Do the poor who don't work deserve charity?

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jrjones9933
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12 Dec 2013, 10:31 am

Lots of research shows that giving money directly to poor people with no strings attached is a far more cost-effective way to lift people out of poverty than the vast majority of programs designed by experts to help the poor. That said, improving education seems likely to have lots of other benefits in addition to alleviating poverty. M. Night Shyamalan has just published a book that contains a lot of research-based suggestions for improving education, and none of them cost a lot of money, so perhaps we can help the poor and also keep the experts employed. :wink:



thomas81
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12 Dec 2013, 11:22 am

Ganondox wrote:
Fnord wrote:
While some are homeless because of drug abuse, mental illness, or criminal activity, most of them seem to be trying to make something of themselves and get out of poverty.


Why are the mentally ill being lumped with the drug addicts and criminals as opposed to people trying to make something of themselves?

Probably because the life outcomes for the mentally ill are akin to that of drug addicts and criminals.

Its not to say that they morally equate, but society is poorly equipped to deal with them.


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GoonSquad
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12 Dec 2013, 11:29 am

I'd just like to point out that drug abusers/addicts ARE the mentally ill, not moral defectives.


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ruveyn
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12 Dec 2013, 12:01 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
I'd just like to point out that drug abusers/addicts ARE the mentally ill, not moral defectives.


These people brought on their "mental illness" by their unwise choices.

ruveyn



Sweetleaf
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12 Dec 2013, 2:24 pm

ruveyn wrote:
GoonSquad wrote:
I'd just like to point out that drug abusers/addicts ARE the mentally ill, not moral defectives.


These people brought on their "mental illness" by their unwise choices.

ruveyn


That is a rather inaccurate simplification of the issue and isn't always the case. For instance some people become addicted to prescription meds a doctor prescribed them was it 'unwise' of them to take a drug their doctor prescribed? I could bring up other examples of how addiction is not always the result of an unwise choice....Also there are genetic factors that put some people more at risk for drug addiction than others.

Its not to say there is never any unwise choice on the part of the addict involved, but there are a lot more factors than that. Also many addicts already had mental problems before the addiction, perhaps they where trying to alleviate their symptoms through self medication. Point is usually its more complex than 'they brought on their mental illness through unwise choices'.



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12 Dec 2013, 3:49 pm

Some people who are morbidly obese get help for their self inflicted medical problems.Eating disorders can result in people being so heavy they they can no longer move about.This would have to be an addiction,because who in their right mind would want to be that heavy?I'm not talking about people getting puggy because they eat a few extra chips,or they have a bad back and can't move around.An acquaintance was in a car wreck and went from around 120 to 150 because of inactivity due to pain and injury.I'm talking about otherwise healthy people that get extremely overweight.


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GoonSquad
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12 Dec 2013, 4:12 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
GoonSquad wrote:
I'd just like to point out that drug abusers/addicts ARE the mentally ill, not moral defectives.


These people brought on their "mental illness" by their unwise choices.

ruveyn


That is a rather inaccurate simplification of the issue and isn't always the case. For instance some people become addicted to prescription meds a doctor prescribed them was it 'unwise' of them to take a drug their doctor prescribed? I could bring up other examples of how addiction is not always the result of an unwise choice....Also there are genetic factors that put some people more at risk for drug addiction than others.

Its not to say there is never any unwise choice on the part of the addict involved, but there are a lot more factors than that. Also many addicts already had mental problems before the addiction, perhaps they where trying to alleviate their symptoms through self medication. Point is usually its more complex than 'they brought on their mental illness through unwise choices'.


Great post, Sweetleaf.

I'd just like to add that addicts are responsible for their disease in the same way diabetics and heart patients are responsible for theirs. And just like diabetics and heart patients, addicts deserve our understanding and support, not judgement and scorn.

Do you really think anybody wants to be a meth-head?


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jrjones9933
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12 Dec 2013, 4:34 pm

I absolutely agree with Dr. Carl Hart, who points out that better education about drugs would save lives. The current policy of using scare tactics doesn't seem to work at all, so he proposes teaching children useful information like: if you're with an experienced user, start with a small dose; use only one depressant at a time, mixing them gets a lot of people killed right then; when using meth, make sure to get enough vitamins, especially vitamin C, and enough sleep; and other practical advice. Lots of the problems with drug use arise from a lack of this kind of useful information about them.

I don't expect society to adopt his rational approach any time soon. People accuse him of encouraging drug use, which is ridiculous, since if we really wanted kids to resist using drugs we should simply have authority figures and parents explicitly encourage kids to use drugs, amirite?



beneficii
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12 Dec 2013, 4:38 pm

jrjones9933 wrote:
I absolutely agree with Dr. Carl Hart, who points out that better education about drugs would save lives. The current policy of using scare tactics doesn't seem to work at all, so he proposes teaching children useful information like: if you're with an experienced user, start with a small dose; use only one depressant at a time, mixing them gets a lot of people killed right then; when using meth, make sure to get enough vitamins, especially vitamin C, and enough sleep; and other practical advice. Lots of the problems with drug use arise from a lack of this kind of useful information about them.

I don't expect society to adopt his rational approach any time soon. People accuse him of encouraging drug use, which is ridiculous, since if we really wanted kids to resist using drugs we should simply have authority figures and parents explicitly encourage kids to use drugs, amirite?


Very good post. I know of someone else, Natalie Reed, who has written on her experience with this, as she's dealt with addiction, and about how in Vancouver she's able to get methadone to help with her addiction. She mentions the accusatory, moralistic attitude of the general populace and many in the government, as well. I think this whole War on Drugs business is crap, personally.


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thomas81
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12 Dec 2013, 4:44 pm

ruveyn wrote:
GoonSquad wrote:
I'd just like to point out that drug abusers/addicts ARE the mentally ill, not moral defectives.


These people brought on their "mental illness" by their unwise choices.

ruveyn


Not all forms of mental illness or neurological disorders are caused by substance abuse. Quite the contrary. Some, if not most are hereditary or congenital. I'd argue that its the illnesses and syndromes causing the addictions.

Many of these 'unwise choices' could be prevented through better informed medical authorities, increased childhood diagnosis rates and post diagnostic treatment.

For example, before I was diagnosed I knew nothing about asperger's or high functioning autism. Back then I was a dipsomaniac that used to self medicate using alcohol to combat my debilitating social anxiety. Being drunk was the closest I could get to being a sheep among sheep. Inevitably, it caused far more harm than benefit.


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ruveyn
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12 Dec 2013, 5:27 pm

thomas81 wrote:
For example, before I was diagnosed I knew nothing about asperger's or high functioning autism. Back then I was a dipsomaniac that used to self medicate using alcohol to combat my debilitating social anxiety. Being drunk was the closest I could get to being a sheep among sheep. Inevitably, it caused far more harm than benefit.


That is an excellent point which I overlooked. Come to think of it Edgar Allan Poe was a depressive who self medicated with booze. In fact many people back in the 19th century suffering from "melencholia" self medicate. Some with booze, some with opium. Samuel Taylor Colridge, was put into a state of depression by the loss of a child and he self-medicated with opium.

While he did himself harm by getting hook on opium the rest of us profited by the poetry that he wrote under the influence.

For example: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. And Xanadu.



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12 Dec 2013, 6:33 pm

^^^ See there.... You CAN have a reasonable thought every now and then. :P


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hanyo
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13 Dec 2013, 9:21 am

ruveyn wrote:
Don't work as is can not work or don't work as in will not work?


I've noticed that many people do not seem to understand the difference between can't and won't and think that most people that say that they can't do something are just refusing because they don't want to.



ArrantPariah
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13 Dec 2013, 9:54 am

GoonSquad wrote:
^^^ See there.... You CAN have a reasonable thought every now and then. :P


:lmao:



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13 Dec 2013, 10:30 am

I think that the person giving the charity is the one who gets to decide who deserves it. However, we are probably talking about welfare and food stamps so that's the general public. I don't know how to solve that problem or what the answer is because every situation is different. We get food stamps. My husband and I have three of our kids living with us and my daughter's fiancé stays here 99% of the time. My husband works, I am a housewife, my daughter and her fiancé are in college, my son that lives here takes GED classes and my younger daughter is in high school.

Here is why no one except DH works. There is very, very little work to be found in this town. It's a very small town and people hire their friends and family mainly. I've tried everywhere and still keep trying but I never get a job. My daughter and her fiancé have tried as well, but they can't find anything that will allow them the time off needed for their classes. My younger son works here and there, but that's because he can pick up odd jobs doing this or that and when he's worked at the liquor store he got paid cash under the table and worked for less than minimum wage, but it was money which is what he needed. I'm sure you wonder why I don't get a job that isn't in this town. Well, that's because it's 30 minutes in any direction to any other town. I'm serious. I'm in the middle of nowhere. I would be working just to pay the gas money to get to and from work with only a little bit left over. I also cannot drive at night so I couldn't work any hours where I'd be driving before dawn or after about 530 in the evening right now. We have one vehicle but at the moment DH is driving a work truck that he brings home, but we can't count on that forever. Other than the night driving, my daughter and her fiancé are in the same boat. They each have a vehicle but her car isn't running at the moment so they have one car to take both of them 30 minutes one way to school and back. The amount of hours they would get starting out somewhere in the city would probably not be more than gas money to get them there and back, and then factor in wear and tear on either of the cars that happens to be running at the time and you'll see that they would be without a car pretty soon.

My MIL who thinks she knows everything there is to know about finding work asked me why don't I just go knock on doors and ask if I can clean people's houses, she's convinced that would work. That would get the cops called on me for being weird is what it would do. People don't really hire maids around here, if they need help relatives or friends come help them for free, like I'm doing for my neighbor who just had surgery. I've watched kids for people before, but again, usually a relative does that for free, and we do have one day care in town that folks who work full time and make enough money to pay gas and day care use. I do readings for people, but that's whenever somebody calls and wants a reading or a spell. It's not reliable and what money I make with that isn't much more than pocket money. The most I've ever made in a month was a couple hundred bucks and that's really rare to make that much. I crochet things to sell, but again, that depends on someone wanting to buy something and also whether or not they have the money to buy it with.

My daughter's fiancé works little here and there jobs with some friends or alone, when there is something he can do. Painting, hauling, yardwork, that kind of thing. It goes by word of mouth. Same thing my younger son does. My older daughter bakes cakes and such for people when there is a party or a wedding or something but that's maybe one a month if she's lucky. My youngest daughter is trying everywhere to find work but it's hard when there is no work to be had really, and she doesn't have a relative or a friends mother that is doing the hiring.

We can't move out of town either. We own the house, but it's not in our name. It's in my sister in law's name because my MIL doesn't trust my husband not to screw it up and lose it by not paying taxes, etc, and I honestly don't blame her. He's horrible with money - I handle our money, that's a mutual decision. We don't have rent or a mortgage and the house insurance and pest control is paid for with money from the inheritance that we will eventually get (or not, who knows how my MIL has it set up, my SIL could control every penny we get till the day she dies for all I know) but we have the power bill ($250), the water bill ($100), gas for heating and hot water ($150 in winter $75 in summer) the fine for hitting that damn dog that was laying in the middle of the road even though there was a leash law ($250), the title pawn on the van that we got when DH wasn't working ($230), insurance on the van ($45), Netflix ($8). Then we have gas for the van to go anywhere in town ($150 or so a month if we don't go to Tuscaloosa), cleaning and hygiene products ($400), dog and cat food ($50). That doesn't count any kind of emergency thing we need. My husband brings in about $500-$600 a week after taxes. Plus, we do smoke cigarettes, and DH does drink on ball game days, but other than Netflix you can see we don't go running around spending all kinds of money. Anything I buy for me I get at the junk store and it's dirt cheap. My daughter's fiancé pays for the internet. My phone is an Obamaphone and I get 250 minutes a month for it and I buy Tracfone cards when I can afford them.

So, we have about $1650 going out every month and between $2000 and $2400 coming in every month. There is always something else that's needed. Kids need things, the van needs things, etc. If we did not get food stamps, what would we cut out so we could eat? Of course the cigs and his game day alcohol, but that wouldn't even be enough to feed us for a week, let alone a month. The two younger kids have Medicaid but my older daughter doesn't and neither do DH or I. His company doesn't offer health insurance and even if it did, it would only pay for him and it would be entirely too much to cover me and any of the kids, but of course he would get it if it covered him and didn't cost anything.

So, after that rundown in OOM's finances here, and the fact that it looks like in this household of six people, only one works and we eat high on the hog because of food stamps, It sort of looks different once you see the figures, doesn't it? And no, there is no way to lower the utility bills. This house has very, very little insulation and it's a fairly big house (4 br, 3bth, livingroom, diningroom, den, eat in kitchen, laundry room)

Do we deserve charity? I guess it depends on who you are asking. Does it help us keep our heads barely above water? You bet it does!