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The Psychology Of Homelessness


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#1 ryan2006

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

Millions of Americans are on Entitlements such as social security. With Entitlement reform comes homelessness. The Global Assessment Functioning level in the DSM-4 or diagnostic manual is an order from a licensed Doctor of Medicine who adheres to a strict moral and ethical code of conduct. The assessment of percentage of a persons functioning can be anywhere from 1% to 100%. Homelessness in America is a growing problem and a growing concern. The fear of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's future comprehensive welfare or entitlement reform could possibly mean that millions and millions and millions of people in the United States could end up living on the street and in your backyard. What is even possibly more alarming is that people who are handicapped and disabled under the Global Assessment Functioning level can not fend for themselves because they can not perform work at the same functioning level as a normal healthy elite individual. The possible aftermath of entitlement reform could come at the cost of traumatic psychological devastation. 54,000,000 people in the United States have a mental illness that is 1 in Every 6 Americans. If Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney cut taxes so they don't have to take care of "those lazy people" who are being pitted against blue collar conservatives who don't want to pay taxes to pay down the National Debt. Then the tickets base is being mislead. Sacrificing the quality of life of vulnerable citizens who have the right to vote against such entitlement reforms is a shameful act against the moral and ethical integrity of our Physicians. Lets all put politics aside. There are 316 million people in the United States if each one of us gave an average of $500.00 extra per month to the U.S. Dept of Treasury it would pay the U.S. National Debt off by a rate of 1.8 trillion dollars per year and have the debt paid by the both public and private sectors in 8-9 years. The average gift of $5,000 per year to the U.S. Department of Treasury would save lives and save entitlements and we would not have homelessness with millions of people out in the streets. This is Fiscal Responsibility and the average amount that a person(s) would give as a "gift" every year may be less or more than $500.00/month.

Edited by ryan2006, 15 August 2012 - 07:05 AM.


#2 SaxonViolence

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:09 AM

If one in six people are mentally ill, then apparently many forms of mental illness are not insurmountable obstacles to living a self-supporting life.....

Since nowhere near one sixth of the people are currently on the dole.

A Government---any Government--Is an entity predisposed to seek growth and expansion of its powers.

A Government grows only at the expense of Liberty.

The best way to keep this (arguably)Necessary Evil pruned down, is to strictly limit its functions.

Dispensing Largesse is Not one of Government's Legitimate Functions.

Even if we conclude that having the Government dispense Largesse worked to everyone's material benefit--and I would strongly contest that--It still is not a Legitimate Function of Government.

Once the threshold is passed, and the idea of Government-Sponsored Largesse is accepted, those receiving the Largesse--and those who have hopes of receiving Largesse at some future time--have a built-in motivation to vote and lobby for even more Government interference in the Market Place and for more sweeping Government Power.

{Not that everyone votes to enhance their financial well-being at the expense of their conscious, but selling one's Birthright for a Bowl of Lentils was established as a precedent long ago, and people have been lining up to get their bowl ever since.}

Homelessness is a complex phenomena.

If one is to believe many studies, most homeless are homeless by choice.

i.e. There are Government or Private Shelters where they could be staying, but choose not to.

I don't criticize.

Given the choice, I might very well chose to live on the streets instead of in some shelter myself.....

Too many rules, too much regimentation.

If one chooses not to believe the studies--what then?

All Statistical surveys are subject to manipulation and all personal experience is merely Anecdotal.....

We are constantly navigating into a largely unguessable future on the basis of very partial and unreliable information.

It seems to me then, that the best course is to rely on one's own judgement. It is almost certainly a better guide to self-fulfillment than trusting the Fascist Nanny State.

Saxon Violence

#3 belovelife

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:19 PM

interesting thing is, when you hang out at a homless shelter, people make it cool for you to say you choose to be homeless

homlessness is a thing that seems to be difficult to get out of

even if you do get a job, you are unfairly judged and singled out in the crowd,
then homeless kids learn how to be homeless instead of learning how to learn

like any skill you learn, being homeless is not an easy thing

you have negative social conditioning involved

you have to find ways to keep clean, and eat

you begin to wonder if its the random sleep patterns that you have that lead you to a hazey perspective

or if its the food you are eating



lets go back to the statement about its a choice

now, given a choice, the guy who lives in the swamp, that says he chooses to be homeless, jumps at the first opportunity
to be housed

he is proud of t he medications he is on, and while being given the rules of the house he is moving into,
reitterates the fact that he needs his meds on time

now, given the girl with kids, she tries everything she can do to get housed, so her kids can live a semi-normal life

then there are the drug addicts, who live, hoard, and lose needles all the time
havn't delt to much with them, but needless to say, their hygene asks for more, and their tent area, is similar to a septic system

then you have the homeless guy, that sees the drowning person, saves their life, and starts a program to feed homless people

you have the girl with kids that flies a sighn to get money, while her kids rip up cardboard and draw pictures on the cardboard

all of these situations there are homless people who do not neccisarily fit into society

but i think it is because what they see as a normal lifes, involves notion of freedom


where freedom is different for everyone,

but for some, the concept of learning a new way does not easily integrate into their freedom concept

then you have the homeless tradesman, lack of work, economy slow, no place to keep tools,
adress to apply for a job, and no reliable trasportation to work

there are many reason for homlessness, a solution to the problem is different for each case

while i believe that my united nations department of peace idea may be able to solve alot of the issues,
we need to look into these ideas more

#4 belovelife

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:24 PM

again, mabe the idea that someone chooses to be homeless

integrated into their thinking pattern

may make them think that they have control over it, and they can change it,


but i am not a professional

#5 SaxonViolence

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:39 AM

There seems to be a great deal of the attitude:

"Being Homeless is Bad--So if anyone sees any positive aspects at all to it, they are Rationalizing, Lying or somehow Not in Full Control of Their Senses..."

Maybe for me and you--but that is the Heart of Ethnocentrism.

I invite you to go here:

http://www.homelessforums.org/

It is a Forum largely devoted to the homeless.

I haven't been by in a long while.....

And I don't think I asked them about Volunteer Homelessness (don't remember)...

But such a subject would have to be proposed most diplomatically to avoid giving offense.

Sure, some of those folks may be posers and/or big liars; but that is true of any Forum, or indeed, anything you read, see or hear.

Saxon Violence

#6 LaurieAG

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:12 PM

Hi SaxonViolence,

"Being Homeless is Bad--So if anyone sees any positive aspects at all to it, they are Rationalizing, Lying or somehow Not in Full Control of Their Senses..."

There was a message from a homeless person in my local paper this morning.

He thanked the person who paid his bus fare because he only had a $20 note left and was going to use it to feed his two dogs.

The homeless can teach us something that all the modern political establishments on this planet never will, how to act as a human being with grace and humility in the face of genuine adversity.

#7 Buffy

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

A Government---any Government--Is an entity predisposed to seek growth and expansion of its powers.


While it has been popular to exhort government to "be run like a business," there's little recognition of how much alike business and government are. You'll see if you look closely, that in both business and government, departments that manage to create an image of success--real or not--expand and grow resulting in the benefit of the managers.

Supposedly, that's what makes business a "meritocracy" that makes it more "efficient."

The problem of course is that management can, at least for short periods of time, make it look like they're successful when in fact they're just good at hiding the fact that their organizations are actually on the verge of falling apart at the seams (e.g. Paul Bremer, Carly Fiorina).

The point here is that *both* business and government suffer from this problem, and it is held in check in similar ways: inefficiency is never tolerated forever, and ultimately expansion and growth is reduced or transferred. Remarkably, in spite of the unprecedented screeching about the "growth in government" in the current election cycle, the last four years represents the longest and largest sustained *reduction* in the size of government since the end of World War II.

A Government grows only at the expense of Liberty.


This statement seems to make the assumption that the only output of government is regulation and law enforcement.

Would you say that the growth of the Department of Defense is only at the expense of Liberty? ("Dang Commie pacifists!")

More to the question in the OP: how does giving people money restrict their "Liberty?" They seem to have the Liberty to accept government assistance or not, something that is a liberal thing: conservatives tend to want government to keep them off the streets by either jailing them or committing them to asylums. I've heard the argument that this free money "enslaves" them, however most studies of government assistance show that the vast majority of recipients use that assistance only for limited periods of time because it provides them the freedom to find other work or support.

Dispensing Largesse is Not one of Government's Legitimate Functions.


There is little evidence to support this notion historically. I realize that there are "Constitutionalists" who insist that the Constitution does not allow for it, although when cutting through the blather, the argument is usually to ignore the broad and unspecified powers given to congress and insist that the word "welfare" does not appear. But historically, this argument is definitely without support:

Plebeians were average working citizens of Rome – farmers, bakers, builders or craftsmen – who worked hard to support their families and pay their taxes. Over the course of this period, early forms of public welfare were established by Titus and Trajan and, in difficult times, plebeians could ask Roman administrators for help.


...and there are endless other precedents throughout history.

The fact is that the evolution of government has been built around recognition that it is valuable to society as a whole to keep the weakest from suffering. There are both bleeding heart liberal as well as ruthless conservative reasons for this:
  • It keeps the peasants from revolting.
  • It maintains the readiness for "excess labor" for boom times when that labor is needed.
  • It supports training and improvement of the abilities of labor to more quickly move into new markets.
  • It keeps women and children from dying horrible deaths in the streets from starvation.
  • It prevents marginalization of minorities (due to prejudice) in pluralistic societies.
  • It provides stimulus for economic demand when the private sector and individuals are unable or unwilling to expend resources.
  • It reduces crime because it reduces the need for it.
  • It protects even the most capable and hard-working in society, because the causes of poverty and homelessness are *most commonly* due to events far beyond the control of the individual.

I could go on. The point really is that the only people who benefit from government assistance is those the recipients is specious.

If one is to believe many studies, most homeless are homeless by choice.

i.e. There are Government or Private Shelters where they could be staying, but choose not to.


Well no, most studies show that less than 10% of homeless are such by choice, and homelessness statistics *include* those who are in shelters. But those shelters can be frightening places, where if you ask the homeless people, they'd rather be out on the streets because of the harassment and threats inside the shelters (Los Angeles' skid row shelters are especially notorious).

All Statistical surveys are subject to manipulation and all personal experience is merely Anecdotal.....

We are constantly navigating into a largely unguessable future on the basis of very partial and unreliable information.

It seems to me then, that the best course is to rely on one's own judgement. It is almost certainly a better guide to self-fulfillment than trusting the Fascist Nanny State.


That unfortunately is the crux of the problem we're dealing with: there has been a tremendous growth in the dissemination of fear, uncertainty and doubt about the "statistics" that are inconvenient to those who want to keep all that they have earned from the undeserving moochers in society...and we thought only liberals "questioned authority"... It's interesting to look at where that philosophy came from, and why it has become popular when all of human history gives endless examples (the outcomes of ignoring the bullet points above) of why we don't just let the poor die in the streets because they "didn't prepare" or "are lazy worthless bums."

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness, :phones:
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#8 SaxonViolence

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 10:43 AM

The Government giving money isn't so much the problem--although folks who have climbed back onto the "Success Ladder" will be reluctant to lobby for less Welfare Policies--So they have been bribed in a sense.

Folks who don't make it back into the Economy and who live month to month on the Dole will be extremely reluctant to vote against the Continuation and Further Growth of a Welfare State--This is very much a bribe.

But the problem is with the people who lose their Freedom by having their money extorted at Gun-Point (Taxation) and given to others.

But let's use another example: Say that twenty folks would be able to afford to go to College X and get a degree in Engineering without Government interference.

Some had Wealthy Parents--or Determined Parents and some made Heroic Personal Sacrifices.

Now the Maternal Welfare State makes it possible for eighty more folks to go College X and get Engineering Degrees via Government Welfare (i.e. Government Grants and Guaranteed Student Loans).

When our Meritorious Engineer Graduates, he will not only have to compete with the Nineteen Worthy Competitors but also Eighty Unworthy Competitors who should have never made it onto the field.

This creates all sort of Market Distortions.

Employers start to insist on College Degrees for jobs that could just as well be done by a Bright High School Drop-Out.

Pretty soon, College becomes almost as essential as High School.

More Dollars chasing a College Education means higher prices.

{Ask yourself how many hours wages it took to pay for a College Degree today as compared to thirty years ago.}

The amount of top-rate instructors is limited, so second-rate instructors are hired. Course content becomes watered down.

Now many of the Instructors may be Second--or Third Rate Teachers, but they are crafty enough to realize which side their bread is buttered on.

They owe their comfortable position to a Socialist Welfare State.

They become Staunch Socialists and they thoroughly (and very subtly in many cases) indoctrinate whole generations of students in The Socialist Worldview.

Now bring on the Headache Powder: Who paid for all this?

The Parents struggling to send their son through College Honestly or the Fellow working two part-time Jobs to put himself through School Honestly pay for it.

{Once again--in case anyone missed it--Through Taxation.}

So the Nanny State forces one to finance one's Competitors.

I could multiply examples--Education and its Apparatus is just one example.

Saxon Violence

PS: The difference between Business and Government is that your transactions with a Business are Largely Voluntary. All Government interaction is done under the implied threat of Government Violence.

Edited by SaxonViolence, 19 August 2012 - 10:44 AM.


#9 Buffy

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:51 PM

But the problem is with the people who lose their Freedom by having their money extorted at Gun-Point (Taxation) and given to others.

That radical, leftist, nazi, commie, fascist Thomas Paine said:

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.


The government's proper role is indeed based on this notion that citizens--especially those who have benefited the most *from* society owe the most gratitude, and that it benefits *all* in the society to assist those who have not had the same luck when needed.

The example you've chosen is an excellent one, and happens to be one of the bullet points I mentioned above:

But let's use another example: Say that twenty folks would be able to afford to go to College X and get a degree in Engineering without Government interference.

Some had Wealthy Parents--or Determined Parents and some made Heroic Personal Sacrifices.

Now the Maternal Welfare State makes it possible for eighty more folks to go College X and get Engineering Degrees via Government Welfare (i.e. Government Grants and Guaranteed Student Loans).

When our Meritorious Engineer Graduates, he will not only have to compete with the Nineteen Worthy Competitors but also Eighty Unworthy Competitors who should have never made it onto the field.


Oh my.

You have not even tried to mention any affirmative action in acceptance policies, just a direct argument that "if their parents didn't have the money, they are unworthy."

So no matter how well qualified those poor folks are, they are "unworthy" of being accepted into the engineering program?

This is an excellent example that advocates of such "policies" really need to recognize that what they are arguing for is a return to feudal society in which only the lords and ladies who have all "honestly" "earned" their wealth are worthy of enjoying society's benefits.

If society would benefit because one of the peasants knows more about something than any of the rich kids who get into the good schools simply because daddy can afford to get them in with a sizable donation, well, that apparently--according to this theory--is just something we have to put up with to maintain our "freedom".

Honestly, there's a reason feudalism didn't last very long, and why we constantly refer to it as "The Dark Ages"....




He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. :phones:
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#10 Buffy

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:05 PM

Back to the topic at hand, here are some facts from the 2011 Hunger and Homelessness Survey published by the US Conference of Mayors (a bipartisan group, not an advocacy organization):

  • Among households with children, unemployment led the list of causes of homelessness cited by city officials. This was followed by lack of affordable housing and by poverty. Unemployment also led the list of causes of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals, followed by lack of affordable housing, mental illness and the lack of needed services, and substance abuse and the lack of needed services.
  • The survey cities reported that, on average, 26 percent of homeless adults were severely mentally ill, 16 percent were physically disabled, 15 percent were employed, 13 percent were victims of domestic violence, 13 percent were veterans, and four percent were HIV Positive.
  • Across the survey cities over the last year, an average of 18 percent of homeless persons needing assistance did not receive it. Because no beds are available for them, emergency shelters in two thirds of the survey cities must turn away homeless families with children; shelters in 70 percent
    of the cities must turn away unaccompanied individuals.
  • Fifty-nine percent of the survey cities have adopted policies and/or implemented programs aimed at preventing homelessness among households that have lost, or may lose, their homes to foreclosure.
  • Providing more mainstream assisted housing led the list of actions needed to reduce homelessness in the survey cities. This was followed by providing more permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities, and having more or better-paying employment opportunities.
  • Among those requesting emergency food assistance, 51 percent were persons in families, 26 percent were employed, 19 percent were elderly, and 11 percent were homeless.
  • Unemployment led the list of causes of hunger cited by the survey cities, followed by poverty, low wages, and high housing costs.
  • Across the survey cities, 27 percent of the people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it.
  • In 86 percent of the survey cities, emergency kitchens and food pantries had to reduce the quantity of food persons can receive at each food pantry visit or the amount of food offered per meal at emergency kitchens. In 82 percent (23) of the cities they had to turn people away because of lack of resources. In 68 percent (19) of the cities they had to reduce the number of times a person or family can visit a food pantry each month.
  • Providing more affordable housing led the city officials’ list of actions needed to reduce hunger. This was followed by increasing food stamp benefits and providing more employment training programs.
  • Three-fourths of the cities expect that resources to provide emergency food assistance will decrease over the next year, and 41 percent of these cities expect that decrease to be substantial. Thirty-four percent expect resources to decrease moderately and 21 percent expect they will continue at about the same level. One city anticipates a moderate increase in resources.

There's also the 2009 Homeless Assessment Report from Housing and Urban Development that contains oodles of facts and figures that are edifying.

I am always struck by the fact that the largest segment of the homeless are the severely mentally ill and physically disabled. These are basically people who cannot help themselves. While Social Darwinists do not have trouble seeing homelessness as simply nature's way of ridding society of less fit members, this fact in conjunction with extensive data showing that the vast majority of non-physically/mentally-disabled spend very limited periods of time homeless indicate that there's very little to justify the notion that we've got a huge problem in government assistance "motivating" people to be homeless.

Being homeless is totally sucky.

On the other hand, the chronic homeless, being disabled, aren't really "motivated" to stay homeless they're incapable of doing anything about it. The question becomes, is it in society's interests to actively ignore them, hoping that they they "self-deport" as quickly as possible through suicide-by-drugs/violence/illness/disease, so as to minimize the drag they represent to society?

Or does it make more sense to try to actually help them so they can possibly become at least partially productive members of society (as probably the vast majority of they physically disabled are capable and desirous of doing)?

Calgary did an interesting analysis of the actual cost of dealing with the homeless by comparing the cost of the police and emergency services incurred by homeless individuals who were both in and out of the city's shelter and health services program: those outside the program cost an average of between $40,000 and $100,000 per year per individual, while those in the program cost less that $15,000.

I think I know which way I'd like to spend "my" tax dollars.

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time, :phones:
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#11 SaxonViolence

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:30 PM

Ayn Rand argued quite persuasively that "Society" is a Fictional Entity.

No, I'm not a Randist, but when she made a valid point.....

I consider what Would Theoretically have happened in a Pure Laissez Fare Economy to be the "True Fate" and any Departures from this caused by Government Interference in the Market Place to be a Morbid Departure from Ordained Fate.

The 80% wouldn't "Deserve" their College Degree because in the Free Market.....

In the "Destined" flow of things, they wouldn't have gotten them.

You can frustrate fate.

People do it all the time.....

But the inevitable pay-off is suffering and misery.

Before the Government started driving the Real Cost of an Education higher and higher:

Folks who were Driven often worked their way through College without Government Aid.

The Driven are among that 20%.

It is probably still possible to do so today.

Though why bother? To paraphrase Ayn Rand again: When you're forced to pay taxes to finance projects that you don't approve of--like Food Stamps, Government Scholarships, Unemployment Insurance, etc; It is a Double Penalty to both have to pay for them; Live in the World created by them and then not to Take Advantage of them when eligible.

Besides, for those who have the stamina and stomach for it, getting the Government to spend the maximum amount possible may hasten the Total Breakdown of the system.

The Undeserving 80% are Not among the Driven.....

Because, as I said, in a Laissez Fare Economy they wouldn't go to College at all.

They're simply taking advantage of a Golden Road (More like "Silver Road") that was provided for them.


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#12 Buffy

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:01 PM

Ayn Rand argued quite persuasively that "Society" is a Fictional Entity.


Well, she did argue that society is fictional and irrelevant:

Since there is no such entity as “society,” since society is only a number of individual men . . . (Rand 1964, 109)

A great deal may be learned about society by studying man; but this process cannot be reversed: nothing can be learned about man by studying society—by studying the interrelationships of entities one has never identified or defined. (Rand 1967, 15).

Man does live in society, not on a desert island. But that does not mean society “develops” him. The expression “develops in society” implies that man is a social animal. I believe no such thing.


I have the same reaction to this as I do to so much of her beliefs: this is just so jaw droppingly obvious in it's lack of any logical content it defies belief. So, sorry, I know that Objectivists take her every word as gospel truth, hard for most folks to call this statement "persuasive." The idea that what you do or create betrays nothing about you is actually a really common belief among sociopaths: "the fact that I stole your car does not mean I'm a thief".... Rand of course wanted to insure that society was an illegitmate concept because so many individual men who are members of society were "moochers" and she didn't wanted to ensure that her philosophy did not support an entity that contained them, no matter what it's supposed benefits are.

But let's use the current example as a mechanism for laying this to rest.

I consider what Would Theoretically have happened in a Pure Laissez Fare Economy to be the "True Fate" and any Departures from this caused by Government Interference in the Market Place to be a Morbid Departure from Ordained Fate.


That's quite an axiom with which to start a logical debate, and requires some definition in terms. First, the word "Fate" normally is not germane to Public Policy discussions, which focus on actions and outcomes. If it is used at all, it is usually used in the colloquial sense of "that which would happen given no other inputs", rather than what I think you mean which is what "Should Happen" according to some philosophical world view (whether Rand's atheistic one, Jesus' benevolent creator model or Mitt's "I earned mine all by myself without any help and you're all free to be happy about that" view). But the problem with this is that such philosophy's really don't allow for measurement of outcomes, and discussion of relevant effectiveness.

As such this axiom is hard to support because it's definitionally circular: "What should happen is what would happen if all market participants have at it without 'interference', because that's what would happen if there was no 'interference.'"

And unfortunately, the Economic literature is filled with explanations for why Laissez Faire markets virtually all become dysfunctional: unregulated markets always lead to concentration of transactions toward monopolies or oligopolies which leads to much higher equilibrium prices than in more evenly distributed markets that are more efficient due to larger numbers of suppliers. Friedmanites try to make similar arguments based on philosophical grounds as to why this should not happen in unregulated markets, but there's really no hard data to support the conclusion.

The 80% wouldn't "Deserve" their College Degree because in the Free Market.....

In the "Destined" flow of things, they wouldn't have gotten them.


It's certainly true that throughout most of human history that education was the exclusive province of the well-to-do. This was to a great extent simply because education is a pursuit that requires time that those living at a subsistence level cannot afford. Thus access to such knowledge was limited to those who not only had the time but the money to pay for books and time of experts and teachers. Spreading of knowledge beyond the elite has been a task of initially the church and later government, and this was motivated by the need for expertise within these organizations for educated workers. In fact there used to be--until Ayn Rand got popular--a general recognition that money spent by government in educating the populace benefitted business by providing an educated workforce and a stronger nation.

The objects of this primary eduction [university education] determine its character and limits. These objects are To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business; To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing; To improve by reading, his morals and faculties; To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either; To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor and judgement; And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.


Nothing in here about charity or being soft-hearted do-gooders.

In fact, he here is arguing forcefully against Rand's view, in saying that the individual is actually responsible to society to be a worthwhile citizen who will defend the independence of the Liberty of Society through his education against the forces of Concentration of Wealth and Power (AKA "tyranny").

So, the "Destiny" you appear to be arguing for is actually an extreme example of Social Darwinism, not just Laissez Faire.

Before the Government started driving the Real Cost of an Education higher and higher:

Folks who were Driven often worked their way through College without Government Aid.

The Driven are among that 20%.

It is probably still possible to do so today.


Now if you're going to be consistent about Laissez Faire, it's hard to make this argument with a straight face. Advocates of Laissez Faire would point out that any concentration of market control leads to Economies of Scale. Indeed, with the growth of the Education industry--even dominated by non-profit institutions--the vast supply of professors has pushed pay for education jobs into the floor, in spite of Government Aid. Increased demand due to Government Aid -> Increased Supply of Education -> Competition -> Lowered Costs. This is Macroeconomics 101.

It would appear though that in your reasoning that the market does not expand to meet demand. You may wish to explain this view further.

You also seem to ignore the fact that prior to the expansion of public education, restricted access to education was lack of availability, not it's absolute cost. You basically could not get educated unless you "knew the right people." Since the expansion of public education it has become possible to "work your way through school" but only because the school has been subsidized. Now that not only "government aid" in the form of cash to pay tuition as well as public funding for public and private institutions is gone, the "true cost" of education is now showing itself to be equivalent to the majority of the earnings of the average college graduate.

This is where the public policy debate comes in: the value of these college degrees actually accrues not just to the individual, but the company that employs them and the stockholders of that company as well as the public at large who benefit both directly from the goods produced by that company as well as to the increased economic activity generated by the company's existence. Should the individual--who gets back only a small share of that total benefit--be responsible for paying all of it?

Ayn Rand would obviously say yes, since "there is no society." She would also say though that "he's not doing it right if he isn't rich." That was Howard Roark's problem too, and she punished him for it.

Though why bother? To paraphrase Ayn Rand again: When you're forced to pay taxes to finance projects that you don't approve of--like Food Stamps, Government Scholarships, Unemployment Insurance, etc; It is a Double Penalty to both have to pay for them; Live in the World created by them and then not to Take Advantage of them when eligible.


And there we hit the fundamental issue with Rand's position: she just would not accept that individuals benefit from government programs from which they do not receive those benefits directly.

And that is unfortunately just willful ignorance.

It is an unfortunate consequence of her recent popularity that this sort of illogical thinking has become more prevalent. But you don't have to believe in charity because of a religious ("Christian Charity") or liberal ("do-gooder") orientation: there is a strong economic argument--for which the United States is the most significant example--that Jeffersonian Educational Public Policy is a massively successful example of the Economic Multiplier Effect.

The Undeserving 80% are Not among the Driven.....


The unfortunate conclusion is that there is a concept being argued that is not about Public Policy, but is really about a philosophical argument about who in society is "deserving". Ayn Rand draws the line between the "productive" and the "moochers". This is a satisfying description of the world among those who feel that unspecified "others" who are "not as good as you" are stealing what is rightfully yours.

One needs to be careful about this, because when you think Rand's philosophy through, if you're not successful, then by definition, you're a "moocher".

For many however the potential cognitive dissonance of self-hate doesn't cause much of a problem, but it should.

Before one considers the Public Policy solutions proposed by those who use Randian philosophy, it's worthwhile to consider what their benefit is versus your own.

And hold on to your wallet.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies, :phones:
Buffy

#13 belovelife

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:25 PM

a moocher and the driven, interesting concepts,
while i know both, and probably appear as both

it is an interesting thing


how do we define moocher

one who feel they "deserve", without work being put in

then we have to define "worki" in this context

i'll give an example:

the carpenter builds a house worth $600,000

where this is the average price for 1/4 acre plot with a 2 story building on it

the carpenter cannot afford the house he builds

the person buying the house is a stock broker

now, if we work this into a formula, all work taken into account
it doesn;t make sense

carpenter:
constant work 8 hours a day, minus 2 x 15 min breaks

brain usage; skilled trade, high school level math, safe use of tools, etc.

physical: majority of the muscles in the body

stock broker:

brain usage: trading stock

physical: typing


so if you were to make a formula, of energy usage, i do not think it would balance out
i take into consideration the fact that the brain uses most of the energy of the body

but if the calories were added up, i think this may be an unbalaced scale

and i am sure this formula would work for any skilled trade invloved in the construction industry



now while i'm not saying that the stock broker isn't deserving of a house,
what i am saying is that the carpenter is

but of course, the stock broker is "driven"

but what percentage

if we broke it down to a percentage, "driven" vs "moocher"

what would we get

carpenter 90% driven, 10% moocher

stock broker 91 % driven 10% moocher

is this how it adds up

i don't know

i guess the benifit to society would have to be taken into account

#14 Michaelangelica

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:44 AM

I always get brain funk when reading the "free Market" vrs. Big Government" arguments by yanks. I really don't understand them.

I don't understand homelessness either, especially in the US where you have more empty homes than homeless. How can people go Hungry in The States?
(But this seems a good idea, in fact I want one http://www.streetswags.org/faqs.php
http://swags.org.au/ )

But would like to make these comments
Ann Rand says society is a myth. What rubbish A Laissez Faire economy is a myth

There seems to be many, many differences in running a business to running a Nation
1 Businesses don't print their own money
2 Most cannot put up their prices when they want
3 Bushiness don't have to provide infrastructure and share it with others
4. Business does not need to provide care for anyone (maybe their own employees occasionally?)
5 Most don't need a foreign policy or an Army
6 When things are tough business reduces spending; whereas Governments, who want to stimulate the economy, increase spending
7.Business tend to buy cheapest. Governments might decide that , despite the price, every state in the union needs a Defence Contract
I could go on but you get my drift. The right of politics seems to think "I am a Successful Business Man and the same skills and mindset that got me here, can run the county better" Wrong, so wrong, and they usually stuff it up e.g., Bush

On Taxes i see it as an evolutionary arms race. You create tax, people find loopholes You fix loop holes others are found etc
ISTM that now with c. $13 Trillion in offshore tax havens, maybe more, the USA and many other countries have lost the race, and only the middle class and poor pay taxes, the super rich do not

Edited by Michaelangelica, 24 August 2012 - 05:45 AM.


#15 belovelife

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

ok, i've been pondering this for a while,

it seems to me, that if you decide its the goverments job to create jobs, then you have 2 choices

1- pay more taxes, and have more goverment positions
2- give tax incentives to companies to create permanent positions

for 1

if: we created a universal hearlth care system, that relied on the educational institute to make it
then: the jobs would be in the educational system, and there would be a earn while you learn sort of deal, so as you
earn while you learn, you begin to pay back the pricipal on your student loans before you start getting interest
just an example
for 2

if: you make a system where the amount of permanent positions in a company, defines the level of taxes your company pays
then: the stock price of the company may stabalize in respect to stronger ability of the company to stay afloat,

it all depends on which system you choose i guess

if you choose the goverment, then goverment jobs are very stable jobs,

at the beginning of the economic crash, goverment jobs were lost sue to funding, while those that worked longer for the govement had more stable positions,
even the change that occured lead to drastic changes

people being bumped to different positions and work furlows happeneing everywhere

while i am of the opinion that those who had work furlows should have made time to voulunteer to continue to keep the amount of work they needed to do
it is still an economic thing, it cost money in gas to get to work, and it consts the facility money in electricity to keep the place running

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but it boils down to this

as population increases, and the amount of money we print increases, we have inflation

as inflation occurs, the worth of money decreases for some reason

but the price of gold increases

now with gold as a stadard, those with gold always have a strong power hold over the economy, where i view the worth of it
to be less and less as time goes on

the situation is, as inflation happens, gold becomes more powerful

which may not be a good thing, this increaases the amount of power that a few select individuals have , while decreasing the amount of worth
that our nation as a whole has, in otherwords, as the price of the USD drops in relation to gold, the worth of the american currency drops,

that means that the valuu of our work drops, so what we do means less and less

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now the way i view it, option 1 and 2 have a direct relationship

where liberal would choose 1, and conservative would choose 2

and this is how the eagle flies so to speak

but if we chose option 3

3- decrease the amount of worth of the american dollar vs gold

i do not think the eagle flies very well

while yes, those that have investment in gold, stay afloat, but the rest of their interests sink

along with the american economy

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so then we are back in square one,

our economy is sick, i fear gold fever may take hold,

but the concept of both democrat and republican values seems to be confusing for alot of people

partially myself

while we all cry about increased taxes, and decreased jobs,
then we cry about increased tax breaks for corporations, and job loss in corporations to increase stock worth

so this fluctuating nature of the economy is like what

what would be a great analagy to describe the nature of the economy

a bee hive, the more bees the more honey, but the bee keeper still need his amount of honey to protect the bees

i don't know, but i will continue to think about this subject for probably many years to come

#16 Michaelangelica

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

Sorry belovelife I find your logic/ posts/arguments very hard to follow
Perhaps some more conventional paragraphing would help?






#17 belovelife

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:32 PM

Sorry belovelife I find your logic/ posts/arguments very hard to follow
Perhaps some more conventional paragraphing would help?



funny thing is i am in a similar situation in understanding the nature of economics
while i am confused by part of the concept, but more confused by the politics of it

the thing about gold is what confuses me the most i guess

but besides that, it is a confusing topic

go more liberal, go more conservative, as a goverment

but things like the mail system are troubling

with the internet involved, and also fed ex and other mail carriers, the us mail system is worth less and less every day,
to the point it is actually costing us money , instead of supporting itself

but they are a neccisary part of the system right?

where i live they shut down some offices, but in shutting them down, jobs were lost,
but in this day and age, how much mail goes through those places to make them worth having

its the concept that i'm talking about

the worth of an idea

a job has worth, as long as it contributes right

well, in this case, the jobs contributions are the job itself, instead of supporting itself,
it relies on the system to make it function,

so the money paid to the employees supports the community as far as the taxes and money from the trickle down effect goes

but it is no longer self sustaining

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if you see what i am saying, it is a debate within thought
while job security is a question,

and the question is this, is the value of having this service worth it being a govermant ran job

yes-liberal

no-conservative

what value do you place on this topic of us mail?