Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hey Mister, Can You Spare a Dime?




I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
- Ben Franklin 1766


We hear a lot about the poor and disenfranchised in America today. It seems that the Democrat party has a particular burden for America’s poor. In fact, the Democrats have had a soft spot for America’s poor beginning with FDR’s administration over sixty years ago, with the inception of social security. Social security is the first socialist entitlement program to be foisted upon the American people, and America's poor. For decades the poor in this country have reaped the rewards of fruits of other's labor through a multitude of government entitlement programs.

Using entitlement programs, the Democrats in government have created generational interdependence on handout programs, succeeding in creating a whole underclass willing to vote more democrats into office. They have been told that not to support Democrats in the vote, would cause the poor to loose their  government promised, free support. Vote Democrat in order to preserve the handouts and benefits promised. With all these 'free' handouts, and entitlements from the Democrats in exchange for votes, why call America’s poor, poor at all?

When one compares America’s poor with the poor of other nations, it becomes apparent that America’s poor has the highest standard of living over that of any other of this planet’s poor. Being poor in America does not always mean being impoverished. 

In my line of work I get many opportunities to enter into some of the poorest homes, in the poorest neighborhoods of Oakland. There is one thing these homes and their occupants all have in common. They are wealthier than any of the poor belonging to any other nation on Earth.

America’s poor have many amenities that the poor of other countries simply do without. Many of America's poor enjoy running hot and cold water, heat and electricity, refrigerators, stoves, ovens, washer and sometimes a clothes dryer. Almost all have access to flushing toilets. Many have flat panel TVs, stereo, CD and DVD players, VCRs, food in the fridge, alcohol in the cupboard, furniture, blankets on the bed, and a roof over their head. Many have cars, or clean and safe public transportation. If they have kids, there's a school for them to go to. There's free medical care at the local clinic, or general hospital,. No emergency room, or trauma center will turn the poor away.

Compare America's poor with the poor who are unfortunate enough to live in Afghanistan, India, Southeast Asia, or even Central & South America. There, crowded shantytowns surround the cities, and sewage flows through the streets, past the front door. Ghettos with homes made of  mud, cardboard, black paper, scraps of lumber, and corrugated tin. The only form of light may be the glow of a candle, or  that of a single incandescent light bulb. Meals are cooked on a flat stone over a small indoor fire pit. Medical care is rare, disease runs rampant and the life expectancy of one of these poor, can be expected to be half that of one of their poor American counterparts. Let us not forget that infant mortality is much higher than that of  American newborns born into poor families. The poor of other nations have few if any services to call upon for assistance and survival.

Meanwhile, back in America, our poor have many outreach and entitlement programs to pick from. There are federal tax exemptions and tax credits, welfare, food stamps, government cheese handouts, WIC for babies and young mothers, section eight housing, federal housing assistance, utilities assistance from the phone, gas, electric and water companies. Free garbage pickup, vouchers for a free ride on public transportation, grants and city sponsored loans for automobile purchases and of course, social security benefits. It is also worth mentioning that many of these benefits are available for those who have have just immigrated to America, both legally, and illegally. What a country! The available benefits and handouts are staggering. The only people we see living in shanty towns (squatters camps) or in boxes, are the homeless, who, more often than not, choose to live that way. They choose to live this way, because they may be mentally ill, or drug addicts. Some  simply choose to refuse assistance of any kind. Most depend on the generosity of the federal and state governments, on behalf of the American taxpayer.

America is the bread basket of the world. America is seen by the rest of the world as being the land of plenty, especially to the poor who are on the outside, looking in. So much so, that many would gladly leave their country at great risk to life and limb to seek a life in America. Always, America is the preferred destination by many of the worlds poor and refugees. Few who are actually here, really have much of a desire to leave America. Why is that? 

Americans are a generous people who give more to charities than any other people on earth. The rest of the world knows that. The outside world sees Americans as being gluttonous, wealthy, lazy, and they see America as being a land of opportunity, while at the same time many poor Americans see their  own country as a land of hopelessness and despair. America's poor  are taught, and they learn to depend on the government, and not themselves. Self-sufficiency is a foreign concept to most.


The poor in America have been conditioned and brainwashed into believing that a certain standard of life is owed them, and that that life can be had with little, or no work, or effort, other than filling out a government form, or two. All courtesy of the left who holds this country's purse strings. 

No longer is a handout an embarrassment, or damaging to one’s pride. It’s expected, and the more one receives from the government, the higher one’s status rises his neighborhood. Used to be that a man would do menial labor to feed his family, rather than taking a handout to feed his family. Today, that handout is expected, and even demanded.

I place blame on this country’s leftists, progressives, and the Democrats who have socially engineered a poor underclass in this country. Their sole purpose is to cast a vote for a Democrat at the expense of any kind of decent future, or escape out of poverty, except for the redistributed wealth that they receive. This gives them enough to keep the poor fat and well fed. But, not enough to find happiness. Still, they always demand more, thinking that happiness will be given to them through more handouts. It's a never ending cycle.

It gives me pause to wonder if the damage caused by the leftists, progressives and Democrats to this country can ever be reversed and undone. I believe it can be reversed, but first we need to convince our country’s poor that work is, 'good for the soul', and that work, and productivity gives a man pride, honor, and a way out of the hopelessness of being poor. Soon, a productive taxpaying citizen will begin to love his country for what it has given him –opportunity. The Democrats, leftists and progressives will loose that productive citizen from the welfare rolls, as they flee from the Democratic voter rolls. This is the greatest fear of the Democrats, and it scares the hell out of them. 

The very prospect of a self-sufficient and productive American, who has escaped the bonds of poverty, and who has escaped the bondage caused by Democrat abuse, and control over their lives, Is what  the Democrats fear most. Through new self-reliance and self-sufficiency of the formerly poor, Democrats lose votes, which translates to a loss of power. This is what Democrats fear most, as they lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling.





I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
- Ben Franklin 1766


We hear a lot about the poor and disenfranchised in America today. It seems that the Democrat party has a particular burden for America’s poor. In fact, the Democrats have had a soft spot for America’s poor beginning with FDR’s administration over sixty years ago, with the inception of social security. Social security is the first socialist entitlement program to be foisted upon the American people, and America's poor. For decades the poor in this country have reaped the rewards of fruits of other's labor through a multitude of government entitlement programs.

Using entitlement programs, the Democrats in government have created generational interdependence on handout programs, succeeding in creating a whole underclass willing to vote more democrats into office. They have been told that not to support Democrats in the vote, would cause the poor to loose their  government promised, free support. Vote Democrat in order to preserve the handouts and benefits promised. With all these 'free' handouts, and entitlements from the Democrats in exchange for votes, why call America’s poor, poor at all?

When one compares America’s poor with the poor of other nations, it becomes apparent that America’s poor has the highest standard of living over that of any other of this planet’s poor. Being poor in America does not always mean being impoverished. 

In my line of work I get many opportunities to enter into some of the poorest homes, in the poorest neighborhoods of Oakland. There is one thing these homes and their occupants all have in common. They are wealthier than any of the poor belonging to any other nation on Earth.

America’s poor have many amenities that the poor of other countries simply do without. Many of America's poor enjoy running hot and cold water, heat and electricity, refrigerators, stoves, ovens, washer and sometimes a clothes dryer. Almost all have access to flushing toilets. Many have flat panel TVs, stereo, CD and DVD players, VCRs, food in the fridge, alcohol in the cupboard, furniture, blankets on the bed, and a roof over their head. Many have cars, or clean and safe public transportation. If they have kids, there's a school for them to go to. There's free medical care at the local clinic, or general hospital,. No emergency room, or trauma center will turn the poor away.

Compare America's poor with the poor who are unfortunate enough to live in Afghanistan, India, Southeast Asia, or even Central & South America. There, crowded shantytowns surround the cities, and sewage flows through the streets, past the front door. Ghettos with homes made of  mud, cardboard, black paper, scraps of lumber, and corrugated tin. The only form of light may be the glow of a candle, or  that of a single incandescent light bulb. Meals are cooked on a flat stone over a small indoor fire pit. Medical care is rare, disease runs rampant and the life expectancy of one of these poor, can be expected to be half that of one of their poor American counterparts. Let us not forget that infant mortality is much higher than that of  American newborns born into poor families. The poor of other nations have few if any services to call upon for assistance and survival.

Meanwhile, back in America, our poor have many outreach and entitlement programs to pick from. There are federal tax exemptions and tax credits, welfare, food stamps, government cheese handouts, WIC for babies and young mothers, section eight housing, federal housing assistance, utilities assistance from the phone, gas, electric and water companies. Free garbage pickup, vouchers for a free ride on public transportation, grants and city sponsored loans for automobile purchases and of course, social security benefits. It is also worth mentioning that many of these benefits are available for those who have have just immigrated to America, both legally, and illegally. What a country! The available benefits and handouts are staggering. The only people we see living in shanty towns (squatters camps) or in boxes, are the homeless, who, more often than not, choose to live that way. They choose to live this way, because they may be mentally ill, or drug addicts. Some  simply choose to refuse assistance of any kind. Most depend on the generosity of the federal and state governments, on behalf of the American taxpayer.

America is the bread basket of the world. America is seen by the rest of the world as being the land of plenty, especially to the poor who are on the outside, looking in. So much so, that many would gladly leave their country at great risk to life and limb to seek a life in America. Always, America is the preferred destination by many of the worlds poor and refugees. Few who are actually here, really have much of a desire to leave America. Why is that? 

Americans are a generous people who give more to charities than any other people on earth. The rest of the world knows that. The outside world sees Americans as being gluttonous, wealthy, lazy, and they see America as being a land of opportunity, while at the same time many poor Americans see their  own country as a land of hopelessness and despair. America's poor  are taught, and they learn to depend on the government, and not themselves. Self-sufficiency is a foreign concept to most.


The poor in America have been conditioned and brainwashed into believing that a certain standard of life is owed them, and that that life can be had with little, or no work, or effort, other than filling out a government form, or two. All courtesy of the left who holds this country's purse strings. 

No longer is a handout an embarrassment, or damaging to one’s pride. It’s expected, and the more one receives from the government, the higher one’s status rises his neighborhood. Used to be that a man would do menial labor to feed his family, rather than taking a handout to feed his family. Today, that handout is expected, and even demanded.

I place blame on this country’s leftists, progressives, and the Democrats who have socially engineered a poor underclass in this country. Their sole purpose is to cast a vote for a Democrat at the expense of any kind of decent future, or escape out of poverty, except for the redistributed wealth that they receive. This gives them enough to keep the poor fat and well fed. But, not enough to find happiness. Still, they always demand more, thinking that happiness will be given to them through more handouts. It's a never ending cycle.

It gives me pause to wonder if the damage caused by the leftists, progressives and Democrats to this country can ever be reversed and undone. I believe it can be reversed, but first we need to convince our country’s poor that work is, 'good for the soul', and that work, and productivity gives a man pride, honor, and a way out of the hopelessness of being poor. Soon, a productive taxpaying citizen will begin to love his country for what it has given him –opportunity. The Democrats, leftists and progressives will loose that productive citizen from the welfare rolls, as they flee from the Democratic voter rolls. This is the greatest fear of the Democrats, and it scares the hell out of them. 

The very prospect of a self-sufficient and productive American, who has escaped the bonds of poverty, and who has escaped the bondage caused by Democrat abuse, and control over their lives, Is what  the Democrats fear most. Through new self-reliance and self-sufficiency of the formerly poor, Democrats lose votes, which translates to a loss of power. This is what Democrats fear most, as they lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling.


9 comments:

  1. Brilliantly stated. The entitlement first crowd will be foaming at the mouth. How can the Democratic party possibly hope to stay in power without paying off their base? Give amnesty to a few million illegal aliens of course.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are DEVASTATINGLY poor in any country if your family does not have mobility. Accessible education, health care, credit and employment are all key factors of mobility. This is why the democrats (a.k.a. leftists, liberals, progressives, city-slickers) fight for these programs.

    Thanks for defending the income-that-barely-keeps-up-with-inflation, but I think the real reason our lower-class can be considered rich is that liberals continue to fight for them to have access to childcare, scholarships, libraries etc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mark Edwords Second ThoughtsMonday, August 2, 2010 at 11:07:00 PM PDT

    We live in a society where capital begets capital. Do you want "the poor" to grow up to be "the poor"?

    This author thinks that a child from a broken home will successfully overcome the education gap and strive in commerce? Doesn't the author know that the group most likely to succeed as entrepreneurs are the CHILDREN OF ENTREPRENEURS! Combine that with the fact that wealthier children receive better education and have more capital/credit, and it starts to look like the lower-class needs a boost from the society into which they were born.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mark,

    My mom divorced when I was 5, and again when I was 16. I am a high school drop out, so that I could enlist, to rebuild my life from a poor childhood. After the service, I worked, went to college full time, and worked full time to pay for rent, books and tuition. I graduated, and ultimately became self-employed, a home owner, and a participant in the American dream.

    I moved from lower-class to middle class without any outside assistance. I did it through hard work, sacrifice, and a willingness to forgo consumerism in lieu of frugality and patience to reach my goal.

    In response to your assertion that libs fight for the poor, I disagree. Libs fight to keep the poor dependent as a means to increase the democratic voter rolls. Meanwhile, the poor are deluded into thinking the dems care about the poor. Wrong! The dems care about power and votes. The poor be damned.

    The poor need to be taught to depend on their own hard work, and to throw the dems overboard, because the dems only desire to exploit the poor for the dem's own political gain.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's unfortunate, Biff. In a society with stronger social support, your family's finances would not have held you back so much. You worked so hard, only to attain middle-class status? I inherited millions thanks to the low estate tax, and I didn't have to work at all. Thanks to your politics, that money was not taxed and used to subsidize the hard lives of the ambitious poor trying to make their way up in the world.

    The poor need direct support so that they are trained and prepared for success. Attacking aid programs is silly, especially when your alternative is "The poor need to be taught to depend on their own hard work." What does that even mean? How does the child of a convict or an unemployed single-parent have any chance of making it without assistance? They need scholarships, education, libraries, food, housing, role-models, LIBERAL PROGRAMS not CONSERVATIVE CATCH-PHRASES.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mark Said: "The poor need direct support so that they are trained and prepared for success. Attacking aid programs is silly, especially when your alternative is "The poor need to be taught to depend on their own hard work." What does that even mean? How does the child of a convict or an unemployed single-parent have any chance of making it without assistance? They need scholarships, education, libraries, food, housing, role-models, LIBERAL PROGRAMS not CONSERVATIVE CATCH-PHRASES."

    I'm happy you inherited millions. Congratulations! Then, it is up to you to start a foundation, and maybe become a philanthropist, to ease poverty in this country. Remember what Obama said? Obama: 'I Do Think at a Certain Point You've Made Enough Money' It is guys like you, who he's gunning after and will be seeking to ease your burden of having too much money for your own good.

    I have yet to make my fortune. However, because I don't stand to inherit millions, I will have to earn it. Therefore, I won't take what I earn for granted.

    Mark said: "How does the child of a convict or an unemployed single-parent have any chance of making it without assistance? They need scholarships, education, libraries, food, housing, role-models"

    Conservatives are not for denying entitlements to those who really need it. We're not heartless. But, there is room to streamline the entitlement programs to wean the healthy and able-bodied off those programs, to save billions for the tax-payer. As far as 'free' education is concerned, I don't buy it. I paid, out of pocket, for my own education. No grants here. I'd also like to point out that skilled labor is a declining profession in the U.S., that all kids should not be encouraged to go to a traditional college, but go to a good trade school, if that is what they have the aptitude for. A good trade earns a good wage for the hard worker.

    So, my friend, I suggest, since you support entitlements programs and the dems, that you consider writing the U.S. treasury a check for a good portion of your inheritance, at least half, which is fair, to pay for he entitlement programs. Meanwhile, I expect to not pay more in taxes and would like to see a reduction in my personal and corporate taxes. After all, you got all that free money, you're a millionaire, the government is entitled to a large portion, don't you agree? But, if you don't give it up, the dems will ultimately find a way to take it from you, and me too. That's what they do.

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's exactly my point. I should give up half of my inheritance. You seem to agree, yet you constantly support this lower-taxes-for-the-top-nonsense... SO BIZARRE

    ReplyDelete
  8. No Mark, I was speaking tongue and cheek on that one. Your inheritance was money earned by your heirs. They paid taxes on the money when it was earned and taxes on interest, dividends, etc. While I think a nominal inheritance tax is reasonable, say no more than 10 percent, I strongly disagree with a 39% federal tax rate for 1 million dollars, and the 55% federal tax rate of anything over 3 million.

    Additionally, estates of decedents that die after December 31, 2010, will be subject to a 5% surcharge on the excess of their estate over $10,000,000.

    Who is the federal government to confiscate that kind of money? They did NOTHING to earn it. It's not the government's money.

    Regards, Mark.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dominic Roelandt When it comes to professionalism and traditional values, Dominic Roelandt wins hands-down. This practical sign loves to tackle life in the most conventional of ways, leaving no stone unturned. Considered the most serious-minded of the signs, Dominic Roelandt possesses an independence that allows for considerable progress both personally and on the job.

    ReplyDelete