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#77 Jan 03 2013 at 5:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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I guess it also depends on where you grew up.

In ******* Hephzibah Georgia, a family income of $100,000 meant you were ******* rich.

I was laughing at the comment about the Lexus. Lower middle class people don't drive Lexuses, new or used. The parts are too expensive.
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#78 Jan 03 2013 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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We've already established you have no concept of "poor".

Try to get through your thick ******* skull that sometimes life is grossly unfair to people and they don't have the resources to continue after a loss, be it a job or spouse or home. They need to eat. Who the **** are you to:

A: Deny them food;

B. Chose what they eat.

Go **** yourself.

Better yet, get in a terrible auto accident, be refused by the insurance companies and lose your job. Oh, and have your house foreclosed on. And your bank fail.
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#79 Jan 03 2013 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
Replying to spoonelesses post you quick posting *****.

But that wasn't what Gbaji was arguing. He was arguing that someone that had no choice about the b&w + second hand pants. On the other hand, it goes both ways, if you set the poverty bar at people who get food stamps, I think it's pretty clear that you're including people who could get food stamps but don't.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 5:10pm by Xsarus
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#80 Jan 03 2013 at 5:11 PM Rating: Default
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Spoonless wrote:
gbaji wrote:
So arguing that if someone wasn't on food stamps, they must not have been "pretty poor" is a completely false assumption.
Sure. Just like arguing that if someone only owned a single b&w tele and second-hand pants, they must have been "pretty poor" is a completely false assumption.


But if someone does those things because they can't afford a color TV, or new pants, then it is a decent way to determine whether someone was "pretty poor".

If we can't define levels of poverty based on what sorts of things people can afford to obtain, then we don't really have any meaningful standard at all. While I'm sure that some middle class kids shopped at the goodwill store to buy cheap stuff out of a sense of frugality or something, for my family it was a necessity. We could not afford brand new clothes. Period. We were able to afford the most important basics, but had to scrimp and save wherever we could in order to make ends meet.

If that doesn't qualify as "pretty poor", then what does? I see it as being just above poverty. You're not desperate. You're capable of getting by without help. But just barely. What other definition would you suggest for "pretty poor"?
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#81 Jan 03 2013 at 5:17 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
I was laughing at the comment about the Lexus.


Honestly, I thought you were laughing at my "And they don't own a pool" comment.

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Lower middle class people don't drive Lexuses, new or used. The parts are too expensive.


Just an example. Lexus is considered the lower end of the "nice car" category. I've never owned one, so I can't speak about repair costs. I do know a guy who bought one (a used one) as his first "real car" (ie: not old beater), specifically because it was relatively inexpensive compared to other brand recognizable cars. Never asked him how much it cost to maintain. I do know the thing was absolutely thrashed when he finally got rid of it though.
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#82 Jan 03 2013 at 5:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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One of my mother's friends was a single mom - divorced from an abusive husband. She and her daughter, who was my age and a class mate in middle school, lived in the trailer park a mile up the road from us. The trailer was missing all the interior doors so they had hung sheets up for privacy. I was scared to go in it. She had a car, but it was ancient and frequently broke down and she'd have my mother come pick her up to go to work on those days.

Oh, she was the very definition of working poor, all right. I don't think they had any television, not even a black and white one.

And yeah, they also volunteered at the food bank, now that I think about it, in addition to being on food stamps. What little cash the mother had at the end of the month went to things to help the daughter do better in life - she was in my Girl Scout troop and our school's drama club.
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#83 Jan 03 2013 at 5:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Taking into account the percentages provided in the six-class model by Gilbert, as well as the model of Thompson and Hickey, one can apply [[U.S. Census Bureau] statistics regarding income. According to these class models the lower middle class is located roughly between the 52nd and 84th percentile of society. In terms of personal income distribution in 2005, that would mean gross annual personal incomes from about $32,500 to $60,000.[21]

As 42% of all households, and the majority of those in the top 40%, had two income earners, household income figures would be significantly higher, ranging from roughly $50,000 to $100,000 annually.[13] In terms of educational attainment, 27% of persons had a Bachelor's degree or higher.
So..what was your dad's annual salary when you were, say, 10? Y'know, for comparison.


Also. That puts me squarely into the "poor as ****" class. And I don't qualify for, much less receive food stamps. You family didn't get food stamps because they DIDN"T ******* QUALIFY.
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#84 Jan 03 2013 at 5:29 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
We've already established you have no concept of "poor".


Not really, but if it makes you feel better about yourself.

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Try to get through your thick @#%^ing skull that sometimes life is grossly unfair to people and they don't have the resources to continue after a loss, be it a job or spouse or home.


I've never said that wasn't the case.

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They need to eat.


Yes. Can we also agree that they don't need to drink soda?

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Who the @#%^ are you to:

A: Deny them food;


I'm not. Assuming we both agree that soda is not food they require in order to avoid starvation.

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B. Chose what they eat.


I think that if I'm paying for someone else's food, then I do get to choose what they eat. At the very least, I ought to be able to say what I'm not willing to pay for them. More directly, if someone can afford to buy and is choosing to buy soda, then they are not so poor that they require food stamps.


It's just strange that you went on this huge diatribe about how someone who went without a bunch of stuff wasn't really "pretty poor", but apparently being able to afford to buy soda doesn't preclude one from the same analysis. You have a very very odd means of determining such things.


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Better yet, get in a terrible auto accident, be refused by the insurance companies and lose your job. Oh, and have your house foreclosed on. And your bank fail.


If, after all of that, I'm stocking my fridge with soda, then by all means deny me food stamps. Why is this a hard concept to grasp? If you can afford to buy soda, then you can afford to buy food and you don't need other people's help. If you're choosing to spend other people's help buying soda instead of (or in addition to) food, then you're getting too much in food stamps. In either case, the dollars spent buying soda are dollars that could be reduced from the amount other people are paying to help you without hurting you in any way at all.

Get it?
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#85 Jan 03 2013 at 5:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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And it never crossed your mind for two seconds that in order to stretch what food budget they have that sometimes a "meal" for the kids is cheap soda, because it's effective at making the kids feel full? Your really, really have zero concept of what life for the poor is like. At all.
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#86 Jan 03 2013 at 5:43 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
So..what was your dad's annual salary when you were, say, 10? Y'know, for comparison.


How the **** would I know? I was 10. We're talking late 1970s here, so unless you happen to have the inflation tables handy, it wouldn't tell you much anyway. Certainly would be something you could compare directly.

And it wasn't at that time. It was later, when we were living with my mom. Mostly when I was in middle school and high school. My mom was working two jobs and putting herself through school during that time period. Classic tale of divorced woman who set aside her education to have children and then found life very hard to get going afterward.

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Also. That puts me squarely into the "poor as ****" class.


Yup. Most people grossly underestimate what "middle class" means.

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And I don't qualify for, much less receive food stamps.


Kinda depends on how many dependents you have though. 20 year old making $18k/year with no dependents is "poor as ****" but is in no real need of assistance (cause you can live on that much when you're that age). Single mom with 3 kids making the same money wont be able to make ends meet.


Quote:
You family didn't get food stamps because they DIDN"T @#%^ING QUALIFY.


How do you know? I don't recall you being there. I just find it strange (yes, I'm saying this for the 3rd time) that you are so quick to insist that my mother could not have been poor enough to have qualified for food stamps (or even to be considered "pretty poor"), yet are equally quick to defend the need for food stamps for people who can afford to have soda in their fridge. That really seems to be inconsistent. I'd think you'd be yelling at them that they aren't really poor and don't really need food stamps.
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#87 Jan 03 2013 at 5:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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#88 Jan 03 2013 at 5:44 PM Rating: Good
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High sugar, mass produced, unhealthy food isn't exactly super expensive. That's part of the reason why it's used so often and why there is the obesity "epidemic".

It's not like drinking a gallon of Orange Juice instead of a gallon of Pepsi is really much better for you. I think the Pepsi actually has fewer calories, and beyond the Vitamin C from the OJ, (which is not really that big of a vitamin since it has to be one of the easiest to get through any other foods), the OJ doesn't provide anything good for you since juicing it removes the part that makes the fruit 'good' for you (filling, with few calories). You are left with all the sugar and calories, and none of the 'filling'.
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#89 Jan 03 2013 at 5:46 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
And it never crossed your mind for two seconds that in order to stretch what food budget they have that sometimes a "meal" for the kids is cheap soda, because it's effective at making the kids feel full?


No. Because that's about the most stupid thing I've heard outside of an Alma post. Scratch that. It's more stupid.

Quote:
Your really, really have zero concept of what life for the poor is like. At all.


I'm pretty sure that my grasp is greater than that of someone who insists that someone could be "so poor that we had to drink soda in order to feel full when we didn't have enough food". Smiley: lol
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#90 Jan 03 2013 at 5:48 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
High sugar, mass produced, unhealthy food isn't exactly super expensive. That's part of the reason why it's used so often and why there is the obesity "epidemic".

It's not like drinking a gallon of Orange Juice instead of a gallon of Pepsi is really much better for you. I think the Pepsi actually has fewer calories, and beyond the Vitamin C from the OJ, (which is not really that big of a vitamin since it has to be one of the easiest to get through any other foods), the OJ doesn't provide anything good for you since juicing it removes the part that makes the fruit 'good' for you (filling, with few calories). You are left with all the sugar and calories, and none of the 'filling'.


Actual poor people drink water and take vitamin C tablets (or actually eat oranges when possible instead of drinking juice). May I mention for the record that we never had juice in the fridge either. We did occasionally have apples and oranges though.
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#91 Jan 03 2013 at 5:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
And it never crossed your mind for two seconds that in order to stretch what food budget they have that sometimes a "meal" for the kids is cheap soda, because it's effective at making the kids feel full?
No. Because that's about the most stupid thing I've heard outside of an Alma post. Scratch that. It's more stupid.
Quote:
Your really, really have zero concept of what life for the poor is like. At all.


I'm pretty sure that my grasp is greater than that of someone who insists that someone could be "so poor that we had to drink soda in order to feel full when we didn't have enough food". Smiley: lol
Further confirming that you were never poor and have apparently never been in a poor persons home. For someone who claims to suck in information and process it to form his world-view you sure are leaving out a bunch of data.
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#92 Jan 03 2013 at 5:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
High sugar, mass produced, unhealthy food isn't exactly super expensive. That's part of the reason why it's used so often and why there is the obesity "epidemic".

It's not like drinking a gallon of Orange Juice instead of a gallon of Pepsi is really much better for you. I think the Pepsi actually has fewer calories, and beyond the Vitamin C from the OJ, (which is not really that big of a vitamin since it has to be one of the easiest to get through any other foods), the OJ doesn't provide anything good for you since juicing it removes the part that makes the fruit 'good' for you (filling, with few calories). You are left with all the sugar and calories, and none of the 'filling'.


Actual poor people drink water and take vitamin C tablets (or actually eat oranges when possible instead of drinking juice). May I mention for the record that we never had juice in the fridge either. We did occasionally have apples and oranges though.


That's not the point (and HA, vitamin tablets?)

The point is you are making a big deal about the "expense" of Soda, and how the Food Stamps being spent on it means they have too much. Soda is cheaper than other non-water beverages, and the other non-water beverages are just as unhealthy in terms of "nothing but empty calories from sugar".
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#93 Jan 03 2013 at 5:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nadenu wrote:
This thread made me realize that if my husband takes too long to recover, I might be on food stamps. Smiley: frown

Totally off topic but start the SSDI process now if you haven't already. He might get SSI while waiting and when he does get SSDI they will deduct the amount of SSI received from the SSDI settlement which goes back to the point your husband first became disable in his case the day of the stroke.
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#94 Jan 03 2013 at 6:00 PM Rating: Default
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Oh. And I think I can end the debate right here. We also drank powdered milk. Done. I win.
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#95 Jan 03 2013 at 6:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oh ya?

The one time we were allowed sweets for the whole year, we decided on homemade ice cream, but we accidentally put salt in the cream mixture instead of sugar. My dad ate the whole thing because he wanted to show us that we weren't allowed to waste anything.
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#96 Jan 03 2013 at 6:10 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Further confirming that you were never poor and have apparently never been in a poor persons home.


I suspect that it indicates that our definition of poverty has changed dramatically since I was a kid. The idea that poor means you feed your kids soda because it's filling and sugary shows how completely out of whack our priorities have become.


To be fair, the definition and conditions had changed by the time I was a kid too. My dad grew up poor. Really poor. As in, lived with his mom on the edge of someone's property in Missouri, in an old broken down wagon (as in pulled by horses kind of wagon). A typical dinner for him was a can of WW2 surplus soybean soup heated over a steno stove. On the day he finished high school, he walked home diploma in hand, to find his mother standing out front of the wagon with a couple of bags packed with all of his belongings. She gave him a hug and told him he was a man now and sent him off into the world to find his own way.

So please don't try to tell me what poverty is. You honestly have no clue what you are talking about. I suspect that each generation in the US knows less and less about what "real" poverty is. Our standards change. But I do think that the point at which people are making regular purchasing decisions which include things which by any definition are complete luxury items, we've moved so far past "poverty" that the definition becomes meaningless. Are there people who are in such dire conditions that they would go seriously hungry without assistance? Absolutely. But those people would never fill their fridges with soda. Which is the most relevant point here IMO.
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#97 Jan 03 2013 at 6:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Oh. And I think I can end the debate right here. We also drank powdered milk. Done. I win.
Yeah. No.

I drank powdered drank as a kid sometimes, too. In fact much of what you've written about yourself in this thread (excluding the moranic pants bit) applied to me as well. We had a big garden to supplement what went on the table. We got second hand stuff like used bikes by mowing lawns and such. New was too expensive. We had a 12" 1972 Sony TV for over a decade because a new one was too much for my mom's budget. I got new clothes only occassionaly (or mom made them) because I had three older brothers who outgrew theirs and I normally got those. And guess what? That ain't poor.


ALSO: About you dad's pay...just tell us what he did for a living and I think we can ballpark that one. I knew my parents pay when I was ten years old, how could you possibly not know yours?


ALSO: ALSO: Your screed about your tax money going to buy someone pop sounds pretty selfish and hypocritical coming from a guy who gets a tax break on his mortgage. You didn't need that money, but you took it anyway.


Kinda irrelevant. though, seeing as you should be in prison for tax evasion.
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#98 Jan 03 2013 at 6:21 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Actual poor people drink water and take vitamin C tablets (or actually eat oranges when possible instead of drinking juice). May I mention for the record that we never had juice in the fridge either. We did occasionally have apples and oranges though.


That's not the point (and HA, vitamin tablets?)


yes. What was your point? One of the items that was commonly in the food boxes when I was a kid were bottles of various vitamins. I assume because most of the stuff in there was non-perishable, so you usually didn't get fruits and vegetables (except the occasional canned variety of course).

Quote:
The point is you are making a big deal about the "expense" of Soda, and how the Food Stamps being spent on it means they have too much. Soda is cheaper than other non-water beverages, and the other non-water beverages are just as unhealthy in terms of "nothing but empty calories from sugar".


I am not singling out "soda", but any non-necessary item. Soda happens to be something I include in that list. I also include pre-made bottles of fruit juice, especially any that aren't "all natural". Those which are all natural are expensive (a lot more expensive). It's much more economical to simply buy oranges and eat them then to buy orange juice from the store and keep it in the fridge.

And unless you don't have access to a tap, anything other than the gallon or larger jugs of basic water is also a luxury item. You don't need to drink any of them. You can drink water. As I mentioned earlier, if you really need some flavoring, instant tea is relatively inexpensive. My point is that if you are really struggling to feed yourself and your children, you are not going to be buying any of those things. Water is free (more or less). It's what you actually need to hydrate yourself. Actual food should be purchased with food stamps, not yummy treats. It's surprising to me how much resistance this somewhat simple idea is receiving.
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#99 Jan 03 2013 at 6:24 PM Rating: Good
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The resistance is to the idea of "BAN SODA!" As though it's some sort of luxury expense that is a waste of your tax money.

I wonder how much support you'd get if you went around screaming "BAN APPLE JUICE!" or "BAN MILK!"
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#100 Jan 03 2013 at 6:33 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Oh. And I think I can end the debate right here. We also drank powdered milk. Done. I win.
Yeah. No.

I drank powdered drank as a kid sometimes, too.


Key word: Sometimes. Replace that with "always" and you're in the ballpark.

Quote:
In fact much of what you've written about yourself in this thread (excluding the moranic pants bit) applied to me as well. We had a big garden to supplement what went on the table. We got second hand stuff like used bikes by mowing lawns and such. New was too expensive. We had a 12" 1972 Sony TV for over a decade because a new one was too much for my mom's budget. I got new clothes only occassionaly (or mom made them) because I had three older brothers who outgrew theirs and I normally got those. And guess what? That ain't poor.


Given that a hour ago you were insisting that this was lower middle class, forgive me if I just assume you don't know what you're talking about. How do you know you weren't poor? If you didn't have those things, and couldn't have them because you couldn't afford them, perhaps you were poor. But in your case, your parents lied to you and told you that they were middle class or something? I don't know.

Quote:
ALSO: About you dad's pay...just tell us what he did for a living and I think we can ballpark that one. I knew my parents pay when I was ten years old, how could you possibly not know yours?


He was an insurance investigator for Equifax. Not what you think though. I mean, he was the guy who would drive around to people's addresses and take pictures of them through their back fences not being as disabled as they claimed. The point is that this is irrelevant. We lived relatively well with my dad. He remarried and moved up north (and we lived with them for several years). My stepmom worked in the welfare department in Santa Cruz at the time. They were not "lower middle class", but comfortably working class. It was my mom who struggled financially. She was the single/divorced mom trying to make ends meet. I'm sure she received some amount of child support from my dad when we were there, but it was still quite a struggle.

Quote:
ALSO: ALSO: Your screed about your tax money going to buy someone pop sounds pretty selfish and hypocritical coming from a guy who gets a tax break on his mortgage. You didn't need that money, but you took it anyway.


There's a huge difference between paying less taxes out of the money you earned, and receiving money you didn't earn in the first place. You want to debate the mortgage tax deduction, by all means start a thread on that. But that has no bearing on whether or not I should be ok with my tax dollars paying for someone to buy things that are not necessities.


Quote:
Kinda irrelevant. though, seeing as you should be in prison for tax evasion.


Given that the IRS not only did not charge me with any crime, but instead paid me back for all the extra money I paid them, I don't think your opinion really counts.
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#101 Jan 03 2013 at 6:40 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
The resistance is to the idea of "BAN SODA!"


And as I stated in my very first post in this thread I don't agree with the BAN SODA idea either. I do agree with the idea of identifying "staple food goods" and only allowing food stamp dollars to purchase those things. Which is entirely different.

Quote:
As though it's some sort of luxury expense that is a waste of your tax money.


It is. But it's not alone in being so. As I said earlier, here in California, you pay sales tax on a bottle of soda (in addition to CRV). You do *not* pay sales tax when buying a pound of ground beef, or package of chicken *******, or bag of rice. It's quite possible to identify different types of foods and use those differentiations when determining use of something like food stamps. That is what I believe we should do.

Quote:
I wonder how much support you'd get if you went around screaming "BAN APPLE JUICE!" or "BAN MILK!"


Probably not much. Although the costs of those things versus other alternatives should provide incentives to be more frugal with spending dollars (if those dollars are scarce). However, most people wont be, largely because they believe (correctly so far) that their government will provide them whatever number of dollars they "need" to buy stuff, so why not buy the most expensive stuff possible?

I agree that much of this debate is purely about rhetoric that misses the real issue at hand. But that does not mean that we should abandon the basic concept that needs and wants are different things, and if we're paying to address needs, we should do whatever we can to ensure that we're providing just for those needs.

Edited, Jan 3rd 2013 4:42pm by gbaji
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