The dystopian reality of 'inspiration porn'

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beneficii
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08 Dec 2019, 9:30 am

Have you heard of all those stories about the boy who sold his baseball cards to pay for a friend's cancer, or the teacher with cancer out of sick days getting more from his coworkers? Well, while the people involved were kind and thoughtful and willing to sacrifice for others, that we have this problem is a sign of a broken system that routinely fails its citizens. And this charity is a band-aid that can't always make up for these failures; a superintendent lied about a sick student without insurance being her son so he could get health care--she was charged with insurance fraud as a result--and the man needing insulin who only needed $50 more on his GoFundMe but couldn't get the clicks and so died. That such a situation exists should not be covered up and wrapped in a nice neat little bow:



"This is what our country was built on: If life gives you no parents and two broken arms, make a small business."


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shlaifu
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08 Dec 2019, 12:16 pm

beneficii wrote:
Have you heard of all those stories about the boy who sold his baseball cards to pay for a friend's cancer, or the teacher with cancer out of sick days getting more from his coworkers? Well, while the people involved were kind and thoughtful and willing to sacrifice for others, that we have this problem is a sign of a broken system that routinely fails its citizens. And this charity is a band-aid that can't always make up for these failures; a superintendent lied about a sick student without insurance being her son so he could get health care--she was charged with insurance fraud as a result--and the man needing insulin who only needed $50 more on his GoFundMe but couldn't get the clicks and so died. That such a situation exists should not be covered up and wrapped in a nice neat little bow:



"This is what our country was built on: If life gives you no parents and two broken arms, make a small business."


Charity is a sign of a failed state.


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AngelRho
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09 Dec 2019, 3:26 pm

State mandated charity is a sign of a failed state.

Charity is always objectively good. People who support charitable causes for the right reasons do so because they are getting back something for their own giving. It's not even giving. It's an investment. Giving someone money and a home to get them off the street, to break addiction and disease, and to function as a productive member of that society only strengthens the giver when the one who receives acts for his own greatest good. When charity does what it was meant to do, this is always the outcome.

Charity fails when there are low or no expectations from it. I'm giving just to be a good person. Because I'm privileged and I don't deserve my riches. Because everyone deserves their fair share. Because I feel guilty and this makes me feel better. Mother Theresa did not work to end systematic misery. She worked to perpetuate it. Why not keep slavery alive and well in America and take up a collection to send them fruit baskets twice a year? Because that's what many so-called "charities" are actually about. State-run welfare is all about mooching off those with means and ability to give el freebo to those who are unable and giving no thought to actually upending the institution that keeps them poor and miserable. Private individuals, OTOH, do more to provide honest solutions and provide real assistance.



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09 Dec 2019, 4:08 pm

Entitlement Syndrome

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beneficii
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09 Dec 2019, 7:48 pm

TheRobotLives wrote:
Entitlement Syndrome

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We need universal health care, just like the entire rest of NATO. People with the means should contribute to the insurance pool so that the sickest can receive the treatment they need. So how about we tell them, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"?

And how about we tell them to think about that when it comes to climate change, that they should stop polluting and endangering us, that they should stop putting short-term profits over the long-term climate? Is that too much to ask of them?

Interpreting Kennedy's quote as being some libertarian, let the rich keep everything and the poor can go to hell, is completely arse-backwards.


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AngelRho
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10 Dec 2019, 9:48 am

beneficii wrote:
TheRobotLives wrote:
Entitlement Syndrome

Image


We need universal health care, just like the entire rest of NATO. People with the means should contribute to the insurance pool so that the sickest can receive the treatment they need. So how about we tell them, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"?

And how about we tell them to think about that when it comes to climate change, that they should stop polluting and endangering us, that they should stop putting short-term profits over the long-term climate? Is that too much to ask of them?

Interpreting Kennedy's quote as being some libertarian, let the rich keep everything and the poor can go to hell, is completely arse-backwards.

Nobody is saying the poor can go to hell. Wealthy people actually do care about the poor. But it is morally wrong to compel someone to do something they don't want to do. Denying justice for those who have been harmed by senseless violence is also morally wrong, and providing such justice is an appropriate role of the state. It's harmful to society, and no government can continue its existence when it fails at justice. An individual who denies charity might be a jerk, but that in and of itself is not harmful to society. The institutionalized compulsion for charity is neither just nor compassionate. First, it robs the individual who has ability of his right to decide whether charity is actually deserved. It forces him to support people and ideas he doesn't agree with or value. Second, it robs the individual of his ability to show he is capable and deserving.

If you grew up with sh!t parents and didn't care to support them for the rest of their lives, burdened down by placing your own needs and well-being as secondary to theirs, it's not fair that you should be forced to take care of them. And if you wouldn't take care of your own parents, it's certainly not fair to be made to support millions of other parents who were also sh!t parents to their own children. But if you were a good parent to your own children, supported them and made them successful, it's also unfair that your own children would deny you the care you deserve--not because they don't love you, but because the government denies them the means to do so by stealing the money they worked so hard to earn to give EVERYONE a "fair share." State-mandated welfare, health care, etc. is neither just nor compassionate.



beneficii
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10 Dec 2019, 10:11 am

AngelRho wrote:
Nobody is saying the poor can go to hell. Wealthy people actually do care about the poor. But it is morally wrong to compel someone to do something they don't want to do. Denying justice for those who have been harmed by senseless violence is also morally wrong, and providing such justice is an appropriate role of the state. It's harmful to society, and no government can continue its existence when it fails at justice. An individual who denies charity might be a jerk, but that in and of itself is not harmful to society. The institutionalized compulsion for charity is neither just nor compassionate. First, it robs the individual who has ability of his right to decide whether charity is actually deserved. It forces him to support people and ideas he doesn't agree with or value. Second, it robs the individual of his ability to show he is capable and deserving.


What I've bolded I think is the linchpin of your argument. I've considered and discussed this one for a while. One interesting consequence of individuals getting to decide whether charity is actually deserved or not, is that those with more money get more power to decide that, whereas those with no money to spare for charity get zero power to decide who is deserving of charity. What you propose here essentially removes charity from the democratic process, and concentrates greater power in the upper classes and 1%.

It also attempts to say something about those who fail to get charity. Like that man with diabetes who moved to a different state to help his mother but lost his health insurance in the process (and had to wait till the end of the month for the new plan to kick in). He started a GoFundMe for his insulin, but couldn't get enough clicks and came up $50 short. He died as a result. What this is attempting to say is that he didn't deserve the insulin because he couldn't get anyone to provide enough in charity for him, and thus he needed to die.


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10 Dec 2019, 11:06 am

AngelRho wrote:
An individual who denies charity might be a jerk, but that in and of itself is not harmful to society. The institutionalized compulsion for charity is neither just nor compassionate. First, it robs the individual who has ability of his right to decide whether charity is actually deserved. It forces him to support people and ideas he doesn't agree with or value. Second, it robs the individual of his ability to show he is capable and deserving.


The thing is that individuals can be really dumb at knowing where the charity will do the most good. Instead of saving some kid's life who is in a situation by pure chance they can be taken in by manipulative act of helping a paster buy a new jet. Or if everyone donated to the same cause, you have the more invisible ones that don't get their share.

AngelRho wrote:
But if you were a good parent to your own children, supported them and made them successful, it's also unfair that your own children would deny you the care you deserve--not because they don't love you, but because the government denies them the means to do so by stealing the money they worked so hard to earn to give EVERYONE a "fair share." State-mandated welfare, health care, etc. is neither just nor compassionate.


And what of the people without kids? Maybe they lost them in an accident, are physically incapable of having children, or just decided not to have any. Do those people by mere existence not deserve to be looked after? Or perhaps just greatest parents in the world, but some economic situation has prevented their kids from being able to afford to look after their parents care? It isn't really even a case that everyone who earns those big bucks even deserve to be mega rich by their own effort, like perhaps they had a golden ladder of wealthy family that pretty much bought them a degree and job, that could pay well for minimal work. And there are large amounts of the population that are working full time with hard work, doing everything they can and are barely above (or even bellow) the poverty line.

Saying that people who receive government assistance are moochers is something I take as incredibly ignorant and an awful stance to take. Like I have spent this entire year trying to look for work, something I can manage with my disability and have had incredibly poor luck. Indeed I have had to live off of a government welfare while submitting hundreds of job applications and working with an agency. But please, talk down to me from your high horse.


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10 Dec 2019, 12:47 pm

beneficii wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Nobody is saying the poor can go to hell. Wealthy people actually do care about the poor. But it is morally wrong to compel someone to do something they don't want to do. Denying justice for those who have been harmed by senseless violence is also morally wrong, and providing such justice is an appropriate role of the state. It's harmful to society, and no government can continue its existence when it fails at justice. An individual who denies charity might be a jerk, but that in and of itself is not harmful to society. The institutionalized compulsion for charity is neither just nor compassionate. First, it robs the individual who has ability of his right to decide whether charity is actually deserved. It forces him to support people and ideas he doesn't agree with or value. Second, it robs the individual of his ability to show he is capable and deserving.


What I've bolded I think is the linchpin of your argument. I've considered and discussed this one for a while. One interesting consequence of individuals getting to decide whether charity is actually deserved or not, is that those with more money get more power to decide that, whereas those with no money to spare for charity get zero power to decide who is deserving of charity. What you propose here essentially removes charity from the democratic process, and concentrates greater power in the upper classes and 1%.

Yep. Exactly. People without wealth cannot give when they have nothing to give with. People who HAVE money can disperse that money according to who and what they value. If they decide "to hell with the poor," that's their prerogative. But poor people don't get any more say than anyone else, poor, rich, or otherwise, what ANYONE does with their money. So if someone does happen to value the poor--and there are perfectly reasonable arguments why they should and how that works to benefit the wealthy--then by all means LET THEM GIVE TO THE POOR. But don't tell them they can't value what they like. Lacking in wealth is not equal to lacking in value. Defeating one's personal poverty is a matter of offering value. Those who are incapable of making themselves valuable through no fault of their own (the disabled, the elderly, orphaned children, etc.) are certainly at the mercy of those who have something to offer, but at least give those people the option of deciding which cause to champion. If your heart breaks for children without parents, build homes for them and hire people to administer them. If you're concerned for the elderly, build homes and hire people to look after them. You want to end the AIDS epidemic? Send drug treatments to the poor, invest in preventative measures, and hire researchers committed to developing and deploying a vaccine. There are already individuals and organizations committed to these kinds of things, and they seem to do better than government programs.

But by no means should this be a democratic thing. Absolutely not. It's not the proper role for anyone, especially a public that likely does NOT have my true best interests in mind, to tell me to whom/what I should give my money and support.

beneficii wrote:
It also attempts to say something about those who fail to get charity. Like that man with diabetes who moved to a different state to help his mother but lost his health insurance in the process (and had to wait till the end of the month for the new plan to kick in). He started a GoFundMe for his insulin, but couldn't get enough clicks and came up $50 short. He died as a result. What this is attempting to say is that he didn't deserve the insulin because he couldn't get anyone to provide enough in charity for him, and thus he needed to die.

And exactly why did he lose his health insurance just because he moved to a different state?

I don't have a traditional health insurance plan, ftr. The only option available where I live is BlueCross/BlueShield, and I think because I work in a Catholic school the diocese has some plan they work through. Neither option is affordable. I use a health care sharing plan which operates pretty much on a no-questions-asked basis, and I'm confident that I'm not sharing money with other people who may use that money for questionable purposes. On this type of plan, you would never run into the same problems.

The problems happen because insurance providers are tightly regulated through state laws and pretty much granted regional monopolies that make it near impossible to get competing plans that work with patients for the best outcomes. I'm convinced that state health care entities are crooks with no intentions whatsoever of delivering the goods and services they promise. This is a condition that is created by state and federal regulation.

Without regulation, of course the companies would be free to do what they already do at a minimum or potentially worse. I'm aware of that. But also, without regulation, customers are allowed to become displeased with them and switch to a competitor, something that until Obamacare was difficult to do (Obamacare introduced a whole slough of other problems, though, but beside the point right now). The program I'm in, however, sidesteps government regulation entirely by not meeting the traditional definition of "insurance provider" and thus offers significantly better results at lower cost. So if insurance companies are burning their customers and their customers abandon them, they can't make a profit. If they can't profit, they'll lose investors. If they lose investors, they cease to exist. And without them, there can be no healthy competition to self-regulate quality of care together with cost. And sooner or later someone will fill the void with a superior product at lower cost. With competition comes a variety of goods and services that appeal to a larger public, which allows individual consumers to make the best health care choices for themselves. The big companies win. And when they win, so do the consumers. It would work much better without regulation, same as I'm getting virtually unregulated health care. And you wouldn't have the same kinds of problems as the guy who needs insulin moving out of state to care for an infirm relative.

My father was insulin-dependent, as was my mother-in-law, both of whom passed away a long time ago. The hardest part was towards the end of their lives, like back in the 80's and 90's. Back then, there weren't as many option for insulin as there are now, not to mention that many of those drugs are relatively cheaper now than they were when I was a kid. My wife and I both are intimately aware of the different stages of diabetes and the inevitable progression to eye damage and kidney failure. So add to the cost of various drug cocktails for all sorts of complications, plus my dad's tobacco use, plus peritoneal dialysis supplies, plus ICU trips every other week... It's absolutely horrid. And that's just with diabetes. Doctors prefer treating chronic pain with addictive opioids, which creates a dependency, which means patients feel they MUST have drugs for survival when there are better ways of dealing with the cause of pain itself.

What they both have in common is off-topic, but I think it's important to point out. Apart from government regulation, there's no doubt that greed exists in the corporate world. When people are guided by REASON, they will recognize the fruits of greed and avoid greedy people. There is no better virtue than profit, of course, but profit without reason is pointless. Because people are dependent on insulin through no fault of their own, it stands to reason that a company who values the life and well-being of a consumer would want to make a product as freely available as they can make it and still get a return on the sale in order to survive. If a pharmaceutical prices insulin out of reach, then no consumer can afford it. If no consumer can afford it, they all die. If they all die, they have no one to sell to. If they can't move their product, they go out of business. Rationally, they understand that their own existence is symbiotic with that of their consumers. Therefore, make the best product as cheaply as possible and priced reasonably so that the maximum number of people on BOTH sides--production, consumption--benefit. Addictive drugs are destructive. If the drug destroys the patient, no company or physician can benefit from prescribing it. It works maximally in everyone's favor if the use of powerful, addictive substances are limited such that a dependency can be alleviated if not avoided and appropriate measures taken to end the initial need for those things. In this case, keeping patients dependent will obviously benefit physicians and pharms for as long as they can keep the patient alive. However, they are, in effect, keeping the patient alive for as long as they can extract money from the patient. It would benefit the medical community more to reliably treat illness, get it right the first time, send the patient on her way, build an excellent reputation, and bring in more patients. I believe the most significant deterrent of curing HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, etc., is greed. It's much easier to profit while continuing to research and develop long-term, life-long treatments to LIVE with the problem than to eliminate the disease entirely. There's nothing rational about this. There's no benefit to society from this. It certainly doesn't benefit the individual. And all it takes are a few courageous INDIVIDUALS willing to take the risk and eliminate these problems one by one. That will, in turn, put greedy people out of business.

What's stopping this from happening in many business sectors is that government regulation serves to keep greedy corporations up and running, such as Government Motors with their "too big to fail" stratagem. You have entirely too many (just one is too many) greedy people locked arm-in-arm with legislators and agencies that prevent good people from coming forward, one example being legislation that prevents experimental treatments being offered to the dying. If successful, it would completely rewrite the books on medicine. If physicians and pharms want to actually help people (which they obviously don't), then they should refocus on a larger problem. If, for instance, coal production is harmful and dangerous and damaging to the environment, using it to mass-produce energy doesn't make much sense if there are cheaper, cleaner alternatives, right? So if you're a coal miner and know that the sole focus of your industry is energy, wouldn't it make sense to do your own research into cheaper, cleaner, renewable energy sources and beat your boss to the punch of making those products and services available to the masses? And if that would make you a billionaire overnight, wouldn't you WANT to do it? No doubt there's a tremendous level of greed within fossil fuels. Your business is not coal, but rather energy. So look towards the future of energy rather than get caught up in backwards-looking greed.

What about an example of when it's done right? Sanitariums have largely vanished because of antibiotic cures for TB. Doctors don't specialize in TB treatments. They specialize in respiration. Win the fight against TB, sanitariums have to shut down because they lose their purpose. Those people went out of business, yes...but I think we're all glad that they went out of business. However, my opinion is that leaves a void. Sanitariums were really cool places. The point of the sanitarium was to isolate diseased patients to prevent the spread of TB, to offer them an environment in which breathing would be easier, and to possibly extend their life. All these things were accomplished until drugs were available. Now, I live in Mississippi, which is crazy-hot and crazy-humid. It's hard to breathe here because of the climate. I would have enjoyed a break by going away to a mountain resort, sitting out in the sun covered with warm blankets and breathing near-freezing, dry, cold air in the middle of winter. Or going out to Arizona or New Mexico and doing something similar in the desert. Sanitariums marketed as spas or resorts could well remain profitable, and similar kinds of services are currently available. So if your purpose is destroyed because of a superior product or a disease cure, there's no need to shutter your windows. Just reevaluate your purpose. Are you in the business of treating respiratory illness, or simply providing someone with rest and comfort? Because there's a need for both.

Greedy people won't view it that way. RATIONAL people will. And the less government steps in to keep greedy people in business, these people will often destroy themselves.



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10 Dec 2019, 2:18 pm

Unfortunately, AngelRho, I think your argument that it is best to let people decide what to spend money on rather than having governments funding good causes is not only an obvious false dichotomy (I don't think any explanation is needed), but purely ideological rather than evidence based. Charity is one of the clearest cases of market failure you'll ever see.

- The benefits of charitable work are spread thinly across society, making it hard for people to fully realise the benefit that they personally receive.
- There are difficulties with information - people don't know what problems exist, and they don't know how to solve them.
- Individuals often do things that make them feel good, but that don't actually make a difference.
- Individuals acting alone don't have the benefit of economies of scale. If I give a homeless person £20 then they can address their immediate needs. If the government lets them stay in a £200k council flat then they can begin to address their long-term needs. Even if I know that what this person needs is a home, I don't have £200k lying around to buy them one!

Now, the question is - do you actually want to make a difference? Because if so, the record shows that unless you're truly exceptionally rich, you've got to harness the resources of a lot of people, and by far the easiest way to do that, and address most of the market failures laid out, is to utilise the power of the nation state. Smallpox wasn't eradicated because ordinary people made donations (in fact small-scale schemes usually favoured inoculation, which had a 2% chance of death) but because international public health bodies came up with a solution and pushed it worldwide, with help from their constituent governments.


I think there are two things you could be arguing which are slightly different. First is "eradicating polio was bad because some people who paid a few pennies towards it without realising may have objected". In that case, frankly, priorities. The other is "while eradicating polio is good even if done partially through taxation, it would be better if done entirely through private charity". And, well, fine in theory, but in practice you're going to be waiting quite a bit longer and letting an awful lot of people die because of your principles.

When it comes to morality and ethics, everything is a trade off. How many people unknowingly giving a few pennies to causes they aren't passionate about is worth the cost of saving a life? Or on the flip side, how much of people's money should they be allowed to hang onto before the government takes it all away in the name of the greater good? There are ideological extremists on both sides who argue that taxation is theft, or that property is theft. Most people are somewhere in the middle and recognise that being self-centred can actually help others, but it can also go too far and sometimes we benefit from pooling resources in ways. In the same way that your kids don't always want to eat their vegetables but you know it's right for them in the long run.



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10 Dec 2019, 2:31 pm

Bradleigh wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
An individual who denies charity might be a jerk, but that in and of itself is not harmful to society. The institutionalized compulsion for charity is neither just nor compassionate. First, it robs the individual who has ability of his right to decide whether charity is actually deserved. It forces him to support people and ideas he doesn't agree with or value. Second, it robs the individual of his ability to show he is capable and deserving.


The thing is that individuals can be really dumb at knowing where the charity will do the most good. Instead of saving some kid's life who is in a situation by pure chance they can be taken in by manipulative act of helping a paster buy a new jet. Or if everyone donated to the same cause, you have the more invisible ones that don't get their share.

You can't hold individuals responsible for the stupidity of others. If someone chooses to support a stupid cause, like greedy pastors, that's their problem. What lesson did we learn here today? Don't be stupid. Before giving people money, do your research and decide whether that person or organization is actually worthy. And if you make one stupid decision out of ignorance, well...don't do that again!

People don't give to the same cause because people are individuals who can think for themselves. Everyone has a unique set of values that, while often shared among individuals, will eventually diverge. If one cause really is in the middle of an abundance of giving, then it's in their best interest to diversify. Our cause is to cure cancer and end it forever and we'll never stop until we reach our goal. However, we already have the best scientists and physicians on board and everyone is working as hard as they can. Meanwhile, we've noticed that this other deadly disease is also a problem and could easily be cured. We have everything we need for cancer research already, so we want to add curing this other deadly disease to our cause. Things like that can happen, but often don't because the wrong people are deciding what to do with the wrong resources for the wrong motives.

Bradleigh wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
But if you were a good parent to your own children, supported them and made them successful, it's also unfair that your own children would deny you the care you deserve--not because they don't love you, but because the government denies them the means to do so by stealing the money they worked so hard to earn to give EVERYONE a "fair share." State-mandated welfare, health care, etc. is neither just nor compassionate.


And what of the people without kids? Maybe they lost them in an accident, are physically incapable of having children, or just decided not to have any. Do those people by mere existence not deserve to be looked after? Or perhaps just greatest parents in the world, but some economic situation has prevented their kids from being able to afford to look after their parents care? It isn't really even a case that everyone who earns those big bucks even deserve to be mega rich by their own effort, like perhaps they had a golden ladder of wealthy family that pretty much bought them a degree and job, that could pay well for minimal work. And there are large amounts of the population that are working full time with hard work, doing everything they can and are barely above (or even bellow) the poverty line.

So freaking what??? I believe I already answered that question.

It's irrational to feel guilty about being wealthy, especially money that's inherited. That's just stupid. People who are wealthy or who possess strong abilities are in unique positions to pass their knowledge, ability, and values to their children since, after all, children are extensions of their parents. I don't envy people of privilege who have good education and jobs as a product of ancestral effort. What you're missing is that it takes no effort to inherit wealth when there's wealth to inherit. What takes effort is standing on your parents' shoulders, reaching greater heights of success, and getting your own children to do the same. The Vanderbilts are not in any immediate danger of going broke, but I can attest that they no longer live in their mansion in Asheville. Without the Biltmore itself being an amazing achievement by amazing people, without the high value they placed in the their community, and without the community's desire to be a part of their legacy, there's no way that family could hang onto that estate--not considering the enormous cost of keeping it up and running. I can honestly brag that I've spent a week on the estate grounds, eaten the finest foods, drank the best wine, and lived like royalty with my wife I'd just married. That's the way even the poorest of us can live, if even for a short time, because smart people dare to make and keep money. Greedy people, and envious people, OTOH, look resentfully at wealth as something shameful that can only be made on the backs of the poor. No, I admire these people. Maybe I'm partially jealous that I'll likely never have those things. But because I do expect greatness of myself and those who CHOOSE to keep company with me, I can be free and happy regardless of my circumstances. Those who make themselves perpetual victims and can see themselves as nothing greater will never know anything but their own bitterness.

Bradleigh wrote:
Saying that people who receive government assistance are moochers is something I take as incredibly ignorant and an awful stance to take.

Then what are they, then? I'm not talking about people who have absolutely no other means or resources. But everyone had or has a family at some point. If you love your parents and wish to honor them by making sure they are well cared for, even if you yourself are unable to care for them in your own home, why would you not do whatever it was you could afford to do? If your best friends and neighbors tragically lost their children while you lost your own parents long ago, and they need someone to look in on them from time to time, why wouldn't you support them if you love them? Rational people will do that because they know they'd want someone to do that for them if circumstances were different. Good, thinking people do that kind of thing--not because they OWE it to someone to help them, but because they VALUE having those people in their lives.

Bradleigh wrote:
Like I have spent this entire year trying to look for work, something I can manage with my disability and have had incredibly poor luck. Indeed I have had to live off of a government welfare while submitting hundreds of job applications and working with an agency. But please, talk down to me from your high horse.

If you can't, you can't. Part of the problem you're experiencing is that people generally won't take care of other people or come to value other people when they assume that someone else is out there doing it for them. Government assistance erodes the value people have for others because otherwise good people don't have to expose themselves to the realities of the disabled and the infirm. They don't have to dirty their hands with you, so they don't care about you. Society as a whole has largely built walls around you and slapped a sign on you that reads "VICTIM." If you were on their doorstep day after day, they'd deal with you if for no other reason than to get you out of their way. But you'd also encounter people who would be in shock that anyone could live the way you do and see that you have needs you cannot possibly meet on your own. Somewhere out there are entire communities of people who view disabled people exactly that way and want to take care of people. The role of government has become to relieve so-called "liberals" of the burden of soiling themselves with the lowest of society while blaming the middle class and the wealthy. Good grief, if the poor, disabled, and infirm mean that much to you, why aren't you on the front lines relieving their distress and misery? Well, because it's GOVERNMENT'S job to do that...I can't be bothered with it.

It creates the illusion that people aren't actually suffering, or making it the responsibility of someone else other than myself to assist. So Americans largely lack much of a desire to end suffering in the west largely because there's no suffering sitting on their front doorstep or encroaching on their backyard to do something about it. That's something that happens on the other side of the train tracks, or something that happens only to "those" people. It's too easy to send our parents to substandard, government-subsidized nursing homes where they'll rot and eat food that's barely above prison quality. And if I have to take three jobs and never get a full night's rest again, I'll make darned sure MY mother never has to go through that. Or I'll go visit my best friend who has Alzheimer's to make sure he's taking care of himself and not wandering off again. People who THINK for themselves and CARE about what's best for themselves will always see the value of the elderly (what if that was MY mother?), the disabled (what if that was MY daughter?), and the sick (what if that was ME?). But when government steps in and lowers the standard at a greater cost to fill the bellies of the greedy and who is "deserving" becomes about political play than actual merit, how do you justify even calling it "welfare"???

Sure, I've been down on my luck. I don't mind admitting that I've spent entirely too many hours at the health department and at WIC because we couldn't afford food for our children. I don't mind admitting that we've been homeless, jobless, hopeless, and no prospects. I know how bad life can be--and then experience the same psychological torment seeing my own kid going through the same kinds problems with teachers and with bullying that I experienced around the same age. Yeah...life can really, REALLY suck. And I know we were fortunate enough to dig ourselves out. We accepted WIC for a while until we realized we were eating at our favorite Mexican place at least once a week. We stopped taking WIC, became more and more resourceful, cut out as much debt as we possibly could, and now we pay up utilities entire years in advance so that we almost never pay any bills. I'm not fooling myself to think every single person who suffers something can pull this off like we did. But we believed in ourselves and expected great things around every corner. And with every new hit we took, we asked ourselves WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING? And we were sick to death of nothing happened as we expected it to happen. We took on new challenges, threw a lot of junk in dumpsters, reordered our thinking, and communicated with people who claimed they wanted to be close to us. We held teachers' feet to the fire to end the issues happening with our son. Got rid of our credit cards and medical bills. Changed our habits. Expected only the best and made sure only the best was what we got. Taught our kids they're worthy people, too. Taught them that the words of idiots are wind. Kept working at whatever we could even when our situation didn't seem hopeful at all.

I don't blame people like yourself for seeking welfare. Welfare exists because people do have needs. But as I've already said, the nature of welfare has become such that important, able people won't see you. Welfare doesn't exist for people like you. It exists for people who deem themselves too good to go near the untouchables and the unclean. Rather than sink substantial portions of their own money into honest care, they prefer that everyone take a cut from the wealth they EARN, from what they've worked for and deserve, and distribute it according to their own definition of fairness. They want to force the rich and the middle classes to do something in violation of their values and will in order to keep their own hands clean. It's not made by people who love you. It's made by people who hate you and want to keep you out of their sight, or at least out of sight until an election year.

I don't have a problem with people who accept welfare who have worked and paid taxes into the welfare system. I don't begrudge you receiving benefits at all. Or if your parents paid into a system intended to help you, I think that's perfectly fine. Or if your own children or grandchildren pay into a system that they trust to look after you, that's plenty fine. The way I look at it, if you've contributed positively to society and have had to literally pay society for being a productive person as opposed to society rewarding you, welfare is an entitlement in which you are only taking back what was rightfully yours to begin with. The problem with welfare in this context, an entitlement you've earned, is that legislators can only justify welfare laws by demonstrating that you are too stupid to manage your own money while you are able and working. Not only do they assume YOU are too stupid, but they assume EVERYONE is too stupid to do the right thing. If someone squanders their own money and suffers the consequences, that's THEIR fault. If you die poor, cold, and alone because you didn't invest well and you mistreated your children and everyone around you, that's YOUR problem. It's not fair to do everything right in life and have great, potential benefits only to lose all or most of that to people who are too stupid to be bothered with making wise choices.



Pepe
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10 Dec 2019, 6:28 pm

"The insurance industry is there to make money and not help people"???
In what universe? 8O

"Big Business". :eew:

The best solution I can offer to cope with the appalling reality of life, the universe and everything is to:
1. Find a sandpit.
2. Dig a head-sized hole.
3. Place head in said hole.
This works very well for me personally. 8)

"Sorry" for my "toxic" humour,
But can anyone deny that it isn't in keeping with the tone of this video clip? :mrgreen:

P.S.
The American health system is an abomination.

P.P.S.
I really do hesitate to turn on the news because I am fed up with all the misery which oozes out of the boob tube.
And now I can't even enjoy the sparse "Feel Good" stories because of "your" video?
Thank you,
Thank you very much!. :tongue: :wink:


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If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,


"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet." Humour is not meant to be taken seriously, yet many on the left pervert its intent.
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


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Bradleigh
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10 Dec 2019, 8:37 pm

AngelRho wrote:
So freaking what??? I believe I already answered that question.

It's irrational to feel guilty about being wealthy, especially money that's inherited. That's just stupid. People who are wealthy or who possess strong abilities are in unique positions to pass their knowledge, ability, and values to their children since, after all, children are extensions of their parents. I don't envy people of privilege who have good education and jobs as a product of ancestral effort. What you're missing is that it takes no effort to inherit wealth when there's wealth to inherit. What takes effort is standing on your parents' shoulders, reaching greater heights of success, and getting your own children to do the same.


And what you don't understand is that people can end up in a bad situation, or their children can, from no fault of their own, while those people who inherited their wealth still have more money than they would know what to do with. Or perhaps they do want to make themselves feel better, so they donate to a dog charity that does not need it instead of to poor people who do.


AngelRho wrote:
Bradleigh wrote:
Saying that people who receive government assistance are moochers is something I take as incredibly ignorant and an awful stance to take.

Then what are they, then? I'm not talking about people who have absolutely no other means or resources. But everyone had or has a family at some point. If you love your parents and wish to honor them by making sure they are well cared for, even if you yourself are unable to care for them in your own home, why would you not do whatever it was you could afford to do?


So you want to just throw people who may have lost their family, or cannot afford to be looked after, under a bus? I don't think you understand how awful this sounds.


AngelRho wrote:
If your best friends and neighbors tragically lost their children while you lost your own parents long ago, and they need someone to look in on them from time to time, why wouldn't you support them if you love them? Rational people will do that because they know they'd want someone to do that for them if circumstances were different. Good, thinking people do that kind of thing--not because they OWE it to someone to help them, but because they VALUE having those people in their lives.


So the neighbours should feed and pay the cancer treatment of someone who has no one else? And what about the people who are not helped by their neighbours? Just too bad for them? I myself am an introvert with pretty high social anxiety, probably should not expect people like me to interact with people the same level as more extroverted people.

@ AngelRho
I am sure you consider yourself a strong thinker for how you have expressed all that, and a big feeler for how you support charities and believe in how great bonds of family are that fight for each other. But I think you are kind of lack empathy for people outside of your bubble. You are assuming that people in a hard spot deserve it, and the majority of people on welfare are just on it in perpetuity of not doing anything else. I won't deny that you can find such people, but I think that they are a minority to people who genuinely need it.

If you believe that you are a great person that would help your neighbour, that is fine, but not everyone is like that. Not everyone would even help their, even if their parents were great. Awful people can be birthed by caring and giving people, who would just be thrown to the wolves rather than actually looked after. And that should not be something the parent should be punished for. You asked The_Walrus why the guy lost his health coverage, watch the video and you should learn that it was because he moved to look after his mother.

You clearly seem to believe in the good nature of the individual, the power of a parent to look after child, a child to look after a parent, for neighbours to look after each other. But you seem to lack the power of empathy for someone you cannot see, someone far away from you, or someone you have not spoken to. You just assume the worst, that they are lazy and a drain. And you assume that if they are not, someone else will look after them. But do you understand how many problems around you that might be invisible to your perspective? I think that you would rather believe that they don't exist, or perhaps that they are just someone else's problem and they are the bad ones for doing nothing.

The numbers say that looking after others, those that need it, becomes more efficient when done as a group, and with awareness of people to look for where it is needed. This is not about placating "liberals" from needing to do anything themselves and finding an enemy to blame. It is about giving a damn to even those you know nothing about, which is not only the moral thing to do, but is the most efficient. You kind of seem to have convinced yourself that people on the Left just care about being entitled and blaming someone else, not that maybe a good amount of them care about even people outside of their view.


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AngelRho
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10 Dec 2019, 8:51 pm

Pepe wrote:
"The insurance industry is there to make money and not help people"???
In what universe? 8O

"Big Business". :eew:

The best solution I can offer to cope with the appalling reality of life, the universe and everything is to:
1. Find a sandpit.
2. Dig a head-sized hole.
3. Place head in said hole.
This works very well for me personally. 8)

"Sorry" for my "toxic" humour,
But can anyone deny that it isn't in keeping with the tone of this video clip? :mrgreen:

P.S.
The American health system is an abomination.

P.P.S.
I really do hesitate to turn on the news because I am fed up with all the misery which oozes out of the boob tube.
And now I can't even enjoy the sparse "Feel Good" stories because of "your" video?
Thank you,
Thank you very much!. :tongue: :wink:

The way insurance companies have treated patients is absolutely horrid. There’s nothing wrong with profits being your chief motivation. You deserve a return on the work you do and you at least have to make a living. But it’s absurd to take money only to deny patients what they deserve because they paid for it. A deductible that’s so high you can’t afford even THAT much, so insurance never even pays anything because you never make it that far? Or even after you meet your deductible they still refuse to pay, claiming some ridiculous loophole? That’s a scam, and it happens entirely too often. The problem with insurance companies is largely due to state regulations that essentially create regional monopolies, rather than open up the markets. It HAS a gotten somewhat better, but not to the extent we’re purchasing a plan. I don’t mind if good people profit off me. But when dishonest people sell you something and fail to deliver, and there are no other honest options, and then governments tie your hands and force you to buy it, it’s a serious problem. If I buy something, I expect something.

I’m ok with big business. But there’s a question of how a business gets big. In bed with government is not something I’m in favor of.



AngelRho
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11 Dec 2019, 12:45 pm

Bradleigh wrote:

And what you don't understand is that people can end up in a bad situation, or their children can, from no fault of their own, while those people who inherited their wealth still have more money than they would know what to do with. Or perhaps they do want to make themselves feel better, so they donate to a dog charity that does not need it instead of to poor people who do.



Bradleigh wrote:

So you want to just throw people who may have lost their family, or cannot afford to be looked after, under a bus? I don't think you understand how awful this sounds.



Bradleigh wrote:
So the neighbours should feed and pay the cancer treatment of someone who has no one else?

If the neighbors WANT to do that then by all means they should.

Bradleigh wrote:
And what about the people who are not helped by their neighbours? Just too bad for them? I myself am an introvert with pretty high social anxiety, probably should not expect people like me to interact with people the same level as more extroverted people.

People cannot be held responsible for the plight of others when their actions by no means caused it. I have no power over anyone that they should become homeless. Why should it be my responsibility to make sure they have a home? I don't know that guy.

But if he happens to be my friend and I believe circumstances can change and I actually WANT to help, I see nothing wrong with that. But I shouldn't be held responsible for people I don't even know for circumstances I have absolutely no control over. If it doesn't affect me or anyone I love, there's no rational basis for even wanting control over their circumstances. And if their circumstances arise from choices they consciously made, fully aware of the consequences, I have no desire to help them, anyway, and it doesn't matter what our exact relationship is. If my mom is of otherwise sound mind, treated me like dirt my whole life, never once attempted reconciliation or somehow making it up to me even symbolically, heck yeah I'd throw her under the proverbial bus. And I wouldn't lose one hour's sleep over it, either. It just happens that I have a positive relationship with my mom such that if she lost her mind to dementia I'd move heaven and earth if I could to take care of her. I can't say the same for my stepfather. By law I have to let him live in my house because of a life estate. But if my step-siblings show no interest in retrieving his things from my garage, I'm having a bonfire with them and will probably dance naked around it while it burns.

I don't imagine that every person out there deserves unfortunate circumstances. Businesses fail, families split, and natural disasters happen. I won't deny that people have helped me out before when I was unable to do some things. I won't deny I still lean on others, especially at work. But I can do that because it is clear to me without the least doubt that I'm valuable there and people want what I have to offer. They aren't obligated to help me. But it's clear they WANT to, and should it ever happen that such is no longer the case, I'd sell everything I have and move to the next town. I expect much from my life and those around me. If I'm ever dissatisfied with that, I move on. So I think what often happens is that people tend to think the worst of everything and everyone, including themselves, and that makes it seem impossible to sell everything but the car and the luggage and move on. People often find themselves in bad situations completely unaware that they have the power to change things. I've been homeless before. I never expected to be homeless. I expect to never endure that again. I asked myself WHY this happened to me. I had to be honest. I had to make some hard choices. But I've never had to worry about having a place to live ever since. If other people delude themselves that their situation is hopeless and insist on living that way, always expecting the worst, I can't be held responsible for that.

Now...what should the proper role of government be in all this? Well, why not look at the causes of homelessness? Most homeless people I encounter are mentally ill. They really are a danger to themselves and others. The role of government is to protect its citizenry. I have no problem whatsoever with my tax money going to mental institutions, prisons, police and military while they are doing their jobs within reason. People who are mentally unable to function in society, people who are known to be unrepentant and dangerous, should be locked away. And if people are able to go about their business safely and securely, taking care of people they love even if they aren't directly responsible for them is something they can afford to do. Let mom live at home with dementia with a nurse of companion to help her with her daily needs rather than putting her in a nursing home where she'll rot. And since charities won't be regulated to death, there's plenty to go around for all people with special needs.

Bradleigh wrote:
@ AngelRho
I am sure you consider yourself a strong thinker for how you have expressed all that, and a big feeler for how you support charities and believe in how great bonds of family are that fight for each other. But I think you are kind of lack empathy for people outside of your bubble. You are assuming that people in a hard spot deserve it, and the majority of people on welfare are just on it in perpetuity of not doing anything else. I won't deny that you can find such people, but I think that they are a minority to people who genuinely need it.

If you believe that you are a great person that would help your neighbour, that is fine, but not everyone is like that. Not everyone would even help their, even if their parents were great. Awful people can be birthed by caring and giving people, who would just be thrown to the wolves rather than actually looked after. And that should not be something the parent should be punished for. You asked The_Walrus why the guy lost his health coverage, watch the video and you should learn that it was because he moved to look after his mother.

Try actually reading my posts. I know it's a lot, but I make the most effort to cover all my bases. I KNOW he lost his health coverage because he moved. WHY, though, does it make ANY DIFFERENCE if you move? That's a problem of insurance companies acting as regional monopolies which would NEVER HAPPEN without legislation making it happen that way. Insurance providers are pretty stupid if they cancel policies over imaginary political lines. Yet it's against the law for them to operate across state lines like that. My operating theory on that is that the insurance companies and the states work together to keep it that way. Deregulate them, allow them to compete on a level playing field, and see which ones succeed and which ones fail. If your provider provides bad or non-existent service, switch to a competitor. If no one will pick you up because of a pre-existing condition, find or create a product that will work with that. Most people are afraid of leaving a company because of a preexisting. A lot of money could be made on a product that specializes in just such a thing. It's just a matter of making something like that in a way it could be profitable.

Insurance by its nature doesn't work that way, though. Insurance is about people who are healthy, keeping them healthy, and solving problems when things go wrong. It's about the future, not the present. So a product that works with preexisting cannot be insurance. It's something else, and so if you started a business that traded in insurance securities to help move patients out of one company into another, you'd have to be pretty smart and would probably make a lot of money. You'd buy a patient's account based on how much he payed in premiums versus his current needs and sell that to a new company. That way, companies could potentially make better profit by changing out liabilities. I don't know if such a thing already exists, but that could be a big money-maker for whoever is brave enough to go for it.

Bradleigh wrote:
You clearly seem to believe in the good nature of the individual, the power of a parent to look after child, a child to look after a parent, for neighbours to look after each other. But you seem to lack the power of empathy for someone you cannot see, someone far away from you, or someone you have not spoken to.

I can't be held responsible for people I don't know and don't have any relationship with. That's not fair to anyone. You say I lake empathy, but who out there will show ME empathy? Anyone? And why SHOULD they? What is it about me that anyone owes me anything?

I don't WANT empathy. If people value me and choose to me reward me, I think that's pretty awesome. But they don't owe it to me. If I provide goods and services that people want and wish to support me in, then we can have a conversation. But if I do what I do 100% el freebo, I won't be able to survive. I don't want your empathy. I want your money, and not a penny more than I deserve.

Bradleigh wrote:
You just assume the worst, that they are lazy and a drain. And you assume that if they are not, someone else will look after them. But do you understand how many problems around you that might be invisible to your perspective? I think that you would rather believe that they don't exist, or perhaps that they are just someone else's problem and they are the bad ones for doing nothing.

Who assumes the worst? I assume that people will take personal responsibility for themselves, that people value each other and will work for the good of all because the good of all is good for the individual. Moreover, I believe people actually WANT to love others and see that they are doing well. In fact, the WILL or DESIRE that everyone benefit is what I'm betting my life on. WILL, or DESIRE, but NOT FORCE. Forcing people to love each other is not love and it's not empathy.

Bradleigh wrote:
The numbers say that looking after others, those that need it, becomes more efficient when done as a group, and with awareness of people to look for where it is needed.

When people WANT to, yes.

Bradleigh wrote:
This is not about placating "liberals" from needing to do anything themselves and finding an enemy to blame. It is about giving a damn to even those you know nothing about, which is not only the moral thing to do, but is the most efficient. You kind of seem to have convinced yourself that people on the Left just care about being entitled and blaming someone else, not that maybe a good amount of them care about even people outside of their view.

Why should I care about anyone I don't know? If it doesn't care about what I care about and support me in what I do, it's not anywhere on my radar. I'm not going to waste my life on things or people I know nothing of. That's irrational and morally wrong.

***Caveat: There is a rational context for caring about strangers, and I've already made that abundantly clear in a prior post. Of course I care about people I don't know. But I care about them on MY terms for MY REASONS. The idea that someone must love someone on someone else's terms, is obligated to love everyone just for consuming oxygen, and legally enforcing universal love is repugnant to me.



AngelRho
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11 Dec 2019, 12:58 pm

@Bradleigh: I'm not big in Con/Lib dichotomy in politics. Leftists/Collectivists may care about others, but I find the way they do it repulsive. I do good things because I WANT to, not because I feel guilty or owe it to someone else or some authority to do something good. I'm a Christian. But it is my desire to do good things on MY terms, not because I think God or Jesus or Mary or some saint or angel is breathing down my neck to do it, and even the Bible confirms that what pleases God is that we do these thing because we want to. It's the heart of the doer that matters. I'm sure there are good-hearted people on the left that genuinely love others and want to make things better. There's no question about that. But I think "real" people on the left are more often misguided. They are altruistic without thought to where altruism leads. Much of what happens with leftists is not loving towards the general public, but is terribly hateful. Their basic assumptions are that people are too stupid to make the best decisions for themselves. Poor people can't do anything on their own without their rich, white saviors. It's a racist view and destructive, yet they are convincing enough to get votes.

And before you say I'm just a closed-minded conservative, our conservative politicians are driven by the exact same political aspirations of the left. They're just selling a different scam is all. They're just as dishonest, greedy, and morally bankrupt. My own voting is irrelevant here. While my ideology happens to be more right-leaning, this isn't a problem that can be solved through government. If you believe I think this is a problem that can be solved by electing the right politician, you haven't been paying attention.