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#323239 - 03/23/20 11:52 AM Re: Underclass [Re: pondering_it_all]
Ujest Shurly Offline
journeyman

Registered: 10/16/16
Posts: 625
Loc: Sterling Heights, MI, USA
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Quote:
I don't even know who that is! [Ralph Kramden]


That's because most regulars here have about 40 more years of life experience than you. You should be able to find Ralph via Google.


While you are at it, also google Jackie Gleason and find and watch episodes of The Honeymooners.
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#323280 - 03/23/20 09:00 PM Re: Underclass [Re: Ujest Shurly]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 16815
Loc: Florida
Ralph was a metro bus driver. I don't think he worked directly for the city but his company, Gotham Bus Lines maybe(?) was probably a city contractor. So in a sense he was dependent on government.
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#323284 - 03/23/20 09:46 PM Re: Underclass [Re: Greger]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline
It's the Despair Quotient!
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 15728
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: Greger
Ralph was a metro bus driver. I don't think he worked directly for the city but his company, Gotham Bus Lines maybe(?) was probably a city contractor. So in a sense he was dependent on government.


One thing is for sure, Ralph Kramden would be an "essential worker" at this point, and just for some perspective, he only needed that one job to afford a roof over his head, food, utilities, and even healthcare, and it's likely he could have afforded night school or some other higher education if he wanted to upgrade, or he could have taken advantage of plentiful union apprenticeships to move into a higher paying trade.

None of the above is the reality now.
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#323712 - 04/01/20 02:32 PM Re: Underclass [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
CPWILL Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/26/19
Posts: 320
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Greger
Ralph was a metro bus driver. I don't think he worked directly for the city but his company, Gotham Bus Lines maybe(?) was probably a city contractor. So in a sense he was dependent on government.


One thing is for sure, Ralph Kramden would be an "essential worker" at this point, and just for some perspective, he only needed that one job to afford a roof over his head, food, utilities, and even healthcare, and it's likely he could have afforded night school or some other higher education if he wanted to upgrade, or he could have taken advantage of plentiful union apprenticeships to move into a higher paying trade.

None of the above is the reality now.


We have been a single income family for the past decade-and-change, while she raised and homeschooled children. During that time, we have been able to afford, a roof, food, utilities, healthcare, and education.

I've got nothing against the trades, but the doom-and-gloom picture of working American's simply isn't generally accurate.
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#323713 - 04/01/20 03:10 PM Re: Underclass [Re: Greger]
CPWILL Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/26/19
Posts: 320
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
If the poor should not be dependent on the government, but the government is us, and the poor should be dependent on us...

A=B and B=C, but A=/=C?


There should be no "poor".


That is not, actually, a response to the point that you had made mutually contradictory statements...

Regardless, as for your second point, I don't think that is necessarily correct. We have very - very - few "poor" in absolute terms in the United States, and most of those (the homeless) are driven by factors that can't really be fixed by the State.

What we generally have is relative poverty in which my neighbors enjoy a lifestyle that would put them solidly in the middle to upper-middle class in the vast majority if times and places that aren't the 21st-Century-United States. If our poor today lived in McMansions, drove late-year mercedes, could afford healthcare and college, and had a laptop and a smart phone for every member of the family, but the average family income rose in a commensurate manner, the first group would still be "relatively" poor, even as they lived better lives than the middle class of yesteryear.

Historically, unfortunately, attempts to get rid of "relative" poverty have mostly produce widespread "absolute" poverty instead.

We can sharply reduce absolute poverty with government action:

Quote:
At least not in the sense they currently exist. Food, healthcare, housing and education should be available to all.


For example, we have Public Housing, TANF/SNAP/WIC, Medicaid, and Government Schools which provide all those things.

However, those programs (along with EITC and other) often have perverse incentives that punish the poor when they attempt to make positive life changes, such as by getting married, or increasing their income. Welfare Cliffs – where you lose more in benefits than you gain from making a positive decision – absolutely litter our current, sclerotic, welfare structure of hundreds of overlapping and sometimes contradicting programs.

Personally, I advocate for the replacement of all current welfare programs with a single Negative Income Tax of -50% on all monies not earned below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line that, while it comes with some minimal work requirements for most able-bodied adults, defines work broadly enough to allow for participation by the entire populace (volunteering at a soup kitchen, for example), regardless of unemployment rates

So (making up numbers) if you were a family of four (making FPL $26,200), and you worked full time making Wal Mart’s entry level wage of $10 (making your annual salary $20,800), your monthly NIT subsidy would look like:

200% of FPL = 52,400
Annual Salary = 20,800 // Monthly Salary = 1600
Annual NIT = (52,400 – 20,800) * 0.5 = 15,800
Monthly NIT = 15,800 / 12 = $1,316.67
Total Monthly Income = $1,316.67 + 1600 = $2,916.67

Or, if you could find no employment, and all you could do was volunteer at that soup kitchen, well, 50% of 200% of the FPL is the FPL, so, you would at least be lifted out of poverty.

There’s more to it than that (I fleshed out the program in full elsewhere, and accounted for hours spent taking care of children or attending school/training, as well as automating things like child-support payments and providing a net-hours bonus for married couples, recognizing that many prefer the one-breadwinner-model), but that’s the basic version.

Quote:
...A sort of a basic income will probably have to become a thing at some point....


UBI experiments have thus far gone badly - mostly, I think, because they remove positive incentives and the individual self-worth that comes with work. That is why I like an NIT that utilizes work for those who can.

Quote:
A day is coming, not so far away, when machines do most of the work and a majority of humanity is going to become redundant.


Nah. smile The human workforce will just continue to change. 98% of Americans used to be involved in agriculture. Machines came along to lift most of that burden, and today, about 2-4% of Americans work in Agriculture, yet, we don't see 94% unemployment. Ditto for the farriers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, stable-boys, and street-sweeps who got put out of business when the automobile took over from the horse.


Edited by CPWILL (04/01/20 03:16 PM)
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#323725 - 04/01/20 06:40 PM Re: Underclass [Re: CPWILL]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3226
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I think you are suggesting that the current poor should be given a living wage rather than the plethora of programs that are designed to 'help'. Interesting. I think the first to suggest this was Richard Nixon (really!)

The problem is that you are also assuming that those who would get such would be competent to actually live off it. Unfortunately that is really unlikely insofar as most of those who don't work are concerned. What is more likely is that many would burn through the money and not have anything to eat towards the end of the pay period (whatever it was, including weekly). Talk to any adult social worker and ask them what they think. I suspect they would say the same. Unfortunately there are those who need all the help they can get and are REALLY bad at life!

Oh, I don't consider this a joke.


Edited by jgw (04/01/20 06:41 PM)

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#323732 - 04/01/20 07:07 PM Re: Underclass [Re: CPWILL]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline
It's the Despair Quotient!
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 15728
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: CPWILL
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas

None of the above is the reality now.


We have been a single income family for the past decade-and-change, while she raised and homeschooled children. During that time, we have been able to afford, a roof, food, utilities, healthcare, and education.

I've got nothing against the trades, but the doom-and-gloom picture of working American's simply isn't generally accurate.


What do you do, if I may ask?
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"The Best of the Leon Russell Festivals" DVD
deepfreezefilms.com

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#324166 - 04/11/20 01:14 AM Re: Underclass [Re: Greger]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 567
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: Greger
Many cities have put spikes in the concrete and on benches where they sleep.


Hostile architecture. It's not new or shocking or whatever. It's America.
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#324167 - 04/11/20 01:17 AM Re: Underclass [Re: CPWILL]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 567
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: CPWILL
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: CPWILL

Gosh. When you put it like that, it seems like maybe putting them all into a system of government dependency wasn't the best thing for them after all.


Now all you have to do is show us where Ralph Kramden is dependent upon government.


HAH! I don't even know who that is! laugh


That is because you young, and the young are weak.

Whereas I am made out of scabs and can survive for 3 weeks on an unwary pigeon.
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#324214 - 04/11/20 02:58 PM Re: Underclass [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
CPWILL Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/26/19
Posts: 320
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: CPWILL
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas

None of the above is the reality now.


We have been a single income family for the past decade-and-change, while she raised and homeschooled children. During that time, we have been able to afford, a roof, food, utilities, healthcare, and education.

I've got nothing against the trades, but the doom-and-gloom picture of working American's simply isn't generally accurate.


What do you do, if I may ask?


I was enlisted in the military, then I got out and have been working as a contractor / civilian (I got out after 8 years, so, no retirement check or anything). Before that I waited tables and managed a restaurant, which then went under after the owner turned out to be a fraudulent thief who absconded with two months of our pay.

We spent 3 years as an E3 because the Marine Corps Would. Not. Promote. Grunts. (yeesh). Now I make pretty good money (baseline isn't six figures, but I can get there if I work a bunch of overtime over the course of the year), but some of those early years we were pinching some pennies :p.

And even then ($1,692 a month) we were living pretty well off, compared to others, who were also getting by. I worked with tons of other people (I do free financial counseling for folks) at and around that income level - 99% of the time it's not a matter of "Oh We Can't Make It On This Income", it's a matter of "I don't have a budget and so I have no idea where my money is going, or where it went, and so I live on credit cards and this nice $30,000 new truck that is guaranteed to go down in value".


I've sat down with people who were so vastly outweighed by their debts that their minimum monthly payments were greater than their monthly take home pay, I've sat down with newly-divorced single mothers without jobs and facing poverty, I've sat down with low income couples, mid income couples, high income couples, military, government, regular employee, self-employed....

...and I've never yet come across a hopeless case. smile America is an incredible, beautiful land.

Heck, many times, with the low income couples, when you added in the extra costs of daycare, gasoline, clothing, food, etc., they were either just breaking even or losing money by having the wife work.


Edited by CPWILL (04/11/20 03:03 PM)
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