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A sobering look on the poor in America

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Old
06-14-2014, 01:12 PM
  #301
Lethargic
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
and your magic wand to make this happen is where?

people can't educate themselves if they don't have food to eat, and a place to live.

but sadly, once you give them enough money to eat and live, often they don't have enough incentive to take the hard step of getting an education, and risking losing the subsistence benefits that they get for nothing. its the trap of endless dependency.

Its like the man who encountered Jesus, and said "don't you touch me, I just got on disability"
Evidently public education ain't working either. I remember the tech classes that taught basic electrical work, and building skills.

You are correct with the trap of the system.

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06-14-2014, 02:28 PM
  #302
Led Zappa
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The New York Times ‏@nytimes 28m

The people who would benefit from raising the minimum wage: http://nyti.ms/1iuoVmp pic.twitter.com/61suV0RgPP


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06-14-2014, 04:51 PM
  #303
Sideline
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Originally Posted by Led Zappa View Post
The New York Times ‏@nytimes 28m

The people who would benefit from raising the minimum wage: http://nyti.ms/1iuoVmp pic.twitter.com/61suV0RgPP

If the policy goal here is to help poor people that chart is proof of how bad an option raising the minimum wage is. Almost half of the benefits go to households making more than 40k a year. A sales tax used to fund a direct subsidy would be a much better option.

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06-14-2014, 11:29 PM
  #304
BraveCanadian
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Originally Posted by Sideline View Post
If the policy goal here is to help poor people that chart is proof of how bad an option raising the minimum wage is. Almost half of the benefits go to households making more than 40k a year. A sales tax used to fund a direct subsidy would be a much better option.
Households that make over 40k can't have members who work minimum wage jobs any more?

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06-15-2014, 09:53 AM
  #305
Sideline
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Households that make over 40k can't have members who work minimum wage jobs any more?
That's not the point. Households tend to share wealth amongst their members. Bill Gates' son could take a part time job at the mall just to meet girls; that doesn't make him poor and in need of a raise.

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06-15-2014, 10:00 AM
  #306
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Houses making 20 000 to 40 000 often have multiple low-wage incomes, so it would stand to reason that they would see a good share of the benefit. The spillover effect also bumps up those making just more than those below them and these people are often found in housegolds in the 20-40 000 income range

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06-15-2014, 10:26 AM
  #307
PredsV82
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If you want to funnel tax money to low income workers, then you need to combine an increased minimum wage with a lowered corporate/business tax rate. That way it becomes a wash for the businesses, who don't have to either cut jobs or raise prices to stay profitable. Its a win-win, because the extra money in the hands of low wage workers will go back into the economy almost 100%..

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06-15-2014, 11:22 AM
  #308
Ether Prodigy
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
If you want to funnel tax money to low income workers, then you need to combine an increased minimum wage with a lowered corporate/business tax rate. That way it becomes a wash for the businesses, who don't have to either cut jobs or raise prices to stay profitable. Its a win-win, because the extra money in the hands of low wage workers will go back into the economy almost 100%..
Why not universal healthcare? That would cut costs dramatically for those who insure their workers.

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06-15-2014, 01:07 PM
  #309
PredsV82
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Why not universal healthcare? That would cut costs dramatically for those who insure their workers.
Well, the tax increases redquired to pay for universal care would probably outstip any cost savings

But more importantly, it would not directly increase the cash in the workers pockets which they would then spend, which stimulates the economy creating more jobs and more tax revenue

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06-15-2014, 01:51 PM
  #310
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
Well, the tax increases redquired to pay for universal care would probably outstip any cost savings

But more importantly, it would not directly increase the cash in the workers pockets which they would then spend, which stimulates the economy creating more jobs and more tax revenue
Tell that to all of the countries that have taxpayer-funded universal healthcare for a fraction of the cost of healthcare in the US.

Healthcare costs come out of people's paychecks just as much as corporate taxes do.

Ideally, we should lower both.

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06-15-2014, 02:33 PM
  #311
Ether Prodigy
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In any case - healthcare costs have to come down. I liked the PBS documentary on healthcare systems of the world. Some countries have private with regulation, some countries run universal healthcare. Their systems manage to produce better outcomes for less money than the US system.

I think the most obvious example is autoworkers in the US vs Canada - Ontario pays the cost of healthcare through taxes from all sources vs the US system where the carmakers have these huge liabilities. It's just something to think about when you want to be friendly to business in general.

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06-15-2014, 04:08 PM
  #312
PredsV82
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Originally Posted by Sevanston View Post
Tell that to all of the countries that have taxpayer-funded universal healthcare for a fraction of the cost of healthcare in the US.

Healthcare costs come out of people's paychecks just as much as corporate taxes do.

Ideally, we should lower both.
Im not saying that universal health care couldn't eventually be cheaper than the way we do it now, but there would still be a significant tax outlay paid by companies, probably in excess of what they pay for health insurance for their employees now.

Im not going to start another health care thread… the point of this thread is about poverty… and universal health care is at best a very indirect way to improve poverty, since the poor already qualify for Medicaid

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06-15-2014, 04:39 PM
  #313
Sevanston
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Yeah okay, you and I butt heads enough in the ACA thread. No need to do it again here.

Raising the minimum wage is a decent way to help the poor, so is expanding the EITC. But the sad truth is that the only way to break the culture of poverty is to break families out of poverty, and there is no easy way to do that.

I'm interested in things like wage subsidies and basic income, and they've both shown some promising early results, but nothing is guaranteed except that any way you slice it, we're currently not doing enough for the poor. That's got to change.

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06-19-2014, 08:10 AM
  #314
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I've seen a good bit of poverty in Florida, and when you get past central FL going north there's a fair bit of rural poverty too. I had a boyfriend a couple of years ago who had family up there, and I'd say an aunt of his and her immediate family are the people we're talking about.

They lived in a trailer community more run down than the houses in the article. They had a "room" that was accessed through a rotten hole. It's too bizarre to explain. Her teenage son lived in it because he was agile enough to keep going through the hole.

It seemed like a situation that was both financial and cultural. They lived in squalor because they couldn't afford better in the short term. Low paying jobs, health issues, child costs. They never had one dollar for anything (I remember a bus ride was unattainable for them), but if you gave them a thousand they'd probably spend it on a leather jacket or a gaming console (as they did with money when they sold off something). The cultural aspect and their habits in life affected the long term. There was a lot of staying up to smoke and drink until dawn and then underperforming at work/school. Staying down to cope with staying down.

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