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Old 2012-02-02, 18:04   Link #2241
Ledgem
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That, combined with the fact that Wall Street firms are apparently donating even more money to Romney's campaign than they are to Obama's, won't do much to help Romney's image with "the middle class." It's just going to look like a bunch of rich people sticking together.
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Old 2012-02-02, 18:14   Link #2242
Zakoo
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post

My problem isn't really with the "laziness" of the poor. I know things aren't easy. It has more to do with a certain irresponsibility (having kids they can't afford) and unwillingness to compromise (demanding to be housed near city centers when they can't pay the rent. I can't help but think things would be easier if they accepted to be taken further away.). It doesn't really matter if that's the attitude of most poor or not - it just annoys me when I hear a politician or NGO spokesman cater to that crowd.


It's not as easy as this, and you know it dear, those people, often don't have the choice for their work, they are under skilled and overused, do you ask them to have 2 hours morning and night of transport to do their work? Indeed you can, I do it for my study, but this is different when we talk about family who have money difficulties and children. They need to take care of their children they can't afford to lose 4 hours on the bus, otherwise you know how it ends, isn't this what our election is based on? Hmm, insecurity because of the lack of education because the parents aren't here because ... of the reasons quoted above.

There's another human aspect we must not forget, it's the fact there is a need to be brewing (dunno if it's the correct word) between rich and poor, this is why they must be housed everywhere even in the center of the city, otherwise segregation begins.
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Old 2012-02-02, 18:35   Link #2243
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
It's not as easy as this, and you know it dear, those people, often don't have the choice for their work, they are under skilled and overused, do you ask them to have 2 hours morning and night of transport to do their work?
If need be, yes.

Quote:
Indeed you can, I do it for my study, but this is different when we talk about family who have money difficulties and children.
Which brings us back to the topic of having children you can't afford. Sure, it can be because they were born when things used to be better, but often it isn't.

Quote:
They need to take care of their children they can't afford to lose 4 hours on the bus, otherwise you know how it ends, isn't this what our election is based on?
Dunno. I did alright.

Quote:
Hmm, insecurity because of the lack of education because the parents aren't here because ... of the reasons quoted above.

There's another human aspect we must not forget, it's the fact there is a need to be brewing (dunno if it's the correct word) between rich and poor, this is why they must be housed everywhere even in the center of the city, otherwise segregation begins.
Social mixity? I don't see that as a priority, to be honest. Get everyone settled in first, worry about social engineering later. Besides, I really think those kind of places should be given in priority to the working poor, of which there is no shortage. The jobless, OTOH? I think they should be more flexible. Once they get a job, they can seek better arrangements.
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Old 2012-02-02, 18:49   Link #2244
solomon
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Well it is all relative.

However while I don't know what the status is in France, some in America have noticed a certain short changing of the poor and working class. It's that "if you work hard you can make it and if you don't you're not working hard enough maxim".

Poor people have had children for ages yet they've managed to cope and even sometimes move up before, now it gets tougher and tougher to do so. Sure I may not want kids and like I said I do kinda agree on not having kids if you cannot afford them in principle.

Then again aside from the ethical questions of weither only the wealthy should be able to rear families you ask, how is this affecting us rearing the next generation of citizens to grow the economy and pay for the retirees?

No one is arguing for Chinese/Vietnamese level investments for the poor and underprivledged. that's likely unfeasible and not productive. That being said you cannot just leave them to their own devices and say "just work hard and things will turn out ok". In America it likely hasn't been like that for some 30 odd years.
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Old 2012-02-02, 19:00   Link #2245
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Poor people have had children for ages yet they've managed to cope and even sometimes move up before, now it gets tougher and tougher to do so. Sure I may not want kids and like I said I do kinda agree on not having kids if you cannot afford them in principle.
It's not just poor people. CNN recently featured some interesting personal accounts of people who compared where they were now to where their parents were at their age. Many noted how their parents, being in their young 20's, were already buying houses and having families, even with only one parent working a "blue collar" job. Everything is getting pushed back now. Personally, I suspect it's due to two factors: relative wage stagnation in the face of increased costs of living (rent, gas, food costs are always going up), and the fact that nearly everyone is saddled with student debt. Economic mobility is becoming very difficult, and there's little room for error or accident.
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Old 2012-02-02, 19:06   Link #2246
solomon
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Good points. Now the question is how to handle those problems.

Polticians are going to always champion and focus on the "middle class" but thats such a vauge term anyways.

All I know is that whole bootstraps thing doesn't hold up as well as it used to. You can't just get out of school, do a job where you work with your hands and get good enough pay to attract a wife and buy a house and the whole shebang you know. Not anymore.

SOmetimes I think people don't want to admit that. That it's NOT just all bootstraps anymore. If you don't have a good education you're toast, and it's so damn hard to get one with how expensive college is (and continues to be).
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Old 2012-02-02, 19:20   Link #2247
GDB
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Personally, I suspect it's due to two factors: relative wage stagnation in the face of increased costs of living (rent, gas, food costs are always going up), and the fact that nearly everyone is saddled with student debt. Economic mobility is becoming very difficult, and there's little room for error or accident.
Don't forget the third, which while similar to the second, I feel is distinct enough to be its own category. The real estate boom about 10 years ago. I recall a few years before I went to college the landlord of the house my mom rents was willing to sell it for $140k. This was seen as too high, since newer, better houses were selling in the neighborhood for a comparable amount and this place isn't in the best of shape. Now, if he were to sell it, he'd ask for a minimum of $400k, while other houses nearby are going for $480k.

Looking at even the "cheap" houses near me, the lowest I've found has been about $300k. A mortgage on that would basically consume 85%+ of each of my paychecks, and that's with a 30 or 40 year mortgage.

How is anyone supposed to actually survive and still be able to own a house who doesn't so already? Count inheritence out if your family isn't wealthy and your grandparents start to have medical problems that require constant attention (alzheimers or dymensia, for example). Assisted living nowadays is about $5k per month, and there's no way their retirement and social security will cover that. So, goodbye house.
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Old 2012-02-02, 19:29   Link #2248
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Don't forget the third, which while similar to the second, I feel is distinct enough to be its own category. The real estate boom about 10 years ago. I recall a few years before I went to college the landlord of the house my mom rents was willing to sell it for $140k. This was seen as too high, since newer, better houses were selling in the neighborhood for a comparable amount and this place isn't in the best of shape. Now, if he were to sell it, he'd ask for a minimum of $400k, while other houses nearby are going for $480k.

Looking at even the "cheap" houses near me, the lowest I've found has been about $300k. A mortgage on that would basically consume 85%+ of each of my paychecks, and that's with a 30 or 40 year mortgage.
And now you can see why house prices are collapsing .
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Old 2012-02-02, 20:39   Link #2249
GDB
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Maybe where you are. They may have gone down 10% around here in the past year, at most. And that's only for stuff that's been on the market. Stuff just going in goes in high. They already "collapsed" compared to 2008ish, where houses around me were going for like $600k. So yeah, rising from 150k or so to 600k and then "collapsing" to 400k. Not helping.
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Old 2012-02-02, 21:02   Link #2250
Kokukirin
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I think housing price is largely supported by the myth of ever-rising value of houses. People speculate that houses will only worth more in the future. They are willing buy a house at $400k if they believe that in 5 years time it will worth $800k. And there are people who are worried that if they don't buy now, they won't be able to in the future. It is a very real concern because price of houses has risen far faster than average income and inflation. The low interest rate also helps to keep value of houses higher than they would otherwise be.

Where I live the housing price is just as crazy. It more than tripled in the last decade, and it continued to rise after the financial crisis, albeit at a slower rate. Some blame on rich Asians purchasing houses here to inflate the market. Even so people are still unsure if there is a housing bubble.

But then, people are rarely certain of a housing bubble until it bursts.
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Old 2012-02-02, 21:18   Link #2251
GundamFan0083
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Originally Posted by Kokukirin View Post
I think housing price is largely supported by the myth of ever-rising value of houses. People speculate that houses will only worth more in the future...But then, people are rarely certain of a housing bubble until it bursts.
I agree.
Out here in Colorado, some areas have seen housing values drop by as much as 30% while other areas have been uneffected.

I concur that people rarely are certain of a housing bubble before there is an adjustment.

Some are speculating that a second housing crisis is looming in the near future.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/secon...ng-crisis.html
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Old 2012-02-02, 22:15   Link #2252
DonQuigleone
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All I'm saying is, if the housing feels too expensive for it's target market(here the average guy) to afford, it's got to be inflated.

Even a 10% loss in value is pretty bad. Imagine if that continues...

Anyway,don't buy any house yet, just rent and wait for the market to clearly bottom out. There's not much to lose.

In addition, don't take housing and rent prices at face value. Haggle them down, play one seller off against another.

That said, don't expect everywhere to be affordable. That penthouse suite in lower manhattan is still going to be impossible to afford.

But if there's a lot of empty lots, you're in a position to negotiate. They'll take any cheap temporary renter over leaving a place empty...
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Old 2012-02-03, 01:59   Link #2253
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Well it is all relative.

However while I don't know what the status is in France, some in America have noticed a certain short changing of the poor and working class. It's that "if you work hard you can make it and if you don't you're not working hard enough maxim".
I don't think it's ever been part of the French mythos.

Quote:
Then again aside from the ethical questions of weither only the wealthy should be able to rear families you ask, how is this affecting us rearing the next generation of citizens to grow the economy and pay for the retirees?
That is a problem, but I suppose we can always import workers - if the jobs are here.

Quote:
No one is arguing for Chinese/Vietnamese level investments for the poor and underprivledged. that's likely unfeasible and not productive. That being said you cannot just leave them to their own devices and say "just work hard and things will turn out ok".
That's not what I want either. I'm just arguing that helping them should be done with the welfare of society as a whole rather than that of the individuals being helped. Can't pay for food? Stop adding mouths to feed. Can't pay rent and don't have a job (thus no commute)? Go live where real estate is cheaper.
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Old 2012-02-03, 02:49   Link #2254
Kokukirin
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
That is a problem, but I suppose we can always import workers - if the jobs are here.
A shrinking working population means the economic pie gets smaller. Immigration and import workers can help to moderate the effect of low birth rate, but they are at best a minor part of the solution. Don't forget immigrants also put a burden on the society as well - they just don't tend to settle as well as locals. If the economic burden reduces birth rate among the poor, in the long run the country cannot possibly sustain its economic strength.

Thanks to the shrinking working population, although Japan's GDP per capita has improved, its GDP has continued to stagnate or shrink slightly for the last decade. And this shrinking population has to deal with that mountain of national debt. Europe also faces a similar problem. US is more fortunate that it has a higher birth rate and non-stop flow of immigrants.

Quote:
That's not what I want either. I'm just arguing that helping them should be done with the welfare of society as a whole rather than that of the individuals being helped. Can't pay for food? Stop adding mouths to feed. Can't pay rent and don't have a job (thus no commute)? Go live where real estate is cheaper.
I am a bit confused with what is your message here. Your two examples are individual level decisions (that already happen on a wide scale). They are not objectives of government policies. You are not telling us what kind of support government should or should not give to its citizens.
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Old 2012-02-03, 03:51   Link #2255
Zakoo
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
...
"Children they can't afford" is a harsh sentance, european countries mostly give money to the family with a lot of children, and not a bit, how they use this money though is another thing.

I'm sorry to be blunt but to not see social mixity as a priority is a bit ... foolish, how should I put in? It's fine to say we must do everything for people to have job, and things like that, after all we humans live in the present, but a state, a country, is eternal, it can goes on for centuries, politics shouldn't be done on the present simply to please a bunch a voter, this is the future of a country you are messing in when you do politics, to not see social mixity and natality as a priority is utterly a non sense.
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Old 2012-02-03, 04:34   Link #2256
ganbaru
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Maine girl bouncing back after 6-organ transplant
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...02-03-03-07-43
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HOLLIS, Maine (AP) -- A 9-year-old Maine girl is home from a Boston hospital healthy, active and with high hopes - and a new stomach, liver, spleen, small intestine, pancreas, and part of an esophagus to replace the ones that were being choked by a huge tumor.

It's believed to be the first-ever transplant of an esophagus and the largest number of organs transplanted at one time in New England.
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Old 2012-02-03, 10:52   Link #2257
solomon
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Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
"Children they can't afford" is a harsh sentance, european countries mostly give money to the family with a lot of children, and not a bit, how they use this money though is another thing.

I'm sorry to be blunt but to not see social mixity as a priority is a bit ... foolish, how should I put in? It's fine to say we must do everything for people to have job, and things like that, after all we humans live in the present, but a state, a country, is eternal, it can goes on for centuries, politics shouldn't be done on the present simply to please a bunch a voter, this is the future of a country you are messing in when you do politics, to not see social mixity and natality as a priority is utterly a non sense.
This is very interesting from a foriegn perspective.

Here in America however, it's not the case. Every man is master of his own destiny and it's his perogative to seize the day, if they fail it's MORE LIKELY that they just didn't work hard enough or didn't make the right choices.

Whats more in America I believe since the 50s people have become more distant. Thanks to suburbanization/exurbanization and a continuing balkanization of social/racial groups, I think sometimes it's a little hard to have empathy for people who may not be cut from the same cloth as you.

In America we value autonomy and independence fiercely and you know the mantra is "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and one day some day you will make your fortune". You add that mythos along with the distancing of society and it makes it very difficult to cooperate on certain problems.

(Now don't anyone go and say he's for Soviet Style social engineering I am not. I am for liberty and autonomy like most any western citizen is. But at worst the hyper local hyper type that Americans have seem to me more like a bunch of children squabbling over who has to give up the most of their slice of pizza).

I also have said that poverty and hardship is colored by race more noticably here than in other countries. This is despite the fact that a sizable majority of welfare recipients are indeed Caucasian. Until more people either tumble off the deep end and STAY there for a protracted period of time, I don't think we will see a great change in the "You're on your own" lean of American social policy.

For America, Welfare is a dirty word unlike in Europe. A better way to tackle it would be "investment". Investing in transportation, schools and healthcare. But again (IMHO) people have been duped into thinking that a near non-existent hand and privatization type ethos are the way to go for EVERY thing. It's a very consumerist approach that I find alarming. That kind of stuff (at an extreme) works well for creating and selling material goods but not more holistic things such as things that directly affect people.

To me that's less a Left/Right type argument. It's a humanity type argument. One the one hand we are all different individuals and you cannot manage us like a herd of cattle. On the other hand you cannot deny that we humans are a SOCIAL being where our existences are drastically influenced by the actions of others. A continuous short sifting of investing in HUMAN capital on a large scale is what I don't like and I don't think is good for the future of our country. Merely in the interests of keeping costs down, maintaining a very capitalist approach to investment in human potential is whats really hurting us. I don't see the GOP as really running counter to that what with their puritanical capitalist, consumerist mantra not to mention the bone headed immigration platform they hype........so as you can see I'm going Obama not because I'm in love with the guy, but because a GOP White House and Congress will likely continue the alarming trends that I talked about not to mention not really have any effect on the state of the economy.....I still fail to see what the federal government can really do to make it any more attractive for businesses here, we are not Greece.

Last edited by solomon; 2012-02-03 at 11:06.
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Old 2012-02-03, 12:13   Link #2258
Zakoo
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I believe that poor people aren't poor because they want it, thinking that they are poor because they don't work enough wouldn't even go through my mind, life is made of luck, it's typical of lucky people and people who succeded thanks to a bunch of others factors to think they worked hard and everybody can do it.

No, the system is made so that people can succeed, others need to fail, what's behind is whether we let those "failure" alone or we help them.

Last edited by Zakoo; 2012-02-03 at 12:31.
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Old 2012-02-03, 12:33   Link #2259
Kokukirin
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People get the logic backwards. Hard work is often a pre-requisite to become successful (and rich), but there is no guarantee that hard work will pay off. Fortune plays a role. Even your year of birth will be a big factor, since your chance of getting a decent job is higher if you graduated from college 8 years ago, compared to last year.

The deteriorating public school system in America surely is not helping the poor to get out of poverty. The student loan problem has to be addressed as well to relieve some burden on the young generation. Personally I think America's attitude is better than Europe's, but its existing system does not support it very well.
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Old 2012-02-03, 13:01   Link #2260
monsta666
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The US job report came in today and 240,000 jobs were created while unemployment fell from 8.5% to 8.3%. The headline certainly looks good and it is great news for Obama. But it is not all bad for the Republican candidates; if we delve a bit deeper into this figure we see the work participation rates (employment to population) have stagnated at 58.5% from the month past.

What is even more troublesome is if we account for population growth then the US must gain about 125,000 jobs per month to maintain unemployment rates. I am talking about true unemployment not the U3 statistic used by the government in publications. So if 125,000 is required to maintain unemployment levels then we can say America gained 115,000 jobs. However unemployment decreased by 0.2% and since the working population is around 160m then 0.2% would equate to about 320,000 people. So by simple deduction we can say about 200,000 left the unemployment statistic not by gaining a job but because they gave up looking for work or were long-term unemployed i.e. their unemployment benefits ended.

As for the best approach to solving this problems. I think people should not get too caught up in ideologies such as capitalism, communism and socialism. A centralist approach is the best way forward as each ideology, if taken to the extreme, will lead to dysfunction. Many countries that practised free markets and capitalism to its extreme ended up with oligopolies, a lack of worker rights, decline in real wages and job security, severe looting/speculating and pillaging of the countries resources by elites and ultimate bankruptcy of the state. Check out the economies of Chile, Argentina in the 70s/80s or Russia in the 90s for proof of the failure of pure unregulated free markets.

With that said, what all ideologies miss is that the world has a finite amount of resources. Resources such as oil, coal, gas, water, topsoil and minerals which are needed to provide economic growth. These resources are all being depleting and are degrading in quality and require larger amounts of energy/inputs to extract and this will pose a direct threat to economic growth. I am not bringing resources in the save world type of way but am saying it will act as a direct barrier and threat to economic growth. It is my belief that these problems of stagnating/declining wages are conjecture of these problems. I do believe there is a limit to economic growth and those limits will come through limited resources and the law of physics.
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