View Poll Results: How To Eliminate Poverty, Re-establish the Middle-Class? Check all you agree with

Voters
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  • Government funded higher education just as other industrialized nations do

    29 35.37%
  • Cut out tax loopholes for the rich to benefit the lower and middle class

    37 45.12%
  • Start disallowing outsourcing to other countries for lower wages

    31 37.80%
  • Institute a flat tax

    34 41.46%
  • Disallow those in poverty to have children

    39 47.56%
  • This is not possible; we will always have poverty and no middle class

    15 18.29%
  • There should always be poverty

    9 10.98%
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Thread: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

  1. #141
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    A low income person can become a billionaire; therefore, he or she has equal opportunity.
    This is ridiculous .. see my (and others') previous posts that disprove this myth.

  2. #142
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    Oh, but it does exist in the real world. A poor person can become a millionaire and a millionaire can become poor. That simply happens in the real world.
    Have you not been listening? Simply because one or a few people become a millionaire does not mean that equal opportunity exists. Several people, including myself, have disproved this myth. This is totally backward logic .. in fact .. what is the reasoning behind such an outrageous statement? Please explain, keeping in mind the arguments that have blown this myth out of the water,

  3. #143
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I'm sorry you disagree. My definition has been the same for 66 years and I went from a one room living quarters in an old machine shed, with tin roof, no bathtub or shower, pot-bellied coal stove, concrete floors, tar paper shingles, to living in an area with our own country club. Please do not tell me what equal opportunity means. I have lived it. If you are living in a one room living area with the fine amenities we had, I suggest you develop some positive virtues of hard work, personal responsibility, self-discipline, tenacity, frugality, and the rest and make it happen. It's there, but you cannot sit around and just piss and moan. That is self-defeating.

    If I may be so bold, I suggest that you go to the library and get a book or two or three on developing a PMA, Positive Mental Attitude. "What the mind can see and believe, it can achieve." Never were truer words written. I did not say this with sarcasm. I mean every word of this. I have recommended the same for my children and I will be recommending it to my grandchildren. Attitude is a huge part of the battle.
    Hmmm ... very interesting .. since you are 66 years old, you have had the benefit of living during times when there was a larger middles class (you started living on your own at 18, which was what around 1963?) and better upward mobility. Granted things weren't perfect, but you have had a chance to see times that were much kinder to those in the bottom ranks than they are now. This is not to dispute the fact that you must have worked very hard, as you did. Instead, this is to say that it is not likely that you would have had the same success had you been 18 in say the year 2000.

    That is one of the big problems currently. Many parents are assuming that because they were able to achieve a certain upward mobility, then their children should too. However, they fail to see how much worse the economy is and how much less upward mobility is allowed presently. It really is an unfortunate thing. For those who understand this concept better, their children are fairing much better as families work together under the same roof for longer, supporting one another as is necessary. Good parents have faith in their parenting (as most psychologists agree that environmental factors are as important as genetic one's on outcome) and trust their child if they have been working hard in a poor economy without equal opportunity and are having financial problems. It may serve some parents egos to believe that they were actually better than their children, but this will only drive a wedge between them.

    These are my opinions as a psychologist/counselor who has (and is still) studying statistics, sociology, social work, political science and of course psychology; they are also my own personal opinions formed using my own experience, the experiences I have observed in others and especially taking into consideration the vast amount of scientific literature regarding these topics.
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 07-31-11 at 01:28 AM.

  4. #144
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    I am addressing this posting to anyone and everyone who is willing to read it. I do not address this to anyone in particular so any comments I make should not be a cause celebre for outrage or insult.

    We are miles apart on what equal opportunity means. It does not mean that we start at the same place and end ahead of others. It means the opportunity to succeed is there for all.

    I was raised in the Midwest. Maybe that could be a factor on how we view this subject. Maybe if I had been raised on the West Coast or New England, I would be as jaded as some. I have known, through experience, what poverty is and I have known success. I have known many other people in similar situations who have succeeded.

    I was in management by the age of 23 for a national grocery chain and I have been a regional sales manager for other companies that many of you would know. I had equal opportunity and I made the best of it. I am not wildly rich by any stretch of the imagination; however, I have done well.

    My brother was in management with the same grocery chain and he stayed in the grocery business his entire career. His last position was Vice President for a grocery chain, but not the same one I had worked for. His income was far superior to mine and he was raised in the same one room living area that was a machine shed.

    My father-in-law got an 8th grade education. He owned his own plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company and lived in one of the nicest additions in my hometown, which had about 120,000 people and was a suburb of Kansas City. He was not born into wealth and his father was not a lawyer, but he made it in spite of his lack of formal education.

    A year ago, my wife and I entertained a group of people from my graduating class. Here is a bit about them:

    Person 1 - Was raised within a couple of miles from where I was raised and lived in an older lower-middle class home. He became a General Manager for a Steel Company, moved to various places in the U.S. and is currently in Birmingham, AL.

    Person 2 - Was raised within a couple of blocks from Person A. He became a fire chief for the city where we were raised. He now shares two homes, one in our home town and one in Florida.

    Person 3 - This person lived in a middle class neighborhood and his father was not a doctor or a lawyer. He became the chief administrator of a hospital in our home town.

    Person 4 - Not sure what his father did, but his mother sold real estate. I think he was middle class. I think he has struggled attempting to find success, but I am not privy to much of what he has or has not done.

    Person 5 - She probably came from the most well-to-do family of the group and she and her husband have lived in the neighborhood she grew up in until about a year ago. She moved to another suburb nearby.

    None of us came from wealthy families. I came from the poorest and I have not succeeded as well as maybe two of them have, but I'm in there. All of us, except for one have succeeded. Everyone of us is thankful for the equal opportunity we had to become successful.

    Another friend of ours went on to become an assitant city manager for a small city in California. He was definitely middle class. Another one from the lower-middle class works for Halliburton and goes to Iraq often to work.

    And, then there is the son of a union boss. They lived in a neighborhood where people of old money lived. He ended up running a massage parlor and ran into problems with the law. He died nearly two decades ago. He came from money and died with some dirty money, if any at all.

    Most of the fathers of all of us, at one time or another, worked in a factory doing line work or some other menial task, but none were managers or Vice Presidents.

    Does equal opportunity exist? You bet it does.

    Now, again, there are those who say that equal opportunity means that everyone has to start on the same line in order for equal opportunity to exist. Sorry, but that is hogwash. However, if you wish to tell yourself that the deck is stacked against you, I am convinced that you will prove yourself to be a psychic. On the other hand, if you tell yourself that equal opportunity exists and that you can succeed, the chances are good that you will succeed. You may not succeed too; however, your real chances of succeeding come from a positive and not a negative outlook.

    I have told my children [now both are adults] that the world is theirs. They can have whatever part of it they wish to have. All they need to do is practice the positive virtues of self-discipline, personal responsibility, hard work, honesty, tenacity, frugality, etc. I told them not to listen to the naysayers and become familiar with what it means to have PMA. So far, my son is doing quite well and loves what he is doing. My daughter is struggling a bit, but she is close to graduating summa laude from a local university and years of night school and raising two kids on her own while working. I anticipate her career to take off soon. Incidentally, she has known poverty too. She has the virtues to make a success of herself and my bet is that she will one day outshine her brother.

    So, again, I say to you, "Don't tell me equal opportunity does not exist." It does. As you have probably figured out by now, you cannot convince me otherwise. So, with that in mind, I might stick around to take on my detractors immediately after this posting, but soon I will depart from this discussion. If you want to argue against equal opportunity, I will let you, but I want no part of it.

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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    I am addressing this posting to anyone and everyone who is willing to read it. I do not address this to anyone in particular so any comments I make should not be a cause celebre for outrage or insult.

    We are miles apart on what equal opportunity means. It does not mean that we start at the same place and end ahead of others. It means the opportunity to succeed is there for all.

    I was raised in the Midwest. Maybe that could be a factor on how we view this subject. Maybe if I had been raised on the West Coast or New England, I would be as jaded as some. I have known, through experience, what poverty is and I have known success. I have known many other people in similar situations who have succeeded.

    I was in management by the age of 23 for a national grocery chain and I have been a regional sales manager for other companies that many of you would know. I had equal opportunity and I made the best of it. I am not wildly rich by any stretch of the imagination; however, I have done well.

    My brother was in management with the same grocery chain and he stayed in the grocery business his entire career. His last position was Vice President for a grocery chain, but not the same one I had worked for. His income was far superior to mine and he was raised in the same one room living area that was a machine shed.

    My father-in-law got an 8th grade education. He owned his own plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company and lived in one of the nicest additions in my hometown, which had about 120,000 people and was a suburb of Kansas City. He was not born into wealth and his father was not a lawyer, but he made it in spite of his lack of formal education.

    A year ago, my wife and I entertained a group of people from my graduating class. Here is a bit about them:

    Person 1 - Was raised within a couple of miles from where I was raised and lived in an older lower-middle class home. He became a General Manager for a Steel Company, moved to various places in the U.S. and is currently in Birmingham, AL.

    Person 2 - Was raised within a couple of blocks from Person A. He became a fire chief for the city where we were raised. He now shares two homes, one in our home town and one in Florida.

    Person 3 - This person lived in a middle class neighborhood and his father was not a doctor or a lawyer. He became the chief administrator of a hospital in our home town.

    Person 4 - Not sure what his father did, but his mother sold real estate. I think he was middle class. I think he has struggled attempting to find success, but I am not privy to much of what he has or has not done.

    Person 5 - She probably came from the most well-to-do family of the group and she and her husband have lived in the neighborhood she grew up in until about a year ago. She moved to another suburb nearby.

    None of us came from wealthy families. I came from the poorest and I have not succeeded as well as maybe two of them have, but I'm in there. All of us, except for one have succeeded. Everyone of us is thankful for the equal opportunity we had to become successful.

    Another friend of ours went on to become an assitant city manager for a small city in California. He was definitely middle class. Another one from the lower-middle class works for Halliburton and goes to Iraq often to work.

    And, then there is the son of a union boss. They lived in a neighborhood where people of old money lived. He ended up running a massage parlor and ran into problems with the law. He died nearly two decades ago. He came from money and died with some dirty money, if any at all.

    Most of the fathers of all of us, at one time or another, worked in a factory doing line work or some other menial task, but none were managers or Vice Presidents.

    Does equal opportunity exist? You bet it does.

    Now, again, there are those who say that equal opportunity means that everyone has to start on the same line in order for equal opportunity to exist. Sorry, but that is hogwash. However, if you wish to tell yourself that the deck is stacked against you, I am convinced that you will prove yourself to be a psychic. On the other hand, if you tell yourself that equal opportunity exists and that you can succeed, the chances are good that you will succeed. You may not succeed too; however, your real chances of succeeding come from a positive and not a negative outlook.

    I have told my children [now both are adults] that the world is theirs. They can have whatever part of it they wish to have. All they need to do is practice the positive virtues of self-discipline, personal responsibility, hard work, honesty, tenacity, frugality, etc. I told them not to listen to the naysayers and become familiar with what it means to have PMA. So far, my son is doing quite well and loves what he is doing. My daughter is struggling a bit, but she is close to graduating summa laude from a local university and years of night school and raising two kids on her own while working. I anticipate her career to take off soon. Incidentally, she has known poverty too. She has the virtues to make a success of herself and my bet is that she will one day outshine her brother.

    So, again, I say to you, "Don't tell me equal opportunity does not exist." It does. As you have probably figured out by now, you cannot convince me otherwise. So, with that in mind, I might stick around to take on my detractors immediately after this posting, but soon I will depart from this discussion. If you want to argue against equal opportunity, I will let you, but I want no part of it.
    "Everyone has an opportunity to succeed" =/= "equal opportunity."
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  6. #146
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Hmmm ... very interesting .. since you are 66 years old, you have had the benefit of living during times when there was a larger middles class (you started living on your own at 18, which was what around 1963?) and better upward mobility. Granted things weren't perfect, but you have had a chance to see times that were much kinder to those in the bottom ranks than they are now. This is not to dispute the fact that you must have worked very hard, as you did. Instead, this is to say that it is not likely that you would have had the same success had you been 18 in say the year 2000.
    I will agree that times are not good today or for the past two or three years. Prior to that, they were fine and they will be fine again. Advancement is still there in companies. People have always left employers or retired opening up positions. People get advancements and that opens up their positions. The opportunity is still there.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    That is one of the big problems currently. Many parents are assuming that because they were able to achieve a certain upward mobility, then their children should too.
    They can and my son validates that and my daughter will, in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    However, they fail to see how much worse the economy is and how much less upward mobility is allowed presently. It really is an unfortunate thing. For those who understand this concept better, their children are fairing much better as families work together under the same roof for longer, supporting one another as is necessary. Good parents have faith in their parenting (as most psychologists agree that environmental factors are as important as genetic one's on outcome) and trust their child if they have been working hard in a poor economy without equal opportunity and are having financial problems. It may serve some parents egos to believe that they were actually better than their children, but this will only drive a wedge between them.
    Opportunity is tougher during tough times and that is pretty much equal to all. However, you should not make these last three years the period for your judgment. Life is much longer than three or four years. Think how long the Great Depression lasted and people became successes who lived through that era. Remember the glass is nearly full and not empty.

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    These are my opinions as a psychologist/counselor who has (and is still) studying statistics, sociology, social work, political science and of course psychology; they are also my own personal opinions formed using my own experience, the experiences I have observed in others and especially taking into consideration the vast amount of scientific literature regarding these topics.
    You are entitled to your opinion. I just hope you don't harm others who have a more positive outlook.

  7. #147
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    Have you not been listening? Simply because one or a few people become a millionaire does not mean that equal opportunity exists. Several people, including myself, have disproved this myth. This is totally backward logic .. in fact .. what is the reasoning behind such an outrageous statement? Please explain, keeping in mind the arguments that have blown this myth out of the water,
    How could I ever explain it to you? You will not agree on anything I have to offer. Go forth and tell the world that all is doom and gloom. Is that what psychologists do today? Oh my!

  8. #148
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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    I think either LesGovt is trying to be tricky and is using a play on words in order to dupe those who can't really tell the difference or he/she cannot tell the difference him/herself.
    You should know by now that I am not trying to be trick or using a play on words. I tell you exactly what I believe and I tell you why. That is why you and others often take offense at what I say and it is because I do not mince words.

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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    You should know by now that I am not trying to be trick or using a play on words. I tell you exactly what I believe and I tell you why. That is why you and others often take offense at what I say and it is because I do not mince words.
    You assume I take offense when I have not. I was simply referring to the neat, yet flawed, one-liner logic you were using.

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    Re: Elimination of Poverty, the Re-establishment of the Middle Class

    Quote Originally Posted by LesGovt View Post
    How could I ever explain it to you? You will not agree on anything I have to offer. Go forth and tell the world that all is doom and gloom. Is that what psychologists do today? Oh my!
    I will ignore your petty attempt to evoke an emotional response. Instead, I will point out that there have been several things that we have agreed on ... do you remember this? Please do not generalize your statements regarding me, simply because we are disagreeing on this one issue.

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