Whose worse off, the rich or the poor?

by compound complex 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • jgnat

    Beans! How could I forget? Come to think of it, I did glory to my daughter about the staying power of beans. I find that freshly soaked and cooked beans are better than the canned.

    Baked Beans


    For milder flavor, I've substituted corn syrup for the molasses.

    Beans and Rice


  • beksbks

    Sorry CoCo, but these girls are making me sooooooooo hungry!

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thanks, friends, for comments and suggestions. Much appreciated.

    Never thought I'd be working for food, but I am now (minus the sad look, on the street corner, holding the sign "I'll work for food."


  • BabaYaga

    CoCo... it doesn't matter how much money one has, it is how much common sense and RESOURCEFULNESS one has.

    The unfortunate thing is that I have seen kids who had everything handed to them grow up without a LICK of good ol' resourcefulness. That is the dilemma... those who grew up "without" want their kids to have everything... but they forget to teach them the most important thing of all: How to do without.

    The question is: How DO you teach kids how to be resourceful when they want for nothing? This is a serious question, I have pondered it for years now. Any suggestions?

  • BabaYaga

    Oh, and beks... you are so right about the beans... there are few things on this earth more delicious than a great pot of beans. After all, wasn't there a birthright sold for a bowl of lentils...? Sometimes, with a happy spoonful of lentils in my mouth, I understood why!

    Cool recipes, JGnat!

  • sammielee24
    CoCo... it doesn't matter how much money one has, it is how much common sense and RESOURCEFULNESS one has

    But it does matter. I know a teenager who was so hungry he stole a cooked chicken from a deli, sat on the curb and proceeded to eat it. The family were not on food stamps, the parents were honest and did work - and no, they didn't have much of anything materially nor much food. Mother did make meals from scratch, but portions were stretched in order to feed everyone and during the winter, it cost more to heat so the money was taken out of the food budget. This kid, acting on his level of maturity and on survival instinct, stole to eat. He got caught and charged.

    Money has a lot to do with one's ability to use common sense and resourcefulness during times of extreme poverty for some people. sammieswife.

  • sammielee24
    It's not dark yet, but it's getting there...-Bob Dylan

    Last week I gave you the good news, that after we make our way through the current political and economic mess that we find ourselves in, we will emerge into a new golden age. This week, the bad news: Before we get there, we will likely have to first undergo at least a depression, and certainly a revolution before we arrive. The brighter world will not come of its own accord; it will wait patiently until we collectively decide to create it. Until then, Batra predicts that "real wages and family income will continue to fall, while poverty will rise. The rich will keep getting richer and the poor getting poorer; similarly, the middle class will continue to shrink." For many, the motivation for real, fundamental change will only come from the depths of depression.

    Before continuing with Dr. Batra's theory, let's take a look at two recent news articles that set the stage and concretely depict the points he makes:

    The first, from today's New York Times, informs us that the nation's income gap widened significantly in 2005 to levels unseen since 1928 - the year before the start of the great depression. According to the story, the top 300,000 Americans collectively own as much wealth as the bottom150 million. While the top 1% of the population got an average raise of $139,000 in 2005, the bottom 90% of workers saw their incomes fall by $172. These are times that try men's souls.
    Since these are abstracted numbers, it can be difficult to fully appreciate their meaning. But this second article should make things perfectly clear: Circuit City is firing 3,400 of its hourly sales floor workers, and will rehire either them or new workers at a lower hourly rate. Just so you understand the context, this is a company that is headed by a CEO -- Phillip Schoonover -- who raked in $8.5 million dollars last year. The company itself made a profit of $162 million, though it lost money in the most recent quarter. Apparently this is how Schoonover can justify his brilliant fire/rehire-cheaper scheme. According to the article, the average sales worker now makes $10-11 per hour, or about $21,000 per year, while a new worker would only make about $8.00, or $16,000 per year. That is below the poverty level for a family of four, or even three, so forget about trying to raise a family on that kind of a salary. Schoonover, on the other hand, makes about 530 times the average grunt worker's pay, and in today's climate, he'll likely get a bonus for his great idea.

    But as Batra points out in this and other books, these are precisely the kinds of conditions -- extreme wealth concentration and inequality -- that lead to depressions, for they weaken the overall capitalist system. With such minimal incomes, the only way for workers such as those at the new and improved Circuit City to continue to consume (the great "engine of global economic growth") is by taking on increased levels of consumer debt. But there are limits to how much debt such poorly paid workers can take on.

    To make sense of these stories in a larger context, let's take a look at the global economy through Dr. Batra's eyes. Batra asserts that the entire world economy has been colonized by the American Global Business Empire. The acquisitors have taken the reigns of power in both business and government and, motivated by unbrided and unchecked greed, are taking increasingly aggressive action to consolidate their power. As a result, members of the other three classes - both in the US and abroad - are being pushed increasingly into the laborer class, simply trying to make a living in the acquisitor dominated world. (for defintions of these terms, please see Part I)

    The American Global Business Empire
    Using Rome and Britain as examples of previous empires, Batra has identified four traits of imperial rule, three of which he claims apply to the US:

    1) Empires are created through military force
    2) The ruling nation can and does extract cheap labor from it colonies
    3) The empire's colonies run trade surpluses that raise the living standards of the rulers
    4) The language, culture and institutions of the victor spreads across the imperial territories

    Batra believes that only the last three apply to the US. He excludes the first, claiming that the US does not seek to colonize other nations militarily. This is something
  • BabaYaga

    Quote: "Money has a lot to do with one's ability to use common sense and resourcefulness during times of extreme poverty for some people."

    Sammie... I disagree. Money has very little if anything to do with resourcefulness. Have you ever read the Foxfire books? Those people with no money and no formal education are far better suited to survival than a huge percent of the population today.

    It might be the other way around, however. If you are resourceful, you are more likely to procure money, as well as basic needs. I do agree with the gist of what you are saying, however, based on "Maslow's Hierarchy". He said that the very most basic needs must be met (food and shelter) before one is in any condition to move onto other things, the ultimate level being "self-actualization" (shrink-talk for "Nirvana".) If you are starving or freezing to death, your mind isn't concerned with anything else.

  • jaguarbass

    You want some thoughts? Here is something to think about.

    I work in a jail. I think some prisoners have it made. They get to sit around watch tv, read books, play games, basketball, football, exercise, get 3 warm meals a day. Sit in airconditioning.

    And if your afraid to get beat up in the general population, you can piss your pants or say your queer and you get your own private facilities.

    You get free health care when you need it, you dont have to wait for a week or 2 to see the doctor or nurse. You can save your oranges and apples and make your own hootch. If you have somebody on the outside to send you a little bit of money now and then you can have your own weed.

    I see the same people over and over again get arrested. We have familes in the jail brothers, cousins, uncles, fathers.

    Off the jail subject. Things are bad for many people I know today. I worked making tools when we first got Bushwacked there were 15 of us our company that had been successful for 30 years went out of business the second year of the Bushwaking, 6 years latter only 5 of us have jobs.

    The government told me when they gave me my unemployment that I would never have or get a job like I had they made me go to counselling sessions so some government agent could tell me I would never make enough money again.

    So then I went to work for the Government.

    It's not as good making tools was but it keeps the AC on so far.

  • Brother Apostate
    Brother Apostate

    Short term, for 70-80 years, while in this fleshly body, from a creature-comfort standpoint: The Materially Rich

    Long term, for eternity, outside this fleshly body, from the standpoint of absolute fulfillment and love: The Materially poor who are Spiritually rich.

    Luke 18:18-30 (New International Version) - The Rich Ruler:

    18A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

    19"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'[a]"

    21"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

    22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

    23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    26Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"

    27Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

    28Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

    29"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."

    Matthew 6:24:

    "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth."

    BA- Question answered.

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