When I tossed out a number I was merely asking for opinions if someone with this and and this criteria would qualify as poor. I was NOT asking if it were possible for someone to be that poor in the US. I know that truth for myself.
Many of the comments on this thread fall into the scope of denying reality rather than accept that their dearly held beliefs about the US, god, and capitalism might include less than the whole picture. Even now Baldar crouches behind his numbers rationalizing his behavior and claiming my life a fiction. Declaring a mouse an elephant doesn't alter its mass. A twit with a calculator is still a twit.
I re-entered the conversation in defense of the people who play the lottery out of desperation. As a matter of fact I believe lotteries help very few..although they do provide diversion for many. I attempted to illustrate that by associating lotteries with hookers.
In a sense I was asking how would you feel having state run "massage parlors" to raise money for education? Perhaps the cheerleading squads could serve during their free time for extra credit.
If you(L.R.) would like to discuss my experiences further perhaps we can get together one of these days on some sort of IM/IRC client and swap experiences. I'm certainly not going to air my life story on this forum. With the amount of choking this glimpse caused I don't want to be responsible for any fatalities.
I apologized on another thread for my sarcasm, but I probably should here. It was totally out of character for me. A funny line popped into my head, and so I said it. I did not intend to be derrogatory.
We've been discussing poverty on several threads here lately and there's been at least a little bit of a crossover on the debate. My own feelings are ambivalent, since I am aware that there are people who are in situations that they simply cannot get themselves out of, but at the same time it is nearly impossible for me to imagine a situation that I could not get out of. When I hear somebody say "I can't" or "they can't" or something of that nature, I get really upset. I know better. Of course its possible. But the first step that's necessary in any procedure is to believe that it can be done.
As long as a lotter can be viewed as a form of amusement with almost no hope of return, then there's nothing wrong with a lotery that is any worse than the evils of chocolate. In the times when I've been poor, with not enough money for air-conditioning or car repairs, I sweated and walked, but I never abstained from candy bars. There are very few health benefits in a candy bar, but there is a psychological benefit in doing something completely frivolous for nothing more than pleasure. To say that lotteries are harmful and more than a simple frivolity is to engage in a slippery-slope arguement that implies that lotteries will lead to card gambling, sports booking, and whorehouses, and this is not necessarily the case. So lotteries and bingo and anything else of that nature, is not necessarily wrong.
However, using a lottery as a form of government fundraising is terrible. Lotteries appeal to a specific portion of the population. My guess is that, if a rich, educated person wanted to gamble, he'd want to do something a little more sophisticated. Candy bars at least appeal to all portions of the population equally. Lotteries appeal specifically to the poor. A government candy bar for to raise money for education would be fine. They can even overprice the candy bar. Massage parlors probably also appeal to a much broader segment of society. What if they were cheap, dirty, massage parlors, strategically placed in poorer neighborhoods? Government lotteries take money primarily from poorer families and redistributes the money, which is the exact opposite of any other tax plan proposed in the last century. If a lottery were set up, it would be best if the money raised went directly to help poorer communities because that would be where most of the money was coming from in the firs place.
There is nothing more pathetic than a poor lottery player. They waste what little resource they have for a dream they should have no hope of winning. It is a perversion of faith.
You backpedal and say you were "merely asking" if this or that criteria qualified as poor. You specifically stated it as a real event, not a hypothetical. We took you for your word on that. My second question is if it were hypothetical why something so obvious as to be almost impossible? I could say, what if we had no clothes and went to school naked thats how poor it is. Of course the statement is ridiculous and laughable, yours approaches just that position.
I have experienced poverty Locus, but it seems you throw out these irrational views and then expect us to absorb them and further more to feel pity for an act of stupidity. As far as my beliefs, they do not hinge of God and capitalism, I give substantial amounts of my income to the poor, my wife and I budget 15 percent of our income annually and we research charities to make sure they are operating efficiently for the benefit of many, so I have qualifications on both levels. It doesn't make me any better than anyone else, but I must ask you concerning the lotter, how much money, how much of the millions and millions come from the poor and how much of the millions come from the rich? The lottery bleeds the poor dry. It is pathetic.
Then Locus you bring in a scenario that frankly makes no sense, and when someone asks you about it, seeks clarification you seem to demonize them by calling them "rational".
quote:Even now Baldar crouches behind his numbers rationalizing his behavior and claiming my life a fiction.
Justify yours. No facts, only vague platitudes for those who are willing to be rational and make the hard calls. I find such actions aking to intellectual cowardice.
quote:In a sense I was asking how would you feel having state run "massage parlors" to raise money for education?
I would feel the same disgust, because buying lottery tickets is akin to prostituting your future for a few short seconds of gratification.
quote: I'm certainly not going to air my life story on this forum. With the amount of choking this glimpse caused I don't want to be responsible for any fatalities.
Choking with disbelief perhaps. Look, if you say or write something that doesn't make sense, everyone here is going to see it. If you life doesn't make sense to you then perhaps you need to review it. My position still stands, what you say cannot be and you have offered no proof as to how it can be true.
[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited November 06, 2002).]