Societies have always had disadvantaged citizens who are disadvantaged for many different reasons (mental illness, poor education, depression, indolence etc). How should society best care for these people?

Relying on the government/state guarantees at least some level of aid for all members of society, but that aid can be spotty, politically charged and expensive.

Relying on private charity empowers people to aid others and is less expensive to the State, but often results in large coverage gaps.

Through the government/state Through private organizations and/or charities see voting resultssaving...
7 opinions, 18 replies
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100
opinion
2 votes
May 7, 2015

Not even through the state, but the county. There are many counties within a state and only they can truly know how to help the poor in their community. They can see it everyday. The state however does not.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

The help itself may come at the county level but the money has to come from a much higher level. In states that fund their schools at the county level the poorest counties normally have the biggest problem funding their school. They are a poor county because they have so many poor in that county.

If private help worked then why are the poor not receiving the help they need? It sounds good but many of the people saying are just looking for a line their supporters will buy that will lower the tax rate but very little of those tax savings will be given to the private charities.

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0
0 votes,
Jul 10, 2015

The idea that poverty can only be fixed with money (and education) is a serious (and almost insulting) misconception. People need a sense of direction and the feeling that they can rely on something (/security) when their future is uncertain. Wealthy people aren't (usually) wealthy by accident; they made it happen.

It's a difference in attitude of mind (although of course I should add that I'm currently generalizing, as I haven't ever visited these counties, have little to no knowledge of US tax rates or the conditions these people are living in).

"Poor people" (people with incomes that don't sustain their basic human needs) need help, but mostly they need to feel taken care of (in an un-patronizing manner) and feel accepted within the community. To propose a concrete idea (shoot it down if you will <- or perhaps this already happened): the state should finance the county to literally clean up the streets, restore buildings that are valuable to the community, issue orders for agricultural maintenance (perhaps with the aid of low-level crime offenders), and just make the county a pleasant place to live in that's worth working for.

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100
1 vote
May 7, 2015

I am deeply skeptical of a national problem being dealt with by charity. That model was tried all through history up to the early 20th century in the form of poor houses and soup kitchens. And it was a national shame, with people dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases. Furthermore, charitable giving dries up in times of economic difficulty.

I wonder if a better solution would be a nationally coordinated (by government) system of charities (private) providing most of the assistance, with government stepping in to fill the gaps?

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50
4 votes
May 7, 2015

Entitled rich folks will ignore the fact that they exist because 'they will never vote for you'. Mitt Romney is a prime example of how a large amount of people feel about the poor. These folks don't want to spend a dime helping anyone else because they have this flawed mentality that everyone has the same drive and networking opportunities to succeed as they have. They cannot fathom the concept that they aren't self made and required no help from anyone so they dont see a problem that needs fixing, they see whining people wanting handouts.

This is why there poor people stay poor, the rich don't want to help out.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

The reason the poor stay poor, is that they act like poor people, they depend on the government. I read an articular where a man was complaining about how little he made. He could just pay his bills and that's all, but he only worked 35 hours a week, what was stopping him from getting a part-time job and investing some of that? Most "rich" people I know think nothing about putting in 60 to 80 hours a week. The "rich" aren't having babies by four or five men, most don't spend every cent they make on the newest gadgets or $500 shoes. The live on less than they make and invest the rest.

As to what they do for the poor? Well, to start with they pay the majority of the federal income tax, most give to charities, they employ many people.

"They cannot fathom the concept that they aren't self made .."

That same old argument again, yes they are self-made, you're try to point out that they didn't build the roads, sewers, etc. But who pays taxes, the poor? The poor pay very little in the way of taxes because they are poor. It's the "rich" and middle class the top 50% are the ones the poor should be thanking for building the roads, sewers etc.

But trying to use class warfare should beneath you, instead of complaining about the rich, how about really helping the poor? We don't need programs that hand out free stuff, but instead we need programs to help people upgrade their skills so they can have a better life. How about YOU helping out at a center to provide daycare for two hours a night so the parent can take online classes, or learn a trade? Of course you can just carry a sign and protest it won't really help, but at least you'll get some air time.

Remember it's not in the government interest to solve any problem, because as soon as they do they are out of a job.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

There is no denying that some percentage of poor people are poor due to terrible life choices such as the things you mentioned but that is highly likely to be a smaller percentage than a larger percentage.

The majority of poor folks tend to be victims of circumstance, perhaps health issues, criminal records they can't escape, veterans that got insufficient or no non combat job training etc. These are the folks that often need support programs long term.

There is a subset of poor that willing game the system, a subset that are in fact dependent on the system in such a way that they don't want to surpass it but to generalize all poor people into these limited categories is only a tool of the lazy rich that don't want to help any poor people and so they rationalize to themselves and others via the media that all poor people are poor only because they want to be.

The mindset of these kinds of rich people is the reason we have class warfare at all because they insist on belittling other people who aren't exactly as well off as they are. If instead these people wanted to actually look at the problems that cause poverty beyond straw man and ad hominem arguments then actual solutions could become viable. The main issue we face is the working and middle class can't help the poor because we are too busy trying to tread water even working two or more jobs in some cases. That leaves it up to the rich, who likely have more time and money available to help others. I myself work 45-54 hours a week during hours which preclude me from getting a second job or doing any kind of volunteer work without missing sleep to do so.

As far as the self made fallacy, the majority of people who claim that are not actually self made, they had someone along the way help them either with a loan or getting into a job or position that gave them the footing they needed to excel. Are there people who worked 60-80 hours a week for 5 years to save money to start their own business? Yes. For each of those there are 10 more that got help to start that business instead. Are there people who are geniuses that climb to the top of their field easily? Yes. For each of those there are 10 more that got help by knowing someone to help them get into a good job and worked up from there.

Humanity is not a group of individuals that did everything for themselves, we help each other, sometimes in direct ways sometimes indirect, but either way we function by helping each other. When we forget that, or worse, out right deny it, then we lose part of our humanity.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

If it was truly a health issue, then they should be on disability, not welfare. As for the criminal records they can't escape, given that most juvenile records as sealed at 18 that would mean they were breaking the law after they were adults so they made a bad choice and have to live with it. Yes they dug a deep hole and have to work harder to get out, but many have done just that, include some now rich people. Veterans under the GI Bill can go to college and get most if not all of it paid for, also there are opportunities while in the service to take college credits or take classes in a trade.

“..but to generalize all poor people into these limited categories is only a tool of the lazy rich..”

But isn’t that also generalizing the rich?

“…rationalize to themselves and others via the media that all poor people are poor only because they want to be.”

I’ve never heard a rich person say that, nor have I ever met a lazy rich person. I’m sure there are some, but I’ve never met one. I worked for a nice lady, who was rich and did it herself, who when I started told me she expected me to quit in 4 years and she expected me to go to college or learn a trade. She didn’t want any of her lower level employees to think of this job as a career, because they could do better. Most of her employees did just that, worked for her 3 – 5 years then quit for a better job. Again through my boss I met a lot of rich people, who basically said the same thing, study hard, work hard, spend less than you make, and invest. This lady also put in 60 – 80 hours a week, her husband worked in the 80 hour a week neighborhood. Again the rich people I met generally worked an 80 hour work week.

“…. I myself work 45-54 hours..”

In 7 days there are 168 hours say you need 10 hours of sleep a night that leaves 98 hours say you work 55 a week that leaves 43 hours or a little over 6 hours a day, and you don’t have time to give 2 hours a week to help someone get out of poverty?

“Humanity is not a group of individuals that did everything for themselves, we help each other,..”

And yet you’re not willing to give up two hours a week, but you’re more than willing to spend other people’s money.

“As far as the self made fallacy,…”

Let’s say every one of them got a loan from someone, and even say they had someone help them. Who put in the 60 – 80 hours a week, sometimes working one job so they could afford work for their own business? They are self made, because nobody did it for them. Again assuming they got a loan, they had to pay it back, that just meant someone was willing to take a chance on them and in most cases got repaid plus. As for someone who helped them, again they were willing to take a chance on that person, sometimes they got something in return, but in most cases they didn’t. But in each case it was the person who worked, who made the money, who lived on less than they made, who took the chance, who was willing to fail, and who didn’t go looking for handouts.

But I’ll show you a way to become “rich” you don’t need a second job, you won’t need any “help” you can probably do it with the wages you currently making. Ready, invest $2,000 a year, every year. Assuming you can manage a 5% return (not that hard) in 30 years you’ll have about 1.6 million (even if you managed a 3% return you’d have over a million). See simple. And you’ve done it all by yourself.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

You missed the part about my work hours being non-conductive to doing volunteer work. I work from 1pm to 10:30pm generally and by that time at night most places are closed.

You also assume I'm for the current system and / or a handout based system, which is not the case.

You again assume I do not save or invest, which is incorrect as I've been into stocks for a few years now and I'm doing ok at that.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

You have said nothing about replacing the current system but have said the rich should do more. You say you can't volunteer, but you do know what hours you're going to work in advance right? So you could volunteer if you wished. You could help in the mornings, not everyone works 9 -5 some work graveyard and would be willing to come in to better themselves

I for example donate my time teaching self defense, I pay for the building, get nothing for my time. I teach children, teens, and women generally, a few men do show up as well, but I teach everyone for no charge.

On the investments what I was pointing out that if you live on less than you make and invest you can become "rich".

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50
2 votes
May 7, 2015

Education is the key to reducing poverty, unfortunately education has also been marginalized, underfunded and in some cases downright vilified. The number one thing the government can provide that will allow a person to become self-sufficient is education. Increasing funding and support for education will, in the long run, reduce costs associated with welfare, imprisonment, and mental illness.

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100
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1 vote,
May 7, 2015

If a government run system is failing why is the best solution to throw money at it? Making school district administrators rich doesn't seem to be a logical solution.

That kind of thinking opens the door for corruption greed and motivation to continue to let schools fail.

School union lobbyists pushed for teacher job security so outlandish, teachers that don't care simply hand out work sheets and lessons then sit and look at online clothing stores. Sure it socks to loose your job but if you such at your job you shouldn't have it in the first place.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

I am not advocating higher pay for administrators - quite the opposite. As a former teacher the biggest problem I saw was top-heavy, over-paid, micro-managing administrators!
I also did not mention anything about unions. I am not here to make policy statements about our education system...which is easy to attack if that's your goal.
I was simply answering the question, "how should society take care of it's poor?"

Education.
Basically, I'm saying you can either give a hungry man a fish.....or teach him how to fish.
That's it.
I'm not making any other arguments here.

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100
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1 vote,
May 7, 2015

This is the best response by far, I couldn't have worded it better myself. Attack the source of the symptoms, not the symptoms themselves.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

How much does it cost to attend college these days? When we are already spending about $12,743 per public school student I don't think funding is the problem. The mentality surrounding education has to change. Parents have to get involved in their child's life. They need to pay attention to what the school teaches and the quality of the teachers themselves. Public school unions are more harm than good. They haven't done much to improve teacher pay, which would attract more dedicated teachers. They have made it next to impossible to get rid of bad teachers. Administration costs are through the roof. Even the schools being built are more akin to art than utilitarian. I'm not saying they need to build shacks for schools, but no matter how nice and modern a school looks it does nothing if you can't reach a child's mind, which is what the school was built for.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

You are picking a fight that I am not trying to make.
I don't defend the cost of higher education, I never mentioned higher education, unions, and I surely would never defend over-paid administrators. As a former teacher admin pay makes me sick.
Please understand, I am not here to make policy statements about our education system...which is easy to attack if that's your goal.

I was simply answering the question, "how should society take care of it's poor?"

Education.

Basically, I'm saying you can either give a hungry man a fish.....or teach him how to fish.
That's it.

I'm not defending any policy statements about the U.S. education system. I am simply saying a better educated populace will have less poverty. That's all. If you disagree with that point please do comment, but you are attacking arguments I never made and assuming that I am in support of the current system.
I'm not.

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

The only way it can be seen that I was attacking your argument is that you said schools are underfunded. My point was that we spend more per student than most of the rest of the world. I did say that the approach needs to change, not more money thrown at the problem.

It has reached a point that we need adult education for the parents almost more than the kids. When parents are semi-illiterate we can't expect them to care about their kid's education.

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0 votes
May 7, 2015

Via private donation and churches not through government programs that only keeps them poor

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0 votes
May 7, 2015

Reduce the population.
Most of you want to blame the Rich, yeah that's been tried since the dawn of time. The way I see it there is no opportunity for growth anymore, and these Rich people just happen to have been at the start. It is also hard to come up with something new people will want, so starting your own company isn't going to do well when someone else with capital and the means to lose a lot without going completely bankrupt can do it better than you..

Some of you believe it's from lack of education... ok lets carry that idea to the extreme....
Imagine a world full of Albert Einstein, do you think this person will be happy cleaning toilets for the rest of his life, because someone has to do it, if everyone is educated, the only thing you're going to see is higher crimes rates with very cunning lethal criminals and more suicides.

But none of that would solve the poor people problem... other than them not existing in the first place.

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100
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1 vote,
May 7, 2015

Is this satirical? You do know that literary works like A Modest Proposal were jokes right?

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0 votes,
May 7, 2015

My example is satirical, but it is reality wouldn't you say...

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1 vote,
May 7, 2015

But if we reduce the number of poor who will service in the military and protect your sorry back side.

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100
1 vote,
May 7, 2015

That doesn't make sense, unless you think only poor people have a sense of duty to ones country. There are lots of well off people that serve in the armed forces.

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User voted Through the government/state.
0 votes
Aug 30, 2016

We are paying a lot of money to the government, they should fix this. Basic income would prevent poverty.

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