Poverty

To solve world problems

Moderator: Moderators

Wissing
Apprentice
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Poverty

Post #1

Post by Wissing »

How can we alleviate poverty without causing harm in the process?

User avatar
bluethread
Savant
Posts: 9133
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Poverty

Post #11

Post by bluethread »

Wissing wrote: How can we alleviate poverty without causing harm in the process?
By defining it as having no possessions. That is how we expand poverty when it is needed to support social engineering. We just raise the "poverty level".

User avatar
ElCodeMonkey
Site Supporter
Posts: 1587
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:49 am
Contact:

Re: Poverty

Post #12

Post by ElCodeMonkey »

bluethread wrote:
Wissing wrote: How can we alleviate poverty without causing harm in the process?
By defining it as having no possessions. That is how we expand poverty when it is needed to support social engineering. We just raise the "poverty level".
You make an interesting point. What truly is poverty? One might define it as being unable to provide for oneself and family the basic necessities of food, water, clothing, shelter, and healthcare/hygiene without assistance. This would require different incomes depending on locale. Yet at the same time, I would personally call myself poor if that were ALL I could do. If there's only surviving with no life, that still seems like poverty to me. So how would one draw the line?
I'm Published! Christians Are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress
My Blog: Friendly By Nurture
The Wisdom I've gleaned.
My Current Beliefs.

User avatar
bluethread
Savant
Posts: 9133
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Poverty

Post #13

Post by bluethread »

ElCodeMonkey wrote: So how would one draw the line?
Put one's finger in the air, determine how many additional votes one needs to get elected, then draw the line so it provides one with a comfortable margin over one's opponent.

User avatar
ElCodeMonkey
Site Supporter
Posts: 1587
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:49 am
Contact:

Re: Poverty

Post #14

Post by ElCodeMonkey »

bluethread wrote:
ElCodeMonkey wrote: So how would one draw the line?
Put one's finger in the air, determine how many additional votes one needs to get elected, then draw the line so it provides one with a comfortable margin over one's opponent.
I think we're more interested in solving/defining a legitimate problem rather than obtaining political office.
I'm Published! Christians Are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress
My Blog: Friendly By Nurture
The Wisdom I've gleaned.
My Current Beliefs.

User avatar
help3434
Guru
Posts: 1434
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: United States
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #15

Post by help3434 »

[Replying to post 8 by Danmark]

I agree that the government needs to do a lot more to help the disabled. I live close by a mentally handicap person. Due to his disability and age he has been unable to get a steady job for many years. The state disability program gives him just enough to pay his rent and he has to beg for the rest. He has family in the area, but they are not very well off and are unwilling to help him much.

User avatar
bluethread
Savant
Posts: 9133
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Poverty

Post #16

Post by bluethread »

ElCodeMonkey wrote:
bluethread wrote:
ElCodeMonkey wrote: So how would one draw the line?
Put one's finger in the air, determine how many additional votes one needs to get elected, then draw the line so it provides one with a comfortable margin over one's opponent.
I think we're more interested in solving/defining a legitimate problem rather than obtaining political office.
Well, politics is about establishing public policy. I am of the opinion that the only thing that national and state policy have had to do with poverty is to institutionalize it as a voting base. The left likes to refer to Afganistan as the longest war in American history. The longest war in American history is really the war on poverty. We've been at it for over 50 years, 70 years if you count the undeclared war of Franklin Roosevelt. We are now in the position that nearly half of Americans receive money from government programs.

User avatar
help3434
Guru
Posts: 1434
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: United States
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Poverty

Post #17

Post by help3434 »

[Replying to post 16 by bluethread]

"The left"? The observation that Afghanistan war is the longest "hot" war (as opposed to cold wars or wars on concepts like poverty, drugs, and terrorism) in American history has nothing to do with one's political ideology.

User avatar
Cephus
Prodigy
Posts: 2991
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Redlands, CA
Been thanked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Poverty

Post #18

Post by Cephus »

bluethread wrote:
ElCodeMonkey wrote:
bluethread wrote:
ElCodeMonkey wrote: So how would one draw the line?
Put one's finger in the air, determine how many additional votes one needs to get elected, then draw the line so it provides one with a comfortable margin over one's opponent.
I think we're more interested in solving/defining a legitimate problem rather than obtaining political office.
Well, politics is about establishing public policy. I am of the opinion that the only thing that national and state policy have had to do with poverty is to institutionalize it as a voting base. The left likes to refer to Afganistan as the longest war in American history. The longest war in American history is really the war on poverty. We've been at it for over 50 years, 70 years if you count the undeclared war of Franklin Roosevelt. We are now in the position that nearly half of Americans receive money from government programs.
We just like to declare war on things, we don't actually do anything about it. There is no actual war on drugs, poverty, crime or anything else. They're just political talking points for politicians who like to feel like they're actually accomplishing something. They declare war, they throw some money at it and whether or not they actually solve the problem, they get votes.
Want to hear more? Check out my blog!
Watch my YouTube channel!
There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

User avatar
bluethread
Savant
Posts: 9133
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Poverty

Post #19

Post by bluethread »

help3434 wrote: [Replying to post 16 by bluethread]

"The left"? The observation that Afghanistan war is the longest "hot" war (as opposed to cold wars or wars on concepts like poverty, drugs, and terrorism) in American history has nothing to do with one's political ideology.
The observation that the war on poverty has lasted two to three times as long also has nothing to do with one's political ideology. The reasons why they have both lasted as long as they have has everything to do with political ideology.
Cephus:

We just like to declare war on things, we don't actually do anything about it. There is no actual war on drugs, poverty, crime or anything else. They're just political talking points for politicians who like to feel like they're actually accomplishing something. They declare war, they throw some money at it and whether or not they actually solve the problem, they get votes.
No, "we" do things about it. "We" extort money, break up families, confiscate property, destroy organic social institutions and replace all of that with approved social structures. Sounds like real war to me. The question is, what is the end game. When do "we" declare victory and leave people to go about their business in peace?

Wissing
Apprentice
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Post #20

Post by Wissing »

[Replying to post 7 by ElCodeMonkey]

I can't deny that I expected this discussion to turn to politics, but I'm encouraged by the fact that one of the first responses reflected my own belief, if only in part: love your neighbor.

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV):
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.�
I've noticed, on this forum, and in conversations with people, that the word "we" is ambiguous, and a prime source of faulty assumption. This is my fault, for posting so brief an OP, that I did not elaborate on the definition of "we". When I say "we" in the context of this thread, here is a list of things to which I do not refer:
-the government
-humanity
-the nation

My constant effort in all my posts on this forum is to direct the discussion to individual experiences, and limit the scope of discussion to the people posting, and their own actions, whenever possible. Regrettably, this is often considered fallacious. It is only so under such broad-scope definitions of "we" as stated above. But I've found these definitions unhelpful, so I'm glad, ElCodeMonkey, that you were willing to share something from your own life. I find this post very constructive.

Likewise, when I say "poverty", I am not referring to a broad definition of poverty, such as LBJ might have assumed. Nor do I refer to "the people", broadly as Marx would.

Let me rephrase the question, then, with some elaboration:

How can we (you and I) alleviate poverty (in our own surroundings) without causing harm in the process?

I crave examples.


------------------------------
This is a 2-part post. In part 1, I clarified the question. In part 2, I will give my answer.

I believe that every individual, and every society even, has a core motivation that drives all else. I have met people who are poor because they have no drive, and I have met people who, despite their individual drive, are poor because their society has no drive. Or, a misdirected drive. I recently read part of an article by Mikhail Gershenzon (1909) entitled Creative Self-Consciousness, in which he describes the character of two historical figures, Bunyan and Carlyle, in terms of their inward consciousness. He goes on to claim that real-world decisions arise from our core.
Every person is born fully fashioned and unique, with a definite psycho-physical organization never to be duplicated in all the universe. Every living thing has a sensual-volitional core, a central government, as it were, that transmits its decisions from secret depths and acts with infallible expediency.
What does this have to do with poverty? Root cause.

Many of us try to help the poor, only to find that our efforts are in vain. I recently traveled to Swaziland, a very poor nation - one far more objectively poor than my own. Having spent a few years in the US working for a service organization that, alas, probably got its ideas from LBJ himself, I traveled to Swaziland primarily to seek information, rather than to help. Indeed, we spent no time building or constructing anything ourselves. We spent no time even feeding anyone. All that was done by a local organization. The primary goal of this organization was not to feed children (though they did), or to provide day-care (though they did), or to be a beacon of social structure in a place plagued by broken families and orphanhood, ravaged by AIDS (though they were), or to provide 1st-world volunteers with humbling experiences, or to visit people in hospitals, or to console the mourners, or to empower participants to plant gardens, or to play jump-rope and soccer, or to raise up a generation of people uncorrupted by the need to survive by any means... but they did all that too. The primary intention of the organization was Christian discipleship.

How on earth, I thought, with all the millions of things this society has to worry about (economic depression, government corruption, naivety of the rich, medical ineptitude, educational depravity, crime, broken families...) do they have time to worry about religion? Why would the few mature adults in a sea of starving children think "first, love God". Wouldn't they think, "first, eat"? No doubt, many of them do. But this particular structure had God at the forefront. Not at the expense of concern for the poor - but simply as an underlying support for that, and many other practical goings-on.

So yes, I do think that poverty (as I've seen it) cannot be simply 'solved'. By that I mean it's not simple. However, all of us who are not in poverty have an immense responsibility to do something, even if that something is rather tricky and multi-faceted. It's not as easy as just giving out money. It's not as easy as just hanging out with the homeless. It's not as easy as voting for Pete's sake. There's a lot of work for each person to do, individually - but it's not cut out for us. If I must make any universal statement, it's that real solutions are too complicated for me to effectively understand. There are way too many variables, and my mind is simply too small. This is why I simply must deflect the understanding (not the onus) onto God (not myself), so that he can direct me from my core, and I can act, case-by-case, tailoring my actions specifically to my neighbor.

John 7:38 (NASB)
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'

Post Reply