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  1. #101
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Perhaps, but I imagine that technological triumphs will dwarf and slow decline of the working class. For every recession, there is some asshole, somewhere, creating some new method of sustaining vast numbers of humans. Find vaccines, prolong millions of lives. Irrigate crops, sustain billions. Mechanize an industry, the quality of these lives increases ten fold. There are few things that can sabotage this process.

  2. #102
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Perhaps, but I imagine that technological triumphs will dwarf and slow decline of the working class. For every recession, there is some asshole, somewhere, creating some new method of sustaining vast numbers of humans. Find vaccines, prolong millions of lives. Irrigate crops, sustain billions. Mechanize an industry, the quality of these lives increases ten fold. There are few things that can sabotage this process.
    Cheap, sustainable fuel would be something I can imagine doing that. I hope you are right.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #103
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    There is little need to hope, it is inevitable. Or perhaps I listen to too much NPR.

  4. #104
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    A lot of people seem to be bringing up relative poverty here. It is typical for poverty to be divided into two categories, relative and absolute.

    Defining the point of absolute poverty is typically somewhat arbitrary, but it generally revolves around an idea that certain things are necessities and people in absolute poverty are getting an insufficient amount of those things. Defining a necessity is harder than you might think, though.

    Relative poverty refers to be being impoverished in comparison to others in a community/society. Typically people are defined as relatively impoverished if they are a large chunk below the average level of prosperity. The average is defined by the scope being used, as it could be the average within a town, or a whole country.

    It is popular to mention relative poverty among those who are opposed to complaints about poverty or inequality in this country. It seems to me that it is in not so many words saying "Don't really have a problem, stop your whining!". I don't particularly like that argument.

    First of all, absolute poverty is still pretty common around the world. It is also present in every country on earth, in differing amounts. The USA's amount of absolute poverty is of course not as bad as Namibia's, but it is on the other hand worse than any other first-world country's. One of the problems is that if there is enough inequality in society, and not enough social aid, absolute poverty can appear in a highly advanced civilization. The technology and wealth that a whole country is attributed with, is of course only a constituency of the wealth and technology posessed by individuals within the society. If you are one of the people that is destitute, owns and accesses little technology, and nobody above seems willing to give you enough help, there's no reason for you to care about how advance the country supposedly is, because you might as well be in Bolivia or Angola.

    Another reason relative poverty is very important is that it almost directly amounts to relative power in a society. Institutions of law and government, as well as the forces of influence on business, become unequal along with the inequality of wealth. Not to mention that in mere day-to-day activities, a person many degrees above you in the wealth brackey will have an advantage over you in whatever they want. The point is that a person who is much wealthier than a typical Ethiopian, but is relatively poor as, say, an American, does have a real complain to make, in that they are inherently under-represented for being relatively poor.

    Finally, I don't think the fact that Americans are only relatively poor means they don't have a decent argument. If it is possible to make the average American wealither, why not? Instead of asking why it's necessary, ask what damage would be done by trying to make it so. And suppoer you are a rich person, and you have made the argument that poor Americans shouldn't complain so much because things are so much worse for people in the third world. My advice is stop saying that to the poor, because they can hardly do anything about it. By virtue of being somewhat wealthier than the third-world people, they can, but you are far more suited for fixing the problem than they are. And if the poor Americans have too much to justifiably complain, then you clearly have too much to justifiably complain, so I guess you won't have a problem giving a lot of up, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    There's a reason for that, which is that I don't want to fight with you. You seem to have thought about the problem a good deal, which is why I thought you might have worked out some answers.
    There are multiple reasons, relatively few of them are good reasons. I already mentioned much of the factors that are involved in what makes a person wealthy or not.

    And if you know poverty won't end (even be it relative poverty), you know that the opportunity for people to skillfully work their way to wealth is very exclusive.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    And if you know poverty won't end (even be it relative poverty), you know that the opportunity for people to skillfully work their way to wealth is very exclusive.
    Well, there's a difference between "working your way to wealth" and simply not being poor. I think it's very possible to work your way to adequate food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. Access to health care is in flux right now, but I think it'll be solidly doable in a few years.

    Isn't that what we mean by "the end of poverty"?

  6. #106
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    One man's adequate is another man's perceived failure. I know I could never rest easy only being "adequate", but I imagine I could settle for it. The strive to succeed just by itself makes the end of "poverty" an impossibility, I believe.

  7. #107
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    One man's adequate is another man's perceived failure.
    ...and yet there are some very objective measures for these criteria.

    • Does everyone in the household get his or her RDA of calories and nutrients on the average day (Y/N)?
    • Does anyone in the household ever skip a meal due to lack of availability of food during a typical week (Y/N)?
    • Do all members of the household have clean, serviceable clothing that fits, and is available for use every day (Y/N)?
    • Do all members of the household live in housing that maintains reasonable living conditions (temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees, no vermin) (Y/N)?
    • Do all members of the household have access to safe transportation on an as-needed basis (Y/N)?


    What we're looking at here is the dividing line where one's living conditions either do or do not limit opportunities... for example you can't interview for a job because you don't have a clean shirt to wear, or your kids can't concentrate on their schoolwork because they're going to school hungry. They're the basic minimums for being a functional person in the US.

  8. #108
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    These minimums are an excellent standard and should be a reality, but I don't believe that they would contribute to the elimination of poverty. If all of them were met, they would no longer be lofty goals and triumphs of social justice, but instead merely the next standard we need to boost ourselves out of. Don't think that I do not applaud these efforts, but instead realize that complacency throughout a society will likely not be a reality.

  9. #109
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, there's a difference between "working your way to wealth" and simply not being poor. I think it's very possible to work your way to adequate food, clothing, shelter, and transportation. Access to health care is in flux right now, but I think it'll be solidly doable in a few years.

    Isn't that what we mean by "the end of poverty"?
    There are multiple meanings to the end of poverty, as I went over in my rather substantial edit of my previous post. And relative poverty is not a frivolous concern.

    Regarding your list of standards, there's plenty more than that which divides opportunities. And it, too, does not address significant problems with relative poverty.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #110
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    There are multiple meanings to the end of poverty, as I went over in my rather substantial edit of my previous post. And relative poverty is not a frivolous concern.

    Regarding your list of standards, there's plenty more than that which divides opportunities. And it, too, does not address significant problems with relative poverty.
    True... but I would make my list of criteria the first priority, and addressing relative poverty a secondary concern.

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