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The difference between European poverty and US poverty is that in the European case it represents a failure of the system while in the US it is the system.

asdf, you tend to assume that anyone criticising some element of the US thinks that everything is dandy in the EU. That's not true: watch us rant about the latest bit of pandering to the US brilliant statemanship from Blair, the superb ideas coming from the commission or the attitude to our own leaders. But in threads like this we're defending ourselves from the propagandists that tell us we should be just like the US and everything will be wonderful, that in fact the US has too many silly welfare schemes anyway. The pro-free-market Tainiste of Ireland once famously said that we had a choice between being like "Boston or Berlin" suggesting that Boston was a much better model for us. That's what we're dealing with and that's why in these threads the focus is on why the US model isn't such a great one.

We know the problems of our model, and we should really start looking at them in more detail. I suppose that as a result of where this site has come from it's inevitable that comparisons with the US will come up a lot.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 02:31:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Complique!  This subject Izzie introduces is probably too broad.  It's hard to know where to come in.  but Colman, what you say is not true--"US poverty is that in the European case it represents a failure of the system while in the US it is the system."  

Probably an element of both systems criteria is zero or minimal poverty.  But you say the objective of the US system is to maintain poverty?  That is rubbish.  I personally am a proponent of identifying the best in both systems, and I believe there is much to be learned from both.  You might argue that the European "socialist", or whatever you want to call it, is better at achieving that objective.

But, you saying the objective of the American system is to produce an underclass is just BS.  

And while you ask did we miss you criticisms of Blair (which I did), I didn't see your response to the underclass in France (Muslim and Africans, etc, etc.).  

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 04:05:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 the objective of the American system is to produce an underclass is just BS  

It is not the objective, but it is an objective.  This is basic.  You cannot understand American life without understanding this.  

I suppose I should support my claim.  The most direct approach I can think of is to look at President Johnson's "War on Poverty in the mid 1960's.  It did much good, but there were numerous cases where nothing was accomplished.  Corruption aside (there was some) typically that was because there were powerful people who profitted from the poverty of others, and wanted it to continue.  The coal regions of Appalachia (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia) are perhaps the best known of these.  Keeping coal miners destitute was an active goal of the coal companies, and the government's efforts were blocked.  

Naturally, the US does not advertise that an underclass is an essential part of the system.  But it is not much of a secret, either.  

How does this apply to Europe?  Surely I don't know.  But being nominaly socialist, the governments of Europe at least do not work under the burden of an ideology that says the welfare of the people is not a concern.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 04:45:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I suppose I should support my claim"  You think so?

And your first defense is American's banding together to fight poverty?  "The most direct approach I can think of is to look at President Johnson's "War on Poverty in the mid 1960's".  And Europe's social programs somehow mean,,,,like what?

"Europe at least do not work under the burden of an ideology that says the welfare of the people is not a concern."  and where would you go, other than your bias, to support this statement?

Surely you're not serious with these comment?

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps if he said "an ideology which believes that the welfare of the people will be looked after by magic." Magic otherwise known as free-market forces.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:07:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your comment of course ignores the point.  the statement was the objective of the system is to produce an underclass.  Clearly that is not true, as many social programs and policies in place belie that statement.  If you want to argue the policies are inadequate,,,fine.  But is it too much to ask for clarity and logic?  Particularly when the statement as made is false.  <sigh>
by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:20:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is hard to discuss intent, but there are hard facts, like the lack of a serious minimum wage, the absence of health care for the working poor, and the absolute flexibility which puts a lot of workers in precarious positions and thus in the impossibility to negotiate anything with their employer.

Take a look at restaurants. You have 4 waiters in a US restaurant vs. 1 in France for the same amount of work, and wages are probably proportionate to that workload. A waiter in France is middle class; I seriously doubt it's the case in the US. Now you may argue that the result is higher unemployment in France, but that's a different question to that of povery (the unemployed are also supported a lot more in France, so don't fall into poverty - at least not quickly).

So you clearly have a choice to have lots of underpaid jobs in the USA. Some arguments can be made that this is good for dynamism, that it gives a first step on the ladder to everybody (including and especially immigrants), and that it helps fight unemployment, but what it does not is help fight poverty, and indeed seems to encourage it. A pliant and cheap underclass is needed to provide all sorts of menial jobs, from WalMart employees to housecleaners, waiters, swimming-pool maintenance jobs, child care, etc...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But you have just agreed with my point.  To me, there is a huge distinction between saying: "your system and moral principles are created to intentionally create a poor underclass"
and "your policies are deficient in that they are more likely to create a poor underclass".
I don't find this parsing words.  First, the former is IMHO not true in America.  and more pragmatically, if you're closing off debate with 50+% of America, if you say the former.  Questioning people's motives is often a poor approach.  (I could make this point with some crude American jokes about the reason French and Germans have not joined Americans in Iraq--which question their character and motivations, rather than what I believe is a pure disagreement on policy.  But it's not my intention to win a debating point by pissing off many on this site.  But that is what this comment does to a lot of Americans.)  the comment I was challenging was specifically about intent and motivation of Americans.

As to the practical point on policy, is there not data that would allow us to compare the deciles of income between France, Germany, etc., and the US?  I think it's a little difficult to anecdotally compare jobs across countries.  I think I have a little higher opinion of American waiters and retail employees (WalMart, for example) than you might.  I'm sure you know we have some high class restaurants over here where waiters work professionally all their lives.  We're not quite as backward as your question implies. :)

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 06:39:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I don't find this parsing words."

Really?

Colman said: "it is the system." You chose to take that to mean he was "saying the objective of the American system is to produce an underclass" (your emphasis). Now you have embroidered further on that: "your system and moral principles are created to intentionally create a poor underclass".

Colman can make his meaning clear himself, but I think it's perfectly reasonable to take what he said as meaning simply that poverty in the US is systemic. You may disagree with that, or point out that, in your view, the same could be said of Europe, or, as Migeru suggests, that poverty is globally systemic. But don't tweak people's words out into spurious "quotes" in this way.

And let me say that, when you write: "I could make this point with some crude American jokes about the reason French and Germans have not joined Americans in Iraq--which question their character and motivations...", that you have in fact put that down black on white. In other words, if you want to refrain, just refrain. And no, that kind of thing never wins any debating points.

You haven't been at the Napa wine again, by any chance? :-)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, afew, I must admit you may be right on points 1 and 3, and perhaps 2.  (Sounds like a clean sweep)  I did think that was what Coleman was saying, objective that is, but going back and rereading that is not the only possible interpretation, even though I think that is what he meant.  He may choose to elaborate, and we'll see. I may have to plead to unintentional parsing.  Point 2 was meant to distinguish policy from intention--could have been left unsaid.  Guilty on point 3--heck of a memory you have.

Thanks for your post.

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Concerning wine, maybe...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, :)
by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 01:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry if I am wrong about Europe.  That may have been presumption on my part.  Actually, I still hope I am not wrong, but for that I will need to learn the evidence.  

As for the US, I meant what I said:  Yes I believe poverty is a goal of the system.  The social programs you allude to are, in the US, being thoroughly trashed.  The New Deal was seventy years ago, and after a fine run of four decades, it is now road kill.  

I quote myself:  

Keeping coal miners destitute was an active goal of the coal companies, and the government's efforts were blocked.  

You didn't address this, and you should.  If you are American (you didn't say) you have no right to be surprised.  If you aren't, pay attention to what lies behind the glossy advertisements.  

Upthread someone commented on the goal of poverty being alleviated by market forces.  I can only re-inforce that.  Market forces create poverty, inevitably, as weak players find themselves coerced and destroyed in the market.  Even if the economy is "better off" some individuals are much, much worse off.  This is why America had the New Deal, to compensate for that.  None of this is rocket science.  Anyone promoting "market forces" is as a cure for poverty itself is promoting a scam.  


The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 12:09:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point I was trying to make last night, was to distinguish between policies and programs.  Policies, some would say strategies or maybe use another word, lay out the broad objectives of the organization--country, business, or other organization.  They reflect the values of the country or organization.

Programs, and once again other words are sometimes used, are developed to achieve the policies, and the goals that are laid out in the policies.  

These are two very different points.  When you say "The social programs you allude to are, in the US, being thoroughly trashed," you are saying that the programs are not working.  I'm sure there are a number of Americans that would agree with that.  I certainly feel there is significant room for improvement.

But since you seem to be  saying the policies, the intention, of the US is to create poverty, you need to back that up with policy statements from the US government (such as the constitution, or bill of rights, or other policy goals passed by Congress, signed by the President) that lay out poverty as a goal.  I assert that you can't do this because it is not the objective of the US to create poverty for its citizens.

If you want to argue on a program basis, well that is what much of this thread is all about.  How do you document that American poverty is, for example worse than Europe's?  It's likely, IMHO, worse on a relative scale (comparing income distribution in the country), but is it on an absolute scale?  Are the poor in America poorer than the poor in France?  We all have our intuitive feel, but that doesn't get us anywhere.

by wchurchill on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 01:31:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The social programs you allude to are, in the US, being thoroughly trashed," you are saying that the programs are not working  

I appologize for my use of slang.  I meant the programs were being discontinued, probably because they were working.  

On the chopping block right now is Head Start, a  program of pre-school education designed to ready the more disadvantaged for ordinary elementary school.  Not to deny any problems with the program, still, the statistics of success from the program are very good, and indeed, among the best of any educational program in the US ever.  I believe Head Start is being cut because it works.  

But since you seem to be  saying the policies, the intention, of the US is to create poverty, you need to back that up with policy statements from the US government (such as the constitution, or bill of rights, or other policy goals passed by Congress, signed by the President) that lay out poverty as a goal.  

I am one of those people who believe a policy's results have to be counted as part of the strategy, even if they are never stated anywhere.  Now, it is true that people can make errors, and implement something whose results were not what they wanted, but when the results come in and implementation does not change, you have to consider that the results may actually, after all, have been intended.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 02:22:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Summary from 2006 initial budget documents:
The administration is requesting $56 billion for the Department of Education, a reduction of a half billion dollars, or 0.9 percent, from the current spending plan -- which would be the first cut in overall federal education spending in a decade.

The budget would eliminate the Perkins loan program, which provides low-interest loans to low- and middle-income college students. The budget also would end Perkins loan forgiveness for members of the armed services and Peace Corps volunteers. The budget would redirect those savings to increase spending on Pell Grants, which provide college grants to low-income students and raise the maximum award $100 to $4,150 -- the first of five annual Pell increases planned by the White House.

In all, 48 education programs would be terminated, including those providing college-readiness training to low-income high school students and federal vocational education initiatives that the White House said are not performing well or duplicate other federal efforts.

Some of the savings would be used to increase spending in several programs, including $1.5 billion to extend federal No Child Left Behind testing and accountability requirements into the nation's high schools. The federal Title I program for poor children would increase by 4.7 percent, or $603 million, to $13.3 billion, and funding for disabled students would increase $508 million to $11.1 billion.
-------------
So they are "cutting" the budget for the department by 0.9%.  Cutting in Washington means "cutting from what I thought I was going to get", rather than cutting from a base spending level.  And this is an initial document that starts the process off for the 2006 budget--not the final document.  I just don't have the time, but hasn't the real increase year to year for Dept of Education been pretty big increases--I mean real year to year increases.

I think we'd better wait and see what happens, unless of course you're in the government and need to fight for the head start program.

However, my overall impression is that our educational results in the country have been degrading over the last 20 years.  This may be a time to look at new and innovative solutions, rather than just throwing good money after bad, into systems that are entrenched teaching beaurocracies.  I'd like to see some new experimental schooling programs, analyze the results of some pilots, and maybe make some changes based on the results.  It seems to me that the Bush/Kennedy program of at least trying to hold schools accountable for their results seems logical, under the circumstances.  But i'm no expert in this area.  You mention "but when the results come in and implementation does not change", and specifically talk about education.  Yet the government is trying to change education--throwing more money at it over the last 5 years, and recommending accountability and new approaches.  Seems like this should fit with your thinking--ie. they're doing the right thing, reacting to systems that are failing and changing them.

by wchurchill on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 04:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
entrenched teaching beaurocracies.

  1.  The producers, i.e. the teachers, not the consumers, i.e. the students and their parents, determine the result/outcome.  The customers are not the final arbiter, like they are in other industries (electronics, shoes, food, banking, real estate, etc.)  So you have a perfect socialist model doomed for failure.  

  2. The bureaucrats (teachers in this instance) get paid their salary and have a life-time employment, whether the students learn to read or write.  There is no incentive to produce better product/service, i.e. educated children, because your job or your income does not depend on your work result.

(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

  1.  Homeschoolers have higher academic achievements than private school students, who in turn, do much better than socialist school students.  

  2.  
Public schools no place for teachers' kids
In Washington (28 percent), Baltimore (35 percent) and 16 other major cities, the figure is more than 1 in 4. In some cities, nearly half of the children of public school teachers have abandoned public schools
by ilg37c on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:02:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

You just can't help it, can you?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe it's a kind of ideological Tourettism?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:08:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(1)  I challenge you to provide any evidence where a teacher in a socialist school has been fired, because he/she is incompetent!

(2)  I taught in a state-owned school, deep in the ghetto.  No incompetent teacher was ever fired.  The teachers union was so powerful and the teachers had tenure, that even if the teacher turned on the TV or showed a video every day or let the kids do whatever they want, the teacher still kept the job.

by ilg37c on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 12:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I taught in the friggin' University of California. Tenures professors generally didn't give a shit about teaching. I agree it is next to impossible get a bad professor fired. But... the junior faculty, hired lecturers and teaching assistants live under the dictatorship of student evaluations, and pressure from the department itself to make the department look good. This means, the only criterion of quality is "did everyone get an A?". The students can actually get rid of the weaker and younger (hence usually more dedicated and idealistic) among their teachers just because they were held to a standard for the first time in their lives.

So, it's screwed up all around, but again, it's not a matter of socialism, it's a matter of pecking order. And young, non-cynical teachers are at the bottom of the pecking order, just below the school dropout.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 18th, 2005 at 04:21:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  2. The bureaucrats (teachers in this instance) get paid their salary and have a life-time employment, whether the students learn to read or write.  There is no incentive to produce better product/service, i.e. educated children, because your job or your income does not depend on your work result.

(You can fire a teacher only if the teacher murders or rapes a student.  Another socialist paradise).

You see, in settings where the teacher can be fired for student discontent or poor results, nobody other than the teacher cares whether the students actually learn something, only the grades (from the students' point of view) and the standarized test results (from the school's/parents' point of view). So the quality of education steadily deteriorates and teachers steadily become more cynical. A teacher trying to hold his/her students to standards (even fair standards taking into account the course content and allowing for the prerequisites that many students don't have) is asking for a world of trouble.

By the way, private schools do well because they are able to throw out or refuse admission to students with academic or discipline problems. The "socialist schools" are forced to work with every student. So the student pools are not comparable at all, not even after correcting for income differences.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 08:57:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No Child Left Behind is part of the problem:  A program better designed to undermine public education would be hard to design.  So cutting funding from programs that work to fund NCLB is an example of two cuts for the price of one.  

Cute titles don't matter, what the program does is what matters.  NCLB is a perfect example of when you should infer intentions from effects.  

I am beginning to suspect you are toying with me.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Oct 14th, 2005 at 12:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you document that American poverty is, for example worse than Europe's?  It's likely, IMHO, worse on a relative scale (comparing income distribution in the country), but is it on an absolute scale?  Are the poor in America poorer than the poor in France?  We all have our intuitive feel, but that doesn't get us anywhere.

Ah, read the diary that started it all.  You'd never know from the dearth of comments (sorry Canberra Boy), but this is the diary whose information was absorbed and, once the reeling died down, the blowback has been felt in many a thread since.

Un says parts of US as poor as 3rd world by Canberra Boy

In it, he links to the UN report and the summary in the Independent.  Some choice nuggets:

US infant mortality rates are on the rise, currently the same as in Malaysia

Blacks in Washington DC have a higher infant death rate than people in the Indian state of Kerala

Child poverty rates are now more than 20 percent

I probably should've linked to this sooner for those not following every single thread.  Apologies.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 02:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's late and I'm tired, but though the title of the article is "UN says parfts of US as poor as 3rd world", the summary from the Independent doesn't say that--unless I just missed it, and I read it pretty carefully.  It does say that 20% of US children are below the poverty rate, but of course we know that's very different than "poor as 3rd world", due to the definition of poverty rate.  I followed over to the UN report itself, looked at the table of contents, but wasn't able tol guess where this statement might be.  Perhaps if you know where it is, you could point me there.

Yes the infant mortality rates going up are concerning.  One must dig behind the numbers to understand the cause, so it can be addressed.  Once again being tired and having a tough work schedule starting tomorrow, I wasn't able to dig like I would like.  But I know that the level of care in neonatal units of hospitals is incredible today--technology is vastly improved.  I also know from personal experience that here in California mothers get cared for extremely well if they go through the California program--admittedly that's a little anecdotal, but I was surprised at the incredible care that two young woman without health insurance received.

But, from the articles: "One important means of preventing infant mortality is improving the health of infants at birth. The rate of low birth weight (LBW) -- a weight of less than 2500 grams (5.8 pounds) at birth -- has been steadily increasing since 1985, when LBW babies represented 6.8 percent of live births; in 2002, 7.8 percent of all live births were of low weight. Very low birth weight (VLBW) babies -- those weighing less than 1500 grams -- represented 1.5 percent of births. VLBW babies are particularly likely to have long-term health and developmental problems.

Good health care during pregnancy is a preventive strategy that assures the health of both mother and child. Overall, early entry into prenatal care (in the first 3 months of pregnancy) has been improving, reaching 83.7 percent of pregnant women in 2002. Unfortunately, this rate is lower for younger women as well as Black and Hispanic women. Some pregnant women (3.6 percent in 2002) go without prenatal care entirely or forgo these services until the third trimester of their pregnancy."

The VLBW and to some extent LBW babies due to drug use, hate the term but "crack babies", as well as HIV positive mothers has been a big impact on this area.  Heartbreaking and it tears up the doctors and nurses in the neonatal intensive care units.  So there may be a large negative social component to this.  As you can see prenatal care is up overall, but Blacks and Hispanics have lower usage rates--I'm inferring up as well, but less than whites, though the statement is not clear.  But clearly an area for improvement.

But as I said in my earlier comments on healthcare, I just get overwhelmed about going into this on the blog.  Because the statements just can't be taken as stated, without getting behind the numbers and understanding the cause.  I see that one possible explanation is that minority mothers can't get healthcare because they can't afford insurance, and their babies are underweight because the mothers are starving.  It's just knowing what I know in this area, I would dig behind the numbers (like I started above) and try to understand for sure what the root causes are.

gotta go, and i'll be tied up for a few days.

by wchurchill on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 03:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have time to respond right now to the meat of that comment, but this is ridiculous:
And while you ask did we miss you criticisms of Blair (which I did), I didn't see your response to the underclass in France (Muslim and Africans, etc, etc.).  

I guess you're new here. Read the archives. There aren't many European leaders that are popular around here. And there is a thread specifically about immigrants in France from some time ago. Two possibly.

I'm also going to do the round up of social mobilty and wealth disparity statistics in the same way I did unemployment, but it will take some time - like a week or two.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 04:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, excuuuu....se,,, me!!  for not being a 2 year veteran of the site, and missing the criticism of European leaders on this point of poverty.  It ceertainly has not been a recent topic, that I have seen anyway.

But as I'm sure you noticed, clever person that you are Coleman, my main point was "But, you saying the objective of the American system is to produce an underclass is just BS."  Perhaps you could defend that, in the context I laid out, as the intention of Americans or their policies is to produce an underclass (please refer to original post), without resorting to archives.  

by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
don't have time to respond right now to the meat of that comment,

See that bit? Means I don't have time right now. I will do.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 06:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, excuuuu....se,,, me!!  for not being a 2 year veteran of the site, and missing the criticism of European leaders on this point of poverty.

The site doesn't exist for half a year, idiot. You could have checked just about any thread on domestic or EU issues for criticism of EU leaders. Recent threads touching on European poverty include the one on the EU Commission's hilarious call for a decrease of wages to increase GDP growth, and threads on Poland or Hungary.

And yes, the American economic system has the production and maintainance of an underclass as a central part, always had. Be them slaves or 'illegal' immigrants, hired harvesters or members of the new service class.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 06:48:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by wchurchill on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 07:21:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
intention of Americans or their policies is to produce an underclass

No, intention would mean that the poverty was the deliberate goal.  The goal is wealth.  The policies that are enacted to produce wealth inevitably  produce poverty.  The poverty is more than a mere side-effect, it is beneficial to their goal.  These policies are enacted and sold to the public without mentioning the poverty creation aspect.  So, pushing a system that creates a symbiotic relationship between poverty and wealth and ignoring or denying the poverty outcome is perhaps not the intention or sole intention, but it is very close to fitting the accusation.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 02:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so you're thinking of mass poverty as a kind of unintended consequence, an "externality" like others so glibly dismissed by the creaky C19 economics still dominating the dominant culture?

I'm not sure the relationship is that innocent.  but I have to marshall my thoughts after wading through the rest of this epic and excellent thread.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:11:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I'm not sure the situation is that innocent, either.  I was just giving the benefit of the doubt that the goal is wealth.  And this sort of wealth can only exist in a symbiotic relationship with poverty, thus it creates it.  Is it merely a by-product or side-effect?  I think in some cases and also that the majority of people pushing the policies only look at the wealth side of the equation and are being willfully blind to the poverty side.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 07:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess you are right, to judge from this DailyKos diary.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 13th, 2005 at 12:07:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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