Friday, July 09, 2010


It's hot here. Very, very hot right after being very cool. It's  the kind of weather, especially in a house with no a/c, that is conducive to thinking more than doing which might explain my following observation. If you disagree with it,  I'd be happy to hear why and what you think-- especially if it's also too hot there for doing more than thinking.

While we probably can all agree on is that the United States is very divided, pretty much half and half (a divide of values that I think in some ways goes deeper than racial could be), what I hadn't thought about so much is the essence of one of those divides.

This divide  is one I hear when I travel around blogs, talk radio, or online newspapers. It is from America's middle class as most blogs, most of the people I know well enough to talk to them about such a thing, are from the middle class which stretches from above poverty to millionaires but not the really wealthy. I am not trying to present this either as being one way is correct and the other is wrong. It's how two groups see what is wrong with our country.

In the one camp, we have the left who worry the most about too much wealth concentrated in a few hands. Here we find concern for corporate excesses. It is not suspicion of business per se, but of big business, the world of big banks, big investment companies and huge corporations. The left is not happy that the richest 1% own 40% of the wealth.

To the left, what GW Bush did was to further increase what has always been a natural imbalance in wealth by his tax cuts which most benefited the wealthiest. The fear is that the people with extreme wealth are using it to control events and political outcomes. I want to emphasize, that this is not about those with a million dollars net worth or even a big income (a million isn't so much these days) but multimillionaires, people who often don't even know how much they have. The left would not deny that there are good people who are wealthy, but it also sees that the tax structure must be changed to get some balance back in our society. There is too much difference between the rich and everybody else and it's growing. The left sees a need for regulation, for progressive tax rates, and yes for some social engineering. Only government can do these kinds of big things.

The left looks back to history and sees a time of lords and ladies, of kings and emperors, of peons and serfs and thinks never again. To the left, it's not bad to use government to remedy such imbalances, in fact, it's even essential. So if the left is mad at Obama, it's for not doing enough of this.

Since I am left leaning but a moderate, I share some of that thinking. Contrary to the Limbaughs of the country, taxation to achieve more balance isn't about punishing the richest but recognizing that after you have so much money, trickle down doesn't happen. And after some get to a certain level of wealth, it seems there is never enough.

Now for me, I think the biggest mistake Bush made was cutting income taxes instead of tax cuts that were more directed to encourage businesses to invest. It didn't in the end help business because there was no incentive for growth. Contrary to how many righties think, capitalism is not remotely pure in this country. It's catered and delivered and business has to have government incentives to invest. Income tax cuts did none of that.

Also when you have a certain level of wealth, you don't necessarily spend more just because of a tax cut. You might bank it or buy gold but you don't invest in businesses automatically. That is where government comes into play. Wealth can be an engine in itself for creating more opportunities for everyone. It doesn't have to but government can do a lot to structure it to encourage what benefits most people. The right simply goes nuts at the very idea of what I just said.

To add to my connection to the liberal side of the scales, I do not see the poorest among us as the big problem. I see them, at the most, as sucking pennies out of the system while the wealthiest suck dollars. As a moderate I am concerned there not be abuse of our social programs, believe programs should pay benefits in terms of improving people's lives, lead those who can into self-sufficiency. Those who receive help should be those who need and deserve it...  That kind of talk drives the left nuts-- Deserve? who decides deserve and so forth.

I don't routinely see every social program as good. I like the idea of sunsetting programs and renewing them if they prove they are working. Many on the left are more generous with the public till than I would be. However I see the social engineering in play again here and programs that help people become part of the middle class, those where it's possible, I favor those. The left is not afraid of social engineering-- although I think it should guard it wisely.

Now we come to the other camp, the right, who go ballistic at the very idea of social engineering and who regularly see the poor or the programs aimed at helping them as the problem. Listen to Limbaugh for awhile and you hear it. Read the blogs. The poor are poor because they don't want to work. They are draining the energy from the middle class. They are lazy, on drugs, or don't care about bettering themselves. If they did, they'd not be poor.  They expect money from someone else for even their own health care, and it's not fair.

If you read right wing blogs, you see it over and over anger at social programs, some go so far as to add in Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. To them, it's those programs that are sucking the country dry. It is destroying the work ethic, damaging the values these people have believed the country was founded upon. The old don't need Social Security. They should save for their 'golden' years or live with their kids-- assuming they have any.

Do the right worry about the rich being the problem? Not that I can tell. They see any attempt to get a tax rate back to what it was before Bush  for the richest as a threat against themselves. Just for fun suggest going back to Reagan's tax cut and watch them turn apoplectic.

I do not quite understand all of this as very few middle class people gained much except additional fees or less services (that might be considered good if it's not in military, police or fire protection) from the Bush cuts; but the right's greatest fear is socialism which would make them responsible for their brother... actually a very Christian concept but never mind that.  To me it looks obvious that some (not all) on the right would wipe out all social government programs if they could. Social engineering, in pretty much all respects, is a huge no-no to them as they do not trust government to do it.

They fret over restoring the 'death tax' (which is what they call estate taxes) and want to leave multimillionaire families to keep their wealth when they inherit. No social engineering for them other than maybe letting a certain group of people starve if they won't work. They see them as people who would not be in that fix if they wanted to work, and if they got no government benefits, they would work.

I think they are actually angrier at the liberals for this situation (as the left is at the right for the same reasons but just a different group) than the poor but they do see the poor as the source of the problem with their need of social programs. I think they believe those social programs do not help, not that i think they know much about that. To them, it simply holds the poor in poverty for the liberal to also profit. It's not like the right hates the poor-- nor does the left hate the rich. Both hate the system they think is causing this situation.

So right worries about the poorest and the left worries about the richest in damaging our economy and country.  Does this division explain some of the other divisions between left and right? If it does, from where does it come? Why don't I worry about someone getting welfare but I do worry about some rich corporation getting a no-bid contract and abusing its power? What explains this gap?

It's not really how we are raised, I don't think. I came from hard working people. Nobody took any government benefits unless they were forced and then only for a brief time. Nobody is exceedingly wealthy. I am not sure why I think as I do or why when I hear the various news stories on either side of this divide that it registers with me as it does. It's certainly not like I have enjoyed paying 40% of our income to taxes. I'd much rather the tax rates were lower but I also see the needs for which taxes provide.

So what do you think-- what explains this difference? If you disagree with me that it exists, I'd be glad to hear that also.

(After I wrote this, I came across two articles that show the issues I was looking at above. First there is how the right thinks: There is no free lemonade.  Frankly, a leftie would think-- you're kidding. You got all upset about that? Now this is a serious problemIncome Gap between rich and everybody else. When it comes down to it, the basic difference is not just where we worry the problem lies, but what we think should be done about it.)


cj said...

Rain -

You've written an interesting piece here.

Let's talk about how the left are the only ones interested in helping the poor while those dastardly right-wingers want to take money away from the poor and leave them to starve...

Really? All of the statistic I've seen show that those dastardly right-wingers continually give more generously then their counterparts on the left.

Oh, and the richest members of congress? Democrats.

Now, taxes.

Fifty percent of the people in this country pay NO income taxes at all.

We need to be very clear about the fact that we are talking income taxes. Everyone suffers from the hundreds of taxes, which have gone up under the current administration, that no one talks about.

Let me say that again: 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all.

The top 1 percent of income earners (based on the AGI) pay 40 percent of those income taxes.

Drop that down and the top 10 percent pay 71 percent of the taxes, again based on AGI.

So, the 'poor' on average pay no taxes.

The 'rich' pay over 70 percent of the taxes.

Now you tell me. Who should get a tax cut? The people who pay no taxes already? How do you cut zero?

You give them money 'back' that they didn't pay in.

I have a friend who is on disability. She has no other income except what her state and the feds give her for being 'disabled'. (She has memories problems, which I have a hard time viewing as a disability) Yet, she routinely gets a tax return.

She pays nothing into the system yet she gets money back.

Is that supposed to be fair to me? I work hard for my money and I don't mind paying taxes but I do mind those taxes going to give away programs that do nothing but perpetuate the problem.

I see that happening in an up-close and personal way in my job. I see mothers on aid having child after child they can't support simply because they make more money that way. I see people with food stamps eating better than I can. I see them driving newer and nicer vehicles, living in subsidized housing while the value my house has gone down yet my property taxes have gone up, leaving me to struggle to find more money on pay that is, at best stagnant, and at worse, decreasing.

I donate to a couple of charities, Rain. I donate to those horrible events like Katrina. I try to help out in my community where I see need being the greatest.

But here's the bottom line: when my taxes go up next year because the Bush cuts are allowed to sunset, I will have less money to donate to those in need. While the 'poor' around me will be unaffected. They'll still get their food stamps, their housing, and almost every other need taken care of.

There was a time in this country when neighbor took care of neighbor. Now, it seems, we're suppose to rely on the government to take care of us.

I want the government to take care of the big things - national defense, securing our borders - and then I want them to leave me alone to succeed or fail as I will.

And that is the biggest difference between the left and the right.


cj said...

Now that was strange...

My comment posted three times in spite of the fact that I only hit post once...

Sorry about that!


Rain said...

Well I didn't label anybody dastardly here. I just said what I think is true that the right sees one group as causing the grief and the left the other. One could accuse the Democrats of being destroyers of business but this isn't what my topic is about. It's about where we see the problem, what upsets us.

And most of us don't like being taken advantage of. I am not fond of being in a grocery store, watching someone use food stamps and then take their cash over to buy cigarettes. But it doesn't bother me to the level it does the right wing nor do I see it as the problem that I do some financial and corporate abuses of our system.

So it's not about who is right here. It's about why do we see it differently?

Sometimes I wonder if this isn't all about distracting the middle class from their own best interests which would be that all social programs are worthy of the money and that all corporations are regulated to not take advantage of the people, that everybody pays a fair share of military and other needs.

Many people give money to churches who really don't give a dime to the needy. Not saying you are one of them, cj, but donating doesn't mean a thing for how much someone gives to others. Some give it to a church that supports a big gymnasium and a lot of perks for its members all tax free. I don't spend time worrying about that either but if someone would end all tax write-offs for buying homes or for donations, I'd be all for it.

Incidentally when we left organized religion, we didn't stop giving to people we heard of who had needs. But you know what, when we'd give someone money to get their teeth fixed, we never got a dime in tax write-off. One of my complaints in what had been our church used to be that the money didn't go beyond the members. There was no interest in helping out a family who lost their job and needed groceries if they weren't either members or potential members. Not saying no churches help ones in need either as I know some do have soup kitchens and a lot of things like that, but I also know those where it's all for themselves.

Thanks for posting. One of the things that I hope for this blog is that we won't lose the right or the left in terms of voicing their views. That we can all discuss these important things, openly say what we think and listen to each other even if we don't agree.

Rain said...

ON comments, blogger has gone very weird and isn't working right at all. If anybody posts something and it doesn't show up, unless it was threatening or vicious, I will not have deleted it. I like there to be respectful dissent (on both sides) and I see plenty of room for it. I separated this blog from my non-partisan one so that it could be a place for political discussion and hope that will happen on many topics.

Rain said...

Before smokers explode on me for using that an example, yes, I know it can be an addiction. The use of cash for luxuries could be alcohol too. The point is they are taking the help from others and not being thrifty which doesn't bother me that much either until they have small children that I think are not getting the full benefit of those food stamps. I know people also who receive aid and they don't want to take it but times are hard and they have no choice if they don't want to starve.

Being a moderate, I was not that fond of it when they left behind food stamps that were for certain types of food items and made it into another credit card even though I know it's probably more efficient for the government. I wasn't convinced it should be thought of as something they are owed but rather something they understand is charity. Because I am not far left in my thinking, I don't think they are 'owed' it but that it's what the majority of us want to see because we don't want to see some going hungry (some do anyway according to statistics I have seen for Oregon).

I also am not against giving people basic food items and not the food stamps knowing that some parents don't give their kids a nutritious diet and instead buy a lot of junk food and processed.

I see the unfairness in a lot of things but what bothers me the worst is hearing about a corporation that has cheated us through basically fraud while they spout their patriotism, and it's billions, not a few dollars.

And so my issue here is why does one thing get us, not making a case for which is right to feel, and the other not so much?

Greybeard said...

You continually refer to yourself as a "moderate", Rain...
When did you take your course in psychology? ;>)

And CJ...
Well done.

Rain said...

Well I use that term because I can't figure out another one that works better. And yes, I have had psychology classes both in college and since but no degree ;) But it doesn't take a degree to decided that I don't fit either party for my beliefs. I do believe in choice for abortion which lets me out of being Republican but I don't believe in it for the whole 9 months which lets me out of being Democrat. I favor the right to own and use guns, have a concealed weapon permit; but do not believe in ordinary people being allowed to own military type rifles. And on it goes for the border control, for the death penalty, for a lot of things. I consider myself conservative personally because of the way I live my life, but sure not conservative like the political right is today. So I could use a term and did suggest a new party called The Bottom-Line in my other blog before I quit putting politics there.

I also will not tear apart anything that anybody else says here. I believe, as if I had a conversation with a friend about this, that sometimes you let people have their say as a way to have a dialogue. Since I also read a lot from both right and left, only rarely does someone say something here that I haven't heard. Where I want this to be a dialogue, I am not interested in arguing over every word. Sometimes I even agree with someone from the right.

Like I don't really think it's right that a couple with two kids and making $50,000 a year should not pay something in the way of income taxes (although I wouldn't have it be much); so I don't disagree that it's unfair as it is. However, curmudgeon that I am, I am not thrilled at deductions per child anyway as it encourages large families in a time where is that what the country needs? Try changing it though or the deductions for charitable giving or the deduction for home interest. Won't be happening anytime soon.

Ingineer and I run into this issue of where do we fit as he has said he's right leaning in the middle where I am left leaning in the middle. Neither of us buy a straight party line.

Greybeard said...

No straight party line here either, but I'm not at all afraid to admit I'm an extremist...
I take an extreme stance on defending everyone's right to be free of the government yoke.
(I suppose you are aware of the attempt in [far-left] San Francisco to forbid citizens from buying pets?!!!!)

I referred to psychology...
CJ referred to the fact that families no longer function because "Big Bro" has taken over that role in most of our cities.
Since you took Psy. classes Rain, answer me this...
What happens when you reward failure?

Rain said...

Well in many states, like Oregon, people can only be on welfare for so long. They are trained for jobs but in our current economy, I don't know how well that works for all of them. I don't live in a big city; so cannot speak about what happens there in the families but I don't really think the government is raising them either. At this point, they have nobody raising them. IF they are getting benefits from the government, then the government should have some controls over how that is spent or do you disagree?

And yes, I saw about SF and thought it was nuts and it will never go anywhere beyond stirring up righties' indignation. Not on a bet would I live in any big city-- country girl here.

I think a lot of things are nuts including far left and far right. I am not an extremist but one who sees the best answers usually in the middle, not in either extreme. I don't buy the slippery slope that means it's all or nothing.

The issue here though is why does it worry the right so much about the poor getting too much but it doesn't worry them about a corporation like Halliburton that has all this unaccounted for money and overcharging goofs but always goofs with overcharging us, not themselves? Why doesn't that worry the right?

Why do so many of your blogs or radio programs always center on the bad stuff on the poverty level programs and not the bad stuff in the banks and corporations? Why are the Republicans in Congress so determined to protect banks and anybody else from any regulation? (frankly the Democrats aren't much better as it's their gravy train too).

And most of this started way before Obama on the poverty programs and the problems with inner city fathers not being there for their kids. He's done a lot of talking to those groups on their responsibility, especially having had a father who deserted him, but I don't see him getting any credit from the right as they probably then feel he's interfering in private business.

Rain said...

And do you really think the kinds of intercity housing and life that many have on welfare is a reward? What would you do to those who aren't earning any money and have children? How would you fix it?

Rain said...

Another question for you, graybeard. You talk about being free of the government's yoke as though somebody put it on you. Do you not believe in a democratic vote and if you don't what would you do now to have a government. Or do you believe there is no need for government at all? Would you end Social Security totally? How about Medicare? The military? What things do you want government to do? Highways? inspection of foods? What is this government yoke and did you have it under Bush when taxes on the middle class were higher than today after the last tax cut on the middle by Obama under stimulus?

HMBabb said...

I don't understand how I could talk with someone for a half hour and we'd agree on every point and then she'd say, "that's why I vote Republican."
People talk about neighbor helping neighbor and keeping big brother out, but the first hospital in America was a charity hospital in Philadelphia chartered by the Pennsylvania Colony founded by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin. Even then people outside Philadelphia complained that it was wasted money to them.

Greybeard said...

I'll answer your question immediately after you answer mine, Rain.

This is the reason I quit coming around before...
You ignore uncomfortable questions.

Rain said...

I do not remotely find that question uncomfortable. I did answer it. You just don't like the answer. My answer is that we are not rewarding them with what welfare is today. If we were, then I would agree that it wouldn't help the situation to have someone getting a reward when they are not working for it. I did say that in one of my earlier comments.

Welfare though today is a bare sustenance and to live like most on welfare must live is not that much fun from what I can tell-- although I admit I am guessing as I have never been on welfare.

I do not know what it's like where you live but in Oregon, you cannot stay on welfare unless you are a child or disabled.

If we are taking the question to be straight out and forget welfare today. Does rewarding someone encourage them to change their ways? It would depend on the reward. Explain why women stay with abusive men. What one person considers a reward, another one wouldn't. A woman might feel that the kisses he gives her makes up for the punches. How do you decide that you are rewarding or not rewarding another person?

You want a black and white answer and that might be the problem you and I face because I don't see the world in black and white.

The issue here though was primarily why is that the right worries so much about this and not about the corporate abuses which actually suck more money from our system? Is it that you feel that the people on welfare somehow threaten you or this whole country?

Well I feel that the corporate abusers do too. Remember the warnings of previous presidents about the bankers and what they will do. This came clear from the beginning. Why doesn't that worry the right? perhaps both of them should be concerned about but it seems to me that both sides only worry about one side of it and not both.

I do not want to see people rewarded for not finding jobs they could find, for breaking laws, for doing a lot of bad things but the problem we face in life is that everybody isn't raised the same way nor do they see things the same way.

Many thought a public education system could fix all of this but it appears to just be making us more divided with people not even agreeing what are values.

I hope you found that an answer. We would do better sitting down with a cup of coffee.. maybe but then at least we could discuss the nuances of this... But do you not see nuances? See even before, I always thought I was answering your question. Finding a common language sometimes isn't easy.

Just out of curiosity... what is your astrology sign? Mine is libra and it is a person who seeks balance, who looks for common ground and not an extremist.

Greybeard said...

As I've said before, Rain, watch how EASY this is:

"Another question for you, graybeard (Greybeard). You talk about being free of the government's yoke as though somebody put it on you. Do you not believe in a democratic vote and if you don't what would you do now to have a government.

-I do believe the people should be able to elect their representatives. But I also believe we are now in the phase where voters (many of which are not contributing members of our society) are voting in such a way to maximize their share of what is being doled out of our treasury.-

Or do you believe there is no need for government at all?

-I believe government needs to protect us from stuff like illegals crossing our borders and Black Panthers threatening citizens so they are afraid to cast a vote at the polls! I believe government needs to provide the least of us with a "bare necessity" safety net so those folks don't starve. I believe govt. needs to provide a basic infrastructure so that private business/industry can thrive.-

Would you end Social Security totally?

-I wish SS, (a terrible, government sponsored Ponzi scheme) had never been initiated. When GWB finally did something I agreed with... tried to partially privatize this terrible system, AARP and other lefty organizations demonized him... wouldn't even have a dialogue about it. Now we are several steps closer to the collapse of that entire system.-

How about Medicare?

-Like SS, good intentions gone awry. It's broke. We're broke.-

The military?

-See above.-

What things do you want government to do? Highways? inspection of foods?

-See above.-

What is this government yoke and did you have it under Bush when taxes on the middle class were higher than today after the last tax cut on the middle by Obama under stimulus?

-I've said over and over, the only reason I voted for Bush, (twice), was because we had an idiot running against him in the first election, and an anti-military LIAR and womanizing, pretty boy shyster attorney-LIAR running against him in the second!
Who the hell was I supposed to vote for?!!!!!! I was opposed to TARP. I'm opposed to "stimulus".
(But wanna bet whether or not we'll get another injection of printed, worthless money into our economy?)-

What a state of affairs, huh?
You and your (apparently good/great) man are lucky, Rain...
When the chaos starts you are in a nearly perfect position to defend and care for yourselves. You have food, shelter, and water close by. Photos and your commentary indicate you are far enough removed from the urban environment to make your digs defensible. You already have weapons at hand to keep your four-legged threats at bay and those will work well when the two-legged versions begin to threaten.
I still fear we will ALL need all the above, and I'm now fearful we'll need them sooner, rather than later.

But let's try to be optimistic and let's work to correct that "yoke" problem...
As you've seen at the link above, our progeny now are born into an UNBELIEVABLE debt. Let's not make that any worse with more "stimulus" that ends up in the hands of our Union and other CORRUPT pals and makes our dollars worth less and less until they're WORTHLESS, huh?
(Those that don't know history are doomed to repeat it.)

Greybeard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greybeard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rain said...

Before my father died in 1980, he said that he thought that there would come a time where the have nots would randomly shoot at the haves, a time of great violence where those who didn't have anything would kill because they had nothing to lose.

I am not sure of the solution to this problem but I do know we moved where we are because we thought it was possible such a time might be coming, and we picked a place with water, land and an ability to raise food. It's actually not ideal because it's too close to roads. I always jokingly say that I want to move to the hills and then remember I live there.

All these years later, the time my father thought would come hasn't come yet but it won't surprise me if it does. Worse might come first because the terrorism problem was something he didn't predict. Even the border wasn't then what it is today. That was made worse after the first amnesty which some want to repeat without proving they can deal with what got us there.

Surprising as this might be to you (and me too), you and I aren't so different in how we think about basics. I mostly agree with you. How come we argue so much?

You forgot your astrology sign? Can I guess that it's Scorpio? *s*

Rain said...

But I think some of this problem is due to the things our early presidents worried about, the bankers, the financial gurus who move around money but don't create products. That's where we might differ. That's what this blog was about how the two sides don't see the same problems but should. Yes, it's bad to have some abuse charity; but yes, it's bad to have the moguls abuse liberty.

Rain said...

Actually I think a better protection, if bad times come, than living way out is to have a community around you that you can trust and that will work together.

It's fiction but have you read the first in the Dies the Fire series? It really makes you think what you would need if bad times came.

Greybeard said...

Well, maybe shouting at political differences does resolve some problems after all, huh?

I don't believe in astrology Rain, and here's why. If there is any truth to it at all, you should be able to tell me what my sign is simply from what you already know of my through comments and my blog.
(And no, it AIN'T Scorpio. That leaves what... eleven to choose from?)

Rain said...

Well I am not an astrologer; so can't really guess and sometimes people have a moon or ascendant which can be pretty influential-- plus I don't know you that well. If I was guessing next, it'd be Leo... please tell me it's not Aries. *s*

I wasn't into astrology at all until my later years when I got more into it but it's definitely not totally accurate and I have had readings but can't say any totally nailed me for who I am although I am very typical of libras as is my daughter who is also a libra. One grandson too but he's too young to be sure at this point. I find it interesting though and some years back, when I had a computer program that put together readings, surprisingly it did nail a lot of people, who had me do one for them. The sun is only one of the factors.

Rain said...

I do know some of the basics though on what a sun sign would mean. For instance Sagittarius is a hunter, likes the challenge and chase. Scorpio challenges the status quo, can be temperamental; Virgo is anal and very good at details; Leo is a ruler; Cancer good to mothers and family, caretaker; Gemini communicator, pleasant to be around; Pisces lover; Aries, well never mind Aries but I have and have had a lot of them in my life as they are a direct challenge to Libra; Pisces-- don't know any Pisces but artistic would be my guess; Capricorn worker; and Aquarius dreamer and star gazer... Basically that's the gist of it. Even though I have a LOT of books on the subject, it's too mathematical for me to really get it good. Farm Boss is far better at it when he takes the time to be. From what I do know,it takes knowing a lot more than the sun sign to tell much about people.

Rain said...

oops, i left out Taurus which is supposed to be a very passionate sign. My father was Taurus and I don't have any idea of it was true of him and as his daughter shouldn't know maybe *s* Pisces is more dreamer and maybe mystic. If a real astrologer comes in here, they'll probably tell me I'm all wet :)

Greybeard said...

I've never met anyone claiming to be an expert at it who could guess my birthdate:
25 January.

Rain said...

Well what I have been told by astrologers is that it takes putting together the whole picture (planets, sun, moon) to really figure someone out. I would not have guessed Aquarius myself, but I don't know you very well. I do know that even the time of birth makes a difference in a natal chart. Although I did quite a few of them for awhile, I really didn't get good at it. It is very mathematical and I am no good at math.

Kay Dennison said...

You and I have discussed a lot of this on the phone so I'm not going to say much -- you know where I'm at on this and we agree mostly.

And no, I am not going to participate in this debacle beyond this.

I do want you to know what some states have done with food stamps which, I might add, are based on income. Some people get a lot; others get very little which is why our local food banks are screaming for help. We have 12% unemployment here which doesn't count the people who have no more benefits. And there are virtually no jobs. Our 'help wanted' section used to cover 4 pages on Sunday. Now it's a single page.

There is no more cash back with food stamps in Ohio -- people on assistance get a special debit card that covers 'x' amount of food for a month depending on one's income.

Rain said...

Well, as you said, Kay, you and I have talked about this often and do agree mostly. I believe things like food stamps are good although I would like to see families with children have to use what they get for nutritious food. I have seen, as have most people, in check out lines how often it's not that way. Some is probably educating people to what good food is and it's not sugar coated cereals... Although they can know and still not buy healthy foods which is why I am not averse to giving the actual produce which is something I remember seeing back when I was young before food stamps. I don't know if that would work either though. How do you make parents be responsible?

Kay Dennison said...

I shop at stores both in the affluent side of town as well as the poor side of town and trust me on this. The well-to-do are just as guilty of buying junk as poor people are. Heck! ODJFS has classes in healthy diets for young mothers. Just a case of you can lead a horse to water . . .

My kids used to get mad at me because I wouldn't buy the crappy, sugar-coated cereals.
I think it's ironic and great that my DIL the pharmacist insists that my grandsons eat healthy given the junk food junkie my son was as a child.

Rain said...

But I feel more responsibility for it when it's on the public's dime. We already know those kids have a hard road ahead. Sugar wont' make it easier. I just could see where if you gave parents the chits for say cheese, bread, milk, basic foods, then the parents couldn't spend it on sugar drinks. I understand how unpopular that is to suggest, some would say demeaning; but it's how I feel about it.

Ingineer66 said...

I agree with the Debit card for food stamps so it makes it more difficult to cheat, but there are still people out there trading their debit cards for drugs or cash.