CBJ, I totally agree, the helping hand always came when I needed it most. I really think think I learned alot about faith during that time.
You have lost your job and your house, your down to your last $1,000. How will you make out at the end of the month?
Once upon a time, poor people are poor largely because of bad decisions made in the past. These days, especially in the United Tyranny of Stupidity, many are poor because of bad decisions made by their leaders. Start a business, it gets raided. Try to find work, it isn't there. Most people have big debt, and these days it's often college loans. It is structured to be as difficult as possible to pay off. The days where you could put up $50 (real money, not toilet papers) and start your own business in what used to be the greatest country in the world are long gone.
And living off the land is not a viable option in the United Tyranny of Stupidity, either. They are starting to find those off the grid and force them back into the cities, usually on some stupid code violation or designating their homes as "wetlands" arbitrarily. If you were living in a place where land is plentiful and laws are few, you might be able to live off the land and even produce something worth trading. If you were living in a place where small businesses are not squashed by excessive regulations, you might be able to spend a few toilet papers and create an income stream that will support you. But, in the United Tyranny of Stupidity, this is no longer possible. The United States of America, the Land of Opportunity, is a thing of the past.
I don't believe there is a person alive that disagrees with your last paragraph, Robdar. We need good well-managed sufficient programs for those particular neighbors.
JO, I totally agree we need well managed and sufficient programs to help others get back on their feet. I believe people can loose their dignity if on public assistance for too long. Once they loose their dignity, it will be very difficult to get out of poverty. Isn't it interesting that many times we become what we think we are?
Made it to the end of the month just although it has to be said the pet didn't and I am out of work.
At the end of the month, I'd have lots of money left over. I could make that last two if I had to, but it wouldn't be pretty.
But you of all people then, should understand that not everyone is as able or capable of getting out from under a rock.
sammielee24>> I understand how tempting that viewpoint is. Giving up is easy. But I'm no more or less special than the guy down the block, no more or less capable. I'm only human, but that's more than enough. Believing that me being able to get from crappy point A to pretty good point B because I did what those people couldn't is to lessen their ability, not increase mine. If there's a difference, it's that I never waited to see who would let me succeed, or who would help me get to where I wanted to be - I asked who and what I would allow to cause me to quit trying. It's a simple question with a simple answer - I'm the only person that can make me stop trying, and that's the same for you or the guy down the road. Each of us have the ability to make ourselves better than we are, or to quit trying. Our lives are guided by choice. No matter how heavy the scales are weighted, in small ways and huge, no matter how painful one choice or easy the other, we still make that decision. But to say that the child of an alcoholic or abusive family means they don't have the same choice or same ability is to sell them short. Believing in them, in their ability to make the choice that's right for them no matter what the odds, is more empathic, more human in my view, than believing in their inability and failure that they have no choice but to accept.
To say that a JW kid who kills himself does so because of the environment is, again, to cripple their ability, limit their potential. Yes, there are those who see suicide as the only way out. They see that being a Witness was less fun than being dead, and again, they face the decision to find some way, any way, to change their lives, or to quit trying and eat a bullet. That choice can present itself so very easily. It sure seemed tempting to me at the time. Does it make it any less tragic when they make the choice to end what they see as a hopeless situation? Of course not. I wish I could tell each and every one not to do it. I wish I could tell them that they can make it better if they just keep fighting to find a way out. That there's always a way, it may be through hell and a river of sh!t but there is a way and it does get better for making the trip. But I'll be damned if I tell them that they don't have a choice just because the choice is a hard one.
The idea that the libertarian point of view is cold and simplistic and callous is a common one, and it's easy to see why. "People should help themselves" and "People have no right to get government aid" sound pretty damn heartless. That's not what it's about, though. Yes, the idea of personal responsibility means that if you make a mistake, you have to live with the consequenses, which is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. But it's not an idea that people shouldn't help other people, far from it, most libertarians I know are quick to help their neighbors or give their time, effort and energy to community programs. It's the idea that people shouldn't be forced to give that same time, effort and energy. The libertarian viewpoint is not that you shouldn't help rebuild your neighbors house, it's that your neighbor doesn't have the right to force you to help if you choose not to.
corpusdei....You bring a lot of common sense to these discussions.
The thing I have a problem with is people on this board accusing everybody that doesn't buy into the liberal bleeding heart syndrome of being somehow blind and heartless. It's actually just the opposite. They never get it!
I get it all - sadly there are people who really don't. They resort to mudslinging political labelling - none of which I have done. I stated how I find the libertarian viewpoint based on the values of the libertarian party - which I find absolutely unattainable in this day and age. We are not in the year of 1700, so while I do believe in conservative finance and issues regarding the Fed and can appreciate personal liberty, I do not subscribe to the notion that in this day and age, you will revert to the one room schoolhouse and the abolishment of all social programs and that it will make for a better society.
I don't care if you don't 'buy into' the liberal philosophy but to call everyone a bleeding heart because they see society as a balance of personal growth and responsibility combined with the support of social programming, is exceedingly narrow. I DO find the libertarian/Rand philosophy to be too selfish and would much prefer to live in a more gentle society. I also believe libertarianism would be no better than anything else and could be worse.
It DOES NOT mean that I think all social programs are required, nor do I believe they should exist without merit and tweaking.
I believe in balance.
I used the above examples ONLY because I was trying to point out circumstances that can alter the ability of people to make choices that might help them in better ways. You can always point to yourselves as the beacon of responsibility but that is you - it is not necessarily everyone else that has that ability. You are not truly free. You never will be. You will continue to be divided into class or race or politics or religion or idealogy and will continue to be pawns in the game of pitting one against the other for the good of the corporate governance.
America did not want to be Somalia or Haiti. They tried something different. Do you honestly think Americans want to return to that? Most want a balance.... sammies
In the scenerio, The person has lost their job, we don't know why they lost their job, they lost their house too, have spent all their savings. They were not poor. So if we want to think that this is happening to only poor people with disadvantaged backgrounds, we are kidding ourselves. Poor people don't have good paying jobs where they can save money and don't buy homes. People are getting pink slips everyday. Highly educated folks are taking jobs like what is offered in the Spent game. The game lets anyone see how things could possibly be for those trying to make it on a low paying job. And then the choices you have to make just to survive. How hard and stressful those choices are and how that can push your farther and farther down.
A personal expericance, my brother was unemployed for almost three years. He collected unemployment while looking for a job. He hated not working. His life was severely changed. The family did not hear from him for about a year, he was ashamed, as he lived in a tent for awhile. But he kept on trying. Roomed with someone and was desperately trying to keep his rent house. He finally found a job close to where I live. His truck was not legal, we did what we could to get it legal and have gas to get here. He stayed with me as he was only hired as a temp, so was not eligable for any expenses to be paid. It was a severe cut to what he had been paid for the same skill. The job ended and he went home only to pack his stuff, put it in storage and live with friends. He then took a job as a delivery man making $8 an hour. He had not made that kind of money since he was a kid, but he was happy, he had a job. Well, the place that hired him as a temp called him and he is now hired on Full-time with health benefits, will get a company truck within 90 days. He is now making the $30+ an hour he was used to before. He is paying into the system once again. He is not uneducated, dirty, a druggie or stupid. By the time he finally felt good enough to come out of his shell and let us all know what was going on, he was practically suicidal, he was losing hope. I spent hours talking to him, encouraging, supporting, loving him, he felt like the biggest loser. He is finishing up the first job in DC and is planning for the next place they send him. He is happy, paying back the money that was lent to him and feels like a contributing person to society, he is one of the fortunate ones.
Thanks for everyones comments and big thanks to sammielee