Sharing the Wealth (or not)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ScottXeno, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    I feel inclined to throw my two cents worth in.
    I gave a guy twenty bucks one time. He said his car broke down and he needed to get gas and see his mother in the hospital. I knew he was lying but I gave him the money anyway.

    He walked the opposite direction of which he said he came from, after I gave him the money. At that point I knew the guy was a crackhead and was lying about even owning a car.

    I used to give this one homeless guy change just to leave me alone but he was a little retarded so I didn't mind.

    Crackheads always bug me for money.
    I joined the army to make my own way through life. I know with the recent lowering of standards in the Army, many homeless people could make ends meet by joining up but....

    They are either druggies, messed up in the head, retarded, lazy, and some of them might just be unlucky.

    I myself would become a drug dealer or thief before I was kicked out on my ass onto the streets.

    I have no sympathy for lazy, stupid fucks that can't support themselves. Unless they are mentally unstable or retarded there is very little excuse.

    Their are a large amount of jobs that a homeless person could get if they weren't so fucking lame.
  2. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    And you assume that it is easy to get jobs, even if someone is searching for them ? life is not that simple, specially in the current economic situation. Minimum wage jobs might not be even worth taking, because the jobs don't even pay nearly enough to support "normal" life, when you take in consideration the cost of living in USA. Some of the homeless might even do jobs, but can't afford to pay rent.
    And joining army is not solution to the job problems of a society, whats the point of making money if you get killed in Iraq or Afganistan. It just isn't as viable option as you try to present it to be.
    And many homeless people can't live in the society anymore, they have become hermits that can't act or live in society. Getting jobs is not as easy, at least psychologically.
  3. TheRatKing

    TheRatKing Vault Dweller

    Oct 7, 2008
    Who will hire you if you look like shit, don't have any clothes except the rags on your back, and smell like the inside of a fake leg?
  4. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    Well me personally I would rather die than be a dirty homeless person. I'm in the Army. I didn't die in Iraq. Not everyone dies in Iraq ya know.
    To be honest I don't really give a shit. I just see too many crackhead homeless people to care.
  5. Profit

    Profit First time out of the vault

    Nov 10, 2008
    Yeah, fuck them hobos, I know plenty of businesses willing to hire crack addicts without fixed addresses or proof of identity.
  6. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 10, 2008
    I give a little something to the less fortunate when I can. Money, food, old clothing, or even just advice or some of my time. It's a good thing to do. How someone arrived to their current situation, or what they will do with what I give them is none of my concern. If someone needs help I shall give what I can. I certainly hope that others would do the same for me. In fact, if I wasn't able to rely on the kindness of others before in my life, I'd probably have joined the many homeless.

    Even so, most homeless are but a symptom of larger problems. What's needed are effective incentive and aid programs that can help those who are able to get back on track in society do so.

    Pragmatism or idealism? Why not both? A world lacking either shall surely crumble.
  7. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    I think it's really egoistic assuming that just because a young healthy-looking guy begs for money he is lazy and refuses to work. you don't know anything about his mental health or physical illnesses you don't see at first glance.

    I don't know how it works in the U.S. but here in Sweden a lot of homeless people are in this situation simply because they can't get a job because they have nowhere to live and they can't find a home because they don't have a job. jobs are scarce and requirements for getting jobs are high. apartments are even scarcer and harder to get. of course there are lazy people. but there are also people who are beyond helping themselves and need help and support from others.

    you might have worked really hard for your paycheck and luxury, but does it hurt you or anyone else to hand a homeless guy a few coins once in a while? couldn't it even make you feel a little better knowing that you're in a place where you can help someone else without it affecting your personal economy? it's not like you're giving them half your paycheck.
  8. Snackpack

    Snackpack It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 4, 2008
    So the goverment giving 700 billion to financial institutions and attempting to nationalize them isn't "socialist" ?

    It's amusing, the most insightful statement I've heard about the whole bail out thing came from a crazy homeless guy, "When I don't pay my bills the powers that be take away my home and my children! and when those same powers don't pay their bills? The government gives them 700 billion dollars!"

    These dirty homeless liberal dirt-worshipping commie pinko bastards! They're ruining 'Merikka!

    Ignorance. Ignorance never changes.
  9. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ Staff Member Moderator [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    No it doesn't "hurt" me. But for every decent homeless guy I help I unwillingly help a dozen fucking crack heads. Since I find it hard to distiguish crackheads from regular homeless people, I choose not to help. There are organizations that help homeless.

    Continuum of Care
    Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program
    New Grantee Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program
    Non-Urban and Urban Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program
    Runaway and Homeless Youth Basic Center Program
    Runaway and Homeless Youth Street Outreach Program
    Runaway and Homeless Youth Transitional Living Program (TLP)
    Emergency Shelter Grants
    Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)

    Yeah the government doesn't have organizations to help. Filthy bastards. 700 billion bailout *grumble*
    Sure the government is fucked up. What government isn't? If I recall correctly Europe has instituted a similar bailout. But you can't say they don't attempt to help out.

    I don't feel sorry for them. I do give them a few coins now and then. But I don't feel bad considering how many homeless people have "LIED" to me. If they were honest and said
    " Hey man. I'm a crack addict. My dad abused me as a child and I grew up in the ghetto. I have no education, so I do drugs. I am really needing a fix right now. Can you spare some money"

    Then I might give them cash because they are honest.
  10. Loxley

    Loxley Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 11, 2003
    Something like that happened to me and some buddies once. We were walking down a street when this homeless guy came up to me and said "hey can you spare a twenty for some moonshine?"
    All of us were so impressed by this that we all ended upp giving him twenty each.
    The looks from the people that had overheard the conversation was worth it though.
  11. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    The problem with this discussion is that it tends to isolate or focus on the extreme cases.

    Should Bill Gates give a buck to a homeless dude? Well that's a moral question for the individual. Right?

    Should the government force Bill Gates to give a buck to a homeless dude?Well that's also a moral but also a policy question.

    But what if for every 1 Bill Gates you get 1 million homeless bastards in one society. What the hell happens to the society?

    (how many of the top 700 are Americans? How many Americans are homeless and poor?)

    And how much inequality do you really want? How much is ok for one society to manage? What happens to the power of a Bill Gates if our society increasingly becomes divided between those who are so wealthy and those who are so poor?

    Those are the real questions we need to wrestle with.

    I study two countries- Botswana and Mauritius. Botswana has a per capital income rate of about $20K a year. But what goes undiscussed is that there are about 15 powerful families and 47% of the population, (hundreds of thousands) live in utter poverty- and as a result of that poverty nearly 40% have HIV/AIDS.

    In contrast Mauritius has much lower levels of inequality, HIV/AIDS is virtually non-existent, people, $12K GDP per capital (ppp), most of the people have decent jobs and live a fairly good life. Only about 10% of the population lives in poverty, and even so, their poverty isn't like in Botswana.

    In Botswana, the rich have created a military that often looks like its pointed at the people who live in utter poverty. In Mauritius, there is no army but a small police force. Botswana is a one-party democracy, Mauritius is a multi-party democracy.

    Why does this matter- Botswana has one of the highest rates of inequality in the world. Mauritius is fairly low.

    OK, but that's Africa, and we all know Africa is a fucking mess.

    But its also Brazil. In Rio a small group of people live by the beach and the government loves them. In the hills overlooking the beach are giant slums dominated by drug gangs that regularly go to war, that is so violent the corrupt police fear going in, and people get killed in the cross fire.

    Ok, but fuck, we're still talking third world right?

    No. There are parts of the US that are very Third World. But even not-

    Take two kids- one kid is rich, fairly smart, goes to good schools, get a great education because he's a legacy (his dad went to the school), uses good connections to get a great job, and next thing you know, he's back in the wealthy class as an adult.

    Take another kid who is brilliant, but his schools suck and his neighborhood is an open air drug market. He grows up with few connections to the outside world, his pressured to under perform by his peers. Maybe he gets financial aid- except cuts in Pell Grants and other student aid have reduced his chances of getting enough money to go to school, and he's lucky if he can get into a crappy local university (because he can't afford to pay for the housing at another school). Maybe if he was a football player, but he's not. Then if he graduates he has few contacts in the professional world, few opportunities.

    What differs between these kids is the opportunities presented them and will shape the rest of their adult lives.

    But the question is- as a society, who do we want to perform better? Who do we want to operate on us when we go to the hospital? Who do we want managing our finances?

    Think about it this way- do you want a dumb ass who got to be President because of his father's connections (George Bush) or a guy who is brilliant enough to overcome his situation to get where he is (Barrack Obama)?

    The thing about wealth redistribution is that it shouldn't be just a gift, but an opportunity. It should be a chance to level the playing field so that those born into poverty can escape it, so that those who are poor because of some misfortune can rise above it, and in the process, society maximizes the potential of all citizens to live more productive and meaningful life.

    I don't believe in gifts, but in opportunity, and given a choice between rewarding merit over privilege, I go with merit.

    Problem, we don't know merit until we adjust for privilege.

    And while you face a moral choice between whether to give a bum a buck or not, the real question is what kind of society do you want to live in-? Is it one in which the best rise by the merit of their ability or by the privilege of being born into the legacy of someone who had merit?
  12. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Who even cares. There have been bums since the dawn of time. I'm sure they all have good stories, and I'm sure some of them are even true. Just manage what you can in your own life. If you have a few bucks to spare and want to give them to a homeless guy, more power to you. It's not going to help him. He'll go buy some smack and you'll be left feeling taken advantage of because deep down you know it won't help. But hey, smack or not, he's getting some enjoyment out of it.

    I'd rather not have dimwits say I need to be taxed to provide a better safety net, but it's in a dimwit's best interest to have a better safety net, so of course they are going to say that.

    Point being, the life of a homeless guy probably sucks in a thousand parallel realities.
  13. generalissimofurioso

    generalissimofurioso The Hole Time Orderite

    Jun 17, 2007
    Except the parallel reality where they got sick of being treated badly and took over the entire world.
  14. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Maybe he wouldn't have ended in that situation if the social security system and education would be better.
    But oh well, lets ignore problems and just let things go as they are.
    That has worked so well before.
  15. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Precisely! There is no solution to poverty, no cure, and people need to realize it. Just looking at the US of A, there is just as much today as ever, after 40+ years of increasing social spending. If there isn't, why are people still shouting for more to be given to them?

    But don't worry, your kind of thinking, lethal to society tho it is, has set in motion an avalanche that cannot be stopped. If you give the non-producers power over the producers, which we certainly have, the result is inevitable. Politicians, being true leeches, promise to take from the rich and give to the poor, and the greedy fool voters can't help but lap it up. Because hey, they DESERVE a bigger piece of the pie. Disgusting CEO's wearing Italian suits while we can barely afford our satellite dish! Such an injustice needs to be made right! (Never mind I dropped out of high school and spend every dime I make on my car stereo.)

    So the politicians who make the right promises become entrenched in power, and they sure as heck aren't going to give it away. In time, the Big Guy gets little and the Little Guy gets littler.

    Thus, there will not ever be a reduction in government until the epic fail collapse.

    Socialists need to stop and look at the bigger picture. Get over the sob stories of so-called social injustice. Get over the tinking that most people don't get what they deserve, and don't deserve what they get. No one deserves anything. The world doesn't care about you. People don't care about you. Heck, socialism isn't about caring, it's about hurting the people who have more than they deserve.

    So take a step back and let the system of free and fair trade* work.

    * being capitalism of course, but I didn't want to utter the dirty word as there might be children present.
  16. Ovg

    Ovg First time out of the vault

    Nov 6, 2008
    I belive, that if your government can help them and give them jobs, if they don't want to work they should be given minimal social help , enough just to survive. But country should also educate them about job, teach them to apriciate working, and with the sweat of their brows, make their life anew.
    But in Poland, many people lost their jobs due to change of system from socialism to capitalism, as many of government run collective farms were closed, or sold for laughtable amount of money. These people can't do anything about being poor. All they can is farming, and if they can't get jobs, then their kids will also be poor.
    I think that, as situation differs from country to country, these homeless and poor should be given enough money to survive and find a job.
    Too bad many of them think that it's better to live from unemployment benefit which is higher than minimum salary...
  17. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Well, no one likes working.

    Life is sad, it's a struggle. Some are lucky, some are unlucky. No one can deny that.
  18. Nullifidian

    Nullifidian First time out of the vault

    Nov 4, 2008
    You act as if the trend has been in one direction this entire time.

    The fact of the matter is, the time our nation saw the greatest economic stability, prosperity, growth, and happiness was in the 1950s when the wealth distribution was almost linear. The more and more wealth becomes a Poisson distribution, the greater the economic problems, the more prone to panics, recession, and depression we are, the greater the crime rates, the worse the economic growth, etc.

    Uneven wealth distribution can result in bubbles. But bubbles, when they collapse, end up lower than their starting point.

    It is desirable for a nation, for the people of that nation, with respect to both current and long term economic health, to seek to adjust income distribution to be more linear. How they go about attempting to do such a task will influence whether or not they succeed. Simply taking money from one group directly and handing it to the other directly doesn't work. Progressive taxes however can work (they are NOT direct). Yes, being wealthy should be somewhat discouraged because it skews wealth into a Poisson distribution which is economically undesirable. Thus, the more money a person makes, it should be made more and more difficult to make even more money on top of that. What we currently have is, once you have passed a certain wealth threshold, money becomes exceedingly easy to make.

    The problem with the wealthy is that the majority of their money is effectively removed from the economy. The wealthy horde. Hording hurts the economy. Spending helps the economy. Truthfully, beyond a certain amount of wealth, there is literally no purpose to attaining more; quality of life isn't affected at all. Beyond a few tens of millions of dollars, no actual value to ones life is attained through gaining extra money. The less effect added money has on a person's quality of life, the less they spend. The less they spend, the more that is horded and thus removed from the economy.

    The money that the poor and middle class have, the more they spend. They do so because at their wealth level, spending that money will cause drastic improvements to their quality of life (even if temporary). The result of their spending is increased demand for the products they buy. That increased demand causes the companies which produce those products to increase production. Increased production means they need more employees. More employees means more jobs. More jobs means greater competition in the job market which means higher salaries and benefits. Greater salaries and benefits mean poor and middle class have more money to spend.

    On the flipside, what happens if the wealthy get more money? They save it. they don't spend it. If a business makes more money doing the same thing, why would they hire more people? There is no incentive to do that. There is disincentive! So the only place that money goes is to the top. If a business makes more money in a year but not through increased demand for their product but from some kind of tax incentive or grant, or other form of corporate welfare, the end result is always bigger bonuses for executives and nothing more.
  19. Roflcore

    Roflcore Mildly Dipped

    Nov 2, 2008
    America has a working social system Mike?
    Great news, I didn't know that!
  20. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Oh yes, as we all know welfare state=SOCIALISM AND DESTRUCTION OF MANKIND.
    And why then do we have private ownership and good standards of living. I don't see that many hobos around here.
    And America has high crime and high enprisonment rate. If that doesn't mean social system is f-up, i guess revolution would mean small incident by your standards.

    Well social darwinism isn't really a good idea. You really can't apply a biological theory in to a economic one and end up with something that would work well in real life.