What SHOULD people do? How about the best they are able to? Maybe they do.
by Albert 1

# 1. 10/2/09 5:26 AM by Zjabs
Albert- given you have little money and no job. Given that you have some level of self-respect. Given that there is a minimum amount of time that must be spent sleeping, must be spent cleaning oneself, going to the bathroom, preparing and eating food, etc- let's agree on 10 hours a day in essential activities. That leaves 14 hours a day to better oneself. If one second of that time is spent watching TV, chatting with a friend on the phone for a non-business function (other than the necessary hello/goodbye to grease the wheels when you ask for his help) then you aren't doing the best that you can do. It has nothing to do with ability- it has everything to do with commitment.

Editor's Note: I will repeat; the ability depends on many factors including psychological ones like depression. Your usual practice is selective perception where germain factors are either ignored or minimized as to their true relavance.

I have had periods in my own life where time not spent working was occupied by watching TV or sleeping. Intellectually I knew that others were capable of more but at that time I was not.

I realized then that there was more to life I was missing out on but that realization was insufficient to overcome inertia. Look up that word in your Funk and Wagnalls.

# 2. 10/2/09 12:54 PM by Zjabs
Albert, I have no problem with anyone spending time watching TV, reading books or doing whatever they choose to do. I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with them doing those things while stealing my money. If you accept a penny of my money, then I don't think it's too much to ask for you to be trying to better yourself 14 hours a day. If you decline to accept money from me- do whatever you want. Albert, whatever happened to he who pays the piper calls the tune? Why is it that people can collect money for nothing and have no obligations put upon them?

Editor's Note: The thing is you want to enjoy the benefits of society without playing by its rules as the status quo has dictated.

Ideally things would work your way but realistically you are considered one of those able to pay more which of course is based on Neo Marxist economic philosophy.

For now you pay. For the future you can choose to vote to the contrary or leave.

I dont like some of the same things you dont and will continue to vote for those I see as having long term objectives that would better comply to my ideal.

I also recognize the effect of a growing population and the problems it causes. As much as I see certain freedoms as ideal I consider them impractical in a more densely populated community.

# 3. 10/3/09 5:47 AM by The Last Mohican
Just to chime in here:

I will agree that there are vastly different levels a person can utilize to better themselves and not all outcomes are created equal. A physically handicapped person is simply, 99 times out of 100, not going to be as productive as a person whose body or mind is fully functional.

What I will dispute is being able to adequately measure whether or not one is attempting to do their best. Most often (and I include myself in this conversation) one never knows if they are doing "their best" because most people are seldom pushed to that point. Public assistance often takes away the need for most people to ever have to find out (and, no, the use of tax-payer money is NOT that person doing their best). I have found that most people are capable of far more than they ever thought they were when extreme situations call them to (I call them "heroes").

Now, do people have to perform optimally at all times? No, I think that's unrealistic, but I think the attitude of a person shouldn't be one where they blame their circumstances and hide under a veil of weakness and self-indulgence or a sense that someone owes them something. And I would have less problem funding someone who is trying to work their way back into a useful position in society (ie. an employed taxpayer) if I knew that were what the money was going toward, not to fund them buying alcohol, cable television, blackberrys(ies???) or to allow them to have more children they can't afford to care for.

Personally, I don't think it's a lot to ask for people to try a little harder when the taxpayer is funding their lives. Chances are, they find they've not been pushed enough to find out whether they've been doing their best all along. But I think people often fool themselves into thinking they're doing their best without ever going the extra mile to find out.

Editor's Note: There is nothing on your comment that I have a problem agreeing with. A person can be "pushed" to call on reserves they are not aware of being capable of. That is usually what happens on heroic situations. I often tell people with poor self esteem that I know when their back is to the wall they manage to survive. whatever the problem may be.

I also dont like "throwing money" at a problem. To better manage where the public resources would be spent would require a massive overhaul of the present system and possibly hiring and training more capable managers. Who will be willing to pay for that?

# 4. 10/3/09 8:18 AM by Zjabs
"you are considered one of those able to pay more which of course is based on Neo Marxist economic philosophy."

Fine. But that isn't the point I'm arguing. If you try as hard as you can, 14 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for years and years with no time spent watching TV, no time doing anything other than trying to better yourself, I'll give you a few shekels. But if you spend one minute watching TV, then you're not taking things seriously and thus shouldn't be eligible for free money. Why is that point lost on you, Albert? Why should ANYONE be forced to help someone who isn't willing to expand ALL POSSIBLE energy to help themselves? If making it (being able to pay their own bills etc) isn't important enough for them to be all-consuming in their life, why should any of us care? Once they've exhausted ALL possible avenues and are still trying 98 hours a week to better themselves, then we can talk- but until that point, let them starve as being responsible isn't a priority for them. I really don't understand you at all Albert- why should anyone help someone who isn't helping himself?

Editor's Note: You still seem to judge human beings in a very limited way. I'm sure you would have a come back if a clinical psychologist told you what I have that often what limits a person' capability lies outside the range of paramaters you are willing to consider.

# 5. 10/3/09 9:32 PM by The Last Mohican
"To better manage where the public resources would be spent would require a massive overhaul of the present system and possibly hiring and training more capable managers. Who will be willing to pay for that?"

I would, if I knew it were to be a one-time overhaul and it would cause people to work if they wanted to support themselves. That means doing away with anything that people can suckle on the government teat for and allow those of us earning it to keep the money as they see fit. To me, that is money well spent. America used to be great because of its working class spirit. I can see in a couple generations where that will erode away into a mass sense of entitlement unless something major is done.

We can all make excuses and give reasons as to why we are where we are (and not all of us do; that's the clincher), but our own happiness and capacity are up to us, no one else.

Lest you think I am uncaring of those in need, nothing is further from the truth. Instead of taxing the heck out of big business, I can instead foresee much more philanthropy among big business because they will have more of their earnings to distribute as such. Likewise those of us in the working class. I want to decide who gets the help, not someone else deciding for me which is what is happening now.

Editor's Note: in the society I have chosen to be a part of I know I cant do it all so I have a government that is expected to do things like deciding who is elegible by using professionals on their fields. Do you prefer anarchy where only you make any decisions you will respect?

We both realize the true problom is that government is not working well. I want to fix it you want to eliminate it.

# 6. 10/4/09 4:51 AM by The Last Mohican
"We both realize the true problom is that government is not working well. I want to fix it you want to eliminate it."

NOW you're putting words into my mouth. Please tell me where I EVER mentioned government needed to be eliminated. Reduced? Yes. People held to a higher standard of accountability for their own lives (in other words, care at least as much about yourself and your family as you expect others to)? Yes. A government reformation that does not make concessions for people unwilling to be productive members of society? Yes. But only a fool would think a nation with over 300,000,000 people in it did not need a government. I realize I can't manufacture my own roadways, set up trade standards with other nations, protect our borders and patrol our streets to uphold laws by myself. But I don't think the government's role is or ever should be to tax people based on their lifestyle choices or work ethic or control big business.

I think if we're honest, most of what gets passed in government is more about gaining revenue for itself and keeping politicians in power and either getting them reelected or maintaining control of seats in the house than it is about doing what is best for the people. THAT is another thing that needs fixing, but to that problem I have no immediate solution.

But, please, please, do not state that I want government eliminated. That was something I never said or wrote and it is untrue.

Editor's Note: I hope you expect I take your "if we are honest" (as I always attempt to be with myself) approach the same as I expected to take my assertion that I wanted you to be seen as one that wanted "some" (I'll add the some next time) of Government eliminated

. In my opinion, and I will continue to state it the level of required government is directly proportional to the growth in population.

I could agree or as you would say "be honest" to a reduced level of government IF it was required to serve a reduced population. I do understand very well your mention about not wanting to be taxed according to the Marxist philosophy of "from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs"

I like this concept but understand that its practical application only seems to work in very small social groupings like couples and families. The larger the group the more difficult it seems to be to regulate such a process.

I'm really surprised that adherents of Christianity have not embraced Marxism since it seems to help the concept of being "brother's keepers".

If contemporary Christians consider the "brother's keeper" principle invalid I wonder what else they do. From their public attitude I imagine quite a bit.

# 7. 10/4/09 5:38 AM by The Last Mohican
"If contemporary Christians consider the "brother's keeper" principle invalid I wonder what else they do. From their public attitude I imagine quite a bit."

Again, how am I being charitable or able to express my love for my brother if I do not freely give to those I determine to be in need (not lazy, just in need) but have it taken from me by some overruling 3rd party? The apostle Paul wrote that we should pay taxes to whom taxes are due, and so I do and in so doing obeserve that part of the law (beats going to prison). We are to be in submission to our government (and so I am), but is it too much to ask to have someone look at the way good money after bad is being pulled from my paycheck and how the gov. is looking for ways to get more of it? Is it too much to question the validity of all the programs the gov. has their fingers into?

To this, I say no. I would much rather help the homeless man who walks by my house by showing him how to catch a fish and be fed for life than to give him a fish and feed him for today than I would having the government determine for me who is needy and who isn't as I do not agree to whom the gov. says is needy all the time nor with their solution on how to resolve it.

In quoting the Bible, I would also reference that anyone who will not work should not eat (it doesn't say "cannot" work).

Either way, the ability to chose to be charitable should be in the mind of the individual, not the government. Coughing up my taxes in the hope of not going to jail does nothing to make me charitable.

Editor's Note: The ability to personally choose is surrendered when a democratic vote (small 'd") turns an issue from a voluntary choice to legal principle as a part of government. Beyond that point the choice must be by voting if one chooses to remain in a society that has marginalized him or her.

I Am not a fan of a 100% democracy but when our government functions as designed democratic choices are part of the social philosophy.

Some desire to live in such a society but complain when they find themselves being marginalized. The ones I see as complaining the most are the ones who have had control the longest despite not being a majority and now see it as slipping away from them.

# 8. 10/4/09 6:14 AM by Zjabs
"in the society I have chosen to be a part of I know I cant do it all so I have a government that is expected to do things like deciding who is elegible by using professionals on their fields."

Really? Really? You honestly truly believe that 10% of adult working age Americans (that's the statistic I remember finding) truly can do NO WORK and thus can sponge off the taxpayers by collecting disability (Yes, I realize that isn't the definition the government goes by for the program, but it ought to be)? Really? I do a lot of business in the building downtown where the Social Security Office is- watch some of those people and the way they change when they're walking to the building and then how they shuffle and seem to age 25 years when they enter the building lest anyone be watching. The system is rife with fraud, and if we tightened the rules with the intentions of kicking the ones who can actually work off the dole...why it'd be a miracle of Biblical proportions as the lame could walk again. Not sure if you were aware of this, Albert, but no one can disprove a soft tissue injury. Guess what a lot of people magically have when they go to collect disability....yeah...you pegged it...soft tissue injuries. I've often joked that if I were ever rear-ended while driving a car, I'd jump out of the car yelling "owww....you've injured my soft tissue" as I saw dollar signs. It's sad that so little is done to combat fraud- for once I suggest an increase in government employees- there should be a tripling of fraud investigators- I'm certain their salaries could be paid for with the money they save. And I'd rather pay a productive worker than someone gaming the system. But you seldomly hear the politicians pushing for major fraud sweeps and crackdowns- easier to just shovel more money at it. After all, it's my money.

Editor's Note: I dont mid repeating that I have no objection with dealing with fraud. In fact I would prefer correcting it to avoiding the occasion by eliminating the benefit that the fraud is misusing.

I'm aware of soft tissue injury. It's not impossible to diagnose burt probably is cheaper to pay than do the extensivive EMG testing that would be required. Then of course electro myography cant be taught at a weekend seminar.

I wouldn't mind seeing more investigators but how does that fit with those who want a minimal government?

My other commenter made a very wise comment that I even have written a column on.

Any organization or entity no matter what its intended purpose might be tends to have an agenda of self promoton and survival.

When managing a social welfare system the same principle applies. I have had experience with officials that serve the state and others who realize that I Am part of that State. I definitely prefer the ones who realize they are there to serve the public and individuals that indirectly pay their salary via taxes.


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