Where’s the Wealth?

I ran across this video while browsing my Facebook feed. It’s pretty intense. I’d like to read your thoughts.

Comments

  1. The BBC did a similar study for the UK and the results were similar to those presented in this video. I’ve just written a post on social mobility – this certainly emphasises the point about the need for greater equality.

  2. It highlights, among others things, the American people’s naivete, and that was most striking to me. Truthfully, though, I was equally naive. It’s pretty incredible to think that 1% of the country makes that much of the money..

  3. I haven’t watched the video yet but I do think I’ve seen it before. Have you vetted the numbers? I’m not disputing anything, just wondering if you checked them.

  4. The whole lie about the inequality of wealth distribution is socialism whining. The income is distributed the way people earn their money. Whether you are rich or poor is determined by choices we make. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the very poor when their choices keep them there? Am I supposed to be bitter towards those who are rich when the bust their butts to earn that money? Or they take risks to get such wealth?

    The whine about being “unfair” that a CEO makes 380 X his average worker’s salary is to me a, “so what?” As so well pointed out in a previous post, they earn what they are worth and what people are willing to pay them for the job they can do.

    I saw nothing in this video even mentioning a large portion of the wealthy people – the entertainment and sports industry. These people are all very wealthy. So what? They get what people think they are worth. When people spend big bucks to see a football game, then they add to the wealth “inequality” by making the people on the field a valuable commodity. If people refused to pay the large admission prices, then those in power would have to charge less and pay the players less. That’s the way it works.

    I’m really sick of all the whining about the “inequality” of income distribution. People earn what they are making.

  5. I’d like to see the same numbers by age. Young people are usually “poor”. When a kid making min wage gets his very first paycheck, he has amassed his entire fortune of a couple hundred bucks. “That doesn’t even register on the chart! GASP!”

    But those numbers are represented in the chart. Age, experience, and good practices make people more valuable.

    Here’s my answer to the wealth distribution “problem”: Teach young people how to invest.

    • Also, you have to remember that people don’t stay in those categories – they normally move up during their lifetimes. This is a picture of just one point in history.

      “Most of those Americans now living below the official poverty line have possessions once considered part of a middle class standard of living, just a generation or so ago. As of 2001, three-quarters of Americans with incomes below the official poverty level had air-conditioning (which only one-third of all Americans had in 1971), 97 percent had color television (which fewer than half of all Americans had in 1971), 73 percent owned a microwave oven (which fewer than one percent of all Americans had in 1971), and 98 percent of ‘the poor’ had either a videocassette recorder or a DVD player (which no one had in 1971). In addition, 72 percent of ‘the poor’ owned a motor vehicle.

      “None of this has done much to change the rhetoric of the intelligentsia, however much it may reflect major changes in the standard of living of Americans in the lower income brackets. Professor Peter Corning, for example, has called the American economy ‘an ever-spreading wasteland of poverty’ and said that ‘close to one-quarter of our population’ are ‘struggling to meet their basic needs.’ Similarly, Professor Andrew Hacker declared that ‘a rising proportion of children are growing up in homes without the means even for basic necessities.’

      “Undefined terms like ‘basic necessities’ and arbitrarily defined terms like ‘poverty’ allow such rhetoric to flourish, independently of documented facts about rising living standards in the lower income brackets. While such alarmist rhetoric abounds, specifics are conspicuous by their absence. At one time, poverty meant that people were hungry or couldn’t afford adequate clothing to protect themselves against the elements. Today it means whatever those who define the official poverty level want it to mean, so that says that X percent of the American population live in poverty is to say that they meet some ultimately arbitrary definition, which could be set higher or lower, causing half as many or twice as many to be called ‘poor.’ Moreover, the income statistics so often cited tell us very little about the actual standard of living among people who receive the majority of their economic resources over and above whatever incomes they may be earning.”
      Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society.

  6. And, something else to consider:

    “This mundane, utilitarian process is quite different from the vision of ‘income distribution’ projected by those among the intelligentsia who invest that vision with moral angst. If there really were some pre-existing body of income or wealth, produced somehow – manna from heaven, as it were – then there would of course be a moral question as to how large a share each member of society should receive. But wealth is produced. It does not just exist somehow. Where millions of individuals are paid according to how much what they produce is valued subjectively by millions of other individuals, it is not at all clear on what basis third parties could say that some goods or services are over-valued or under-valued, that cooking should be valued more or carpentry should be valued less, for example, much less than not working at all is not rewarded enough compared to working. …

    Where people are paid for what the produce, one person’s output can easily be worth a thousand times as much as another person’s output to those who are recipients of that output…

    The fact that one person’s productivity may be a thousand times as valuable as another’s does not mean that one person’s merit is a thousand times great as another’s. Productivity and merit are very different things, though the two things are often confused with one another. Moreover, an individual’s productivity is affected by innumerable factors besides the efforts of that individual – being born with a great voice being an obvious example. Being raised in a particular home with a particular set of values and behavior patterns, living in a particular geographic or social environment, merely being b born with a normal brain…can make enormous differences in what a given person is capable of producing.

    More fundamentally, third parties are in no position to second-guess the felt value of someone’s productivity to someone else, and it is hard even to conceive how someone’s merit could be judged accurately by another human being who ‘never walked in his shoes.’ An individual raised in terrible home conditions or terrible social conditions may be laudable for having become an average, decent citizen with average work skills as a shoe repairer, while someone raised from birth with every advantage that money and social position can confer may be no more laudable for becoming an eminent brain surgeon. But that is wholly different from saying that repairing shoes is just as valuable as being able to repair maladies of the brain. …

    If one prefers an economy in which income is divorced from productivity, then the case for that kind of economy needs to be made explicitly. But that is wholly different from making such a large and fundamental change on the basis of verbal virtuosity in depicting the issue as being simply that of one set of ‘income distribution’ statistics today versus an alternative set of ‘income distribution’ statistics tomorrow.”
    Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society.

  7. It’s funny. You guys learn that 1% of the country takes home 40% of the nation’s wealth and the very first thing you do is question why poor people are poor, instead of wondering if things are skewed in this country to favor the rich.

    And who cares what Sowell says? So because the poor in this country are better off than the poor in Mozambique that means everything is okay in the United States? Get real.

    Conservative,

    You’re assuming most poor people are poor because they’re young.

    John,

    Yes.

    • My point with Sowell is to demonstrate the absurdity of using stats like this. People are where they are in the economy MOSTLY due to their choices in life.

      I lived in federal housing projects for a few years, and my dad filed bankruptcy 3 times, which should give you an example of the sad conditions we lived in. But he made poor choices as to where he put his money. My brother and I were the only “white” kids in the projects, and I do know a large percentage of the kids there grew up using drugs and getting in with gangs and living a life of crime. THEIR choices. Even between my brother and I the choices we made determined our fate.

      Without the money for college, I joined the Army right out of high school, and used that to get me started on a different road. I worked my way up to a successful career and have been married to the same girl for 37 years. My brother, only 16 months younger, took until a few years ago to finally get established in a financially sound life, but has lost much of it to his second wife.

      I know there are many in lower income levels who are there by not much fault of their own, just like there are upper income level people who inherited it. But for the most part one’s economic condition is based on their lifestyle choices. This is NO “unequal distribution of wealth.” People get what they work for.

  8. I posted this video two weeks ago on this very blog: https://siftingreality.com/2013/10/31/stop-towing-the-party-line-and-lets-talk/ which you all commented on. :)

  9. And yes – wealth inequality is a major problem in this country. The elites have convinced some people that facism is capitalism and that capitalism is good for everyone – even those people being laid off and foreclosed on – while the bankers collect tax dollars and huge bonuses.

    Another buzz-word is the idea that if you do not support the current system you are a communist or a socialist. NO! The current system is facism and oligarchy due to the insanity that has become lobbying and super-pacs.

  10. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    People are where they are in the economy MOSTLY due to their choices in life.

    Any support for this claim or is it just a hunch you have?

    For those who think the super-rich have earned their money, I’d ask: What specifically has anyone done that is worth all that? Is it a matter of hard work? Do you think the super rich work 1000 times harder than the poor and 990 times harder than the middle class?

    Not saying you’re wrong, I’m just asking what you think they’ve done that is worth, say, $10 billion/year.

    Another question: Would anyone here be embarrassed to be a billionaire and keep most of that money?

    Just curious.

    ~Dan

    • Good Ol’ Trabue doesn’t disappoint us and comes along with his typically stupid questions.

      NO it is not a HUNCH to same that MOST people are where they are economically due to their own choices in life. Anyone living an adult life will know this from experiencing the world around them. I’m not talking about any other country because the context of this post is the USA. I also stated that there are those who are in the income levels through no fault of their own – I acknowledged this happens. But the MAJORITY in low income levels are there due to poor choices in their lives. Common sense also demonstrates that fact.

      And as has been discussed, the differences in value of work isn’t necessarily due to working “harder,” rather it depends on the value of the work performed. I can guarantee that in my job I probably made more than the majority of hard-working laborers but I put no manual labor in my job. My job was all brain-work, which took a lot of training and resulted in skills which are valued, as well as being also paid for the responsibility I had for other people’s lives. Who worked harder? The guy in construction. But I made more money because of what I knew, and the skills I had – skills with which much fewer people had than those who had the skills of the laborer.

      The only “equality” with income is those who do the very same work should get the same pay for that work.

  11. paynehollow says:

    Glenn….

    But the MAJORITY in low income levels are there due to poor choices in their lives. Common sense also demonstrates that fact.

    I’m sorry if I was not clear: Do you have any RESEARCH to back your claim or is it just a hunch? You’re making a claim – that the majority (presumably at least 51%, but based on your words, you are guessing it is a much larger number than just a bare majority?) are poor due to their poor choices. I’m asking if you have any research to back that claim?

    As to your suggestion that I’m asking “typically stupid questions,” I am not of the opinion that there are stupid questions. If it is a question addressing the topic, it seems to me that reasonable adults can expect to field questions that arise, especially if one is making a factual claim, as you have made. Do you disagree?

    Glenn…

    the differences in value of work isn’t necessarily due to working “harder,” rather it depends on the value of the work performed.

    Okay, then what is it about the value of the work performed by the CEO who makes, say, $10 billion/year that makes it 1000 times more valuable than the work of his janitor? Something specific and measurable would be helpful, as opposed to just emotional and vague.

    Oh, also, I’m curious if you would be embarrassed/shamed to make $10 billion a year and keep most of it? Does that seem sinfully extravagant to you?

    Thanks.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I told you it wasn’t a “hunch,” rather it is my experience from living as an adult for 43 years (using 18 as adulthood) and observing the world around me, reading news, etc. and I also pointed out that anyone with a modicum of common sense would know that people’s income is based on their lifestyle choices. DUH!!!!

      And since when do YOU get to determine how much a rich person should give of his wealth so as to not be “sinfully extravagant”? Most Christians (not me) determine that giving 10% of their income to the Lord’s work makes it permissible to use the rest for themselves – so if a guy making $10 billion a year gives $1 billion to the Lord’s work, is he still being “sinfully extravagant”? What percentage of a person’s income do you think must be given away in order to not be “sinfully extravagant”?

      There are people in the world who are truly poor, who might think someone making $40K a year is “sinfully extravagant.”

      Trabue, as with all liberals, are nothing more than marxists who think those who are rich should have to give up most of their income so as to be “fair.”

  12. Attiicus,

    I realize that now – but I didn’t at the time. I was more concerned with your opinion that abortion is nothing but a distraction. I responded to that tidbit and then said, “I agree with you on 1 – 5.” I just didn’t watch the video because I already know about income inequality and its dangers. But I thought it deserved its own post anyway.

  13. Terrance, I’m saying that 99.9% of young people (to a certain age) haven’t acquired as much WEALTH as it takes to even register on the chart. It’s a huge part of the population, starting from zero and being called “a class”. It’s misleading not to tell people at what part of their lives all these people are in.

    And I have looked at these types of charts and wondered why there is so much inequality. But only for as much time as it took for my knee to stop jerking! Then I realized that there are real reasons for it, and almost all are good and/or natural to the human condition.

    Some are rich because they take advantage of people. Some are poor because they don’t learn how to better their situation, or get mixed up with drugs, or have mental problems, or don’t speak English well enough. These are problems for them to overcome. Not for me to overlook.

  14. Why is wealth inequality a problem? Several of you have said it. So, why? I honestly don’t get it. When people talk this way, I get visions of a utopian society in which all the things that make people WORTH more or less don’t matter. A world in which simply breathing entitles you to what? A 3-2-2 and a full cupboard? I don’t know that place!

    And if that’s not what you’re suggesting, then what? Am I so heartless as to presume to tell people, “DO what the next richer guy DOES, and you’ll have more!”? Why is that so bad???

    Where am I wrong?

  15. @conservative2cents

    Wealth inequality is a problem for several reasons:

    1. How was the wealth accumulated? Was it accumulated fairly or unfairly? Were honest people harmed in the process? (i.e., Bank bail outs, Political Lobbying, Monopoly, Oligarchy)
    2. A great disparity in wealth also means a great disparity in power. When you live in an oligarchy like we do (via lobbyist, Super-Pacs, the political class) the wealthy also obtain the power. You cannot have a free country with such a system.
    3. Misinformation and dishonesty: The super-rich have too much control. This includes Government, media, healthcare, and more. The other 95% of the population has almost no control over their own destiny in many ways. Goes back to point #2.

    I have no problem with someone being rich if it was done in the confines of an agreed upon and fair system, but we have to open our eyes to the system we live in.

  16. @Glenn – the part you are missing is the fallacy of “moving up the system”. This is not possible for many people. If a person is born into poverty, was never shown the values of education, but was instead shown the value of crime then that person has little chance. What happens in a person’s life is multifaceted – much of it is determined by the person’s natural ability and drive and their environments. What we are developing in America is a class system where it’s less about a person’s choice and more about a person’s birth.

    Surely most poor people did not choose to be born into a poor family that does not value education and praises a gangster or criminal lifestyle? How much does that person learn about a value system their first 5-10 years of life. How likely is that person, who is taught bad values, to CHOOSE the right things. To become a millionaire?

    I’m not saying everyone deserves anything at all, but what I am saying is that we need to promote an environment that gives everyone equal opportunity to succeed – with an equal playing field. That benefits everyone, everywhere.

    • According to real stats, a large percentage of people move up in economic standings over the years.

      I was never taught the value of education, and my father actually taught disdain for college-educated people. I lived for a while where virtually everyone was in a gang and on drugs, and yet I looked at that stuff as foolishness without anyone telling me it was wrong – it just took common sense, and those people in gangs and drugs have the common sense to leave it behind but they choose not to – LIFESTYLE CHOICES!

      When I got out of the Army in Feb 1975, I used my last paycheck to pay off a car I had bought, and I had about $200 to start my civilian life. So I would have been in that poverty part of the graph. Within two weeks I had a labor job making minimum wage ($2.75 – $7800/yr)yes I still have all my records). By the middle of April I had changed to a new job making $5.25 hr. I was still in that bottom bracket. By seeking a better position in my job and acquiring the skills needed, by the end of 1975 I was making $5.70 hr. Throughout 1976 I was working a 2nd part-time job as a delivery person just to add more to my income. By the time I left my full-time job in late summer 1978 I was married and renting an apartment, making 7.30 hr -$15,184/yr – I had doubled my salary in three years by hard work. Where was I on the graph then?

      While in my new job I had to pass rigorous training to qualify to go into on the job training. It took lots of hard work to progress higher in the ranks, and by the summer of 1979 we bought a house and I was making $7.91 an hour. Two years later I was making $10.30 hr/$21,424 yr.

      Do you see how an average person, with only a high school diploma and determination, went from the poverty level to lower middle class within six years? And from there I continued to work towards higher positions and ended up in management – and all the other management people had at least 2 yrs of college.

      Graphs don’t show things like that, and I maintain this is common with most people, and yet the graphs are always showing static positions.

      People must strive to better themselves. I’ll admit I was even “lazy” in that if I progressed as some of those I worked with progressed, then I would have been making almost double my salary by the time I retired, but I decided the job where I was provided me with enough income to live on, and gave me time to be with my family – which I wouldn’t have had if I had gone after the “gold.” I’ve just never desired to be “rich,” rather I just wanted enough to provide without needs being unmet..

      Those people who are raised in situations as described by you are, I believe from experience, in the minority. I maintain that the vast majority of those in the low income level are there because of poor lifestyle choices. In the USA we DO have an environment where everyone has a chance to succeed; not everyone takes advantage of it.

  17. Isn’t half of the Book of Luke about how people like Glenn should be giving away all of their worldly goods and devoting their lives to helping loft the poor up and help them attain a better quality of life?

    Jesus seems to go on at length about helping the poor, yet Glenn seems to go droning on about how the cards are evenly stacked and the game isn’t fixed, just because he managed to not be poor. That’s an anecdotal example Glenn, Your 1 instance does nothing to prove your point with regards to people’s responsibility.

  18. R. Nash,

    Glenn is a good person. I’ve had the chance to speak with him apart from this blog, so trust me, he’s a good man. But I tend to agree with you, R. Nash, on this point. But conservatives in general, I’m sad to say, have a problem viewing this issue objectively.

  19. paynehollow says:

    Glenn ignored my questions, but asked…

    Most Christians (not me) determine that giving 10% of their income to the Lord’s work makes it permissible to use the rest for themselves – so if a guy making $10 billion a year gives $1 billion to the Lord’s work, is he still being “sinfully extravagant”?

    I was taught in my good ol’ traditional Southern Baptist church that ALL our money is “the Lord’s,” to be used for God’s glory. Not 10%. The tithe is a suggestion for what we spend to keep the business of the church going, but everything that we have belongs to God.

    I was also taught the Bible in my traditional church (and in my church today) and I learned of the many warnings against accumulating wealth. Where I learned that the Bible teaches that wealth can be a trap and a crutch and a lesser god and an idol that comes between us and God.

    I’m not suggesting that I have a line that I draw – I don’t. I just asked a simple question: Would anyone here be embarrassed to make $10 billion a year and to keep most of it (storing up, as it were, more and more treasure here on earth, building bigger and bigger barns to store up this accumulated wealth)?

    Glenn (anyone): Are you saying that you would not be embarrassed by that? Concerned?

    In the book of James, he warns again of the dangers of wealth and points out, “Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not the rich who throw you in jail and defame you?”

    I wonder if those rich people found themselves embarrassed by their actions…

    ~Dan

  20. R.Nash,
    I’d suggest you read your Bible a bit more carefully. What Jesus was pointing out in the story in Luke was that the guy’s heart was not where his mouth was. He cared more about his money than he did about following the Lord. Nowhere in the Bible does it condemn wealth – and Solomon was given wealth by God beyond all of our imaginations; what it condemns is greed.

    My instance DOES prove my point that the lines of wealth shown in that video are not static, and that MOST people have the same opportunities to advance as anyone else does.

    Terrance:
    We conservatives have absolutely NO problem viewing this issue objectively – it is the liberals who view every issue by emotions rather than rational thinking. It is conservatives who hold people responsible for their actions and choices, while liberals alway enable them.

    Trabue,
    I did indeed answer your questions – you just didn’t like the answers. And as usual, you misrepresent what I said. Straw men and red herrings are what you had to offer.
    I never even intimated that anything less than everything we have is the Lord’s and on loan to us. I was making a point about your belief that someone is “sinfully extravagant” if they don’t give to the Lord an amount you arbitrarily set. I was asking YOU at what point you think a person is “sinfully extravagant,” and apparently you seem to believe a person should just keep enough to clothe and feed themselves and then give the rest away. I wonder how many people would look at YOUR lifestyle and decided that YOU are “sinfully extravagant.” I’m just challenging the audacity of you deciding what is “sinfully extravagant.”

    Oh, and you claimed that you aren’t drawing a line, but that is exactly what you are doing by deciding ANYTHING held back from income is “sinfully extravagant.”

    • Ok Glenn so I went and read my Bible more carefully and found about 40 passages that would make you seem greedy. Here are a few.

      1 John 3:17-18

      James 2:15 -17 / James 1:27

      1 Cor. 10:24

      Rom. 15:1-2 / Rom. 12:13

      Luke 14:12-14

      There seems to be a common thread here…..unless it’s open to interpretation. The theme doesn’t seem to be based on “people should make better choices”, or “we all have equal chances.”

      • R.Nash,
        1 John 3:17-18 says that we are to help our brothers in need. In context, the “brothers” are Christians. I certainly do a heck of a lot of helping fellow believers in need. Galatians 6:10 tells us to do good to all people, but ESPECIALLY to Christians. I do indeed provide help to many unbelievers, but we also concentrate on helping believers who are in need.

        James 1:27 simply tells us to help orphans and widows in their need. My wife and I do this on a regular basis.

        James 2:15-17 is again about helping BELIEVERS, which we do consistently.

        1 Cor. 10:24 says nothing about greed, or even about money. It simply says that we are to seek the good of others, without specifying what that good is. I think you will find in the Proverbs that those who do no work are not to be coddled, and Paul says that those who don’t work should not eat.

        Rom 12:13 Again talks about sharing with “God’s people,” i.e., Christians. Again, as stated above, we do this on a routine basis.

        Rom 15:1-2 says nothing about finances – it is just a general statement which I follow. In context, it is again about fellow believers.

        Luke 14:12-14 is also one we do on a regular basis.

        Hmmmm. Nowhere in the passages you cited does it say that people aren’t responsible for their own choices. But if you were to study the Scripture much better – perhaps take some time in the Proverbs, you will find that taking responsibility for one’s actions is a common thread throughout Scripture.

        AND, nowhere in the passages you cited does it even hint that I am greedy. Perhaps you shouldn’t be judging someone’s heart – Scripture speaks against that sort of judging. And you can’t even judge my actions because you don’t know me and don’t know how I live, and how much of my “wealth” is used for the Lord’s work.

        • So mostly take care of those who ascribe to your god? Is that what Jesus did? Did Jesus ask the blind woman or the lepers if they were christians before he helped them.

          Your manufacturing of prerequisites is what makes you and your ilk such a cult. It’s a club of insiders. And what if your “context” is wrong? Uh oh!

          Just more grand excuse making so that you can sit in your ivory tower and tell the world what an awesome, righteous christian you are.

          • R.Nash,
            The BIBLE – not me – says to take care of believers first. I pointed out where the Bible says that. What that means is if I have the ability to help one person and I have the choice between two with equal needs, I will help the Christian first.

            Jesus made a statement to a woman that he came for the Jews first in his help. She then said that even dogs get scraps, and he helped her because of her faith; i.e., she had faith that he was the Messiah.

            Jesus said that the poor would be with us always. We cannot help everyone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the ability to take care of everyone in need.

  21. Atticus,
    While I agree that one cannot choose if they are born into poverty, they can certainly choose whether or not they value education, regardless of their circumstances. They can certainly choose not to engage in criminal activities. They can certainly choose not to have children at a young age and out of wedlock. Just making these 3 relatively simple choices will significantly decrease the chances of an individual ending up in poverty. Those choices, may go against the grain of the family or community, but I don’t see how it can be reasonably argued that they are unavailable.

    Dan,
    Despite the fact that I’m not quite sure about the whole concept of “sinfully extravagant”, certainly I’m not sure that earning and using ones wealth as one sees fit is in any objective way sinful. I shouldn’t have to clarify that there are sinful uses for money, or that greed, or idolatry are money issues, but I will anyway.

    Also, lets not forget that in P-BO’s America, 10 billion is probably 3-4 billion after taxes.

    I have a few different answers to your question.
    1. If I was making 10 billion dollars a year, then I would certainly give away much more than 10%. I feel like I could get along just fine on a couple of hundred million a year and give away the rest. However, I suspect that even that would not be enough to satisfy a fair amount of folks on the left. I would not however, be embarrassed no matter what choices I made with the money I earned. I would gladly engage in supporting things that I feel should be supported.

    2. I would suggest that it would make sense to evaluate a believer differently than a non believer. I don’t think that it is appropriate to hold a non believer to the same standard as a believer on issues that are more in the realm of conscience, than objective moral wrong.

    3. Personally, I’m a little leery about making judgements about things that are completely out of my control, like CEO salaries. If the board of directors and stockholders decide that the CEO is worth whatever, I’m not sure I have any real place to criticize them. I can control whether or not I invest in a company who’s CEO compensation I don’t agree with, and I can control whether or not I do business with said company, but CEO compensation is clearly an internal matter.

    While I know we like to ignore the facts, and limit conversations like this to the poor in the US, there are a few unarguable facts that to me really put things like this into perspective.

    1. The poor in the US enjoy a standard of living that is so far beyond what is the norm both historically and worldwide, that it is sometimes hard to get an accurate perspective.
    2. Despite the very real challenges that have been raised in this thread, the poor in the US have a much greater chance to escape poverty than they do anywhere else in the world.
    3. Despite the almost fashionable, shots at the rich we need to realize that when considered globally, we ARE “the rich”. I’d be shocked if everyone in this thread isn’t in the top 5% of the wealthiest people in the world.
    4. There is too much statistical evidence that the top predictors of poverty (education, young and out of wedlock childbearing, etc.) are all behaviors that are chosen rather than imposed.

    Obviously, this is not an either or situation. It’s just that I can’t see how to minimize the fact that to a great extent poverty is a result of individual choices. Take a look at the story of Dr. Ben Carson, here is a man who was born with almost everything stacked against him, yet he somehow managed to do alright for himself, same for John Perkins. Not to insinuate that everyone has the natural abilities of a Dr. Carson or Dr. Perkins, but there is no question that it happens.

    • Craig,
      Could you give an example in which a tax rate would be 60-70% on 10 billion? Who has ever paid 6-7 billion in taxes in the US?

  22. R.
    In the state where I currently reside the total combined income tax alone on high earners is in the neighborhood of 50%. But then again I live in a high tax state, if I made 10 billion, I’d probably move to TX or FL. This doesn’t include all of the other various taxes that are paid. Having said that, the point still stands. Even if the % is off somewhat. That mythical 10 billion is going to get reduced significantly by taxes. Obviously, we’re taking tax rates, not actual tax paid, but again my point still stands. The mythical 10 billion is not a real 10 billion after the government gets their share.

    An interesting related question though. Out of the theoretical 5 billion in taxes some percentage of that goes to fund programs for those in need. I’d suggest that if I had control of how that x billion was spent instead of the various governments, I could probably get a much bigger ROI than the various government programs. Not advocating eliminating funding or nonpayment of taxes, just looking at what might be the best ROI.

    • My point Craig is that regardless of state, no one in that category even comes close to paying 5 billion in taxes. The loopholes allow for paying around 15-19% at the most.
      Just 2 years ago the IRS discovered that about 32% of the “1%” were keeping their money off shore in the less than mythical swiss banking system. Those folks were paying next to nothing, yet using the “free” market to make millions. Fair? Honest?

  23. R. I’m not disagreeing with you in principle. The fact remains that the mythical 10 billion is not actually 10 billion in disposable income. As to “fair” and “honest”. I’d say that if the US tax code allows everyone the same legal means to avoid paying some taxes, then to the extent that the law is applied consistently, it’s fair. As to honest, if people are lying about their income to avoid taxes, then by definition that would be dishonest. However, if they are appropriately taking advantage of legal provisions of the tax code, then that would seem to be reasonably described as honest. If they are inappropriately using illegal means to avoid taxes, then that would seem to be dishonest.

    I’m a little shocked that you would blow off even 19% (plus state taxes) of 10 billion as “next to nothing”. While it is significantly less than the marginal rate, I can’t imagine a scenario where 1.9 billion+ is “next to nothing”. If your point is that there should be tax reform, then you’ll get no argument from me.

    The fact remains that 10 billion is not 10 billion after taxes.

  24. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    And as usual, you misrepresent what I said. Straw men and red herrings are what you had to offer.

    I made ZERO claims as to what you said, Glenn. Not a thing. If I made no claims about what you said, then I couldn’t have reasonably misrepresented you, now could I?

    Glenn…

    I never even intimated that anything less than everything we have is the Lord’s and on loan to us. I was making a point about your belief that someone is “sinfully extravagant” if they don’t give to the Lord an amount you arbitrarily set.

    I made no claims that you made that intimation. Nor did I state a belief that someone is sinfully extravagant if they don’t give a set amount. Never said it.

    I point out these three obvious misunderstandings on your part to just repeat again: You have a VERY hard time what I’m saying, coming from the same language, same culture, similar religious background, same century. Despite that, you read my words, then read into them something I did not say and, in fact, something which is the polar opposite of what I believe.

    And I point that out to raise the flag again: IF you have this much trouble understanding words written in a common language and culture and time, does that not give you pause as to any claims to understand the mind of God or the writings of people from different cultures, languages and times?

    As to what you wrongly inferred from my words: I do NOT believe there is a set amount that is “too extravagant.” I did not say this at all and do NOT NOT NOT believe it (does that help make it clear?)

    No, what I did was, I asked a fairly simple question: Would you feel embarrassed to make and keep most of $10 billion a year? There is not a claim in the question, it’s just a question.

    If you were to ask me that question, I would say, “YES, for ME, I would certainly feel that to be sinfully extravagant to keep all that money. There are people starving and dying every day and that money does not belong to me to that degree…”

    TO ME, that is too much.

    And that, I think, is one of the big differences between Left and Right. Many (most?) of us on the Leftish side of things are not willing to state unequivocally, “THIS is always wrong right at this line right here and anyone who holds an opinion OTHER than my opinion are morally wrong….” Obviously, there are many factors involved in one’s income and I just don’t think one can say, “$X amount is okay, but $X amount + 1 is too much…” But for me? Well, I can easily live on way less than $100,000/year (on much less, in fact) so, FOR ME, I would be embarrassed to bring home $1 million or more a year that I mainly keep or spend on myself. But I am not saying that anyone else is wrong for making their own decision on that. I’m just saying for me.

    Which is why I framed the question, “Would you be embarrassed…” not, “Do you think it is wrong…” See the difference?

    ~Dan

  25. Glenn,

    Implicit in your reply is that poor people are that way by choice. How can you generalize to such an extent? I’ve no doubt that some poor people so by choice – inaction is perhaps the better word – but all or most? Unknowable and indefensible.

  26. Terrance,

    If choices play so little importance in the financial status of a person, then there must be another reason. What would that be? You continue to phrase our position as “poor by choice”. That isn’t accurate at all and it’s been pointed out numerous times that the truth is “poor as a result of choices made”. Dan wants proof of this, some kind of study or list of statistics gathered to bear out this obvious fact of life. I think part of the problem is this constant concern about the wealth of CEOs and others, and how could they possibly be deserving?

    But most of those who are making the big bucks acted in a way that puts them in position to make the big bucks, often with no unethical, criminal or sinful action even necessary. The fact is that there exists no amount of “control” by the wealthy in this nation that prevents anyone from rising above their current station. I believe it was Craig who pointed out a few common choices that people make by which they cement their impoverished states. But even these can be overcome, albeit with more effort once the damage of previous choices are inflicted.

    There are simply too many rags to riches stories to which one could point to insist that it is impossible for the poor to rise, and the facts support the notion that stats concerning the numbers of poor, middle class and wealthy do not indicate the movement between these classes that is quite routine.

  27. Marshall,

    I didn’t say choices play a small role. I didn’t even suggest it.

    However you phrase it, I think you’re wrong. I don’t think all or most are poor due to choices, and I don’t see how such a thing could be knowable.

    I think the biggest concern isn’t welfare for poor people but corporate welfare, which I notice flies curiously under the radar on this blog. Nobody wants to talk about it. Why are we focused so much more on welfare for poor people instead of welfare for rich corporations? That is one way in which things are skewed.

    And believe me, I have no doubt that many rich people worked very hard to get to where they are. I think it’s great and should be rewarded. But seriously, 1% of the country owns 40% of its wealth – and you say things aren’t skewed? It’s incredibly skewed.

  28. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Dan wants proof of this, some kind of study or list of statistics gathered to bear out this obvious fact of life

    Yeah, you all make sweeping claims about nearly a whole group of people and “crazy Dan” asks if you have any proof of that sweeping generalization. Nuts, these people who actually expect you to support your wild generalizations! What you gonna do with people who value “evidence” and “facts…”?

    ~Dan

  29. Trabue:

    Me: Most Christians (not me) determine that giving 10% of their income to the Lord’s work makes it permissible to use the rest for themselves – so if a guy making $10 billion a year gives $1 billion to the Lord’s work, is he still being “sinfully extravagant”?

    I was taught in my good ol’ traditional Southern Baptist church that ALL our money is “the Lord’s,” to be used for God’s glory. Not 10%. The tithe is a suggestion for what we spend to keep the business of the church going, but everything that we have belongs to God.

    I was also taught the Bible in my traditional church (and in my church today) and I learned of the many warnings against accumulating wealth. Where I learned that the Bible teaches that wealth can be a trap and a crutch and a lesser god and an idol that comes between us and God.

    To me, this was insinuating that I believed only 10% was the Lord’s money. That is the misrepresentation.

    Your straw men are arguments against things not raised in the article, such as everything that references the Bible. The question is whether or not there is “inequality” in wealth distribution. Then you brought in the red herring about what part of keeping wealth was sinful. And of course you decided that there actually IS an amount which is “sinfully extravagant.” Which of course led R.Nash to bring in the Bible – with his usual eisegesis and lack of understanding.

    The question posed by the post has nothing to do with religious beliefs and has everything to do with whether or not there is a problem of unequal wealth distribution.

    Dan: Nor did I state a belief that someone is sinfully extravagant if they don’t give a set amount. Never said it.

    Okay, then explain this: Oh, also, I’m curious if you would be embarrassed/shamed to make $10 billion a year and keep most of it? Does that seem sinfully extravagant to you?

    To make this statement you are indeed declaring that you believe there is an amount of wealth kept which makes one “sinfully extravagant.”

    I don’t have a problem at all understanding your moronic writings, you just pretend what you say really don’t mean what a normal person would understand them to mean.

  30. I hate it when you don’t get the in the right place!

  31. Terrance

    Implicit in your reply is that poor people are that way by choice. How can you generalize to such an extent? I’ve no doubt that some poor people so by choice – inaction is perhaps the better word – but all or most? Unknowable and indefensible.

    Implicit in my reply is NOT that “poor people are that way by choice,” rather it was MOST are that way by poor choices in their lifestyles. Not that they are poor by choice, rather it is the choices they make in life which leads to their poverty and keeps them there. My experience of living as an adult for 43 years in a very wide range of populaces, let alone my experience as a teen in poor areas, shows me on a continuous basis (my spring thru summer weekly ministry is among homeless and others living in substandard conditions) has shown me that the vast majority of people living in substandard conditions are that way because of their choices in life. I acknowledged that there are those who are that way through no fault of their own.

    Besides which, I don’t trust the stats in the video. Stats can prove any agenda, right or left.

  32. Glenn,

    Semantics. You know what I mean. You guys believe that most people are that way because of poor choices – and that is an incredible thing to say. But let me concede the point for a moment. So what? Are you a perfect human being? No. Am I? Hell no. We all make mistakes. And I don’t see why poor people should have to pay for one or two mistakes the rest of their life while the super rich are heavily rewarded for being rich, and surely that is the case. The system is obviously skewed.

    • Terrance,
      We all make mistakes. And I don’t see why poor people should have to pay for one or two mistakes the rest of their life while the super rich are heavily rewarded for being rich, and surely that is the case. The system is obviously skewed.

      No one is suggesting poor people are that way because of one or two mistakes. We are talking about lifestyle choices that continue to be poor choices.

      The “system” isn’t skewed – the “system” allows people to make their own choices and doesn’t “reward” anyone. People earn the money they make. Are there those with wealth who acquired it through criminal or other unethical activities? Of course – but that isn’t the norm and it accounts for very minimal percentages.

      The “system” works because it allows people to make their choices. As my dad used to say, “if you make your bed, you’ll lie in it.”

  33. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    To me, this was insinuating that I believed only 10% was the Lord’s money. That is the misrepresentation.

    The key words there are, “TO ME…” But hopefully you can recognize that just because you read something into what I said (something that is NOT in what I wrote, nor is it what I believe) is not an indication that I was stating what you read into it. IF you read a text that says, “A, B and C…” and TO YOU, that indicates that they think “X, Y and Z…” does not mean that the text says that. It just means you aren’t good at reading into text and perhaps you’d do best to sticking to literal interpretations of modern communication.

    Again, if you can’t understand words written in plain English in your own time and culture, what hope do you have of understanding aright ancient literature? If you read things into what is written in your own language and culture and do so COMPLETELY wrongly, then what hope do you have of reading into ancient literature ideas correctly?

    Glenn…

    Oh, also, I’m curious if you would be embarrassed/shamed to make $10 billion a year and keep most of it? Does that seem sinfully extravagant to you?

    To make this statement you are indeed declaring that you believe there is an amount of wealth kept which makes one “sinfully extravagant.”

    Glenn, here’s a little free tip. Do you see how in my original text, I wrote several words, then concluded the phrase with one of these… (?) ? That’s called a “question mark.” It indicates NOT a claim, but a question. That is, when someone says, “Are you going to the zoo?” that does not indicate that the person HAS gone to the zoo, it is a querying statement, cleverly designed to ask a question, not make a statement.

    So, your error is in confusing a QUESTION with a FACTUAL CLAIM.

    Now, do you see your mistake?

    Again, if you can’t correctly understand words written in your own culture and language, what hope should you place in your confidence to rightly read an ancient text?

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      As usual you demonstrate yourself to be completely disingenuous. Your insinuation was there by the way you wrote it, and this is a custom of yours, which is why you are so frustrating to communicate with.

      Yes, you had a question mark. You named it as “sinfully extravagant” and asked if anyone felt that way. HELLO!!! You have to think something is “sinfully extravagant” to suggest such nonsense. Why would anyone think something is “sinfully extravagant” without you putting that possibility there?!?! To claim you never consider wealth kept back as being “sinfully extravagant” while using that phrase suggesting there is something wrong with the buy holding back most of his earnings is nothing short of a bald faced lie.
      Especially when you keep asking for people to respond as to whether you are correct that such a thing exists!

      And then you claim I am unable to read and comprehend!?!?!?!? Disingenuous through and through.

      By the way, if you are really so stupid as to think anyone would place the military as one of the poor choices which leads to poverty, then your are stupider than I thought.

      I also disagree with stats as you and the liberal media project. From my studying the issue I find that vets are no higher of a percentage homeless than that of the population in general. And again, a large percentage of the homeless vets are indeed that way because of their lifestyle choices. I see it all the time. And a lot of the problem is because today’s vets have been brought up with an entitlement mentality as they’ve learned from the liberals, and they expect to come out with everything handed to them.

      Again you are being an ass when you bring up those who have left abusive situations. READ WHAT I HAVE PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN—– THERE ARE SOME WHO ARE IN THAT SITUATION DUE TO NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN!!!!!! I have stated that over and over. These are in the minority of the poor population.

      And my charges are NOT unsupported – I have experienced this for close to 50 years. After my parents were divorced when I was 12, my dad took my brother and me while my mom got the girl. We lived homeless for months at a time (and living in a panel van in a campground in the winter is not a bit fun). I’ve live in Federal Housing projects, I’ve had to wear shoes with newspapers covering the holes in the soles, I’ve worn clothes that didn’t fit because that was what my dad got at the 2nd-hand store. During those years I observed families in the same situations and they almost all made the same type of poor choices my father made. After adult hood I studied the issue, observed people in all sorts of income levels to see how they got where they are. I know many, many poverty-level people, including families, and know how and why they got that way. I serve in ministry from Spring to late Fall where we interact every week with homeless and talk with them and learn their stories.

      Don’t you DARE suggest it is arrogance to for me to use my experience to come to the conclusions; it is called observation and analyzing the data. The arrogant one is YOU who presumes to know what another person KNOWS by experience and research. That is a problem with you liberals – you go by emotions rather than rational analysis.

      So stick that in your pipe and smoke it, you fool!

  34. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    …it was MOST are that way by poor choices in their lifestyles.

    Indeed, I can say that you all DO have a point. SOME people are certainly poor because of choices they made. For instance, did you know that 1 in 4 (or more, depending on the source) military veterans are homeless? That more than 1 million vets are at risk of homelessness (ie, poor)? Did you know that one in seven homeless people served in the military?

    Clearly, making the choice to serve in the military appears to contribute to your likelihood to be poor/homeless/marginalized.

    Do you blame those veterans for the “poor choices” they made, Glenn?

    Additionally, some of the homeless/poor are that way because they chose to leave abusive husbands/parents. Do you blame those women and children for their choice to leave abusive homes?

    Additionally, some are poor/homeless in part because they chose to drop out of school in order to get a job because their single mom couldn’t make ends meet. Do you blame those poor kids for the choices they made?

    Terrance is right: There are many factors that contribute to poverty – including personal choices – but many of those personal choices were noble choices or choices that were forced on them. To try to reduce it down to “most are poor because of their own stupid choices” is an arrogance that is not becoming a moral adult. Shame on anyone who’d make such a sweeping AND UNSUPPORTED charge. To make guesses like this – based on emotional arrogance and ignorance, not facts – is just wrong.

    If and when you can read words and understand them aright… if and when you can come up with some data to back your sweeping and crazy-sounding claims, I’ll give you all the respect your arguments deserve – none.

    ~Dan

  35. paynehollow says:

    I’m quite sure you really do know poor people, Glenn. I’m quite sure you were poor.

    But I know poor people, too.

    So, unless you have something other than simple anecdotal evidence, I have to discount your emotional and arrogant claim that “most” poor people are there because of their poor choices as just a little thing in your own head. Anecdotal and personal experience has its place, but you can’t make fact-based claims about whole groups of people based on anecdotal or personal experience. No rational adult should do this.

    You CAN say, “I’ve known 25 poor people in my life – no, 250 poor people in my life! – and of those 250, most were poor because (it seems to me – not really knowing all the data or all their stories, so really, pretty subjectively, it seems to me) that probably most of them were poor probably because of choices they made… for those 250 people…, from what evidence I saw (which admittedly, isn’t all the evidence)…”

    You can say something like that about your PERSONAL experience and no one will say “No, that isn’t so…” Your experience is your experience. But you can’t project your experience onto the whole group. That is irrational and arrogant.

    In my experience, there are a number of factors that contribute to poverty and we can’t say definitely “it’s their fault,” when speaking about the whole group, nor should we. That would be stupid and I don’t want to be stupid, nor arrogant, nor do I want to blame the victims. I think the Bible condemns that sort of behavior.

    As does basic human decency.

    ~Dan

    • It’s easier for far right fringe neo-cons to talk about how poverty is a matter of a lazy person just making a successive series of “bad life choices”. By doing this the conservative need not address any of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the continued and exponentially growing wealth of the 1% who are in fact not “working” for their wealth. By continuing to perpetuate the belief that poor people are only poor because of bad decisions, the conservative does not need to explore the etiology of why the poor are the largest growing economic demographic since the advent of trickle down economics. This belief allows conservatives to sleep soundly believing that these poor people are only poor because of a series of bad decisions.

      This leaves out entirely the generational effect on children this paradigm presents. 25% of all children live in poverty in the US. What series of poor decisions have they made? Or is this just met with the usual platitudes as well?

      This is the chortling of uninventive simpletons who can’t muster an original thought and need to helplessly rely upon a position given to them by their agreed upon groupthink.

      It does nothing at all, ever to address the reason an ever increasing number of people are ever poorer. Any American worth their salt should be up in arms with the fact that we have more poor people now than ever. But go ahead and keep washing your hands of the whole thing while you sing your radical lullabies to sleep.

      It means that since there will never be a discussion about how to solve such a problem, that said problem will never go away.

      While the liberal idea is no better. To throw untold monies at a problem without identifying cause doesn’t even qualify as stunted.

      The bottom 80% are sitting on 9% of the wealth. The rich in this country consolidate their power, use their money to make, not work for more money, use that money to gain more power and then like Fincher and Bachmann give themselves millions in subsidies each year from the Ag bill alone. The 1% at the top are manufacturing their wealth and gaining ever more power at our expense. But the right thinks that these are all self made rags to riches stories, when in fact it is elitist aristocratic oligarchy. There is nothing exceptional or American about this dynamic.

      Deuteronomy 10:18
      He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

      Deuteronomy 15:11
      There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

      Deuteronomy 15:7-8
      If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.

      Psalm 72:4
      He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor.

      Psalm 72:12-14
      For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

      Psalm 82:3-4
      Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

      Psalm 109:31
      For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.

      Proverbs 22:9
      A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

      Proverbs 22:16
      He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.

      Matthew 19:21
      Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      Where are the footnotes that say these poor need to be christians in order to get help?

      • R.Nash
        I’m no longer going to respond to your abuse of Scripture through your refusal to learn basic hermeneutical principles, let alone trying to apply it in a situation which doesn’t exist. You are betting your life on the stats you cite, stats made up by government entities to suck more money for useless programs. 25% of children in the USA live in poverty?!?!?!?! What drunk came up with those stats!?!?!?

        You may call yourself a conservative, by you sound like a liberal as you try to enable people who make poor lifestyle choices and punish those who make proper lifestyle choices. Just class warfare at its finest.

        • So not even any of your poor apologetics?

          And you use statistics all the time to promote your position, what’s the difference?

          How am I betting my life on anything?

          My number comes from the NPC at the Univ of Mich and the CDF. Thactual number is 23.9%. Sorry I rounded up. These same entities along with several others rank the US at 29th out of 30 per capita for child poverty in the world…….Oh but wait since I am presenting facts that don’t fit your delusional view of the world, they are just statistics, right?

          This is the country that your generation manufactured Glenn. You are culpable. This happened on your watch.

          My abuse of scripture? What a joke. Hermeneutics? The very definition of the word is the “theorizing or interpretation of the bible”. Hah! You are subjectively interpreting the bible Glenn. Are you perfect? Nope. That means that your reading and understanding of the bible is imperfect and subjective.

          • RNash,

            I don’t care where the numbers come from, 25% of children in poverty is a bald-faced lie. It’s part of the agenda of the left, because every time they want to raise taxes, or take more rights from parents, it’s always “for the children.” I became an adult in 1970. Those who ruined American were those who were adults in the 1960s with their “free love,” anti-establishment, pornographic culture of drugs, etc. Those who listened to Kinsey, Hugh Hefner, et al.

            You have no clue about biblical hermeneutics, and it’s not worth my time to explain to you the proper methods of biblical interpretation.

            • Please prove that it’s a lie. This is a rhetorical exercise at best, because you can’t. Typical blowhard when he gets cornered.

              I’ll take a stab at why you need to claim it’s a lie; if you research and accept the number then you dream of American awesomeness is yet again dinged. Your unquestioned acceptance of party line dogma would be in jeopardy.

              It’s called head in the sand denial, or a base rate fallacy, or confirmation bias.

              Please prove that the nearly 20 million children living in poverty in this country is an invented number by the liberal left.

              Tell yourself whatever you have to, to get to sleep at night Glenn. The rest of us aren’t in denial and will continue to look for ever more constructive solutions instead of remaining convinced in the face of legitimate evidence, that nothing is wrong at all.

              Do you think you actually live by the same principles as Jesus?

    • Trabue,
      
“simple anecdotal evidence”!?!?!?!?! I’ve been studying and observing the issue for almost 50 years and you say that is “anecdotal evidence”?!??!?! Yeah, just like the Bible says same-sex fake marriage is okay.

      we can’t say definitely “it’s their fault,” when speaking about the whole group
      HEY STUPID – HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY IT ISN’T ABOUT THE WHOLE GROUP!?!?! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY SOME HAVE NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN?!?!!? Are you really that dense and stupid?!?!?

      The Bible does NOT condemn judging peoples actions and behavior. Nor does basic human decency. It’s people like you and the liberal Demokratic party which enables these bums and keeps them in their poverty!!! “Basic human decency” would do what it can to get these people out of such situations rather than coddle them and make it more beneficial for them to remain where they are – slaves to the government.

      Go away you fool. Find another blog to troll

  36. paynehollow says:

    So, if one in four (plus) of the homeless (not just poor, but the poorest) are veterans and one in four children are living at poverty levels, that’s half right there. You’re saying those children and veterans are ALL making bad choices to get them there? (because you said “most” are making bad choices, that must include at least some veterans and children, in order to get you over the halfway mark.) What bad choices are the veterans – scarred by their service, too often – and children making? How about that percentage of poor who are physically and psychologically disabled? The person who was disabled when they were run down by a drunk driver – what bad choices did they make, deciding to go out in public? The person with mental issues sufficient that they can’t keep gainful employment – what was their bad choice?

    Your “most” figure just doesn’t hold water, Glenn. I think what is happening is that you have seen several people who ARE making bad choices leading to their poverty and then you suffer an emotional response to those negative choices and then conflate that subjective anecdotal experience to “most,” when the evidence just does not support that silly claim.

    Of course, I’m sure you’ll “dispute” the 1/4 children and 1/4 veterans and the “disabled,” etc. Those are “statistics” that “officials” and “researchers” have measured. That’s fine, just come up with some real data to support your hunches.

    But short of any evidence, I hope you can see that you’re coming off as a crank and a crackpot with no evidence, just an irrational and emotional grudge against the poor.

    ~Dan

  37. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    “Basic human decency” would do what it can to get these people out of such situations rather than coddle them

    Glenn, do you know ANY social workers? ANY mental health workers?

    I do. My wife and many friends – literally dozens – work in these fields. I have worked in these fields. My church is heavily involved in these fields. In all of these people, I do not know ONE who “coddles” anyone. Social workers work with people who need assistance to set attainable goals to change their lives to more manageable, more sustainable levels.

    At a guess, I would guess you’re speaking out of ignorance, not from a place of informed student. I would guess that you know of no social workers and what they do in their work, and that you are not involved in these fields in any significant manner, and your “50 years of research,” has very little hands-on knowledge, other than your own anecdotal experiences. But if I’m mistaken and you have actual research data that you’ve worked on, peer-reviewed and substantive, by all means, offer up your significant research findings.

    But don’t just tell me, “well, uh, I knew a guy and HE made really bad decisions and HE was poor… then I knew this whole other family where 4 out of 5 of the brothers/sisters made really bad decisions and THEY were poor… then my aunt told me about…”

    Significant research or be written off as a kook. Last chance.

    ~Dan

    • Oh and Trabue

      Yes I know several social workers, including my brother-in-law, and I have worked with social workers on various cases. I told you I know what I’m talking about. But you are such an arrogant ass that you believe no one could no more about anything than you do. You look at life through a liberal, enablement, entitlement mentality. You can’t accept that someone has been there, done that, and still disagree with you.

      It is YOUR generation who are ruining this country seeking government nannies from cradle to grave as you pollute the Christian faith with doctrines of demons.

      You can have the last word. I’m done with your foolishness as well as with your stupidity.

  38. It isn’t a big mystery. One can easily read the stories of the wealthy and find out what they did to become so. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, by Rob’t Kiyosoki is an excellent example. He was not rich when he began, but learned what it takes from his “rich dad”. Alex Spanos, NFL owner, is another great story of someone who started with next to nothing to become very wealthy. It comes down to a simple equation of the wealthy doing what the non-wealthy don’t, can’t or won’t do. Why they don’t, can’t or won’t is where the cause of poverty lies as regards how the impoverished bear responsibility for their station.

    Some here like to view the less than wealthy as victims. This indicates there is something being done to them by others, but no explanation as to what they is. The wealthy consolidate power? What does this mean exactly? Nash wants to insist that some of us are merely swallowing some right-wing dogma without thought. But what is he swallowing to join in with the likes of a Dan Trabue that the poor are victims, and wealthy vile and evil creatures preying upon them?

    I would also point to the dishonesty of lumping in children with the less than wealthy adults when we speak of choices. Of course children aren’t included when we speak of such things. How sad that we have to waste time pointing that out.

    Just a few thoughts as I rush off to work. More later.

  39. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, as Nash noted, if you want to make your case, do so with data. If you have no data, no empirical research, you can’t expect to be taken seriously. Do you really think people ought to go along with you, saying, “Well, studies done by a variety of experts find X, but Glenn says ‘No! X is wrong…,’ so I should go along with Glenn because, you know, he said it was wrong…”?

    You provide no evidence presumably because there is not any evidence to support your case. Thus, you prove yourself as a crank and a crackpot, trying to bully and name-call people into agreeing with you.

    How’s that working out for you?

    ~Dan

    • You also have no empirical research.. Stats are developed by taking a small sample of the population which may or may not be a good representative of reality, and then they extrapolate it as supposedly representing the entire population. Bogus B.S., just like your stupid claims about evolution and global warming.

      • Richard Nash says:

        Glenn,

        Please show how nearly 20 million children is a small sampling. 

        I have asked you to debunk the multiple sources for the number in poverty, and you have done nothing except call it a lie. Why? How?

        The data is in fact derived empirically from a large population, (80 million). How are these data sets being extrapolated inaccurately.

        Almost daily I hear on AFR that the number of needy has grown on Obama’s watch by 15% or more, depending on demographic.

        I would think that you would be supporting the findings they continuously present. 

        • RNash,

          Oh, so they actually went out and found 20 million children who were living in poverty? They actually went from city to city with a clipboard and writing down names and address? How many people and how much time did it take to do this research of finding 20 million children?

          It is a lie because it is part of the socialist agenda for the government to be nanny from cradle to grave. Why do you think the liberals always point out that every program, every new tax, etc is “for the children”? CONTROL.

          • Did you look at the explanation for collation methods Glenn?

            I know you didn’t because if you had, you would not be asking how the numbers are arrived at.

            Let me go ahead and explain how the number is found: At the county level everyone seeking any and all public assistance is entered into a database. Size of family, ages, race, address, health status, etc. These numbers are sent to the NIH and simultaneously utilized by several non liberal liars with no dog in the fight like the NCBI.

            Your arrogant discounting and easy dismissal of this data is classic cognitive dissonance.

            So in short, these numbers are arrived at by something called “ADDITION”. It’s the exercise of adding one “actual” real number to another actual real number. There is no extrapolation. They add one family, with children, to another family. These families are being counted because they are receiving public assistance.

            Here is one such extrapolation of the original data set. Maybe it is of some value, unless we discover that the National Library of Medicine is actually a leftist, agenda pushing front for Obama’s anti-American pro muslim teat sucking.

            Poverty and child (0-14 years) mortality in the USA and other Western countries as an indicator of “how well a country meets the needs of its children” (UNICEF).
            Pritchard C, Williams R.
            Source
            School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University, Royal London House, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, UK. cpritchard@bournemouth.ac.uk
            Abstract
            BACKGROUND:
            Children’s (0-14 years) mortality rates in the USA and 19 Western countries (WCs) were examined in the context of a nation-specific measure of relative poverty and the Gross Domestic Product Health Expenditure (GDPHE) of countries to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of health care systems “to meet the needs of its children” (UNICEF).
            METHOD:
            World Health Organisation child mortality rates per million were analysed for 1979-1981 and 2003-2005 to determine any significant differences between the USA and the other WCs over these periods. Child mortality rates are correlated with all countries GDPHE and ‘relative poverty’, defined by ‘Income Inequalities’, i.e., the gap between top and bottom 20% of incomes.
            FINDINGS:
            Outputs: The mortality rate of every country fell substantially ranging from falls of 46% in the USA to 78% in Portugal. The highest current mortality rates are: USA, 2436 per million (pm), New Zealand 2105 pm, Portugal 1929 pm, Canada 1877 pm and the UK 1834 pm; the lowest are: Japan 1073 pm and Sweden 1075 pm, Finland 1193 pm and Norway 1200 pm. A total of 16 countries rates fell significantly more than the USA over these periods. Inputs: The USA had the greatest GDPHE and widest Income Inequality gap. There was no significant correlation between GDPHE and mortality but highly significant correlations with children’s deaths and income inequalities. The five widest income inequality countries had the six worst rates, the narrowest four had the lowest.
            CONCLUSIONS:
            Despite major improvements in every WC, based upon financial inputs and child mortality outputs, the USA health care system appears the least efficient and effective in “meeting the needs of its children”.

            • Being on public assistance does not equal poverty. That’s the first fallacy. The second fallacy it the government’s definition of poverty in the USA, which is usually quite wealthy when compared to real poor people living in other countries.

              If you want to believe such poor “science” as you do evolution (if I remember correctly) be my guest. Some of us aren’t brainwashed.

              • For the love of Pete Glenn,

                The data sets are derived from a standard number. That number is 19,400 dollars for a family of four. That is poverty. Those are the children counted. You have offered zero data to discount this evidence. Why?

                Remember your opinion” doesn’t count.

                This data is “NOT” derived as a comparison with other countries. That’s a poor red herring even for you.

                Please answer the questions I posted above. Try to stay on topic.

              • The data indeed chooses an arbitrary number which they determine is poverty. That number changes over the years – and not just to keep with inflation. It is chosen because it makes “poverty” seem more prevalent than it is. And I also know for a fact that many people on assistance do not include all their income: one reason is because some forms of income are not included when applying for assistance (this varies from state to state), and because there can be income that isn’t “traceable” – i.e., no paperwork changes hands as the income is “under the table.”

                These are just things that affect whether the arbitrarily chosen minimum income accurately reflects what comes in, let alone whether that arbitrarily chosen number actually reflects someone living in poverty.

                But getting back to the actual topic of the post instead of all these red herring rabbit trails, wealth is not “unequally distributed.” There has never been, nor will there ever be “equality” in wealth distribution because it is distributed by way of work. The harder people work, the more wealth they will acquire. Graphs such as depicted are for one purpose only – class warfare.

              • I think we have conclusively proven two things:

                1) Your generalizations are irrelevant and atypical. The number is not arbitrary. You “knowing many people” is anecdotal, therefore irrelevant.

                2) It’s also obvious that your biases would prevent you from ever working in any capacity regarding objective research of any kind.

                Who told you this was class warfare? Maybe stop parotting back these useless one liners and graduate away from being a culture war automaton.

  40. paynehollow says:

    Another open question: Are ANY of our friends on the Right embarrassed by Glenn’s approach to debate? Don’t you find that sort of bullying, anti-science, anti-reason, emotional “debating” to be more akin to a six year old crying to get his way rather than an adult trying to make a case? Just curious.

    ~Dan

    • Don’t you find that sort of bullying, anti-science, anti-reason, emotional “debating” to be more akin to a six year old crying to get his way rather than an adult trying to make a case?

      OH, so it’s now bullying?!?!!? you liberals always pull out some victim card. “anti-science”!?? what a joke – your stats are as scientific as evolution and global warming. “Emotional debating” is all you liberals every have.

      What an ass.

  41. paynehollow says:

    Nash…

    It means that since there will never be a discussion about how to solve such a problem, that said problem will never go away.

    While the liberal idea is no better. To throw untold monies at a problem without identifying cause doesn’t even qualify as stunted.

    I would expect “liberals” like me could easily find much common ground with reasonable conservatives such as you. For my part, I want no part of blindly throwing money at problems and hoping for results. My crowd of progressives embrace research driven, proven-results approaches to dealing with problems of poverty.

    As my oft-given example of crime and punishment: If we can see study after study supporting the notion that prisoner rehab and education reduces recidivism at a rate greater than the costs associated with the programs, therefore it would seem to be a no-brainer to support prisoner rehab and education efforts. And I am entirely fine with accomplishing this by encouraging non-profit/private efforts at rehabilitation, but where the private sector fails to meet the need, then I also have no problem with investing gov’t money in programs proven repeatedly to ultimately save money. I would expect folk like you could probably agree with this principle.

    Throw money at problems blindly? No way. Invest wisely in demonstrably effective programs? Of course.

    ~Dan

    • And Dan,

      Although your position may paint me as a conservative, I am only that from your perspective because I am not a liberal. I feel like I occupy a weird juxtaposed progressive, green, libertarian soup somewhere in the middle. Although Glenn and some others “know” that since I differ from them I am a fetus eating, socialist, leftist, America hating, immoral abomination, enviro nazi,tobacco using lesbian, doomed to hell. All a matter of perspective.

      And I agree with you, in principle about seeking smarter, ways of solving social problems, the left at large is so far incapable of doing that. It’s what is strived for, but in the end it never comes close to the blueprint.

  42. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    Stats are developed by taking a small sample of the population which may or may not be a good representative of reality,

    This demonstrates an uninformed understanding of the science of statistical research. Are there statistics that come from poor sources? Sure. But there is a term for that: Bad data.

    But good data – peer-reviewed data gleaned through reputable sources and means – IS good data and what we need to use to base our decisions upon, rather than the unproven, emotionally-driven and irrational hunches of careless madmen.

    ~Dan

  43. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    you liberals always pull out some victim card.

    I’m no victim. I’m simply pointing out facts. Rather than offer up research to support your rather crazy-sounding claim (“MOST poor people are that way because of their choices!!”), you just double down on name-calling anyone who dares to disagree with your unsupported hunches.

    You want to talk data, bring it on. You want to call people “asses” and “fools,” etc, then you are demonstrating an kindergarten-level understanding of adult debate.

    ~Dan

    • I gave no hunches. I stated bonafide observable facts and research for almost 50 years is what led me to my conclusion. Anything that disagrees with the ALMIGHTY TRABUE is relegated to “hunches.” That’s because that is all HE has going for him.

  44. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, you have not cited the first bit of research. Rather, you refer to your anecdotal experiences as “research,” indicating an absence of knowledge of what real research is.

    But AGAIN, if you have actual research, cite it.

    Just don’t keep pointing to your experience (with what, 25 people? 100? As their mail man?? Don’t you see how silly that sounds?) and calling that “research…”

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,
      I don’t know why I waste so much time with your foolishness. You decide without justification that my 50 years of experience in regards to homelessness and the poor, from living among, from ministering to them, in big cities and small cities, working with DFS counselors, in continuous contact with many in the situations, studying research on the subject for at least three decades, etc, etc, is nothing but “anecdotal evidence.”

      Believe about me and my experience in the subject what your foolishness determines with YOUR hunches, but that doesn’t make it truth.

  45. paynehollow says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, Nash, I don’t really consider myself a liberal exactly, although I’m not afraid of the title. I, too, am a weird mishmash of green, libertarian, conservative and liberal. I don’t think the gov’t should be in the world policing business – does that make me an extreme liberal or extreme conservative in the libertarian vein? I believe in investing in programs (gov’t AND non-profit AND corporate) that make sense and demonstrate results and save money – does that make me liberal, conservative or other? I take Jesus’ teachings pretty literally (moreso than our resident “conservatives”) – does that make me a religious fundamentalist, a religious conservative or a hippy?

    I believe in acting prudently and conservatively when it comes to polluting the earth – is that really a liberal position?

    I believe in working to aid the poor from debilitating and/or oppressing components of poverty – is that a liberal position or a conservative position? If it isn’t conservative, why not??

    Labels such as these are only good to a certain degree, but they can be disorienting and misrepresent real world situations oftentimes.

    ~Dan

  46. paynehollow says:

    Funny, the guy that makes a pulled from his lower extremeties claim “most poor people are poor because of their choices…” is the guy claiming those who point to facts are engaging in class warfare.

    Seriously, other conservatives: Doesn’t his craziness embarrass you even a little?

    ~Dan

    • Not so much embarrassment as pity.

    • Funny, the guy that makes a pulled from his lower extremeties claim “most poor people are poor because of their choices…” is the guy claiming those who point to facts are engaging in class warfare.

      Um, is there a contradiction there? MOST people who are poor are there because of poor lifestyle choices. Liberals, in their efforts to enable those who make poor lifestyle choices, declare inequality in wealth distribution so as to declare class warfare – that the people with the wealth didn’t get there by hard work, and that it just isn’t “fair” for them to have all the money they earn, and therefore we need to tax them to the hilt and pass their hard-earned wealth to those who do nothing for it.

      The only crazy and irrational person on this blog is troll Trabue

  47. Jesus said He did not come to abolish Scripture, but rather He came to fulfill Scripture, and He affirmed Scripture to the smallest penstroke. Dan Trabue once wrote that Jesus “abolished” Old Testament law.

    Jesus said that God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife. Dan believes that God blesses same-sex marriage.

    Jesus taught that He came to seek and save the lost, to serve and give His life as a ransom. Dan does not believe that Christ’s death is central: it’s only the consequence of His challenging the Powers that Be.

    Jesus taught that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin. Dan denies the direct causal connection between His death and our forgiveness, believing instead that Christ’s death was only a symbol of God’s saving grace and not the means by which grace saves us.

    Jesus commanded us to partake of the bread and wine in remembrance of His death. Dan believes that the Lord’s Supper is only a “long-standing church tradition” and not a ritual instituted by Christ Himself.

    Risen from the dead, Jesus told Thomas to examine His wounds. Dan doesn’t believe that the bodily resurrection is an essential Christian doctrine.

    In fact, Jesus teaches an awful lot about God, about Himself, and about eternity. Dan focuses almost entirely on Jesus’ ethical teachings to the exclusion of His doctrinal teachings, writing that he has “no use” for doctrinal teachings UNLESS they lead to good ethics.

    But even on the subject of ethics, Dan’s fidelity to Christ’s teachings is suspect.

    Jesus emphasized honesty, teaching that we should let our “yes” be “yes.”

    Dan insists, “I take Jesus’ teachings pretty literally (moreso than our resident ‘conservatives’).”

    The claim would be laughably absurd if it weren’t damnably dishonest.

  48. RNash,

    Yeah, virtually 50 years of various experience in the field is nothing more than “anecdotal” – you and Trabue are two peas in a pod.

    $19,000 is certainly arbitrary. Someone somewhere determined what should be a minimum amount of income for a family for four, purely on an arbitrary basis on what they think people should have, and, TA DAH, it becomes a fact.

    The only automatons here are you and Trabue who follow such nonsense like lemmings.

  49. paynehollow says:

    1. Yes, what you describe, Glenn, IS anecdotal, by definition. YOUR experiences are your anecdotal experiences. Subjective, anecdotal, non-authoritative. By definition.

    2. I would LOVE to know what your idea of “experience in the field” is. Do you mean, delivering mail in a poor neighborhood? Is that your idea of “experience in the field…” of poverty research? Or what specifically do you mean?

    • I don’t know where anyone got the idea that I ever delivered mail.

      Ive explained my experiences with, I’d guess, a few hundred people/families over the years in may venues, including counseling, working with family services, ministry and even living is such areas. I also stated that I studied the issue – you know, like books at the library, and books I purchased, etc. I study social issues quite a bit, but that doesn’t matter because I’m just giving “anecdotes” Of course if I wrote a book or a professional paper with the same stories, they would no longer be “anecdotal evidence” because I would have letters after my name and all would bow to my authority. Balderdash.

      You don’t know jack crap about me and what I’ve done and where I’ve been. I have lived in cities as large as Denver, Chicago, and Columbus, and everything in between, so I have seen a gamut of living conditions. I have lived in Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and now Iowa, so I’ve seen and experienced different cultural areas, as well as live in areas with large populations of poor people (never lived with the rich – just middle class) and ministered in such areas. I’ve had to appear in court as witnesses for abused women and children. I’ve done family counseling, marital counseling, pre-marital counseling, financial counseling, etc. And that’s all just for starters. You can sit there on your high horse with your know-it-all attitude driven by liberal ideology which keeps poor people poor by enabling them and think I’m stupid and have no real clue. Good for you. I don’t give a rats behind for your opinion because you have proven yourself to be a fool, as well as a rank heretic.

      Good bye!

  50. paynehollow says:

    Beginning to dismantle Glenn’s nutty claim…

    Some percentage of the poor are poor, in part, because they have disabilities:

    21% – Percent of the population age 16 and older with a disability that are below the poverty level. Eleven percent of the population age 16 and older without a disability are below the poverty level.

    72% – Percentage of disabled people 16 and older who are not in the labor force. Twenty-seven percent of people without a disability are not in the labor force.

    $18,865 – Median earnings of the population age 16 and older with a disability, this compares with $28,983 for the population without a disability.

    ~Source: disabledworld.com

    Glenn: Are these 21% of the poor who are disabled: Are they poor primarily because of their choices? What specific evidence do you have to support that claim? (And, again, “While I was out delivering mail this one day, I saw a guy in a wheelchair once do something stupid, so the disabled are poor by choice…” does not count as objective evidence).

    ~Dan

    • Definition: ar·bi·trar·y
      ˈärbiˌtrerē/Submit
      adjective
      adjective: arbitrary
      1.
      based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
      “his mealtimes were entirely arbitrary”
      synonyms: capricious, whimsical, random, chance, unpredictable; More
      antonyms: reasoned, rational

      Definition: an·ec·do·tal
      ˌanikˈdōtl/Submit
      adjective
      adjective: anecdotal
      1.
      (of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.
      “while there was much anecdotal evidence there was little hard fact”

      You lose again.

      This isn’t even fun anymore.

    • Oh, and your stats don’t mean squat.

      “Most of those Americans now living below the official poverty line have possessions once considered part of a middle class standard of living, just a generation or so ago. As of 2001, three-quarters of Americans with incomes below the official poverty level had air-conditioning (which only one-third of all Americans had in 1971), 97 percent had color television (which fewer than half of all Americans had in 1971), 73 percent owned a microwave oven (which fewer than one percent of all Americans had in 1971), and 98 percent of ‘the poor’ had either a videocassette recorder or a DVD player (which no one had in 1971). In addition, 72 percent of ‘the poor’ owned a motor vehicle.

      “None of this has done much to change the rhetoric of the intelligentsia, however much it may reflect major changes in the standard of living of Americans in the lower income brackets. Professor Peter Corning, for example, has called the American economy ‘an ever-spreading wasteland of poverty’ and said that ‘close to one-quarter of our population’ are ‘struggling to meet their basic needs.’ Similarly, Professor Andrew Hacker declared that ‘a rising proportion of children are growing up in homes without the means even for basic necessities.’

      “Undefined terms like ‘basic necessities’ and arbitrarily defined terms like ‘poverty’ allow such rhetoric to flourish, independently of documented facts about rising living standards in the lower income brackets. While such alarmist rhetoric abounds, specifics are conspicuous by their absence. At one time, poverty meant that people were hungry or couldn’t afford adequate clothing to protect themselves against the elements. Today it means whatever those who define the official poverty level want it to mean, so that says that X percent of the American population live in poverty is to say that they meet some ultimately arbitrary definition, which could be set higher or lower, causing half as many or twice as many to be called ‘poor.’ Moreover, the income statistics so often cited tell us very little about the actual standard of living among people who receive the majority of their economic resources over and above whatever incomes they may be earning.”
      Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society., p.49

  51. Something else to stick in your pipe, which is very germane to the topic at hand, rather that all the rabbit trails:

    “This mundane, utilitarian process is quite different from the vision of ‘income distribution’ projected by those among the intelligentsia who invest that vision with moral angst. If there really were some pre-existing body of income or wealth, produced somehow – manna from heaven, as it were – then there would of course be a moral question as to how large a share each member of society should receive. But wealth is produced. It does not just exist somehow. Where millions of individuals are paid according to how much what they produce is valued subjectively by millions of other individuals, it is not at all clear on what basis third parties could say that some goods or services are over-valued or under-valued, that cooking should be valued more or carpentry should be valued less, for example, much less than not working at all is not rewarded enough compared to working. …

    Where people are paid for what the produce, one person’s output can easily be worth a thousand times as much as another person’s output to those who are recipients of that output…

    The fact that one person’s productivity may be a thousand times as valuable as another’s does not mean that one person’s merit is a thousand times great as another’s. Productivity and merit are very different things, though the two things are often confused with one another. Moreover, an individual’s productivity is affected by innumerable factors besides the efforts of that individual – being born with a great voice being an obvious example. Being raised in a particular home with a particular set of values and behavior patterns, living in a particular geographic or social environment, merely being b born with a normal brain…can make enormous differences in what a given person is capable of producing.

    More fundamentally, third parties are in no position to second-guess the felt value of someone’s productivity to someone else, and it is hard even to conceive how someone’s merit could be judged accurately by another human being who ‘never walked in his shoes.’ An individual raised in terrible home conditions or terrible social conditions may be laudable for having become an average, decent citizen with average work skills as a shoe repairer, while someone raised from birth with every advantage that money and social position can confer may be no more laudable for becoming an eminent brain surgeon. But that is wholly different from saying that repairing shoes is just as valuable as being able to repair maladies of the brain. …

    If one prefers an economy in which income is divorced from productivity, then the case for that kind of economy needs to be made explicitly. But that is wholly different from making such a large and fundamental change on the basis of verbal virtuosity in depicting the issue as being simply that of one set of ‘income distribution’ statistics today versus an alternative set of ‘income distribution’ statistics tomorrow.”

    Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society.P.50-51

  52. You lose again.

    Not even close. Just because my personal studies and research aren’t published, that doesn’t suddenly turn it into just “subjective anecdotes.” Everything published is the same thing – subjective anecdotes. Everyone looks at these issues with their own biases.

    But the question is, which is the best bias to be biased by? I’ll go with that which fits the REAL-LIFE data, rather than with abstract people.

  53. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, at this point, you’re just embarrassing yourself. Do you even know what research is? What qualifies as objective data, as opposed to subjective anecdotes? In all your reading, have you never read the difference between anecdotes and scholarly research?

    This is not to put down personal experience. We all have personal experiences and they may help educate us or at least give us some starting points for hypotheses. But simply saying, “I’ve read Thomas Sowell and others and I’ve known some poor people” is NOT the same as scholarly research.

    Who have you counseled, by the way? What are your qualifications for counseling? Are you speaking of “counseling sinners” who’ve come up front for an altar call or are you speaking of certified, accredited mental health counseling? If you are an accredited mental health counselor, I will call myself a fool and a buffoon and apologize for any presumptions it may have seemed I had. IF.

    As to the mail man stuff, didn’t you tell me once that that was how you gained some of your “experience” and “research” – because you delivered mail in a poor section of town? Perhaps I’ve confused you with someone else.

    Again, by all means, lay out your accreditations and your research. But please, recognize that simply reading does not make you an academic researcher, any more than simply living in a poor section of town makes you an authority on poverty.

    ~Dan

    • A little something to think about –>> The vast majority of millionaires are self-made

    • Dan,

      I’m going answer just this one question of yours and that is it. You aren’t worth wasting my time with.

      I don’t claim Thomas Sowell as my information; I posed him as one who could teach YOU something if you weren’t so damned arrogant and unteachable.

      I fully understand what research is, but one doesn’t have to be a “scholar” (do you even know the meaning of that word?) or write a book or paper to be able to research. You only accept material from someone with letters after their name regardless of how false their teachings may be! Which is why you accept same-sex fake marriage and all sorts of liberal interpretations of the Bible, and why you preach the social gospel – which Paul said is another gospel and not the real one. It’s also why you accept evolution and “global warming.” It is arrogant and presumptuous to determine that just because one hasn’t written dissertations it therefore follows that all their years of study and research on a subject is nothing more than “anecdotal” rather than bonafide study. Remain in your ignorance

      My counseling experience includes training as a biblical counselor. My wife and I counsel together if there are couples. We don’t counsel “sinners” at altar calls (we don’t believe in such unbiblical nonsense). Nor is their such thing as “mental health” because the mind is intangible and can’t have any health issues. We’ve done family counseling with families who have had trouble raising their children properly to where the children run the house; we’ve done financial counsel for people who have gotten themselves in deep debt; we have done premarital counseling for young people who are engaged; we have done marital counseling for married couples who are having marital problems; we have done a LOT of counseling for women who have been abused; we have counseled those going through divorce situations.

      And just who certifies that one can be a biblical counselor!?!? YOU? The State?!? We do biblical counseling so we don’t normally counsel unbelievers, but we have been called upon to do so, especially with those who are addicts.

      Biblical counselors, also known as “nouthetic” counselors, are not certified by any state system. We don’t use fraudulent Freudian, Rogerian, or other such atheistic and unscientific methods used by Maslow, or Fromm, or Adler, or Jung, or Ellis, or Spock, or even Dobson, Minirth & Paul Meier with their syncretization! Instead, we used biblical standards.

      And no, I’ve never been a mail man.

      And by the way, our piano tuner is blind, and always was. He learned piano tuning by ear and is in his 60s. His wife brings him. He makes a decent living tuning pianos. I guess he didn’t see his handicap as keeping him on some welfare program.

      • Biblical counseling? There is no such thing. It’s made up.

        No such thing as mental health?

        One more thing you have in common with Tom Cruise…..

        • RNash,

          Biblical counseling made up?!?!? Showing your ignorance. Here’s site for an establishment where my wife and I have received training;
          http://gatewaybiblicalcounseling.org

          “Mental health” is what is made up. Tom Cruise may be a cultist, but he’s 100% correct about “mental health” being nonsensical. Can you touch the mind? Can you see the mind? It is intangible. It can’t be ill. As I have stated many times, there may be organic medical problems with the brain due to defects or injuries which affect thinking processes, but these are treated medically. The psyche field, especially clinical psychology and psychiatry are nothing more than witch-doctoring or “rent a friend.” There is nothing scientific about what they do, and they often cause more harm than good.

          Biblical counseling actually makes people responsible for their choices and actions, while the psych field always puts the blame elsewhere and makes the person a victim.

          Do you drink too much booze and get drunk a lot? You aren’t a drunk who needs to learn self-control – you are an “alcoholic”! Can’t exercise self-control and steal all the time- you’re just a kleptomaniac. Did you just murder you parents? They obviously caused your behavior. Oh, and don’t forget the Freudian idea the just about every problem has some connection to sex. BLAH, blah, blah.

          • Your god is intangible, your spirit can’t be touched, and the idea of biblical counseling is absurd. The only way to make it not absurd is to be a christian. It requires a huge leap of faith. You may be a cultist, but your counseling methods will never be scientific.

            I don’t support the field of psychiatry, but to lump psychology in with it shows that you don’t know the difference.

            My psychologist at the VA has never once suggested the the responsibility for my behavior or actions, or well being was not my sole responsibility.

            • RNash,

              My God was tangible in the form of Jesus Christ. But you are correct that the spirit is intangible, but, like the mind, it exists nevertheless.

              Neither biblical counseling nor psychological counseling is scientific.

              I fully know the difference between psychiatry and psychology, but there is often overlap in methodology. Normally psychiatrists are medical doctors while psychologists aren’t. Psychiatrists also handle some of the problem thinking due to brain defects/injuries. And it is THEY who prescribe psychotropic drugs to mess with the thinking processes of the guinea pigs they are tested on.

              And there are SOME clinical psychologists (apparently you got one of those rare birds) who don’t follow all of the various methodologies which absolve the counseled of their responsibility.

  54. paynehollow says:

    I can’t even imagine what that would mean, John. EVERY SINGLE millionaire benefits from policies and infrastructure that they did not put in place. They did not single-handedly put in roadworks and railways that deliver whatever products they may need or produce, they did not pay for the education of any employees they may have, etc. We all stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us and who are going alongside of us now. No one is an island.

    Not to mention what that may say to those of us who believe in God and how God works in our lives and world.

    Self made?

    In what real sense are any of us “self-made…”?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, who made the roads is irrelevant because it’s not just the rich who have asscess. We all have the roads. Same with utilities. The poor use them, the middle class use them and the rich use them. That’s just an excuse to dismiss. If we all use them then there must me something else we can point to for why some people are able to go from not being a millionaire to millionaire because I’ve driven on many a road and have yet to make my first million.

  55. Dan’s going with the “you didn’t build that” crapola.

  56. “Glenn: Are these 21% of the poor who are disabled: Are they poor primarily because of their choices?”

    Yes. Assuming the disability doesn’t commit them to 24hr care in order to survive, or are no longer capable of understanding, thinking and learning. That does not in any way describe the entire disabled population. Having no legs does not mean one cannot earn. Being blind does not mean one cannot invest. Being disabled does not mean losing the ability to learn and advance and succeed. Is it harder? Depends on how they intend to make their mark. When I read the above, I immediately thought of two examples.

    First, I thought of a pair of dwarfs. Twin brothers who have made a fortune in real estate. Their vertically challenged status did not stop them from acquiring wealth.

    But then I thought that perhaps some might not consider the fact that someone is four feet tall or less is worthy of the label “disabled”. Stephen Hawking then came to mind.

    Some people don’t use their disabilities as excuses.

    Gotta go. Bulls are on.

  57. paynehollow says:

    What arrogance.

    How long have you lived as a blind an, Marshall? How many years have you had no legs or been completely deaf? How did you deal with your bi-polar condition?

    Beyond the deeply stupid level of arrogance, though, Marshall: WHERE IS YOUR DATA? You are claiming that all but the completely disabled are poor by their choices. Provide data or admit you have ZERO hard evidence to back up your claim.

    ~Dan

  58. paynehollow says:

    Oh, and because you all have a serious deficit in reading understanding and regularly find meanings that were not stated, not suggested and not believed: I am not saying that our disabled brothers and sisters are to be pitied, or that they are incapable or that they should be dependent on others or ANY of that nonsense. I’m just pointing to the glaring fact that you all have ZERO hard data that supports your arrogant and presumptuous and dangerously ignorant claims. How do we know you all have ZERO evidence? Because you have failed to offer up the first bit of evidence beyond the subjective anecdotal and emotional.

    AS SOON AS you can produce some actual evidence, we could talk about this on an adult level. As it is, not so much.

    Good bye.

    ~Dan

  59. Damnit. Bulls lost again!

    Trying to catch up, I thought I’d just re-post this from the Heritage Foundation of 2011. Of course it’s all crap because it’s from the Heritage Foundation and everyone knows that whatever comes from a right-wing think tank is absolute garbage. But I encourage those giving Glenn a hard time to take the time to peruse the piece and judge it by the sources it uses to come to its conclusions, rather than just the fact that it is published by the evil Heritage Foundation.

    Then, you can look at this from the Nat’l Poverty Ctr, to see how they measure poverty. Note early on that it states:

    “Money income does not include noncash benefits such as public housing, Medicaid, employer-provided health insurance and food stamps.”

    They are basing poverty mostly on pre-tax incomes without including the above received by so many at those low income levels. In other words, they are already being helped in any number of ways to an extent that makes some of them better off than some who are bringing home an income at a level just above the “official” poverty line.

    It’s interesting what the Heritage piece presents as regards single mothers. They comprise a large share of impoverished families, but most of them had their children in their twenties. In other words, it isn’t as much a teenage mother problem. It is legally adult women having children out of wedlock, and as a result fall into poverty. Sounds like a choice was made that affected their circumstance. The piece suggests that if two-thirds of these women had married their child’s father, that alone would raise them out of poverty.

    It also notes that many of those below the poverty line don’t work more than around 16 hrs per week. Simply working a 40 hr gig would raise many of them out of poverty. In this case, it can’t be stated emphatically that this is always a choice, per se. Some might have lost hours they once had. Others, likely don’t work more because they don’t want to. But in either case, there is still a choice to work more or not. I’ve met many people in the last three years who work two jobs. Some are working enough to almost equal two full time jobs. They are low skilled workers who aren’t paid a lot, so they work a lot of hours. This is their choice and I’ve no doubt they have fewer financial worries as a result.

    It is absolutely idiotic to deny that each of us are victims or beneficiaries of our own choices in life. Our present circumstances are dictated by choices we make or refuse to make. One needs no “studies” or peer-reviewed research to understand this elementary fact of life. And it is true for both the rich and poor, as well as everyone in between.

    However, to pretend this is NOT true DOES require evidence. That is, if the poor aren’t poor due to their choices in life, then there must be some evidence to back up this claim. I’ve seen none offered throughout any of the various discussions of late regarding wealth. Why is that?

  60. paynehollow says:

    Who made the roads IS relevant, if you want to claim that there are self-made people out there. Of course, we are all interdependent in a variety of ways. This is just observable fact. In fact, I rather doubt that there are, amongst the rich, a very few who would even claim to be “self-made,” but rather, they acknowledge the hard work of all who’d helped them on the way.

    I’m not saying that wealthy people are shirkers, or that they have not worked. I’m saying I don’t think anyone can rationally claim to be “self-made” and I rather suspect that, except for the delusional and arrogant, none of the rich would make that claim.

  61. Dan presupposes that the self-made would not achieve greater than average wealth should there never have been roads built, or should there never have been employees allowed or had there never been anyone with whom one could do business. He, like the Idiot-in-Chief, believes because there exists human interaction in damn near everything we do, that terms such as “self-made” cannot be legitimately applied. Perhaps they do it in order to bolster their as yet unproven position that the poor are victims as opposed to self-made, or as we’ve been saying, poor as a consequence of their own choices and actions. Talk about delusional.

    • The poor use the roads too. What happened? If we all use infrastructure, and we all interact and have any degree of reliance on others, why are some rich and some poor? There is obviously something the rich person does differently.

  62. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, is your “counseling” certificate based on online courses at a non-certified institution of learning? Did you attend classes or just listen to some teacher online? How many hours of training and research went into your “certificate…”?

    Look, I’m sure that these little classes are helpful in their own way, but you can’t confuse these online courses with actual academics or scholarly research. There is almost certainly no accountability, no authority and no scholarly research associated with this. It sounds more like an echo chamber where like-minded people can pass on vanilla pablum with no serious debate or consideration of weightier issues.

    Am I mistaken?

    Just as a warning to any readers out there: ALWAYS confirm that any counselors you meet with are accredited by a legitimate organization. You can’t stick a diploma on the wall and call yourself a serious counselor because some online course says you are…

    ~Dan

    • Trabue is always looking for ways to discredit legitimate courses which he doesn’t understand or like.

      In person classes, with lots of books to study, etc. You know, real stuff. You can, of course, take correspondence courses for the book work and then do on hand work at the institutions. But don’t let facts get in your way.

      Physical illness are the only real illness. Minds don’t get ill. Why would you even suggest such a stupid thing that there are “nouthetic” doctors? You are sooooooo stupid!!! You’ve proven you have no concept of what biblical counseling is or any clue about what their training consist of. You have been brainwashed into the “mental illness” paradigm that your ignorance about anything remotely real is astounding.

      And, yes, you are mistaken. End of discussion, because I have nothing to prove to you.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, just curious: When you get a physical illness – heart attack, lung disease, cancer, etc – do you go to a “nouthetic” doctor or a real one?

    ~Dan

  64. Dan,

    You continue to demand evidence that choices aren’t integral in the state of one’s life, especially as regards one’s economic state. Not once have you provided evidence that anything else explains poverty. No one on my side (such as John, Craig or Glenn) have tried to insist that outside circumstances don’t impact one’s journey. But whatever life throws at a person is not the defining influence. No one who has attained wealth has done so without some obstacles. Even those who inherit have obstacles to overcome in order to maintain their lifestyle. If those who inherit wealth behave in the same manner as the non-wealthy, making the same types of choice when faced with obstacles, making the same decisions as regards spending, etc., they too will eventually, given enough time, find themselves less than wealthy. This is borne out by the example of so many lottery winners who blow through their winnings regardless of the size of the payout.

    The disabled are no different. They have their disability to overcome, but to suggest they are all, or even mostly, denied or prohibited improving their station in life is absolute bullshit and whining. Put another way, it is another form of enabling (which is you cup of tea). Many disabled would beat you with their prosthetic for suggesting they are limited as you choose to believe. And this is coming from a guy who ranks Wounded Warriors as a primary destination for my charitable dollars.

  65. “When you get a physical illness – heart attack, lung disease, cancer, etc – do you go to a “nouthetic” doctor or a real one?”

    Good gosh! When you get a physical illness, is it not affecting something tangible, such as your physical being?

  66. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    You continue to demand evidence that choices aren’t integral in the state of one’s life, especially as regards one’s economic state.

    Again, no, this is specifically NOT what I’ve been saying.

    Again, if you all can’t understand my words written in your same language, culture and century, what makes you so certain you’re perfectly understanding ancient holy texts?

    What I have continued to do, Marshall, is simply ask Glenn (and you?) to back up the claim. The claim was made that MOST people are poor because of their poor choices. That is a fact claim. I’m asking for evidence to support that fact claim. You all have provided ZERO evidence (zero evidence that “most” of the poor have made poor choices leading to their poverty, zero evidence that most of the disabled poor have made poor choices that led to their poverty, zero evidence that most of the poor veterans have made poor choices, etc…), only personal opinions and swamp gas. You’re welcome to your opinions and gas all you want, but if you have ZERO evidence to support the claim, well, you can’t expect to be taken seriously.

    What is difficult about this to understand?

    Marshall…

    Not once have you provided evidence that anything else explains poverty.

    I have made no claims as to what percentage of the poor are poor because of choices, because of disabilities, because of being a veteran or raised poor. Having made NO claims, I have nothing to provide evidence for.

    I would say (and have said earlier) that common sense would dictate that people are poor for a variety of reasons, not simply “poor choices.” If someone was repeatedly raped as a child and grew up with mental anxieties and disruptions, that would almost certainly be a contributing factor. If one has experienced horrors of war and was wounded in war time, those psychological and physical impacts could certainly be contributing factors. If one chooses to drink to excess for whatever reason, that would certainly be a contributing factor. If one marries a fella, has children, then the fella starts abusing the family and they leave, THAT would be a contributing factor. etc, etc.

    Reason and experience would dictate that there are multiple reasons that people become poor. Do you disagree with this reasonable conclusion?

    If so, what is your evidence that it’s ONE thing and not another thing that makes people poor?

    For myself, having made no claims about what causes “most” people to be poor, I have nothing to provide evidence for. You have made the claim. I’m simply asking the reasonable question: Where is the evidence?

    IF you are going to make claims (especially ones that sound ripped from one’s bottom, not from one’s mind), then you have the responsibility to provide evidence. That, or be written off as a no-nothing, arrogant irrelevancy.

    ~Dan

    • I’ve noticed a new ploy of Trabue’s. Claim that people misunderstand what he says (although he is very disingenuous with this claim as he weasels) and then say that if you can’t understand him it just demonstrates that we can’t truly understand scripture!

      A thought just hit me – Trabue is steeped in the “mental illness” lie the same way he is steeped in other lies of his liberal belief system and church, which is why he has no clue about true Biblical counseling. I have yet to see the “scientifically proved” “illness” of depression. Alzheimer’s is a bonafide medical condition of the brain which is tangible, “autism” is a label for so many things that some are and some aren’t tangible. And there is much dispute as to whether Bi-polar is a real “illness.” Trabue proves he has no clue when he includes all these things under “mental illness.”

      By the way, having a “license” does not make the field any more valid – it merely means those in charge have been brainwashed that the psych field is legitimate.

  67. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    When you get a physical illness, is it not affecting something tangible, such as your physical being?

    When you get a mental illness, it TOO is affecting something tangible – your person, your physical being. Are you wholly unaware of mental illness?

    I have friends who have struggled with depression – a real illness, demonstrated scientifically – and their physical being was affected. I have had other friends who have lived with Alzheimers and with bipolar disorder and with autism. You can’t just tell these friends and loved ones – “Your disabling condition isn’t real, get over it. Just act ‘normal,’ dude, pull it together!”

    I think we see what the problem is here: You all are living in a fantasy world where, if you have not experienced it, it must not be real.

    Get over yourselves, your personal experiences and emotions are not the beginning and end of all knowledge.

    Lord have mercy…

    ~Dan

  68. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Many disabled would beat you with their prosthetic for suggesting they are limited as you choose to believe.

    And EVEN THOUGH I called this, and SAID you would misunderstand me and told you specifically that this is NOT what I’m saying, you STILL misunderstand and misrepresent my actual position.

    Believe it, men: You are indicating a severe and real problem with reading comprehension. The evidence is right there in your complete inability to understand what I said and reading into what I said the exact OPPOSITE of what I said.

    Seek help from a licensed counselor. (and not a “certificate” in “nouthetics…”)

    ~Dan

    • I wonder what explains people who are poor and win the lottery for a million or few and within a decade they are poor again. Apparently just having the money, or the roads doesn’t just are it. There is something a self made wealthy person has that a poor person doesnt which is irrelevant to environment.

  69. I’ve been following this with some degree of interest and have been struck by a few things.

    1. Despite numerous repetitions it seems that the “left” fails to acknowledge that everyone in the discussion is drawing a distinction between the plight of those who are of reasonably able body and mind and those who are not. It is quite clear that no one is advocating that children and those with disabilities be treated in the same way as those who are not. It does seem reasonable to point out that there may be instances where disabilities may have been caused by choices.
    2. It is also clear that the degree of acceptance of “anecdotal evidence” is completely dependent on how much support ones argument derives from said “anecdotal evidence”. I’ve seen folks in this conversation who are willing to make sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people based on their personal experiences with a small and localized sample of “acquaintances”, and to defend that generalization in the face of evidence to the contrary. Personally my 20+ years of experience with poor folks leads me to conclude that in significant majority of situations that the choices a person makes have a disproportionate influence in their degree of success. To be fair, I see this on both sides of the coin, where people make choices that lead to positive outcomes and negative outcomes. In many cases, I’ve gotten to be along for the ride when people actually realize that they can do better, make choices that move them along in a better direction, and then succeed.

    In closing a couple of quotes that stood out.

    ” You’re welcome to your opinions and gas all you want, but if you have ZERO evidence to support the claim, well, you can’t expect to be taken seriously.”

    I’d completely agree with this quote, if only the sentiment went both ways.

    “Reason and experience would dictate that there are multiple reasons that people become poor. Do you disagree with this reasonable conclusion?”

    Again, I and everyone else in the conversation have said this very thing multiple times. Which leads one to wonder, why would anyone ask the question, when no one has suggested anything other than agreement with the initial premise. It is quite clear that any reasonable person would agree with everyone here that there are a number of factors that influence why people are poor. However, it is also quite clear that “Reason and experience would dictate” that one significant factor is individual choice.

    Finally, if one compares the first quote which seems to demand “evidence” with the second quote which bases it’s premise on “Reason and experience”, one must wonder why there is so much vitriol directed at people who are basing their opinion on “Reason and experience”.

    In closing that both “anecdotal” as well as “statistical” evidence are both evidence, albeit of different types. How much weight one gives to the different types is certainly different for each person, but it seems short sighted to, as some seem to do at times, to completely dismiss the validity of one or the other. Honestly, it seems to me that an reasonable argument could be made that “statistical” evidence is simply collated “anecdotal” evidence.

    Anyway, carry on.

  70. paynehollow says:

    The difference, Craig, is quite simple. The claim was made that “MOST poor people” are “poor because of their poor choices…”

    I’ve asked for support for that claim and none has been forthcoming. Thus, the claim is vaporous and simple opinion. Which is fine, just don’t make the claim that it is fact.

    On the other hand, I’ve made no claim about how or why “most” poor people are poor, except that it’s for multiple reasons, a point on which you agree.

    Thanks for the agreement.

    Tell that to your pals.

    ~Dan

  71. Craig,

    Thanks for the chuckle. Yep, Trabue is a rank hypocrite. Always citing as evidence for his pro-homosexual stance are his “gay” (happy?) friends and acquaintances, and he demands this anecdotal experience with a few “couples” be superior over the Bible and medical evidence. But if someone gives anecdotal evidence of decades of experience with hundreds of people, let alone research and study, that is nothing but worthless opinion.

    Just what you’d expect from a fool.

  72. What Dan, a little selective reading?

    As to the claim you allege was made, I would suggest that “Reason and experience” would suggest that you could definitely find that a majority of poor people in the US have made choices that have affected their economic status. Again, if one considers “Reason and experience” to be as valuable as you’ve previously indicated, I don’t see how you could say otherwise.

  73. “…a point on which you agree.”

    The problem with this phrase, is that everyone in this thread agrees with this nugget. You just seem to want to ignore that.

  74. paynehollow says:

    I don’t think Glenn, does. MY ENTIRE reaction on this point has been in response to Glenn’s COMPLETELY unsupported claim that “the majority” of the poor are poor because of their own poor decisions. Blaming the victim and that, with NOT A SINGLE shred of documented evidence beyond mere anecdotes.

    I gave Glenn plenty of options to back down, I noted that Glenn can reasonably say, “Most poor folk I HAVE MET have been poor primarily due to their own fault/decisions…” but Glenn was not content with that. He doubled down on the dumb and kept repeating “THE MAJORITY of the poor” are poor because of their own decisions. Period. As if that were the one primary reason for the majority of poor folk.

    Take it up with Glenn, you and I appear to agree.

    But you won’t do that. You’ll let goofball, anti-reason conservatives bluster on and on, blaming the poor (or “the majority of the poor”) all day long and that gets nary a protest, but you and I agree and you want to take on my comments.

    I’m done with the goofy. You all want to present evidence for Glenn’s claims, present evidence. No evidence? No argument, it’s just swamp gas, naught else (meanspirited swamp gas, though).

    You disagree with Glenn? Tell him about it, not me.

    ~Dan

    • I don’t disagree that there are a variety of reasons people are poor, even in the majority of the more. However, for the majority of the poor the variety of reasons are based on their lifestyle choices. I’m interested to know how saying the majority of poor are that way due to lifestyle choices contradicts the fact that it is also for a variety of reasons?

      The only swamp gas around here is troll Trabue. Or perhaps just sewer gas.

  75. paynehollow says:

    Here’s the difference, Glenn:

    The majority of conservatives are that way because they are asinine and inbred.

    vs

    Amongst conservatives, some are the way they are because they are asinine and inbred. But there is a variety of reasons to explain how conservatives are the way they are and we would be remiss to suggest it is primarily because they are asinine and inbred.

    See?

    ~Dan

    • Logic fallacy – apples and oranges.

      Your first statement is a false premise to begin with, because no conservatives are conservative because they are asinine and inbred. Your stupidity is awesome!

      A majority of those who are poor are that way because of choices they have made over the course of their lives, including current choices. Such choices will lead to a variety of actual results, so that some choices are about morality, some choices are about finances, some choices are about education, etc, etc, Variety of reasons but brought about by choices.

      DUH!!!

      • When this topic comes up Dan always equates the severely disabled and the able bodied. He has never NOT done this.

        @Dan, will you be addressing my point? How do you explain poor people who win millions then end up broke again in a few years and self made millionaires gain wealth rarely losing it? Are they just unlucky?

  76. paynehollow says:

    John, the answer to that is the same as what I’ve been saying: There are no doubt MANY reasons why people lose money. How many poor people have won the lottery? 1000? Then I would imagine that there are about 10,000 reasons and we don’t have the data to make an informed decision.

    Do you have any data to make an informed decision? Well, neither do I.

    Or are you like Glenn and not needing any data because your mind is so amazing that data is irrelevant to you?

    This Glenn “nouthetic” approach is neither science nor faith: It is arrogant magic-based mumbo jumbo, it is phariseeism on steroids. It is a reproach to God and humanity.

    I rebuke this arrogance in the name of Jesus and all that is holy and good and rational.

    ~Dan

  77. “I acknowledged that there are those who are that way through no fault of their own.”

    “I don’t disagree that there are a variety of reasons people are poor,…”

    These are Glenn’s own words. They come from from two separate comments widely spaced in the thread. Unless someone is prepared to assert, and prove that Glenn is lying, these constitute actual evidence as to what Glenn believes to be the case.

    These are Dan’s words.

    “I don’t think Glenn, does.”

    Now Dan, have a problem. You can either accept the clear evidence, or you can substitute your “Reason and experience”, “hunches” and “swamp ass” (or whatever you said), or you can accept the evidence.

  78. paynehollow says:

    sigh. Craig, do you really not understand the words I am writing?

    Did I SAY that Glenn does not acknowledge that there are SOME poor people who are there not by their own fault? No, I did not.

    Strike one on “Glenn’s words.”

    Did I say that Glenn does not think there are a variety of reasons why people are poor? No, I did not.

    Strike two.

    Now, Craig, YOU have a problem. Glenn is making the claim, ” MOST people are where they are economically due to their own choices in life…” I’ve simply asked him to support his claim or admit that it’s not factual, just an unsupported opinion.

    My question is NOT about whether Glenn thinks there is some minority that are poor due to their choices. My question is THIS: Do you have evidence to support this sweeping claim?

    Your problem is, do you continue to support this egomaniac who dismisses both science and Godliness or do you join me in saying, “Yeah, Glenn, DO you have any evidence to support that claim or is it just your own hunch?”

    But since Glenn is rejecting “science” and “research” and “studies” and “experts,” his answer will be the same as what he has been saying… “I AM the expert. I hold all knowledge. Bow to my great fat head full of knowledge…” at which point your problem is do you continue to agree with me and say, “Ya know, Glenn, there is nothing Godly about denying research and making up stuff” or you can continue to attack the guy you agree with and defend the egomaniac.

    Your call.

    ~Dan

  79. With egomaniac Dan, everyone is wrong but him.

  80. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, there is NO mention of modern medical science in the Bible. If you are truly a “nouthetic” student, then why would you embrace ANY of modern medicine? Is it not presumptuous to cut into a human body and hold a human heart in one’s hand? The Bible NEVER condones such behavior, isn’t that “playing God…”?

    It would seem that you embrace medical science because you have need for it, not because it is in the Bible, and because you fear sickness and death if you don’t acknowledge real science in at least that regards. But you don’t feel like you need mental health, so you write it off as a science.

    If you were going to be consistent, you’d reject all medical and mental health sciences, but you selfishly embrace the one that helps you but deny the other that helps other’s with their health.

    As to “everyone is wrong but him…” I’m not the one making claims and saying all of modern science is wrong and I hold the answers. That would be you. Do you not see the egomania in that approach?

    No, objectively, demonstrably speaking, I am not the one claiming that I am the only one who is right. That is demonstrably a false charge (ie, you can not point to one place where I said or implied such a thing). But then, you don’t really believe in “evidence” and “facts,” do you? Just whatever emotion and hatred you feel at the moment.

    This is how it seems from here. But show me I’m wrong: DEMONSTRATE objectively where I have said everyone is wrong but me. Or show me I’m wrong and admit it when you can’t demonstrate that false charge and slander. I rather doubt you will, or that your comrades will hold you accountable for your false charge, but unlike you, I could be wrong. I’m just asking – ALL ALONG, I’ve just been asking for evidence of any of your claims.

    I’m still waiting.

    Show me I’m wrong or man up and admit you are mistaken.

    ~Dan

  81. paynehollow says:

    Anthony Robinson says “we have imagined that Christianity itself is a religion of virtue. But no, Desmond Tutu reminded us, ‘Christianity is not a religion of virtue. It is a religion of grace.’

    And there is a difference.

    A religion of virtue says “If you are good, then God will love you. “ A religion of grace says, “God loves you.” God loves you despite your foibles and failures, not because you’re so good but as a sinner in need of mercy God loves you; live then as one who is beloved, who has been forgiven.”

    Amen, and amen.

    ~Dan

    • This happens too often to be dismissed especially in regard to some of the Foghorn Leghorns on this site.

      From hereon forward none of what I say will be backed up with evidence beyond my own limited anecdotal and subjective experience. I will simply move to my default position which has zero evidence, zero credibility and yell it loud enough, while mixing in a fair amount of name calling and “know” that I am “right” because I am under the influence of a religious delusion.

      The next time Glenn sites someone who is published or has any credentials at all after their name I will discount it as rightist elitism and dismiss their position because anyone can do anything with statistics.

      I will give my experiences alone and I might throw in my neighbors opinion to boot, just to give serious credence to the quality of my position.

      And just to put all of this silliness in perspective, Glenn and his cheerleaders will now bow down to my degree in theology and my newly mailed certificate showing that I am now and ordained minister. It’s not from Heritage but it is from Liberty U!!!!

      But it’s only a certificate, so there are no initials after my name.

      I will now just make shit up as I go, and that will fulfill my obligations in the presenting of evidence. If you try to pigeon hole me, I will just yell louder and question your legitimacy as a human being, keeping myself warm at night knowing that you are going to hell.

  82. paynehollow says:

    Sounds legit to me.

  83. Dan,

    It seems that I need to apologize, I have tried to limit the scope of my comments on this thread and despite all my efforts I seem to have confused you somehow. I will try to make up for this by restating what I have said in what I hope will be a less confusing format.

    1. yes, I do understand the words you are writing, that is why I quoted them to make my point. My comment ended thus, “… everyone in this thread agrees with this nugget. You just seem to want to ignore that.”. Your direct response to that was “I don’t think Glenn, does.”. I then provided actual empirical evidence in the form of Glenn’s own words, which proved your hunch to be wrong. Thankfully, you seem to have backed away from your earlier stance, which wasn’t supported by evidence, to a stance that is, well done.

    2. I don’t have a problem. Now, it just so happens that my 20+ years of experience working with and around people who are poor is in line with Glenn’s experience. I’ve been clear about this. I have not gone any further than that.

    3. You seem to be unwilling to understand that because my experience has led me to the same conclusion that Glenn’s experience has led him to, that somehow I must then support of answer for everything Glenn says. This is in error. While I am willing to accept that Glenn’s counseling services could be very effective for some, I really don’t know or care enough about it the waste my time forming an opinion. Just because Glenn and I have had a similar set of experiences in one limited area, does not automatically mean I support or endorse everything he says. We are two different people, and whatever problems you have with him are between you and him. I’m not involved.

    4. Can you provide any evidence that Glenn actually “ismisses both science and Godliness”? I’ve seen nothing in his comments to suggest this conclusion, perhaps you could point out where Glenn has actually made this specific claim?

    5. I haven’t “attacked” you, nor “defended” Glenn. I also haven’t resorted to name calling.

    6. One of my consistent points is your lack of consistency on the value you place on “anecdotal evidence”.

    7. I’ve actually made a few actual substantive points that you might want to engage with once you get past your confusion about the limited nature of my experience coinciding with Glenn’s.

    I really hope this clears up any confusion I may have caused and will help you to engage with what I have said, rather that you expecting me to defend and answer for someone else.

  84. 8. I have tried to clearly differentiate between conclusions that are based on my personal experiences, and those which are based on some other source. I have also tried to point out that while anecdotal evidence has it’s limits it is not without value and should not be automatically be dismissed.

  85. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I then provided actual empirical evidence in the form of Glenn’s own words, which proved your hunch to be wrong. Thankfully, you seem to have backed away from your earlier stance,

    Actually, I, in turn, pointed to MY own words and GLENN’s own words to demonstrate that you were misunderstanding and mistating both his and my positions.

    But rather than dance around what I didn’t say again, Glenn could clear this up quite easily.

    My point has been FROM THE BEGINNING that there is not evidence (that I am aware of, anyway) to support a conclusion that MOST poor people are PRIMARILY poor due to THEIR poor decisions. I stated that I thought Glenn was mistaken (clearly) in that hunch and that he was unable to provide support for THAT claim.

    Now, perhaps Glenn has been arguing against me this whole time about some point I have not made (like you are doing). He can clear this up quite easily:

    GLENN: Do you believe that MOST poor people are poor PRIMARILY because they make bad choices?

    And the follow up (my original question): IF SO, where is the evidence to support it?

    IF Glenn is only saying “In my experience with 100 or 200 poor people, it is usually the case that they are poor due to their own fault, their own poor choices…” then AS I SAID, I have no problem with that. He can report his experiences all day long and no one can say, “No, that is not your experience.”

    What he CAN’T reasonably do is extrapolate that out to, “Since I have known 100 people sufficiently well to know all the evidence, and they were poor due to their own fault/their own poor choices, then that is true for MOST poor people.”

    Where specifically is that mistaken, Craig? DO you think that Glenn CAN reasonably extrapolate his anecdotal, personal experiences in his “neuthetic” (ie, non-professional, non-certified, amateur) “counseling” meetings to “most” poor people? Where is your evidence for that extrapolation?

    I’m talking about – HAVE been talking about from the beginning – evidence. Either you have it or not. So far, no one has provided evidence so I can’t take their hunches seriously. Especially coming from Glenn who is rejecting science (psychology, experts, research, etc) according to his repeated own words in favor of his own personal anecdotes.

    ~Dan

  86. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Can you provide any evidence that Glenn actually “ismisses both science and Godliness”?

    Where has Glenn NOT dismissed science? He does not believe in mental illness!! How’s that for an example?

    Here’s a great money quote from Glenn…

    ” The psyche field, especially clinical psychology and psychiatry are nothing more than witch-doctoring or “rent a friend.” There is nothing scientific about what they do, and they often cause more harm than good. “

    He does not “believe in” psychology and psychiatry, dismissing them as “nothing scientific…” How is that for dismissing science?

    As to dismissing Godliness, I think it is a way of dismissing Godliness when you reject science, as if Godliness is equal to ignorance. That, for what it’s worth, is just my opinion. But I’m quite clear that it IS my opinion, not a stated fact nor a word from God, which is another way that Glenn dismisses actual Godliness, by conflating his opinions with God’s Word, as if he could not be mistaken on some points (as Glenn famously has said, “On that topic, I CAN NOT BE MISTAKEN…” in speaking about homosexuality.)

    Do you think that sort of arrogance (in stating unequivocally that you can not be mistaken) is not a way of rejecting godliness? Then you and I disagree, if so.

    Craig…

    One of my consistent points is your lack of consistency on the value you place on “anecdotal evidence”.

    There is no lack of consistency. None. If you can provide evidence for that false claim, then by all means, do so. But you won’t, you can’t.

    And to try to head you off, if you are wanting to point to the very real existence (that I often anecdotally cite) of real gay folk living real committed marriage lives as evidence against the claim that “the gays can’t be monogamous…” that is different because the claim (“the gays can’t be monogamous”) is easily disproven/dismissed by even one anecdotal bit of evidence, much less multiple instances.

    I rather doubt you can find any evidence of actual inconsistency, but I will always entertain evidence to support your hunches. Which has been my point all along. If you’re going to make a fact-claim, be prepared to support it or honest enough to admit you can’t support it.

    It’s all about evidence.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      You didn’t surprise me – you are indeed as stupid – or perhaps stupider – as I thought. Where did you come up with the idea that a nouthetic counselor disagrees with the medical field??!? Oh, I know where you came up with – IGNORANCE. You have no idea what biblical counseling is.

      What in blazes does the medical field have to do with counseling people?!?!? NOTHING. Your problem is that you think there is some sort of medical science behind the psych industry – and there isn’t. Psych counseling is unscientific – with hundreds of theories and models, very often contradictory and conflicting.

      “Nouthetic” counseling is from the Greek word in the Bible for “admonish.” I’m not in agreement with all that Nouthetic counseling claims, which is why I do “Biblical Counsel” which is a bit wider and without the Calvinist/Reformed ideology behind it. There are many biblical counseling training centers around the nation – something foreign to you with you heretical ideology. There is also a National Association of Nouthetic Counselors. I have trained with teachers from both spectrums, and have a couple dozen texts on my shelf.

      The medical field is based on bonafide science (usually) and not just people’s made up philosophies as to how to “counsel” people using atheistic worldview. “Mental health” is a bogus field which is supported by the foolish and ignorant. There is nothing scientific about it.

      You have proven yourself a liar by your statement that I make “claims and saying all of modern science is wrong and I hold the answers.” LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE.

      I have NEVER stated anything remotely similar to such stupidity. In fact, we have not even discussed “modern science” in regards to counseling, or even in regards to the medical field. You bear false witness, you lying sack of dung.

      You have consistently claimed to be the one with the RIGHT interpretation of the Bible in regards to homosexuality. Over and over again we have presented exegetical evidence proving God condemns homosexuality, and the evidence includes teachings of Jews and Christians for thousands of years, and yet you say they are all wrong and only you are right. You are such a liar.

      And, yes, from my experience over the years in many venues and many cities in several states, as well as reading just the daily news (let alone research material), while there are those who are poor due to no fault of their own, the PRIMARY reason MOST of those who are poor, are in their position is due to their lifestyle choices which put them there as well as the choices they continue while in that condition. And guess what, common sense and observation should always come to the same conclusion. I asked a few people today one question: “Considering all the poor people in the U.S., what do you think is the primary reason that MOST are in that condition.” Every one I asked simple stated, “Choices they make in life.” Gee, I guess I must have brainwashed all of them, or they must be on my side, or some other silly reason you can come up with, and I know this is anecdotal, but I just thought it was interesting that I never got a different answer!

      Trabue, your gross ignorance and stupidity was again displayed with this denigrating statement: personal experiences in his “neuthetic” (ie, non-professional, non-certified, amateur) “counseling” meetings to “most” poor people?
      I never stated that I counseled poor people. I first mentioned my counseling experience among a litany of my experience in society and various cultures, etc. The discussion of counseling was limited to my rebuttal of “mental illness”. Not once did I mention counseling those who were poor (although I have counseled some) as being any part of my statement that “MOST” of those who are poor are that way due to lifestyle choices.
      And you say I am unable to understand YOU?!?!?!?

      And another lie: Glenn who is rejecting science (psychology, experts, research, etc) Psychology has no science behind it, “experts” is appeal to ghostly authority, “research” in what regard?

      Now Dan makes up what he thinks “Godliness” is, and it has to include believing that psychobabble is scientific!! Actually, clinical psychology is anti-God, and was developed by atheists.

      Nor is it a lack of Godliness or being arrogant to state that you know something without being mistaken. Or would you say that guy who claims to not be mistaken when he says 2+2=4 is arrogant and ungodly?!?!?

      RNash, your little rant just shows you to be as stupid as Trabue is.

    • Psychiatry Is NOT Scientific

      The following was printed in the July 2013 issue of The Berean Call. The link to the original article is at the bottom, and that article has a wealth of information about the fraudulent nature of psychiatry.

      Evolution News and Views, 5/8/13, “How a Scientific Field Can Collapse: The Case of Psychiatry” [Excerpts]:
      Psychology has long struggled to be considered scientific, given the checkered history of its eccentric pioneers, like Freud and Jung. Each of the contradictory theories emerging from psychology has struggled to do better at prediction or explanation than the “folk psychology” ordinary people use to gauge the motivations and behaviors of their fellow human beings. And the recent cases of outright fraud among some of social psychology’s leading lights (examples in the New York Times and Nature) have made the field suspect, some would say a laughingstock as science.

      Psychiatry, though, was supposed to be better. Its practitioners had to earn an MD. It had a widely accepted, peer-reviewed guidebook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by its professional society, the American Psychiatric Association. With its focus on observable symptoms, presumably rooted in biology, it had all the trappings of science. The things being said about psychiatry now, though, on the eve of publication of its latest upgrade, the DSM-5, are revealing it to be a science in crisis-if it ever was a science at all.

      DSM-5, [which came] out on May 22, is the latest edition of the official diagnostic “bible” for psychiatrists that had its genesis in 1952. DSM-5 removes some diagnoses, like Asperger’s syndrome, reclassifies others, and adds a number of new conditions that are, to most of us, just weird: like “Skin Picking Disorder,” “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo,” and “Compulsive Hoarding.” What about the new “Hypersexual Disorder”? Are psychiatrists just giving excuses for irresponsible behavior? Is psychiatry “cutting nature at its joints” or just manufacturing artificial pigeonholes?

      According to Nick Craddock, professor of psychiatry at Cardiff University, also writing for New Scientist [says], “Not since Freud’s pseudoscientific theories early last century has psychiatry claimed any broad theoretical basis for making sense of our normal and abnormal feelings, thinking and social behaviours–the complexities at the heart of being human.” In other words, psychiatry never made it to scientific status in the first place. Its claims remain “atheoretical,” he believes, even though he is optimistic its day will come.

      David Dobbs’s review in Nature of Gary Greenberg’s new book, The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, is the most devastating critique of psychiatry as a science. Dobbs writes under the headline: “Psychiatry: a very sad story.” He notes that a century ago, psychiatrists considered “masturbatory insanity” and “wedding night psychosis” as mental illnesses. That those categories were dropped and new ones added in the interim suggests psychiatry lacks scientific footing, and instead evolves according to cultural norms. Yet the APA vigorously defends DSM-5, partly because it relies on sales for revenue. Greenberg is not just an outsider. He participated in a clinical trial. “The process proved so convoluted that he wanted to apologize to one patient for the ‘inadequacy, the pointlessness, the sheer idiocy of the exercise,'” Dobbs writes.

  87. SCIENCE OR THEORY?

    There is nothing scientific about the psych field; psychologists have developed hundreds of theories and several thousand therapies. A good place to start an examination to prove this is to look at some citations about Freud’s theories in particular, since, as already stated, all other theories have their ultimate origin in Freud.
    Freud’s theories essentially state that “early childhood experiences, especially those that are sexual in nature, as being the crucial determinants of adult personality and behavior.” Hunt points out that Freud’s theories “were founded upon his warped view that all thought, feeling, and motivation have their roots in sexual cravings.” However, as Torrey succinctly puts it, “people who have invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in therapies arising from Freudian theory are not pleased to learn that the theory is devoid of any scientific foundation.”
    Torrey writes that, “Although he had been trained as a scientist and on occasion invoked scientific metaphors to support his position, after the turn of the century Freud’s interest in scientifically validating his theory appears to have waned. . . . Freud’s critics noted the scientific shortcomings of his theory from its earliest days.” Torrey also cites a 1916 article in the Nation which said that Freud’s theory was “well founded neither theoretically nor empirically. . . . it conveys the impression of unscientific method.”
    In 1959 Dr. Benjamin Spock attempted to prove that Freud’s theory was accurate and he recruited 21 families to study. As Torrey tells us, “The results of the study provided no support whatsoever for Freud’s theory and, not surprisingly, little of the data was ever published.”
    Torrey cites study after study demonstrating the lack of scientific evidence for Freud’s theories. The following lengthy citation from Torrey will shed some light on the subject:
    The scientific validity of the oral, anal, and Oedipal stages of development has been reviewed by several researchers over the years. In 1937 Gardner Murphy and his colleagues noted:
    Although we have now been exposed for some time to psychoanalytic and other psychiatric hypotheses regarding the effects of birth trauma, weaning trauma, extreme emphasis on early control of urination and defecation, excessive attention from adults, dethronement by a second child, we have almost no objective records of the development of children going through these experiences, or of experiments controlling certain aspects of the problem.
    Ten years later Harold Orlansky reviewed the pertinent “empirical data bearing on the theory that various features of infant care determine adult personality” and reported that “our conclusion has been largely negative.” In 1952 Ernest Hilgard et al., although sympathetic to the Freudian point of view, acknowledged in a review that “anyone who tries to give an honest appraisal of psychoanalysis as a science must be ready to admit that as it is stated it is mostly very bad science, that the bulk of the articles in its journals cannot be defended as research publications at all.” . . . .
    [Paul] Kline added: “Freudian theory, so far as it is dependent on data at all, rests on data which by the criteria of scientific methodology are totally inadequate. These data are, for the most part, the free associations of patients undergoing therapy and their dream reports, and both of these sources are unquantifiable and riddled with subjective interpretation.”. . . .
    [Hans Eysenck in the 1985 edition of The Experimental Study of Freudian Theories] likened Freud’s ideas to a “medieval morality play” populated “by such mythological figures as the ego, the id and the superego . . . too absurd to deserve scientific status.” Freud was, Eysenck wrote, “without doubt a genius not of science but of propaganda, not of rigorous proof but of persuasion, not of the design of experiments but of literary art. His place is not, as he claimed, with Copernicus and Darwin but with Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, tellers of fairy tales.”
    Torrey makes the clear statement that “learning and mastery are important components of effective psychotherapy not because the theories being taught have any scientific basis but because people believe in them.” So any theory is okay, as long as the client believes the theory being espoused by the particular therapist. The problem, of course, is that there are so many of these theories that we should be objective and not judge the theory by beliefs, but whether there is any supporting evidence behind them. Torrey cites a textbook by Redlich and Freedman as saying that if we used only the psych theories that were based on scientific evidence, then “not much would remain, because there are very few truly scientific therapies in our field.”
    What is disturbing is that even though we should look for evidence over beliefs, this is not the norm in the psych field. Torrey points out that “. . . scientific validity of insights and truths is irrelevant in psychotherapy. Learning is a process, and the achievement of mastery is an end in itself. It matters little whether the truths have a small or a large t; if they are accepted by the client, then they have the same force as religious beliefs have on the devout Muslim, Buddhist, or Christian. As any mullah or priest can tell you, it is the strength of a person’s belief that is the important determinant of whether the person is able to translate belief into action.” In fact, as if to prove this point, Dave Hunt cites an article from American Journal of Psychiatry that says, “Patients given conventional mental-health treatment in Puerto Rico reported less improvement than those that often went to spiritist healers. . . . [In] spiritist healing. . . mediums receive spirit messages or become possessed by spirits in order to diagnose, counsel or prescribe herbal and ritual remedies.”
    Now let’s take a look at the psych field in general.
    Hunt tells us that “A lengthy study appointed by the American Psychological Association (subsidized by the National Science Foundation and involving 80 eminent scholars) concluded in 1979 that psychology is not and cannot be a science. Karl Popper, one of the greatest philosophers of science, declared that psychological theories have ‘more in common with primitive myths than with science.’” Hunt also cites Dr. Tana Dineen as saying that if psychologists “were to look honestly at what they are doing it would cause them to have doubts about their effectiveness, their worth, their self-image and their career.”
    “Dr. Arthur Shapiro, clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says: ‘Just as bloodletting was perhaps the massive placebo technique of the past, so psychoanalysis – and its dozens of psychotherapy offshoots – is the most used placebo of our time.’”
    The Bobgans cite Psychologist Roger Mills as saying, “The field of psychology today is literally a mess. There are as many techniques, methods and theories around as there are researchers and therapists. I have personally seen therapists convince their clients that all of their problems come from their mothers, the stars, their bio-chemical make-up, their diet, their life-style and even the ‘kharma’ from their past lives.”
    The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) was first published in 1952 with 112 “disorders” compared to six from 100 years earlier. In 1968 the total was 163 and by 1980 it was 224. In 1994 the list had grown to 374 “mental disorders.” Ironically, there has been no scientific validation for this exponential growth of “mental illnesses.”
    Dave Hunt cites past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, Lawrence LeShan, as suggesting “that psychotherapy will be known as the hoax of the twentieth century.” Hunt also notes that one of psychology’s most respected leaders, R.D. Laing, gave an “opinion that not even one ‘fundamental insight into relations between human beings [had] resulted from a century of psychotherapy.’”
    The psych field has no scientific support for any of their theories, and yet the field is promoted as authoritative when discussing human behavior.

    • Since biblical “counseling” is made up, by men, not God, I choose not to believe in it. It has the same crappy peer review that passes for “scientific” that the rest of the delusion uses to justify itself, that allows for this insulated and circular ideology to pass itself off as something other than the confirmation bias it is.

      And you ca continue to post anything you want Glenn, from any source you like, it’s all crap, anecdotal or worse. Doesn’t matter what journal or personal experience you pull it from, it’s all junk.

      How tiredly ironic that you just spent days claiming that journals and scholars and credentials, and science were all irrelevant in the face of your experience, yet now we are faced with multiple posts from professionals that you think somehow bolster your position.

      Again, this sort of hypocrisy would send me to a mental institution.

      • How tiredly ironic that you just spent days claiming that journals and scholars and credentials, and science were all irrelevant in the face of your experience, yet now we are faced with multiple posts from professionals that you think somehow bolster your position.

        Sorry Nash, but my claims about these things being irrelevant were in regards to one topic – the issue of wealth distribution and why it is why it is. Real science wasn’t involved – only a nebulous discipline known as “social science.” Statistics were given which purported to be what is, without taking into consideration that people’s position on said graph is not static but rather normal people move up across that graph. It also was developed with a biased agenda, and, yes, credentialed scholars do have biases (just look at those who promote evolution!) “Multiple posts” consisted of two – your math is as bad as your ideology.

        Again, this sort of hypocrisy would send me to a mental institution.
        Since there was nothing hypocritical taking place, perhaps you should check into one of those institutions until you get your head screwed back on.

  88. Jeez, Glenn. There’s no way Dan or Nash will read all that and/or give it any legitimacy.

    • Jeez, Glenn. There’s no way Dan or Nash will read all that and/or give it any legitimacy.

      Yes, I know. Facts are something they don’t like when it goes against their beliefs. Unfortunately, the fonts and other things which would have made it easier to read didn’t carry over. I just wanted to point out that even those IN the psych industry admit there isn’t anything scientific about it.

  89. Dan,

    I have in no way misinterpreted your position. It is quite clear. I maintain that we are ALL, rich OR poor, at the status we are due to the choices we’ve made in our lives. This is not rocket science.

    But you prefer to believe the poor are victims. Well, yes. They are the victims of their choices and actions, just as we all are. However, you use the term “victims” to suggest that they are poor due to the actions of others against which they had no recourse of any kind. I reject this outright as it does not in any way hold up to reason, logic or any observable evidence. Thus, I insist that YOU provide evidence to support the contention. You won’t be able to do it. If MOST poor are NOT poor as a result of their choices and actions, then MOST poor MUST be poor due to some other cause.

    It is a strong charge to suggest that the poor are victims of someone or something other than themselves. (And you have regarded them as victims by your use of the term “blaming the victims” earlier) If there are any of the poor that are victims of some action that made them poor, what were those actions? Who perpetrated the actions upon them? If these “victims” cannot be proven to be the majority of poor, then what of the rest? How did they become and remain poor?

    I can concede one area: children. Those children who are born into poverty are indeed victims. But of whom? They are victims of parents whose poor choices put them into poverty. Their choice to engage in behavior that results in pregnancy without benefit of resources to support a child is among them.

  90. Dan,

    Your objection to the position that most poor are poor due to the choices they’ve made in their lives is outrageous to be sure. More so is the lack of objection to the less likely charges against CEOs and the wealthy inherent in these discussions, particularly those highlighting disparities between the wealth of one percentage of American versus the lack of wealth in the hands of the rest. The basic charge has run along the lines of the CEOs not being worth the money they earn, that most CEOs award themselves the high salaries they receive and that they have achieved their positions on the backs of others. In short, that most CEOs are evil, greedy bastards. Why have you not demanded evidence for this charge as you have for the more rational and logical charge that the poor are poor due to the choices they’ve made?

  91. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Your objection to the position that most poor are poor due to the choices they’ve made in their lives is outrageous to be sure.

    Okay, WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE, then? IF it is so obvious, you should be able to present evidence. I’m still waiting.

    Marshall…

    The basic charge has run along the lines of the CEOs not being worth the money they earn, that most CEOs award themselves the high salaries they receive and that they have achieved their positions on the backs of others. In short, that most CEOs are evil, greedy bastards. Why have you not demanded evidence for this charge as you have for the more rational and logical charge that the poor are poor due to the choices they’ve made?

    Who has made the charge that most CEOs are evil, greedy bastards? Not me. Not anyone I personally know. Are you wanting me to demand evidence to support other positions I have not defended? How about the charge that country music musicians are not talented? I have not made that charge, do you want me to provide evidence against that charge that I have not made? I’m not sure why you’re asking me this.

    If anyone makes a charge, then it is incumbent on them to support the claim with evidence, if they want to be taken seriously. I do know that some liberal types (and others) make that sort of rant on facebook and other places, but they aren’t taken seriously, they’re just ranting.

    Sort of like the psalmist asking that God bash the heads in of the infants of their enemies… it’s a rant, not a rational argument; a way of blowing off steam, not taken literally or seriously.

    So, having dismantled that non-issue, do you have any evidence to support your claim?

    If not, that is fine. It’s an opinion, a rant, maybe. It’s what it feels like to you when you see a “Cadillac Queen” and gets you in an emotional huff, or just the way it seems to you. That’s fine. State that. But don’t say, “this is a fact” unless you can support it with evidence.

    I can respect and take seriously the person who says “I know it may just be the people I see, but it seems to me that 90% of the poor people I see – mostly in passing – are making bad decisions that lead to their poverty…” That is a person honestly reporting their feelings and their observations and I won’t tell them they’re wrong. But to CONFLATE that tiny big of anecdotal evidence to a real world fact, that is what is dishonorable and irrational.

    How many times must that be pointed out?

    If it feels that way to you, say “it feels that way to me…” but don’t make it a claim that you can’t support. It makes you out to be ignorant and arrogant.

    ~Dan

  92. paynehollow says:

    Glenn, if you can ever offer some actual scientific research/studies to support your views, I’d be glad to read them. Offering up a bunch of religious zealots who hate the idea of mental health to support your bias against it is not compelling.

    I mean, we could spend all day offering up nonsense website that will attest to all sorts of views, but that would not make any of them valid.

    Research, evidence, data. If you have none (and some religious zealot – someone who doesn’t even accept most of evangelicals, it sounds like, which makes him sound more like a sect leader, as opposed to even an actual religion… that is NOT evidence. that’s just another guy with an opinion.)

    Research, data, evidence.

    ~Dan

    • Trabue,

      Oh, only religious zealots say the psych field is unscientific?

      Ever hear of E. Fuller Torry? Clinical and research psychiatrist specializing “in schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses” who was special assistant to the Director of the National Institute for Mental Health for five years, has written at least 12 books on the subject, including two that I actually purchased after reading them: “Freudian Fraud: The Malignant Effect of Freud’s Theory on American Thought and Culture,” and “Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists: The Common Roots of Psychotherapy and Its Future.

      Or how about Paul C. Vitz, professor of psychology at New York University, who wrote: Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship.”

      How about Dr. Tana Dineen, who “after thirty years in the profession, has written an unflinching critique of Psychology.” The book in my hand is “Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People.”

      I could go on, but I’ve got better things to do that trying to correct an unteachable fool.

      • Richard Nash says:

        I call bullshit……….there way too much success in the initials after their names. They probably went to those Ivy League bastions of baby eating and America hating.

        I can’t trust them as sources Glenn. I never trust authors. They always have an agenda.

        Just more religious right, wing, indoctrinated, hollow point making from a biased source.

        I can’t believe how gullible you are. Do you fall for every gimmick that comes along. Proof positive that you can lead a conservative to information, but you can’t make them smart.

  93. “…against the claim that “the gays can’t be monogamous…”

    Dan,

    the fact that you’re big gotcha moment here is to use anecdotal evidence to counter a claim that no one made is priceless. To be sure I certainly didn’t. I know you have trouble distinguishing between different people who disagree with you, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that I have never made that claim, nor do I recall seeing in in any comment thread I’ve been a part of. As always, if you can offer evidence (actual quotes with actual links should be fine) that someone actually made that claim, I’ll gladly adjust my view on this. The claim that I made, was/is that a significant number of homosexuals are intent on redefining monogamy and have provided multiple sources to support this claim.

    So, now that we’ve disposed of that bit of foolishness, and I’m not going to keep pointing out that I am not Glenn, and that some overlap in experience does not require me to defend every statement he makes.

    Perhaps you’d care to try for something a bit less nit picky and a bit more substantive, there’s plenty for you to choose from.

    Although, as usual, I’ll answer your questions.

    “How is that for dismissing science?”

    Well actually, it’s not.

    “Where has Glenn NOT dismissed science?”

    I don’t know, you made the claim, it seems the onus should be on you to make the case.

    “He does not believe in mental illness!!”

    Can you point out to me where a belief in mental illness is required to accept science?

    “How’s that for an example?”

    Not very good as you have not made the case that belief in mental illness is required to affirm science.

    “As to dismissing Godliness, I think it is a way of dismissing Godliness when you reject science, as if Godliness is equal to ignorance.”

    So, when you said that Glenn rejected science, you were actually just stating your unsupported opinion. It’s fine if you want to have that sort of opinion, but as you have demonstrated, you really have no support. Perhaps had Glenn rejected cleanliness, which as we all know, the Bible says in next to Godliness, then you might have had a point. But he didn’t and you don’t. It would appear that you are putting “science” and “Godliness” on some sort of co equal footing. As if rejecting science automatically means you reject God. Please tell me that is not what you are saying. Please.

    If you want to discuss substance, feel free, if not I’m probably done here. Unless I decide to search out a quote that demonstrates Dan’s inconsistency.

    Do you think that sort of arrogance (in stating unequivocally that you can not be mistaken) is not a way of rejecting godliness?

  94. That didn’t take long.

    The first quote is a comment from another comment thread. It is clear that the commenter does NOT say “the gays can’t be monogamous…”, the quote is as follows.

    “The biggest problem is that these “loving, committed, marriage relationships” are largely a myth.”

    Dan’s response it not to cite studies, science and empirical evidence. He goes straight to anecdotal based on a very small sample.

    “I’ll tell that to the elderly grandmother who is a deacon at my church and her partner of 20 years. I’ll tell that to my other gay and lesbian friends who are in their 5th, 10th, 15th years of marriage. I’ll tell that to my gay and lesbian friends who are in their fifth, sixth, tenth year of raising happy, wonderful, delightful, well-behaved children.”

    Really, one instance should be sufficient to make the point. But…

    A bit later we find this comment.

    “Perhaps instead of relying on your close knit group of people you know to guide your impression of a larger group, you could try to disprove my contention with contrary data.”

    Seems to be a reasonable request for some “science” or “research” Perhaps instead of relying on your close knit group of people you know to guide your impression of a larger group, you could try to disprove my contention with contrary data. Again no suggestion that “the gays can’t be monogamous…”, just a request for something less anecdotal.

    If one has paid attention to Dan’s comments in this thread, you would expect some links to studies, maybe some peer reviewed journal articles, are some hard scientific data. Instead we get this.

    “I’ve given you REAL WORLD data – real people, Sunday school teachers, deacons, parents, friends, workers who are living in faithful, loving, committed marriage relationships and you said that they were lying and having affairs.”

    I could be wrong, but it seems as though Dan (in this context at least) considers anecdotal evidence to be the equivalent of “real world data”. To be fair, I’ll grant that Dan’s observation of people he knows does constitute “real world data”. The problem is that no one else has any way to evaluate that data. No scientific studies, no peer reviewed articles, nothing. Just “Because I say so.”.

    Does anyone really think “Because I say so.” is acceptable in any context? From anybody?

    There you go.

    As an aside, it seems like the US legal system refers to anecdotal observational evidence as something called eyewitness testimony. Not to say that all eyewitness testimony is always 100% correct, because it certainly isn’t, but the legal system seems to give anecdotal observations much more weight that some folks around here.

  95. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    when you said that Glenn rejected science, you were actually just stating your unsupported opinion.

    No, when I said he rejected science, I was speaking of him REJECTING the science of mental health studies. He DOES NOT believe in the concept of mental health? How is that NOT a rejection of science, or do YOU not believe that there is such a thing as mental health?

    Ya know what? I’m done playing with the children, fellas. If and when you have EVEN ONE bit of serious adult research (hint: A made up religious study is not serious research) to support your claims, come talk to me. In the meantime, you’re welcome to whatever nutty opinions you want to hold.

    ~Dan

  96. Dan,

    You are still asking for evidence I’ve already provided. Obviously, links are pointless if when provided in response to demands from people like you, they are ignored and not read. So, from the link I provided already, I present the following:

    Addressing the Causes, Not Merely the Symptoms, of Poverty

    A major element in the declining capacity for self-support is the collapse of marriage in low-income communities. As the War on Poverty expanded benefits, welfare began to serve as a substitute for a husband in the home, and low-income marriage began to disappear. When Johnson launched the War on Poverty, 7 percent of American children were born out of wedlock. Today, the number is over 40 percent. As married fathers disappeared from the home, the need for more welfare to support single mothers increased. The War on Poverty created a destructive feedback loop: Welfare undermined marriage, and this generated a need for more welfare.

    Today, out-of-wedlock childbearing—with the resulting growth of single-parent homes—is the most important cause of child poverty. (Out-of-wedlock childbearing is not the same thing as teen pregnancy; the overwhelming majority of non-marital births occur to young adult women in their early twenties, not to teenagers in high school.) If poor women who give birth outside of marriage were married to the fathers of their children, two-thirds would immediately be lifted out of poverty.[52] Roughly 80 percent of all long-term poverty occurs in single-parent homes.

    Despite the dominant role of the decline of marriage in child poverty, this issue is taboo in most anti-poverty discussions. The press rarely mentions out-of-wedlock childbearing. Far from reducing the main cause of child poverty, the welfare state cannot even acknowledge its existence.

    The second major cause of child poverty is lack of parental work. Even in good economic times, the average poor family with children has only 800 hours of total parental work per year—the equivalent of one adult working 16 hours per week. The math is fairly simple: Little work equals little income, which equals poverty. If the amount of work performed by poor families with children was increased to the equivalent of one adult working full time throughout the year, the poverty rate among these families would drop by two-thirds.”

    The above describes two major causes of poverty and each one is reflective of choices made. Note particularly the end of the second paragraph. “If poor women who give birth outside of marriage were married to the fathers of their children, two-thirds would immediately be lifted out of poverty. “Two-thirds” sounds like “most” to me. And that’s among ALL women who CHOSE to engage in sexual intercourse and then CHOSE to have the child. “Roughly 80 percent of all long-term poverty occurs in single-parent homes.” Are you going to try to insist that this 80% consists mostly of women who were forced to conceive and keep children? If you can’t prove that, then the obvious reality is that they chose to both engage in procreative activity and then keep a child they could not afford to have. Those are choices that CAUSED their poverty.

    The second major cause is more debatable, but one thing is clear: what one does when one’s back is against the wall is a matter of choice. In my line of work, I’ve met many people that work two or more jobs. These people know they could choose to try and get by on the income from only one of those jobs. They choose to provide. Sure, and this is where the debate can be had (if anyone would take the other side), some people do indeed seek second jobs, or better jobs than they have, without success. But this is generally temporary and/or based on their intestinal fortitude in persevering until they get what they need. Among those working few hours, we can add those who won’t take any job that doesn’t pay what they believe is good enough, or won’t take jobs they feel is beneath them, as if in either case they would need to remain in that job forever. Choices.

    Now if you can provide any cause of poverty that wasn’t impacted by choices, bring it. Otherwise your demand for evidence from this side has been accommodated and further demands a sign of willful dishonesty.

    Oh, and just for grins, I will offer that anyone who is below the poverty line, as defined by the gov’t, who voted for Democrats, have indeed chosen to have the worst possible people deciding economic policy that leads to hard times.

  97. paynehollow says:

    Okay, look, since Craig went to the effort to try (albeit fail) to support his point, I’ll stay long enough to show him his mistake. Craig…

    “The biggest problem is that these “loving, committed, marriage relationships” are largely a myth.”

    Dan’s response it not to cite studies, science and empirical evidence. He goes straight to anecdotal based on a very small sample.

    “I’ll tell that to the elderly grandmother who is a deacon at my church and her partner of 20 years. I’ll tell that to my other gay and lesbian friends who are in their 5th, 10th, 15th years of marriage. I’ll tell that to my gay and lesbian friends who are in their fifth, sixth, tenth year of raising happy, wonderful, delightful, well-behaved children.”

    Follow and understand:

    1. The point of “largely a myth” is to suggest that gay folk can’t, as a rule, be monogamous. Using the language of “myth” is usually a way (at least amongst conservatives) of denigrating the advocates of a position, to suggest that the position is akin to fairy tales rather than reality.

    2. I demonstrated not only can gay folk be monogamous (and that is really debasing for me to even have to say that and I probably shouldn’t play into the hands of bigots, but I’ll presume the bigotry is from ignorance), but that ADMITTEDLY ANECDOTALLY speaking, many gay folk are quite committed in beautiful long-term marriage relationships.

    3. SO (and this is the point, so follow closely): I repudiated the “myth” of “gay monogamy being mythical” by offering multiple examples. “MYTHICAL” means fictional, non-existent, by even just a few anecdotal examples, I debunk the “myth” myth.

    4. I did not stop there, though. I went on to cite a recent survey that showed that lesbian couples are more faithfully monogamous than straight men and that non-monogamy rates amongst gay men is on the increase.

    5. Thus, I used anecdote to debunk the “myth” myth, but I did not leave it there. That was just a starting place. I went on to cite a study that supported my anecdotal observations.

    6. Since I have never said that anecdotal stories don’t matter (indeed, I CLAIMED THE OPPOSITE – that no one can say Glenn’s anecdotal stories aren’t real…), I just stated the obvious: that they are not objective, scholarly evidence.

    Do you disagree with my actual point, or do you want to bluster some more?

    ~Dan

  98. Craig, whose comment got in before my last, makes a good point regarding when anecdotal evidence if valid for use in a blog discussion. But I haven’t offered anecdotal evidence. I’ve offered the truth that cannot be refuted. That is to say, if it can be refuted, then there must be some evidence to the contrary that counters the position that most people in poverty are victims of their own choices.

    Last week, we had some serious weather conditions in our state that resulted in tornadoes touching down and destroying homes. Some of these residents, no doubt, will be experiencing hard financial times even if they had solid homeowners policies to guard against such property damage. But to the extent that this suffering might manifest, how much less would that suffering exist if over the last ten years one deposited $10 dollars per week into an emergency fund? $5200 (plus interest) less suffering, that’s how much. Only ten dollars per week! It only gets better for every penny over $10 that is deposited. That would be a choice that isn’t made by most people who eventually will find themselves in poverty.

    I’ve related my own story before as regards our lame savings plan (lame by my standards, but surprisingly brilliant compared to what the average American does) and how much it helped to have done so when I got laid off in Dec of ’08. I can’t tell you how sorry I was that I didn’t choose to do more. We are ALL OF US victims or beneficiaries of our choices and actions. What idiot demands proof for such obvious truth? (Rhetorical question)

  99. “No, when I said he rejected science, I was speaking of him REJECTING the science of mental health studies.”

    You must realize that “science” is a much broader term than just “mental health studies”, therefore it is possible to reject “mental health studies” without rejecting “science”.

    As far as Dan’s pathetic attempt to walk back his problems.
    1. You’ve been shown multiple sources that confirm this attitude towards monogamy in much of the gay community. You haven’t actually provided anything to refute them. You haven’t demonstrated that ANYONE has actually said “the gays can’t be monogamous…”. I’m not sure how you imputing meaning that isn’t there to others words helps the situation at all.

    2. Since no one has suggested that “the gays can’t be monogamous…”, you continue to argue against a position no one holds. I grant that it is an easy way to win the argument, it’s just not rational to keep insisting that anyone has made the argument you are arguing against without a quote and a link to demonstrate that this argument exists outside your own imagination. It should be so simple, yet, we see no evidence.

    3. Again, the fact that there is plenty of evidence to support the actual contention being made, is obscured by this smoke screen. NO ONE is saying “the gays can’t be monogamous…”. What is and has been said and supported with evidence is that there is a significant movement within the gay community to redefine monogamy. Again, the fact that you ignore the actual supported position being taken, instead countering a position that has not been advanced makes me wonder about how rational you actually are.

    4. Yes, you did finally cite one study, that doesn’t actually conflict with the actual point that was advanced. Since NO ONE is suggesting that gay monogamy is impossible, then a study that doesn’t dispute the actual position that was advocated doesn’t help you clear that low bar you set for yourself.

    5. My you like to repeat yourself, don’t you. It seems as though you think repeating something often enough makes it true.

    6. To be fair, you have never that I know of used the words “anecdotal stories don’t matter”, you and others have simply ridiculed Glenn’s experience as of little or no value. I simply hope that you could be as respectful of others anecdotal experience as you are of your own.

    I completely agree with your actual point. You have stunningly, decisively, repetitively and with detailed supporting evidence dismantled a position that NO ONE has ever actually advocated. If that’s all it takes to cheer you up, that’s kind of sad.

    Now, if you’d like to challenge that point that was made, great. Although it really is just going further off topic.

    I seem to remember that you’ve used your small group of gay friends as reason to ignore other issues in the gay community. Here’s another strike against domestic bliss in the gay community. One you probably can’t dismiss as some fringe right wing religious fanatic.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/a-same-sex-domestic-violence-epidemic-is-silent/281131/

  100. Marshall,

    Spot on with your last two posts. The fact that the three biggest predictors of poverty are all things that can be mitigated or avoided by choice, seems to get ignored around here quite a lot. I’d think that people would be ecstatic to find a way the would raise such a substantial amount of people out of poverty, with a negligible financial cost.

    Also, choices cut both ways. I’ve seen poor people make horrible choices and pay the price, I’ve also seen the satisfaction that comes when they make wise choices and have a positive result.

  101. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    You must realize that “science” is a much broader term than just “mental health studies”, therefore it is possible to reject “mental health studies” without rejecting “science”.

    Just as an aside, there’s also Glenn’s embrace of a six day creation that occurred 6000 years ago (presumably, this is what Glenn believes). So that means he also rejects geology, biology, archeology and physics, for starters. Add that to the mental health sciences.

    How many different fields of science must Glenn reject before we can reasonably say that he rejects science?

    (Oh, but it’s okay, because he’s probably certified in “creationism” – having a certificate on his wall and several books he’s read on the topic…)

    ~Dan

    • there’s also Glenn’s embrace of a six day creation that occurred 6000 years ago (presumably, this is what Glenn believes). So that means he also rejects geology, biology, archeology and physics, for starters. Add that to the mental health sciences.

      Dan is about as ignorant, and just plain stupid, as it gets. And he is a bald-faced liar with his claims about what I believe.

      To cite Ken Ham,
      [He] illustrates clearly he doesn’t comprehend the origins issue and understand the obvious difference between historical science (knowledge concerning the past–origins–or origin science) and operational science (knowledge based upon observations in the present that can be repeatably tested).”

      Ken was talking about another fool, Bill Nye, but the citation is just as applicable to fool Dan.

      Oh, and there is no such thing as “mental health science.” Dan just made that one up. People who talk about “mental health” just prove they don’t understand what the mind is, and think it’s part of the brain. INTANGIBLE – Something intangible can’t have any health issues. Common sense says that, but brainwashing psychobabblers have gotten everyone to believe that the Emperor has new clothes!

      (Oh, but it’s okay, because he’s probably certified in “creationism” – having a certificate on his wall and several books he’s read on the topic…)

      More proof of Trabue’s stupidity and rank foolishness. Just because he is ignorant of about a subject, he thinks anyone who doesn’t agree with him is an idiot.

  102. A little obsessed with being right about something, huh?

  103. paynehollow says:

    Just answering your question, providing, you know, actual support for a position. And I will note that, rather than back down on your support for Glenn, you try to make it about me.

    Funny. Sad.

    ~Dan

  104. Dan,

    I believe that you are a reasonably intelligent person, which is why I don’t understand why you can’t understand that just because someone doesn’t accept certain aspects of “science”, doesn’t mean that they reject all science.

    I will note that I have intentionally not been supportive of Glenn, and that I have intentionally focused on your inconsistencies.

    As always, I’d be happy to pursue in depth some of the substantive issues, but as long as your going to simply argue against a position that no one has taken, and keep clinging to the illusion that you are able to accurately discern the extent of someone else’s beliefs about something I’m not sure what you hope to gain.

  105. Readers might be interested in a conversation from a few years back, where Dan Trabue attempted to argue that belief in young-earth creationism disqualifies a person from being an expert on energy.

    http://pearlsandlodestones.blogspot.com/2008/10/light-of-ignorance-in-dark-dark-world.html

    I asked Dan whether a belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus likewise disqualifies a person from being an expert on medical science. He asserted that there was some sort of important distinction between the two claims, and you can read for yourself just how clear he was in describing that distinction.

    I think the “anti-science” card is a crock; it may be politically useful, but it’s untrue, and it’s a hypocritical accusation from Leftists who insist that murdering a child in utero is just a routine medical procedure and that the two sexes aren’t complementary. But it’s also the sort of tactic that an orthodox Christian couldn’t use with any consistency, because our faith is built on claims of the miraculous, claims that this tactic would prompt a person to dismiss as “anti-science.”

  106. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    just because someone doesn’t accept certain aspects of “science”, doesn’t mean that they reject all science.

    And I believe you to be a reasonably intelligent person, Craig. Which is why I would think you could understand that I never said that Glenn rejected “all science.” He rejects a LOT of basic science, but I never said he rejects it all. IN FACT, if you look at my words, you can see where I clearly acknowledged that he at the very least accepted basic medical science (ie, the stuff he needs to keep him from dying young – the stuff that actually impacts his life directly and which he can’t deny and live as well for as long).

    So clearly, based on my actual words, I never said or suggested that Glenn rejects all science. He rejects science that does not fit within his cultural and religious paradigms, but not all science.

    You all would do much better if you’d stick to just what someone has said and not tried to infer meaning that isn’t said. You just aren’t that good at it.

    According to the evidence.

    ~Dan

  107. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I think the “anti-science” card is a crock; it may be politically useful, but it’s untrue,

    If you have any evidence that when you reject much of basic biology, geology, astronomy, mental health, etc you can still be “pro-science” we could entertain the idea, but without evidence, I don’t see why the “anti-science” card is problematic.

    Bubba…

    because our faith is built on claims of the miraculous, claims that this tactic would prompt a person to dismiss as “anti-science.”

    My faith is built upon a believe in Grace and Love and the God of Grace and Love, not on claims of the miraculous. The belief that there are some things beyond our understanding is not in any way “anti-science,” it’s just an acknowledgement of reality. But regardless, my faith is not built upon claims of the miraculous. It is built upon Grace. Love. God. You know, Christianity, not voodoo.

    ~Dan

  108. Craig, Trabue is technically correct – he did not say I reject ALL sciences, he said:
    “he also rejects geology, biology, archeology and physics, for starters.”

    Of course that is a bald-faced lie, because I accept geology (just now forensic geology which is based on assumptions and speculations), I accept real biology (not evolutionary biology, which again is based on assumptions and speculations), I accept archaeology (except where they come up with assumed dates to fit their evolutionary bias) and I have yet to see any physics I disagree with. And of course, as noted above, there is no such thing as “mental health sciences” because that is a made up idea which doesn’t understand that which can’t be seen or touched in any way somehow can healthy or unhealthy.

    Dan says, about me, “he rejects a lot of basic science.” Well, I don’t reject any basic science – you know, real science and not evolutionary historic science which is based on assumptions and speculations.

    Dan is just a liar, out and out. And his “faith” is built upon his own self as the final arbiter of what Scripture says, rejecting thousands of years of scholarship when it doesn’t agree with his ideology.

  109. Dan,

    My faith is built upon a believe [sic] in Grace and Love and the God of Grace and Love, not on claims of the miraculous. The belief that there are some things beyond our understanding is not in any way ‘anti-science,’ it’s just an acknowledgement of reality. But regardless, my faith is not built upon claims of the miraculous. It is built upon Grace. Love. God. You know, Christianity, not voodoo.

    THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF JESUS OF NAZARETH: Is this event not a miracle, or is not an essential part of Christianity? Or are those who believe that our faith is vain without the Resurrection still affirming Christianity, or have we drifted off into the realm of voodoo?

    I believe Christians — authentic Christians, redundantly described as orthodox and biblical — believe in the God of Grace and Love who raised Jesus from the dead. It seems you disagree.

  110. BTW, Thomas Sowell addressed the main point of this thread today.

    “Those who want to ‘spread the wealth’ almost invariably seek to concentrate the power. It happens too often, and in too many different countries around the world, to be a coincidence. Which is more dangerous, inequalities of wealth or concentrations of power?

    http://spectator.org/articles/56793/random-thoughts

  111. paynehollow says:

    Concentrations of wealth will always lead to inequalities of wealth AND power. Seems to me.

    And, since John is awol, I’ll answer this quickly…

    I believe Christians — authentic Christians, redundantly described as orthodox and biblical — believe in the God of Grace and Love who raised Jesus from the dead. It seems you disagree.

    No, I don’t. The way you can tell I don’t is by the way I never said that, nor hinted at it.

    The key phrase, above, is saying our faith is “built upon miracles…” I repeat what Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah…”

    MY faith is NOT “built upon” a framework dependent upon signs, wonders and miracles. Rather MY faith – Christian faith – is based upon – “built upon” – Grace, the grace of God, the love and forgiveness of God. Do I believe that Jesus is the son of God, crucified and risen? Yes, as I have oft noted and repeated for the Interrogators. But my faith is BUILT UPON God’s amazing grace and forgiveness. Do I disagree that God is a God of grace and love who rose from the dead? No, of course not. I’ve always attested to my belief in the risen Christ. But there’s a difference between merely affirming history and that foundation, which is found in God’s grace through Jesus, the Christ.

    ~Dan

  112. Concentrations of wealth will always lead to inequalities of wealth AND power. Seems to me.

    And yet the Left consistently proposes ever greater concentrations of power to address the problems inherent with concentrations of wealth. It’s almost as if they’re not concerned with amassing power, per se, so long as they approve of who wields that power.

  113. Dan, citing the “sign of Jonah” is a bizarre thing to do if the point is to emphasize God’s grace over the particular miracle I’ve been focusing on, because what else could that “sign of Jonah” be alluding to EXCEPT the Resurrection?

    That couldn’t be clearer in the rest of the passage you cite, in what you omit with your ellipses.

    “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – Mt 12:39b-40

    You say, “Do I believe that Jesus is the son of God, crucified and risen? Yes, as I have oft noted and repeated for the Interrogators.”

    You say, “I’ve always attested to my belief in the risen Christ.”

    Great! But your original reply is incomprehensible to me in light of that attestation.

    The belief that there are some things beyond our understanding is not in any way ‘anti-science,’ it’s just an acknowledgement of reality.

    What does that have to do with anything, unless you affirm the incarnation and bodily Resurrection but discount its miraculous nature? Do you think that those historical events, GOD BECOMING MAN and that man returning to vitality after being scourged and crucified and impaled, are merely “beyond our understanding” but NOT contrary to science?

    And what the hell was that “voodoo” business about, if you affirm the Incarnation and the bodily Resurrection? If it’s fine to affirm the Resurrection, is it superstition to believe, as Christ’s hand-picked apostle authoritatively taught, that our faith is in vain without it?

    • I’ve always attested to my belief in the risen Christ.

      The problem with Trabue’s statement here is that any Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness will say the exact same thing. The real problem with the LDS, JW and Trabue is that the Christ they claim to follow is NOT the Christ of the Bible. The Christ of the Bible, i.e., the REAL Jesus Christ, would NEVER approve of homosexual behavior in any way, shape, or form, while Trabue’s Christ approves of homosexual behavior between “committed couples.”

      The Christ of the Bible would NEVER approve of person A stealing from person B and giving it to person C as so as to distribute wealth “equally.” The Christ of the Bible would NEVER approve of abortion for ANY reason. Etc, etc. Trabue’s ideology does not fit with the teaching of the biblical Christ, ergo his “Christ” is the same one the LDS and JWs worship – an idol of their own making.

  114. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    yet the Left consistently proposes ever greater concentrations of power to address the problems inherent with concentrations of wealth.

    Who? When? Any more left-leaning groups I’m aware of are all about dispersing power to the people, removing it from both political and corporate entities.

    Glenn…

    The Christ of the Bible, i.e., the REAL Jesus Christ, would NEVER approve of homosexual behavior in any way, shape

    Begging the question. Logical fallacy. Sorry, you lose. Try again, though.

    ~Dan

    • Me: The Christ of the Bible, i.e., the REAL Jesus Christ, would NEVER approve of homosexual behavior in any way, shape…

      Dan: Begging the question. Logical fallacy. Sorry, you lose. Try again, though.

      Um, no it isn’t begging the question, and ergo not a logic fallacy. YOU are the loser. YOU are the one who begs the question when you take YOUR bias to the Scripture and practice eisegesis with it.

      Anyone with any honesty in reading the text will come to the same conclusion Christians and Jews have come to for thousands of years before perverts and their enablers decided we were all wrong and you perverts and enablers suddenly found the “true” meaning – that God and Christ don’t have a problem with homosexual behavior if it is within the confines of a “committed relationship.”

      When you ascribe to the Holy Spirit that which is of Satan (i.e., approval of homosexual behavior), you blaspheme Him and commit the unpardonable sin.

  115. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    And what the hell was that “voodoo” business about, if you affirm the Incarnation and the bodily Resurrection?

    I point again to my original comment: MY faith is NOT built on “signs and wonders and miracles…” As Jesus noted, demanding that is a sign of a wicked and adulterous generation. My faith is built upon the foundation of grace and love and forgiveness.

    Do you see the difference? I believe in allowing for mystery, I believe in the incarnation, in Jesus’ resurrection, BUT my faith is not founded upon the miraculous, but upon grace.

    Now do you see?

    ~Dan

  116. paynehollow says:

    So, Glenn, if you are mistaken (and you factually are) about my faith, my Christianity, my love for and devotion to Jesus my savior, and you are ascribing to me that I am part of the “Father of lies,” then does that mean that you are committing the unpardonable sin and blaspheming?

    I’d be careful, if I were you.

    As to your false and unsupported claim, THE WORST you can claim about me is that I am mistaken. IF I have made a mistake in my understanding, then it is one made in sincerity. I TRULY BELIEVE that God loves us all, gay or straight, and that God actually supports two folk committing together in a loving, faithful marriage relationship. Because whatsoever things are good, true, noble and loving, these ARE good things.

    Now, if it turns out I am mistaken about that, then I made a mistake in good faith, trying sincerely to follow God. God does NOT condemn people for making sincere mistakes. I have NOT ascribed to God that which is of Satan, I have been mistaken about a behavior. You certainly are mistaken about behaviors, too, Glenn, none of us have all knowledge and all knowledge is not necessary for salvation, for it is by GRACE that we are saved, not our works or knowledge. Thanks be to God.

    So, if it turns out I’m mistaken, I have factually not ascribed to God what is of the devil, I was mistaken about a behavior. BUT, if you have ascribed to Satan, “Dan” who is of God, well, that certainly does sound much more like blasphemy, to me.

    Careful, brother.

    My point stands: Your silly claim is a logical fallacy. We can’t entertain the question, “Does God support marriage between gays?” and answer, “We know God doesn’t support it the “real Jesus would never approve of it…” That’s a circular and unsupported claim. Begging the question. Logical fallacy. Lose, sorry. Next.

    ~Dan

    • God does indeed care if you worship and idol by mistake. There are no “mistakes” when you worship a false god.

      You declare innocence by the “what if” it’s just a mistake. You KNOW it isn’t a mistake, because you have been correct too many times by too many people who you ignore because only YOU have the truth. You ignore the teaching of the Jews and Christians for thousands of years and then dare to claim that God would just see it as a “mistake”!?!?

      Circular reasoning, i.e. begging the question, means you prove what you already assert without any evidence other than assertion. Christians don’t just assert that God would not approve of same sex fake marriage – the proof is in the Bible which in every passage discussing homosexual behavior condemns it in no uncertain terms. You deceive yourself so you can justify your position, and claim that no one really knows what the Bible says about homosexual behavior, with the stupid claims about how the O.T. is only referring to homosexual behavior in the context of idolatry. Thousands of years of Jewish and Christian teachings are all wrong because modern day liberal homosexual enablers claim we have misunderstood these passages all this time. It is you who assert your position without any evidence except assertions.

      YOU always lose when you start talking about logic fallacies. In fact, you are a logic fallacy in and of yourself!

      You have demonstrated in your many comments on many blogs that much of your doctrinal ideas are heretical, let alone just unorthodox. You are not a brother in Christ.
      As with LDS and JWs you have made up a Christ and god to fit your ideology and are therefore an idolater.

      My proof is in your own words when compare to the true understanding of the Scripture. My proof is the many witnesses on the many blogs you post on, witnesses who have pointed out many of your heretical teaching, including all the stuff on my favorite post about you:

      http://wolfsheep2.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/false-teacher-profile-updated/

      I’m very careful – you worship a false Christ and a false god and blaspheme the Holy Spirit every time you say God approves of homosexual behavior in any fashion.

      End of conversation. I’m tired of wasting my time with your foolishness, which has been responded to an innumerable amount of times by many bloggers, all the while you keep acting as if you’ve never been given the information, that you’ve never been understood, that you are surprised, etc.

      You are an unteachable heretic and false teacher, and I wipe the dust of YOU off my shoes.

  117. paynehollow says:

    Glenn…

    You KNOW it isn’t a mistake, because you have been correct too many times by too many people who you ignore because only YOU have the truth.

    Again, I am simply appealing to the facts of the case. Factually speaking, I do NOT “know” that I’m mistaken. Indeed, I’m quite sure that you are mistaken and you are the one calling “unholy” that which is pure, lovely, grace-full and Of God. You can call me mistaken, but you can’t say I don’t believe what I believe.

    And, as you have in no way demonstrated that you are using anything other than the logical fallacy of “question begging” to prove your point, you continue to fail to make your case, only undermining by holding on to this irrational fallacy “proof…”

    ~Dan

    • Dan, again you are a liar in denial.

      It is NOT “question begging” to say what the Bible says. You really are getting to be a first class pain in the …..

      You just demonstrate your foolishness to call it begging the question. You have no clue what that means.

      I can say what you believe base on your own words which contradict Scripture.

      You unteachable liberal heretic! Get behind me Satan!

  118. Dan:

    “Any more left-leaning groups I’m aware of are all about dispersing power to the people, removing it from both political and corporate entities.”

    I never know how to respond to such obviously absurd comments like this.

    Anyway, merely repeating what you wrote earlier doesn’t help clarify what you meant by it.

    You now write, “I believe in allowing for mystery, I believe in the incarnation, in Jesus’ resurrection, BUT my faith is not founded upon the miraculous, but upon grace.”

    Clearly, the Incarnation is miraculous and not just mysterious, and it seems that (once again) you affirm a belief in these doctrines but NOT in the necessities of these doctrines.

    The chasm between your position and the Apostles’ couldn’t be more clear: Paul taught that our faith is in vain if Christ wasn’t raised, and John taught that the spirit of antichrist denies the incarnation, but you evidently don’t think those claims really matter.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the gist of your position would be that nothing would change for you if the body of the merely human Jesus of Nazareth decomposed nearly twenty centuries ago.

    You might think that your position is “deep” (as opposed to shallow) and the sort of sober faith that doesn’t require miracles. I think that conclusion is self-serving, but I believe what is beyond dispute is that that position isn’t Christian.

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