The economy in the United States is in a collapse.  The Capitalist system does not work anymore; banks have become more powerful than our politicians.  The government now has a policy based around Fear and Greed.  The rich are getting richer and more powerful, while the great masses of America wallow in poverty.

Must we continue to exist in this passive state, only living to serve the rich and powerful?  Or do we, the great masses, stand up against the policies Fear, and Greed, and God?  We must break the bonds that separate us, we must pull down the centers of Greed and Fear and we must pull down the houses of God.  These borders are created to separate us into individuals where we can be controlled easier.

We must stand up, against the tyranny of the centers of Greed, and Fear, and God.  Quoting John Adams:  "People should not fear government, government should fear people."  Once we stand up to Fear, to Greed, to God, we will become united!

This being said, I advocate the collapse of the Capitalist system and the foundation of the United Socialist Federal Republic, in which the government will exist to serve the people.  Capitalism is Dead.  We must put it out of it's misery and move on toward Socialism.

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The truth hurts and who is some poor "white trash" chick with a sub-par education (me) to make high-and-mighty middle class people feel uncomfortable, because they're just soooo entitled to their comfort at the expense of people like me, and how dare lil ol' me come along and upset any middle class apple carts by telling the truth, right?

Don't you have a college degree?
"Don't you have a college degree? "

Yes I do, but when I graduated as a 34 yr old non-traditional aged student in 2001, I found that there really wasn't anyone interested in giving someone like me a chance: I had a ten year gap in my work history at that point due to a disabling car accident that took me out of the workforce at age 23.

So I was poor, had no employment references, and couldn't afford the "right" image. Plus no one wanted to hire a middle-aged lady without experience when they can hire the college grads who are 22 yrs old instead of 34 (and now, 43) yrs old. I've tried. And tried. And tried.

Plus, as a result of having no access to dental care for that whole time, I had to face prospective employers with visibly decayed/broken/missing teeth and because of how people judge you for shit like that, I couldn't even get a minimum-wage job as a supermarket cashier because any job entailing facing the public is very image-oriented. And being a woman, it's not like I had the opportunity to get apprenticeship training and placement in a good-paying job where looking like that wouldn't be a factor...such as backhoe operator on a construction site or crane operator, for example.

So I basically have a four year degree I can wipe my ass with that I'll never, ever be able to repay my student loan debt for. And now I'm facing the prospect of going blind, too. Because I can't afford ophthalmolagical care for my very early stage glaucoma.
"JSH, you make some good points but then you go overboard and compare whole groups of people to the Nazi's "

The Nazi fascists promoted extreme capitalism, which is where we are headed a lot faster than you think. It's the ideology that it's OK to throw the poor to the sharks because they're "useless eaters" that is so prevalent in both the cases — then and now. So I think the parallels are most certainly valid. Especially since the middle classes were Reagan's electoral foot soldiers. (And Bush I and the Shrub's as well)

Here's a some food for thought along those parallels: at the post-war trial in Erfurt, the three engineers for Topf and Son who designed, patented, built, and maintained the special industrial-sized crematoria ovens for the Nazi death camps responded to the Allied Forces judges. When asked why they did what they did, knowing that innocent people were being liquidated in them, they didn't say it was because they were afraid of the SS.

They didn't say it was because they hated Jews and all the other groups that were victimized.

They didn't say it was because they had no clue as to what was going on (i.e. what their "invention" was being used for).

They said that they did what they did, even though they were fully aware of what was going on, because they wanted to make themselves indispensable to their employer and to the Third Reich so they wouldn't lose their middle class jobs.

That's not much different from the attitudes today...such as the middle class DTE utility company employee who has HIS good job with health and dental benefits and enough money to afford heat in his home/apartment who shut off the gas in the middle of winter to Sylvia Young of Detroit, a poor unemployable single mother of seven children — knowing that she and/or her kids would freeze to death.

So I disagree with you that the middle class and the rich don't want to push down the poor, because of that were truly the case, we would have a real social safety net and a subsidized jobs program for those most disadvantaged in need of a job. Here in this country, the rich (who own the media as well as the government) have thwarted the truth from getting out about the toll on the poor with a shrinking jobs pool, declining wages, and unaffordable higher prices for everything.

Below my post are links to some articles for your review on exactly how the rich have deliberately caused massive suffering and death for the poor in the name of "free enterprise", knowing full well that poor people would die. Did the rich and even the middle class care? No. Instead, they have the moxy to blame the victim. And I, for one, am fed up.

The poor are routinely denied employment opportunities because there is a widely held view among human resources personnel and corporate employers that the poor are a bad risk for hiring because they’re likely to steal.

The “culture of poverty” claptrap also led to the assumption that poverty can be reduced to a lifestyle choice — something former House Speaker Newt Gingrich claimed from his bully pulpit during the Clinton administration as he cheered the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 threw this nation’s poorest and most socially disadvantaged families and individuals under the bus; 99% whom were women and children (only 1% of AFDC recipients were able-bodied men) under the guise of “personal responsibility” — a unilateral social contract best described as a policy of Benign Neglect in which the entire burden of poverty was dumped on the poor while society and government did nothing to guarantee poor women living wage jobs with health benefits, child care help, and assistance in obtaining reliable transportation.

Former Wisconsin governor and US Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson provided the template for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 is one of the “pro-life” religious conservatives who would deny poor women access to birth control and abortion while cruelly leaving poor single moms and their babies utterly destitute if society failed to provide the supports required for poor mothers to enter the workplace and guarantee them living wage jobs with health benefits.

Since the enactment of Welfare Reform, Tommy Thompson (and other political leaders who swallowed the “culture of poverty” pablum spoon-fed by Ivy League “poverty experts”) defeated measures to track the outcomes of all the poor women and children thrown off of welfare after exhausting their five year lifetime limit, regardless if they were able to get a job.

Are the promoters of the “culture of poverty” school proud of these “scholarly” achievements that encouraged nationwide mother-mugging and framing poverty as a “choice?”

There is a fundamental mathematical theorem that has been proven over 200 years ago, named after mathematician and clergyman Thomas Bayes, who studied how to compute a distribution for the probability parameter of a binomial distribution. Bayes’ Theorem treats conditional probability and the outcome based on the relationship of the conditional and marginal probabilities of events. One of the most simple and basic mathematical statements of Bayes’ Theorem is:

P(A|B) = [P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)]

{Read as: “The probability of A given B is equal to the probability of B given A times the probability of A, all divided by the probability of B.”}

where :

P(A) is the marginal probability of event A. It is “prior” in the sense that it takes nothing into account of anything known about event B.

P(A|B) is the conditional probability of A, given B.

P(B|A) is the conditional probability of B, given A (also called the “likelihood”)

P(B) is the prior or marginal probability of event B and acts as a normalizing constant.

Theorems analogous to this one cover situations entailing more than two events. Applying Bayes’ Theorem to the existing axioms and theorems of calculus, we can describe the marginal probability distribution of a variable to a data set where the likelihood function is the probability of “y” successes in “x” trials for a binomial distribution, in the set of all real variables. (The most common application being in the study of voting patterns and employer drug testing).

More famous applications of Bayes’ Theorem are the Monty Hall Paradox and the Principle of Restricted Choice, which proves with a mathematical certainty that making the “right choices” 100% of the time is impossible. It is therefore intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt to frame the discussion of poverty in terms that blame the poor for their poverty by reducing it to “lifestyle choices” and the “culture of poverty.”

It is no secret that middle and upper class people also frequently screw up and make the same “poor choices” as poor people. But the difference is that the outcome is totally different; such that it does not punish them with lifelong destitution and misery. It is also known that the middle and upper classes have a lot more options available to them while options for the poor are really a Hobson’s choice (either way, you’re screwed). Here's a small window into the life of someone who is poor in this country:

Being poor is being fetishized, demonized, and infantilized by teams of “poverty experts” from the middle and upper classes.

Being poor is hoping you and your disabled spouse make it through winter alive without freezing to death, or dying in a house fire from a space heater mishap after your gas got cut off because they raised the rates by 20% and you can’t afford the bill.

Being poor means nothing around your run-down home ever works and everything is in serious disrepair because there’s no money, or way of getting money, to fix what’s in disrepair.

Being poor and white means being an invisible non-person.

Being poor means you have no pictures of your “ancestors” — or even of yourself and your sister — after being evicted where anything you might have had got taken away from you when your roach-infested ghetto apartment got padlocked.

Being poor is a lifetime of everything always getting taken away from you.

Being poor is being wrong even when you’re right.

Being poor is never fitting in.

Being poor is guilty until proven innocent and still getting slapped with unaffordable fines or a criminal conviction regardless.

Being poor means never getting a chance your entire life, even after going into enormous student loan debt for a college degree that was supposed to open doors of opportunity for you, but didn't.

Being poor is never getting a break, and then having some self-centered privileged person tell you how poor they are when they enjoy far more economic opportunity, comfort, and security than you will ever get a chance to have — especially if you’re still poor by the time you’re middle-aged (and therefore unemployable) after an entire lifetime of never getting a chance for a good job, no matter how hard you tried or what you tried to make yourself "worthy."

Being poor means going hungry at least two or three days out of each month for years.

Being poor is living in a neighborhood where you can’t put chairs or a couch near the window because of the drive-by shootings.

Being poor is dying or becoming permanently disabled from pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Being poor is facing having to go blind from glaucoma because there really isn’t “all this help out there.”

Being poor is losing a leg from diabetes complications because you couldn’t get the help you needed to afford diabetic supplies and the low starch/low carb low MSG diabetic-friendly foods so you could manage your diabetes better in the first place.

Being poor means that your only interactions with middle class “professionals” are through bullet-proof glass windows at government agencies and welfare offices after waiting all day to be “served”, and then being told “sorry, we can’t help you.”

Being poor is everyone who isn’t poor wondering why you went back to the abusive asshole (whom you hope won’t kill you) who gave you that black eye when it’s either that or live on the streets with NO way to get a living wage job and get on your feet and support yourself after your 30 day time limit at the battered women’s shelter is up.

Being poor means you have to choose whether you have electric or gas, or food or a roof over your head.

Being poor means you don’t get the early preventive glaucoma treatment options to save your eyesight, while being told that you don’t deserve your eyesight because you’re just a “loser” who “blames everyone else for your problems” — it’s never the fault of employers who refused to hire you at a good job with health benefits, and it’s never society’s fault for being too selfish and punitive to have a safety net for the economically excluded.

Being poor means access to dental care is a luxury that is as far out of reach for you as a day trip to Sedna.

Being poor is getting denied even a minimum wage job in retail or as a supermarket cashier where you must face the public because of your visibly decayed/broken/missing teeth as a result of never having access to decent dental care — while everybody else who has never been anywhere near as poor as you or for as long as you, tells you that it’s all your own damn fault that you don’t have any teeth and lack the “right image” to be “deserving” of a job because you were “too stupid to brush your teeth properly.”

Being poor means dying a lot younger than those who lived in middle class comfort for most, if not all of their lives.

Being poor means suffering with an untreated UTI until it goes into your kidneys because you couldn’t afford antibiotics.

Being poor means you can’t even get a chance for a minimum wage job at Wal-Mart because your credit is poor due to poverty — which is, by definition, not enough income to afford your basic needs, including utilities, let alone afford an expensive emergency room bill because you didn’t have a good job with health insurance when you got that UTI or that abscessed tooth.

Being poor means that even if you go into unaffordable debt for a Bachelors degree from a state college in order to be “worthy” of a chance for a job, you still won’t get one because your visibly decayed/broken/missing teeth, a big gap in your work history of menial jobs, your lack of the proper clothing and a car, and your address is in the “wrong” side of town — all which serves to alert the employers’ middle class gatekeepers that you’re “not a good fit” for the office culture and that you “lack work ethic.”

Being poor means that nobody cares about you, your problems don’t matter.

Being poor means that no matter how hard you try and whatever you try, you never get a break but you sure get a generous helping of middle/upper class social Darwinist lip service, condescension, and personal value judgments that they call “advice.”

Being poor is always being told that it’s your own fault you had to suffer without getting your needs met your entire life because you’re nothing but a “loser.”

Being poor (if you’re white and female) means that decent paying blue-collar “men’s jobs” are never afforded to you so you can support yourself without having to resort to prostitution or stripping and dancing naked just to get money for food and a crappy rented roof over your head.

Being poor (if you’re white and female) means you’re never good enough to be wanted, loved, married and supported by some middle class mother’s grad school bound son because everybody knows that poor women are all nothing but “whores who get pregnant only for the welfare check” — or “gold-diggers” who have no social status and cultural capital to bring to the table.

Being poor (when you’re white and female) means never being wanted or accepted. It’s getting left on the shelf since poor white males either see you as a burden they can’t afford/don’t want, or if they DO commit, you frequently become a punching bag for them to take out their own frustrations and resentment at their own oppression.

Being poor is being begrudged any pleasure in life; even the most basic human need to have sex because your birth control options are very limited and if you get pregnant, you have no money to travel to get an abortion and pay for the procedure.

Being poor means any hopes, dreams and aspirations you might have once had got crushed out of you and ground underfoot.

Being poor means you don’t get to have any hobbies because all the cool stuff costs a lot of money — which you don’t have.

Being poor means owing a lifelong debt of nothing but misery and deprivation to the comfortably off for the status crime of being born into “their world.”

Being poor means your suffering and misery doesn’t matter, only those who are poor in other countries are worthy of middle/upper class concern.

Being poor is when middle class people with advanced educations read what you write, they act shocked that you’re actually smart and educated too.

Being poor is having scars that will never heal.

I cannot speak from the perspective of a poor white male or a poor person of color. I am a poor white female that was a homeless orphaned teen who endured danger and deprivation on a daily basis on the streets in a Philadelphia ghetto, so my experience is a white female urban one. I am a 43 year old woman who did “all the right things” and who has no criminal record, but I never made it out of poverty because I never got a chance.

I can count the number of times on one hand that I’ve had access to medical and dental care throughout my entire life.

I saw one of my neighbors lose her leg to diabetes for lack of help so she could afford nutritious food and diabetic medicines and supplies to better manage her disease so she wouldn't end up an amputee.

I saw another neighbor die at age 37 from an abscessed tooth that he couldn't afford to get treated when it was a minor cavity.

I face possible blindness from glaucoma that I got diagnosed with three weeks before my 43rd birthday this past May for which I have yet to get any help outside of a universal health care system to afford the routine monitoring and possible future treatments in order to preserve my eyesight — a cruel blow for someone in poverty whose life is already difficult enough and whose only outlet is reading books and writing them, too.

I could certainly go on with more on what being poor is, but I think I’ve illustrated enough for you to get my point. I have over 40 years worth of life experience in the trenches of poverty, suffering because of inequality and classism in addition to all the “gender taxes” too. You don’t get to be more of a poverty expert than that.

https://sites.google.com/site/classismfordimwits/american-sonderkom...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/caus-m28.shtml

I think I am poor but cannot relate to the majority of your statements.
Nor can I play the victim as well. I know adversity much of it self inflicted. I've been locked up more times than you are years old . I've spent 25 years of my life on the margins of society , heroin addicted. I suffered all the went along with that life , rotten teeth , refusal of employment ,lack of insurance , but was never turned away etc etc etc. I know you disagree but personal responsibility has much to do with it. I did it no one forced me to it. I'm new here but post after post you sound terribly angry and seem to revel in the role of the victim. Our system sucks it's unjust and needs change but anger and endless rants will do little to rectify it. Sorry I couldn't mount a better response but it's late and I am tired.
Life is good and we can make it better for all by channeling our energies towards that goal by action rather than anger and self pity.
This is not meant as an attack just a bit of constructive criticism.

D
Well I've read this long post again..........I've been living hand to mouth all my life but don't know or couldn't say If I'm poor. I have had many of the things you use as examples happen to me , abscessed teeth , lost jobs , utilities cut off etc. I always found help and medical treatment and another job when I needed it. I did not look for someone to be responsible for my position , I was responsible for it, It was up to me to keep looking when work was scarce and or take something for less pay than I wanted.

Your example of the single mother with 7 kids is a consequence of bad choices and personal responsibility. Did she not know where babies come from? The majority of my neighbors are illiterate and poor no matter what your definition is. Many of those that have jobs make between 100 and 250USD per month yet they understand that they can give more to their kids if they have fewer of them.

I am more than willing to give up some of what I have so to help raise others with even less than I .
If things are as grave as you make them out to be I would suggest that your time would be better spent looking for a solution or some help that is out there if you look rather than spending time writing these long screeds you have posted in the forum. You must first help yourself before you can do anything for others.
Irrespective of what you say about poverty, that might be the silliest attempted use of Bayes' formula that I have ever seen (although trying to use it to "prove" the resurrection gives it a run for its money). While Bayes' formula is used in deriving the solution to the Monty Hall problem and the principle of restricted choice (in Bridge), neither of these uses imply that 'making the “right choices” 100% of the time is impossible.' That is not a mathematically provable statement at all.
...Point to Ponder The US is a REPUBLIC, not a Democracy.

http://www.thinkatheist.com/video/types-of-government
So was the Wiemar REPUBLIC of Germany... which saw Hitler's rise to power. So your point is?
Who says I have to have a point.....
Actually, as a federal republic, the United States is a form of liberal democracy.
touche
Before this topic goes too crazy remember to follow the guidelines and THINK BEFORE YOU POST.http://www.thinkatheist.com/group/helpcenter/forum/topics/blogforum...

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