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Nutshell vs Reverend Rick

Discussion in 'Discussion of One-on-One Debates' started by Reverend Rick, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    I was challenged to a one on one debate by Nutshell. We where discussing poverty and hunger in the United States. Not only have I accepted the challenge, but started the thread. I await my most worthy opponent to reply.

    I believe this will be a debate of the highest caliber and require no ground rules myself because of my utmost respect for Nutshell and his religion. I am sure when he issued his challenge, he had a few things in mind, so I await his reply.
     
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  2. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for starting the thread, Rick. I'll be back to post, but right now I have some family business to attend to. Stay tuned.
     
  3. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Take your time and post when ready.
     
  4. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Rick, I would like to begin with a position statement.

    It is my position that there is a class of people called "the working poor." These people live in poverty despite holding employment (sometimes multiple jobs) and remain in this position not because of their lack of work, but because the "system" works agaisnt them.

    Note: I do not believe in free handouts and I do not believe in "throwing money at the problem." Before I detail what I think we should do, I think, Rick, that you should define your position. Based on the other thread, I believe your position is that such a class as the working poor does not exist because people do not remain in poverty because of the system, but because of poor personal choices. Is that right?
     
  5. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Yes, I believe you have described our positions accurately.

    John Edwards has stated during the last year that we have 37 million "poor" in our country. The census department several years ago said 35 million, so the number seems acceptable to me.

    That is one in eight Americans. On the surface that seems outrageous until you examine how a "poor" American is defined. I believe the number is contrived by counting how many folks are living below the poverty line.

    Here are some facts about these people:

    46% own their own home.

    76% have air conditioning. By American standards, 30 years ago only 36% of all Americans enjoyed air conditioning.

    The average home that these "poor" own is a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, garage, porch or patio and only 6% of these homes are over crowded.

    The average "poor" American has more living space than the average person living in Paris, London, Vienna, or Athens.

    3/4 of these "poor" Americans have a car, and 30% of these "poor" Americans have two or more cars.

    97% of "poor" Americans have a color TV, and over half have two or more TVs.

    78% have a VCR or a DVD player and 62% of "poor" Americans have cable!

    73% have a microwave and more than half have a stereo.

    1/3 of "poor" Americans have a dishwasher

    One in four "poor" Americans have a cell phone!

    These "poor" starving people are in fact super nourished and on average are one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the average GI in WW2.

    I'm not denying that someone, somewhere is hungry tonight, but is it because they just don't have anything on their shelves they like or is it because they are too sorry to fix something or unable to budget their resources appropriately?

    The biggest reason these folks are "poor" in the first place is because their parents don't work enough hours and many fathers are absent parents.

    75% of the working "poor" work 16 hours or less. If one parent worked at least 40 hours, 75% would not be in poverty.

    Food stamps, Public Housing, Medicaid all reward idleness and penalise marriage.

    2/3 of the "poor" live in single parent homes.

    Each year, 1.3 million out of wedlock babies are born. If the absent father's income was considered, 3/4 of these children would not be "poor'.

    The Heritage Foundation Research: Welfare
     
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  6. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    I may go back and respond to your post in more detail, but for now, to understand your position better, I want to ask another question:

    Assuming everything you posted above is true, do you deny the possibility that there are at least some people who are in poverty because of the system?
     
  7. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    We need to define "system". Welfare is a system that traps folks. If you do try to work, they cut your check or perhaps take your medical insurance away. I'm not completely sure what system you are speaking about.

    The same thing for figures. I at least had a source for my figures, but you and I did not personally go around and verify them, it is a best guess deal at best. I hate when people spew out number out of thin air, but admit anyone can find something to support just about anything on the internet.

    This is how I view these numbers. A common denominator seems to be 75%. What I gather is, 1 in 4 of seem to be having real trouble that could not be fixed by picking up a few more working hours.

    One in 32 instead of one in eight in real poverty would be a realistic number to me or acceptable to my idea of what poor is. People who own air conditioned homes and have several cars and TV's does not sound to me like they are poor.

    Food management can be chaotic in big families especially with growing teens. I can see situations where families are litterly eaten out of house and home and food stamps don't make it to the end of the month. However, food stamps are figured on a family spending some of their own money as well for food. I can see where that might not be possible, as situations arise that need imediate attention and all your available cash could be gone.

    This is where food banks fill in these end of the month, no food problems.

    You have to admit though, 3 out of 4 people working 16 hours or less is unacceptable.
     
  8. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    "System" is not welfare by itself. What I'm referring to is the combination of a primarily capitalistic society with some social benefits.

    Based on that definition of "system," can you answer my question in post #6 please.
     
  9. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    OK, anyone who speaks in absolutes is going to be absolutely wrong.

    To answer your question, No, I do not deny the possibility of some people being in poverty by no fault of their own. Poverty does not have to be a death sentence however. There is always a way out if you try hard enough. What is truly sad is when people just give up and accept their lot in life.

    It is heart breaking when illness, death, job loss, business failures or other unforeseen things happen that devastates a family. Some times people lose everything, many bounce back while others languish.

    I'm not trying to be evasive, but putting the responsibility for failure on the "system" sounds like a cop out to me. I'm sure the system did someone in somewhere, but this is not the reason folks fail in life usually IMHO.

    Do you believe personal responsibility is a bad thing?
     
  10. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely.

    OK. I think we've identified the key difference in our positions. We agree that some people may be in poverty by no fault of their own (children come first to mind). However the disagreement is this:

    Reverend: There is always a way out if you try hard enough.

    Nutshell: There is not always a way out, even if you try hard.

    Please note that I'm all for hard work and scraping and doing everything it takes to get out of poverty and I believe most people can do this. However, I believe there are some people who, no matter how hard they try, will be stuck in poverty because of the system (that is, the combination of capitalism and social services).

    Of course not. What I'm arguing is there are those who take personal responsiblity, but remain in poverty because of the system.
     
  11. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    What is the system doing to keep them down?

    If I may add, do you believe we can wipe out poverty completely?

    75% of the "poor", don't have it so bad right now, by world standards. I believe we can do better, but just how much better? Spending seven dollars to give one tax dollar to help the poor is a pretty inefficient system.
     
  12. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    Rick, it is obvious by you PMs that I am not posting as frequently as you would like.

    I recommend the debate be closed.
     
  13. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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