Whining or Winning - The Eradication of Poverty

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A great many people here on this site constantly whine about the disparity in wealth and other aspects of life that they deem to be so “unfair” ... yet most of these same people sit on their collective keisters, waiting for big brother benevolence from the government as opposed to ever getting out and doing anything themselves. As most people here know, I have been working on viable solutions for a long time now ... since long before I ever began publishing on this site, but I have never taken the opportunity to present many viable solutions in my writing here. Let us see if people are willing to walk the walk instead of constantly talking the talk while passing the buck. This is actually the mid-level solution I have proposed, and that I have gotten approved for construction within the Philippines, French Polynesia, Australia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guinea (Conkry), Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Nigeria. (Yeah Stone-Eater you old Goat ... I know the African tale from which you have derived your name) I was allowed a modicum of travel within diplomatic circles but given the normal restrictions on my travels based on circumstances beyond my control in addition to the unique and ideal government already established in the government structure in the Philippines, I hope to begin construction here where I am proud to have my home. So thus, here is the plan ... lemme know what you think please!


The Isolated Community Service Centers are the mid-level introduction of Systemic Solutions to stem the expansion of poverty if not to ultimately eradicate it fully. The Isolated Community Service Center (ICSC) derives its name from its conception as a means to provide for the basic essentials of life in more rural and largely isolated communities. The overall concept however, has been greatly expanded to include it in additional programs and to utilize the resources generated more efficiently in order to assist even larger numbers of people. As such, the name may change but the overall concept will remain the same. Ideally, there will be at least one ICSC facility for every five to ten Barangays based on local needs and the strategic positioning of the facilities on a national level within the Philippines. (The Barangay (or Neighborhood) is the most common, albeit second smallest level of governance in the Philippines. The smallest is the Barrio, though these are largely under-representative of the people, much less common and are still located within and technically to a degree, under the authority and control of the Barangay Hall or localized government office) Once these facilities are in operation, they can immediately begin to assist the local populations and upon the completion of the networks or districts, they can begin to provide even more assistance on the national and even global level.


Originally, the ICSC facilities were designed to provide for the basic needs specifically in those isolated locations wherein there is little or no electrical power, no clean water facilities, and very little in the way of provisions for sanitation. These are often among those communities most directly ... and disproportionately impoverished so it seemed a very good place to start. While different provisions must be made for different communities, the basic setup for the facilities is fairly standardized, though certainly adaptive in nature so as to be able to more completely meet the needs of the individual communities. Each community will have livestock and agricultural pursuits, butchering facilities, commercial kitchen facilities and laundry facilities in addition to power generating facilities with an average generating capacity of two hundred kilowatts as a basic minimal standard, though these numbers can be increased (or even decreased) based on the individual needs of the Barangay(s) being serviced.


Agricultural crops will be grown to allow for the provision of these harvests to the local community members that are most impoverished. The setup for the livestock will be such that there is room for an average of five hundred sow-breeders, two thousand chickens and fish ponds for a selection of meats and an important source of proteins for those same residents. These will be coupled with butcheries and commercial kitchens that meet or exceed Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Standards to give the people receiving these goods, additional capabilities to store and utilize these goods for future, personal use. Current trends are such that, when these people do harvest a crop, they are forced to sell it quickly or to risk allowing it to go to complete waste. Not only does this cost them financially as they are frequently forced to sell their goods at reduced rates, but it also prevents them from keeping the proverbial and literal fruits of their own labors. (A result of the scourge known as poverty)


These kitchens will further serve to provide storage space, including spaces for dry storage and refrigerated storage, allowing for more people to keep more of what they produce in addition to the subsidies that are provided by these facilities. Additional courses will be offered in canning and other services to further expand their ability to keep what they have earned and to help them learn more viable and marketable skills in numerous areas so as to make it easier to get quality jobs and incomes. Furthermore, these facilities will be left open for the people, with certain conditions regarding cleaning up their own messes of course, so that they do have clean, safe and sanitary facilities for cooking and food storage, but the other portions of the facility will also serve to benefit the entire community as well.


Many of these communities lack even basic waste water infrastructure, much less having any kind of viable water management system in place. The idea of community laundries will hopefully serve a role as a multi-purpose aspect of these facilities. It will first and foremost serve to provide a source of clean, safe and sanitary facilities ... not so much for washing the clothes, although that is certainly the primary function, but for the safe disposal and/or treatment of the water that has been used. Currently, these waters, filled full of soaps, softeners and a veritable chemical cocktail, are dumped, unchecked back into the ground. From there, they seep into the local aquifers and further reduce productivity and even endanger lives and livelihoods. Furthermore, for those people who are washing clothes for others, their tasks will be greatly reduced as well. For those that do prefer to wash their own clothes, it is hoped that this will prove to be a viable spot to gather and allow for more social discourse between the members of the community.


Power generation is necessary for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that most of the more isolated and rural communities have very little, if any real access to electricity. Furthermore, the electrical grid as it has been established, is substantially more fragile in such locations and easily broken. (Grid stability and vulnerabilities are a seemingly global issue, not necessarily relegated to the more rural settings, but that is a different subject) In short, very few of these people have the benefit of even the most rudimentary forms of access to electricity. Simple chores such as charging a cell phone or even finding a radio or television operable during times of real crisis, such as during storms, become overwhelming challenges. The capacity to generate electricity will also be utilized to fully power the ICSC facilities as well ... as if that were not readily apparent already. Though it should be noted, this electrical current that is generated will also be utilized for the benefit of the entire community as well.


In many of the more isolated Barangays, power is a major issue, and even those that do have electricity, suffer substantially more brownouts than those living in the cities will experience. Basketball Courts and Barangay Halls are forced to shut down at sundown or even trying to operate by candle and flash light. Stores, churches and other community locations are forced to close early and people are left to their own vices. Those that do happen to be out after dark are forced to tread through often brutal and unforgiving, even dangerous terrain, just to get home. All of this could be easily remedied through the local provision of electrical current and the addition of street lights along the major paths and roads in the locations surrounding the ICSC facilities. Shops can stay open later, people can get out and about more, social functions will not be as restrictive and, even if the direct impact is minimal, even the local economy will improve to some degree. Where does this power come from though?


There are currently many alternatives to traditional power plants being considered and tested, all of which are fully self-sustainable. In the case of the ICSC facilities in the Philippines, it is most likely that the original power sources will be powered by bio-fuels from the pig waste in addition to the introduction of limited Solar and Water-based technologies that have already been tested and approved. Talks are also underway to the point where they could be considered negotiations, with a domestic feed producer to produce organic feeds that help to reduce the levels of copper and zinc in the solid animal waste used in conjunction with bio-matter to generate biofuel. (The presence of these metals in the waste, tends to increase the chances of producing ammonia rather than natural gas or methane ... and while much of the “propane technology” of today, such as refrigeration, does rely on (comparatively) ancient ammonia based technologies, the natural gas is substantially safer and more reliable and efficient) There are some issues currently with the ability of the ICSC facilities to be able to pipe the gas directly to all of the households, but this may still be achieved with proper training and plainly marking the locations of gas lines. This gas will also serve to provide cooking fuels for the local residents, hot water within the facilities and perhaps even for heating to some degree as necessary and perhaps for what few vehicles are currently (or will be) converted to run on natural gas. The residual or effluent from the process will then be used to create organic fertilizers and emulsifiers for the local farmers and other residents in an effort to reduce the level of harmful chemicals (primarily the nitrates) being dumped into the local soil (and aquifers) with the current farming methods.


The presence of these harmful nitrates will be further mitigated by the introduction of plant species such as the Paulownia Princesa trees that thrive in any environment wherein they can remove excess nitrates from the system. However, these trees also have a very prolific growth rate and will require close management and restrictions so as not to destroy entire ecosystems as they have in the past. Part of this will be accomplished through the introduction of sustainable timber programs, utilizing these trees as a means of sustainable timber production, allowing for them to be properly managed in such a fashion as to generate a positive flow of proceeds without adding any burdensome costs to ongoing operations. These trees also have many additional, unique properties that will also allow for them to be utilized in disaster mitigation and additional environmental and sustainability programs.


There are other, more mitigating factors that have to be considered as well however. Among the primary concerns are worries about the effect on the local economic systems and the potential for harm. Since the desired effect will be to improve the quality of life for the local residents, it is imperative that every potential for harm be closely considered and planned for. Among the most obvious of these, are the potentials to harm the local economies. The presence of five hundred breeder sows, two thousand chickens and a host of fish farms could literally bankrupt the local producers if the harvests were just dumped, haphazardly into the local markets. A lot of planning has gone into developing a means to avoid this scenario however.


The primary, direct recipients of the harvests from these facilities are not currently contributing much of anything at all to the local markets, so there should not be any adverse economic or financial or even social impact from their participation. Still, it is necessary to utilize the harvests without impacting the local markets also. Initially, the idea was to provide for franchised restaurants and food carts of sorts, and to work as suppliers for national chains. These options are still in consideration and will be explored further, but there are much better, and more humanitarian uses for these products as well. Working in close cooperation with local administrators and officials, food programs will be established to provide hot, nutritional and hopefully tasty meals to those who currently do not enjoy such a benefit. Among the most notable of these efforts are the implementation of a feeding program ... a lunch program for the local schools. Such programs will be carefully weighed and considered in terms of Cost-Benefit Analyses that will have to be conducted individually and independently for each and every sight being built.


School Lunch Programs are not a new concept, but until now, they have been mostly out of reach. (Current budget allowances in the school my daughter attends are limited to less than thirty cents per day and even at local market prices, are grossly insufficient) Add in the lack of the proper facilities necessary to cook the foods, and it is very difficult to imagine being able to provide hot, nutritional meals for all of the students. If successful, it is possible that this program can be expanded to those poor people in the community who have a known history of requiring the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and even for the elderly and infirm in those areas around the ICSC facilities. Eventually, as an entire network of these facilities is constructed on a national level, the programs can easily be expanded. As the new and innovative agricultural methods are introduced and perfected, and as harvests are increased, it should be possible to expand the program to the extent that a national feeding program can be put in place without any undue burdens on the taxpaying citizens or at any major loss of proceeds generated for internal support and costs of operations.


Eventually, these programs will be expanded to include deepwater and open-water fishing fleets, larger, saltwater fish, shrimp and even crab farms and serve to feed more than just the poor and down-trodden. These programs will be an integral part of the overall establishment of the larger Community Developments and further serve to feed the students, the elderly and infirm and perhaps even to subsidize the availability of food for those on the front lines of the defense of this nation, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, who, despite their dedication and service, remain largely underpaid and underappreciated by some.


The Philippines is further and uniquely ideal for the implementation of these types of programs through the current means of more localized and direct governance, including restricted powers of judicial adjudication at the Barangay (or Neighborhood) level. Each and every Barangay has a liaison or representative of the DSWD that is directly elected by the people within the Barangay, and who works hand in hand with all of the impoverished people within the Barangay. Such a system already has the means in place to work directly with those families whom are already in dire straits, but (in the opening phases at least) have shown a strong desire and even a limited ability to provide for themselves as best as they are able to under their current circumstances. Later programs, when implemented at the larger-scale Community Development phase, will have the ability to assist those families who do suffer from severely debilitating concerns such as alcoholism, gambling or even drug addictions, often directly resulting from a complete lack of hope based largely on their impoverished circumstances. However, in the opening phases of operations, in order to provide immediate assistance to and among those who are most in need of help, it will be requisite to establish viable parameters of operation that may (for better or for worse) be less capable or even wholly inadequate to deal with the added burdens of these debilitating conditions in the opening phases of operations.


While it is nothing less than tragic to seemingly ignore those who are debilitated and may, by definition at least, be those who are truly most in need of hope, to attempt to extend beyond the means in the opening phases would crash the entire program both figuratively and literally and would prevent the ability of the program to grow naturally and sustain-ably until such a time as it was adequately prepared to assist these persons. This again, is part of the nature of sustainability ... it is a natural progression that is necessary in order to provide viable and meaningful assistance for long-term solutions without placing any undue strain or costs or other burdens on those members of society who are already productive, contributing members of society. To date, that has been the biggest shortcoming that any of our experts have been able to discover, but if that is the biggest challenge faced by the overall program, it should be one of the most ... if not the most viable option available to date ... mind you, that also means that it is never likely to be approved for implementation in the industrialized nations as it seems they really do not want viable and working solutions to the existing disparity in their nations. They would much rather have a general populace wholly dependent on the government. However, the Philippines is yet again, an ideal location to commence operations ... if only we can get the help we need to put the final phases into play and actually begin construction.


Johnny Fever Added Aug 10, 2018 - 8:29am
A poor person in America lives a upper class lifestyle in any impoverished country across the globe.  This means that poverty is relative and can’t be eradicated.  After all, so long as we have rich people in America, others will be comparatively poor.  Same for the rich in the impoverished nations of the world.  So my first criticism is in your suggestion that poverty is something can be eradicated.
As for making the lives of the poor better, I’m sure there are all sorts of solutions but the best solution is to get a job and provide for oneself.  This solution requires the government to do one thing, foster a healthy economy where employment is not difficult to find.  Your solution of agricultural crops harvested by local community members (etc. etc.) sounds like the makings of another government bureaucracy that will do nothing. 
Besides what you suggest has been done before, it’s called a Kibbutz.  However, a Kibbutz is not a place to live off the labor of others, those crops get harvested by members of the Kibbutz.  If they won’t do the work, they can’t live in the Kibbutz.  For the others, dealing with them is again about the level of free stuff the government decides to give those that don't provide for themselves.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 10, 2018 - 8:47am
I have been out of the states for nearly two decades now, live in a native shack and know better than most how "poor" people live. I am also aware of the "impoverished" people living in the US and wearing more money in their sneakers than some people make here in a year. Thus, the comment that it would not work in Industrialized nations as it would be regulated out of existence before it began. 
In much of the world, it is not possible to get a job without at least a College education ... which in much of the world, is what you would consider to be a High School education (and perpetuating the myth that "most of the world" is college educated when in fact it means nothing more than they finished high school by American standards) ... but unfortunately, government (Read: The taxpayer) does not pay for schooling so a great many of those who are truly impoverished cannot afford education, thus cannot get a job. 
Government can only be depended on to look out for government. This has proven to be inevitable throughout history, and thus, the reason that it is not a government project, but an NGO who has fought and struggled to get government approval to build the projects. The idea of creating any kind of government bureaucracy to run such a project would subsequently defeat the entire purpose of the project altogether. 
Interesting that you should bring up the Kibbutz as you are finally getting on to the proper track regarding the underlying efforts. Those who are impoverished would not only be provided with the means to keep that which they produce, but to receive training and employment within the system itself. The ability to go directly from cost of production to full retail markets, allows for the system to be wholly ... including economically sustainable. Imagine now if you will, a Kibbutz expanded out to an entire Community Development. 
Nobody was offered a free ride anywhere in the article or in reality. 
Dino Manalis Added Aug 10, 2018 - 10:56am
 Income inequality is normal, basic income would make most people poor, we need to help with social services to enable people to become self-sufficient and independent from government.
Jim Perlow Added Aug 10, 2018 - 11:09am
The pathway to freedom is self reliance.  
Katharine Otto Added Aug 10, 2018 - 12:06pm
I'm glad you decided to publish the essential components of your plan, but I had to read several paragraphs before getting any notion of what you were talking about.  You say no one will be given a free ride, but you don't say who will build these facilities, keep the cows and chickens, provide for the water and sewer, or other up-front considerations for your ideal community.  And, while you do expect people to help out, you don't account for differences in ability or motivation.  
Is your NGO, then, the master planner and builder?  It then comes down to money, who will fund the materials, the land, the design and contracting work?  Will it be the future inhabitants or outside contractors?  Will the community start out in debt that will have to be repaid?  
As I've hinted before, I believe you would do well to get just one water well and a few composting toilets and go from there.  Dealing with waste water is a major task in itself, as any wastewater treatment facility could tell you.
wsucram15 Added Aug 10, 2018 - 10:01pm
Im with Katharine...you need a more functional plan.  Will the community have to borrow to begin, kind of like a chicken farm? Describe the waste water facility..doesnt sound like you have that part down, but at least you know you need something which is very cool.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 10, 2018 - 10:15pm
Katharine Otto-
Wastewater is actually easy, as is all municipal waste (Biotic and Abiotic in nature). That technology is currently being marketed as a means to fund the initial training and construction, though negotiations involve three separate governments and all manner of intricacies that will take a while. If everything is set up, this program exceeds every demand of Philippine Law and Asia Development Bank requirements for the reduction of waste in the Philippines (and other nations) to a statistical zero, in addition to providing additional environmental benefits that are also quite profitable in nature. However, again, it seems that unless you are already in the Old Boy's Network, most of these people do not want actual solutions ... though the older generation tech is already fully functional in Australia and Germany. The biggest problem there is the tech owner whose previous work was effectively stolen and buried through patent ownership by a particular government ... who has since buried the other tech. He is now quite paranoid about his tech, so it adds to the challenges of negotiations ... especially with other governments. 
The actual plan is around two hundred pages for this one, so it would be a bit much to publish it all here. Yes, the idea is to train and work the local people, as they would by necessity, improve their skillsets in addition to their median quality of life. These programs would proceed in conjunction with ... not in cooperation with ... government that has accredited the curricula and training programs, further giving these people the ability to go out and get jobs outside of the system created herein. The program is integrated and adaptive in nature, and a large part of this involves the inclusion of a more viable educational system that was originally developed for a major American corporation who wishes to remain anonymous at this point in time, though they have granted me access to the developers of the educational system ... including one who is retired and has since taken a Filipina wife and works closely with our group. 
The initial funding is challenging because it has been established to provide a viable and actual positive ROI for the investor, but it is also set up as a not-for-profit. Even my friends at HSBC Private Banking are having issues with the way regulations will impact that. The Private Bank in Switzerland I am working with has assisted us and a Private Hedge Fund will be established on behalf of a trust ... it is complicated but would work. Still, American banking regulations are the greatest challenge to overcome ... especially given their propensity to keep moving the goalposts. 
If I start something too small, the government (virtually all of them I am working with) merely take them over and dump them right into the current failed system. A complete waste of time and total exercise in futility. 
Dino- The entire purpose is the sociological support ... not the financial support, to improve their median quality of life and qualify these people to actually be capable of gaining meaningful employment. People who have been impoverished for multiple generations can no more be expected to succeed with a minimal income than they could alleviate being homeless merely by providing them a home. The idea is an entire sociological support system, again, working in conjunction with ... not in cooperation with government and their existing regulations. The government accreditation gives them the necessary "degree" to actually seek out employment. You cannot even get a job as a stock clerk in many countries without a college education that most cannot afford. However, trying to change local or domestic laws and regulations would be about as fruitful as trying to change American laws or regulations ... one still has to work within the existing system unless and until one can establish a parallel system that does not raise the ire of the current and proverbial powers that be. 
Ward Tipton Added Aug 10, 2018 - 10:22pm
WSU- All of that is discussed in my response to Katharine, though you and I were writing at the same time apparently. Waste is one of the easier portions, and we currently have numerous irrigation projects underway. These are in complete cooperation with the government here, not private projects however, and are still sadly lacking. 
Systemic Sustainability or Whole System Sustainability is tricky, but certainly not impossible. However, it is imperative that the overall plan be adaptive in nature, not only in regards to culturally, historically, socially and environmentally sensitive areas, especially the ones prone to change, but also in accordance with sociological sustainability. If there are any major challenges, it is the initial funding ... trying to convince capital investors or venture capitalists that they can invest in an NGO and receive a positive return is ... unique LOL ... it has been challenging ... but also the introduction of an alternative educational system, not only introducing scholastic, vocational and technical training based on aptitude, but also for the inclusion of critical thinking and problem solving skills ... for some reason, those two seem to raise objections from the requisite bodies in charge of such matters. 
Ward Tipton Added Aug 10, 2018 - 10:24pm
Our thoughts at this point are actually to market the Waste Management as a full commercial venture in order to fund the entire project. It seems as if this will be a much more viable approach. 
wsucram15 Added Aug 10, 2018 - 11:55pm
Ward..I understand trying to obtain funding, perhaps not for and enterprise like this, but important just the same.
It is difficult to obtain.  I would be one of the people you would not like especially due to the waste water, as simple as everyone makes that sound..I have seen the problems and dangers when its not done correctly. (the aftermath)
I am more familiar with the educational (particularly alternative) issues and perhaps (depending on the person) persuading people to try something different. 
People dont like change..there must always be an incentive or reason to take the leap.
Commerical venture might be best on the waste mgt...leaves focus on other things
Ken Added Aug 11, 2018 - 1:22am
Economic equality cannot ever occur,but should not ever occur.  Wealth disparity is the false argument of socialists to claim that their system of genocide and misery is the way to go.
The income pie isn't fixed.  Economies grow (as long as socialists don't prevent it by making people have no interest in innovation because they can't control it)
Arguing that income inequality is nothing more than class warfare.  Gee I should be jealous because i make 50k and my neighbor makes 1 billion!
So what?  How does that negatively impact you?  Why do you care (other than artificial class jealousy) what your neighbor makes?
Who has the right to say "you have made enough, you owe everyone else"
This sick, divisive, lying ideology must be defeated. 
The collective is NEVER more important than the individual.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 11, 2018 - 6:35am
I really wish people would actually read the entire article before commenting. 
Why are commenters delving into economic parity when it appears nowhere in the article? Bringing someone out of poverty does not equate to economic parity and it appears nowhere in the article ... specifically because it is not only impossible, but insane to even consider. We are in total agreement on most of your comments Ken, but they have fook all to do with anything that is written down.  
Wastewater tech we have is working amazingly well in Perth and Melbourne and in a few locations in Germany ... though it is also used to process MSW as well. Funny you pick one of the parts that is already functioning and proven beneficial to criticize. 
Stone-Eater Added Aug 11, 2018 - 9:09am
The old goat has its name from an old Alex Harvey song LOL
Interesting stuff. Can you send me details ? jurg.friedli@afronum.com.
Thanks :)
Ari Silverstein Added Aug 11, 2018 - 9:27pm
"School Lunch Programs are not a new concept, but until now, they have been mostly out of reach."
That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. As a percentage of the student population, more kids are on the school lunch than ever before. Public schools have learned that the best way to attract more Federal dollars is to get as many kids on the school lunch program as possible. So the program has expanded. I think it should be reduced and any parent that sends their kid to school without a lunch should be investigated by the Department of Social services for neglect. But I digress.
This national feeding program you’ve imagined sounds like a huge undertaking and very costly. Where will you feed the children and the adults that can’t feed themselves, in the same cafeteria? I think the current system of giving people food stamps is the most logical and cost effective solution, we just can't give them to everyone, as we nearly do now.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 11, 2018 - 10:33pm
This sounds economically valid, but I could easily be wrong. What are you going to do to guard against a "fly in the ointment" ? as would happen naturally, even without the present conditions. Why not help at home?
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 11, 2018 - 11:59pm
I couldnt read the article, because I cant remember
"A great many people here on this site constantly whine about the disparity in wealth and other aspects of life that they deem to be so unfair"
You lost me at the beginning
Ken Added Aug 12, 2018 - 4:26am
Ward, to be honest, I didn't read entire post, although probably should have.  I am just so tired of the socialist lies - which i know you aren't a part of - that want this utopia for all that goes against entire rational thought and takes into consideration nothing of human character.
Socialism only works if every person goes against their biological nature, which simply won't happen.  Most of socialist countries in Europe are now rejecting it realizing they can't survive with it (Denmark, Norway perfect examples of it).  Communist systems are pushing to capitalism such as China, because again, survivability is economics, and again, capitalism is what is the root of success.
the socialists around here like FJ, opher, Mishka, others - have absolutely no interest in a genuine conversation about the success of capitalism vs the millions killed due to socialism.  The ideology is all,and "winning" is all that matters to them.  Not a single one has any interest in honest conversation and will ever be swayed from their beliefs.  That is really sad because they will post stuff that is indefensible, or folks like Mishka that will just be rude and insulting but cannot defend their position at all.
When your entire ideology is based on emotion rather than fact, that is what you are stuck with.  And that is why socialism has become so popular, bring up the poor, make everyone equal sounds great until you realize the truth is that it is just dependency on people that actually contribute to society, and the more you go to bringing them up,the less they contribute.
The "Great Society" 50 years later has no less people in poverty than were there in the 60's and has spent billions of dollars on it.
Well done socialists!
Flying Junior Added Aug 12, 2018 - 4:36am
I know that money given to my church or the CCSA can do a great deal of good.  And I do participate.  I just bought two nice backpacks, for a boy and a girl for back to school days.  I know that every dollar I spend on goods or every cent I give goes directly to helping people in need.  Even if it is just donating some coffee or canned goods.
Usually I hand out my gifts personally to people that I know.  It's not often enough.  But I did shop for, fix up and give to a young Guatemalan-American boy a super-nice used mountain bike with a 12" frame.  He should be able to ride it for the next six years.  I also gave a younger kid the best 20" Raleigh that I could piece together from the two bikes that I gave my grandsons five or six years ago.  Any old bike that I can't fix up goes to the Ride Africa Project where it is fixed up and given to a local bike shop in several locations in Africa.
One of the best things that a fat cat can do is just tip generously to the working poor in your community.  Not on the credit card slip.  The kids will never see any of that.  Put cash in the tip jar!  Every time.  Don't be a cheapskate.
Thomas Sutrina Added Aug 12, 2018 - 8:20am
What you described is America before the socialist got the federal and state governments involved in welfare, before about 1870.  When almost no immigration laws restricted individual from coming to America.  I believe that only the threat of a huge Chinese wave due to a famine resulted in a restriction in numbers.   Without welfare and those coming knew that, only those that were willing to work came, one of the best filters to choose immigrants.
Mustafa Kemal Added Aug 12, 2018 - 8:37am
re"One of the best things that a fat cat can do is just tip generously to the working poor in your community.  Not on the credit card slip.  The kids will never see any of that.  Put cash in the tip jar!  Every time.  Don't be a cheapskate"
I fully agree. It is one of my main ways of fighting this war on the workers. 
Doug Plumb Added Aug 13, 2018 - 7:23am
I have always done that as well.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 14, 2018 - 10:24am
StoneEater – (Highly) Abbreviated Version
There is an old African tale set during the dry summer months in the plains. An old Goat is struggling to find any blades of grass it can in between the rocks and stones. When the lion approaches to eat it, he sees the goat gnawing at a rock and asks the goat what it is doing. The goat replies I am eating all the stones … and when I finish with them, I am going to eat you! So the lion, seeing what he thought was the goat eating the stones, left.
Ari -
I am guessing you have not traveled much outside of the US or you stayed in hotels or homes of the relatively well off when you do travel? The rest of the world is very little like the United States you know. As I said, the entire school budget per student here is less than thirty cents per day … barely enough to even cover the cost of rice for one student, much less the cost of ulam … meat or vegetables … and does not even come close to providing any means of cooking the food … and that is just for the students who can afford to go to school. Rice is about one dollar a kilo, or fifty cents a pound … USD. Chicken costs about four dollars a kilo or about two dollars per pound. Even fish is almost a dollar and one-half per pound. Many of the cousins of my daughter have been forced to quit schooling in elementary school for two major reasons … first being school is an added cost to the family, not to mention school supplies. Losing a pencil can be a financial burden to many families here. The second reason is that when the children are in school, they are not able to assist the family to earn a living. My father in law left school in the third grade to sell fried bananas and sweet potatoes to passengers on passing buses. Many of these children and their families are already receiving assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD – Think Child Protective Services and Welfare combined) but they do not remove the children from these homes except in extreme circumstances as they are all too familiar with the conditions they would be living in under government care. Having done a lot of volunteer work here, especially when I was better off, I know many of the facilities intimately. The children (male and female) are given cropped haircuts to prevent lice, receive generally less than a thousand calories per day and are given straw mats to place over the concrete floor to sleep at night … sans pillows or sheets.
That being said, government programs have failed around the globe, giving them the benefit of the doubt at least. If they were not intentionally designed to create a dependency class, then the ignorance and ineptitude of their planning, design and implementation alone has led to no other potential result. More government programs are rarely the solution. Thus the need to implement private, viable and long-term solutions that provide training and assistance for the improvement of their median quality of life without becoming dependent on whatever crumbs their benevolent government decides to toss their way.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 14, 2018 - 10:25am
Ken –
We are indeed largely (if not completely) in agreement. The Dutch and Swiss nations and a few other “Socialist Success Stories” that are parroted by the left, are in large part due to no expenses for National Defense and other issues of security as those are in large part funded by the American taxpayer either directly and/or through the United Nations.
The government programs I do believe have intentionally created a dependency class and sought in earnest to replace both the nuclear family unit and god (and God wherever possible) with government. If these programs were not intentionally designed to create a dependency class, it means that the best and the brightest that the government has to offer is woefully ignorant and incompetent. Either way it is not conducive to looking for more government solutions, especially not at a continued and ever-increasing cost to the productive and contributing members of society.
There has to be an introduction of solutions from the outside that will result in the ability … or even the need for these people to improve their median quality of life. Rewarding good life decisions and even if not punishing, certainly not rewarding poor life choices in the manner as is currently under way in the US welfare and social assistance programs. Unfortunately, programs like these can never be implemented in the US … or MOST other industrialized nations as the government needs these people to be wholly dependent on government for their very existence. A slave will rarely attack his master if he does not know how or where he will get his next meal. Keeping the impoverished as virtual and literal slaves to government handouts is not only an effective means to divide the people and foment civil unrest, but for implementing even more oppressive and inefficient government programs to “correct” the very problems that they have created and exacerbated.
Our group has spent the last twenty years (among the top tier) working together, looking at what works, what does not, why things work, why things do not … it is far from emotionally based diatribe and seeks to provide people with the means and the incentive to improve their personal situation in life.
As for the great society and poverty … look at LBJ … listen to him. Global programs similar to those introduced in America have been able to accomplish what exactly? If you listen to the UN, there are roughly … just under two billion people living in poverty, but those are only the ones earning less than two dollars per day. In actuality, nearly one-half of the people live in impoverished conditions earning well below national poverty lines. (Here the median income was 3600 USD per annum last time I checked, though that would have been around 2004 maybe? … though do not expect to get fat living off that amount, much less to ever get ahead in life.) An armed guard locally makes about three hundred bucks a month and that is considered a good living here … less than I used to make when I was writing for a living … something I am trying to get back into. This again, is all the more reason private interests need to step up to the plate, take the ball from the government and the burden from the taxpayer and introduce meaningful and long-term solutions.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 14, 2018 - 10:26am
Flying Junior –
One of the few churches I have ever felt comfortable donating to was a church I attended in Reno. The pastor had started it from nothing and in over thirty years running the church, never took one dime from the collection plate for personal use. Though I do agree with giving things to people personally, there are many issues with that on a larger scale. With all due respect to the good done by the Catholic Diocese, their programs are often subject to abuse and other factors I am sure none of them ever considered when it comes to boots on the ground at the receiving end … and they are certainly not alone in that area. Many of the goods they distribute on a monthly basis have come to be seen as nothing more than an added source of income that does not have to be accounted for or even earned. In some cases, mothers sell these goods to purchase immediate needs, pens, pencils, etc … if they have kids in school. In many cases, they will get sold to buy the local gin or to pay for a trip to the cockpits where the cock fights are held. My wife is the Treasurer for a Center for Agricultural and Rural Development that is a micro-finance organization that also does small charitable work. Pigs that are not suitable as breeders are handed out, but since they are unsuitable, they are sold, leaving the person in the same situation they were in beforehand … or sometimes they are sold to buyers for the abattoir and never bred at all. Best case scenarios are about ten bucks profit per pig born even if the people do keep them. The only smaller scale programs I have seen that are viable are those that provide housing, and assistance with schooling … uniforms, supplies, concrete block school houses and other similar programs. In fact, I used to do a great many of these until the one guy I had who could drive thousands of people to our fundraisers passed on. I have never been a nice guy or someone you want in the front office, but to date, I have managed to raise … nothing for any of these projects. We have built numerous homes, conducted many water irrigation projects, erosion and reforestation … many of which were left unmanaged once the powers that be took charge … and subsequently destroyed entire ecosystems … but I have seen the same thing in the US and other locations as well … including an ancient mangrove swamp destroyed for the sake of “preserving” other wetlands. If I could find some people here to help me raise funds for building solid block homes, school buildings and other similar community projects that are not quite so prone to abuse, I hope they would consider coming here to see the projects through to the end and to meet the people and see how much of the rest of the world lives. I would really love to begin building large-scale food forests here too. There is a lot that could be done, but over the course of decades, many of us have already passed on as well.
In my earlier conversation with Katharine, she asked about doing something smaller … though this is the smallest version (and the actual layout is closer to two hundred thousand words, so a bit much for here) that can be built and retain economic sustainability. The two larger programs are centered around Whole-System Sustainability – Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability, but such a system requires a certain level of mass in order to maintain the overall systemic sustainability.
There are no tip jars here, but if you know anyone who is interested in doing projects here, including your church group, they are more than welcome. I do request however, any time that finances are involved, that those donating or at least someone on their behalf, be here to see that all of the monies are spent the way they were marketed as being. If we are going to focus on smaller projects however, we need to focus on ones that are not so prone to abuse.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 14, 2018 - 10:27am
Thomas –
Hahahahahahaha If only you knew how close to the truth you were. The initial efforts actually began when I came across a means for a local government to address the needs of its people during a period of drought and famine. We have expanded on it greatly, but it is designed to give people satisfaction from earning what they have, incentive and reward for doing more to improve their median quality of life … and as noted many times herein, to do so without burdening the taxpayers, without rewarding poor life choices … It will take a while before we can assist those with more debilitating issues, often made intensely worse through living in such impoverished conditions, but that day should come if we can get the larger programs going. The funny thing is, we finance utilizing a private hedge fund, incorporating both for profit and not-for-profit principles, and through the corporate ownership of the business entities inside these communities. The community acts as shareholders essentially, and while the money cannot be returned as dividends to the people, those funds can be utilized to fund social programs. The corporate interests are held accountable through Citizen Review Boards and an Ombudsman Program with private citizens through mandatory service in much the same way as jury duty, professionals selected randomly from relevant fields and representatives of the community leadership, giving a weighted vote balance to the conclusions, wherein any two bodies can override a third, but no singular party can override the system, tilting it in their favor. It works in much the same way as Jury Nullification, though it also forces the governing body as it were, to be held to account. Unlike the founding fathers who had faith that the American government would be held in check by its people, we are kind of forcing the issue a bit, and demanding that the people hold the governing body to account.
The Alternative Educational System you may or may not appreciate … was established in a sense … to appease the likes of Michiu Kaku. The reason I say that is because Michiu Kaku rightly noted that the biggest killer of dreams is Jr. High School. Kids are trapped in a classroom, surrounded by and large by other kids who have no interest in many of the same things. Kids in Drama class picked on the kids in the choir who picked on the stoners who picked on the Honor Society … on down the line … an over-simplification but all of this is … as people are not going to read two hundred thousand words here LOL. On rare occasion, there may be a field trip, but the kid who really digs the science museum and wants to check out certain things, is limited in what he can see, risks being derided by friends for having an intense love of science … not overly conducive to dreamers or doers. We have utilized a variant of the Waldorf/Steiner program, though with a larger focus on scholastics to the extent that it supports the aptitude of the individual students and the courses they have elected to pursue in accordance with selections given to them based on their aptitudes. Rather than teaching in traditional classrooms by singular teachers for each subject … many of which even the teachers could not pass these days, the students spend as much time as possible in “real-world” environments, not only getting their hands dirty in something they enjoy, surrounded by other people with the same academic (relatively speaking) interests, but also seeing the reasoning behind what they are learning. (Why do I need to study algebra and geometry if I am just going to be working in my dad’s concrete pouring business) Obviously, it is substantially more involved than that, but that is the general basis.
Ken Added Aug 16, 2018 - 12:48am
ward- been traveling on business for past week so not been able to respond for a while, and traveling again next week (You know, those of us not dependent on government subsidies have to work a lot to have something after our wealth is redistributed!)
The Dutch are far from a socialist success story as they are far more capitalist than socialist, although socialists love to point in their direction.  They are actually moving away from socialism because they cannot afford it.
Socialism redistributes wealth.  Capitalism creates it.  Europe couldn't survive with their socialist policies if the USA wasn't creating wealth for them.  As Maggie Thatcher said "Socialism is great - until you run out of other people's money" and she was 100% correct.
The socialists don't understand the difference between "equal opportunity" and "equal outcome".  The first drives innovation and is part of the human condition.  The second is opposite the human condition and gives no one the incentive to strive for more or to be better.  If you can't keep the efforts of your own labor you simply aren't motivated to do more labor.
Perfect joke about the failure of socialism.  Not really a joke, just a sample of how human motivation works, very cleverly done....and how socialism is a completely failure for exactly the same reason
Yes this is an allegory, but to you Europeans, you are failing, whether you admit it or not.  The only thing that is keeping you going isn't your allowing anyone coming into your country regardless of their beliefs, but it is a perfect example of human nature showing the reason why Socialism has been a complete failure everywhere it has been tried.
More people DIE in canadian or British or other "single payer health care systems because of delays, lack of treatment, and lack of resources than they do in america.  Most rich Canadians come to America for health care.  The waiting list there is atrocious, from basic procedures to life saving procedures.  Cancer diagnosis can take months before you can see a specialist.  The difference between preventing and death.
You folks are obscene in pushing socialism to cause the misery of millions more that survived this failed ideology in the 20th century and trying to make it the standard in the 21st!
Individual liberty has proven to be the best thing ever allowed, but you all want government control of everything.  Pathetic.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 16, 2018 - 1:09am
I am supposing that I am not included in that "You folks" part of your comment? In case I am however, please, allow me to retort. (While I am not currently "oppressed" by gainful employment ... I am looking and sure do wish I was ... but I am not dependent on government subsidies as they do not exist here to the degree that they do in the US and the one time in my life I did end up in a welfare line, I left with my brother to another state to find work) 
One) The entire object is to get government out of the picture entirely as evidenced by nearly half the world living in impoverished conditions. 
Two) There is a marked difference between equal opportunity and equality in results, with one being attainable and the other being a foolish delusion resulting in real-life nightmares anywhere it is implemented. 
Three) The idea is to reward positive life choices without rewarding poor life choices ... ala government programs that have monetized and incentivised (or something like that) poor life choices.
Four) This is done through the introduction of accredited coursework, often in the form of technical and vocational training that allows people who were previously ineligible to look for work ... yes, that does happen in the rest of the world ... will now not only be eligible to look for work, but also be well qualified to accept and even excel in such jobs as they are now eligible for. 
Five) The only Dutch people I have ever met in my travels would not buy someone a beer if they did not expect ten times as much in return ... though again, it is the constant reference of the statists to the Dutch Netherlands as being some sort of supposed socialist success story ... not my claim. 
Six) There is a reason I do not push socialism even if some of the solutions are seemingly socialist in nature ... though that would be difficult to argue as they are not government programs but operated through private industry and private investment. 
Seven) I have not been to a doctor since I was discharged from the service save the rare requisite checkup due to an employer or insurer, or the occasional knife wound or bullet hole too deep for my wife to sew up or in the very unlikely case of a broken bone. However, yes, I have seen the detriments of socialized medicine. Alfie Evans was unavailable for comment. All the more reason these programs would not be controlled and/or regulated by the government. 

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