Your Program Won’t Fix Poverty

[High Praise! to According to Hoyt]

Part of the issue with the war on poverty is that it seemed completely reasonable “Give people just enough to lift themselves up out of dire need and they’ll do the rest.”

Only people don’t work like that. No?

Okay, do an experiment with your toddler: offer them a food they like well enough but aren’t crazy about – say eggs – and tell them they can have chocolate cake instead if they clean their room to your satisfaction.

Sure they’ll take the bait SOMETIMES, but most of the time they’ll shrug and have the egg.

Just one tasty snack from a buffet table of pondering on poverty.

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  1. Harvey, I respect your opinion (he said under internet anonymity) but your analogy is wrong. You get the nice yummy eggs now. That cake comes at the end of a 40 hr work week. Human’s are the only animal able to understand the value of deferred satisfaction. If you don’t think everyone is Human, you’re racist, or ageist, or dodecahedronistic (if you oppress 12 sided things). I think you’re just Humanist. wait… was that last statement for or against??


  2. @2 hwy93

    first, it wasn’t Harvey’s analogy. it was sarah a. hoyt’s analogy.

    second, “Human’s,” as you use it, is plural, not possessive and should not have an apostrophe.

    third, there is no third. i really didn’t care that much about first and second.


  3. I’ve said for years that the only reason I work is because welfare wouldn’t support me at the level I wished to live (that takes about $100,000/year). But no matter how low the level the law mandates someone be supported via food stamps, welfare, EITC, etc., there will always be those willing to live at that level, and those willing to lie to appear to qualify so they can live at a slightly higher level than they can legally. There is a direct correlation between the income level provided by the “safety net”, and the number of people who try to qualify.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs only works downwards. There are those who think that it works upward. What Maslow said is that if you’re worried about your immediate survival (the lowest level of need), then all the higher levels of needs will be ignored/not pursued until your immediate survival is no longer in doubt. But people have taken this to mean that if the bottom two levels of needs (physiological and safety) are met, then you WILL work on the upper three levels of needs, which should cause you to climb up out of government assistance. But that isn’t true for everyone. For some people, being provided for is enough, and they will never even try to climb out of the social safety net’s play pen. They’ll be perfectly content to live at other’s expense. And frankly, I’m getting tired of being forced to pay for the survival, safety, and shelter of people who are unwilling to work for it themselves.



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