Social Reforms (That Will Never Happen)

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The problems with poverty are multi-faceted, including both causes and effects that are systemic and … dare it be said … self-sustaining and dynamic in nature, often exacerbating the original causes and creating an ever-increasing detrimental impact for those under its grasp. There should be no doubt at this stage, that the many government “social assistance” programs have led to an expansion of the causes and subsequently, to the number of people adversely impacted and continuing to live in impoverished conditions. The same path is being actively sought out by some who believe that we can just hand someone a minimal cash paycheck each and every month and all of these problems will magically disappear.

 

Unfortunately, tragically even, the solutions are once again singular in nature. These are singular solutions to complex problems, that accomplish nothing more than temporarily alleviating singular symptoms and at the same time, they continue to exacerbate the underlying causes to these many social challenges. This of course, begs the question as to why? While it would be easy to blame government and let it be at that, this is in fact, only a portion of the problem.

 

A great many impoverished individuals and families have been living in the same sparse and harsh conditions for multiple generations. As such, these people are historically unprepared to become productive and contributing members of the surrounding societal construct. It is not necessarily that these people are incapable of assimilating into “normal” society, but that through their isolation and separation from that society through the government “social assistance” programs, that these people have been forced into a position to create their own societal constructs, often independent of the surrounding body of law and societal norms and standards. In short, those portions of the locale wherein these people have been segregated, will be effectively established as a separate zone, often replete with its own rules and societal construct … albeit generally at a much smaller scale and without any official status.

 

There is ample evidence of this in practice in the inner cities in general and more notably perhaps, in sections with large areas of section eight housing or housing projects within the United States. The isolation of these groups, by and large, has resulted in sub-cultures that, for the local residents, often becomes more prevalent and dominant than the official “ruling body” or government. This is often made evident in the inability of the police to extract information from victims regarding their attackers, as their attackers, however abhorrent to their local society, are still part of the “us” and not one of “them” … in short, they refuse to turn their over to the legal authorities because of the more prevalent, more pressing social standards within their sub-sect of the community.

 

When circumstances such as these expand across multiple generations, the underlying issues become even more prevalent as current and future generations are brought up in social environments wherein their division and segregation … and their need to be as fully self-reliant as possible at the social level, becomes the norm … or just the way things are. By the time the third generation is being born and raised in such an unstable and isolated social development, it will become a virtual inevitability and escape will generally be held to be nothing more than a distant dream for the occasional “deluded” soul who honestly believes that they are capable of rising above their own oppression.

 

“Social Assistance” programs will provide for the bare minimal basic needs of these people, leaving them reliant on their own means to make any marked improvement in their median quality of life. In most cases, this involves criminal activity, often within their own sub-sects of the community, venturing out rarely so as to remain more inconspicuous in their extra-judicial activities. These efforts are not at all discouraged, as there is an unwritten law wherein those within this local, segregated societal development, will not turn any of their own over to the outside authorities as was previously noted above. While this may not be an active encouragement, it certainly provides no deterrent to criminal behavior. This reflects negatively on the youth within these communities as those who have more and are subsequently viewed as being more “successful”, are often criminal in nature. Furthermore, they can see that any members of their community who have made an effort to rise above the fray are held in contempt, chastised and even ostracized if not literally beaten and abused for their efforts.

 

Fathers are encouraged by government and often the mothers themselves, to abandon their children in order to allow for the provision of expanded benefits from the government. Children born to married parents will reduce the level of assistance provided to the family as a whole. In short, the net result is the replacement of the nuclear family unit with government. Why should the father work to provide less benefits for the children than the government will if the mother remains unwed? Furthermore, the children are now growing up in crime-ridden areas without any disciplinary father figure other than the state … wherein it becomes something of a challenge to remain unknown by the state, while at the same time, flaunting the criminal gains within the local sub-sect of society. Incarceration is oft seen as something of a rite of passage among the youth within these communities.

 

It is impossible to reward poor life choices and (financially) punish poor life choices and expect for any section of society to evolve in a positive fashion under such circumstances. It is perhaps even more challenging, even on the best of days, to believe that the greatest minds that government has to offer could not have foreseen the consequences of these programs. Indeed, if one were to listen to the words direct from Lyndon Baines Johnson, it would be very easy to imagine that these were indeed the intended consequences, all under the guise of “social assistance” and “helping the poor”… while in fact doing nothing more than intentionally creating a dependency class who would then demand a continuation of the very programs keeping them impoverished.

 

For any viable solution, the end result will inevitably raise cries from the masses as they will be seen as cruel and unjust from the Statist … those who believe that only the State has the capacity or the responsibility to assist the impoverished … and those more libertarian minded individuals who will invariably commence with cries of communism and socialism. Viable and “good” life choices must be (financially) rewarded while poor life choices are (financially) punished. The only real question should be just how such a system would be setup and established. The key words are “individual responsibility”. It must also be accompanied by a realization that there will inevitably be some people who are incapable of receiving assistance and who will fall by the wayside and through the proverbial cracks. While such numbers do exist, this is where the function of the church and other social organizations should come in to play to pick up the slack. There is no room however, for such benevolence on the part of government and at the sole expense of the taxpayer.

 

Now if you are still reading after that harsh slap in the face from reality, I will suppose that you are interested in viable solutions and will spell them out so that they function for the benefit of those people who need the assistance the most, and without being an unsustainable drain on the more productive and contributing members of society … read those paying taxes and working and already established as functional and contributing members of society. NOTE: That is not to say that there will not be initial costs with these programs, but that the returns to society and financially, will ultimately pay the vast majority … if not for all of these programs.

 

The first move would be to get rid of section eight housing and housing projects in their current form … please note the last part of that sentence … “in their current form”. Housing should be integrated into “normal” society, though on a somewhat different level than it is in the United Kingdom where similar programs are also in place. If people are going to receive government subsidized housing, they must be similarly tasked with the maintenance and upkeep of said property. Warnings may be given at first, and assistance provided if necessary to teach people how to maintain their homes, but it should be made clear that if you are receiving something for free, it is going to cost you, if nothing else, in terms of the routine maintenance of the house or apartment. A failure to do so will result in people ending up in homeless shelters or on the streets. Is that harsh? Perhaps it is overly harsh, but the sad fact of the matter is that the current systems in place have exacerbated the conditions of poverty among those who are most in need of receiving a hand up.

 

This provision of housing would come with certain other restrictions as well. Parents without any viable skills should be required to participate in training, made available to them in accordance with their individual aptitudes. Aptitude batteries are standard tests for anyone joining the military and even those most basic of aptitude exams, have some degree of being capable of determining the particular strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Those families and/or individuals whose language skills are insufficient for the taking of such exams, should be required to attend language schooling in order to learn the common language of the host nation. A failure to maintain average standards (a C grade) would likewise find themselves at risk of losing their home and assistance. The financial assistance provided in addition to the provision of housing would be dependent on the participation of the individual(s) in training in their respective areas of study.

 

At such a time as the results of the aptitude batteries are in, the individuals should be offered a selection of career and training options based on their aptitude test results. Such restrictions, while maybe seeming to be oppressive, would also ensure a better opportunity for the success in the respective career choices. Training courses would be provided free of charge to the persons, with minimal standards established so as to ensure the continuation of their financial support throughout the term of said schooling. This is relevant as some persons will have more developed skills in scholastic pursuits, while others may be better served with technical and/or vocational training. Upon the successful conclusion of the educational process, the person will be committed to serving as a worker for the State for a set period of time, such times to vary dependent on the financial gain or benefit to the State in relation to the cost of the educational process.

 

During the latter phases of work for the State, a process for job placement in the private sector should commence. It is possible that during such phases, some job requirements may demand an immediate hire, thus requiring an individual to leave their position working for the State before such a time as their service is fully completed. Given the potential that these people are serving in something of a more perfunctory capacity, this should not prove to be a major obstacle and allowances should be made for their introduction into the work force as soon as possible. Thus, a select period of time as necessary at the end of service to the State may be waived in order to allow the individual to enter the private work force at the earliest possible point in time, even if it results in a minor loss to the State.

 

Parents who elect not to work, but rather to raise their children … an important task and still very much work in every sense of the word, may additionally be trained so as to allow for the provision of care for other children whose parents have opted for employment in the service of others or for educational pursuits. While not all of these tasks will take place in the home, they should still provide for a means to allow the parents to provide individual and perso (That Will Never Happen)nalized care for their children, while still providing a viable and valuable contribution to society as a whole.

 

In regards to the children of families receiving assistance, additional requirements should be made regarding their schooling and ability to more fully assimilate into “normal” society if the family is to continue to receive benefits. The educational institutions in their current form are not wholly suited towards this arrangement, so a reintroduction of scholastic and vocational and even gainful employment for school credits must be implemented as well. Again, there should be more of a focus on the aptitude of the individual and less focus on teaching to the test … a system which has failed not only the students, but society as a whole … though it may possibly be said that these have proven extremely beneficial to the State in the creation of a class wholly dependent on the State for their existence, and who are not likely to openly rebel against the system in place.

 

Each and every State within the USA has a State or Community run educational institution. A couple of years in such programs is going to cost substantially less than multiple generations of familial welfare payments and is, especially when given the potential for returns, a much better deal for the State and for the taxpaying, productive and contributing members of existing society. The question now is, will the State be willing to make the changes necessary in order to create a new generation of capable, productive, contributing and independent civilians within their society.

Comments

George N Romey Added Feb 7, 2019 - 7:57am
Very good article. There is nothing that should scare us more than the talk of UBI.  Just like the happy talk of welfare in the 1960s people aren't going to be taking art classes and finding ways to "enhance their being."  They like those now on welfare they are going to be doing drugs, drinking, committing crimes, and banging out babies like bunnies.  
 
Sadly in this country we've never figured out the "hand up" part.  Giving people tokens to survive is easy.  Getting them to be productive, active and responsible citizens is the difficult part and one our government and leaders just don't want to invest time and money.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 8:05am
"Sadly in this country we've never figured out the "hand up" part.  "
 
I do believe that the government is well aware of this ... but they do not want people to improve their median quality of life. As long as there is a dependency class, there is a class who will always vote for more government control so government can give them more "free stuff" and a group of people who will never seek to "bite the hand that feeds them". I honestly do believe that all of this was intentional. I remember conversations around the dinner table back in the sixties cursing LBJ ... and that was with a black family that were friends of our family. I never understood the jokes about them being able to use the front door, but they made their disdain for LBJ very clear! 
 
I cannot help but believe that the dependency class is completely by design and the desired result. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 7, 2019 - 8:27am
By design!? Say it aint so!
The only honest agent for social reform is nature itself. Another good article Ward
Webmaster Added Feb 7, 2019 - 8:48am
The problem of poverty and hunger in US is now being widely discussed through the whole Internet, so people from other countries learned how much the American life has changed since the time when many people dreamed an American dream even living far away from US. Now readers learn about 40 million citizens getting food stamps, 500 thousand homeless and don`t know how many working people living from paycheck to paycheck. So US comes closer and closer to another world from which people used to migrate to US so to escape poverty! The poverty is a wide-spread international phenomenon but America managed not to have poverty among its citizens for a really long time.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 10:19am
We always had poverty, just this time around, since the sixties at least, it is by design. 
Webmaster Added Feb 7, 2019 - 10:32am
Just have commented an article on similar topic on Medium. It turns out that "Paying for college is a headache for all but the wealthiest Americans."
Neil Lock Added Feb 7, 2019 - 10:34am
Ward: Great article. And you're right, it's hard to dismiss the idea that the political class created an underclass deliberately. But for what purpose? To enlarge the voter base of one US political party?... in the short term, maybe so; but the other party would (and did) get in on the game.  To make lots of people (enough to matter in elections) feel thankful for what the political class does for them? Likely so, and it worked for 50 years; but that illusion is disintegrating now. To use as soldiers on the side of the political class in a forthcoming war against the people? ...maybe I'm too cynical there. Any better ideas?
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 7, 2019 - 10:36am
Yes, isnt it strange....LBJ gives the civil rights bill and the great society at about the same time. Just move them from one plantation to another
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 7, 2019 - 11:13am
Ward, you have described a lot of the current state of the Poverty Governmental Class (or PGC). We are now to the point where vested interests are in place to maintain the status quo. I've read horror stories about what it takes for someone receiving benefits have to go through to recertify for the benefits. Suffice it to say that the government requirements themselves make it impossible for someone to find employment, since they must come in for recertification or other checks during hours when someone should be employed.
 
I would like to see an attempt to meet local needs in cities by developing urban gardening. Such urban farms could use abandoned industrial buildings which are within easy commuting distance for the urban poor. If for-profit or non-profit organizations can run these efforts, with an initial investment from government to retrofit the buildings, then it would offer a local fix to provide organic food for the urban scene - and would enable the creation of local produce stands to help fight the food desert scene. I'd much rather see employment in these areas subsidized instead of continuing to enable poverty lifestyles.
 
Good piece.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 11:36am
"I would like to see an attempt to meet local needs in cities by developing urban gardening."
 
Our efforts to plant food forests in existing greenbelts and other areas, including parks and other "public" lands were all shot down due to regulations ... would not want someone getting sick eating apples off the tree dontcha know ... our dear leaders must protect us from mean momma nature! 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 11:40am
Any better ideas?
 
By better, do you mean more accurate or delusional? Personally I think you are spot on. 
 
"The educational institutions in their current form are not wholly suited towards this arrangement, so a reintroduction of scholastic and vocational and even gainful employment for school credits must be implemented as well. Again, there should be more of a focus on the aptitude of the individual and less focus on teaching to the test … a system which has failed not only the students, but society as a whole … though it may possibly be said that these have proven extremely beneficial to the State in the creation of a class wholly dependent on the State for their existence, and who are not likely to openly rebel against the system in place."
 
"Just have commented an target="_blank">article on similar topic on Medium. It turns out that "Paying for college is a headache for all but the wealthiest Americans.""
 
Or for the absolute poorest. 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:09pm
My solutions to the system will likely only work on the small scale ... community level, maybe county, definitely township. That would also keep it well within the constitutional restraints regarding republican forms of government at the state and federal level, but let anyone try to form their own form of governance ... even at the township level where there is historical precedent for exactly that ... and watch the feds do a David Koresh on you. 
George N Romey Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:09pm
What gets to me is that politicians are now using Trump as their multi decade failure. Trump didn't cause this problem.
 
And Ward is correct politicians want a permanent underclass because they can make many promises for votes.  
Gerrilea Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:11pm
Ward T--- Good article, interesting solutions.  I've presented similar ideas recently too but not to this level.  I thought about giving each person a monolithic dome house, free of charge.  They must keep it clean and in good working order.  Pay for electricity, water, etc.  No more excuses.
 
How do you tame a wild animal?  Feed it.
 
NYS has many of those programs you suggest.  Mandatory "re-education" into a field where people are needed and one can become self-sufficient.  That was a requirement for Unemployment benefits.  Welfare was different.  You do work full time to just to "get" those benefits, unless your a single mother.  The maximum "cash" for rent is $325 a month. If you want "section 8" you'll wait 3+ yrs.  You are not allowed to have a vehicle (10+ yrs or older is okay) and you'll be given a monthly bus pass.  If you live rural areas, there is no way to meet their requirements.  No car insurance, no gas and if there is "bus service" its limited to every 2 hours and ends at 8pm at night.  They want to force you into an urban prison.
 
You didn't address "senior assisted care". Here in NY most of them live in "communities" with funding from the State.  It's very similar to "section 8".
 
How do we address the costs of our ever expanding, "retirees"???  Abolish SSI and force them to work until they die?
 
The answers are not going to be easy. 
 
Maybe we should reconsider the system of "wage slavery" and how it got us to this point.
 
As Frederick Douglass wrote in the 19thcentury, “experience demonstrates that there may be a slavery of wages only a little less galling and crushing in its effects than chattel slavery, and that this slavery of wages must go down with the other.”
 
Neither of our solutions will actually correct the system itself.
 
Dino Manalis Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:37pm
 People need social services, including education and job training to improve their lives!
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:52pm
Gerrilea, not sure what ... if anything you changed in your comment, though posting my response again here so it is read in order. 
 
My solutions to the system will likely only work on the small scale ... community level, maybe county, definitely township. That would also keep it well within the constitutional restraints regarding republican forms of government at the state and federal level, but let anyone try to form their own form of governance ... even at the township level where there is historical precedent for exactly that ... and watch the feds do a David Koresh on you. 
 
Dino - Yes, but if people are to receive something at the expense of others, there must be minimal standards and accountability as well ... both of which are lacking in the current systems. 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 12:54pm
George ... didn't you get the meme ... I mean the memo? ORANGE MAN BAAAAAAAAAAAD! 

And at the same time, I think we are supposed to be deluded into believing that the Establishment Elite and the American Aristocracy are suddenly good ... not sure how though ... good for themselves perhaps? 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 7, 2019 - 1:10pm
Ah, crap article Ward.  Hey, what tribe are you in?  You need to do more to hurt that tribe of "the Other," making sure they really are damaged, making your tribe "better."  Funny, your hero, Orange Il Duce, is an elite and American Aristo...Only HE can fix it, right, rightist running dog?  Remember, ol Geeho hates the elite because they won't let him be one, 'cause he says he deserves being an elite. Bsically, they should let Geeho be an elite, he has no ideas or action plan to rid us of the elites, just tears because he's not one. Aren't you crying for ol Geeho, Ward?
Gerrilea Added Feb 7, 2019 - 1:32pm
Ward T-- I deleted and reposted, trying to fix the misspellings and formatting.
 
David Koresh or Ruby Ridge.  They won't need to go to that level, not anymore.
 
I just can't wait for their 5G rollout!
 
Grrrrrrr.
 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 3:03pm
Is that the video from the seventies? The ones we had used three variants of frozen darts, one for the heart attack, one for paralysis and one for lsd when you needed a public example. They fit in the palm of our hands and made about as much noise as a ball point pen being clicked ... though that is still a lot of noise at two or three in the morning. 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 3:04pm
As for the elderly, provision is made for them within the local communities and even active interaction between orphans and the elderly ... something that can have mixed results, but with adequate supervision can also be beneficial to more than may at first be imagined. 
edinmountainview Added Feb 7, 2019 - 4:49pm
Great article, Ward.  
Semper Fi
FacePalm Added Feb 7, 2019 - 5:51pm
Here's a thought which occurred to me earlier today, quite independent of reading this article...for i didn't until just now.
 
See a homeless individual, and ask them what they would do if they got a scratchoff where they just won 50k.  Listen to the answer. 
 
Ask them, once they are done with their dream spending spree description, if they'd be interested in learning how to make the money work for them, and if they'd be interested in taking a class to teach them how to turn that 50k into 500k or more?
 
Ever read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"?  The instructor(s) should be able to readily come up with a teaching plan based around that book(and other material) which could revolve around housing, work, saving-toward-a-goal, and learning how to keep an eye out for opportunity - and how to take advantage of it.
 
Saw a youtube recently about a guy who started out with, i think, one dollar in NYC, and intended to spend a week turning it into a thousand.  THIS is the kind of moxie to promote, methinks.
 
But Ward, i suspect that you're quite correct; social reforms of the nature you and i are proposing simply won't be permitted.  The hand up is only to the top of the cage, no higher.
 
"While boasting of our noble deeds we're careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which, though more refined, is not less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery."
-- Horace Greeley(1811-1872) Editor of the New York Tribune, ran against Ulysses Grant for presidency
Source: 1872, in reference to the National Bank Act of 1863

The deck is stacked - the table is tilted - it's a rigged game for those "in the club," and you ain't in it.
 
At least, not yet. As more become aware of the various plantations we are on - and make no mistake, we are the captive plants in multiple tax farms - or is that sheep?  Cows? - being harvested and shorn and milked every year for lump sums, and every day for petty ones.
 
But people are awakening; this is the Age of Aquarius, the age of truth, so there's still hope as long as there's life.  Christ said that one of His purposes was to let people "have life, and that more abundantly."
 
Right?
Cullen Kehoe Added Feb 7, 2019 - 6:56pm
First off, interesting post. Honest question? What are all these 'government workers' going to do (the intermediary step)? 
 
Where I'm living right now in New Zealand, there are a lot of young men on the dole. And farmers in areas not too far away pay to bring in foreigners to pick their fruit (or shear their sheep).
 
And if you ask the farmers and/or government why don't they try to marry these two up, the farmers say they don't want young men on the dole. These young don't want to even show up, let alone do anything. And they want to be paid full pop. Many of these agricultural jobs now pay based on your output as a result.
 
If someone doesn't want to do anything, but you shoehorn them into a government program where they are working for the government, you might be paying people to lean on shovels. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 7, 2019 - 9:14pm
Yeah, the solution to intergenerational poverty is getting orphans to be slave labor for the elderly.  And ol Geeho wants suffering to be the norm, as long as it isn't Geeho.  Bad enough the elite won't let Geeho into their ranks, but Geeho is afraid anyone getting a basic income will be druggie criminals incapable of anything but being on the dole.  Geeho needs your support and kind words, rightist pigs. And Dullen Keyhole wants to keep promoting the myths of how lazy anyone working for the government is "leaning on their shovels."  Of course, Dullen has no examples, but knows all fellow rightists will bobble their empty little heads at the pronouncement.   As said earlier, crap article, Wardster, and self aggrandizing comments.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 7, 2019 - 9:49pm
Cullen Kehoe. We used to joke about the five handled shovels back in West Virginia. Why? Because if you were able bodied and wanted a welfare check, you had to work for State Road. A five handled shovel would have allowed the entire crew to rest on a single shovel without having to provide each one with a shovel of their own. 
 
The government jobs would be implemented merely long enough to allow for a return on the investment made in education and training. Some may do well in training and then fail to perform once employed, though I believe most that were intentionally lazy would be weeded out during the educational phase. In New Zealand, many would have tribal support, though most of the aboriginal and indigenous tribes I have worked with directly do not hold kindly to those who will not provide for themselves and their families ... also making these groups in conjunction with their limited and/or complete sovereignty, an ideal location for the implementation of such programs in the early phases. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 7, 2019 - 10:13pm
Are those "five handed shovels" what sent you off to the PI, Ward.  And as a dweller in the Philippines, what gives you stake in what happens in the States.  Is it just selling freeze dried food to stupid "preppers?"  Do you peddle the freeze dried shit through your sari sari store?  I think you're in the PI to be terminally lazy at a low price.
Katharine Otto Added Feb 7, 2019 - 11:36pm
Ward,
I agree these "project ghettos" have been created by government "help," and they may be intentional, but I suspect they are the result of the "buy love" philosophy that drives our government as well as wealthy but detached parents.  For this reason, I suspect any government-initiated program will not inspire initiative in those they want to "help."  Such a move toward self-sufficiency would probably have to come from within, and would probably have to defy rather than submit to government control.
 
The bureaucrats are deeply entrenched and possessive of their turf and power.  To get to choose who gets the limited housing or any government goodie is a delegated power that the bureaucrats love to wield.  
 
I like Clock's ideas, for starters, with the only government involvement maybe the free use of government-owned land or buildings.  Urban gardening is a great place to start, because it can provide useful work for everyone without overworking anyone.  
 
By the way, I read the first few pages of Howard Schultz' book, From the Ground Up.  He grew up in public housing in Brooklyn and writes about how there were as may as 70 kids his age in his building.  They had a paved lot with basketball hoops and other games areas, which gave the kids a built-in social opportunity.  Point is, I've seen public housing in Savannah with no such commons area, and they look abandoned.  I think it's a real loss not to have a place where neighbors can congregate informally.  In the short term, I believe the public schools' grounds should be open on weekends for neighbors to hang out.  
Ward Tipton Added Feb 8, 2019 - 12:35am
I have to agree about the ability of the people to congregate in a more social and informal setting. Such an opportunity would also offer a great opportunity for the proverbial "powers that be" to socialize with the people in an informal setting and ideally, to engage in meaningful discussions as to social conditions, the most pressing needs and concerns of those living in such conditions, and planning and implementing programs that would actually allow for these sub-sects of society to progress socially and economically.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 8, 2019 - 5:00am
When AI reaches a critical point, workers will be replaced as quickly or maybe quicker than the PC got into homes. Everyone will be out of work. What should we do? That is a realistic scenario and a realistic question.
FacePalm Added Feb 8, 2019 - 5:01am
Katherine-
A fine insight; a "village square" is usually missing from these places, because(IMO) isolation and fear work far better to maintain a controlled voting bloc than to have access to other people in similar straits.  For me, this is one of the great blessings of the internet (or can be), that people can gather and relate our insights/experiences to one another.  i find it especially invaluable in that i may complete my thought(s) without interruption, which usually happens IRL.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 8, 2019 - 5:22am
"When AI reaches a critical point, workers will be replaced as quickly or maybe quicker than the PC got into homes. Everyone will be out of work. What should we do? That is a realistic scenario and a realistic question."
 
There is a means to accomplish this, but I am quite certain it is only viable at the local level in conjunction with the current system in place ... and since the government and the proverbial powers that be will fight change every step of the way, keeping it at the local level would probably be best ... and prevent the perversions perpetrated by distant and oppressive governing bodies. It is simple in theory but the outline is pretty intense. It also must be protected by granting weighted and enforceable voices into the equation, not only from government and corporate ... which is inevitable, but also to the people. This also has to be kept in check through strict corporate bylaws and in the case of what I developed, through foundational (trust) ownership of the corporate entities ... meaning it will only work in newly established or expanded community developments. 
 
The short answer is we are ready for that scenario, but the government will not like it. Thus, until we can build the original corporate entities to begin funding the communities, there is little or naught that we can do about it ... though when that time comes, it is already in the plans. 
opher goodwin Added Feb 8, 2019 - 6:34am
A good read Ward.
I think any civilised society should ensure that nobody is homeless, starving or in need of medical intervention. In the wealthiest country on the planet the abject levels of poverty in many areas is inexcusable. Those who are disabled or suffering long-term illness need caring for.
America is a land of gross inequalities. The top ten percent cream off most of the wealth. The rest have to scrabble for what's left.
There is still a lot of prejudice at work and extremely poor education that is preventing many people from progressing their lives.
Workers rights in the States are appalling compared to Europe - holiday, working day, wage levels, maternity leave, paternity leave, sickness benefit, pensions - why are they so poor?
However, I do believe that people should not be given a free ride. They should be assisted to work and provide. That requires a different set of systems. 
There is much work that needs doing on infra-structure, environmental improvement and caring for people. Schemes should be introduced to provide employment doing this work rather than hand-outs.
A better division of wealth would result in better pay and terms which would provide greater incentives.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 8, 2019 - 6:42am
And what is holding all of that back? 
 
Government ... which is why so many of us do not trust government to resolve the problems ... especially not the ones that they have created intentionally. I am sure you are familiar with the Hegelian Dialectic. And the further away the government is, the more oppressive it becomes. 
 
That being said, none of these issues are at all unique to the USA ... I have seen them in virtually every nation I have been to around the globe. 
George N Romey Added Feb 8, 2019 - 7:27am
Solving poverty on a global scale will never happen or at least not anytime soon.  In the US we could cut away a good deal of our poverty but some poverty will always remain because there will always be a portion of the population lazy and willing to live on the edges.  I saw it and I think Ward has too.
 
However, our politicians have no real desire to counteract poverty in the US. Far easier to give people tokens, keep them stupid and impoverished and believing the politicians and carnival barkers like Al Sharpton really care for them.  In the US we have the resources, globally it's just not gonna happen.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 8, 2019 - 7:36am
There will always be a segment of society that is beyond assistance or help. Some are just more comfortable outside of the system, some are rebelling against the system in their own way, some just want to be left alone. However, for those, that is where Churches and local organizations come into play. They should not be the responsibility of the taxpaying members of society. 
Bill Kamps Added Feb 8, 2019 - 2:51pm
Projects like Tom Cousin's East Lake project have shown one way a community can break the cycle of poverty.  It is not easy, it was not quick, and takes outside help for many of the reasons Ward points out.  However, it is possible.  East Lake was one of the worst areas in Atalanta, and now most of the kids attend college.   There are other projects in other cities that have started based on this model.
 
https://www.eastlakefoundation.org/
 
Social welfare programs allow people to survive, but do nothing to help people out of poverty, and in many ways perpetuate poverty.  This was cynically known by LBJ when he signed many of the welfare programs into law.  His goal was to make the poor dependent on the Democratic party, and lock up their vote. 
 
 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 8, 2019 - 9:29pm
"It is not easy, it was not quick, and takes outside help for many of the reasons Ward points out.  However, it is possible."
 
Rather than seeking outside help as it were, we are seeking to build something of a corporate/foundational cooperative that is capable of funding itself. We were previously approved by the WB and IMF for project implementation until someone got a hair up their butt and we got shut down. We are currently seeking out capital investors to begin building the corporation ... under very unique bylaws and a charter. 
Kristen Foley Added Feb 9, 2019 - 10:42am
The same path is being actively sought out by some who believe that we can just hand someone a minimal cash paycheck each and every month and all of these problems will magically disappear.
 
Name one person that believes that to be true.  I think I follow the argument you’re making, but there is no need to employ strawmen to do it.  Stick to logic.  The more free stuff we give, the more free stuff people will take.  So a society like ours where every senior is on the take (Social Security) is one where we create a nation of takers and not doers.  Ditto for welfare, unemployment, food stamps, etc. 
Ward Tipton Added Feb 9, 2019 - 10:52am
Social Security and Unemployment are taxes paid by the people ... albeit abused and stolen by government. I have no issues with giving "free stuff" ... but it must be accompanied by something that grants it worth ... if it has no value, it has no meaning. Aptitude batteries would be preferential to drug tests in my view, and educational requirements based on selections in line with the results of their aptitudes. Parents who do not wish to work in outside locations, may have opportunities to raise their children while they provide not only for their children but also the children of others who are working in jobs outside of the homes. Point being, even if it is "free" it must come at a price ... sweat equity if nothing else. 
 
One person? How about one city? Chicago. One nation? Finland. 
Sam Nowaczynski Added Feb 10, 2019 - 4:10am
Section 8 housing was in response to the concept that poor people were being isolated.  Basically, the government was building projects and those project became crime ridden and unmanageable.  Section 8 housing assistance gave the poor the ability to live almost anywhere.  So if isolation of the poor is the problem you wish to fix, you should love Section 8 housing.  I despise Section 8 housing on account of the fact it’s yet another benefit of being poor.  If poor people desire to get out of the hood and live a middle class lifestyle the answer should be to get an education and a good job and not to seek the government to subsidize your housing in better neighborhoods. 
White Hair'd Added Feb 10, 2019 - 2:22pm
Sam,
You've made some great points. One other objectionable thing that's been done, is that the government built housing for the poor across the blighted small towns of America and shipped any number of "the poor" to rural America.
Now, small towns are no longer safe havens, many are drug and crime ridden and the cause is usually found no further than the nearest government housing unit.
 
George N Romey Added Feb 10, 2019 - 2:31pm
Getting people out of the hood is far more complex than telling them to get a "edumucation."  Witness all the college grads in $15 an hour jobs, living at home drowning in student debt.  And you wonder why so many young people say screw that I'll just sell drugs and make a fortune.
 
Now let's talk about those wonderful STEM degrees.  Putting aside the fact that few people have the aptitude for getting into an MIT look at the cost.  Even scholarships won't cover things like food, housing, books and fees.  So young people turn to debt.  But wait, more and more entry level jobs are going to the Chinese and Indians, including HB1 visa workers.  So that first STEM job starts off with a $50K job with thousands in student loan debt and the expenses tied to establishing one's self-car, apartment, clothes.  Since Mom and Dad are poor they aren't going to contributing.
 
In our Twitter world this has become popular.  The Fox News or MSNBC crowd blurting out lines (in less than 280 characters) that are void of any critical thinking, logic or reasoning.  People on the extremes seeking their 5 minutes of fame.
Ward Tipton Added Feb 12, 2019 - 5:43am
"I despise Section 8 housing on account of the fact it’s yet another benefit of being poor.  If poor people desire to get out of the hood and live a middle class lifestyle the answer should be to get an education and a good job and not to seek the government to subsidize your housing in better neighborhoods"
 
You may notice in the article, that I clearly pointed out the need for the poor to "earn" what they receive, and to accept a personal responsibility as well. The point is that the government will never do any of this as long as you and I are footing the bill. Last time I looked at numbers, it seems as I recall that benefits added up to an average of roughly 75K a year for the impoverished, substantially more than they would earn working. Thus the need for a complete change of systems, not merely tweaking something that is already broken beyond repair ... no pun intended. 
 
"Now, small towns are no longer safe havens, many are drug and crime ridden and the cause is usually found no further than the nearest government housing unit."
 
Many of those small towns were already impoverished to begin with. The constant government handouts only remove any incentive for the people to improve their median quality of life on their own. In fact, it could be said that they are financially punished for trying to make good life choices. 
 
'Getting people out of the hood is far more complex than telling them to get a "edumucation."'
 
You may note, I did not include educational opportunities for studying victim studies courses LOL None of my three sons ... my first wife's sons ... has a college education so to speak ... though all have graduated from trade schools and are doing quite well. 
 
 

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