View Poll Results: Why are today's poor more miserable?

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48. You may not vote on this poll
  • Because they don't have all their needs met.

    8 16.67%
  • Because advertising constantly reminds them of what they can't afford.

    16 33.33%
  • Because the rich are too rich!!

    7 14.58%
  • Because they (the poor) no longer farm.

    5 10.42%
  • Because they are no longer needed for manufacturing.

    4 8.33%
  • Because they're packed into cities.

    8 16.67%
  • Because welfare breeds dependence and thus resentment.

    20 41.67%
  • N/A - the poor have always been pretty equally miserable.

    12 25.00%
  • Other (explain)

    15 31.25%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

  1. #81
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    Exactly. The options in the poll are pretty laughable. Welfare? Welfare existed since Bismarck. Manufacturing and farming? Have anybody who chose those options ever worked in a factory or a farm? Cities? Cities have existed for millennias.
    I think SAM's opinion is the most valid in this thread
    Yeah, I have no idea where on earth these option came from.

    Thanks. And you know, it's interesting, I was actually less materialistic when I was poor. I'm still not especially materialistic now, but when I was broke, the smallest things made my day a little better, and they weren't material.

    I don't really think a lot of people understand the mindset of being poor.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Higher to the point of being unrealistic. Not everybody can fly off to the south of France for a film festival, ya know.
    Is it unrealistic to expect to be able to get medical treatment? Or have access to a nutritious diet? Or be able to travel to and from work? Or obtain the education to get a decent job? Or have a home that you won't get evicted from? Are those unrealistically high expectations?
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    They're more miserable than 100ys ago? By what standard?

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Is it unrealistic to expect to be able to get medical treatment? Or have access to a nutritious diet? Or be able to travel to and from work? Or obtain the education to get a decent job? Or have a home that you won't get evicted from? Are those unrealistically high expectations?
    If any of them are to be paid for by someone else, then yes.

  5. #85
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Is it unrealistic to expect to be able to get medical treatment? Or have access to a nutritious diet? Or be able to travel to and from work? Or obtain the education to get a decent job? Or have a home that you won't get evicted from? Are those unrealistically high expectations?
    You probably noticed, at least subconsciously, that I didn't include anything even remotely similar to any of those subjects as my example. On purpose. My posts have to do with the advent of the media and information age, where perks of the wealthy are thrown in everybody's faces on a daily basis, hence many people long for... and possibly even expect is or should be within easy reach... when they are not. Key word: "easy". People sit around and get bombarded by a blitz of advertising for the trendy new cool product, and watch shows glorifying the trips that celebrities take, then sit back and contemplate why they're so lacking and thus conclude that they are unhappy.

    People in 1912 probably weren't as "unhappy" in that regard because, even though stuff like that did still happen for the wealthy, the poor didn't have it blasted in their face on a daily basis.

    To be honest, I'm not sure we're even on the same wavelength, but I hope that helped.
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  6. #86
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    I would just like to say for the record that public schools in poor neighborhoods are absolutely terrible, and AC and your car are the first things to go when you're broke, so obviously you don't know much about being poor.

    But secondly, you've just named a bunch of items that have nothing to do with quality of life.

    What good does it do you to have some old TV if you can't afford to get a rotten tooth treated?

    What good does it do to have welfare if you can't qualify for any one of dozens of bogus reasons (being single, for example)?

    What good does it do you to have a cell phone if all the damn thing ever does is remind you that you don't have rent this month?
    This is exactly the sort of attitude I'm asking about. Why is this so prevalent? "Yeah yeah, we have all these conveniences that people didn't have fifty years ago, but it doesn't matter, because I STILL HAVE PROBLEMS!!!" Of course you do. Living organisms always develop problems. What's with the helpless attitude?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    I don't really think a lot of people understand the mindset of being poor.
    That's right, we don't. That's why I'm asking this question. But I'm not asking "hey, what's it like to be poor? Tell me a sad story..." I'm asking why such intense psychological distress about being poor today (even though they have such better living conditions/standards today than the poor did a long time ago)?
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-21-12 at 05:24 PM.

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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud South Korean View Post
    Exactly. The options in the poll are pretty laughable. Welfare? Welfare existed since Bismarck.
    That doesn't change anything about one of the possibilities of why the poor seem so psychologically tortured about their condition today possibly being the dynamics of our welfare programs in this country.

    Manufacturing and farming? Have anybody who chose those options ever worked in a factory or a farm?
    What does that have to do with anything?

    Cities? Cities have existed for millennias.
    That's a weak rebuttal.



    The idea is not that "people suddenly live in cities now," the idea is that being poor and living in a city might be a more miserable existence than being poor and living out in the country.

    Remember, this question is about why the poor seem so miserable/psychologically distressed. That option suggests that it's mainly the urban poor whose misery/distress is broadcasted as something we need to fix. It was just one of the options.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-21-12 at 05:25 PM.

  8. #88
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Are they more miserable, or do they think they are more miserable?
    And placebo-wise, can thinking you are in misery make you in miserable?

    Most Americans Believe Crime in U.S. Is Worsening
    Americans think crime is worse, yet it's statistically better. I don't take too much stock in asking people such things. If they have something to gain from claiming one thing, that's going to drive choice more than objective fact will. Why would it not? Rule 101 in politics is you always say you have exaggerated needs, that way you can negotiate with them later...if you must!

    Regardless of ones take on that, the moral hazard is a bitch.

  9. #89
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    I would just like to say for the record that public schools in poor neighborhoods are absolutely terrible,
    In many places elementary school, middle school or high school those schools can cover multiple neighborhoods of different income levels.

    and AC and your car are the first things to go when you're broke, so obviously you don't know much about being poor.
    By American standards I did grow up poor in the the 80s and early 90s,so yes I know about being poor.

    However even back then growing up poor by American standards we were not poor compared to poor people in other countries.

    But secondly, you've just named a bunch of items that have nothing to do with quality of life.
    Actual poor people do not have those things.

    What good does it do you to have some old TV if you can't afford to get a rotten tooth treated?
    Depends on the state you live in and whether or not you can find a charity to cover the costs of getting that tooth treated.

    What good does it do to have welfare if you can't qualify for any one of dozens of bogus reasons (being single, for example)?
    Depends on the state you live in.

    What good does it do you to have a cell phone if all the damn thing ever does is remind you that you don't have rent this month?
    If you qualify for government lifeline service you can pay around a buck a month for cell phone service and get a free cell phone.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  10. #90
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    No. It's posed this way to generate thought and discussion, not to prove a claim or opinion.
    So in other words you lied just made up something to generate discussion.


    Nor were they aware that they lacked these things, because these things did not exist. We're not pouting today that we don't all have our own personal robot that does all our chores for us, because they largely do not exist. Maybe this speaks to why (I'm presuming) the poor today are more miserable (psychologically, I mean) despite their increased standard of living, than they were a long time ago.

    I am pretty the standards of living back then were pretty obvious between the poor and rich and the rich had luxuries that the poor did not have.

    State of mind vs. standard of living. I'm taking about state of mind. A middle class person can be psychologically tortured about his/her normal life, and a person in poverty can be happy-go-lucky and at peace with his/her surroundings. When I said "miserable" I was not implying "worse living conditions."

    I think it's a fair generalization that the poor today are more psychologically distressed about it than the poor a century ago were, and I'm asking why.
    The state of mind is irrelevant to the definition of being financially poor. Nobody looks at Bernie Madoffs wife and says "Oh she is so poor".
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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