This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
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The big lie about capitalism is that everyone can be rich. That’s impossible. Capitalism works only if the vast majority of the population are kept poor enough to never quit working, are kept poor enough to accept distasteful jobs society cannot function without. If everyone were a millionaire, who would empty the trash or repair the sewers? It follows that the poorer the general population is made, the greater the worth of the money held by the wealthy, in terms of the lives which may be bought and sold with it.
…[W]e need to stop talking about the economy in ways that make it seem like the weather. The economy is a result of the rules we create and the choices we make. The people who are struggling to make ends meet do so because we have built — through intentional choice — an economy that produces inadequate incomes for more than one-third of all Americans…

Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director for the Center for Community Change

Paul Ryan: “My plan will end poverty by forcing the poor to sign contracts saying they will get off food stamps and start a hedge fund.”

Story:

The Worst Part Of Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan Is Based On A Media Myth

(via teapartycat)

The “discussion draft” submitted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the House Budget Committee on potential solutions to poverty in America includes the proposal that low-income Americans would have to sign “contracts” in order to remain eligible for social safety net benefits, such as food stamps, or SNAP. The contract would include: benchmarks, such as finding a job, enrolling in employment training, or even meeting “new acquaintances outside circle of poverty”; a “timeline” in which individuals are contractually-obligated to meet those benchmarks; bonuses for meeting benchmarks early; and “sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract”:

I’m sure giving the impoverished even more paperwork to deal with will help them not be poor anymore. As with almost all libertarians, Paul Ryan is secretly a major fan of big government—as long as it’s used to crush people other than him.

It’s funny that Ryan is so hellbent on ‘reforming’ entitlements like Social Security. It seemed to work fine for him. You all remember that he paid for college using Social Security survivor benefits, right?

(via mediamattersforamerica)

girljanitor:

huffingtonpost:

Homeless shelter is transformed into 5-star restaurant, hot food and warm hearts all around.  See the full video here. 

I watched the video and I thought it was great. Because it’s not just like, nice food or whatever, it’s being treated like a guest. The people who staged this also made a 5k donation as well as handing out fancy gift bags that had basic self-care items/toiletries which are in really high demand because people will donate food but never think about hairbrushes, soap, toothpaste, et cet.

Not only that but i really appreciate the sentiment here that’s so against that whole poverty policing, “poor people don’t deserve anything nice ever” bullshit that’s getting louder in our society.

(via bedbugsbiting)

throughthewildblue:

You cannot buy electronics with food stamps. You cannot buy cigarettes with food stamps. You cannot buy pet food with food stamps. You cannot withdraw money with an EBT card (food stamps).

Do you know what else you can’t buy with food stamps? Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, tinfoil, plastic sandwich bags, toothpaste, cleaning products, tampons, pads, over the counter medications (such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.), and anything else you can think of that you cannot physically ingest for nutritional purposes.

Do you know what you can buy with food stamps? Food.

Do you know what it’s like to scrounge for change to buy non-edible necessities, use a credit card and EBT card (food stamps) during the same transaction, and then have the person in line behind you judge you for buying the ingredients to make a birthday cake?

People who disseminate false information about food stamps have never had to use food stamps.

Shameless liars and hatemongers.

(Source: sandandglass, via cognitivedissonance)

…The Congressman was trying to pester [Tianna Gaines-Turner] on the whole “government dependence” bore…In response to the pestering, she says that she isn’t “dependent on the program,” but [is] in fact “independent on the program.” This is an impressively clever retort that deserves to be popularized.

Matt Bruenig on the brilliant ways Gaines-Turner, a woman who testfieid about her experiences with poverty at a congressional hearing, responded to Republican assholery. Democratic leadership could learn a thing or two from her!

To be fair though, outsmarting a congressional Republican is probably easy compared to the rigors of dealing with poverty on a daily basis.

azspot:

When We Say The Right Doesn’t Care About the Poor, This is What We Mean

Steadfast conservative = Teabagger, Christian theocrat
Business conservative = plutocrat
Young “outsiders” = libertarians, more accurately described as young Republicans

azspot:

When We Say The Right Doesn’t Care About the Poor, This is What We Mean

Steadfast conservative = Teabagger, Christian theocrat

Business conservative = plutocrat

Young “outsiders” = libertarians, more accurately described as young Republicans

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

Anya Groner: The Heart You Save Won’t Be Your Own →

This is really good. Read it when you get a chance.

cracked:

Crawling out of poverty still might not convince you to get that “has to crawl everywhere” looked at.
The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (Part 2)

#5. You Only Go to the Doctor if It’s an Emergency
When you’re below a certain income, a social benefit kicks in to make sure you and your kids aren’t riddled with disease and then spreading it through public Twister competitions. It’s a medical card, and in the most basic terms, it provides free or discount medical treatment. I grew up with that benefit, which means that I went to the doctor so often that I could shoot vitamin lasers out of my eyes. At one point, they were using my sweat to cure hepatitis.
Just kidding — I only went to the doctor when I broke a bone or needed stitches. Sometimes not even then. See, there’s a problem with having a medical card that borders on paradox: In order to get one, you have to be poor, and the poverty-stricken people who do have them often don’t have a means to actually get to the doctor in the first place.

Read More

This is pretty good, except hatred of rich people is not at all irrational.
The first one (#5) is what hits closest to home for me. I didn’t have health insurance until I was in my 20s and I still have trouble making regular appointments for things like check-ups.
I have a coworker who kept refusing to go to the doctor for days after falling and hurting herself because she thought it would be a waste of time and money. I finally convinced her to go and it turned out she had a fractured rib. My mother did the same thing after she fell and hurt her arm. When she finally went to the ER, it turned out she had broken her wrist.
It’s not perfect, but thank fuck they managed to pass the ACA. Maybe we’ll have fewer doctor-avoiding adults someday.

cracked:

Crawling out of poverty still might not convince you to get that “has to crawl everywhere” looked at.

The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (Part 2)

#5. You Only Go to the Doctor if It’s an Emergency

When you’re below a certain income, a social benefit kicks in to make sure you and your kids aren’t riddled with disease and then spreading it through public Twister competitions. It’s a medical card, and in the most basic terms, it provides free or discount medical treatment. I grew up with that benefit, which means that I went to the doctor so often that I could shoot vitamin lasers out of my eyes. At one point, they were using my sweat to cure hepatitis.

Just kidding — I only went to the doctor when I broke a bone or needed stitches. Sometimes not even then. See, there’s a problem with having a medical card that borders on paradox: In order to get one, you have to be poor, and the poverty-stricken people who do have them often don’t have a means to actually get to the doctor in the first place.

Read More

This is pretty good, except hatred of rich people is not at all irrational.

The first one (#5) is what hits closest to home for me. I didn’t have health insurance until I was in my 20s and I still have trouble making regular appointments for things like check-ups.

I have a coworker who kept refusing to go to the doctor for days after falling and hurting herself because she thought it would be a waste of time and money. I finally convinced her to go and it turned out she had a fractured rib. My mother did the same thing after she fell and hurt her arm. When she finally went to the ER, it turned out she had broken her wrist.

It’s not perfect, but thank fuck they managed to pass the ACA. Maybe we’ll have fewer doctor-avoiding adults someday.

Ideological consistency, rational beliefs

Let me get this straight. The war on poverty hasn’t completely eliminated poverty. According to conservatives, this means it’s an abject failure and we should abolish all anti-poverty programs.

Yet the war on terror hasn’t completely eliminated terrorism and is unlikely (like most wars on concepts) to ever do so. According to conservatives, this means we just haven’t thrown enough resources (including human lives) at the problem and we should double down on our anti-terror efforts.

Jindal's selective concern for the poor →

Jindal and his allies want the public to see them as entirely sincere. They’re not trying to crush teachers’ unions, and they’re not on a privatization crusade, intent on destroying public institutions. They just want to help low-income children, even spending public funds to advance their goal.

But their purported concern for the poor is literally unbelievable. When the issue is health care and housing, Jindal and other conservatives say struggling families should rely on the free market and their capacity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. When the issue is education, suddenly the right cares deeply about disadvantaged children and is eager to “help.”

When Jindal and other school voucher advocates are ready to assist “poor and disadvantaged” families in ways that don’t undermine public schools and teachers’ unions, I’ll gladly revisit the debate. Until then, this looks a lot like a scam.

People can fall into the trap of blaming the poor of developing countries for the problems of the world since it is poor countries that have these massive, ballooning populations. Is is true that overpopulation in poor countries exacerbates the living conditions in those countries, but bear in mind that the average middle-class citizen of a Western nation consumes more than a hundred times the volume of resources of the average poor citizen of a developing nation. Armory Lovins calculated that the average American consumes 250 times the resources of the average Nigerian. This means that the United States has the global impact of seventy-five trillion Nigerians. I’ll go one step further: I’ll bet American citizens consume more Nigerian resources than Nigerians themselves.

Steve Hallett and John Wright, Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future (via therecipe)

THIS. I get very angry at liberals living in wealthy countries who deplore the ‘unsustainability’ of high population growth in the global south, but ignore the fact that the global north consumes a disproportionate share of resources. It is also often the case that the shaky economic conditions of ‘third world’ countries were created for and continue to be sustained by former colonial empires.

(via socio-logic)

think-progress:

We could end homelessness with the money Americans spend on Christmas decorations.


This makes for a grabby headline, but the government can’t force people to not spend money on Christmas. It can do all the other stuff. I had no idea corporate meal and entertainment write-offs came out to so much money.

think-progress:

We could end homelessness with the money Americans spend on Christmas decorations.

This makes for a grabby headline, but the government can’t force people to not spend money on Christmas. It can do all the other stuff. I had no idea corporate meal and entertainment write-offs came out to so much money.

likeafieldmouse:

Leo Burnett - Raising the Roof (2010) - Awareness campaign for Canada’s homeless

(Source: likeafieldmouse, via thegermansmakegoodstuff)