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#302 Jan 15 2013 at 10:51 AM Rating: Good
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rdmcandie wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
I spend 100 bucks a week for me. That 400 bucks for myself. 1 person. **** I spend 20 bucks a week just on milk.


Not everyone is an overeater, and foodstamps shouldn't pay for your overeating. Seriously, 20 dollars a week on milk for one person? You drink a gallon a day or something?


No I drink about a litre a day, 2 500ml cartons. 2 bucks a pop. Also I guess to be fair (to myself at least) food prices are quite a bit more up here on average than in the US. I mean you guys spend what 3-4 bucks on a gallon of milk (granted I read that it is expected to hit as much as 8 bucks by the end of 2013). It costs me 2 bucks for 500ml which is about 15 bucks a gallon when all is said and done.

So take my spending with a little grain of salt, If I lived south of the border Id probably be in the 50-60 dollar range, maybe less.


Why do you buy in such small quantities when you drink so much?
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#303 Jan 15 2013 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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because they don't sell any bigger ones in the cafe at work Smiley: mad.

and because I can afford to.
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#304 Jan 15 2013 at 10:55 AM Rating: Excellent
That's your cost though, you're paying a huge premium for that milk
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#305 Jan 15 2013 at 10:58 AM Rating: Good
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rdmcandie wrote:
It costs me 2 bucks for 500ml
Smiley: eek

I pay €0.49 per liter. And I barely get through that before it expires because I only use milk to make cappuccino.
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#306 Jan 15 2013 at 11:06 AM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
That's your cost though, you're paying a huge premium for that milk


Ya I am but it doesn't bother me, because well I can afford to do that. Which was kind of my thinking when I wrote it last night (perhaps it never came across that way?) I have a good job and it allows me to buy things stupidly, because I can afford it. People on food stamps, not so much. Bare Minimum =/= feeling secure about food stuffs.

(I reread my post and can see that how I worded it there isn't really any possible way any of you could have made that connection. Sorry for the confusion midnight posting strikes again)




Quote:
I pay €0.49 per liter. And I barely get through that before it expires because I only use milk to make cappuccino.


Costs us about $1.25/L if we buy it in the 4L bags/jugs. We get hosed in Canada. Costs us more for everything I think....then again we generally get paid more so I guess it all evens out in the end.

Edited, Jan 15th 2013 12:11pm by rdmcandie
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#307 Jan 15 2013 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
It costs me 2 bucks for 500ml
Smiley: eek

I pay €0.49 per liter. And I barely get through that before it expires because I only use milk to make cappuccino.

Really? I thought non-dehydrated milk was pretty expensive all over Europe.

I bring milk to work in a jar. Despite my name being taped to the jar, people use it. I think they're just using it for coffee as it only goes down by little bits.

So, sometimes I'm forced to use the 1/2 & 1/2 on my cereal or fruit - it's creamy goodness.
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#308 Jan 15 2013 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
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The farmers 'round here are regularly protesting because of the low prices and supermarkets only keep the cheap-o milk around because it stops people from going to other stores, not because they profit from it.
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#309 Jan 15 2013 at 3:36 PM Rating: Default
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rdmcandie wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
The point being made in that case was that the difference in actual food a given family ate was not significantly affected based on whether they received food stamps or not


Actually it doesn't say that at all in fact it says the exact opposite really.

Article wrote:
A thorough 2004 USDA literature review summarized the large body of research showing that food stamp benefits substantially raise food spending, may raise nutrient availability in household food supplies, and cannot be shown to consistently affect individual nutrient intake


The problem with selectively quoting articles is that you get the luxury of jumbling up all the facts.


And the problem with having poor reading comprehension is that you will consistently fail to understand the facts being presented to you. Even when you selectively quote them, you still fail.

One of the two bolded parts from the article matches the bolded part in the quote from me. Can you see which one it is?

Quote:
The main meat to this article was based off a survey conducted by the USDA in 2004, in 2004 it was deemed that the survey was unable to quantify what people were actually eating. It states that while it shows that an increased amount of food was available to the household, it is undetermined as to an individuals intake.


First off, the article draws from a set of different studies. Secondly, even the bit you quoted stated that while families spent more on food (ie: spent the food stamps), it didn't affect the amount they actually ate. What part of me saying that people get the food stamps at the beginning of the month, go on a spending binge, mostly for stuff that isn't cost effective or particularly nutritious, and then run out of food at the end of the month did you miss?

I never said that they didn't have sufficient funds to buy enough food to feed themselves. In fact, I said repeatedly that they did. However, they make choices during the course of a month that results in them running short at the end of the month, and that this habit seems to occur whether you provide them with food stamps or not, and regardless of how much food stamps you give them.

Quote:
This survey has nothing to do with what people eat. It only asks if they feel secure in providing food to their families.


That's not really what "food insecurity" means though:

Article wrote:
“Food security” is defined as “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life” (9). “Food insecurity” is defined as the absence of food security at the household level.


If a household cannot ensure that all family members have enough food all the time, then that household is experiencing "food insecurity". It's not about whether they have enough money to have enough food all the time, but whether they actually have enough food all the time. My whole point is that these are two different things. My argument is that people tend to run out of money to buy enough food at the end of the month, even if they did have enough at the beginning to have done so if they'd budgeted correctly. Hence my point that people make poor choices which leads to this outcome.

And nearly every fact in that article supports my argument.

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Gbaji wrote:
You missed the point I was making *and* the point of the study I linked. The degree to which a given family suffers "food insecurity" does not appear to change at all based on whether we provide them with food stamps.


Compared to what? This study did not ask equally impoverished people who are not on food stamps what their food security is like. There is no possible way you can make that claim using the data you provided, and there is no support at all for your claim in the data provided.


Huh? Compared to how much they receive, and whether they receive it at all:

Article wrote:
Only 60% of eligible people choose to participate (14), and those who suffer from hunger are more likely to take the trouble to participate. As a consequence, even if one restricts attention to the population of households with income below 130% of the poverty line, the prevalence of food insecurity with hunger is about twice as high among food stamp participants as among nonparticipant households (Fig. 1). This self-selection or self-targeting pattern has been noted many times in the recent literature (8,9,15,16). Efforts to address this problem with more complex statistical approaches have generated a series of interesting papers and articles that shed light on the self-selection pattern but do not in the end succeed in quantifying the effect of food stamps on food insecurity and hunger. This section reviews 7 such research approaches.

The first approach is to control for other observable variables while seeking to measure the effect of FSP participation in a regression model. However, several studies have found that prevalences of food insecurity or hunger remain much higher for participants than for nonparticipants even after including control variables in this fashion (17,18).


Do I have to do your reading for you? What this is saying is that when comparing people who are below 130% of the poverty line, the incidence of "food insecurity with hunger" was *higher* among those who received food stamps than those who did not. But since that can be a selection bias, several studies have attempted to account for that bias, but have still found that people are more likely to be food insecure and/or suffer hunger if they are receiving food stamps compared to if they aren't, even among the same income range.

The problem is that all the evidence suggests that food stamps actually may be making the problem worse, not better. I'm even giving the studies the benefit of the doubt here by taking the far more middle position and just saying that they don't seem to be helping much. They're trying to prove that food stamps actually help despite data to the contrary, and at best have come up with inconclusive results. That's what this article is about.

Quote:
All this shows is that despite food stamps, people are still below the US governments standard for food security. That is it. That is the only thing this entire article says.


No. It's saying that at best recipients of food stamps are no better off in terms of food security than non-recipients in the same income range, and at worse may actually be worse off. You completely failed to actually read and understand the article.

Quote:
Yes because the article you shared does not support any of your words, it states pretty blatantly that it can't define these things.


Wrong. The article does support what I'm saying. What it states blatantly is that it examined a number of studies attempting to counter the data showing that food stamps don't help prevent food insecurity, and could not find any conclusive evidence that this was the case. Meaning that none of the studies which attempted to prove that food stamps really did help people avoid hunger could prove that they did. Get it?

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This article clearly does not say what you think it says. There is no data on comparison to income brackets on food stamps vs those same income brackets not on food stamps.


False. I just quoted where they did exactly that comparison. Did you actually read the article?

Quote:
Which is a pretty @#%^ing important statistic in determining the argument of "The degree to which a given family suffers "food insecurity" does not appear to change at all based on whether we provide them with food stamps."


Yes, it is. Which is why you should have read the article.

Edited, Jan 15th 2013 1:57pm by gbaji
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#310 Jan 15 2013 at 3:48 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
People will buy better food with more money, less rice more meat or something. There a lot of grey area between adequate nutrition and survival.


More expensive is not the same as "better" though. And arguably in most cases, it's not. The problem is that if people are spending more money at the beginning of the month when they get their food stamps on more expensive items, leading to them running out of money in the last week or so of the month for *any* food items, then the food insecurity is not being caused by lack of available funds to buy food, but because of poor choices being made.

And that's what I've been arguing in a nutshell. Many people have a very hard time budgeting money effectively. There are a number of possible solutions to the problem, but my point is that "more foodstamps" isn't one of them.
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#311 Jan 15 2013 at 3:53 PM Rating: Default
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rdmcandie wrote:
Sir Xsarus wrote:
That's your cost though, you're paying a huge premium for that milk


Ya I am but it doesn't bother me, because well I can afford to do that. Which was kind of my thinking when I wrote it last night (perhaps it never came across that way?) I have a good job and it allows me to buy things stupidly, because I can afford it. People on food stamps, not so much. Bare Minimum =/= feeling secure about food stuffs.


Sure. Your poor choices don't hurt you because you have enough money to afford them. But someone with a much lower income can't afford those same poor choices. But many of them make those same (or similar) choices anyway. Part of my theory here is that people tend to make purchasing decisions based on how much money they have in their pocket to spend, not necessarily based on their actual income. So if you hand them a large lump sum in the form of food stamps at the beginning of the month, they'll spend that money faster and more inefficiently than they should and then come up short at the end of the month.

Again, we can discuss solutions to this, but it seems strange to me that so many people resist even acknowledging that this is the case. How can we rationally address an issue like this if half the people in the conversation wont even agree that there's a problem in the first place?
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#312 Jan 15 2013 at 3:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
The problem is that if people are spending more money at the beginning of the month when they get their food stamps on more expensive items, leading to them running out of money in the last week or so of the month for *any* food items, then the food insecurity is not being caused by lack of available funds to buy food, but because of poor choices being made.


Do we know if that's happening or not? (Sorry late to the party here). If it's just budgeting, then why not just 1/4 the amount on a weekly basis?
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#313 Jan 15 2013 at 4:06 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The problem is that if people are spending more money at the beginning of the month when they get their food stamps on more expensive items, leading to them running out of money in the last week or so of the month for *any* food items, then the food insecurity is not being caused by lack of available funds to buy food, but because of poor choices being made.


Do we know if that's happening or not? (Sorry late to the party here). If it's just budgeting, then why not just 1/4 the amount on a weekly basis?


Anyone whose ever observed spending by food stamp recipients know this, but the article also indicates this:

Article wrote:
There is a strong prima facie case that food stamps may alleviate hunger by providing valuable resources to very poor households. However, the main survey items ask about the occurrence of hardship at any time in the preceding 12 mo, whereas food stamp benefits vary widely in amount, arrive only once monthly, and are largely spent during the first several days after acquisition each month (12,13). Hence, the magnitude of the food stamp effect is an important open empirical question.


I'm just basing my conclusion on observations of the data. It seems reasonable to conclude that if people spend most of their food stamp money in the first few days of the month, and if food insecurity is similar (or even higher) among recipients of food stamps versus non-recipients within the same low income range, that this is happening because they're blowing their food budget at the beginning of the month and coming up short at the end. We could speculate something else, but this does seem reasonable, right?

I agree that there are numerous solutions to this. I'm not sure if they send WIC to each family each month, or credit the cards each month, but why not simply credit the cards with 1/4th of the money each week instead (as you suggest)? That would at least force people to budget better and would seem to be an easy solution. It's certainly a step in the right direction. I'd prefer some sort of food bank solution instead (since it ensures that they're getting food instead of all the things they could buy with the cards), but I'm not married to any one solution. I'm just trying to get people to acknowledge that this is a real problem and that "more money for food stamps" probably isn't needed. It's how we're transforming money spent into food on the table that seems to be the problem.

Edited, Jan 15th 2013 2:07pm by gbaji
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#314 Jan 15 2013 at 4:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I'm just basing my conclusion on observations of the data. It seems reasonable to conclude that if people spend most of their food stamp money in the first few days of the month, and if food insecurity is similar (or even higher) among recipients of food stamps versus non-recipients within the same low income range, that this is happening because they're blowing their food budget at the beginning of the month and coming up short at the end. We could speculate something else, but this does seem reasonable, right?


Sure.

A cautionary note being that the habit is fairly common, even outside of food stamp people (yes, they're a people now. How cool is that? Smiley: nod). If you get 2 paychecks a month one is largely rent/mortgage, of the other one becomes a catch all for everything else. You stock up on a lot of food when you get that other paycheck, and supplement with lower amounts of shopping, for largely perishable items, the rest of the month. Well at least that's what we seem to do. Anecdotes are still data right? Smiley: um

Anyhoozit, I should probably go read the article already; so I at least have a better idea of how they define 'food insecurity.' Smiley: lol

Edit:

And I'm back...

Quote:
“Food security” is defined as “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life” (9). “Food insecurity” is defined as the absence of food security at the household level.


Okay with that definition of food security I could definitely see how poor budgeting could be a factor.

Edited, Jan 15th 2013 2:41pm by someproteinguy
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#315 Jan 15 2013 at 4:41 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
A cautionary note being that the habit is fairly common, even outside of food stamp people.


Absolutely. People at all income levels do this sort of thing. I've often (in this thread even) argued that far too many people spend more money than they earn even when they don't have to and end out hurting their own financial condition as a result. It's just more likely to result in an actual shortage of food in the fridge at the end of the month if you're in the lower income range.

Quote:
Anyhoozit, I should probably go read the article already; so I at least have a better idea of how they define 'food insecurity.' Smiley: lol


Here's the link again.

And for those not bothering, this isn't some partisan source either. Unless "Journal of Nutrition" is considered partisan.

Edited, Jan 15th 2013 2:41pm by gbaji
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#316 Jan 15 2013 at 4:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And for those not bothering, this isn't some partisan source either. Unless "Journal of Nutrition" is considered partisan.


They're scientists, we know they're all just in it for more funding:

Quote:
With careful attention to research ethics, one may hope that pursuing stronger random-assignment research designs would best serve the original admirable purpose of using food insecurity and hunger measurement to assess and improve antihunger programs


Smiley: tinfoilhat


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#317 Jan 15 2013 at 4:55 PM Rating: Default
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Oh. And an interesting corollary to this is that it's quite possible the reason why food insecurity appears to be lower among non food stamp recipients is precisely because they don't get that big lump of money at the beginning of the month. One could speculate that the absence of that means that they are less likely to skew their purchases based on that lump amount and thus are more likely to carefully budget the amount of money they have available to them. It's just a theory, but it's as valid an explanation for the behavior as any. It just seems reasonable that if we accept the idea that how much money someone has in their hands at any given moment can cause them to overspend in a way that makes them run out of money later, then we should at least entertain the notion that the mere act of giving someone a lump sum of cash to spend might cause them to spend so much more inefficiently as to actually counter the effect of the money we're giving them in the first place. So by giving someone $300 of food stamps up front, that person might spend $400 that month wastefully, thinking they have enough to cover because of the stamps, while someone who didn't receive food stamps at all would avoid spending any money wastefully and thus actually have more money for food (but less money for other things).

Like I said, it's just a pet theory, but it also seems to match the data. And it also ties into the notion that people tend to be more cautious with money (things of value in general) when they have to earn it versus when it's given to them. Yeah, I'm making a classic anti-entitlement argument, but it does seem to fit into this discussion. I just think that if someone is so poor that they require assistance, we should not worry so much about providing it in a way that makes them "free" to spend the assistance on anything they want. We should provide just what they need directly to just those who need it and nothing more. That may be more difficult, but it sure looks like the inefficiency of the current methods are far far worse.
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#318 Jan 16 2013 at 2:27 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:

Like I said, it's just a pet theory,
Kind of like an imaginary friend?

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#319 Jan 16 2013 at 4:00 PM Rating: Default
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:

Like I said, it's just a pet theory,
Kind of like an imaginary friend?


More like a pet rock.
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#320 Jan 16 2013 at 7:57 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji wrote:

Sure. I'm not discounting this. All I'm saying is that we should not therefore assume that this *doesn't* happen in the case of poor people and food purchases. I'm arguing *against* the assumption that a dollar of food stamps equals a dollar more food in the mouths of hungry children.


As you pointed out, how you manage your money is on you. I get paid money for my housing with expenses and for food. If I decide to use it on a car, then so be it. However, that doesn't take away the intent of the money.

Gbaji wrote:
And most people (in poverty or not) will choose to spend enough on food to avoid starving as well. You're excluding a middle here. We're not talking about starvation. We're talking about "food insecurity". Which is a standard well above that of actually starving. My argument, which is supported by the data I provided, is that the level of food insecurity doesn't seem to change much at all relative to how much we provide people in the form of food stamps.


There was no exclusion. The average person would resort to crime before starvation or "food insecurity". As stated above, there are people who make bad financial decisions; however, there are also people who literally do not have enough money to financially support themselves and food stamps DO HELP.

Gbaji wrote:
Not enough to do what? Avoid starvation? Absolutely there is. To avoid "food insecurity"? There is, but people make choices which result in them being food insecure even when they do have sufficient access to food to avoid it. That's the point I'm trying to make.


If that were, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. There is plenty of food, but not enough serious givers and receivers to end "food insecurity" or starvation.

Gbaji wrote:
I don't believe that even if we ended food stamps entirely, it would neither increase the rate of crime *nor* increase the rate of food insecurity. It certainly would not increase the rate at which anyone starves to death. Remember that as a general rule, people receiving food stamps are not completely without other sources of income. It's not like the $300/month of food stamps is the only source of income they have, else where would we send them? They have addresses. They have other sources of money.


Then you simply don't understand any financial struggle if you believe that nonsense.

Gbaji wrote:
Remember also that my argument isn't about providing zero help, but rather changing the nature of the help. If people really honestly can't get enough food to eat, there are lots of different ways to obtain it. I've mentioned the idea of food banks and other direct methods of getting actual food to people who need it. Those programs work, and the people receive food, not stamps they can use to buy food. It's about someone's ability to tolerate their innate condition. If food insecurity is sufficiently intolerable, they'll do something like work with a food bank to obtain food (or go to a soup kitchen for a meal). By simply giving people food stamps based on their income, we're allowing them an easy choice. And my argument is that for many people, the threshold at which we provide them food stamps is well above the threshold at which they'd make changes in their own choices to ensure they get sufficient food. As a result, the food stamps often don't affect the actual amount of food they receive at all, but merely makes their choice to spend money on things they want instead of need easier.


I fully agree that these programs need to be adjusted, but not to your misguided beliefs. They have elements of truth, but are saturated with bias that would cause more harm than good. The intent isn't to simply provide food, but not have people to make financial decisions such as clothes or food. The food stamps allow people to wear decent clothes, have a mode of transportation, etc. We're a developed country, our "threshold" should be above "are you fed?"

Gbaji wrote:
This was born out with the poster who continued to pay $800/month for a car, while taking food stamps. Perfect example of what I'm talking about. Absent food stamps, he would have been forced to make a choice between the car and food. But with them, he could avoid making that choice. So I think talking about choosing between hunger and crime is absurd. We're not even close to that calculation here. We're allowing people to avoid making a choice between hunger and an expensive car. And that should *not* be what food assistance is about.


And I think we all agree that he is misusing the system.
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#321 Jan 16 2013 at 9:01 PM Rating: Good
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Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji wrote:

This was born out with the poster who continued to pay $800/month for a car, while taking food stamps. Perfect example of what I'm talking about. Absent food stamps, he would have been forced to make a choice between the car and food. But with them, he could avoid making that choice. So I think talking about choosing between hunger and crime is absurd. We're not even close to that calculation here. We're allowing people to avoid making a choice between hunger and an expensive car. And that should *not* be what food assistance is about.



And I think we all agree that he is misusing the system.


Very nice. Guess I should have just suffered and died instead. Meh this is America after all.
#322 Jan 16 2013 at 9:04 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
As you pointed out, how you manage your money is on you. I get paid money for my housing with expenses and for food. If I decide to use it on a car, then so be it. However, that doesn't take away the intent of the money.


Yes. But if the reality doesn't match the intent, perhaps we should re-assess what we're doing?

Quote:
There was no exclusion.


Of the middle? Yes, there was.

Quote:
The average person would resort to crime before starvation or "food insecurity".


Starvation? Yes. Food insecurity? No. But that's missing the point. The average person will avail themselves of a soup kitchen or food bank or shuffle around their spending before resorting to crime. That's the middle that you're excluding.

Quote:
As stated above, there are people who make bad financial decisions; however, there are also people who literally do not have enough money to financially support themselves and food stamps DO HELP.


Sure. But that does not preclude us adjusting our thinking with regard to food stamps and those who are not quite in that condition (or even close to it). That problem is that there appears to be a point of diminishing returns with regards to food stamp spending. The first portion, targeted at the most destitute, certainly helps a lot. But when we start expanding it to more people, the ratio of money spent to food insecurity prevented decreases. There should be a point where simply pointing to the stats on food insecurity should not be a legitimate argument for increased spending on food stamps. Right?

Quote:
If that were, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. There is plenty of food, but not enough serious givers and receivers to end "food insecurity" or starvation.


My argument is that no amount of food stamps will "end" food insecurity. If your objective is to ensure that everyone actually receives sufficient nutrition for a healthy life, then more spending on food stamps is not the way to do it. That's the point I'm making.


Quote:
I fully agree that these programs need to be adjusted, but not to your misguided beliefs. They have elements of truth, but are saturated with bias that would cause more harm than good. The intent isn't to simply provide food, but not have people to make financial decisions such as clothes or food. The food stamps allow people to wear decent clothes, have a mode of transportation, etc. We're a developed country, our "threshold" should be above "are you fed?"


Then lets stop pretending that's the objective of food stamps then. Let's stop accepting that when a politician points to hunger statistics and then calls for more spending on food stamps, that he's making a valid point. Let's truly accept that what we're buying with food stamps isn't food, but other items.

In short. Let's be honest with ourselves. If you truly are ok with spending money to allow people to have food *and* other things and not have to make a choice between them, then argue for spending on that grounds. The point is that people don't argue on that grounds because they know that most people will not think that's a good use of public funds. So instead, they lie. They pretend that food stamps are just for buying food, and that it has no other effect. And when people like me point out that food stamps really doesn't buy food, but frees people from those choices, they vehemently deny it. I guess I just don't understand why people feel they need to pursue their social agenda with lies. Why not be honest about what you're really trying to do and then if enough people agree with you, it'll happen? And if they don't, then don't get all **** hurt because most people don't agree. And certainly stop trying to call us heartless and pretend that when we oppose more spending on things like food stamps we're somehow taking food out of people's mouths.

We're not. I happen to think that it's a good thing that people who are poor are forced to make tough choices. It's what gives them incentives to work hard to get out of poverty. If you remove the need to make those decisions, where does it end? What level of luxury do you think we should guarantee for everyone? If you've already decided that simply having food and shelter isn't enough, then what is "enough"? Isn't that really the problem here? I don't have any problem with helping out those in need. But I do believe that people should be required to do the maximum they can to help themselves if they want more than just the bare necessities.

Food stamps isn't about feeding the hungry. Maybe for some of them, yes. But for many, it's about providing people with a better standard of living than they can obtain via their own actions. And while that may sound charitable at first, it's harmful to those who receive it in the long run. You don't do someone favors by enabling their poor choices. Not at all.

Quote:
And I think we all agree that he is misusing the system.


But you don't seem to care enough to want to do anything about it. I mean, you just acknowledged that we *should* provide for more than just food. And that it's somehow perfectly ok that food stamps frees people from having to make those kinds of decisions. So are you saying you're ok with people misusing food stamps? That's the only thing I can conclude here.
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#323 Jan 16 2013 at 9:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Zymunn wrote:
Very nice. Guess I should have just suffered and died instead. Meh this is America after all.


No. You should have sold your **** car and bought a less expensive one. There's a whole range of things between "maintain an $800/month car" and "starve to death in a ditch". Please stop pretending like you had no other choices.


To be fair though, I don't blame you. You found a means to both obtain food *and* not have to sell your car. Bully for you. My target is not you, but the incredibly loose requirements in our food stamps program which make it possible for people to do that sort of thing in the first place.
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#324 Jan 16 2013 at 9:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Zymunn wrote:
Very nice. Guess I should have just suffered and died instead. Meh this is America after all.


No. You should have sold your **** car and bought a less expensive one. There's a whole range of things between "maintain an $800/month car" and "starve to death in a ditch". Please stop pretending like you had no other choices.


To be fair though, I don't blame you. You found a means to both obtain food *and* not have to sell your car. Bully for you. My target is not you, but the incredibly loose requirements in our food stamps program which make it possible for people to do that sort of thing in the first place.


Not really taking it personally. Go back one page, near the end I believe, I broke down my situation a bit. I would have died if I sold the car. I went to the dealership to see if somethng could be worked out, talked to the financing company too. If I had more then a roof over my head, such as family or friends that could do more then put a temporary roof over my head, I would not have gotten food stamps.

You keep clumping everyone in one group. There are at times cirumstances which lead up to "abusing" the system. As in my case. I did not abuse the system just did what I had to do until I got on my feet. Again, I did not go back to renew my food stamps income.

It is roughly 16 miles interstate from the center of where I lived, Laurel, to the off ramp leading into Billings. I worked on the far end of Billings. Just to give a rough idea of why walking would not have been plausible.

Edited, Jan 16th 2013 10:18pm by Zymunn
#325 Jan 16 2013 at 9:15 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
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Like I said, it's just a pet theory,
Kind of like an imaginary friend?
More like a pet rock.
A scam on idiots? I believe that.
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#326 Jan 16 2013 at 9:33 PM Rating: Default
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Zymunn wrote:
I would have died if I sold the car.


No. You wouldn't have died. Please don't exaggerate.

Quote:
I went to the dealership to see if somethng could be worked out, talked to the financing company too.


And what did they say? They would not allow you to sell the car back? Trade it in for a cheaper car? Nothing? Not even delay payments for a few months? I'm just having a hard time believing that you exhausted all other options. But the point is that you didn't have to. You had food stamps available to you, which allowed you to make an easier choice.


I'll also point out that the car was way too expensive anyway. Sometimes, it's not the choices made after something unfortunate happens, but those we made before hand, which put us in a bind. You committed to an expense that was a stretch even with the amount of money you were making. Then, when your finances took a downward turn, you found yourself unable to meet that commitment. The poor choice was made before the financial downturn. You should have been more modest in your spending prior to that point, then you would not have been in such a bind later.

But most people think about today and not about tomorrow. Which is part of the problem. And that problem isn't helped by a government that enables people to avoid consequences when they make those kinds of poor choices.

Quote:
If I had more then a roof over my head, such as family or friends that could do more then put a temporary roof over my head, I would not have gotten food stamps.


Hey. I'm not saying it was a bad decision for you to make. I'm saying that had you not had the option of food stamps in that situation, you would have been forced to make better decisions elsewhere. And you might have learned a better lesson about planning ahead with your spending. Not to say you may not have learned it anyway, but when we extend this to the whole population, you can see how this sort of safety net, while it seems helpful at first glance, actually encourages people to spend money right to the edge of poverty. They have no safety net of their own because they believe the government will take care of them.


I just think that's the wrong way to do things.

Quote:
You keep clumping everyone in one group. There are at times cirumstances which lead up to "abusing" the system. As in my case. I did not abuse the system just did what I had to do until I got on my feet. Again, I did not go back to renew my food stamps income.


And that's great. But there are a **** of a lot of people who will not have such extreme circumstances, and will take "just some benefits to get me by", and then that turns into a little more, and a little more. And they get accustomed to having them augmenting their own lifestyle. And it becomes a crutch which prevents them from improving their own lives.

The point being that if someone who's spending $800/month on a car can receive food stamps, then there's a whole range of folks who aren't spending that much on a car who could get by perfectly fine without food stamps, but who will also qualify. And that's should make us question the argument that food stamps is necessary in those cases.

Quote:
It is roughly 16 miles interstate from the center of where I lived, Laurel, to the off ramp leading into Billings. I worked on the far end of Billings. Just to give a rough idea of why walking would not have been plausible.


No one's questioning your need for transportation. Just not transportation that costs $800/month. That's an insane amount of money. You didn't have a co-worker who lived near you who could give you a ride? No rideshare program in place? Nothing?
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#327 Jan 16 2013 at 9:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Zymunn wrote:
I would have died if I sold the car.


No. You wouldn't have died. Please don't exaggerate.


I take it you did not read the post I mentioned. So let me clear this part up. I am diabetic, type one. That means I am insulin dependant. No money to buy meds then I am dead. Read the post to understand more.

Quote:
I went to the dealership to see if somethng could be worked out, talked to the financing company too.


And what did they say? They would not allow you to sell the car back? Trade it in for a cheaper car? Nothing? Not even delay payments for a few months? I'm just having a hard time believing that you exhausted all other options. But the point is that you didn't have to. You had food stamps available to you, which allowed you to make an easier choice.[/quote]

Told me I could trade it in but it was not going to cover the down payment they had on anything. The finance company told me they would not adjust the payment. And they had at that point already cut me slack for two months on payment.


Quote:
I'll also point out that the car was way too expensive anyway.


Had absolutely no problems paying my bills until I was without work for about two months.


Quote:
No one's questioning your need for transportation. Just not transportation that costs $800/month. That's an insane amount of money. You didn't have a co-worker who lived near you who could give you a ride? No rideshare program in place? Nothing?


All my co-workers lived in Billings so that was out. Nothing that went between the two cities no. My friend and her husband both worked early hours. She is a teacher and he works at Fed Ex. So no other options were avaible at the time.
#328 Jan 16 2013 at 10:09 PM Rating: Default
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Zymunn wrote:
I take it you did not read the post I mentioned. So let me clear this part up. I am diabetic, type one. That means I am insulin dependant. No money to buy meds then I am dead. Read the post to understand more.


I'm not sure how that relates to "I would have died if I'd sold the car". You've created a string of assumptions that IMO aren't founded.

Quote:
Told me I could trade it in but it was not going to cover the down payment they had on anything. The finance company told me they would not adjust the payment. And they had at that point already cut me slack for two months on payment.


So you waited until it was too late? What about two months earlier, when you hadn't yet missed any payments, and you might have had some more money to do more things? See. The first thing one should do when they lose their job is shed any unnecessary expenses. Now. Not when they run out of money. Right now. Day one. Lose your job, go right then and trade your car in for the cheapest thing you can find. That way the money you do have saved up will last longer, and the likelihood of decreased income for a while wont hurt you as much.

My point is that you did have choices along the way. But you made poor ones, which led you to be in a jam you couldn't get out of.

Quote:
Quote:
I'll also point out that the car was way too expensive anyway.


Had absolutely no problems paying my bills until I was without work for about two months.


Because you had whacked priorities though. I'm sure you managed, but if you'd purchased a more reasonable car (like one that cost say $300/month in financing and another $100 in insurance), you'd have saved yourself $400/month. You could then have saved that money (since you had "no problem" living on the remaining income, right), and then had significantly more money to use as a buffer against losing your job *and* you could have kept the car even with the lower salary you had for a period of time. You decided to buy the absolute most expensive car you could afford. That was a mistake.

Spending nearly half your take home pay on a car is too much, no matter how much you earn. I realize that most people can't do this (or choose not to), but ideally you should have sufficient savings to live for 3 months at your current expense level (preferably 6 months btw). This should cover you between jobs. But you can also hedge that by reducing you expenses if you do lose a job. My point is that you made purchasing decisions right to the edge of what you could afford, assuming you'd never lose your job. You then continued to spend money assuming you'd get a new one quickly. When both of those assumptions failed, you then were shocked to find yourself in a tough situation.

Quote:
All my co-workers lived in Billings so that was out. Nothing that went between the two cities no. My friend and her husband both worked early hours. She is a teacher and he works at Fed Ex. So no other options were avaible at the time.


There was no work to be found near to where you lived? You could not get a ride early in the morning, and hang out at/near work? You had other options. It's just that keeping the car and going on food stamps was an easier one to take.

And I'm sorry, but I still don't buy that there was no other option but to keep paying $800/month on that car. That just seems somewhat absurd to me. I don't know what kind of messed up situation you were in prior to that point which created that circumstance, but it's not normal. Normally, you can trade in a car for a less expensive model pretty easily. You'll lose most of the cash you've been paying to the financing agency, but they'll do it because from their perspective they get another sale, and from the finance office's perspective, it's better to get a smaller amount per month from you than to get nothing and then have to repossess the car. And they then still get to sell your old car again as well. It's win/win/win for them, so I'm not seeing how you could not make some kind of deal.
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#329 Jan 17 2013 at 6:33 AM Rating: Good
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Gbaji wrote:


Yes. But if the reality doesn't match the intent, perhaps we should re-assess what we're doing?


Hence why I said it should be reevaluated.

Gbaji wrote:

Of the middle? Yes, there was. Starvation?
..

Yes. Food insecurity? No. But that's missing the point. The average person will avail themselves of a soup kitchen or food bank or shuffle around their spending before resorting to crime. That's the middle that you're excluding.


Nothing was excluded. The average poor person will commit a crime before starving or to get out of "food insecurity". There's only so many peanut butter sandwiches a person can eat.

Gbaji wrote:
Sure. But that does not preclude us adjusting our thinking with regard to food stamps and those who are not quite in that condition (or even close to it). That problem is that there appears to be a point of diminishing returns with regards to food stamp spending. The first portion, targeted at the most destitute, certainly helps a lot. But when we start expanding it to more people, the ratio of money spent to food insecurity prevented decreases. There should be a point where simply pointing to the stats on food insecurity should not be a legitimate argument for increased spending on food stamps. Right?


No, because we want to have our citizens be able to produce something for society. If the only thing our citizens can do is eat, that doesn't really help us to advance.

Gbaji wrote:

My argument is that no amount of food stamps will "end" food insecurity. If your objective is to ensure that everyone actually receives sufficient nutrition for a healthy life, then more spending on food stamps is not the way to do it. That's the point I'm making.


Your point is wrong. It is often misused to the point that it wont change anything, but it doesn't mean its incapable of making any change.

Gbaji wrote:
Then lets stop pretending that's the objective of food stamps then. Let's stop accepting that when a politician points to hunger statistics and then calls for more spending on food stamps, that he's making a valid point. Let's truly accept that what we're buying with food stamps isn't food, but other items.


The point is food. The government is providing food. As a result the citizen doesn't have to make a choice between their rent and food. It's not a difficult concept. When I give money to families, I would pay just enough to pay their rent and a little extra for food. This guaranteed a place for them to live. How they managed the money is on them, but I provided shelter.

In short. Let's be honest with ourselves. If you truly are ok with spending money to allow people to have food *and* other things and not have to make a choice between them, then argue for spending on that grounds. The point is that people don't argue on that grounds because they know that most people will not think that's a good use of public funds. So instead, they lie. They pretend that food stamps are just for buying food, and that it has no other effect. And when people like me point out that food stamps really doesn't buy food, but frees people from those choices, they vehemently deny it. I guess I just don't understand why people feel they need to pursue their social agenda with lies. Why not be honest about what you're really trying to do and then if enough people agree with you, it'll happen? And if they don't, then don't get all **** hurt because most people don't agree. And certainly stop trying to call us heartless and pretend that when we oppose more spending on things like food stamps we're somehow taking food out of people's mouths.

We're not. I happen to think that it's a good thing that people who are poor are forced to make tough choices. It's what gives them incentives to work hard to get out of poverty. If you remove the need to make those decisions, where does it end? What level of luxury do you think we should guarantee for everyone? If you've already decided that simply having food and shelter isn't enough, then what is "enough"? Isn't that really the problem here? I don't have any problem with helping out those in need. But I do believe that people should be required to do the maximum they can to help themselves if they want more than just the bare necessities.

Food stamps isn't about feeding the hungry. Maybe for some of them, yes. But for many, it's about providing people with a better standard of living than they can obtain via their own actions. And while that may sound charitable at first, it's harmful to those who receive it in the long run. You don't do someone favors by enabling their poor choices. Not at all.


You're confusing the line. Food stamps is to cover down on food expenses, period. Rather or not it allows the individual to pay for a car is irrelevant. The hope is that it does, so the people can give back to society.


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#330 Jan 17 2013 at 8:54 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
You're confusing the line. Food stamps is to cover down on food expenses, period. Rather or not it allows the individual to pay for a car is irrelevant. The hope is that it does, so the people can give back to society.


My god what happened to Alma? He is almost making some sense.
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#331 Jan 17 2013 at 9:30 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
My god what happened to Alma? He is almost making some sense.


You just activated his trap card.

"It only seems that way because this time what I'm saying doesn't conflict with your liberal dogma / because this time I arrived ata result you liked. I always make sense."
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#332 Jan 17 2013 at 9:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Kavekk wrote:
Quote:
My god what happened to Alma? He is almost making some sense.


You just activated his trap card.

"It only seems that way because this time what I'm saying doesn't conflict with your liberal dogma / because this time I arrived ata result you liked. I always make sense."


ah a close but no cigar type thing. GDI.


Edited, Jan 17th 2013 10:35am by rdmcandie
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#333 Jan 17 2013 at 5:32 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
Nothing was excluded. The average poor person will commit a crime before starving or to get out of "food insecurity".


Sigh. The whole range of things people will do between "commit a crime" and "starvation" is being excluded.

Quote:
No, because we want to have our citizens be able to produce something for society. If the only thing our citizens can do is eat, that doesn't really help us to advance.


Sure. But that requires that they work. So how does providing people with sufficient funds for shelter, food, transportation, health care, and potentially some extra luxuries actually increase the productive output of their own labors? It doesn't. It arguably does the opposite because someone can "get by" while performing less labor. Which means the total productivity is decreased, not increased.

Quote:
The point is food. The government is providing food.


Which is it? Is the government providing food, or freeing up someone from having to spend money on food instead of something else? You keep bouncing back and forth between these two.

Quote:
As a result the citizen doesn't have to make a choice between their rent and food.


Then if the net effect of the food stamps is that someone pays for rent and food instead of just food, didn't we provide them with rent and *not* food? So we should stop calling them food stamps and stop pretending that it's just about making sure people get enough to eat.

Quote:
It's not a difficult concept. When I give money to families, I would pay just enough to pay their rent and a little extra for food. This guaranteed a place for them to live. How they managed the money is on them, but I provided shelter.


Then sell me on providing people with rent money. Don't make an appeal to emotion on the grounds that someone will starve if we don't give them food stamps. I'm just asking that we be honest about what we're doing here.

I'll also point out that we do provide people with housing assistance in addition to food stamps. The issue isn't about that. It's about someone not having to choose between buying food and going out to the movies, or buying the latest xbox games, or maintaining a car that's far to expensive for them. At the point it moves beyond necessities and into luxuries, I think it's more than fair that we point this out and stop lying to ourselves about what we're doing.

Quote:
You're confusing the line. Food stamps is to cover down on food expenses, period. Rather or not it allows the individual to pay for a car is irrelevant. The hope is that it does, so the people can give back to society.


If it's so irrelevant if someone is really using the extra funds from food stamps to pay for his car, then why so much deception about it? The reality is that this is quite relevant to most people. Which is precisely why no one argues for food stamps on the grounds that people shouldn't have to choose between buying food and buying lottery tickets.
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#334 Jan 17 2013 at 6:53 PM Rating: Excellent
You give up your entitlement (mortgage tax break) and you might be justified in ******** about other entitlements (food stamps).


Hypocrite.
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#335 Jan 17 2013 at 7:06 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
You give up your entitlement (mortgage tax break) and you might be justified in ******** about other entitlements (food stamps).


I would gladly give up the mortgage tax deduction (all deductions of all kinds actually) if it meant zero federal spending on food stamps, welfare, medicaid, etc. ****. Let's not stop there. Let's end taxes and spending on social security and medicare as well. And let's implement a flat tax while we're at it. No more playing favorites at all.

You in? Cause I am. And so are the majority of conservatives. Right now. Let's do this!


Quote:
Hypocrite.


Hypocrisy is selectively deciding what entitlements you want to eliminate (and for the record a tax deduction isn't an entitlement, but whatever). I'm willing to bet that you would not be willing to remove all federal tax deductions if the cost was removing all federal social spending. So who's the hypocrite?

You're also willing to end the EITC as well, right? That's a deduction as well. No? Hypocrite. This is really the wrong game to play with a conservative.

Edited, Jan 17th 2013 5:07pm by gbaji
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More words please
#336 Jan 17 2013 at 8:58 PM Rating: Excellent
Yes. I would favor a flat tax. Too bad your "conservative" buddies don't.
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#337 Jan 17 2013 at 9:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'd favour a crushing 100% gbaji tax.
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#338 Jan 18 2013 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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Gbaji wrote:

Sigh. The whole range of things people will do between "commit a crime" and "starvation" is being excluded.


No, it isn't. You keep claiming that no one will starve in the U.S. I agree and with the auxiliary statement that a person will commit a crime before starving. What they do before they hit that point is irrelevant to the conversation. Unless you have comments to add that are irrelevant to starvation or "food insecurity", because I don't.

Gbaji wrote:

Sure. But that requires that they work. So how does providing people with sufficient funds for shelter, food, transportation, health care, and potentially some extra luxuries actually increase the productive output of their own labors? It doesn't. It arguably does the opposite because someone can "get by" while performing less labor. Which means the total productivity is decreased, not increased.


This topic is over food stamps. The only thing being provided is money for food, not shelter, transportation, health care, etc. However, to answer your question, you limit and restrict it to each individual on a case by case scenario. For example, someone who just lost their job who is fully capable of working will get less time and benefits as a person with health conditions that prevents that individual from getting certain jobs, etc.

Gbaji wrote:

Which is it? Is the government providing food, or freeing up someone from having to spend money on food instead of something else? You keep bouncing back and forth between these two.

.....

Then if the net effect of the food stamps is that someone pays for rent and food instead of just food, didn't we provide them with rent and *not* food? So we should stop calling them food stamps and stop pretending that it's just about making sure people get enough to eat.

.....

Then sell me on providing people with rent money. Don't make an appeal to emotion on the grounds that someone will starve if we don't give them food stamps. I'm just asking that we be honest about what we're doing here.

I'll also point out that we do provide people with housing assistance in addition to food stamps. The issue isn't about that. It's about someone not having to choose between buying food and going out to the movies, or buying the latest xbox games, or maintaining a car that's far to expensive for them. At the point it moves beyond necessities and into luxuries, I think it's more than fair that we point this out and stop lying to ourselves about what we're doing.


I'm not bouncing back and forth. I've said that the government is providing money for the food (in reference to food stamps), nothing more nothing less. The outcome is that money frees up money to spend on other stuff. As I mentioned, how a person decides to spend the money allocated on a specific cause is irrelevant to the intent of the cause.

I can spend my housing allowance on strippers, that doesn't mean that the government is giving me money to support strippers.

Gbaji wrote:
If it's so irrelevant if someone is really using the extra funds from food stamps to pay for his car, then why so much deception about it? The reality is that this is quite relevant to most people. Which is precisely why no one argues for food stamps on the grounds that people shouldn't have to choose between buying food and buying lottery tickets.


There's absolutely no deception involved. Unless the person has exactly zero dollars or less to their name, then OBVIOUSLY, money is being spent else where. There are different levels of poor. We're not talking about 3rd world country level poor, we're talking about USA poor. people that are "USA poor" tend to have CLOTHES and usually a place to stay, limited food and limited money. The food stamps are there to provide food for the people. Unless your argument is "If you have money to pay for a place to live or to wear clothes, then you don't need food stamps", then you have no argument.
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Almalieque wrote:

I'm biased against statistics
#339 Jan 18 2013 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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I'd favour a crushing 100% gbaji tax.


Speaking of crushing: Do you think that, after many millions of years spent buried under the sedimentary layers of gbaji's text walls, the little lump of ***-hatin' coal that is Alma might one day become a fabulous diamond?

The little ****** seems to be getting vaguely more progressive of late.

Edited, Jan 18th 2013 3:26pm by Eske
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#340 Jan 18 2013 at 7:18 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
Yes. I would favor a flat tax. Too bad your "conservative" buddies don't.


I guarantee you that a much higher percentage of conservatives want a flat tax than liberals. Let's be clear. I'm talking about a single flat tax. No exemptions. No deductions. Every single person pays the exact same percentage of their total income. I don't think very many liberals (or any) will support that.
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gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
Yes. I would favor a flat tax. Too bad your "conservative" buddies don't.


I guarantee you that a much higher percentage of conservatives want a flat tax than liberals. Let's be clear. I'm talking about a single flat tax. No exemptions. No deductions. Every single person pays the exact same percentage of their total income. I don't think very many liberals (or any) will support that.


We wouldn't mind a flat tax based on relative impact of income. 20% hits someone making minimum wage a lot harder than it does someone making $75 an hour.

An infographic has been floating around the Internet from the WSJ, and it's been rightfully mocked for being so ******* out of touch with everyone who doesn't live in the bubble of NYC that I rank it right up there with your "lower middle class people drive used Lexuses."

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#342 Jan 18 2013 at 7:54 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji wrote:

Sigh. The whole range of things people will do between "commit a crime" and "starvation" is being excluded.


No, it isn't. You keep claiming that no one will starve in the U.S.


And you keep wobbling from one point to another. No one starves in the US as a result of lack of availability of food. Period. That has nothing to do with the fact that there are choices to be made between food insecurity and crime though.

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I agree and with the auxiliary statement that a person will commit a crime before starving. What they do before they hit that point is irrelevant to the conversation. Unless you have comments to add that are irrelevant to starvation or "food insecurity", because I don't.


WTF!? Take a language course some time. I honestly have no clue what you're trying to say here.


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This topic is over food stamps. The only thing being provided is money for food, not shelter, transportation, health care, etc.


But you just agreed that food stamps provided for food often actually result in other things being purchased because it frees the person from having to choose between buying food and buying something else. You even said this was a good thing. So I think it's more than fair to talk about the impact of helping people afford those other things.

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However, to answer your question, you limit and restrict it to each individual on a case by case scenario. For example, someone who just lost their job who is fully capable of working will get less time and benefits as a person with health conditions that prevents that individual from getting certain jobs, etc.


That's great. But how do we determine if our current method of determining how much each case receives is correct or not? You say we should tailor the benefits to the cases, but then argue against someone like me simply pointing out that we're currently handing out more food stamps than we should because they're enabling people to buy other things than food. Then you insist that this is perfectly ok. Then you insist that if things aren't working we should adjust them. It's like you just run around in circles on this, never admitting that the other guy has a point, but never sticking to one yourself.


Do you think that food stamps are currently correctly managed? Yes or no?

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I'm not bouncing back and forth. I've said that the government is providing money for the food (in reference to food stamps), nothing more nothing less.


Except for the times when you say this:

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The outcome is that money frees up money to spend on other stuff.


So, it's not money for food. It is something more. WTF?

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As I mentioned, how a person decides to spend the money allocated on a specific cause is irrelevant to the intent of the cause.


Of course it's relevant. It's relevant to anyone who isn't brain dead.

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I can spend my housing allowance on strippers, that doesn't mean that the government is giving me money to support strippers.


Yes it does. More importantly, if you feel you have enough extra money after the government assistance to spend on strippers, then it's reasonable to assume that we can reduce the amount you receive by the amount you spent on strippers. In fact, we should arguably keep reducing the amount you receive until you no longer spend money on strippers. If you're able to afford extras, then you don't need government assistance. Period. It really is that easy.

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There's absolutely no deception involved.


When people insist that any attempt to reduce food stamps allotments is wrong because "you'll be taking food out of people's mouths!", when those receiving the food stamps have enough extra money to pay for $800 cars, strippers, liquor, cigarettes, lottery tickets, etc, then the argument being used is absolutely deceptive. It's based on a false claim that if we reduce that person's food stamps, that they'll go hungry as a result. But that can't be true if that person has money to spend on any luxuries at all. That person *could* afford sufficient food to avoid hunger. If they choose not to in favor of hiring strippers, or buying lottery tickets, that is their choice. We should not feel sorry for their hunger at all. And we're certainly under no obligation to continue to reinforce their bad choices by simply giving them more money in the form of food stamps.


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Unless the person has exactly zero dollars or less to their name, then OBVIOUSLY, money is being spent else where.


Yes. Which is what I've been saying all along. But for some bizarre reason you keep insisting that food stamps are for "buying food, nothing more, nothing less". That's absolutely false. For the vast majority of food stamps recipients, that money is "obviously" being spent elsewhere. So let's stop defending food stamps on the basis of them just being about buying food.

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There are different levels of poor. We're not talking about 3rd world country level poor, we're talking about USA poor. people that are "USA poor" tend to have CLOTHES and usually a place to stay, limited food and limited money. The food stamps are there to provide food for the people. Unless your argument is "If you have money to pay for a place to live or to wear clothes, then you don't need food stamps", then you have no argument.


Sure. But when those people are maintaining $800/month cars? Or spending money on liquor, or cigarettes, or playing the lotto, or going to a casino, or buying a playstation, or any of hundreds of things that people spend money on that are not necessities? I have no problem with someone who receives food stamps, but if they are doing so, they should be so poor that they can't afford any luxuries at all (very few at least). They should at the very least meet the rest of us half way by making good choices about what little money they do have. Which is where this argument began. No one on food stamps should *ever* be choosing to buy soda at all anyway. They should not be buying chips, or crackers, or any form of snack food. If you are so poor that you require other people to help provide you with money to buy food, then you should be buying food, not junk.


We should not need to pass laws prohibiting what people spend their food stamps on. We should be limiting public assistance such that those who receive it will be forced to make good choices *or* go hungry (or end out on the street, etc). You yourself agree that people will do extreme things to avoid actual starvation (like committing crimes). But does this not also mean that they'll do something far less extreme (like not spending money on soda) long before reaching that extreme? If someone truly had a choice between soda and avoiding starvation, they'd choose to avoid starvation every single time. The reason why people on food stamps buy things like soda is because they are not remotely near that level of economic desperation. My argument is that we should be able to safely trim the benefit amounts to a point where people will make good choices while still being well above the "desperate" level economically. There has to be a point at which this will happen. We're way way way way way above it. The fact that so many people on assistance spend so much on luxuries is proof of this. The fact that differences between outcomes based on receipt of food stamps doesn't seem to change hunger rates at all is another bit of proof as well.


We can bury our heads in the sand and repeat rhetoric like "We must provide food stamps to people or they'll starve!", or we can look around at the real situation and make intelligent changes to our system. I'm simply suggesting the latter course.

Edited, Jan 18th 2013 6:13pm by gbaji
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#343 Jan 18 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Default
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catwho wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
Yes. I would favor a flat tax. Too bad your "conservative" buddies don't.


I guarantee you that a much higher percentage of conservatives want a flat tax than liberals. Let's be clear. I'm talking about a single flat tax. No exemptions. No deductions. Every single person pays the exact same percentage of their total income. I don't think very many liberals (or any) will support that.


We wouldn't mind a flat tax based on relative impact of income. 20% hits someone making minimum wage a lot harder than it does someone making $75 an hour.


That's not a flat tax then. A flat tax means everyone pays the exact same percentage tax rate on every single dollar of income. Period. If you are not ok with everyone paying say 8% of every dollar of income, with no deductions and no credits, then you do not support a flat tax. I'm not sure what you favor, but it's not flat tax.

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An infographic has been floating around the Internet from the WSJ, and it's been rightfully mocked for being so ******* out of touch with everyone who doesn't live in the bubble of NYC that I rank it right up there with your "lower middle class people drive used Lexuses."


I suppose that things are always funnier when translated through two layers of liberal interpretation. I'm always a bit suspicious when someone is mocking something, but instead of linking to the original source, they link to another site that's making the same claim. I don't have a clue what the WSJ actually wrote, or what context that information was in, but given that neither Huffington Post nor Slate provide us with anything other than their own editorializing, what are we supposed to do?
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#344 Jan 18 2013 at 8:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think the original source is paywalled, actually.
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#345 Jan 18 2013 at 8:24 PM Rating: Default
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catwho wrote:
I think the original source is paywalled, actually.


So I guess we'll never know what context that graphic was presented in. Good thing that Slate and Huffpost are around to ensure that we have the correct viewpoint though. Yay!
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#346 Jan 18 2013 at 8:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Here ya go. Not going to bother discussing with Gbaji since he can't seem to get the republican parties **** out of his mouth long enough to admit he is wrong most of the time.
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#347 Jan 18 2013 at 8:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Gbaji,

For the love of God, must you separate every single sentence? All you've been doing is repeating yourself to different responses, hence me categorizing them in the first place. It's late, I'll attempt to address your response later.
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Demea wrote:
Almalieque wrote:

I'm biased against statistics
#348 Jan 18 2013 at 8:58 PM Rating: Default
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So not really so out of touch at all. It was one part of a much larger article, which discussed effects of several tax changes on numerous income levels. The liberal lens just discarded everything except the graphic and made it appears like this was all they cared about. Good thing they are trusted stewards of the truth!
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#349 Jan 18 2013 at 9:02 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
I'm talking about a single flat tax. No exemptions. No deductions. Every single person pays the exact same percentage of their total income.
And pay the Medicare tax and Social Security on their whole income, too, right?

Edited, Jan 18th 2013 8:14pm by Bijou
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#350 Jan 18 2013 at 9:10 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji,

For the love of God, must you separate every single sentence?


If you'd stick to a consistent point within a given paragraph, I wouldn't have to do this. The way you write, if I simply quoted a paragraph and responded, I'd have to spend even more time explaining what part of your paragraph I'm talking about with each part of my response. And if I don't do that, someone will inevitably assume that when I say "wrong, its <something else>" it must have been in response to the randomly inserted "people need to eat" rather than the more obviously wrong statement like "if people don't get food stamps, they'll starve".

So yeah. Your own writing style forces this. Stop inserting random and meandering statements into your text. Stick to a single point per paragraph. Then it would be easier to respond.

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All you've been doing is repeating yourself to different responses, hence me categorizing them in the first place.


See. I don't know what you mean by "categorizing them in the first place". That's like nonsense talk.

I repeat myself because it's abundantly obvious from your responses that you didn't understand me the first 5 times I said the exact same thing. I keep hoping that someday it'll sink in. More importantly, I keep hoping that if I quote you saying one thing and then immediately following it with the exact opposite thing in the very next sentence that the light bulb might just go off in your head that your position isn't consistent or logical. Well, I keep hoping anyway. When you say "It's all about providing food, nothing more", and then in the next sentence say "It's obvious that it'll do more than provide food", one might think that me pointing this out would clue you in about how silly what you just said is.


I'm not going to hold my breath though.
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#351 Jan 18 2013 at 9:19 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm talking about a single flat tax. No exemptions. No deductions. Every single person pays the exact same percentage of their total income.
And pay the Medicare tax and Social Security on their whole income, too,right?


I was specifically talking about income tax. So, not capital gains, (which I believe should be lower or ideally zero), or payroll taxes (which have a different justification). But sure. I'd be fine with rolling medicare and social security into a completely flat income tax rate that every single person must pay.

However, can we agree therefore that the benefits from those two should be set based on the amount paid over one's life? The reason we cap payroll taxes is because there's a limit to what those benefits currently provide no matter how much you've paid in. If we tax them at a flat unlimited percentage of income, we should provide benefits which are a flat percentage relative to that paid into the programs themselves. In other words, someone who earned $100k/year average over his life should receive twice the social security check as someone who earned $50k/year average if both of them are required to pay the same tax rate on their full income.

Cause that's fair, right?

Edited, Jan 18th 2013 7:21pm by gbaji
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