Income inequality

I normally don’t like writing such short or flippant posts, but reading a blog post made me think about those who complain about income inequality.

Has anyone noticed the glaring lack of demand for effort equality when discussing income equality?  Liberals love demanding everyone receive equality in every facet of life (usually when there’s money involved).  But I never hear them demanding everyone put in equal effort.  They seem intent on demanding a more equal level of income across the board without demanding people put in equal amounts of training, experience, education, or effort to justify a more equal income.  They just seem to want it to happen.  How nice.

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Related posts: Unequals Are Not Equal, Fair Enough?

Comments

  1. Marshall Art says:

    Effort equality is the better question for understanding income inequality. It is usually the reason the inequality exists, more than any other. But then, we’d have to deal with subjective explanations for what constitutes effort, not to mention blatant falsehoods about that and who’s actually putting out the proper level of effort in the proper direction to attain higher incomes.

  2. Don’t worry. Once we have income equality, the effort equality will follow.

  3. If someone makes 100x or 400x an average worker at the same company, they couldn’t possibly be putting out 100x or 400x the effort. It’s not about effort.
    The question is whether they are adding 100x or 400x in value to the company to earn that higher salary. By ‘earn’ I mean there are two ways to get a salary. The first is to have a market-determined salary and then to be selected in favor of others for a job that pays a certain salary. That’s how most jobs work. The second method is to have friends that simply choose to pay you a certain amount independent of market concerns. That’s how most CEO salaries are paid.

    In any case, I do agree that most complaints about income inequality are sour grapes and at least a terrible misunderstanding of the financial system. Most of those complaints are not informed by market conditions, business realities, or any objective justification why a given CEO should be paid less.

    The boards of companies should have to show why it’s in the company’s interest to provide a given compensation package to a given employee (CEO or otherwise). If they offered 50% or 25% what most CEOs make, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be qualified candidates to jump at the opportunity (especially with so much more capital to fund other executive positions or projects).

    • Jason

      do those workers have the same education? same work experience? No. But regardless, companies shouldnt have to justify why they pay what they do. Private companies can do what they want with their funds.

  4. Poor folk I know put in plenty of effort, by and large. For instance, a single mom getting up at 4 in the morning to get her children ready for school, then going to work at a McJob until the kids get off school, taking care of the children as best as they can and working a second job around all other responsibilities. All for the chance to make enough to almost keep from starving and to have a place to live, if not enough to pay the gas bill or phone bill, which means they get that cut off, which means she has to save up some money and then bus or walk down to the utility office to pay the bill PLUS a fee for getting cut off, then walking/busing back home and finally getting the kids fed and in bed before starting all over the next day.

    Are there some poor folk who don’t work hard? To be sure (although, oftentimes, they are disabled or otherwise having to overcome obstacles which can make it hard to keep up). But generally, when I hear folk talk about how “easy” the poor have it, it’s because they don’t know any of the truly poor.

    • Dan

      Effort is not just about how much someone sweats while working. As Marshal points out, effort begins in highschool. That’s where individual’s choices matter the most. It’s where girls decide to become single mothers, its where boys decide drugs and alcohol are more important grades, among other decisions.

      Effort has a lot more to do with someone’s character than it does physical labor. Contrary to what you want me to believe, most people –the vast majority– are poor by choice.

  5. Marshall Art says:

    Dan,

    What of her effort before she became a single mom? If she was born poor, why does she have kids at all? Where was the effort to maintain her virtue until such time that she could marry and properly support a family?

    The effort put out by successful people isn’t all about the exact actions related to earning or creating wealth, but it is also about the activities one does or doesn’t do that puts a drain on earning, creating and maintaining that wealth.

  6. Just to clarify, John. They are poor by choice not because they choose to be poor, but because the choices they make lead them to be poor. It’s all about choice in life.

    • Glenn

      I also say they are currently poor by choice. People can better themselves. With the ease of obtaining student loans, anyone can do it if they want to. People get used to where they are.

  7. Brother John, not everyone is cut out to be a college student. Not every college student is going to “better themselves.” Life is not so easy for some folk. Sometimes partially due to poor choices they have made, sometimes because of life circumstances outside their control – generally both, to varying degrees.

    I don’t find it rational or compassionate or helpful to blame poor folk for being poor. I’d rather be about the business of helping make changes to make things better than in the business of pointing fingers and casting blame.

    • Dan

      So you’re telling me that we should compensate people who aren’t “college material” the same as those who are? People who can’t cut it should be paid like they can. This is about are ridiculous as it gets. Not everyone is equal, its a fact of life.

  8. If you’d like some examples, I can give you some:

    What of the homeless veteran who did what he thought was right and passed up on going to college in order to go fight the “war on terrorism.” In the process, he/she came back injured physically and emotionally and finds it extremely difficult to get a job. Because of his injuries, he can no longer serve in the army. Because his benefits ran out, he could no longer access the health care he needed to continue healing. Because of his emotional damage, he has managed to cut off his family and friends and any support they may have been able to offer.

    He was getting help from a non-profit that received some money from the federal gov’t for working with homeless veterans, but those funds were cut in the last couple of budgets and the programs don’t exist anymore.

    So now, he’s homeless. What’s he to do?

    It’s easy to say, “That veteran should just shake off the emotional damage, suck it up and get a job that a disabled person can do!” when you haven’t walked a mile in his combat boots.

    Now multiply that story times a million (and be sure to count in that list of stories the 1.35 million US children who are homeless on any given night) or ten, with millions of variations in the stories and you get a picture NOT of a bunch of lazy bums who just made bad choices (which, to be sure, happens, too), but of my aunt’s son-in-law, my cousin, my doctor’s daughter and her children, and on and on (not citing real people there, just trying to make a point), and you see that poverty is a complex problem and that the poor need a helping hand, not a slap on the wrist or face.

    • Dan,

      You truly are an ass. You are going to use an example of a psychologically or physically impaled combat veteran who likely had no other choice but to serve his country?

    • The poor that I am referring to do need to be deamonized for the lazy hand out looking for drains of society they are. And there are alot more of them than there are the Vietnam veterans you want to use as the norm.

  9. So you’re telling me that we should compensate people who aren’t “college material” the same as those who are?

    Didn’t say that. I’m just calling for compassion rather than judgmentalism. I’m calling for work to change things, not demonization of the poor. I’m just suggesting that poor folk are hard-working too, by and large – generally harder working in my experience, by necessity and that demonizing them, blaming them, putting them down and mocking them is contrary to human decency and compassion and Christian ideals.

  10. John…

    you’re telling me that we should compensate people who aren’t “college material” the same as those who are? People who can’t cut it should be paid like they can. This is about are ridiculous as it gets…

    Again, didn’t say this. My primary suggestion was that we ought not demonize the poor for being poor or to mock or belittle them.

    Beyond that, I would think we should generally have plans to deal with it, perhaps ones not dissimilar from what you find in the Bible.

    In the OT, God commands the nation of Israel to implement Sabbath and Jubilee rules. Those rules included rules that kept money from accumulating too much in a few sets of hands (the year of Jubilee was a way to return land back to orignal owners so that the wealthy could not add “land upon land” and “buying the needy for of a pair of sandals” – and when those laws were broken in Israel, God warned of judgment to come saying “Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land… I will turn your religious festivals into mourning and all your singing into weeping.”)

    These also included rules that required landowners to set aside a portion of their land for the poor and foreigners to freely come and glean the food from it.

    In other words, there was no condemning of the poor, just the recognition that poverty happens. Sometimes due to circumstances beyond their control and sometimes due to poor choices. The reasons why are not questioned or raised. It just is a fact: Poverty happens.

    When it does, we need to have systems in place to tend to the needs of the poor and, in Israel’s day, there was nothing at all wrong with it being a set of national laws. Secondly, there were systems in place to keep too much money/land/wealth from accumulating in too few hands, as this has a tendency, the Bible would suggest, to lead to an oppression of the poor.

    John, as a Christian, I wonder: Can you find any place in the Bible that would support the notion of pointing fingers of blame at the poor or the demonization of the poor for their poverty? Do you have even ONE example to support this astounding claim that some poor need to be demonized?

    • Uh, yeah. Paul said if a man doesn’t work neither shall he eat. Now he isn’t talking about wounded psychologically and physically combat veterans who had no choice in their lot. Neither is he talking about the crippled or widowed, he is talking about able bodied moochers. Which is the majority of the poor.

  11. John…

    You truly are an ass. You are going to use an example of a psychologically or physically impaled combat veteran who likely had no other choice but to serve his country?

    Why the aggressive response, John? I gave one real world example of a whole group of people (not just Viet Nam vets, to be sure) who have poverty issues. Why would you respond in such a heated manner? If you prefer, I can give other examples.

    My wife is a social worker. I have worked in the schools and mental health fields. My church does social work and has many teachers, social workers and justice workers who attend. We are well-familiar with all manner of these real-world stories.

    What of the young man from a middle-class family who was a college grad, who had job prospects galore and was on his way to the GOP dream when he developed mental illness/schizophrenia? Suddenly, this fella was on a downward spiral that eventually led to his own homelessness. Lazy jerk needing to be demonized?

    What of the formerly middle-class wife whose husband developed cancer and died and then, one of her children ALSO gets cancer/leukemia and with her husband’s income gone and the health insurance gone and medical bills beyond what she could pay, she loses her home and has to go to a homeless shelter? Welfare queen/tramp?

    Why would you demonize the needy and the down-and-out? Where does that get you and how does that help the situation?

    For every story of a real “lazy bum…” who is shiftless and doesn’t want to work, there are a hundred stories of normal brothers and sisters who have encountered hardships. What is there to gain in demonizing them?

    • What’s most telling is you keep using examples of people with disease or physical inability when you know good and well that’s not who I am referring to. This is how intellectually inept or dishonest you are.

  12. Ah, I see…

    Paul said if a man doesn’t work neither shall he eat. Now he isn’t talking about wounded psychologically and physically combat veterans who had no choice in their lot. Neither is he talking about the crippled or widowed, he is talking about able bodied moochers. Which is the majority of the poor.

    You are operating on the presumption that “the majority of the poor” are able-bodied moochers. Where is your research to support this claim? Do you live amongst the poor yourself? Do you walk through the projects every day and go to church with people on welfare or disability? Have you been a social worker for your entire adult life? A teacher in public schools? A researcher into the problems of poverty?

    What do you base this claim upon?

    • I’m glad you asked. I was a ghetto every day and I witness it first hand. My wife works in social services for the next town over. I have family and friends who are poor and mooches. I know that of which I speak.

      • Dan, where do you find this statistic of 1.35 million homeless children?!?! Certainly not in the USA.

        AND I have also lived for a few years in a federal housing project, with me and my brother being the only “white” kids. John is right about most of the so-called poor. He was never talking about those without ability to take care of themselves – he was always contextually discussing able-bodied people who by poor choices or laziness are in that position. But you seem to come to every blog post looking for a fight, looking to twist what is said into something you can disagree with.

  13. John…

    Paul said if a man doesn’t work neither shall he eat.

    That is an encouragement to work. It is not the demonization of the poor. Fair enough?

    Paul’s actual words (from 2 Thessalonians 3):

    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching… We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

    We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.

    In other words, Paul is speaking NOT of the poor, but of a specific group of people who were idle, disruptive and not working. Paul does not say ANYTHING about “the poor” as a category, but of the lazy and disruptive.

    My point remains, the poor, as a rule, work plenty hard and ought not be disparaged for merely being poor.

  14. John…

    What’s most telling is you keep using examples of people with disease or physical inability when you know good and well that’s not who I am referring to.

    Again with the combative behavior. Come, let us reason together, brother, respectfully and dispassonately.

    For my part, I was speaking of “the poor,” who are a widespread group that include those with disabilities, those with deficits, those with limitations, those caught up in bad circumstances, those who make bad decisions, those who are lazy and others. You appeared to be talking about “the poor,” in the same way as I was. NOW, if I understand you correctly, you aren’t speaking of “the poor,” but only “the lazy,” which is a much smaller group.

    I am sorry if I misunderstood your point, but it sounded as if you were speaking of “the poor” as a group. How was I to know you were only speaking of “the lazy…”?

    Peace, brother.

  15. John…

    on the false precept that the exceptions are the rule.

    Okay, so we appear to be back to what I THOUGHT you were saying: that you are speaking of the poor en masse, with the caveat that YOU THINK there are a FEW “exceptions” in the “poor” who aren’t lazy, but most of them are… is THAT your point?

    If so, I’d have to ask for some research to back up such an astounding and irrational-sounding claim.

    The 1.35 million children who are homeless tonight, for instance: are they nearly ALL lazy and no-good and, if that is your claim, where is your research to support it?

  16. I did make a mistake, that SHOULD have said 1.35 million children experience homelessness in the course of a year, from a study done in 2007. The source was the <a href="http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/How_Many.html“> National Coalition for the Homeless, which itself was citing a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

    They noted…

    “Another approximation is from a study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year…”

    On another page (different year) they note…

    “Estimates of the number of homeless children range from 800,000 to 1.2 million, and recent estimates state that 1 in 50 children in the United States are homeless. (National Center on Family Homelessness, 2009). What’s more, at least half of homeless children are under the age of 5. (National Center on Family Homelessness, 1999)”

    Homelessness can be hard to count or estimate, since it is sometimes a hidden issue. But unfortunately, the numbers are quite high. Most social workers and folk who study the issue that I’ve heard from generally think these numbers are low.

    • Dan,
      Statistics such as those are tricky things. No one actually does any counting – they make “estimates” based on the ideology of the group doing the estimates. Same type of statistics which state how many people in America live in poverty – the ideology of the people making the estimates call poverty something that in most other countries would be seen as wealth, but in America they call it poverty because of the class warfare. But then you are part of the social gospel branch which helps to promote these falsehoods and the media spreads it all as truth.

      People need to use discernment when provided “statistics” – but then you need to have the ability to discern.

  17. Glenn…

    But you seem to come to every blog post looking for a fight, looking to twist what is said into something you can disagree with.

    This ad hom is not only off topic, but it is a bit hard to swallow, given that I merely offered some opinions (backed now with some numbers and sources) whereas John has responded by calling me an “ass” and “inept” and “dishonest,” without any support for the charge of dishonesty.

    All I did, in my initial (and now, follow up) comments is express the polite opinion that we ought not malign or demonize the poor. That, especially for us Christians, we have NO model for doing so in the Bible and have quite an extensive biblical witness to do THE OPPOSITE – to take the SIDE of the poor and support them.

    Again, if you want to malign “the lazy” (those who are poor and lazy as well as those who are rich and lazy), go ahead, I won’t complain about that (although, aren’t we all a bit lazy at times, at least in the wealthy part of the world?). But if you want to malign “most” of the poor as being lazy, then I just wanted to step up and defend “the poor” against such demonization.

    That is not looking for a polite, but respectfully making a point. If you disagree and want to believe (with nothing but your personal anecdotes) that “the poor” are GENERALLY, USUALLY, “MOST OF THE TIME” lazy, you are free to believe that. I would simply respectfully disagree. That is not looking for a fight, my brother.

  18. By all means, then Glenn, what is YOUR “official” estimate of homeless children in the US? If the experts can’t be trusted, should we all take your estimate as a rational and legitimate authority? And, if so, based upon what?

    John, I asked you for some evidence to support your charge that non-lazy poor folk are the “exception.” Your only response?

    You poor thing

    I’m not sure to whom that is addressed or what it means.

    • Dan,
      I don’t make any estimates because I have no more of a way of doing so than your so-called self-proclaimed experts. Anyone can make up numbers based on an ideology.

      You obviously missed where both John and I have said we have lived among poor. I’m not so inexperienced and ignorant of social conditions as you seem to think. It’s just that your ideology is the liberal ideology that no one is responsible for their actions and everyone is entitled to something from the gov’t. You have expressed this often in blog comments and on your own blog. Which is what I expect from a false teacher pretending to be Christian.

      End of my conversation with you on this post. Prov. 26:4.

  19. Glenn and John, short of any real world evidence/research beyond your guesses, AND based upon my real world experiences for the last 25 years living amongst the poor, I think I will rely upon the actual studies and results of actual experts.

    I would hope that we could agree that this is not unreasonable.

  20. Glenn…

    It’s just that your ideology is the liberal ideology that no one is responsible for their actions and everyone is entitled to something from the gov’t. You have expressed this often in blog comments and on your own blog.

    Fine, except that I NEVER SAID THAT NOR DO I BELIEVE IT.

    Is anything in your world fact-based or do you operate purely on whimsy and hunch, my abusive brother? Is “I think it, therefore, it must be true” what goes through your brain before you type out everything you write?

  21. Glenn…

    I don’t make any estimates because I have no more of a way of doing so than your so-called self-proclaimed experts.

    So, let me get this straight: Are you saying you have NO IDEA how many homeless children there are in the US? Are you saying you have NO RESEARCH nor study nor any special reading/insight that would help you make an informed answer to the question, “How many homeless children are there?”

    Are you saying simply, “I don’t like the numbers the ‘experts’ suggest, so I refuse to believe it, NOT because I have ANY RATIONAL REASON IN THE WORLD to not believe it, but just as a matter of principle that I trust my whimsy more than the researched answers ‘experts’ give…”?

    If so, can you see how you might not be very convincing?

    • You know, I really hate wasting my time responding to such a fool of an ass.

      Number one: you ideology IS as I stated, demonstrated by your own words in many blog comments and by your own words on your several blogs. Do you state the ideology in my exact words? No – of course not. But the sum of your false teachings equals exactly what I stated. Deny it all you want, the same way you deny the Bible plainly speaks agains homosexual behavior.

      Again, I have read much about homeless children and homeless people, but the numbers MADE UP by your ideological “experts” (self-anointed) are exaggerated and have been proven so by such economics notables as Thomas Sowell, et al. Get out of your liberal box and start looking at the real world once in a while. You “experts” are NOT experts on anything but their ideology. All they have are estimates based on their ideology – they have no facts to support them. And homelessness figures vary daily and I’m an “expert” on that, having been homeless off and on as a young teen and having known many homeless families.

      That’s it for my patience. You may have all the last words you want.

  22. Again, demonstrably NOT my position, as I have NEVER said that NOR DO I BELIEVE IT. And, given the question, “What does DAN think on this topic?” of the two of us, I believe I am the one single informed expert on my own opinion.

    I DO in fact, believe people are responsible for their actions. For instance, I hold YOU and you alone responsible for your action of bearing false witness. Boom! Instant proof that your statement is false and easily demonstrated to be thusly.

    Further, I DON’T believe “everyone is entitled to something from the gov’t…” It just factually ain’t my position. I guess, depending on what you mean by it. I suppose if you were saying “Everyone is entitled to a fair trial from our gov’t if they are accused of something…” then yes, I DO believe that, but then, probably you do, too. But “everyone is entitled to money” or some such, no, I factually don’t think that.

    Don’t make yourself out to be such a bully and no-nothing, brother Glenn. You are not an expert on my opinions and it is arrogant to suggest that you know what I think, even in the face of my TELLING you specifically that you are mistaken.

    And, IF you or Thomas Sowell or anyone rational has some EVIDENCE to present to give a better estimate of homeless children, feel free to present ACTUAL EVIDENCE. Lacking ANY evidence for your wild-eyed claims, I will continue to believe what the experts say because, you know, of actual evidence.

  23. Um, the first article is composed entirely of non-research based opinion in which Sowell does not address the number of homeless children. Reading the second now…

    Oh yeay, the second article actually addresses the actual citation from the homeless group. The Fox news report says…

    the Massachusetts-based organization used a standard adopted by the Department of Education that includes children who are “doubled up,” or children who share housing with other persons due to economic hardship or similar reason.

    The difference? About 1,170,000 children.

    An estimated 330,000 sheltered and unsheltered homeless children were identified in HUD’s July 2007 report to Congress as those who are “literally homeless,” or those living in homeless facilities or in places not meant for human habitation, according to the report.

    And it is right. The report from the Center for the Homeless DOES define “homeless” as being in a position of lacking permanent, regular, dependable housing, or words to that effect. It’s right there in the report.

    Thus, children who have no home, but whose Aunt Wanda has let them and their family share their home for a few months, then they’ll spend a week in their car, waiting for granny to clean a space in her house for the family to move in to, THOSE children were counted amongst the homeless, in addition to those living in family shelters.

    All of this is in the report. If you count having sporadic, temporary, shared housing as being safely “housed,” then the number is probably closer to the 330,000 in HUD’s report. IF you think that this temporary, sporadic approach is not quite the same as being “housed,” then you would look to the larger number.

    All of that is in the report I cited.

    So, if that’s all this is about and you want to stick to the 330,000 or so living ONLY in homeless shelters, then I would revise my question to accommodate your sensibilities:

    SO, do you think the 330,000 homeless children are nearly all lazy and no-good?

    Geez…

    • Amazing how was presented with facts that show your initial numbers we’re inflated by 400 percent , there is no change in your argument. Additionally, you are conflating homelessness and houselessness. What is shame that when proven wrong you back pedal and hold your ground

    • Thus my accusation of intellectual dishonesty is absolutely true

  24. Brother John, there is no intellectual dishonesty in disagreeing with you on the defintion of “homeless.” The problems that come from homelessness for children (extreme worry, lack of roots, difficulty concentrating in school, etc) I believe are pretty much the same whether those children are moving from relative to relative or they live in a car or they live in a homeless shelter.

    It’s not like these people were hiding their definition of homeless, it is right there in the report for anyone to read it. I happen to think that not having safe, dependable housing IS “homelessness…” You are free to disagree and limit it to only those living in shelters (or wait, “living in a shelter” IS having a home, too, of sorts, so maybe you’d want to limit it to children actually living in the wild with wolves…) but there is nothing dishonest in my agreeing with this other definition.

    These children literally do not have a home, thus they are, by definition, “homeless.”

    Why is it you all can’t handle someone offering an opinion without being total jerks about it and dropping down to name-calling and presumptuously telling others that you know what their motives are?

    • The numbers you cited were a joke. They were off by 400%. The numbers were inflated by redefining the term “homeless”. Of course neither they nor you brought any attention to the redefinition intentionally leading people to believe that 1.35 million children are on the streets when that is not the case.

      Now, we have some options here. You are either intellectually dishonest, intentionally deceptive, intellectually inept, or so married to your ideology that you refuse to do due diligence. I’ll let you choose.

      A man of character would have apologized for making wholly uninformed accusations against people who were actually offering the truth.

  25. Homeless: having no home or permanent place of residence

    Merriam Webster.

    Why is YOUR definition more “right” than the actual definition?

    Talk about intellectually dishonest! You can’t “redefine” a word to the RIGHT DEFINITION.

    I’d love to meet a man of integrity here. Instead, all you have are massive egos, arrogantly telling other people that they know best what THE OTHERS are thinking, and who engage in schoolyard bullying and name-calling tactics in lieu of respectful conversation.

    Grow up, my little brothers. Let us reason together LIKE MEN.

    Let me know when you’re ready.

    • I guess we’re just going to have to accept the crickets on the acknowledgement of using inflated and false numbers to further an ideology, Glenn. He asked for controverting evidence and when presented with it just dug his heels in.

    • Oh this is too rich!

      Talk about someone who is arrogant, lacking intellectual integrity, and who redefines words (e.g. “marriage”) to suit his whims, is a bullying name-caller big-time, often lacks respectful conversation as he uses foul language —— THAT IS DAN!!!!

      And he denies his belief system when anyone above 5th grade level reading can discern it from his own writings!

      Reason like men? Dan you have such an ego that you consider only your arguments have reason and yet they rarely do – you make stuff up, claiming things say what they plainly do not say, and you claim that is reasonable! You have been taken to task on this most recently on Marshall’s blog and yet you are still in denial.

      Homeless: “Destitute of a home.” Noah Webster. Nothing more, just destitute of a a home.

      Home: “One’s own habitation.”

      Now if you want to get literal about “one’s own,” then renting a home makes one homeless. As long as you are living with someone, you are not homeless. You are only homeless if you have no place to live other than the street or a campground (where I spent much of my early teen years).

      As for how homelessness mentally affects a person, it only affects a person negatively if they play the victim. And psychobabblers love to make people feel they are victims. People make choices to rise above any circumstance, and if you wallow in pity because you are/were homeless as a child – or any other time – then that is your choice. Rise above the circumstances by choices and you won’t remain homeless. (again the context is not those who are UNABLE).

      I need to shut down and get things done. I don’t know why I let Dan hook me into continuing to throw my pearls before him to crush— yes I do, because he is such a fool who needs instruction and yet he is an arrogant one who refuses all correction – as demonstrated on blog after blog after blog.

      I’m done with him now, John. He’s all yours.

  26. [rolls eyes…]

    Peace to you, my poor brothers…

  27. Marshall Art says:

    Hey, John, Glenn, are you guys poor?

    • Marshall, I was for most of my married life, I am only now middle class comfortable but still pay check to pay check.

    • Marshall,
      While I was young my family would have been considered in the lower class; we rented, but my Dad had a steady job; he just made poor decisions financially. By the time I was 12 there were five kids (sister 16 mos older, me, brother 16 mos younger, sister 7 years younger and sister 9 years younger) and our car was repossessed and my mom’s parents gave us their old stationwagon. Mom also worked part-time. Six weeks before my 12th birthday my parents split (infidelity on both sides and my dad was physically abusive to all of us) and my dad took my brother and me several states away to live in Denver, CO with friends of his (a couple) in a 4-room house (living room, bedroom, kitchen, bath) – leaving mom without a car. During that summer my mom moved with my sisters to the same town so as to be near her boys. She rented an apartment and worked part-time. My dad went from job to job over the next several years. After a few months we all moved together into 2-bedroom ranch. We essentially eked by.

      After a couple months in the ranch, we were evicted by the husband because my father was having an affair with the woman. We lived in my dad’s Econoline van in a campground as winter set in. It was an open van, just front seats, which he acquired because he was working as a vacuum cleaner service/sales man. Over the course of the next couple years we were in and out of houses as my dad would be having relationships, none of the houses of which were much to talk about. No new clothes until rags, shoes with cardboard inside to cover the holes. We spent many more times in the campground as we moved from woman to woman. The best was when we had an efficiency apartment when I was in 7th grade, sharing the bath down the hall. We actually lived there for a few months before being evicted for lack of rent payment. Finally my dad remarried when I was in 8th grade and we rented an apartment. She brought three younger kids into the relationship, one being so retarded he was placed in a home. After a few months they split until she discovered she was with child, so my dad was able to get us an apartment in the federal housing projects.

      The day we arrived at the projects the Mexicans and blacks all ganged around and turned water hoses on us and into the apartment as a way of “welcoming” us. For the next year and a half it was a living hell. We drew a lot of our food from the project’s “pantry” – marked with Federal stock numbers. I started 9th grade that year and lived there until halfway through 10th grade. (I can say my brother and I were ganged up on and beat regularly, but we learned to run fast!) All clothing was 2nd hand store, food was atrocious! Within the first couple months the Mexicans broke my glasses (I’m 20/200) and my dad didn’t have the money to buy new ones, and he refused to allow the school to work through their programs to get me some because he said he didn’t take charity!

      Meanwhile, my mom was living a bit better with the different guys she would be with, and finally she married a man who was lower middle class. At this time she was able to regain custody of me and my brother. Moving in with them was a real boost in my life, away from the projects and finally got glasses (over a year without them and THAT was a hardship) and real food, etc. So for the next year and a half I was able to live lower middle class until graduating from high school (We moved back to Ohio in the middle of my 11th year). Unfortunately, my step dad was also very abusive so I was glad to graduate and join the Army. I made the decision that I would make better choices in life than did my parents.

      I determined at first to make the Army my career, but after a couple years decided better. Anyway, I wanted a career in aviation and spent my Army pay getting my pilot ratings. When I left the Army I took the first job I could find (minimum wage) in construction while I looked for better employment. I kept seeking an aviation job and used my GI bill to continue flight training. After a couple months I saw an add for the Post Office and applied for that and immediately made $2 more per hour, with benefits. I bid on jobs there and worked my tail off to get a higher position. After three years there I got my aviation job – Air Traffic Control.

      Not all my choices have been the best when it came to finances; too much of wanting what I never had. I married when at the P.O and we lived lower middle class, but then ask kids came along and I changed to ATC, we spent the next 8 years pay check to pay check as we scrimped and saved to own a home. Through hard work I ended up being promoted to supervisor and for the first time were solid middle class, where we have been since. I could have made decisions to work at O’Hare and been upper middle class, but I think life is more than money.

      So you can see that I have experienced homelessness, poverty, abuse, gangs, family mayhem etc, but I made choices to be better than that and worked my way to middle class. While both my parents were married three times and had many affairs, I have been married to the same woman for 35 years. CHOICES!

  28. I forgot to say, that when I was 11 my dad filed bankruptcy his first time, and seven years later he filed again, and about 9 years after that he filed again! He died a jack-Mormon, my mom is an unbeliever; I was the first of my siblings to become a Christian when I was 22.

  29. Marshall Art says:

    Wow! Didn’t mean to release the hounds! My story doesn’t match up to Glenn’s, but I can say we were less than well-to-do only because the math didn’t add up to better. One of five kids, my dad passed when I was nine. At that time, he was the sole bread-winner, back when one could get it done. He moved from the surrounding suburbs of Chicago (Berwyn, Brookfield) and moved way out to the fledgling Schaumburg, IL and Ma still lives in the same 3 bedroom ranch. She became a waitress and got us all through high-school. She was good with saving and stretching pennies and we went on vacations (driving) to other states several times.

    As I said, we were at best, lower middle-class-bordering-on-selling-one-of-the-younger-kids-for-scientific-research. But my older brother and I didn’t have any trouble seeing our situation as it was, while the younger ones didn’t even know we were as bad off as we were, which wasn’t all that bad compared to far many others.

    As soon as I could work, I did, and wasn’t great with saving until I was about to marry. The wife and I have made together as much as 100K per yr, but less than half that when I got laid off in ’08. We spent most of the next two years on her income and savings and it wasn’t until late in the second year of no full time gig for me that we started hitting the retirement money.

    Now I’m working again, far more hours than I’d like to, but bringing home more than ever as a result, until it kills me or another situation comes along. We are building back up our emergency fund in the event of another Obama term and no real economic progress in America. We put two through college (though their father pitched in) and have a third (mine and the wife’s) to put through as well. We’re doing OK because we did do at least some of the things most people won’t do (not can’t, but won’t), though not so much that I can brag.

    I’ve had a taste of being laid up and financially hurt by it. I’ve been laid off and financially hurt by it. I’ve been less than responsible with my dough and life and been financially hurt by it. When life kicks you in the ass, how well you dealt with it financially is based on how well you planned for the unexpected. Life cannot be lived as if all will always go well. The less you make, the more you have to conserve, sacrifice, self-deny and risk less. As you make more, this stays the same for the most part, never overtaking the income. Not hard to do, but few do it all the time. I know.

    And because I know, from being there myself, like John and Glenn, we know it when we see it and we see it all too often in our society. Dan speaks from a narrow perspective and his anecdotes do not constitute the bulk of poverty in this country.

  30. Again, Marshall, if you all have ANY evidence to support your claims, present it.

    In the meantime, the suggestion that the majority of the poor are lazy and shiftless is an insult to the people God has deemed as God’s beloved and, by extension, to their creator.

    I am sorry that you, like many of my other friends, have experienced hardship. I’d just ask that you don’t let your bitterness over your hardships and your perceptions/biases of how “irresponsible” SOME poor people you knew, prejudice your rational thinking. It sounds a bit as if, at least with Glenn, he may have experienced some bad times with some poor folk/black folk and is blaming the whole for the actions of a few.

    Research, men. Studies. Evidence. That is what we should act upon, not our emotional responses to tough times.

    • More intellectual dishonesty. The idea that able bodied people who are poor are lazy is demonstrated by experience and witness, not statistics. Do you think if surveyed, those people would admit to being lazy? No, it is something seen. You know you are asking for something that does not exist.

    • Dan,

      You are STUPID! There is no other way to say it. You looked for something that isn’t there. Talk about false witness!!!! I neither stated nor implied that I am blaming anyone for actions of anyone else.

      We have stated a zillion times that we are not talking about those who by no fault of their own – be it disabilities, disasters, etc – but those who BY THEIR DECISIONS put them in the economic bracket they are part of. Yet you consistently claim differently.

  31. Actually, no, Glenn. I stated quite clearly…

    For my part, I was speaking of “the poor,” who are a widespread group that include those with disabilities, those with deficits, those with limitations, those caught up in bad circumstances, those who make bad decisions, those who are lazy and others. You appeared to be talking about “the poor,” in the same way as I was. NOW, if I understand you correctly, you aren’t speaking of “the poor,” but only “the lazy,” which is a much smaller group.

    If you are only speaking of “the lazy,” then fine, we agree: Lazy is not good.

    Do you see that Glenn? IF you are only speaking of the lazy, then we agree: Lazy is not good.

    However, as soon as I noted that, I also noted that John had said…

    on the false precept that the exceptions are the rule.

    …suggesting that NON-lazy poor folk are the exception. Which takes us back to a blanket condemnation of MOST of the poor (with the few exceptions). So which are we talking about, Glenn? The FEW Lazy folk (poor and NOT poor) or “most poor folk, who are lazy…”? Are you doing (as John appears to be doing) a stereotyped, judgmental blasting of “most” poor folk or are you only speaking of the lazy, whatever socioeconomic group they might be in?

    A direct answer given politely and with respect would be appreciated, sir. If you all are only intent on rage and bile (“stupid,” “ass,” “dishonest”), then you can keep your opinions and your bile bottled up inside you.

    If you want to talk studies, research and rational, sound thinking, let me know. I’ll be around. But I’ll pass on the bile and the rage: I don’t want to get any more spittle on me.

    Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land…
    The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob,
    “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds…”
    “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
    “That I will make the sun go down at noon
    And make the earth dark in broad daylight

    ~Amos

    What do you mean by crushing my people, and grinding down the poor when they look to you? says the Lord, the GOD of hosts…

    For You (God) have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress.

    ~Isaiah

    Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor; they trap them by their cunning schemes.

    The wicked even boast of their greed; these robbers curse and scorn the LORD.

    Their mouths are full of oaths, violence, and lies; discord and evil are under their tongues.

    They wait in ambush near towns; their eyes watch for the helpless. to murder the innocent in secret.

    They lurk in ambush like lions in a thicket, hide there to trap the poor..

    Rise up, LORD God! Raise your arm! Do not forget the poor!

    Why should the wicked scorn God, say in their hearts, “God doesn’t care”?

    But you do see; you do observe this misery and sorrow; you take the matter in hand. To you the helpless can entrust their cause; you are the defender of orphans.

    ~Psalm 10

    • Dan,
      Throwing out verses like so much confetti doesn’t prove your case.

      The topic is what John wrote – period.

      The poor that we have been talking about are those who are that way by their decisions – be it decisions for laziness or be it decision ruining their financial situation, being their decisions on educations, etc. YOU are the one who keeps trying to make the discussion more inclusive with all your straw men arguments.

      Really, are you that stupid or are you just being intentionally stupid?

  32. I see, you’re choosing rage, rather than respect. Bile rather than brotherhood.

    May God’s Peace be with you, brother Glenn. You could use some.

    • Dan,
      RAGE? What rage? Because I called you stupid that must be rage? Always making things YOUR interpretation, aren’t you!? No, when I read something from you I shake my head at your abject foolishness.

      The passages, again, had nothing to do with the topic of what John wrote. You keep raising straw men!!!

  33. As to the Bible verses, they are a part of the vast Bible witness confirming that God has a special concern for the poor and marginalized. Over and over, we see these sorts of passages of God defending or speaking out for the poor and warning against those who’d belittle or mock or oppress them.

    There are literally hundreds of these sorts of verses, from Genesis to Revelation. I’d be wary of blanket condemnations of “the poor,” for what you have done for the least of these, God’s children, you have done to God.

  34. My point, brother Glenn, is just as I’ve noted: I’d be wary of blanket condemnations of “the poor.”

    Do you agree with this point? If so, then perhaps you could tune down your moral outrage just a bit and relax. I raised a concern. I didn’t make a charge, and thus, there have been no “strawmen.” I raised a concern. If you (or John, or whoever) are not making a sweeping generalization of “the poor being lazy and shiftless,” then the concern can be duly noted and say, “but that’s not a problem here.” No need for name-calling or the rage of the responses you all are offering.

    Just a respectful adult conversation, that’s all this ever had to be.

    • Dan,
      AGAIN, there was no intimation or implication of “blanket condemnations of the poor” from the very post itself. You kept bringing in THAT straw man and kept bringing in all your examples to prove a point which was never raised.

      And I will tell you right now that I have absolutely no respect for you. Anyone who preaches the stuff you preach and twists the Scripture the way you do, and who refuses all correction, resorting instead to all sorts of sophistry to “prove” how wrong everyone else is, and who does this on blog after blog after blog, has no right to any respect at all from me. I find you to be a complete fool.

      End of conversation.

  35. Thank you for your opinion, sir.

    God bless you.

  36. Marshall Art says:

    Just to clarify, I didn’t say the poor were necessarily “shiftless and lazy”, which is Dan-spin only. My position is that the poor don’t do what successful people do as far as making proper choices in their lives. They don’t look to the successful to really see what they do differently. For example, there is a book that has been out for at least 10-20 years called, “The Millionaire Next Door” that speaks about people who don’t look wealthy but have accumulated enough wealth to prevent them from needing any assistance at all. The qualities of both rich and poor have far less to do with birth than what comes after birth. There have been far too many who rose from humble beginnings to put it all on parental situation, or what school was attending in childhood or “oppression by the haves”.

  37. To be clear, I am responding to John’s comment that said that the poor who aren’t lazy are the “exception to the rule…”

    You two will have to take it up with John.

  38. Marshall Art says:

    Dan,

    “I’d be wary of blanket condemnations of “the poor.””

    I am wary of the blanket concern of the poor as “downtrodden”, “oppressed” or in any way comparable to the poor referred to in those many passages improperly used so often by you. They do not compare to the vast majority of those referred to as “poor” in most studies of poverty in America.

    BTW, you have not provided any studies or stats yourself, so your demands for some from us is meaningless. I won’t speak for John or Glenn, but I doubt they necessarily regard most of the poor as “lazy and shiftless” as much as reject your argument that they are mostly all victims.

    If one starts out life in poverty, is it not incumbent upon that person to seek out others who came from the same beginnings and rose above it in order to see how it’s done? There are plenty of examples that do not include crime or being blessed with incredible athletic or singing skills from whom one could adopt habits and adapt them to one’s particular situation, thereby improving one’s situation. How many do this? What studies are necessary to confirm that this is not common among people of any level of economic status?

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