Liberal memes debunked: Drug testing for welfare

feeding 5000

The meme misses that there was a much broader purpose to Jesus feeding the masses. But aside from the theological reasons behind his feeding them, Jesus wasn’t providing social welfare.  There had been gathered a large group of people to whom he was preaching.  Nothing about the passage suggests those in attendance were poverty stricken and that Jesus was providing their nutrition for them.

Notice also that the fish and bread given to the masses was provided by Jesus himself.  He didn’t look to someone else or some other entity to provide the meals at his behest.  The political left tends to find a cause that “someone needs to do something about” then uses the government to tax the employed to reallocate their money.  In other words, the people in attendance weren’t given fish and bread that was taken from productive fishermen and bakers.

I’m OK with drug testing for government assistance even if the cost isn’t offset.  Studies I’ve seen show about 2% of applicants tested fail the drug tests.  To the political left, this translates to a witch hunt on the poor.  However, I think it is just as reasonable, if not more so, that prospective applicants who know they’ll fail don’t even apply which accounts for the decrease in enrollment numbers.  Although, rather than testing every applicant, I think you could achieve the same desired results by random drug screening using a lottery system using birth dates or Social Security numbers.

However, I think it’d be more productive, though more cost prohibitive, to test for tobacco and alcohol.  The daily costs of cigarette use and the frivolous non-essentiality of recreational alcohol use is enough cover the supplement they receive from the taxpayer.  The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is more than $6.  The average smoker smokes at least a pack a day ($180 in a month) that doubles with multiple smokers in the home, which is very common.  Nearly a third of those in poverty, and thus receiving taxpayer funds, are smokers.

Opposing drug testing for welfare recipients is politically expedient, not caring.

Comments

  1. I guess the Dem meme would say “let Cesar feed em” .

  2. paynehollow says:

    You may or may not have a point on the issue of “letting Caesar feed them…” and drug-testing people (poor or rich) who receive gov’t dollars, but the point of the meme, it would appear to me, is simply this: Quit talking trash about the poor. Quit assuming the worst of them. Quit treating them as if they are poor by their choice. We are to love the poor, Jesus taught us quite clearly, not treat them like dirt.

    THAT point, it seems to me, is solid and rational and moral.

    ~Dan

    • Plain and simple, Jesus said to give to those who ask, and to expect nothing in return. Even the old testament said that a righteous man gives out of his abundance and is not stingy. To whom much is given, much is expected.
      By trying to justify acts of selfishness and greed and callousness toward the needy, you distort the gospel and render it powerless.

  3. Trabue does miss your point, doesn’t he?

    I don’t know of anyone who talks “trash” about the poor, although liberals always talk “trash” about the “rich.”

    Quite a few are indeed “poor by choice” because they are raised to be on the government dole, and are even taught how to remain on it. But liberals don’t want to accept that truth.

    • The “go-to” response is to give an exceptional example, like the war vet who was abandoned and disabled, or the single mother who was left with children and fired. Or the person with a terminal or debilitating illness or injury. They never address the ordinary social program recipient who could work and is able bodied but doesnt – who in my experience in dealing with tens of thousands of the poor, is the mahority of the cases.

  4. paynehollow says:

    Your experience in dealing with “tens of thousands…”? What, praytell, is your experience, John? How do you know the details of their lives and what their abilities and limitations are? With all that experience, you really should publish a peer-reviewed research paper and enlighten folk with your research.

    I’m interested in hearing about this massive experience… It certainly doesn’t match my experience of dealing with/living with/working with the poor for the last ~25 years, but I’d be interested in hearing what you’ve learned.

    The point I was making is, I think, the point of the topical meme: We are to cherish, love, support those in need, not demean, demonize or patronize them.

    ~Dan

    • I know because I have seen them day after day. I know because I talk to them. I kbow because they tell me things about their lives. Over the course of 9 years working in the inner city, you run into many people, more so than just the “folk” from my church.

    • Well Trabue,

      The meme is false anyway, because it LIES about what “Republicans” – let alone normal conservatives – teach about what Jesus would do. And it LIES about what the picture itself portrays. But LIES is what the liberal worldview is all about.

      • So, I think that terms and definers such as ‘liberal’ or ‘republican’ or ‘commie’ are all pretty narrow and not very many people actually wholly fit into any one box (as we are all pretty complex people) BUT if we HAD to define the Jesus described in the bible with current political terms, it would be hard to come up with any other label than Social Democrat. I do not think that you are well served by speaking in hyperbole but it is your life, do as you feel led to do.

        As for me, I will give when asked and not question motive. Mine is to respond to the giving, theirs is to accept the gift and deal with God with their motives. Maybe I am a commie hippie after all.

        Just looked this up:

        Liberal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal
        Wikipedia
        Liberalism, is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism.

        I take it back, I may be a liberal…

  5. paynehollow says:

    Oh, so you mean you walk by tens of thousands of people who you presume to be poor, but you have not really researched tens of thousands of poor folks and what led to their poverty, right? You don’t actually know tens of thousands of poor people, or really anything about their circumstances beyond what you can ascertain by passing by them while living in the inner city? Okay, we can take that for what it’s worth.

    But I hope you recognize that isn’t anything like real research or anything beyond guesswork based on what appears to be extremely scant data.

    I have lived, worked, worshiped and walked through the inner city for ~25 years, now. I have worked directly with dozens of homeless, mentally ill and poor people, having a fairly good knowledge of their circumstances. My wife has had, as her job, working with the homeless and poor in our city and beyond for 25 years. As have many of my friends.
    So, I’m not talking about “just the ‘folk’ from my church…” (although, since my church is made up of, in part, those in poverty and coming from homeless and mentally ill situations, that is not insignificant, either.)

    I’m just saying I hope you can recognize that you walk through the inner city doesn’t really make you any kind of expert on the point. You are welcome to your impressions you get based on your walking past poor people, but I prefer to make decisions based on something more solid than passing impressions.

    ~Dan

    • I work in poverty stricken neighborhoods for 9 years. I do more than walk through the neighborhoods. I talk with the people and I see what they do in theor “spare” time amd what they get for mail.

      You presume too much. Where youve talked to dozens, ive talked to thousands. Your wifes job may have led her to the truly needy. But thats a minute sliver of those taking.

  6. paynehollow says:

    No, I’m sure you have passed by many hundreds, maybe thousands of people. I’m sure you may have talked to several dozen – maybe several hundred people, in passing.

    I’m even sure you may have had indepth conversations with a handful of poor people.

    But none of that is research. None of that is serious study. It’s a passing acquaintance based on, what, minutes of time talking to any one individual?

    What is the longest, most indepth conversation you’ve had with a poor person, John? What did you learn of their background, their financial situation, their disabilities and abilities, debits and resources?

    I would be willing to bet that you have not had that sort of conversation with “tens of thousands” of people, am I correct?

    Look, John, you can agree, at least, that your passing encounters with poor people does not rise to the level of serious research, can’t you?

    That’s all I’m saying. There is a difference between fleeting, casual conversations, even over an entire nine years, and serious research.

    You have not talked to thousands at an indepth, personal, research-level scale, have you? You’re talking about casual conversations that last a minute or two, right?

    That’s okay to admit, it is what it is. Just don’t try to raise that to something beyond just casual conversations.

    ~Dan

    • Come on John – you should know by now that Trabue is an expert on these things and it doesn’t matter how much experience anyone else has had (such as my living in the projects for a few years as a teenager, etc), Trabue always knows more.

      There is no subject in which Trabue is entering discussion that has anyone who knows more than he does – or even close to it. You will never win; he will always one-up you. He is the most educated, most wise, most gracious, most godly, most righteous, more experienced, etc in any subject than anyone he will ever encounter. We must bow before him and give him praise!

  7. paynehollow says:

    Actually, Glenn, I have zero experience having spent a few years as a teenager in a project, so you have that on me.

    But I do have 25+ years of living in and around and literally with homeless and poor people, as do most of the people in my circle of friends. It has taken up a good part of our lives.

    I’m just noting the rather obvious conclusion that 9 years walking past poor people is not research. I’m just noting that John has had only snippets of conversations (it would appear) mostly with complete strangers (or maybe not, he can clarify if he wants) and that does not make for serious research. It’s a passing observation, for what it’s worth.

    And some passing observations can be good and helpful. But they aren’t research, and they aren’t serious study, it’s just passing observations, for what they’re worth.

    Do you think it is the case that my wife’s 25 years of actually working with the poor and homeless is somehow trumped by John passing up poor people and watching them? Do you think John’s 9 years of an occasional conversation with someone for a few minutes surpasses my 25 years of regular work alongside the mentally ill, poor and homeless?

    John is the one that seems intent on devaluing my “dozens” I’ve spoken to, versus his “10s of thousands…” he’s talked to in passing.

    And let’s look at that claim, a minute. Tens of thousands. What? 30,000 people that John has allegedly talked to? If he had a five minute conversation with each of those people, that would be 150,000 minutes, if my math is right. That comes to 2,500 HOURS of “talking to” 30,000 people over nine years. Just under 300 hours a year that John has spent “talking to” 30,000 people. Is that what you’re claiming John?

    And so, you spent 5 minutes talking to each of 3,000 people each and every year? Something like 60 people a week you have this conversation with? Really?

    And what did you learn in talking to those 60 people this week? For five minutes each? Did you learn their background for the ~10 people you talked to today? Their work history? Their medical history? Their psychiatric history? Family difficulties?

    Really?

    John, if you want to do research on the topic, I fully encourage you to do so. Balanced, healthy, unbiased research can always help shine a light on problems. When you do this research, let me know what you’ve learned.

    I just can’t quite swallow the claim or that it has given you some insight that has eluded actual researchers.

    ~Dan

  8. First of all, I give kudos to Glenn for pointing out to Dan the blatant problem with the meme.

    Secondly, as Glenn has also pointed out, Dan wants to believe only his perspective has any validity. It doesn’t matter what life experiences are offered by Glenn, John or Craig who works with likely on average far more needy people in Haiti than could most of us in this country. Only Dan’s perspective is valid. I would wager that one would likely find that Dan, and perhaps his wife and entire congregation (if Dan’s years of commentary can be used as evidence) view those poor as victims regardless of whatever they might say (which actually might cement Dan’s perspective). Dan has listed what he views as “reasons” for the poverty of those he has encountered, when they were clearly examples of choice or the consequences of choice.

    To that end, I will soon be posting a video recently posted at WinteryKnight’s blog (so I’ll be stealing it from him) that should serve as “research” that should satisfy even Dan (I won’t hold my breath).

  9. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    the blatant problem with the meme

    If the message of the meme that the GOP represents the “let’s be mean and rude towards poor people…” party, then you should recognize that, by and large, that is the way many in the GOP come across. If you don’t want to sound like the “we hate the poor” party, you really need to change the way you (the conservative side) tend to express your sentiments towards the poor.

    Perhaps the GOP doesn’t MEAN to sound ugly about poor folk, gay folk, minorities, women, etc… but you all (the conservative side, not you particularly) do come across that way. Perhaps instead of getting defensive and harrumphing, perhaps you’d be better served by learning how to express yourselves in a more rational and compassionate manner.

    Like, for instance, rather than rejecting the message below because of the source, perhaps you could learn because of the facts presented…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/17/poverty-poll_n_5167460.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

    ~Dan

    • Gop comes across like that because people like you interpret everything in the worst possible way. Trying to make sure the welfare process isnt abused is translated into being rude to the poor.

      If the gop has an image problem its because the left has created it for their own purposes, and dishonestly so.

      • Absolutely true and what I would have said had you, John, not done so already. Negative stereotyping of the GOP is the result of negative spin by the left, not the result of anything ever said or proposed by the right.

    • One only need to point to my post asking a simple why black women abort at the highest rates and you jumped in with an interpretation that I suggest “the blacks” are inherently immoral. That is how you and the left operate.

  10. OK, let me get this straight. Dan’s anecdotal experience is to be taken seriously and treated as if it is true, while anyone else’s anecdotal experience is to be minimized and belittled.

  11. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Only Dan’s perspective is valid.

    Again, Glenn’s few years living in a projects give him his own valid impressions. They are valid for him and certainly informative for him.

    John’s walking past poor people daily and engaging in “tens of thousands” of “conversations” are valid for what these fleeting moments are. I’m not saying that Glenn didn’t live where he said he lived or that John doesn’t truly walk past poor people every day (although, I DO question the “tens of thousands” claim, unless he means something much beyond, “hey, how are you doing?” “A’ight, you?” kinds of conversations).

    All I’m saying is that these don’t constitute research or anything much beyond fleeting anecdotal stories, without much adult perspective of depth (no insult to Glenn, but you said you were a teenager, thus, not an adult perspective).

    Further, I would think that if I come from a group of people who have lived amongst, with, besides, worked with, assisted, been assisted by, established relationships with hundreds of poor, homeless and mentally ill folk over 25+ years, that reasonable people could at least respect that there is some significant amount of experience there, more than just fleeting conversations.

    My wife – social worker with the poor for 26 years. Had homeless families living with us for ~5 years.
    My pastor and her husband – worked hand in hand with the homeless, poor and mentally ill on a nearly daily basis for ~30 years. Spent ~5 years living with the poor in a shelter/community.
    Our homeless minister – worked hand in hand with the homeless, poor and mentally ill on a nearly daily basis for ~25 years.
    Our youth minister/school teacher – worked hand in hand with the homeless, poor and mentally ill – especially youth – on a nearly daily basis for ~25 years.
    The ~five people at church who work in the mental health field – worked hand in hand with the homeless, poor and mentally ill on a nearly daily basis for 15-30 years.
    The ~five people at church who work with homeless populations as part of their job – worked hand in hand with the homeless, poor and mentally ill on a nearly daily basis for 10-30 years.
    Almost all of the adults in our church, who have welcomed, talked to, ministered to, worked alongside, supported, had relationships with, etc the homeless, poor and mentally ill on a regular, if not daily basis, for between 10 and 30-ish years.

    …I could go on, pointing to the teachers, the medical field workers, the residents in our urban and often needy neighborhoods, etc. The thing is, there is a wealth of experience here, including some pretty extensive research.

    I’m not denigrating John’s or Glenn’s experiences, just noting that it’s not research or very deep in terms of study, at least by what they’ve said so far.

    I would think that we could all appreciate those who actually work with the poor directly, having relationships with them, knowing them and knowing the circumstances in more than a passing manner. Like Craig, and like the many good, hard-working social workers, ministers, mental health workers, etc at Jeff St.

    ~Dan

    • Dan, you intentionally trivialize what people are saying by reducing it past what it should. I dont merely walk past poor people and have passing conversations. These are people I saw and see every day. They are people who share more than you think.

      But aside from conversations. I see people hanging out, who I know dont work, who I know receive social benefits, who I know brag about it, who I know say TO ME they aint working so long as they get paid.

    • no insult to Glenn, but you said you were a teenager, thus, not an adult perspective

      Only in modern times have “teenagers” (a term developed in the 20th Century) been considered anything but young adults. Some young adults are more mature, discerning, and analytical than others – especially if the others have been treated as children until they are in their mid-20s!

      I submit I was quite intelligent, mature, and discerning as a “teen.” Which is why I chose to NOT join up with the gangs, do the drugs, do illegal acts, etc. It doesn’t take a genius to watch what is going on around him and realize the consequences of such actions will lead to poverty and crime. Which is why I ended up in a different lifestyle than those who remained in that situation by their own choices.

      I have an excellent book for you to read because it spells out the facts from someone who still lives in the “hood.” “The Un-Civil War: Blacks vs Niggers,” by Taleeb Starkes. What he describes is the result of poor choices on the part of the people and the consequences of liberal policies which enable such conditions!

  12. paynehollow says:

    John…

    If the gop has an image problem its because the left has created it for their own purposes, and dishonestly so.

    Then step up and make your case. Unless you think we’re smarter and better at making our case than you are (which I don’t believe), then you should be able to do it. As it is now, the GOP comes across as the Party of Mean, especially as it relates to the poor, the mentally ill and “minorities” which are increasingly, not.

    If you all are failing to convincingly make your case, you can’t blame that on others.

    ~Dan

    • How about YOU step up and speak honestly about those with a different understanding of the issues. YOU speak as how we “come across”. This suggests you understand that how we “come across” is simply a matter of marketing. Fine. Many on the right have issues with conservative leaders getting the message across effectively. But that’s a whole different story than people like you perpetuating what you know is untrue. If you encounter another lefty whining about the GOP being mean, how do you respond? By agreeing, or pointing out what our true positions are. If your crap about having once been conservative is true, then there are two possibilities: you either were the mean spirited a-hole you now presume all of the GOP to be, or you were also put off by the inaccurate accusations leveled at conservatives. If the latter, then why aren’t you defending us as merely having an alternative plan for dealing with the issues of concern to us all?

  13. paynehollow says:

    John…

    you intentionally trivialize what people are saying by reducing it past what it should.

    From my perspective, John, I am merely trying to adjust it to the place it should be. I do that by pointing out it is subjective, fleeting observation – even if on a daily basis over nine years – as opposed to in-depth research.

    From my perspective, you are trying to elevate your slight experience to something more than it should be and I’m just noting, “that ain’t research, it’s fleeting, shallow anecdotal experience, which is not totally invaluable, but it ain’t research.”

    John, do you agree that established, personal relationships are more informative and deeper than passing conversations with strangers on the street? Do you agree that in-depth research is more valuable than casual conversations?

    If so, then that’s all I’m saying. We ought not elevate our personal anecdotes about shallow relationships (and by shallow, I mean nothing insulting, just not very deep or intimately informed) to a researched-level of meaning) to the level of something worthy of basing policy upon.

    ~Dan

  14. paynehollow says:

    John…

    I dont merely walk past poor people and have passing conversations. These are people I saw and see every day. They are people who share more than you think.

    Okay, so make your case.

    This week, you stopped and talked with how many people?

    How many of them were poor? On what do you base this?

    What do you know about their medical conditions? Their mental health conditions? How do you know this?

    How long were your assessments?

    Are you trained professionally to make socio-economic and/or mental/medical health assessments? What are your credentials?

    etc.

    Make your case. Maybe your experiences in talking with “tens of thousands” of “poor people” is not as shallow as it sounds.

    But if you’re just walking past people and making casual conversations in the course of the day, you can’t really expect it to be taken as anything but casual conversations from someone not trained in the areas you are speaking of.

    Again, you can’t blame others if you can’t make your case convincingly.

    ~Dan

  15. “I’m not denigrating John’s or Glenn’s experiences, just noting that it’s not research or very deep in terms of study, at least by what they’ve said so far.”

    I’m not denigrating Dan’s experiences, just noting that it’s not research or very deep in terms of study, at least by what they’ve said so far.

    because, everyone knows, that it is mandatory that someones experiences in a small southern city are representative of the entire country. While John’s or Glenn’s experiences might be valid “for them” they certainly aren’t representative of any larger Truth like Dan’s.

    I’ve listed my experiences with the poor ant marginalized, including intentionally hiring and finding jobs for the homeless and building houses for low income families as well as the millions of dollars and hours my church invests. But, I don;t feel the need to compare and trumpet “my” accomplishments in order to prove a point.

    The point of the post is that the liberal meme doesn’t accurately represent reality. The point of the rest of the thread is that Dan’s anecdotal experiences trump all other experiences and should be treated as though they represent objective reality and can be extrapolated beyond a small part of a small city in the south.

  16. “From my perspective, John, I am merely trying to adjust it to the place it should be. I do that by pointing out it is subjective, fleeting observation – even if on a daily basis over nine years – as opposed to in-depth research.”

    John, we must adjust things, your experience is shallow and fleeting, while Dan’s os in depth research.

    “From my perspective, you are trying to elevate your slight experience to something more than it should be and I’m just noting, “that ain’t research, it’s fleeting, shallow anecdotal experience, which is not totally invaluable, but it ain’t research.””

    While, obviously, Dan is not trying to elevate his experience to something more than it is,, While, his experience is certainly not anything bit research.

    John, how silly of you, not to simply accept one link to a HuffPo piece as the unbiased objective well researched study that is clearly must be. How could anyone accuse the HuffPO folks of being biased in any possible way.

  17. paynehollow says:

    Again, make your case, if you can. I’m telling you that many in the GOP comes across to an increasingly larger percentage of people as being mean-spirited about the poor and other marginalized. This is not something that we find – at all – in Jesus’ teachings.

    IF your side wants to not sound like you are anti-poor, I’d suggest an end to the “it’s their own fault their poor” sort of rhetoric, an end to the “lazy cadillac-queen” rhethoric, etc. You are free to do as you wish, just offering an opinion for what it’s worth.

    ~Dan

    • Former Wis. Governor Tommy Thompson’s welfare reform efforts add credence to our position. It’s a good start.

      But the FACT that poverty is too often the result of the choices of those who are poor is not mere rhetoric as you would like it to be to prove we’re mean. It is a fact that must be recognized if a successful plan of attack can be formulated.

      But YOUR rhetoric supposes falsehood as truth regarding the motivations and intentions of the right. It implies we do little aside from stating that fact about the impact of choices one makes on their situation. YOU choose to perpetuate that slander. So enough with talk about how many more people view us as mean. Let’s hear how you correct those hateful misconceptions by fellow lefties.

  18. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    John, we must adjust things, your experience is shallow and fleeting, while Dan’s os in depth research.

    Craig, John has talked to people for, what? A minute? as he passes them on the street. I’ve had homeless families living in my house for five years. Which experience has more depth?

    John “watches” and “observes” people that he thinks are poor (and may be) and “hears” them saying, “I ain’t gonna work!” proudly in, what, passing?

    I’ve established friendships with some of our homeless population that have lasted years. I’ve taken them to their “home” at their campsite. I’ve heard about their mental illnesses and how it’s impacted their life, I’ve taken hikes and walks alongside these friends, spending literal hours with them in conversation.

    Which experience has more depth?

    I’m not saying that my 25 years of experience is research, but I have read actual research on the topic. I’ve worked in and studied in the mental health field. And beyond that, my wife and many friends in the fields have an even greater depth of experience – much more so – than I do. Do we all acknowledge that some poor people make bad decisions? Of course we do.

    But do we go around saying, “it’s their own damn fault!” No, we don’t. Why would we? What purpose would it serve, other than to demonize the poor?

    I’m just noting that fleeting observations without any research, without any depth of conversation or training in the field is somewhat informative, but by itself, is not anything to base policy on.

    Do you actually disagree with that?

    ~Dan

    • How long a conversation lasts does not equate to a quality conversation. It is only a long conversation. I have no doubt that you likely listened to excuses without pointing out in some way, at some point, that they were only merely excuses that won’t help the situation. Your “long walks” do not mean a damned thing simply because they were long walks.

      Further, you validate a previous comment of mine by suggesting here that our position is no more than “going around saying ‘it’s their own damn fault'”. That makes you a liar. But it is a legitimate point that serves a valuable purpose. Your inability to acknowledge that purpose demonstrates your ineffectiveness in successfully dealing with the issue. That purpose is akin to a drunk realizing he has a problem. In this case, it is a problem of choices and actions taken or not taken. To pretend this isn’t worthy of highlighting, for some idiotic fear of “demonizing” the poor, is naive to say the least. It means you don’t care enough about the poor to deal with them honestly.

  19. “Again, make your case, if you can.”

    You first.

    “I’m telling you that many in the GOP comes across to an increasingly larger percentage of people as being mean-spirited about the poor and other marginalized. ”

    Are you seriously making the argument that the perception of the right (or GOP or conservatives), is more valid that the reality? Because, that’ s all you’ve done so far. I’m not sure that the perception of ones political opposition is actually and accurate representation of reality. There is plenty of objective evidence that conservatives are more generous than liberals. (Shoot, just look at the miniscule amounts that P-Bo and Biden donate to charity) The conservative case is (in a pretty simplified form), It’s better to have people employed than on welfare. How offensive. OH before you even trot out the tired old lie. No one is suggesting that the should not be some level of safety net for those who truly are unable to provide for themselves. But, it seems like a reasonable position to believe that work is better than welfare.

  20. “Craig, John has talked to people for, what? A minute? as he passes them on the street. I’ve had homeless families living in my house for five years. Which experience has more depth?”

    In the real world (or at least in this blog world), it is impossible to verify either of your experiences or to attempt to quantify the depth of either of them. As far as I’m concerned, you have two sets of anecdotal stories. John, isn’t making any sort of qualitative claims about his experiences, you are. Yet, neither of these claims rise to the level of proof you demand elsewhere (“that ain’t research, it’s fleeting, shallow anecdotal experience, which is not totally invaluable, but it ain’t research.”.). You deride and minimize John’s experience, but , but yours is clearly “not research” either.

    “I’m not saying that my 25 years of experience is research…”

    Except, you kind of are saying exactly that/ Or at least that your experience (which can’t be verified) is qualitatively more valuable that other peoples experience.

    “Do we all acknowledge that some poor people make bad decisions?”

    “But do we go around saying, “it’s their own damn fault!””

    So you are saying that the poor do make bad decisions, but that those decisions aren’t their fault, got it.

    Of course, no one is actually saying “It’s their own damn fault” either. But this small fact undercuts your whole point, and therefore is immaterial.

    “What purpose would it serve, other than to demonize the poor?”

    So, making factually accurate statements demonizes the poor.

    It seems like the AA folks have it right. The first step it to admit you have a problem. If no one can actually dearness a problem, then how can anyone come to a solution? How can anyone seriously discuss this aspect of the problem of poverty (the fact that some percentage of poor folks are poor because of decisions they made.), when folks like you immediately distort the actual claims being made, then demonize the folks that made the claim?

    You agree with the conservative position that has really, actually,literally been articulated (that some poor folks are poor because of decisions they have made), yet you choose to wrongly characterize the position of your opponents (“it’s their own damn fault!”). As long as your side engages in this sort of tactics, how is it even possible to have a reasonable discussion about how to reduce poverty?

    “Do you actually disagree with that?”

    Yes I agree that anecdotal evidence, no matter who provides it, is anecdotal. The problem is I don’t agree that your anecdotal evidence is somehow qualitatively superior to others anecdotal evidence.

  21. Dan,

    Let’s get back to the actual point of the post, shall we?

    The actual conservative position that the liberal meme claims to represent is that it is reasonable to expect people who apply for government assistance ti take a drug test.

    The question then is why would people think this is a good ides. Here are a few reasons why it might be reasonable to drug test welfare recipients.

    1. If someone is addicted to drugs, it might make sense to deal with the addiction problem in addition to whatever other problems exist.
    2. If said addicts have children, it probably isn’t healthy to leave the children in a situation where they are being abused or neglected as a result of their parents drug problems.
    3. It might not be a good idea for the government to facilitate drug use by subsidizing the drug user.
    4. Drug use is currently a crime in the United States, it seems as though subsidizing people breaking the law might not be a desirable goal.

    What we have a re a few reasonable;e reasons to drug test welfare recipients. All of those reasons are related to either the well being of the applicant or the well being, their children, or society.

    I could be wrong, but ir seems like accurately addressing actual problems is the only way to even try to solve those problems.

  22. paynehollow says:

    Okay, so make your case.

    This week, you stopped and talked with how many people?

    How many of them were poor? On what do you base this?

    What do you know about their medical conditions? Their mental health conditions? How do you know this?

    How long were your assessments?

    Are you trained professionally to make socio-economic and/or mental/medical health assessments? What are your credentials?

    etc.

    Make your case. Maybe your experiences in talking with “tens of thousands” of “poor people” is not as shallow as it sounds.

    But if you’re just walking past people and making casual conversations in the course of the day, you can’t really expect it to be taken as anything but casual conversations from someone not trained in the areas you are speaking of.

    ~Dan

    • This is ridiculous! You insist on making things like medical conditions the reason why a given impoverished person is impoverished. They are not. What they do about them is. What they did before the condition manifested is. The credentials I have is that I’ve seen it in my family and experienced it myself. One needs no credentials, no diploma or certification to see and compare why one person overcomes and another doesn’t. You demand that all in poverty be viewed as victims of forces beyond their control. Such people will always struggle and THAT is the point of the conservative position. Assume it ain’t your fault, pretend there was absolutely nothing that could have been done to prevent or mitigate a problem and there will be Dan Trabues ready to give you stuff. Assume there is nothing you can do to overcome a problem, and there will be Dan Trabues ready to give you stuff. Successful people focus on the end goal regardless of obstacles in between and end up closer to it even if they do not achieve it. Victims see only the obstacles and never progress beyond the starting line because of it. They are victims of their own choices, not of the hand they were dealt.

      It is clear your intention is to perpetuate the slander against conservatives.

  23. Dan,

    Since you’re case seems to be “It appears to some liberals that conservatives are mean.” or “Some perceive that the GOP is demonizing the poor”, you’ve set your self up in a situation where you have asserted absolutely nothing, therefore have no case to make or position to defend.

    How about making a case based on what actually happens in the real world, not one based on your impressions of the perceptions of a bunch of people you are predisposed to believe in a fairly uncritical manner.

    BTW, how many of the dozens of poor folks you’ve graced with your benevolence are still poor?

  24. paynehollow says:

    In the real world, a variety of things happen. Conservatives and liberals give money to their churches, for instance, the vast majority of which goes to serve that church’s needs.

    In the real world, some conservatives will join the liberals at a habitat for humanity house-raising. Some liberals will join with conservatives in a prisoner rehab/education program. Some people will do some good work for some poor people.

    Also, in the real world, many conservatives will mouth off, saying things like…

    “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with…” (Paul Ryan)

    “Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state…” (Paul Ryan, again)

    “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them…” (Mitt Romney)

    “Now is not the time to increase taxes to the dwindling producers in our country when we have a president who is trying to give more money away to the moochers and welfare. We need people working, not sitting back receiving food stamps and unemployment. It’s laughable…” (Ted Phillips)

    …and I could go on, as I’m sure you know.

    The deal is, it appears, that “most” on the GOP/conservative side of things think that poverty is primarily caused by laziness. See the poll here…

    http://www.msnbc.com/politicsnation/gop-blames-poverty-laziness

    So, if you all, as a group, think of the poor as the “lazy poor,” if you think they are shiftless, just waiting around for the “free money,” by and large (and “by and large” are John’s words, not mine – from a previous post), then why wouldn’t you say so out loud? And you all do. You just don’t think very highly of the poor, and you say so, frequently, in a variety of ways – sometimes more harsh and less grace-full than others.

    And because you say this, you have a perception of being down on the poor, because, after all, they are lazy, you (GOP) tend to think. I don’t think I’m noting anything outstanding here. It’s a perception problem you have based not on MISunderstanding, but precisely on what the majority of you all believe. According to that poll.

    ~Dan

    • I’ve read studies after studies after studies throughout the years which prove that the majority of the “poor” are indeed that way because of their own choices to allow the government to take care of them – especially among the inner-city blacks (read that book I mentioned above). But I guess Trabue knows more than all the studies I’ve read.

    • There is nothing in any of those quotes that is untrue, especially given the context in which the statements were made. The first Ryan quote is absolutely true, even if it is not true of all, which no one, particularly Ryan here, is ever saying. But people like Dan choose to distort these quotes and the intentions behind them in order to push their agenda of demonizing the right and the wealthy in our country.

      Dan also likes to pretend he is being gracious by pretending to acknowledge the contributions of “some” conservatives. What a dick! Studies that Dan will never acknowledge even existing, much less acknowledge are valid (like Arthur Brooks) show a greater degree of giving by conservatives. This giving outshines the lefties in every category including leftist initiatives.

      Dan’s link to the Pew poll suffers from the same problems of most, if not all, polls on which lefties are prone to hang their hats. Right in the article, it states the conservatives give “a lack of effort” as a primary reason for poverty. I’d say it is the most important reason, but how that reason manifests in the real world won’t be discussed by lefties. What’s more, it speaks of hard work being necessary for success and overcoming one’s current economic condition, but that, too, is only part of the deal. For example, one could work as hard as one likes to water the lawn one thimble full of water at a time. Hard work alone won’t get it done if the method of achieving a goal is stupid. Working hard and working smart go together. Perseverance is also required, as working harder and smarter won’t get it done if the work requires effort over time. Self-denial is required in order to avoid squandering gains from hard work and effort before the primary goal is reached. So Dan’s link is worthless in addressing the issue honestly as the poll doesn’t address it honestly itself.

      As to research and studies, I will offer this link which I stole from Wintery Knight. It is over an hour long, but worth it in order to understand the real steps that will result in alleviating poverty as best as is possible.

  25. So, Dan has paraded his perceptions, now maybe, please, some evidence? Your “evidence” is 3-4 out of context quotes? Oh, one MSNBC “survey”. In your world is MSNBC really known as an unbiased source? Some unsupported sweeping generalizations. If this is what you consider “making a case”, it’s pretty underwhelming.

    We know with a high degree of certainty that conservatives give more to charity than liberals. We see the example set by P-BO and Biden of their lavish charitable giving. But as long as the evidence is ignored and the liberal meme is propagated it’s all good.

    I guess it’s true, for the left, perception is reality. No matter what reality is.

  26. Interesting thing about the survey that Dan is so giddy over. When asked about the causes of people being poor there were only two choices. That’s right on an issue as multifaceted as poverty they offered tow choices.

    1. Because they’re lazy
    2. It’s someone else’s fault.

    Is anyone shocked that that those on the right chose the answer that emphasizes individual personal responsibility, while those on the left chose to blame others.

    I also didn’t notice what the breakdown of political groups was. But in a survey of less than 1600 total people, you are assuming that it is reasonable to extrapolate from about 530 respondents. I’m not saying the breakdown wasn’t there, or that you can’t gain information from a sample that small, but usually you need a larger sample to draw broad conclusions.

    I know it’s hard to accept but the three biggest indicators of poverty (Single parenthood, lack of education, substance issues) are all issues that involve choices being made by individuals. I guess it’s no surprise that the cultural shifts that encourage those behaviors (sexual revolution,60’s drug culture,questioning authority) all originated on the American left.

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