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Rich People Force Poor People to Live in Cages
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Rich People Force Poor People to Live in Cages Reply with quote

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/cage-homes-highlight-hong-kong-s-poverty-slideshow/jan-25-2013-photo-77-old-yeung-ying-photo-090657914--finance.html

This is another article that sums up what is wrong with America. (Courtesy of Yahoo.) Evidently, there are some very poor people in Hong Kong who live in "cages" and some very rich people who live in multimillion dollar homes. This is just wrong. There should not be such a gap.

Take a moment to view the 8 pictures. Compare the first 7 to the last one. Hilarious. (Not the poor people, the article.) It's not fair! The rich should fix this. Wah, wah, wah!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does this article have to do with America? I mean, other than to point out that "poor" in the United States is a far cry from "poor" in other parts of the world.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The poor in America have iPhones. Think about that for a minute.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our poor and impoverished are statistically more likely to be obese. Think about that. It's my old lottery analogy.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
What does this article have to do with America? I mean, other than to point out that "poor" in the United States is a far cry from "poor" in other parts of the world.


Apparently the point must be "if they aren't living in cages, they should shut the fuck up."

Or maybe "See? You are at LEAST a month's benefits better off than them."

I'd say it's REALLY not a sign of what's wrong with America, it's a sign of what is almost right.

BTW, you SHOULD think about why the poor are more likely to be obese.
[and there is an answer...and it has nothing to do with gov't benefits to the poor]

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Apparently the point must be "if they aren't living in cages, they should shut the fuck up."


Ah so. I see what you are saying. Yes, I am certain some people--not you, specifically--do think that way.

Vraith wrote:
BTW, you SHOULD think about why the poor are more likely to be obese.
[and there is an answer...and it has nothing to do with gov't benefits to the poor]


Typically it is the poor food choices they make and the poor quality of the food they usually buy.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the story does have a point, but not necessarily about the gap between rich and poor. What I take from it is the necessity for government intervention, not to minimise the gap, but to ensure that those at the bottom have a reasonable standard of living. Reading the article it seems that some of the problem comes from the government refusing to develop land banks for housing and thus artificially driving up house prices and rent. This kind of policy may not affect (it may actually benefit) the rich, but it can impact severely on the poor.

Even if the rich were interested in helping the poor (and some are) there is no way that anything that they could do as individuals would help alleviate a mass problem. If, however, the wealthy use their power to influence government policy to the detriment of the less influential that's where you get a problem.

This story demonstrates for me how even extremely wealthy countries need a reasonable safety net to protect the people at the bottom. And it shows how a country like the US, to its credit, looks after its less well off citizens in spite of the sustained pressure from powerful vested interests.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:

This story demonstrates for me how even extremely wealthy countries need a reasonable safety net to protect the people at the bottom. And it shows how a country like the US, to its credit, looks after its less well off citizens in spite of the sustained pressure from powerful vested interests.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lorin wrote:
ussusimiel wrote:

This story demonstrates for me how even extremely wealthy countries need a reasonable safety net to protect the people at the bottom. And it shows how a country like the US, to its credit, looks after its less well off citizens in spite of the sustained pressure from powerful vested interests.

u.
My homeless clients have full apartments. They are allocated different sized units based on square footage per person. Legal Aid comes to the apartment on a weekly basis and ensures they are given food, pampers, formula, clean sheets, access to washing machines, laundry detergent, pots, pans, forks, knives, spoons, plates, BOTTLED water, screens on their windows, curtains, clothing, tokens for transportation, school buses for kids, psychological therapy, job training, child care, blankets, pillows, pillow cases, coats for the winter, summer camp, christmas gifts, notebooks, pens, pencils, toilet tissue, towels, condoms, bottle warmers, lubricant and tampons.

I have read about your experiences, lorin, and I agree with you that this certainly seems to have gone beyond 'reasonable'. In Ireland we have a fully functional welfare state and it doesn't stretch to half the things that you have listed there. In saying that, welfare payments are significant and social housing is provided, especially for those who have children.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
BTW, you SHOULD think about why the poor are more likely to be obese.
Speaking only of the segment of the poor who actually are obese, I'd say they are likely to be the type of people who put off long term benefits for short term gain (in this instance, something yummy in their bellies). That's probably also why they are poor.

Granted, there are plenty of hard-working, skinny, or sick/disabled poor to whom this doesn't apply. But you don't get obese by accident. It takes years of bad choices. Just like being poor, you'll often find. [See how careful I am not to generalize, everyone? Please, no rebuttals about how I've mischaracterized all poor people. There are indeed many people of this personality type, and among the obese they illustrate their attitudes with their waistlines.]
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some obvious differences:

People in Hong Kong do not die of the cold.

People who lie in cages do so not as pets, or prisoners or slaves, but to have a small space they can sleep safely without fear of the meagre belongings they have being stolen whilst they sleep.

They have cages to protect those things whilst they are at work - yes they are employed.... there is no (or there was not when I lived there) any social safety net.

The density of population in Hong Kong means that the middle classes and even upper middle classes, have relatively small, what we might call cramped, living space.

The climate means that their bodies do not crave fats/carbs to sustain warmth, also their food culture is not based upon agriculture subsidies to over produce sugar and corn lowering the prices sufficiently to encourage processed food producers to throw them to the poor and feed obesity (we have a similar problem with sugar in OZ).

Sorry Harbinger but this time the analogy falls a bit short I think....
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree. They make it out like this is some kind of problem. What's wrong with a "fortunate" person living in a mansion and a "less fortunate" person living squalor? The pic of the mansion at the end is what set me off- 7 pics of small sleeping quarters followed by a pic of a mansion. As if there is something wrong with a rich person having a mansion and other people across town sleeping in the fetal position just to fit in their "cage."

Plus it's Yahoo. They want you to read/see that article and become outraged. The rich should pay, Dammit.

It's simply a bonus that this is Hong Kong; for some reason many Americans feel/react differently when foreigners need help. Oh, and they get to travel out of country.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harbinger wrote:
I disagree. They make it out like this is some kind of problem. What's wrong with a "fortunate" person living in a mansion and a "less fortunate" person living squalor? The pic of the mansion at the end is what set me off- 7 pics of small sleeping quarters followed by a pic of a mansion. As if there is something wrong with a rich person having a mansion and other people across town sleeping in the fetal position just to fit in their "cage."

Plus it's Yahoo. They want you to read/see that article and become outraged. The rich should pay, Dammit.

It's simply a bonus that this is Hong Kong; for some reason many Americans feel/react differently when foreigners need help. Oh, and they get to travel out of country.


and we are on the first step to "from each according to his ability, to each according to thier needs".

Heck, even Jesus knew, and stated "the poor will always be amoung us", especially when you redefine what "poor" means.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawedge Rim wrote:

and we are on the first step to "from each according to his ability, to each according to thier needs".

Heck, even Jesus knew, and stated "the poor will always be amoung us", especially when you redefine what "poor" means.


On the first, it appears you are both misinterpreting what that phrase means because taking it out of context, AND assuming it would make us "like Greece," or maybe, further back like Communist Soviet Union. Which didn't practice it therefore don't apply.

On the second...why not connect that to the OTHER things he said, like the rich are doomed and bankers are thieves...which might have something to do with the eternal existence of the poor.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The religious argument is usually nothing more than cherry picking from a catch-all list!

We see the arguments against things like same sex marriage, abortion and now it seems the condoning of societies inequalities, but nowhere near the same degree of conviction and occasional vehemence is there against something like usury.

The same people condemn Islamic practices and slavery, but they are from the very same source: I wonder if the problem with the perceptions of Islam, is about which cherries they pick!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing Christ never advocated was the use of state power for egalitarian purposes, or for that matter any form of robbing the rich to feed the poor. That was more Mohamed's bag.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Rawedge Rim wrote:

and we are on the first step to "from each according to his ability, to each according to thier needs".

Heck, even Jesus knew, and stated "the poor will always be amoung us", especially when you redefine what "poor" means.


On the first, it appears you are both misinterpreting what that phrase means because taking it out of context, AND assuming it would make us "like Greece," or maybe, further back like Communist Soviet Union. Which didn't practice it therefore don't apply.

On the second...why not connect that to the OTHER things he said, like the rich are doomed and bankers are thieves...which might have something to do with the eternal existence of the poor.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but we seem to be upset at the difference between the "Ultra-Rich" and the poor, especially in other countries. As Finn pointed out, the living standards are not the same in various countries. The average person in the US enjoys a comparative vast living space, that most others in the world would be astonished at having, especially in low space, high population areas like Japan, Singapore, etc.

The vast majority of the "poor" within the US enjoy a standard of living that most of the "Middle Class" in many countries don't enjoy.

The US Left has gone a long ways in redefining "poor" and "poverty" that would include what many considered "Middle-Class" half a century ago.

My last point with the quote from Jesus, was to point out that there is absolutely no way you can eliminate the poor. There will always be poor. If you took every dime from the rich and literally gave it to the poor; in a couple of years, the vast majority of them would still be poor.

The best you can do is teach the poor to aquire those habits that will help them out of that status; if not in thier life time, then perhaps thier childrens.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always liked the expression "a hand up not a hand out".
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Speaking only of the segment of the poor who actually are obese, I'd say they are likely to be the type of people who put off long term benefits for short term gain (in this instance, something yummy in their bellies). That's probably also why they are poor.


Keep in mind that if you're poor, you buy food based largely on how cheap it is, and how long it will keep.

Cheap, long-life, processed foods tends to be full of stuff that's not that good for you. High in sodium, fat, etc.

--A
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawedge Rim wrote:
The vast majority of the "poor" within the US enjoy a standard of living that most of the "Middle Class" in many countries don't enjoy.


I have lived this before so I can verify it. Consider two people who are making either minimum wage (or a little above it) with one child. Their combined take-home pay in a one-month period will be (2)(7.5)(160)(.85 guessing for taxes) = $2040. It isn't easy to do but it is possible if you watch your expenses and you stick to you budget. This income level is still well above the Federal defintion of "poverty" but we would certainly classify this as "working poor", living paycheck-to-paycheck and never getting ahead. This lifestyle, though, is vastly superior than what many truly poor people have because we still had electricity, hot/cold running water, indoor plubming, telephone/cable television/Internet access, a car that runs, and decent food.

I do not envy anyone struggling for money, especially in this country. That being said, our poor are still relatively rich when compared to the poor in places like China, India, many parts of South America or Africa, etc.


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