Pope Francis: Capitalism is “a new tyranny”

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by chompalot, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    We do try to do those things through compulsory education. But the many effects of poverty combine for a pretty formidable opposing force. And it's not just 'poverty' per se, but inequality. We will always have inequality and in and of itself, it's not bad or good, but when inequality grows, it puts more downward pressure on those in subordinate economic positions while often strengthening or consolidating wealth for those in economically predominant positions. It makes it harder to even just sustain a modest middle class.

    But one of your criticisms--free scholarships--makes sense, no? While there's no one way to economic success, a university education has certainly helped move some from poverty into the middle or even upper classes. College/Universities don't just educate but open up networks and opportunities that were not there before. Those who have means can afford to put off going straight to work out of high school in order to go to college to help establish a better future for themselves and their families. It is unrealistic for many if not most of those who are poor (a sizable percentage of which are children, elderly, or disabled) so we have to, to a large extent, deal with the social and economic conditions as they exist now.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  2. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Well our standard of living has certainly increased so yeah, Ben might not be completely off. But let me ask this, would we really want out poor living in the conditions in which other countries' poor live? What are the effects of this type of poverty, not just for the poor, but larger society?

    Also, leaving aside any moral argument, isn't that we have a such an incredible standard of living on some measures part of the reason why we should be helping the poor. Poverty weakens/burdens and undermines the social order. It's already bad enough that some places in the US are torn up from poverty, disadvantage, and crime, but I don' think we would benefit by making things even worse by cutting off the kind of assistance that might very well help prevent things from worsening. Speaking of which, couldn't it be possible that in some ways what we do--i.e. social welfare (broadly defined)--has both a trap effect, i.e. keeping folks in poverty, and a suppressive effect, i.e. keeping poverty and related outcomes from getting worse, among others?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  3. HallGator
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    Some well thought out replies on here. Thanks to those who have contributed.
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  4. gatorpa
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    gatorpa Well-Known Member

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    I think due to our standard of living, we are helping the poor, and keep throwing money at see prior posts about the lack of efficacy on changing poverty rates. I would also argue (to that you said this at all) but that the US helps the world with aid, food, men on the ground after disasters more than most of the countries in the world combined. So I think we are doing our part collectively as a country.

    I agree the social welfare can be a trap, I think Thomas Sowell has commented on this quite a bit. The question is are they trapped in the situation by some on purpose (to create dependents) or is it thru misplaced idealism. You get generations of people who "learn" nothing more than how to get theirs from the Man, and then believe that's how life is.
    I don't have a good answer how to stop that as I think there are droves of Pols and talking heads who make their living on it. (See Herman Cain's comments about getting back on the plantain).
  5. RealGatorFan
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    I agree with him to some extent, but just because Bangladesh pays their workers a horrible wage doesn't mean capitalism is the fault. What you have in Bangladesh is early capitalism, much like the US at the turn of the 20th century. This is where unions do work and they will given time. In communism or socialism, unions would not even be allowed and the wage given by the government is the one you get period - no question or complaints or you'll be dealt with.

    If you look at the US, the reason why the income disparity is so glaring is due to one end doing nothing but complain and the other taking advantage of the government. Wall Street isn't causing this bubble, the government is. This is squarely on the shoulders of Obama since he is ultimately responsible for what the Fed does. The banks are just taking advantage of the interest rates while we can't. This isn't capitalism - it's nationalization of the monetary supply.

    A living wage has never worked in the history of the world. All governments that tried it failed and also lead to the collapse of that civilization. The issue is what is a living wage? How do you quantify a living wage? Then, how do you keep prices down without price controls? He talks about the failure of trickle down but what about the impact of trickle up inflation? If you attempt a living wage, prices will go up in equal amounts. If McDonalds pays all of their people at least $15/hr, a Happy Meal will cost over $10. Prices will trickle up and that new Honda Civic eventually costs $40K.
  6. Gatormb
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    Orphans , widows and disabled, yes.

    1Thes 3:10. Don't be a burden. If you don't work, you don't eat."

    Comprendez?
  7. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    Late back to the thread so I'm sure this has been answered. No.
  8. asuragator
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    I would say that that there are multiple ways poverty traps. Poverty itself is the biggest one. But so is rising inequality, as is social welfare. Social welfare factors in as well, but it also serves a necessary form assistance. I don't see it as any main cause, however since people would be poor with or without the welfare. I would ask a somewhat different question, though:

    How much more do social welfare programs trap the poor beyond that which already exists simply as a result of them being poor? In other words, is it really that significant?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  9. Gatormb
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    My
    My experience working with the homeless in a church ministry?

    1). Drugs/alcohol
    2). Lazy.
    3). Mental illness.
    4). Going throug a tough time.

    1 & 2 are the vast majority by far. Feed counsel on Sunday a.m. and they pleasant. Come back at 8pm and they're fried out of their minds.
  10. asuragator
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    It's been my experience that #2 is an outcome of #1, and vice verse (yes, I am having it both ways, thanks, lol).

    Drugs and/or alcohol play a role in poverty, but the causal arrow can go both ways as well. Disentangling this isn't so easy when discussing poverty in the aggregate (i.e. societal wide, not individuals or very small groups). Though to the individual, sure we can make some determinations about which are the likeliest causes.

    Let me ask you though, are you working with adults?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  11. tim85
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    I should have been more specific about the scholarships, free scholarships based on anything other than actual merit. I agree with a lot of what you say, but ultimately disagree with how to deal with those issues.
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    Par for the course. Be thankful of any you can get through to. They may have great intentions when you are talking to them and mean it when they say they are not going to drink/use again but their ability to leave the stuff alone is very weak early on so relapses are the norm.
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  13. Gatormb
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    Yes. Church is downtown with benches and the only public water fountain so the homeless hang out there alot. Feed and minister (most don't listen) every Sunday morning at 7. Special breakfasts on Holidays.
    Most (not really most but a lot) mornings the church staff has to clean up trash, vomit and feces.

    One guy told me he is happy to just "hang a sign" 3 - 4 days a week. $90/day on a "bad" corner, $150 on a "good" one.

    I felt guilty if I didn't give to a panhandler until I saw a Salvation Army sign once in Seattle requesting people not to give to them because it encourages them to stay on the street when help is available through the SA and other avenues.

    Now, I realize homeless and the ”poor” are not necessarily the same but the concept above still applies. Why work when Gov't will pay you not to with subsidized housing, food stamps, AFDC, and free halth care? It has become a culture not to marry the father of your children for extra benefits. It also encourages young men not to get a real "job" because they will have their checks garnished for child support.

    Actually 2 Thes puts it well (I mistakingly said 1 Thes before)

    Warning Against Idleness
    6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. 14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  14. lacuna
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    The admonishment in 2nd Thessalonians concerned idle brethren found in the local church. The Thessalonians to whom the epistle was addressed were advised to not support the lazy found among them. That portion of scripture did not address the needs of 'orphans, widows or [the] disabled.'

    II Corinthians 9:7 informs us that each "should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

    If the member of a church resents charity given, or feels compelled to grudgingly give to those he or she considers 'lazy,' addicted or otherwise undeserving, would it perhaps be better for that member to suspend gifting his time and money until a more charitable attitude is cultivated and established, or the 'lazy and undeserving' exhibit a positive change in keeping with what the church desires?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  15. jimgata
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    Laziness will soon be defined as an illness and the lazy will then be eligible to receive disability handouts. Not that it is not happening to a large degree at present, but will then be recognized as a legitimate reason.
    It seems we want everyone equal, not by raising the individual to a higher standard of living, but lowering everyone to a lower level, dependent on the government for their existence.
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  16. 108
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    good for you, but irrelevant
  17. 108
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    yet the policies of your elected officials to deal with this "moocher" class, is to effect the whole lot
  18. 108
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    i get that, but i don't think you hear on this board from liberals that people don't have a personal responsibility to create better outcomes for themselves in life.

    we tend to point out the unequal opportunities that are ingrained in the system, which conservatives seem to pretend doesn't exist

    the answer is most likely in the middle, yet both parties are too fixed on their own side to actually fix anything
  19. gatorpa
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    Very relevant, if I can do it without the need for the GOV to redistribute wealth then anybody can.

    Unless you think I'm better than those stuck in poverty.
  20. gatorpa
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    Many are just content to "get by", you see that with people you work with I'm sure. There probably is a bell curve with respect to "drive or ambition", the easier it is to eek by the more will do it. I don't think it's our job to work and give up the fruits of our labor so somebody else can live of the Gov.
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