over not to work, but voters and legislators in the US remain convinced that, given money, claimants will only spend it on booze and drugs, and not on essentials.

    I think the US system is inflexible, and cannot accommodate regional differences in cost, and so exacerbates D~'s experience with wage and house-price growth in WA, which will not be shared by residents in WV (WA is fifth most expensive state in the US to buy a house, versus WV, which is cheapest). I also think the fear of communism has poisoned a couple of generations of Americans against more moderate, social democratic, solutions that have been proven to work well in old-world countries meaning that even the relatively minor challenge of bringing basic healthcare to the poor was too much for your previous president...

    Anyway, the part I think we all three agree on is that blaming the poor for their own predicament, then punishing them for it, is not exactly a constructive way forward.
  11. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    George to be completely honest...I can't remember what I was thinking when I posted you were wrong.

    I suspect it was meant to be developed into something resembling humor that, forgotten turned into a mine filed.
    So yes I was mistaken about your being wrong. Apologies.

    I make lots and lots of mistakes.
    But in principle I am only seldom wrong.

    But this comes of my adhering to principles outlined in the I-Ching.

    Sorry if my error has made you uncomfortable.
    Sorry I'm not wrong more often.

    Sorry I didn't say you were mistaken, but as I said I don't recall what I was on about.
  12. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    George it is a waste of one's time to concern ones self with what another does or does not know.
    weather another is bragging or simply stating the case.

    Even if we knew, how does that move us along?

    There are things I know, many more things I do not. All that matters is do I know what I need to know to make adequate passage. Yes I do.

    But do I act upon that knowledge adequately? That is decided moment to moment.

    And is of course a matter of constant contemplation on my part but becomes ultimately none of my business.

    My business is to act upon that knowledge moment to moment.

    How I'm doing is not for me to say, Nor is it the business of my peers.
    Or it wouldn't be a waste of time to worry about another's attainment.

    I have tried to make clear that what I have to offer is not of my creation.
    That others do as well or better, (none of my business) as I.

    All I can lay claim to is my personal understanding of what I learned from a book.
    All that I assert of myself is that I have walked the path I was given.

    Recently I posted that I stand in my armor ready to do battle with any evil I see arising within me.
    That's not poetry, that's not empty imagery.. That is way I hold myself within myself.

    In short my personal morality is my primary armor, vigilance my primary strategy and battle my tactic.

    If one wishes ascendancy within one self one must be able to silence those dissenting voices that cannot be asemulated (sp) in good faith.

    There is nothing in any of this that another can not do.

    Weather they do or not is well...none of my business.
  13. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    If we were never wrong--we also could never be right. That seems to make sense somehow. I thimk. And as you say, I believe, right and wrong aren't really definable. Thank goodness!

    Silence those dissenting voices within me? All I have are never ending dissenting voices within me. Seriously. I don't think anyone can be contented with such a cacophony. Even worse, after a while it's the same old thing, over and over. In five days I'll be seventy. The more I think about it, seventy is PLENTY. Nice round number. Good enough, why be greedy for more?

    Yeah, I know. Whaa is me.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 11:24 AM
  14. cloasters

    cloasters Well-Known Member

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    Because of the never ending greed and greed for power found in the top niches of society the life of the poor becomes more unbearable by the day. We as a species seem to be cursed/blessed with an eternal optimism and cling to hope for a better future. And I've no idea of how life is hard for the bottom two or three billion on the planet. It looks extremely difficult but I've no genuine comprehension.

    The true horror of the rich is shouted loudly in the media. Except for the fact that one must identify with the well to do to keep a job as a journalist. That's completely true here in the USA. We only find the truth if we dig for it. Many people do not have the time and accept big media's never ending lies and omissions as the truth. The noble lie becomes more fantastic and divorced from the truth by the hour.

    It's prime spokesman is hideous to my eyes and I try to avoid the image of this monster but it's reinforced even by those that dislike the bahstage.

    I NEVER listen to it/him. All I do is visualize turds falling from his mouth, it is after all the truth.

    Sorry, went off track here. Thanks Kaitain, you provide a neutral voice most of the time and I appreciate it.

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