Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: "If you're poor, it's because you want to be or because you're stupid" **EXPLAINED**

Posted 2 years ago on April 22, 2012, 6:13 p.m. EST by Misaki (893)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This about another thread: If you are poor, it's because you want to be or because you're stupid

For purposes of useful iteration of the argument I am requesting feedback on the explanation for this assertion.

The argument is simple:

1) The US economy is ~$15 trillion, corporate profits are high, the 1% capture a large amount of income due to their ownership of capital, etc etc.

2) This is a democracy.

3) If you are unemployed or have a low income, other people probably have to support you whether friends, relatives, significant other, parents, your grown-up children, etc.

4) They probably would prefer you are able to support yourself which means having a decent job.

5) If they voted in support of a policy that could create jobs, you could support yourself.

6) If you don't know of or haven't looked for a policy that they could vote for to create jobs, then you're poor because you're stupid.

7) If you know of such a policy but haven't tried hard enough to convince other people to support it, you're poor because you want to be.

Everyone who is poor falls into one of those two categories. Counterarguments welcome though!

92 Comments

92 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

The only person this post exposes to be stupid is you. What kind of bullshit do you do for a living? I bet you work really "hard" to "earn" your money. While your heads up your ass see if your empathy is up there too.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Thank you for your response.

Replies like yours are evidence that people are not aware of variation in opinion by demographics, meaning that explaining the national system might be effective in an argument.

[-] -1 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

What is your job!!!??? Ashamed to admit it, you pretentious, elitist, conceited piece of shit? Who created your bullshit job, and what is it? What do you do?

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

While I disagree with Misaki's opinion and agree it is ill-informed... resorting to name calling is never the solution. If they prove to be too obtuse to have a conversation online or they are causing you aggravation... just ignore them.

Misaki, What about people who were successful... got laid off... and can't get hired at a new job that pays well? Or are we just going to lump everyone into 2 categories for the sake of doing it?

I've been pushing Dennis Kucinich's HR 2990, the NEED Act, since day 1. Also, I am not poor... but I'm not rich. I'm comfortable in my life. Got a good place to live, a decent car, and a little money to spend on fun and I'm always building my resume. Not everyone can get the job that pays well. You can have 10 qualified candidates with an identical resume apply for 1 position... only 1 can be hired. So are the other 9 stupid or somehow fall into your 2 categories? Or are there a fuck ton more pieces to the puzzle?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

From what I just read of it... it sounds like it would just be printing money. The government can already do that. People don't want it to and even threaten to get violent if it does.

Another way of looking at it (completely separate from the first post) is like this:

1) Maybe work conservation can fix unemployment and reduce inequality, and so the only people who are poor are those who are too lazy to look for work since jobs would be available. (And benefits, etc. would still exist for people physically unable to work.)

2) Maybe people will never agree to work conservation; which means that the only short-term route to full employment is increased government spending. (The top 5% are already responsible for 37% of consumer spending, so it's not like the rich can spend much more money.) This would go beyond OWS-type protests and replicate the labor movements that were necessary to create change in previous periods of high inequality throughout history.

Unemployment has been going down a bit, as well as measures like the number of job seekers per job, but a lot of that is due to people dropping out of the labor force; the employment-to-population ratio has not been going up to pre-recession levels. People have just been avoiding thinking about the second scenario by saying that unemployment is "structural" which would mean it's the fault of unemployed people, or by saying it's because of "corrupt rich" which means society can somehow fix the problem if everyone just agrees that corporations are evil or something (the OWS approach). Neither of these two explanations are consistent with reality, so anyone who continues to try to 'follow the rules' in the current environment, despite high unemployment, is poor either because they don't want to try social change ("they want to be poor"), or they want social change but haven't been able to convince other people that change is necessary (which this thread asserts is synonymous with being stupid).

Under this definition, someone could be as smart as Einstein (who advocated socialism) and still be "stupid".

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Does it matter?

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Proper taxation of the rich (trickle down tax breaks a failure supplied more gravy for the rich) so reform tax break to maintain help to the poor and remove an un-needed source of hoarding for corporations and the wealthy, remove subsidies from fossil fuel and regulate futures speculation. Re-instate Glass-Stegal prosecute the meltdown criminals and seize restitution from their personal assets. Institute an actual adjusting living wage to replace minimum wage. Pump money into the economy by the previous as well as investing in renewing the power grid and infra-structure with Green Technology.

So good enough start troll?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

You need to refer to the last one for that. The two super parties arent serious about any of those things, because they are the very people who would be prosecuted or financially affected.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Not my problem if they fucked-up. No one is above the law and this is a prime reason for the birth and growth of the Occupy movements.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

well i think we are about to see that indeed the rich are above the law. do you think any walmart exects will go to jail for breaking the law? doubtful.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is why we are here on this forum and others like it everywhere, that is why people are taking to the streets - Because of the apparent immunity of the rich/wealthy criminals ( breathing & non-breathing ). This policy of no responsibility and no accountability has to end. The more criminals are allowed to walk the more angry and outspoken the public should get. We finally said enough is enough is enough when we went into meltdown - "The Powers That Be" threw us Bernie Madoff to appease us. Well it was not enough it was not even a good start and that is the message "one of many" that we are sending out.

We have only just begun.

Let us turn up the heat as quickly as possible so the the corrupt frogs in the water do definitely know that they are being boiled.

[-] -2 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Yet capitalism is still viewed more favourably by the population than socialism.

Tax evasion is illegal. Paying the legal, low tax rates of 15% for capital gains is completely legal, because the voting population of the US has allowed those tax breaks to remain in place. Accusing people of being criminals without any evidence of crime may earn some support, but so far not enough to actually create any changes. Maybe a new tactic is in order?

[-] 1 points by shooz (18095) 2 years ago

That's as true as 4 out of 5 dentist recommend colgate tooth paste.

Or you might save $450 on your car insurance.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yeah ( new tactic ) owning the process by the public. In case you were not aware.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The 2010 elections were about reduced government involvement in the economy and spending. You think that all of that sentiment has disappeared and that socialism will win in the 2012 elections?

I'll link it again, http://www.people-press.org/2011/12/28/little-change-in-publics-response-to-capitalism-socialism/?src=prc-headline

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Socialism - win - upcoming elections - can't say.

I do know that people - an awful lot of people are truly pissed at what has been going on ( not going on ) in government and business most especially after the major meltdown.

The current refusal ( 3+ years ) of government officials to work together to resolve our nations problems is truly staggering and monumental. The refusal of government and the justice system to prosecute the economic criminals is truly insane and beyond belief or acceptance of the American people.

These People of the USA and in extension of common cause - the world are truly sick of corruption crime and abuse by our government and our businesses.

This is becoming clearer by the day and awareness and outrage grows. We are living in a truly momentous point in time. We will soon see if the people can unite in common cause.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The objective of the Tea Party was to limit government spending. This has been somewhat effective. (For example a majority of the US population opposed extending the debt ceiling but at least the Tea Party has prevented taxes from being raised?)

So the 'mandate' of the American people in the last election has, to at least some extent, been met. You can't say the government is that incompetent, just that they're as confused about what to do as the American people even if everyone is sure that their answer is obviously the right one. (See: most people think they're above average.)

Presidents are usually voted out of office when the economy is bad for the exact same reasons you talk about, but that doesn't mean the other party necessarily has a better answer. During the great depression it took a huge increase in government spending, which is exactly what people are opposed to now.

edit: here's an article that described Goldman Sachs as a "vampiric squid" which I discovered last month; Goldman Sachs has profited hugely from various crises as the very long article describes but most of it has been completely legal. In contrast see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html which desribes Goldman Sachs as shifting to a culture where it exploits clients for profit more than it used to. But whether its clients profit or just Goldman Sachs does, those profits have to come from somewhere which is other people investing in the financial markets: completely legal, even if some of it is things like pension funds. The way to prevent that is to stop inflation by reaching full employment without inflation or its alternative of high taxes, by having people work less.

So people who lost their retirement funds lost that money, ultimately, because the entire world was too stupid to think of, or adopt, the idea of working less described in many different forms on the dedicated blog for the concept.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

The only thing the Tea Party "may" have been involved in is preventing the raising of taxes on those it would not hurt - The wealthy.

Thanks for your long winded defense but you started off with that and that was about all I could stomach at the moment. Maybe I will look at the rest of the BS later.

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

"green technology"= scam.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

"takim" = troll.

[-] -1 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

the obama govt GAVE taxpayer money to phoney green energy corporations. wasted 535 milion on solyndra. 1 1/2 billion was " loaned "to tesla and fisker. 10 billion to lightsquared. well not really a waste, obama was just laundering that money . it came back to HIM, not the taxpayers .

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Which is why market solutions are the best instead of specialized subsidies. A tax on gasoline would be feasible if income was more evenly distributed and unemployment was low.

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

If someone can build a better mousetrap,.......................they will make money, and the public at large will better served by a product that suppiles a free market need. there is no reason to pile on more taxes on fuel, it hurts the producers, and the public and the country in general.
"income more evenly distributed",..........why? . people have different talents, not everyone has the same drive or ambition.unemployment would drop if the govt got out the business of hobbling the free market with their over regulating.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Some types of energy have a significant buildup time. Nuclear power plants must be planned and constructed at a high initial cost; solar power or other renewable sources benefit from economy of scale and I don't think the US is producing many panels.

If you don't plan for the future you get things like oil price shocks and no way to make up for the higher cost in the short term.

[-] 2 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

regarding oil,......................if the drilling for the vast amounts of our own oil had started years ago,.....we would have it now. did you miss the current energy secretary's statement that he wantd the price of gas to be $10.00? did you miss cadidate obamas statement that he would put coal companies out of business? and that fuel prices would necessarily skyrocket? the price of energy is where it is by design of the current administration.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

You have a problem with the next generation having access to that oil?

Compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeview_Gusher with current oil extraction methods. So anyway, the point was that yes, taxes on gasoline would help if lower income inequality let people afford the tax and have other choices available.

[-] 0 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

wikipedia is a not a reliable source for anything.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I hope you have the same sentiment towards www.conservawiki.com/. Besides, why would wiki be inferior? Is it not regulated by the market? Are there not millions of people who would enjoy proving wiki wrong? I'd say that the competitive nature of humanity would not allow wiki to be too far off the mark. But, yes, as far as academia is concerned, wiki is not authoritative enough, though I did use it as a spring board for other sites and sources when I did homework. I have to say most of the research is top notch, that is if you want to pass a course in a liberal college. lol.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

It works reasonably well. The second-largest online encyclopedia in China has administrator reviews of all content before it's updated. Chinese Wikipedia is only the third largest there, and I think it's pretty far behind.

[-] -1 points by takim (23) 2 years ago

i've written things for wiki that i knew to be wrong. it was accepted.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

yeah, i'm not a big fan of the market either.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Did your friends all vote in support of these things? Did your relatives vote in support of them too?

As some useful statistics, while 49% of the 18-29 age group has a positive view of "socialism", only 13% of the 65+ age group has a positive view of the word. The word "capitalism" which has associations with many of the things you mention like corporate profits is still viewed pretty positively even by those who support OWS (45% by OWS supporters, vs 67% for those who oppose OWS).

But the point is that if the only reason poor people have lower voting rates is that they don't want to upset their rich relatives or grandparents or friends or whatever, then they are stupid if they don't support a way to fix unemployment without raising taxes on the rich.

Expressing all this intricacy in a title is difficult.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Again with your trollish bullshit. You asked a question in trollish fashion. Then are disgusted that no one wants to feed your trash. Then you get the participation that you were begging for and - Surprise - you are not happy with what you get - that being truth delivered with the reality of the current situation - So - "YOU" of coarse go into the OLD TROLL Rope-a-Dope - BTW you would be the Dope on the rope.

Deal with it you are crystal clear.

What troll tactic are you gonna shift to now?

Go play with yourself you do not amuse.

[-] -2 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I will address your suggestions one by one.

Proper taxation of the rich (trickle down tax breaks a failure supplied more gravy for the rich) so reform tax break to maintain help to the poor and remove an un-needed source of hoarding for corporations and the wealthy

This by itself would not help the poor. More welfare or more government jobs would help the poor but although people want the government to focus on jobs, they do not want the government to directly create jobs with 52% opposing and 42% supporting.

It would give less of an excuse for people to cut programs that help the poor, but those programs can be supported whether or not taxes are raised by simply borrowing or printing more money if people are willing to accept inflation.

remove subsidies from fossil fuel and regulate futures speculation

Would not help the poor or create jobs.

Re-instate Glass-Stegal prosecute the meltdown criminals and seize restitution from their personal assets

Would not help the poor or create jobs.

Institute an actual adjusting living wage to replace minimum wage.

Would help those who do have jobs, but would not create jobs. (Would lead to a tiny decrease in employment.)

Pump money into the economy by the previous as well as investing in renewing the power grid and infra-structure with Green Technology.

This would work, but people are directly against it by a majority of the population.

So if you think by protesting you can convince enough people to support the above suggestions (or similar), then continue doing so but I can't see how it isn't stupid.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Coarse not your a troll.

[-] 1 points by delaverdad (1) 2 years ago

Define "troll".

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

In my usage ( as I think in most contributors ) a troll is a supporter for the greedy corrupt - the greed and corruption in government as well as in Business. They are recognized as either hirelings of the corrupt like Koch WallMart Coke etc etc etc or as wanabes themselves. They support the wage and profit sharing disparity as well as defend the hoarding of resources and outsourcing of jobs they support the continuation of fossil fuel subsidies and the dumping of support/investment in green energy/fuel technology development and implementation.

That is a start of a trolls characteristics and actions, there is a lot more.

Sorry I could not be more concise.

Suffice it to say they do not support Health and Prosperity for "ALL" they oppose it.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

did it have to be nationalistic ?

outsourcing of jobs

Health and Prosperity for "ALL"

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I think it is more humanistic than nationalistic as greed and corruption do not care about either. The greedy corrupt are self serving to the point of eventual decline due to the abuse of their fellow human beings.

And trolls do not care as long as they are paid, they are the blind marching supporters - ( even to their own detriment ) of their corrupt masters.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

perhaps a meta player

not really involved in the conversation

making statements that illicit strong reactions

[-] -3 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Thank you for your confidence in me.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Confidence?

None needed - You wear a sign - it has to do with your positive messages.

The credit is all urine....I mean yours.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17464) 2 years ago

LOL. Hahahahaha.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Hehhehehehhahaha.....choke.sputter.....Hohohhohhoooheheheha

GF thank you I needed that spontaneous laughter injection.

HAAAhaahahahohooheeee

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17464) 2 years ago

I had to back track for a sec.

He said urine.....LOL.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Laughing .... stop it you are smacking.......AhHAHAHA....my funny bone.............WhooHEEhehe

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Stupid people see everything as " stupid".

[-] -3 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Enjoy being poor ^_^

[-] 1 points by somoroto (3) 2 years ago

not all people can work

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

The willingness of society to give money to those who can't work (social security, disability, etc) is limited by the perceived cost of giving money to those who can work, but choose not to or can't find a job. Still at around 4 job seekers for every job opening right now.

So say that this system was used, and involuntary unemployment went to around zero. Maybe the average hours worked would go from around 31 hours or whatever it is, to 25 or just 20 hours worked. Suppose that this made people drop to lower tax brackets and the government was running out of money to pay for Social Security or whatever.

Since people are choosing to work less, then it's fair to raise tax rates for all tax brackets allowing the government to pay for Social security and so on. Maybe this means that people will have to work more, back up to 25 hours average, to pay for their costs of living after income taxes, but with all the various changes (lower inequality, higher government efficiency if it adopted this system, etc.) people should be willing to do this.

[-] 3 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

This is weird! So, who in the hell paid into Social Security? Who in the hell pays Federal Taxes? Who in the hell pays State Taxes? So are you saying that individuals who are laid off (more coming in the ensuing year due to mass closings of businesses, corporations, banks, stores, etc.) or are just plain eliminated from working are to be penalized because they have paid into this fake ass system all their lives and now are not entitled to these meager benefits? Are you saying that taking down your Social Security, or Disability, or Worker's comp. or retirement funds or even Federal food stamps and welfare....is due to the failure of these very same people who have paid into this system all their lives? That my friend is a covert form of slavery, don't you think? So, my question is...why are politicians entitled to these big living packages after they retire or lose their jobs? Did they pay into these and are they better than the individuals who have actually contributed to society? This is why this country is in the state it is in and eventually will have to collapse. Not my words, it is inevitable. The gods are angry my friend!!!!!

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Ok, so leave Social Security how it is. I never said anything about removing it anyway.

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

Now that was too funny! : }

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Goose and Gander.

It is different for the "entitled" ( wealthy not truly entitled they just think they are ) as they are not like normal people. Apparently different rules apply to them "that have" and "them that take" then to "those who provide the work".

Again a false belief system that have seen the demise of many governments from the beginning of recorded history. The fall and reorganization of multitudes of societies.

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

Well said...

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Do rich people have more than 1 vote?

Of course not. The only reason taxes are low on the rich is because people voted for Republicans and continue to vote for low taxes and small government.

[-] 5 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

A rich person does have more than one vote, it gives him an unequal say in who is elected if they contribute a large amount that the common man can't match. Giving this money buys a TV ad that amplifies the candidates voice so that millions of people hear his message.

It's like a candidate speaking at a debate with a 5000 watt sound system, while his opponent speaks at normal volume. The person with the amp can reach the entire audience of 5000, but the person speaking at normal volume can only reach the first few rows.

The person speaking with the amp is using his right of speech, but it is not fair speech. Once speech becomes unfair speech, it robs the common man of the core principle of democracy, an equal voice and an equal vote.

[-] 1 points by sampfeifer (20) from Issaquah, WA 2 years ago

and thus I say "No taxation without representation" since the power of campaign contributions totally eclipses the power of the vote this might make a good slogan

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

"No taxation without representation" although from revolutionary times still fits today. Congress does not represent the people, but wall street. If incumbents aren't overthrown in great numbers this election cycle we may need to refuse to pay income tax as a form of protest. Cindy Sheehan has been since 2004.

[-] 0 points by occuman (-21) 2 years ago

and the people who vote based on tv ads deserves what they get.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

41% of the population got most of their news from TV in 1979; now it's up to 50% for males and 69% for females. http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/SunMo_poll_0209.pdf

Internet is only at 18% and 9%; I think people care less about news in general.

But anyway, I suppose the argument is supposed to be that rich people convince stupid people to vote Republican?

People don't trust either political party to help the economy. So maybe what jrhirsch is trying to say is that people should be voting for indendent candidates? Or that people think that high corporate profits create jobs, when in fact only 4% of the population thinks that?

(Original poll if interested: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/02/business/economy/2011poll.html Q40.)

[-] 0 points by occuman (-21) 2 years ago

what's your point?

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes actually they do. It is called money and can have a synergistic affect on one vote multiplying it by hundreds and thousands and millions. Money must be removed from politics.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

So how many billionaires have tried to become president of the US and failed? :P

Not denying that it can cause influence; just look at the Bush tax cuts. But important problems get revisited later. And for people who think that charity is worth anything, there's always http://givingpledge.org/.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Usually they look for a puppet to support. Look at Joe Kennedy trying to set-up a dynasty through his kids.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Then it makes sense to support realistic ways to reduce inequality and the amount of money that can go toward politics, right?

Apparently not enough people think work conservation is 'realistic', but I think the evidence is that more socialism is even less realistic. If people wanted that they wouldn't have voted Tea Party republicans into office or show continued support for the Republican party in opinion polls.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The machine doesnt want real leaders as president. They want weaklings like Bush and Obama.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

carter, bush, bush, oh wait those were the billionaires that won!

[-] 0 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

What work do you do?

[-] 2 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Does it matter?

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

1) The US economy is ~$15 trillion, corporate profits are high, the 1% capture a large amount of income due to their ownership of capital, etc etc. Then why so much national debt? 2) This is a democracy. Our democracy is near death and Occupy is working to resuscitate. 3) If you are unemployed or have a low income, other people probably have to support you whether friends, relatives, significant other, parents, your grown-up children, etc. I don't know if you've noticed, but all forms of harmonious human relation are breaking down under economic strain. I've got liabilities, everyone I meet has liabilities -- love is the answer, yes, though I can't afford to take on any more baggage. 4) They probably would prefer you are able to support yourself which means having a decent job. Hard work doesn't pay these days, most people who lost jobs during the "Great Recession" were forced to take unskilled, low-wage work that does not utilize their skills or abilities in any way, nor does it provide much leverage to move beyond what they hoped was only temporary hardship. 5) If they voted in support of a policy that could create jobs, you could support yourself. ? 6) If you don't know of or haven't looked for a policy that they could vote for to create jobs, then you're poor because you're stupid. Our votes are meaningless since our politicians are bought and sold (see ALEC) before we even vote. So... 7) If you know of such a policy but haven't tried hard enough to convince other people to support it, you're poor because you want to be. Again, ? If workers were acting in their own self interest, willing to collaborate with one another rather than compete, then we'd get somewhere. General strike anyone?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Then why so much national debt?

Because economists view inflation as a better policy than trying to enforce high taxes while dishonest people use tax havens or just lie to avoid paying, and no one has previously come up with a way to support full employment without government spending. (See: great depression which proved this over a period of half a decade.)

Our democracy is near death and Occupy is working to resuscitate.

46% of eligible working Americans voted in 2010, compared to just 35% of the unemployed. Ideally everyone should be voting for the common good though...

Our votes are meaningless since our politicians are bought and sold (see ALEC) before we even vote. So...

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2461

Perhaps you should find something to vote about that more people will support. You can't assume that everyone thinks like you and your small group of friends.

Again, ? If workers were acting in their own self interest, willing to collaborate with one another rather than compete, then we'd get somewhere. General strike anyone?

I agree to this somewhat; it seems that people don't support the argument in the original thread as a way of motivating people to action, so I will probably try something else which might have more success. (currently catching up on various opinions)

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Please share whatever it is you do come up with, and thank you for the thoughtful response. I don't put much faith in voting these days and I'm not alone. I wouldn't say that I'm assuming everyone thinks like me since my small group of friends and I disagree continually. Americans voted for Obama in 2008 and I still believe that he truly envisioned the "hope and change" campaign promises. He got into office and it's been a different story. Why is that?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

He got into office and it's been a different story. Why is that?

Why economists are wrong

Please share whatever it is you do come up with,

This was the previous 'attempt' before this one, which takes a somewhat different approach: http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/04/low-consumer-demand-and-inefficiency.html

Maybe I'll just post that on this forum as well to see if people have anything to say about it; people seem to dislike discussing on small blogs, for a good reason...

edit: 2 hours until I can make another thread.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Too much in "Why economists are wrong" to sufficiently respond. I worked in an Amazon Fulfillment Center and so much of what I read in your link was swirling around my head as I contemplated everything I was experiencing there. You've certainly presented a set of arguments worthy of consideration. Thank you again.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Haha, thank you for the positive feedback. If people don't respond I generally assume an argument was ineffective and avoid repeating it.

I recently read about the "warehouse for online retailer" environment (http://motherjones.com/print/161491) and you may have noticed I mentioned it in my recent arguments~ but still, not convincing enough! Thank you again for positive feedback.

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Or else you could assume that nobody has an adequate counter-argument. The Amazon story has just begun. I worked in the Breinigsville, Pa. warehouse that received national attention after the Morning Call published its expose. I was one of the inside informants. Spoke with Seattle Times reporters as well and my own first piece will be published this fall.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

I was thinking I should concentrate on four... make that five points (other than pre-emptively countering arguments about "everyone needs a college degree" and so on):

  • rate of change - can happen faster than people expect
  • work week, or amount of work done, comes before fixing economic inequality, not after
  • information saturation, both for ideas and for education/college. creating information vs filtering information; costs of replicating information or accessing it and effects of the internet. In some areas (drug patents, technology) creating information is still difficult
  • work conservation (?not very clear..) can happen by working fewer days instead of worrying about hours. Social responsibility, similar to case of German currency/scrip creation to boost velocity of money.
  • right to work - working more than the minimum only if the business cannot hire more workers at a reasonable wage. in practice will not apply when low wage rates mean someone needs to work more to afford basic needs, or people who simply want to work more

And another point later on in my notes:

key point is no discrimination allowed for time worked, only on not fulfilling responsibilities. shift in ideas about work week allows pressure on corporations after legislative changes, even without requiring corporations give the option (too much interference). trust corporations to follow the national mood, boycotts etc. moral imperative.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

I certainly agree with lessening the work week. I question the possibility for your other points to be adequately implemented simply because we currently don't seem to have any sense of social responsibility, and I'm talking every rung of the economic ladder. We're not making the necessary connections (this is why I believe our educational system is not working. A problem that money can't fix). We have lost the reasoning and ability to recognize that we even belong to a society. "Trust corporations to follow the national mood, boycotts etc. moral imperative." There are very few people I trust anymore -- corporations? Are you kidding? I've seen how people change and do things they never imagined they would because they were focused solely on numbers. It's frightening. The problem is in our hearts, sounds so childish, and something is keeping us apart. Marx's concept of alienation -- that's where he truly understood the plight of the worker and the ills of capitalism. And I attribute many of our problems to this universally-experienced dead end.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

There are very few people I trust anymore -- corporations? Are you kidding?

The post I eventually ended up making that incorporated those points is here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/work-conservation-is-the-solution-to-the-global-re/

This is especially relevant: 64% would choose cutting government spending over raising taxes on corporations despite that only 4% think that corporations use savings from tax cuts to hire more workers.

I think this is an example of corporate priorities: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/business/apples-tax-strategy-aims-at-low-tax-states-and-nations.html?pagewanted=all

It describes how Apple, the company that makes all the beloved iProducts at such high profit margins, feels it is unnecessary to pay taxes to the government. Their ~$100b in savings is because it's all offshore in tax havens, and to distribute as dividends or anything it would require bringing it to the US where it would be taxed.

But the reason that corporations feel justified in doing things like that is that most people think the government spends too much money, so more tax revenue would just be "wasted". "Most people", of course, includes those in Apple's corporate management. If people can agree on work conservation, instead of trying to solve the problem through government welfare, then corporations might very well go along with it.

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

People are poor because propoganda on how this nation got rich, (off slavery, of course) continues to feed into these myths of people not wanting to have better lives. Throughout the history of this country if a nation within a nation creates wealth for itself, the powers that be enter and destroy that measure and means of success.. Read New World Order, written in the 1990. It told exactly what is taking place today. People are poor, because society believes and follows what they are told by the mongers while the mongers continue with the Bull shyt of lies, deception, and manipulation and oppression of the masses.
The rich live, follow the rules of self preservation, by any means necessary, even murder, while the poor suffer and die. This is not a mystery!

[-] 0 points by Reneye (118) 2 years ago

Great post! This is the direct kind of talk we need right now!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I understand where you are coming from. But I dont think that apathy should be categorized with stupid.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

In a survey of faculty at the University of Nebraska, 68% rated themselves in the top 25% for teaching ability.[13]

In a similar survey, 87% of MBA students at Stanford University rated their academic performance as above the median.[14]

A survey was attached to the SAT exams (taken by approximately one million students per year), asking the students to rate themselves relative to the median of the sample (rather than the average peer) on a number of vague positive characteristics. In ratings of leadership ability, 70% of the students put themselves above the median. In ability to get on well with others, 85% put themselves above the median, and 25% rated themselves in the top 1%.

Svenson (1981) surveyed 161 students in Sweden and the United States, asking them to compare their driving safety and skill to the other people in the experiment. For driving skill, 93% of the US sample and 69% of the Swedish sample put themselves in the top 50% (above the median). For safety, 88% of the US group and 77% of the Swedish sample put themselves in the top 50%.[25]

Stupid is the right word.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I dont see the connection with this study to being politically active.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Do you have a better explanation for why the poor and unemployed are less likely to vote, despite having the greatest potential utility from doing so? From the original thread:

Most people think they're above average, although some cultures are different. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds, since competence is often difficult to measure, but it has important implications for economic inequality in a democracy. While you may think you deserve more money (unless you're already part of the top 1%), you probably think that other people who are just as poor as you don't deserve anything from the government at all.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I have to say that after talking to a lot of people in a very poor community I just got done working in, they realize that these two parties have no intention of serving them or anyone else, for that matter.

I agree with them 100% on the idiocy of voting for Dems or Reps, but I would like to see more emphasis on creating new options.

I suppose maybe when the current system is rigged towards the rich, that the poorer one is the less likely they are to participate?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

FYI: http://occupywallst.org/forum/work-conservation-is-the-solution-to-the-global-re/

Public approval of Congress remains very low and they are widely seen to represent the interests of the rich, but the truth is that until now no one has offered a solution to the economic recession that the entire nation can support.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 2 years ago

Thank you for your reasonable response. I will try to work it into argument(s).

[-] 2 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

We all bow down to you, thee of superior intellect. Why would I bother to offer counterarguments to the puddle of puke you posted? I shit on your piss, I piss on your shit, we are friends again. You have the gall to call all poor people stupid or lazy. Who the fuck are you? You got wherever you are with no help from anyone, right? Pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps?

[-] 1 points by EndGluttony (507) 2 years ago

Lucky for you you're smarter than everyone else.