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poverty and protective services


mtomom
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Everyone gets to do whatever they want with their money, of course. But as a kid, I wouldn't have wanted one or two expensive meals out if it meant that we had to eat ramen for 5 days at the end of the paycycle.

 

I didn't grow up with a lot of extras, but my mom prioritized the food budget so that ramen always remained an occasional treat, not a necessity. I am thankful for that.

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I don't mind giving money (or ice cream) to people who need or want it - I am happy to give a homeless person $20 and don't care whether he spends it on cigarettes or crackers or beer or salad. I bristle when someone says I must give the homeless guy $20 for ice cream and cannot stipulate that he spend it on beans and rice or at least whole wheat tortillas or canned tuna or something.

Huh? You don't mind giving $20 for cigarettes or beer.... but you care if they choose ice cream instead of beans and rice???

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One problem with oversight on money is it is subjective and varies from worker to worker. Here, on a local parents facebook page there are a lot of assistance (welfare) questions because it is hard to find out what is available if you need it, and workers will lie.

 

I know someone personally who was denied entry into a training program (complete grade 12 and get training in various choices so you can get work and get off assistance) because the worker didn't like her. Fortunately her assigned worker changed recently, she starts the program in January. 18 months after she was first requesting the program.... so she was stuck on assistance an extra 18 months. (Yes, she will be on assistance while in the program).

 

Workers will tell people they can't get money for bedding, even though you are supposed to be able to get it every 3 years. Stuff like that.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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I'm all for a living wage; the best way to raise wages, though, would be to reduce the workforce - when people were expected to support a family on only one income (so that the minimum wage was a living wage, instead of two minimum wages combined being a minimum wage), married women largely did not  work outside the home.  Single parent families were also less common because people were encouraged, by law and by social structure, to stay married (this is a lot more efficient allocation of resources, too, rather than having two households for a divorced family).  

 

 

Uhm.  Women of color weren't staying home while their husbands worked.  Non-middle class women weren't staying home while their husbands worked.

 

The window of time when such a thing was "normal"  was very brief, a historical exception, and ignores the lived realities of most families.

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I always love the calls for churches and church members to help people or for the community to step up, like in the post about healthcare. As long as "stepping up" doesn't mean paying more in taxes of course.

Our church does but I and several other people at church are only slightly better off financially or no better of than the people we are helping. We just had better childhoods and better executive function.

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Uhm. Women of color weren't staying home while their husbands worked. Non-middle class women weren't staying home while their husbands worked.

 

The window of time when such a thing was "normal" was very brief, a historical exception, and ignores the lived realities of most families.

I agree

I think most woman throughout history have worked. Farmers wives and farm labourer's wives made butter, raised hens, fed staff, helped with lots of other stuff and until recently had a full time job running a house without electricity or water. In cottage industries the whole family worked, poor women in cities took in washing, did cleaning etc. Better off women didn't do paid work I suppose and women whose husband had a just survivable income in the days of no labour saving devices with children didn't have time. But there have always been single parent families - society didn't stop men abandoning their families or dying and making women (and men) put their kids in orphanages or the poor house wasn't a great solution.

 

And a lot of those homes where they lived on one income could REALLY have used a second part time one.

Edited by kiwik
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Am I am the only one that remembers her talking about how jealous she was of the families on food stamps?  They had hot fresh food in the cafeteria.   She had food snagged from the bathroom trash can.   Her parents just wouldn't apply because they were  (I can't think of anything both accurate and that I'm willing to type).  

 

Wait, who are we talking about?  Who is 'her?"

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It is far easier to pay for Other People's stupid decisions than Family Member's stupid decisions.

 

 

 

Emotionally, logistically, and financially.

 

I can sit here and complain, complain, complain about specific relatives. (And I have.) I've given of my time, energy, personal space, money, belongings, and love, in various amounts and combinations.  It becomes an enormous burden for one branch of a family tree to carry.  I mean, let's be real - am I supposed to carry 2, 3, 4 house payments because of blood and/or marriage connections? Cover my floor in sleeping bags? Pay $170 per person, per week in mental health care?  Eliminate the stability we've worked so hard to provide our kids? Sleep, eat, and live with people who don't even really like me? It's impossible.

 

Complain as I may, they're still human beings.  And I often need distance to appreciate that. Their humanity and their agency cannot be measured in dollars, or even by what they (or I) have done with those dollars.  I am not "okay" with bad choices, or the things I perceive as bad choices, but the idea that those bad choices should put people in a sub-human category, unworthy of decent food, housing, medical care, clothing, child care resources, education, etc...?  These specific people in my life are not sub-human.  I just LITERALLY cannot give them that by myself.  Emotionally, logistically, or financially.

 

I suck at economics, so I sure as heck don't have the magic answer.  But I know the answer isn't going to be found in declaring myself worthy of more human rights based on my bank account.   Besides, if I went ahead and supported 3 or 4 families for even 6 months, I'd be just as poor as them and, by that logic, people would have to start monitoring my choices and deciding what I am and am not allowed to do!

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This makes no sense - universal income is in addition to what you earn at your job - that's why it is universal.

 

The current benefit to the needy in my state is the equivalent is 40k untaxed (includes the housing voucher).

 

A person starting out is making 15 an hour or less needs enough spare cash to get the education or training to improve his skills. He can't do that if UI keeps the housing price high and puts him in a higher tax bracket. His taxes, his health premium,  his COL means he doesn't have enough surplus to make the investment in himself. Why work?  It doesn't benefit financially. It doesn't benefit emotionally...the people next door are a daily reminder of how to party off his back. ... and those are the same kids that have been telling him all through K12 that he's a fool for doing more than a minimum.  UI..its a poverty trap if its not set up so work pays.

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I keep deleting and trying to figure out how to answer this. You're seriously advocating that for a government standard? Or even one all believers must adhere to regardless of circumstance, as some sort of litmus test of whether one is loving enough?

 

What I am saying, I guess, is that I think it's the wrong question to ask, when have I given enough.  

 

That's not how we should be oriented toward others.

 

It's not an arbitrary idea - if you are a believer, you need to give without counting the cost.  It's about the fundamental way we are related to others as human beings, which is to be in a relation to others that is founded on exchange and love.

 

If we are really so poor as a society that to keep some people fed and housed is going to mean others are living in inhuman conditions, the problem is not "how much should I be asked to give."  It's why there isn't enough for all to live decently in the first place.

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FDR said the point of minimum wage was so that people could live decently (presumably meaning fed, clothed, not at risk of homelessness, able to get to and from the job, etc.):

So yes, you are supposed to be able to support yourself with a minimum wage job at 40 hours a week. Housing and medical costs make that a very challenging proposition in most of the country right now.

 

Back then boarding houses were available and person could be housed and fed at min wage. The doctor negotiated his pay.  Now, that kind of housing is only used for farmhands , and they don't hire locals nor are they paying for employee health care. The state is supplying health care and housing vouchers, rather than improve the infrastructure and build barracks to handle the huge numbers of migrants. The wage is only relevant to access the benefits.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Yes, but clearly not a single person in this thread has done that, because you are still posting on your computer with your (probably) non-dial up connection, sitting in your chair instead of the cheapest folding one you could find at the thrift store, wearing a shirt.

 

 

I can understand an argument about the practicalities of running a functional society, in which there isn't too much wealth disparity because wealth disparity is destabilizing, but I cannot understand when that argument becomes a moral one, because to average out incomes across the world, a universal basic income in the US would be counterproductive.  The poorest 5% in the US are still almost certainly above average in worldwide standard of living terms, what with the running water and electricity and welfare and emergency room health care and soup kitchens and food stamps.

 

Sure, it isn't practical to administer something like that.  And often our most immediate responsibilities are closest, including our families, but that doesn't mean they are the ones that we owe most to - there is a little difference there.  

 

Mind you, we are in an immediate way responsible for much of what happens in other parts of the world.  One of the effects of globalism is that instead of having a sweat shop down the road, or toxic waste dumped in the next community, we locate those things where they are less visible but they can still serve our needs.

 

There is always a tension between living in the system we happen to find ourselves in - which is in many cases the only one available to us - and fighting its problems.  Does just opting out work?  Is it even possible for many?  

 

The question of how we manage to have a just society, and beyond that justice for humanity, is among the most difficult we face.

 

But I think if we go into it thinking, how much am I obliged to give of my hard earned material goods, that's the wrong question, full of false assumptions about what belongs to us.  Everything belongs to God, who gifted it to all of us.  Most of what we have earned is luck, much of it off the backs of others because that is intrinsic to our economic system.  

 

A much better question is what does love require?  

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It is not your money once the government under which you live collects it as taxes.

 

The money I get to keep now goes down every time the legislators decide they need to throw more good money after bad.  So in that sense, yes it is my money - money I have good use for if it isn't taken from me.  There have been some years when my taxes were higher than my pre-tax pay for the year.  I had to cut into my kids' education funds in order to eat, to pay taxes, and to pay for daycare so I could work & pay more taxes.  So yeah, every time I write a five or six figure check to the government, I want it to be used wisely.  I want it to be used in a way that doesn't make my taxes go up year after year while leaving the supposed beneficiaries no better off.

 

And I'd like to see elderly people with modest incomes be exempt from tax.  Talk about high paperwork costs.  These are folks with many physical and mental issues, and we feel fine taking money they earned to supposedly help younger people who have mental challenges.  Ultimately many of these older folks end up broke and in "the system."  Makes no sense to me.

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FWIW the only one parent working as a standard is a bit of myth and it has never been the norm at all socioeconomic levels, although it did look differently in a more agrarian society.

 

This is true, and yet I do think that it's significant that as we encouraged a model where normatively both parents work, what they are getting for that work has been reduced at pretty much all levels, except perhaps the tippy-top ones.

 

If we start to find that our workforce needs to be really reduced, this may start to be a factor in a different way.

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Emotionally, logistically, and financially.

 

I can sit here and complain, complain, complain about specific relatives. (And I have.) I've given of my time, energy, personal space, money, belongings, and love, in various amounts and combinations.  It becomes an enormous burden for one branch of a family tree to carry.  I mean, let's be real - am I supposed to carry 2, 3, 4 house payments because of blood and/or marriage connections? Cover my floor in sleeping bags? Pay $170 per person, per week in mental health care?  Eliminate the stability we've worked so hard to provide our kids? Sleep, eat, and live with people who don't even really like me? It's impossible.

 

Complain as I may, they're still human beings.  And I often need distance to appreciate that. Their humanity and their agency cannot be measured in dollars, or even by what they (or I) have done with those dollars.  I am not "okay" with bad choices, or the things I perceive as bad choices, but the idea that those bad choices should put people in a sub-human category, unworthy of decent food, housing, medical care, clothing, child care resources, education, etc...?  These specific people in my life are not sub-human.  I just LITERALLY cannot give them that by myself.  Emotionally, logistically, or financially.

 

I suck at economics, so I sure as heck don't have the magic answer.  But I know the answer isn't going to be found in declaring myself worthy of more human rights based on my bank account.   Besides, if I went ahead and supported 3 or 4 families for even 6 months, I'd be just as poor as them and, by that logic, people would have to start monitoring my choices and deciding what I am and am not allowed to do!

 

This is I think actually a big issue.  

 

When you socialize a problem like this - poverty, or health care - it tends to mean a reduction in both individuals, but also their larger families, going under.  When that starts happening, it's bad for them, but also bad for the rest of us - it brings everyone down.

 

If we manage as much as possible to give people a stable life, you are much more likely to have kids grow up to be contributing citizens, people will be healthier, and so on.

 

It's not just a matter of being kind, it's better for everyone if we have these things.

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What I am saying, I guess, is that I think it's the wrong question to ask, when have I given enough.  

 

That's not how we should be oriented toward others.

 

It's not an arbitrary idea - if you are a believer, you need to give without counting the cost.  It's about the fundamental way we are related to others as human beings, which is to be in a relation to others that is founded on exchange and love.

 

If we are really so poor as a society that to keep some people fed and housed is going to mean others are living in inhuman conditions, the problem is not "how much should I be asked to give."  It's why there isn't enough for all to live decently in the first place.

 

That sounds great until the system is designed to separate us by many degrees from the people we are supposedly loving and helping.

 

I have given a lot to people one-to-one, a lot to charities which I am directly involved with, and a lot to other charities that I have reason to believe are using my gifts wisely.  Up to that point I feel like there is some connection with the "love" you are talking about.  I have also advised people how to get needed help from "the system."  But I have little sense of what is happening to most of the tax dollars I pay.  From what I do observe, it doesn't look like they are being put to the best use much of the time.  To some extent I do believe they encourage behaviors that hurt children.  I've seen it in person.  That this bothers me does not mean I am an uncaring person.

 

I don't think you can apply the concept of Christian love to tax-funded programs.  Fortunately or unfortunately.

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The current benefit to the needy in my state is the equivalent is 40k untaxed (includes the housing voucher).

 

A person starting out is making 15 an hour or less needs enough spare cash to get the education or training to improve his skills. He can't do that if UI keeps the housing price high and puts him in a higher tax bracket. His taxes, his health premium,  his COL means he doesn't have enough surplus to make the investment in himself. Why work?  It doesn't benefit financially. It doesn't benefit emotionally...the people next door are a daily reminder of how to party off his back. ... and those are the same kids that have been telling him all through K12 that he's a fool for doing more than a minimum.  UI..its a poverty trap if its not set up so work pays.

 

Ok, I think this still makes no sense.  UI is not necessarily going to change your tax bracket, presumably that would be part of setting up a program.

 

One of the main advantages of UI is that it makes working more beneficial than it often is for those on assistance now.  That's one of its primary purposes.

 

You might want to do a little reading up on the concept.

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Sure, it isn't practical to administer something like that. And often our most immediate responsibilities are closest, including our families, but that doesn't mean they are the ones that we owe most to - there is a little difference there.

 

Mind you, we are in an immediate way responsible for much of what happens in other parts of the world. One of the effects of globalism is that instead of having a sweat shop down the road, or toxic waste dumped in the next community, we locate those things where they are less visible but they can still serve our needs.

 

There is always a tension between living in the system we happen to find ourselves in - which is in many cases the only one available to us - and fighting its problems. Does just opting out work? Is it even possible for many?

 

The question of how we manage to have a just society, and beyond that justice for humanity, is among the most difficult we face.

 

But I think if we go into it thinking, how much am I obliged to give of my hard earned material goods, that's the wrong question, full of false assumptions about what belongs to us. Everything belongs to God, who gifted it to all of us. Most of what we have earned is luck, much of it off the backs of others because that is intrinsic to our economic system.

 

A much better question is what does love require?

Oh brother. I get the theological point, but you're conflating government compulsion with personal charity. And quite frankly, reaching into my pocket and removing it is a whole lot different than me seeing a need and providing. Of course we are only stewards, and not owners, of our goods. But good stewardship doesn't mean giving away everything until you're no better off than the beggar. Without nuance and applicability, that is exactly what you're saying. Policies need to be fair and lead to human flourishing - that is a good and blessed government, that doesn't lead its people to ruin. Justice is not everything being equal and all outcomes being the same.

 

But again, if you feel called to give until you're nearly naked, go for it. There is always someone in need. In the balance of the full body of the Word I see a clear divide between what government or a theocracy is called to do, and the response in the lives and hearts of an individual as God has convicted them. It's not identical for each person.

 

This is where you get silliness and imbalance like vows of poverty. Arguably among the body of believers as commune system isn't actually a bad idea, but that can't be extrapolated out successfully because of sin tendencies and the impossibility of caring equally much about every person. Fixing society's problems can't cause more issues than it solves, and the government running impossibly high deficits to try and cover what the citizenry isn't producing is Greece. It's Venezuela. It's corruption perpetuating itself and calling its name Fairness.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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The money I get to keep now goes down every time the legislators decide they need to throw more good money after bad. So in that sense, yes it is my money - money I have good use for if it isn't taken from me. There have been some years when my taxes were higher than my pre-tax pay for the year. I had to cut into my kids' education funds in order to eat, to pay taxes, and to pay for daycare so I could work & pay more taxes. So yeah, every time I write a five or six figure check to the government, I want it to be used wisely. I want it to be used in a way that doesn't make my taxes go up year after year while leaving the supposed beneficiaries no better off.

 

And I'd like to see elderly people with modest incomes be exempt from tax. Talk about high paperwork costs. These are folks with many physical and mental issues, and we feel fine taking money they earned to supposedly help younger people who have mental challenges. Ultimately many of these older folks end up broke and in "the system." Makes no sense to me.

I'm sorry, but this makes no sense to me. There isn't a logical way your income tax can be more than your income. Also, if you are writing checks for taxes that are between $10,000 - $100,000 then something is wrong with the way your withholding is structured. Now, if you are talking about business taxes, I can see amounts that high for a successful business, but again, taxes are a percentage of money earned, so having them be higher than income still doesn't make sense. A business owner with employees can run into problems when they are unable to forward the withholding amounts, but that is an entirely different scenario than what we are talking about and has many potential causes. Generally, business owners who are unable to balance income/expenses (taxes being an expense) don't stay in business long term.

 

Elderly people with modest incomes are already exempt from income taxes. Depending on the state of residence, it's possible that they may qualify for property tax breaks as well.

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It is not your money once the government under which you live collects it as taxes.

and Revolutions have been fought over the government collecting taxes from the people.

 

I wonder how comfortable people would be with this notion if the tomatoes I grew in my back yard were not my tomatoes once the government collected them in taxes or once the cake I baked in my kitchen was no longer mine once the government collected it in taxes

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That sounds great until the system is designed to separate us by many degrees from the people we are supposedly loving and helping.

 

I have given a lot to people one-to-one, a lot to charities which I am directly involved with, and a lot to other charities that I have reason to believe are using my gifts wisely.  Up to that point I feel like there is some connection with the "love" you are talking about.  I have also advised people how to get needed help from "the system."  But I have little sense of what is happening to most of the tax dollars I pay.  From what I do observe, it doesn't look like they are being put to the best use much of the time.  To some extent I do believe they encourage behaviors that hurt children.  I've seen it in person.  That this bothers me does not mean I am an uncaring person.

 

I don't think you can apply the concept of Christian love to tax-funded programs.  Fortunately or unfortunately.

 

Christian love is in no way dependant on a sense of connection.

 

Look, most people want to see tax money used well.  This idea that some people don't care and would be happy to see good money thrown after bad is kind of absurd, even if you don't care about losing the money - it's going to mean people are less well cared for than they would be otherwise, and that the systems are ineffective.

 

Who would want that - not even the mythical bleeding heart liberals.

 

This concept that if you means test, you make sure people spend the right way, and so on - it's just not effective, and it doesn't mean money is better spent.  The US system is less effective than many other western nations at this, and it's not mostly because you pay less taxes - it's because your administration is so spotty and inefficient.

 

It's very similar to the idea that if you spend a lot of time testing, it will improve education - it doesn't really seem to help.

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Oh brother. I get the theological point, but you're conflating government compulsion with personal charity. And quite frankly, reaching into my pocket and removing it is a whole lot different than me seeing a need and providing. Of course we are only stewards, and not owners, of our goods. But good stewardship doesn't mean giving away everything until you're no better off than the beggar. Without nuance and applicability, that is exactly what you're saying. Policies need to be fair and lead to human flourishing - that is a good and blessed government, that doesn't lead its people to ruin. Justice is not everything being equal and all outcomes being the same.

 

But again, if you feel called to give until you're nearly naked, go for it. There is always someone in need. In the balance of the full body of the Word I see a clear divide between what government or a theocracy is called to do, and the response in the lives and hearts of an individual as God has convicted them. It's not identical for each person.

 

This is where you get silliness and imbalance like vows of poverty. Arguably among the body of believers as commune system isn't actually a bad idea, but that can't be extrapolated out successfully because of sin tendencies and the impossibility of caring equally much about every person. Fixing society's problems can't cause more issues than it solves, and the government running impossibly high deficits to try and cover what the citizenry isn't producing is Greece. It's Venezuela. It's corruption perpetuating itself and calling its name Fairness.

 

Yeah, I don't think your hearing what I am saying.

 

Asking "how much am I obliged to give" is just not the right question.  It's looking in the wrong direction.  Your feet will follow.

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and Revolutions have been fought over the government collecting taxes from the people.

 

I wonder how comfortable people would be with this notion if the tomatoes I grew in my back yard were not my tomatoes once the government collected them in taxes or once the cake I baked in my kitchen was no longer mine once the government collected it in taxes

 

Taxes have often been collected that way.  I don't see why it would be more of an issue.

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Yeah, I don't think your hearing what I am saying.

 

Asking "how much am I obliged to give" is just not the right question. It's looking in the wrong direction. Your feet will follow.

It was a semi-rhetorical question to a line of argumentation from a specific, different poster. My point was that it's silly to even go there as though someone who doesn't give as much as some arbitrary litmus is unloving compared to the person who promises the world (that they may or deliver, or isn't even theirs to promise to another, which is the case with so many of these tax schemes). It's awfully easy to be generous when it isn't coming from your kitchen table.

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I'm sorry, but this makes no sense to me. There isn't a logical way your income tax can be more than your income. Also, if you are writing checks for taxes that are between $10,000 - $100,000 then something is wrong with the way your withholding is structured. Now, if you are talking about business taxes, I can see amounts that high for a successful business, but again, taxes are a percentage of money earned, so having them be higher than income still doesn't make sense. A business owner with employees can run into problems when they are unable to forward the withholding amounts, but that is an entirely different scenario than what we are talking about and has many potential causes. Generally, business owners who are unable to balance income/expenses (taxes being an expense) don't stay in business long term.

 

Elderly people with modest incomes are already exempt from income taxes. Depending on the state of residence, it's possible that they may qualify for property tax breaks as well.

 

Well trust me - or don't, that is fine too.  I know what goes in & out and why.

 

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I'm all for a living wage; the best way to raise wages, though, would be to reduce the workforce - when people were expected to support a family on only one income (so that the minimum wage was a living wage, instead of two minimum wages combined being a minimum wage), married women largely did not  work outside the home.  Single parent families were also less common because people were encouraged, by law and by social structure, to stay married (this is a lot more efficient allocation of resources, too, rather than having two households for a divorced family).  

 

In FDR's day, my grandparents were married and living with GF's parents.  GF father worked, GF worked on the railroad, and GM worked in a clothing store.  (I don't know of my great grandmother working outside of the home--but her day was spent plucking chickens and other work that I do not have to do today and that I would prefer not to have to do).  So, there were three waged workers and one unpaid worker involved in home production supporting one household.  When my grandparents moved out in their thirties they moved to an apartment building; that meant they had two rooms a bedroom and a kitchen and shared a bathroom with the apartment next door.  They raised my mom in this until she was 8 years old and they moved to a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house.  

 

The details are different, but the same pattern emerges if I look at my dad's side of the family.  I can point to few cases in my family history where one worker provided for a spouse and children, especially if I consider the farm work that many women did. 

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Christian love is in no way dependant on a sense of connection.

 

Look, most people want to see tax money used well.  This idea that some people don't care and would be happy to see good money thrown after bad is kind of absurd, even if you don't care about losing the money - it's going to mean people are less well cared for than they would be otherwise, and that the systems are ineffective.

 

Who would want that - not even the mythical bleeding heart liberals.

 

This concept that if you means test, you make sure people spend the right way, and so on - it's just not effective, and it doesn't mean money is better spent.  The US system is less effective than many other western nations at this, and it's not mostly because you pay less taxes - it's because your administration is so spotty and inefficient.

 

It's very similar to the idea that if you spend a lot of time testing, it will improve education - it doesn't really seem to help.

 

I didn't create the system.  I don't advocate for the way things are currently.  I said earlier that I could understand both with strings and without strings, depending on whose behavior shows they need to be babysat.

 

If you don't believe it is ever appropriate to monitor some peoples' behavior more closely to ensure their kids get their needs met, we can agree to disagree.

 

If you're talking about the whole world getting a payout, that just isn't practical at all.  The money has to come from somewhere.  It would be a disincentive for many people to work (and also a disincentive to share), leaving the others to have to work harder to carry their weight.  At some point we all get tired.

 

Edited by SKL
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It would be a disincentive for many people to work (and also a disincentive to share), leaving the others to have to work harder to carry their weight.

 

I think most people prefer to work. Even if the income is EXACTLY THE SAME as the UBI (which is doubtful), there are social advantages to being engaged in productive work.

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Oh brother. I get the theological point, but you're conflating government compulsion with personal charity. And quite frankly, reaching into my pocket and removing it is a whole lot different than me seeing a need and providing. Of course we are only stewards, and not owners, of our goods. But good stewardship doesn't mean giving away everything until you're no better off than the beggar. Without nuance and applicability, that is exactly what you're saying. Policies need to be fair and lead to human flourishing - that is a good and blessed government, that doesn't lead its people to ruin. Justice is not everything being equal and all outcomes being the same.

 

But again, if you feel called to give until you're nearly naked, go for it. There is always someone in need. In the balance of the full body of the Word I see a clear divide between what government or a theocracy is called to do, and the response in the lives and hearts of an individual as God has convicted them. It's not identical for each person.

 

This is where you get silliness and imbalance like vows of poverty. Arguably among the body of believers as commune system isn't actually a bad idea, but that can't be extrapolated out successfully because of sin tendencies and the impossibility of caring equally much about every person. Fixing society's problems can't cause more issues than it solves, and the government running impossibly high deficits to try and cover what the citizenry isn't producing is Greece. It's Venezuela. It's corruption perpetuating itself and calling its name Fairness.

 

I think the flip side of that is that most people aren't naturally generous and there is often more need than funds.  We moved two years ago from Kansas, as economically displaced people.  When Governor Brownback was elected, he drastically lowered state income taxes to try to "relieve the burden on the people" and "promote business".  In reality, the state was put into financial ruin.  Infrastructure wasn't funded.  Allocations to the public schools were cut so severely that they were declared unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court. Local governments and school districts all hiked up their taxes to try to make up the shortfall.  Wait lists for early intervention and critical medical needs extended by several years.   Really, it was the closest I've seen to "grinding the faces of the poor" (Isaiah 3:15) that I've seen.  The economy went into recession, thousands of well-paying jobs ended, and there was a lot of economic flight of stable middle income families to jobs out-of-state.  The poor and the elderly---who weren't paying taxes to the same degree---were left behind.  Both the Republican state House and Senate went against Brownback this year and raised the income tax---and it's yet to be seen if Kansas can dig out of the mess that it dug for itself.

 

Look, as a full tithe paying Christian (10%) and as a family who pays a decent amount of taxes, I get the difference between giving and taking.  There's a balance.  But I'm also part of a society.  Part of my tax dollars support infrastructure I share.  Part of my tax dollars may or may not benefit my child if they attend state university.  Part of my tax dollars support the university hospital in my area.  Part of my tax dollars support my neighborhood kids in school. I'm ok with all of that. It promotes a stable, balanced society.

 

A good chunk of Greece's problem is that the majority of the citizens don't pay taxes.

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It's more like the money you earn isn't yours once you give it to the store to buy groceries, or the dentist to pay for your kid's braces.

 

Taxes are a bill. They're the bill for purchasing civilization.

Yes! My governor is always crowingabout his tax cuts and how they're returning my money. My last tax cut? $50 for the year. For the year. Gee, thanks guv, I can't even feed my family for a week on that. "Returning" that $50 required pretty big cuts to services that had a far greater impact on a far greater number of families than my tax cut had on me. I'd really rather the state had kept that money so we collectively could have had more civilization.

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I think most people prefer to work. Even if the income is EXACTLY THE SAME as the UBI (which is doubtful), there are social advantages to being engaged in productive work.

 

GIving people money actually discourages productive work, which is pretty much the problem many people have with UBI.  If you subsidize not working, you end up with more people not working.

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Taxes have often been collected that way.  I don't see why it would be more of an issue.

From a logic standpoint, I think it is odd that the government taxes labor when it is traded for wages but not when it is used to produce a product for consumption.  If I mow my grass and I cook dinner for my family may labor is not taxed.  If I specialize in mowing grass, mowing my grass and my neighbor's grass, charging my neighbor $25 and my neighbor specializes in cooking dinner, cooking twice as much as her family needs, and sells the excess to me for $25, my neighbor and I now both owe a portion of the results of our labor to the government.

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A good chunk of Greece's problem is that the majority of the citizens don't pay taxes.

Or is it that a large portion of citizens receive large government benefits?  Greece and Canada tax their citizens at roughly the same rate of GDP. (about 31%)   While Canada's government expenditure is about 42% of GDP, government expenditures in Greece are about 52% of GDP.

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and Revolutions have been fought over the government collecting taxes from the people.

 

I wonder how comfortable people would be with this notion if the tomatoes I grew in my back yard were not my tomatoes once the government collected them in taxes or once the cake I baked in my kitchen was no longer mine once the government collected it in taxes

 

Well, if one is against taxes entirely, then it makes sense to be against taxes going to help people eat, get healthcare, have safe housing etc. 

 

But most people aren't against taxes in general. They like having roads to drive on and police to protect them, etc. 

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It was a semi-rhetorical question to a line of argumentation from a specific, different poster. My point was that it's silly to even go there as though someone who doesn't give as much as some arbitrary litmus is unloving compared to the person who promises the world (that they may or deliver, or isn't even theirs to promise to another, which is the case with so many of these tax schemes). It's awfully easy to be generous when it isn't coming from your kitchen table.

 

But those arguing for higher taxes in order to provide better services ARE saying "take it from me". I'm not trying to give away just your money, but to fund certain basics as a society with all our money, including mine. Generally it's a good investment...what's that saying? You can pay for schools now or prisons later? Same idea with healthcare, housing, etc. 

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I think most people prefer to work. Even if the income is EXACTLY THE SAME as the UBI (which is doubtful), there are social advantages to being engaged in productive work.

 

People seem to be missing that UBI doesn't go away if you work. You get that, PLUS your wages. So working is incentivised. 

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People seem to be missing that UBI doesn't go away if you work. You get that, PLUS your wages. So working is incentivised. 

 

Only to the extent that you care more for what you can get working than what you can get not working.

 

As the range of pleasures available via TV and home internet increase, the incentives for hanging out at home all day increase.

 

Already during my lifetime I have known so many people who would be happy to just sit at home if they were paid to do so.  And I'm not talking about busy SAHMs.  I'm talking about males and females who either don't have kids or don't take care of their kids.

 

So many of us limit and monitor "screen time" because it is in fact a draw and a disincentive to work.

 

Shoot, I myself have had days when I didn't work as much as I should due to the internet draw.  And I have what I consider a good work ethic.

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It's more like the money you earn isn't yours once you give it to the store to buy groceries, or the dentist to pay for your kid's braces.

 

Taxes are a bill. They're the bill for purchasing civilization.

 

That would be so, more or less, if it were a flat tax.

 

It's more like I pay $1,000 for my bottle of milk and half of the country pays $1 for theirs.

 

Plus, I don't get a choice about whether or not I even want to buy milk.  If I don't even drink milk, i have to buy it anyway.  And then I have to also buy whatever it is I do drink.

 

So let's just call it what it is.

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That would be so, more or less, if it were a flat tax.

 

It's more like I pay $1,000 for my bottle of milk and half of the country pays $1 for theirs.

 

Plus, I don't get a choice about whether or not I even want to buy milk.  If I don't even drink milk, i have to buy it anyway.  And then I have to also buy whatever it is I do drink.

 

So let's just call it what it is.

 

 

Math is not my strong skill....but are you saying you pay 1000 times more taxes than some people?  Because that would be like, a lot, right?

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It was a semi-rhetorical question to a line of argumentation from a specific, different poster. My point was that it's silly to even go there as though someone who doesn't give as much as some arbitrary litmus is unloving compared to the person who promises the world (that they may or deliver, or isn't even theirs to promise to another, which is the case with so many of these tax schemes). It's awfully easy to be generous when it isn't coming from your kitchen table.

 

I'm not sure what other paradigm other than theological I'd use to know how to approach questions of my duty.

 

As to the bolded, it's not like only a few poor souls are being asked to pay taxes - those who advocate an effective social safety net are contributing themselves.

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Math is not my strong skill....but are you saying you pay 1000 times more taxes than some people?  Because that would be like, a lot, right?

 

I was not trying to be mathematically correct, but yeah, my taxes are mega high and a high % of people only pay sales tax.  Especially when you adjust for the fact that many of those people are receiving tax-funded benefits and refundable tax credits, which could be considered a negative tax ... if you divide my tax by zero you get a lot more than 1,000.  :)

 

And I don't mind paying more than a lot of people, but let's not pretend it's just like buying groceries.

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I think most people prefer to work. Even if the income is EXACTLY THE SAME as the UBI (which is doubtful), there are social advantages to being engaged in productive work.

 

And to take this farther, I think two big issues with people not working are being in jobs that seem by their very nature to be unproductive, and two, a culture that treats some productive work as if it is undignified.

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From a logic standpoint, I think it is odd that the government taxes labor when it is traded for wages but not when it is used to produce a product for consumption.  If I mow my grass and I cook dinner for my family may labor is not taxed.  If I specialize in mowing grass, mowing my grass and my neighbor's grass, charging my neighbor $25 and my neighbor specializes in cooking dinner, cooking twice as much as her family needs, and sells the excess to me for $25, my neighbor and I now both owe a portion of the results of our labor to the government.

 

This might be part of the reason governments prefer people in paid rather than unpaid work.

 

I suppose it may be largely practical - how would you keep track of how much dinner you cook in a year?

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And to take this farther, I think two big issues with people not working are being in jobs that seem by their very nature to be unproductive, and two, a culture that treats some productive work as if it is undignified.

 

I don't understand the undignified comment.  Having done work from changing baby diapers to cleaning poop at an old folks' home, from cooking carnival food to working on a production line, from reviewing tax returns to counting inventory, I have never ever felt that any of it was undignified.  What exactly do some people need in order to feel like their work is "dignified" enough?

 

And which paid jobs are unproductive by their very nature?

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I just can't figure out where all these people are who would "love to give a home to a child who needs it", if only it were cheaper to adopt. It is very cheap, if not free, to adopt children out of foster care TODAY. People talk about taking children away when they're young and "easily adoptable". There are thousands of young, "easily adoptable" aged children in America right now who are NOT being adopted. Maybe because they're the wrong color. Maybe because they were born addicted to drugs. I don't know. But I do know if I see one more Facebook post with a news article about child abuse and hundreds of commenters saying they'd "raise that baby in heartbeat", I'm going to scream. Because you CAN raise babies like that, right now, but in America we have a foster care crisis and thousands of children who should be removed from their homes but their workers have no where to place them. Where are all those good-hearted posters and commenters?

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