Friday, October 28, 2005

Tug's Plan For Helping The Poor.

There are a few things that I believe.

I believe that America is the land of opportunity.

I believe that Capitalism is the reason that America is the land of opportunity. I also believe that Socialism undermines the economic system which makes America strong by punishing achievers who take advantage of the opportunities that America offers, and rewarding behavior which creates dependency.

We in America are free. (At least for a little while longer, anyway.) We can decide where we want to live, how we want to live, how and whom we want to worship, or not. We can own property, we can choose our leaders, and we can make up our own minds about what we want to do for a living.

Our chances for wealth and prosperity in America are limited only by our individual ability to think, and our willingness to work hard enough to achieve our personal goals. (And in part, by the number of mistakes we, individually, have made in the past.)

What this means is that, ultimately, we are responsible for our own circumstances.

That being said, I will say that I do realize that some people are born with advantages that others do not have. That does not mean that these people should be punished, or that the disadvantaged people should be rewarded. Life is not fair. Never has been, never will be. To try to make life fair for everyone is an unrealistic goal, and a waste of time. It sounds good, and working toward that goal may make us feel good, for a while, but to set that as a goal means ultimate failure.

However, no one in America should be allowed to starve, no matter what situation they were born into. No child should be made to suffer because of bad decisions made by their parents.

I also realize that there are people in America who are handicapped to the point that they cannot provide for themselves, and provisions must be made for these people.

So here are a few suggestions for helping the poor and disadvantaged, without resorting to Socialist wealth redistribution programs, (Which I consider to be morally wrong.)

1. Food.

Do away completely with Food Stamp programs, and make one aisle in every grocery store completely free. Put generic items on this aisle like dry beans, rice, milk, generic breakfast cereals, canned vegatables, Spam, fatback, generic toiletries, and other household needs. Make all of these items totally free, to anyone who wants them.

This would do three things. One, it would eliminate fraud by eliminating any conversion of any of this stuff into cash, because anyone who wanted this kind of stuff could get all they wanted for free, and Two, eventually the people who could do better would get tired of living off that crap, and make an attempt to better their situation.

And Three, No one would go hungry. Anywhere, ever.

2. Clothing.

Make all clothing donations to organizations like the Salvation army, or Goodwill, completely tax deductible, at full, new, retail value, for everyone who donates anything, regardless of their income.
Make all clothing purchases from organizations like these completely tax deductible, at full purchase price, for everyone, regardless of their income.

This would encourage the "Rich" to donate unused clothing to these organizations, and the "Working Poor" to buy clothing from them. Win, win. And the Government neither made money, nor lost money on the process.

3. Housing.

This one was a little tougher. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that people who are unwilling to provide for themselves are not really entitled to the same choices as people who are, and people who are unable to provide for themselves should be grateful for whatever help they get from society.

First of all, I would put anyone who is too mentally ill to look after themselves into mental health care facilities. We used to do this, but the Democrats did away with this practice during the Carter Administration. (I don't know why.)

I would place anyone who is too physically handicapped to look after themselves into private assisted living facilities, if they had no family who were willing and able to look after them, and I would supplement these families, and facilities, with enough taxpayer money to make a job there profitable for qualified individuals who feel the calling to work there.

Anyone else who is homeless, I would relocate to closed military bases around the country. These facilities have provisions for schools, single family housing for homeless families, and dormitory style, and barracks housing for single homeless people. There are schools, and a multitude of buildings that can be converted into educational facilities for job training for homeless or disadvantaged adults.

I would even let the military oversee the education of these disadvantaged people, both children and adults, and use the power of the military to help place these people in jobs when they are trained. I would train them to be Civilian Military Contractors, and give them preferential treatment when bidding on military contracts.

There is already a "Troops to Teachers" program, and I would use this program to help poor and disadvantaged Americans.

4. Jobs.

We need to eliminate all corporate taxes, and go to a consumption based tax system, or a flat individual tax system, by which every individual American pays, say, 10 percent of their income in taxes.

No more than 10 percent, though. I have to live on the income that I get, and I believe that the Government should make do with 10 percent of all of the money that the whole working population can generate.
10 percent is enough for Jesus Christ. It should be enough for the Federal Government.

You have no idea how jobs would bloom if the drag of confiscatory taxes were to be removed from American industry. Rich people are in the business of making money. Not providing jobs, not manufacturing products, MAKING MONEY.
That's all.
All other things are peripheral. Job creation, product production, innovation, invention, marketing...all peripheral to the process of making money.
Rich people are the creators of jobs.
The more money they are allowed to keep, the more they will expand markets, the more new, innovative products they will produce, and the more new industries they will promote.

The more jobs they will create.

The better off everyone will be.

I'll say it again, in case you missed it. The more money the "Rich" are permitted to keep, THE BETTER OFF EVERYONE WILL BE.

Due to the Bush tax cuts, unemployment is already very low in America, and would be at the lowest point in history, if it weren't for the recent hurricanes which devastated large areas of our country, closing many businesses which employed a large number of people.
These businesses WILL reopen in time, because the people who own them are not tired of making money.
These lost jobs WILL be back.

I will tell you something else. The reason that I live in Florida right now is that the job market in North Carolina was very slow, and I AM PORTABLE. I can live anywhere. If I cannot find a job where I live, I will move to where the jobs are.
I've done it before, and I would do it again.

Anyone can. You just have to make up your mind as to what is important to you.

You have to decide whether you would rather be poor where you have always lived, or successful somewhere else.

There is one other factor at work here.
The job market is exactly that. A MARKET.
If you don't have anything to sell, you aren't going to make any money.

Get a skill. Get an education. Get something that belongs to you, besides time by the hour, that employers will pay you money for.

Invest in yourself. Time, effort, money.
If you do this, you will not be poor.

5. Retirement.

Let everyone who is interested, opt completely out of Socialist Security, and invest the same amount of money that would have gone to the Socialist Security system into Money Market accounts, or put it into 401k programs, or even into the Stock Market, or Real Estate Investments.
Mandate that every worker put at least some money away for their retirement, but put the individual in charge of their own account, and where the money goes.
Stop using the livelihood of our Senior Citizens as a tool to grow a voting block, and let Americans figure out what is best for them, themselves.
Put the PEOPLE back in control.
It's the American way.

6. Healthcare.

Hospital Emergency Rooms already provide stabilizing treatment for anyone who shows up, regardless of their ability to pay. I think that this is a good policy, however, it is extremely taxing to these facilities.

If all homeless people were already relocated to closed military bases, and being educated by military people, and trained for jobs by the military, then their healthcare could be provided by the military as well.

The "Working Poor" should already be offered health insurance by their employers. That is where my health insurance comes from. I have never been offered a job which came with absolutely no benefits, and health insurance is the first benefit that businesses provide for their employees.


The vast majority of disadvantaged people in America today, the vast majority of people working their lives away for minimum wage, the vast majority of people working jobs with no benifits, shouldn't even be here in the first place.
If it were not for illegal immigrants who are willing to work for sub-minimum wages, and in sub-standard working conditions, these conditions would not exist, and Americans who might be willing to do the work that illegals do, might be able to negotiate a better wage, and better conditions for these jobs.

Everyone in America who accepts any job, negotiates their own deal for that job, at the time of hire. Benefits, pay, the whole bit. Most people do not realize the power that they have during the negotiation process. Push for a better deal for yourself up front. Chances are, you will get it. (If you have anything to offer a potential employer. If you don't, then you are at the mercy of everyone. I can't help you, if that is your situation.)

Except for this. Illegals undermine this process. They will work for nothing, and because of this fact, they artificially depress wages, and benefits for all low skilled, or unskilled American workers.

They need to be eliminated from the equasion.

The last factor of my plan is, we, as a society, HAVE to leave a few people behind. This is the cold-hearted and cruel part of our system.
Examples must be made, so that we can provide motivation for the rest of us.
There are some who, no matter how easy or effective the system, in a free country, will choose not to participate. These people MUST, for the good of society, be left alone to fall by the wayside. As per their own choice.

It's a free country.

At least for a little while longer, anyway.


Mark said...

You are probably right, Tug. Unfortunately for me, I see these proposals in the light of my own personal situation, so I have problems with it. Not because they aren't sound solutions, but because I am one of those who made some bad choices and/or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when opportunity came knocking at the door.

They are good solutions, I think. except for the free food part. One had better get there as soon as the store opens and be prepared to fight or they won't get anything.

Some years ago, I discovered Aldi. That's a store that only sells generic items and it is cheap. You can stock your cabinets and refrigerators for about half what you would pay in an regular store. I said when I discovered it, that I hoped the rich people never find out about this store or they will have trouble keeping the stock on the shelves.

See, Rich people aren't fools and they aren't foolish with their money. If they were, they wopuldn't have gotten rich in the first place. I have worked service jobs before and I have learned that wealthy people are usually very frugal. My point is, offer free food and the majority of people taking advantage of it are the rich.

tugboatcapn said...

Opportunity doesn't come knocking, Mark.

You have to go chase it down, and tackle it.

The free food aisle idea would work, without causing riots (except initially, maybe,) when people realized that the food was going to be there for good. There would be no need to hoard it, nobody could sell it, (unless they wanted to cook it first, and then there is value added,)and if rich people wanted to live off that stuff, then I have no problem with that.

Rich people know about Aldi already, and there is still food on the shelves there.

The point of my post was, there are other ways to help the poor, besides converting our economic system slowly and incrementally over to Socialism.

tugboatcapn said...

Mark, your comment brought another point to my attention.

I don't think you meant to sound this way, but one of your problems with the "Free Food" idea was that it would not exclude rich people.

Are we interested in helping poor people, or punishing rich people?

Should punishing rich people really be one of our national goals?

I would say that if we want to eliminate poverty altogether, we should reward rich people and punish poor people.
(I know it sounds harsh, but we are talking strict ideaology, here.)

Poverty is like a stray dog.

If you feed it, it only gets fatter and hangs around longer.

If you want it to go away, then starve it to death.

the truth of the matter said...

well, I've worked for plenty of rich people who offered only minimum wage and provided no benefits. this is more common than you realize.

yes, there are states that require employees to provide health insurance for their full time employees (which the employee has to pay for at least some of), but in those states it is common to schedule these employees one hour less than what the state recognizes as full time. this renders the employee part time and then the employer is under no obligation to provide anything.

point--to many business owners take advantage of the system.

tugboatcapn said...

Maybe so, but no one is forcing anyone to work for these employers either.

I wouldn't put up with that.

If no one else would either, that problem would go away.

Once again, invest in yourself by getting an education, or learning a skill.

Make yourself valuable enough to employers that you can negotiate your own deal, and then demand the things that are important to you.

We ourselves are ultimately responsible for our own circumstances.

the truth of the matter said...

when you need a job, sometimes you take what you can get.

also, education doesn't mean crap. I once fried donuts with a civil engineer. oh, I also washed dishes with an english professor.

truth said...

I guess I better get my ass in trucker school so I can make 8 cents a mile--which has to go into paying for my trucker school (turned down an opportunity with England once)

Erudite Redneck said...

Tug, you are blind to the benefits of the socialistic elements of our economy. Or you see them and just don't care. I think you confuse regulation that you don't like with socialism, and those are two different things.

Only a fews in this country are truly socialist, and they are fundamental institutions we can't do without, but the free market wont provide:

Highways. Prisons. Social security. Police protection, Schools. Colleges. Even state commerce departments, which exist to promote business and to enhance the free market! (Lots of prisons have gone private, actrually, a travesty' show me where in the Constitution you want strictly interpreted where it says states can sub out their law enforcement authority).

I see where Congress -- a committee of it anyway -- wants to slash the food stamp program. You may get what you want.


tugboatcapn said...

ER, I do not see Government providing infrastructure and Law Enforcement as Socialism, and I fully support State sponsorship of Educational Facilities.

In my local area, they are routinely running radio commercials to try to increase participation in the food stamp program.
This makes absolutely no sense to me.
If people need food stamps, they will go get them. We do not need to advertise in order to try to increase the numbers.
If there is declining interest in the need for these types of programs, then we SHOULD cut them.

I thought that the whole purpose of welfare and foodstamp programs was to help people to survive until they didn't need them anymore.

Not to grow Government.

Or am I wrong about that?

truth said...

when there are no opportunities to gain better income than food stamps can't be cut.

bear in mind, it is the working poor that are using these stamps.

poverty does not mean unemployment

tugboatcapn said...

No, and it does not mean opression by rich people, either.

If the number of people recieving food stamps is declining, then the program can be cut.

Oh, and Truth, England is not an opportunity. I turned them down myself. (The Trucking Company, not the Country.)

There is an example of what we were talking about before.
You recognized a bad deal, and chose not to participate.
You took control of your own situation.

I am very proud of you.

truth said...

yeah, but I ended up washing dishes, asshole

tugboatcapn said...

Still a choice that you, yourself made, Dude.

Watch the name calling.

Monk, If you want to participate in this discussion, fine, but I am not going to let you just pop in here and do nothing but attack me.

Take that crap somewhere else.

I won't put up with it here.

the blood monk said...

acknowledge it. explain to your readers how this does not constitute hate for the poor (or can you?) don't just avoid it:

"If you are trying to support a family on a minimum wage job, You are an IDIOT, and Social Services should come and take your children away from you, and give them to a family that will actually invest some time, money, and effort into aquiring a marketable skill that they can sell in order to more adequately provide for children."

tugboatcapn said...

Okay, I said it.

My regular readers know me because they see the things that I write in context.

What I was saying is that people should provide for their own children. You can't do that on a minimum wage job.
If a minimum wage job is all that you qualify for, then you should not have children in the first place.
If you can't control your own reproduction, then your children should not be made to suffer because of that particular shortcoming of yours.
If you already have children, and you can only qualify for minimum wage jobs, then you need to make arrangements to improve your own employability. (For the sake of your children.)

That comment was not written out of hatred.
Your's, however, was.

the blood monk said...

no man, the hatred continues. it is sad that you cannot see it. I will put your explaination everywhere I can. it only further proves your hate.

tugboatcapn said...

Now I'll be FAMOUS!

So I guess that wanting people to live up to their own responsibilities is hatred now?

I think that creating circumstances by which people get caught in the trap of perpetual poverty and victimhood in order to create Government dependency for political advantage is the hateful thing to do.

But that's just me...

the blood monk said...

spinning. you are just spinning.

tugboatcapn said...

Folks, I have to step out for a bit.

Please ignore anything else that Blood Monk posts here, and I will delete him when I get back home.

Later on I am going to switch to Haloscan Commenting.

Sorry for all of the ugliness.

the truth said...

and so, (before I get deleted, because that is how you settle argument--specifically when you are wrong) I should pressume that you believe that the poor should be sterilized so there will be no more poor children in the world.

carrier said...

That my friend was quite a rant. And quite a list too!

You actually have some good idea's as far as accomodating the less fortunate. I still think you are giving way to much credit to what those you refer to as rich would do with the windfall from a complete elimination of corporate taxes.

I have a feeling that their personal wealth would skyrocket...especially with a ten percent individual flat tax to go along with it...and it would become impossible to fund your hypothetical help out the poor programs.

Yep, socialism didn't work out so well over there in Russia. But the capitalism you speak of here smacks of feudalism. Capitalism does work, but as long as the market can be cornered someone is going to keep on getting screwed.

Right now that's you and me brother, we're out there working hard everyday and just making it. While down below there are lazy people collecting checks from the government and up above are lazy people collecting checks from companies their grand-daddies worked so hard to build a hundred years ago.

You are right. Things need to change and some of what you suggest isn't so bad. But you gotta keep working on it just the same.

And what about those lazy federal workers like mailmen? Lazy SOB's!

the blood monk said...

carrier 1 sux. I expected better from you.

Anonymous said...

(and you have more metal one on one, carrier 1)

tugboatcapn said...

Okay, Truth, I have not deleted anything that you have written, nor do I intend to as long as you keep things civil, which you have so far.
If you disagree with me, that's fine.
No one here (that I know of) actually sets national policy.
We are just talking.

Carrier, I apreciate your thoughts...
I'll get to your comment in a sec.
I apologize to you for the hateful comment that was directed your way by the other guy for being civil to me. You did not deserve that.

Monk, I guess it isn't enough for someone to disagree with me, they have to hate me?
Is this the way you think people engage in honest political discourse?

the blood monk said...

yes, what else is honesty for?

the blood monk said...

I guess you need to refer back to hollanderspace.

oh, and please recommend any other blogs that need my serious attention

tugboatcapn said...

I know it was a long post. I got on a roll, and couldn't stop myself.

Carrier, The rich do not create jobs and start companies and industries out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it to make money.
As long as there is more money to be made, they will invest their money into new business, new products, new industries, new opportunities to make even more money.
As a result, new jobs and new opportunities will be created all the way down the scale.
As far as the personal wealth of the rich increasing, that has nothing to do with anything. It would actually be a good thing.

I don't buy into the whole "Class Envy" argument. I personally don't care one whit how rich the rich are, nor do I care how spoiled and worthless their grandchildren are. None of that costs me anything, and their antics are actually entertaining at times.
If someone figures out how to ammass a ridiculous fortune for themselves, and they want to pass that fortune along to their children and grandchildren, that's fine with me.
Hourly workers build Mercedes, Hummers, BMW's, Yachts, Learjets, and multi-million dollar mansions.
If someone wants eight of each, and can afford to buy 'em, they put a lot of people to work.

And again, the more money the rich can make, the more jobs they will create.

I know my plan may not be perfect, but then again, I can't be expected to solve all of the world's problems all by myself.

I was kinda hoping other people might have some creative suggestions of their own...

Oh well...

tugboatcapn said...

Hey, Monk...

Watch THIS...

tugboatcapn said...

I CAN stop you.

carrier said...

Sure and thanks for that. Don't forget the rich need the masses as much as the masses need the rich.

I'll let the real teamster types do battle because I'm a good carrier but a true believer. But if you ask me, a 'you scratch my back I'll scratch your's' scenario would be much tastier than the 'you scratch my back I'll lick your sack' deal we've got going on.

I'm just trying to be civil Mr. Monk. And to you who shall remain unrevealed...I'm just trying to tone down the rhetoric. You know how I feel, but only time or a sledge hammer can break down a stone wall. This isn't the place for a hammer and I'm just reading along. Give us a place to go to listen to you rant oh so eloquently.

carrier said...

What are they putting in the water down there in OK City?

Tugger is mad I tell ya. But so are eyes. A mad crazy old world socialistic Dutchman. I gotta admire that.