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Thread: Possessions as Social Capital

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc View Post
    Some the glass is half empty, others its half full
    Completely full, half with liquid, half with air.
    I tend to be cynical, when I see someone who represents themselves as homeless. The reason I word it that way, is I have seen those that live in certain area's that put on clean clothes, and grab a fake bundle and go out and beg. (shaven and unshaven) I've also seen kids, back when I was in high school, go out to a thrift store, tear up what they got, dress down, and do the same thing. Also seen those collect various forms of welfare, while living with their long term boyfriend and driving a new car (all done in his name to keep their benefits). I could list more examples.
    But I have also seen examples where I knew I could help somewhat. (recent immigrant whose residence was torched, his family got out but he lost all his tools needed for livelyhood) Can't judge just by a photo you have to be there to know.

    I can't say I entirely agree (or for that matter disagree) with Redfox, because what is typed could be read wrong, incomplete thoughts, etc. etc:
    Quote Originally Posted by redfox View Post
    Everyone has built into us a basic drive to create and to participate. If that drive in buried under mental illness, addiction, and trauma, then how do we help folks uncover their capacities? How do you decide if someone "is able"?

    My baseline is that those who are homeless are doing the best they can under really horrific circumstances. Our obligation to our brethren is to help them out. So that they can get to the point of being able to have agency in their own lives, and in turn, reciprocate to help others.
    I don't believe that is our obligation, until we have our own houses in order. I understand doing what you can, but have seen those with what most of society think of as nothing, trying to help out, to the point of keeping themselves down.
    As for deciding if someone is able, since one answer doesn't fit all, I am going to throw this question back... At what point does one not try to help? I remember a drunk on a bicycle, that my dad gave a few rides to, after his bicycle broke once. When his sister finally got tired of him not seeking help she kept trying to get him, she kicked him out. He showed up at my parents, saying he was ready to move in (wasn't going to happen).
    When do you drop any safety net, that they may get to the want to change point?

    Also as a whole, when should a thread get moved to the political section of this forum?

  2. #92
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    Some the glass is half empty, others its half full
    mostly empty, all that empty space between atoms

    When I was young and maybe more idealistic, I talked to the homeless on the street occasionally. I met one person who claimed to be voluntarily homeless for the freedom. I quite admired that!!! Of course I also met a homeless person dying of cancer and their tale was pretty aweful. They mostly wanted me to pray for them: "please pray for me".

    Everyone has built into us a basic drive to create and to participate. If that drive in buried under mental illness, addiction, and trauma, then how do we help folks uncover their capacities? How do you decide if someone "is able"?
    It probably takes decades. Things learned early on are nearly intractable (they certainly are in me! And not for lack of trying!). It's a lot faster to just provide shelter, heck yea. But the homeless problem is so huge that even that is overwhelming. A few people may just be helped by meds though.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #93
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    Free enterprise/capitalism is the toughest economic system to succeed in. If you don't have special skills (especially the entrepreneurial spirit) forget it.

    Free enterprise REQUIRES that most will only have ordinary lives so that a FEW can succeed and be wealthy. If everyone was a millionaire, it would lose all meaning.

    Free Enterprise also requires approximately a 3.5% unemployment rate at all times to guarantee that labor doesn't become too expensive for producers, otherwise producers will stop producing. Today in the US our unemployment rate is so high that there are 2 unemployed (willing, able and actively seeking employment) people for every job vacancy.

    When, as a nation, we decided upon a capitalist system (rather than communism, say where everyone has a guaranteed job and place to live) we established a social contract where we decided that as we would be supporting entrepreneurs and helping them find opportunities to become wealthy with economic policies that support business, infrastructure and a cheap and well-educated workforce, we also decided to have a support system in place to help those who can't make it in this cutthroat economic system.

    People are homeless right now because the social contract has broken down. Fewer people believe in it like they used to. Those who don't have the skills (educational, emotional, physical) to make it in a free enterprise are getting short shrift. Many people who used to be in mental hospitals are now on the street (as an example) because state hospitals were seen as sadly lacking and so were shut down rather than being overhauled.

    I am at a loss to understand why the government (the people) has decided to continue to support the entrepreneurs in their quest to become wealthier and wealthier but yet has decided that the poorest, least educated, sickest and most vulnerable of society are just scammers too lazy to work at jobs that don't actually exist.

    It sounds very sad and cruel to me.

  4. #94
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc View Post
    I started a new thread in Public Policy. You can solve the homeless problem there.
    Sorry. I don't participate in the Public Policy forum anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmc
    Some people are just liabilities.
    And this is exactly why. The Public Policy forum here (on most any site, really) seems to be where reality goes to die. Ideology holds absolute sway over real life.

    You still have not suggested a workable solution to the issue of so-called "liabilities". Should we just rocket the old and poor and handicapped and homeless into space in endless orbit? Maybe let them justify their shortcomings by performing a few scientific experiments before they die? Should we shoot a few of them at every dawn? Find what remaining ice floes haven't melted and just ship them off, Viking-funeral style? Should we engage in genetic testing before birth and off those who are likely to develop illnesses that prevent them from contributing "fully" to our great Capitalist future? What happens if one of the afflicted is you? Or a member of your family? Up for a mercy killing?

    I'd be happy to think that we've progressed beyond the Wild West and haven't yet approached a Mad-Max future. But as long as human beings are seen as "non-depreciating assets", what's to discuss? Enjoy your insulation.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Oh, and to answer the question of when the "victim mentality" goes away, it will go away when those nominally in charge are no longer threatened by non-factors like the color of someone's skin, or the shape of their genitalia, or the wrinkles they have on their skin, or whether they wear the appropriate symbols to show "belonging."

    IOW, it will never go away. It calls for a level of enlightenment that is being disrupted by the transmission of ideologies that perpetuate the status quo.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Oh, and to answer the question of when the "victim mentality" goes away, it will go away when those nominally in charge are no longer threatened by non-factors like the color of someone's skin, or the shape of their genitalia, or the wrinkles they have on their skin, or whether they wear the appropriate symbols to show "belonging."

    IOW, it will never go away. It calls for a level of enlightenment that is being disrupted by the transmission of ideologies that perpetuate the status quo.
    Word.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by redfox View Post
    Word.
    +1

  8. #98
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    Yet I find myself engaging over there! Hah! Well, I do appreciate the back & forth, and the challenges. It helps me sharpen my thinking and gain a deeper understanding of my beliefs. Always a good thing.

  9. #99
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    I don't go over there, either. I can imagine it's really volatile on that thread given the number and frequency of the posts. Too much stress in life already, I don't want to have to listen to a bunch of shouting.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcooley View Post
    Men like Gandhi impress me. Donald Trump, no so much. That clarity of purpose and intensity of life in people like Gandhi or Thich Nhat Hanh is what I've spent my life pursuing, and I see the preoccupation with and purchasing of various things as a sort of moral failure. (Maybe that's my fundamentalist childhood rearing its head, though my family had no problem with recreational shopping).
    Donald Trump also has a clarity of purpose and intensity of life. The difference is in the purpose!!

    I don't mean to sound flip - your post is very interesting and thought-provoking, and I'm going to be thinking about it for weeks. The sentence I quoted really jumped out at me, because I think it goes to the heart of what you're saying about status, power, and access to resources.

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