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

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

    Select all that apply.

    I ask this with the underlying questions being, "What is it about poverty that we should be trying to resolve? Is it more important for those in poverty to organize and demand that their poverty be somehow eradicated...

    ...or is it more important for those in poverty to find ways to feel empowered, fulfilled, and independent, despite their limited means?
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-20-12 at 09:50 PM.

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

    We're more materialistic than at any point in the past. Gotta keep up with the Joneses.
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    What's your evidence that the poor ARE more miserable than a century ago? As far as I know opinion polling didn't really get started until about 1948...and even then, they wouldn't have sliced and diced the demographics like that until much later.
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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
    Select all that apply.

    I ask this with the underlying questions being, "What is it about poverty that we should be trying to resolve? Is it more important for those in poverty to organize and demand that their poverty be somehow eradicated...

    ...or is it more important for those in poverty to find ways to feel empowered, fulfilled, and independent, despite their limited means?
    The latter is more important, but they go hand in hand. If you can eliminate their poverty (e.g. provide them with enough food, education, health care, and shelter) then it will typically lead to feeling more empowered, fulfilled, and independent.
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The latter is more important, but they go hand in hand. If you can eliminate their poverty (e.g. provide them with enough food, education, health care, and shelter) then it will typically lead to feeling more empowered, fulfilled, and independent.
    It doesn't appear that this has happened, as a general rule, for the past 40-50 years. You can't give someone money, or meet their basic needs, and then declare that their poverty has disappeared, because much of poverty is a way of thinking and behaving.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What's your evidence that the poor ARE more miserable than a century ago?
    I gave folks an option to dispute that they are in the first place. It's option #8.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The latter is more important, but they go hand in hand. If you can eliminate their poverty (e.g. provide them with enough food, education, health care, and shelter) then it will typically lead to feeling more empowered, fulfilled, and independent.
    What? How would it do that? If they are provided with it, rather than obtain it for themselves, what about that is empowering, fulfilling, or independent? That makes no sense whatsoever.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    It doesn't appear that this has happened, as a general rule, for the past 40-50 years. You can't give someone money, or meet their basic needs, and then declare that their poverty has disappeared, because much of poverty is a way of thinking and behaving.
    I agree that it's a way of thinking and behaving...but those ways of thinking and behaving didn't just emerge from nowhere. They emerged as a mechanism for tolerating poverty. For example, if you grow up in a community where everyone you know is unemployed or works a crappy job, it reduces the perceived value of an education because you're less likely to be able to recognize that there are better employment options for people like you. Similarly, having kids at a young age carries less of an economic cost, if your economic prospects are pretty dim to begin with.

    The part of the equation that we've generally failed to provide in the last 40-50 years is the education (along with safety). There are many horrible schools in this country where it is nearly impossible to get an education.
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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
    What? How would it do that? If they are provided with it, rather than obtain it for themselves, what about that is empowering, fulfilling, or independent? That makes no sense whatsoever.
    Well, think of it this way: Suppose you're a child. If your parents provide you with enriching activities (e.g. signing you up for Little League, getting you educational computer programs, taking you on vacations, teaching you how to do things) do you think you will be MORE or LESS likely to grow up to feel empowered, fulfilled, and independent, than if your parents basically ignore you? Even though your parents are providing you with those things instead of making you earn them, they tend to have positive results on your wellbeing.

    I think it's the same basic concept for society providing people with necessities like an education, food, health care, etc. You don't feel empowered if you're denied those things...you feel empowered when you no longer have to worry about them.
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    Re: Why are today's poor (U.S.) more miserable than a century + ago?

    They aren't. Period.


    No idea why anyone would think this.

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

    Hahahaha... WHAT?



    These are the poor a century ago. Dying from diarrhea, no job prospects, discriminated against, resorting to prostitution is not an option but a necessity. How... the hell are the poor today more miserable today than a century ago?
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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