Blue Crab

Poor People's Lives Matter

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We've seen in umpteen threads that we can't discuss racial issues long before the name-calling starts. That pretty much ends any reasonable discussion, such as it ever was reasonable between the hard core left and right types. Although I hear there are "good people" on both sides, I doubt there are good people at any extreme positions. And when it comes to black and white that distinction may be the only real difference.

I propose that we reorganize our thoughts away from that distinction, and focus our energies on how to fix our shared issues. We have poor people of every color. They all have many issues in common. Crime, for example. I don't hear of many rich kids in trouble in the urban areas so we might conclude it's a poor issue. If there's more black crime in a certain area it might be simply that there are more black poor in that area. Ditto with the Hispanics and the trailer trash who outnumber and out-privilege all the others combined, I believe.

I'd like to read some some fixes for what's really wrong here, and it's not skin color.

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Education.

Betsy will have it fixed soon.....real soon.

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Scapegoating the lower class isn’t helping much, and allowing enormous companies to escape taxation, on both a federal and state level, isn’t helping to repair & maintain our schools, transportation or judicial systems. 

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Stephanie Kelton and MMT

Decades of money flowing up and piss trickling down are leading to some very different proposals.  People that have something to lose are much less likely to take stupid risks. (my opinion)

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To me, one of the major problems is mobility.  There's a common refrain - move to where the jobs are.  Ok.. But what does that actually mean?

The job growth is in selective areas, not necessarily broad based.  There are certain cities that are booming - and vast numbers that are just treading water.  Lets look at the practical aspects of moving, to say a boom town.  Rents are 2K / month and up.  Rental deposits are often 1st months rent - another 2k.  Rent a Uhaul and move yourself?  1K.  So just to pack up and move costs $5,000.

Say you get a job at the 'new minimum wage' of $15 /hr.  That's about 350 hours of work - or your first two months - just to pay for the first months rent, deposit, and moving expense.   You've bought no food, paid no utilities, nothing and you now owe the 2nd months rent again.  A third month to pay the rent for the 2nd month and the 3rd month!

That's the poverty trap in a nutshell. Thats why the number one predictor of wealth and success are ZIP CODE.  Not intelligence.  Not skin color.  Not college major.  Not work ethic.   ZIP CODE.  That's what determines wealth for the average American.  That's a root of poverty.  50 years ago, you COULD pack up your family and move.  Now, you cant.  And with loss of mobility came loss of the American dream.

Is it possible to escape?  Sure.  Is that possible for the 'average' Joe?  Forget about it. 

 

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7 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Education.

Betsy will have it fixed soon.....real soon.

I gotta tell ya I was hoping for a thoughtful conversation rather than the same ol same ol.

But since you brought it up, Education is damn sure part of the problem but not in the way I think most think. Obviously Betsy was picked for a political plum, and that's how it goes in politics. I think we've seen over my lifetime that the original school model is long past it's use by date. And I think it very clear that many poor children are not ready for school when the powers that be says they should be. Now there's a real problem you can put a finger on, and not a Fickle Federal Finger. This is it takes-a-local-village country. What we know is that many Anglo kids arrive at school better prepared than other groups. How can we help the others with preparation? Obviously this has nothing to do with Education per se or teachers.

I can go on but I want to insult PhillySailor.

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2 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

I gotta tell ya I was hoping for a thoughtful conversation rather than the same ol same ol.

But since you brought it up, Education is damn sure part of the problem but not in the way I think most think. Obviously Betsy was picked for a political plum, and that's how it goes in politics. I think we've seen over my lifetime that the original school model is long past it's use by date. And I think it very clear that many poor children are not ready for school when the powers that be says they should be. Now there's a real problem you can put a finger on, and not a Fickle Federal Finger. This is it takes-a-local-village country. What we know is that many Anglo kids arrive at school better prepared than other groups. How can we help the others with preparation? Obviously this has nothing to do with Education per se or teachers.

I can go on but I want to insult PhillySailor.

For someone wanting a thoughtful conversation you haven't tried very hard.....  just sayin

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20 minutes ago, phillysailor said:

Scapegoating the lower class isn’t helping much, and allowing enormous companies to escape taxation, on both a federal and state level, isn’t helping to repair & maintain our schools, transportation or judicial systems. 

What a stupid post from a usually observant poster.

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5 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

For someone wanting a thoughtful conversation you haven't tried very hard.....  just sayin

I don't think you can back that up.

Edit: to save you time D', I'll stipulate I've said many dumbshit things on here, drunk and sober and trolling, and have used dialect for humor at times and doubtless have ingrained attitudes from growing up but not from my parents.

I'm not in anyone's chorus. I grew up with Hispanics in SoCal and I still like them.

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19 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

I don't think you can back that up.

Edit: to save you time D', I'll stipulate I've said many dumbshit things on here, drunk and sober and trolling, and have used dialect for humor at times and doubtless have ingrained attitudes from growing up but not from my parents.

I'm not in anyone's chorus. I grew up with Hispanics in SoCal and I still like them.

Hey, I like you and would really like to see a good conversation about this.  I took a short hiatus from here and decided to see if I can contribute and participate in a positive manner, thus the little dig.  Don't give up, well, I may give up but thought I would give it the old college try. Will see how it goes. 

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34 minutes ago, cmilliken said:

To me, one of the major problems is mobility.  There's a common refrain - move to where the jobs are.  Ok.. But what does that actually mean?

The job growth is in selective areas, not necessarily broad based.  There are certain cities that are booming - and vast numbers that are just treading water.  Lets look at the practical aspects of moving, to say a boom town.  Rents are 2K / month and up.  Rental deposits are often 1st months rent - another 2k.  Rent a Uhaul and move yourself?  1K.  So just to pack up and move costs $5,000.

Say you get a job at the 'new minimum wage' of $15 /hr.  That's about 350 hours of work - or your first two months - just to pay for the first months rent, deposit, and moving expense.   You've bought no food, paid no utilities, nothing and you now owe the 2nd months rent again.  A third month to pay the rent for the 2nd month and the 3rd month!

That's the poverty trap in a nutshell. Thats why the number one predictor of wealth and success are ZIP CODE.  Not intelligence.  Not skin color.  Not college major.  Not work ethic.   ZIP CODE.  That's what determines wealth for the average American.  That's a root of poverty.  50 years ago, you COULD pack up your family and move.  Now, you cant.  And with loss of mobility came loss of the American dream.

Is it possible to escape?  Sure.  Is that the 'average'?  Not even close. 

 

Correcto. The reference to MMT from D' was worth a read. All new stuff for me about money/funding.

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

Correcto. The reference to MMT from D' was worth a read. All new stuff for me about money/funding.

Yea.  A few years ago, Random or Mikewof, I don't recall right now which, sort of pushed MMT on this board. 

I get the idea but to me, it seems to inevitably lead to either price controls or printing money.

The authors use the example of the Government always having money for the military when they need it.  Think about that a second - you're using MILITARY FUNDING as the template for ALL government expenditure.  Serious?  The whole government should operate that way?  You REALLY think THAT'S a good idea? 

I get the appeal.  It's HUGELY hypocritical to blow a bunch of money on weapon systems that will never get used, or bases that we'll never need, while people suffer.  It's INCREDIBLY hypocritical.  But I'd personally rather fight the battle of cutting the military than doubling down and using it as the benchmark.

 

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I just saw an article on Kelton yesterday (couldn't find it so posted what I could find) and the theory about a job for everyone that wants one has some merit - working? paying taxes. Living wage? spending money which boosts the economy.  I am not smart enough to understand it to a Woofsey level but one thing I know: what we are and have been doing is not working.  Time to consider something different. 

edit: There are a LOT of poor people in the USA.  You know what makes a poor person really poor? A natural disaster like Harvey - I have months of experience dealing with this and as a wise man said many years ago "when the flood comes, the wet get wetter".  Poor and unhealthy. Lots of folks on disability which is an indictment on the healthcare system. 

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:
1 hour ago, phillysailor said:

Scapegoating the lower class isn’t helping much, and allowing enormous companies to escape taxation, on both a federal and state level, isn’t helping to repair & maintain our schools, transportation or judicial systems. 

What a stupid post from a usually observant poster.

Hey? 

I bring up scapegoating because that seems to be popular, what with attacks on CHIP and food stamps... as if that will make a dent in our bottom line. Even the "welfare state" is just a reflection of how we deal with the poor... we have choices, and only one of them is to dole out money via the system we have now. But continuing to demonize the poor for their plight is neither constructive nor will it make good policy, although it might help win a couple of elections in a polarizing kind of way.

As far as taxes, one great leveler of societies is the funding, and maintenance of good, reliable transportation that is extremely affordable... meaning ALWAYS running at a "loss." This thing we have for government programs always making money never seems to make sense to me... why should they get us both to pay the start up & operating costs, and then we have to pay for a profit as well? Just supply the service, and serve the people: that's the fucking job of government. In this case, it allows the poor to get to work on time, without making the commute prohibitive in terms of time or expense. The rest of society can enjoy the convenience, and the roads are faster, get less use as a plus.

The large multinational corporations, Fortune 500 types, are offshoring upwards of $2.5 Trillion dollars to escape US taxes, and we can argue ad nauseam about how much to charge them, but allowing this current situation ain't helping fix Alabama schools or streamline our immigration courts. We do our working poor a disservice by expecting them to compete on a "level playing field" with my kids when it ain't fair at all.

The rest is other stupid stuff from a dumb librul.

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Yep and yep. Im ready for a real hard look at the military. If the ultra weapons we have now aren't enough, having a million boots on the ground wont be worth much either. Better the money used where we need it.

The only reason for many bases in the states is pork barrel politics. I think the whole country is sick of business as usual.

The bases could be repurposed as prisons, schools, homeless housing, and whatnot.

 

 

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A little explication would have helped that other post but those are all good points. Transport is a basic need. And the other stuff too. 

If we had the leadership for it, I'd have nothing against seizing those big corps property to recoup the people's swindled taxes. Nothing punitive but if money was made here, it gets taxed here. Fair is fair.

We.need.politics for the people.  That would be a big change, eh?

 

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You sound like a lefty dreamer. :D

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4 hours ago, cmilliken said:

To me, one of the major problems is mobility.  There's a common refrain - move to where the jobs are.  Ok.. But what does that actually mean?

The job growth is in selective areas, not necessarily broad based.  There are certain cities that are booming - and vast numbers that are just treading water.  Lets look at the practical aspects of moving, to say a boom town.  Rents are 2K / month and up.  Rental deposits are often 1st months rent - another 2k.  Rent a Uhaul and move yourself?  1K.  So just to pack up and move costs $5,000.

Say you get a job at the 'new minimum wage' of $15 /hr.  That's about 350 hours of work - or your first two months - just to pay for the first months rent, deposit, and moving expense.   You've bought no food, paid no utilities, nothing and you now owe the 2nd months rent again.  A third month to pay the rent for the 2nd month and the 3rd month!

That's the poverty trap in a nutshell. Thats why the number one predictor of wealth and success are ZIP CODE.  Not intelligence.  Not skin color.  Not college major.  Not work ethic.   ZIP CODE.  That's what determines wealth for the average American.  That's a root of poverty.  50 years ago, you COULD pack up your family and move.  Now, you cant.  And with loss of mobility came loss of the American dream.

Is it possible to escape?  Sure.  Is that possible for the 'average' Joe?  Forget about it. 

 

Why not? I moved. 2200 Miles. Miss the family? All the time.

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58 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Why not? I moved. 2200 Miles. Miss the family? All the time.

I moved 800 miles and they all followed me.

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6 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

What a stupid post from a usually observant poster.

He has a good point about corporate taxation though. It cuts to the problem you mentioned. Think about it ...

In Eisenhower's era, 50% of our government's operating expenses came from corporate taxation, the other half from individuals. Today it's only about 15% from corporations. But the corporate interest in where their taxes are spent are very different than individuals. The corporation benefits from taxes spent in inner city schools because it economically trains a workforce that they need. Abject poverty doesn't benefit the corporation, they need working class consumers and employees.

But with individuals, their taxes spent to move people from the poverty class to the working class is something of a threat. That's money that isn't spent in suburban schools, or infrastructure in broke-ass areas. 

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2 hours ago, Ishmael said:

I moved 800 miles and they all followed me.

They're like raccoons - just stop feeding them and they go away.

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6 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

Yep and yep. Im ready for a real hard look at the military. If the ultra weapons we have now aren't enough, having a million boots on the ground wont be worth much either. Better the money used where we need it.

The only reason for many bases in the states is pork barrel politics. I think the whole country is sick of business as usual.

The bases could be repurposed as prisons, schools, homeless housing, and whatnot.

It's a good idea, but it isn't reality. Our country is built on the military, we're not going to change that. The military is entrenched in this country in a way that makes the banks look superfluous. The only chance is to dual-purpose our military, give those people, those locations  and some of the equipment a peacetime job to improve our economy.

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45 minutes ago, mikewof said:

The corporation benefits from taxes spent in inner city schools because it economically trains a workforce that they need. Abject poverty doesn't benefit the corporation, they need working class consumers and employees.

That assumes they are smart enough to see past the end of the next fiscal quarter.

Most of them aren't.

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Just now, mikewof said:

It's a good idea, but it isn't reality. Our country is built on the military, we're not going to change that. The military is entrenched in this country in a way that makes the banks look superfluous. The only chance is to dual-purpose our military, give those people, those locations  and some of the equipment a peacetime job to improve our economy.

Put a whole lot more of the military budget into the Corps of Engineers instead of fancier new toys.

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1 minute ago, SloopJonB said:

That assumes they are smart enough to see past the end of the next fiscal quarter.

Most of them aren't.

Yeah, blame the Harvard Business School model of short term profits over long term profits. The benefits of short term profit taking has been drummed into our heads, and it's killing us.

But we're seeing the benefits from Asia's long-term profit model, and we're gradually educating ourselves.

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2 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Put a whole lot more of the military budget into the Corps of Engineers instead of fancier new toys.

Maybe, but ACE is real good at building unneeded infrastructure too. The American West is scattered with water projects that were often built for the purpose of being built, and then the water needs to be subsidized the justify the use.

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7 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Maybe, but ACE is real good at building unneeded infrastructure too. The American West is scattered with water projects that were often built for the purpose of being built, and then the water needs to be subsidized the justify the use.

That's just a management issue.

Probably pork.

 

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10 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Yeah, blame the Harvard Business School model of short term profits over long term profits.

I have been - since the 80's when it really started to take hold.

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9 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

 

I'd like to read some some fixes for what's really wrong here, and it's not skin color.

human nature. no fixes, only theories.

you're welcome.

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7 hours ago, d'ranger said:

Lots of folks on disability which is an indictment on the healthcare system. 

it's also an indictment on certain lifestyle choices.

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Not much to add but I am encouraged by the discussion here with the tuk tuks and the svairlie type shit-spewers locked out (disinterested). If only the troll types at legislative and executive levels could be discouraged from participating for a few "threads" in DC we might get some decent changes made.

 

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6 hours ago, SloopJonB said:
6 hours ago, mikewof said:

Maybe, but ACE is real good at building unneeded infrastructure too. The American West is scattered with water projects that were often built for the purpose of being built, and then the water needs to be subsidized the justify the use.

That's just a management issue.

Probably pork.

That's a bit harsh...... there are many large-scale ACE water projects that have made farms and neighborhoods possible in areas that were desert before. They may well have looked at the success of those projects and said, "hey let's do it more."

It may also be that those projects simply have not attracted the population to justify them, yet.

-DSK

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4 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

That's a bit harsh...... there are many large-scale ACE water projects that have made farms and neighborhoods possible in areas that were desert before. They may well have looked at the success of those projects and said, "hey let's do it more."

It may also be that those projects simply have not attracted the population to justify them, yet.

-DSK

When my dad was a boy, turning the Everglades into farms and neighborhoods seemed to almost all sensible people to be the only logical thing to do.

Turns out to have been a terrible idea that's hard to undo.

Greening the desert may be the same.

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6 hours ago, 3to1 said:

human nature. no fixes, only theories.

you're welcome.

No thanks. We're looking for open minds and new ideas here. 

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

That's a bit harsh...... there are many large-scale ACE water projects that have made farms and neighborhoods possible in areas that were desert before. They may well have looked at the success of those projects and said, "hey let's do it more."

It may also be that those projects simply have not attracted the population to justify them, yet.

-DSK

Some ACE projects have been incredible successes, some not. It's a machine that needs to keep feeding though. Many of those Western.dams are ready for removal or need to be removed. In general, the work they do east of the Mississippi is less politically motivated, more about a specific need. But out West, water IS politics.

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8 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I have been - since the 80's when it really started to take hold.

Yep, we had a visiting prof from Harvard Business School while I was overseas.  He was pushing the "If it's not explicitly forbidden, it is permitted" line of thought.

I pointed out that that would require a whole lot more laws, courts and lawyers than simple community agreement on what was moral behavior with social punishment rather than criminal or civil court.

He pointed  out that I couldn't prove that.  I agreed but told him that time would.

 

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15 hours ago, phillysailor said:

Hey? 

I bring up scapegoating because that seems to be popular, what with attacks on CHIP and food stamps... as if that will make a dent in our bottom line. Even the "welfare state" is just a reflection of how we deal with the poor... we have choices, and only one of them is to dole out money via the system we have now. But continuing to demonize the poor for their plight is neither constructive nor will it make good policy, although it might help win a couple of elections in a polarizing kind of way.

As far as taxes, one great leveler of societies is the funding, and maintenance of good, reliable transportation that is extremely affordable... meaning ALWAYS running at a "loss." This thing we have for government programs always making money never seems to make sense to me... why should they get us both to pay the start up & operating costs, and then we have to pay for a profit as well? Just supply the service, and serve the people: that's the fucking job of government. In this case, it allows the poor to get to work on time, without making the commute prohibitive in terms of time or expense. The rest of society can enjoy the convenience, and the roads are faster, get less use as a plus.

The large multinational corporations, Fortune 500 types, are offshoring upwards of $2.5 Trillion dollars to escape US taxes, and we can argue ad nauseam about how much to charge them, but allowing this current situation ain't helping fix Alabama schools or streamline our immigration courts. We do our working poor a disservice by expecting them to compete on a "level playing field" with my kids when it ain't fair at all.

The rest is other stupid stuff from a dumb librul.

To the bolded part, Philly - I suspect that we have different ideas about what that means.  I think that there's no way that people who are stuck in generational poverty will ever be able to lift themselves out of that cycle unless they're helped to understand the behaviors and external factors that have kept them stuck in that cycle, and to understand the choices that they CAN make to help themselves break out of that cycle.  I don't think that this is "demonizing the poor for their plight", but, the idea that someone who's poor is largely responsible for their own personal outcomes seems to be anathema to many.    I *was* poor - we got food stamps, I lived in the projects for a while, and until I got laid off when a program ended in 2010, I'd been unemployed for a total of about 4 months since I was 14 years old.  So - I'm not sitting on high saying - "You people should" - I'm sitting where I am now and saying " I did - you can too".   To me - that's pragmatic recognition, not demonizing. 

Public transit?  yeah - we are greatly lagging in that regard.  I'd LOVE to be able to use public transit for my 92 mile commute - there isn't any. 

Your point w/r/t offshoring and hiding capital is valid - and one of the things we ought to address thru tax policy and banking controls.  

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15 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

Yep and yep. Im ready for a real hard look at the military. If the ultra weapons we have now aren't enough, having a million boots on the ground wont be worth much either. Better the money used where we need it.

The only reason for many bases in the states is pork barrel politics. I think the whole country is sick of business as usual.

The bases could be repurposed as prisons, schools, homeless housing, and whatnot.

I've said it before - and will continue to beat this drum (and I'm a guy who wore a uniform for 29 years) - we need to consolidate all our military branches into one US Defense Force - keeping the best of breed for each capability that we project needing for the future of defense, and eliminating the duplication and inter-service competition for budget and bodies.  Why do we need separate logistics, comms, medical, training, transportation systems repeated across all 4 branches of the military?  Think about the efficiencies we'd gain in our ability to project forces - This is an area that we can really get a win for the military, and a win for the taxpayer, if we can overcome the inertia of tradition. 

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Ya know I totally agree, Guy.

On these hidden taxes thing, I'd love to see some public shaming get started on social media wrt the big corporate cheaters. People buying sports stadiums can afford to pay taxes.

We need the people back in charge. 

Some good news on the missing black leadership. I read somewhere there are 5 blacks running for governorships. 

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56 minutes ago, Saorsa said:

 He was pushing the "If it's not explicitly forbidden, it is permitted" line of thought.

Sounds like Smokey Yunick talking about the auto racing rules.

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35 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I've said it before - and will continue to beat this drum (and I'm a guy who wore a uniform for 29 years) - we need to consolidate all our military branches into one US Defense Force - keeping the best of breed for each capability that we project needing for the future of defense, and eliminating the duplication and inter-service competition for budget and bodies.  Why do we need separate logistics, comms, medical, training, transportation systems repeated across all 4 branches of the military?  Think about the efficiencies we'd gain in our ability to project forces - This is an area that we can really get a win for the military, and a win for the taxpayer, if we can overcome the inertia of tradition. 

We did that years ago - "one uniform" for all the military. It sounds like an extremely sensible and logical thing to do.

It made little fiscal difference and had a negative effect on morale. They went back to branch uniforms a while back.

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2 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

We did that years ago - "one uniform" for all the military. It sounds like an extremely sensible and logical thing to do.

It made little fiscal difference and had a negative effect on morale. They went back to branch uniforms a while back.

I honestly didn't know that - if you've got any articles describing that, I'd be very interested in reading those.  I can see a short decline in morale, if the consolidation is treated as a "taking away" rather than being part of creating something new, but, if that perpetuates beyond 2 years?  That would make me look for a leadership failure. 

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17 hours ago, d'ranger said:

Lots of folks on disability which is an indictment on the healthcare system. 

It's an indictment on our employment practices - both the inability and unwillingess of businsses to understand what they need and the willingness of business to externalize safety and health effects to the rest of society, lack of social mobility, and absence of a better social safety net. Not so much the healthcare system.

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7 minutes ago, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

It's an indictment on our employment practices - both the inability and unwillingess of businsses to understand what they need and the willingness of business to externalize safety and health effects to the rest of society, lack of social mobility, and absence of a better social safety net. Not so much the healthcare system.

It's also a societal indictment when "getting on disability" is seen by a significant some to be a worthy aspiration. 

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4 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:
4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

That's a bit harsh...... there are many large-scale ACE water projects that have made farms and neighborhoods possible in areas that were desert before. They may well have looked at the success of those projects and said, "hey let's do it more."

It may also be that those projects simply have not attracted the population to justify them, yet.

-DSK

When my dad was a boy, turning the Everglades into farms and neighborhoods seemed to almost all sensible people to be the only logical thing to do.

Turns out to have been a terrible idea that's hard to undo.

Greening the desert may be the same.

I'd agree..... I don't live there.

I had relatives that lived in Southern California....... loved it and were always proselytizing others to move there. They were of the elk whom always thinks the dadgum gubbermint fucks up everything, wastes our money, blah blah blah; totally unaware of the fact that the feddy-rull gubbermint build the water system they depended on at huge cost not just in dollars, bringing snow melt from literally over a hundred miles away. The male half of this couple was very fond of pointing out how stupid the Spanish were to give up this awesome land, and how under their jurisdiction it was nothing but a parched desert etc etc etc....... the dots never connected for him (or her either).

Personally, I would not have a big problem with letting California turn back into desert, letting the Mississipi take it's natural course, etc etc. But the people who live there have a vote too, they may not like it. OTOH it's been well proven that some politicians can convince people to vote themselves into all sorts of horrible situations.

-DSK

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Only to the DNC.... LBJs "The Great Society" has been an abysmal failure by every measure...other than the giant black hole of vote collections

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3 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Not sure I understand the intent of your response... 

4 of the 5 countys with the highest % of workers on disability are  in Appalachia per data linked. There is little  else economically available in those regions. At the last election Mrs. Clinton suggested the correct answer - they need to move for work - and was pilloried. Her opponent made bald face lies about "bringing coal back". Lies sell, we doubled down on failure.

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Just now, Mismoyled Jiblet. said:

4 of the 5 countys with the highest % of workers on disability are  in Appalachia per data linked. There is little  else economically available in those regions. At the last election Mrs. Clinton suggested the correct answer - they need to move for work - and was pilloried. Her opponent made bald face lies about "bringing coal back". Lies sell, we doubled down on failure.

Thanks for the explanation - as it initially sounded like you were advocating for disability in deference to otherwise capable individuals making the changes necessary to enable an improvement in their personal situations.   

I know several people in/from Appalachia - and IMHO, their refusal to consider a reality outside Grundy,VA is the primary factor responsible for their economic condition. There are indeed many of an older generation who don't have the health, academic ability or physical energy to make the change, and it's going to be a tough time for them.  I don't see anything except dependence in the future for folks like that.  That said - the younger generation coming up? They need to be told what life has in store for them and be taught what they need to do to be prepared to take care of themselves.   

 

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3 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I've said it before - and will continue to beat this drum (and I'm a guy who wore a uniform for 29 years) - we need to consolidate all our military branches into one US Defense Force - keeping the best of breed for each capability that we project needing for the future of defense, and eliminating the duplication and inter-service competition for budget and bodies.  Why do we need separate logistics, comms, medical, training, transportation systems repeated across all 4 branches of the military?  Think about the efficiencies we'd gain in our ability to project forces - This is an area that we can really get a win for the military, and a win for the taxpayer, if we can overcome the inertia of tradition. 

Look what it's saving us to get all branches to use the same fighter/attack aircraft.

OH, wait.

Perhaps in 20 years or so it would end inter-service rivalry but, I doubt it.  The best thing to do would be to get rid of the Air Force.

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1 minute ago, Saorsa said:

Look what it's saving us to get all branches to use the same fighter/attack aircraft.

OH, wait.

Perhaps in 20 years or so it would end inter-service rivalry but, I doubt it.  The best thing to do would be to get rid of the Air Force.

There are several factors impacting that - and a "one size fits all" approach is largely responsible.  a 1/2" open end wrench is a cheap commodity.  so's a 12MM.  a wrench w/a 1/2" box end on one end and a 12MM on the other?  

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4 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I honestly didn't know that - if you've got any articles describing that, I'd be very interested in reading those.  I can see a short decline in morale, if the consolidation is treated as a "taking away" rather than being part of creating something new, but, if that perpetuates beyond 2 years?  That would make me look for a leadership failure. 

It was done back in the 60's - it was called Unification.

The morale issue never really went away - the Air Force and Navy wanted their blue uniforms all along.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unification_of_the_Canadian_Armed_Forces

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2 hours ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Only to the DNC.... LBJs "The Great Society" has been an abysmal failure by every measure...other than the giant black hole of vote collections

Bullshit - learn some history.

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Just now, SloopJonB said:

It was done back in the 60's - it was called Unification.

The morale issue never really went away - the Air Force and Navy wanted their blue uniforms all along.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unification_of_the_Canadian_Armed_Forces

Thanks for that - I'm interested in finding out whether or not the military leadership were really behind it, or giving the idea grudging support.  

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2 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

There are indeed many of an older generation who don't have the health, academic ability or physical energy to make the change, and it's going to be a tough time for them.  I don't see anything except dependence in the future for folks like that. 

It's the same elsewhere too. For some of them the health & physical energy are tied to how their former employer worked them - if you work 20 years of a job that ruins your body so there's nothing left, imo, I see that as the employer externalizing the costs of it's business practices. Business practices being things like policy requiring multiple people to lift heavy objects, but only scheduling and allocating payroll so there's one person on the clock.

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Just now, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Thanks for that - I'm interested in finding out whether or not the military leadership were really behind it, or giving the idea grudging support.  

They weren't and didn't. It was the politicians trying to save money.

I suspect the Air Force & Navy brass didn't like it because it would tend to emphasize the fact that they are always fundamentally supporting players to the Army.

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1 minute ago, SloopJonB said:

They weren't and didn't. It was the politicians trying to save money.

I see - I do believe that the savings would be a benefit for the nation as a whole, AND the military - but, that the increased efficiencies would allow for more precise development of military capabilities, and a higher level of training and readiness overall.   I can also understand that overcoming the inertia of tradition would be difficult for some - but, we can't continue to spend like we are on duplicate capabilities.  If we just try slashing budgets?  Everyone loses. 

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15 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 a higher level of training and readiness overall.  

I think that was the idea but it didn't work out the way it was hoped.

Fighter pilots, ship gunners and muddy boot grunts all need different skills and there wasn't enough overlap to make the big difference that was expected.

Personally, I think cutting way back on the military staffing levels and creating a much higher level of "soldier" would be the way to go - an Army of Special Forces and Seal Teams.

Particularly here since our military is so small - it can't ever be much more that a bit of an assist for the States and the rest of NATO.

We do have a long history of punching above our weight though so if they just leaned into that fact they might really have something instead of just being a bit player in conventional military design.

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14 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Thanks for the explanation - as it initially sounded like you were advocating for disability in deference to otherwise capable individuals making the changes necessary to enable an improvement in their personal situations.   

I know several people in/from Appalachia - and IMHO, their refusal to consider a reality outside Grundy,VA is the primary factor responsible for their economic condition. There are indeed many of an older generation who don't have the health, academic ability or physical energy to make the change, and it's going to be a tough time for them.  I don't see anything except dependence in the future for folks like that.  That said - the younger generation coming up? They need to be told what life has in store for them and be taught what they need to do to be prepared to take care of themselves.   

 

My father turned those people into homeowners and made money doing it. I'm continuing his work. Just owner-financed a home this month for people who had absolutely no shot at home ownership. They don't own it free and clear yet and that may never happen, but most of the time they do end up owning it.

I've given up explaining the "hows and whys" of finance. They don't get it and won't. They do, however, have the ability to execute simple instructions. So yesterday I wrote those people an email telling them exactly what they need to do to refinance with a bank some years from now and pay us off. I think the wife is smart and determined enough to do it. The house is a POS but the property is very nice, several acres in a gated community. If they own it free and clear in 15 years, it will be worth quite a bit.

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16 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I think that was the idea but it didn't work out the way it was hoped.

Fighter pilots, ship gunners and muddy boot grunts all need different skills and there wasn't enough overlap to make the big difference that was expected.

Personally, I think cutting way back on the military staffing levels and creating a much higher level of "soldier" would be the way to go - an Army of Special Forces and Seal Teams.

Particularly here since our military is so small - it can't ever be much more that a bit of an assist for the States and the rest of NATO.

We do have a long history of punching above our weight though so if they just leaned into that fact they might really have something instead of just being a bit player in conventional military design.

Perhaps I oughta start another thread - but, I'm really interested in this topic.  Do you think that the attitudinal changes between then and now would change how such an effort was perceived and executed?   I've been retired since 2012, but my son-in-law is still active duty, and his colleagues, and several of the senior officers I work with professionally have responded positively to the discussion, though there are some naysayers.  Those folks echo what you mention as the reasons they oppose the idea.  Perhaps I ought to take a month and write a high-level plan w/budgets and projections in an attempt to roughly quantify expected benefits/changes.  

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I wasn't all that long ago that they got their individual uniforms back but I don't really know if they were "de-unified" or if they just went back to branch uniforms.

There's lots of stuff on the Web about it but I've never been interested enough to get into it.

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On 5/21/2018 at 10:19 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

It's also a societal indictment when "getting on disability" is seen by a significant some to be a worthy aspiration. 

You know, I try not to read who writes something before I read it, to avoid bias. But I saw this and KNEW who wrote it. Do you have ANYTHING, a shred of evidence that this is true beyond some brother-in-laws cousin 2nd hand story? 

Specifically that “getting on disability” is seen as a worthy aspiration. 

Such drivel. It’s beneath you.

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I've known people like that but they are so few it's insignificant.

My dad told me that a neighbour - the father of one of my schoolmates - had told him his ambition was to pay off his mortgage so he could afford to go on welfare.

That was in the 60's so it's nothing new.

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16 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I've known people like that but they are so few it's insignificant.

My dad told me that a neighbour - the father of one of my schoolmates - had told him his ambition was to pay off his mortgage so he could afford to go on welfare.

That was in the 60's so it's nothing new.

exactly, there's a slacker here, or there. AGChes makes it sound like it's a majority of the poor. Which of course is absolute drivel. Just more "Get off my lawn" level BS.

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15 hours ago, Raz'r said:

You know, I try not to read who writes something before I read it, to avoid bias. But I saw this and KNEW who wrote it. Do you have ANYTHING, a shred of evidence that this is true beyond some brother-in-laws cousin 2nd hand story? 

Specifically that “getting on disability” is seen as a worthy aspiration. 

Such drivel. It’s beneath you.

You live in a bubble - and immediately dismiss any thought or observation that doesn't comport with your pre-conceived notion of how things are and should be.  I do indeed personally know more than 10 people who, while perfectly capable of working to support themselves, have exaggerated the severity of minor ailments, assigning the source of those to prior working environments in their (mostly successful) attempts to be assigned a Social Security disability percentage.   One of those is the 30 yr old son of one of my land speed racing colleagues, one is a neighbor's son, 2 are former colleagues (college educated programmers from S/E WV who didn't want to be gone from home to work, and decided that disability would let them survive back home) - and the others are family members of people I regularly associate with.   To a person - those individuals are gaming the system because they don't want to expend the personal effort necessary to make it on their own.  

Recognition of this is not an indictment of everyone who has been deemed to be disabled/partially disabled and thus qualifies for SS disability benefits, as I know many more who receive disability benefits who do everything that they can and then some to maintain as much of their ability to take care of themselves as their circumstances permit.   Suggesting that this attitude DOESN'T exist and isn't prevalent in many localities is an indication of your myopia and unwillingness to consider that the people who's opinions you hate might actually be correct in their observations every once in a while. 

 

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14 hours ago, Raz'r said:

exactly, there's a slacker here, or there. AGChes makes it sound like it's a majority of the poor. Which of course is absolute drivel. Just more "Get off my lawn" level BS.

BS Flash - I said that there are places where that attitude is prevalent - not that it's an indictment of the poor - that's YOUR projection, and nothing but. 

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1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

You live in a bubble - and immediately dismiss any thought or observation that doesn't comport with your pre-conceived notion of how things are and should be.  I do indeed personally know more than 10 people who, while perfectly capable of working to support themselves, have exaggerated the severity of minor ailments, assigning the source of those to prior working environments in their (mostly successful) attempts to be assigned a Social Security disability percentage.   One of those is the 30 yr old son of one of my land speed racing colleagues, one is a neighbor's son, 2 are former colleagues (college educated programmers from S/E WV who didn't want to be gone from home to work, and decided that disability would let them survive back home) - and the others are family members of people I regularly associate with.   To a person - those individuals are gaming the system because they don't want to expend the personal effort necessary to make it on their own.  

Recognition of this is not an indictment of everyone who has been deemed to be disabled/partially disabled and thus qualifies for SS disability benefits, as I know many more who receive disability benefits who do everything that they can and then some to maintain as much of their ability to take care of themselves as their circumstances permit.   Suggesting that this attitude DOESN'T exist and isn't prevalent in many localities is an indication of your myopia and unwillingness to consider that the people who's opinions you hate might actually be correct in their observations every once in a while. 

 

Did I say it didn’t exist? Find a study, any study, that shows this is widespread. You “might” find some evidence that this occurs in economically depressed areas, where the alternative is hunger. Then it would be a rational choice. And I understand you live in such an area, which would also explain your anecdotal evidence. Get out of your bubble and you’ll find most Americans are as hardworking as ever.  Just look at hours worked by worker by country. 

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29 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Did I say it didn’t exist? Find a study, any study, that shows this is widespread. You “might” find some evidence that this occurs in economically depressed areas, where the alternative is hunger. Then it would be a rational choice. And I understand you live in such an area, which would also explain your anecdotal evidence. Get out of your bubble and you’ll find most Americans are as hardworking as ever.  Just look at hours worked by worker by country. 

Nice dodge, but, you're right - I live close enough to such an area that I see attitudes like this regularly displayed.  My point in bringing it up isn't to suggest that every person in tough economic conditions thinks like this, but, that if we don't structure things such that self-sufficiency is always better than subsisting on the safety net, that dependence on the safety net will expand exponentially as generations learn that behavior.  I don't think that this is good for anyone, and it's a real and valid concern. 

 

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Intelligence quotient (IQ) distribution. For example, the US military has minimum enlistment standards at about the IQ 85 level or about 16% of the population (52.000.000 million people). There have been two experiments with lowering this to 80 but in both cases , these men could not master soldiering well enough to justify their costs. IQ is a strong statistical predictor of multiple future life outcomes - income, education level, health, even longevity. There are hundreds of studies that confirm these correlations. For sure your education system sucks , unfortunately, education has an insignificant effect on IQ. 

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38 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Nice dodge, but, you're right - I live close enough to such an area that I see attitudes like this regularly displayed.  My point in bringing it up isn't to suggest that every person in tough economic conditions thinks like this, but, that if we don't structure things such that self-sufficiency is always better than subsisting on the safety net, that dependence on the safety net will expand exponentially as generations learn that behavior.  I don't think that this is good for anyone, and it's a real and valid concern. 

 

Here’s how you structure it, but it won’t fly. You index benefits to the cost of living in a local area. No one “lives” on disability here, because they’d have to live in a van. Make it that palatable in low cost areas and you’d see less of it. 

These are rational decisions made by rational people. Address the fundamentals and you’ll see behavior change.

and about this lazy Americans:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/01/08/the-countries-working-the-most-hours-every-year-infographic/amp/

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32 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Here’s how you structure it, but it won’t fly. You index benefits to the cost of living in a local area. No one “lives” on disability here, because they’d have to live in a van. Make it that palatable in low cost areas and you’d see less of it. 

These are rational decisions made by rational people. Address the fundamentals and you’ll see behavior change.

 

No argument from me - that's an equitable approach that would be fair to everyone, and provides the incentive to do better.   

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15 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

No argument from me - that's an equitable approach that would be fair to everyone, and provides the incentive to do better.   

good luck getting that by the Trump base in the red states.

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5 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

good luck getting that by the Trump base in the red states.

Now ain't this a funny turn of events - the blue dog west coaster wishing the avowed conservative luck in getting a benefit reduction thru a Republican congress. 

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9 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Now ain't this a funny turn of events - the blue dog west coaster wishing the avowed conservative luck in getting a benefit reduction thru a Republican congress. 

Have YOU seen any benefit reduction? They couldn't even get the Farm bill through.

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10 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Have YOU seen any benefit reduction? They couldn't even get the Farm bill through.

There's been nothing like you suggested present in any bills that I'm aware of - I'd support it, but, would expect a hue and cry of opposition from the Ds 

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17 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

There's been nothing like you suggested present in any bills that I'm aware of - I'd support it, but, would expect a hue and cry of opposition from the Ds 

check into the Farm bill.....  

 

it's not cost indexing, but was clearly benefit reduction.

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1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

check into the Farm bill.....  

 

it's not cost indexing, but was clearly benefit reduction.

Slight tangent, but, having AFDC in the farm bill isn't an effective combination, IMHO.  As to benefit reduction?   I actually don't want to suggest an across the board reduction in benefits - the folks who are truly dependent are barely scraping by, and harming them as an incentive to get the folks who aren't truly dependent to become self sufficient is just mean and harmful overall.  I *do* think that something like you suggested, indexing benefits to a local cost of living index, framing the benefit system so that someone who is actually improving their condition isn't cutoff completely the day they reach the income threshold + $1?  Those are changes and managed reductions that I would support. 

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25 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Slight tangent, but, having AFDC in the farm bill isn't an effective combination, IMHO.  As to benefit reduction?   I actually don't want to suggest an across the board reduction in benefits - the folks who are truly dependent are barely scraping by, and harming them as an incentive to get the folks who aren't truly dependent to become self sufficient is just mean and harmful overall.  I *do* think that something like you suggested, indexing benefits to a local cost of living index, framing the benefit system so that someone who is actually improving their condition isn't cutoff completely the day they reach the income threshold + $1?  Those are changes and managed reductions that I would support. 

We agree. Of course, you probably know the history of why AFDC is in the food bill...

hint: it was there in order to get farm state votes. Cause it’s more money to food producers...

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33 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

We agree. Of course, you probably know the history of why AFDC is in the food bill...

hint: it was there in order to get farm state votes. Cause it’s more money to food producers...

I do understand the history - doesn't mean that I think it's a good idea to perpetuate it.   I often bring this up this comparison to illustrate what I think of as counter-productive legislation:  sCHIP (State Children's Healthcare Insurance Program) is largely funded by Tobacco taxes, which were enacted as a measure to curb the health impacts of tobacco use.    What happens to sCHIP if/when the tax is successful at curbing smoking to the point that it no longer represents a major public health problem?  They build in a conflict - I understand it, but,  think it's wrong. 

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17 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I do understand the history - doesn't mean that I think it's a good idea to perpetuate it.   I often bring this up this comparison to illustrate what I think of as counter-productive legislation:  sCHIP (State Children's Healthcare Insurance Program) is largely funded by Tobacco taxes, which were enacted as a measure to curb the health impacts of tobacco use.    What happens to sCHIP if/when the tax is successful at curbing smoking to the point that it no longer represents a major public health problem?  They build in a conflict - I understand it, but, don't think it's wrong. 

It might be wrong, but it wouldn't exist in any other way. You could see it as an example of the worst of politics, or the best (tradeoffs)

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9 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Interesting. These guys say there are already local differences due to most welfare systems being state run. And this ain’t no leftie rag:

https://goldwaterinstitute.org/article/the-importance-of-the-cost-of-living-and-policies-to-address-it/

 

 

" The consequence is that highly regulated states also greatly disadvantage those with low and modestly middle-class incomes. This likely helps to explain migration patterns that have long favored southern, low-cost states. With their friendlier policies, it seems that low-cost states are now saying to high-cost states, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

 

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2 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I do understand the history - doesn't mean that I think it's a good idea to perpetuate it.   I often bring this up this comparison to illustrate what I think of as counter-productive legislation:  sCHIP (State Children's Healthcare Insurance Program) is largely funded by Tobacco taxes, which were enacted as a measure to curb the health impacts of tobacco use.    What happens to sCHIP if/when the tax is successful at curbing smoking to the point that it no longer represents a major public health problem?  They build in a conflict - I understand it, but,  think it's wrong. 

Sometimes, you just gotta look the other way while the sausage is being made

1 minute ago, cmilliken said:
12 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Interesting. These guys say there are already local differences due to most welfare systems being state run. And this ain’t no leftie rag:

https://goldwaterinstitute.org/article/the-importance-of-the-cost-of-living-and-policies-to-address-it/

 

 

" The consequence is that highly regulated states also greatly disadvantage those with low and modestly middle-class incomes. This likely helps to explain migration patterns that have long favored southern, low-cost states. With their friendlier policies, it seems that low-cost states are now saying to high-cost states, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Yes, it's interesting that the classic migration pattern has reversed..... been that way for some time.

But invariably, the low-tax, low-regulation places are also the places with the worst income disparity, and the worst quality of life disparity. It makes you wonder why people make the choices that they do.

-DSK

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28 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

But invariably, the low-tax, low-regulation places are also the places with the worst income disparity...

-DSK

https://www.money-rates.com/research-center/income-inequality.htm

That's not what the data says.

 

Worst inequality rank

Worst 10 states

75th percentile income

25th percentile income

$ Difference

Inequality ratio (75th/25th)

1.

New York

$72,360

$26,050

$46,310

2.78

2.

California

$70,380

$25,910

$44,470

2.72

3.

New Jersey

$70,180

$25,850

$44,330

2.71

4.

Maryland

$70,830

$26,280

$44,550

2.70

5.

Illinois

$64,010

$24,060

$39,950

2.66

 

 

Lowest inequality rank

Best 10 states

75th percentile income

25th percentile income

 

$ Difference

Inequality ratio (75th/25th)

1.

South Dakota

$46,700

$23,370

$23,330

2.00

2.

North Dakota

$57,380

$27,920

$29,460

2.06

3.

Vermont

$56,400

$27,150

$29,250

2.08

4.

Maine

$53,240

$24,640

$28,600

2.16

5.

Iowa

$52,170

$23,970

$28,200

2.18

 

 

 

There might be a quality of life issue but in terms of 'income inequality', it's pretty straight forward.

 

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